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Fifty Years Ago

Monday, Jan. 13, 1964

Funeral home blaze quelled by firemen

A fire of undetermined origin roared through portions of the upper floor of Stevens-Davenport Funeral Home on Sunday night resulting in what officials termed “considerable damage.”

Firemen from four Rome companies answered the alarm at 11:40 p.m. Sunday and were on duty for more than three hours.

Although the exact cause of the blaze was listed as undetermined, officials said the fire apparently started either in or near an electrical switchbox on the second floor of the building.

Firemen said the fire was contained within the area of its origin in the attic, but smoke and water damage was reported to other sections of the structure.

Officials of the funeral home said damage would probably run into “thousands of dollars” but no exact estimate could be immediately established. They pointed out that most of the damage was confined to the upper floor and operations of the funeral home would continue as usual.

The funeral home is housed in a 37-year-old rock and frame building at 7 East Sixth Ave. and operated by Leon Stevens and John L. Davenport.

Firemen from Companies 1, 3, 7 and 12 and the Aero Chief answered the alarm.

Four other fire calls were answered Sunday by Rome firemen.

Company 4 answered a call at 5:45 p.m. Sunday to the Rome Archery Club off the North Broad Street exit. Cause of the blaze was undetermined.

An unlawful alarm was answered at 12:40 p.m. Sunday to North Broad Street by Companies 1, 4 and 12.

Company 4 answered a call to the Pepsi Cola Company on the Calhoun Road at 12:46 p.m. Sunday.

A call was answered at 4:39 a.m. Sunday to the home of Leroy McCluskey, 7 Glover St., where a mattress was reported afire. Companies 1, 2, 3 and 12 answered the alarm.

Wednesday, Jan. 15, 1964

Pilot crashes plane into school building

SHAWNEE, Okla. (AP) – A former mental patient ignored police rifle fire and the pleas of the man who taught him to fly and crashed his private plane into a classroom building a Oklahoma Baptist University on Tuesday.

The pilot, Robert Lawson, 43, Inola, Okla., was killed when the rented single-engine plane ripped a gaping hole in the side of Shawnee Hall and burst into flames.

Lawson had warned by radio he would crash into the administration building, but since he left the campus several years ago, administrative offices had been moved to Thurmond Hall.

Officers evacuated Thurmond Hall, but scores of students were taking final examinations at Shawnee hall. No one else was injured.

Lawson’s son, Mike, 21, is a student at the college. His former wife, Vashti, is a junior high school teacher here.

Police fired high-powered rifles at the plane as it winged low over the Student Union and angled past a flag pole on its fatal run. An autopsy later showed no bullet wounds in Lawson’s body.

Fred Reese, Shawnee airport manager who taught Lawson to fly when Lawson was a student here 24 years ago, said he tried to talk Lawson out of making his suicide flight.

“He felt this entire world was against him,” Reese said.

Thursday, Jan. 16, 1964

Dragons go north; play 10 games

Come the 1964 football season next fall, the Dragons of Pepperell High will move north – sub-region-wise, that is – or had you already heard?

For years, the Lindale gridders have competed in Region 3-A South, but this time they are bracketed in Region 3-A North, along with Pickens County, Gilmer County and Valley Point.

In the southern division are Carrollton, Cartersville, North Cobb and Dallas.

Should the Dragons be fortunate enough to capture the sub-region title, they would still be forced to face one of their old nemeses from the southern portion for the region championship. Thus, the road to the region diadem remains just as ever.

Pepperell will play a 10-game schedule, five at home and five on the road.

The Dragons open with Johnson (Class C) in Lindale, on August 29, and then will meet – in order – Armuchee (Class B), in Lindale on Saturday, September 5; Coosa (Class B) at Barron Stadium on Saturday, September 12; Model (Class B) at Barron Stadium on Saturday, September 19; Valley Point (sub-region) at Ellijay on Friday, October 2; Cartersville (Class A) in Lindale on Saturday, October 10; Calhoun (Class AA) in Calhoun on Friday, October 16; Pickens County (sub-region) is Lindale on Saturday, October 24; and Cass (Class AA) is Cassville on Friday, October 30.

All games are to be played at 8 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 17, 1964

Station wagon presented to Scout leader

The keys to a station wagon to be used as a mobile office were presented to Mrs. Hubert E. Morse, Jr., Girl Scout Field Director, during her visit to Rome on Thursday.

Mrs. Gene Hilburn and Mrs. C.M. Turner, both of rome, presented the keys to Mrs. Morse during a meeting at the Forrest Hotel.

Others taking part in the presentation were Mesdames Erie Martin, Roy E. Duncan, James Barr, Oscar Borochoff, C.M. Prather Jr. and John Proctor.

Mrs. Morse is a graduate of Cornell University Ithaca, New York, with a bachelor of science degree and was leader and Field Director with the Girl Scout Council, of Coastal Carolina, Goldsboro, North Carolina; Heart of Texas Girl Scout Texas Girl Scout Council, Brownwood, Texas; and Salem County Girl Scout Council, New Jersey, prior to joining the Northwest Georgia Girl Scout Council.