This week’s Time Capsule looks at accidents, an embezzlement case, draft evaders and robberies.

100 years ago …

The Tuesday, March 22, 1921, edition of The Cobb County Times reported that “the townspeople of Austell, in an effort to obtain a better school system,” took the first steps by petitioning the Cobb County Board of Education to extend their school district beyond its present limits. The action, if granted, would alter the Flint Hill, Cooper and Riverside districts, and Austell would build a modern, up-to-date, accredited high school.

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Roy Sessions, who earlier in the month fell 60 feet headfirst off the roof of one of the dormitories at Oxford Academy, was reported in the “News About The City” column as rapidly recovering from his accident. Sessions had climbed the flagpole next to the building to retrieve a baseball lodged on the roof.

The young man crashed to the ground on his left side and shoulder, which was splintered. Column editor Mrs. Harold Hawkins said after Sessions had bones in his shoulder and arm set the week before that he would remain at Wesley Memorial Hospital under surveillance. His doctors believed that he would not suffer any permanent injuries.

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The Friday, March 25, 1921, edition of The Cobb County Times reported that in a packed Cobb County Superior Court, W.F. Hetrick, 28, was convicted the day before of the misuse of $60,000 in funds belonging to the Acworth Cotton Manufacturing Company. After two hours, the jury sentenced him to serve two to four years in prison.

In 1919, Hetrick came to Acworth from Gainesville with a reputation of being a successful cotton mill operator. He bought control of the Acworth mill from Orlando Awtrey, becoming president, manager and treasurer. Then he went to Marietta and helped organize the Marietta Cotton Mills.

Hetrick, who skipped town on Oct. 9, 1920 after making bond and was captured by Deputy Sheriff Sanders in Columbia, South Carolina, was alleged to have not used his own money. The report said that he was constantly diverting funds from one mill to another.

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In the “News From Our Correspondents” column, the following was reported:

♦Belmont section — W.R. Litch’s tractor was torn to pieces at the Belmont railroad crossing the Tuesday before by a Louisville & Nashville passenger train. Litch was on his way to Smyrna to have a leak fixed, which had sprung in his oil tank, when the tractor’s engine died in the middle of the crossing.

♦West Oak Grove section — The body of Arthur Tripp, who had drowned in the Etowah River on Feb. 9, 1921, was found the Friday before about a quarter of a mile from where he went under. Tripp was buried in the New Hope Cemetery that day at sunset.

♦Powder Springs section — Professor J.S. Bookhart, “one of the valued teachers” at the 7th District Agricultural and Mechanical (A&M) School in Powder Springs, contracted blood poisoning in his left hand from a knife cut while he was butchering a hog. Bookhart’s condition was “quite serious” for a few days before he began improving.

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The Thursday, March 24, 1921, edition of The Marietta Journal reported that the office of the Adjutant General in Washington had announced their intent to publish the names of all people who did not respond to the call of the local draft boards for World War I. At the time of publication, there were over 150,000 draft evaders in the country.

75 years ago ...

The following items appeared in the Monday, March 18, 1946, edition of The Marietta Daily Journal:

♦J.C. Clevenger landed a new Piper Cub airplane in Larry Bell Park the day before, making many residents think they had witnessed an emergency landing. The small plane was landed on purpose and towed to a lot at the corner of Powder Springs and Anderson streets which Clevenger had rented to put his product on display.

♦Stiles McMillan, son of R.L. McMillan of Acworth and technical advisor of the Coca-Cola Bottling Company in Japan, gave a firsthand account of conditions in that country in an uncensored letter to his father. McMillan had been in Japan for 30 days and had the job of building bottling plants there with Japanese contractors.

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A bold robbery was reported in the Wednesday, March 20, 1946, paper as taking place the afternoon before at the Allied Rental Office on Victory Drive. Armed bandits held up Anne C. Carlan, the cashier, and made off with $480 in cash and checks. One of the men approached Carlan asking her to make change for a $20 bill. After unlocking the cash drawer, she looked up and found a pistol barrel in her face and the man telling her to “put the box on the counter and we’ll help ourselves.” After the thieves departed with their loot, Carlan called the police, fell into a swoon, struck her forehead in the fall and broke her glasses.

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Sheriff Tom Sanders was reported in the Thursday, March 21, 1946, paper as receiving a late call the night before to investigate the Logan family’s home near the Springhill stop. The family had returned from a trip to North Carolina and found the home ransacked and a 1,000-pound safe missing. The safe was found in “a clump of woods in Fulton County.” Besides the safe, the robbers took a .22 rifle, a 16-gauge shotgun, eight large hams, seven sides of meat, eight shoulders and a radio.

The following day, robbers were reported as looting a Cobb man’s home of $28,000. Charles E. Williams, who lived on the old Atlanta Highway south of Stonewall Courts, discovered that burglars stole a safe and 18 large pieces of cured meat. The safe, which had been broken into with an axe, a sledgehammer and a large punch, was later found on Collins Road, near Hollywood Road, just outside the Atlanta city limits.

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


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