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JIM: History found in old newspaper used to wrap 22 revolver

Revelation for those recognizing a failing of CM for heretofore printing nary a word about these importantant moments in Adair County History: A singing; Mr. Wilmore is thrown; and Mr. Grissom describes his calf. An enlightening and highly entertaining compilation by a most unique observer of our times. - EW
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by JIM

Toward the end of May 1916, the Adair County News published a letter written by native son James F. Logan, who then resided in Macomb, Illinois. The transcribed letter appears below, with the caveat that the date (May 28,1865) given for the found newspaper is incorrect by a score of years, as several of the men mentioned in the Zion item were yet lads in short pants in the spring of 1865.

Melvin White, one of those mentioned and a frequent contributor to the News for many years, remarked in a letter penned some weeks later that "The first issue of [The] Columbia Spectator appeared about 1869, when I was twelve years of age." The year Mr. Logan likely meant was1885. Adair historian Mike Watson noted that Rollin Hurt and H.C. Connor ran The Spectator together from sometime in 1884 until May 1885.


Luther Wilmore, also mentioned by Mr. Logan, removed with his family to near Bogard, Missouri around 1909 or 1910. His letters, generally one or two a year, appeared in the News until not long before his passing in the early 1950s.

Wrote Mr. Logan:

Macomb, May 18, 1916

Editor News:--

While getting ready to go to Mexico I found my 22 revolver wrapped in an old Columbia newspaper of date May 28, 1865, which gives some very interesting facts of that day and time. I will give you a few items of which might interest some of the older readers of The News.

First is in Zion items and is as follows:

"A large crowd attended the closing of a very successful singing school taught by Melvin L. White, there being not less than 2,000 present. Dinner on the ground. In the afternoon Prof. White gave prizes for the best Bass and Tenor singers, the contestants being Aubey Hurt, Jo Nat Conover, Rollin Hurt, Jack Stotts, Billie Rowe and Long Bob Conover. Judges, Wm. L. Stotts and Ed Garnett.

"After singing 25 or 30 songs, they decided, Bass, Billie Rowe, Tenor, Robt. Conover, (the prize being a pound of candy). They adjourn[ed] at a late hour, singing, 'God be with you till we meet again.'"

"One item from Gradyville:

"Last Sunday while Mr. Luther Wilmore was on his way to superintend Sunday School at Union, he was thrown from his mule and considerably shaken up, but nevertheless he went on his way. After a short distance he met with Virge Grissom, who was in pursuit of a calf.

'What kind of calf is it, Vergie?,' said Bro, Wilmore.

'Well, I can't tell zactly, but it's very small, kinder white spotted, gist about the color of your whiskers, one horn off next to the fence, and a tail about as long as a little piece of rope.'

'Well, well,' said Bro. Wilmore, 'that very calf is back yonder in the fence corner. He caused my mule to throw me and I just took out my 22 and shot him. Let's hustle or we'll be late.'

"Hoping to see Mr. White and Wilmore at the Columbia Fair,

James T. Logan."

Compiled by JIM


This story was posted on 2016-07-17 09:14:28
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