Friday, May 31, 2013

The Mi Marker Company - 1951

April 20, 1951 - A New Industry For Marion.
A new industry, not only to Marion, but new in the widest sense, because it is the only one of its kind in the United States.
Through the indefatigable and untiring efforts of our fellow townsman, Emmitt Rodgers, he has begun the manufacture of an article which is indispensable for the use of soldiers, sailors, marines, laundries, housewives, and all other where he marking of clothing and other articles is essential. The product is handled under the trade name of "MI-MARKER," which is protected by U. S. Patent laws, and it is being sold throughout the country to Army posts, and installations, and many other distributors.
Mr. Rodgers has taken over the space in the Jenkins Building formerly occupied by the pool room, which has been thoroughly renovated and painted, and where he now has a force at work. Also, a number of Marion housewives are now engaged in assembling the various parts of the Marker in their home. (Tink Hinklin remembers when the company occupied the office space next to their cleaners on Carlisle Street and also that the MI stood for Military Identification-Markers.)
November 11, 1954
Four years ago, in November 1950, the Mi-Marker Company, located in the Jenkins Building in Marion, developed and perfected a laundry and clothes marking kit for members of the Army and Air Force. From a humble beginning, the firm has grown steadily, until today. 20 persons from the community are steadily employed.
Sales during the past 12 months have been over $200,000. More than 150 Army, Air Force, Navy and Marie bases and installations in the United States are now offering Mi-Marker kits through their Post exchanges. The kits are also handled through Exchanges in Alaska, Panama, south Sea Islands, Japan, Germany and France.
Kits are also made for camps and schools, or wherever there is a risk of confusing identification of clothing in a group.
The product has been developed into a handy, packaged kit enabling the user to make up his own rubber stamp for clearly identifying his clothing with his name or serial number. With the product, laundry and cleaning mix-ups are virtually eliminated, as the stamps and ink employed provide an unmistakable lasting identification.
Contained in each kit is a full set of assorted numbers and letters, from which the user makes up his own rubber stamps. The letters are affixed to a self-adhering convenient handle. A bottle of indelible ink, an ink pad and directions for use, complete the kit.
Prior to the development of the product for use by servicemen, there were some thirty different companies, marketing various types of clothing markers. All of these were inadequate, did not meet military regulations and were frequently too expensive, selling for as high as $2.50.
In December 1950, the Fort Campbell and Camp Breckenridge Post Exchanges each purchased 6500 Mi-Marker kits, retaining them to servicemen at 75 cents each. The demand for the kits was great and before January of 1951, both Exchanges reordered the units.
From the beginning, sales expanded to the present nationwide and extensive foreign distribution coverage through Post Exchanges.
Continually striving to improve their product, the Mi-Marker Company has recently adopted a modern two-tone plastic box for packaging each individual kit. These have replaced the former cardboard boxes that were used.
The ink pads and stamp handles on which the rubber letter are mounted, were formerly shaped from wood. To improve their use in service, these parts are now molded in plastic.
The operation at the Marion Mi-Marker plant begins with the molding of raw rubber into the various sizes of letters and numbers that are used in the various types of kits manufactured.
In the molding process, a special raw rubber manufactured by B. F. Goodrich Co. is molded or cooked on an "Acroplate." Over 2000 pounds of rubber are used each month.
The molded rubber lettered sheets are then perforated or sliced part way through the rubber by hand-operated knives. This permits the desired letters to be removed from the sheet easily by the user.
A given quantity of strips of letters or numbers are then packed, along with the stamp, ink pad and ink, into the plastic boxes. These in turn, are packed in shipping cartons ready for shipment by truck or parcel post to the various Post Exchanges or other distributors.
The company was founded by Emmett Rodgers and Murray Rodgers of Paducah. Present management is under Emmett Rodgers, who has offered a standing invitation to visitors to stop in anything and view the operations of this thriving local industry. (The business later moved to the old Ford Garage on Main Street.)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Memorial Day Services At Mapleview Cemetery, 2013

A beautiful Day May 27, 2013 for the Memorial Day Services at Mapleview to remember and honor those that gave their all for their country.
A nice crowd turned out to show their respect to these men and their families.

This is a picture of the War Memorial that has crosses for all that were KIA through the years.

