Skip to content

Looking Backward

25 Years Ago


Doran Coberly and Zane Gray were sworn in as Ava R-1 Board members. Coberly was elected to a first term on board April 4 and Gray was re-elected to the board.

The Ava Area Ministerial Alliance will sponsor the annual Good Friday service for the entire Ava community Friday night.

Make it big, make it small. Make it a sample of beauty or something humorous. Make it a creation that only you could dream up – but make it in time for the 3rd Annual Ava Women’s Chamber of Commerce Easter Fun Day Bonnet Contest.

The Country Heritage Spinners & Weavers held their March meeting at the home of Nancy Bolen in Ava.

Virginia Crank, Annette Caudill and Tonya Titus visited with their Aunt Jessie Purtle of Red Bud Village. 

Dorothy Baumgardner was crowned OATS queen

Wednesday Bridge Club met at the Highway House Cafe for lunch and two tables of bridge with Billie Sue McGill as hostess.

Helen Guill was named Volunteer of the Year, based on her many hours of volunteer service to the Ava Senior Center.

Army Pvt. Adam R. Stover, son of Mark and Carol Stover of Ava, completed the multichannel communications systems operator course at Fort Gordon, August, Ga.

The children of Hilltop Preschool celebrated St. Patrick’s Day by having a parade with musical instruments and costumes at the Senior Citizens Center.

Soloists receiving II ratings at district music festival are: Tiffany Orick and Allison Wheat, vocalists; Clint Overstreet, vocalist; Crystal Hartin and Shelly Brummet, piano and vocal; and Angel Atchison, vocal.

Dick and Pauline Richards drove to Forsyth and had a nice visit with Mrs. Richards’ sister, Norma Andres.

Adam Robertson celebrated his 4th birthday in the home of his great-grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Otto Davis. Enjoying birthday cake and ice cream with Adam were his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Glen Robertson, and brother David, Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Loyd, Mr. and Mrs Otto Davis and Violet Christy.

Steve and Shanna Greenfield are the proud parents of a baby boy, Justin Coy.

James and Linda Orick and Shirley Halcomb had good luck mushroom hunting.

Bob Goodwin had a nice double tombstone set at the old Boston Cemetery for his wife, Shirley, who passed away in Nov. 1994. 

50 Years Ago

Billie Joe Evans, 34, assumed ownership of the ambulance service here. The ambulance service has been owned and operated for 43 years by Clinkingbeard Funeral Home, when they bought their first combination hearse-ambulance in 1927.

James H. Williams, Sr., scoutmaster of Ava Scout Troop 68, was honored by the Ozarks Council of Boy Scouts of America with the Silver Beaver Award – the highest award that can be earned as a volunteer in scouting.

A 28-year old Drury man, Don Moss, escaped serious injury when the milk truck he as driving plunged into a ditch and overturned. The brakes on his Carnation milk truck failed at the intersection of Washington st and NW. Sixth Street.

Ava High School’s baseball team opened their season in high fashion by bombing Seymour 22-4.

Our National Debt now totals more than $359 billion, with an interest on it accumulating at the rate of $18 billion a year. Today, nearly one dollar out of every ten dollars of government expense goes for interest on the Debt.

Bobbie Huffman, an employee of Ava Lumber Company, was presented a gold watch by R. A. Kottmeier, owner of Ava Lumber Company, for 20 years of service.

The Mound Sunshine Workers Club met with Mrs. Golda Colin as hostess. The day was spent embroidering tea towels and piecing quilts.

Debra Beth Pitts wrote her name on a card and dropped it into a barrel containing other names of participants of a radio contest and her name was drawn as winner of 300 one-dollar bills.

He’s the kind of guy who’d give a fellow with new dentures a box of peanut brittle.

Airman First Class Don Kilburn arrived home on leave from Chanute Air Force Base, Illinois, where he had been in technical school for the past four months.

Mr. and Mrs. Victor Kilgore, Mansfield, announce the birth of a new baby girl, Deonna Lynn.

The Up’n At’t 4H Club met at the 4-H clubhouse. Thirty-one members and their leader, Mrs. Shirley Macomber were present. Roll call was “Give a weather superstition.”

