A Chronology of
Americus and Sumter County, Georgia
1915 - 1961

Alan Anderson, compiler

June  1915  Professors Major W. Reddick and Alfred S. Staley were 
            instrumental in unification of the General Missionary 
            Baptist Convention of Georgia, M.W. Reddick, president, 
            A.S. Staley, recording secretary
Oct.  1915  "South Georgia Progress" began daily publication
            (ceased publication Mar. 1917)
Nov.  1915  Matthew McCullar "Mack" Lowrey, former Mayor of Amer-
            icus (1912-14), convicted in federal court on three 
            of seventeen counts and sentenced to five years in 
            Atlanta penitentiary, a result of failed First Nation-
            al Bank of Americus 
Mar.  1916  internationally famous actress Sarah Bernhardt ap-
            peared in 5-act play at Dudley's Opera House
Aug.  1916  murder of Walter Wade, of Leslie, resulted in three 
            trials to convict Dr. Charles K. Chapman, prominent 
            local dentist, and W.I. Johnson, railroad security 
            agent, of the crime in Sept. 1917; Henry T. Daven-
            port, of Americus, Commander, Ga. Division, United
            Confederate Veterans, hosted eighteenth annual reun-
            ion, Gov. Nathaniel E. "Nat" Harris, featured speaker
            at Rylander Bldg.
Sept. 1916  dedication of Minnesota Monument at Andersonville 
            National Cemetery, C.J. Clark, contractor 
Oct.  1916  "Americus Light Infantry" left for El Paso, Tex. dur-
            ing border unrest with Mexico
UKN   1917  Americus and Atlantic Railroad began operations between
            Methvins in Sumter County and Mata, Ga., ending in 1926 
Mar.  1917  U.S. Vice-President Thomas Riley Marshall gave a 
            speech from the balcony at the Windsor Hotel for 
            Woodmen of the World convention
Apr.  1917  first Americus/Sumter County Red Cross chapter organ-
            ized, Stephen Pace, chairman, Mrs. S.H. McKee, vice-
            chairman, Mrs. I.J. Kalmon, secretary, Lee G. Council 
            treasurer; Furlow Lawn Baptist Church changed its 
            name to Central Baptist, Rev. Geo. F. Brown, pastor;
            Minnie Sue and Sarah Margaret Culpepper accidentally
            killed by automobile driven by Mrs. Jerry Mugivan,
            (wife of John Robinson's Ten Big Shows Circus propri-
            etor, wintering in Americus) at northeast corner Col-
            lege and Lee, resulting in the latter donating memor-
            ial pipe organ to Lee Street Methodist Church 
June  1917  "Sumter Light Guards" revived, Capt. Eugenius A. Nis-
            bet, commanding 
July  1917  Americus Undertaking Co. acquired first motorized 
            hearse in southwest Georgia, a Studebaker
Sept. 1917  groundbreaking ceremony for brick sanctuary of Beth-
            esda Baptist Church, Rev. M.W. Reddick, pastor
Oct.  1917  Lee Street Methodist Church sanctuary dedicated, Rev.
            J.A. Thomas, presiding (southeast corner Burke and
Jan.  1918  Nottingham Law first Sumter Countian to die in World
            War I, of pneumonia at Camp Gordon 
May   1918  Maj. Carlyle Wash, in machine #1778, flew first 
            plane at Souther Field
July  1918  formal opening of Souther Field, U.S. Army installa-
            tion, northeast of Americus (also served as training 
            camp, then German P.O.W. camp, in World War II)
Aug.  1918  Cpl. Roy S. Ratley first Sumter Countian killed in 
            action in World War I, in France
Sept. 1918  Americus Rotary Club organized, Franc Mangum, presi-
            dent, Frank P. Harrold, vice-president, Joseph E. 
            Johnson, secretary, John Sheffield, treasurer, George 
            R. Ellis, Arthur Rylander, William E. Taylor, direc-
Jan.  1919  Americus city council officially adopted Eastern 
            Standard Time, removing the city from the Central 
            Time Zone
Mar.  1919  concrete bridge dedicated, crossing Flint River to 
            connect Dooly and Sumter
Apr.  1919  razing of 1877 Campbell Chapel A.M.E. sanctuary pre-
            paratory to erection of brick replacement
June  1919  Lt. Floyd A. Wilson and Pvt. Calhoun, his mechanic, 
            from Souther Field, crashed their plane in William E. 
            Brown's garden behind John T. Argo's house (#503 E. 
            Church), the only physical injury having been Cal-
            houn's broken left wrist; William Jennings Bryan,
            three-time Democratic presidential nominee, made his
            third appearance in Americus, with a speech support-
            ing the League of Nations and the anti-saloon league,
            at First Baptist Church
Jan.  1920  McCay Hill School chosen first school in Georgia to 
            institute an auto mechanics curriculum, under federal 
            aid, Ernest Barnett, instructor; Sumter County Board 
            of Education consolidated New Era, Gammage, Pleasant 
            Grove and Oak Grove in the 28th Dist., Pennington and 
            St. Mary's to Andersonville, Sumter City divided with 
            north to Thalean and south to Thompson, latter along 
            with Williams, leaving only three uncombined - 
            Huntington, Johnson and Anthony Chapel 
Mar.  1920  Americus and Sumter County Chamber of Commerce char-
            ter filed by Carr S. Glover, Frank P. Harrold and 
            Neal A. Ray; Sumter Mercantile & Realty Co. charter-
            ed, first local black business corporation, Boss W. 
            Warren, president, Major B. Phillips, vice-president, 
            Elbert Stallworth, secretary, Dr. D.F. Pughsley, 
Apr.  1920  Americus Kiwanis Club organized, J. Lewis Ellis, pre-
            sident, John E. Sheppard, vice-president, Evan T.