 Army National Guard Col. Scott A. Campbell gave the Memorial Day Address.  

 It was an exceptional speech and dedication to those that paid the price for our freedom through all the past wars to the present conflicts.  

 One of Crittenden County's few remaining World War II Veterans, Mr. Ronald "Tink" Hicklin, was a familiar face at the program.  Tink is 94 years old, and is still active about town, and also one of Marion's favorite people.

Always a Hello for everyone and always willing to share his memories of years past.   

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

History of a Flower Shop and the Memory of her Son

February 1954 -A Business That Was built on a Gardenia and a Memory – By: Mrs. Hattie Winn

In 1943 I visited my son, Lt. Harold Winn, who was stationed at Camp Wheeler, Georgia. The Gardenias were in full bloom and I especially admired a large bush which grew near the officer's club. Harold picked three of the blooms from the bush and presented to me. I cherished these blooms and brought the back to Marion with me. When I got home, I planted the gardenias. They grew and thrived and I was so proud of them. As I watched them grow I thought of my happy visit to Harold, little did I realize it would be my last visit to see him.

He went overseas in July 1944, where he was killed in action near St. Lo France. I was grief stricken; I felt as if my whole world had tumbled in. I was on the verge of insanity. I felt as if I had nothing left to live for. It wasn't fair to my family. That summer the little gardenia plants died from lack of care, but the memory of them lingered in my heart. 

On day I wrote a letter to the commanding officer at Camp Wheeler, I told him about the Gardenias Harold had give me, how I planted them and they grew, but after the sad news of Harold's death, from lack of care the plants died. I asked him to sent me a couple o f cuttings from the bush as a memorial to Harold. At first, I didn't mail the letter because I though he would say "oh that is just another sentimental mother," and would throw the letter away. About three weeks later, on a sudden impulse I put the letter out for the postman. Before I had time to change my mind, it was gone. Three or four days later I received a letter from the commanding officer saying he was going to send me the entire bush, and it would be shipped by truck from Camp Wheeler.

It came by Army truck and accompanied by two officers, who presented to me the gardenia bush weighting about 15 pounds. It was a beautiful plant and I was so overcome I could hardly realize my wish had been granted. For this was more than I had expected. It was really too large for my sun porch, so I purchased a small greenhouse where it continued to grow and bloom.

In the spring my friends urged me to get some potted plants. I did and in a short time I added three more sections to my little greenhouse. Little did I realize the gardenia bush would open a new way of life for me.
I began to think things over and to realize I was only one mother among thousand of others who had suffered the same great loss. I kept trying to find myself, and I did. I soon found I could help others in their sorrows and that I could bring happiness, beauty and consolation to those who needed it through the beauty of flowers. I didn't feel sorry for myself anymore.

I built a small brick building connecting it to my greenhouse which is now known as the Cottage Flower Shop. I enjoy a nice business. It gives me something to do and think about, and I am happy because I know Harold would want it that way. 

This is the home of George and Hattie Winn.  Her Cottage Flower Shop was built to the left of the house, you can see a potion of the front of it in the left of the picture.  Mrs. Winn died in 1984 at the age of 97 years.  

I'm sure many Crittenden Countians remember the Cottage Flower Shop and in later years it was moved to a different location, and was the Cottage Flower and Gift Shop, run by her daughter, Vonelle Winn Sturgeon.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Crittenden's First Airport

Crittenden County's first airport was made possible by Mr and Mrs. Sid Johnson. This airport was located about four miles south of Marion on Highway 641.

The Johnson’s moved to Marion in 1940. Sid first built an auto and truck repair garage and service station
where he serviced and repaired cars and trucks.

During this time he took flying lessons and became an excellent pilot. When World War II was over he built a small airport and taught G. I.’s to fly through the G.I. bill. The airport was known as the Marion Jaycee Airport.

In February 1947 Mr. Johnson had seven solo students that had became licensed to fly alone. They were: Keith Norman, Donald Clark, Barrett Little, William LaRue, Paul Belt, Leslie Freeman and Louis Myers. Other G. I. trainees who had enrolled were Thomas Hughes, Blake Douglas Fritts, Lonnie Hodge, Guthrie Tharp and Roger Linzy.

