Excerpted, with permission, from the Havana Herald, Havana, FL. www.HavanaHerald.net
Articles were photographed by Angela Cassidy and typed by Eunice Herren. Where the full names of people are known,
they have been added in parentheses by Angela Cassidy.
Pictured above are Giles Bell, who recently celebrated what he says was his 100th birthday, and his wife, Emily. The old Negro was born on the Darsey plantation, north of Havana, and was working on the Ira Bell farm when he was granted his freedom. "Uncle Giles" Claims Centry Mark As He Recalls Freeing Of Slaves
It isn't often that you talk to a man who says he remembers the "War Between the States" and the emancipation of the slaves.
One of these few is Giles Bell, a small gray headed Negro who celebrated what he believes to be his 100th birthday at his home near here July 20.
The old man, familiarly known in this area as "Uncle Giles" seemed pleased at the interest shown in his birthday. A number of friends and relatives were present for the celebration, which was complete with a birthday cake crowded with candles.
"Uncle Giles", whose memory is surprisingly clear on events of the past, says he was born near the Joe Darsey home place at Darsey Crossing. There are no official records to prove the date of his birth. He worked for Mr. Ira Bell, whose surname he took as his own, on his farm north of Concord for some time, and was living there when he became a free man.
After receiving his freedom, the Negro moved to the Tucker farm across from the Ben Hinson place at Hinson. He is not sure of the exact dates of the period when he lived there.
Later he moved to the Edward Curry farm near Quincy where he states that he "raised thirty crops."
For sixty seven years, Giles has been married to Emily M. Bell, who was living on the Keenan White Plantation near Quincy when he met her. The Bells have one son, Robert, six grand children and five great grandchildren.
The family purchased a 1 1/2 acre farm three miles west of Havana nine years ago. A granddaughter makes her home with Giles and his wife, who are both active despite their advanced ages.
They are members of the nearby China Hill Methodist Church. Giles contributes his long life to the fact that he "always tried to be a good man."
|The Office Cat
I received a letter the other day from a very nice reader in Kingsport, Tenn., who says we
(and ME in particular) are doing a fine job. She says she enjoys the paper, and even went so
far as to renew her subscription. On first thought, I wished we had a million more just like
her, but I changed my mind when I remembered who would have to fold the papers to send to a
million more subscribers.
Junior (Harvell) won't speak to Carolyn this week because she didn't put in the social news last week that he was on vacation. She claims you don't get credit for vacationing unless you go outside the city limits. We almost had to call in Tom Watson to give a ruling on the case. When (also IF) I take a vacation this summer, I will be sure to go far enough and stay long enough that there'll be no question about my being a fit subject for the personal items.
Carl Laing is an excellent example of loyalty to the home team. He kept score at the girls softball game, Havana vs. Greensboro, last Tuesday night. We din't know just how loyal he was until we saw his scorebook and found the Greensboro page blank except for the players' names. Apparently our opponents made no hits, no runs, no errors, no nothing. If Carl's scoring was correct, it must have been a very one sided game.
I'll bet there are a lot of surprised people living in sections of town where the water line extensions have been made. They say the new water pressure is really terrific. The story goes that one forgetful man was almost pelted to death in the shower before he could turn the water off.
Things I've meant to comment on but have forgotten:
1. The Best Fisherman in Town was also the Wettest Fisherman in Town recently.
2. Are Bill Miller, tobacco farmer, and W. M. Miller, bank director, one and the same person?
3. Hobson Alewine has been slowed down as a threat to Ben Hogan by a strained ligament in his right shoulder. Nothing daunted, Hobson is now learning to play golf left handed.
4. I have been trying to cultivate an acquaintance with Mrs. Georgia Neese Clark, the woman who recently signed a receipt for $27,424,541,375.78 2-3. I don't know about the $27,424,541,375.78, but the 2-3 cent was contributed to the government by THE OFFICE CAT.
|Construction Of New Presbyterian Manse Completed Recently
The new Presbyterian manse, which has been under construction for several months, was completed this week, it was announced by Cecil Butler, chairman of the church's building committee.
