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From Our Files

100 years – May 11, 1922

Work started this week on the basement of the Democrat-News building. A contract for the construction of a large basement in the rear was awarded to Pirtle and Graham who promise its completion in about two weeks. 

E.J. Lawrence, a salesman for a heating plant concern, is in the county jail charged with obtaining a school warrant by fraud from the school board of the Greasy Creek School. The man is in jail at the instigation of J.P. Ennis who bought the warrant from him and then had it repudiated at the hands of the school board. Lawrence is said to claim the school board gave him a warrant outright for $87.50 in payment for a heating plant.

The shooting and breaking of windows on Main Street late Saturday night gives further proof that the town harbors at least one cowardly sneak who belongs to an element so hopelessly in the minority that he will undertake no bolder means of showing his depravity than sneaking around after the officers are gone home and breaking windows or applying the torch to buildings.

Through the unstinted liberality of the County Court, the city authorities are busily engaged this week in rebuilding the principal streets of the city. The county has donated the use of the heavy road-building machinery of the county for the purpose, the city paying only for the gasoline and upkeep. 

75 years – May 15, 1947

Owners of early-model Chevrolet trucks in Madison County were invited today by C. L. “Tots” Buford to participate in a nationwide search by the Chevrolet Motor Division to locate the oldest Chevrolet truck still in active service in the United Sates. “The owner of the oldest truck will be presented with a brand new Advanced-Design Chevrolet truck and may choose any standard model in the current line of Chevrolet commercial cars and trucks,” Buford said. Mr. Buford announced this week that in cooperation with the search for the oldest Chevrolet truck he will give a $10 prize to the owner of the oldest Chevrolet truck in Madison County.

The Democrat-News is one of 500 American newspapers which has been selected to be reviewed in a national periodical survey now being conducted by The Reference Shelf, Washington D.C.

Fifty-nine seniors adorned in caps and gowns, received their high school diplomas tonight in commencement exercises at the Fredericktown High School gymnasium. The 1947 graduating class, one of the largest in recent years,, will hear Prof Oliver M. Skalbeck of the State College at Cape Girardeau deliver the address of the evening. Skalbeck is one of the teachers of the speech department of the Cape college.

Next year’s teacher problem loomed big this week with the announcement by the school board that a total of ten teachers have failed to sign contracts or have resigned existing contracts. The most prominent of the resignations was that of Coach Albert Best, athletic director who with his wife entered the Fredericktown school system last year. 

50 years – May 11, 1972

Nine Madison County residents have formed a for-profit corporation to be called Madison County Progress, Inc. The purpose of the organization is to work for the placement of industry in this immediate area and to act as an intermediary for prospects to include purchase of land, building construction, site location, etc.

One of the highlights of the 1972 Azalea Festival Parade will be the entry of the St. Louis Twirling Teens. They will be one of the featured groups in the parade that will wind through Fredericktown. The group holds the title of National World Champion Drill team, an honor they won in competition at South Bend, Ind. last year.

Ideas and plans are sometimes stymied before they have an opportunity to become a reality. Family Planning, under the auspices of East Missouri Community Action, Inc., has established an agency in Fredericktown. According to director Gene Sturm, more than 100 medically indigent women in Madison County have been provided with medical care. Because of a zoning restriction, the Family Planning Center, which leases property at the corner of South Wood and East College has been told by the City Council that the clinic is operating in a residentially zoned area, and thus in violation of city ordinances.

Miss Barbara Whitworth will relinquish her Azalea Festival Queen crown Friday night. She will crown the new queen in ceremonies at the FHS gym.

This happy little girl recently took home a 26-inch Bexel Flyer bicycle from Dicus Drugs. Miss Theresa McKinnis, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur McKinnis, 210 West Marvin in Fredericktown, won the bike during Dicus Drugs Bexel Vitamin Sale. Her name was drawn from a box containing hundreds of entries.

25 years – May 14, 1997

It went down to the wire, but the Valedictorians and Salutatorians at Fredericktown High School and Marquand-Zion High School were finally announced last week. At FHS, the Valedictorian is Justin Barrett, the son of Dennis and Leslie Barrett and Rebecca and Joe Troncale. The FHS Salutatorian is Lindsey Merrill, daughter of Larry and Lori Merrill. The Marquand-Zion Commencement top graduates are Valedictorian Cheryl Cook, daughter of Hubert and Deanna Cook. The Salutatorian is Joe Clauser, son of Bill and Helen Clauser. 

Estella Cooper loves doing geneology work, and spends a lot of time at Ozark Regional Library. Ozark Regional’s Fredericktown Branch Manager Debbie Anderson says she can always use some help in the library. That is where Green Thumb came in to the picture. Green Thumb is an organization which puts people, often retired, to work. They pay minimum wage, and help people like Cooper supplement their income. Cooper, who will turn 76 Friday, contacted Green Thumb about working at the library three years ago.

The peace and quiet of the past 20 years on the outskirts of Fredericktown was shattered Sunday when the racing engines of six different classes of cars once again filled the air. The old Fredericktown Raceway opened in the early 50’s under the care of the VFW. After a steady run of nearly 20 years, the track was closed by the Madison County Racing Association.  

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