25 Years Ago
January 1, 1987
The Wright County Landfill near Hartville will be closed Dec. 31, forcing Ava and several others area towns to find an alternate place to dispose of trash. Ava sanitation department superintendent Lemuel Berry was informed last week that the landfill would be shut down at the end of this year by the Department of Natural Resources.
Dedication services for the new Ava Branch RLDS Church building will be held Sunday, Jan. 4. The building was purchased from the congregation of the Church of the Bible Covenant in November.
A huge alligator snapping turtle was found in an Ozarks stream not too far from here. And, by the way, it was released unharmed. In fact, the snapper is apparently a tough old scoundrel because it showed marks of having been shot with a high-powered rifle at some time in the past. The big snapper weighed around 63 to 64 pounds, and measured 22 ½ inches long and 19 inches wide. The head of the turtle measured six inches across. Alligator snapping turtles, which can be identified by the ridges down the back of the shell, are protected by the state of Missouri.
SQUIRES –– Mabel Everett had some very nice pictures of her son’s wedding and reception.
Mrs. Lilly Linder spent the Christmas holiday in the home of her brother, Mr. and Mrs. Jay Gentry of Norwood. Others present for the Christmas dinner were Mr. and Mrs. Eddie Gentry and David, Jamie Gentry, Mr. and Mrs. Ted Strecker and Sarah of Springfield, Mrs. Brenda Brummett, Kerri, Amy and Stacy, Mtn. Grove, Dennis Welch and Ruskin of Kirbyville.
NORTH SIDE NEWS –– Sunday dinner guests of Mr. and Mrs. Doc Rippee, Billie and Amie, Mr. and Mrs. Verlin Hall, Mabel Nichols, Pearl Benson and Jean Wallace.
WASOLA –– The Gary Nokes family visited his aunt, Marilee Payne, and family of Clever Christmas Day.
50 Years Ago
December 28, 1961
Bids for construction of the new 34,000 square feet addition to the Rawlings factory building in Ava will be received by the Ava Industrial Development Corporation on Friday evening, Jan. 19, it was announced here this week. Bids will be publicly opened and read at a meeting in the elementary school building at 7:30 p.m.
A Saturday night fire on Norman Street, in northwest Ava, left two families homeless, completely destroyed a six-room residence with enclosed porch, and inflicted heavy damage to adjoining residence property. Completely destroyed was what was commonly known as the W.J. Gentry residence property owned by Mrs. Gladys B. Stewart, Ramey Smith and Gorman Dye, Sr., one of the older residence properties in that section of town. Heavily damaged by the intense heat and water was the modern 7-room ranch type home of Mr. and Mrs. Cloine Pettit, located on an adjoining lot to the south. The blaze was discovered at about 11:15 Saturday night by Mrs. Marvin Barnes, a neighbor living just to the north, who immediately turned in the fire alarm.
Mr. and Mrs. Wm. C. Singleton, both natives of Douglas County and almost lifetime residents, observed their 60th wedding anniversary on Christmas Day. The couple was married Dec. 25, 1901, in a log cabin in which Mrs. Singleton was born. The cabin, about four miles east of Ava on Highway 14, is still standing.
A former Ava couple, Mr. and Mrs. Murley Grabeel, who now reside at 215 South Luster in Springfield, was awarded first place in one division in outside Christmas decorations.
Earl Darlington, Ava, recently purchased an Aberdeen-Angus bull from Frank Snelson, Wasola, Mo.
Marriage has been likened to a cafeteria –– one simply grabs something that looks nice and pays for it later.
Mrs. James Curry was hostess to members of the Ava Study Club Wednesday night, Dec. 20. A short business session, conducted by Mrs. Curry, president, opened the meeting, and during the session officers were named to serve during the 1962 club year. President, Mrs. Robert Cook; vice president, Mrs. Richard Dye, secretary-treasurer, Mrs. Don Knerium. Two new members, Mrs. Don Haught and Mrs. Carl Fasholz, were welcomed into the club. Attending the annual holiday meeting were: Mesdames Russell Heath, Bob Jarrett, Jack Norris, Lawrence Haynes, B.A. Kottmeier, Ray Parsley, Vernon Ray, Harold Hutchison, Don Knerium, Richard Dye, Robert Cook, Taylor Wood, Don Haught, Carl Fasholz, and Herman Davis.
From Art Linkletter’s book, “Kids Say The Darndest Things”: The little girl was making out a list of things she wanted for Christmas, when her mother inquired what she wanted more than anything else. “A baby brother,” “But honey,” her mother tried to explain, “your Daddy and I would like to give you a little baby brother, but there isn’t time before Christmas.” The little girl replied “Why don’t you do like they do down at Daddy’s factory when they want something in a hurry? Put more men on the job.”
