As we reach the end of another year and often ponder the previous 12 months, I thought it fitting to note that the Suwannee Democrat would sometimes put a “Year in Review” article in the last newspaper of the year. One such review article I recently came across was from 1929, 90 years ago.

Worldwide, the year was fraught with trouble, inventions and other events. The year saw the likes of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre in Chicago when several members of Bugs Moran’s gang were killed by Al Capone’s gang; the Vatican gained independence from Italy, becoming its own sovereign state under international law; the first Academy Awards were held (the ceremony took all of 15 minutes for the 12 awards presented!); Popeye the Sailor Man debuted; the German zeppelin Graf Zeppelin completed an around-the-world flight; 7-Up was invented, the 1929 Stock Market Crash in October led to the Great Depression; and the first television broadcasts, public phone booths, car radios, gas-powered chainsaws and sunglasses appeared during the year.

Meanwhile in Suwannee County, things were a little less earth-shattering. Today, we’ll revisit those events that the Democrat’s readers thought were noteworthy in that year, some of which I have previously written about and some that I will hopefully write about in the future. As usual with old articles, there may be events or wordings listed that are offensive to people today:

“In January, W. T. Newsome assumed the office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, T. J. Clements was named chairman of the board of county commissioners, and Henry Noegel was fatally shot at Ellaville.

“In February a peanut mill had been assured for Branford and in March Miss Sara Holt White was named president of college government association at Tallahassee — citizens vote private funds to continue schools.

“April — Mr. and Mrs. Saul burned to death in night fire, J. D. Henry elected as president of the Rotary Club and Robert Ivey died at Branford (apparently a belated tribute to Captain Ivey, as most records and his cemetery marker say that he died in November of 1925, EM).

“Cary Hardee was guest of President Hoover in Washington in May and St. Luke’s Guild started work on recreation hall — citizens meet and endorse tobacco market.

“June — Shipping of watermelons began and number of cars was largest on record, J. D. Radford died, Klansmen paraded, and the Suwannee Democrat was purchased by C. P. Helfenstein.

“July — Tobacco warehouse opens.

“In August the County Commissioners refused to act for county agent, W. H. White died, school budget for year set at $74,925, and tobacco sales ended with highest total in history of local warehouse.

“September saw schools open with a large enrollment, cotton gins turn out record number of bales.

“October — Dr. White elected president of Country Club; three cars of hogs sold at first cooperative sale, Mrs. Parshley writes interesting history of Live Oak.

“In November R. L. Westmoreland died, peanut shelling plant began operation at Branford, Captain Hillman instrumental in securing refund of $72,000 for county from state road department, and the Advent Orphanage at Dowling Park received a large bequest.

“December — George E. Allison died, annual Christmas pageant given at the Alimar, turkey, poultry, and hog sales conducted here by state, and G. A. Blue died.”

Hope you have a wonderful New Year and we’ll look at more history next year!

Eric Musgrove can be reached at or 386-362-0564.

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