Construction begins on $5.3M USC Sumter library


75 YEARS AGO - 1943

June 19 - June 25

  • Transfer of Col. Burton M. Hovey Jr., commanding officer of Shaw Field, to the Air Defense Wing of the First Air Force, Norfolk, Virginia, was announced by the War Department. Lt. Col. James W. Gurr, 35, the Army basic flying school's only West Point graduate and its second ranking officer, will assume command upon the departure of Col. Hovey. He currently commands the 10th basic flying training group and holds a senior pilot rating. Col. Hovey, who has commanded the post since workmen began carving it from cotton fields in July 1941, is the school's senior officer and its only officer with a rating of command pilot and combat observer.
  • State treasurer Jeff Bates said that May allocations to counties of the state gasoline tax totaled $143,004 as compared with $189,202 in May of last year - a decrease of approximately 33 percent. Sumter's share amounted to $3,730.
  • Maj. David E. Borden has been named Shaw Field's acting executive officer, succeeding Maj. R. Foster Scott, who was assigned to the 2nd Air Force and was to report to the 18th Replacement Wing at Salt Lake City, Utah, for possible overseas duty. Maj. Borden was the post intelligence office since November 1941, is the only member of Col. Burton M. Hovey's original staff now at Shaw Field.
  • Lt. Willie Lee Ashley Jr., was a member of the Negro Aviation Unit in the battle of Pantelleria, it was learned today. Lt. Ashley received his wings at Tuskegee, Alabama, about a year ago and was sent abroad for duty. His unit was under the command of Lt. Col. Benjamin O. Davis, and they used a specially prepared airdrome in North Africa where they started hammering the Axis positions in Tunisia soon after their arrival.
  • Warren T. King, secretary of the Sumter Chamber of Commerce, left Saturday for Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, where he will attend classes for a week at the Southeastern Institute for commercial organizations which is being held there.
  • Four Methodist ministers from Sumter are attending the annual South Carolina Methodist pastor's school which opened at Columbia college. The theme of this year's conference, shortened from the usual fortnight to five days is "The Minister in a Period of Crisis. Sumter's representation includes the Rev, J. Ross Johnson, district superintendent; The Rev. W. D. Gleaton, pastor of Trinity Methodist; the Rev. Welborne Summers, pastor of Broad Street Methodist Church and the Rev. T.C. Shuler, pastor of the Methodist Church at Oswego.
  • A wind of hurricane velocity, cutting a 700-yard path across the south end of the ramp at Shaw Field, damaged 40 basic training planes in a couple of minutes. Accompanied by torrential rain, the freak wind storm broke shortly before 2 p.m. and was followed by considerable hail. Blowing 79 miles an hour at its peak, the wind snapped mooring ropes and pushed planes into each other on the ramp. Of the 40 planes damaged, Maj. Cleo F. Peterson, sub-depot commander, said that only 12 would require major repairs.
  • Plans for a 30-by-50-foot concrete floor and a cement skating rink for the Jenkins Community Center on Oakland Avenue were discussed at a called meeting of the city council and City Manager J.A. Raffield announced today that construction of the dance floor will begin soon. The dance floor, to be an outdoor affair, will be lighted and used at night. Manager Raffield was requested by the council to seek prices on the building of the skating rink. As soon as the costs can be obtained the council will met again to formulate plans and make it a reality. The skating rink will also be built on the outside.
  • The Church of the Nazarene, with the Rev. D.W. Thaxton of Charleston as its pastor, will organize here under the gospel tent at the corner of Church and Calhoun streets. The church, which will be a part of the South Carolina District of the Church of the Nazarene, will be set up under the leadership of the Rev. J.G. Wells of Columbia, district superintendent.