The attractive six room home is located on a lot next to the Presbyterian Church. It was built at a cost of approximately $8,500, Butler said, excluding certain fixtures which were generously donated by local individuals and business firms.
For the present, the house will be used as Sunday School classrooms and other church purposes, the chairman stated. The kitchen will be useful in church entertainments. Later on, the manse will be used as a parsonage.
J. W. Baggerly was contractor for the building. Contributions from members and friends of the church paid for the project, which is now entirely completed except for a stove and refrigerator in the kitchen. The house contains a living room, dining room, kitchen, three bedrooms and two baths.
The grounds surrounding the manse have been cleaned up, and shrubbery will probably be planted soon, Butler said.
Butler, in behalf of the building committee and the church members, extended a cordial invitation to those in the community to visit and inspect the new home.
Other committee members are Ed Bell and John Dolan.
|Kiwanians Tour Local Post Office Tuesday
Kiwanians had an opportunity to get a close up first hand look at the workings of a post office last Tuesday. Postmaster Howard Daniels was in charge of the program which fell on the day of the 174th anniversary of the Postal system of the United States.
Following the dinner all members present "walked or rode" up to the post office where Howard, assisted by some members of his staff, Mrs. Bess Masters and Roy Lewis, conducted them through the post office.
For many, it was the first time they had ever been behind the barred window, and the tour which included interesting explanations of the sorting, routing and handling of mail, held many of the visitors long past the ususal one hour limit of the club's meetings. Many of the routine procedures used by the postal department in issuing money orders, postal notes, stamps and, of course, the inevitable government forms in use by the department were explained by Postmaster Daniels.
|Contracts Let By School Board
At a special meeting last Monday, the school board awarded contracts on a new 60 passenger bus, fire equipment, business machine maintenance, the moving of a school building and some paving construction at the county high school.
C. L. Fowler, of Quincy, was awarded the contract for the installation of storm sewers, catch basins and paving at the Gadsden County high school at a cost of $2,164.
A new 60 capacity school bus to be used on the Concord route in to the Havana school was awarded to R. E. Blitch who bid $1,379.50 on the body and Lester-Munroe Motors who bid $2,299 on the motor and chassis. The bus is scheduled for delivery about the 35th of next month.
A $713.90 bid on fire equipment to be used in all of the county white schools and Stephens High school went to B & B Engineering Corp., of Baton Rouge, La.
Buford and McPherson was awarded the contract to service the 60 typewriters used in the county schools. W. Pooser (state representative from Jackson county) under bid everyone by $265 and got the job of moving the Robertsville colored school for $485. Now located about eight miles out of Quincy on the Bainbridge highway, it will be moved to St. John's school site about three miles north of Quincy.
|Red Bert Hurls No-Hitter In 1-0 Win Over P. C.
Hurling his best game of the season, Red Bert blanked a strong Panama City club 1-0 here last Saturday before several hundred fans. The game was a special non-conference tilt arranged by Gus Bert with the P. C. aggregation. The Rappers will play a return game in Panama City in the near future.
Bert, Jr., had plenty of stuff on his fast twister rise ball to hang up his no-hit, no-run victory over the P. C. Moose Lodge team, who were 1948 champs of the fast Bay City league. He walked only two batters and struck out 14 in the rapid seven innning game that started at 8:50 and ran until 10:05 p. m. (rest missing)
|Boy Scouts Will Leave Thursday For Cypress Lake
Ten members of Troop 311, Boy Scouts of America, will leave Thursday, August 4, to attend the Suwannee River Area Council summer camp at Cypress Lake, south of Tallahassee.
The boys will attend the final week of camp, lasting through noon on August 10. They are scheduled to leave at 3:00 p. m., from the VFW home here. Accompanying the group will be Jack Dudley, scout commissioner.
An interesting program of activities is planned for the camp. Work leading to advancement to Second and First Class Scout will be offered. The following merit badges will also be given: Atheletics, Archery, First Aid, Personal Health, Public Health, Swimming, Pioneering, Bird Study, Woodcarving, Camping, Rowing, Carpentry, Basketry, Leathercraft, Forestry, Reptile Study, and Lifesaving. In order to receive one of these badges, previous work must have been done by the Scout prior to the camp.
