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Days Gone By – March 26, 2015

20 YEARS 1995

Michele Northcutt of Park Hills Mental Health Services was presented with a plaque for being named the State Employee of the Month.

The home of Gene and Debbie Thomas on Hillsboro Road near Bonne Terre was destroyed by fire. The Thomas’ daughter Megan, age 6, was the first to notice the fire and her quick thinking allowed her to awaken her older sister, Melanie, from her upstairs bedroom and got her out safely. Megan would later be named the Farmington Press Leader “Citizen of the Month” for her actions.

Construction continued on the new Farmington Civic Center. The center was scheduled to open in October of 1995.

One man was arrested and another remained at large after the theft of 20 cartons of cigarettes from a gas station. Police reported two men entered the Star 24, located at 602 W. Karsch Blvd., and while one man distracted the clerk, the other took the cigarettes. When confronted by another store employee, the man with the cigarettes fled while the man in the store was detained until police arrived.

30 YEARS 1985

The County Commission met with four men who voiced their concern about the future of the Jefferson Inn building in downtown Farmington that had most recently served as a boarding home. The group discussed some options for the building that might save it from its proposed demolition, but the commission took no formal action. The men addressing the commission included Larry Hughes, Farmington Economic development coordinator, bank president Jack Sebastian, Bob Heisler, the owner of a local building component and Mark Hughes, a media representative who was following the Jefferson Inn story since the collapse of a portion of the building.

The possibility of a private organization developing the building with tax credits that would be used to help finance the renovation was discussed. The organization could then lease the structure back to the county. No solutions were reached by the end of the meeting.

Gregory Lee Payne, a senior at Farmington High School, was named one of the first 25 Regents’ Merit Scholarship recipients at Southeast Missouri State University. Payne was ranked sixth in his class after six semesters, and was enrolled in accelerated classes.

40 YEARS 1975

Mrs. Celeste Parker was named chairman of the St. Francois County American Cancer Society’s 1975 educational and fund-raising crusade in April. The theme was “We Want to Wipe Out Cancer In Your Lifetime.”

Steve Mell received a gold belt buckle from Walter Klinkhardt as the result of bowling 11 straight strikes, to have a score of 290. Steve bowled on Wednesday nights and was a member of the Farmington Men’s Bowling Association.

50 YEARS 1965

The return of several teachers, the hiring of new teachers and the resignations of others were the principle matters of business at the March meeting of the Farmington R-7 Board of Education. Mrs. Lorene Higdon, Mrs. Nancy McLean and Mrs. A.C. Mercier signed contracts to join the Farmington faculty.

A near capacity attendance of Farmington citizens attended a public hearing to discuss the zoning portion of a report of the Farmington Planning Commission. Gerwin K. Rohrbach, a representative of General Planning Resource Consultants, Inc. of St. Louis was present and discussed in detail his company’s recommendations to the Planning committee. Numerous questions were asked of Rohrback during the two-hour session in regard to particular phases of the report or as to information pertaining to specific areas of the community.

60 YEARS 1955

Local Farmington stores were to participate in a three-day special event sponsored by the Farmington Chamber of Commerce. The three-day event consisted of businesses offering bargains. The Ritz Theatre would offer free picture shows, timed to offer entertainment for the children just getting out of school.

A feature story was done in the February, 1955 issue of the Missouri Ruralist having to do with Missouri’s poultry industry and the main theme was “quality.” One of the most interesting developments in poultry was the new idea of caged layers. Under this system every layer is confined to a small cage with cages placed in rows suspended from the ceiling.

Visited were two poultry farms in Missouri, one of which belonged to Mr. and Mrs. Dennis Herbst. They had a hen house with 540 layers.

The second largest circus in the country was scheduled for a one-day only engagement at the Hillsboro Road grounds on the afternoon and night of May 11, 1955. Arthur W. “Art” Miller, General Representative of the Al G. Kelly and Miller Brothers Circus called the Farmington News office stating they had completed the preliminary arrangements for the visit of this Famous Wild Animal Show, which would be making its 36th annual tour.

70 YEARS 1945

All local dry goods stores, novelty and shoe stores agreed to be closed from noon through the balance of the day each Tuesday afternoon during the summer months. The committee in charge of these plans extend any other business firms that care to do so an invitation to join in this half-day summer closing each week.

An Army Liaison plane assigned by the A.A.F. to Missouri Wing, Civil Air Patrol, was based at Farmington. This plane was flown here by Lt. Richard Hirsch, CAP Wing Training Officer, from Jefferson City and was used for orientation flights for C.A.P. and C.A.P. Cadets throughout the Lead Belt area.

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