& Genealogical Society
P. O. Box 636
Benton, TN 37307
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A publication of the Polk County Historical & Genealogical Society as a companion project to the Smithsonian Institute's Traveling Exhibit, Produce For Victory:Posters on the Home Front, 1941 - 1945, which is on display March 2 - 17 at the Benton Municipal Building Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Published with funding from Humanities Tennessee, an independent affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
A visitor from another planet would never have guessed that a war was raging in Europe by reading our local newspapers from 1939 to 1941. Other than an occasional mention of a particularly destructive battle in Senator Estes Kefauver's column, Polk Countians were going about the business of trying to recover from the hardships imposed by the Great Depression of the 30s, and Europe must have seemed worlds away.
Even after the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 there were still no big war headlines or editorials. A local murder case captured headlines and the attention of local citizens. What was going on in the local schools garnered more attention than what Hitler's Army was doing on his power hungry rampage in Asia and Europe.
However, when the first draft call went out and sons began to be drafted or volunteered for service, little articles began to appear listing the latest draftees. Soon propaganda ads were asking 'every citizen to be a soldier' and save resources, purchase war bonds and by so doing it would hasten the time when their loved ones would be able to return victoriously home.
Polk Countians responded to the 'citizens call to arms' by doing everything within our power to help 'our boys over there'. We won scrap metal drives, purchased war bonds in record amounts, knitted staggering numbers of items to be sent to our boys on the front lines, and saved everything from grease to rubber shower caps.
This publication is a walk through the War years 1941-1945 as seen through editorials, community news articles, and advertisements taken from the Polk County News and the Copper City Advance. It was transcribed and edited by Marian Bailey Presswood, Polk County Historian and President of the Polk County Historical & Genealogical Society.
Suppose today's consumer was told there were no more tires, gasoline, sugar, rubber, or any number of things we use daily and take for granted that more will be there when we run out. Headlines of January 9, 1942 told of a Federal Tire Rationing program and named the three Polk Countians who were appointed by Governor Cooper to oversee the program locally, They were Frank R. Bradford, Benton; Lamar Weaver, Ducktown and Frank Middleton of Copperhill.
A long list of classifications followed as to who might be able to apply for tire purchases. They included the medical profession, emergency vehicles such as fire trucks and ambulances, law enforcement, sanitation, public trans- portation and most transportation of raw materials or consumer goods by a common carrier.
One Copper Advance article tells of a paper bag shortage and housewives were asked to bring their baskets or shopping bags to the stores with them. Mrs. Blanche Rogers tell us that she was teaching in Fontana where her husband, Roscoe, was employed and recalls that every teacher brought her basket to school and stopped by the store on the way home from school at the end of the day.
Although the need to conserve was a serious issue at the time, from this sixty-something years later vantage point, some of it is a bit amusing. For example, eggs for servicemen were beginning to be fairly scarce, so farmers were advised to check their hens to see if their feathers were oily during laying season, and get rid of them if they were for that meant an unproductive hen. The accompanying poster showed a large egg in the foreground with a burning European city in the background. When admen did a survey to see if people got the message - they didn't have a clue.
The propaganda posters were everywhere as the government sought to enlist every citizen to 'do his or her part' in helping win the war. They touched on all aspects of life from the workplace where workers were constantly reminded that inefficiency was aiding the 'Evil Axis' and increased production was shortening the days until their loved one would be coming home. Housewives were instructed to cut back, do without, save a variety of goods and items that were needed by 'our boys', and children were urged to save their pennies and buy war stamps which could then be redeemed for war bonds.
A recent quote in a local paper stated that "Loose Lips Sink Ships" - whether the speaker knew it or not, that was one of the WW II posters put out by Seagram Distillers Corporation 'as part of our contribution to the National Victory effort."
As the war continued into it's second and third year, posters began to appear devoted to encouraging women to join the labor force to take up the slack left by so many men who had been called or had enlisted in the service.
The most famous, of course, is called, Rosie the Riveter which depicted a winsome young lady holding a riveting gun with a soldier bearing a machine gun in the background.
In the west Polk County area there were few opportunities for women to find employment except in nearby Cleveland's stove foundries or woolen mills. Some found themselves drawn to Oak Ridge or Alcoa, two towns that had industries that were actively engaged in making products to be used in the war effort.
Helen Weaver Casada, who says she 'almost became Rosie the Riveter' shares an interesting story of her experiences during the War.
Reathel Bailey, daughter of Arthur and Pearlie Bailey who lived just outside of Benton on the Old Federal Road is one young lady who worked at Oak Ridge and writes of the mystery and intrigue which went on in the Atomic City. Reathel was married to Bob McCready a Church of Christ Minister who passed away in 2000. She now lives in Antioch, Tennessee near her daughter, Beth and grandchildren.