Local boys will leave next Thursday are Johnny Bruce, Bobby Phillips, Guinn Haskins, Glen Loch, Jack Leonard, Bobby Askew, Potter Woodbery, John Howard Robertson, Emory Weatherly and Leon Whigham. Bobby Harvell and Millard Harrison are tentatively scheduled to attend the camp also.
|James A. Love Honored At Civic Luncheon
Over 150 members and guests of the three civic groups in Quincy, the Kiwanis, Exchange and Rotary clubs, attended a joint luncheon meeting Tuesday in honor of Quincy's immediate past mayor, James J. Love.
The luncheon was held at the American Legion home. Alton Towles acted as master of ceremonies and reviewed the 16 years of achievements of the past mayor-commissioner during his tenure of office. Underlying Towles' humorous presentation was a deep and sincere feeling, shared by all those present, for the well liked and popular Commissioner who has such a splendid record of public service in the government of Quincy.
|Havana Girls Win 5-4 Over Greensboro
The Havana girls softball team evened up their wins and losses at 1-1 by defeating the Greensboro girls on their home field Tuesday night in a game that went into a sixth inning and wound up with a 5-4 score.
The local team showed a great improvement over their first game, both in offense and defense. Scoring for the winners were Billie Willis, Sarah Martel and Sarah Boynton, who scored two runs. Alverna Sadler, who pitched for the locals, finished up the game by scoring the winning run.
Jane Suber was the losing pitcher.
The game scheduled with the Chattahoochee girls last Friday night was rained out. The Chattahoochee team will play here tomorrow night at 8:30, and Havana will play at Quincy Aug. 2.
|Town's Growth Shown By Postal Receipt Gains
Since 1921, (earliest avilable records) the Havana Post Office has almost quadrupled its volume of business.
According to Postmaster Howard Daniels, the April, May and June quarterly report for the year of 1921 shows $621 worth of postage stamps sold and 96 boxes rented, while in 1949, there are 321 boxes rented and $2,236.71 worth of postage stamps were sold during the same period.
First records of money orders issued by the post office here in 1929 (famous depression year), show 1900 totaling $9,523.22. This year for the same quarter, the post office issued 3235 totaling $32,932.68. Both figures include fees.
Way back yonder in 1885, Havana was a name in U. S. Postal department long before anyone thought or conceive of the Town of Havana. In those days, only 20 years after the close of the civil war, the Havana post office began in Old Salem.
Early residents, like Miss Emma Fletcher, postmistress for thirty years, tell us that three names were submitted to the national department for the "horse and buggy" rural delivery P O in Old Salem. Residents of the area turned in "Old Salem", "Fletcher", (owner of the property on which the post office and store were then located) and "Havana." The department refused "Old Salem" even though the mail service was located in that unincorporated community, by passed "Fletcher", no reason stated, and chose "Havana."
Old Salem already had several namesakes and it seems that Havana, after the type of Cuban tobacco grown in this area then, (filler tobacco not wrapper as today), got the nod from the Washington department officials.
Havana as a post office continued to operate in its Old Salem location under Ephrem Avirett, who was the first postmaster from 1885 until 1900, when the present mayor, E. H. Slappey took over the job and office until 1909. It was moved to the north east corner of the Shelfer & Ellinor building where it was destroyed by fire in 1916.
During this period, Otis F. Landers succeeded Slappey as postmaster until 1913, when civil service was started for postal employees. Seems Landers had competition for his job as 30 Havana citizens applied for it under the civil service program. Miss Emma Fletcher was selected rating number one in the examination and took over in 1913, serving until 1943 when our present postmaster, Howard Daniels, succeeded, through civil service, to the job.
In the fire of 1916, Postmistriss Fletcher saved some of the stamp books and records by crawling through a hole in the adjacent building. She set up shop in her home temporarily until moved into the site of the building now occuppied by Harrison's 5 & 10.
In 1937, the post office was moved to its present location. Back in 1921, rent (for a three month's period) was $38.40 as compared to $156 for the same period this year. So apparently, it has kept pace with the increased cost of living.
Present staff at the office who are serving the community very pleasantly and efficiently are Howard Daniels, Mrs. Bess Masters, Mrs. Ruth Staggers and rural carriers Roy Lewis and Guyte Chester.
