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From the Archives

1992 – 30 years ago

In a few short days, Dolly Parton will be coming to town. The concert she’s giving will be for the benefit of the Presbyterian Home for Children in Farmington. It’s a unique situation because Parton only does two benefit concerts per year, and they’ve been contained to her home state of Tennessee. But this year she chose Farmington as one of those benefit sites and the Presbyterian Home for Children is grateful she did. “We’ve been the beneficiary of the Country Days concerts for the past eight years,” said Larry Jackman, director of the Presbyterian Home for Children.”

Ross Perot’s grassroots presidential campaign in Missouri has been sideswiped and in St. Francois County — as elsewhere in the state — damage control has begun. With the acknowledgment of Perot’s national headquarters, organizers in the state are restarting the petition drive — and tossing out the 100,000 signatures collected so far. About 21,000 signatures are needed to put the Texan on the Nov. 3 general election ballot. “It seems a couple of St. Louis petitioners have spoiled the petition drive,” said Helen Johnson of Farmington, secretary/treasurer of the local Perot for President Grassroots Club.

1982 – 40 years ago

Every once in a while, a community is fortunate enough to have come to it a new resident that dedicates himself to assisting in the continual improvement of the entire community. Equally true, however, is the unfortunate fact that in many cases this type of individual later feels the need to move on and leaves the community he has been so dedicated to. So it is in the case of Farmington and Louie Seiberlich, assistant general manager of KREI-KTJJ Radio Stations.

With construction of the main road in Phase One of the Farmington Industrial Park scheduled to “hopefully” begin this week, “things are finally starting to fall into place,” according to Roger Hoehn, city administrator. The park is located west of Highway 67 on a 166-acre tract of land between Highway W and Overall Road. The construction of the park is divided into three phases with the road in Phase One running parallel to 67 from Overall to Doubet Road. A lot of work that is not noticed by the general public has been going on at the Industrial Park, Hoehn said.

Gov. Christopher Bond is scheduled for a tour and press conference at Farmington State Hospital this morning “to talk about Amendment 1,” according to a spokesman at his office. Bond has visited the state mental facilities at Nevada and Fulton in his recent tour to draw support for the state’s upcoming $600 million bond issue. The bond issue, which will be decided June 8 by voters, would create 57,000 jobs for Missourians in an effort to boost the state’s economy.

The local office of the Missouri Parole and Probation Board should be moved and settled into a new downtown location by July 1, according to the office director. The office, currently located at 701 N. Carleton, will be moving into the building that served as the former home of Wichman Datsun. The structure, located at the corner of Columbia and Henry Street is undergoing interior and exterior renovations costs about $15,000, according to Henry Lee Wichman.

New president of the Farmington Kiwanis Club to fill the unexpired term of George Treaster until Oct. 1 will be Don Boesch. Treaster, in his second term, has resigned and will be in Ironton. Boesch, first vice-president, is the nominating committee’s choice for president for 1982-83, First Vice-President, Dr. Clifton R. Bell, Second Vice-President, Dr. Winferd Durham Nominated for board members for two-year terms during the fiscal year are Bill Sharp, a local investment specialist, and a new member, James Freer, and Virgil Welch.

1972 – 50 years ago

What does St. Francois County and the southeast Asian country of Thailand have in common? According to Donald Boesch, Yongyuth Tagoporn, and Jusakdi Japhanond, both regions are experiencing similar problems in community development. Mr. Boesch is this area’s community development specialist, and Yongyth and Jusakdi are two young Thai men who worked for their masters degrees in the same field. The students arrived in Farmington last Monday (May 15) to begin a three-month field study of community problems. They are being sponsored by the Agency For International Development and have been studying at the University of Missouri at Columbia since August 1971 for their degrees.

Speaking to his fellow Kiwanians at noon May 24 was William C. Martin, president of the local Production Credit Association and a past president of the Kiwanis Club of Farmington. The county seat PCA office serves nine counties. Credit is made available to area families in the way of loans when they seek financing. Martin succeeded Vernon Wright at PCA headquarters here about 20 years ago. Currently, some $10 million is loaned annually in counties under Martin’s supervision. “More money is being loaned yearly,” Martin said, “but to fewer farmers,” as farm population continues to decrease.

Construction is underway for a new vault for United Bank of Farmington, according to Bank President Vernon K. Giessing. The vault is an extension of the original vault, constructed in 1947. Some four and three-quarter miles of reinforced steel, weighing 27,000 pounds were laid in three curtains to provide the foundation for the floor, walls and ceiling of the vault. Concrete was then poured, sealing the 18-inch-thick walls. The new vault will measure 31 feet x 12 feet and will more than double the current vault and safe deposit facilities of the bank. The new vault is scheduled for completion in mid-July.

