County asked to consider building new courthouse

Oct. 16-19, 1962 Petitions were being signed Tuesday asking the Commissioners Court to investigate the possibility of building a new courthouse with a 50 percent grant from the federal government. Directors of the Chamber of Commerce voted to go ahead with the petitions after meeting Monday night with a group of Brady and McCulloch County civic leaders. The county is eligible for the project’and the federal grant’under the Public Works Acceleration Act, designed to boost employment in designated areas. C-C Manager George Purcell outlined the project at Monday night’s meeting. The County would have to vote a bond issue to match the funds from the government. “Sooner or later we’re going to have to do something with that courthouse,” he said. The Commissioners can’t take the lead, but they can do what the people want done.” The petitions will only “feel the pulse of the people” and give the commissioners an idea of how much support the project has in the county. County Commissioner Oscar Betsil, attending the meeting with Commissioners Paul Johnson and Bill Jordan, asked that as many signatures as possible be secured on the petitions: “the more you get, the better we will like it.” The petitions will be available at Rudder Drug, City Drug, at Milton Gainer’s Store in Rochelle, at George Reed’s Store in Lohn and at the Chamber of Commerce office. County Judge-elect K. O. Ellington agreed to circulate the petition in Melvin and others were getting the petition signed Tuesday at the Brady Post Office. Chamber President James Isbell asked that the petitions be completed and returned by next Saturday. Purcell said it would be up to the commissioners “to hire someone to get an estimate of the cost” and then decide whether the County can afford the project. “I don’t think anyone is going to be for it, if we can’t pay for it, if it will be a burden on the people. The Chamber is trying to cram something down anyone’s throat, but the Chamber ought to be interested in anything for the betterment of the county. But we’re never going to build a new courthouse without going in debt for it, whether we do it now or 10 years from now.” Referring to criticism of accepting federal funds, Leslie (Buster) Quain said the project “will be a chance to get part of our tax money back’ “If we don’t get it, some other county will get it and we’ll have to pay for it anyway.” City Supt. James Feazelle said the question of federal grants was discussed at length last week at the Texas Municipal League’s convention in Fort Worth. “Everybody was against federal grants and federal controls, but all agreed that we can’t run the clock back. Whether we get it or not, we’re going to have to pay for it. “Only a few counties are eligible now, but many of them are trying to get eligible and the money is not going to last long. They advised us that if we have a project, we ought to get started on it quickly.” Hardin Jones added: “The question now is whether we want the commissioners to look into it or drop it. I favor the commissioners looking into it.” Regarding the County’s financial ability, Purcell admitted that the County had difficulties with its general fund, “but the County’s overall indebtedness is in good shape, much better than some of our neighbors.” Commissioner Paul Johnson mentioned the possibility of remodeling the old courthouse rather than building a new one. Purcell said he wasn’t sure that the federal grant would be available for a remodeling job, “but 20 percent of the cost must be in labor,” as part of the program’s plan to create employment. Others attending Monday’s meeting were Mayor John Rudder, Norman Archer, Frank Roddie, Jr., Hymie Myers, Enoch Shuffield, Glenn Kittle, Herbie Harkrider, Ed Williams, Andy Allen, Bill Robinett, Ross Huffman, Cecil Coggin, Kenneth Harvison, J. D. Barley, Otto Frederick, Billy Jack Neal, Aubrey Davee, Dr. Richard Winters, Johnny Rudder, and Bob Wilson. *** United Fund approaching $10,000 mark McCulloch County’s United Fund Drive is nearing the $10,000 mark’but that is a long way from the goal of $15,911. As of last Saturday the total was $9,989.26 in contributions and pledges. Every rural community already has reported and where the drive has been completed “all are well over the quota.” Rochelle, Lohn and Melvin are still working. *** Fife-Doole area soaked McCulloch County’s Colorado River country was swamped in Friday night’s heavy thunder showers. From two-and-a-half to four inches fell in the Fife, Waldrip and Doole vicinity. Lohn and Pear Valley also received an average of two-and-a-half inches. The rain started in Brady around 6:30 p.m. and fell off and on for several hours. The official total was .89 inch. Rochelle and Mercury also got in on the rain, the total topping more than an in inch in that area. *** Committees for PTA school carnival listed Committee chairmen from North Ward and South Ward schools met in the home of Mrs. Buford Sheffield Wednesday to discuss plans for the joint PTA Carnival to be held Saturday, Oct. 27 at the South Ward School. A white elephant auction will be held with “Red” Simpson as auctioneer. Chairman of the white elephant sale are Mrs. Bob Carmichael of South Ward and Mrs. R. C. Doyal of North Ward. Plans are being made to serve tamales, hot dogs, sandwiches, homemade cakes, pies and candy, coffee and cold drinks. The schools have divided the concessions and games chairmanships as follows: South Ward: Mrs. Edmond Ellison’first grade’cartoons, hot dogs. Mrs. Jon Ed Weaver’second grade’Go Fishing, coffee and sandwiches. Mrs. Bob Henry and Mrs. W. H. James’third grade’Spook House and homemade candy. Mrs. Ed Williams and Mrs. Wesley Isenhower’fourth grade’tamales and Fortune Telling. Mrs. E. D. Wall and Mrs. Bill Dodds’fifth grade’dart game, cup cakes and pies. North Ward: Mrs. Billy Adams’first grade’hot dogs and cold drinks. Mrs. Jessie McAnally’second grade’bean bag. Mrs. R. C. Doyal’third grade’ring toss. Mrs. Gordan Valliant’fourth grade’grab bag. Mrs. Vernon Hensley’fifth grade’door prize. The cake walk will be sponsored by both schools. Chairmen are: Mrs. Jack Kyzar of South Ward and Mrs. Jessie McAnally of North Ward. Mrs. James Walton will be in charge of decorations. Publicity chairmen are Mrs. Jim Allen of South Ward and Mrs. Cecil Nelin of North Ward.

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