By Jeannette Joiner
Miss Corrine Walsh, of Washington, D. C., is spending a week with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. M. H. (Miles Hobson and Eva) Walsh.
Miss Jackie Harrell, of Akron, Ohio, is visiting her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Don Harrell.
Miss Patricia Gray, who is spending the summer in Jacksonville with her mother, is spending a two weeks visit with her father and sister, Mr. L. A. (Butch) Gray and Miss Audrie Gray.
Rev. and Mrs. J. B. Coston and son, Jim, have as their guests this week, Rev. Coston's mother and two nieces of Wachula, Fla.
Mrs. Charles (Ruth Perritt) Britt and son, Mike, of Tallahassee and Mr. and Mrs. B. H. (Hardy and Ada) Vickers were guests of Mrs. Ettie Joiner Sunday.
Mr. Willy Stephens accompanied his son in law and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Gray of Tallahassee, to Charleston, S. C., for a visit with Mr. and Mrs. George (and Bertie Stephens) Ruple and son, George, Jr.
Mrs. G. R. (Maude Perritt) Lee and son, Earl of St. Petersburg, were called to the home of her mothr, Mrs. Laura Perritt, who is seriously ill.
|Gwynn Holman Is Party Honoree
Gwynn Holman was honored last Friday on her twelfth birthday with a party given at her home in West Havana (Old Salem) by her mother, Mrs. Josh Ingram.
A number of Gwynn's friends who were present enjoyed playing games outdoors from four until six o'clock. Game prizes were won by Mary Scott and Bobby Askew.
Later in the afternoon, Gwynn opened the attactive gifts presented by her friends. The guests received novelty whistles as favors.
Mrs. Ingram served refreshments of cookies, ice cream and candy to the young people.
Invited to the party were Betty Weeks, Betty Whittle, Jackie Scott, Bobby Scott, Ollie Mae Johnson, Earl Johnson, Mary Scott, Bobby Askew, Sandy Dodson, Sue Porter, Dorothy Cooper, Laddie Cooper, Marion Spooner, Annette Whigham, Elaine Deal and Sylvia Sapp.
|[Individual personal mentions not part of any article]
Rev. and Mrs. W. G. Stracener and children, Larry and Gail, of Pensacola, were luncheon guests Tuesday of Mr. and Mrs. J. E. Robinson.
Mr. and Mrs. Bill Chester and family, had relatives from Climax, Ga., as their guests Sunday.
|Mrs. Stephens Hostess To Low Score Club
Mrs. Alvin Stephens was hostess at her home Wednesday afternoon of last week to members of the Low Score bridge club.
The rooms of the home were attractive with arrangements of golden marigolds. Three tables of players were present, including one visitor, Mrs. Burke Chester, of Tavares.
At the close of the afternoon's games, prizes were awarded to Mrs. Fred Arrington for high score, and to Mrs. C. W. Tullos for low score. Mrs. Chester was presented with a guest prize.
The hostess served fresh peach shortcake during the refreshment period.
Club members enjoying the afternoon with the hostess and Mrs. Chester were Mrs. Lloyd Greer, Mrs. Harold R. Bert, Mrs. King Gregory, Mrs. Fred Arrington, Mrs. C. W. Tullos, Mrs. W. L. Williams, Jr., Mrs. Davis Smith, Mrs. Oliver Hunt, Mrs. Ed Bell and Mrs. Fred Shelfer.
|Birthday Party Is Given For Visitor At Freeman Home
Monroe Johnson, of Charlotte, N. C., who is visiting here with his grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. C. M. Freeman, was honored last Saturday at the Freeman home with a party celebrating his fifth birthday.
The party rooms were decorated in a pink, green and blue color scheme for the occasion. The young guests were entertained with indoor games and music during the afternoon.
Monroe's birthday cake was white, and featured blue candles in pink holders. The cake was encircled with the words "Happy Birthday Monroe". Ice cream was served with the cake as refreshments.
Party favors were Captain Kidd candy surprise packages and fancy balloons. Monroe received a number of birthday remembrances from his friends.
