This week’s Time Capsule looks at a train-car collision, an explosion and Cobb’s youngest World War I soldier.

100 years ago …

The Thursday, Aug. 14, 1919, edition of The Cobb County Times reported that two women were killed instantly and four other members of the same family were nearly killed the Sunday before when a northbound Lousiville & Nashville passenger train struck a Ford on the railroad crossing near Canton.

It was presumed that the car came to the “blind” crossing and did not see the train until they were on the tracks. The train hit the car and carried it for 100 feet down the tracks.

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“The greatest pageant ever presented in the Southeast” was reported as being staged at the Wilder Meadow in Marietta for the following Tuesday. The pageant, presented by the Department of Pageantry and Drama of the national board of the YWCA, would feature representatives from the states of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. It was to be one of 11 pageants held in the U.S.

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A front page story reported that according to the Tax Digest for 1919, that the dogs in Cobb County were worth $1,749 and all of the cotton in the county was worth only $40. Another “funny” fact in the digest was that all of the cotton was owned by one man living in the Big Shanty district.

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Another story reported that one of the four “Drive to the Right” sign posts on Marietta Square had been stolen the Monday night before.

The sign, stolen from “the courthouse corner,” was taken by Beaumont Davison Jr. after a dance in Marietta. The sign was discovered the next day by police in the Fairview Road garage of Davison, the “son of Beaumont Davison of the Atlanta department store — Davison-Pason-Stokes.”

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The Friday, Aug. 15, 1919, edition of The Marietta Journal reported that Naomi V. Campbell, the former head of the Undenominational Orphans’ Home in Cobb County, and her husband, C.C. Campbell, were taken to the state farm in Milledgeville. The Campbells were both convicted of cruelty to children at the home.

Naomi, who attacked Sheriff W.E. Swanson with a pair of scissors at the jail the week before, had been declaring that she would never go to the farm and that she would kill herself. But when the transfer papers came the Wednesday before, she did not give the officers any trouble.

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Howard Coryell was reported as falling and breaking his hip on the pavement after stepping off a moving street car on Atlanta Street the Saturday before.

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On the Editorial Page, the editors had the following items:

♦“For 11 out of 12 years Tyrus Raymond Cobb of Georgia has been the leading batter in baseball. Whether you like the game or not that is an enviable record.”

♦“The brewers of the country — or should we say ex-brewers — are going to have a big meeting in Atlantic City in September to plan for a campaign to repeal Prohibition laws. If they get too dry they can go in the surf, outside of that it will all be talk.”

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Dr. I.A. White was reported as spending the week in Macon, where he was the publicity director for the $75 million campaign for the Baptist Church.

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Cobb’s youngest soldier George E. Benson Jr. was reported as back at Camp Gordon following the end of WWI and had visited his parents on Waddell Street in Marietta.

Benson landed in France on his 15th birthday. The article said “despite his year’s experience over there and the rough Army training, George still looks almost as boyish as he did when he left home.”

Another article reported that 1st Lt. W. Coyle Davenport of Acworth was cited for special bravery in two instances during service in France.

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A number of people were reported as narrowly escaping serious injury on Aug. 12, 1919, in Selma, Alabama, when “a vulcanizer at the Hooper Motor Company blew up, scattering debris over the shop and causing a terrific blast.”

People 50 feet from the blast were hit with flying debris and the gas tank of a car 60 feet away was “torn to pieces by a flying piece of hot sheet iron the size of a dinner plate.”

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In the “News From Over The County” column, the Lost Mountain section’s correspondent Allen had two interesting items:

♦The first announced that Carl Ireland of south Georgia was visiting his aunt, Mrs. Landrum, in the section. Ireland “was taken prisoner during the war and says he received good treatment while in the hands of the Germans.”

♦For the second, Allen wrote that his field was infested with army worms and that they had “stripped about two acres of forage” and “if they eat all kinds of crops their work will be very destructive.”

50 years ago …

In the Friday, Aug. 15, 1969, Marietta Daily Journal, it was reported that “Atlanta Vice Squad detectives arrested 26 people, including two Smyrnans, and confiscated about $6,500 in narcotics and dangerous drugs in a massive raid” that began the Wednesday before and concluded that Friday morning. Most of the confiscated drugs were believed to have been stolen from burglarized drugstores, some of which were in Cobb County.

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

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