Archived Story

Look back to good, bad economic times

Published 1:21pm Thursday, January 3, 2013

As a New Year begins everyone is hoping that the economy will grow and job prospects will be greatly improved. As the following news items show – and as every adult knows – this is by no means certain.

Jan. 2, 1886 – Many business changes in Hartselle are currently under way. Some are moving, some are quitting business. Matters are very quiet in business circles now, which is very dull.

Jan. 2, 1925 – Pension warrants for Confederate veterans and their dependents in Morgan County have arrived. The list consists of 202 checks amounting to $8,494. Having this much additional money in circulation will be of considerable benefit in stimulating the present sluggish agricultural economy.

Jan. 2, 1907 – A small army of men has been hired to lay a tunnel cable across the Tennessee River. The cable is for the new independent long distance telephone system.

Jan. 3, 1927 – With the Tennessee River falling, resumption of ferry service at the Bee Line Ferry crossing at Albany-Decatur is expected by the end of the week. The Blithe Highway Bridge at the Twin Cities, when completed, will be of tremendous benefit to the economy of the Tennessee Valley.

Jan. 4, 1917 – The Bank of Hartselle, at their annual meeting, reported an increase of deposits over last year of 40 percent, and net earnings of nearly 20 percent, 12 percent being paid in dividends, the remainder paid into the surplus.

Jan. 4, 1934 – Several of the more affluent Hartselle residents will soon receive their first income tax return forms under the new state income tax. They will have to file by March 15 on the income for the tax year 1933. Most Hartsellians did not make enough to be subject to the income tax.

Jan. 5, 1915 – Due to decreased demand, all of the 2,500 men employed in the Louisville and Nashville Railroad shops in New Decatur are currently working only four days each week.

Jan. 6, 1904 – Because of bad economic times this area has not been able to support a daily paper. Recently, however, the Evening Sentinel has begun to be published in Decatur. The politics of the paper will be Democratic.

Jan. 6, 1925 – John R. Witt, one of the most successful farmers of Morgan County, won the first prize of $150 cash for the best suggestion for southern farmers for 1925, offered by Cotton News. Mr. Witt urged his fellow farmers to get out of debt and operate on a cash basis. He warned them to stay away from towns and country stores.

Jan. 7, 1921 – A permit from the government to drill for oil has been applied for. The discovery of oil in large quantities would provide a tremendous boost to this area’s sluggish economy.

Jan. 7, 1954 – Mrs. W. A. Mitchell, age 77, died. She was the mother of Hubert R. and Billy Don Mitchell of Mitchell Industries. Her husband, W. A. Mitchell, a master craftsman in the trade of harness-making, had the leading harness shop in Hartselle for many years.

Jan. 8, 1955 – Final action aimed at improving residential areas and industrial areas of the community is expected to be taken here soon when the Hartselle city council votes on a zoning ordinance. No councilman has indicated that he opposes the proposal for planned growth.

Jan. 8, 1963 – The Citizens Bank of Hartselle is preparing for its grand opening in its new building on Sparkman Street. The prosperous bank will also be celebrating its 25th anniversary of being in business.

Jan. 8, 1961 – The new Marshall Space Flight Center at Redstone in Huntsville is having a tremendous impact on the economy of this entire region. It now provides more than 5,400 jobs for North Alabama workers at the facility. Hundreds of others are contract personnel engaged in construction projects.

Jan. 8, 1963 – New Hartselle State Sen. Bob Gilchrist was quoted by the press as predicting that “the next four years will be turbulent and difficult for the legislature. All we can hope for is that out of the turbulence will come a better economy and better Alabama.”


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