By Jean Hayworth
In an attempt to economize, City Commissioners have cut the Sanitation Department to one man, A.D. Daugherty. As a result, the commissioners reported that they will save $1,800 in salary costs.
The Breckenridge American challenged their 13 newspaper carriers, who deliver the paper in Breckenridge, to a contest to get the most new subscriptions during the following four weeks. The winner will get a free auto trip to Carlsbad Caverns with a newsman from The Breckenridge American. The contest was sponsored by the circulation dept.
The police department took in $600 in fines for traffic violations during the month of July. The fines were for cutting red lights, speeding, not stopping at stop signs and a few fines for fighting and public drunkenness.
The Chief of Police reported that his officers were really cracking down on the flagrant traffic violations and hopes the residents will stop and think before they go through a red light or ignore stopping at a stop sign. There could be some serious injuries as a result and he feels the town has been very fortunate not to have had a death or serious injury as a result of someone's careless disregard for lights and signs.
Friday, Aug. 9, marked the worst stock market break in history, to that date, at any rate. Prices were reduced and the stocks dropped 20 points during the first hour. Orders were coming in to sell in blocks of 5,000 shares and then 25,000 shares of stock sold in large groups. By noon, more than three million shares had been sold. There was a slight recovery early in the afternoon and then another drop.
One of the biggest blows to the economic stability that day was the discount rate went from five to six, which meant the member banks would have to pay more to borrow money from the large lender banks. That decision impacted economies all around the world, especially in Canada, Great Britain, Germany and in the United States.
This event was just a precursor to the complete collapse a few months later on BLACK FRIDAY, in October of 1929.
However, Friday, Aug. 9 is sited as the day that the Stock Market began to collapse from within. The ripple effect just took a few months to make the Stock Market collapse altogether.
Meanwhile, back in Breckenridge, the landing field at the Stephens County Airport, located a few miles south of town, was getting a face lift that week, with scraping and grading. All the scampering around was in preparation for the Fort Worth Aerocade that was set to make an appearance Saturday morning, Aug. 10.
A fleet of 15 airplanes were due to fly in to the Stephens County Airport from Fort Worth. This was an annual air tour of West Texas and the planes would carry 50 businessmen.
The planes were to arrive at 9:30 a.m. and would stay about an hour and then continue on to Sweetwater for the Grand Opening of their new airport. A greeting from the Chamber of Commerce and mayor was given and refreshments were available for the brief stopover. Local residents were encouraged to go out to the airport Saturday and greet the planes and their passengers.
Ben Dean and his airport committee that included M.E. Daniel, J.D. Sandefer Jr., and Blake Johnson, planned to visit with one of the businessmen, A. P. Barrett, about securing a airplane line going east and west from Dallas and Fort Worth to Breckenridge. Barrett was president of Texas Air Transportation, at that time.
Their request was in answer to a questionnaire given out to 100 businessmen in Breckenridge. The response was overwhelming among gas and oil men who thought they needed an airline from Breckenridge to Fort Worth and Dallas, which would save them much time and money.
Currently, the TAT line went from Dallas and Fort Worth to Abilene. Breckenridge already had the north and south line with Braniff Airlines and wanted to secure an east/west line as well.
The Sunday Breckenridge American reported that an estimated crowd of 2,000 residents went out to the airport to greet the 15 planes and 50 passengers that day. Reg Robbins, the partner of Stephens County resident Jim Kelley, was one of the pilots for the planes that landed at the airport. Robbins and Kelly had set the endurance record for staying aloft at 172 hours and 31 minutes, in May 1929, which since had been broken by two different groups of pilots in the month of July.
Now the endurance record stood at 421 hours by Dale Jackson and Forrest O'Brine. Robbins had been here many times with Kelley and knew many Breckenridge people.
About an hour after the planes and passengers appeared, they all loaded up and took off for Sweetwater and the Grand Opening of their airport.
The first cotton bale was turned in early Sunday morning by J.R. Dozier. His farm was about four miles east of Breckenridge, toward Caddo. Every year there was a little contest among the cotton growers to see who would bring in the first bale to the cotton gin and win the bonus put up by the local businessmen. Moy McCharen, the gin operator, instructed Dozier to line his bale up for ginning first thing Monday morning. McCharen did comment that the cotton bale appeared to be of the highest quality, white and clean. Two other farmers were expected to have their bales turned in the next day as well.