Bypassing Ava: He’s Glad to Trade for Ava Life

Lou Prince, new superintendent at Rawlings, was glad to swap city living with its long commuting time for Ava living – and ten minutes to work.

(Reprinted from the 1963 Missouri Highway Commission Annual Report)

Another situation has improved, though. That’s the time that Lou Prince spends between office and home.

Lou Prince recently was promoted to superintendent of Rawlings’ Ava plant and moved to Ava from Bellefontaine Neighbors, a St. Louis suburb.

Prince has moved his family into a new house, one of seven built after the new highway was opened, atop a ridge west of the town just off Missouri Route 14. The modern brick Rawlings plant sprawls alongside Route 14 about half-way between Old 5 and the new highway.

The Rawlings plant, which along with the new Route 5, is a symbol of the “new” Ava, was one of the first buildings erected west of “old” Ava. In its 90,000 square feet of space some 225 people make football,baseball and golfing equipment.

“You can almost see the house from here,” said Prince. “I told my wife that I suddenly realized that I’d been spending 30 to 45 minutes going to and from work in St. Louis. Now I make it in 5 to 10 minutes. That’s a good swap any way you look at it.