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Looking Backward

25 years ago

Ava High School senior Hilary Vick was crowned 1994 Homecoming Queen at halftime of last Friday’s football game with the Liberty Eagles. Ava won the game 16-6.  Hilary is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Neil Vick, of Ava. 

Two local teens miraculously walked away from a wreck with only minor injury Sunday afternoon.  The driver, Cody M. Coonts, 18 and DeAun Gray, 17, both of Ava, were riding in the 1985 Chevrolet pickup which overturned on Old Highway 5 north of Ava after being rammed by a Plymouth Voyager driven by Terry W. Stacy, 27, Ava. 

A number of area burglaries have apparently been solved and four persons – three adults and one juvenile – have been charged following a weekend burglary and vandalism spree at the Ava High School. 

Sgt. Marty Elmore, Troop G safety officer with the Missouri State Highway Patrol, demonstrated the importance of wearing seat belts using the “crash dummies” at a program at Wal-Mart recently. 

A new OATS bus has been placed in service for use by the residents of Douglas County.  The 1994 Dodge van will hold up to 15 passengers. 

Carl Johnson observed his 82nd birthday at home on Sept. 17. 

Virginia Deo, Route 4, Ava, won second place with “Summer’s Bounty” and third place with “Hey, Diddle Diddle” at the Ozark Piecemakers Quilt Show in Springfield recently.  

LaVern (Sellers) Norman was selected as State Employee of the Month for August, out of over 50,000 employees.  LaVern is a supervisor with Division of Family Services. 

Rosa Davis celebrated her 99th birthday Saturday, Oct. 1 with family members when they met at the Village Inn Restaurant at noon. 

FRIENDSHIP –– Elsie and Angel Atchison, Ruth Cole and Violet Hinote ate supper with Effie Kitts Monday night. 

50 years ago

Two men arrested here in February on bomb violations were convicted in federal court in Kansas City Tuesday on two charges which carry maximum penitentiary sentences of 10 years each.  Alfred Earl Harflinger, 41, St. Louis, Mo., and James W. Nash, 39, North Little Rock, Ark., were found guilty of possessing a bomb illegally made and possessing a bomb that was not registered to either Harflinger or Nash. 

A new subdivision is being opened here on a 60-acre tract of land, one-fourth mile west of the Highway 5-14 junction on Highway 14.  Bland’s Ava View Heights, being developed by Mr. and Mrs. Richard Bland and Mr. and Mrs. Charles L. Hafey, is located on the south side of Highway 14.  

Ava’s football Bears and the Thayer Bobcats battled to a surprise 6-6 tie last Friday in a tense, disappointing game of penalties, fumbles and intercepted passes that hurt the Bruins chances for the ACA championship this year. 

Girls Summer League Bowling Winners: first place, Dee Clouse, Katie Freeman, Ima Clowers, Susie Graham; second place, Yvonne Johnson, Gerrie Roderick, Ruby Boney, Madge Lethco; Ima Clowers was high 30, Wilma Plaster, high 10. 

The fellow who has an answer to everything very often doesn’t understand the question. 

STAR –– Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Daugherty and Wendall of Ava, Mr. and Mrs. Elsa Miller of Exeter, Calif., were Tuesday night visitors in the Cecil Fletcher home. 

A music club was organized here recently by elementary music students of Mrs. Verla Lemings, and officers were elected. They are Gail Turley, president; Joe Klineline, vice president; Marsha Leech, treasurer; Cathy Durham, secretary; and Vickie Cagle, reporter.  

Two Ava couples, Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Hamby and Mr. and Mrs. Frank Mayes, visited Sunday afternoon with Mrs. Mollie Frye at the home of her son, Mr. and Mrs. Glen Frye and their son, Roy, of Star Route, Ava. 

Miss Susan Pettit, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Bill Pettit of Ava, was installed as Worthy Advisor of Ava Assembly of the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls, Saturday night, Sept. 12. 

The roadrunner, that ever victorious hero of the cartoon world, is moving into Missouri and having children. Charles Costney, the Department of Conversation’s area manager of Caney Mountain Refuge near Gainesville, reports sighting by Orvis Wood of an Ozark County roadrunner with about a dozen young behind her. 

Robert Lee Suggs, son of Mrs. Josephine Suggs of Route 3, Ava, graduated Sept. 25 from basic training at Ft. Jackson, S.C.  Suggs attended Ava High School before entering the Army. 

Rack Burton and Cecil Turner had a birthday celebration at the Burton home Sunday. 

75 years ago

Donna Sue Keeter, four-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Vester Keeter, living just east of the city limits on Highway 14, was rendered  unconscious apparently by lightning, during the storm here Monday afternoon. She was burned slightly on the chest and on the left hip. The child was sitting on the kitchen cabinet drawing and painting pictures. Her mother was standing just to her right peeling peaches. When the lightning struck, Donna Sue slumped and was falling to the floor when her mother caught her.  

Republicans of Douglas County have opened campaign headquarters in the room adjacent to the Avalon Theater, on the east side of the public square.  John Bragg, county chairman, made arrangements for the space and opened the office to the public Wednesday this week. 

The A.L. Hartley grocery store, on the northwest corner of the public square, was invoiced this week to G.A. Haskins and son, Gerald. Mr. and Mrs. Hartley, who are retiring from the business, had been grocery merchants in Ava the past 15 years, 12 years at this location. 

If Germany is conquered before Japan, which seems probable, then we will be left with half a war on our hands – but a war which a few years ago would have seemed of tremendous proportions and demanding all of the resources and energies of the nation. 

The Ava public school will be dismissed at the end of the school day on Wednesday next week and the students will enjoy a two-day vacation while the teachers go to Springfield to attend the annual meeting of the Southwest Missouri Teachers Association. 

