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Ninety years ago: late June into early July 1929

As June 1929 edged into July, any whispers of the looming national -- and international -- financial crisis seemed not to have reached The Shire, and life there continued undisturbed.


In Columbia, several business changes had just occurred or were in the works. W.R. Conover had purchased of Bannard Coomer a half interest in the Farmers Store, Mr. Coomer having secured a position in Chicago with a short start date. The Rosenblatt Produce House had recently completed a move to "the concrete building just vacated by Bennett Motor Co." The Columbia branch of Rosenblatt's had opened in the Sam Lewis business house on Page Alley (near the Well Walk) almost exactly five months earlier. Their new quarters had been put up in 1924 by Mr. Albin Murray. It later housed Rives Kerbow's Dr. Pepper bottling and distribution center.

And too, Mr. Horace Walker, always involved in something, was putting up a new edifice on his lot "behind Barger Bro. Store and beside the News office." Said the paper, "Mr. Walker plans to have an up-to-date shop when the new structure is completed."

Stanley Cundiff, "a popular teacher for several years," had accepted employment with the Lincoln Bank & Trust Company of Louisville" and departed for the Falls City on June 25th to take up his new responsibilities; and C.C. Yates wanted light work to do, including furniture and lawn mower repair, at his home on Tutt Street.

George W. Hancock offered for sale the "Hancock Hotel property, located in Columbia, Ky., consisting of 25 rooms, large barn and other buildings;" J.C. Marshall wanted to sell a six room house, "newly papers and painted" with "Built in wardrobes and kitchen cabinets;" and "Sharp and Edwards of Louisville have bought the Columbia Bakery from Barnes and Grant and are now in charge." Those who had sampled the wares of the former-mentioned gentlemen had high praise for the goods.

Mr. S.E. Shively, Chair of the Building Committee of the First Baptist Church of Columbia, announced he was accepting sealed bids through July 15th for construction of the new church building. The previous building had been destroyed by fire on November 4, 1928. (The architect, Otto D. Mock of Louisville, was a self-taught architect who in 1927 published a volume title "Modern Church Design.")

A one-sentence report in the News later in the month tersely stated all the bids had been rejected, and the last July edition of the paper stated, "the church members decided that it would be better to buy the materials and employ a superintendent." By the time this edition of the paper went to press, workmen were already excavating the basement area under the watchful eye of Mr. Henry Ingram. Opined the News, "when the church is completed it will be not only a very handsome structure but will be equipped with every modern convenience."

Transportation also made the front page. S.F. "Sale" Coffey, newly appointed road overseer in Adair, unequivocally stated that work on improving the Adair County end of the Campbellsville Pike would begin as soon as the state issued an order authorizing purchase of the gravel necessary for the repairs.

In town, many of the streets had been put in good order in recent days. The News stated the streets had been in "a deplorable condition" some length of time but that "Many of the holes have been filed up with gravel and in other places, where there was no oil upon them, the grader has been used to make the surfaces more smooth. . .and the entire town is delighted to see this work going on."

These repairs came in a timely manner for at least a couple of Adair citizens. Judge Rollin Hurt would have better streets over which to drive his brand new Durant Six Coach, as would Mrs. Billy Sandusky (nee Eliza Vaughan) for her just-purchased Ford Town Sedan.

(I can find no reference to a Durant Six Coach, but Judge Hurt's vehicle probably was either the Durant Six "66" or Six "70" model, likely the "70" sedan version. Base price for the "66" was $895 fob Lansing, Mich and $1,195 fob Lansing for the "70". Mrs. Sandusky's fine vehicle was a newly introduced upscale sedan version of Ford's Model A Fordor series. Said the News of this wonder, "The body is larger and roomier [than the regular four door sedan], having three windows on either side instead of two, and it carries two wire wheels on the fenders.")

Education also earned a couple of mentions in this (July 2nd) edition of the paper. Superintendent Noah Loy reminded instructors the annual Adair County Teachers Conference would be held on July 10th on the Lindsey Wilson campus, with everyone requested be present by 8:30 a.m.

Results of the teachers examination given near the end of May were finally made public. Of the twenty-five taking the exam, seventeen scored high enough to earn teaching certificates, three quit before finishing, and five failed to pass. Among those successfully completing were Hattie Cundiff, Annie Sanders, Carl Watson, Mrs. Opal Walker, Cittie Helm, Edmond P. Waggener, and the two young woman with the top scores, Zella Ferguson and Stella Chelf.

Folks with a little extra jingle-jangle in their pockets or purses that week could take in a moving picture show: "Forgotten Faces," "The Trail of 98" (a "big special" about the horrors of World War I); or "The Bellamy Trial," a tense murder drama Those with a bit of spare folding money could contact V.N. Wooley, traveling Home Portrait Photographer who was spending the week at the Eubank House, to arrange an in-home appointment for family pictures.

This story was posted on 2019-06-30 16:17:06
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