This article is a continuation of the rich store of information I found in the old copy of “The Pioneer” newspaper published by and for the senior class of May 1936 of Union County High School.
Before I proceed with notable items from that premiere issue, let me digress to laud all of the more than 190 who attended the notable 2005 DyerSouther Association Reunion held July 17, 2005 at the North Georgia Technical College Campus. Those who have contacted me say, “It was one of the best, if not the best.”
The service was dedicated to long-time family historian, the late Watson Benjamin Dyer (1901-2005) whose five books of published family history helped many to find their family roots. Several items of his memorabilia were presented to the Union County Historical Museum.
A noteworthy item was on display: a double-yoke for oxen which William Jesse Souther Jr. used on his team as he moved from Old Fort, N.C., to Choestoe prior to 1848. A gift from Jesse’s grandson, John Paul Souther of Gainesville, restored by great, great, great grandson Theodore Thomas of Blairsville, the yoke was presented to the Museum. Those who saw the yoke and touched the wood were in awe that it was still intact after more than 150 years.
A picture of Lt. Col. John Paul Souther, a picture of the ten medals he earned as an outstanding U.S. Army Air Force officer in World War II, and a plaque honoring him were donated to the Museum. Those who participated in the Reunion had feelings of deep pride for roots going back to hardy citizens who helped to form Union County and go out into the world to make a difference.
The person receiving the “eldest person present” award was the inimitable Mrs. Dora Hunter Allison Spiva, teacher extraordinary, whose mother was Martha Souther Hunter. At age 100 Mrs. Spiva still encourages by her presence and wisdom. She was the faculty sponsor for that long-ago “Pioneer” Union County High School paper which is bringing us insights and delights from 1936.
“The Pioneer” business manager was Sarah Kelley, assisted by Mary Belle McGlamery. Advertisements evidently paid the cost of publishing the paper, with multiple pictures. It was a professional-looking newspaper, printed for the Pioneer Staff by Fannin County Times Press of Morganton and Blue Ridge, Ga.
With transportation in 1936 at a premium toward the end of the great depression, the co-business managers went as far away as Murphy, N.C., to sell ads. Probably their sponsor, Mrs. Allison, took them in her automobile to Murphy. They could have walked around the town of Blairsville to sell ads there.
The businesses in Murphy that sold ads to the girls were Dr. Thompson who wrote: “If you have a toothache, see me.” The Mauney Drug Company in the Adams Building “welcomes you where courtesy is a pleasure and service is a habit.” Crisp’s Studio was known for good portraiture and photographs. E.C. Moore was the Dodge and Plymouth distributor in Murphy. The Murphy Hardware “is always ready to serve you.”
The Dayton Brothers advertised, “When in Murphy and you need a taxi, see us.” Candler’s Store and Beauty Shop invited customers to drop in for a visit.
The town was not listed in some advertisements. Perhaps readers know whether these were in Murphy, Blairsville or elsewhere:
“Edward’s Hotel and Café, a good place to eat, rooms and cold drinks, satisfaction guaranteed.” West End Service Station had gas, oil and groceries. The Nation Wide Grocery Service “in the post office building appreciates your business,” with B. J. Wilson, Manager.
The other advertisers gave Blairsville as their location. These community-minded businesses at that time willing to help with publication of the high school paper were: Akins Hotel, J. M. Akins, Proprietor; Good Gulf Service Station, Grady Cook, Manager; Texaco Service Station, Robert Butt, Manager; Butt’s Drug Store, “Service with a Smile;” Margie’s Sandwich Shop, “A good place to eat”; T. S. Candler, Attorney-at-Law; Compliments of Allison Brothers, General Merchandise; Roger’s Cash Store, “Appreciates your business;” Blairsville Barber Shop, “two excellent barbers, work reasonable.”
Union County High School, Dr. J. M. Nicholson, Superintendent, had one of the larger advertisements bearing announcements for the school year 1936-1937. He stated that all transportation would be continued in all communities served during 1935-1936. The faculty would remain the same for the new school year. Teachers in the country schools were kindly requested to send names of seventh grade graduates so they could be contacted and encouraged to attend high school. [Note: Before the days of compulsory attendance laws, this announcement was intended as an enticement for students to continue their education into high school.]
Editor Bennie Lee Helton had a word of thanks to all who made “The Pioneer” possible: “To our class members, faculty, and others in the school who have spoken words of confidence; to Crisp’s Studio who made the pictures and to Citizens’ Engraving Company who gave discounts for engravings; to The Fannin County Times Press for their printing, kindnesses and willingness to help us; and to others who may have pushed our cause, we thank you.”
I’m sure the editor and seniors of the Class of 1936 had not the faintest notion that sixty-nine years into the future some history buff (yours truly) would examine with awe the contents of The Pioneer” and be amazed at the information they printed for posterity.
Some of the mottoes chosen by seniors for their profile showed the spirit prevalent in 1936 as seniors looked forward to commencement and life: Several chose “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” “Paddle your own canoe,” was another favorite. “Rowing but not drifting,” showed purpose. “Rolling on” indicated the future was full-speed ahead. “A clear conscience is a good pillow,” stated one. And lest the “Rolling on” gathered too much momentum in life, another warned “Rolling stones gather no moss.”
c2005 by Ethelene Dyer Jones; published July 21, 2005 in The Union Sentinel, Blairsville, GA. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.