And Now You Know: Orangefield Progress, Volume 1, Number 4

Published 9:15 am Saturday, February 3, 2018

By Mike Louviere

There was once a second paper published in Orange County in the 1930s, it was Orangefield Progress. A recently discovered edition is Volume 1, Number 4. The publication date is December 22, 1933. The information on page two states it is published monthly in Orangefield. The staff listed is Dorothy Lea McGill, Editor-in-Chief; Jack Jones, Business Manager; Rachel McGill, Bettye Marie Bradley, Hortense Casey, Associate Editors.

It was a remarkable paper; it contains news from the settlements of Oila, Prairie View, Terry, Winfree, and Orangefield.

High school basketball is the sport of the period and there are results from the basketball tournament held in the Orangefield gym. Mauriceville defeated Kountze in the final game 45-27 to win the tournament.

The paper reported the Parent-Teachers Association had recently purchased 50 new books for the English library. There is a listing of the books received (about 30) with the remainder “eagerly anticipated.”

At the December 6 meeting of the P.T.A., it was reported there was a balance of $13.24 in the treasury. It was decided to invite members of the Little Cypress P.T.A. to a social meeting on December 18 and to celebrate Father’s Night. The fourth grade won the prize for having the most members at the December 6 meeting.

In Prairie View school news, the boys in the Manual Training class were using the machinery to work on swings, hat racks, and stands. Girls in Home Economics were completing their gym suits and making plans for their next projects which would be evening dresses and sport dresses.

Winfree School reported Geneva and Ruby Ousley were new students. They enrolled December 11. They were formerly from Missouri.

The Winfree Baby Band played December 18 at First Baptist Church of Orange.

Oila News was social listing those who had visited in Oila over the Thanksgiving holidays.

The Honor Roll for Orangefield schools consisted of Oga Mae Granger, Dorothy Agnes Scott, and Dorothy Mae Dunn, first grade; James Garrison, Margaret Ann Toronjo, and Juanita Waldrep, third grade; Juanita Lowe, fourth grade; Lourene Fretwell, seventh grade; Minnie Kondo, eighth grade; Hettye Marie Bradley, ninth grade; Ione Cox, tenth grade; Ottamee Wroten, eleventh grade. (at that time there were only 11 grades in school)

Several teachers had attended the Orange County Teachers Association meeting held at Anderson School in Orange. The Lutcher Stark Band, conducted by W.E.S. Dickerson opened the program with “a popular selection” then preformed several more selections before the speaker, M.D. Dewberry, superintendent of schools at Vidor took over the program. His subject was home visitation; he also gave a short humorous talk. The menu for the meeting consisted of tuna-fish salad, pretzels, cake, and coffee.

The sportsmanship column gave some explanations of some of the rules of football. It stated “coaching from the sidelines” was prohibited in the rules because it was an unfair practice. You should also not criticize the officials because “they are doing the best they can to call the games fairly.” Opposing players should not talk to each other in an abusing or insulting manner, ‘it is not prohibited in the rules…but it is not good sportsmanship, it ought not be necessary.’

The commercial geography class had made a field trip to the Sabine Packing Company. A report was made by Hattye Mae Bradley, a member of the class. “On December 6 we went on an inspection trip to the Sabine Packing Company because we wanted to learn the fundamental principles (of) domestic animals which are raised for the purpose of supplying man food, principally beef and pork.” Her report goes on to explain in detail the process by which the animals were step by step processed into the meat products of the packing company.

There were only two ads; one was from Orangefield Poultry Farms promoting their Famous Red Webb chickens. The ad stated “the eggs will produce show birds at prices you can afford to pay. Wonderful layers of large smooth eggs. If you need new blood or starting in Reds, we can supply you with eggs that will produce stock that will keep you at the top.” Cal Peveto was the manager, the owner was W.S. McGill.

The other ad was for a complete line of school supplies and the purest and best drugs. The store was McGill’s Drug Store, W.S. McGill, manager.

This small paper has the appearance of being published as a local project, amateur compared to the papers of today. It is a mix of “down home” articles about life in a few of the small towns of Orange County in a simpler time, not one mention of national news, or even state news. Today Terry, Oila, and Prairie View are just memories of an older generation and names on signposts.

“And now you know”