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JIM: 100 years ago, reported in the AC News 20 Dec 1916
100 years ago: Of birthdays, barristers, and boarding; educators, autos, & entertainment; and sports, soldiers, shysters, sojourners, a life cut short, & sundry other items
Click on headline for complete artickle, a fab-a-lus one. - ED
All sorts of news dotted the front page of the shortened edition of the Adair County News dated December 20, 1916.
(Since late 1904, the News had been an eight page publication. However, as owner C.S. Harris remarked, the price of newsprint had escalated from $54/ton in June 1916 to $130/ton in December, and "it may go higher before the drop comes." In response to the 240% increase in this direct cost, Mr. Harris some weeks earlier had dropped the number of pages from eight to four and the paper had gone to a seven-column format with smaller typeset.)
Earlier in December, Adair County's senior member of the bar, Judge H.C. Baker, celebrated his 75th birthday and on the Sunday following, his daughters Mamie Jones and Sallie Baker prepared a "magnificent dinner" for the judge and a handful of his friends, a virtual who's who of Columbia's golden years set: Judge Rollin Hurt, Judge W.W. Jones, Mr. R.F. Paull. Mr. A.G. Todd, Mr. J.O. Russell, and Mr. John Ed Murrell. After the mid-day meal, "the afternoon was spent in social converse." One can only imagine the stories, laughter, and camaraderie this "magnificent seven" of Columbia shared in that long ago postprandial interlude.
George Aaron, "a well-known educator of this county," announced his candidacy for School Superintendent, subject to the will of the people in the primary. Though Mr. Aaron, father of Maxine, Mary Ellen, Louis, and Oris, belonged to the Republican party, the fiercely Democratic News spoke well of him, saying (among other things), "He holds a State certificate, as evidence of his qualifications." (Come the primary, the people willed otherwise. Challenger P.P. "Pleas" Wesley carried the day; incumbent Tobias Huffaker placed second; and Mr. Aaron came in a distant third.)
The basketball team of the Columbia Graded and High School, accompanied by Prof. Sweets "and a goodly number of rooters," had departed town on Monday the 18th for a four-game road trip, to-wit: Burnside, Somerset Lawrenceburg, and Danville. Unfortunately for those with an interest in such matters, these games drew no additional attention in subsequent issues of the paper.
After a year's sojourn in the Land of Lincoln, the Melvin Blair family had returned to live in their Glenville home. Opined the News, "Here in Adair, where the broom sedge, sassafras, dogwood, and men grow, and the best of water gushes constantly from the fountains, is a mighty good place to live."
The J.D. Eubank family, however, feeling the tug of greener lands, planned to depart Columbia that week to take up residence in Cincinnati. The News, while regretting Columbia's loss, said, "We commend him and his family to the new acquaintances they may form..."
And too, the paper noted one other departure. Twenty-two year-old Luther Aaron, a native of Esto, Russell County, but lately of Columbia, had heard the siren song of a silver-tongued US Army recruiter and departed the previous week for examination in Louisville prior to induction. A year later, young Antle was serving in France (Co., A., 36th Infantry, A.E.F.) and in July 1918 he suffered a battle wound but returned to the front after a month's stay in the hospital. A note in late 1919 stated he served in France for 27 months, seeing action in several battles. The report also said he soon would released from the army.
On a sad note, a Miss Roberts of the Dug Hill section, aged 17 years, had been shot several days earlier and died shortly thereafter. The News reported it as an tragic intra-family accident but cryptically added, "There are other reports in regard to the shooting..."
Moss & Chandler of Lindsey Wilson Training School wanted to buy "large, fat hogs;" T.L. Upton of Glensfork had three brood mares (two in foals by jacks) for sale; the sisters Trabue wanted to rent out their farm along with "one tenant house, and rooms in the house;" and yet another front page classified ad informed readers, "Two young ladies can secure board at the [Burkesville Street] home of Mrs. Kinnie Murrell from the first of January until the schools close."
Two other front page "cards" beckoned to the eye of the careful reader. One, tucked way at the bottom of the page, stated in its entirety, "Read the Paramount Theater advertisement. Big show coming." The other, a few lines above, mentioned that "Rowe & Hill, automobile dealers have an ad in to-day's paper. Call and see them if you are contemplating buying a machine." Each of these ads appeared on page four.
The one for the Paramount Theater bannered across the full width of the page at the top. The offering for Thursday, December 21th "The Yankee Girl") and Saturday, December 23th ("The Masqueraders") book-ended the much larger space -- half the banner -- allotted to details of the "big show." On the evening of December 28th, the spectacular 1915 photoplay "Carmen," would be shown at 6:30 and again at 8. Geraldine Farrar, billed as "the World's Greatest Soprano and Grand Opera Star" reprised from the stage her starring role. This was the era of silent movies, but the billing promised, "Special music from the opera," method of delivery not noted.
(The New York Times movie critic, in a review published on November 1, 1915, gave glowing kudos to Ms. Farrar in her screen debut (as did nearly all other reviewers) but of the movie itself, he groused, "Also it is bold, bald, and in dubious taste. Many portions of the film are successive pictorial studies of physical passion, and it is small wonder that in some quarters the much belabored censors winced." This movie helped launch the careers both of its young director, Cecil B. DeMille, and of Jesse L. Lasky, Sr., a founding member of Paramount Pictures.)
In order to screen this cinematic colossus, the Paramount Theater had to double its regular admission and charge 10 cents. At the time, there was a cut-rate movie house in town, Mr. George H. Nell's jitney show, and the Paramount had lowered its price to a nickel as well to stay competitive.
The ad for Rowe & Hill, agents for the Buick automobile, made it first appearance in this edition of the paper, then ran weekly through mid-February 1917 before disappearing. The last mention found came in mid July 1917 the "Personals" column: "Mr. J.A. Hill went to Flint, Michigan, last week and returned with a Buick car for Miss Sallie E. Murphey, sold by Rowe & Hill." Any additional information about this firm or its principals will be most welcome.
This story was posted on 2016-12-15 08:51:30
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More articles from topic Jim: History:
100 Years Ago - Judge Baker writes of Col. Daniel Trabue
100 years ago - Thanksgiving in and around Columbia
JIM: To hell and back
JIM: Culture & a library come to Columbia - 100 years ago
November 1916: Elections, inducements, and elixirs
Celebrating Hallowe'en at the Hancock Hotel, 1902
JIM: Dr. Gaither and the goose question
Adair County's mysterious death, 1916
Faded Glory: The Butler residence, Greensburg Street
JIM: Digest of Adair County News of September 6, 1916
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