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Looking Backward 2.21.2013

25 Years Ago

February 18, 1988


A rapid-moving winter storm hit the Ava area last Wednesday evening, turning rain to ice and snow, and forcing the cancellation of schools here on Thursday.  The temperature took a nose-dive as the front passed through, dropping to zero and below in most areas on Thursday morning.  Strong northerly winds sank the wind chill index to about 30 below.  Skies cleared Monday afternoon to give Ozarkers another hint of spring.

The Ava Police Department occupied the new police station across from the Douglas County Courthouse Wednesday and will now be working out of that location.  The Ava Police Station is located in the former PCA building on the corner of S.E. 2nd Avenue and S.E. 2nd Street.

The Missouri Department of Conservation now has a wildlife manager positioned at Ava full-time.  Larry Rieken, whose official title is Wildlife Area Manager II, is assigned to coordinate work in the counties of Douglas, Ozark, Taney, Wright, and part of Pulaski, Texas and Howell.

Former professional football player Eric White conducted an assembly for students at Ava High School Tuesday morning.  White, who was an All-American at the University of Oklahoma and played two years with the Buffalo Bills in the NFL and one year in the USFL, shared with the students on the dangers of drugs and alcohol. The 6-foot-2, 235 lb. White said he has spoken to students in some 400 high schools since September, with his message being a warning against the use of drugs and alcohol.

Mrs. Allie Gentry who was celebrating a birthday Saturday, Feb. 13, was honored Saturday evening when her daughters surprised her with cake, ice cream and coffee.

Hellen Blakey was surprised Saturday, Feb. 13 by her family and friends who honored her with a birthday celebration.


50 Years Ago

February 14, 1963


Officers and board members of the Ava Kiwanis Club were formally installed following the weekly luncheon meeting held Tuesday of last week at The Highway House.  The officers and board members are Dewey Bilyeu, vice president; Willard Pueppke, president; Marcus Holman, outgoing president; Kenneth Miller, Joe Sallee, Lyle Pettit, Edwin Upchurch, board members; Leroy Dougherty, treasurer and James Curry board member; and Bill Pettit, secretary.

Robert A. Kottmeier, owner of the Ava Lumber Company here, was elected president of the Douglas County Chamber of Commerce during balloting at the February meeting of the organization last Thursday night in the Legion Hall. Elected vice president was Bruce Elliott, ranger in charge of the Ava District, Mark Twain National Forest; re-elected secretary and treasurer were Robert Bowles and Mrs. Icy Reynolds.

Mr. and Mrs. Oden Nash and David were entertained as Sunday noon dinner guests in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Joe Newton on Jefferson Street.

THE SNOOP with Bob Bowles- Basketball fans should turn out enmasse in mourning black Tuesday night when the Ava High Bears meet Mountain Grove in the last scheduled game of the season. It will be the end of an era. It will mark the end of years of effort to obtain modern physical education facilities for the school system. It will mean the end –– happily –– for those faithful who have grown bunions standing in attendance at varsity contests.  For Tuesday night will see the end of varsity basketball competition in this gymnasium, which has served so long and faithfully. The new field house, with large court and ample – probably – seating space, should be ready for use before the 1963-64 season gets underway.

In Gainesville, a target date of Feb. 26 has been set for the beginning of operations for the new telephone exchanges at Theodosia and Wasola, operated by the Modern Telephone Co.  Prefix for Theodosia will be BRowning 3, and at Wasola, COngress 5.  When construction is completed telephone calls may be made within the area of four exchanges, Theodosia, Wasola, Gainesville and Caulfield, without toll charges.

SWEDEN –– Gene Riggs was a Sunday visitor in the Burl Loftin home.

Try it for size…Buy it for value Just put an Oldsmobile Dynamic 88 on the road and watch it win you over!  Graceful lines, elegant appointments, full-size comfort, 280 hp Rocket V-8 performance. And, with all that, Dynamic 88 is Oldsmobile’s lowest-priced full-size series.  Smartest buy in the medium-price field! Kerr Chevrolet Company, Ava.


75 Years Ago

February 17, 1938


Valuation of all land and personal property in Douglas County for 1937 is $4,621,940, according to assessment books completed by Assessor John F. Spurlock.

Ava High School, still tied with Elkland High School for first place in the Altitude League basketball standings, faces two more league games.

The measles epidemic is spreading through the community, and rural schools are feeling the effects of it. The Mt. Tabor School, taught by Miss Uva Sanders and Miss Wilma Spurlock is closed this week because of measles in the district.

A budget estimating net receipts of $25,866 for the year 1938 has been filed by the Douglas County Court, with Treasurer Jason Roy and State Auditor Forrest Smith. The budget, prepared by County Clerk W.F. Givans and approved by the court was cut down $3,000 from the original total asked for the year by various county officers.

“Sleeping in a tree will cure insomnia,” says a physician.  So, for that matter, will sleeping in bed.

Many legislators think it a poor time to continue the wage-hour quarrel as unemployment reaches new peaks, especially inasmuch as many of the large industries are working their regular crews only 24 to 30 hours a week.

Frankie William’s Dancing Studio – Tap, Ballet, Ballroom – each Wednesday, 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Skating Rink.

