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April/May 1920: Services & Goods; The great debate; and more


1920 saw more change than a nickel slot machine payoff. The post-war economy roared, but early in the year, the Volstead Act -- Prohibition -- went into effect, and the demise of (legal) alcohol saw the meteoric rise of gin-fueled speakeasies and hot jazz, with each denounced from pulpits and podiums as Satan's own spawn.

Republican presidential nominee Warren G. Harding based his election campaign in part on women's right to vote, the federal government giving "effective aid" to help assure adequate housing for all, and Afro-Americans being "guaranteed the enjoyment of all their rights."

In May, baseballer George Herman Ruth got a measure of revenge on his former team by helping lead the Yankees to three victories in a four-game set against the Boston Red Sox. Later in the year, In August, the 19th Amendment passed, and the enabling legislation finally gave women nationwide the right to vote.

But meanwhile, back in The Shire, as April started down the home stretch, heading toward May...

The L.M. Smith Department Store in Cane Valley offered a complete line of ladies' and misses' wear -- hats, hosiery, and everything between. The store also carried a good stock of gents' clothing, and for those already well-outfitted, they offered "Fertilizer at cost this week only." Also in the Cane Valley section, S.N.B. Hancock, business manager of Valley View Farms, informed readers his establishment offered "thoroughbred and grades" of shorthorn bovines, Hereford ovines, and Chester White swine; and T.F. Corbin solicited inquiries from those needing services of a real estate broker.

For anyone with cash to spend, jeweler L.E. Young of Columbia offered a fine new selection of Elgin and Bracelet watches at special prices, and Sanders & Hendrickson's Music Store of Campbellsville touted their wide array of pianos, player pianos, phonographs, and talking machines, as well as a complete lines of sheet and roll music, recordings, and stringed instruments.

A.F. Scott of the Casey Creek community announced that he was dealer for the Garford truck, produced in Ohio. Albin Murray, never a man to waste words, paid for a near-quarter page ad with 15 words and no artwork, to-wit, "Clothing / Shoes / General Merchandise / Albin Murray / Columbia, Kentucky" and in much smaller print, "Next Door to Adair County New (sic) Office."

Ford dealer Buchanon-Lyon Co. of Campbellsville and Columbia reminded customers that ol' Henry's factories had not yet achieved full post-war production capability but that the cars soon would be abundant, they really would. Long-time advertiser Woodson-Lewis of Greensburg reminded everyone they had buggies and wagons in stock and were dealers in Chevrolet vehicles; and on the square in Columbia, the old standbys Russell & Co., G.R. Reed Insurance, Davis (lately Jeffries) Hardware, and undertaker J.F. Triplett offered their various wares and services.

Four of the six top of the column articles on page one were death notices. Miss Elizabeth Jones, 23, of Greensburg Street, died from the effects of a burst appendix; Miss Lula Todd, 39, a native of Adair, died in Bowling Green from complications of flu; Dr. W.D. Helm's sister-in-law, 45, took her own life in Greensburg; and Mrs. Amanda English (nee Royse), 79, a native and long time resident of Adair County, died at her home in Oklahoma.

I.J. Willan & Son, on account of bad health, desired to sell their "store and stock of goods" (general merchandise) located in the Joppa community, six miles from Columbia. Six-year-old Thomas Murrell suffered a broken leg in a one vehicle tricycle mishap, and (future General) Barksdale Hamlett wanted to sell a boy's bicycle. Everett Campbell lost thirteen dollars in Greenbacks -- two fives and three singletons -- somewhere on the Square and offered a reward for the return thereof.

A front page ad encouraged boys and men seeking employment to contact C.W. Marshall at the Hotel Jeffries about working at the match factory in Wadsworth, Ohio: "Transportation paid if you stay three months." (This was the Ohio Match Factory, at one time the largest match producer in the world.)

Those seeking an evening of entertainment could attend the debate up on Arbor Vitae hill, with four young men going hammer and tong on the question of whether or not "the United States should have Universal Military Training between [the ages of] 18 and 21 years." Messrs. Garland Nelson and Clarence Taylor of the Frogge Society stood ready to argue in favor of the question, with Messrs. Olie Johnson and Reade Heskamp of the Columbia Debating Society just as equally primed to defend the negative.

(The debate must have been a wallscorcher. The following week, The News reported that "The judges found it very difficult to reach a decision, so strong was the argument from both sides, but finally decided in favor of the negative.")

This story was posted on 2020-04-19 12:56:26
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