yesterday's tennessee

Yesterday's Tennessee

Lancaster Road Trip - 1916

from the collection of Brenda Fiddler

May 19, 1916 The Lexington Progress
Aberdeen, Mississippi, May 15, 1916
Editor Progress,

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1916 Overland

Thinking some one might be interested in a word descriptive of our trip down here, I thought I would offer a short story of it.

We left home about 5:15 Sunday morning (and before having breakfast) in our splendid Knight motor Overland car intending to reach the home of our daughter, Willie, at Aberdeen, Mississippi, some time Sunday night.

We soon found ourselves at Sardis where at the home of sister Paris and brother-in-law J. L. Jones, we had a splendid breakfast.  I was personally a little hungry and took on considerable solids along with a glass of water, cups of coffee and two glasses of milk.

About 7:30 we left Sardis but added to our party already consisting of my wife, Achilles, Witt and myself, Lem Jones, the latter bound for Adamsville.  We bent and twisted and squirmed and dodged mud holes, dug-outs, trees, gullies and all sorts of anti-good roads from there to Adamsville as we had done from Lexington to Sardis.  Arriving at Adamsville we met several parties among whom was a beautiful young lady (Lem Jones’s sweetheart) got some water, cigars, etc., and about 10:20 we pulled out over a decent graded road to Shiloh National Park, where we found not only a splendid system of highways and driveways but beauty on every hand, a national park, if you please, which is not only a place of beauty and a joy forever but an honor and credit benefiting the glorious men who laid down all they had, their lives, that this government “of the people, by the people and for the people: might not perish.

Leaving there we passed over a good toll pike to Corinth, where we filled our tank with gasoline, put in some cylinder oil and purchased a spark plug and went on South about two miles to a lake supported by a fine Artesian well where there are plenty of seats and shade and took out of our car a previously prepared lunch, equaled only by another put up by an experienced cook and old-fashioned home woman, who knows more about keeping house, milking cows and singing lullabies  to from four to ten babies across a span of about twenty years than she does about Paris styles, short skirts, low neck dresses and woman suffrage and there we enjoyed the lunch, water, seats and shade and rested until our places in the “bully” car and pulled down by Booneville, Wheeler, Baldwyn, Guntown, Saltillo, Tupelo, Shannon, Okolona, Egypt and Gibson to Aberdeen, all in Mississippi, reaching there just as the sun had gone down.

Upon examination we found that our car records showed we had driven 189 miles.

While in Hardin County we took a half mile trip and visited the Sulphur well in about a half of a mile of which several years ago I was born as was my minor brother, T. A. Lancaster, and Texas Tom.

It is a long way from Lexington to Adamsville the way we had to go.  Corinth, Booneville, Tupelo and Aberdeen are all county seats of Mississippi Counties.  There are some of the finest roads down in this section you ever saw, there being a stretch on the way about twenty miles of concrete road.  There are about 20 miles of native road after reaching the edge of Shiloh national park on down here.

We drove from Tupelo to Aberdeen a distance of 45 miles in an hour and forty-five minutes, and were delayed greatly in passing car after car, wagons and buggies.

Mather is sure the finest driver for his practice South of

We found Willie, husband and baby, Willie May, at home in their good and comfortable residence and all well except their baby.

Well, there was some neck hugging and sweet recollections brought to mind.  We will be home about Friday and those desiring to know more of the trip will please call about ten at a time at my office in Lexington after the June term of court.--Respectfully, W. H. Lancaster

C.C. Sweatt Transfers Moving Picture Show

April 16, 1920 Lexington Progress

Cooper C. Sweatt, who was pushing the erection an up-to-date moving picture house, has transferred his interests in the same to Mr. E.L. Drake, late of Aberdeen, Miss., (son-in-law of Judge W.H. Lancaster) who has been running a movie house at Martin.

Mr. Drake will carry out the intention of Mr. Sweatt to install a moving picture business here that will present the best attractions of the day-and perhaps even improve on what  Mr. Sweatt would have done.  The house building will be rushed and the shows put on as soon as possible.

New Princess Theatre to Open Next Monday

September 1, 1922 Lexington Progress

The new and handsomely appointed Princess moving picture Theatre will open its doors to the public next Monday night, September 4th, with Mabel Norman in her new pictured story “Molly O,”-one of the real million dollar productions.  the admission will be put at 15 and 30c and while the house is commodious it ought to be taxed to its fullest capacity.

At that time, Mr. Drake, the proprietor, hopes to have in operation his wireless radio equipment and without additional charge will give a high class musical program, from Louisville, one of the biggest radio broadcasting stations in the world.  Programs from other cities will be given at different times.

The regular admission will be 10 and 22 cents, only on special features when it is felt by the management that they cannot afford to present them at that price.

Mr. Drake is presenting no pictures that have not been closely censored, that are cleanly morally and feels that all can afford to visit the Princess with pleasure and profit.

Early Morning Blaze Destroys Picture Show

June 2, 1922 Lexington Progress

Last Sunday morning about 1:30 o’clock, well-advanced fire was discovered in the Princess Theatre, a moving picture show, and the progress of the flames was not stayed until the entire group of buildings on the corner of the home lot of Miss Nannie McHaney, fronting on Monroe Street, were consumed-the moving picture show on the corner and the former baking room and the J.E. Finley restaurant, between the corner and the old McHaney home.

The fire laddies responded, promptly after the alarm was given, but the fire was too far advanced to save the buildings.

The room vacated by the bakery was empty and the cafe had but recently been taken over by Mr. and Mrs. Finley, who had $500.00 insurance, which may cover their loss.

The losses consisted of the Moving Picture building which belonged to W.H. Lancaster and E.L. Drake, the Moving Picture machine, films on hand and the piano, the property of Mr. E.L. Drake.

The Lancaster & Drake loss is estimated at over $7,000.00 and we understand that they carried $5,000.00 insurance.  On whom the loss of the films will fall is not yet known.

Mr. C.C. Sweatt owned the restaurant building and Miss Nannie McHaney owned the bakery and entire lot.

Mr. T.W. Stegall suffered the loss of his garage that was situated just back of the picture show building, and if he had been just a few minutes later, he would have lost his car.

The home of Mrs. S.J. Eller across the street narrowly escaped.

E.L. Drake Dies in Jackson

February 2, 1940 Lexington Progress

E.L. Drake, fifty years of age, died in home in Jackson, Friday morning, Jan. 8th, and his remains were laid to rest in the Hollywood cemetery, that city, Saturday.

Mr. Drake came to Lexington with the old Cumberland Telephone Company, many years ago, and was married to Miss Willie, daughter of Judge and Mrs. W.H. Lancaster, and to them one child, Mrs. Willie Mae Hannibeth, was born, and she with her mother, survive.

The Drakes lived in Lexington until 1924, and while here he established the Princess Theatre, disposing of his interest therein when he moved to Jackson, where he soon established similar business, operating the Paramount and State Theatres.  He sold his interest to the Malco organization and was retained as manager which position he has held for several years.

Mr. Drake was reared in Mississippi, and when living in Lexington, had many friends who deeply sympathized with the family in their loss.

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