This Week in History — 1937

Posted 11/25/18

1937The city board of Mayor and Commissioners, in their regular meeting Monday evening, signed a contract calling for the installation of seven traffic lights, four to be on Ocoee Street, two on …

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This Week in History — 1937



The city board of Mayor and Commissioners, in their regular meeting Monday evening, signed a contract calling for the installation of seven traffic lights, four to be on Ocoee Street, two on Inman, and one on Broad, with work to be started so the system will be in operation before Christmas. Six of the lights will be installed at the street corners, there being one at each of the corners and the seventh signal, to be at Five Points, will be suspended over the center of the street.

The cost of the lights and installation will amount to $4,123, one of the commissioners disclosed. Four of the lights will be on Ocoee Street at the intersections with Central Avenue, 31st. Street, 32nd. Street and Inman; one at the intersection of Broad and 32nd. streets; one at Church and Inman and the other at Five Points.

C.E. Terrell, president of the Terrell Electric Company, Chattanooga, was present Monday night when the contract was signed, it being awarded to his firm. The lights will be installed so that they can be manually controlled and the red tuned on all, with exception of the one at Five Points, when there is a fire. Much of the necessary conduit for the wires and cables was installed several years ago when the present whiteway system was put in. It will be necessary to run a line from Ocoee Street over to Broad and from Ocoee to Church, thence on to Edward Stree, for the lights to be installed at these points. The contract specifies that the uptown lights are to be placed on concrete poles, of Colonial design, so they will match the present whiteway posts.


Fifty-eight of the 66 striking employees of the Dixie Foundry Company are passing off their time in the Bradley County jail, they having been cited for contempt of court for alleged violation of an injunction regulating picketing at the plant where the moulder’s and mounter’s unions, A.F. of L. affiliates, are on strike. Charges were filed against 66 men, but one had left the state and another has not yet been arrested. Two men made bond before any record was made of their having been committed to jail.

The other men went to jail in preference to making bond on the charges which they faced. Bond was set at $250 on each charge. The men face a total of 573 counts and total bond for the group would amount to $76,550. The strike at the plant was called last July to obtain “better working conditions, higher wages and recognition of the union as out bargaining agency.”

S.B. Rymer, president of the foundry company, said the men are striking simply because his company declined to reinstate Charles Beck, a union officer, who violated shop rules by “talking unionism on company property, and used vile language toward an employee who refused to join the union.” After the strike had been called, the foundry secured an injunction regulating the number of pickets and restricting their actions. It is violations of these regulations with which the strikers are now charged. The men telephoned Sheriff Barger Monday morning from the union hall at Five Points. He went over and they surrendered to him there. Then they marched through town and on to the jail where they were placed on the second floor.

It is costing the county $43 per day to feed the group of 58 as 75 cents is allowed per day per prisoner. The turnkey fee, one dollar for putting in and another for release, and arrest fee amount to $248. In case the court decides to allow the $2 arrest fee on each charge, the total fee would be much higher. The men were at first under the impression that their cases would be called during a special session of chancery court, but the sheriff said the citations call for the hearing to be held at the next regular term of court, which opens the second Monday next April. Union officials said other pickets had been placed around the foundry which is still in operation.


A group of local businessmen will go to Chattanooga today for the purpose of attending a meeting to discuss plans for completion of the Waterlevel highway, from the Ocoee River bridge, now under construction, to Ducktown. Col. Harry S. Berry, State WPA administrator, is to be present at the meeting which has been arranged by Raleigh Crumbliss, associate director of the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce.

WPA funds would largely be used to finance the paving of the project, which would complete the concrete link between this city and Copper basin. Those here who plan to attend the meeting are: O.L. McClain, president of the Chamber of Commerce, Mayor J.Y Elliott, Postmaster J.F. Anderson, C.W. Harle, C.F. Kelley, John R. Cate and Joe C. Wilson. Route 64 is the shortest scenic, direct route from New York City to California. This stretch of road is the only part of the great highway that is unpaved.


Modern Noah’s Ark, heralded as the world’s greatest zoological and deep sea exhibition, will be in Cleveland for a three- day visit. The great tents housing the Ark will be erected on the west side show grounds and open to the public from noon till 11 p.m., during the exhibition days. Replete with rare and costly animals from nearly every climate, beautiful tropical birds, and a vast collection of marine species,

Modern Noah’s Ark will come here in all its entirety direct form great expositions and state fairs. The exhibit is en route to the southland and will eventually be located at Miami during the winter months. The Ark features, among other things, the world’s largest bovine-a cow weighing some 3,900 pounds; smallest cow on exhibition of less than 200 pounds, gigantic livestock from the plains of Tibet, Scotch Highland country, South America, China, India and from our own plains of West Texas, from which comes the Texas long horned steers, and the great American buffalo.

Tex Thomas and his Arizona cowboys accompany the livestock exhibit, while Captain Michael Dolan, noted seafarer, whaler and explorer, with his crew of seamen will be aboard the Ark proper and in charge of the deep sea exhibit which consists of every creature that swims or crawls the five great oceans. For the children, many cute baby animals will be on view. These include twin zebu, zebra, ibex, muskox, llama, elephant, roncerelli, Persian pugs, ponies, donkeys, burro, canine, monkeys and many others that will delight the hearts of all.


If plans discussed at a recent meeting of businessmen are carried out, the main streets will have more elaborate Christmas decorations this year than in previous years. Following a meeting of the Chamber of Commerce last Tuesday it was agreed that the streets would be  decorated and made more beautiful than in the years past. “We are doing this,” said the businessmen at the meeting, “to show our appreciation to the people of Cleveland for doing their Christmas shopping with us.”

