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Looking Backward

25 years ago

Ava business operators who open their stores on Sunday can now do so with a clear conscience –– so far as the law is concerned –– because the Douglas County Commission on Monday voted to repeal the county’s “Blue Law.” The action officially becomes effective when papers are filed with the Secretary of State’s office, which will probably be done this week, according to County Clerk Bill Merritt. 

Vada Gray fills a vital role in the Douglas County Public Administrator’s office through Green Thumb employment. Following a longtime career on the farm with her late husband, Clarence, Vada worked 13 years at Head Start and is now serving the county through the Green Thumb program. 

Jean (Fossett) Scott retired Tuesday after 21 years with the Division of Family Services.  

Five Ava seniors wrapped up their high school volleyball careers this week. They are Brooke Strong, Alisha Swooford, Laura Strong, Farrah Snelson and Beth Greene. 

Gordon Leighter, who farms some 443 acres in Douglas County near Mtn. Grove, was recently presented this year’s David S. Crighton Conservation Award by the Douglas County Soil and Water Conservation District. The Leighters own and operate Turkey Track Ranch, a registered Charolais operation. 

On September 14, the clerical staff of White River Valley electric, with offices in Gainesville, Ava, Ozark and Branson areas, overwhelmingly voted in favor of joining Local 753 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), headquartered out of Springfield. 

Local H&R Block owners, Doren and Alice Donner, of Ava, were honored recently for years of service at the annual H&R Block Satellite Franchise Convention. 

Illiad Press and the National Authors Registry are pleased to announce that Rebecca Arnold of Point Lookout, Mo., author of “Prayer to Cupid” was awarded an honorable mention in the Summer 1994 Illiad Literary Awards competition.  Rebecca is the daughter of Sam and Marti Arnold, of Dogwood, and a 1993 graduate of Ava High School. 

50 years ago

A swiftly-moving tornado left a path of destruction through east Douglas County Friday night killing farm animals, damaging property and curtailing telephone and electric service.  The twister swept through the Sweden area, 15 miles east of Ava, about 9:40 p.m. and continued on its southwest-northwest path to the Vanzant area about 9:50 p.m. Most severely hit was the home of Mrs. Bertie Hicks who lives northeast of Vanzant. Nine Holstein dairy cows owned by the Gene Workman family of near the Sweden community were killed Friday night when their large barn was picked up and moved about five feet. Three of the cows were visible from the outside but the other sixx were buried under about 2,000 bales of hay in the barn. 

A neon sign at the front of Richards Bros. Super Market caught fire about 9 a.m. Sunday but was extinguished before any additional damage was caused.  Heron Smith, store manager, said this was the second time the sign had ignited. 

Ava’s junior high school building ws the main topic of discussion at the regular meeting of the board of education Thursday evening in the superintendent’s office.  The board, along with Supt. Robert Miels and Principals Clyde Bell, Jim Holobaugh and Max Decker noted the inadequate facilities of the building and its deteriorating condition. 

Mr. and Mrs. Harold Strong of Ava announce the birth of a son, Ernest Grant, Sept. 27 in the Mansfield Hospital.  

Mr. and Mrs. Howard Dougherty and their children, Pat, Kathy, Keith and Kevin, of Route 2, had the other members of their family as guests during the weekend. 

Four Ava men, Marvin Case, Jim Curry, Pete Warden, and Dr. Howard Curry, attended the Missouri – Nebraska football game played in Columbia Saturday afternoon, and returning home from the game, the men stopped in Cabool to attend the football game featuring the Ava and Cabool High School teams. 

A total of 37 windows were painted by members of Mrs. Dorothy Williams high school art class in the fall window decorating contest.  Selected as winners were: Lucky Dollar Store, first painted by Charlene Morrison and Glenda Caudill; Ava Drug, second painted by Nancy Aborn, Bernice Conley and Peggy Swearengin; Montgomery Wards, third, by Janet Gentry, Regina Irby and Linda Johnson; Town and Country, fourth, painted by Linda Bristol and Sheila Degase; and Denney’s 66 Station, fifth, painted by Julia Gray and Donita Davis. 

Mr. and Mrs. Cecil Hicks of Drury will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary on Sunday, Oct. 19. 

Mrs. Baxter Gaulding observed her 92nd birthday anniversary Thursday, Oct. 9 at her home in Ava. 

The big swirl at the moment is over the legislators voting themselves a fat 80% pension increase… after having voted themselves a fat 87% pay increase two years ago. 

75 years ago

Starting about November 1, the local Carnation plant will install equipment for evaporating milk, it was announced this week by Paul Clauser, manager. The installation is scheduled to be completed and in operation by March 1, according to present plans. 

Bob L. Pettit, 18-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. L.H. Pettit of Ava was killed in action on the war front in southern France on September 28, according to a telegram from the War Department to his parents here.  Bob Pettit was the youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. Pettit, and a graduate of Ava High School, class of 1943. The Pettits have four other sons in the service, Howard, Cloin, Joe and Bill. 

The Legion Auxiliary Library has placed 50 new books on its shelves, it is announced this week by Mrs. Will Spurrier, librarian. 

Eddie Ridenour of Ava is listed as missing in action in Germany since October 1, according to a telegram from the War Department. 

