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Early October 1957: Big Doings in Adair County

Jim brings back memories: Of the times when city councils ran as a "ticket," when there was a newly gravelled, parking lot where Sav-A-Lot stands today, when Kenneth Hestand was the country agent and Adair County High School 4-H'ers were drawing attention for State Fair exploits, when there was a change in Superintendents (quiz yourself, guess one in the transition and give yourself a gold star for your forehead, guess both, award yourself a days vacation in Greensburg; guess the order of the transition, and buy a car from the successors of Morris Epperson & Louis Merkley), when the big issue facing Adair County was a hospital bond issue, to build Adair Memorial Hosital, when Henry Giles was chronicling the building of his & Janice Holt Giles log house at Spout Springs.
Click on headline for story with some highly interest ads from the the issue.


In the early autumn of 1957, the election loomed large for Adair Countians with a hospital bond issue on the county-wide ballot and a red-hot three-way mayoral race keeping the pot stirred in Columbia, along with other local races. Additional spice came to the city races by the announcement that six men -- Raymond Lacy, S.E. Kelsay, Harry Wilson, F.J. Garrison, J.C. Sexton, and Luther Collins -- had filed together to run as an independent city board (that is, without fealty to a specific mayoral candidate).

Still, politics rated hardly a nod on the front page of the October 9th edition of the News. Instead, the sweet spot headline reported John Dunbar, then serving as chair of the county Board of Education, had been hired to replace Harbert Walker as Superintendent of Schools, effective July first of the following year. Immediately adjacent to that article, a brief boldface piece proudly informed readers that "in order to relieve downtown parking congestion," Columbia had just opened a freshly graveled lot for free parking on the corner of Burkesville Street and Guardian Street "where the former Flowers residence stood before burning several years ago."

Farming related news took a fair amount of space, the headlines including "Burley Support Rate to be 51.7," "Higher Support on Clean Corn," and "Burley Grading Will be Shown," the latter a demonstration by Kenneth Hestand, the new Adair County Extension Agent.

And too, at District 4-H Achievement Day held recently in Liberty, five Adair County 4-H members - Edwanna Garmon, Jeanice Hare, Brenda Woody, Nancy Moran, and Betty Helen Henson - fared well, each proudly bringing home a red ribbon for her efforts, and Mary Cathren Karnes drew recognition for "4-H achievement and Courier-Journal entry."

Other front page pieces of interest, each below the fold, included a letter from John A. Harris (son of C.S. Harris, founder and long time editor of the Adair County News) urging voters to approve the hospital bond, and a blurb from Osby Rowe, the new owner/manager of the Rialto Theater, which recently had reopened after a two month closure. No doubt, the young folk cheered and the elder-folk frowned to read that Mr. Rowe planned to show a rock 'n' double feature, "Carnival Rock" and "Teen-Age Thunder." Part of the music for the former was performed by the well-known heavy metal hard-rock band, The Platters.

(Those desiring movie entertainment of a less sensational nature could motor up to Campbellsville's Cozy Theater and take in the doubleheader there, "Invasion of the Saucer-Men" and "I Was a Teenage Werewolf." (Two bonus points if you can name -- without looking up -- who starred in "Teenage Werewolf." You get three bonus points if you're brave enough to admit on ColumbiaMagazine, using your real name, you went to see this fabulous flick, wherever it might have been showing.)

In the always anticipated news from Spout Springs, Henry Giles spoke of progress on the house he and Mrs. Giles had under construction:
"We are now off the ground! Got the foundation sills down a few days ago and Edgar is now getting the floor joists down. I finally figured out the drainage system and all the ground outlets are in place. At the beginning of this house I thought of myself as vice president of the project, principal string-stretcher and elevation gauger. But I haven't gotten by so easily. I also have to do a lot of thinking."
("Edgar" likely referred to Henry's cousin and neighbor, Edgar Giles.)

Finally, about the election:

In the city council race, three of the above-named gentlemen, the Messrs. Wilson, Collins, and Lacy, carried the day, along with top vote-getters Tom Brown and Roy Owen. Hallie Stults rounded out the winning ticket.

Incumbent Mayor Ralph Willis defeated challenger David Heskamp by two votes, and Dr. W.R. Murphy finished third with a respectable 27% of the ballots cast.

The hospital bond issue went down in flames in four outlying precincts (most notably Hovious, where it lost 2-23), but countywide it carried by better than a ten to one margin. Dedication ceremonies for the building was held on Sunday, December 18, 1960 -- three years, one week, and six days after the election of 1957. Adair Memorial Hospital opened for business on Monday, January 2, 1961.

The two advertisements below appeared in the October 9, 1957 News.

Compiled by JIM, who all will agree, has 'Outdid Hisself' on this Keeper Column - one for the family scrapbook.

This story was posted on 2017-10-06 06:35:56
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JIM: Ads in the News edition 9 Oct 1957

2017-10-06 - 100 Quadrant, Public Square, Columbia, KY - Photo from the collection of JIM.
These two businesses were side-by-side on the Public Square in 1957, in buildings which would have been just to the right, facing the building, of CEO Mark Dykes corner office. Comparable prices then and today: Those Tv's were supported by cable Tv. One had to have a "Montana" - as antennae were called in those days by some folks, preferably one on a tower above one's house, preferably one with a "Tenarotor" which could be rotated for a better signal. But prices at the theater were, by comparison, a real bargain. (And these appear to have just undergone a price hike).

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