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- 2014 - February - 17th -

50 years ago: $2.4 million bid for new Downtown public library

From Staff

An apparent low bid of $2.4 million was submitted for construction of the proposed Downtown library along Adams, Forsyth and Ocean streets.

The $2,447,800 bid was submitted by The Auchter Co. In October, Daniel Construction Co. was the apparent low bidder at $2,864,876.

City Finance Commissioner Dallas Thomas, who recommended rejection of the first bid because the cost was greater than the funds available for the project, said the new bid was “within the money.”

Taylor Hardwick, architect for the library, said the major changes that brought down the price by nearly $400,000 were elimination of a subbasement and changes to the building’s electrical system.

Auchter’s bid promised completion of the project in 480 days.

• Robert A. Mallard was sworn in as Duval County’s new supervisor of registration and pledged to operate the office “impartially and fairly to all citizens, regardless of race, color or creed.”

Mallard was sworn in before the Board of County Commissioners shortly after word was received from Tallahassee that he had been appointed to the post by Gov. Farris Bryant.

He succeeded Fleming H. Bowden, who died three days earlier after serving as supervisor since 1943. Mallard had served as assistant supervisor for 15 years.

Board chairman Julian Warren presided at the ceremony, while Circuit Court Clerk S. Morgan Slaughter administered the oath to Mallard.

In his brief remarks, Mallard expressed his personal sympathy for the Bowden family and said his predecessor was “a man that was more to me than a close personal friend or my immediate supervisor.”

He said he would strive to continue the high ideals of public trust earned by Bowden.

“I shall always remain impartial and fair in the operation of the office with the citizens of this county. I will uphold the dignity, honor and trust in the high ideals of democracy that our good governor of this great state has placed in my hands today. I am, with all humility, very grateful,” Mallard said.

• One of five Jacksonville men convicted in 1960 of involvement in a major Cuba lottery won a bid for freedom.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit ordered that a writ of habeas corpus be granted Floyd Cullins, 48, who was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment for participation in a lottery operation that had its headquarters in the Downtown St. Johns Apartments.

The apartment had been rented in the name of William Cross of Atlanta, who received a four-year sentence in the case.

It was raided Oct. 25, 1958, by Duval County sheriff’s deputies and agents of the Florida Sheriff’s Bureau following a six-week undercover investigation.

Key to the investigation was the rigging of a microphone and an electronic recording device from an apartment above the one leased by Cross and running through an air-conditioning duct into the Cross apartment.

Conversations heard over the microphone by investigators were the principal evidence used against Cullins and Cross during their trials.

The appellate court ruled the use of such a device was illegal and the evidence derived from its use was inadmissible, as it violated the defendants’ rights under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

• Herman Ulmer Jr., chairman of The Bolles School board of trustees, announced that Carl E. Reed would serve as headmaster of the school when Frederick W. Hackett retired at the end of the school year.

Reed, who was selected from a pool of 100 candidates, was assistant headmaster of the Kincaid School in Houston.

He had been principal of the upper school there since 1961 and also taught physics, chemistry, geometry and aeronautics.

Reed was assistant football coach and rifle team instructor.

He received a master’s degree in education at Harvard University and a doctorate in education at the University of Houston.

“Dr. Reed is thoroughly experienced in all aspects of school administration. He has an outstanding background in the field of college preparation and a keen active interest in new developments which are necessary to meet the rapidly changing demands of modern education,” Ulmer said.

• U.S. Customs agents arrested a merchant seaman aboard the U.S. Navy tanker Pecos after a routine search disclosed 1.5 pounds of marijuana among his belongings.

Customs Agent William Lankford said Clarence Hicks, 54, of New York, was charged with smuggling marijuana after the drug was found hidden in a pair of galoshes.

The vessel was towed to Jacksonville after having run aground near the Bahamas.

Lankford said the crude marijuana would make about 1,000 cigarettes, which could be sold for $1 to $1.50 apiece.

• It was reported that Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians would provide the music for the 1964 charity ball of the Rotary Club of Jacksonville, scheduled April 1 at the George Washington Hotel.

The ball would be the 12th annual affair sponsored by the club for benefit of Jacksonville charitable organizations. Luke Sadler and Dick James headed the event for the second consecutive year.

Proceeds would be donated to the Duval County Speech and Hearing Clinic.

Since the ball was inaugurated in 1952, $122,534 had been raised. The North Florida Association for Mentally Retarded Children, YMCA, Blind Children’s Foundation, Boy Scouts, Daniel Memorial Home, Visiting Nurses Association, Boys Home Association, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Opportunity House, Camp Echockotee and the Northeast Florida Heart Association were among the recipients.

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