And Now You Know: Orange on the front page

Published 8:42 am Saturday, October 28, 2017

By Mike Louviere

Seven decades ago, when a person read the front page of the Orange Leader, they could receive a glimpse of everything going on in Orange.

In one edition, the story on the top left of page one was a breakdown of a basketball game. The Orange High School Tigers had defeated the Orangefield Bobcats by a score of 29-12. They had played in new uniforms and were gearing up to play Nederland the following Thursday night. “They will play in the heated gym and the admission will be 10c and 15c, as usual.”

Farther down that column was a report on M.G. Davies. Davies was “one of the South’s best known Masons. He has been seriously ill at his home at 502 Cypress St. and is said to be losing strength each day.”

County Judge R. Lee Davis reported that due to the success of county court in clearing both the criminal and civil courts, he would order the Jury Commission to draw one week of jurors for the April and July terms of the court. “Judge Davis expects to appoint a jury commission today or tomorrow to draw petit jurors for the next two terms. The January term of the county court will close Saturday afternoon.”

The Texas Barge Lines was making twice monthly calls to the Port of Orange. This trip they were loading a cargo of two carloads of wrapping paper and paper bags manufactured by the Orange Pulp and Paper Mill. The cargo would be taken to Galveston where it would be loaded on “coastwise steamer lines.”

Members of the Interstate Commerce Commission, assisted by Texas Highway Patrolmen Bearden and Roberson were checking trucks that operate interstate through Orange on the Old Spanish Trail.

B.W. “Bill” Stringer became the owner of the new Gulf Oil Corporation service station, stock, and fixtures. “Stringer took possession of the station today (January 17, 1940). The station was purchased from Lane H. Harris who had established the station “only a few weeks ago.” Harris was going to be in charge of the Gulf Oil bulk plant in Orange in association with W. E. Wright, local Gulf Oil Corporation Agent.

Stringer had 12 years experience with service stations. He had 10 years of service with Travis Tire and Service Stations. The last two years he had been with the Withers Service Station located at Green Avenue and 15th Street. Stringer was active in civic and commercial activities and was serving as secretary of the Orange Lions Club.

Mrs. W. A. Gunning, Orange County Clerk, had issued a marriage license to Oscar Sandifer and Mrs. Iva Mae Sandifer of Port Arthur.

Orange mayor W.E. Lea and a committee of citizens that included R.B. Goree, and J.B. Hudson and been in Washington D.C. attending the National Jackson Day Dinner. “Mayor Lea presented a corsage of Camellias grown in Orange to Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt. Mrs. Roosevelt chose to wear the Orange grown Camellias over many other floral gifts she received.”

After the dinner Mrs. Roosevelt personally met with Mayor Lea and thanked him for the flowers. She also wrote a personally signed note of thanks to the committee. “The flowers were grown in the yard of Orange Police Chief J.H. Hudson.” Hudson’s hobby was growing Camellias.

The writer of the article stated: “No greater encouragement to the flower growers of Orange has prevailed than that of expressions from the thousands of tourists who pass through the city over the Old Spanish Trail and Highway 87 throughout each year.”

It is interesting to see how reporting and journalism has changed in seven decades. In reading these old papers, in about 10 minutes, on one page, the reader of that day could find local news, social news, sports, and a little bit of national news.

“And now you know”