50 YEARS AGO - 1968

Feb. 18 - Feb. 24

  • J. Willis Cantey, president of The Citizens and Southern National Bank of South Carolina, has been named chief executive officer of the state-wide banking institution, it was announced by Hugh C. Lane, board chairman. The announcement was made following the bank's monthly board of directors meeting in Columbia.
  • The Base Airman of the Month program got a boost with the "kick off" of a new program to further recognize the top airman. The program was one of the long sought-after goals of the NCOAGA and was realized through the efforts of the association with the cooperation of the base commander and the Sumter Merchant's Association.
  • Clemson University at Sumter broke open a tight battle in the second half and went on to down Sumter TEC, 61-48, in a benefit game for the March of Dimes at Edmunds Gym. It was the first official meeting between the two schools on the basketball court and both have hopes of making the game an annual affair. Harold Waynick, former star at Mayewood High School, was the spark plug for the winning Clemson club as he scored eight field goals and added six free throws for 22 points.
  • Lincoln High School dropped two games in as many outings in the port city of Charleston to eliminate them from the Lower State AAAA Championship. The Bulldogs bowed to the Burke High Bulldogs by a 75-65 score. Earlier, Lincoln lost to the C.A. Brown Panthers by an 82-74 score. The Burke team was out front at the end of the first quarter by a 17-13 score and from this point the local team was never in the game.
  • J.F. McLeod, downtown branch manager of Citizens and Southern National Bank, has been selected local chairman for the 1968 march for muscular dystrophy. The announcement was made by Larry Rogers president of the Sumter Jaycees, who sponsor this year's MD drive. McLeod will head the annual appeal for funds to support a broad attack on the problems created by muscular dystrophy. He stressed the pressing need to halt the progress of muscular dystrophy as he urged Sumter residents to give active support of the local march.
  • The movie version of the life of Sumter's Bobby Richardson, which is scheduled to be shown in the Edmunds High School auditorium, is a well put together film that should please most baseball fans as well as Richardson's friends and admirers. Viewed at a special showing the film is titled "The Bobby Richardson Story" and is based on Bobby's book of the same name.
  • The Sumter Jaycees and the Sumter Sertoma Club have challenged each other for the second straight year in a "mile-of-dimes" contest. The event's purpose is to raise money for the March-of-Dimes. Starting point for the mile will be Wesmark Plaza with the finish line at the fairgrounds. Larry Rogers will represent the Jaycees while Jim Puryear will carry the Sertoma banner. The loser gets a pie in the face from the winner.
  • Coach Maxie Knowlton saw his never-say-die East Clarendon Wolverines overcome leads of up to nine points, to skim past Latta, 52-50, in an overtime thriller last night before a capacity crowd of over 1,100 fans. The Wolverines were paced by another fine 27-point effort by Ray Morris, upset the Red Raiders to stay alive in the 5-B competition. Latta, with a victory could have wrapped up the conference title, watched as the Wolverines roared back, sending the tourney down to a one game finish.
  • T. O. Bowen, Sumter County extension agent, assumed the national spotlight as toastmaster at the Tuesday evening banquet of the National Peach Council annual convention in the Francis Marion Hotel in Charleston. Chemicals being developed to control weeds and grass in orchards aroused interest from industry people, according to Bowen. It has always been a basic cultivating rule to keep orchard soil mulched on the theory that the peach tree roots needed air. "Now it appears we have been doing some things simply because our fathers and grandfathers did. The chemicals are in the experimental stage now, with exact amount, method, method and time of application and side effects yet to be determined.
  • The nation's third highest award for heroism has been awarded to Capt. Clarence C. Graham, son of Mrs. John Gibson of Sumter. Capt. Graham attended East Clarendon High School, is married to the former Nancy L. Humber of Columbus, Georgia, and they have one daughter.

