Franklin hires commissioner, treasurer

Published 9:51 am Friday, January 13, 2012

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.

Jan. 11, 1962


Franklin Edwards and Samuel Bradshaw appeared before Circuit Court Judge John K. Hutton in Courtland Tuesday afternoon in ceremonies which made them officially the City of Franklin’s Commissioner of Revenue and Treasurer, respectively.

Judge Hutton announced their appointments in response to a petition from the Franklin City Council recommending them. The terms for both men will end on December 31, 1965. Thereafter, both offices will be elective, subject to the vote of City residents.

Edwards, who has held the Revenue job in Southampton County since 1920, resigned in order to accept the Franklin job. He is a veteran of World War I.

Bradshaw, a veteran of World War II, has been associated with W. H. Scott Construction Company as secretary and office manager since 1955. He was assistant cashier of Vaughan and Company Bankers from 1943 to 1955.


L.A. “Dick” Clements of Courtland has been named Commissioner of the Revenue for Southampton County. He succeeds Franklin Edwards who resigned in order to accept the Commissioner of the Revenue position for the City of Franklin.

Clements, a member of the County Board of Supervisors for the past 10 years, was officially appointed on Tuesday afternoon by Circuit Court Judge John K. Hutton. A native of Mecklenberg County, Clements came to Courtland in 1930 as Manager of Pender Grocery Co. In 1932, he became service station manager for Standard Oil Co. in Courtland and continues to operate an Esso station.


It’s been more than three weeks now since Franklin became a city and, as far as we can tell, relations between the County and the City are friendly and cooperative. We hope this spirit will carry over as negotiations continue regarding school property, non-resident student attendance at City schools, and various other matters. In regard to school property issues, while officials hammer out ownership details, for a period of six months the two jurisdictions will have combined school systems.

Some feared there might be bitterness when the town became a city. If there is, we have not seen it. Like “Lum and Abner” or “peaches and cream,” Franklin and Southampton go together. They’ve been together for a long time; and now, though they are separate jurisdictions, we hope a partnership will develop and continue for a long time to come.

Over the years, even up to recent times, there have been many areas of cooperation between the two jurisdictions. For example, the new road from Boykins and Newsoms, through the Hercules area, to Franklin is a good example of Franklin-Southampton cooperation. This project is good for the economy of both jurisdictions. It provides better linkage of the communities in the southwestern part of the County to Franklin. Residents will save time and money as they commute and shop. And, of course, Franklin residents will have better access to a significant part of Southampton County. Even though we are separate, in many ways we are still one economic and sociological region.

Another example of cooperation is the fact that instead of the courts having to intercede in negotiations concerning school property and debt, Southampton County and Franklin developed a negotiating committee that will handle those concerns.


An all-out and concerted effort to attract Ruritan National Headquarters to Franklin is underway. Backed strongly by the Franklin Chamber of Commerce, President Robert C. Ray, in pursuit of the matter, heads a committee that includes City Manager Harold Atkinson, bankers Clifford Cutchins and John Abbitt, and Jim James of Union Bag-Camp Paper Corp.

A residential property owned by Hunter Scott, outside Franklin, in Hunterdale, at 708 Hunterdale Road, is being offered.

Ruritan National’s headquarters is currently located in Wakefield but the organization has decided to relocate to a property that will allow the Ruritans to have a more functional base of operations. Several other Virginia communities, including Holland and Williamsburg, are interested in having the headquarters. Wakefield wants to retain the headquarters.

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