Thursday, November 1, 2012

Fulton in 1900

Fulton News Beacon
February 9, 1933

Thirty-Two Years Ago
by A. D. Graham, Editor

In February,  1900, the editor of this paper first came to live and to edit a paper in Fulton.  Many changes have occurred in Fulton, as well as in every other community in this and other counties since that time.

During that time some of the best friends we ever had, or ever expect to have, breathed their last.  Among them was father, mother and a sister.   Thirty-two years in a lifetime is the most of the life of many people.  Much can happen during that many years, much that is good and much is that is bad, owing to the character of the one living.

In that year, Rev. J. A. McDougal , a mighty good old Methodist preacher, was Chancery Clerk.  Mr. E. R. Googe, another good man, was Sheriff of the county.  Dr. J. M. Walker, who spent his life and his means trying to develop the county into a better place to live, was Circuit Clerk, and Dr. M. W. Howard, who graduated in medicine at Cincinnati, was County Treasurer.   They have all passed on, and some of them did not live to fill out their terms of office.

There were but few stores here then, and they sold “on time” until fall when people sold their cotton and would come in to pay their store account.  Those who were slow to come in and settle, they would often go out and collect or send some one.  Often they would trade for cows, sometimes a mule or horse, and sometimes they would take a note for the amount due.

There was not a bank here then.  Merchants would keep their own funds until such time as they had opportunity to send the money to Tupelo, where it was deposited.  All the goods were brought out on wagon and most of the goods for the winter were hauled out in the fall, for the roads would get so bad that a wagon could not bring back much of a load.  The mail was carried on a hack and would sometimes be ten or eleven o’clock in the night getting in.  Many would wait until it came and was put up before they retired for the night.  Now, the goods that are sold here could not be brought out over the roads as they were then, and the mail could not be brought that way.

There was a ferry boat on which to get across the river, and the ferry man was employed by the Board of Supervisors.  He carried across people who lived in the county free of charge, but put charges on all who did not live in the county.  When people crossed the river and were late getting back, often they had trouble getting back across the river.

There were no saloons here at that time, but there were several at Aberdeen, and plenty could be ordered, and it was no violation of the law to have whiskey in one’s possession, or to carry it about wherever they desired.   It was nothing out of the ordinary to see a few drunk men here every week.  Nothing was done about it unless they fought or raised trouble some way.  When saloons were closed in this state those who were at Aberdeen moved to Jackson, Tenn., where they sent out literature inviting their customers to continue to patronize them, and many of them did.  Finally, they were closed out in Tennessee, and we do not know what became of them.

If we could turn Time back for thirty years for a week, no doubt people would appreciate the many convenient things we have now, and would be ready after a few days to change back to the present.  It costs more to live now, but it is worth more in many respects.

NOTE:  The above article appeared in the February 9, 1933 issue of the Fulton News Beacon, the predecessor paper to the Itawamba County Times.   Although the article is titled “Thirty-Two Years Ago” and the year of publication is 1933, the year referenced by Editor Graham is 1900, not 1901.