1940-1949

 

By the year 1940, Citrus County had a population of 5,844, an increase of 328 people in 10 years. The county was growing.

Florida’s population, according to the Chronicle, was 1.8 million.

In May of 1941 General Clarence Tinker, of MacDill Air Base in Tampa, told the local Rotary Club that members of the community needed to steel themselves for the hardships of war.

And sure enough, seven months later Pearl Harbor was bombed by the Japanese and the United States joined World War II.

By 1942, casualty lists were being carried by the Chronicle. Pvt. Eugene Quinn was the first local causality of the war. The number would eventually climb to 22. The VFW Post 4337 in Inverness is named in his honor.

In 1943 it was reported that the county had furnished 386 men to the war effort. That totaled seven percent of the county population.

On May 10, 1945, a Chronicle headline shouted, “MAY 8TH V-E DAY”.

Citrus County held up its part of the war effort with school children exceeding goals for collecting scrap metal, women’s groups making bandages and the organizers of war bond sales efforts regularly succeeded in topping the established goals.

Some important non-war related happenings were recorded during the decade.

The Chassahowitzka Wildlife Refuge was established in 1943.

In 1949 dial equipment was being installed to the local phone system and it was announced that the county should be able to receive a television signal being sent from Tampa.

In November of 1945 Mrs. Scofield stepped down as editor and J.R. Harkreader took over the editorial reins. He was succeeded in July 1946 by Alton B. Claytor. Scofield sold his rights to the Chronicle in May 1946 to N.A. Perry of Bradenton, who sold it shortly afterward to J.R. Hough.

One year later, Col. George H. Johnson bought both the Chronicle and the Dunnellon Sun from Hough.

One of the big stories of the year was the dedication of the Inverness Airport in August 1947.

In April of 1949 the Chronicle reported the Florida State Legislature had passed a bill to levy a 3 mill tax for use in acquiring land and building a hospital.

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