Issues of early years, same as today

A look back at minutes from meetings past


Mount Olive is Born

The train brought life to Mount Olive; Civil War brought death. 1b-5b

A look back at minutes of town board meetings as far back as 1917 clearly show that issues of 100 years ago are some of the same issues facing town authorities today.

Dogs and ditches, drainage problems, parking, railroad issues, infrastructure problems, and people problems were as prevalent in earlier days as in today. Here’s a look back at some of those old minutes:

On May 3, 1917, the town board met. It approved a permit for the National Oil Company to install a station on West Kornegay Street. It was the only item of business.

The mayor at that time was S.J. Roberts and board members were D.H. Knowles, M.C. Barfield, W.J. Flowers, M.F. Waters, J.M. Lewis. O.C. Jones, and B.B. Grantham.

Sam Jones was the town’s police chief and was salaried at $100 a month.

The nation, that year, was bogged down in World War 1.

Center Street between College and Pollock streets was paved in a project that cost $170,000, paid for with bonds due over a 17-year period at $10,000 annually.

The money was borrowed from Citizens Bank.

In March of 1920, the town board approved $25,000 to enlarge the town’s water system.

The mayor then was M.T. Breazeale.

The police chief was paid $125 a month and his assistant $90.

The town board authorized the Bass Company to place six wastepaper deposit cans are various locations in town at no cost to the town.

On August 2, 1920 the police chief resigned.

That year officials with the Atlantic Coast Railroad Company advised town officials they had crews coming to town to make improvements at rail crossings.

In February, 1921, the town board approved $30,000 to enlarge the town’s electric light system.

On May 3, 1921 D.C. Rhodes, the town’s police chief, resigned. A.F. Lane was named to replace him at a salary of $90 a month.

The mayor’s salary that year was $25 a month.

The position of cemetery keeper was created that year.

Board meetings were officially set for the first Tuesday night of each month.

Shaw McCullen was the town’s official public weigher.

M.T. Eldridge was the superintendent of the light and water system and he resigned. The board agreed to put an ad in the News & Observer in an effort to find a replacement.

A sewer line on the east side of Center Street was “in bad order” and the mayor was appointed to investigate and make needed repairs.

The police chief was ordered to secure numbered dog tags and have each dog in town tagged and taxed. The cost was $1 for male dogs and $2 for “bitches.”

W.L. Crosby was hired at $150 a month as superintendent of the town’s light and water system.

August 1, 1921, the town considered advertising the names of delinquent taxpayers. It was approved.

Police Chief A.F. Lane was accused of assaulting a resident in front of the Victoria Picture Show by striking him in the face with his fist.

He was charged and convicted on July 14, 1921. The board fired him and he turned in his badge. His fine was $15.

On Jan. 3, 1922, the town received $1,366.08 in revenue from lights and $1,098.92 from water.

Homer Brock of the Tribune Publishing Company asked the board for some relief on his utility rate to run his linotype machine.

It was the same year the board set up a cotton district that was from the intersection of West Main and Center streets to the intersection of Main and Chestnut streets.

The sale of cotton outside that district resulted in a fine of no more than $10.

In May of 1922, the new Mayor was G.F. Herring.

The board denied a request for a stop sign at the corner of Main and Center Street.

On Nov. 7, 1922, the board approved the sale of fireworks during the Christmas holidays.

All eating establishments were ordered they could sell food on Sunday only from 7 until 9:30 a.m., noon until 2 p.m. and 5 until 7:30 p.m.

On April 2, 1923, the board authorized $9 to be reimbursed to the woman’s club for work and curtains in the fireman’s room.

The tax rate, beginning on May 1 was set at $1 per $100 valuation.

Police Officer Bert Botner was hired at $75 a month and ordered to have a telephone installed in his house.

The town board was asked to fill a ditch near Center Street.

In May, 1924, the town board directed there would be no automobile parking on the west side of Center Street.

The name of Pearl Street was officially changed to Breazeale Avenue on April 30, 1925.

Ditch issues were continuous problems being aired at town board meetings.

The annual license tax on moving-picture houses was $15 in 1929.

And, no reason was given in the board minutes, but on April 7, 1930, the town board made it unlawful to operate a billiard or pool table within the town limits.


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