Negotiators, enumerators appointed

Published 10:17 am Friday, October 7, 2011

EDITOR’S NOTE: Looking Back features past articles from The Tidewater News with commentary by local history buff Clyde Parker. The series commemorates the 50th anniversary of Franklin becoming an independent city.

October 7, 1961

Pursuant to Franklin’s bid to become an independent city and in accordance with state requirements, Franklin Mayor Dr. Darden Jones has appointed a three-man negotiating committee composed of Councilmen J. Floyd Briggs and John C. Parker and Town Manager Harold Atkinson. Briggs will be chairman.

This committee will represent Franklin in its negotiations with the county. One major issue to be resolved is how school debt will be handled.

Upon motion by Supervisor N.S. Boykin of Ivor, the county board named Supervisors Will Story and William V. Rawlings, both of Capron, to the county negotiating committee. Another person, not yet identified, will be named soon.

Earlier, John M. Camp, chairman of the Board of Supervisors, disqualified himself because he is a resident of Franklin. Story, vice chairman of the board, will be acting chairman during negotiations.

In accordance with another state requirement, enumerators (census takers) to certify that Franklin’s population is at least 5,000 have been named. They are for the county T. M. Pulley of Ivor, J.W. Pope Jr. of Boykins, Ben Williams of Courtland and J.T. Story Jr. of Newsoms. For the town they are Roger I. Beale Jr., Clyde H. Eley, Otis M. Blythe and James C. Beale Jr.


L. L. Thorpe of Statesville was recently listed in “Who’s Who in the South and Southwest” for his expertise in agriculture; the listing does not begin to cover his many other accomplishments.

The listing does recognize that he was a member of the Board of Directors of the Virginia Farm Bureau for 26 years. It does not mention that he helped organize the Farm Bureau in the Old Dominion in 1930 and that he served as its first president.

An active farmer most of his life, Thorpe is an innovator. He was among the first to plant hybrid seed corn and experiment in crop fertilization applications and pest control techniques. He believes in balanced farming with equal emphasis on row crops and livestock.

Thorpe represented the Newsoms District on the Southampton County Board of Supervisors from 1952 through 1956.In the 1930s, he was active in bringing Rural Electric Administration and rural electric power lines to Southampton County.

He was a director of the Peanut Growers Corp. from 1935 to 1955 and was its president for nine years. A director of the Meherrin Valley Bank in Boykins, Thorpe is a member of the Newsoms Ruritan Club, a master of the Newsoms Masonic Lodge and a trustee of Barnes Methodist Church.

A veteran of World War II, he is married to the former Emily Collier of Lacrosse. They have two daughters – Lynda Lee, 15, a junior at Southampton High School, and Reba Faye, 11, a seventh-grader at Newsoms. The family resides in a home built in 1772 between Sands and Statesville.



Another step on the extension of the Newsoms-Hercules road straight through from the Hercules Powder Co. to Franklin was taken by Southampton County Board of Supervisors.

The board voted to acquire the right-of-way for the 2.5 miles of new road to be built through the woods to emerge near the St. Regis Paper Co. in Franklin.

When completed, the road will cut the distance in half from Hercules to Franklin, further shortening the distance from the southwestern part of the county to Franklin.

Resident Highway Engineer Gene Wood estimated the total cost of acquiring the right-of-way and fencing open land along the road at between $3,500 and $4,000.The Franklin Chamber of Commerce has pledged to pay $2,500. John Camp offered to contribute $500. Actual construction costs is estimated to be $100,000, which will come from state highway funds.

CLYDE PARKER is the retired human resources manager for the former Franklin Equipment Co. and a member of the Southampton County Historical Society. He can be reached at 757-647-8212 or