I was a small town girl reared in Polk County, Tennessee and Fannin County, Georgia on a farm. I had no idea that working with my carpenter father, handling and using all kinds of tools as I helped him build, remodel, and keep things in repair both at home and on the farm would help me get a good job during World War II.
I had attended most of my school years at Copperhill Elementary and High School. After graduation I went to Maryville, Tennessee and entered Maryville College. I majored in Elementary Teaching, and after two years I got a permanent teaching certificate.
I had applied to the Polk County Board of Education for a teaching position at Copperhill. I was told at the beginning of the year that all positions had been filled, but since I had taken classes in remedial teaching, I could work at Copperhill teaching and instructing students in both lower and upper grades and even in High school. Some students needed help in reading, some in math or spelling, and some needed help in all these.
So, in 1939 at the 'ripe old age' of 19, I set out to conquer the world and make it better for children to get a good education. I had wanted, since the age of three years, to be a schoolteacher, and I had let nothing stand in my way. I taught from August through December or until we closed for the Holidays.
During the Christmas vacation, on Sunday before school was to start again on Monday, the Superintendent of Polk County Schools called as I was cooking dinner and said he needed me to go to Farner, Tennessee and take a double class of 4th and 5th grade children. A teacher had gotten married at Christmas time and he was desperate for a replacement.
I said yes, even after he had given me all the facts. It was 11 o'clock on Sunday and I had to be on the train at one o'clock. He thought that I could get board and room with a lady who already had one teacher. It did not matter - except to me - that I was going somewhere I'd never seen except from a train window, that there was 6 inches of snow on the ground, that I had no idea how far away the lady who 'might' take me in lived from the depot, or how to get there.
I did a lot of praying as I packed two suitcases and headed for the railroad station and kept praying all the way to Farner. When the train stopped and I got off the depot was closed. My heart sank to the bottom of my feet I was so scared! Here was this vast snow field with snow at least eight inches deep and no one in sight.
Shortly after I picked up my suitcases, planning to go to one of the houses I could see, a young man just about my age (I guessed) walked up and asked if he could help me. When I asked him where the lady lived that I hoped would be my future hostess, he said it was about one half mile and he would take me there. He grabbed up both suitcases and it was fortunate for me as I had trouble negotiating in snow which had drifted in the untravelled road sometimes up to my knees.
To make a long story short, I'll just say the dear lady took me in, thawed me out and I lived with her all that year and part of the next year. I taught at Farner the remainder of that term and the next full school year. About the second week I was there, I met a young man who was substituting for the principal, who also taught the 8th grade. I had no idea that he would someday be my husband. We started dating when the fall term began the next year. On March 18, 1941 he joined the Army and began studying to be a meteorologist or weatherman.
The following year when school started I was sent to Isabella to teach. We corresponded, and on a visit to him he gave me a ring and we became engaged. On November 1, 1941, I went to where he was stationed and we decided to get married and keep it a secret until school was out, at which time I would join him wherever he was.
On December 7th, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor!
My husband, Robert Ray Casada, was stationed in Jackson, Mississippi and when school was out, I packed up and went to join him. While he was at he Army base I went out and after four days of searching, found and rented us an apartment. He came home that evening looking as if he had 'lost his best friend' and when I asked what was the matter he told me that he wasn’t supposed to tell me, but he could not go off and leave me sitting in that hotel room and that he was shipping out at six o'clock in the morning for overseas. Even he did not know where he was headed.
We talked it over and that's when we decided I would go visit my sister, Ruth, in Ohio instead of going back to the farm. So I got on the bus and headed for the big city of Akron where I almost became, "Rosie the Riveter."
After a short vacation, I applied for a job at Goodyear Aircraft where B-26 bombers were being built, but, of course, I didn't know what they were building at the time. I was hired and sent to Firestone Tire and Rubber Company to learn how to drill holes and put rivets into metal. After I learned to do that and passed inspection, I was given a test on handling tools. Since I was good at using wrenches, screwdrivers, pliers and drilling, I was put in the wing section of Goodyear Aircraft. My job was to crawl inside the wings and drill holes and put in the equipment that would work the ailerons and tab controls and wing flaps. I loved my job and was good at it, as I never got called on the carpet for a misdrilled hole, a stripped bolt or any other mistake.
Once we got out of material for wings and for a month I learned to wire engines. I passed all inspection, but was glad when I got back to wings, but I was transferred again, this time to be crew leader and supervise eight mutes who were putting 'skins' on wings. That means they were drilling holes and riveting metal to the wing frames. I was very poor at sign language, but I was blessed by having a mute friend whom I had befriended and helped her get married and found them an apartment in my building. She, being used to me, could read my lips and she would help me get across the instructions I was trying to give my crew. Of course, I had to write a lot of notes. Finally, after a couple weeks the management found someone who was fluent in sign language and I went back to my preferred job inside the wings.
