City attorneys begin work on charter

Published 9:28 am Friday, November 18, 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 18, 1961


The Franklin Town Council has authorized its attorneys to begin drawing up a charter for city status. The Virginia General Assembly must approve the charter before it can become official.

A negotiating committee made up of representatives from the Town Council, County Board of Supervisors and County School Board has been formed to work out details. School debt and disposition of school property are among the concerns that need resolved by this committee.

In the meantime, final checks are being made on the recently completed special census. Preliminary counts show Franklin’s population to be 7,366 — well above the minimum for city status.

After the census is certified and presented to Circuit Court Judge John Hutton, city designation for Franklin can be made.


Some 900 members of the five union locals at Union Bag-Camp Paper Corp. vote today on the company’s latest proposals. The two-year contract, which normally would have expired on July 1, is still in effect, pending a new contract.

“The company has offered a 3½-cents-per-hour general increase for the first year, plus a 3 percent general increase and additional fringe benefits for the second year,” said Resident Manager John E. Ray III.

Presently, local pulp and paper union employees average about $2.36 per hour.

“There is strong sentiment for a one-year contract”, said Ben Kitchen, president of the Paper Workers Local Union.

Union negotiators include one representative from each of the five locals and three from the international organization. The company is represented by Robert B. Allport, industrial relations manager; Ernest G. Evans, Pulp and Paper Division Manager; and T.B. Kingsbury, company attorney.


Union Bag-Camp Paper Corp., which owns 80,000 acres in the Great Dismal Swamp, has established boundaries for hunting in the swamp. At the present time, 19 hunt clubs use the swamp for deer and bear hunting. Under the new system, each hunt club is assigned a specific area in which to hunt.

Company employees who do not belong to a hunt club may apply for a permit, but must either join the hunt of a hunt club or move to another area.

Last year, area hunt clubs bagged 193 deer and 12 bears in the Dismal Swamp. The hunt is not the only thing. The company provides an area for employees and hunters to enjoy an extraordinary exposure to nature.


The much-anticipated county football games have been played.

In the most lopsided win in the seven-year history of the two rivals, Franklin High School last Friday stormed to a 45-15 victory over Southampton High School.

A 180-pound senior halfback, who has rewritten the Bronco record books, showed the way with five touchdowns. His name is Lewis Brown. His performance is a brilliant finale to his high school football career.

A wiry sophomore quarterback by the name of Dwight Blythe and a gritty line that held the Indians to minus 35 yards in the first half dominated the battlefield.

Bronco Defensive back Jerry Allmond made tackles on four Bronco kickoffs and batted down several Southampton aerials. Bronco Guards Ricky Carter and Rudy Edwards, tackles Sammy Eubanks and Tres Bradshaw, linebackers George Jakeman and Tommy Turner and backs Lewis Brown and Buck Scott did work on defense.

In the third period with a score at 33-0, two Woody Marks to Roland Vaughan passes, accounting for 24 yards each, and a draw up the middle by Ronnie Griffin for 22 yards produced a 70-yard scoring drive for the Indians. Other Indian scoring followed but was not enough to overcome the Broncos.

The Southampton County Training School surprised Hayden High School with a score of 31-7 before a 2,000-plus crowd at Hayden Field in Franklin.

“It’s been a most surprising season,” said Eagles Coach P.D. Vann. The Eagles finished the season with six wins and three ties.”

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