Looking Back: The Tidewater News starts subscription contest

Published 10:08 am Friday, June 19, 2015

by Clyde Parker

June 19, 1915

The Tidewater News, in an effort to increase its readership, is setting up a new subscription contest. The Plan is this — on each side of the Nottoway River, in Southampton County, the paper will give a horse-drawn buggy or a “Victrola” to the lady or gentleman securing the largest number of subscriptions. If a lady should win, she will probably prefer the Victrola; if a gentleman is the fortunate one, he might want the buggy: so this element of choice is given.

The buggy will be of high-grade quality, made by Knight Buggy Company right here in their production plant on Second Avenue in Franklin. It will be their best “helmet” brand panel-back with arched axles and machined buff leather trimmings.

The Victrola will be a high quality machine with a mahogany or oak cabinet. It will have a nickel-plated goose neck tone arm and an extra-heavy double spring drive motor which can be wound while playing. All metal parts are nickel plated.


Paul D. Camp of the town is breaking his silence in regard to the “fence or no fence” issue. “As you know,” he said, “much has been said by our candidates for the House of Delegates in regard to this matter.”

“Instead of the question being voted on at the State level, the Delegates should vote to allow the question to be settled at the County level,” he said. “Now, so far as which is best for the people, I do not know. I live adjacent to the Town of Franklin. I have to keep up fences to keep other people’s stock off of me at my home. And I have to fence my farm to keep other people’s stock from destroying my crops. Too, I cannot let my stock run at large, as the Town does not allow stock to run at-large in it.”

C.P. Grizzard of Drewryville is also weighing in on the issue. “I fail to see where the existing open-range system benefits anyone,” he said. “The open-range system and bad roads are keeping more home seekers out of Southampton County than anything else.”


Franklin opened wide its gates to the teachers of Southampton County last Friday and Saturday. Over one hundred teachers attended an educational institute. From a standpoint of the helpful discussions that took place during several sessions, held in various locations, as well as the hospitality shown to the attendees by the Town of Franklin, the institute was the best ever held in the County.

County Superintendent of Schools, G.L.H. Johnson, who is ever on the alert for the best interest of our public school system and those who compose the County’s teaching force, left nothing undone to make the meeting a success. Mr. Johnson was ably assisted by Professor John Y. Mason of Boykins High School. Mr. Mason is the Institute’s Secretary. “The people of Franklin are always glad to have school teachers visit this ‘big-little’ town,” Mr. Johnson said

On Friday afternoon, Dr. R.L. Raiford of Sedley and Dr. W.B. Barham of Newsoms spoke on medical inspection in the schools which the physicians of the County propose to inaugurate next fall. “We will give our services free, in the form of suggestions, to teachers and parents in regard to the best physical welfare of the pupils,” Dr. Raiford said.

On Friday evening, starting at 6 o’clock, the women of the Franklin Christian Church served an elegant dinner at the Fourth Avenue Armory. Four long tables, beautiful in snowy napery, cut glass, elegant silver, pretty china and huge vases of cut flowers, with covers laid for one hundred people, were in position along the main floor. It was an impressive sight to behold. A faultless menu was served: baked young turkey, dressing, cranberry jelly in molds, celery, pickles, potato salad, hot biscuits, saltines, light bread, coffee with whipped cream, ice cream and home-made cake.

The dinner was a gift of the Young Men’s Business Association and several progressive, public spirited merchants. Dr. W.E. Snipes and R.I. Beale were strong supporters. J.A. Pretlow of the Albemarle Steam Navigation Co., headquartered in Franklin, was a major contributor.

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