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1950 and After
Around Town

Mayor Glenn Rhyne  Police Chief Handsel.jpg (68034 bytes)
Mayor Glenn Rhyne and Police Chief Ralph Handsel stand next to the Stanley city limits sign proclaiming, "Stanley, A Friendly Place."

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The Seaboard Railway was still sending trains through Stanley.  The system was primarily used for hauling freight, however, one passenger car was attached to the freight cars once each day.  This passenger car was used by many citizens, especially for group excursions.  In 1950, though, the passenger service was discontinued and the Seaboard Rail cars were used exclusively for freight.

Train Cars Derailed at Stanley

On July 23, 1951 the Gastonia Gazette carried the picture on the left of a train derailment which occurred about a mile east of Stanley. Four cars of Seaboard Freight Train No. 92 left the tracks as well as the caboose in which two men were riding.


By 1956 most of the streets in the town of Stanley had been paved. In October of 1956 the street to the school (East College St.) was made one way during school hours.

Water System

On 16 November 1956 Baucom's Nursery and Grading Company was given a contract to build the Reservoir for Stanley's Water System.  This is located at the end of Devine Street and next to Hoyle' Creek. At this location on the creek is a concrete dam and every year in late winter or early spring a phenomenon of nature occurs. Fish called Suckers are spawning and swim upstream from the Catawba River into the South Fork River and then into Hoyle's Creek and upon reaching the dam attempt to leap over to return to the location of their birth.

Sewer System

The decision was made to begin laying sewer lines in the town of Stanley in 1947. By 1958 most people were connected to the sewer system, however, there were some not yet connected. Four hundred and forty seven homes were connected to the system; 69 homes had septic tanks; 40 homes still had outside toilets in the town limits. Outside the town limits were 53 outdoor toilets. 

More New Sidewalks

New sidewalks were built all around town in 1960. In 1965 Talon Inc. provided funds for placing a much needed sidewalk at the Stanley Branch Library.

Stop Lights

In September of 1960 an ordinance was passed by the Town Board authorizing the placement of traffic lights at the corner of Hwy 27 and East Chestnut Streets, the corner of East College and Hwy 27, and at the intersection of Plum and Thompson Streets. "

Open Heart Surgery on TV

In 1960 the concept of open heart surgery was new and was achieving much success in saving lives. A young girl from Stanley, Betty Sue Hilton, required that type of surgery because of an open valve in her heart. At that time Charlotte Television stations were experimenting with showing actual live surgeries and Betty Sue's surgery was one that was shown on local TV in February of 1960. Her parents were Mr. & Mrs. Boyd Hilton who lived on West Third Street, Stanley.

First Stanley Newspaper

The Stanley News rolled off the press in December of 1961. Bill Arp was the Editor. In 1965, Garland Adkins, president of Gaston Publishing Company, became manager of several newspapers, including The Stanley News.

Christmas Lights for Town

In December of 1961 a string of Christmas Balls which lit up were strung in the center of town, the first Christmas lights for Stanley in known history, decorations were hung on the telephone poles in town, all in an effort to make the town more beautiful during the holidays.

House to House Mail Delivery

In November, 1965 the postmaster, Lee Cherry, announced that house to house delivery would begin in town. The individual houses and lots had been numbered a few months prior. This new house to house service had been brought about because of the increase in population in the Stanley area. The Stanley Post Office served around 2,500 homes in 1949 and had increased to 6,000 in 1965.

New Doctor In Town

In 1952 Stanley had a new doctor in town. Joseph Claude "Jake" Fesperman had finished his tour of duty in the Navy during World War II and his educational requirements and settled in Stanley in 1952 to practice medicine. He and his wife, the former Kathleen Trexler, were from Faith, North Carolina.

He was a pre-med student in Duke University when World War II began, and entered the U. S. Navy as a pharmacist's mate from 1941 until 1946. After the war he completed his medical training and Bowman Gray and was approached by some business people from Stanley to bring his medical practice here.

Dr. Fesperman was, like Dr. Weathers, a family physician, who handled all kinds of ailments and delivered babies as well. For several years after he first arrived in Stanley he, too, made house calls and brought into the world around 2,500 babies. Fees for office visits in those days were $2 or $3 and he saw everyone in the family from babies to grandparents.

His first office was on the corner of Thompson and West Chestnut Streets, but later in 1961 he moved his office to West College Street where he had previously resided.
See Joseph Claude "Jake" Fesperman

Town Hall

The town hall, on the corner of West Carpenter and South Main Streets, was actually built in 1949 on the Finger property. Architectural plans for the original one story building were drawn by Alfred Rhyne. On 7 February 1949 the contract to build was given to Glen Stroupe and the building was completed that year.

As years went by the rescue squad was begun and had a rescue vehicle; and then the fire department required more equipment and it was realized that space was needed for housing that equipment. It was also recognized that more space was needed for the town's business. So in 1969 an addition was built to the town hall with bays for the rescue and fire equipment which faced out to West Carpenter Street. A second floor was added over the entire building which housed space for the Town Hall , Police Department, Fire Department and the Rescue Squad.

In 1972 the Rescue Squad built their own building and moved out of the fire department bay. In 1993 the town hall was moved up to the next block in the old Farmer's and Merchants Bank Building with offices for town officials and a large, well designed council room.

The old town hall was then left for the Police and Fire Departments.

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