Looking Back: Residents petition to keep students in Franklin schools

Published 9:32 am Friday, October 19, 2012

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

by Clyde Parker


An appeal to the Southampton County School Board signed by hundreds of county taxpayers requesting that their children be allowed to continue attending Franklin schools is being circulated.

While Franklin was still a town and its schools were a part of the county system, most students residing in the areas immediately surrounding the town attended Franklin schools.

Those areas include Hunterdale, Black Creek-Burdette and Forks of the River.

Even though Franklin is now a city and will have its own school system starting with the 1963-1964 school year, the students in question must attend county schools unless Southampton County authorizes otherwise.

Franklin officials have previously stated they would welcome students who wish to continue attending city schools.


With school under way in all area school districts, PTA groups are becoming active for another year.

The Virginia PTA bulletin recently published membership numbers for Virginia school districts. For our area the numbers are 513 in Franklin, 619 in Southampton County and 660 in Isle of Wight County.


Sol W. Rawls Jr., vice president of S.W. Rawls Inc. of Franklin, has been reappointed to serve on the education committee of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

He has been a member for five years.

The committee analyzes manpower needs facing the nation. Special consideration is given to concerns of educators and businessmen with the view toward developing a quality workforce.


Norfolk and Western Railroad has purchased the Atlantic and Danville Railroad and filed papers with the Virginia Corporation Commission to rename it Norfolk, Franklin and Danville Railway Co. It will be a subsidiary of N&W.

Stuart T. Saunders, president of N&W in Roanoke, said in an interview with The Tidewater News, “the new name we propose for the Atlantic and Danville more accurately describes the railroad route and the area it will serve. The new name recognizes the importance of Franklin as a major manufacturing center. Union Bag-Camp Paper Corp. is the largest customer of that railroad.”

A spur from the main line east of Franklin serves the paper mill and facilitates connections to the Seaboard Air Line Railroad, which also serves Union Bag-Camp. The Seaboard also serves St. Regis Paper and Hercules Powder Cos.

(NOTE: The N&W is now Norfolk Southern. Its headquarters is in Norfolk. The Norfolk, Franklin and Danville Railway Co. is now an integral part of Norfolk Southern. The Seaboard Air Line Railroad is now known as CSX.)


The Board of Directors of the Franklin Chamber of Commerce met Friday to discuss launching an industrial planning corporation for Franklin.

Tom Clark, president of WYSR Radio, presided as chairman of the Chamber’s steering committee for industrial development. The group determined that the name of the corporation will be the Franklin Industrial Corp. and that Clark will be its president.

The corporation will issue 50,000 shares of stock with a par value of $10 per share. The goal is to have an operating capital of $500,000.

(NOTE: Tom Clark was grandfather to Michael Clark, current president of the Franklin-Southampton Area Chamber of Commerce. Michael is the third generation of Clarks to serve on the Chamber Board. The late Pete Clark, who was Michael’s father, was actively involved with the Chamber and served as its president in 2004.)