Those present with Munroe were his brother, Billy, Winton Collins, Joan Henderson, Dianne Keith, Linda Robinson, Betty Jo May, Buddy Penn and Greg Goodman, all of Havana; and Betty Sybal and Elgin Freeman of Boston, Ga.
Monroe and Billy are sons of Mr. and Mrs. L. N. Johnson of Charlotte, N. C. They are spending the summer here with their grandparents.
|Mrs. Carl Moreland Receives Interesting Letter From Greece
Mrs. Carl Moreland recently received an interesting letter from a native of Greece, Mrs. Eleni D. Voyiatzi, whose home is Kavala, Greece.
The letter was addressed to the "Lady Manager at Cycle Specialties Co., Box B, Havana, Florida. Mrs. Moreland says Mrs. Voyiatzi undoubtedly obtained the address from an advertisement which Mrs. Moreland's son, Hugh, placed in Popular Mechanics magazine several years ago. How the old copy of the magazine came into Mrs. Voyiatzi's hands is not known.
The typewritten letter is as follows:
7 July 1949
Dear unknown friend:
The city of Kavala is on the Aegean sea with about 30,000 inhabitants. It is a centre of tobacco manipulation. From fear from bandits many productive rural families are crowded in this city occupying any type of shelter.
The villages are producing little leaved aromatic tobacco giving six months job to us in the town. We have plenty of time to make laces and doilies and would appreciate to be your friend. If you have the time to drop me a line I will mail you a present. I am eager to be your friend in Greece and exchange Greek laces and other items with any use clothing which we need.
I don't speak you nice language and this letter is written by an interpreter. It will be treasured by my family if you have the kindness to give my address to some of your good friends who might be interested in Greek laces. I would like to exchange them with used garments and to remodel them to ourselves.
I am 39 years old and my husband is 45. We have a son aged 18 and a girl 10. I continue to make nice Grecian handmade laces. Best wishes to you and family.
Mrs. Eleni D. Voyiatzi
Clyde and Jean Hough of Hinson, are spending two weeks with their sister, Mrs. Hazel Strickland, at Galveston, Texas.
Mr. and Mrs. Wilson Hall and daughters, Sunny and Dianne, recently enjoyed a two weeks vacation at Eagle Lake, near Winter Haven. They were joined by Mrs. Hall's sister, Miss Peggy Surles of Miami, who accompanied them home Saturday. Miss Surles will visit here for two weeks.
Mr. and Mrs. C. B. Shelfer, Jr., announce the birth of a nine and three quarters pound son at Riverside Hospital, Bainbridge, Ga., on July 23. The baby has been named Richard B. Shelfer. Mr. and Mrs. Shelfer have three other children, Betty, Sara Ruth and Mary Howard.
Mrs. Annie Persons, of Macon, Ga., is the guest of her sister, Mrs. O. L. Smith, at her home in Hinson.
Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Lambert and daughters, Laura and Dawn, returned recently from a vacation trip to Zephryhills.
Mr. and Mrs. Chester Warren Foxworth of St. Augustine announce the birth of a daughter, Leslie Kathryn, on July 8, at St. Vincent's Hospital in Jacksonville. Mrs. Foxworth is the former Miss Edna Williams of Havana.
Betty, Sara Ruth and Mary Howard Shelfer are visiting their great uncle and aunt, Mr. and Mrs. Tom Hollingsworth in Madison.
Overnight guests of Mr. and Mrs. H. W. Womack Monday were Mr. and Mrs. H. D. Marshall and daughter Jane, of Macon, Ga. The visitors were en route to Daytona Beach.
Mrs. Burke Chester and children, DeLacy, Sherian and Emily, who have been visiting relatives here, returned Wednesday to their home in Tavares.
Mrs. Lee Arrington and son Bobby returned Monday from a week's vacation trip to Miami and other points of interest in Florida. They were accompanied on the trip by Mr. and Mrs. J. D. Alexander and their children, David and Jane, of Princeton, Ky. Mrs. Alexander will be remembered as the former Miss Mary Agnes McKinnon, niece of Mrs. Arrington.
Mr. and Mrs. W. V. Smith spent several days recently at the beach near Panama City.
