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Jim: Roads and weather were in the News 27 Jan 1915

News from the Adair County News from 100 years ago. With relevance to today by JIM


A sad death, bad roads, fulsome and flattery; and Billy Sunday goes to Philadelphia.

A passing interconnectedness (perhaps intentional, perhaps not) occurred among some of the front page articles of the Adair County News edition dated January 27, 1915:

It took hearse four hours to go nine miles to Pleasant Hill Church
The previous week, a brief article had informed readers of the tragic death of Walter S. Taylor, the 26-year-old scion of a prominent family of Montpelier and a ministerial student at Transylvania College. The following week, the News indirectly referenced Walter's death by stating that after the remains arrived in Columbia from Lexington, the hearse departed town at 9 a.m. So deplorable were the road conditions it took the hearse four hours to traverse the nine miles to Pleasant Hill Church, at which place the funeral and interment were to take place.

J.C. Montgomery presents sensible road plan to the county
Meanwhile, in another column of the front page, Ozarkian J.C. Montgomery presented a most sensible plan to help alleviate intracounty travel issues such as that which led to the four-hour hearse journey. Proposed Mr. Montgomery: "As everybody is talking good roads I think the time has come when we should put petitions before the people and let them sign 'yes' or 'no' on the proposition pf taxation for roads. I believe the best plan would be to place the petitions in the hands of the postmaster of the county and let them take the vote of the patrons of the [post]office. In that way we could get an expression from the tax payers of the county. if this suggestion should be favorably considered, the petitions should be gotten up while the roads are almost impassable... "Let us get to work at once."

Most of Mr. Taylor's siblings moved out of state and of those who remained in the Montpelier area, none had children to remember him. The pleas of the News, Mr. Montgomery, and all the other good roads advocates went unheeded for decades more. And the News, despite the "fulsome flattery" scolding, merrily continued printing same.

Billy Sunday began raising sand in Philadelphia
And in completely unrelated hundred years ago right now, athlete-turned-evangelist Billy Sunday had commenced raising sand in Philadelphia.

Not too far removed from New Year's Day, 1915, Sunday hit the City of Brotherly Love like a tempest in a peepot, and, in a manner worthy Adair County's own German Comer, built up a frothy head of steam in advance of a nine-week revival in the city, introducing himself thus to "the staid old gentlemen and gentlewomen of the Quaker City" that long ago January:

"Come on, you forces of evil in Philadelphia that have made the church a doormat to wipe your dirty feet upon! Come on you triple extract of infamy! Come on, you assassins of character! Come on, you defamers of God and enemies of His church! Come on, you bull-necked, beetle-browed, hog-jowled, peanut-brained, weasel-eyed, four-flushers, false alarms and excess baggage! In the name of Almighty God I challenge and defy you! I'm here for nine weeks. Come on and I'll deliver the goods, express paid!"

Compiled by JIM

This story was posted on 2015-01-25 09:37:47
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