Johnston County Look Back – April 2019

What Happened 25 – 50 – 100 Years Ago This Month

April 1994 – 25 Years Ago

The National Weather Service set up a new Doppler radar tower at N.C. State University’s Central Crops Research Station just west of Clayton.

The Johnston County Board of Commissioners placed a bounty on beavers. Trappers could expect a reward of $15 per tail.

The State Division of Environmental Health warned Princeton that the town’s water system had too high a level of trihalomethanes, carcinogens caused by the reaction of chlorine with organic material.

Deputy Edward Little, Jr. was assaulted while arresting a man for domestic violence. No one was seriously injured.

Princeton High School students Tara Lee, Christy Greene, Lizzie Toler, Corey McLamb, and Lynn Toole made the Principal’s List.

The Town Board of Princeton approved a proposal by businessman Neil Epps to circulate a petition supporting toll-free calls from Princeton to Goldsboro.

An unknown person tossed a wrench from an I-95 overpass near Selma. The wrench struck the windshield of a big rig driven by Jule Anna Thompson of Falconer, New York. The damage to Thompson’s truck was estimated at $1,000, but she was unharmed.

A fire burned a 40-foot hole in the roof of the unfinished new Cleveland Elementary School at Cleveland and Cornwallis roads. The damage was calculated to be around $10,000.

April 1969 – 50 Years Ago

The Johnston County unit of the American Cancer Society launched a fund drive with the goal of collecting $10,000.

In April 1969, members of the Johnston County Cancer Society launch a Cancer Crusade fundraiser to collect $10,000.

Representative W.R. Britt of Johnston County introduced a bill in the General Assembly that would appropriate $40,000 for the purchase of 55 acres of the Bentonville battlefield.

A car struck a guy wire to a utility pole, breaking the pole and wires, on Cleveland Road, four miles west of Smithfield. The crash caused a five-hour blackout.

The Comprehensive School Improvement Project of the State Department of Public Instruction praised Clayton and Selma Schools “for their exemplary programs which are characteristic of innovations and changes taking place in many of our rural schools today.”

Principal B.E. Strifert announced that North Johnston High School would select a team of auto mechanics students to participate in the 21st Plymouth Trouble Shooting Contest.

The Johnston County Branch of the NAACP presented proposals to the Board of Education calling for the hiring of black school employees in proportion with their share of the population and greater participation by black members of the community in school affairs.

The Pine Level Town Board of Commissioners authorized the Selma Housing Authority to apply for low-rent housing units with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The Carolina Power and Light company temporarily interrupted service to parts of Johnston County in order to balance the load on two 23,000-volt feeders.

April 1919 – 100 Years Ago

Unknown robbers stole a number of redeemed War Savings Stamps from the Selma post office.

Corporal Carlton Stephenson of Clayton was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for covering the retreat of his company while wounded. He was serving with Company B, 120th Infantry Regiment, Thirtieth Division.

The Johnston County Druggists’ Association held its fourth meeting in Smithfield’s Commercial Club room. The Association’s president, Clarence Harper of Selma, presided.

An unknown arsonist set fire to pine trees belonging to George Massey of the Princeton-Boon Hill area. The blaze cost him over $1,000 in damage before burning Alea Massey’s tobacco crop and the local schoolhouse.

The stockholders of the County Fair elected a new set of officers with J.W. Stephenson as President, W.R. Long as Vice-President, William D. Avera as Treasurer and Secretary, and A.M. Johnson as Assistant Secretary.

The Selma veterans of Company C, 119th Infantry Regiment, Thirtieth Division returned home. They were greeted by the whole town at the train station.

The Johnston County Red Cross met in Smithfield. Rev. and Mrs. C.P. Jerome represented Kenly.

The New Hope school closed. Students who made the honor rolls for the third and fourth months included Rachel Hayes, Addie Jernigan, and Ila Allen.