The airport continued to operate until 1949. When the government stopped the G.I. bill for flying instructions Mr. Johnson closed the airport. In it’s location Johnson became a Packard Auto Dealer and when the Packard Company, in a couple of years, went broke he then started the John Deere Implement Dealership. The John Deere Dealership was in business 27 years in this same location on Hwy. 641.

The building and part of the hanger are still in sight today. Steve Jones is the present day owner of these buildings.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Do You Have Any Information of these Fallen Heroes of Crittenden County?

Press seeking info on fallen heroes

The Crittenden Press is seeking photos of several men from Crittenden County who have paid the ultimate price in defense of the United States. We are also missing some information, such as birthdays.

Each year, The Press features our Fallen Heroes page just before Memorial Day. While families and the community have been wonderful about supplying us with photos of and information for most of the men, we still lack images of five from World War I, nine from World War II and one from the Korean War.

In an effort to humanize and call attention to the sacrifice of each of these men, we are asking the community to once again dig deep for photos and information on the following soldiers, marines, airmen and sailors:

World War I
  • Pvt. William Curry: Army, died Nov. 26, 1918.
  • Pvt. John E. Samuel: Army; died Sept. 26, 1918, of disease in France.
  • Pvt. Harry W Threlkeld: Army, Born 1893; died Dec. 12, 1918, of disease in Warwickshire, England.
  • Cpl. James C. Turner: Army; died from disease, date unknown.
  • Sgt. Maj. Freda E. Baker: Army; died from  disease, date unknown.
World War II
  • Sgt. Forrest E. Brantley: Army, born 1913, died Jan. 13, 1945, in Belgium.
  • Pfc. John W. Freeman: Born 1918, died 1943 in the United States.
  • Pfc J.D.  Hodge: Born 1915; died 1944 in Italy.
  • Sgt. Herbert A. Hoover: Born Aug. 29, 1904; died Oct. 14, 1944, Germany.
  • Staff Sgt. Denver L. Marvel: born: 1920; died 1943 in Luzon, Philippines.
  • Pfc. Carter Shewcraft: born 1925; died: 1945 in Austria.
  • Pfc. James B. Truitt: Born 1910; Died July 11, 1944, in France.
  • Sgt. Jack L.Woody: Army Air Forces, born 1910; MIA Dec. 14, 1945, in the Pacific Theatre.
  • Pfc. James C Yandell: born 1919, died 1944 in Belgium.
Korean War
  • Sgt. James R. Bissell: Army; born 1928, died: June 2, 1951, as  POW taken from Dec. 6, 1950 fighting near Hagaru, North Korea.
Information and/or photos can be e-mailed to

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Marion Bands and Concerts

Marion had many bands during her existence, articles and pictures show up scattered through the old Crittenden Presses.  They didn't seem to stay together very long, but another would soon show up with different band members.

This picture is one of Marion's early bands.  Once again the members are not identified on the picture.  I always wonder how they learned to play the instruments.  Did they have music teachers, or did they just teach themselves how to play.  This pictures looks like early 1900's.
An article in the Crittenden Press dated, Friday, June 17, 1932 tells of  another band.
The thirty-piece Community Band , the best band Marion ever had will give a public concert on the public square every Saturday night beginning June 18, and continuing through the summer.

These concerts under the able leadership of Ben H. Price, are sponsored by the business and professional men of Marion with the intention of stimulation community spirit and holding crowds in the city on Saturday nights.

The first public appearance of the band was made at Winslow Park, May 28.  Cold weather kept many people away on that night but the few hundred who heard them voiced their praise.

Musicians are:  Ovid Kimsey, J. H. Paris, Henry Holloman, Bob Doss, James Small, Monroe Travis, Mrs. J. B. Wiggins- Cornets; Arnold Elder, Orville Grady, C. Imboden, Mrs. Joe Hogard, - Clarinets; Ted Boston, Trcie Yates, Searcy Henry, M. Y. Nunn, - Saxophones; G. Clark, Chuck Rushing, Ray Holloman, John Myers, Bob Haynes- Mellophones; John Wilborn, A. T. Crider, Harold Hogard - Trombones; J. D. Asher, Vaughn Myers, Albert Henry - Baritones; Houston Clark, Guy R. Lamb - Bass; L. E. Mayes and Kenneth Dillard - Drums.

Merry were those musical days in Marion.