Last Thursday afternoon Mrs. Paul Murray entertained with a birthday party in her home on Benton Avenue in compliment to her daughter, Margaret Faye, who was celebrating her fourth birthday anniversary. Refreshments were served to Janice Norman, Margaret Ann Stewart, Suzanne Reynolds, Jimmy Gaston, Dick Harlin, Sara Jean Royce, Judy Crumley, Anne Woodruff, John Paul and David Earl Pitts, Dorothy Joslyn, Dorothy Anne Murray and the honoree. 

Announcing the opening of Tate’s Service Station, located by Farmers Cafe.  Dixie Products – washing – greasing – tire repairing – flats our specialty.  

BRYANT –– Dickey, small son of Mr. and Mrs. Elmer McCrite, fell Thursday morning off the wagon and the wheel ran over his body. He was taken to Hartville for an x-ray examination, but no bones were found to be broken.  His head was cut but he is getting along nicely. 

Miss Fern Allen of Ava and Arthur Walker of Souder were married Thursday afternoon last week in the home of Justice of the Peace R.A. McJimsey, with Justice McJimsey officiating.  

Even though it should be kept in abeyance, we are all entitled to an opinion.  

Ten deer tags had been sold by County Clerk Ramey Smith Wednesday, and the clerk was out of tags.  “More have been ordered,” he said. 

The matter of racial equality is being very prominently featured today. 

The Ava Lions Club is offering $12 in war stamps and a number of theater tickets as prizes for the best costumes individuals and couples who take part in a Halloween parade on the Ava square Tuesday night, Oct. 31. 

100 Years Ago

A verdict of guilty of murder was returned by a jury in the Wright Co. Circuit Court last week by a jury that was trying Randall Smith at Hartville, on a charge of having placed strychnine in a bottle of whiskey from which Alfred Hutsell drank, causing his death. Smith’s punishment was fixed at 99 years in the penitentiary. 

The Junior Class elected the following officers: Chas. Burris, president; Marvin Gentry, vice-president; and Mabel Judd, secretary. Miss Frieda Marshal was chosen from the faculty as sponsor for the class. 

Jesse A. Mitchell of the Bank of Ava is attending the Bankers Meeting in Springfield this week. 

Prosperity should begin at home. 

With the signature of President Wilson, one of the most drastic bills ever passed by Congress, the prohibition enforcement act, will become a law and the sale, giving away or manufacture of any beverage containing more than one-half of 1 percent of alcohol becomes a federal offense and punishable by a stiff fine or imprisonment or both. 

Will Laurie has sold his sawmill to a Mr. Stout. Mr. Stout will move it soon to the pine timber on the banks of Bryant. 

An airplane passed over Ava Wednesday afternoon at about 4:30 o’clock going east. 

Pendy Medley of Coldspring spent Tuesday and Wednesday in Ava taking a special teachers examination. Mr. Medley has been employed to teach the Champion School 

Wormy children are unhappy, puny and sickly.  They can’t be otherwise while worms eat away their strength and vitality. 

DORA – Hobart Dobbs received his discharge a few days ago and returned home from Navy life. A dinner was given in his honor last Sunday and was well attended. 

GRANADA – Jack Frost came on Friday night of last week to call on all of us. 

Miss Opal Hamby won the box of chocolates for being the most popular young lady at the Cobb School pie supper. 

PEAVINE DISTRICT –– John Brixey, an old time settler on Bill Mac Creek, recently had a sale and left the country. 

125 Years ago

A large Hungarian boarding house at Laurel Run, Wilkes-Barre, Pa., was blown to atoms by dynamiters yesterday morning, and three of the inmates killed outright, four-fatally injured, and a half dozen seriously hurt.  The fiends who planned the explosion did their work well.  They placed about 24 sticks of dynamite under the building, each being about nine inches long and weighing about half a pound. A wire connected the sticks with a battery about 50-yards away.  

Henry Billings, Jack Billings, Spruce Billings and Jesse Street, members of a gang of White Cappers who have committed many outrages in Tipton County, Tennessee, were found guilty at Covington, Tenn., and given long terms in the penitentiary. 

Some women would object to the millennium if it should come on sash day. 

SEDALIA –– Larkin Dewitt left home 10 days ago with the intention of going to Otterville to pay off debt. He carried with him a large sum of money and told his wife that he would return that night. His dead body, with a bullet in his brain, was found last night in a pasture only a short distance from his residence.  No weapon was found near his person, and no money was in his pockets. No clue to the identity of his murderer has been found. 

In Warrensburg lives a sister of Kit Carson, the famous scout. Her name is Grandma Rubey. She is 81 years old and lives with her daughter, Mr.s. Charles Oglesby. 

It is very hard for a man who lives in a cyclone district to remain truthful.

The Farm Record of last week belched forth its usual amount of slimy falsehoods and mud far beneath the notice of all respectable citizens of our county. 

The race track would be further above suspicion if it had more dead heats and fewer deadbeats. 

Contractor Corkham has completed the foundation for the new brick walls of Miller Bros. Store and will commence the brick masonry this week. 

Last Tuesday evening in Mtn. Grove, just after dark, the horse attached to the mail cart on the Huggins Route came in without a driver. The route has been carried by Samuel Gallson, a boy about 17.  On investigation of the mail, Postmaster Musick found cards for registered packages, but the packages were missing.  Closer inspection disclosed the mail pouch had been cut. 

Riches do not make married people happy but they are a great help in paying alimony.