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From the Archives

Sep 16, 2023

Although everyone participating in the 15th annual Country Days contests, competitions, and parade didn't win cash prizes or gifts, all involved were real winners, because they showed true spirit for the community event. With 200-plus entries featured in the annual Country Days Parade, the competition was tough. Spectators were treated to a blast from the past as many of the parade participants incorporated a decidedly 1950s flare including music, dress, and style into their entries.

This weekend, the Farmington Chamber of Commerce will kick off the first in a series of free concerts that will run through Labor Day Weekend. It is called the Medicate Summer Concert Series. Over $10,000 has been invested in the free concerts. For more information see the four-page brochure in next Tuesday's edition of the Press Leader. Medicate Pharmacy and other Farmington businesses have worked closely with the Chamber on this third annual concert series. The concerts offer a wide range of musical entertainment from our area.

Although the weather was fickle, thousands of area residents once again enjoyed Country Days festivities this past weekend. People packed city streets like sardines in a can to view the more than 200 entries in the Saturday parade. Following the parade, most onlookers quickly walked east along Columbia Street to partake of carnival rides and the many food and crafts booths around Long Park. While the weather was wet and wooly for the Ricky Skaggs concert Friday night, about 1,100 people bundled up and headed for Wilson-Rozier Park. Skaggs' bluegrass show was a sprightly affair, punctuated with gospel offerings. Charlie Daniels rolled into town Saturday afternoon and played a round of golf with KREI/KTJI's program director Mark Toti at Eagle Lake Golf Course. Daniels shot a 93 and Toti shot "over 93."

Seven hundred and fourteen members and friends of Farmington's First Baptist Church turned out Sunday morning for the first service and cornerstone laying ceremonies at the church's magnificent new edifice. Filled to overflowing, the $5000,000 building seated the largest Baptist audience in a single service here and still overflowed nearly 50 people into the aisles and lobby.

Homer Hughjes was named Mayor pro-tem of Farmington last night and alderman Charles Reed resigned his post as the struggle for power continued in a quiet meeting called in the wake of the resignation of Mayor Douglas Ross. The board did not set a date for the election of a new mayor but deferred the decision until their regular meeting date next Monday. Ross, in a letter dated May 31, resigned the mayoralty, citing health reasons. Ross said he had been informed by a heart specialist March 16 of early signs of ischemic heart disease. He has been hopeful, he said, of being able to reduce the stress which caused high blood pressure and rapid pulse rate.

With the deadline just three weeks away, Farmington residents are still awaiting some positive word as to what will happen to their trash and garbage after June 30. June 30 is supposed to signal the opening of the new county sanitary landfill near Desloge and, at the same time, blow taps for Farmington's city dump west of town. Out of the jumble of information, one thing is certain the City of Farmington is going to be out of the garbage collection business and citizens will have to fend for themselves.

Dr. Robert R. Knowles, superintendent of State Hospital No, 1, Farmington, arrived with his wife and three children Sunday night from Danville, Ky., and moved into the house on the grounds formerly occupied by retiring superintendent, Dr. Emmett Hoctor. Dr. Knowles who officially replaced Dr. Hoctor Saturday, assumed his new duties this week and said he had no immediate plans for change of the hospital, but rather was in the process of becoming acquainted with the new surroundings,

Rev. W. Cannon Kinnard Is completing his first year as pastor of the Memorial Methodist Church here and was reappointed by Bishop Eugene Frank at the Missouri East Conference last week at Fayette to serve another year. Announcement also was made this week of the appointment of Rev, Murrell Cunningham as educational assistant at the Methodist Church here.

Nineteen people identified last week's Mystery Farm as that of Mr. and Mrs. John Gegg. First to call at 7:45 a. m. on Wednesday was Walter Carl Giessing. The Press was early because of the Memorial holiday. He is already a subscriber to The Press, so elected to send his to a relative. Many other calls came in soon after Mr. Giessing's call. Apparently, the trim well-cared-for farm of the Geggs is well known. Long years ago, all the land for miles around the present Gegg farm was owned by John H. Brockmiller who sold It off in sections.

The Press today launches a Big "GOOD-WILL" Subscription Campaign which will offer nearly $2000 in cash to residents of this huge trading area. Heading the list of awards will be $750.00 In good old spendable cash. The second-place winner will receive $300.00. A generous 20-percent commission will be paid weekly to those participating, and these commissions will be paid on both new and renewal subscriptions turned in by each contestant. The winners of first and second Grand Prizes will consider their weekly commission checks as an "advance." The commissions are returnable upon presentation of the Grand Prizes. This stipulation does not apply to those contestants who fail to win one of the top awards. No office employee of the PRESS will be permitted to compete.

One of the most publicized cases pending in the Circuit Court of St. Francois County came to a surprise ending Friday when Henry Rex Thompson appeared with one of his court-appointed attorneys and entered pleas of guilty to charges of armed robbery in 1948, jailbreak in 1948, and jailbreak in 1952. Judge Randolph Weber of Poplar Bluff, who was called in to hear the case when Judge B. C. Tomlinson disqualified himself, took Thompson's guilty pleas and sentenced him to five years for armed robbery and to two years on each charge of breaking jail. The sentence for the last jailbreak will run concurrently with the five-year term.

