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JIM: News from various points, February 14, 1912

There was skase, mighty skase news from Columbia, almost none. But the correspondents from the farflung backbone communities of Adair and Russell Counties had plenty to report during the harsh Valentine weather from idyllic Gradyville, from beautiful Joppa, from the mercantile center of Cane Valley, from Absher long before it Egypt, from industrial Milltown, from enlighened Nell, where educational opportunities were advancing, from even then thriving Glens Fork, and it's nearby competitor, Fairplay; from Big Elm, a community in turmoil in search of a missing citizen; from Rowe's Cross Roads over the The County; and from the Capitol CIty of The County - Jamestown, Russell County, sad word of suffering from a bone felon.

Compiled by JIM

A century ago, Adair County was a busy place despite being in the grasp of a prolonged cold spell. These tidbits are from the February 14, 1912 edition of the News.

Over in Gradyville territory, a telephone line had just been completed to the far away Land of Weed; the flouring mill was back operation after being down a month or thereabout for repairs; Mr Geo. H. Nell was engaged in prizing his tobacco for the Louisville market; and the cold weather was providing "plenty of ice...of the best quality for summer use." (To give some idea of how cold it was, a front page item noted that in Columbia alone, Miller & Miller, W.H. Wilson, Hugh Richardson and the brothers Sandusky had put up over 600,000 pounds of ice for summer.)


The Joppa correspondent wryly noted that the weather was responsible for most of the employment in that vicinity, to-wit: "Getting wood and making fires is all the men are doing at present." Otherwise, it seemed, everyone was either was too sick or not yet recovered enough for gainful work, but some seventy friends and neighbors of Mr. J.P. Willis were able to attend a dinner on February 7th in honor of his 70th birthday.

Up in Cane Valley country, Mr. Charlie Paxton was the proud owner of a new broom winding machine and he expected to soon go into the broom-making business; Mr. T.A. Ferkins' big dry goods sale had been a success; and all were invited to attend Cane Valley's union Sunday School. A front page item noted that Miss Katie Squires and Mrs. H.W. Wilson had formed a partnership in the millinery business in the Valley, and that "Miss Squires will visit the city markets the last of the month for the purchase of goods."

In nearby Absher, Messrs. G.M. Rice and C.C. Renfro had made a business trip over Plum Point way (the nature of the business wasn't given); and the Messrs. Lowe, Alexander, and Edwards, traveling salesmen all, had called on Absher's new merchant, G.C. Russell.

Meanwhile, over in Milltown, Frank Collins of Taylor County had been buying hogs left and right at five-and-a-half to five-and-three-quarters cents per pound, and eggs had skyrocketed to thirty-three cents a dozen retail. (Thirty-three cents in 1916 would have the buying power of over seven dollars today. Russell & Co. was offering twenty-two cents per dozen in trade.)

Sickness and visiting seemed to take precedence over all else at Nell, but Cattie Bell had opened a school there the third week of January and was enjoying "a good attendance and the prospects of good school." Herbert Holladay had departed the previous week for the warmer clime of Georgia.

Down in Glensfork, Bill Samuels had just moved to his new dwelling place "on the heights south of town." Lee Burbridge, having disposed of his property at Fairplay, planned to remove to Glensfork with the view of operating a mill. Miss May Upton was teaching a subscription school there, but a number of Glensfork youngsters either were attending or planned to attend E.A. Strange's school at Roley.

News from Columbia was very nearly nonexistent, but one brief entry stated that "Mr. H. B. Ingram purchased of Mr. J.W. Forth, last week, the property back of the Baptist Church, known as the Terpen residence, for $1,300." Another report stated that G.Robert Reed and wife were in Louisville for a few days for Mr. Reed to attend a hardware convention at the Seelbach Hotel.

From Big Elm, Joseph ALLEN Turner reported that G.W. Coffey, who had recently arrived in the neighborhood on a visit home from Texas, "left this place about 5 o'clock p.m. for Fielden Coffey's, his kinsman, about two miles away; got lost in the hills on the head waters of Cabin Fork and wandered around for four hours before he arrived at his destination."

In neighboring Russell County, longtime Rowe's X Roads correspondent Rev. Thomas Hadley slipped in an advertisement for a friend: "Elmer Rippetoe wants me to say to the public that he is in the undertaker's business at his home near Denmark, and that he can furnish you with a walnut or poplar coffin or a casket, prices from $12 up to $30. He will guarantee his work. You can phone him from any point in the country." (Mr. Orson Elmer Rippetoe, also known as "O.E.," was the father of well-known Russell County undertaker Edwin E. Rippetoe.)Also from Russell County, news from Jamestown stated that merchant Shelby Miller was doing well "in the grocery and lunch line," and that a Mrs. Bertram was suffering greatly with a bone felon.


This story was posted on 2012-02-12 07:48:48
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