Another time they had me repairing all the jobs that someone else had goofed up, like a crooked hole or stripped bolt or some other outrageous thing some careless person had done. I was very careful, as I did not want my husband or some one's son or husband getting killed when riding on one of our planes. I threatened to quit if they didn't take me off that job. I was afraid I'd mess things up even more trying to correct the mistakes.
I had one other job there. When we had no material for wings, I was sent over to the dirigible plant to bond skins for dirigibles, which we now call blimps. I got to stay there a few weeks before I went back to wings. Soon after that, I got word that my husband had returned to the States and would soon be given a furlough. I decided to quit my job, go back to Georgia to visit my parents, pack up my clothes and housekeeping things and be ready to meet him at Farner when he got there.
I was given a big party by my department and was offered a raise to stay and told I could come back anytime. I chose to join Ray at Farner.
While I was working for Goodyear Aircraft, on my days off there, I had volunteered for Red Cross in the chapter office. My job was to greet people, find out what help they needed and get them an interview with the person who could deal with their problem. Red Cross asked the airplane plant employees to collect cigarettes to send overseas to our service members. The company decided we would have a contest to see which department and which person could get the most packs donated. Most of my department workers were willing to donate some but were not interested in asking anyone outside their family to donate. But I hit on my drugstore, department and grocery store and the café' where I had my midnight snack while waiting for the second bus which would take me home. The supervisor kept giving me all they collected after I asked them everyday to bring some or donate some. I ended up with 105 packs and our department came in second in the contest and I got the prize for collecting the most packs.
I got to Farner before Ray and we had a great reunion with family and friends. My plan was to go with him to his new assignment, but I had appendicitis and he had to leave without me. He went to Iowa for a short time and was transferred to Lincoln, Nebraska where I joined him after I got able to travel.
After I had been there a while, we started going to the USO. Women could not go there unless they were escorted by their husband or other military person. We were there often playing cards, dancing, or just sitting around talking. I would take my crotchet or whatever I was working on, and one day I took some sashes I had made on a loom and the Red Cross person in charge of activities asked me to teach some classes. I had made my own loom, but I needed others to allow several people to work at the same time. I bought wood and made two more looms and several people made sashes or just learned to weave. I could now go to the USO anytime that I wanted to go.
Shortly before we had to move to Grand Island, Nebraska, we celebrated D-Day with thousands of people. My war experience came to an end after a couple of months. We returned to Tennessee and in February 1946 we moved to Savannah, Georgia where we lived for 15 years while Ray worked for the US Government as a meteorologist.
I would not take anything for my experience during the war years. I still have friends I made then and I am glad I had served my country well.
I've talked to several veterans who flew or crewed in B-26's and although the plane was known as "The Flying Coffin", because of the short wing span, every one of them said they were good planes and they had no problem with them.
From an article that appeared in the February 2002 issue of the PCHGS Quarterly/Newsletter by Marian Bailey Presswood, Editor
February 5, 1942 PCN: Everett Bailey, living near Benton, was in town Monday. Said he was a Republican, but that he was dong every thing he could to win the war. He had a picture of a yoke of steers he used in hauling hay last fall. Said that if it took it for him to help win the war, he would buy two more steers and yoke them up for use for defense work.
Drafted! (Or Volunteered)
June 19, 1941 PCN: News has been received in Benton that Birch Glen Biggs, who went to the Fort with a contingent of Polk County boys, will be stationed at the Oglethorpe Station.
'Beefy', as he is called, has a host of friends in Benton who will be glad to know of his being selected to remain in Fort Oglethorpe. In fact, there was several smiles and two or three grins over the news. It has not been learned just what department he will be placed in, but in whatever place he will make good, is our prediction, even in the mess hall at mess time.
May 22, 1941 PCN: The Draft Board has made public, the 9th call for eight selectives to go to Fort Oglethorpe the 29th as follows. William Dennis Barnes, Fred Edward Baxter, Glen Hassie Rose, William Worley, Kenneth Davis, Fred Ray Mason, William Daniel Price, Samuel Avery Hopkins.
The call for the 9th was made immediately after the call No. 8 'A' consisting of eleven men: Oscar William Humphreys, Francis Otto Ghormley, Joe Lawrence Nichols, Columbus Lawson Meeler, Tom Brock, Olen Clarence Cantrell, Carl Dee Hammons, Ed Allen, Melvin Gorley Kirkland, Roy Lee Bell.
August 18, 1941 PCN: The following have received notices to appear in Benton, August 18th to be sent to the induction station : Charles Edgar Cheek, William Reathel Newman, Beeler Edward Qualls, James Roy Bryan, Lee Roy Woody, Marian Luther Dockery, Flavius Eugene Dixon, Carl Edward Buchannan, Doyle Mayford Adams.
