Pages from the past: Influence of Pitts family on growth of Indianola
100 YEARS AGO,
FRONT PAGE AD: Just received, two carloads of fine and fresh mares and mules. We are going to sell them at close margins. See them at W. W. HARPER’S BARN.
INDIANOLA’S LAST SOLDIER BOY RETURNS: Wednesday, Tom Pitts, son of Mr. and Mrs. W. T. Pitts returned from soldier service to Uncle Sam. Tom was the first boy to volunteer from this town and in keeping with his usual luck, the last to return. Tom is one of our finest and best boys and his host of friends are glad to welcome him home. We understand he will enter the real estate firm of Pitts and Weeks.
EDITOR J. A. RICHARDSON: It only takes a couple of bales of cotton at present prices to take a trip around the world.
50 YEARS AGO,
SUNFLOWER NEWS BY MARY ALICE WOFFORD: It’s been fair weather around here and I am not referring to the actual weather. It was State Fair week. Kelly Fisackerly made two trips with Grace Ann and Claude and their guests, Donna Romine and Andy Arant and then returned on Saturday with Grace Ann and Claude to show their cattle at the fairgrounds
CLUB NEWS: The Marie Merrymaker held a 4-H meeting in the home of Mrs. W, T. Skelton. Attending were Sue Harper, Diane Skelton, Donna Wade, Sue Hope, Carol Vance, Elaine Wade, Barbara Cockrell, Mrs. Sherly Cole and Charlotte Cockrell.
FROM A PHOTO: Mississippi Delta Junior College was recently the recipient of $4,480 in tractor equipment from Ford Motor Company. Johnny Walker, Farm Mechanics Instructor and Pete Speer, Sunflower Tractor dealer of Indianola were invited to inspect the new equipment.
FARM NEWS: Bobby L. Kirk has been elected to a three-year term on the Sunflower County ASC Committee. George Lipe who is the current county committee chairman was reelected.
25 YEARS AGO,
Obit; William R. Gwin, 88, retired businessman and much beloved resident of Indianola died on October 19. He established Gwin Appliance Center in 1960 and was affectionately known as “Jet Action” because of his radio ads for his appliances.
SCHOOL NEWS: The Indianola Junior High football team has a respectable 4/2 record this year. Milas Randle was last week’s most valuable offense and defense players.
COMMUNITY NEWS: Allen Hargett was chairman of the “Cash for Trash” event., He said that seven churches and clubs received cash awards for their efforts to make Indianola cleaner. First place was First Methodist Church Second was Pilgrim Green M B Church and third was Gentry High School faculty.
15 YEARS AGO,
FRONT PAGE BY DAVID RUSHING: A major item of Sunflower County history was restored Saturday when the Columbus and Greenville Railroad reinstalled the old railroad crossing sign for which Moorhead is famous for. The Yellow Dog sign had been in storage but is now back in place.
FROM THE SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT: Sheriff James R. Haywood said that enough is enough when it comes to repeat calls to rural juke joints in the wee hours of the morning. The Sheriff said he plans to request an ordinance requiring the closing of such establishments at midnight.
INFLUENCE OF THE PITTS FAMILY IN THE GROWTH OF
One hundred years ago a young Tom Pitts returned home from his “service with Uncle Sam” Records show that his father W. T. Pitts settled in Indianola in 1896 and was instrumental in bringing progress to the small community. He helped establish the Indianola Board of Trade which was the forerunner of the Indianola Chamber of Commerce, owned the Indianola Brick Plant, the Indianola Ice, Light and Coal Plant and served on the Board of Aldermen
The first electricity was installed in the courthouse by his company in 1901. His son, Tom continued in his footsteps of community service. He was serving his fourth term as Mayor of Indianola when he died on November 6, 1967. His service as Mayor was the longest of any other. Back during his service, there was no city judge, it was called a “Mayor’s Court” and Mayor Pitts listened to cases and handed down fines in his business office. His old office is now the law office of Townsend, McWilliams and Holladay on Second street.
In addition to Tom Pitts’ legacy as a progressive businessman and Mayor, he left a large family to carry on his name.
Four of his grandsons, Tom Pitts, Walter Pitts, Will Pitts and David Allen still live in Indianola. (David Allen’s mother was the late Mary Ann Pitts Allen) Many of their children and grandchildren still live here. The Pitts name lives on.