• Circuit Judge William H. Maness announced he would resign on or before June 1 to return to private practice.
Maness said in his announcement he was "the most satisfied public official in Florida" so far as the duties of the judgeship were concerned.
He said at the same time, however, the compensation received by a circuit judge put him in a position where he no longer could afford to hold the post and meet his family obligations.
Circuit judges in 1963 were paid $18,500 a year.
"I like the work of a trial judge. It is the front line of the judicial branch of our government. It is here that one's knowledge of the law, integrity, common sense and sound judgment is tested daily. It is here that a kind, patient and hard-working judge can experience great spiritual rewards for his efforts to cultivate those qualities and apply them in every case," Maness said.
"But in the last few years, as I have derived more and more satisfaction from my work in Duval, Nassau and Clay counties, it has become increasingly apparent that the spiritual rewards constitute a luxury which I cannot long afford because the economic rewards represented by judicial salaries have not kept pace with the economics of the legal profession and the needs of a large family whose scale of living has been and is expected to be in line with that profession.
"With a daughter ready for the college of her choice in September, and four other children working in that direction, it is not my right to decline the opportunities available in private practice which will provide adequate income to meet these increasing needs," he said.
Maness was appointed to the bench Oct. 1, 1957, by Gov. LeRoy Collins when Duval County received two additional circuit judges. He was elected to succeed himself in the 1958 Democratic primary over a single opponent and then was nominated to succeed himself without opposition in the 1960 Democratic primary for a full six-year term.
• A plan for the installation of a safety barrier on the Mathews Bridge was approved by the State Road Department.
Ralph Powers, member of the State Road Board, said he had been advised that department engineers proposed a median barrier for the span similar to the one already in place on the Marshall Bridge over the Trout River. That barrier had proved effective in reducing accidents caused by motorists losing control of their cars, crossing the median strip and running head-on into vehicles in the other lane, Powers said.
• According to a formal audit presented to the Jacksonville Beach City Council, the City completed 1962 with a cash surplus of $112,299. It was the largest surplus in the municipality's history.
Forrest Bryant, chairman of the Council's Finance and Taxation Committee, called the audit "the finest report in the history of the City."
The report listed another $203,855 in unrealized surplus, including about $62,000 in liens receivable and $46,000 in uncollected real estate taxes.
• Mrs. Malcolm Fortson, chair of the Jacksonville Garden Club's Civic and Roadside Committee, urged candidates in the upcoming legislative election to refrain from posting campaign signs on trees and utility poles.
"In addition to being against City ordinances, it detracts from the beauty of Duval County," said Fortson.
William Stockton Jr., a Republican candidate for the Group 5 seat, sent a letter to his fellow candidates.
"I am requesting that each of you refrain from defacing the natural beauty of our county with posters on any object other than established billboards," he wrote.
Stockton pledged his cooperation if the other candidates agreed.
• City Commissioner Claude Smith announced that two Jacksonville men who had been selected for Carnegie awards after saving a co-worker from suffocation would receive their honors Feb. 27 in the Coliseum.
Smith would make the presentation to Ivery Elps Jr. and Paul Jones, who would each receive a bronze medal from the Carnegie Heroes Fund Commission. In addition, Elps was to receive a $750 cash award; Jones, a $500 award.
The men were working at the Maxwell House Coffee plant at 735 E. Bay St. when John Mattison was overcome by fumes while cleaning the interior of a liquid coffee tank. Jones entered the vat to attempt to assist Mattison but was himself overcome by fumes. Elps then lowered himself into the tank and raised both of his unconscious co-workers so other workers could lift them out of the tank.
Smith said the medal presentation was scheduled at the venue during the intermission in the exhibition basketball game by the Harlem Globetrotters.
• William Warbritton of 6746 Laurina Place heard a scratching at his door late one night. He opened the door, expecting to find a dog, but discovered instead a 2-year-old boy wearing only a coat, shivering and with his arms outstretched.
Warbritton called the Duval County Patrol. Patrolmen E.B. Ashley and C.E. Cox arrived minutes later to pick up the child.
As the officers prepared to return to headquarters, a young woman came running frantically down the street to claim the toddler. She said she was the child's babysitter and the boy had disappeared when she went to answer the telephone.
Warbritton, the father of three young children, said he was "a little sad" at the outcome. He said the child was "such a fine looking boy, I hoped nobody would claim him."
Have you ever wondered what life was like in Jacksonville half a century ago? It was a different era of history, culture and politics but there are often parallels between the kind of stories that made headlines then and today. As interesting as the differences may be, so are the similarities. These are some of the top stories from this week in 1963. The items were compiled from the Jacksonville Public Library's periodical archives by Staff Writer Max Marbut.