Judge will appoint revenue commissioner for Franklin

Published 9:02 am Friday, November 4, 2011

by Clyde Parker

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.

November 3, 1961


A number of new positions, some elective and some appointive, will be created when the Town of Franklin becomes a city.

One of them will be a commissioner of the revenue. Initially, the commissioner will be appointed by Circuit Court John Hutton and serve until an election is held. Franklin resident Franklin Edwards holds the position for Southampton County.

Should the city offer Edwards the position, and should he accept, a replacement for the county will be appointed by Hutton to serve until an election is called. If a vacancy does occur, L.A. Clements of Courtland, George M. Davis of Boykins, William Simmons of Courtland, Francis Poates of Courtland and John T. Claud of Drewryville have been mentioned as possible contenders.

The city will also elect a treasurer who will collect local and state taxes. Half of his salary will be paid by the state.

The present offices of county sheriff held by Ryland Brooks, Commonwealth Attorney J. Vaughan Beale and Clerk of Courts Burton McLemore will remain the same. They will serve the county and city, and the city will bear part of the cost for their services.

The city could also have its own Board of Public Health and Department of Public Welfare, or it could share expenses with the county and continue with consolidated city-county agencies and boards.

Plans call for the present $3.15 per $100 county rate on property and real estate to be added to the town’s present $1.10 per $100 rate. Thus, city residents will pay $4.25 per $100 — the same total amount they pay as county residents.

Hutton is expected to designate Franklin a city in the next few weeks.


Excitement is building as county high school football teams prepare to meet their rivals.

On Nov. 10, Franklin’s Hayden High School coached by Robert Sandidge will meet rival Southampton Training School coached by P.D. Vann. Friday’s battle, expected to attract a full house at the Hayden Field, should be one of the best in the history of the 13-year rivalry.

Over the last eight years, Hayden won four games, Southampton Training three, and there was one tie.

On Nov. 17, in Franklin, Franklin High School, coached by Perry Pearson, will play Southampton High School, coached by Lewis Holmes Davis.

It was an October day in 1955 when the Broncos and Indians first played each other. It was the beginning of a rivalry that has matured. That first Southampton team, coached by Lewis Holmes Davis, combined boys from around the county — brought together in one high school by consolidation of smaller high schools.

Before that first game was over, five Southampton players scored and the Indians won 31-18 in a game that saw Frankie Parker return the opening kickoff 85 yards for a Franklin touchdown. Quarterback Harvey McLemore scored on a two-yard plunge for the Indians and guided his team to four other tallies.

In the 1956 meeting, Franklin won 19-0 with Richard Edwards, Albert Faison and Frankie Parker scoring. It was Parker’s final year, ending two seasons in which he led Franklin in scoring.

Since the competition began, records show that Southampton won four times and Franklin won twice.

In the 1961 Southampton-Franklin game, watch out for Bronco halfback Lewis Brown, who is on the verge of setting an all-time scoring record. Also, Chester Blythe, Buck Scott and George Jakeman will add to the excitement. Outstanding performances are expected from Southampton quarterback Woody Marks, halfbacks Clyde Marks and Charles Barnes, and fullback Ronnie Griffin.

In the Hayden-Southampton Training game, the Wildcats have a potent one-two threat in fullback James Harris and halfback John Wells, and an accurate passer in Leon Majette. Veterans Fletcher Valentine, Bernard McClenny, Charles Hood, Richard Jordan and Jesse Grant will bulwark the Wildcat forward wall.

For the Eagles, Roosevelt Johnson and Booker T. Wynn, leading ground gainers in the district, will be hard to stop. And, Eagle quarterback Thurman Gray and receiver Ben Mason make a strong combination.

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