Thursday, August 25, 2016

Pleasant Hill Community, Union County, Celebrate at Sell's Fish Pond, 1916

“Ideal Community Gathering,” from the Monroe Journal, August 15, 1916, Monroe, N.C.

Folks of Pleasant Hill Community Near Goose Creek and New Salem Border Had Fine Time at Sell’s Pond Saturday

The celebration at the Sell fish pond last Saturday was a huge success and several hundred people were present throughout the entire day. Stirring speeches were made by Messrs. R.L. Stevens, W.O. Lemmond, J.J. Parker and Zeb Green. This is the first of many celebrations that the Pleasant Hill community intended holding annually at the Sell pond, which is an ideal spot. There is plenty of shade, and the pond provides several aquatic sports.

The various prize winners were: Arthur Williams, running race; Bronnie Hargett, foot race; Baxter Hargett, sack race; best clowns, Frank Griffin and Callie Davis.

Those in charge of the celebration were: Chief Marshall, J.A. Sell; W.D. Simpson, Vander Simpson, Henry Austin, Winston Griffin, Sandford Strawn, and Curran Griffin.

The fish pond is the property of Mr. W.M. Sell, who is one of Union county’s most prominent citizens and farmers. He stated Saturday that it was his intention to agitate such a celebration as was held Saturday every year. He said that he would be glad to let the people of his community have the use of the pond, and that he would do all in his power to make future celebrations as successful as the one on Saturday. Mr. Sell said further that he was a great believer in community spirit, and that he thought getting the people together once every year would work much towards creating that spirit.

Mr. J.A. Sell, who was chief marshal, expressed his pleasure at the good order during the day. This was especially significant since as everyone knows, cider is in much abundance this year.

Mrs. W.B. Simpson and Mrs. J.A. Sell spread a picnic dinner for the benefit of the visitors that was probably unequaled anywhere. Fried chicken was plentiful and the country ham was sufficient for the ravenous appetite of the visitors.

The Speeches
Mr. W.O. Lemmond was the first speaker. He was introduced by Mr. I.G. Clontz. He laid special stress on community pride and uplift, and stated that it always gave him great pleasure to be present on such occasions as this. Education came in for a prolonged discussion by Mr. Lemmond, and he urged the people to erect their school houses conveniently and secure the best teachers possible.

Mr. J.J. Parker, who followed Mr. Lemmond, was introduced by Mr. John Beasley. “Americanism” was the subject of Mr. Parker’s speech, and he delivered an excellent one. He said that he pinned his faith to the red-blooded Americans who stood for the upholding of the integrity of America on foreign soil. Many other phases of American life were discussed, and Mr. Parker gave thanks for the happy, tranquil scene that was before him as compared with the dark and stormy days on the European battlefields. “I am opposed to war,” said Mr. Parker, “but I am not too proud to fight.”

Mr. Zeb Green was the next speaker. He was introduced by Mr. Solon Braswell. Mr. Green discussed three things, all of which are vital questions: better farming, good roads, and better education. He said that Mr. W.M. Sell was noted for breeding good O.I.R. pigs, but that he thought that the Pleasant  Hill community ought to strive to earn that reputation for themselves as a whole. No one doubts but that we need better roads, said Mr. Green. We are still paying the now famous mud tax, and it is time for us to throw off the bondage. Better education is, according to Mr. Green’s idea, less petticoat music courses, not so many buzz saw voice students, and a little less Greek and Latin; but more of a practical course that fits boys and girls for successful lives.

After the speaking, the Pleasant Hill team crossed bats with the Unionville team, the latter losing by a score of 5 to 3.

All of the visitors were unanimous in their praise of the day, and all expressed the hope that they might be able to be back next year.

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