25 Years Ago
February 25, 1988
Monday night the Ava City Council heard a rebuttal to the proposal two weeks ago to change the flow of traffic on the square. Speaking on behalf of the Ava Area Chamber of Commerce and several of the town’s retail merchants, CofC President Kris Norman asked the council to not change the flow of traffic and to allow one-way traffic to continue as it has for many years. Chamber of Commerce board member John Sutton also spoke in favor of leaving traffic as it is now, and high school Jeff Emrick addressed Council on the same subject.
The big fire that raged through the Mt. Tabor area Monday afternoon burned over an estimated 300 acres before being brought under control. Four or five homes were in imminent danger, with several others threatened. Property of some 12 to 15 landowners was damaged by the fire.
Last Thursday evening 8-year-old Kris McGill and a friend, Loren Sowers, labeled a helium balloon with Kris’ name, address and telephone number, and let it go. At 11 a.m. Saturday morning, Kris had a new friend from Morrisville, Vt. In a 36-hour period the orange balloon had traveled 1400 miles and had landed in a tree near the driveway of Lance Wells, of Morrisville. Mr. Wells used the front-end loader of his tractor to reach the balloon and called Kris to tell him just how far his balloon had traveled.
Louis Ruggiano, a 25-year-old Army veteran and son of Gwynne and Eddie Kerens, of Ava, was recently presented with the nation’s highest peacetime award for heroism. The award was authorized by President Reagan and presented by Congressman Bill Nelson.
On Tuesday evening, Feb. 16, Douglas Roberts and friends, Robbie Campbell and Jared Spurlock and Douglas’ family had a birthday supper at McDonald’s in Mtn. Grove.
50 Years Ago
February 21, 1963
A group of Ava men will appear on KTTS-TV, channel 10, from 4 to 4:30 tomorrow (Friday) afternoon, on “For Your Information” sponsored by the area relations committee of the Springfield Chamber of Commerce. Appearing on the television program will be Robert Kottmeier, president of the Chamber of Commerce; O.L. Claxton, area redevelopment agent, acting as master of ceremonies; E.L. Yeoman, representing city government; Peter Buchheit, representing Rawlings Manufacturing Co.; Charles Farris, Sentinel Wood Treating Plant; Marcus Holman, agriculture; Bruce Elliott, tourism; and James Curry, representing the schools.
The Ozark County Times, Gainesville, was heavily damaged by fire last Thursday. The building occupied by the newspaper plant was virtually destroyed, and damage to the plant equipment is reported to have been considerable. The fire was started from a grass fire in an alley to the rear of the printing office.
Miss Judy Gardner, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Wade Gardner, has been selected as queen of the 1963 Ava High School yearbook, the Docomo. Crowned as Docomo king was Jack Johnson, son of Mr. and Mrs. Logan Johnson. Both are seniors.
The Knox Service Station and garage, located on Highway 5, about six miles north of Ava, was burglarized Tuesday night. Thieves gained entrance to the office by breaking out a back window. Stolen were cigarettes, candy bars, eight pocketknives, several loaves of bread and other merchandise.
Absenteeism is a bit higher than normal in Ava High School, according to Principal Edwin Upchurch, but has not reached an alarming stage. Mansfield Supt. Robert Clark said about 150 of the 620 students were absent Monday, and classes were dismissed Tuesday and Wednesday. An outbreak of hepatitis was reported in Mountain Grove, with 25 persons down with the disease, but school had not been dismissed up to yesterday.
Mrs. Michael Bowman (Nancy Turton) daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Bob Turton of Ava, was chosen “Sweetheart” of Sig Epsilon Fraternity at the Missouri School of Mines at Rolla.
Mr. and Mrs. F. Leon Luallen announce the birth of a son, Gregory Keith, at 7:30 o’clock Wednesday morning, Feb. 13, in St. John’s Hospital, Springfield. Mrs. Luallen and her other son, Jerry, who is 19-months old, have been residing at the Gaulding Apartments in Ava, while Mr. Luallen, a naval hospital corpsman, is on an overseas tour of duty with a U.S. Marine unit based in Okinawa.