Mark Anthony Hodges, 16-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Britain of Ava, was injured when he apparently lost control of the car in loose gravel and crashed into a tree.

The Ava B&PW Club held their regular monthly dinner meeting at French’s Highway House Cafe. The T-shaped table was covered with red cloths and decorated with an arrangement of yellow jonquils flanked on each side by yellow candles in white milk glass holders tied with yellow ribbon bows.

Mr. and Mrs. Fritz Staiger announce the engagement of their daughter, Kay Elizabeth, to James Wilson Pitts, son of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Pitts of Ava. Wedding plans are for June 6.

Heroic pilot Roberts Wilbur landed his Eastern Airlines jet airliner despite being wounded in both arms during a gun fight in the cockpit of his DC9. The copilot was killed and a gun-wielding passenger wounded.

75 Years Ago

 The American Legion Auxiliary here is conducting a drive for books to be sent to the marines, to be used a their recreation centers here and in battle areas.

Nineteen Douglas County men are to leave Ava today for Jefferson Barracks, where they will be inducted into the armed forces. This is the largest call for two months.

Miss Louise Woodruff, home management specialist, will be in Douglas county and will demonstrate “Upholstering at Home.”

Lee Floyd, who drives school bus number 6 to Smallett, Rome and McClurg, purchased a new forty-two passenger bus, Superior Body, and immediately put it to use on his route. The purchase was made from the Sallee Motor Company who had the bus in their Ava garage.

Sergeant John W. Reed, formerly of the Whites Creek community, has sent his wife, Mrs. Lenora Sue Reed, which he found in Germany.

The senior class of the Ava high school will present their annual class play. The play, “Spring Fever,” is a three-act comedy drama. The cast includes Lucy Elliott, Geraldine Davis, Ola Mitchell, Myrtle Haynes, Helen Wiggins, Edith Bell, Roy Lewis, Paul Sell, Paul Roy and Vandiver Flynn.

Levi Hankins, charged with drunken driving in connection with an accident which resulted in the death of his father-in-law, Walter Brown, was found not guilty by a jury which heard the evidence in his case.

Mrs. Myrtle Palmer returned to Ava from Los Angeles, California, where she had spent the past 5 months visiting her brothers and sisters there for the first visit in 23 years.

Miss Mary Mae Haden, who is studying at the University of Missouri at Columbia, visited from Friday until Monday with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Church Haden of Smallett.

Mrs. David Byerley and son, Willard, of Souder, were in Ava and spent the day visiting with Mrs. Byerley’s daughter, Miss Beulah Byerley, who is employed at the Jernigan Shoe Store. 

Mrs. Ralph Kerr was hostess to the members of her contract club and a few guests when she entertained in her home. After the group played five rounds of contract bridge, high score prizes were presented to Mrs. harry Williams and Mrs. R. L. Ellis.

Mr. and Mrs. Ed Hines received letters from their three sons last week, who are in the Army. Melvin is in the southwest Pacific, Bartley is in Belgium and Estel is in the States.

Mrs. Clate Rogers who is instructor at the Holt school and her pupils gave a program Thursday night. They also held a pie supper which raised seventy-five dollars for the Red Cross. Their quota was $62.00

100 Years Ago

It was suggested by a member of the faculty in the study hall one day this week that some students might be affected with non-study-itis, stating also that a remedy for this disease could be secured. A word to the wise is sufficient. Beware.

Miss Zola Andrews, daughter of Ford Andrews, a prosperous farmer residing just west of the city, and Floyd Fisher of this city, were quietly married at the home of the groom’s parents. The ceremony was performed by Howard Hitchcock in the presence of only the immediate relatives.

The annual city and school elections held in Ava passed off with very little interest, there being no contests for the positions to be filled. The voting was exceedingly light.

Mrs. Albert Willard is very ill with what is supposed to be smallpox. 

Johnnie Smiths’ have all been having the measles, six down at one time. Mr. Smith and Mrs. Hiser have been taking care of them. All are up at this report except Mrs. Smith.

Lawrence Gregory had the misfortune of having some of his sheep killed by a wolf. Mr. Gregory saw the world, but did not kill it.