            Mathis, secretary, Eugene Bailey, treasurer
Sept. 1920  Miss Ruth Clark became the first woman to register to 
            vote in the county's history
Jan.  1921  John D. Mathis Post, VFW, organized, second one in 
            Georgia (permanently chartered June 1923)
Mar.  1921  Americus Lions Club organized, the second one in the 
            state, Dan Chappell, president, Geo. B. Turpin, vice-
            president, Ernest L. Carswell, second vice-president, 
            W.E. Rogers, third, Chas. M. Hale, secretary, C.A. 
            Ames, treasurer 
Apr.  1921  First Christian Church organized with twenty members, 
            W.A. Joyner, pastor
May   1921  murder of W.H. "Bill" Scarborough at his rural store, 
            northwest corner Hwys. 19 and 280; opening of Wise 
            Clinic in Plains, Drs. B.T. and S.P. Wise (destroyed
            by fire Jan. 23,1936) 
June  1921  Sgt. Alvin C. York spoke at Rylander Theater and stayed 
            at the Windsor; Americus Golf Club organized on site of 
            old country club:  G.R. Ellis, president, Carr S. Glover, 
            vice-president, Evan Mathis, secretary, W.M. Humber, 
            treasurer,  Walter Rylander, W.M. Jones, Frank Lanier, 
            W.C. Caye, Jr. and Thomas Harrold, directors 
July  1921  opening of Barlow St. ballpark (south side Hill be-
            tween Elm and Lee) 
Aug.  1921  city pool begun (now west side Barlow south of Hill),
            rebuilt Feb.-Mar. 2005 
Nov.  1921  "Spirit of the American Doughboy" statue (now south 
            end Rees Park), designed by E.M. Visqueney, of Ameri-
            cus and Spencer, Ind., to commemorate World War I 
            veterans, was dedicated, at intersection Lamar and 
Dec.  1921  grand opening of Americus Golf Club, site of current 
            Country Club
Jan.  1922  First Christian Church held their first service in 
            the formerly Universalist sanctuary on Taylor
Apr.  1922  Ty Cobb, the "Georgia Peach," and Detroit Tigers 
            played an exhibition game at Americus ballpark on 
Aug.  1922  spontaneous combustion fire destroyed First Methodist 
            Church sanctuary
Feb.  1923  Americus police Lt. Homer A. Lee and Dave Cross slew 
            each other in a shootout at Northview Cemetery (now 
            Eastview), while former was trying to arrest latter
Mar.  1923  Americus Klan No. 95, Ku Klux Klan, published mem-
            bership application in "Times-Recorder"
Apr.  1923  Americus Negro Hospital (now Wild St. Day Care Cen-
            ter) opened under aegis of Dr. W. Stuart Prather, 
            (north side Wild between Cotton and Jackson) 
May   1923  John Alden Wyche, owner of S & W Airplane Co., sold 
            Charles A. Lindbergh, the "Lone Eagle," his first 
            plane, a World War I surplus "Jenny," for $500, at 
            Souther Field, where he made his first solo flight
July  1923  "Shoeless" Joe Jackson played for and coached Americus 
            baseball team at ballpark on Barlow
Sept. 1923  Sumter County Schools Superintendent E.W. Dupree
            eliminated last one-room school house, at Pennington, 
            with students to New Era, Pleasant Grove and Anderson-
            ville; fire destroyed most of Sumter City
July  1924  Americus Police Department got its first motorcycle, 
            an Indian Scout, to supplement Ford patrol car
Nov.  1924  Americus' public school system only one in South with 
            all black and white teachers enrolled in National
            Education Association
Jan.  1925  Mrs. Emma Joiner became first woman in Sumter's his-
            tory to hold political office when she was appointed 
            County Tax Receiver upon George D. Jones' death 
June  1925  Police Chief John T. Bragg led 200 Ku Klux Klansmen, 
            on horseback, in parade to Barlow ballpark for rally
Aug.  1925  DeMolay Chapter organized, Bobby Hooks, chairman, 
            Samuel Lott, secretary, Lionel Stukes, treasurer
Apr.  1926  Gov. Clifford Walker signed bill changing Third Dis-
            trict Agricultural and Mechanical School to State 
            Agricultural and Normal College 
June  1926  new 10-acre recreation park named Lake Ocono, with
            dance pavilion (east side Hwy. 19 south of Seaboard
            Coastline tracks)
July  1926  announcement of Prather Clinic construction (east 
            side S. Jackson, opposite Presbyterian Church); dedi-
            cation of St. James Pennington Episcopal Church, W.L. 
            Walker, engineer, Sam D. Cobb, brickwork superinten-
            dent (east side Hwy. 195 south of Old Stagecoach Rd.)
Oct.  1926  AHS football team adopted Panthers name
Nov.  1926  Mrs. Erin Watts Stewart unanimously elected County 
            Treasurer, Sumter's first woman elected to political 
            office; AHS Panthers completed first undefeated sea-
            son as Third District champions, Rufus B. Godwin, 
Jan.  1927  Rte. 3 named part of the Appalachian Scenic Highway, 
            Quebec, Can. to St. Petersburg, Fla., permanent route 
            for U.S. Hwy. 19 
Dec.  1927  sensational trial of Samuel Hawkins Hooks, accused 
            "Americus Strangler," resulted in acquittal
Feb.  1928  Franklin D. Roosevelt, candidate for Governor of New 
            York, spoke to Chamber of Commerce dinner at Windsor, 
            spending the night there before returning to Warm 
June  1928  Miss Olive Giger, of Washington, D.C., first woman 
            attorney to appear in Sumter Superior Court history
Nov.  1928  "Americus Hero," local movie made by the "Times-
            Recorder," starred Miss Ann Heys, Herbert Hawkins, 
            Mrs. O.B. Biggers, Olin McDaniel, Miss Ann Walker 
            and Joe Sutton; New Era Consolidated School dedicated, 
            D.C. Burke, principal 
Mar.  1929  Plains struck by tornado from southwest to northeast, 
            missing high school and Wise Sanitarium by 300 yards, 
            one killed
May   1929  Rylander Theater's manager, Joel Gortatowsky, showed 
            first talking movie in Americus, "The Awakening," 
            starring Vilma Banky and Louis Wolheim
Sept. 1929  cornerstone ceremony for Mt. Olive Baptist's brick 
            sanctuary, Rev. C.W. Woodall, pastor
Oct.  1929  movie star Gary Cooper "dropped in" at Souther Field 
            during flying tour of the United States
Apr.  1930  mobster "Scarface" Al Capone passed through Americus, 
            by train, enroute to Miami from Chicago, but did not 
            stay at the Windsor; murder of E.M. Hobbs at Concord
            resulted in exile to Texas of John F. Monahan, Jr.,
            son of Americus Fire Chief J.F. Monahan
May   1930  formal dedication of Americus Negro Playground, with 
            ballpark and swimming pool, Oscar Maxwell, president 
            (east side N. Lee between Bay and Town Creek)
June  1930  dedication of Memorial Mile by Sumter Garden Club, 
            Mrs. H.O. Jones, president (east side Hwy. 19 north 
            of Shiloh Rd.), a commemorative plaque honoring Mrs. 
