This week’s Time Capsule looks at robberies, wrecks, an assault, McCollum Airport and handbills.
100 years ago …
In the Friday, Dec. 25, 1914 edition of The Marietta Journal and Courier there was a story about the night operator at the Kennesaw Depot and another railroad employee who were held up and robbed at gunpoint around 2 a.m. the Wednesday before. The robber was said to have escaped with a total of $25 from the two men and the railroad along with the operator’s watch.
A second story in that edition reported that two railroad car firemen, one from Kennesaw, were killed when the fast southbound W & A Railroad passenger train went down a 75-foot embankment near Emerson in Bartow County the weekend before. Several train cars crashed down the bank and “it was a miracle that a number of passengers were not killed,” however several passengers were badly injured.
50 years ago …
In the Monday, Dec. 21, 1964 Marietta Daily Journal reported that a Marietta girl narrowly escaped injury when her car became impaled by a steel beam sticking out of the back of a truck. The teenager was driving to work in Atlanta when a truck stopped suddenly in front of her and three feet of a steel beam punched through her windshield.
Also that day, an east Marietta robbery was reported. The homeowner told police that he answered his doorbell at 9:45 p.m. to find a man with a stocking over his face holding a gun. He was told to lie down on the floor and three more men entered the home. After a pillow case was thrown over his head, the victim’s wife was brought down from the upstairs and also tied up. The robbers then carried the man to the basement where he opened a safe for them which contained three sacks of coins full of collector’s items and four to five hundred silver dollars.
Consolidation of municipal and county police departments were reported in the Tuesday, Dec. 22, 1964 paper as being considered for the future in the face of possible loss of vitally-needed drunk driving fines by the county’s municipalities. Under state law, municipalities lose jurisdiction of state traffic offenses such as drunk driving when county misdemeanor courts are established like the new Cobb County Criminal and Civil Court – which was expected to open in January 1965. Some officials also talked about the possibility of passing local drunk driving ordinances in order to bypass the state law.
In the Wednesday, Dec. 23, 1964 paper it was reported that evidence from a Lansing, Ill., crime the week before was found locally by Cobb County policemen. A bloody shirt, a pair of pants, several suitcases and a file box were identified as the belongings of a man whose throat was cut “from ear to ear” in Lansing. Since the assault, two teenagers – one from Cartersville and one from Atlanta – who had been with the victim were picked up in Atlanta. The victim was found lying on the side of a street in Lansing at around 4 a.m., beaten with his throat cut, robbed of $25 and his personal papers. The man, who had been thrown out of his car and was still alive after the incident, was being treated for a severed windpipe at a hospital.
A controversial 30-year lease for a second fixed-base operator at the county’s McCollum Airport in Kennesaw was reported in the Thursday, Dec. 24, 1964 paper as being canceled by mutual agreement. County and airport officials also agreed to the appointment of a committee to operate the public-owned field and decided to “seriously investigate” the establishment of an airport authority. A furor was touched off when the Cobb County advisory board followed the recommendation of outgoing airport manager Joe Sandman and leased a section of the field to Mableton businessman W.E. Richardson.
20 years ago …
In its latest clean-city measure, the Smyrna City Council was reported in the Wednesday, Dec. 21, 1994 paper as having voted to prohibit advertising fliers from being left on windshields, utility poles and the doors of people who did not want them. Handbills hawking pizza delivery, carpet cleaning and other commercial products and services were no longer allowed to be placed under windshield wipers. However, fliers promoting free church events, political candidates, charitable cases or other non-commercial enterprises were still allowed.
Five pistol-wielding bandits were reported in the Friday, Dec. 23, 1994 paper as having held up the Barnes Hardware store – a well-known Mableton landmark where locals gathered for generations to talk politics. The bandits made off with 44 firearms and an undisclosed amount of cash after locking four employees in a small storage room. The youths lured store employees to different parts of the store, before producing handguns and forcing them to the rear of the building. None of the employees, who spent less than 20 minutes lying face down on the floor, were injured.
Also in that paper, it was reported that a longstanding road project designed to turn one of Smyrna’s busiest and most dangerous streets into a “grand boulevard” with smoother traffic flow was moving closer to reality. The widening of Spring-Concord Road called for a fifth, center turning lane to be added to Spring Road from Cobb Parkway west to Campbell Road. Construction work was expected to start in late summer 1995.
Damon Poirier is the Newsroom Administrator for the Marietta Daily Journal.
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