Looking Back: McLenny, Camp take trip to Europe

Published 10:03 am Friday, November 16, 2012

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


Twenty-eight farmers from Virginia toured Europe and Russia, last month. Among them were Franklin-area residents Jesse McClenny and William “Billy” Camp Jr.

McClenny has been a dairy farmer for 50 years. He owns and operates McClenny Dairy south of Franklin.

McClenny started in 1911 with one cow. Three years ago, he sold his milk processing plant and semi-retired. He has 150 Guernsey cows. Milk production is shipped in bulk to Pine Grove Dairy in Norfolk County.

Billy Camp Jr. owns and operates Holliknoll Farm in Isle of Wight County. The farm includes 60 acres for peanuts and 75 head of beef cattle. He also raises trotters and pacer horses.

While in Russia, the group visited several farms. Many of them were very large. One farm is shared by 1,750 families, who annually raise 7,500 cattle, 13,500 pigs, 6,000 sheep and 320,000 chickens, ducks and turkeys.

Corn and wheat are their biggest crops. They also raise sugar beets, flax and various kinds of beans.

While on the farm, the group was treated to a banquet of turkey, beef, duck, chicken and many kinds of vegetables. At each plate, they had drinking glasses — one filled with vodka, one with champagne and one with brandy.

“They kept filling up our glasses,” Camp said. “They were determined to get us drunk.”


John E. Ray III, vice president and general manager of the Bleached Products Division of Union Bag-Camp Paper Corp. in Franklin, recently announced several organizational changes.

The changes were necessitated by Ray’s increased responsibility for corporate sales. In addition, bleached paper and paperboard converting plants in Atlanta; Franklin, Ohio; and Clifton, N.J., will be under his jurisdiction. Operations at the Franklin location will remain a part of Ray’s overall responsibility.

The have been promoted as indicated:

• J. M. Piette moves up from the position of assistant manager of the Pulp and Paper Division to operations manager at the Franklin, Va., mill. Piette will be in charge of pulp production and paper manufacturing, woodlands operations, the controller’s office and the Industrial Relations Division. He will report to Ray.

Prior to being promoted and coming to the Franklin mill, Piette was general operating superintendent at Union Bag-Camp’s unbleached paper mill in Savannah, Ga.

• W. Wyatt Shorter, former Franklin paper mill superintendent, has been promoted to general operating superintendent of the Franklin mill. He will assume overall responsibility for the pulp and paper mills, wood yard and roll finishing.

• John T. Williams, a veteran of 25 years in the paper mill, has been named paper mill superintendent. He was one of the first employees in the paper mill when it began operations in 1937. Williams became a foreman in 1950 and assistant superintendent in 1958.

• Robert A. Moore joined the company as a process engineer in 1959. He later became technical assistant to the paper mill superintendent and has been a machine supervisor since the first of this year. Moore is now assistant superintendent of the paper mill.

• The pulp mill has increased its supervisory staff with the addition of E. R. M. “Mac” Coker as assistant pulp mill superintendent. Prior to this appointment, he was assistant superintendent of the sheet-finishing department. Mac joined the company in 1958 as an industrial engineer.

• R.M. Luck has been promoted to fill the vacancy created by Coker’s move. Luck has been in the mill engineering department since his graduation from the University of Virginia in 1959.


Will Story of Capron will preside this weekend at the annual meeting of the League of Virginia Counties in Richmond. He is president of the organization.

Story, owner of the Capron Variety Store and a funeral director, has been a member of the Southampton County Board of Supervisors for 20 years and vice chairman of the board for five years.

He has been Southampton’s representative to the league for 20 years and has held every office in the organization. This will be his last meeting as an officer, but he will continue to serve on the executive board representing the Fourth Congressional District.

Story has visited every county in Virginia in the past year to talk with county officials about their problems and concerns.