25 Years Ago
November 5, 1987
The Gentry Community Church, a Douglas County landmark dating back to the early 1900s, was totally destroyed by fire just after midnight Sunday morning. Kelly Huffman and Lyle Jenkins, whose ancestors attended school at Gentry, recalled the history of the building as they watched it burn early Sunday morning. Huffman said he believed the first school term was held there in 1902.
A 48-cent school levy increase was overwhelmingly defeated by voters in the Ava R-1 School District Tuesday. The proposal was refused 245 to 723, according to the official tally released by County Clerk Bill Merritt Wednesday afternoon.
GTE has begun major construction activity in Ava, in preparation for a new digital electronic office in Ava within the next 12 to 16 months. Bob Sterling, manager of GTE’s operation in this area, said the project would cost more than $196,000.
Mr. and Mrs. Ray McCrite will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary Sunday, Nov. 15.
Rev. and Mrs. Eddie Bray are happy to announce the arrival of their baby girl born Oct. 28 in Cox South, Springfield.
The youngest spook at the Ava Lions Club Halloween costume contest Saturday night was Aymee Renee Nash, 5-week-old daughter of Dwayne and Teresa Nash.
Wilma Sidelinker was honored by her family for her 80th birthday Saturday, Oct. 17, at her home in Ava.
ROSE BUD VILLAGE –– Myrtle and Corbett (Cobby) Brown decided to celebrate their 72nd wedding anniversary at home, but their many friends planned otherwise.
DENLOW –– Aunt Louvade Hancock will be 96 on Nov. 3.
50 Years Ago
November 1, 1962
Prospective deer hunters will envy the motorist who downed a 10-point buck Saturday night on Highway 14, about eight miles west of Ava. The buck was found by the side of the road at about 11 p.m. by Roland Haynes, who reported it to Conservation Agent Bob Cook.
The second consecutive reunion of World War I veterans of Battery C, 342nd Field Artillery, will be held Sunday, Nov. 4, at the American Legion Hall in Ava.
Douglas County voters will go to the polls next Tuesday and among the ballots will be one to decide whether or not to establish a health unit, and to set up a maximum tax of ten cents per hundred dollars assessed valuation for operation of the unit.
Contractors are slightly ahead of schedule in construction of a new high school building at Gainesville, and it is expected to be completed by June 8. The roof of the structure was to be finished this week, windows and glass are nearly installed and painters are at work.
A pertinent statement overheard: “I presume one drinks coffee during a coffee break, but I would not presume to guess what one drinks during a station break.”
Gilbert Bisher, AHS science teacher, was “star of the week” last week at the Mansfield Bowl. Bisher rolled a high game of 232. Bisher bowls in the Monday night Lions Club League with the Haynes Sinclair team of Ava. Another Ava bowler, Leroy Dougherty, came up with a four-game total of 709 to lead the eight teams in the Wednesday Three-some League. Dougherty is on The Corner Store team.
Entertained as dinner guests Sunday noon in the country home of Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Kilburn at Smallett were Mrs. Eddie Phipps, Mrs. Audra Stanifer and son, Aaron Lee, and Jimmy Burton.
Miss June Burk, a senior student at Southwest Missouri State College, Springfield, majoring in English and Spanish, has been elected treasurer of the Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority.
VANZANT –– Mr. and Mrs. Clyde Routh and family recently moved to Vanzant. Callers in the Routh home since they moved have been Mrs. Don Woods, Mrs. Merle Kutz, Mrs. Alvis Reese and Mrs. Adena Davis.
The Roy Royals Club met Oct. 10 with Mrs. Jewell Mackey as hostess. Mrs. Cleta Cunningham presided over the business meeting.
BROWN BRANCH –– Boisie Taber and Mrs. Gladys Davis of Keltner were married Saturday, Oct. 20.
ROMANCE –– It begins to look as if getting telephones in these hills will eventually become a reality. They have thrown a telephone pole off to where we can see it.
The Missouri Good Roads Association has adopted a resolution urging the 1963 Legislature to enact legislation requiring periodic inspections for all automotive vehicles operating in Missouri. It was pointed out that 18 states currently require such an inspection as part of traffic and accident prevention programs.
75 Years Ago
November 4, 1937
Douglas County Officers, assisted by the state highway patrol, this week are working on a few scant clues to the solution of a robbery at the Farmers Exchange here Thursday night of last week.
Licenses on dogs, as required by an act passed by the last session of the legislature, are not available at present but are due and payable on or before the first day of February each year, according to County Clerk W.F. Givans.
A Social Security office for Douglas County has been established in the courthouse this week.
Three men, somewhat nervous, entered the Farmers and Merchants Bank at Mansfield about 12:30 o’clock Tuesday afternoon while two women tellers were alone in the building, threatened the women with pistols, scooped $691 into a gunny sack, locked the women in the bank vault and fled. No trace of the bandits has been found.
Two exceptionally large walnuts were brought into the Herald office last week by Russell Simpson, of Girdner, Justice of the Peace for Walls Township. With the hull on, one of the nuts measured nine inches in diameter. Hulled, the other nut measured five and a half inches in diameter, measured the long way.
Ava High School’s carnival Friday night was attended by an estimated 1,500 persons, the largest crowd ever to attend one of the annual carnivals, which have been held the past half dozen years.
Boyd Robertson began work Monday at the Independent Oil station in the south part of town. Mr. Robertson will work with Roy Edmonds who operates the station.