October 16, 1941 PCN: Pvt. Willis Oliver Swafford of Elgin Field, FL was home on a three day leave. It was his first visit since he went to work for Uncle Sam. Someone asked him how he liked the army and he said it wold be O.K. if he didn't have to get up before breakfast.
November 6, 1941 PCN: Seven more men left Benton in the 17th call: Ray Calvin Hedden, R. Ray Marvin Lewis, Calvin Ben Witt, Dewey Picklesimer, John David Adams, Elmer Sparks.
November 6, 1941 PCN: Ben Witt, the second member of the Benton Lion's Club, left for Fort Oglethorpe Tuesday night and was given a farewell party by the Club. He will join Beefy Biggs at the Fort.
November 19, 1942 PCN: Mr. & Mrs. J. H. 'Harvey' Hammons are here on a visit with relatives and friends. Harvey is stationed in Detroit Michigan and holds a position with the Radio division of the defense department. From his looks he is faring much better by Uncle Sam feeding him than when he left.
(Editor's note: Harvey, who passed away April 6, 1987 ran a radio repair business in Benton for many years, guess this is where he learned the trade. In fact, Madge Gregory, a descendant of his who still lives in his house in Benton gave James Presswood one of the old radios left from the business. After a beautiful refinish job and a little of that Presswood electronic wizardry the radio looks and sounds great and is on loan to the PCHGS Library.)
July 3, 1942 CCA: Tech. Sgt. Paul E. Verner and Sgt. Chester R. Verner, sons of Mr. and Mrs. L. H. Verner of Turtletown have returned to their army duties after a furlough spent at their home.
July 24, 1942 CCA: David L. Cook, son of Mr. & Mrs. L. L. Cook of Copperhill, received his glider wings when his class graduated from the new glider school at Lockbourne army base near Columbia Ohio. Cook was promoted to the grade of sergeant upon graduation. He had received flight training at army flying schools previously.
August 7, 1942 CCA: Dr. H. H. Hyatt, prominent surgeon of Ducktown and Copperhill has been commissioned as captain in the army medical corps and will report for duty August 15, at Huff General Hospital Santa Barbara California. Capt. Hyatt served in the United States Navy during World War I and was said to have been the youngest man from Polk County to serve in that war. He enlisted at the age of 17. He is a member of Russell-Thompson Post, American Legion at Copperhill. Capt. Hyatt will be missed by a large number of friends in this community.
December 11, 1942 CCA: Mr. & Mrs. O. S. Dalton of Copperhill have four sons in the service of our country. Howell is a member of the Coast Guard; Louie is in the Marines; Larry is in the Navy; and Jack is being inducted into the Army this week. All four are volunteers.
January 8, 1943 CCA: William Kimsey Sparks, who recently enlisted with the Coast Guard has been stationed at a training station in Brooklyn, NY.
Miss Eva Bryson 20 year old daughter of Mr. May Bryson Hensley of Ducktown has been accepted as a 2nd Lieutenant in the army nurses corps and is stationed in Pensacola, FL. She is one of the youngest lieutenants from this section.
January 22, 1943 CCA: First Lt. Arnold Postelle son of Mr. & Mrs. H. R. Postelle of Ducktown recently was awarded the air medal for meritorious service and the Purple Heart decoration for wounds received in action. Lt. Postelle was a very popular member of the Ducktown High School group during his years in the Copper Basin.
February 12, 1943 CCA: Gus Tallent, son of Dr. & Mrs. W. O. Tallent has been promoted to sergeant. He is stationed in England. William Jabaley, son of Mr. & Mrs. John Jabaley has also been promoted to sergeant. He is stationed in Mississippi. Both men have been in the service less than one year.
March 5, 1943 CCA: In a recent letter form Cpl. Roy C. Reece in North Africa to his sister, Mrs. Frank Middleton, he had this to say about the Red Cross: "Without the aid of the Red Cross we would be lost in Africa. I went to church Sunday in the new Red Cross building. It was the first opportunity I've had to attend church since I arrived in Africa. I am writing you from the Red Cross reading room now." Doesn't this make you want to be more faithful to your local Red Cross?
March 1, 1945 CCA: Captain James M. Howell Awarded Bronze Star according to a letter received by his wife, the former Louise Pharr. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Albert Howell of Ducktown and before entering service practiced medicine in New Iberia, LA. Capt. and Mrs. Howell have a four year old son, Jamie.
March 19, 1943 CCA: The War Dept. has announced names of additional U.S. soldiers who are held as prisoners of war by the Japanese. The list includes Pfc. Dave B. Lawson, son of Pryor Lawson of Route 1, Benton.
Use it Up, Make Do, Do Without
August 18, 1941 PCN: A total of 1, 250 pounds of aluminum raised in the local and county drive was sent to Chattanooga last week. The drive was sponsored by the Benton's Lion's Club and other organizations. Polk's contribution was among the largest of the counties of Tennessee outside of Shelby, Davidson, Hamilton and Knox.
