Guest Column: Newnan in 1949

Special to The Newnan Times-Herald
A dear friend recently shared with me some pages from a 1949 edition of the Newnan Times Herald. What a good time I have had reading every word of these treasured old pages. I have written some of my memories of our beloved town, but some of these pictures and advertisements brought back still more and gave me further insight into the workings of Newnan and Coweta County when I was just a young girl.
Some of the advertisements are priceless and reflect life as the Newnan citizens lived it after World War II. Our town was undergoing store remodeling, and businesses were making their way back into a normal way of life after the hardships caused by the war and the economy.
Let me share with you some of the advertisements that I found in these old pages and the prices that were listed in 1949.
J.H. Barron’s Goodyear Store at 25 Perry St., Phone 695, offered a “G.E. Quick Clean washing machine. A tub with Activator action with the adjustable wringer above only $99.95 — never needs oiling.”
Johnson Hardware -- started in 1876 -- “Something New Was Added — As an added service to our customers, we maintain and operate a lumber yard, planing mill, cabinet shop, furnishing all supplies for every building requirement.” A complete hardware store. The ad shows two house plans available from Johnson Hardware, each with two bedrooms and one bath. One is 884 square feet, the other is 1,082 square feet, and both have a one-car garage.

WCOH 1400 AM was the local radio station, which featured the news each morning at 7 a.m. You were given the local news such as who was in a car wreck and the total damage done to the car, the weather for the day, the death announcements and always ending with an editorial. In the 1949 paper, there was an ad for “Against the Storm,” an inspiring, dramatic story Monday through Friday at 11:30 a.m., and another ad for “Queen for a Day.”

The Cates Brothers, Herman, Hubert and Albert, featured their ad — “Day in and Day out — For 27 years we have served the motoring public with the best!”

“58 Years In Business in Newnan - -1891-1949 -- C.J. Barron and Sons -- Your dealer in two good products -- Buick Automobiles and Frigidaire refrigerators, ranges and home laundries.”

“It’s Take a Trip Time” Greyhound Bus Depot -- Jefferson Street, Phone 95. You could ride to Dallas, Texas, from Newnan for $14.50; to Washington, D.C. for $12.55; to New Orleans, La., for $7.55 and to Birmingham, Ala., for $3.95.

“Oldsmobile’s New Futuramic ‘88’ has everybody talking ‘Rocket, Rocket, Rocket.’” J. L. Weddington Jr. Chevrolet-Oldsmobile on Greenville Street.

“Arnall Aids Assureds” -- A progressive Insurance Agency serving a progressive town and county since 1922 -- Phone 57 — Hamilton C. Arnall Insurance Agency.

H.V. Kell Company, a wholesale grocer and paint distributor, had several ads, and I found it so interesting that the phone number was “one.”

Looking through these pages underscored for me how simple life was in those early days. Everybody worked long hours and worked hard to make their businesses a success. Most of the people who worked with them took pride in having a part in helping, and they wanted these businesses to succeed because it meant bread on their tables and clothes on the backs of their children.

Many sacrifices were made during those early years after the war. Salaries were very low, but somehow, some way, families made it. Most children walked to school and helped do chores at home before being able to go outside to play. Those were lean years for most folks, but Newnan continued to progress.

Most of those wonderful old businesses are gone now, but thank goodness, most of the building facades in our downtown remain as they were in 1949. I will always love walking around the town, looking up at the different designs on the old buildings and then smiling each time I look at the grand old building in the center of our town, our old courthouse.

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