Seven Ava boys, returning in the early morning hours Tuesday from Springfield, where they had heard a concert by the U.S. Navy band escaped injury when the car in which they were riding turned over three hundred yards south of the Bryant Bridge on Highway 5. Robert Gray, driver of the car, a Packard sedan, said afterwards he didn’t know exactly what happened. Occupants of the car were Ted and Ronald Gray, brothers of Robert; Max Norman, Wallace Hartley, Bob Fisher, Johnny Barrett and the driver.
CROSS ROADS –– Mr. and Mrs. Vester Henson are the proud parents of a baby boy who arrived Tuesday evening Oct. 26. Mrs. Margaret Spurlock, Mrs. Henson’s sister, is caring for Mrs. Henson and baby.
RIPPEE –– Mr. and Mrs. Jim Wilson and family, formerly of Valley Center, Kansas, have moved to this community.
Douglas County sheep growers will remember 1937 as the year when their sheep were heavily infested with both stomach and tape worms.
Tuesday, Nov. 2, was the ninety-ninth birthday of “Uncle” Prov Anderson, who lives in the east end of the county near Blanche.
Mrs. John Victor and Miss Fern Grote, operators of the Spic and Span Beauty Shop, were in Springfield Monday night attending a Clairol demonstration.
100 Years Ago
November 14, 1912
As a result of an enthusiastic and interesting meeting held at the M.E. Church in Ava last Sunday evening, an anti-whiskey club will be organized here next Sunday night. Douglas County is a local option county and is supposed to be protected by prohibition laws, but for the past few weeks the effect of a great deal of “bad whiskey” has been displayed in Ava and surrounding neighborhoods. The disturbances of drunken persons have caused some of our citizens to realize a great harm is being done. Recent quarrels and fights have resulted in more harm than can ever be repaid. At the meeting last Sunday evening, E.H. Yeisley was made chairman and Prof. V.A. Dobyns, secretary.
In all townships where the stock law was voted on, except Findley, the proposition was defeated. In Findley Township it carried by a good majority.
Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence S. Davis are the proud and happy parents of a bright-eyed boy, which arrived at their home last Sunday morning, Nov. 10, 1912. Judge Davis is taking two high steps at a time this week, walking with such rapidity that all who see him are convinced that he has one more to provide.
DENLOW – Lester Pennington, head miller at Topaz, visited home folks last Sunday.
News has been received in Ava that Mack Hill, a prominent citizen of near Topaz, in the east end of Douglas County, while out hunting last Monday, was accidentally shot and killed. The report said he laid his gun on the ground and had stopped to drink from a spring when the accident occurred. He lived only a short time.
Benjamin Thompson who has been visiting with his parents and friends in Ava for the past few weeks, left yesterday for Washington, D.C. where he will resume his work for the government.
J.A. Hunt and wife of Fordland, Mo., have moved to Ava where they expect to reside in the future. Mr. Hunt is in the loan business, and expects to loan several thousand dollars in this county this fall and winter.
For the first time since the Civil War the United States flag was unfurled to the breeze over the Clay County Courthouse at Liberty. Gen. John Hall, state commander of the United Confederate Veterans officiated at the “raising”. The last American flag to fly over the courthouse was placed there when federal troops took possession and hauled down a Confederate flag raised in 1861 by Mr. Hall who was then a private in Gen. Sterling Price’s brigade.
125 Years Ago
November 11, 1887
This is the off year in which state elections are held in a number of states in the Union. The mugwump State of New York has gone Democratic while in Ohio there has been a large Republican gain. The off year is not always a guide and New York may go Republican by a big majority next time. All it wants is a president, and it is willing to support any kind of material just so it comes from New York.
A petition is before the county court asking that an election be called for the adoption of local option. Of course the court will follow the law and order a special election to be held.
Lew Wallace’s “Ben Hur” was originally dedicated ‘To the wife of my youth.’ He has been so bored by letters of condolences from people who imagined that his wife was dead that he has added the line, “who still abides with me.”
FACT AND FAY –– A Montana paper the other day puzzled its readers by referring to “Kisser William of Germany.”
Many were of the opinion that on account of moving, the Herald would not make its appearance this week.
The courthouse was donated to the county and the donation is now a matter of record. No steps have as yet been taken to prepare it for occupancy by the county officers.
NOTICE –– Persons desiring to purchase wild land for raising stock, raising fruit or for farming should call on us before purchasing elsewhere. We have 480 acres of such land in Douglas County, which we will sell very cheap, almost give it away. Douglas County is the best adapted to raising fruit of any county in Southern Mo. A healthier place cannot be found. Correspondence is solicited. Roote & Frink, Ava, Mo.
County Court commenced work in good season Monday morning. Among other business before the court were petitions for dram shops. Judge Walker expresses himself a Prohibitionist in sentiments. Judge Brixey has no use for whiskey, and judge Smallwood is down on whiskey. However, one license has been granted for a saloon near Horton.
Look out for Wilson’s Prices on Horseshoeing. No. 2 shoes a ready fit warranted for 20 cents. No. 3 and 4 shoes in proportion.
Economy is the road to wealth.
Squire Thomas was in town during the week. The Squire informs us that an Anti-Wheel organization has been started in his neighborhood.
Merrell’s Female Tonic is prepared solely for the cure of complaints, which afflict all womankind. It gives tone and strength to the uterine organs and corrects dangerous displacements and irregularities. It is of great value in change of life. The use of Merrell’s Female Tonic during pregnancy greatly relieves pains of motherhood and promotes speedy recovery. It assists nature to safely make the critical change from girlhood to womanhood. It is pleasant to the taste and may be taken at all times with perfect safety. Price $1. For sale by all Druggists. J.S. Merrell Drug Co., Sole Prop., St. Louis.