Looking back: Dameron is coming — Beaton is leaving

Published 10:10 am Saturday, March 28, 2015

by Clyde Parker

March 27, 1965

Broun C. Dameron, former general manager and vice president of the Chevrolet dealership in Charlottesville, will assume the Chevrolet dealership in Franklin on March 29. A native of Kinsale in Westmoreland County he is a graduate of Hampden-Sidney College.

Dameron replaces Starr Beaton who has held the Chevrolet dealership in Franklin for the past 10 years. Beaton took over the dealership known as BBH Motor Company, owned and operated by J. Floyd Briggs.

Starr Beaton, a native of Boykins, is relocating to Kinston, North Carolina, where he will operate a Chevrolet dealership. “Your patronage, here in the Franklin area, has enabled me to keep up with, and in many instances exceed, the national rate of auto sales,” Beaton said.

Beaton is a past president of the Franklin Lions Club, past treasurer and director of the Franklin Chamber of Commerce, and founder of the Franklin Credit Bureau. He is a past director of the Automotive Trade Association of Virginia.

Franklin School Board will accept county students

The City of Franklin School Board took steps Friday night to renew its pledge to educate all Southampton County students now attending City schools.

Currently, 940 Southampton County students are attending Franklin City schools. This is in accordance with an agreement reached between the two school districts, in December of 1961, following Franklin’s separation from the County. However, that agreement will expire after completion of the current school year.

Chairman Jim Henry said, “Repeated attempts to reconcile differences between the County and the City and to effect a more permanent operational agreement between the two School Boards have been unsuccessful.”

Still, even though a renewed agreement by the two Boards has not been reached, it is expected that some Franklin District parents will have their children enrolled in the Franklin system for the 1965-1966 school year. Under present state law, this can be done and paid for by State tuition grants.

Of the 940 Southampton students currently attending Franklin schools, 165 are at Franklin High School, 256 are at Hayden High School, 317 are at Franklin Elementary School, and 202 are at Hayden Elementary School.

Franklin, with those students already in the system, has, or will have, facilities for the County students. The new Negro school, S. P. Morton Elementary School, will be ready by September. A new white Franklin High School is on the drawing board.

Presently, the plan is to use the old Franklin High School building on Clay Street to house Franklin Elementary School students. (Contrary to a recent report stating that the elementary school building, located on West Second Avenue, is in good condition, that structure will be abandoned due to its “dated” appearance and construction. Its future existence is in jeopardy.)

In a recent statement, the School Board reaffirmed its position in regard to County children attending Franklin schools: “County students now attending City schools may continue. New firstgraders may attend City schools. Free bus transportation is being offered. Tuition charges, paid for by State Tuition Grants, will be $250.00 per year for elementary pupils and $275.00 per year for high school students.”

In the meantime, the Southampton County School Board issued a resolution in regard to the issue, ending all speculation in regard to Southampton’s official position: “Southampton County will educate its own.” The resolution was signed by Superintendent Stafford Haga.

Southampton County will soon complete construction of Hunterdale Elementary School. Expansions at Southampton and Riverview high schools will be completed prior to the 1965-1966 school year. “We will be able to accommodate any increase in enrollment. We are preparing for them even though Franklin is also preparing for them,” Haga said.

To determine how many County students would return to City schools in the fall, a test registration took place on March 19, 20 and 22.

During the registration period, 96 percent of Franklin High School county students and 82 percent of county elementary pupils registered to return to Franklin City schools. Two hundred and fifty-four of the 310 students the County School Board thought would attend the new Hunterdale Elementary School indicated their preference to attend Franklin Elementary School.

The results of that registration process upholds a prediction made late last year by J. Paul Councill Jr., Franklin District representative on the Southampton County Board of Supervisors, when he said “the people of the Franklin District want their children to continue in Franklin Schools because all their social and civic affiliations are based in Franklin.”

Councill, although a Southampton County resident and a member of the Board of Supervisors for the County, is supportive of those who wish to continue with the Franklin educational system.

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 magnolia101@charter.net.