Sunday, May 28, 1972, the First Baptist Church of Doe Run celebrated its 84th Anniversary and dedicated the new furnishings. The Rev. Ernest Towler, Mineral Area Association Superintendent, brought the dedicatory message. Special music was rendered by the Ste. Genevieve Choir. The Rev. Chester Holley, a former Doe Run resident who is now an associate in the Department of Sunday School work, Missouri Baptist Convention headquartered in Jefferson City, assisted in the service. The Rev. Holley also brought the message for the morning worship service.

1962 – 60 years ago

With a United States Senator as principal speaker and several other dignitaries present, the new Farmington Lions Club get off to a flying start Saturday night. The charter was presented by Lions District Governor B.W. Robinson of Kennett following a dinner at Memorial Methodist Church. In attendance were 180 consisting of Lion members of Farmington and several other communities of the district, together with their womenfolk and other guests. Charles G. Hyler, charter night chairman, presided during the initial opening ceremonies prior to his introduction of the toastmaster, Dr. Harry Goddard, past international director.

Plans are being completed for the second Annual All-Western Farmington Horse Show to be held at the Wilson-Rozier Ball Park this Saturday evening, May 19th, at 6 p.m. This year’s show promises to surpass last year’s show, which was entered by more than 100 horses and riders from western Missouri and eastern Illinois. Two new classes, calf roping and registered quarter horse halter class, will be featured for the spectators’ enjoyment. Riders will be competing for $750.00 cash prizes, trophies and ribbons. Trophies are on display at Howard Tetley Jewelers.

Mayor Orville Woodard of Farmington reported to the Board of Aldermen last Monday evening that the large transformer purchased some months ago to supply additional electricity to Farmington will be shipped about May 29 and should arrive in Farmington about 10 days later. The new transformer is being shipped from a factory in Pennsylvania. The new transformer should be in Farmington and installed in plenty of time to meet the peak load during hot weather, when air conditions are most in use. Since the old transformer must be disconnected and the new transformer installed and connected, the transformers will be out of service for a short period.

The contract for the building of the education wing to the Presbyterian Church has been let to the Harry F. Jennings Construction Co. of Farmington, according to the pastor, Rev. Edwin Short. Tentative plans call for the removal, in the very near future, of the residence immediately south of the church and the building on that spot of a two-story structure to house classrooms for the lower grades, nurseries, pastor’s study and office space with a modern kitchen and dining room. The building to be razed was the former residence of the late E.J. McKinney Sr., purchased in 1951 as an investment by the church and used in recent years as an educational building accommodating about 50 children.

1952 – 70 years ago

The faculty, students, and friends of St. Joseph High School, Farmington, are very happy these days because of the receipt of a letter granting full accreditation to the school by the University of Missouri. Dr. Ernest H. Campbell of the University of Missouri made the inspection of the school’s facilities, program and teachers’ credits after application for accreditation had been made. The standards to be met for accreditation had been made. The standards to be met for accreditation with the University of Missouri are set by the university and are the same whether the school making the application be a public or private school.

Harry Thompson of Bonne Terre brought the members and guests of the Farmington Rotary Club up to date on lead mining in the Lead Belt from the time of Moses Austin of the early 1800s to the present time at the dinner meeting of the Rotary Club Tuesday night held at the Presbyterian Orphanage. The speaker was introduced by Warren Stover, president of the club, who was pinch-hitting for the program chairman, Newell Jones who is vacationing in Florida. The speaker told the club that lead mining was done on a small scale or pothole mining which is surface mining from the time of the first settlers in 1797 at Big River Mills until 1867.

Don Hunt, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Lee Hunt will leave for the Army June 11. He has completed his last year of school at the Flat River Junior College. He plans to enroll at the Missouri University when he returns from the Army. Don, according to us, is one of the best sports reporters in southeast Missouri. He has traveled as far as 200 miles to get a complete story for his famous sports page in The Farmington Press. He would often have a full-page of sports. He has often reported for the St. Francois County Journal and the Farmington Sun. One of his most popular columns was the “Player of the week.” He often would stay till two o’clock to get a story.