            Vivian Foy Jones being added May 29,1951
Aug.  1930  grand opening of Crisp County Hydroelectric Plant
            creating Lake Blackshear
Jan.  1931  dedication for newly constructed Anthony High School, 
            on Americus Normal College campus
Feb.  1931  Americus Jaycees organized, George Ellis, president, 
            Dr. Robert Pendergrass, first vice-president, John W. 
            Sheffield, second vice-president, Sam Merritt, trea-
            surer, W. Roy Brown, secretary (national affiliation 
            Jan. 1938)
Oct.  1931  announcement that Americus Normal College became a 
            junior college, Dr. J.M. Prance, president; U.S. Navy 
            dirigible "Los Angeles" flew 1,000 feet over Americus 
            during cross country journey
Dec.  1931  Sumter County celebrated its centennial with parades 
            and programs attended by thousands
Apr.  1932  tornado struck Sumter County 10 miles northwest of 
            Americus, cutting a path 3 miles long, "as wide as a 
            city block," between the Bahnsen and Hart farms
May   1932  initial broadcast of Americus' first radio station, 
            WENC, "Where Every Nickel Counts," at Rylander Theater, 
            by Americus Broadcasting Co., Dr. Linwood Morris, 
            Henry P. Everett, R.T. Crabb and Stephen Pace, incor-
            porators (moved to Albany Dec. 1933)
June  1932  last graduating class as Americus Institute closed 
            its doors; Mayor James A. Fort and Fire Chief Jos. B. 
            Hayes standardized over 200 hydrants and equipment 
            according to Southeastern Underwriters Association 
            specifications (Americus and Columbus were last two 
            Georgia cities to do so)
Aug.  1932  "Time Magazine" profiled U.S. Rep. Charles R. Crisp,
            of Americus, chairman of Ways and Means Committee 
Apr.  1933  Americus Normal College renamed Georgia Southwestern 
Oct.  1933  "Tri-County News," E.L. Gammage, business manager, 
            Harry P. Leadingham, editor, established as weekly 
            competition for "Times-Recorder"
Nov.  1933  Rev. V.W. McCranie, Scott's Mater Tabernacle C.M.E. 
            Church pastor, murdered and parsonage burned by un-
            known persons
Jan.  1934  announcement of CWA grant to build Americus Municipal 
            Airport (west side S. Lee south of Columbia); Grant-
            land Rice, sports writer, and his guest, Rube Gold-
            berg, cartoonist, visited former's mother-in-law, 
            Mrs. Florence Davenport Hollis, in Americus
Feb.  1934  tornado touched down in several locations on Ameri-
            cus' northside, extensively damaging Sheffield Hard-
            ware and Glover's Wholesale
Mar.  1934  D.S. Club organized by Squire Fort, et. al.
Apr.  1934  dedication of First Methodist Church sanctuary, 
            Bishop W.A. Candler presiding, Rev. H.T. Freeman, 
June  1934  Dr. M.J. Baisden opened "hospital for colored pati-
            ents" at 321 Forrest
July  1934  contracts let for Hwy. 19 connecting Muckalee Hill to 
            McGarrah St., at Baisden and Davenport (completed 
            with Lamar St. viaduct in May 1935)
Aug.  1934  rerouting of Rte. 3 and U.S. 19 begun with new link 
            from McGarrah to Hwy. 280, as well as new bridge 
            across Muckalee Creek, in preparation for new viaduct
Nov.  1934  Americus Lions Club organized, Dr. E.B. Strickland, 
            president, Lionel Stukes, first vice-president, C.E. 
            Niblack, second vice-president, M.T. King, third 
            vice-president, Geo. D. Walker, secretary-treasurer; 
            Leslie Lions Club chartered, W.T. Anderson, presi-
            dent, C.E. Stevenson, first vice-president, F.W. 
            Hines, second vice-president, L.C. Lanford, third 
            vice-president, B.L. Dell, Jr., secretary-treasurer
Jan.  1935  Miss Julia Coleman, Plains High School principal, 
            invited by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt to luncheon 
            at White House 
July  1935  razing of T.M. Furlow mansion, a former hospital and
            school, replaced by rental duplex (west side Barlow
            between College and Furlow)
Oct.  1935  Senior Dunbar Club organized, Mrs. Leonora Lambert,
Nov.  1935  dedication of new brick Shiloh School building, Prof. 
