SOME OF THE HAPPENINGS IN MORGAN COUNTY DURING 1964 THAT
MADE HEADLINES IN THE MORGAN COUNTY NEWS:
During the first week of 1964, a heavy blanket of snow covered Morgan County, following a white Christmas-an eleven inch snow fell on December 22, 1963 - five inches more fell on New Year's eve and delayed the opening of schools after the
New Year's Day Holiday.
Contracts were awarded early in January for the construction of the Cumberland Utility District water system designed to serve
several communities in Roane County, Coalfield and Petros in Morgan County.
Howard H. Baker, Representative in Congress from the Congressional District for six terms, died unexpectedly at his home in
Knoxville on Jan. 7. He was 62 and a native of Scott County.
The State Highway Department advertised in the Feb. 6th issue for construction bids to widen two Highway 27 bridges.
One of the bridges is in Sunbright, the other was over Crooked Fork Creek South of Wartburg.
14 year old Joyce Sweat and Lons Hamby, 32, both of Lancing, Rt. 2, became the first traffic fatalities in Morgan County
on Feb 16. They were killed in a two car collison south of Wartburg.
'District One Development Organization' was the name of an organization formed in Coalfield in February. One purpose
of the organization was to 'better equip the Coalfield area for possible industrial development.'
The Coalfield Yellow Jackets, coached by W.E. Underwood, Jr., won first place in the District 8th tournament held
the last of February in Oakdale.
Mrs. Irene Baker, the Republican nominee, was elected in the March 10 special election to succeed her late husband
as 2nd district representative in Congress.
Announcement was made early in April of the approval of an REA loan to improve and up-grade the Highland
Telephone Cooperative's plant and lines. The elimination of the eight party lines on the system was one of
the improvements planned.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony marking the extension of Highway 62 westward from Wartburg to Montery was held
at Clarkrange. County Judge Buxton cut the ribbon. State Highesy Commissioner David M. Pack headed a delegation of
state officials present at the ceremony. The actual extension of the route awaited, however, the purchase of rights-
of-way by Morgan County.
Two Morgan County men, Jerry Collins, 48, and Andy Webb, 52, both of Lancing Rt. 2, were killed in a traffic
accident on Highway 27 five miles north of Wartburg on April 27.
Fire of unknown origin destroyed the Plateau Lumber Co., planing mill, and mill shed and all of its contents on
the morning of April 29th. Nat Stringfield was the owner.
High school graduation exercises were in full swing this week. 195 students graduated from the county's four high schools.
The three-teacher Chestnut Ridge school building was destroyed by fire May 25. The loss was estimated at $100,000.
A few days later the school board voted to rebuild. The same week, a Rugby landmark, the Martin Home, was destroyed
by fire during a storm.
The budget committee had completed its hearings and had recommended a 5 cent tax increase.
The Sunbright Bank moved into its new building the first week in the month.
Miss Joan Heidel, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Edwin J. Heidel of Wartburg, was crowned Dairy Princess for Morgan
The County Court adopted a $2,033,000 budget and set a tax rate of $5.50 at the July term. Most of the headline in July
concerned the August 6th election. 23 candidates were qualified to run in the general election but the interest was highest in the primaries which saw Frank Qualls pitted against John Duncan for congress in the Republican Primary and Govenor Frank Clement against Ross Bass for the U.S. Senate seat left vacant at the death of Estes Kefauver.
In the general election August 6th, Byrge and Wilson were re-elected for Sheriff and Superintendent of Schools respectively.
4,292 votes in the general election, Frank Qualls lost by a narrow margin to Duncan in the Republican primary - the vote in
the district was 23,846 for Duncan and 22,846 for Qualls. In the county, Qualls received 1831 to 275 for Duncan. The biggest
surprise in the election was the decisive defeat of Governor Frank Clement in his bid to become U.S. Senator by
Represenative Ross Bass. However, Clement carried Morgan County 1,046 to 667.
During the early part of the month reports of alleged election law violations in several counties of the second congressional district were published. Attorney General McCartt all those who had voted in both primaries August 6th to appear in General Sessions Court. He said there were 30 or 40 instances of double voting in Morgan County and about 500 in Scott County.
A resolution opposing the closing of the Lancing railway station and requesting a hearing in Wartburg on the matter was
adopted at the October term of County Court.
On Tuesday, November 3, Morgan County voted for the Democratic nominee for president for the first time since 1936.
Johnson, who carried all but 5 of the nation's 50 states, received a majority of 118 votes in the county. In other elections,
the Republican nominees carried in the county, but it was mighty close between Yarbrough and Duncan. Duncan
carried only 18 votes.
Three foremen at the Brushy Mountain Prison at Petros were held as hostages for 18 hours by 134 prisoners in No. 7
mine on November 25. The prisoners listed several grievances.
Probably the biggest news of the year to Morgan Countians was the announcement in the December 23 issue of the
approval of an ARA loan for a particle board factory for the Sunbright area. A $1,693,250 loan was approved for the project
which will cost an estimated $2,605,000.
Source: January 7th, 1965 issue or the Morgan County News.
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