September 18, 1941 PCN: Retail stores in Benton, along with a million stores from coast to coast are selling Defense Savings Stamps in the biggest retail sales effort on record.
July 16, 1941 PCN: Mayor heads Bond Drive. Mr. Fred German, prominent citizen of Copperhill was today appointed Chairman of the defense Savings Staff for Polk County, according to an announcement made today by Lipe Henslee, Collector for Internal. Revenue and recently named State Administrator of the Defense Savings Staff.
January 29, 1943 CCA: Margaret Mitchell Coming to Fannin County on February 1. Margaret Mitchell, famous author of "Gone With The Wind" is coming to Fannin County and will address the civic clubs and insurance agents of the county on Monday evening, Feb. 1 at the Blue Ridge Hotel. She is coming under the sponsorship of the insurance agents of Fannin County and will speak in the interest of the "Insurance War Bond Drive for February."
October 16, 1941 PCN: Several new teachers are on the faculty at Polk County High school this year: Miss Sara Allright, librarian; Miss Campbell, teaching algebra and chemistry; Miss Graham Redford, home economics; Mrs. Pauline Smith, English; Mr. Allen G. Burris coach and history instructor; Mr. Carl Bonifacius, biology and plane geometry; Mr. James E. Clay assistant coach and agriculture teacher.
February 5, 1943 CCA: Mrs. Stephens 7th Grade Class elected officers: Don Campbell, Pres., Betty Goss, Vice pres.; Secretary, Marcella Henson and Treas. Jimmy Whitfield. Honor students for first term are: Barbara Adams, Marcella Henson, Elease Robinson, Marty Kell, Betty Goss, Bill Ritchie. Perfect attendance are:Mary Amburn, Hubert Brooks, Bernice Bice, Christine Deal, Betty Goss, Joe McCarter, Catheryn Panter, Bill Ritchie, Latrell Seabolt, Mable Taylor and Jimmy Whitfield.
February 12, 1942 PCN: Last week in chapel, the Benton Elementary Eighth Grade presented "The Life of Stephen Foster." The program was announced by Joe Linkerfelt as follows: Stephen C. Foster, Howard Bramlett; Mrs. Foster, LaJune Eaves; Jeanie, the poet's sweetheart, Maxine Whitfield; Suzanna, a friend, Bubbles McMahan; Miranda, the Negro servant, Evelyn Simms. Friends who attended the party were Juanita Lowe, Jane Love, Betty Jo Rogers, Vena and Mildred Yates, Lois Morgan, Elmer Morehouse, Jimmy Swafford, Harold Wiley and Boyd Goble.
The Negro chorus: Billy Lillard, Jim Spence, Pat Gregory, Bud Scroggins, George Beecher, Bud Morelan, Sammy Quintrell, Bobby McClary, Rollin Lightfoot, Bertie Bridges, Verla Mae Stephenson, Irene Kerr, Ruby Locke and Ruby Lee McClurde. Special music by Horace Wiley, Boyd Goble, Howard Bramlett and Maxine Whitfield.
PCN: Four new names were added to the list of grade school teachers (Benton Elementary) Miss La Vanche Biggs, music; Mrs. A. B. Castleberry 7th grade; Dovie Bain, 3rd grade; Lennie Daugherty, 1st grade.
February 26, 1943 CCA: Miss Beckler's eighth grade presented a George Washington day program on Monday. The following students took part: Sally Thomason, Maurice Jones, Laura Frances Abercrombie, Rachel Thomas, Duncan Lyle, Mary McNaughton, Jo Ann Amburn, Jean Sparks, Sue Dalton, Billie Jean Campbell, Fred Ganus, Noah Richards and Bernard Leland Smith. The program was concluded with the singing of "America the Beautiful" by the student body.
May 17, 1945 CCA: CHS Senior Honor Students: Of the four year residence students, Donald R. Beckler has first rank with an average of 94.8 at Copperhill High School. He is the son of Mr. And Mrs. S. D. Beckler and was valedictorian of the class. Mrs. Pauline Loudermilk Marshall, ranked second with an average of 93.4. She was the salutatorian. Helen Ruth Amburn, daughter of Mrs. W. S . Amburn was third place winner with an average of 91.00 and was class speaker.
December 4, 1942 CCA: Blackout Wednesday night called Good. The "sudden" test blackout called at 8:40 Wednesday night was said to be fairly good, by R. W . Parker, head of the OCD for the Basin. The blackout lasted about 20 minutes. The notice of the blackout was received at 8:20 and 10 minutes later sirens were wailing. Air raid wardens and other workers, many of whom had already retired, did an excellent job in getting to their posts in the short length of time.
The weather was the coldest of the year and all the workers had to keep moving in order to prevent their feet from freezing to the ground. In McCaysville lights were left on a Waddells and Williamson's service stations; Botts Furniture store had a Christmas tree lighted up, and Wilden Pack was called to turn the interior lights off in the Pack and Williamson Store. Other business houses with lights on were Copper City Lumber, Deluxe Cleaners and Tipton's Grocery.
