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Looking Backward 7.21.2026

25 Years Ago

July 18, 1991

The 1991 Douglas County Fair ended with a big bang – or actually several big bangs – Saturday night with the running of the traditional Saturday Night Smash-Up demoli-tion derby.   The feature event was won by Jim Wagner, of Rolla. Se­cond place went to Jackie Nelson, Ava, and third went to Mike Dering, also of Ava.

Crowned this year’s Douglas County Fair queen was Michelle Cotton, daughter of Darlene Wineinger.  Named Fair Princess was Tori Potts.

Ava’s new elementary principal, Dean Watson, is on the job and is busily acquainting himself with the system here.  Watson succeeds Lena Pierce who retired last spring after 50 years in public education.

Kenny Fleetwood, Ava, parti-cipated in the Missouri State Junior Golf Tournament at Westborough Country club, St. Louis, Monday and Tuesday of this week, and brought home the second place tro­phy for the age 10 division of play. Kenny is the son of Mr. and Mrs. James Fleetwood.

SWEDEN –– Mr. and Mrs. Armon Stewart, Jennifer, Michael and Janell visited one evening last week with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Harley Hancock and Granny Alice.

RED BANK –– Visiting with Mr. and Mrs. Otto Davis after the storm to help with damage to trees and poles down were Tim Jenkins, Merle Davis, Kathleen Loyd, Jean Loesch, and Teresa Robertson, David and Adam.

Two teens from the Ava-Mansfield area will represent Highway Church of the Nazarene at Nazarene Youth Congress in Orlando, Fla., July 23-30.  Local participants are Jolene Tate, foster daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Hershell Letsinger, Ava, and Tawna Watter­son, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Bob Watterson, Mansfield.

50 Years Ago

 July 14, 1966

Almost 150 area farmers have declared war on brush in 10 southwest Missouri counties, and have resorted to helicopter and chemicals to kill the growth.  The farmers, including many in Douglas County have contracted with a Janesville, Wisc., flight service to defoliate approximately 13,300 acres of useless brushland.

The heat wave causing increased usage of electricity has overtaxed the city’s power supply causing low voltage over most of the city.  A new electrical substation scheduled to be completed here within the next 10 days will relieve the power shortage.

Mr. and Mrs. Clyde Bell of Ava and their daughter, Mrs. Richard Silvey of West Plains, have just returned from a ten days vacation tour in the western states.

Martha Briscoe, formerly a student at Ava High School has been accepted as a member of the Beacon Hill Theater Company at the School of the Ozarks. This is her second year at the college, and she is at present a sophomore majoring in speech and dramatics.

A pink and blue shower was given Friday, July 3, in the basement of the First General Baptist Church for Mrs. Buel McCallister, the former Hazel Duckworth.

Miss Carol Sue Corder of Mansfield became the bride July 1 of Johnny Watterson also of Mansfield.  The Rev. John Moles read the 7:30 p.m. double ring ceremony in the Highway Nazarene church, Ava, in a setting of pink and white gladiolas and the candelabra decked with white tapers.

The heat and dry weather continues to plague us. The mercury climbed to 106 Sunday.

  1. TABOR –– Mr. and Mrs. Johnny Sawyer and son, Rexie, have returned from a vacation in California.

LITTLE BEAVER –– A musical party was held at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Huffman Saturday night.

FAIRVIEW –– Terry Flattem is spending two weeks at Hawthorn, Nev., U.S.M.C. summer training camp. Rick Flattem passed his Air Force physical.

ARNO –– Mr. and Mrs. Lester Epps of Goodhope spent Sunday afternoon with Mr. and Mrs. Chas. Powers.

BRUSHYKNOB –– The old swimming holes have been very busy this past week, due to the terrific heat, when everyone has been trying to keep cool.  If the heat continues even the pools might dry up.

The Assembly of God Church gave a surprise supper Wednesday evening July 6, for its pastor, Rev. and Mrs. Carl Willis to welcome them home from their two-week vacation visiting in California with their son, Kenneth and family of Mountain View, Calif., and Rev. Willis’ three brothers and two sisters.

75 Years Ago

July 17, 1941

The Sunnyland Sodbusters from radio station KWTO in Springfield will be in Ava this Saturday, July 19 and will present two perfor-mances in the high school auditor-ium under sponsorship of the Ava Lions Club. Among the entertainers will be Slim Wilson, Aunt Martha, Junior, Bill Bailey, Mike Dosch, Smokey Lohman, Zedric, the Schaffer Sisters, Floyd Rutledge and Bill Ring.

It may be a false report but we can think of few things that would make us happier than to be assured of Field Marshal Goering being all set in a concentration camp.  There is an old saying “When thieves fall out honest men get their dues.”  Now that the major murderers of Europe have fallen out, there may be eventual peace in the world.

A carnival has been contracted for the fifth annual Douglas County Fair, and plans for the event are going ahead.

A charge of kidnapping was filed here Monday against J.A. Loomis of Chadwick.  Loomis, described as an operator of a sawmill at Grabeel and a married man with a family, is charged with picking up a 16-year-old Mansfield girl and keeping her in his possession last week.

Ruskin C. Norman, son of Mr. and Mrs. C.E. Norman, was one of 28 young pharmacy school gradu-ates who successfully passed the state board of pharmacy examin-ations given in Kansas City June 11-13.  Ruskin has been studying at the St. Louis School of Pharmacy.

Mrs. Willie Hutchison received a letter Monday from her son, Elzie, who is stationed at Manilla, P.I., with the U.S. Navy. In the letter Mr. Hutchison told his mother that very recently he had been transferred to submarine duty and now is on the U.S.S. Sealion.

