It’s said that reporters write the first rough draft of history. That’s why this writer got a great gift when Polly Morris gave me the earliest editions of The Powell Times, a paper started by Polly and her husband, Bob, in their basement on Ewing Road. I’m giving these to Ron Evans, Powell historian, but not before I read them.
For instance, let’s look at the edition of Dec. 21, 1966.
The front page is a Christmas card – folks in a horse-drawn sleigh with a covered bridge in the background and a sign saying, “Welcome to Powell Station.” Up on the hill is a huge church with a high steeple. It looks like First Baptist.
That set the tone.
News: The big story was an announcement by Mr. W.F. Scarbro that the Powell Telephone Company had invested some $80,000 for new equipment and effective Dec. 23, 1966, the code for dialing Knoxville, Halls and Concord would change. It would not be necessary to dial 8 before calling those exchanges.
Brothers Lloyd Sherrill Baker and James Ralph Baker were now serving in the U.S. Army.
Each class at Powell High School had selected four students to represent the class in an upcoming “beauty pageant:”
- Freshmen: Sue Clevenger, Janice Overton, Pam Buist, Vicki Matlock
- Sophomores: Patty Austin, Linda Veals, Anita Franklin, Marcella Chapman
- Juniors: Judy Higdon, Patty Veals, Clara Blanton, Sandy Phillips
- Seniors: Andrea Young, Rosa Graham, Ann Frazier, Priscilla Chapman
Sports: Larry Stooksbury was featured in a story by Jim Cathey, who called Stooksbury “one of the greatest basketball players Powell High School ever had.” Seems Stooksbury was playing for Tennessee Tech in ’66 and had led the freshmen team to a 15-3 record and a win at the Ohio Valley Conference at Western Kentucky.
In Powell High sports, Powell had suffered a 37-36 loss to the Karns High Beavers to fall from first place in the AA Division. Mike Hinton was high scorer with 13; Rex Stooksbury had 8; Brad Beck, 6; John Mahan and A.J. Carpenter, each with 4; and George Stooksbury, 1.
There was news of social visits, church services, a wedding and even an adoption. No wrecks, crime or fires.
Ads: The back page was purchased by J.E. Groner & Co., the self-named “Friendliest Store in Town.”
- Men’s All-Weather Hats – $2.19
- Women’s TV Casual Slippers – 99 cents
- Christmas Cards – $1 per box
- Holiday Garland – 39 cents
- Sturdy Metal Tree Holder – $1
The list goes on …
Every business in Powell bought a Christmas ad:
- Beck’s Super Market, Clinton Hwy.
- Jim Harbin Construction Company
- Powell Florist
- Fountain City Bank (with branches in Halls and Norwood)
- Baker’s Barber Shop
- Dave Emory’s Professional Taxidermy
- Halls/Powell Septic Tank Service, Ben F. Irwin
- Freddie’s Citgo
- Powell Telephone Co. (now Frontier)
- Smith’s Auto Parts on Brickyard Road
- Bledsoe Radio-TV Sales & Service, Beaver Creek Drive
- Evans Cleaners, Powell
- Lakewood Beauty Salon
And the Morrises had poached a few ads from Halls. It would be two years (1968) before Martha and Charles Roberts would start the paper that would become the Halls Shopper, when this writer bought it from them in 1971. Its original name: The Greater Knoxville Shoppers Guide, Inc. Honest.