November 5th, 1942 PCN
- At Auction: The Late S. H. Clayton Farm.
The late S. H. Clayton farm, located about two miles northeast of Benton, lying along the public road leading from Benton by way of Oak Grove church, will be sold at public auction on the premises, on the 28th day of November, next, between the legal hours, and at 1 p.m. if possible. Said farm contains about sixty-one acres; five acres cleared and the balance in timber. There are two houses, well water. Said farm is bounded west by lands by Bill Presswood, north by Maynor, east by Godfrey, south by Godfrey. Full description and title will be given on day of sale. F. E. Bates, Adm. of S. H. Clayton estate.
To provide some comic relief from the stress of wartimes, the papers were full of jokes such as these: The Japanese, we read, are making shoes out of rat and mouse skins, due to a shortage of leather. We can just hear Mrs. Togo: "Papa, put out a piece of cheese - baby needs a new pair of shoes."
Rooster Comes To Life
November 6, 1941 PCN: A News reporter went strolling around town to see what he could find out. Went into John's barber shop to see what the loafers knew and found aplenty.
John Casada said that he wished he had sent a lot of his old hens to England, for those starving folks. Said he had a nice flock of hens and one old rooster. Said that his hens got the cholera or something, and died just like one thing. He said he had to carry off hens every morning and 'burry' them until there was only one or two left to keep company with the rooster. He said that one morning he went out to the henhouse and found that old rooster was dead, or seemed to be, and so he picked him up and carried him out in the woods and pitched him on top of a brush pile and went on back home and informed his better half that the old rooster was dead and they would have to hunt another one to keep what few hens was left company.
Well sir, said John, "About a week after I had put that 'dead' rooster on the brush pile, I heard a rooster crowing and went to see what old rooster had come courting, and when I got out there if it wasn't that same old rooster I put on the brush pile, and he didn't look like he was dead nor even been sick!"
May 22, 1942 PCN: Invaders Better stay Out of Polk County, Tax Agent Says After Visit Here!
If an invading German Army ever sets foot on American soil, it will do well to steer clear of Polk County, in the opinion of J. D. Jones, group leader of the Chattanooga alcohol tax unit of the internal Revenue department.
"Last week," Jones related, "I went over into Polk County about 10 miles from Parksville on Sylco Creek on information concerning a still that was supposed to be in operation there.
J. J. O'Donnell and D. W. Brady of this office were with me and we made our way cautiously, armed with rifles up to the edge of a clearing about six or seven acres to look the situation over. The house set back in the clearing, and we thought we were fully concealed, but there a couple of women washing clothes down at a spring and they spotted us. They had a fire going under an iron wash kettle and one of them was pounding the clothes mountain fashion - with an old-fashioned battling stick.
"Well, when they saw us they let out a racket like a flock of guineas. If you've ever heard a bunch of guineas sound off at the approach of a stranger you'll understand what I mean. One of them let out a yell you could hear a mile and three of their menfolk came boiling out of the house, all packing rifles. We had ducked back into the brush and one of the women yelled" "There they 'air. They went that-a-way!"
"It looked to me like somebody was going to get shot if we stayed in the brush, so I walked down to the spring where the women were. I had my badge on and proceeded to identify myself as well as O'Donnell and Brady. By that time the menfolks had come up behind the women and were standing there with their rifles cocked.
"I told them I was investigating a report that the revenue law was being violated on their place. Well, I never saw a woman as mad as that one that had been doing the yelling. She stuck her finger under my nose, "You ain't got no bizness a-comin' up here a-skeerin' wimmin'. We've heered that these here mountains has bin full of Germans fer the last week. You ought to be plumb ashamed of yerself!"
"That's all. I got 'em quieted down and they told me they had never made any whiskey, and never meant to, and on further investigation, it turned out that they had been telling the truth. We had the wrong information.
"But if that woman was scared, I wouldn't like to meet her when she wasn’t. And if the Germans ever do get to Tennessee they sure better stay off Sylco Creek."
Life Goes On: Parties, Marriages, etc.
December 11, 1942 CCA: Mr. & Mrs. Leon Howell entertained 24 guests with a dinner party on Tuesday evening at their home. Six tables of rummy were in play with high score prizes being won by Mr. & Mrs. Walter Higdon, Mr. & Mrs. P. Norton, and Mr. & Mrs. W. G. Benson. Out-of-town guests were Mr. & Mrs. Dan Clemmer of Benton.