            J.J. Green, principal; Thad Glover supervised WPA 
            project indexing all county records
Jan.  1936  Bonnie and Clyde's "death car" exhibited at Americus 
            Auto Company
Feb.  1936  Ben S. Storey, of LaCrosse, northwest of Americus, 
            became first black person to serve on a jury in Sum-
            ter County in over half a century 
Mar.  1936  fire destroyed the seven-room, wood frame Americus 
            Golf Club, site of the present Country Club
June  1936  Dan Chappell, of Miami, a Sumter County native, ran 
            fifth out of fourteen in Florida Democratic guberna-
            torial primary
July  1936  Mayor James A. Fort chosen president, Georgia Munici-
            pal Association 
Sept. 1936  Earl "Fatha" Hines, and his orchestra, played at Ry-
            lander Theater scrip dance 
Oct.  1936  A.S. Staley High School, for blacks, opened on site 
            of Americus Institute (east side N. Lee between Pat-
            terson and Primitive) 
Dec.  1936  City Engineer S.S. Hudson installed Americus' first 
            traffic light, at Church and Lee intersection (it was 
            shot out by an irate citizen)
June  1937  Plains High School designated "model school" by State 
            Board of Education; Miss Ruby Wilson, first aviatrix 
            to fly solo at Souther Field; formal dedication of 
            A.S. Staley High School, E.J. Granberry, principal
Aug.  1937  Cotton Avenue celebrated its 100th birthday; Americus
            named one of ten state highway patrol headquarters
Oct.  1937  Wallace B. Sheffield named first Colonel of Aviation
            in state history by Gov. E.D. Rivers
Jan.  1938  Mrs. Frank Sheffield, Jr. and Mrs. Zera A. Little-
            john, Jr. first women to ever serve on Americus City
            School Board
Feb.  1938  "Americus High School" named after newspaper survey 
            of the community ("Charles M. Hale Memorial," second 
            runner up); Magnolia Dell donated to city as a park 
            by Frank P. Harrold; grandstand construction started 
            for ballpark on Bell and Oak; new Flint River bridge 
            on Hwy. 280 named "General Howell Cobb and Captain 
            John Addison Cobb Memorial Bridge" by Gov. E.D. Ri-
            vers; city and county high schools consolidated 
Mar.  1938  cornerstone ceremony for Americus High School, for 
            whites (west side Harrold at Dodson)
Apr.  1938  Americus Junior High School established at Rees Park; 
            East Americus School terminated at end of school year 
            (razed June 1978)
May   1938  dedication of Recreation Building at Americus and 
            Sumter County Community Center (southwest corner Bell 
            and Harrold), Thomas L. Bell, mayor; dedication of 
            First Christian Church, Rev. W.A. Joyner, pastor
June  1938  Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker, WW I flying ace and Eastern 
            Airlines president, visited Americus Municipal Air-
            port, on inspection tour; Windsor Hotel bought by 
            Howell Dayton 
July  1938  opening game between Americus Cardinals and Albany 
            Travelers at new ballpark (southeast corner Bell and 
            Oak), won by home team, 1-0
Aug.  1938  Forsyth St. extension, west beyond Cotton, opened for 
Jan.  1939  Miss Thaisa Gardner, of DeSoto, returned from Holly-
            wood after playing a munchkin in "The Wizard of Oz"
Mar.  1939  Sumter County prohibition repeal referendum ended in
            610 to 610 vote tie; pioneer Joshiah Scrutchins home, 
            later T.M. Furlow's, first in DeSoto, burned; Americus 
            Cardinals baseball team changed their name to Pioneers 
Apr.  1939  first brick home in Americus razed, built by Maj. M. 
            Speer in 1868-69 (northwest corner Church and Jack-
            son), with brick used in construction of new office 
            building on the site; GSW's first annual, "The Gale,"
            Herschel Covington, editor-in-chief
June  1939  first REA power line, 6 miles between Thomas' Store
            and Tom Finch's farm on Americus-Dawson Road
Aug.  1939  convicts moved from old stockade, southwest corner
            Forsyth and Prince, to new facility on McMath Mill 
Mar.  1940  A.S. Staley High School selected by John D. Rockefel-
            ler's General Education Board as one of thirteen 
            black schools in the South, the only one in Georgia, 
            for an experimental program in vocational education
Sept  1940  Americus began first dial telephone service
Oct.  1940  Charley Green, a 25-year-old, black farmhand on the 
            T.J. Suggs place, was the first Sumter Countian draf-
            ted for World War II
Jan.  1941  Americus 20th most populous city in Georgia, with 
June  1941  Eastview Cemetery, formerly Northview, for blacks, 
            opened by developer Roland S. Broadhurst, more than 
            doubling in size; Church of the Nazarene organized, 
            Rev. David Patten, pastor; daily "Americus News," 
            Buddy Pilcher, editor, debuted
July  1941  Hancock Avenue renamed Hancock Drive
Sept. 1941  bus station at Dudley and Spring opened, Harris 
            Council, manager, J.C. Wise, of Atlanta, architect
Oct.  1941  dedication of Cobb Memorial Bridge spanning Flint 
            River to connect Sumter and Crisp counties; Negro 
            Business and Civic League, J.D. Anderson, W.R. Bur-
            leigh, S.M. Weston, E. Stallworth, W.M. Carter, J.T. 
            Phillips, E.J. Hill, J.H. Henderson, J.L. Barnum, 
            J.B. Dorsey, executive committee, began construction 
            of recreation center, converting former Americus In-
            stitute dormitory (northeast corner Lee and Patter-
Dec.  1941  Americus Pilot Club organized, Miss Doris Oglesby, 
            president, Mrs. L.H. White, 1st vice-president, Mrs. 
            John Wooten, 2nd vice-president, Miss Willie Maude 
            Johnson, recording secretary, Miss Christine Webb, 
            corresponding secretary, Miss Elizabeth Harrison, 
            treasurer; Americus native, Allen Chappell, became a
            member of Georgia Public Service Commission
Mar.  1942  old ballground, south of Hill (now bisected by Bar-
            low), sold by City Council to Charles Lanier for 
Apr.  1942  Americus had the only armed fire department in Geor-
            gia, 11 firemen and Chief Hugh "Hop" Henderson car-
            rying sidearms 
May   1942  Americus' first-ever black Boy Scout Troop, #200, or-
            ganized, sponsored by Bethesda Baptist Church, King 
            Bryson, scoutmaster
Nov.  1942  Clarence Jordan and Martin England founded Koinonia 
            Farms, in the 17th District, as a non-profit, religi-
            ous corporation that was fully integrated racially
Dec.  1942  Father Godfrey A. Weitekamp became first resident 
            priest for St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church
Jan.  1943  General Assembly put state on central time but Ameri-
            cus and Sumter County briefly retained eastern time
            while courthouse clock, coincidentally, was out of 
            operation for cleaning and repairs (Americus' literal
            lack of time was later noted in Ripley's Believe It
            or Not!) 
