The Week of November 29th
by Damon_Poirier
 MDJ Time Capsule
November 29, 2012 09:50 AM | 2557 views | 0 0 comments | 96 96 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
In this week’s Time Capsule, we look at the Thanksgiving Eve murder-robbery of a local service station attendant and a major fire at the Dunaway Drug Store on Church Street.

100 years ago …

The death of Cobb County native John Tyler Cooper, an ex-mayor of Atlanta, was reported in the Friday, Nov. 29, 1912 edition of the Marietta Journal and Courier. Cooper, who died after a long illness, was the son of Col. James Fairlee Cooper who was one of the founders of the Georgia Military College.

Another story in that week’s paper told how Tom Higham, who lived on Roswell Street and was employed by the Southern Furniture Company in Atlanta, had been struck by a train earlier in the week out in the factory’s rail yard. Higham, who was watching another train didn’t see the Louisville and Nashville train that struck him due to smoke. The impact from the engine broke his collar bone and injured both his head and arm.

50 years ago …

In the Monday, Nov. 26, 1962 paper, the Cobb Advisory Board voted to launch a $60,000 remodeling project to convert the old city jail behind the county courthouse into offices. The remodeling, according to Cobb commissioner Herbert McCollum, was only a “stop-gap” measure to provide extra space for all county departments and did not mean the advisory board had given up hope on building a new courthouse.

Two Sprayberry high school students were reported in the Tuesday, Nov. 27, 1962 paper as having been charged in the Thanksgiving Eve murder-robbery of a local service station attendant.

The attendant’s body, found by a customer, had been shot at least five times. Officers said the station office was riddled with bullet holes and estimated that the killers had fired 10-12 shots.

Officers were dragging the Chattahoochee River at the Powers Ferry Road bridge where they believed the two pistols used in the crime were tossed.

A story about three Cobb County improvement projects – the widening of South Cobb Drive, the building of a Lake Allatoona water purification plant and making the county airport near Kennesaw a “primary” facility – were discussed after a meeting between Commissioner McCollum and U.S. Sen. Herman Talmadge in the Wednesday, Nov. 28, 1962 paper.

The airport improvement had been in the discussion stage for many months. The designation would entitle the airport to an air traffic control tower, which would be a step toward making bad weather landings possible.

Firemen battled against poisonous fumes and intense heat as a chemical-fed fire raged at a Kennesaw Plaza drug store for several hours, threatening a row of businesses, according to a story in the Thursday, Nov. 29, 1962 paper. A number of firemen were overcome by the black smoke in spite of gas masks and had to be dragged into fresh air to be revived.

Investigators said they believed the fire started from a short in a refrigerator motor in a back room of the Dunaway Drug Store on Church Street. Employees reported they noticed an “unusual smell” before the fire was found. When bottles began shattering in the room from the heat, the druggist who opened the door to investigate was met with a wall of flame.

Marietta fire fighters steadily poured water on the blaze, which started at about 4:30 p.m., and conducted salvage operations until about 1:30 a.m. the following morning.

20 years ago …

Gov. Zell Miller signed an executive order declaring parts of Cobb County disaster areas in the Tuesday, Nov. 24, 1992 MDJ following the touchdown of the tornado in west Cobb that was mentioned in last week’s column.

The twister, which moved northeast, struck a KOA campground near Cobb Parkway and Old Highway 41, and caused extensive damage to a subdivision and mobile home park in Kennesaw before moving into Cherokee County.

Damon Poirier is the Newsroom Administrator for the Marietta Daily Journal.

If you are interested in learning more about the stories that were presented in this week’s column, you can search the newspaper’s digitized microfilm archives online. NewsBank, which hosts the archives for the Marietta Daily Journal, charges a fee for retrieved articles and has various price packages available. If you have any trouble with your username, password or payment options, please contact NewsBank at 

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