Bobby Harrell, who attended the first session of summer classes at the University of Florida, is at home for the rest of the summer. He will return to Gainesville in September.
Mr. and Mrs. C. W. Tullos and their sons, Charles and Tommy, and Misses Anita and Julia Ann Tullos were dinner guests of Mr. and Mrs. Ben Peabody in Tallahassee Monday evening.
Mr. and Mrs. A. O. Stephens, L. D. Singleton, and Mr. and Mrs. A. B. Singleton and children of Green Cove Springs, left Tuesday morning on a vacation trip to the mountains.
Jim Miller, Gene Leverett and Carl Driver spent last week-end at Panama City.
Miss Nell Gray was the guest of friends at Panama City last week-end.
Mrs. Lillie King and Mrs. Paul Curry, who were injured in an automobile accident near Quncy week before last, have been released from Gadsden County Hospital and have returned to their homes in Hershey, Pa.
Mrs. T. M. Lockridge and Mrs. A. B. Thompson, both of Chapel Choir, N. Y., were recent visitors of Mr. and Mrs. J. S. Cantey.
Mr. and Mrs. James Clarry of Syracuse, N. Y., are visitors of Mr. and Mrs. L. A. Clarry.
Guests of Miss Pet Howren on her birthday last Thursday were Mr. and Mrs. W. D. Gray and son Billy, of Tallahassee. The visitors presented Miss Pet with a birthday cake in honor of the occasion.
Mr. and Mrs. W. C. McCall and children will return this week-end after a vacation trip in Miami. They left last Saturday.
Miss Barbara Thompson, of Atlanta, Ga., is the guest this week of Mr. and Mrs. Josh Ingram. Mr. and Mrs. Ingram, their daughter, Miss Gwynn Holman, and Miss Thompson spent last weekend at Panama City. The visitor will leave Saturday for Jacksonville.
Recent guests of Mr. and Mrs. L. Reese are J. W. Reese, of Tuscon, Ariz., A. J. Reese and granddaughter, Hazel Reese, of Winter Haven; Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Maxwell and son, of Pahokee; and Mr. and Mrs. J. L. Anston, of Zephyrhills.
Guests of Mr. and Mrs. Lanier Laing at their home Sunday were Mrs. M. J. Donaldson and son, Joe and Gary, of Decatur, Ala., and Mr. and Mrs. S. D. Laing of Hinson.
Cpl. Foster Lashley has returned to his station at Fort Bragg, N. C., after spending a leave here with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. James Shiver.
H. C. Fuller left Monday for Okalona, Miss., where his mother was scheduled to undergo an operation yesterday.
F. L. Cantey of Madison arrived here Tuesday to spend a week with his son and daughter in law, Mr. and Mrs. J. S. Cantey.
Mrs. Ruth Staggers and her daughter, Pat, are visiting relatives in Tampa this week.
Wayne Bell, of Crawfordville, visited here Monday.
|Quincy Dairyman Injured In Accident
Samuel H. Solomon, Sr., prominent Quincy dairyman, is in the Alachua County hospital as a result of injuries received in an automobile accident near Gainesville Saturday night.
Solomon was painfully injured when a pickup truck he was driving ran off the road eight miles north of Gainesville, according to highway patrolman S. O. Roberts.
Solomon's injuries include a possible skull fracture and severe cuts about the head and neck. It is not known when he will be released from the hospital.
The Quincy man was en route to the University of Florida to attend the graduation of his son in law, Winton Edwards of Quincy.
|Watch Next Week's Herald For "Citizens Of Tomorrow" Photo Contest
As the final group in the Herald'a Citizens of Tomorrow feature, we present the following children: Top row, left to right: Linda and Buddy Penn, daughter and son of Mr. and Mrs. D. E. (Don and Grace) Penn; Frances and Betty Jo Smith, ages 4 and 2, daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Davis (and Jo) Smith; and Ray and Woody Maxwell, who are the sons of Mr. and Mrs. W. F. Maxwell. Bottom, left to right: Johnny, Patsy and Tommy Fischer, children of Mr. and Mrs. J. G. (John and Grace) Fischer; and three young members of the B. M. Whittle family.
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