June  1943  Lt. Lucius Gibson, of Americus, one of first fourteen 
            blacks graduated from officers candidate school in 
            Great Britain
Dec.  1943  Americus and Sumter County Real Estate Board organ-
            ized, Milton Mize, president, R.C. Moran, secretary, 
            Charles H. Wheatley, O.C. Law, Mrs. Herbert Hawkins, 
            directors; U.S.S. Elmore, destroyer escort, named for 
            Americus native, Eugene Evans Elmore, KIA, WW II 
Mar.  1944  exhibition of one of two unsuccessful two-man Japan-
            ese submarines at Pearl Harbor, on Lamar across from 
            Windsor Hotel
Nov.  1944  German P.O.W. camp established at Souther Field, with 
            prisoners working on local area farms (closure and 
            repatriation in Dec. 1945)
Dec.  1944  AHS Panthers beat LaGrange Grangers 25-18 to become 
            Class B State Champions, Jack Finklea and Kemp L. 
            Carpenter, coaches
Apr.  1945  Americus branch, N.A.A.C.P., chartered, John B.
            Dorsey, president 
Aug.  1945  Frank M. Staley, Jr., of Americus, became first-ever 
            black Boy Scout to achieve Eagle rank in Chehaw Coun-
            cil's history 
Oct.  1945  dedication of new sanctuary of Daniel Grove Baptist 
            Church, Rev. David A. Greene, pastor (intersection 
            Ga. 49 and District Line Rd.); Americus Evangelistic 
            Group built sanctuary, Rev. Ellis Barfield, pastor, 
            (south side Hill, between Felder and Henrietta) 
Dec.  1945  Veterans of Foreign Wars chapter organized, Henry O. 
            Gammage Post No. 4784, S.H. Dykes, commander, Joseph 
            E. Suggs, Jr., senior vice-commander, John West Shef-
            field, junior vice-commander, Patrick Bynum, adjutant 
            and quartermaster, Hollis Fort, Jr., advocate  
Feb.  1946  Plains Lions Club chartered, Young T. Sheffield, 
            president, Drue P. Murray, Jr., first vice-president, 
            O. Albert Williams, second vice-president, Claude L. 
            Walters, Jr., third vice-president, L.L. Spence, 
Mar.  1946  announcement of new Country Club to be built on site 
            of original 1910 structure, John W. Sheffield, presi-
            dent, Theo Baldwin, W.W. Bremly, Wingate Dykes, Ben 
            F. Easterlin, Jr., Charles S. Hogg, Jr., Thomas B. 
            Hooks, III, David T. Jennings, Jr., J.H. Pressley, 
            Walter Rylander, Jr., J. Willis Shiver, Jr., Paul 
            Wootten, directors (extensively remodeled with new
            swimming pool June 1971); The Americus Broadcasting 
            Co., James R. Blair, H. Phil Jones and James W. Lott, 
            applied to the FCC for approval of proposed radio 
            station WDEC (first broadcast July 4,1947) 
Apr.  1946  dedication of St. Jerome's Catholic Church, for 
            blacks, by Bishop Gerald P. O'Hara of the Savannah-
            Atlanta Diocese, Father Joseph B. Wider, priest 
            (northeast corner Bel-Air Plaza, at that time corner 
            Forsyth and Lamar)
June  1946  Sumter County purchased Souther Field through Recon-
            struction Finance Corp.
July  1946  Americus' first parking meters installed uptown; 
            Americus and Sumter County Garden Clubs transferred
            control of Oak Grove Cemetery to city council, Carl
            Kobs, sexton 
Aug.  1946  Americus Housing Authority formally organized, Frank 
            Chappell, chairman, W.C. Haggard, vice-chairman, Le-
            land Bell, secretary
Oct.  1946  Mayor H.O. Jones wrote from "Americus Hotel" in 
            Allentown, Pa., whose owner had been impressed with 
            Americus during an earlier visit (see also, T-R 11-6-
            37); first-ever Kiwanis' pet parade with Polly Marie
            Long first place in girls category and Bubber Eldridge
            first in boys category
Jan.  1947  United Mine Workers president John L. Lewis bought 
            gasoline at Lighthouse while passing through on U.S.
Mar.  1947  Allen Chapel A.M.E. Church relocated across Carter 
            from its original site and dedicated its new sanctu-
            ary, Rev. L.J. Jones, pastor
Apr.  1947  tornado destroyed Andersonville Methodist Church (re-
            built May 1948); Americus City Schools adopted 12th 
            grade, to be implemented in September
July  1947  Doughboy and Confederate monuments had been moved to 
            Rees Park 
Oct.  1947  first-in-the-nation FmHA loan to Robert A. Hale, Sum-
            ter County farmer, with ceremony at Bell Park attend-
            ed by U.S. Senators Richard B. Russell and Walter F.
            George, Gov. M.E. Thompson and U.S. Congressman 
            Stephen Pace as master of ceremonies
Nov.  1947  Rosa Lee Ingram and her four sons' murder of John E.
            Stradford, at Lacrosse, became a cause celebre co-
            ordinated by W.R. Burleigh, of Americus, with Thurgood
            Marshall, N.A.A.C.P. director and counsel; Tenth 
            Annual Conference of Principals of Georgia Negro Ele-
            mentary and Secondary Schools held at A.S. Staley High 
            School; Americus Key Club chartered, Harry Entrekin, 
            president, John Herbert Coman, vice-president, Lewis 
            Easterlin, recording secretary, Jimmy Buchanan, treas-
            urer, Cliff Carswell, corresponding secretary
Dec.  1947  Plains' first black Boy Scout Troop organized, Rev.
