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JIM: Around Adair Co. (and a little beyond): early Sept., 1914

The September 9, 1914 edition of the News carried no fewer than seven newsletters from Adair County communities as well as one from Esto in Russell County.

By: Jim

The correspondent from Sparksville wrote that Olie Breeding had a very sick child; Luskin Gadberry had sold two hogs for $11.00; and all the merchants were having a fine run of trade. Flour was 65c per sack; meal, $1.25/bushel; chickens, 12c/lb, hens 10c/lb, and eggs, 16c/dz. (In today's money, that's $2.75/lb for chickens and $3.67/dz for eggs.)

Over Gradyville way, W.M. Wilmore reported delightful weather. Miss Sallie Diddle of Columbia was visiting her home folks near the banks of Big Creek; J.A. Wilmore had the previous Friday returned to Lexington (he was a student there); and (former) Judge N.H. Moss was having repairs done to his house, said repairs adding materially to the appearance and convenience of his residence. Mrs. Millie Hill and her daughter Miss Ruth were just coming off the sick list; and Mr. P.H. Keltner, one of the best farmers of the Gradyville section, had grown a whopper of a beet, one that weighed in at "eight and one-half-pounds, and well-developed in every particular."

Cane Valley
Up in Cane Valley, visitors Guy and Guy Breeding had some days hence pulled out via auto for the eight hundred mile return trip to their home in Gainsville, Texas. Mr. Urban Keltner had 10,000 pounds of tobacco cut and housed, and Mr. Wm. Givens wasn't far behind that amount. The game warden, T.I. Smith, was "pulling the boys for fishing"; Mr. J.W. Sublett and his niece, Miss Madeline Bridgewater, were in St. Joseph Hospital, under a doctor's care for appendicitis; and earlier in the month, a son had graced the home of John and Mary (nee Shelton) Vance.

Russell Creek
From the Russell Creek community came news that "Crops have come out wonderfully since the good rains." (This sentiment was brought to the fore in nearly every newsletter in this edition of the paper.) Resident J.N. Squires, a-journey in Carroll County, Mo., reported all his kith and kin were fine and that he was having an enjoyable visit. Ollie Conover of Columbia had been through buying calves and others were busy buying selling various members of the bovine persuasion. The schoolmarm, Miss Rose Hunn - "There is not a better teacher or Christian lady under the sun" -- had given a pie supper at Hutchison school house. The Cane Valley Brass Band provided music for the occasion, and "it was just fine, for the old gray bonnet rang through the woodland far and near." (In 1909, Percy Wenrich penned "Put On Your Old Gray Bonnet," an up tempo song about a couple celebrating their fiftieth wedding anniversary. The Hayden Quartet recorded it in November of that year. Multiple versions of the tune, including the original Hayden Quartet cut, appear on YouTube for those who might wish to listen and make woodland and welkin ring.)

The farmers in the Craycraft country were busy breaking wheat ground, and Bro. Albertson had just closed out a protracted meeting at the Oak Grove church. A spelling at Concord school house was by acclamation pronounced a success, and the School Rally recently held at there (where Joe Calhoun of Russell County wielded chalk and ferruled stick) was well attended, with five schools participating. Visitors that day included Superintendent of Adair County Schools Tobias Huffaker and Training School co-principal R.R. Moss. On the sports front, the Ozark second nine took the boys from Vester to the bat-and-base woodshed, winning the game fifteen to nine.

In nearby Joppa, Miss Elva Murrell was teaching school for Miss Mattie Young while the latter recovered from an illness. Two of Joppa's finest ladies, Mrs. Fannie Willis and Miss Dora Young, had spent the previous Tuesday in Columbia "to select [wall]paper for the church." Prognosticated the local scribe, "With a new papered wall and new organ, I don't see any thing to hinder having a good meeting."

Out Dirigo way, Prof. Walker, with fifty to sixty students under his charge, was teaching one of the best schools ever convened in the district. Eld. Hasten Shaw's three stemwinder sermons, delivered on Saturday and Sunday, led to a Monday baptismal service, and the streams ran black with the washed-away sins of the nine who went udner for the Lord that day. Mrs. Lucy E. Campbell, sick for three months, was sinking lower by the day and the attending physician gave no hope for her recovery. (Mrs. Campbell embarked upon the final journey just a few days later, on Thursday, September 17th, in her 59th year.) Mrs. Milton Pelston, who had been down for quite some time, was much improved, but J.M. Campbell was so stove up with the rheumatism he had to use crutches to walk. Rollin Stapp was making preparations to enter the Bowling Green Business College; Matt Wooten had bought of J.E. Claywell a mule for $155; and J.J. England and A.D. Stotts were drilling a water well at the Independence school house. Opined the correspondent of the latter, "This improvement has been much needed for several years." Not far removed from Dirigo, the saw and grist mill boiler of the firm of W.A. Janes & Co. had burst. It was believed the boiled had cracked in a recent move.

Russell County
In Russell County, Estoian Rev. Thomas Hadley relayed that his neighbor Tiger Montgomery "fell dead at his home, near here last Sunday [August 30th]as the sun was setting." He left a widow and "9 small children by his last wife and 8 by his first wife." Bros. Montgomery and Capshaw were holding a great meeting at the nearby Methodist church; there was much sickness in the community, mostly fever (likely, typhoid fever); and Beldon Helm, who had been in the land of Lincoln for six months, was visiting the auld sod.

Rev. Hadley included a personal reminisce in this newsletter, a recollection of an event now (September, 2014) a few days past its sesquicentennial anniversary:
"50 years ago today was a great day with me. My time was out in the war. The great battle of Jonesboro, Ga., was fought Sept. 1 and 2, 1864. This was the final wind up of the Atlanta siege. The third day of Sept., the Third Ky. [Infantry, Union], was released at Lovejoy Station, and started homeward, with glad hearts and sore feet, all haggard worn and almost dead. We had been on the firing line day and night for four months.

"The 3rd Ky. started south with 1,000 men, our loss was 449, and today there is 12 or 14 of my company living yet to tell the story. Comrades, you that are living yet, and see this in print -- oh, how I would love to see you again. This I don't ever expect to do. I am now 70 and you are all older. I am the baby soldier of old Co. G. Boys, let us spend the rest of our days in the service of the Lord, so our last days may be our best ones. Boys, live to do good to those that I will see no more. Good bye. Meet me in heaven."
Rev. Hadley "passed from the busy walks of life" almost exactly nine months later, on Tuesday, June 8, 1915, after an illness of three months.

This story was posted on 2014-09-09 07:53:04
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