Way Back When

The front page from 75 years ago

“Rice Bird Squad Will See Oil Bowl Game On New Year’s” another headline proclaims. The school got tickets for 30 members of the team to see Georgia Tech and St. Mary’s of California battle it out in Houston.

“We thought the boys deserved this treat after their tough and victorious season,” the superintendent said.

The state was considering a highway bypass on Hwy. 71 between El Campo and Columbus. “Graveled Wharton Street is now used a great deal by west-bound and south-bound traffic as a cut off to the north and also to the east,” the paper reported.

The Ricebird boosters collected funds to buy Coach E.B. Masur a “new Chevrolet” in honor of the team winning the regional championship.

Alice Freeberg wed John L. Allen. “The bride in a dressmaker suit of blue with accessories of brown, a hat and wearing an orchid corsage, was attended by Ms. Mickey Nave, attired in a brown suit, and accessories of the same hue. Bena Franka was Mr. Allen’s sole attendant.”

Ms. Anglelina Popp opened her home for a buffet supper for Pvt. Milton Schoenefield, who awaited overseas orders.

At the El Campo Food Market, coffee was 19 cents a pound, a five-pound bag of sugar was 45 cents, laundry soap 33 cents, a pound of bacon 49 cents and veal t-bones 45 cents. An avocado was 17 cents, a two-pound bag of walnuts 79 cents and “hog fattener” $3.50.

Readers were invited to make reservations at Club 59, managed by Mr. and Mrs. W.A. Reisner, for the New Year’s celebration.

Gene Autry’s “Gold Mine In The Sky” was playing at the Normana along with Lana Turner in “The Postman Always Rings Twice.” The New Year’s Eve Show was Van Johnson in “No Leave, No Love” at Floyd’s Theatre.

Only a small portion of the Jan. 3, 1947 El Campo News’ front page survives. “Weather slows up oil work” it proclaims and shows a photo of a “Prize Steer Feeder,” an honor won by Ray Allenson of Danevang, then an El Campo High School student and the 1946 Gold Star 4-H boy of Wharton County.

An “aged” truck driver (67 years old from Palacios) was charged with negligent homicide for striking a bicycle rider.

Sleety weather covered a plane’s wings in ice and two were hurt trying to drive on East Jackson.

“El Campo placed two men on the Houston Post’s All Southeast Texas Class A team,” the paper reported. Glenn Lippman and Norman Rod were the honorees – Rod for his defense and Lippman as “El Campo’s slithery backfield sensation.”

Boys overalls were $2.29 a pair. Jackets could be had for $9.95 and a selection of women’s purses for 40 cents at Sam Bishkin’s.

There was dancing every night at the Hi-way Inn in Altair and Red Hill Natatorium in El Campo was hosting the “Rythmyairs” on Jan. 4 in a “heated hall.” Admission was $1.25 for single men, 25 cents for single women or $1.25 per couple.

The county reported having ginned 10,336 bales of cotton by Dec. 13, 1946. That was in comparison to 31,025 the previous year. No explanation is given for the downfall.

“Notorious” with Cary Grant and Ingrid Berman opened at the Normana with Ingrid Bergman’s “Rage in Heaven” playing at Floyds. The show also featuring “news and speaking animals.”

“The Outlaw,” “Howard Hughes’ daring production exactly was filmed ... not a scene cut” was also playing. No stars are listed.

In the next edition: The paper looks back 75 years to 1947, 50 years to 1972 and 25 years to 1997.

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