            C.M. Huff, scoutmaster 
Mar.  1948  1888 brick water tower razed (east side Lee north of 
            Lamar); announcement of construction of Church of 
            Christ (southeast corner Hill and Lee)
May   1948  formal opening of South Georgia Trade and Vocational 
            School (now South Georgia Technical College)
Sept. 1948  grand opening of Harlem Theater, 210 Cotton, Elias 
            Attyah and Theo Baldwin, owners
Aug.  1949  Americus Civitans Club chartered, Ed McGowan, presi-
            dent, Bob Jones, vice-president, Pal Markette, secre-
            tary-treasurer, L.D. Kay, Red Harvey, John Pope, 
            Clyde Bridges, Charles Smith, directors
Sept. 1949  first game played in new high school football stadi-
            um, north of Glessner, between Harrold and Oak, imme-
            diately north of current Finklea-Robinson Stadium
Nov.  1949  "unidentified local businessman" spotted UFO, while 
            F.R.B.'s Miami Herald letter in T-R 9-10-52 cited 
            1918 Souther Field UFO sighting  
Mar.  1950  grand opening of Sunset Drive-In Theater (south side 
            Ga. 280 west of U.S. 19)
Aug.  1950  Capt. Richard Walter Williams, Jr., grandson of prom-
            inent black contractor Bright Hill, was first Sumter 
            Countian wounded in the Korean Conflict
Jan.  1951  DeSoto and Leslie got dial telephone service; Ameri-
            cus Moose Lodge organized
May   1951  Americus Junior Chamber of Commerce chartered, James 
            White, president, Dr. Harold Clayton, vice-president, 
            Herschel A. Smith, Jr., secretary, Walker Bowen, 
            treasurer, Frank Myers and Charles Smith, directors 
June  1951  Pfc. Luther H. Story was only Sumter Countian to be 
            awarded Medal of Honor, albeit posthumously, for 
            "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and be-
            yond the call of duty in action" in Korean Conflict 
Aug.  1951  Citizens Bank Bldg. first office building in Georgia 
            to comply with new state fire code (southwest corner 
            Forsyth and Lee)
Sept. 1951  dedication ceremony for site of new Southwest Georgia 
            Experiment Station, Duncan McRainey, supervisor 
            (south side Ga. 27, just east of Plains) 
Oct.  1951  movie actor Dan Duryea visited the Martin Theater 
            during statewide promotional tour (north side Forsyth 
            between Cotton and Jackson); announcement of future 
            closure of Colored Hospital on Wild, and construction
            of annex to new Americus-Sumter County Hospital on
            Forsyth, W.R. Burleigh, chairman, J.L. Bozeman, first
            co-chairman, Emma J. Anderson, secretary, John L.
            Barnum, Jr., treasurer (dedicated Oct. 1953 with of-
            ficial opening the following month)
Nov.  1951  Tex Beneke's Orchestra performed at GSW dance; Adolf 
            Hitler's personal limousine exhibited across from 
            Martin Theater
Jan.  1952  Americus Baseball Club, Inc. surrendered its Georgia-
            Florida League franchise to Thomasville, ending four
            decades of professional baseball as the Cardinals,
            Pioneers and Rebels; Emperor Hirohito's personal ri-
            ding horse, a white stallion, displayed in Americus
Feb.  1952  news article re British actor Michael Rennie, star of 
            "The Day the Earth Stood Still," noted his World War 
            II R.A.F. duty at Souther Field
Nov.  1952  AHS Panthers defeated Cordele 47-12, first undefeated
            season since 1926, Jimmie Luck, coach 
Apr.  1952  dedication of Church of the Nazarene's new sanctuary 
            (south side Elmo between Cherry and Mayo)
May   1952  announcement of McCay Hill Grammar School's first-
            ever yearbook, "Maybook," Walter T. Pace, principal
Aug.  1952  Northside Homes, 150-unit public housing project for 
            blacks, ready for occupancy (between Jackson and Lee)
Nov.  1952  A.S. Staley High School Tigers won Negro Class A 
            North Ga. championship, Leroy Williams, coach, defeat-
            ing Elberton 26-0 
Dec.  1952  new Americus-Sumter County Hospital (now Sumter Regi-
            onal) dedicated, construction having begun Dec. 1950, 
            with cornerstone ceremony Sept. 14, 1951, Charles H. 
            McCauley, architect, W.K. Upchurch, builder, Charles 
            F. Crisp, hospital authority chairman (north side 
            Forsyth west of Mayo)
Jan.  1953  202 new street signs, black on white, installed by 
            Americus Jaycees; Mount Mary and Old Corinth, black 
            county schools, discontinued, former consolidated 
            with Shady Grove, latter with Welcome
Feb.  1953  dedication of Boy Scout Troop 21's hut, Charlie Hogg, 
            scoutmaster, replaced by concrete block and rededica-
            ted Jan. 1957 (southwest corner Dodson and Elm) 
May   1953  Americus' Mary Crawford won Georgia Women's Amateur  
            Golf Championship
July  1953  Brooklyn Heights Baptist Church constituted, Rev. Ed-
            gar Dalton, pastor, with groundbreaking Oct. 1953, 
            sanctuary dedication Feb. 24,1954 (northwest corner 
            Mary and Washington); Miss America Neva Jane Langley 
            was guest of honor at "Manufacturers Day" celebration 
            in Americus 
Aug.  1953  St. Paul's Lutheran Church held first service in its 
            new sanctuary, Rev. Russell J. Crouse, pastor, razed 
            and replaced by Faith Baptist Church sanctuary 1986 
            (south side Felder at Tripp); Sumter Shrine Club or-
            ganized, L.D. Kay, president, Theo Baldwin, vice- 
            president, Earl Williams, secretary-treasurer; Harrold
            Bros.' business records (1859-1953), four tons worth, 
            donated to Emory University 
Dec.  1953  Wallace F. Cheek Memorial Baptist Church constituted
July  1954  Ed Jones, son of Plains Mayor Peter B. Jones, was 
            program assistant for Edward R. Murrow's "See It Now"
            CBS television series
Aug.  1954  Georgia's first aluminum telephone booth installed 
            by Southern Bell Telephone Co., Lane Watson, manager, 
            at Pope's Place (northwest corner Magnolia and U.S. 
