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100 Years ago: Great revivals were being held in Adair Co., KY

Revivals were in full swing in Adair County in 1911. At Tabor, Rev. B.M. Currie, Methodist, closed a meeting with 25 conversions and 14 additions to the church; meanwhile, over in Cane Valley, Eld. Z. T. Wiilliams and Eld. W.B. Taylor topped that number of conversions with 26.

By "Jim

Religion, education, the Pea Ridge Fair, and an elderly terrapin dominated the front page of the News 100 years ago this week.

In a Lake Woebegon-ish moment came the announcement that the four ministers of Columbia were gentlemen all, each "far above the average intellectually," and that their respective flocks as well as the community at large were pleased with the work they did. The thrust of the announcement, however, couched though it were in the kindest of terms and a bit of self-effacement, was that the News' policy was "not to publish extended notices of the discourses of the local ministry." Further stated the article, "Fulsome flattery is not relished by strong minded men, neither do intellectual women look upon it as sweet morsel."


Of the four erstwhile gentlemen occupying pulpits in 1911, Eld. Z.T. Williams of the Christian Church was the senior member of the Columbia clergy, having served the local congregation for several years in the 1890s and again since 1905. The other three were relative newcomers. Rev. J.R. Crawford of the Presbyterian Church had arrived in the summer of 1908; Rev. B.M. Currie, Methodist, had been assigned in the fall of 1909; and Rev. D.H. Howerton, the Baptist minister, was the newest kid on the block, having come to town in time to deliver his first sermon as pastor in November 1910.

Another article noted that Rev. Crawford had been granted a vacation by his congregation and that he and several members of his family were spending two weeks at the Griffin Springs on Green River, but that he would return to Columbia in time to fill the pulpit for his regular appointment on the fourth Sunday of the month.

While Rev. Crawford enjoyed his well-deserved days of leisure, Rev. Currie and Eld. Williams soldiered on, marching in the army of the Lord. Rev. Currie led a revival at Tabor (the other church he pastored), and the paper reported it had been "far reaching, and [was the] best meeting in that neighborhood for many years." By the time the revival closed, there had been 25 conversions and 14 additions to the church, with others expected to join momentarily.

Meanwhile, over in Cane Valley, the Christians also fared well. Eld. Williams reported assisting Eld. W.B. Taylor in a revival there, "resulting in 29 additions, 26 by confession and baptism and 3 by letter and statement." He went on to note that among the new converts were "ten excellent young ladies and fifteen of the best young men of the community," as well as one older gentleman, a Mr. Cundiff, aged 73 years.

Turning to education, the Lindsey Wilson Training School had a front page ad which boldly stated "This school is for Boys and Girls and it is a safe place for your children." The available courses of study included college preparatory, normal (teacher education), business, expression, music, and art. (A later edition of the News stated that "The course of studies are laid down in the catalog and will taught thoroughly.") Amenities at the school for all to enjoy included a large campus, electric lights, and steam and hot-air furnaces. The cost for board, tuition and incidental fees, if paid in advance, was $110; if billed monthly, the payments would be $12.75 each.

And still on Arbor Vitae Hill, this edition of the News carried what may well be the first formal announcement of a planned Alumni Association:

An informal reception, to which the public is cordially invited, will be given in Phillips boarding hall, Tuesday, August 8th...Admission at the door, a free-will offering in silver coin. The object of this meeting is the re-union and organization of the Lindsey Wilson Alumni...

The following week, in an article headlined "Alumni Organized," the event was deemed a great success. After the program was completed, the following officers of the organization were elected: Robert Todd, President; Katie Murrell, Vice-President; Tom Judd, Secretary & Treasurer; and Mont Murrell, Historian.

Over on the other schoolhouse hill, a number of improvements had been made at the Graded School. These included the addition of "a wing of concrete walk" leading from the main building to the primary grade room and the installation of a newfangled water pump. (Could this have been the pump invented by Columbia's own S.F. Eubank? In 1908, the News described said pump as "one of the simplest contrivances ever invented. It has about double the speed of any other patent and it works without frictions. A small child will be able to operate it with ease.") At any rate, the News promised that "the children will now have plenty of good water" from the new well. (Some weeks earlier, Messrs. Yates & Jessee had drilled for water on the school grounds and hit a fine stream at a hundred and one and a half feet.)

A good grade of blackboard, the same kind purchased for some of the rooms the previous year, had been installed in the primary grade room; dustless crayon (chalk) was in the offing for upcoming term; and "Best of all a new piano is to be purchased...and will be in the building before school starts." (In this era, both the Graded School and the Training School opened in early September.)

Amidst all this soul-saving in the churches and improvements in the schools there still was time for fun, and three budding entrepreneurs most admirably succeeded in drawing the crowds to the general vicinity of Burkesville Street with the Pea Ridge Fair. Reported the News:

The young boys who make up the [Pea Ridge Fair] association pulled off their entertainment last Saturday. The attendance was large and the many rings were very amusing. There were all manners of felines and canines on exhibition, some trained, others wild and woolly. There were also calves, sheep and ponies on exhibition. This association was organized about six years ago, and the profits realized at the show, just closed, warrants the statement that another entertainment will be given next August. Count Stults, Alvin Lewis, and Frank Hulse, as we understand, make up the directory. (Lewis and Hulse were about 14 years old; Count Stults was bit younger at 13.)

And finally, a report of a remarkably long-lived terrapin:

Several years ago there was [a terrapin] found on the farm of Mr. F. Lewis, a few miles from Columbia, with Zach Rowe's name carved on its back, bearing the date of 1884. Mr. Rowe passed to his reward several years ago but his name is still on the back of the terrapin. Last week, Monford, son of Mr. Lewis, found the same crawler and it seems to be in as good state of moving as when first discovered although it has been bearing the name of Mr. Rowe for twenty-seven years. (In 1900, Mr. Fountain Lewis and family, including his four-year old son Montferd H., lived near the families of Henry Hadley, Levi Burbridge and James Spoon.)

Compiled by "Jim"


This story was posted on 2011-08-07 06:32:29
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