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Rusk History 1934

B. Miller, coming from Germany as a boy without a dollar, acquired a large fortune through his shrewdness as a businessman and trader. The bulk of his wealth was bequeathed to orphans' homes and churches.

Rusk's ranking merchant, a gracious, snowy-haired woman of eighty-one years, retired in 1934. For more than half a century Sarah Rebecca Curtis sold hats. Her first stock of millinery was hauled from Jacksonville, the nearest railroad point, by wagon. She outlived every Rusk business in operation when she opened her doors.

The first Rusk charter was approved in 1850 but no record of city organization has been found. In 1856 a second charter was granted and E. W. Bush was elected mayor. Among his successors were John L. Whitescarver, Thomas J. Johnson, Jefferson Shook, E. L. Givens, Charles A. Miller, A. J. Owen, R. E. Hendry, R. B. Martin, J. O. Coupland, E. R F. McMullen, L. D. Guinn, W. IL Shook,- William M. Ellis, G. S. Huston, Doctor J. L. Summers, and K R. Gregg, the present mayor.

Outstanding among the marks of progress during the past two decades have been the waterworks system (1914), the million-gallon reservoir and the sewerage system (1925), the pavement of the courthouse square and the approaching blocks (1927), the gas system (1927), the erection of a modern post office (1928) and additional paving (1934).

Among the organizations promoting the town's development during the earlier decades of the present century were the Boosters Club and the Commercial Club. The Kiwanis Club, organized in 1923 with thirty-six members, is now the leader in civic programs. W. W. Finley is president.

- A History of Cherokee County, 1934 by Hattie Joplin Roach


31° 47' 45.636" N, 95° 9' 0.792" W