Looking Backward

25 years ago

Ava High School Bears prepare to host the Bolivar Liberators in the first round of the Missouri 3A football playoffs Wednesday night. The winner of the Ava-Bolivar game will play the winner of the Branson-Seneca game next Monday night at a location yet to be determined. 

Bonnie Evans, administrator of the Ava Senior Center since Jan. 4 of this year, was recently named “Administrator of the Month” in the Southwest District, Southwest Missouri Office on Aging. The award was presented during the noon meal program at the center on Monday by Ellen Skinner, group leader for SMOA. Bonnie has been instrumental in securing grants and coordinating fund raisers for the purpose of buying a van for delivering meals to the homebound elderly in the area. 

Bill Frye took second place at Phenix City, Ala., on Sunday, Nov. 7. The $15,000 first place went to Scott Bloomquist and third went to Billy Moyer. 

The 1993 Rawlings fall fishing tournament was held Saturday, Oct. 23 from 8 a.m. till 2 p.m. at Springcreek.  

Mr. and Mrs. Willard Shortt will celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary Sunday, Nov. 14, at the Ava Community Center.  Willard Shortt and Wanda Sagerser were united in marriage on November 15, 1953 at the First Baptist Church in Ava, Mo., by the Rev. Everett Milner. 

THEODOSIA –– We had a white Halloween here in these parts of the Ozark hills with sleet, snow and cold temperatures.  But there were a lot of trick or treaters out on both nights, Saturday and Sunday, in spite of the weather. 

CHAMPION/VANZANT- There was a beautiful wedding at the junction Sunday. Brenda Schober and Clyde Silsbee were married at the cafe. 

Congratulations to Johnny and Golda Walker who will be observing their 63rd wedding anniversary Nov. 15. 

RED BUD VILLAGE – Visiting Winifred McKnight last week were Margaret Stahlman, Willene Adams, and Ronnie and Charlotte McKnight. 

BRADLEYVILLE – Congratulations to Ronald Bateman on his 90th birthday. 

50 years ago

Competing for the title of Ava High School Homecoming Queen this week are Connie Jenkins, Sandy Riggs and Kathy Haynes, all seniors.  The queen will be crowned Friday evening at 7 o’clock prior to the football game between the Ava Bears and Mountain Grove. 

Local voters will have a choice of three candidates on the ballot for president in the General Election Tuesday, plus several other state, district and local candidates on the Republican and Democratic tickets. No candidates are listed on the independent ballot other than president and vice president. Seeking the office of president of the United States are Richard M. Nixon, Republican; Edmund S. Muskie, Democrat, and General Curtis LeMay, American Independent. 

A young Ava Army sergeant is the latest Ozarker to be reported killed in Vietnam combat action. Sgt. Lester Cleo McGinnis II is listed among 11 American casualties in a recent engagement with the enemy in the war zone.  

A Forsyth man, sentenced to life imprisonment for two murders, is back at the state penitentiary in Jefferson City after hearing his appeal motion turned down last week.  Virgil Duren, 38, was returned to his cell Tuesday night, Oct. 22, hours after Circuit Judge Garner L. Moody of Mansfield ruled he found no basis for setting aside the 1965 convictions for the murders of Oscar Kempe and his wife, Ruby, of Theodosia. 

Mrs. Orlena T. Brown of Springfield will observe her 100 birthday Sunday, Nov. 3, at Chastain’s of Ava. 

Mr. and Mrs. Vernon Ray and son, Mr. and Mrs. J. F. Lewis and Mrs. Edna Shull of Ava drove to Piedmont Sunday and spent the day with Mr. and Mrs. Glen Hibbard and son. 

The computer age is making its mark on political ballots. A significant segment of the American electorate will cast votes November 5 on computerized punch cards and specially treated paper ballots, National Geographic says. 

“It pays to advertise,” Mrs. Gloria Hailey of Ava exclaimed after being reunited with her brother Frank Morgan after 34 years.  When Mr. Morgan placed the advertisement in the newspaper, a cousin of saw it and wrote him giving Mr. Morgan the name and address.  

