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Looking Backward 12.31.2015

25 Years Ago

December 27, 1990


The Ozarks turned into a winter wonderland last weekend after freezing precipitation, mostly in the form of sleet, fell across the area. The U.S. Forest Service recorded a low temperature Saturday morning of 2 degrees above zero, with peri­ods of sleet, which became heavy at times, adding to the accumulation of ice already on the ground.

The Ava R-I Board of Education has agreed to follow a federal man­date and integrate boys and girls physical education classes, effec­tive next fall.

Trooper Mark G. Inman, one of two officers assigned to the Mis­souri State Highway Patrol’s Troop G Area, reported for duty Wednes­day at the patrol headquarters in Willow Springs. Inman has been assigned to Zone 6, which covers Douglas and Ozark counties. Also assigned to Troop G is Tpr. Eric A. Cooper, formerly of Sedalia, which covers Carter, Reynolds and Shan­non counties.

The members of Post 5993 are pleased to welcome the following new members: life members John­nie McCune and Charles Briscoe, and new members Ralph Zumbro, Reno Stark, Edward Chesebrough, George Owen, Donald Blackman, Clarence Morgan, and D. Glenn Simpson; also new members by transfer, Thomas Benzen, John Glidden, and Billy Lambert.

Home decorations were judged in three categories last Thursday night, with three places named in each division. The winners are as follows: Fantasy – 1st place, Perry Posey; 2nd, Virginia Burnett; 3rd, Ken McGill. Lighting – 1st, Bob Clevenhagen; 2nd, Wayne Ap­plequist; 3rd, Gerald Nall.

School board members whose terms expire this year are Reggie Spurlock and Gary Mitchell. Mitchell was appointed to fill a vacancy created by the resignation of Randy Barnes this summer.


50 Years Ago

December 23, 1965


A Christmas operetta, performed by second grade classes of the Ava Elementary School, was presented Tuesday afternoon and evening in the All Purpose Room at the grade school. The operetta, “What Can I Give Him?” was written and directed by Mrs. Ava Hinegardner, music director for the junior high music department.

Charles Williams of Mansfield was employed as director of the DOW Tri-County Corporation which was set up to administer Economic Opportunity Act projects in Douglas, Ozark and Wright counties, at a meeting of the organization Tuesday night at Ava. Williams formerly operated the Campbell Farms in Douglas and Ozark counties.

Three men were inducted into the Armed Forces on Dec. 19 from the local Selection Board. They were Paul Junior Walls, Lemuel Paul Robertson, Jr., and Davis Lowell Stone.

Only five more days left until Ozarks Notes does his Christmas shopping, at which time he is bound to hear –– “Lady, I know that is the newest thing in negli­gees. But I’ve still got the same old wife…”   “We got our Christmas surprise a little bit early. The boy came home from college with a wife and kid…”   “I don’t care if he did poke you in the nose. A de­partment store Santa still isn’t sup­posed to tell a 3-year-old kid there ain’t no Santa Claus.”   “The next time one of those jokers comes up to me and says, ‘What could I get for my wife?’ I am gonna tell him: ‘A different husband, Buster!” “Yeah, she’s about your build. By the way, what’re you doing after the store closes?”   “I’ve gotta hurry home, Ethel. Uncle Charlie’s gonna play Santa tonight and he is probably already drunk about a fifth of Ho-Ho-Ho.”   Merry Christmas!

Friends and Neighbors met at the home of Mrs. Gertie Fulton in the Rome community, south of Ava, Thursday afternoon, Dec. 17 to honor her with a surprise shower of birthday cards and handker-chiefs.

A-2C Joe Henry Harley, who is based at Bangor, Maine, arrived in Ava Friday morning to join Mrs. Harley who has been vacationing here two months with the couple’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Cecil Harley and Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Fletcher.

Christmas Wishes to All, from your friends at Herd’s Café.

