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100 Years Ago: adieu Thanksgiving, hello Christmas

Miscellaneous news; and the great piano contest. A Thanksgiving feast at The Lindsey Wilson.

By "Jim

Amidst the usual assortment of obituaries and marriages and the report of a quasi-sensational shooting scrape in the Fry community of Green County, a number of post-Thanksgiving articles dotted the front page of the November 30,1910 edition of the News, one of which stated simply that "Thanksgiving was generally observed in Columbia. The business houses were closed at the eleven o'clock hour and everybody attended services at the Christian church."


Rev. James F. Black, a Methodist minister recently reassigned by the Conference from Glensfork to Cane Valley, had a card of thanks on behalf of his family "to the generous-hearted people of Cane Valley for so kindly remembering us on Thanksgiving eve in a real, substantial way."

The headline of the piece, "The Pounding," informed the reader in what manner the Blacks were remembered. In that era, it was common for congregants - and sometimes, the community at large - to "pound" the preacher; that is, folks would go en masse to the minister's home, each bearing a pound (or thereabouts) of bacon, salt, meal, flour, coffee, or staple provisions for the family's use.

Meanwhile, up on the Lindsey Wilson hill, Gov. Hindman chowed down on stuffing. He, along with a number of other Columbians, were invited to partake of the bounteous feast laid out by Profs. Neilson & Moss, Principals of the school. Said Gov. Hindman a few days later,

"I never saw as many cooked turkeys for one meal in my life. There were four or five tables, a turkey for each table, and many other good things set before us. It was a magnificent dinner. In fact, I am very fond of 'stuffing,' and I succeeded in eating too much--caused me to have an uneasy feeling for several hours."

(Without a doubt, Gov. Hindman had the empathy of Dr. J.T. Jones, who some years earlier had suffered the same ignoble fate.) Jim finds 1901 Christmas Colic poem by Dr. Jones

And this final Thanksgiving-related tidbit: "At the moving picture show, last Wednesday night, Noel, a little son of Mr. and Mrs. Junius Pickett, drew the turkey." (Noel was about 12 years old.)

The "moving picture show" had struck town and set up temporary shop around the middle of October. At one point, the News reported that "The moving picture entertainment now going on nightly at the common school house is the best show of its character ever in Columbia. The pictures are high class and instructive." The show "kept moving" until the latter part of December, when it rolled up its canvas, packed up the projector and reels of films, and left town as quietly as it had arrived. It would be some years before Columbia had a permanent cinematic palace.

There were also first hints that Christmas time was a-coming. One entry stated "Twenty-five days until Christmas Day. Santa Claus will make his appearance the evening before." The Woman's Club bazaar, to be held December 9th next door to the Paull Drug Co., urged patrons of the News to "Get your tissue paper, Christmas cards, stamps, seals, gummed ribbon, holiday ribbon, and everything for doing up your Christmas presents at The Bazaar."

W.H. Wilson, who ran a store on the Square, invited readers to stop at his business house to view the humongous stick of candy he had on display -- all 25 pounds of it: "Every 25 cents worth of goods sold for cash gives the of a ticket a chance to draw this immense stick of candy." Another ad for Mr. Wilson stated that he was then receiving "a very large stock of Christmas supplies. All kinds of toys and many other articles suitable for Christmas presents."

Among the non-holiday news items were these:
  • Judge H.C. Baker and F.R. Winfrey had formed a law partnership, their office being in the Butler building.

  • J.N. Norris, Son & Co. had opened a produce house in back of Jeffries' Hardware with Mr. H.A. (Henry) Hurt as local manager. They promised to "pay the highest market prices for poultry and eggs."

  • Dr. U.L. Taylor, the Adair County Health Officer, stated that there wasn't an active case of diphtheria in the county.

  • Miss Mable Jasper had this ad placed: "Lost-A crescent pin in Columbia, Thanksgiving day. It was set in pearls. Finder will be rewarded."

  • "Uncle" Flem Carter of Russell County, age 101, had passed. His younger sister, Nancy Acree, 95, planned to attend the funeral.
Miss Rose Hunn of Columbia was the leader in a contest announced the previous week in a joint advertising venture of Russell & Co. and the News. The grand prize was a Krause Grand* Piano, valued at $350. For each dollar spent toward a new, renewal, or paid on account subscription, the News patron could cast 1,000 votes for his or her favorite candidate. Votes could also be cast at Russell & Co. -- 200 for each dollar spent on general merchandise, 625 for every dollar spent in the jewelry department.

At the end of the first week, Miss Hunn had almost 14,000 votes, followed by Nellie Follis (10,500), Belle Butler (9,800), Madge Rosenfield (8,800), and Fannie Sandusky (8,300). There were another 50 contestants in addition to these five.

When the contest ended in the spring of 1911, Miss Follis had carried the day and won the piano. Mrs. C.M. Russell came in second and Miss Hunn finished fifth, the second through fifth prizes being "due bills" good for significant discounts toward the purchase of the same model as the grand prize.

* "Grand" apparently was part of the brand name, not the style, as the piano pictured was an upright. -"Jim"


This story was posted on 2010-11-28 06:04:57
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