Plans of the body are to decorate this year on a larger scale than ever before providing the merchants and professional men pledge sufficient money for such decorations. The businessmen in attendance at the meeting expressed their desire to set the closing hours for the business firms at six o’clock p.m., beginning the first of December and continuing until Christmas week, when they would remain open until 9 o’clock. Many complements have been given Cleveland in the past on the Christmas decorations and it is hoped that this year’s decorations will better those in the past. Plans at present are to hang festoons of laurel between the varied colored lights to make an even more impressive sight. It is believed that the individual merchants themselves will decorate their store fronts similar to those in Chattanooga and other surrounding larger cities.


Curley’s Sandwich Shop, on the Lee Highway north of town, which has been closed for the past several weeks while a new building was under construction, will reopen today with the expectation of better serving their friends and patrons. The shop will feature the same line of sandwiches that has been so well liked by the patrons and in addition has installed a soda fountain in order to provide the fountain drinks for those who prefer them.

Early in October, the shop was closed and the familiar old building torn away. It has been replaced by a fine modern brick structure. The new building was designed not only for beauty but for comfort and convenience as well. Entry is made through an attractive archway onto a terrace thence through a door into the building. The building consists of two large rooms, one of which will contain the counter, soda fountain, tables and booths. The walls are plastered while the floor is of attractive red tile. A large fireplace has been provided to add beauty and comfort to the surroundings.

Two rest rooms open off the main room. The new building is about 10 feet longer and five feet wider than the old, but part of this space is taken up by the storage and restrooms, while more is taken up by the entrances. A number of windows were placed in the building and a large casement which takes up a large part of the front wall adds much to the attractiveness of the place. The building is topped off by a roof of dark gray shingles.

Curley’s was opened here more than eleven years ago, the concrete highway to Charleston being only partially completed at the time of the opening. J.E. “Curley” Parks opened the place and has operated it continually since the opening. Arthur Walker went into the firm with Curley about two years ago. Curley was employed by the Tennessee Electric Power Company before he opened the place. Walker had finished at school only a short time before he went into the firm. The operators credit their successful operation to well prepared foods served at nominal prices along with a quiet, orderly and convenient place where one can drive in and have a pleasant snack.  Only the purest and best ingredients are used in the preparation of the fillers and all the food is prepared under the supervision of either Curley or Arthur who have demonstrated through the years that they know how to put up good eats.


Carl Grigsby, veteran postal clerk, who has been a familiar figure at the general delivery window of the local post office for many years, was seen there for the last time Wednesday. Tthat was his last day of work before retirement. His retirement is voluntary and it would have become effective Dec. 31, but he had sufficient accumulated vacation to permit retirement at this time although he will receive his regular pay until the first of the year.

Grigsby would have been automatically retired the 30th of next June, but decided to retire voluntarily, this being permitted after one becomes 65 years of age after 30 years of service. The veteran clerk, who will celebrate his 65th birthday next June, says that he has had only two jobs in his life. He came to Cleveland from Ducktown at the age of 17 and after attending school for a time worked with Haggard’s grocery for eight years. He then went into the postal service. He entered the service in 1901 when he and the late L.C. Wooten established the first rural delivery in the county, this coming only shortly after this service was inaugurated by the post office department. The late J.K.P. Marshall was postmaster at the time.

Wooten carried route one, which went to the south part of the county while Grigsby went up the Charleston Road and back down the Mouse Creek valley with route two. The local office was third class at that time and was located on the site now occupied by the bus terminal. There was no city delivery at that time, the patrons living in the city had to go to the office for their mail. Grigsby entered the office as a clerk, Dec. 1, 1912, while the late Taylor Fouts was acting postmaster. He has been on the general delivery window most of the time since then. A letter of congratulations and an autographed picture were sent him by Postmaster General James A. Farley. Grigsby says he will take it easy for a time. His only plans at present are for a trip to Florida during the holidays. He will go there to visit two brothers and a sister.


P.R. Howard, driver for the Yellow Cab Co., appeared at the county jail Thursday morning at 1 o’clock and told county officers he had been kidnapped, robbed and taken into Georgia by two unidentified men who called a cab from the Clyde Blackburn place on the Dalton Pike.

Deputy Sheriff Frank Barker said Howard told him that Watson received a call at 6:45 Wednesday evening to send a cab to the Blackburn place. Howard said he made the trip and upon arriving at the place found two men standing at the side of the road. He stopped and they got in saying to him, “Let’s go to town.” Howard told the officers he had started toward Cleveland, but had driven only a short distance when one of the men stuck a gun in his ribs and ordered him to stop and get out.  They took between ten and eleven dollars from him, then one got under the wheel while the other ordered him into the back seat of the cab. The driver said they then started south, down the Dalton road. They stopped one place to get gasoline and one of the men informed Howard he might “give them away but he wouldn’t know about it afterward.” They went on to Marietta, Ga., where they stopped and one man stayed in the car watching Howard while the other left but returned a few minutes later with a car. They then turned and came back north followed by the second car, until they were within about five miles of Dalton where the man who had been driving the cab turned it over to Howard and told him to get going. 

Howard said the man joined his companion in the car that had been following, the license number of which he was unable to get. He told Barger the occurrence was reported to the Whitfield County officers and he then came on here to report to them. Blackburn said the men made a phone call from his place, but that he did not know them. No trace of the men had been found Thursday. The hold-up men violated a Federal law when they took Howard across the state line. Sheriff Anderson Barger said Thursday morning the matter had not been turned over to federal authorities, but would be reported to them so they could take over the case.


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