1930's - 1940's
Hundreds of Kentuckians were in the Civilian Conservation Crops or CCC, as it was commonly known. The CCC was just to be for unemployed men, ages 18-25, who came from needy families during the height of the Great Depression – and effectively ended in 1942 with America's involvement in World War II. The Army ran the CCC camps, but some were also connected with the Soil Conservation Service and specialized in aiding farmers with erosion and crop problems. Among those types of camps was the CCC camp in Walton. The Walton camp was located at the end of Alta Vista Drive where the present Walton-Verona High School Campus is located.
The Walton camp started to take shape in the summer of 1935, when 23 men, under the command of Army Capt. Robert Adams, arrived in Walton to the old ballpark owned by John L. Vest.
With four truck-loads of camping equipment and other supplies, they pitched 5 tents, converted the old ballpark grandstand into a makeshift kitchen and set about the task of converting the ballpark in to a CCC camp capable of housing up to 200 men at a time. In their first months, the 23 men dug ditches to bring a water line to the site, installed electric and telephone lines, and erected additional tents. The men used shower facilities at the school (85 N Main St.) to clean up in.
On August 8, the small contingent was beefed up by the arrival of 152 enrollees by train from Covington and the enlistment of 17 local men from the Walton area. The men enlisted for a six-month period and were paid $30 a month. Of that amount, the man only got $5 the remaining $25 was mailed directly to the man’s family to help them through the hard financial times.
Soon after the new men arrived at Walton, they were assigned the task of unloading 17 railroad cars filled with wood and other equipment shipped in from Albany, GA. These supplies were used to build the barracks, mess hall, educational center and other buildings that eventually made up the Walton CCC Camp.
Life at the Walton camp usually began with a 6 a.m. breakfast and flag raising. The flagpole, which was a camp landmark, was erected on November 30, 1935, and rose 68 feet above the camp. Work details then started about 8 a.m. as the men were sent out in groups of 30 to 40. Most were assigned to farms, which were spread over Boone, Kenton, Gallatin, Pendleton, Grant, Nicholas and Bourbon counties. The men were usually brought a lunch on their job site around 1 p.m. and continued working until about 4 p.m. They then returned to camp for a 5 p.m. supper.
In the evening the men could play a variety of sports, such as basketball, football and softball or use the camp’s library either to just read or take correspondence courses. An arrangement was also later made by which some men at the Walton camp were bused in the evenings to Simon Kenton High School in Independence, where they attended classes that could help them obtain a high school-equivalency degree. In their free time, men also could go to the Union Theater in Walton to catch a movie or later to its successor, the James Theater.
By March of 1942 most of the young men in the age range of the CCC were either in the military, filling jobs vacated by other men who were in the service or working at new jobs created by the wartime economy.
Statewide, the CCC program generated more than $19 million for the families of the 89,511 Kentucky enrollees and resulted in the planting of more than 26 million trees. Some men who served or were involved with the camp remained residents of our City. They were David Deaton, Gayle McElroy, Kenneth Brewer and Sam Gamble.
In the middle of the 1940’s, the Community Public Service Company moved its home office from Winchester to Walton after the death of the general manager. Mr. R. M. (Russell) Hall was appointed Division Manager. The line crews were based at Walton and worked from there to perform maintenance work and build new lines.
Walton High School Basketball Team Goes to State Tournament
The Walton High School Bearcats basketball team won the bid to play in the 25th Annual Kentucky High School Basketball Tournament in 1942. The tournament was played in the Jefferson County Armory in Louisville March 19 - 21. The Bearcats won their district by defeating Burlington High School, 64-18 and Hebron High School, 50-16. They went on to beat Hebron, 54-16; Simon Kenton High School, 40-28; and Holmes, 40-21 to win the Region and move on to State.
Front row, left to right: manager James Dudgeon, Charles (Hunky) Holder, Clifford Ryan, Harry D. Mayhugh, Ray Coyle, and manager, Jessie Thornton. Back row: Lawrence (Katie) Welsh, Stanley McElroy, Truitt (Plucker) DeMoisey, Russell Groger, Paul Simpson, and coach Lewis Shields. Missing is Leon Pennington.
Following is an article written by Henry Childress, KY Post Sports Editor
Walton Set to Make Trip to Tourney
Lengthy Practice Session Held to Prep for Meet
Coach Lew Shields and Principal Walter Coop completed plans Tuesday for the trip of the Walton Bearcats, Northern Kentucky basketball champions, to Louisville where they will play Thursday night in the opening round of the annual state tournament.
The team will leave shortly after 5 p.m. Wednesday in private autos. In the group leaving Wednesday will be Coach Shields, 10 players, scorekeeper Bob Gordon and D. O. Dudgeon, student manager.
Early Thursday a large contingent of Walton fans, headed by Principal Coop and cheer leaders Guy Carlisle, Ella Mae Chambers and Nelda Campbell will make the journey.
The Bearcat players went through a lengthy practice session Monday on the Simon Kenton hardwood at Independence, using that big floor instead of their own because it is more nearly the size they will play on at the Louisville Armory.
The players who will make the trip are the same 10 who played during the recent district and regional tournaments here.
Seniors on the squad are Paul Simpson and Clifford Ryan, guards; Russell Groger, forward, and Stanley McElroy, center.
Juniors are Truett DeMoisey, center; Harry Mayhue, and Leon Pennington, guards. Lawrence Welsh and Charles Holder, forwards, are sophomores, and Ray Coyle, a forward, is an eight grader.
John (Frenchy) DeMoisey was the son of Rev. and Mrs. R. F. DeMoisey. He graduated from Walton High School and went on to be Adolph Rupp's first UK recruit. He had originally planned to attend Duke University but liked what Rupp had to say and Duke was soon forgotten. He brought his left-handed hook shot to UK in 1931. He was captain of the 1933-34 team and was named All American that year.
On April 1, 1931, Bonds were issued for the purpose of defraying the cost of establishing and erecting a municipal water system and plant to be owned and operated by said town (Walton). The bonds will be known as Waterworks (Revenue) Bonds, in which the principal amount was $35,000.
In the fall of 1935, the Walton and Verona schools were consolidated into the Walton-Verona Independent School District.
The Walton Homemakers began in 1936. It was one of the 10 Charter Clubs in Boone County.
In 1947 the Walton Volunteer Fire Department was formed. The first Chief was Jim Bob Allen.
Trustees / Mayor
November 1941 is the first recorded election for the1942-44 term.
Dan L. Lusby, Chairman
Dr. Robert E. Ryle
Robert "Cameron" Brakefield
Gilbert E. Groger
J. Robert "Bob" Conrad
Trustees / Mayor
Dan. L. Lusby, Chairman
J. Willis Berkshire
Robert Cameron Brakefield
J. Robert Conrad
Gilbert E. Groger
Trustees / Mayor
D. L. Lusby, Chairman
G. E. Groger
J. R. Conrad
J. W. Berkshire
R. C. Brakefield
Trustees / Mayor
Daniel J. Roberts, Chairman
Russell M. "Coke" Hall
George "Kyle" Nicholson
Powers R. Conrad
Frank M. DeMoisey