75 Years Ago
December 31, 1936
Ava merchants enjoyed the most profitable pre-Christmas business this year that they have had since the good business years of 1928 and 1929. Thursday, the day before Christmas, was the best single day, merchants agreed, with the previous Saturday running a close second.
Prisoners in the county jail recently made an attempt to escape, but got only as far as sawing through one iron bar of the jail window. The sawed bar was discovered by Jailer J.E. Reeves Saturday morning and appeared to be freshly cut. Only prisoners in the jail the previous night had been Clifford Woolery and Sid Hartin, both charged with murder. They told Mr. Reeves the bar had been sawed through some time before.
Sixty drought relief farmers out of 200 who have been taken off WPA jobs in the past month and a half have been returned to their jobs, according to George M. Mullins, manager of the local resettlement office. Three hundred Douglas County farmers had been certified to the WPA for drought relief work.
J.C. Garrison was named janitor for the new courthouse at a salary of $1 per day. Fifty-four applications were received for the job by the court, and the three judges spent half a day considering them.
It was a happy Christmas for Ruth Williams, 16-year old Arkansas girl who had been so badly burned at two years old that life was a dreadful thing; her face so scarred that she avoided people, and hid away, out of sight. Baby Ruth fell, face down, onto a bed of hot cinders. Her eyelids were burned away; she could not close her eyes. But, by a series of operations, the girl no longer hides; she looks into the mirror at her new face, with pleasure. She can take her place among others without that terrible handicap. She can be a normal girl. Surely such surgery is the greatest and most blessed of scientific achievements.
Mr. and Mrs. Bailey Ludwig announce the birth of a baby son, born Tuesday, Dec. 22. The youngster weighed eight pounds and has been named Larry Arthur.
Lawrence Barnes, of Henderson, Texas, spent the Christmas season with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln Barnes of Roy. Mr. Barnes is employed in the oil fields near Henderson during the winter months and plays baseball during the summer season. He was a letterman in all-school athletics during the year he attended high school here and has twice tried out with the Springfield Cardinal baseball club, winning distinction each time.
EAST VANZANT –– We are still having warm damp weather.
BAKERSFIELD –– Miss Virgie Dobbs, who is attending school at the “School of the Ozarks,” is spending her vacation with home folk. Other high school students of the Bakersfield district having a vacation this week are Lee Cooley, Vera Dobyns, Agnes Heath and Freda Dobbs.
100 Years Ago
January 4, 1912
Living alone in a one-room log cabin just across the Taney county line in Arkansas, Mrs. Lucy Wagoner, who claims to be 110 years old, is spending the last days of her life eking out a bare existence by working in the cotton fields and doing other hard labor. Though she knows the addresses of four of her children, she is supporting herself without aid. Neighbors made Christmas day bright for her.
In an effort to stop the “marriage license by mail” system they say has been carried on illegally for a number of years, Jasper County officers have appealed to Gov. Hadley. They claim hundreds of marriage ceremonies performed at Joplin by justices of the peace are not legal.
The state association of county judges was formed at a meeting in Springfield. Hugh C. Gilbert of Kansas City was elected temporary president and J.P. Reed of Springfield was elected temporary secretary.
Adolphus Busch, of St. Louis, multi-millionaire brewer, sent his check for $1,000, purchasing 100,000 Red Cross Christmas stamps. The St. Louis society for the relief and prevention of tuberculosis says this is the largest number of the seals ever bought by an individual. John D. Rockefeller recently purchased 50,000 of the stamps from the New York society. Busch in a letter commended the work done in Missouri in the fight against tuberculosis.
GIRDNER –– Wm. Irby had a real Christmas doll presented on Christmas day. Wish them success.
The weather has had a bad batch for the Ozarks and roads are bad.
J.R. Spurlock, the bustling sewing machine man for the Singer sewing machine, received highest honors from the Singer people, as the best salesman and collector in the Ozark country.
The Pero Lumber Company is putting up a new lumber shed of which Ava can well feel proud. They are keeping pace with the progress, and are keeping up with Ava’s record of doing big things when she undertakes it.
John Levan has moved his office in the second room on the second floor of Citizens Bank. Dr. Norman has moved his office to the Norman and Burdett drug store
Marriage License –– R.A. Cates of Tigris to Martha Twitty of Granada; G.W. Reagan to Etta Lindner both of Witty; J.B. Lord to Victory Webster, both of Idumea.
TIGRIS NEWS –– On account of the bad weather the pie supper at the Beaver Schoolhouse was not very well attended Friday night, but a nice program was rendered and the proceeds amount to about $10. The beauty cake was awarded to Miss Gem Turner.
PANSY NEWS –– Anselum Jenkins has been very unfortunate since he moved on his new farm. While out hauling water he fell and the sled ran over him; some time afterward he fell under his wagon receiving injuries, which caused him to be so lame he could hardly climb a fence. Attempting to climb one with a hammer in his hand he fell, the hammer striking him in the head. The next time Anselum was seen out at work, his wife was with him.