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Extension Month: Remembering the Past; Mattress Making in Bradley County Submitted by Robin Ramsey As part of the “New Deal” programs, the Agricultural Adjustment Act was passed in 1938 to oversee the distribution of subsidies. The goal was to boost agricultural prices by reducing surpluses of commodities. And there was a large surplus of cotton. In February 1940, President Franklin D. Roosevelt approved the “Cotton Mattress Program” which, in addition to reducing the cotton surplus, would supply rural families with quality bedding and train rural workers for possible employment in a new trade. The program was implemented through County Extension Offices across the country. Only rural families were eligible for the program and then only if their annual income was less than $400. A qualified family would receive 50 pounds of cotton with ticking and tools for each two persons in the family, not to exceed a total of three mattresses to a family. Fifty pounds of cotton was enough for one double mattress. Most Extension agents were liberal with their interpretation of the requirements as long as materials were available. In Bradley County, Extension Agent Margaret Weeks began taking applications for the program in the spring of 1940. By the July deadline, approximately 700 applications had been received and approved. On Aug. 16, 1940, Weeks reported, “The processing of cotton and ticking into mattresses under the cotton mattress demonstration project began Tuesday in the Oak Grove community with nine mattresses being made. These were completed by 3:30 o’clock in spite of the damp weather, which made the cotton more difficult to work with. The first mattress to be completed Tuesday belonged to Mrs. J. Wesley Ownby.” The mattress making process was a community wide project with all family members participating. The first step was to measure and cut the ticking. The material was then sewn to form the “tick” or case for the mattress. Cotton was then packed as tightly as possible before the tick was sewn shut. The last step was to pull the mattress into shape by threading heavy cord through the tick and cotton, pulling the cord as tight as possible with special tools, and then securing it top and bottom with metal buttons or washers. more
 Amanda Forbes, a student at Cleveland State Community College, has received two of the nation’s top scholarships recognizing outstanding academic achievement among college students. … more
Air Force Senior Airman Jessica L. Bader Simmons was named Airman of the Year for the Barksdale Air Force Base, La. She received the award from the U.S. Air Force Global Strike Command. Simmons, who is the daughter of Darlene and Michael Bader of Cleveland, is married to Robert Simmons. She is the mother of Sawyer Simmons and stepmother of Brayden Simmons. She has two sisters: Danielle Bader and Michaela Bader. more
On Thursday, the Lee University School of Music will present “A Grand Night for Music” with Lee Chorale, directed by Dr. William R. Green, and Lee Handbell Choir, directed by Laud Vaught. The … more
The Bradley County Sheriff's Office is asking the public for help in locating a missing male teen.According to the BCSO, Abraham Rios III, 17, was last seen at his 3556 Pine Ridge Drive S.E., … more
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