Here’s a glance back at what Baker Countians were reading 75 and 25 years ago this month. The snippets are pulled from our archives:
July, 1939-75 years ago
- Owners of cars and trucks were reminded of the new Florida law requiring driver’s licenses by October 1. Applicants must be 18 or older, in sound health, have driven a car one year or more without an accident, never used a car to commit a crime, be of a sound mind and not a user of narcotics.
- The Baptist Church of Macclenny granted Rev. A. Waters a two-month vacation beginning immediately. Sunday school and regular prayer services will be held as usual.
- Baker County tobacco growers were advised that the warehouses in Live Oak will open on July 20, and they have five days after that to bring their crops in before the annual auctions start.
- The Macclenny home of Mrs. M.L. Vining burned to the ground on July 6; only one rocking chair, one bed spread and one mattress were saved. The home was being rented to her relatives at the time. They were not home.
- Macclenny Cash Store was selling round steak for 28 cents a pound, 32-ounce peanut butter for 21 cents and five pounds of fancy rice for 20 cents.
- The Baker Theater was showing the movie Jesse James with Tyrone Power and Renegade Trail starring Bill Boyd.
- The Citizens Bank of Macclenny published its “Report of Condition” as of June 30. Total assets were $173,304.57, including nearly $71,000 out in loans and $64,445 in cash.
- The newspaper noted that J.H. Townsend, “popular letter carrier from the Glen St. Mary post office, rounded out 32 years of continuous service” when he completed his route on July 15. He began the job on that date in 1907.
July, 1989-25 years ago
- Longtime Sanderson grocer Eva Mann called it quits after 60 years. Several friend were on hand for her final day, and the 76-year-old Mrs. Mann recalled that she took only two vacations in her life — 18 and 30 years earlier.
- Anchor Savings Bank in Macclenny advertised annual effective interest rates of 9.25% on 12-month certificates of deposit; $9.10 on six-month and 8.87 on three-month.
- Tate Powell Jr., longtime publisher and editor of The Baker County Press, died July 8 at Northeast Florida State Hospital where he had been ill several years with Alzheimer’s Disease. He was 83.
- The Baker County Commission went on the record opposing both a proposed Navy practice landing strip and a privately-owned landfill on the Duval-Baker county line, a project that eventually evolved into the Trailridge Landfill off US 301.
- Baker County school officials invited a local minister to serve on a textbook selection committee after local minister Rev. Gary King objected to a middle school science book he believed promoted evolution as the sole theory of human existence.
- Several Army National Guard units were bivouacked at three locations in Baker County in mid-July for what was described as a “simulated desert action” practicing communication skills. The Guardsmen were camped in Glen between Westside Elementary and the new Baker High, and at Pine Top and Olustee fire towers.
-The county commission eyed adjoining property near the courthouse for expansion, including the office of Dr. Frank Kilgo that it eventually acquired (now the public defender’s office). The board also looked at a tract east of the courthouse considered too low and at the present Chevrolet dealership property, considered too pricey.
- Hundreds of spectators turned out on a humid Saturday night at the county fairgrounds to check out what was then the latest craze in motorsports — mud boggin’.
- Several Baker County Civil War re-enacters were among hundreds of extras who suited up for battle scenes in the movie “Glory” filmed in South Carolina and Georgia.