Lula was a thriving town of 448 according to the census of 1930. Front Street contained a number of businesses from grocery stores to gas stations. and the railroad was always on the move. The year 1930 was troubled though. Millions of Americans were attempting to survive in this the first year of the Great Depression. Prohibition enforcement was being strengthened as agents chased moonshiners. Crime was becoming a problem as the economy worsened. There were good times as well though. The comic character Betty Boop first made her appearance. Dances, sports and music were popular. The country was living through many ups and downs. Then there was Lula. Always unique Lula. Lula would also survive its own ups and downs during 1930 just like everyone else.
The year began at the end of January with Lula-Rich school holding a “Who’s Who” contest. Florence Wilsford was honored with being Miss Lula-Rich and Inez Wilsford was voted most beautiful. Elizabeth Townsend and Irl Howell were named most intellectual. Clovis Moore and Miss Clyde Bass were best athletes. Martha Carnathan was the wittiest and Thomas Hopkins was the best all round boy. Earl Rowell took most handsome and biggest sheik was Milton Hobbs.
On March 22nd, Florence Brady was confirmed by the United States Senate as postmaster in Lula. For years she had been a community leader and was the daughter of Harrison and Ida Brady. Her father had actually served in the Confederate navy during the Civil War.
May brought heavy rains to the state and county. Over four inches of rain flooded bridges and roads around Lula. Although this brought hardship, rain would be much needed soon as drought took hold of the delta. By June 26th, papers were talking of a water famine threatening Lula. Mayor H.W. Carpenter promoted the building of a new well and bluesmen sang about the dry spell. Crops were in trouble and everyone looked to the sky for help. Eventually the town ordered a new well to be built in July.
Although residents were worried about dry conditions, most townspeople turned their attention to crime during the summer. On June 17th L.P. Thomas was arrested by Deputy Marshall Hudson on a charge of stealing a watch and other items from local railroad workers. As the Marshall went to obtain keys to the jail he left the criminal with Mayor Carpenter. Suddenly Thomas overpowered Carpenter, took his gun, and escaped. Officers trailed him to Marks where he was arrested about a week later. Mayor Carpenter and Marshall J.C. Butler began their journey back to Lula, but Thomas would not make it. Both men said that Thomas attempted to grab a gun when they killed him. In August, bandits robbed the Williams Mercantile store and Pritchard’s Service Station at Lula. Although sheriffs from the county began a chase the robbers escaped with about $500. Then Ira Allen robbed the Rendezvous Club on Moon Lake in September.
Sports brought everyone back to a better place though as Lula Rich defeated Dubbs High in an Armistice Day football match. Here is the story as it was written.
Lula-Rich grid team won over the Dubbs High School team at Lula-Rich on Armistice Day by a score of 20 to 13. Lula-Rich received the kickoff and marched down the field for a touch down in the first three minutes of play. A long pass from Bass to Moore placed the ball within a few inches of the goal and Hopkins carried it over. Franks scored on an end run in the second period and Taylor carried it over for Lula-Rich’s final touchdown. Dubbs scored on a long pass and Austin intercepted a Lula-Rich pass on his own five yard line and ran 95 yards for a second touchdown. Thornton after playing well for Dubbs, had to be removed in the last minute of play because of a broken leg. He was the outstanding player of the game. Lula Rich made 14 first downs to Dubbs’ one.
Lula indeed had an up and down year as crime, weather and sports dominated talk. Just one year in the colorful history of Lula. More to come.
“Clarion Ledger” Jackson, MS. January 31, 1930, Friday. Page 13
“Clarion Ledger” Jackson, MS. March 23, 1930, Sunday. Page 8.
“Clarion Ledger” Jackson, MS. May 10, 1930, Saturday. Page 1
“Clarion Ledger” Jackson, MS. June 27, 1930, Friday. Page 6
“Clarion Ledger” Jackson, MS. June 28, 1930, Saturday. Page 4
“Clarion Ledger” Jackson, MS. July 11, 1930, Friday. Page 1
“Clarion Ledger” Jackson, MS. August 21, 1930, Thursday. Page 3
“Clarion Ledger” Jackson, MS. September 10, 1930, Wednesday. Page 3
“Clarion Ledger” Jackson, MS. November 14, 1930, Friday. Page 2