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JIM: 100 years ago this week

Exciting times, back then, with changes in the Columbia Fair management, work on the Stanford Pike, a new bakery, home construction underway, a huge furniture store opened, but there was frustration over the foot-dragging on the railroad to Columbia (a good cause today for a determined activist). An Esto resident moved to Columbia to aid men with automotive woes. Mr. Paul H. Hughes joined the classified advertising staff of the St. Louis Star. And Adair County lost a member of a the last of one of Adair County's first families. And young Clarance Jackman, spared in the War with Mexico, had his life cut short in World War II.
Click headline for complete story of what was going on in Adair County 100 years ago.

BY Jim

The front page of the July 5, 1916 Adair County News had a potpourri of articles and insightful information for the casual and careful reader alike.

The Columbia Fair was under new management

The Columbia Fair, scheduled to open on August 22nd (later changed to August 15th) was under new management. Former Fair Association members R.F. Paull, J.B. Coffey, R.L. Smythe, and C.S. Harris were out. Mr. R.K. Young had just purchased Mr. Paull's one-fifth interest and of latter-named gentleman, the News remarked, "[He] joins the merrimaking with all his vim and enthusiasm and will prove a good man to the Association and to the public as well."


(The August 23rd edition devoted over half the front page to reports of the just-finished fair, stating at one point that it was "a success in every particular" and that "The attendance was large..." Nonetheless, the grounds were sold to Wakefield Realty of Shelbyville less than year later.)

Work on Stanford Pike perked right along,

On the transportation front, work on the Stanford Pike perked right along. A short entry stated that surfacing "has been completed to the Harris bridge, and much work has been done above the bridge" and that the surfacing would continue for as long as the money held out.

Preparatory work at Mrs. Martha E. Marcum's residence

And too, improvement were in progress off Burkesville Street. Laborers were busy near Mrs. Martha E. Marcum's residence, doing the work preparatory "to putting down concrete walks to the Graded School building." Plans called for the walks to be completed by the time classes took up in early September.

Editor C.S. Harris frustrated with foot-draggin on railroad

News about the rail line, however, wasn't nearly as sunny. The frustration of C.S. Harris, a member of the Railroad Committee and editor of the News, was apparent. The Committee had raised the $50,000 necessary to guarantee the line, but considerable foot-dragging amongst the populace in granting rights-of-way had the project stalled out. Fumed Mr. Harris, "Our people [that is, the committee members], have so strained themselves to get up the $50,000 that they are unable to pay for the right of way...This right of way proposition is all that is in the way. Sign up, gentlemen, or else we may fail at last."

From around the square, several business items of interest graced the front page.

Experienced baker Mr. Jo Nance opened a bakery

Mr. Jo Nance, "an experienced baker," had moved to Columbia, taken up residence in the Tutt Addition, and opened a bakery in the basement of the Russell & Co. business house. The News promised he would be "ready this week to supply the town of Columbia with fresh bread, cakes, pies, etc."

Mr. Watson opened large furniture store in Page Garage Building

A "card" invited readers to peruse an ad on inside page for a new furniture store. The latter-named placement touted the business, located in the Page Garage Building, as "the largest and most complete line of furniture ever shown in Columbia." Slightly small print stated the store handled what was known as "Brokers and Second Hand Goods," but solemnly assured that "every piece [is] in First Class Condition and of First Class Quality." The ad was signed "Very Respt., T.J. Watson, W.F. Company."

The July 12th edition stated Mr. Watson's place of business was "a large frame building, owned by Mr. Jas. T. Page, located on the cross street below Mr. W.R. Myers' residence." The structure had just received a fresh coat of via the brushwork artistry of Mr. C.B. Bartlett and, said the paper, "now has a fresh and inviting appearance."

Garrison Bros. Grocery offered prompt delivery

Garrison Bros. Grocery promised prompt attention to phone orders (but didn't list a number) and "prompt delivery."

Mr. J. M. Kearnes machine shop addressed automotive woes,

Another ad invited men with automotive woes to call at J.M. Kearns' machine shop and garage, where Mr. Wade Helm, "a first-class garage workman," stood at the ready "to adjust any auto troubles that may come before him."

Columbia benefits by incomer from Esto, James Wade Helm

James Wade Helm, like many in his father's family, had a strong mechanical aptitude. And too, he was quite familiar with the shop. In late 1907, Wade's, William A., father bought a tract of land on Jamestown Street hill (then known as Bomar or Boomer Heights), and in the spring of 1908, a classified ad in the News stated that

"Mr. W.A. Helm, the well-known machinist, who was formerly located at Esto, has removed his entire outfit to Columbia, his place of business being on 'Boomer Heights'...He also carries in stock all kinds of mill supplies and a good line of hardware. Phone 46."

The elder Mr. Helm passed in the summer of 1913 and Mr. Kearnes purchased the shop the following spring.

Community mourned Reuben Rucker's death

Mr. Reuben Rucker Conover had passed in late June, a few months into his 87th year. "In his long career he was known and recognized as one of Adair county's best citizens, and his death has brought sorrow to many homes...He was the last of one of the first families of Adair county, and nearly all his days were spent upon the farm where he first saw the light of day." His wife and both daughters were in attendance, as was a nephew, Paul Waggener of Louisville.

Mr. Paul H. Hughes, late of Columbia, joined St. Louis Star staff

One brief announcement revealed that Mr. Paul H. Hughes, late of Columbia, was the newest member of the classified advertising department of the St. Louis Star newspaper. Noted the News, "He is well qualified for the position and is perfectly reliable."

Clarence Jackman volunteered from service

Another native son, Clarence Jackman, son of Laura Walker Jackman and the late John W. Jackman, had recently volunteered for military service "and is ready to go to the front. He is the only Adair county soldier enlisted for Mexico to our knowledge."

Whether Clarence ever made it to Mexico is unknown, but he did serve at Camp Funston, Kansas, a part of the Fort Riley military base, and by June 1918, he had been overseas "for some time" as a member of Co. F, 26th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, AEF. Sadly, Corporal Jackman never returned home. He died in France, on July 18, 1918, killed in action about a month short of his 25th birthday. His remains are interred in the Oise-Aisne American Cemetery, Fere-en-Tardenois, France.



This story was posted on 2016-07-03 10:51:15
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