Miss Kay Frisby was chosen queen of the year at Kansas City Business College and presented her crown at the formal “Sweetheart Ball” held Feb. 14 at the Johnson County Community Center in Mission, Kan. Miss Frisby is the fiancé of Wesley Emerson, son of Mr. and Mrs. Dwight Emerson.
75 Years Ago
February 24, 1938
The enrollment for the school year 1930-31 was 440. The next year enrollment was 712. The number decreased after that and was smaller until this year the enrollment reached 810. The enrollment in rural schools of Douglas County has grown from 3,962 in 1931-32 to 4,378 in 1936-37. The Ava schools now employ twenty-five teachers and rural schools employ 137 teachers. There are 111 school districts in the country.
Snow and freezing temperature experienced here over the weekend caught some fruit trees in the act of bursting into bloom.
The Douglas County Capital, published here for the past few years, has suspended publication.
Who will be Miss Ava 1938? That question will be answered Friday night, March 4, when out-of-town judges will select a local young lady to bear the city title and represent this community in the official statewide beauty pageant finals at Sedalia.
Miss Una Ellison, sponsor of the senior class of the Ava High School has announced that members of the senior class will present their annual play, “The Girl Who Forgot,” on Friday evening in the high school auditorium. These ten members of the cast have been selected to present the three act play: Miss Genevieve Exline, Miss Angeline Elliott, Miss Mary Roy, Miss Virginia Lee Haynes, Miss Iva Belle Bowles, James Curry, Harlan House, Wallace Hartley, Harrison Shipman and Cecil Robertson.
Mr. and Mrs. Jess Smith of Ava announce the marriage of their daughter, Opal, to Horace L. Barnes, son of Jesse Barnes of Fordland.
Of course the administration will cooperate with business, it will even throw in a “kick in the pants” for good measure.
ROCKBRIDGE – The creeks have all been on a rampage for the past week. The Mtn. Grove mail carrier has not been able to get to Rockbridge since last Tuesday. The Gainesville mail failed to get here Thursday and Friday.
EAST DOGWOOD – We wish to congratulate Mr. and Mrs. Johnnie Evans who were married recently and we hope for them a happy and prosperous life. Johnnie is the son of Mr. and Mrs. T.L. Evans of this community.
In practically all of the Far East, freedom of the press is unknown – the U.S.S.R., China, Japan, Turkey, Arabia, Egypt and other countries control their periodicals and in India, Belgian Congo and French West Africa, there is some measure of government control.
Thrasher’s Theatre – Friday and Saturday, Feb. 25-26 – Fourth Chapter Dick Tracy serial – plenty of thrills and action – don’t fail to see this one! “Arizona Days”, starring Tex Ritter, the Singing Cowboy, who has plenty of action and entertainment.
The New Wilson Theatre, Fri. Sat., The greatest Hop-a-long Cassidy Western we’ve ever had. Judith Allen, a good-looking schoolteacher, helps Wm. Boyd round up a bunch of horse thieves trying to steal U.S. Army horses. 13-year-old Bill King, son of the Major in Command, helps Judith with some straight shooting. Also Popeye cartoon.
100 Years Ago
March 6, 1913
The law prohibiting the shipping of liquor into dry territory has passed the House and Senate, over the president’s veto, and will become a law. The bill is known as the Webb Bill and affects dry states only.
WILL VOTE ON BONDS FOR SPECIAL ROAD DISTRICT, March 20th is the date selected for submitting it to a vote of the people, $20,000 is asked for – will we grant it? It is up to you. Consider well and vote right.