June 19, 1942 CCA: Mr. & Mrs. J. R. Weaver of Higdon's Store, Georgia, and formerly of this place, announce the marriage of their daughter, Mary Helen, to Robert Ray Casada of Farner and Meridian, Mississippi. The ceremony took place November 1, 1941 at LaGrange, Georgia. Mrs. Casada graduated from Copperhill High School and attended Maryville College. For the past three years she has taught school in Polk County. Sgt. Casada, the eldest son of Mr. & Mrs. B. B. Casada of Farner, attended Ducktown High School and Hiwassee College. He is now serving as a weather forecaster in the Army Air Corps and is stationed at Key Field, Meridian, Mississippi. Mrs. Casada plans to join her husband there the first of July.
January 15, 1943 CCA: Mr. and Mrs. Cliff Wilson of Blue Ridge announce the marriage of their daughter Emma Luneta to Walter Strauss Hamby of Copperhill on December 12, 1942 in Covington, KY. Mrs. Hamby is the only daughter of her parents. Cliff Floyd and Bill Wilson are her brothers. She is a graduate of the Blue Ridge High School, Young Harris College and the Piedmont School of Nursing.
Mr. Hamby is the youngest son of Mr. & Mrs. Marion Hamby. Mrs. T. R. Hyde of Copperhill is his only sister. Lt. Baltzelle Hamby is his brother. He is a graduate of the Copperhill High School, the Georgia School of Technology and was a member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity. At the present he holds a responsible position with Remington Arms of Kings Mill, Ohio.
War Years Obituary Excerpts
December 11, 1942 CCA: Rev. James C. Bell, 43, died at his home at Turtletown Tuesday afternoon after a lingering illness. Survivors include his wife and five daughters, Mrs. Roy McMullins, Gastonia; Mrs. Mayford Hedrick, Christine, Thelma, and Burnice all of Turtletown; three sons, Sarvis, Gastonia, NC; Harvey and Clifford of Turtletown; three sisters and three brothers.
Mrs. Mary Galloway, 75, died December 4 in a Knoxville hospital. She was the widow of the late George Galloway of Copperhill. Survivors include two daughters Mrs. Dan Patton and Mrs. A. L. Durieux of Tulsa, Okla; two sons, Clint of Oklahoma City, and Clyde with the US Army stationed in England. Four grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren.
December 4, 1942 CCA: Funeral services for Cicero K. Smith, 68, who died in Atlanta Monday of last week were held from Harmony Baptist Church. Survivors are his wife, five sons, two daughters, two brothers. Mrs. Bessie Johnson of Ducktown is a sister and three other sisters also survive.
Fred J. Davis, 52 passed way Monday morning in Fredericksburg, VA after a short illness. He was a member of the Mine City Baptist Church and former resident of Copperhill. Funeral services were held at Zion Hill with Rev. George Passmore and Rev. C. H. Thomas officiating. Surviving is his wife, one son Jack, of Fredericksburg and one daughter, Mrs. Cyril Queen of Copperhill.
December 18, 1942 CCA: Funeral services for Mrs. Cora E. Ballew who died at her home near Galloway Station Sunday evening were held from the Sugar Creek Baptist Church. Surviving besides her husband are one son, Roy, Gastonia NC; three daughters, Mrs. Edgar Bailey, Ellijay; Mrs. Ulion White; and Mrs. Roy Stepp, Copperhill.
January 8, 1943 CCA: 8 Killed, 14 Injured in Mine Blast Tuesday. Worst Tragedy in History of Basin Occurs During Routine Operation.
Eight employees of the Tennessee Copper Company lost their lives Tuesday afternoon in a terrific explosion in Burra Burra mine at Ducktown. A total of 46 men were trapped for about an hour on the 14th level of mineshafts lying between Burra Burra and Boyd mines. The dead are: Simon Dunn, Tom Fritts, Homer Payne, L. G. Spurling, W. D. Deal, Elmer Pless, Ralph Hancock, Earnest Helton.
Funeral services for Earnest Helton of Copperhill will be held Friday at Pantertown. Survivors include his wife, one daughter, parents Mr. & Mrs. Homer Helton and four sisters and three brothers.
Services for Tom Fritts wll be held Sunday at Mine City. Survivors include his wife, the former Emma Hensley; two daughters Mrs. Frank Fair of Copperhill and Mrs. Johnnie Bell of Ducktown; father, Henry Fritts, Bowlegs OK; four brothers, and four sisters.
Services for L. G. Spurling of Turtletown were held Thursday from Turtletown Baptist; survivors include his widow, the former Blanche Runion; mother, Mrs. Anna Spurling three sisters and two brothers.
Funeral services for Simon Dunn of Blue Ridge will be held Friday at the Lebanon Baptist Church. Surviving are his wife, the former Blanche Allen; two daughters, Mrs. Howard Payne, and Helen Dunn. Three sons, Edward, Marvin and Junior; parents, Mr. & Mrs. Jep Dunn.
Services for Elmer Pless, 27, were held at Tumbling Creek Baptist church; survivors include his wife, two sons, Winston and Steve; one daughter Lorene; parents, Mr. & Mrs. Sam Pless; two brothers and two sisters.
