Early Settlers of
Their Descendants...Their Stories...Their Achievements
Lifting the Mists of History on Their Way of Life
By: Ethelene Dyer Jones
More from ‘The
This article is
a continuation of the rich store of information I found in the old copy
of “The Pioneer” newspaper published by and for the senior class of May
proceed with notable items from that premiere issue, let me digress to
laud all of the more than 190 who attended the notable 2005 DyerSouther Association Reunion held
The service was
dedicated to long-time family historian, the late Watson Benjamin Dyer
(1901-2005) whose five books of published family history helped many to
find their family roots. Several items of his memorabilia were
presented to the
noteworthy item was on display: a double-yoke for oxen which William
Jesse Souther Jr. used on his team as he moved from Old Fort, N.C., to
Choestoe prior to 1848. A gift from Jesse’s grandson, John Paul Souther
picture of Lt. Col. John Paul Souther, a picture of the ten medals he
earned as an outstanding U.S. Army Air Force officer in World War II,
and a plaque honoring him were donated to the Museum. Those who
participated in the
receiving the “eldest person present” award was the inimitable Mrs.
Dora Hunter Allison Spiva, teacher
extraordinary, whose mother was Martha Souther Hunter. At age 100 Mrs. Spiva still encourages by her presence and
wisdom. She was the faculty sponsor for that long-ago “Pioneer”
“The Pioneer” business manager
was Sarah Kelley, assisted by Mary Belle McGlamery.
Advertisements evidently paid the cost of publishing the paper, with
multiple pictures. It was a professional-looking newspaper, printed for
the Pioneer Staff by Fannin County Times Press of Morganton and
transportation in 1936 at a premium toward the end of the great
depression, the co-business managers went as far away as Murphy, N.C.,
to sell ads. Probably their sponsor, Mrs. Allison, took them in her
automobile to Murphy. They could have walked around the town of
in Murphy that sold ads to the girls were Dr. Thompson who wrote: “If
you have a toothache, see me.” The Mauney
Drug Company in the
The Dayton Brothers advertised, “When in Murphy and you need a taxi, see us.” Candler’s Store and Beauty Shop invited customers to drop in for a visit.
The town was not listed in some advertisements. Perhaps readers know whether these were in Murphy, Blairsville or elsewhere:
“Edward’s Hotel and Café, a good place to eat, rooms and cold drinks, satisfaction guaranteed.” West End Service Station had gas, oil and groceries. The Nation Wide Grocery Service “in the post office building appreciates your business,” with B. J. Wilson, Manager.
The other advertisers gave Blairsville as their location. These community-minded businesses at that time willing to help with publication of the high school paper were: Akins Hotel, J. M. Akins, Proprietor; Good Gulf Service Station, Grady Cook, Manager; Texaco Service Station, Robert Butt, Manager; Butt’s Drug Store, “Service with a Smile;” Margie’s Sandwich Shop, “A good place to eat”; T. S. Candler, Attorney-at-Law; Compliments of Allison Brothers, General Merchandise; Roger’s Cash Store, “Appreciates your business;” Blairsville Barber Shop, “two excellent barbers, work reasonable.”
Editor Bennie Lee Helton had a word of thanks to all who made “The Pioneer” possible: “To our class members, faculty, and others in the school who have spoken words of confidence; to Crisp’s Studio who made the pictures and to Citizens’ Engraving Company who gave discounts for engravings; to The Fannin County Times Press for their printing, kindnesses and willingness to help us; and to others who may have pushed our cause, we thank you.”
I’m sure the editor and seniors of the Class of 1936 had not the faintest notion that sixty-nine years into the future some history buff (yours truly) would examine with awe the contents of “The Pioneer” and be amazed at the information they printed for posterity.
Some of the mottoes chosen by seniors for their profile showed the spirit prevalent in 1936 as seniors looked forward to commencement and life: Several chose “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” “Paddle your own canoe,” was another favorite. “Rowing but not drifting,” showed purpose. “Rolling on” indicated the future was full-speed ahead. “A clear conscience is a good pillow,” stated one. And lest the “Rolling on” gathered too much momentum in life, another warned “Rolling stones gather no moss.”
c2005 by Ethelene Dyer Jones; published
Dyer Jones is a retired educator, freelance writer, poet, and historian.
She may be reached at e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org;
phone 478-453-8751; or mail