Celebration recognizes Leachville's 100th birthday

Tuesday, February 9, 2016
Members of the Leachville Centennial Committee celebrated Leachville's 100th birthday with a balloon release on Feb. 1.

Due to the threat of rain, the Feb. 2 Leachville 100th birthday celebration was moved to Monday, Feb. 1. Buffalo Island Central East elementary students and staff joined members of the Leachville Centennial Committee for final 100 happy birthday wishes to the city of Leachville.

Committee members hosted a huge Centennial celebration in the summer of 2015 with an all school reunion, birthday cakes, and lots of activities in conjunction with Leachville's 100th birthday. Several smaller events have taken place over the last months leading up to the Feb. 2, 2016, birthday.

Leachville was incorporated on Feb. 2, 1916.

Buffalo Island Central East elementary students joined in the celebration by singing Happy Birthday, enjoying the balloon release, and blowing horns.

Committee members decorated a float with birthday boxes filled with balloons, decorated lampposts throughout town, placed banners around town encouraging people to honk if they love Leachville.

The milestone for Leachville has been very well recognized over the last months by residents and former residents.

During the birthday celebration BIC East elementary students sang happy birthday to Leachville and joined together blowing horns during the balloon release which was held on the campus.

Banners were placed throughout Leachville.

City leaders in office during Leachville's 100th year include Mayor Ralph Wells and council members Lisa Baldridge, Teresa Johnson, Karen Wallace, Ethel Hetler, Tommy Stone, and Michael Webster. Ruth Ann Keith serves as clerk/treasurer.

Centennial committee members releasing the balloons on Monday were Moba Lee Miller, Ethel Hetler, Barbara Lloyd, Retha Hawkins and Francis Gragg Warren.

Among early Leachville history events composed in a book printed in the Bicentennial Year are:

*The town's first newspaper was edited by Bate Appleby, who became the first mayor of Leachville.

*In 1915 the Baptist Church was organized, followed by the Church of Christ in 1921; The Pentecost Church and Church of God in 1925.

*Elvis Byrd established the first drug store in Leachville in 1915.

*E.M. Howard came to Leachville and established a mortuary in 1917. (The family owned funeral home is still in business today with locations in Manila and Leachville.)

*Lights were installed in homes and businesses in 1924.

*1930 brought telephones to Leachville with a switchboard in operation.

*Water was piped to Leachville residents in 1935.

*In 1942 the sewer system was put in Leachville.

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  • James Wiseman Honnoll was among one of the first settlers to set foot in the town he named Leachville. He held the first church service and built the first Methodist church in Leachville. When he, Along with some of his sons, moved to that area, all they found was a high spot in a slough and cleared trees and drained the land. They farmed and settled in Leachville for many years and some of his ancestors still live there.

    He was my GG Grandfather,

    Frances Gragg Warren

    -- Posted by Frannie5252 on Wed, Feb 10, 2016, at 3:35 PM
    Response by Revis Blaylock:
    What a great legacy.
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