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Early October 1900: Milliners, hotels, a tinner, and...

Early October 1900 found the Brooklyn Superbas, a team for which soon-to-be Adair resident E.B. "Cy" Barger would later play -- with the National League baseball title locked up with three games left in the season. In North Carolina, brothers Orville and Wilbur quietly started a revolution in travel -- and warfare -- with their early experimentation with manned gliders. Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, the British electorate saw merit in 25-year-old Winston Churchill and voted him in as a Member of Parliament. But meanwhile, back in The Shire...


Commerce seemed aboom. No fewer than three hotels in the county -- the Conover, on the exit corner of Greensburg Street; the Hancock, just off the Square on the entry side of Burkesville Street, and the Wilmore Hotel in downtown Gradyville -- offered service to the traveling public.

J.W. Coffey, blacksmith and woodworker, offered all repairs in his line of work; carried "wagon and buggy tires, rims, spokes and all kinds of bolts;" and guaranteed satisfaction with his work.

Gordon Montgomery, attorney at law with an office over Paull Drug (near the west corner of the Square) practiced in Adair and surrounding counties; Dr. M.O. Sallee, Dentist, invited business ("Careful attention given to mechanical and prosthetic dentistry. . .") at his quarters over Hughes, Coffey, & Hunter, near the south corner.

Meanwhile, Hughes, Coffey, & Hunter had $7,000 worth of merchandise they wanted to sell for cash, everything from caps to Queenswear, from hardware to hosiery, from gents' furnishings to groceries, "In fact, everything kept in a general store."

A. Blair & Son (Albert & Savannah Irvine Blair), Columbia, had several lines of fertilizer at the ready for farmers, while George Coffey, also of Columbia, carried the "Celebrated Horse Shoe Brand" fertilizer. W.F. Jeffries & Son Hardware also sold fertilizer, along with the Empire Drill (a farm implement), "the best on the market," as well as about anything else in the hardware line. As a side, the elder Mr. Jeffries acted as the local agent for Corcoran & Daisy's Lebanon Marble Works, purveyors of marble and granite monuments.

L.V. Hall dealt in tin roofs and tin and galvanized gutters along with sheet iron stoves and stove pipes and elbows -- and cooking utensils. His side hustle was as half of Hall & Powell, Bicyclists, who had in stock both new and used bikes for sale along with "a good line of wheels;" they also did repairs. (The other half of the firm was S. Leslie Powell, L.V.'s brother-in-law.)

R.T. Dudgeon & Son of Cane Valley manufactured sheet iron stove and tin ware. Their products included air tight and common drum heating stove models along with stove pipes and elbows.

The Columbia Stave Co. had a stock of barrels in four sizes -- 10, 27, 45, and 47 gal. -- for sale: "Steel hooped, good material, and first class cooperage. They are guaranteed to hold."

As usual, Russell & Murrell, then on the entry corner of Burkesville Street, offered several inducements to the shopping public. Or, as The News put it, they talked to the trade that week. Mrs. Tim (Sallie A.) Bradshaw and her daughter Miss Effie (later Effie Hancock), shop above Dr. J.N. Page's drug store (between Burkesville Street and the south corner) promised "the nicest line of [millinery] goods ever brought to Columbia." They had laid in a large stock of fall and winter ready-made hats and supplies to create custom-made headwear, and earnestly solicited patronage from the ladies of The Shire. Elsewhere in the paper, a notice bringing the reader's attention to the advertisement stated that on the previous Saturday, the ladies had sold no fewer than twenty-six hats.

And patent medicines -- oh my word! Between the Paull Drug, J.N. Page, and M. Cravens business establishments, among others, Adair County practically sloshed in a sea of nostrums. Depending upon one's aliment, the options du jour included Dr. Miles' New Heart Cure; Bucklen's Arnica Salve; Chamberlain's Colic, Cholera, and Diarrhea Remedy; Chamberlain's Cough Remedy; Chamberlain's Pain Balm; Morley's Wonderful Eight (good for centipede bites, no less!); Dr. King's New Discovery; Dr. King's New Life Pills; Hall's Catarrh Cure; and Electric Bitters. (Almost without fail, liquid ingestibles in this line of catholicons consisted of a little flavoring and a lot of potable alcohol.)

This story was posted on 2020-10-03 15:16:14
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Ad for Adams Fistula Salve, 1900

2020-10-03 - Columbia, KY - Photo courtesy JIM.
An ad found in the October 10, 1900 Adair County News. Ye Scribe, a craven coward, lacked the intestinal fortitude to find out if this wondrous balm of Gilead cured horse or human. Some things one best leaves unknown.

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