This week’s Time Capsule looks at Post 29 of the American Legion, a fatal hotel fire, Vietnam and Veterans Day.

100 years ago …

The Thursday, Nov. 13, 1919, edition of The Cobb County Times reported that Armistice Day was observed in Marietta the Tuesday before when 35 Cobb County World War I servicemen permanently organized the Blackjack Post No. 29 of the American Legion. Shortly after the meeting was called to order by Temporary Commander Maj. E.G. Grover, steps were taken toward permanent organization. The following officers were unanimously elected: Arthur L. Crow, post commander; C.R. Strickland, vice post commander; Lindley W. Camp, post adjutant; and A.D. Little, post finance officer.

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After serving 18 months in France, Johnnie Wilbur came home on May 31, 1919, and a few days later was said to have spent his savings along with a $60 bonus on a mule and rented crop. Now six months later, Wilbur was reported as having gathered and sold three bales of cotton, 100 bushels of corn and 20 gallons of syrup, netting him a total of $900.

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At the meeting of the Board of Education in Marietta the Tuesday before, Ralph W. Northcutt — who was managing the Marietta High School’s girl’s basketball team — was reported as bringing up the idea of remodeling the old Male Academy on Haynes Street. Northcutt wanted to make the building into a regulation basketball court with a grand stand that would seat 400 people.

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Ground was broken on the corner of Locust Street and Maple Avenue in Marietta for the erection of the Maple Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church.

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The Friday, Nov. 14, 1919, edition of The Marietta Journal reported that the Clarke Library in Marietta had received a donation of $100 from Lillian Freeman Clarke of Boston. Lillian was a niece of Sarah Freeman Clarke, who gave the library building and her collection of 2,000 books to residents of Marietta 26 years earlier.

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Powder Springs Mayor C.E. Wolf was reported as purchasing the residence of Dr. C.A. Wikle at 901 Cherokee Street in Marietta. He was expected to move from Powder Springs to Marietta the following month to send his children to Marietta’s schools.

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In the “Current Events” column, was the following item:

♦ A fire, which completely gutted the Wilson Hotel in Atlanta the Friday before, killed five people. The dead were Capt. F.B. Lawrence, day clerk of the hotel; Sgt. Schley Flack of the military police; S.F. Fitzpatrick, a sailor; J.C. Mauldin and James Thompson. Mauldin was said to have jumped from a third-story window and fractured his skull, while Thompson died at a hospital from his burns. The other three victims were either burned to death or suffocated in the building. A coroner’s jury was unable to find the cause of the fire.

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On the Editorial Page, the editors wrote the following:

♦ “A Jenkins County farmer who ‘banked’ $13,000 in his trunk had some unkind person haul the trunk a half-mile up the creek and break the lock on it.”

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In the “News From Our Correspondents” column, the Lost Mountain correspondent Allen reported on the “big possum hunt” that happened the Thursday night before. In attendance were four preachers and about 30 men and boys who caught “six fat possums.”

50 years ago …

Pfc. William Cotter Ray, 23, was reported in the Monday, Nov. 10, 1969, Marietta Daily Journal, as having been killed the Thursday before in Vietnam during hostile enemy action. Ray, who had been in the country for less than a month, died three days after he was assigned to the Fourth Infantry Division at Pleaka, Central Highlands.

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In the Tuesday, Nov. 11, 1969, paper it was reported that 51 Cobb County soldiers “who paid the supreme price in defense of their country” were remembered in a Veterans Day ceremony that morning with the presentation of the first Community Valor Awards. Parents and wives of Cobb’s military men, who died in military action since 1960, received the awards from the Military Affairs Committee of the Cobb Chamber of Commerce during a service at Dobbins Air Force Base. The Rev. Nelson Price of Roswell Street Baptist Church was the service director.

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Also that day, Superior Court Judge Luther C. Hames Jr. was reported as having told the November term of the Cobb Grand Jury the day before that syndicated crime was “obtaining a foothold in this community.” Hames also mentioned the drug problem in the county and told grand jurors a special investigator had been hired for narcotics cases.

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Armed with maps, charts and reams of facts and figures, the State Highway Department was reported in the Thursday, Nov. 12, 1969, paper as having presented that morning its case for an eastern route around Kennesaw Mountain for the new State Highway 5 from Canton. While an overflow crowd had been expected, there were less than 100 people in attendance at Marietta High School’s auditorium.

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

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