25 YEARS AGO - 1992

Nov. 20 - Nov. 26

  • Sumter fire officials are warning residents to be careful as they try to warm themselves during the cold-weather season. Sumter Fire Chief Eli Parnell said the recent cold snap has led to several small chimney fires in Sumter. "It's the time of year when we should all be careful and check all our heating systems for problems," Parnell said. "Re-read the directions on your heaters, and have your chimneys checked for build-up."
  • A majority of The Citadel faculty favor making the all-male military college co-educational if the school is forced to change its admissions policy according to a survey. College officials said, however, that the survey was unscientific because it did not offer the option of leaving the admissions policy as it is. The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in a suit challenging Virginia Military Institute's all-male admissions policy, has told the school it must either admit women, create a separate women's military college or go private.
  • Johnny Watt breathed a sigh of relief as the State Election Commission upheld the results of the Sumter County Council District 7 race. Democrat Bennie Brogdon, who lost to Watt by a 2,020-1,648 vote, asked the commission to overrule the Sumter County Election Commission's decision to uphold the results of the election and order a new one. Brogdon protested the results of the race and contends that confusion about which races some voters could vote in and ballot shortages in some precincts cost her the race.
  • After more than a decade of planning and seeking state funding, construction has begun on a $5.3 million library for USC Sumter. "The new library will be a dream come true not only for USC Sumter but for the entire community," stated USC Sumter Dean Jack Anderson. For Anderson and USC Sumter head librarian Jane Ferguson, planning for the new library has been a labor of love, but both are quick to point out that the project has been a team effort involving others.
  • The state NAACP is investigating a recent decision by the Sumter County Election Commission to throw out the election of three black Sumter School District 2 school board candidates. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People will hold a rally at 7 p.m. at Sumter's Emmanuel United Methodist Church to announce the results of the probe. Nelson B. Rivers III, executive director of the state NAACP, will be among the visitors.
  • Mayewood Band Director Coleman Sistruck has led the Marching Vikings to four trophies in the past three weeks, including two at Hillcrest High School's "Top of the Hill" competition. The Vikings won trophies for best drum major and for their "Good" rating at the Hillcrest event. At a band competition in Hampton, the Vikings won trophies for placing third in their division and for their "Excellent" rating.
  • Sumter County Council will hold a public hearing on a zoning change at Pinewood and McCrays Mill roads that would allow a convenience store and a small shopping center. Owners of Market Express, a convenience store chain, are in the process of acquiring two tracts of land at the corner to build small shops. Plans submitted by Market Express to the Sumter City-County Planning Commission show that a convenience store, a fast food restaurant and an auto repair shop may be located on the property.
  • The election results in Sumter School District 2 will stand. The state Election Commission voted unanimously to overrule a Nov. 12 decision by the Sumter County Election Commission to throw out the results of the three contested District 2 races, which were held during the Nov. 3 general election. Trustee Elizabeth Kilgore, Roland Robinson and Elizabeth Kyler were elected to the District 2 board.
  • Roy Acuff, whose fancy fiddle playing and stirring songs such as "The Wabash Cannonball" earned him the title "the king of country music," died. Acuff, who had been hospitalized several times in recent months, died of congestive heart failure. Acuff joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1938 and became the greatest star in the fabled history of the country music show.
  • Sumter High School's Robert Smith and Peter Ford and Hillcrest's Deandre James have been named to the 35-member 1992 South Carolina Shrine Bowl football team. Rosters for both the South Carolina and North Carolina teams were released Monday. The 55th Shrine Bowl game, which pits the best senior players from each state against each other will be played Dec. 12 at Charlotte Memorial Stadium.
  • Byron Kinney didn't talk like a man who had just watched his team claim a 20-poiint victory. "Sloppy is the first word that comes to my mind," said Sumter High School's basketball coach following the Gamecocks' 71-51 win over Bishopville in the first round of the SHS Tip-off Tournament. In truth, both teams showed definite signs that it is still very early in the basketball season. Both had trouble hanging onto the ball and suffered through spells of offensive ineptitude.
  • Sumter County officials opened the doors Monday to something most wish the county didn't need - an addition to the jail. During a ribbon-cutting ceremony, Sumter County Council members welcomed the new annex - the second annex at the jail - but bemoaned the money spent on housing prisoners. Council Chairman Joe Davis praised Sumter County Correctional Center Director Jerry Hyatt for proposing the annexes.
  • The room is filled with all types of people - from women in fur coats to men clad in prison garb. It's the main courtroom of the Sumter Magistrate's Office, and everyone there is in some kind of trouble. Sumter County Chief Magistrate Mary K. Herbert said in the nearly 20 years she's been involved in the magistrate's office, she's seen all type of people charged with all types of crimes come through her court. "It never bores me," she said.
  • Sumter County has asked a judge to decide if restrictions in its zoning ordinance apply to the expansion of a hazardous-waste landfill in the county. Laidlaw Environmental Services of South Carolina Inc. is expanding its landfill within a 279-acre tract that is permitted for a hazardous-waste landfill by the state Department of Health and Environmental Control. Sumter County officials contend that under the county's zoning ordinance, the company must appear before the local planning commission and receive permission to expand its operations. Laidlaw officials maintain that the DHEC permit is sufficient for expansion.
  • Westinghouse Electric Corp. confirmed today it will sell its Sumter plant in a restructuring plan company officials say will save the electrical giant, which has been hurt by the lingering recession. None of the 340 people working at the Sumter plant are expected to lose their jobs in the sale.

Reach Sumter Item Archivist Sammy Way at or (803) 774-1294.