The storm last week tore the paper roof off of Will Anderson’s house.

The Hitchcock Factory Co. has started work on a new concrete factory building near the Ava depot. The building will be two stories and about 55 feet by 87 feet.

The stockmen are burning their pastures to get rid of the leaves and persuade the grass to grow.

Pendie Medley of Coldspring spent the latter part of the week in Ava. Pendie is thinking of entering the race for Representative from Douglas County.

John Weaver of South Dakota has bought the old Wade homestead and arrived her last week to develop the mineral prospects there. 

The Physical Geography class made a field trip this week to the marsh or pond near the Timberlake feed barn, in study of the various kinds of water plants.

The library method now used in High School since last fall has proven a success. The system which was installed last fall is the same as that used by the Teacher’s College and other large schools. The method is to have pasted in the back of the book a pocket envelope in which a card is inserted containing the name of the book and author. When the book is borrowed the borrower signs his name to the card which is placed in a filing tray after stamping on it the date the book is due. There the name of the individual responsible for the book is kept and he can be fined or charged for the book if it is damaged or lost.

A good gas well has been opened near Sparks, Okla. and the oil scouts think that town is in the center of a new oil and gas field.

Delbert Wade had a fine mare and young mule to get drowned in the high water.

Miss Ollie Stillwell returned to Springfield after having spent two weeks with home folks here. She is taking a commercial course at Draughon’s Business College.

125 Years Ago

Mr. Lester S. Parker, manager of the Jefferson Shoe Co. and Mr. George James, late foreman, exchanged shots at Jefferson City without damage to either.

Mrs. Rosa Lumper, aged 70, fell down stairs and died of her injuries.

Prof. H. A. Hollister, principal of the Springfield High School, charged with assaulting Tommy Weaver, a pupil, was tried and acquitted.

Myrtle Kerr, daughter of E.S. Kerr of Pleasant hill, died of rheumatism of the heart, aged 13. 

Louisiana has established a rigid quarantine against smallpox. The disease prevails in the western part of the county.

Mrs. Mattie Rudolph of near Nevada was adjudged insane and will be sent to the asylum.

The trial of the Taylor brothers on a charge of murder began at Carroliton, Mo.

George Dailey, of Lincoln township, Douglas County, was convicted in the U.S. Court at Springfield of perjury. He was sentenced to two years in the penitentiary and to pay a fine of $10.

C. F. Denny, of Shipman, Ills. was in Ava last week. Mr. Denny is a first-class harness maker and will return to Ava in a few weeks and open up a harness shop. Mr. Denny is a fine tuba player and will be quite an accession to our band.

Miss Josie Clark has returned home from Mtn. Grove and L.A. Rodgers has found a new shirt.

Secretary Campbell of the Lexington (Ky.) Chamber of Commerce was killed on his porch by an unknown person. 

Cora Smith confessed at Omaha, Neb., that she murdered her father. Her mother is serving a life sentence for the crime.

Eight cases of smallpox are reported in Dallas, Tex.

Charles Hurd, son of G.B. Hurd of Green Ridge, who disappeared over a week ago, has not been found.

The engagement of Miss Minnie S. Kerr of st. Joseph to Mr. Theodore Whitney of Boston is announced.

The prospects are very bright for a new and good hotel at St. Joseph.

The Beasley building at Rich Hill was destroyed by fire. 

Dr. James M Clyde of Springfield sues his wife, Carrie, for divorce.

J. W. Youngblood and Miss Erp of Ash Grove have been three times engaged. The last time the wedding guests were assembled, but the groom defaulted,  whereupon the young lady’s father hunted him up and thrashed him. 

The St. Charles Fire Department has no horse and buildings burn down while the firemen are getting animals from private stables.

The shooting in Paris of Waddell by Thomas O’Brien, both Americans, was caused by a quarrel over a woman.

Douglas Co. Normal will begin the second session January 7th, 1895, with an able faculty of five members. The first session, under the present management, gained 60 percent over the enrollment of last year, which speaks for itself. 

The following marriage license has been issued by Recorder Spurlock: J.C. Byrd of Ava, to Mary Piland of Thornfield.