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History Monday: Election 2020 Different from Past Ones

By Mike Watson

The election on this pandemic year, 2020, is far removed from previous contests. I am not referring to the issues, but to the physical process of casting a ballot. We all know that voting started early with mail-in ballots and in-person voting at the Courthouse Annex. I believe we all yearn for the 'good old days' when election day was a big event for those who followed the process.

A look at the past: Election Officers, 1942--

The Adair County Election Commissioners in 1942 were: H.H. Allen, Bert Harper, Sheriff H.B. Taylor, and County Clerk W.E. Harris. The primary in those days fell in August, in 1942 on August 1st. This election was the first time there were thirty precincts in Adair instead of the regular twenty-nine. South Columbia had more registered voters than the rules allowed, so No. 1 and No. 2 were created. SC1 voters were to vote in the regular place, H.T. Walker's shop; and SC2 voters would cast ballots at T.A. Furkin's store near the Grade School.

The following is a list of voting precincts and election officers--naming the clerk first, judges second, sheriff last:

  • West Columbia--Mrs. Myrte Walker, Mrs. Marjorie Reliford, Mrs. Ruth Burdette, Mrs. Travis Scott.
  • Bliss--Mrs. W.L. Curry, Mrs. Virginia Nobles, H.T. Baker, Robert Todd.
  • South Columbia No 1--C.R. Barger, Mrs. B.E. Wilson, Mrs. Madge Reed, Mrs. Sam Kelsay.
  • South Columbia No 2--Hubert Watson, Mrs. Ruth Allen, S.F. Coffey, Mrs. Mary Dohoney.
  • East Columbia--Mrs. Mary Barnett, Mrs. Alta Tarter, Mrs. Nettie Carmen, Butler Kelsay.
  • Hurt--Millard Collins, W.H. Jones, W.E. Burton, J.P. Clayton.
  • North Columbia--Mrs. Anna Wethington, Mrs. Calvin Bault, Mrs. Gladys Owen, Bob Hancock.
  • Milltown--Otis Keltner, Miss Rosa Reynolds, Gillum Rogers, Mrs. Annie Tutt.
  • Tarter--Almond Kemp, Virvin Keltner, Mrs. George Cheatham, Vervin Compton.
  • Keltner--Marshall Moss, Rollin Blaydes, Alvin Rogers, Clyde Furkin.
  • Gradyville--Mrs. Edra Crouch, Mrs. Joe England, C.G. Breeding, H.M. Keltner.
  • Nell--Clem Coomer, Mrs. W.A. Cole, Hershel Furkin, Mrs. O.W. Breeding.
  • Sparksville--Mrs. Will Fudge, Bert Sexton, Mrs. Clara Gilpin, Emmitt Parnell.
  • Breeding--Henderson Coomer, Mrs. Jim Breeding, I.G. McKinney, Mrs. Irene Traylor.
  • Melson Ridge--Mrs. Bernice Petty, Roy Hadley, Clurel Hadley, Dewey Turner.
  • Harmony--Clyde Coomer, Mrs. Leonard Hurt, H.A. Hume, V.L. Sharp.
  • Glensfork--Mrs. Elanor Wilkerson, Mrs. Opal Dudley, Mrs. Nora Blair, E.O. Mitchum.
  • Montpelier--WS. Antle, Mrs. Ruby Aaron, Mrs. J.D. Holladay, Mrs. Zelma Coffey.
  • White Oak--W.B. Bryant, Ernest Brockman, Otis Burton, Mrs. Marvin Conover.
  • Ozark--B.H. Conover, Mrs. Albert Bryant, W.N. Holt, Mrs. Arlis Montgomery.
  • Little Cake--Mrs. Margaret S. Breeding, I.L. Hardwick, Mrs. Ralph Corbin, Harrison Burton.
  • Eunice--S.C. Merritt, Otis Wolford, Mrs. Ora Lee Jones, Mrs. Ray Tarter.
  • Pellyton--Mrs. Hallie Lemmon, Ray Burton, Lois Ellis, Mrs. Howard Miller.
  • Knifley--Eddie Sherrill, Madaline Hovious, Mrs. Marvin Bottoms, Mrs. Maxine Chelf.
  • Roley--O.G. Hendrickson, Bob Wolford, Albert Sanders, Mrs. Edgar Collins.
  • Hovious--Mont Hovious, C. Bailey, Coy Eastridge, Joe T. Fair.
  • Egypt--Mrs. Thelma Brockman, Melvin Renfro, Mrs. Flora Dillingham, Johnnie Sharp.
  • East Cane Valley--Mrs. Frances Beard, Mrs. Bess Rice, Jake Beard, Mrs. W.E. Squires.
  • West Cane Valley--Mrs. Nina Hancock, Mrs. Ben Banks, Mrs. Ruth Hutchison, Mrs. Rodger Page.
  • Holmes--Stanley Biggs, Mrs. Eva Riall, Clyde Beard, Mrs. Cleo Watson.

For the statisticians:
  • Two precincts had all female officers--West Cane Valley and West Columbia.
  • Eight precincts had three female officers--South Columbia No 1, East Columbia, North Columbia, Glensfork, Montpelier, Pellyton, Knifley and East Cane Valley.
  • Twelve precincts had two female officers--Bliss, South Columbia No 2, Milltown, Gradyville, Nell, Sparksville, Breeding, Ozark, Little Cake, Eunice, Egypt and Holmes.
  • Five precincts had one female officer--Tarter, Melson Ridge, Harmony, White Oak and Roley.
  • Three precincts had no female officers--Hurt, Keltner and Hovious.
--Mike Watson, October 2020

This story was posted on 2020-10-26 06:38:33
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