Benton Township Vote on Stock Law –– There will be an election held in Benton Township next Monday, March 10, at the courthouse, for the purpose of voting on the proposition of restraining hogs, sheep, and goats from running at large. It is held as territory adjoining territory, which now has a stock law – viz Findley Township. It takes a majority vote carry this proposition and it is believed that it will be carried very easily.
CASTO – Mr. and Mrs. John Duren are the proud parents of a fine new girl.
A Picture, Comment & Compliment… “It is easier to make a good girl bad than it is to make a bad girl good. The same will apply with equal force of fact to the young man. Go with me to the hotel where that young girl that has gone wrong, registered last night, or to an office room, or to some secret apartment. There is the lifeless form, there is the empty vial from which she drank the poison. Go with me back over the road, which she has traveled, and you will find where she was once as pure as an angel. Again you will find where she took the fatal step from which never did or could recover.” The above paragraph is a quotation from a sermon preached at the Baptist Church last Sunday night by Rev. G.R. Curry. For at least an hour he held the large congregation with almost breathless silence and interest… Isn’t it time for the public to wake up to the inestimable value of church influence and the honest ministry of our country, and treat it no longer as the last place to go, or of insignificant value? A Citizen of Ava.
WOOD ITEMS – Clate Penner has rented Mr. Martin’s farm. Mr. Martin goes to Idaho, Bert Harmon also going.
We had another snow last Saturday and Sunday, and the weather has been cool since.
The storehouse and stock of goods belonging to W.A. Tabor at Rome was burned last Sunday night, being valued at something near $3,000. The origin of the fire is unknown.
125 Years Ago
March 8, 1888
Complaints at the inefficiency of the postal service are pouring into Washington from all parts of the country.
Pedestrianism has become fashionable among Washington society women. Mrs. Whitney and the Miss West started the fad, and now every woman who wishes to be looked upon takes her daily walk.
Uncle Sam collected $82,000 in duties on a single consignment of opium, which was received by a San Francisco firm from Hong Kong a few days ago. There were 200 cases weighing 3,200 pounds in the consignment.
There is a town in Mississippi where the law is enforced in a rather peculiar manner. A man, who ran a blind tiger under the nostrils of the law, reformed suddenly and announced that he had become an evangelist. The next day he was arrested for preaching without a license.
MINOR MENTION –– London now has 107,000 paupers. There are 60,000 families in London living in cellars.
A $15,000 lighthouse lens made in Paris for the United States Government is now in Washington. It is the largest lantern lens in the country. The glasswork, or lens proper, measures 15 feet in height, while the internal diameter is 8 feet 8 inches.
Preparations for the Paris Exposition of 1889 are advancing rapidly. [The Paris Exposition was held during the year noting the 100th anniversary of the storming of the Bastille, an event considered the symbol for the beginning of the French Revolution. The main symbol of the Fair was the Eiffel Tower, which was completed in 1889.]
The doctors appear to have settled it among themselves that the affliction of the throat of the German crown prince is not of a cancerous nature. But the poor patient keeps right on coughing up chunks of his throat all the same, and has had to have a hole cut in this windpipe to breathe through. It is well enough to tell us that it is not cancer, but the main question is what ails the crown prince and how he is going to be cured.
The rising generation in cities is chiefly made up of milkmen and hired girls.
It is calculated by a careful Darwinian theorist that the fourth generation in Minnesota will be born with fur on.
A fit companion piece to the picture Congress presents in attempting to keep cottonseed oil out of hog fat, would be an old free-liver objecting to the amount of pure bourbon a bartender puts in with his fuel oil, cayenne pepper, tobacco stems and rainwater.
It has been decided in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court that a person may fry onions regardless of the inconvenience the odor of the cooking gives to the neighbors.
An Arkansas Court has sentenced a man to three years imprisonment for stealing a $2 Bible.
There are times when a man should not give up his seat in a street car to even a lame woman. That time is when twelve men are packed like sardines on one side of the car and four women have spread themselves to take up every inch of room on the other.