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JIM: 100 years ago, Adair Co. at the autumnal equinox, 1914

Like your family's favorite baker telling you how badly her chocolate cake turned out and you know there's not been a better one, ever out of Vienna (Austria, not Illinois), JIM submitted this as 'this'll have to do one' ar-tickle, when in fact is pretty nigh as good as ar-tickles get: It has it all. Our over-gloried rowdy side, with account of a ruckus out on Jamestown Road. The correlation between righteous fervor and the tides of war. Columbia's love of fashion and the arrival of the 'swellest, noblest and most up-to-date' headgear. Of the good economic times when re-soling shoes was two bits a pair (contrasted to today's re-souling the soul for an average of so much more). A tribute to a great country scribe, Rev. Thomas Hadley. And the revelation everybody is ringing our phone off the hook to learn, Just who was Old Sister Bill Brown? Finally, what every parent wants to know today, a dose of what the the Peevish Child needs. - EW


The front page of the autumnal equinox (September 23rd) 1914 edition of the Adair County News brought any number of dispatches to the attention of the reader.

The young Misses English, Golda and Dexter, on the previous Thursday evening, delightfully entertained a number of the younger set in honor of an out-of-state guest. The attendees included Misses Susan Miller, Leonora & Mary Lucy Lowe, and Ella Walker; and the Messrs. Edgar Diddle, Paul Hughes, Edgar Reed, Doc & Nat Walker, and Ralph Hurt. Said the paper, "The evening was spent in contests and games, after which delightful refreshments consisting of fruits, ices and cakes were served."

The domestic ruckus 'out on Jamestown Road'
On a less social scene, ongoing disturbances at a residence "out on the Jamestown road" had resulted in the law being called the previous Saturday night. As a result, "several arrests were made and warrants issued for others." Those arrested were a husband, his wife, and her 14-year-old daughter.

Religious fervor rose on Tides of War
On another front, religious fervor was rising on the tides of war; a column titled "Church Notes" reported great good done in a number recent revivals. The meetings held in Dunnville by Elders Z.T. Williams and Luther Young, both of Adair County, had resulted in 42 additions to the church. (The Dunnville newsletter gave the number as 45.) In nearby Yosemite, Eld. Williams and his kinsman Eld. J.Q. Montgomery, the pastor, recently had pulled ten souls from Satan's fiery grip, and in Egypt, Eld. Young's ongoing revival already had seen 20 souls redeemed. (Items found elsewhere in this edition mentioned similar successes at Milltown with nine baptisms into the church under the preaching of Rev. J.C. Cook, and at Mount Pleasant Methodist in Russell County, where there were thirty professions of faith.)

Millinery in those days, 'swellest, noblest, and most up-to-date'
The biggest business news around the Square was that Miss Julia Eubank and Mrs. W.P. Summers had purchased of Mrs. Lou W. Atkins' her stock of millinery goods and removed same to the first floor of the Butler Store Building, "next door to Nell & McCandless' grocery store." Miss Eubank was freshly back from market, having purchased "one of the swellest, noblest and most up-to-date line of millinery ever brought and put on display in Columbia." She was also an experienced (hat) trimmer, with 20 seasons in the trade. Said the News of Miss Eubank's abilities, "She is careful and painstaking and can please the most fastidious."

Re-soling shoes was 25 cents per pair
Elsewhere on the Square, T.G. Rasner & Son offered to resole shoes for 25 cents the pair. "I can put on a half sole cheaper than ever before, for I can nail on a sole in one minute." For those sporting weightier wallets, the Rasners offered better grades of soles and soles, with top-of-the-line ones costing 60 cents.

The picture show hall was crowded - twice a week
There also appeared a notice of entertainment offered: "Fine shows continue twice a week at the Parlor Circle. On Saturday evening the hall is crowded, and generally a fair audience on Thursday evening. It is a pleasant place to spend an hour."

On the political front, former governor and current Republican candidate for U.S. Senator Augustus E. Willson was slated to speak at the Courthouse on Tuesday, September 29, at 1 p.m. (Ex-Governor Willson lost this bid for the Senate seat to another former governor of Kentucky, Democrat J.C.W. Beckham, and retired from political life.)

Inside pages, but for Rev. Thomas Hadley report, was dull
The inside pages of this edition generally were dull, but Rev. Thomas Hadley, the correspondent for greater metropolitan Rowe's X-Roads in Russell County, brought forth news from Melson Ridge in his inimitable fashion. Wrote that good man,
> Soldier's rally at Bill Brown graveyard
"The Decoration at the Bill Brown graveyard, on Melson Ridge, went off nicely. The crowd was large enough and the very best orday (sic). There were 8 soldiers there: Thomas Hadley, John Turner, Jim Morrison, P.D. Compton, John Cundiff and Abe Garner, [and] Lige and Peter Melson. I was the youngest present and I am seventy years old, so you see that soldier's rallies will soon be a thing of the past.

and 'Old Sister Bill Brown' was nearly dead
"Old sister Bill Brown is nearly dead. She is very old and nearly eat up with cancer. Your scribe preached the decoration service in her yard. Sister Brown got very happy and gave us a great shout, so we report we had a good time. May God help the Melson people to help themselves to always have a good time."
Sister Bill Brown: Who she was
("Sister Bill" was Frances A., nee Melson, the widow of Civil War veteran William J. "Bill" Brown, who died in the early spring of 1913. She passed less than three weeks after this appeared in the newspaper, three months and a few days before her 80th birthday.) As today, the peevish child needed a laxative
Without a doubt, the most attention-grabbing headline in this edition of the paper appeared in a boilerplate ad for Dr. Caldwell's Syrup Pepsin, advising readers thus: "The Peevish Child Needs a Laxative." A free sample bottle could be obtained simply by sending on a post card one's name and address to Dr. W.B. Caldwell, 405 Washington St., Monticello, Ill.

Compiled by JIM

This story was posted on 2014-09-21 09:55:38
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