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Looking Backward

25 Years Ago

The stockholders of Gainesville Bancshares authorized a change of the company’s name to Century Bancshares Inc.

The 1995 Douglas County Fair queen contest will take on a slightly different format this year as the fair presents “Denim Gals of Douglas County.”   

Citizens Bank of Southern Missouri, with banks in Ava and Mtn. Grove, is celebrating its 90th anniversary from June 26 through July 1. 

Etzel Wood made Alice a birthday cake and their son, Max, came from Ozark to help eat it. Mahlon and Randy Schmucker stopped by after church and shared cake and ice cream.

Mack and Rena Miller visited Carl and Betty Morris, gathered some poke and ate a piece of Betty’s delicious strawberry pie.

The Creative Handcrafters met in the courthouse for their June meeting. Attending were Dan Curran and son, Gregg, Mary Cobb, Minnie Hartley, Thelma Mork, Faye Dye, Kay Ritter, Karen Hall, Elsie Morrison, Isana Seidcheck, Esther Deavers, Florence Stutts, Helen Coker, and Pinky Zirkle.

Tommy Oliver is happy to announce the arrival of his little brother, Dennis Robert. The proud parents are Robert and Dianne Oliver.   Grandparents are Delmar and Sandy White of Basin, Wyoming, Tom and Sue Brown, Route 3, Ava. 

Roy and Pauline hosted their annual music party Sunday night, May 28. 

On Saturday, June 3, Evelyn Cantwell found her yard full of family and friend waiting to surprise her with a barbecue for her birthday. 

50 Years Ago

Work on Ava’s municipal swimming pool continues to progress.  The pool is scheduled for completion September 25, but according to a spokesman for the Homer Carr Construction Co., contractors on the project, the pool may be finished earlier providing materials and equipment arrive on scheduled. 

Ceremonies to officially open Ava’s municipal airport are planned for next fall when the colors of autumn are at their brightest in the area.  Mayor Fred O. Lethco announced this week that dignitaries have been invited to greet several out of state flights to christen the new facilities. 

R.A. Kottmeier, 54, owner of Ava Lumber Company, was admitted to Cox Medical Center after he suffered a heart attack, May 31.  

A dry spell was broken during the past week as thundershowers dumped one of the heaviest rainfalls of the year on Ava and the surrounding countryside. The Ava Ranger station recorded 2.96 inches of precipitation for the storm period. 

A break-in at Houses Shoe Store on the square last weekend resulted in the theft of $80 in cash, Sheriff Troy Hancock reports.  The break-in netted $80.00. 

Recent visitors in the home of Mr. and Mrs. V. A. Shull, Jr., were Warren Sikes of St. Louis, Mr. and Mrs. Dewayne Sikes and Helen, Seymour, Frank Sikes, and Mr. and Mrs. Ben Ferguson and daughter of Seymour. 

Darlene Pruiett was honored with a surprise birthday party at the fairgrounds Tuesday night, May 26. 

Two Ava coaches, Carl Roebuck, the high school football mentor and Truman Smith, basketball coach came to the defense of their athletes this week as a controversy over grades and sports developed.  The controversy started at a recent board of education meeting when board members Bill McDonald remarked, on the subject of moving Ava’s athletic field, “You’ll find that your good students don’t participate in sports.” 

Mr. and Mrs. J.E. Curry attended the alumni meeting of the Forsyth High School held in Forsyth High School held in Forsyth Saturday evening. Featured in connection with the event was the reunion of the class of 1920 of which Mrs. Curry was a member. 

Mrs. Cleffie Blakey was a guest in the home of her daughter and son-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Delmar Rosseau, this past Wednesday. 

Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Donnelly arrived in Ava Memorial Day to establish their residence on their suburban property south of Ava. Mr. Donelly retired in May after 22 years of service in the U..S. Army. They have four children at home, Sherian, Raeliene, Raymond Jr., and Shawn. 

