25 Years Ago
January 24, 1991
A group of 16 Lions Club members from Missouri took some 7,000 pairs of used eyeglasses to Guatemala earlier this month with a goal of fitting 1,000 to 1,200 people with glasses. Ava Lion Jim Odom, who was among those traveling to Guatemala, said such a trip makes one appreciate what he has here.
Don’t tell Sheriff Roldan Turner Melba Roper is too old to contribute to the workforce in today’s society. Melba is on the job at the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office at 7:30 a.m., four days a week. And if she is caught up on what she is “supposed” to be doing, she will find something else to keep herself busy. (Melba told us to not ask her age, but then she let it slip that she is 84.)
By shooting as many baskets as they could in a three-minute period, fifth through eighth graders at Ava Middle School recently raised $2,011.69 for local children with disabilities. Top student fundraiser was fifth grader Tori Potts with $216.75 for Easter Seals.
SENIOR CITIZENS – It’s good to have everyone moving around again. The cold doesn’t stop people from coming in to the Center, but the ice did. Everyone is so glad to see everyone else again, especially when one has been shut up at home due to the ice.
ARNO –– Those working on the Arno Church last week were Bill Albright, Howard Bailey, and Mahlon Schmucker, who worked one day. Posey came and blew insulation in the ceiling.
LONGRUN –– Those visiting with Mr. and Mrs. E.J. Stehle were Mr. and Mrs. Tim Schwab, Myriah and Amanda, Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Henning and Ray, and Mr. and Mrs. Pat Ryan.
STAR –– Wesley McFarlin and Velma Chappell visited Thursday with their brother, Robert and Joyce McFarlin.
50 Years Ago
January 20, 1966
Several new personnel have been added to the staff of the Ava R-I School System. Three teachers and four clerical workers were employed by the board of education at its regular meeting last Thursday. Teachers added are Mrs. Ezra Henson, Mrs. Carol Green and Mrs. Carl Deeds. Added to the clerical staff were Mrs. Dale Russell, Mrs. John Harvey, Mrs. Gertrude McDonald and Miss Myrna Pickens.
Airport committee officials of the Ava Chamber of Commerce went to Jefferson City Thursday in an effort to seek requirements and information about the building of an airport facility here. Members making the trip were Harry Stafford, chairman of the airport committee and Willard Pueppke. Claud Gaulding, past president of the chamber, met with the group in Jefferson City.
Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Bostic of Route 4, Ava, observed their 41st wedding anniversary Sunday. Guests attending were Mr. and Mrs. Bion Chaffee and daughter, Patsy, Mr. and Mrs. Dennis Chaffee and her sister, Miss Janette Johnson, and Mrs. Jerry Wilson and boys, David and Ricky.
Miss Becky Barnum celebrated her 13th birthday Saturday with a party in her honor at her home. Those present were Shellia Reed, Anita Darrow, Debbie Gipe, Sherrie Nokes, Janet Gentry, Vicki Nokes, Patty Barnum, Vickie Potts, Doug Monger, Johnny and Jimmy Elliott, Mike and Cecil Huff, Junior Watson, Tommy Potts, Dean Ridenour, Bobby Barnum, Wesley Gunter, Danny Holt and Steve Harvey.
BROWN BRANCH –– Pvt. Jerry Combs, son of Mr. and Mrs. Etcyl Combs, who recently completed a seven-weeks course in Army armor school, received second highest rating in his class of 59. He has been assigned to overseas duty.
Gurley Seay, head of the meter department for White River Electric Co-op, was honored on his last day of work, before retirement. Employees from Branson, Ozark, Ava and Gainesville were in attendance.
On Jan. 14 at 7 p.m., Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Blakey and sons, Mark and Vernal, had a party for their daughter, Monica Ann. After she opened her gifts, the five candles on her cake were lighted and happy birthday was sung.
