70 Years Ago
February 11, 1954
Purchase of a bookmobile, costing $6,870.11 for the LaSalle parish library, has been approved by the parish police jury, it was announced here this week by Miss Lola Cooper, parish librarian. The machine is expected to be delivered about June 1, Miss Cooper said. Funds for the purchase of the mobile library have been accumulating since the parish voted a library tax and the Louisiana state library set up a demonstration library unit in LaSalle, October 1952. The bookmobile now in use in LaSalle Parish has been on loan from the state library in connection with the LaSalle Parish demonstration and the time is fast approaching when it must be returned to the state to be used in another parish. Under the present schedule of operation, the parish bookmobile travels some 600 to 700 miles per month to bring books to Tullos and Urania each Monday.
The Strand played “The Royal African Rifles,” “Fighting Vigilantes,” “Fangs of the Artic,” “Thunder Over the Plains,” “The Steel Lady” and “The Golden Idol.”
Featured in the February 11, 1954 edition is the following Community Coffee advertisement, There He Goes His Nose Knows.
60 Years Ago
February 13, 1964
The Jena chapter of the Future Farmers of America has a total membership of 81 for the 1963-64 school session. Chapter advisor Jeddie Ray Hodges reports this is an average enrollment compared to the past few years. The chapter is very active on high campuses in the area and the state. The chapter numbers among its members many of the school’s outstanding students. Several awards and honors have been received during the year including second place in the state parliamentary law contests One member, Tony Tarpley, currently holds a state-wide office.
The movies featured at the Strand this week was “The Incredible Journey,” “The Wondrous World of the Brothers Grimm” and “The Haunted Place.”
At Kendrick & Son four 18 oz. containers of Kraft grape jelly was $1, Pillsbury biscuits were 5 cents a can and 2 dozen eggs were 89 cents.
Featured in the February 13, 1964 edition is the following Jena Auto Company advertisement for the Mercury Comet, boasting the car had broken over 100 world records.
50 Years Ago
February 7, 1974
Two LaSalle Parish men were charged with bootlegging following raids on two local business establishments last Friday night, according to Chief Deputy Doyle Windham of the LaSalle Parish Sheriff’s Department. They were both charged with “Keeping a Blind Tiger” (the legal term for bootlegging) following the raids which the entire force of the LaSalle Parish Sheriff’s Department took part. Both have been released on $2,000 bond each according to the Deputy Windham. Taken from the first premises was 187 cans of 16-oz. beer, 30 bottles of 12-oz. beer, 30 one-half pints of gin, 13 pints of whiskey and 12 pints of wine. Taken from the second premises were 33 16 oz. beer, 1 quart of beer and two pints of wine. Sheriff Alonzo M. Taylor issued a statement following the raids and arrests, stating that if anyone in the parish has any information concerning illegal bootlegging, they should contact his office so immediate action can be taken.
Members of the Jena High School Key Club started their landscaping project last week by planting pecan trees in front of the school and the Home Ec. Cottage. The Key Club is having a Bicycle Marathon this Saturday and one-half of the money raised in their project goes to planting trees, grass, and plants on campus.
40 Years Ago
February 8, 1984
A Tullos couple remain in the LaSalle Parish jail this week in lieu of bond after being charged on several marijuana related charges following a raid on their trailer home in Tullos last week. They were charged with possession of marijuana, cultivation of marijuana, possession of control dangerous substance and convicted felon-possession of firearms. The raid was conducted by officers from the LaSalle Parish Sheriff’s Department Parole officer and Tullos Police Department. Seized in the raids were 19 marijuana plants, 24 containers with seed and/ or plats, 2 florescent lights, 3 roach clips, 2 boxes with possible marijuana pipes, a container with an assortment of tablets and capsules, a Remington Model 1100 16-gauge shotgun, and a Stevenson 410-gauge shotgun.
Investigations into Last Wednesday night’s fire which destroyed a portion of the LaSalle High School Gym is continuing this week. Donald F. Horaist Jr., special agent, INS (Investigations Bureau, Inc.) and Garland Wampler, representative, Claim and Loss, Royal Insurance, were at the school last Friday to the survey the damage. The Superintendent of School Edgar Bass said Monday the cause of the fire has not yet been determined, nor has there been an estimate of the damage to the building. The Fire was quickly extinguished last week by the Fire Department, who noticed smoke coming from the gym.
February 10, 1999
At the early age of fourteen, Billy Richardson, like most boys, was looking for a part-time job after school to make some spending money. He approached R. S. McNeely who owned and operated a service station located on U.S. 84 in Jena. Mr. McNeely eagerly agreed to hire him, and Billy began pumping gas. Over the weekend, after more than a century of pumping gas and serving motorists from four different locations in Jena, Billy hung up the gas pump nozzle for the last time, deciding to retire at 68. “Never in my wildest dreams did I think some 54 years later I would be retiring from the same business where I started while a student,” Billy said. “I have witnessed a lot of changes in this business. When I first started working, there were not many cars on the road.” Billy recalled the first gas pumps at McNeely’s. The old pumps had a glass globe at the top and the attendant pumped the desired amount of gas up into the globe, and then let it flow into the vehicle. On Monday, Kirby Jones and Mike Allison purchased the business and started their career in the service station business.
Daisy Breithaupt of the Old River Community called the Times-Signal office on Friday to tell the staff that she had just spotted a Purple Martin at her home. This is the first sighting received by the newspaper this year. The warm, springlike weather, which has been the rule for the past couple weeks, is likely to be spoiled this weekend as more cold weather is forecast. However, some old-time observers say we are clear of any harsh winter weather.
A historical moment occurred in Jena on Monday of this week when Jimmie F. Humphries and Ron Finch signed official documents changing the ownership of Humphries Motors, Inc., to Finch Motors. Humphries Motors, Inc., has served this area for 84 years being operated by four generations of the Humphries family.
10 Years Ago
February 12, 2014
Madge Bailey was administered the oath of office last week as the newest member of the Olla Town Council. Bailey was appointed by the Olla Town Council recently to fill out the unexpired term of Samantha Wood Francis, who resigned at the January meeting this year.
Work is progressing nicely on the new splash pad being built at the Jena Town Park, council members were told their regular February meeting last week by Town Engineer Keith Capdepon. The splash pad is replacing the 60-yearold swimming pool, which was demolished last year to make room for the new recreation facility. The splash pad is being funded in part by the $1-million Blue Cross/Blue Shield “Live Lively LaSalle!” grant, with the town expending about $137,500 on the project.