Dr. Gary L. Kester, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Virgil Kester of Ava is visiting his parents here.  He received his doctor’s degree from the University of Kansas this spring.  Prior to completing the degree, he taught Spanish for five years. 

Much of the world’s troubles come about because people have never made up their minds NOT to steal, lie, rob, drink and gamble. 

A firebombing at Southwest Missouri State College in Springfield May 14 caused $12,500 damage to a portion of the industrial education building. 

75 Years Ago

Douglas County this week was $28,212.75 short of its $175,000 quota in the seventh war loan drive. O.C. Reynolds and Lyle Pettit, chairman and vice chairman of the county war finance committee, announced Wednesday that sales of bonds then amounted to $146,787.25.

The Ozark Produce will open for business tomorrow in the old opera house building east of the square. The new business will operate under the management of Ray Isham, who has been employed in the produce business in this section the past twelve years. 

The Ava Lumber Company and other yards of the Meek Lumber Company, is sponsoring the radio program, “The man on the street,” which will be broadcast from KWTO at Springfield each week day at 12:45. 

M.B. Carpenter, who for the past year has been field man for the Carnation Company here, has accepted a position with the extension service of the Missouri College of Agriculture. 

ARNO –– Mr. and Mrs. George Posey and grandson, Perry Posey, were all day guests Sunday of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Sanders.  Mr. and Mrs. Everett Posey were afternoon visitors in the Sanders home. 

Japan will soon feel the punch of Eighth Air Force, and Private Aurry C. Crain, Ava, Missouri, is now on duty at this strategic air depot helping to prepare for the scheduled blasting of the Nipponese.  Private Crain, who has served in the European theater of operation 22 months, contributed to the strategic bombing of German military installations, war plants, refineries, and rail centers which, according to captured Nazi Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt, was the biggest single reason by the Third Reich was defeated. 

Saturday afternoon, Mrs. W.I. Barker entertained with a birthday party in compliment to her son, David, who was celebrating his 8th birthday anniversary. 

Mr. and Mrs. Marvin Barnes and their daughter, Carolyn, who have been making their home in Redwood City, California, arrived in Ava Sunday and plan to make their home here. At present they are house guests of Mr. Barnes’ parents, Mr. and Mrs. Larkin Barnes, at the Ozark Hotel. 

DOGWOOD –– Murlen Swearengin’s children were Sunday visitors in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Green. 

BRUSHYKNOB – Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Pennington visited last Thursday with Mrs. Pennington’s sister, Mrs. Willie Gray and Mr. Gray. 

WASOLA –– Mr. and Mrs. Orval Hancock and two children, Donald and Lawana, visited in the Frank Giles home from Monday until Wednesday, and attended Memorial services at the Garrison Cemetery.

MT. TABOR –– Jeanette Jarman, five-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jarman, is pronounced well by her doctor.  She hadn’t walked on her leg for two years. Last week she laid her crutches aside and can run and jump now. 

CROSS ROADS –– Kenneth Brown, son of Mr. and Mrs. Carroll Brown, is confined to his home with rabbit fever. 

100 Years Ago

The three county judges of Christian County were arrested last Saturday on grand jury indictments charging them with allowing unjust claims against the county, and the county clerk was arrested on an indictment charging that he failed to pay into the county treasury fees totaling $586.81.  The county judges are charged with having paid Dr. Bruton, county physician of that county in excess of the amount of his bid for the county practice. 

Dr. F.H. Riley of Mansfield has announced himself as a candidate for representative in the state legislature from Wright County on the Republican ticket. 

The late census report gives West Plains a population of 3178, a gain of 264 over the 1910 enumeration. 

Marriage Licenses: George McDaniel, Noble, and Ruby Fletcher, Noble; Ross Thompson, Merritt, and Mrs. Julia Mills, Pansy; Vernon Twitty, Wasola, and Ellen Cates, Noble. 

J.F. Holestine is driving a new Willys-Knight car this week. 