Bob House, son of Mr. and Mrs. Harlan House of Ava was elected president of Ava High School Key Club in an annual election held Thursday, Jan. 13, during the club’s regular weekly luncheon meeting. Other officers elected at the business session, conducted by Bill Mackey, out-going president, were: vice president, John Olson; secretary, Jimmie Williams; treasurer, Dwain Moore; sergeant at arms, Hamlin Tallent; and lunch boy, Ronnie Curry.
75 Years Ago
January 23, 1941
Affairs of the state of Missouri are so mixed up as a result of the legislature’s proceedings in investigating the gubernatorial election that they were described by Curtis A. Betts, veteran writer on state affairs for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, as ‘the worst tangle in state affairs which has existed since the state officials were forced to flee from Jefferson City in Civil War days.” Betts quoted Attorney General Roy McKittrick as commenting, “Things are in a whale of a mess.”
The Ava High School Bears defeated the Seymour basketeers on the local court Tuesday night by a score of 29 to 20. This was the Bears’ third league game of the season.
Members of Ava’s volunteer fire department Friday rolled the fire truck out of the old shed on the city lot on Jefferson Street for the last time, and drove it into the new fire house built by the city at the west end of Lincoln Street, off the southwest corner of the square. The new building measures 30 by 28 feet and is built of stone and concrete. Inside the single room is a drying rack for hose on two sides of the room, a table, and a cabinet for boots, tools and small equipment. There is a stove for heat.
Ross Power and Dale Rowe, two members of the Ava troop of Boy Scouts, were in Springfield Friday evening and attended a Boy Scout banquet in the cafeteria of the senior high school. During the evening’s ceremonies Ross received a senior scout award.
Saturday afternoon Mrs. A.A. Adams entertained a large group of friends in her home on Marvin Street at an announcement party in compliment to her daughter, Lois Versal, who on December 24, 1940, became the bride of Eldon Hays.
ROCKBRIDGE –– Mr. and Mrs. Casper Byerley moved to Rockbridge last week where Casper is employed at the Lee Evans saw mill. Mr. Evans is cutting timber, which he recently bought from Mrs. Lyda Morris.
A daughter was born to Mr. and Mrs. William Morris last Tuesday, Jan. 14. She will answer to the name of Lou Ann.
BRYANT –– John Odle and Miss Ruth Hall of Bryant were married at the home of Rev. Frank Evans in Mt. Zion Wednesday, Jan. 15. The young couple expects to make their home with Mr. and Mrs. J.C. Odle, for the present. A large crowd attended the charivari for Mr. and Mrs. John Odle at the J. C. Odle home Thursday night.
SQUIRES –– Mr. and Mrs. J.K. Plumb and three children, Ada Maye, Kelsie and Etta Fern, were Sunday dinner guests of Mrs. Plumb’s sister, Mrs. Jess Reeves and family of Ava.
STAR –– Mr. and Mrs. Vernie Heatherly announce the birth of a son, Wendell Lee, January 18.
100 Years Ago
January 27, 1916
Chas. Wells, the young Howell county farmer and stockman, who lost both arms and a small portion of the jaw bone when he became entangled with a wood saw a short time ago, has that courage and determination that will accomplish things. The young man’s injuries are healing rapidly, and despite the loss of his arms, he declares that he does not intend to be helpless by any means. Mr. Wells declares that he will be able to resume the management of his business affairs almost as well as before the accident, after he regains strength and gets his new artificial arms which he is planning to buy. With his right arm severed three inches below the shoulder and the left one three inches below the elbow, and with a deep gash in his throat, which missed the jugular vein and windpipe only by the slightest fraction of an inch. Wells remained conscious and discussed his condition with neighbors for two hours before physicians from West Plains reached his side. Even at that time, when death seemed inevitable, the young man showed a wonderful courage. Wells will in a few days receive something over $1,200 from the Yoeman lodge in which he held a $3,000 life and accident policy.
