From the LaGrange Reporter and LaGrange Daily News.
(As has become our custom when we have a fifth Saturday and Sunday in a month, we have an extra column that contains information from selected years that seemed to your writer to have special significance and were items that could slip through the cracks unless preserved in “Memoried Glances.” We hope you will agree that these items should be remembered.)
From the LaGrange Reporter 100 years ago – July, 1912.
Citizens and City Planning — The greatest issue confronting American municipalities today is the twin problem – right citizenship and city planning.
In the old days of sporadic public protest against evil conditions in our cities, few of the people knew anything about practical municipal government. The city ruled the citizen because the citizen knew not how to rule the city.
Citizen building is fundamental. Build the citizen right and he will make the city right. Citizen building well planned means the building of well planned cities by citizens.
We ought to begin at once to build up in our schools an educated citizenship. We ought to build up an army of citizens – prepared to create and build cities of the highest order – so that from such cities shall come the best possible men to govern our nation’s course.
The greatest issue confronting any great community today is a scientific plan to direct the growth of the city in an orderly way. Convenient, attractive surroundings, order, healthful conditions, all make for good citizenship, but good citizenship must be had before any city may hope to promote and realize such a plan successfully.
An educated, aroused and trained citizenship is the best possible community asset, national asset, world asset.
From the LaGrange Daily News 50 years ago – July, 1962.
‘LaGrange is Not Going to Die Unless We Let It’ — (Excerpts from a speech made to the LaGrange Kiwanis Club by Glen Long, who been editor of the LaGrange Daily News for one year at that time.)
Just one year ago this month, I drove into LaGrange for the first time in my life.
Not too long after that, I moved to LaGrange to stay, to become a part of this community, to share its problems, its hopes and its dreams.
I came here knowing nothing about its past, with no knowledge of its politics, its aspirations or its frustrations.
But I learned them all quickly for people were eager to tell me the story of LaGrange. I heard about its outstanding school system, its fine churches and its beautiful homes. I learned that LaGrange has a recreational program for its young people that would be envied by many cities twice its size. People spoke with pride about Callaway Auditorium, the new courthouse, the Clark-Holder Clinic.
But by and large, I found a town of defeated people, convinced that this is a wonderful place to live and rear a family, but just as convinced that it is no place for the ambitious young man seeking a career, or the businessman interested in making a fair profit from his investment.
LaGrange is going down hill, the people told me; we are losing population, income and retail sales.
Today, it is one year later, and I now look on this city with renewed pride and renewed respect – this also transmitted to me by the people of LaGrange.
Their actions and their attitudes of the past eight months have convinced me that LaGrange is not going to die – unless we as its citizens foster and encourage its death within our own minds.
I am convinced that LaGrange can grow and prosper – if we as its citizens are willing to pay the price that growth and prosperity demand.
“Getting what you pay for” is a true statement, and it also applies to community growth and prosperity.
LaGrange does not need a Joan of Arc as a symbol around which its people will gather. LaGrange does not need any single dynamic leader whose only purpose would be to rally support for progress.
We have our Joan of Arc right here, in the collective voice of our people, in their combined determination to turn over to their children, and their grandchildren, a city they helped to build.
To me, the main goal for LaGrange to strive for now can be summed up under one broad heading: economic progress. Under this general heading would fall industrial expansion, finding more jobs and more payrolls for our people, the continued remodeling of our business district, and the beautification of other area of the city.
A dying town? The record proves differently. Let’s recognize our accomplishments and be proud of them.
(Space does not allow us to include all the facts relating to the positive signs of economic prosperity in LaGrange during the early days of the 1960s in LaGrange. Glen gave them in detail in his speech. He also paid tribute to the informed citizenry who made this progress possible.)