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100 years ago: most of the news that was fit to report

It was the Glory Days of Baseball and major games were being played everywhere. Big Games. Important Showdowns. Moores School House went abroad - but all within the limitless bounds of vast Russell County, KY - to French Valley, stunning the Valleyites 8-6. For Columbians there was joy in seeing rival Springfield fall to host Lebanon, but equal anguish in the success of enemy Lebanon, making the outcome - to paraphrase a favorite saying of the late W. Stephen Aaron, - "totally invenereal to us." This and other divers and wondrous events happened that way, in the Great History of This Place, revealed by "Jim" -EW

By "Jim"

All sorts of news items appeared on the front page of the News 100 years this week (September 6, 1911).

Without a doubt, the most sensational item involved the attempted elopement of Mr. George W. Cook, who lived near Columbia on the Greensburg Road, and "a Miss Jeans," the daughter of Wes Jeans. (Her given name was Anna.) The article stated Miss Jeans was about 17 (that number being perhaps a bit on the high side) while the groom was a stripling lad of fifty-eight summers who had never before been married. Quipped the News, with understatement worthy of the Brits, "Mr. Cook's action was a surprise to his friends."

This attempt was unsuccessful, the couple being refused a license both in Louisville and across the river in Jeffersonville because the almost-bride was too young to wed without parental consent, but a few weeks later, Mr. Cook and young Miss Jeans were "quietly married" in Gradyville.

Meanwhile, on the corner of Greensburg Street and the Square, some of Columbia's younger set had a frolicsome good time at a tacky party at the Jasper Hotel. "The costumes were 'killing' and it was hard to decide who played their part the best. The dining room was cleared and the evening spent in playing games suitable to the occasion." The couples in attendance were Robert Todd & Elma Page; Fred Hill & Myrtle Myers; Tom Judd & Madge Rosenfield; George Montgomery & Ursula Koelch (of Cincinnati, she was the guest of Mrs. Rollin Hurt); Oscar McBeath & Katie Murrell; and Ralph Hurt & Mabel Jasper. (According to Wikipedia, that fount of knowledge arcane and exotic, a tacky party is a gathering "where the attendants aspire to dress in the tackiest outfits possible.")

Over in Russell County, the Moores School House baseball team went up the road to French Valley and defeated the Valleyites 8 to 6. In a game involving two frequent Columbia rivals, Springfield traveled to Lebanon, only to lose to the home team 4-2. Two Adair Countians, William Young and Jo M. Rosenfield, played for the winning team.

In series of short announcements came word that well-known mule trader Sam Burdette of Lebanon had traveled to Adair County and bought 13 mules, paying from $135 to $200 each; that the Revs. Wells & Mackey were holding a meeting at Glenville with large attendance and a number of conversions; that former Lindsey Wilson student Mr. A.W. (Arney) Glasgow had accepted the principal's position of the Patriot, Ind., high school; and that Mr. W.L. Grady intended to build a "handsome residence" in Gradyville. (In the same edition, Mr W.M. Wilmore, the ever-vigilant Gradyville correspondent, stated that five homes were under construction there and that one or two more would be started in the near future.)

On the educational front, the Lindsey-Wilson opened that Wednesday morning, September 6, a century ago, with a full corps of teachers, dormitories in readiness, and comfortable accommodations available for all who would matriculate. Added the News, in passing mention of the relaxed admission procedures of the times, "Pupils will arrive weekly from now until corn gathering is over, and before the end of fall there will be pupils on the hill by the hundreds."

From the hill across town, Superintendent W.H. Wilson announced that the Columbia Graded and High School would open on Monday, September 11th. He stated that the building had been cleaned from top to bottom and that a new piano would arrive in time to be played on the first day of school. Supt. Wilson also stated that

The present generation of boys and girls of the county have a great opportunity of obtaining an education. No previous generation of the county has had the privilege of obtaining a high school education free. All pupils of Adair County [of] school age...are given free tuition in this school by the county. How many will take advantage of the opportunity?

And finally, an announcement that a stock law issue would on the November ballot for voters in the Elroy precinct, to-wit: "The question will be submitted to said voters, at to whether or not cattle or other large species thereof, shall run at large in said voting precinct." (It gives one pause to consider the outcome of a similar issue today pertaining to politicians running at large. Just sayin'.....) -Jim

This story was posted on 2011-09-04 08:24:36
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