Much comment is being made on the unusually warm weather for the time of year. Uncle Henry Klineline tells us that he came to Douglas County forty years ago Jan. 6, and that peach trees were in bloom when he landed here.
A meeting of the Ava Welfare League was held Tuesday morning to further consider the proposition of securing for Ava the Greer Bros. & McKnight canning factory.
SCHOOL NOTES –– After averaging all the grades for the second quarter, we find the five members of each class making the highest grades are: Freshmen – Laura Wood, Virgil Thomas, Etcyl Guthrie, Josephine Singleton, Homer Singleton; Sophomores – Versal Ellison, Loyd Hitchcock, Vernon Holestine, Elinor Adams, Ethel Spurlock; Juniors – Mary Hitchcock, Myrtle Curnutt, Virgil Miller, Virgil Martin, Lyon Stewart, Luella Stecker; Seniors – Effie Curry, Lilla Mankin, Maud Charrick, Ruth Davis and Roy Wagner.
DRURY ITEMS – The roads are reported bad at this time.
FAIRVIEW – Spelling was not very well attended Friday night on account of the muddy roads.
OLATHE ITEMS – Mud! Mud! This surely will make us good road boosters.
THORNFIELD ITEMS – Mr. Elmer Delp is batching on the Taylor farm. Don’t think he will batch very long as he makes his regular call at Mr. Duncklee’s every Sunday.
125 Years Ago
January 29, 1891
Lately, while some small boys were rabbit hunting south of Norwood, their dogs ran a rabbit into a hole and in trying to clear the way to catch their game, discovered they were at the mouth of a great cave. Descending into the cave the party picked up several blocks of lead some of which weighed over a pound. Continuing their descent to a bench they found themselves at the top of a ladder, down they went and they arrived at another bench on one aisle of which a wall had been built of stone and plastered over. They found pewter lamps in a perfect state of preservation but rude in form and evidently very old. Further investigation of the contents of this wonderful cave is soon to be made.
Land buyers are getting numerous in this locality. This is a good time to invest, while land is cheap. Douglas County is rapidly improving and investments made at present prices will shortly pay handsome profits.
One day last week a family named Decker, who reside 2 miles south of Rome, procured a bottle of washing fluid from a traveling peddler. The bottle was left within reach of the children and during the absence of the mother, one of them drank its contents and died in a few moments from the effects.
Now is the time to get your farms surveyed. I will survey your land, establish the corners and give you four months time to pay for the work. Address: J.J. Bell Co., Surveyor, Ava, Mo.
Mr. and Mrs. F.E. Adams, of Ava, are possessors of another heir, a son. He appeared on Friday, the 22nd. We extend congratulations.
Married –– On the 22nd, Kenneth L. Burdett, Jr. and Miss Mary A. Carson, at the residence of the bride’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Carson, of this township. The marriage rites were performed by Rev. F. V. Baldwin in the presence of a large number of friends of the contracting parties. After the ceremony, an elegant repast was furnished the wedding guests, and an elaborate affair was given by the groom on the day following at the Burdett residence.
ROME –– Our little town is flourishing…we have two stores, two blacksmith shops and a fine roller mill.
RICHLAND TP – Hatcher & Ingram have put up a dry goods store on Spring Creek at the Bunch Mill. … Everybody is having the chicken pox in this section. … Russell Boneran, of this township, has been arrested on the charge of stealing hogs from J.H. Briggs, his trial is set for the 26th, before Esquire Berley.
DRY CREEK –– There is considerable excitement on Dry Creek about mineral, we hope this is but the beginning of a permanent mining industry in the county.
A will, left by a drunkard, reads: “I leave to society a ruined character and a wretched example. To my parents, brother, and sister, as much shame and mortification as I could bring on them. I leave to my wife, a broken heart –– a life of shame. To my children, poverty, ignorance, low character and the remembrance that their father filled a drunkard’s grave.”