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REMEMBER WHEN: Thanksgiving 100 years ago in Andalusia

If one can imagine Andalusia 100 years ago, here is an interesting picture for those with historical nostalgia.

     The Andalusia Star – November 23, 1920 – “STORES TO CLOSE THANKSGIVING DAYThanksgiving services will be held at the Baptist Church Thursday morning at seven o’clock. Rev. D. P. Slaughter will preach the sermon. The public is cordially invited to attend the services.”

     “Lovers of sport will satisfy their particular desires on that day. Many will spend the day hunting. Others will see some of the big football games of the south while the largest number will probably take the day for a day of rest.”

     “The ladies of the Presbyterian Church will serve Thanksgiving dinner including turkey and cranberry sauce. Your patronage will be appreciated.”

     “At the McArtan building on Thanksgiving, the ladies in connection with serving a delicious turkey dinner will have a sale of fancy work. Here is an opportunity to buy a handmade Christmas gift.”

     “SHREVE DEPARTMENT STORE WILL CLOSE FOR THANKSIVING – Our patrons and friends will please note that the store will be closed during the entire Thanksgiving Day. No goods will be sold or deliveries made on that day. We ask our customers therefore to send in their orders for merchandise on the day previous.”

     November 30, 1920 – “The Andalusia Chamber of Commerce is preparing to establish a regulation landing field equipped for the landing of several planes. The center of the field of the new race track which is only one mile from the center of town will be used.”

     “Work on the First National Bank building is progressing nicely. The concrete work for the first floor is almost done.”

     “ROTARY CLUB IS ORGANIZED HERE – Twenty-two business men of the city met in the office of the Andalusia Real Estate Company in the Milligan Building Saturday night and organized a local Rotary Club. George Rogers, Secretary of the Dothan Rotary Club, was present and had charge of the details of the organization. The following officers were elected: Allen Crenshaw, President; D. P. Slaughter, Vice-President: J. E. Wright, Treasurer; T. J. Hayes, Secretary. The first meeting was held Tuesday at noon at a local café. The regular meeting will be held at Swift’s Cafeteria (on River Falls Street).”

     December 7, 1920 – “The Rotary Club held its regular weekly meeting Tuesday at noon. The attendance was good, only four being absent, and they were unavoidable hindered from being present. An interesting program combining fun and business was carried out. The club voted to help the poor of the city at Christmas time. A committee was appointed to investigate conditions and report to the chairman of the committee. T. A. Broughton and C. M. Reilly were the other members appointed. Talks were made by Rotarians John D. Riley, J. G. Scherf, and Allen Crenshaw. Several visitors enjoyed the club’s hospitality.”

     “CHRISTMAS BAZAARThe Ladies Aid of the Episcopal Guild will hold a Christmas Bazaar at the Covington County Court House on December 10.”

     “THERE MUST BE NO EMPTY STOCKINGS in Covington County this Christmas. The Star will be glad to receive letters from those who know of children whose stockings will be empty on Christmas morning unless they are filled by gifts sent from those who are able to lend a helping hand. So, if you know of anyone in Andalusia or the county whose parents are unable to fill the stockings or if you know of any family in distress, please notify this newspaper and we will see that this information is given to the proper committee in Andalusia. Send their names to us so that we may see that they are cared for from the “empty stocking fund.”

     December 3, 1920 – “CITY SCHOOL REPORT FROM SUPT. L. E. Brown – “The problem of securing board for our teachers is a very serious one. Perhaps more serious than even members of the board realize. I do not like the idea of having teachers live to themselves in a teacherage, but under conditions a they exist in Andalusia, I believe that it is the only solution of the  problem. Therefore, I recommend that a teachers’ home convenient to the school be provided. Teachers do not like to feel that they are public charges nor do they like to impose on the kindness of the people.”

     “Andalusia needs a new high school building, separate and apart from the grades. We have been able to take care of the overflow this year by the erection of a temporary building. Even with these six additional classrooms, we now have one class reciting in the hallway where there is no heat. The auditorium is being used as a part time study. We have enrolled to date 190 pupils in the high school department. It is a recognized fact that the best high school work cannot be done when the high school students are housed with the grades. They need a building planned and equipped especially for high school purposes. A high school of approximately 200 students demands some recognition. I recommend that steps be taken at once toward the erection of a high school building in order that it may be ready for the next session.”

     “We have no playground equipment. About the only way to deal successfully with the ordinary work of the classroom is to provide the kinds of change and relief which comes from physical exercise. It has been said that right recreation is intensive education, democratic living, training in citizenship. It contributes to health and happiness. I feel that a few hundred dollars spent for playground equipment would pay large dividends in the physical and moral development of our children.”

     “HOT LUNCHES FOR CHILDREN – About forty percent of our school children live at a distance and have to bring lunch to school. Although the school is inadequate for the preparing and serving school lunches, I believe that sufficient equipment for serving one hundred children at a time could be installed in the hallway of the basement. One hot dish – nutritious soup, hot chocolate, or something of that kind could be served each day to supplement the lunch brought from home. It is estimated that a ten-cent dish would pay all expenses.”

     “OUR CENTENNIAL YEAR – Next year Covington County will celebrate the one hundredth anniversary of her organization as a county. The event should be one of historical interest to all native Covington Countians. The celebration should be made a feature of fair week and the Centennial Day should be homecoming day for every native son and daughter of the great county named in honor of General Leonard Covington. The schools, the clubs, the newspapers, the various civic organizations in the towns of this county should enter unitedly and whole heartedly into the plan for a proper celebration of our one hundredth anniversary.”

     “There should be more attention given to gathering data to the end that which the history of this county shall be written. The important events should not be overlooked and the men and women who have wrought in her development in a large way should be given credit for their endeavors.”

     And so it was 100 years ago in 1920 as we Remember When. Yes, we have a Bicentennial year in 2021, the two hundredth anniversary of the organization of Covington County. As my late friend Berta McArtan Cook used to say, “Things change, honey, but not really!”

Sue Bass Wilson, AHS Class of 1965, is a local real estate broker and long-time member of the Covington Historical Society. She can be reached at suebwilson47@gmail.com.