Looking Back: Peanut growers cooperative reports surplus

Published 10:41 am Friday, January 11, 2013

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

The Tidewater News

Jan. 11, 1963

What do you do with 50,000 tons of surplus peanuts? Well, the answer to that question is not easy. Womack Lee, manager of the Peanut Grower’s Cooperative Marketing Association in Franklin, figures he will sell 10,000 tons for oil. If he is lucky, he will be able to sell 20,000 tons back to the commercial market at a later date. The other 20,000 tons will go for export and government surplus food programs.

The surplus this year is well above previous years. A bumper crop — the largest per acre yield in history — has overflowed the commercial market. Some farmers have reported crop yields as large as 4,000 pounds per acre.

The marketing association has purchased the surplus to keep the price from falling below support. That is its purpose.

Peanut marketing associations in the United States are in Camilla, Ga.; Gorman, Texas; and Franklin. The Franklin association handles a five-state area that includes North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Missouri.


Woodrow “Woody” Livesay, co-owner of Thornton and Livesay Furniture Co., has been elected president of the Franklin Chamber of Commerce for 1963. He succeeds William Camp.

Other officers elected are John Scott, executive vice president; William Camp Jr., vice president, Agricultural Division; Herbert Cobb, vice president, Civic Division; Thomas Clark, vice president, Industrial Division; Horace Pierce, vice president, Retail Division; and John Abbitt, treasurer.



The Southampton County Board of Supervisors last week authorized a payment of $15,000 to the Southampton Memorial Hospital building fund.

Prior to the vote, some supervisors, referencing the on-going city/county school negotiations, suggested holding up on this payment. Other supervisors strongly disagreed, stating that we have a moral obligation to make the payment.

“One issue has nothing to do with the other,” said one supervisor who wants to remain anonymous. He added that “Southampton Memorial Hospital is our hospital.”

We are doing nothing more than honoring our pledge,” said Chairman John Camp.


A Tidewater Virginia Development Council survey of the Franklin area reveals that, for the most part, the region is well suited for industrial development.

The area rates high in regard to a skilled labor force. School systems are excellent. Overall climate is good. Transportation and community facilities are good. However, the area is rated unfavorable for suitable housing.

Nine possible industrial sites have been listed with the council:

• In Isle of Wight County, 53 acres, west across Route 616 from the Franklin Concrete Products Corp. plant next to the Seaboard Airline Railroad.

• In Isle of Wight County, 17 acres on the east side of Routes 616 and on the north side of Route 1603

• In Isle of Wight County, at the southwest corner of Route 616 and Route 1603.

• In Isle of Wight County, 20 acres on the west side of the Norfolk, Franklin and Danville Railway and adjacent to Route 1603.

• In Franklin, 16 acres between St. Regis Paper Co. and the Franklin football field next to Seaboard Airline Railroad and Gardner Street.

• In Franklin, 30 acres in the Pin Point housing area next to the Blackwater River and adjacent to the city sewage treatment plant.

• In Southampton County, just outside the Franklin city limits, 25 acres of wooded property west of the St. Regis Paper Co. plant between the Seaboard Airline Railroad and the new Hercules Road.

• In Southampton County, just south of Franklin, 30 acres on the east side of Route 258 near the VEPCO power transmission lines.

• In Southampton County, south of Franklin on South Quay Road, two tentative sites — one near the city dump and one on a section of the Pretlow Farm.

A detailed catalog of these industrial sites, with Franklin area demographics, has been put together to assist the council in promoting the area to regional and national industrial prospects. It will be disseminated to various Tidewater area realtors and businesses. The sites will be listed with regional and national industrial site registries.

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 cpjeep99@yahoo.com