Mrs. Dorothy Smith began work Monday as an operator at the Vanity Beauty Shop.  Mrs. Smith was formerly Dorothy Gettys and is making her home in Ava with her brother-in-law and his family, Mr. and Mrs. Hurse Smith and Sandra Sue. 

Cleo Herd has been operating the Farmer’s Cafe in conjunction with his sister-in-law, Mrs. Ruth Nelson, sold his half interest last week to Mrs. Fred Nelson who immediately took possession. Mr. Herd began work soon in the Fred Lethco store.  Mrs. Herd who was also employed in the cafe will continue for the Nelsons. 

New students who entered Ava High School this week were Miss Geraldine McCoy of La Grange, Illinois who recently moved to Evans with her mother; Miss Jacquline Wade of Wasola, and William (Bill) Merritt of Ava, Route 2.  Last week Lawrence Silvey of Route 2 enrolled in school. He recently returned here with his parents after spending several months in California. 

The students of Ava High School held class meetings Wednesday in order to elect class representatives which form the student council.  The two members from each class are as follows: freshman, Betty Russell and Duane Link; sophomores, Mary Ann Exline and Lyle Clinkingbeard; juniors, Glenna Dell Moxley and Wallace Gott; and seniors, Geraldine Davis and Bob Livingston. 

100 Years Ago

At a meeting of businessmen of Ava at the Bank of Ava on Tuesday this week, arrangements were made for the reception and entertainment of Governor F.D. Gardner when he arrives to address the people attending the Douglas County Fair and Stock Show.  All business houses of the city have been asked to close their doors to the public from 1:00 until 3:00 o’clock in honor of the Governor and during which time his address will be given. 

Sheriff Wm. Miller returned from Jefferson City during the latter part of the week having taken Paul Severns to the state penitentiary. Severns was convicted of forgery and given a sentence of two years.  

S.F. Morrison has bought the 120 acre farm of H.F.C. Huffman at Pansy and the Pansy store building and dwelling from Wm. Phelps. 

Mrs. Daisy Pearl Shelton and Mr. Robert Jenkins, prominent real estate dealer of Ava, were married at the Howard Hitchcock home in East Ava on Friday afternoon. 

Carl Mays, the big league pitcher from Douglas County whose home at Bryant was destroyed by fire last spring, is having a bungalow erected at Manes bridge in Wright County. It will be known as the “Carl Mays Resort” and he and Mrs. Mays will spend their time there when on vacations and camping trips. The bungalow will be supplied with running water from a spring. 

Among the activities to be taken up on Thursday, first day of the Fair and Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Day, will be the organization of a local post of the American Legion. Lieut. V.R. Wilson of Ava will take the initiative in forming the organization. 

Who is the Grafter? For the benefit of Ava and Douglas County in general and in order that the people of Douglas County may know the truth, and in behalf of all those who have been attacked by Oliver B. Davis, editor of the Douglas County Journal, who, from his articles would have you believe that Ava and Douglas County are dominated or controlled by a “ring” or gang with selfish motives, and to the detriment of the citizenship of the county, and in reply to his accusations that members are trying to run him out of business.  Davis was told that his crookedness, bad diplomacy, disagreeable business dealings, etc. were embarrassing.  

Vernie Ellison who has been with the American Army and who served several months in France arrived this week having received his discharge. 

The “Good Looks” of the city have been improved recently by the appearance of the new business signs over the stores of Mr. Latsbaugh, Mr. Timberlake, and the Ava Hardware Co., east side square. 

The only road to independence is thriftiness and economy. 

LAKE CRYSTAL –– Everett Spurlock has bought the old Simpson place from Orville Spurlock and has moved there. 


125 Years ago

Missouri ranks third in the production of fast horses. 

Tramps are more numerous than ever in Jefferson City. 

In Texas County there are reports of 10 buyers for every hog. 

Frank James is reported as doorkeeper of the Standard Theater in St. Louis. 

The story goes that six Joplin doctors refused to see a poor man who had accidentally taken poison. 

In New York state there is said to be no sale for farms. In Missouri farms sell every day for a good average of about $35 and $40 an acre. 

Missouri has kept up a large stock of preachers to supply the demand from other states. 

When the “good roads” boom has materialized in Missouri we will not hear of people being thrown out of their wagons and their bones cracked by the wheel striking a stump. 

Scientist say that if the bed of the Pacific Ocean could be seen it would disclose a view of several mountains with truncated tops scattered over it.  These mountains would be perfectly bare at their base, and all round their tops they would be covered with beautiful vegetation of coral.

Word comes from Bogota that remains of a prehistoric city have been discovered near the crater of the volcano at Purace in the Andes mountains. The buried city covers hundreds of acres, and contains the ruins of great buildings with immense granite columns. Remains of an aqueduct in an almost perfect state of preservation have also been found. 

The first heavy frost of the season for this section of the country occurred on Monday night. 

Circuit Clerk Hartin is suffering with a severe case of blood poisoning resulting from the effects of a small sore on the hand. 

John and Robert Wilson of Boone Township were tried before Esquire Snyder on Monday on a charge of disturbing the peace and were convicted and fined $10 each and costs. 

Mercer’s Grange Store sells apple cider vinegar at 25¢, good molasses from 24 to 30¢, lard 10¢, and coal oil, 15¢. 

A man in a neighboring town got to laughing and could not stop. Physicians could afford him no relief.  When about dead from exhaustion, a message was read to him that his wife’s mother was coming on a visit. He immediately sobered up and hasn’t smiled since. 

When a man plays cards for a stake, he sometimes gets a roast. 

Sometimes a man keeps his word because no one will take it. 

Railways in Holland are so carefully managed that the accidental deaths on them average only one a year for the entire country.