The Police Department of the City of Farmington is notifying all drivers of cars and trucks that the city speed limit of 20 miles per hour is to be absolutely enforced and all persons caught exceeding the speed limit will be arrested. Attention is also called to the traffic law pertaining to U-turns and double parking. Attention was recently called to the City Dog Ordinance. The people generally have been giving fine cooperation in this matter, however, there are still many stray dogs running at large which are to be impounded at once. Within the past weeks, one local child was bitten by one of these dogs.

The Revival Meeting began at the Libertyville Christian Church May 18 with the celebration of 130 years since the establishment of the church. Dr. Charlie Stewart, director of evangelism for Missouri Christian Churches, is the evangelist. He is well known in the community for in the past few years he led in revivals at the Farmington Christian Church, Bonne Terre Christian Church and the Flat River Christian Church and conducted a similar meeting at Libertyville in 1950.

1942 – 80 years ago

Oh, for the life of a congressman during these trying times. Up in Washington the members of Congress have voted themselves permission to receive X gasoline rationing cards which entitles them to all the gasoline they want. Private citizens in the east are being rationed on gasoline, and most of them will receive only three gallons per week. It was these same congressmen who voted themselves lifetime pensions. When the public indignation became too loud, they gave up the pension racket. But you must hand it to them. They’re still in there trying to get every possible advantage from their jobs.

George K. Williams, pioneer citizen of Farmington and St. Francois County, passed away at his home in Farmington about 11:30 Tuesday night after having suffered a heart attack earlier that evening. He was 77 years, 8 months and 10 days of age at the time of his passing. Mr. Williams’ death was a great shock to the entire community, particularly so as he had been in excellent health and had been downtown that afternoon. The deceased spent his entire life in this community and was long active in business affairs, mining interests and public life. He was born near Bonne Terre Sept. 9, 1864, the son of George M. and Permelia Thompson Williams. In young manhood he engaged in the mercantile business in Flat River, which was little more than a trading post at the time. In 1894, he was named the first postmaster at Flat River. In 1902, he moved to Farmington where he resided for the remainder of his life.

The Farmington Business and Professional Women’s Club held their Annual Banquet at the Masonic Temple on Monday evening, May 18th, with 28 members present. The tables were beautifully decorated with red and blue streamers on the white table linens; red, white and blue flowers in crystal bowls and red, white and blue candles in crystal candelabras. The place cards programs were also red, white and blue. The delicious dinner was served by the ladies of the Eastern Star Chapter. The newly elected president, Mrs. Bernice Coley, presided.

The City of Farmington is preparing for the oiling of unpaved streets, under the following conditions, the cost to the property owners, has been placed at 10 cents per running foot of street, or five cents per running foot on each side of the street with the city paying the balance. All costs must be paid in full; as soon as enough is raised for a tank of 800 gallons, same will be ordered and if it is impossible to get delivery, all money paid in will be refunded to the property owners. Any property owners wanting their street oiled, or more information, must report to one of the undersigned.

1932 – 90 years ago

A number of laboring men, both skilled and unskilled, have expressed a desire to make a donation of labor toward the erection of the Rice-Stix factory building here. The committee has worked out a pledge where a person desiring to make a donation of labor agrees to give to the committee half of the wages he receives, while employed on the building, each pay day until the amount of his pledge is paid. While the committee expects to request the contractor to give preference to local labor and especially to those who make a pledge, it cannot guarantee anyone employment on the building.

Something over $1,000 was taken from the Security Bank of Fredericktown at about 10:30 Wednesday morning by six armed bandits. Five of the bandits were captured by a posse of citizens one hour later when they were surrounded in a patch of woods between Fredericktown and Ironton. $196 of the loot was recovered from the captured robbers and the rest is believed to have been taken by the one bandit who made his escape. The bandits drove up to the bank in a Model A Ford sedan which was later found to have been stolen from Hunter McDuffee, of Desloge, the previous night. Three of the men entered the bank while one stood on the sidewalk and two stayed in the car. One of the men in the car was armed with a riot gun. Telephone operators saw the bandits entering the bank and immediately began spreading the alarm. Citizens of Fredericktown grabbed up guns and began firing from doorways and windows.

The efficiency of the St. Francois County peace officers was again clearly demonstrated during the first of this week when they succeeded in getting a signed confession from a prisoner of the Farmington jail, admitting the murder of a retired St. Louis merchant during an attempted holdup in St. Louis last August. During the first of April, Peter Fornof, of Gideon, Missouri, was held up, robbed and struck on the head while was walking along a dark street in Flat River. The officers had only a meager description of his assailants, but within a few days they arrested three men for the crime and placed them in the local jail. The men are Leslie Seel and Tom Hughes of St. Louis and Everette Branham of Flat River.

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