Pages from the past: A look back with Charlotte Buchanan
100 years ago,
January 30, 1919
Good letter from “Hut” Trotter in France, dated December 2, 1918: Dear Sister, several of yours, Nannie’s and Papa’s letters written about October 22, reached me yesterday. I am so glad to know you have recovered from the flu.
The Board of Mayor and Aldermen met in regular session Thursday, but no quorum, was adjourned to January 30 when J. W. Gilmer, Mayor, R.C. Garnett, M. A. Moore and W. R. French aldermen and T. L. Carter, Marshal, and J. H. Price, attorney were present. The Mayor reported his receipts of fines imposed in the amount of $143.00
50 years ago,
January 28, 1969
The Indianola Indians held their Athletic Banquet last Friday. Mike Basteri was awarded Most Valuable Player and Most Valuable Lineman. Jake Bellipanni received the Sportsmanship Award and Richard Jenkins was named Most Improved .Sammy Henderson received the Most Valuable Back award. Gene Van Cleve introduced the speaker, Jake Gibbs, All American from Ole Miss who now plays for the Yankees. Coach Bill McGuire gave a short talk.
25 years ago,
The Indianola Board of Aldermen narrowed the field for Police Chief Monday night to three men. They are Lt. Charles “Bloaty” Smith, Lt. Melvin Malone of Shelby County and Kenneth Winters.
Editor Jim Abbott’s editorial on the death of Morris Lewis, Jr. “He was a man of warmth. His sincere desire to contribute to the betterment of mankind and especially his Indianola and Delta area will keep that message alive for years to come. His passing is the end of an era.”
15 years ago,
Lesley Ely, daughter of Burton Ely of Jackson and Erin Ely of Indianola is a new member of Tri-Delta Sorority at the University of Mississippi.
Karl Grubb, son of Carl and Brenda Grubb of Moorhead was recently named as a member of the Mississippi Business Journal’s Top 40 Under 40.
French Left Mark on Sunflower County
W. R. French was a member of the Indianola Board of Aldermen one hundred years ago in 1919.
However, this was not the end of his many contributions to the growth and prosperity of Sunflower County, He went on to be elected to the Board of Supervisors where he served as President of that body.
During World War II he headed up the Civil Defense and single-handedly sent out a newsletter to servicemen and women stationed all over the world. It was called The Spoke and Page. For many years, veterans spoke of their gratitude to him for keeping them up to date on their comrades and what was going on at home.
In Marie Hemphill’s Fevers, Floods and Faith, the history of Sunflower County many references were made of French. One of the entries in The Spoke and Page told of the service of the late Circuit Judge Arthur B. Clark, Jr. “First Lt. Arthur Clark, Jr. was captured in France on July 4, 1944.
“After escaping prison, he was given sanctuary by a French family and went from family-to-family with the underground French families disguised as a peasant. He then rejoined his regiment in Belgium and was wounded several times requiring surgeries.
“He woke up in a hospital in England.”
French also received recognition for recording the markers in secluded burial places, one being what is known as Huckabee Hill on Bayou Road. W. R. French and family built one of the most elaborate houses in the early 1900s that had ever been built in Indianola.
It still stands today, the Victorian style house on Percy Street which is owned today by the Lipsey family.