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Jim: 95 years ago, benefits of expanded City enumerated

Jim recalls words of a great Adair County editor, John Ed Murrell, on benefits to be derived from expanding the city limits of Columbia. Revisiting that bit of history is relevant to events in Columbia today, as city territory bumps up hard against the county, and issues which ought to have been settled in less frenzied times are being met - as most issues are - when situations reach emergency status. - EW
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Ninety-five years ago this month (January 1922), a front page editorial in the Adair County News expounded on the benefits of expanding the corporate limits of Columbia, noting, "This is a school town and people would come and locate here if there were homes to buy or lots upon which to erect residences." The op-ed pointed out that with the current boundaries, "there are no available lots upon which to build" within the city limits.

The author, almost certainly long time News man John Ed Murrell, then aged a year or two past the three-score and ten mark, remarked that extending the lines "half a mile each way" would bring over three hundred new citizens into the town, "thereby swelling the population of our municipality to sixteen hundred." While acknowledging the city would have to spend more in services, Mr. Murrell stated the increase in tax base would generate more than enough revenue to offset the additional costs.

He then segued into a recollection of Columbia in an earlier day, reminiscing that

"We can remember when the residence of Mrs. Mary Caldwell, on Burkesville Street, was the extent of the corporate limits of Columbia, the same distance applying in all other directions. From Mrs. Caldwell's residence, on the left side of the now Burkesville pike, was a cane break up as far as where Mr. E.H. Hughes now lives.

"All the territory from the High School building to the Jamestown road was a barren field, owned by Mr. Milton Wheat, and the most of it he sold at 50 cents per acre, we are told."

But, added Mr. Murrell, "Now most of that territory is covered by residences."

(In 1920, Mary Caldwell lived near Judge H.C. Baker, who was enumerated immediately after the E.H. Hughes family; the Rollin Hurt family; and Kinnie Murrell, Miss Katie's mother.)


This story was posted on 2017-01-13 05:32:18
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