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JIM: 95 years ago, a windy letter from Rep. Harvey Helm

Jim notes that 'too little can not be said of Rep. Helm's letter. But it was a great time in Columbia, with The Lindsey Wilson graduation, society folks enjoying strawberries and cake, major realignments of Columbia businesses, a famed fisherman being bested by brand new bride, and an amazing story of the long-lived McKinley and son, and other astounding details too numerious to list. CM

Ninety-five years ago: odds 'n' ends from the News, May 24, 1916
By Jim

Commencement goings-on at the Lindsey Wilson Training School and a windy letter from U.S. Representative Harvey Helm of Stanford, KY, adorned much of the front page of this edition of the News. Of the former, suffice it to say that the L.W.T.S. graduates were Miss Virginia Coffey (expression); Miss Carrie Willan (music); and Misses Ruth Hynes and Edna Chewning and Messrs. Marvin Perryman and Edgar Harris (high school). Of Rep. Helm's letter, too little can not be said. Once parsed and excised of bloviation, naught remained of it save the fragments of the headline and a humble handful of words.

Otherwise, a hodgepodge of news items allured the reader. Once again, the railroad issue had raised its head, and Adair Countians were told they had to immediately put up $50,000 and the right of way immediately or lose the proposition. (Gee, I wonder how that turned out...............)

Miss Catherine Nell had recently entertained a number of friends with a delightful supper followed by strawberries and cake. Among those attending were Misses Dora Eubank, Mary Breeding, Allene Ritchey, Ruba Wagoner, Mildred & Eva Walker, Julia Miller, and Mary D. Patteson. (These young ladies ranged in age from about 12 to 15.)

One of Columbia's long-established business places had branched out, as the report came that "Russell & Co. and J.A. Hill sold C.W. Alexander, of Burkesville, a handsome Dodge machine and delivered it last week."

Columbian Will Jones, a fisherman of some repute who had married but two weeks hence, took his blushing bride fishing on Saturday afternoon. As the News wryly observed, "Mrs. Jones was reared near Green River and she, too, knows how to angle for the finny tribe." When the setting sun set the young couple on the road home, "Mrs. Jones had five perch, one 19 inches long, and Will had two."

On Friday, Mr. Green McKinley and his son, Solomon, visited Gowdy's wholesale store in Columbia. McKinley the Younger was a sprightly lad, having turned but 70 in December, and McKinley pere was barely past the first blush of youth himself, having attained the age of but fourscore and ten years the last day of February. Of the latter, the News stated that "The older gentleman's mind is active, and he is perfect in giving dates of past occurrences. His eyesight is good and he reads the newspaper and books without glasses." (The elder Mr. McKinley passed from this plane almost exactly five years later, on May 21, 1921, and Solomon crossed the great divide in August, 1937, aged 91 years.)

Just in time for the summer season, Mr. L.M. Young planned to open a first-class soda fountain and ice cream parlor in short order, "in the same building that Mr. J.F. Patteson conducts a general store." Of course, it was to be "elegantly furnished" and "a most inviting place." The article went on to give these rather convoluted details:

The main store room was extra wide, and Mr. J.N. Coffey, who owns the building, has had a petition (sic) run through the room, making two apartments. Mr. Patteson will continue at the same stand, and Mr. Young will occupy the extra room made by running the petition.

(For those to whom such things are of interest, Messrs. Coffey and Patteson were in-laws, the latter having married the former's daughter.)

Superintendent of Schools Tobias Huffaker sternly reminded those who sat for the teachers' exam the previous weekend that "Applicants who went away on Saturday afternoon without paying their examination fee, will not have their work graded until the fee is paid. All tablets must be paid for also."

Front page ads were few and between in this edition of the News, but J.N. Johnson, of Pellyton, had taken in two stray hogs, and Bassett Hurt, of Roy, had a four-month-old pure bred Aberdeen bull for sale.

A daughter (Hattye) was born to Walker and Ruth Bryant on the 20th. and George and Grace Shirley became parents on the 16th but confusion reigned over the birth date and gender of their child. One News report stated it was a daughter, born on the 16th, while another said a son, born on the 17th. (The Kentucky birth record index gives yet another birth date -- May 15th -- but mercifully doesn't indicate the gender.)

Each of the above birth announcements drew two and a half lines of type, fewer than did the sad demise of Mr. J.B. Cave's two hundred dollar mare and considerably fewer than the report of Miss Sue Baker's painful encounter with a rusty nail. (But then again, the one article solemnly reported that Mr. Cave's mare committed suicide, and Miss Baker was an employee of the News. There's a moral well worth the learning lurking about in this mini-maelstrom, but having for too many years breathed the thin, reedy air of the Northern climes, this scribe can't quite fathom what it is.)

Cleverly researched by the inimitable Jim -CM

This story was posted on 2011-05-22 08:43:08
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