Services for Ralph Hancock, 22, of Harpertown will be held at Barnes Chapel; survivors include his wife, the former Geneva Callihan; one son, Bobby, parents, Mr. & Mrs. Tom Hancock; four brothers and four sisters.
Services for Homer Payne of Mary Mine will be held from the graveside of the Bethlehem cemetery Friday. Survivors include his wife, the former Myrtle Boggs; one daughter, Barbara Etta, two sons, Melvin & Conrad; four sisters and three brothers.
John T. Foster, 75 died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Harry Watson near Higdon Store Friday. He is survived by five sons, four daughters and a number of grandchildren. Service and interment in Hipps Chapel Church & cemetery.
February 5, 1943 CCA: John L. Smith, 63, passed away at his home in Ducktown Sat. Jan. 20 after an illness of some six weeks. Up until about two months ago he had been active in his job with the Tennessee Copper Company. He was a member of the Mine City Baptist Church, a member of the Ducktown Lodge No 230, I. O.O. F and the American Federation of Labor Union. Survivors are his wife, Alice, three daughters, Mrs. Mae Hensley, Mrs. Edith Christian and Betty Smith of Atlanta; a son L. L. Smith, Ducktown; three brothers, Alfred, Bob and Sam of Coker Creek, TN; one sister Mrs. Belle Cagle of NC.
May 14, 1943 CCA: Bill Joe Horton, 25 year old carpenter of the Tennessee Copper company was instantly killed early last Friday morning when he fell about 30 feet from a building where he was working and landed on his head. Horton was a brother of Richard Horton, injured in the mine disaster in Ducktown early in January which killed nine men. Survivors include his wife, Ruby Wehunt Horton, mother, Mae Horton and two sisters, Mrs. Wilden Pack and Mrs. Lloyd Postelle.
I Remember when . . . .
Almost everyone over 65 years of age has a special and vivid memory of when they first heard the news that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor, of their wartime job or some other event connected with the War. Some Polk Countians have graciously agreed to share remembrances with us of their thoughts and feelings as actions on the front lines affected us on the home front.
Evelyn Moore Cronan, now an Oak Grove resident, was attending school in Bradley County when the news came of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. She remembers that school was 'turned out' and while walking home, she kept looking up at the sky expecting Japanese war planes to appear any minute.
William G. "Bill' Lillard has a clear memory of the school principal calling an assembly on Monday morning after the bombing on Saturday, and talking with the students about the event and patiently explaining what had happened.
Wilma Garren recalls going to Knoxville to attend a workshop on how to use a pressure cooker to help teach other members of home demonstration groups how to use that method to preserve their produce from their Victory Gardens.
Marian Bailey Presswood swears that she was too young to remember anything about the War, (but we all know better than that, don't we?)
__Copper City Advance____
Get YOUR Scrap in the Scrap With the Japs!
The men and women of Copperhill, McCaysville and surrounding communities have a job on their hand! Not a dramatic one. Not a heroic one. But one as exacting as spring housecleaning. And that is just the kind of job it is - housecleaning. But this time it's crammed with excitement because this time it’s a housecleaning that will save the country, keep the production wheels turning and speed on their way the implements of war needed to hurl disaster at the enemy.
The Government is asking the citizens of Tennessee and every other state in the union to delve deep into drawers, to comb through closets, to burrow through basements and garages and other houses, to go through the attic. For the rubber Salvage Campaign is under way this week and next and the battle cry is "Get YOUR Scrap in the Scrap with the Japs!
Here's how the campaign works: Take your scrap rubber to a filling station an the operator will pay you one cent per pound for it, (or if you prefer, you may donate your rubber to some organization in the community.)
Our Army needs rubber. Just one little scout car uses 399 pounds of it.
Our Navy needs rubber. The 35,000 battleships pointing its guns at Tokyo uses 75 tons of it.
One of those rubber rafts which has already saved so many of our fliers requires 29 pounds of it.
But Japan now controls more than 90 percent of the world's rubber plantations.
So it's up to the men and women of Polk County and America to pounce on every ounce of rubber they can find. Kitchens must be ransacked for rubber gloves, aprons, dish drainers, drain board mats, ice cube trays, fruit jar rings and the like. Bathrooms must be searched for shower caps, rubber sponges, drain plugs, hot water bottles and ice bags.
Out in the hall closet may be an old raincoat, galoshes or maybe even a pair of threadbare tennis shoes.
Run down rubber heels, teething rings and other rubber playthings, an old girdle, suspenders - anything made of rubber.
Not a single corner of the premises should be overlooked, and the children can help, too.
Remember, just one shower cap uses as much rubber as ten panoramic telescopes for our armed forces.
Just collect and take it to the filling stations and the oil companies and the government will do the rest.
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