Looking Back: Four incumbents, one newcomer to run for Franklin Council

Published 10:00 am Friday, March 23, 2012

EDITOR’S NOTE: Looking Back features past articles from The Tidewater News with commentary by local historian Clyde Parker.

March 23, 1962


Four incumbents of the Franklin City Council have announced that they will run for re-election in June.

The fifth member, Councilman John C. Parker, will not be a candidate for re-election.

“I cannot give the position the time it deserves, considering my other business and public service commitments,” Parker said.

He was appointed to the Council in 1959 when J. Vaughan Beale resigned to become Southampton County Commonwealth Attorney.

Incumbents are Dr. Darden W. Jones and G. Carl Steinhardt, members of the Council since 1946; J. Floyd Briggs, a member since 1957; and D.C. Cotton Jr., who was recently appointed to complete the unexpired term of Dr. Burton J. Ray. Ray resigned earlier this month.

Roger W. Drake is running for the fifth seat with the support of the incumbents.

Drake, born and raised in Boykins and a Franklin resident since 1942, said he is running “in support” of the present council.

“I feel they have done an excellent job,” he said.

Drake is president of Franklin Auto Supply, a business he started in 1956. He is also president of the company’s subsidiary, Smithfield Auto Supply.

A little later in the week, a sixth candidate announced his intention to run. Maxie R. Day said he would be a candidate so that “the people will have a choice.”

A native of Birmingham, Ala., Day is co-owner of Whitley Hardware.

In accordance with the City Charter, Council is made up of five members elected at large. The mayor, who is Darden Jones, will be chosen by the newly elected Council members from its own ranks.

(Note: In March 1962, Roger W. Drake had not yet formed Franklin Equipment Co. That came in July 1962.)



Federal and state law enforcement officials led by Southampton County Sheriff Ryland Brooks and Deputy Sheriff Paige Watkinson on Monday arrested three men for manufacturing illegal alcohol.

On Tuesday, officials returned to the site on a Blackwater River island to destroy the alcohol producing equipment. There were 19 mash fermenting boxes, an 800-gallon boiler and various containers and tanks. A still holding 2,000 gallons of mash was emptied. Fifty sticks of dynamite added to the finishing touch.



The storm that hit the North Carolina’s Outer Banks and Virginia Beach on March 7 has made a name for itself.

The Ash Wednesday Storm packed a combination of high tides and strong winds from the east. A system that developed suddenly off the coast of Norfolk, along with an unusually high gravitational pull from the moon and a rare influence from the sun’s gravity, combined to produce this most unusual weather event.

Although the storm did not cause significant damage to the immediate area, it has special concern here since so many local people own cottages and homes in Virginia Beach and the Outer Banks.

In Virginia Beach, the entire boardwalk has been over washed and undermined so greatly that it now looks like a bridge. In areas of the oceanfront other than the boardwalk, many hotels have lost frontage or have been destroyed. Some smaller hotels and cottages literally dropped into the ocean. North of 50th Street, where many people from the area have second homes, damage was extensive.

On the Outer Banks, wind-pushed high tides poured water over sand dunes. Route 158 along the beach was washed out and is impassable.

Alternate 158, set further back from the shore, was passable to about the Carolinian Hotel, which was surrounded by water. Many people from our area have reported that their cottages have been destroyed. Others have reported severe flooding and extensive property damage.

Inland areas were also affected by the storm. Heavy rains occurred in this area. Two feet of snow fell in some parts of the Shenandoah Valley.



Members of Franklin’s newest scouting organization, Cub Scout Pack 127 sponsored by St. Jude’s Catholic Church, received their Bobcat awards Sunday night.

The honorees are Joey Kannan, Mickey Rabil, Johnny Rabil, David Rabil and Bobby (Beaver) Kannan. The boys, all either brothers or first cousins, gathered to fete David Rabil with a party on his birthday.

Keith Bradway is the pack’s institutional director, Jim Piette is chairman and Louis Kannan is unit leader.

CLYDE PARKER is a retired human resources manager for the former Franklin Equipment Co. and a member of the Southampton County Historical Society. His email address is ParkerC@seva-redcross.org.