            19); 100-year-old McMath's Mill burned, west of Amer-
Sept. 1954  Federal Power Commission approved South Georgia Nat-
            ural Gas Co. line to Americus, completed Sept. 1955
Dec.  1954  installation of bronze Sumter County historic marker
            in front of Victorian courthouse, later moved to cur-
            rent courthouse       
Jan.  1955  Mrs. Ann May McNeill, Mrs. Earl Carter, Mrs. John F. 
            Williams, Mrs. Loren C. Greene, Mrs. Jewell D. Wallis 
            and Mrs. Buena Vista Malloy were first women to ever 
            serve on a Federal Court jury in Americus
Mar.  1955  Cephas Williamson, of the Thalean community, National
            4-H Citizenship winner, visited President Eisenhower 
            in Washington, D.C.
Apr.  1955  U.S. Air Force T-33 jet exploded and crashed at Cobb,
            killing both pilots; opening of "Negro branch of the
            Carnegie library," Frankie Harvey, librarian, removed
            from A.S. Staley High School
May   1955  Mary Crawford, of Americus, won Georgia State Women's
            Amateur Golf Championship for the second time; Ameri-
            cus' first sewerage treatment plant began operation
June  1955  oil well drilling begun on Walter Stapleton's farm at
            Thalean, unfortunately ultimately unsuccessful
July  1955  announcement of Brig. Gen. Julian M. "Jack" Chappell, 
            native Sumter Countian, as Commander, 7th Air Force, 
            holder of two Distinguished Flying Crosses, Bronze 
            Star and Legion of Merit
Sept. 1955  Plains got paved streets
Oct.  1955  County Commission Chairman George L. Mathews made 
            world's first solar-powered telephone call, in 28th 
            Dist. near Bethel Baptist Church; Sunset Memorial 
            Gardens Cemetery established (southside Upper River 
            Rd. just outside city limits); National Guard Armory 
            completed (northwest corner Adderton and Armory)
Jan.  1956  Americus Fire Department awarded first place in Geor-
            gia by National Fire Prevention Association, H.K. 
            "Hop" Henderson, chief; former A.S. Staley High 
            School principal Daniel T. Grant published When the 
            Melon is Ripe, a book about his time in Americus
Feb.  1956  Sumter County States' Rights Council organized, 
            Eugene Horne, president, Spencer Pryor, first vice-
            president, Rev. W.L. Alford, second vice-president, 
            Rudy Hayes, third vice-president, W.E. "Billy" Smith, 
            secretary, Charles R. Crisp, treasurer; Plains award-
            ed first place in 1955 Better Home Towns competition
            sponsored by Georgia Power Co.
Mar.  1956  Rev. Clarence Jordan, white, of Koinonia Farms, one
            of two sponsors in unsuccessful integration attempt
            at Georgia State University
June  1956  Ty Cobb, the "Georgia Peach," visited Americus Rotary
            Club, a guest of his relative Preston Cobb 
July  1956  anonymous bombing of Koinonia Store at Sumter City
Aug.  1956  groundbreaking for new Gertrude Davenport, Inc. plant
            (northeast corner Lester and Ellaville Rd.)
Nov.  1956  drive-by shooting at Koinonia's store on Albany Hwy.
Dec.  1956  announcement of donation of 19th Century statesman 
            William Harris Crawford's 1813 suit for his presenta-
            tion to Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, owned by the Dud-
            ley family of Americus, to Georgia Archives
Jan.  1957  McCay Hill School students left their 1884 structure
            for new Eastview Elementary School (north side Ashby
            at Lowe); Koinonia Farm Store, 2 1/2 miles south of
            Americus on Hwy. 19, dynamited; drive-by shooting at
            Koinonia; dedication ceremony for Boy Scout hut (west
            side Harrold at Virginia)
Feb.  1957  one drive-by shooting at Koinonia; 70+ car parade of
            Ku Klux Klansmen made peaceful visit to Koinonia af-
            ter rally on Friendship Hwy.; GBI began investigating
            Koinonia for possible "subversive activities"
Mar.  1957  three drive-by shootings at Koinonia
Apr.  1957  Sumter County Grand Jury investigation accused Koino-
            nia of being a Communist front (all charges denied by
            Koinonia); Atty-Genl. Eugene Cook announced investi-
            gation of Koinonia's contributors; two drive-by shoo-
            tings at Koinonia; anti-Koinonia Ku Klux Klan rally
            in front of county courthouse on Lee; bond referendum
            approved new county courthouse by two to one vote
May   1957  Southern premiere at the Martin Theater of "Badge of 
            Evil," starring Charlton Heston, Janet Leigh, Orson 
            Welles and supporting actress, Americus native, Joan-
            na Cook Carrison Moore (later mother of Tatum O'Neal
            McEnroe); Birdsey Feed Store, Byne Block (northwest 
            corner Forsyth and Lee), dynamited for selling farm
            supplies to Koinonia in defiance of local boycott
June  1957  broadcast of Ralph Nelson's CBS Climax! production of
            "Capt. Wirz, Andersonville Jailer," starring Charlton
            Heston as the prosecutor and Everett Sloan as Wirz
July  1957  formal dedication of Plains Convalescent Home by Gov.
            Marvin Griffin
Aug.  1957  new "Sumter County Colored High School" completed,
            James L. Bozeman, principal; (south side Rucker west
            of Jackson); completion of new Thalean Grammar 
            School, for whites, (west side Hwy. 49 north of Sal-
            ters Mill Rd.)
