MDJ Time Capsule: The Week of July 4th
by Damon Poirier
July 05, 2013 10:55 AM | 1368 views | 0 0 comments | 48 48 recommendations | email to a friend | print

This week Time Capsule looks at Gov. Joseph M. Brown’s retirement, a little tornado, the incorporation of the Elizabeth community, Fred Tokars and the election of Marietta mayor Ansley Meaders.

100 years ago …

In the Friday, July 4, 1913 edition of The Marietta Daily Journal and Courier, there was a front page story about Georgia Gov. Joseph M. Brown retiring from his office and returning to Marietta at 5 p.m. the Saturday before. Brown was welcomed by a large crowd of friends and the Gem City Band, which was stationed in the park and playing “Dixie.” Cols. W.R. Power and John P. Cheney and Brown made speeches to the crowd before the ex-governor retired to his home. The threat of a thunderstorm was also reported as having kept cut down on the size of crowd greeting Brown.

Another front page story reported that Col. Cheney had been named the Speaker of the House and chairman of the W & A Railroad committee. This was considered the most important committee of the Georgia Legislature for the time because of the many bills that would have to be passed during the then-current session on releasing of the state’s railroad property.

50 years ago …

A twisting wind, dubbed a “little tornado,” riding the coattails of a severe thunderstorm was reported in the Friday, June 28, 1963 Marietta Daily Journal as having wrecked five small airplanes at an airport near Marietta and damaging at least two homes. There were no injuries reported, but a porch was torn off one home on Johnson Ferry Road and a large tree limb fell through the roof of another house on Lower Roswell Road.

Also that day, it was reported that a standing room only crowd of more than 200 people crowded themselves into the Cobb County Courthouse as State Highway Department officials launched a lengthy public hearing on a network of proposed Interstate 75 connector roads for the Marietta, Elizabeth and Fair Oaks areas. The hearing began with an hour-long explanation of highway department plans.

Residents of the Elizabeth section north of Marietta were reported in the Sunday, June 30, 1963 paper as meeting to consider incorporating their community under terms of a never-used 1885 charter. The drive came about as a desire to thwart plans of the Marietta Housing Authority for locating an 80-acre all-black subdivision in the area. Elizabeth community leaders said that setting up a municipality would put a halt to the housing project because the new Elizabeth City Council could reject building permits.

Later in the Tuesday, July 2, 1963 edition, it was reported that some 400 residents of the Elizabeth section signed a petition calling for an election, which would incorporate the community. The petition also called for Ordinary Garvis Sams to call an election within 60 days or as soon as voting eligibility could be prepared, in order to choose a mayor and five councilmen for the new town.

Two cars drag racing side by side on a south Cobb road were reported in the Monday, July 1, 1963 paper as having crashed into an embankment and one caught fire. Three of the 10 young boys in both cars were injured, with one seriously. Police said that some of the boys were carrying crash helmets, but were not wearing them.

Another story in the Tuesday, July 2, 1963 paper reported that a 10-year-old Acworth girl was being treated for typhoid and in good condition at Kennestone Hospital.

20 years ago …

In the Monday, June 28, 1993 Marietta Daily Journal, there was a report that public outcry and events surrounding a Marietta toddler’s beating death in October 1992 had led to a new law that would take effect on July 1, 1993 and drastically changed the way child protection agencies conducted business. The law came about after reports surfaced that the Cobb County Department of Family and Children’s Services workers had investigated complaints of past abuse against the child, but never filed charges or tried to remove him from the home.

On what would have been Sara Tokars’ 40th birthday, her husband, Fred Tokars, was reported in the Tuesday, June 29, 1993 paper as having been named in a court document filed by Cobb District Attorney Tom Charron as an unindicted co-conspirator in her Nov. 29, 1992 shotgun slaying. Tokars, who had vehemently denied any involvement in the slaying, had at the time not been charged. Curtis Alphonso Rower and Eddie Charles Lawrence were indicted on charges of murder, kidnapping and armed robbery in Mrs. Tokars’ death.

Retired banker Ansley Meaders, who had promised to cut spending and improve the city school system, was reported in the Wednesday, June 30, 1993 paper as having overwhelmingly beat Marietta attorney Rob Flournoy and Connie Mack Berry Jr., in a special election to become Marietta’s mayor. Meaders, a noted community volunteer, garnered 56.8 percent of the votes cast while Flournoy collected 35 percent and Berry trailed with 8.1-percent. Meaders was to serve the remaining six months of the term of the late Joe Mack Wilson, who died May 17, 1993.

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

If you are interested in learning more about the stories that were presented in this week’s column, you can search the newspaper’s digitized microfilm archives online. NewsBank, which hosts the archives for the Marietta Daily Journal, charges a fee for retrieved articles and has various price packages available. If you have any trouble with your username, password or payment options, please contact NewsBank at mariettadaily@newsbank.com.

 

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