Looking back: Bridge for Smith’s Ferry

Published 9:54 am Friday, August 12, 2016

by Clyde Parker

August 12, 1916

Cecil C. Vaughan Sr., Franklin District representative on the Southampton County Board of Supervisors, did his town and district a splendid service when he secured authority from the Board to have a steel bridge erected across the Nottoway River at Smith’s Ferry.

“There is no road, except, maybe, the Courtland-Franklin Road, leading into Franklin from the west, that is used more than the Smith’s Ferry Road,” Vaughan said, yesterday, during an interview.

He continued, “Some of the best trade our town enjoys comes to us over Smith’s Ferry out of the lower section of Southampton County and in the Como community of Hertford County, North Carolina.”

Mr. Vaughan has had the erection of this bridge under contemplation for some time now, and we congratulate him for securing this valuable asset to Franklin’s accessibility.

“Ferries are too slow and uncertain for modern automobiles and today’s improved highways,” he said.

The bridge will connect the two greatly improved sections (north of the ferry and south of the ferry) of Smith’s Ferry Road.

Improvement of that road, now, one of the best in the County, was accomplished by actions of Mr. Vaughan; and it will come to be a major inter-state highway.

C.C. Vaughan Sr. is the “Mr. Roads Man.” He has been involved and instrumental, on a broad regional basis, in developing better passageways and inter-town connectivity to accommodate the rapidly increasing use of modern-day, and fast, automobiles. Horse and buggy travel is still with us but it is beginning to fade.

The bridge will cost approximately $12,000; half of this amount comes from the State fund for bridge and road building; $3,000 from the County; and the remaining $3,000 from the Town of Franklin.

“The Town Council, as an inducement, based on economics,” stated a Council representative, “just approved this at their meeting on Monday night.”

Cigarette Law Enforcement

Mayor Paul D. Camp, on Tuesday, announced that he will rigidly enforce the law on the statute books against furnishing cigarettes to minors and that all violators will be fined to the fullest extent of the law. An instance of violation of this law has come to the Mayor’s attention and he wishes to warn all dealers in cigarettes that the law is to be enforced.

The law, as published in the Code of Virginia, Section 3828b is as follows:

“That if any person should sell, barter, give or furnish, or cause to be sold, bartered, given, or furnished to any minor under sixteen years of age cigarettes or tobacco in any form, said person shall be fined not less than ten nor more than one hundred dollars.”

“Likewise, distribution of pistols, dirks, or bowie-knives by a person to a minor under sixteen years of age is unlawful and shall be dealt with in accordance with the aforementioned statute.”

Mayor Camp also wishes to warn all dealers in cigarettes that it is unlawful to sell cigarettes or any other merchandise, not defined by law as a necessity, on the SABBATH DAY, and that all violations of this law will be likewise dealt with and the penalties prescribed in such cases imposed.

Farmers Bank, New Enterprise

Meeting last Friday afternoon in the offices of E.L. and E.C. Beale, a number of prominent business men of the town and adjoining communities organized The Farmers Bank, as Franklin’s third banking institution. The new bank will join in competition with Merchants and Farmers Bank and Vaughan and Company Bankers, all three situated in Franklin’s highly productive Main Street business district.

The new bank will be open for business about the middle to the latter part of this month and, for the present, will use the offices of E.L. and E.C. Beale, located on Second Avenue just in the rear of the post office. That location is admirably fitted up for use as a bank. The Messrs. Beale recently bought the banking furniture used by Merchants and Farmers Bank in their former location between the Main Street stores of Joe Bynum Gay Clothiers and Knight Drug Company.

The new financial venture will be a State bank. An organizational committee, whose mission it is is to secure a charter, is functioning; the minimum capital stock of $25,000 is in place; and, the bank will soon be in business.

The officers and directors of the new banking house are men of standing, influences, and means in their communities. The list of stockholders shows considerable financial strength interested and invested in the new bank.

The officers as elected are: President, Attorney E.L. Beale of Franklin; Vice President, County Clerk of Court H.B. McLemore of Courtland; Vice President, W.L. Beale, a prominent and successful real estate man and farmer, of Handsom; and Secretary, H.C. Thornton, in the furniture business, of Franklin.

Directors of the bank are the aforementioned E.L. Beale and H.B. McLemore; and Franklin residents Harry Steinhardt, J.H. Holland Jr., J.T. Gray, and John A. Williams.

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