Kerr-Gaston Chevrolet and Oldsmobile Company of Ava has started negotiations to buy the Paul Johnson Motor Company in West Plains.

Ava Baptist and First Baptist scored one-sided victories Friday night to throw the YMCA church basketball league into a three-way tie for first.

Gunner’s Mate 3d Class Thomas J. Williams, USN, son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Williams of Ava returned to San Diego, Calif., today aboard the attack aircraft carrier USS Oriskany, which has completed a record breaking de­ployment with the Seventh Fleet in the South China Sea.


75 Years Ago

December 26, 1940


When circuit court convenes in Ava Jan. 13, one case expected to be called on the criminal docket will be the first degree murder case in which Mr. and Mrs. Delbert Swearengin, and Mr. and Mrs. Roscoe Swearengin, are defendants charged with poisoning McDonald (Mack) Swearengin, 69, father of the two men.

Ava high school opened its Altitude League basketball sched­ule Thursday night in a game on the Ava court with Norwood high school. Ava won over the visitors 32 to 21. Eugene Clinkingbeard, with ten points, was high point man on Ava’s squad, closely trailed by Charles Victor with eight points. Other players on Ava’s squad were Red Scribner, Les Scribner, Orville Ellison, Paul Barker and Orwood Brixey.

Sheriff Lincoln M. Barnes re­turned Wednesday last week from Twin Falls, Idaho, with Lawrence Hartley, wanted here to face a fraud charge. Officers say the charge is based on a deal in which Hartley mortgaged a pair of mules to Jim Ellison, Jr., in March 1940.

Douglas County Treasurer Arthur Singleton this week re­ceived a $14 check from the state as reimbursement on wolf bounties paid by the county the past two years.

Ava high school was struck by an influenza epidemic last week. There were about 175 high school students afflicted. The school had had almost no flu up to Thursday, Superintendent C.W. Parker said, then it seemed to hit all of a sudden.

As a “Merry Christmas” from her professors, Miss Marjorie Reynolds, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. O.C. Reynolds, was named last week on the dean’s honor list at Stephens College in Columbia. Miss Reynolds, a junior at Stephens, was among the upper ten percent of the student body of more than 1700.

Miss Lena Barnes of Smallett began work Monday in the Beano Café to replace Miss Wilma Reed who left Monday to go to Thorn­field to spend Christmas with her relatives.

Glenn Harnden, stationed at Fort Crook, Nebraska, with the United States Army, is spending Christmas week with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. J.D. Harnden and family.

The firm of Curnutt and Elmore have traded their grocery business and property on the north side of the square to Cyrus Bradshaw of Findley Township. Mr. Bradshaw put his farm in Findley Township as a part of the consideration.

A great deal of talent is lost in the world for want of a little cour­age. Every day sends to their graves obscure men whom timidity prevented from making a first effort; who, if they could have been induced to begin, would, in all probability, have gone great lengths in the career of fame.

Mussolini, according t the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, has a keen sense of humor. The question is how he can look at Hitler’s mous­tache and avoid getting his block knocked off.


100 Years Ago

December 30, 1915


We have heard of men giving way to their tempers and doing many rash things, but we believe it was left to Arthur McClain, who lived eight miles southwest of Mtn. Grove to break the record in this respect. Going home last Thursday evening, a little out of temper because his wagon had broken down, he found his wife was at a neighbor’s and the chores were not done. McClain came forth swearing because his wife had remarked in a joking manner that “he ought to be killed.” He got a can of coal oil and poured the fluid over the floors and furniture, after which he or­dered all out at the point of a gun and fired the house, coming near getting caught in the flames. He dragged out his own trunk and one belonging to an old soldier, but even his children’s clothing was burned. He then went out and shot his pen of hogs, shot his cow and brought out his team to shoot them, but at that point his nerve seems to have failed him. Constable Henry Martin has a warrant for him. His father-in-law J. Daws Wood has a mortgage on McClain’s property but says he will not molest him if he stays away.