Tuesday evening's Rotary meeting got off to a fine start with an excellent dinner served by the Presbyterian Home. Charles Jenkins introduced the visitors, all of whom were from the Bonne Terre Club. These included Earl Bilheimer, Charles Chandler, Pete Yankoff, and Vester Voss. Charles Chandler is the president-elect of the Bonne Terre Club. President Vernon Wright announced that the softball season had gotten off to a good start on Monday night and that Rotary-managed teams had won both games of the doubleheader.

Last week's two-day visit of the Bloodmobile to Farmington was described by officers of the local blood program as disappointing. With a quota of 400 pints, pints, only 188 pints were collected Thursday and Friday at the Christian Church basement. Two hundred and 11 donors reported to the center and 23 were rejected because of various reasons. Although a Kiwanis Club committee headed by Taylor Smith was the sponsoring organization, no blame for the small turnout can be attached to them since the event was given wide publicity and urgent personal appeals were made through other organizations, church pulpits, etc., besides the regular mediums of information.

Mr. and Mrs. C.B. Denman of Farmington, Route 3, celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary quietly Wednesday, June 3. Fifty years ago, they were married at Desloge by the pastor of the Desloge Methodist Church, Rev. J.A. Collins. They are the parents of one daughter, Mrs. Elgin Hartshorn of St. Louis. They have three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Mrs. Denman is the former Anna Martin, daughter of the late Rev., and Mrs. J.J. Martin, the former having been President of Carleton College in Farmington for a number of years. Mr. and Mrs. Denman celebrated the occasion with a family dinner at home, Rev. and Mrs. E.C. Cole were guests at the dinner.

With fair weather prevailing once again farming operations utilizing prisoner-of-war labor have been started at the camp. Through the courtesy of a resident of Farmington, sufficient cabbage and tomato plants have been made available for planting ten acres of these crops. Additional ground is being prepared for planting other truck crops to be used for food for the prisoners. Lt. Buckley, Camp Veterinarian, is supervising this work.

The Graduation Exercises of St. Joseph's School took place Sunday, May 30, 1943, after the 8 o’clock Mass. The graduates assembled in their classroom at 7:45 before proceeding to the church. The girls were dressed in white, and each wore a corsage of red roses. Rev. Father McKeon distributed the diplomas to the following nine graduates: Edward Effrein, John Gibson, Joseph Redmond, Clarence Tinker, John Tinker, Margaret Johnston, Patsy Meyer, Dorothy Mueller, and Margaret Jo Smith.

The Missouri State Supreme Court late yesterday afternoon returned a decision in the case of B.F. Walther vs. the St. Francois County Court. The decision was to the effect that Mr. Walthers was the duly elected County Highway Engineer and as such was entitled to his full pay for a four-year term of office. The case originated last December when the County Court ousted Mr. Walthers as Highway Engineer and withheld his salary. Under the decision, Mr. Walthers will receive his full salary since January 1st, and the costs in the case will be assessed against the St. Francois County Court.

E. L. Shipman, 48, station agent at DeLassus for the past five years, was almost instantly killed about 8:30 Sunday morning when his car crashed into an East Texas Motor Freight truck just south of Fredericktown. Mrs. Shipman, who was in the car with him, was not him, seriously injured, although their car was completely demolished. The truck was also badly damaged but the driver, Clyde Isabel, was not seriously hurt.

Sailing under the colors of the Mobile Yacht Club, Mrs. Harry McDonnell (formerly Miss Ruth Mell of Farmington) today won the woman's event in the club's Memorial Day regatta in competition against some of the best skipperettes of the Gulf Coast. Mrs. McDonnell led Miss Dot Zeiman, representing the Southern Yacht Club of New Orleans, and Mrs. Ray Lou Witherill of Pensacola in a split-second finish, after outdistancing the Biloxi and Gulfport, (Miss.) entries. This race was the most thrilling of the day's program in the 21-foot fish class sloop competition.

Clarence White, 18-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. C.B. White, of Flat River, was fatally burned early last Monday morning when he came into contact with a high-tension powerline while working on top of a building at St. Francois. Clarence, with his brother, Clyde, and his father had started to tear the building down, his father having purchased the property from the National Lead company. The two brothers went to the roof of the building, which was covered with sheet iron, Clarence was in front, walking along the comb, when he raised up and came in contact with the powerline with his left hand. His body was thrown to the ground, crushed from the fall.

Since the first of the week, this section has sweltered under a sun that has been as hot as that usually experienced during July and August. For the past four days, the temperature has risen to 95 and 96 degrees, although some relief is obtained from cool breezes during the night. Farmers have been using the dry weather to advantage in cultivating and planting their land, but much of the moisture received from heavy spring rains is rapidly disappearing.

J.C. Miles, who operated a medicine show here the week before last, was returned from Potosi last Saturday on a complaint that he had failed to pay his board bill at the Boyd Rooming House. Miles was released under bond for an appearance before Justice Sutherland on the 25th of this month.

The Farmington City auto license stickers have been placed on sale this week by City Collector C.C. Gower. The stickers are sold for $1.50 for all cars and are good for six months or until January 1st when new stickers good for one year will be placed on sale. This is the first time that Farmington has ever used windshield stickers. They are quite an improvement over the old tin plates as they cannot be interchanged, cannot become lost, and will make it much easier for the officers to detect whether or not all city cars have obtained their new licenses.

On last Thursday, Deputy Sheriffs Bayles and May were called to Flat River to investigate a man and lady who were soliciting funds under the pretense that the man was blind. They arrested the man, William Zeiser, and a woman, Mrs. Kelly, who was leading him about. The couple was placed in jail when it was found that there was nothing wrong with the man's sight.

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