This week’s Time Capsule looks at the “Ladies From Hell,” a whiskey bust and a dynamite bomb attack.
100 years ago …
The Thursday, May 1, 1919, edition of The Cobb County Times reported that lots were on sale for the Freyer subdivision, located at the north edge of Marietta, by the Holland Realty Co.
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Joel Hurt Jr., reported as one of the well-known and popular young men in Bartow County, suffered serious injury the Wednesday before.
While riding around his farm in Aubrey, Hurt’s horse attempted to jump a small ditch. The animal lost its footing, threw Hurt to the ground and then fell on top of him. Hurt suffered a wound to his abdomen and broke his collar bone.
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The Friday, May 2, 1919, edition of The Marietta Journal had a front page headline that read, “Ladies From Hell On Way To Marietta.”
During WWI, the Scotch Highlanders were said to have struck terror in the Germans with “their red kilts and gleaming bayonets” and the cry “the ladies from Hell are coming!” The Royal Scotch Highlanders Band, which wore the same kilt uniform, were coming to Marietta but “on a mission of peace and joy this time.”
The band of 21 men were expected to perform May 8, 1919, with solos, quartets and sextets in open-air concerts in Glover Park on Marietta Square for the Girls’ Patriotic League.
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An almost fatal incident involving Austin Boatner and his cousin, Glenn Boatner, was reported as happening the Monday before at the foot of a hill on Lower Roswell Road.
Austin, who was driving his Ford at high speed, tried to avoid two potholes and went off the road. The car rolled over, crushing the roof and windshield, before coming back down on its wheels.
Both men were knocked unconscious. Austin suffered a broken left collar bone and Glenn a concussion that kept him in a semi-conscious state for a day.
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Mell Phillips, 7, was reported as having died at the Frasier Street home of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. C.G. Phillips, in Marietta.
The boy died from burns he received while playing with several other boys the Saturday before. Mell and the children were playing marbles when they discovered “some trimmings from a tar paper roof” and started burning it.
While the boys were tossing the highly flammable pieces about, one struck Mell’s back, stuck and burned him “horribly” before it could be extinguished. He was buried in the Marietta City Cemetery in the Phillips family lot.
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Sheriff W.E. Swanson was reported as meeting the Louisville & Nashville train from Louisville the Friday before and spotting Tom Brown of Atlanta getting off with four large suitcases.
The sheriff became curious as to why Brown was getting off in Marietta with so much luggage. When Brown’s wife arrived in a car with a black driver, Swanson arrested the trio.
A search of the suit cases turned up 12 quarts and 132 pints of “as mean a whiskey as ever made a man beat his wife, or the wife beat her husband.”
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On the Editorial Page, the editors wrote the following item:
“The lowest down and most cowardly piece of flesh that assumes the human form, is the dynamiter, and compared with his even the hyena becomes a highborn Christian gentleman.”
The piece was in response to a front-page story about how a dynamite bomb was mailed from New York to former Georgia Sen. Thomas W. Harwick’s Atlanta home. The device exploded when one of the Senator’s black servants opened it. The blast was said to have completely blown the hands off Ethel Williams and seriously burned and cut the face of Sen. Harwick’s wife, who was standing nearby.
A Page 5 story reported that federal authorities on the case found in the New York post office almost 20 more devices addressed to prominent men in various parts of the country.
50 years ago …
In the Sunday, April 27, 1969, Marietta Daily Journal, it was reported by the Lockheed-Georgia Company that the Air Force C-5 Galaxy had attained a speed of “Mach 0.88 – a true air speed of 583 miles per hour – and climbed to an altitude of 38,000 feet while performing flutter tests.”
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Also that day, Neighbor Newspapers Inc., the Marietta-based publisher of 18 local newspapers in the metro Atlanta area, announced that it begin a 19th paper that Saturday – The North Atlanta Neighbor. The new paper was to cover the area “from Brookhaven to Dunwoody and Sandy Springs to Chamblee.”
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One of the county’s oldest homes, built by pioneer citizen David A. Irwin on Powder Springs Road, was reported as having been destroyed in a fire around midday on Monday, April 28, 1969.
The over 100-year-old house was claimed to have once been the residence of the parents of Sen. Richard B. Russell. It was also claimed to have survived being burned by Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman’s infamous March to the Sea in 1865 by serving as a temporary hospital for the Union troops.
The house and surrounding property were owned by Powder Springs Road Properties, a group of local real estate investors with plans to develop it as Bellmeade, a community of homes, apartments, offices and stores.
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A Navy F9 single-engine jet with a landing gear malfunction was reported in the Wednesday, April 30, 1969, as making a safe landing on a foam-covered runway at Dobbins Air Force Base without injury to the pilot.
Damon Poirier is the Newsroom Administrator and Historian for the Marietta Daily Journal.