Mr. and Mrs. J.R. Spurlock of Ava accompanied their daughters, Mrs. Thelma Kester and Mrs. Murley Grabeel of Springfield, on a trip to New Orleans, La., Wednesday, Oct. 16, to be guests in the home of Mrs. Kester’s son and his family, Mr. and Mrs. Royce K. Waters and daughters, Candy, Shelly and Elizabeth. 

Mrs. Eva Turner and children, Dale, Donis, Elois and Brenda, visited Sunday night with Mrs. Alvina Neal of Ava. 

The first permanent settlement in Missouri was made at Ste. Genevieve about 1735. It was founded by some settlers from Kaskaskia, a French trading post east of the Mississippi River. Those living east of the Mississippi nicknamed this new land “Misere” or “Misery.” 

75 years ago

Howard Garland, 25, Dogwood farmer, Tuesday shot to death with a 16 gauge shotgun a neighbor who attempted to enter his house threatening to kill him, he told county officials to whom he had sent word of the killing with the request that they come out and investigate. The neighbor was Henry Cowan Troutman, believed to be about 67 years old, who lived alone on a farm about a mile and a half from the Garland home, just north of Dogwood. 

 Hazel Myers and Teddy Sallee, high school seniors, were crowned carnival queen and prince charming at the close of the annual school carnival Friday  night.  

War news this past week continues to be favorable to the Allies, with German armies continuing to fall back on the Russian front and in Italy and with allied gains scored on the Japanese in the Pacific.  This morning it was reported by Associated Press that General Douglas MacArthur’s air army Tuesday inflicted the worst defeat yet administered to Japan’s seaborne power at the New Britain stronghold of Rabaul, sending three enemy destroyers and eight large merchant vessels to the bottom of Simpson harbor. 

Joseph J. Barry, new forest ranger on the Pond Fork unit here, this week is assuming the duties of his position.  

Ensign and Mrs. Russell Felton announce the birth of a son at the Burke Street Hospital, Fort Scott, Kansas.  The little fellow has been named Lewis Allen.  Ensign Felton is a graduate of Ava High School. 

Mr. and Mrs. Jas. Davis of just south of Ava, celebrated their golden wedding anniversary on Friday, Oct. 29. Mr. and Mrs. Davis were married by the Rev. Burton Marler of Ava, 1803, on the farm they now occupy and have resided there continuously since that time. 

The allowable range of prices for which each grade of live cattle can be sold to slaughterers has been set by Judge Fred M. Vinson, director of the office of economic stabilization. Price ranges per hundred weight, for various grades at Chicago are: choice, $15 to $16; good, $14.25 to $15.25; medium, $12 to $13; common, $10 to $11, cutter and canner and bologna bulls, $7.45 to $8.45. 

Death is sweeping over Bangal, India’s most heavily populated province, as a result of India’s worst famine in decades. The official death toll is nearly 200 daily in Calcutta alone and thousands more are collapsing in rural areas. 

Private Ralph Dobbs of the U.S. Marine Corps, arrived in Ava Friday enroute to Bertha where he remained until Tuesday to visit with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Ed Dobbs and family.  

Saturday afternoon Miss Carleen Lethco entertained a group of her friends at a Halloween party. Refreshments were served to Ola Sue Souder, Betty Lou Stanton, Patsy Ann and Donna Sue Herrell, Orene Snelson, Lavon Privett, Donna Marie Manis, Gayleen Cooper, Rose Ann Singleton, Wanda Lou Sallee, Shirley Jean Durham, Martha Jo and Junior Lethco, Geneve Swearengin of Elkhead and Mary Ann Exline of Mountain Grove. 

100 Years Ago

The Ava Public School opened again last Monday after having been dismissed on the account of influenza.  It has been recommended by the State Superintendent that school be held on Saturday as well as other week days. The recommendation was made as a war measure, and becomes more urgent since the schools have been hit hard by the epidemic of influenza, so there is a great probability of having six regular school days a week instead of five as hertofore. 

The prohibition amendment was defeated in St. Louis by more than 87,000 majority, however, the heavy dry vote in all other parts of the state will make the outcome close. Present indications are that the amendment is defeated by about 10,000.  All the other amendments were defeated, the largest vote going against the Single Tax Amendment. 