Sept  1957  completion of new 11-classroom, two-story addition to
            rear of 1938 AHS building; Don Latorre, one of origi-
            nal "Dead End Kids," served as U.S. Army recruiter in
Oct.  1957  cornerstone ceremony for Masonic Temple (east side
            Crawford north of Hwy. 27), with formal dedication
            June 1958; Joanna Moore costarred with Jack Lemmon in
            NBC's "Goodyear Theater" play "Lost and Found"
Nov.  1957  opening of new Northeast Elementary School, Theodore
            R. London, principal, replacing ten smaller black 
            schools (south side Upper River Rd., southeast of New 
            Era); local Sumter County Ku Klux Klan rally burned a
            cross at fairgrounds; formal groundbreaking ceremony
            for new courthouse, with Congressman E.L. "Tic" For-
            rester, Barber Contracting Co., of Moultrie, builders
            (southwest corner Dudley and Lamar)
Dec.  1957  opening of Southeast Elementary School, consolidated
            Nunn Industrial, Mt. Carmel, Pleasant Grove, Leslie,
            Flintside, Davis Grove and DeSoto colored schools, 
            Kelsie W. Daniels, principal; first mobile home 
            rolled off assembly line of new Marlette Coach Co.
            plant in new industrial park (Brady Rd. south of 
            Felder), beginning an industry that would collapse in
Mar.  1958  Gov. Marvin Griffin killed General Assembly investi-
            gation of Koinonia with pocket veto, then reversed 
            himself, appointing Rep. George Busbee to chair com-
            mittee; County School Board sold these "colored 
            school buildings":  DeSoto, Leslie, Paradox, Seay,
            Shipp Industrial, Tabernacle, Antioch, Corinth, Sha-
            dy Grove, Eastpoint, Union Grove and Welcome; Miss
            Julia Coleman retired after fifty years at Plains HS;
            Matthew Kennedy, Americus native and violin virtuoso,
            debuted at New York's Carnegie Hall
June  1958  1956 Pulitzer Prize-winning author MacKinlay Kantor
            and folksinger/actor Burl Ives toured Andersonville  
            National Park in preparation for Columbia Studios 
Dec.  1958  Moose Lodge #1895 organized, Jimmy McClinton, gover-
Mar.  1959  Mrs. Oscar Mann, then Mrs. Eric Foster, each gave 
            birth to triplets at Americus and Sumter County Hos-
May   1959  Mary Crawford of Americus won Georgia Women's Amateur  
            Golf Championship for the third time;dedication of 
            Sumter County's fourth courthouse by Congressman E.L. 
            "Tic" Forrester
Oct.  1959  formal dedication of St. Jude's Episcopal Chapel, at
            Lake Blackshear, Rev. Robert D. Battin, rector
Nov.  1959  demolition begun on jail and courthouse by Georgia-
            South Carolina Wrecking Co., of Augusta; dedication 
            of Sgt. William T. Bolin U.S.A.R. Armory (southwest
            corner Hickory and Patton); Bishop Arthur Moore ac-
            cepted Rock of Ages Home property for new Methodist
            Home for the Aging (392 acres opposite Country Club)
Dec.  1959  Americus Optimist Club chartered, Sherman Fountain,
            president, D.S. Short, Jim McDuffie, vice-presidents,
            Marcus E. Morrow, secretary, Tom E. Holman, asst. 
            secy-treas., Frank Chappell, Jr., Herbert N. Lowe, 
            Lester W. Seaborn, directors
Apr.  1960  Sumter Arts and Historical Association organized,
            Charles R. Crisp, president, Mrs. John Morgan, first
            vice-president, Ed Hutchinson, second vice-president,
            Mrs. Hollis Fort, Jr., recording secretary, Mrs. Wil-
            lard Riley, corresponding secretary, Kernwood Brown,
            treasurer; U.S. Agriculture Secretary Ezra Taft Ben-
            son toured Mormons' Deseret Farms in 15th District
May   1960  First Methodist board of stewards published formal
            resolution supporting racial segregation and "sepa-
            rate-but-equal" doctrine; Sumter County Mental Health
            Association organized, J. Frank Myers, president, 
            Rev. Robert D. Battin, first vice-president, Dr. 
            Lloyd A. Moll, second vice-president, Mrs. W.H. En-
            trekin, treasurer, Mrs. Jack Moses, secretary, Dr. 
            Frank Castellow, Dr. Jay Chambers, Dr. Bon Durham,
            Dr. Russell Thomas, Mrs. Mack Furlow, Mrs. Clarence
            Dodson, Dr. William R. Anderson, directors
Oct.  1960  U.S. District Judge W.A. Bootle ordered admission to
            Americus High School for Koinonia students Jan Jor-
            dan, Lora Ruth Browne and William Wittkamper, Jr.,
            overruling city school board ban against them
Dec.  1960  erection of three historic markers by Georgia Histor-
            cal Commission for CSA hospitals (west side Jackson
            between Forsyth and Lamar), federal headquarters dur-
            ing Reconstruction (northeast corner College and Lee)
            and Speaker Crisp home (#139 Taylor) 
Jan.  1961  Judge W.A. Bootle hung in effigy at county courthouse
            while holding court at federal building (now munici-
            pal bldg.)
Feb.  1961  beginning of 1 1/2-year urban highway project extend-
            ing Lamar from Prince to Oak Grove Cemetery, from 
            Tripp east and southeast to Felder and U.S. 280, with
            new viaduct at west end and U.S. 19, John B. Lovell,
            city engineer (replaced by Chas. M. Hale, Jr., June
            1961, who completed project) 
Apr.  1961  tornado ripped 4-mile path of destruction southeast 
            of Americus on Hooks Mill, Leslie and Vienna Rds.,
            with no deaths but considerable property damage
May   1961  U.S. Congressman E.L. "Tic" Forrester dedicated new
            terminal at Souther Field
July  1961  109 and 111 E. Jefferson St. houses first razed in 
            massive urban renewal project clearing that block, 
            first two blocks E. Forsyth and first two blocks N.
Sept  1961  Americus native, Griffin Boyette Bell, nominated by 
            President Kennedy to Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of 
            Appeals (retired 3-1-76)
Dec.  1961  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spent the weekend in the 
            Sumter County jail, after Albany Movement arrest; 
            dedication of new St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church 
            sanctuary, at original site, Father Raynor Dry,