$100 Reward is offered for evi­dence sufficient to convict the party or parties who on Friday Dec. 17 shot at R.A. Clinkingbeard. This reward is not payable until a con­viction is had. W.J. Spurlock, Sheriff of Douglas County.

THORNFIELD ITEMS –– T.E. Grabeel and G.H. McAlister were made happy Christmas day by Mr. Grabeel giving his beautiful daughter, May to Dorin McAlister. The ceremony was solemnized by Wm. Stevens.

HICKORY FLATT –– The Christmas drunks are soaking their heads this week.

BASHER ITEMS –– Christmas was ushered in with one of the worst snowstorms of the season.

The McHolland brothers have bought the livery and feed barn just west of the Citizens Bank from Merriman brothers, and will take charge first of the year.

  1. L. Clapp, the tinner and sheet metal worker, has sold his outfit to Chas. Victor and will leave the first of the year for Montrose, Mo. Mr. Victor is building an addition onto his shop just west of the square, and will move the machinery from the Meeker building to his location as soon as improvements are com­pleted.


125 Years Ago

January 1, 1891


There is certainly a great deal of illicit liquor manufactured in the New England States, where prohi­bition is the law. Generally the illicit manufacturer would be glad to pay the United States license. He could pay that and make money out of his business, with the aid of the demand accrued by prohibition. Besides, he fears the United States revenue authorities, and he does not fear the State authorities. Uncle Sam has a nose to smell out his still, the State has not. But pay­ment of the Federal license has so often betrayed the moonshiner to the State authorities that he gener­ally prefers to do without it. He makes his business wholly illicit, therefore. The profits are great, but the business is risky.

You do not always get returns from your wisdom, but you always get big returns from your follies.

The past season has been unusu­ally disastrous to the shipping on the Great Lakes. Sixteen steamers, whose value was $356,500 were lost. Twenty-seven schooners and barges, valued at $278,000 were also lost, as well as twelve tugs valued at $79,000, making the total number of vessels lost fifty-five, with an aggregate tonnage of 15,00 tons and a financial loss of $718,000.

The 41,000,000 gallons of spirit made in the United Kingdom, in 1889 were mostly used in England, and nearly three-fourths of this vast quantity was drunk as a beverage.

A.I. Chapman, a well-known Indian scout, has just returned from Nevada, where he went in Novem­ber to interview the so-called Messiah. Chapman found the “Messiah” at West Fork, on Walker River, Nevada. Chapman says The Messiah, Quoetizeow, as he gave his name, is a full-blooded Piute and has always been peacefully disposed. He spoke freely of his call to preach. His first experience with the Almighty was one after­noon while hunting. Hearing a noise, he tried to learn its cause, when he was thrown to the ground by some unknown cause. He was then taken to heaven and there saw all the whites and Indians that had lived and died on earth. He was afterwards brought back to the earth to the same spot where he had fallen dead. God told him He had been looking for a mortal whom He could entrust with the mission of reforming the world, and had decided on Quoetizeow.

Henry Klineline was sworn in as Sheriff of Douglas County on Monday.

Married, Benjamin Roberts, of Ava, and Annie Reeves, one of Ozark County’s fair daughters.

Mrs. Rachel Hopper has sold her farm southwest of town to H.M. Miller, Sr., and purchased the “Mose Hopper place” on Hunter Creek.

Arrived on Saturday the 27th, O.A. Reed, a truant husband and father, after an absence of four weeks. His arrival, although unex­pected, was duly celebrated by the firing of anvils under the supervi­sion of Robert Wilson, Esq., of Ava.

[Editor’s Note: In the early 1800s, as part of celebrations, anvil firing was performed in lieu of fireworks. To accomplish the feat, black gunpowder was placed under the base of the anvil and ignited; the anvil was propelled 100-200 ft. In some areas, anvil firing is still carried out today.]