Generic Years Ago

Years Ago Column.

1919

MAY 12 – A Young Men’s Business League is being formed by a number of young men of Victoria. The purpose of the organization is to cooperate with any movement which makes for a bigger Victoria and a better community in which to live. J.M. Haller, one of the live wire citizens of Yoakum, former mayor for that city, is moving to Victoria.

MAY 17 – Victoria’s immense “fleet” of jitneys has been forced to move their anchorage from the block on Constitution to the Park side of Main Street. It has long since been forbidden by an ordinance of the city for any service car to park in the business limits of the city, but the ordinance has not been strictly enforced until complaints were made that caused the service car drivers to be “shooed” off their usual haunts.

1944

MAY 15 – The Distinguished Flying Cross has been awarded to Technical Sergeant Robert A. Allen, 901 N. Washington Street, according to an announcement made by Col. Elliot Vandevanter, bomber station commander. The award was made for “extraordinary achievement...courage, coolness and skill” while participating in more than a score of heavy bombardment operations over Germany and Nazi-held territory. Sgt. Allen has been decorated five times.

MAY 16 – Sixty-five mothers in 41 states will receive an extra Mother’s Day letter this week, thanks to Lt. Ned N. Sweitzer, orientation officer at Foster Field. According to the story, as related by an Aviation Cadet, Lt. Sweitzer faced his class of cadets Sunday afternoon, and after calling roll, asked, “How many of you men have written a letter to your mother today?” One hand was raised. “Had classes to attend...flew this morning...etc., etc.” were some of the earnest excuses voiced by the fledgling pilots. With that, Lt. Sweitzer passed between the rows of seats and handed each man stationery and an envelope. At the close of the session, each man handed his sealed missive to the lieutenant. Their faces were serious and some eyes were moist, and so were Lt. Sweitzer’s.

1969

MAY 13 – Charlene Mendel and John Higgins, both of Placedo, have been named Valedictorian and Salutatorian, respectively, of the 1969 graduating class of Bloomington High School. A pioneer Victoria automobile dealer, E.L. (Ed) Atzenhoffer, was honored Saturday at the 52nd annual Texas Automobile Dealers Association Convention in Austin. Atzenhoffer received the 1969 Quality Dealer Award in the category for dealers in cities of 50,000 and under population. The award is given to the new car dealer who has shown distinguished service in community and industry affairs. The Victoria dealer has been associated with the local Chevrolet dealership since 1926.

MAY 14 – Mrs. Ben T. Jordan, who was a moving force in Victoria educational, cultural and civic affairs for more than half a century, died Tuesday in a local hospital after an extended illness. She was 80 years old. Her husband, Ben T. Jordan, local businessman and civic leader, preceded her in death last December 26. Mr. Jordan served as mayor of Victoria for 14 years. James Rossett, an all-state and captain of both the football and baseball teams during his senior year, was named valedictorian of St. Joseph High School. Gary Halepeska was named salutatorian.

1994

MAY 15 – The importance of discipline, responsibility and plain hard work was the theme of Dr. F. Benton Burdine’s address to Victoria College’s graduating class Saturday morning at Victoria College Auditorium. Burdine, who is leaving the college where he has taught economics and business law since 1964, told the graduates, “You are leaving to pursue other ventures, and so am I.” Since 1990 Burdine has served as chair of the college’s division of social and behavioral sciences. Asking the graduates to do more than is expected of them in their future academic or professional endeavors, Burdine said, “I urge you to become so good at what you do that you become indispensable to your employers.”

MAY 18 – Residents could have a new attraction to visit in Riverside Park someday if the Victoria City Council’s reaction to a proposal Tuesday is any indication. The council gave its initial nod of approval to restoring the historic Hiller House at the intersection of Independence Drive and Vine Street near the Little League baseball fields. It is on what is referred to by some as the Athey area and is owned by the city. Parks Director Paul Locher said it’s been a dream of his for more than a decade to restore the house and make it into a visitors and education center. He said he’s hoping to incorporate it into the recently completed extension of the nature trail. Beverly Arnold of Keep Victoria Beautiful said before the meeting she would like to work with the city to see the site developed over three phases into a community garden and as a wildflower information and education center.

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