Seven-year-old Elvin Davidson was honored on his birthday Saturday with a party at the home of his aunt and uncle, Mr. and Mrs. Howard Heimeyer.  Those present were Bobby and Neil Scribner, Molly Sue Banta, Calvin Sullivan, Harold and Leon Thompson, Donald Meeker, Larry Platt and Elvin.

Mr. and Mrs. Paul Waterson of Ava announce the marriage of their daughter, Miss Vivian, to Johnnie Evans, son of Mr. and Mrs. T.L. Evans, on Saturday, February 12.  The Rev. E.O. Thompson read the marriage ceremony to the couple in her home south of town.

Harrison Shipman, Andrew Bean, Noble Livingston and Wilson McClendon were in Branson Friday and attended the basketball games being played by the high school teams entered in the Branson Invitation Tournament.

Speaking of monopolies, maybe it is about time to break up the New Deal political monopoly at Washington.

ARNO – Some of the neighbors sowed oats last week while it was warm.


100 Years Ago

February 27, 1913


In our issue of last week we reported that J.W. Biggs, who is working on the White River Dam in Taney County was killed by a falling tree. A letter from his family this week, to a friend in Ava, says that he is not dead, but on the contrary he is at work and enjoying good health. We are glad to make this correction, and glad to report that Mr. Biggs is not dead. We guess he is glad too, as it is hard luck to get killed.

Following a period of excessive warmth, the temperature dropped to 36 degrees tonight, with a freezing predicted before morning.

Mansfield people were thrown into a fever of excitement Saturday evening by the report that the body of an infant had been found in a brush pile in a pasture adjoining Wm. Baker’s residence. The body was found by Raymond Baker, the 10-year-old son of Wm. Baker.  The boy had gone to the brush pile to cut an arrow for his bow when he noticed the nude body of the child in the brush.  The body of the baby girl was buried Tuesday in Mansfield Cemetery.

In Mountain Grove, about 62 of our businessmen accepted an invitation from Geo. E. Kester, the new host of the Overton Hotel, to an oyster supper last Saturday evening and the affair was a very pleasant social as well as gastronomic one.

A cutting affray occurred on Casto, 5 miles north of Ava Sunday Feb. 9, wherein William Grabeel was pretty badly cut on the back and shoulder by Starling Inman. It appeared that the boys had a difficulty in some love affairs with the same girl. The Grabeel boy is getting along very well. The Inman boy will have a trial at the ensuing March Circuit Court.

STONY POINT –– It’s a new boy at John Coffman’s. Arrived last week, all concerned are doing well.   The Stork made a kindly trip to George Tincher’s last Sunday morning and left a 10-½ lb. girl to gladden the Tincher home.

Walter Smith happened to the misfortune of getting some fence burned one night last week. Boys should be very careful of when and where they smoke out rabbits.

It is some consolation to use to know that we, as the ‘small frys’ are not the only ones who make mistakes.  When we view the blundering Hay-Pauncefote Treaty, we wonder why great men, placed in positions of trust, would betray a free people into such humiliating terms. But we are only mortal, and cannot always see floodgates of trouble our present acts may open.  If we could, oh, how different things might be!

TOPAZ NEWS – D.W. Coble put a phone in his house last week. He is on the line known as the Pumpkin Vine.

Old age, as it comes in the orderly process of nature, is a beautiful and majestic thing. It stands for experience, knowledge, wisdom, and counsel.


125 Years Ago

March 1, 1888


Judge Cook, of Jacksonville, Ala., recently bought from the State for $20 as a speculation forty acres of land on which the taxes had become delinquent. On looking up the site of the land he found to his astonishment that it lay within the corporate limits of the town of Anniston and was worth $10,000 at a low valuation.

Rev. Dunaway has the courthouse flues almost finished.

Mr. Head, a new lawyer from Ark., has located in Ava. He will be found at the Singleton House.

Mugwumps should not be tolerated in the Republican ranks.

DOGWOOD BARKS – We drop a few lines to let the Herald readers know that everything is quiet and settled except mud, which still remains on the warpath. We are having pleasant weather at the present writing.

Judge Peters, of Maine, calls divorce day in the Supreme Court “the funeral of marriages.”

P.T. Barnum denies he has made a will bequeathing $10,000,000 to seven heirs. He admits that he is wealthy, but says that he has only three heirs.

OFFICIAL DIRECTORY of DOUGLAS COUNTY –– Circuit Judge, John Hale; Representative, John Lewis; Probate Judge, H.H. Roller; County Judges – D.C. Walker, T.N. Smallwood, and Barney Brixey;  Circuit Clerk, John Martin; County Clerk, J.M. Curnutt; Sheriff, J.M. Lyons; Collector, Barney Mallornee; Prosecuting Att’y, Geo. B. Waters;  Treasurer, John Baker; Surveyor, James Wood; School Commissioner, T.A. Kay; Public Administrator, Elijah Hurst; Justices of Peace – J. Casad, Robert Wheeler; and Constable George Sanders

WILES OF THE WITS –– (She) You can’t eat your cake and keep it.  (He)  Oh, yes you can – the kind you make!