Wm. Hale and son, Billy, will return to Ava Sunday after spending two weeks in Hutchison, Ark., where they have been operating the general merchandise store which is owned by Mr. Hale’s son-in-law and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. Denzil Barnes.

Mr. and Mrs. Woodrow Irby announce the birth of a ten-pound daughter, Patricia Ann, on Wednesday, July 9, in the home of Mrs. Irby’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Tom Deckard of Rome.

SMALLETT –– Mr. and Mrs. Walter Siler announce the birth of a son. He has been named Ed.  Mrs. Siler is a sister of Mrs. Fred Pratt.

The Snoop at the Keyhole –– Here’s a contribution to the department of “Words of famous men in periods of great emotion?” Clinton Gaston, fishing on White River Sunday hooked a bass that looked to be as long as your arm.  The fish broke water, gave a sturdy flip, and snapped the line.  Clinton relaxed on the seat of the boat and regarded his slack line sorrowfully.  Then he turned to Hadley Riggs, his fishing companion, who was paddling the boat at the time.  “That,” said Clinton, “was a stud horse.”

100 Years Ago

July 20, 1916

A run-a-way team caused by stings from a nest of bumblebees came near proving fatal to Ray, the 12-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Tommy Surguine, who was driving a hay rake on his father’s farm near Smallett late Wednesday afternoon of last week.  From the nature of the wounds it is believed that the boy was dragged for some distance in front of the rake.  His right leg was broken below the knee, a severe cut in fore part of his head, and a wound about three inches deep in the left hip has the appearance of having been made by a tooth in the rake.  Drs. Norman and Burdett administered medical treatment, and it was thought for a while that his chances for recovery were slight.  However, last reports are that he is much improved, and unless blood poisoning sets in will likely recover.

A four-fifths eclipse of the moon was to be seen about 10:00 o’clock last Friday night.

Still hot and dry and needing rain.

LAKEY ITEMS – Mr. and Mrs. Rufus Clinkingbeard and children and Herman Deyo were dinner guests at the home of Mrs. Lakey Sunday.

ROCKBRIDGE ITEMS – New babies have arrived at following homes in this vicinity lately: twins, a boy and a girl, at Ira Smith’s the 9th, a boy at Walter Byerleys the 7th, and a girl at Doc Wades the 11th.

The Board of Health of the City of Ava hereby notifies all parties to cut all weeds along sidewalks and in back yards, and to clean out all forms of rubbish before July 26.

Homer Anderson of Gainesville has accepted a position in the Ava Barber Shop and expects to move his family here soon.

Ted Yeisley has moved his cleaning and pressing outfit from back of the Citizens Bank into the room third door south of the post office.

The person who picked up the small purse in Reynolds Store Tuesday afternoon belonging to Mrs. Strait had better return the same to Reynold store at once and save further trouble.  The party is known.                     W.M. Strait.

Shelving is being placed in the Reynolds & Adams building on the west side of the square. The J.T. Singleton grocery store will occupy the building by August 1.

125 Years Ago

July 23, 1891

On Wednesday the 15th, Tandy Hargroves and George Potter, both of this city had an altercation, which resulted in the serious cutting of Potter by Hargroves, with a pocket knife.  We are not informed as to the cause of the trouble but too much whiskey is the supposition.  Potter’s wounds were attended to by D. A. Davis and he will probably recover.  Hargrove has not been arrested, and claims, that the cutting was done in self-defense.

TELLAHOME, Tenn. –– There was a whitecap outrage committed here last night about 10 o’clock, though it was done so quietly and by masked parties that it is next to impossible to get any authentic particulars.  Masked men seized Mr. Ed O’Connor of this place and took him to a grove in the suburbs of the town, where they whipped him severely with switches.  The alleged cause for this outrage is that he mistreated his wife.

Thirty-one pauper immigrants were returned to Europe from New York last week while 28 more were held for return this week.

All the street railway employees in Toledo, numbering 482, went on strike last Wednesday for an advance from $1.65 to $2 per day.

Cholera is raging in Mecca and Mohammedan pilgrims are strictly quarantined for 20 days.

Elephants are always dangerous, even when they appear to be perfectly tame.  Our democratic friends will do well to remember this and to beware of the republican elephant: he’s a tame animal and ordinarily will stand lots of teasing but although now perfectly quiet he is in a fighting mood and before long he will start on the rampage, determined to demonstrate his fitness to rule, and woe be unto those so unfortunate as to attempt to block his progress.  He is a certain winner and he knows it.

A run-away team came near doing serious injury on Sunday.  Two horses attached to a buggy which was left unhitched on the north east corner of the public square in the city, took fright and ran off.  As they passed the east side of the square, little Tom Miller, son of H. M. Miller, failed to get out of the way and was knocked down by one of the horses and run over by the wheels of the buggy.  Tom was badly scared and bruised but not seriously injured.  The team hung up in the brush west of town. We are informed that the team was the property of Frank Young, of Mansfield. The party in charge of the team ought to have been arrested for carelessness.

Mansfield Mo. Is having a big mining boom.  Lead ore in large quantities has been found in the mining shaft east of the place.  And parties interested in it think they have struck a bonanza.

Whiskey exerts the evil and wicked passions, thereby causing the worst of crimes to be committed.  Tobacco allays irritability, deadens the senses, causing persons to omit duties, men will beg tobacco because they cannot do without it while their families are wanting the necessities of life.