Jesse Smith, son of Mr. and Mrs. C.C. Smith, who live two miles west of Ava, is suffering from a gunshot in the right foot. The incident occurred last Sunday night as he was returning home from Ava at about ten o’clock.  According to his story, he was in the act of dismounting from his horse at the barnyard gate when someone shot him. He was flung to the ground by his horse, and a little later assisted to the house by member of the family who heard the gun and went to his assistance.  

If Germany accepts the terms of the armistice and begins to carry them out in apparent good faith, the great war may be considered as virtually ended. This, however, does not mean that peace will be negotiated with the present government of Germany. 

J.A.G. Reynolds and son Oden motored to Vanzant and back Sunday. 

Myrtle Shinpaugh left Monday for Buckhart where she is teaching this fall. 

L.E. Reynolds has sufficiently recovered from the flu to be on the streets again. 

A fresh coat of paint is being added to the attractiveness of the Dr. J.L. Gentry residence this week. 

Mrs. Boone Norman spent last week at the J.P.M. Norman home west of town, returning to Ava Monday. 

Miss Ethyl Miller who is teaching at Brushyknob returned home Sunday, her school being closed on account of influenza. 

The largest cattle shipment ever made from Taney County was loaded at Hollister on October 29. It consisted of ten cars containing 551 head of choice steers, consigned to Farmer Brothers, Garden City, Ks. 

J. A. Billingsley and family departed this week for Lockwood, Mo. Mr. Billingsley recently sold his farm just south from Ava to Jno. Buchanan and bought a farm near Lockwood. 

Dr. R.M. Norman had the misfortune of breaking his little finger on the right hand while cranking his car on Tuesday of this week. 

In a letter to his father Isaiah Henson of Cedar Gap, Jas. C. Henson states that he was recently captured by the Germans while on the front in France, but escaped. He was not permitted by the censors to state the details. 

125 Years ago

JEFFERSON CITY –– Three highwaymen committed a bold robbery at Bonnots Mill, 14 miles east of here on the Missouri Pacific Railroad, last night. They held up the Missouri Pacific agent, W.S. Williams, at the point of a revolver and plundered the ticket office. They commanded him to open the safe and on his refusal to do so, he was knocked down by a pistol and gagged and the robbers proceeded to blow the safe open. They only received $30. Upon departure they took the agent’s shotgun. 

Diphtheria has been doing fatal work in Scott County. 

Marceline has a tom cat that gets gorgeously full of beer. 

Hannibal has 295 telephone, the highest number ever in use. 

For the first time in its history, Carthage College has over 100 students. 

Nine railroads will cross and center at Missouri Point, in St. Charles County., 

The newspapers are agreed that it cost the average Missourian $50 to go to the world’s fair. 

It is estimated that $25,000 will be invested this year in the public school library of Missouri. 

Dozens of prairie schooners pass through Osceola bound for southwest Missouri, the red apple country. 

Missouri ranks third in the number of state banks and fourth in regards to the amount of business transacted. 

A Livingston County farmer is considerably stuck up because he made 700 gallons of sorghum from four acres of cane. 

Four thousand dollars in fines have been assessed against parties in Shelby County for the illegal sale of whiskey since last January. 

At the wedding of George III, a stout noble duchess, whose name is not given, had the dreadful misfortune to sneeze during the ceremony and thereby burst her stays. A shawl was thrown over her and she was taken to the vestry for repairs. 

In this country 2,500 women are practicing medicine, 275 preaching the gospel, more than 6,000 managing post offices, and over 3,000,000 earning independent incomes. Since 1880 the patent office has granted over 2,500 patents to women, and in New York City 27,000 women support their husbands. 

A Brooklyn police judge fined 129 prisoners $1 each for drunkenness the other day in bulk. They were brought into the court, the judge asked anyone not guilty to speak up. Nobody spoke, the fine was assessed and the judge had left the courtroom, all before 8 o’clock in the morning. The reason for this expedition was that the prisoners were all crowded into one small pen and it seemed inhuman to hold them in such discomfort till the regular session of the court.