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The Adair County Honor Roll Board, 1944-45

Right on time, as is so frequently the case, JIM appears at just the right time with some badly needed information, this time with background on the World War II Veterans Honor Board, placed at the Historic Adair County Courthouse on May 26, 1945 - 66 years, 5 months, and and 28 days ago. The Honor Board had over 1,200 names then, but the number has increased over the years to exceed 1,300 today. Lieutenant Gov. Kenneth Tuggle came to Columbia to participate in the dedication, on the occasion of one of the largest gatherings ever on the Adair County Square
See also, B.J. Hagy wonders about bronze plaque in the courthouse and Veterans Honor Board is still hanging in the Courthouse, latter with photo(s).


When the call went out in the fall of 1944 for contributions to the latest War Fund Drive, Adair Countians--as ever and always--responded with open hearts and open wallets, and by mid-November, nearly $3,000 had been raised, considerably above the quota of $2,600. W.E. Harris and Rev. L.R. Fugit, the county chairmen for the War Fund Drive, announced that the overage would be put to good use, that it would be kept in the county and "used to assist in erecting an honor roll board in the Court House yard, listing all Adair men in the Armed Forces."

In the forepart of March, 1945, the Bennett children of Fairplay gave two performances at the courthouse (admission 10c and 25c) to help raise additional monies needed for the Honor Roll Board. Days before the second concert, the March 14th edition of the News indirectly quoted the War Fund chairmen as stating some $250 (of the $850 total cost) was still needed to pay for the Board. The article also noted that "the board contains about 1,200 names of Adair County service men and women." (That number later increased to "over 1,300.") It was described as "a handsome, durable board, glass enclosed, to be permanently affixed to an inside wall of the Court House following the ceremony."

The formal Honor Roll Board dedication took place on Saturday afternoon, May 26th, 1945, on the courthouse lawn in front of what the News anticipated as "one of the largest crowds ever to assemble in Columbia." The popular Lieutenant Governor, Kenneth Tuggle, gave the keynote address, and the Louisville Boy Scout Drum and Trumpet Corps provided music appropriate for the occasion. The May 23rd News reported that

Almost every old resident family on the county will see the name of a boy from their fireside listed on the roll. As a special part of the service there will be a roll call of more than 40 men from this county who have made the supreme sacrifice...

Adair County has again as ever given willingly her sons for the cause of freedom. Those who gather for this occasion Saturday afternoon will be honoring these hundreds of men, and by their presence testify of their loyalty to the cause which their sons are so nobly serving.

The following week's paper stated that

The North and West sides of the Square were cleared for the large crowd which had assembled to do honor to the more than 1,300 Adair Countians whose names appear on the Board. A platform was erected on the Court House lawn for the speakers and the flower covered glass enclosed Honor Board, which is to be permanently affixed to the wall of the Court House hall, was prominently displayed.This edition of the paper gave a moving word-sketch of the unveiling and the closing ceremonies, which followed remarks by Lt. Governor Tuggle and various others (the two service men named below were home on leave):

Thomas Nankivell, of the Navy, and Sanford Green, of the Army, then cut the ribbons holding the curtain of red, white and blue flowers and unveiled the Honor Board. A.S. Allison, clerk of the Adair County Draft Board, next called the honor roll of the forty Adair County men who have made the supreme sacrifice in the service of their country during the present struggle. Amid a hushed, uncovered assembly, "Taps" were sounded by Louisville Boy Scouts. Rev. V.P. Henry, president of Lindsey Wilson Junior College, and State Chaplain of American Legion, offered a beautiful "Prayer of Dedication," after which the audience was dismissed by a benediction pronounced by Rev. H.J. Conover, pastor of Cane Valley Christian Church.

This story was posted on 2011-11-24 10:48:07
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