Dr. and Mrs. R.M. Norman and two daughters, and Mr. and Mrs. Cole Coffeen motored to Springfield Monday returning Wednesday. 

A fine boy arrived at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Daves who live in the west part of the city on Tuesday of this week. 

R.L. Story and family and R.P. Justice and family who recently departed for Lindsay, Calif., are now at Mansfield on the way back to Ava. 

The ball game at Mansfield Sunday between the Mansfield Grays and Ava resulted in a six-inning tie neither team scoring. The game was called in the sixth inning owing to the rain. 

The businessmen of Ava donated more than $100 Monday for the support of the baseball team for Ava this summer. The ball ground at the school campus will be scraped and put in good condition and new uniforms and other equipment bought. The ball team organized Monday  night by the election of W.F. Reynolds manager, H.T. Owens captain, and Cecil Reynolds, secretary-treasurer. 

“Let us serve God in the sunshine while He makes the sun shine.  We shall then serve Him all the better in the dark when He sends the darkness.  The darkness is sure to come.  Only let our light be God’s light, and our darkness God’s darkness, and we shall be safe at home when the great nightfall comes.      F.W. Faber

Do you know that tuberculosis is more prevalent in the South than in any other part of the country?  That more than 150 people a day, or 57,782 a year, die in the South and the Southwest from this dreaded disease? 

The Filipino woman is destined to be in the world’s spotlight more than ever before as a result of the news just received by cable from Manila to the effect that the Philippine senate has passed the equal suffrage bill giving women full political rights with men. This would indicate the Filipina may beat her American sisters to the ballot box. 

125 Years Ago

The citizens seem to have come to the conclusion that Liberty without waterworks is no longer desirable. 

St. Joseph employs sixteen ‘substitute’ teachers at a salary of $150 per year. 

The Missouri City coal mines employ 40 miners now, and expect to increase the number to 125 in the fall. 

The trees have become too thick in Rockbridge. 

This was the “string” that lately passed through Clinton on their way to Jefferson City:  George Long, the Bates County boy murderer who goes up for life for the killing of his father; William Ainwine, the old man from Lawrence County who gets ten years for murdering his son-in-law; George Weaberling, horse thief by profession, six years; and bigamist Charles Jenkins, who gets off easy with two years sentence for concubinage. 

WICHITA, Kan. –– While firing the salute over the graves of the veteran dead, one of the canons of Battery A.K.N.G., exploded prematurely and shot off the arms of Private Joseph Fennell.  He will probably die. This is the fifth man that has been butchered by this gun, which had been condemned by the government after the war. 

Baths, 15 cents at W.F. Beeman’s.

Lots of good looking “marms” in town this week. 

The Spoke and Fellow Factory at Cabool burned the middle of last week, loss about $8,000. 

J.G. Byrd, our jeweler, has just received a large stock of fine eight day clocks. 

County Clerk Inman has just received a notice from the state department that hereafter merchants are required to file their statements with the county clerk as heretofore. 

The tobacco habit grows on a man until his nervous system is seriously affected impairing health, comfort and happiness.  

The Ava band re-organized last Monday night, passed some more by-laws, and elected the following officers for the ensuing year: president, Ben J. Smith; vice president C. Meeker; secretary and treasurer Henry S. Wilson; conductor and teacher William Pettit. The boys have made up their minds to make this one of the best bands in the state. 

For several years the Mountain Grove Band has secured the job of playing for the Springfield Fair. This year the Ava band has put in a bid for this job.  This band is a far better band than the Mountain Grove band ever was, and as our boys have put in a very low bid, the prospects are that they will get the job.  

WHITES CREEK ITEMS –– Fruit trees of all kinds are loaded with their crops to our great satisfaction.  Mr. William Spurlock reports having the best prospects for that in five years. 

No matter how small or apparently worthless anything is, there is use for it.  The pebble David cracked Goliath’s head with was an insignificant thing, yet it has a place in the greatest book of all. 

It is an usual woman who can afford the friendship of a man.