Robert Lee Long

Sixty years ago, the folks in DeSoto County were going “whole hog,” so to speak.

An award-winning Landrace Boar hog named Gilibo Pedrosavosky was featured in the newspaper, The Times-Promoter, predecessor to the DeSoto Times. 

This pampered hog had been fed a special feed mixture manufactured by Hopper and Sons Feed and Milling Company in Hernando and was being used for stud purposes by Mr. J.G. Allen of Horn Lake.

This celebrated hog had apparently escaped being made into bacon by helping to procreate a pedigreed line of progeny. 

On the same page as the boar hog feature was a quarter-page advertisement reminding people to file for their Homestead Exemption — letting them keep a portion of their hard-earned bacon.

 Longtime DeSoto County Tax Assessor H.G. Ferguson reminded readers that April 1, 1959 was the deadline to file for Homestead Exemption.

It was no April Fool’s joke that folks needed to claim their exemption by that deadline, if entitled, just as they do now.

The Time Traveler notes that similar to that year, Easter arrived in mid-April. On its front page, The Times-Promoter proclaimed “Happy Easter,” for 1959.

“In every hamlet and city throughout this great nation of ours, bells will ring out the glad tidings of Easter morning,” the newspaper noted. 

The sound of bells wasn’t the only music ringing out that season. Also in the same edition of the newspaper was notice of a “fiddling contest” for Thursday April 9, 1959 at the DeSoto County Courthouse. It seems there would be a contest for all kinds of “fiddling,” including modern fiddling, old-time fiddling, a guitar contest, “Hillbilly Vocals,” “Best Rock N’ Roll Number,” a hog calling contest, tap dancing and “Best String Band.”

On another note, the Time Traveler is happy to report that bluegrass music will return to the Crumpler-Ferguson Log Cabin on the DeSoto County Museum grounds once repairs have been made to the historic 1850s cabin, which is in dire need of repair. To aid with that effort, the famous Ken and Brad Kolodner Bluegrass Trio from Baltimore, Maryland, will perform a benefit concert for the cabin’s restoration on Sunday night, Sept. 8 at 6 p.m. The famed bluegrass group has appeared on public television and enjoys a wide and devoted following among bluegrass fans. Mark your calendars and bring your lawn chairs! World-renowned barbecue chef Sonny Daniels will be serving some of his award-winning, mouth-watering barbecue and will be donating a portion of his profits to the cabin restoration effort. There will be plenty of toe-tapping fun and barbecue to go around.

Speaking of mouth-watering delicacies, there was big news back in April of ’59 when LaDene Hudson of the Alphaba community was selected to represent the region in the “State Cherry Pie Baking Contest.” LaDene’s mama and daddy, Mr. and Mrs. Readus Hudson, were no doubt very proud of their talented daughter.

On another celebratory note, the T-W-L Store in Hernando opened with great fanfare sixty years ago. Chewing gum was advertised as costing a nickel and a man’s sports shirt was advertised for 98 cents.

Playing at the 61 Drive-In that year was “Face in the Crowd” with Andy Griffith and Lee Remick.

On a sad note, the Easter holiday that year was marked with the passing of Mr. Joel P. Walker, Sr., a former Justice of the Peace and a DeSoto County Schools Trustee.  Walker, a dairyman, was an elder in the New Bethlehem Presbyterian Church in Nesbit.

Wet weather was forecast for that spring. It’s interesting to this Time Traveler that history often has a way of repeating itself.

If readers have any historical tidbits they wish to share, please contact this columnist at the DeSoto County Museum at 662-429-8852 or email them to desotocountymuseum@gmail.com.

Your award-winning DeSoto County Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

The DeSoto County Museum is located at 111 E. Commerce St. in Hernando.

 Robert Lee Long is Curator at the DeSoto County Museum.

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