This week in local history:
70 years ago - Feb. 3, 1949
• Services were scheduled for Seaman 1st Class William Robert Toy, who was killed in action in the Pacific May 22, 1945. He was survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. J.R. Toy of Sylva.
• E.A. Bumgarner, ardent coon hunter of the Wilmot section, issued a call to all corners of the county to organize a coon hunters club in Jackson.
• Jackson County saw its first snow of the season, about two inches, but the precipitation turned to sleet and the accumulation quickly melted.
60 years ago - Feb. 5, 1959
• The Herald reported that at the close of 1958 2,208 persons were employed in jobs associated with the timber industry in Jackson County.
• Bob Cooper, Western Carolina College’s star quarterback, was named MVP for the 1958 squad. Cooper was a unanimous selection after being named to two all-conference teams, the NAIA All-Carolina team and honorable mention All-American.
50 years ago - Feb. 6, 1969
• A petition for a new town in Jackson County was filed with Secretary of State Thad Eure. To be called “Cherokee Town,” it was planned to be built along U.S. 441 starting from the bridge crossing Soco Creek south for about a mile.
• The Jackson County Board of Commissioners adopted a resolution endorsing Western Carolina University’s proposal for a cooperative pooling of resources with Asheville-Biltmore College – or an outright merger of the state-supported institutions – as the best way to expand and develop education opportunities in Western North Carolina.
40 years ago - Feb. 1, 1979
• Heritage Quilts announced it would build a new plant in Bryson City and add 70 jobs to its Sylva operation.
• Jackson County took possession of the Jackson County Airport because Ramair, Inc., the fixed base operator, did not live up to the terms of the lease agreement, commission chair Wayne Hooper said.
• The ninth snow of the season blanketed Jackson County, though accumulations were light.
30 years ago - Feb. 2, 1989
• Western Carolina University began measles immunization procedures for students and staff after a documented case of red measles (rubeola) was diagnosed in a WCU student.
• Terry Wanless, Western Carolina University’s director of athletics for 2 ½ years, resigned to “pursue opportunities in other areas.”
• Western Carolina University’s baseball team was preparing to open its 1989 season with hopes of capturing its fifth straight Southern Conference championship.
20 years ago - Feb. 4, 1999
• Two of Jackson County’s own – Dan Robinson of Cullowhee and Phil Haire of Sylva – joined the ranks of the North Carolina General Assembly, Robinson in the Senate and Haire in the House.
• The Sylva Herald’s news staff took four awards in North Carolina Press Association competition. Features Editor Rose Hooper took third place wins in general reporting and profile features; Sports Editor Carey Phillips took third in editorials; and the staff won third place in appearance and design.
10 years ago - Feb. 5, 2009
• County leaders pledged their support for a campaign to help the less fortunate during the hard economic times of early 2009. Commissioners unanimously approved $20,000 for the “Save the Warmth” campaign.
• Financial woes continued for Jackson County schools, with budget cuts looming for the coming fiscal year. Finance officer Gwen Edwards told school board members that county commissioners have asked the school system to look at its budget and identify places where a 3 percent reduction could come from.
• Western Carolina men’s basketball team stayed a half-game ahead of Chattanooga for first place in the Southern Conference’s North Division with a 77-65 victory over Wofford.