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From the Archives

1992 – 30 years ago

It was a packed house at the Plank Road Inn meeting room last week to hear reports concerning the preliminary figures from Country Days at the general membership meeting of the Farmington Chamber of Commerce last week. Chamber of Commerce President

Kevin Engler announced that “we (the Chamber) will be very financially solid next year. Referring to the 14th annual Country Days held June 5-7, the preliminary reports were overwhelmingly positive. Engler said indications are that “we will be able to write a check to the Presbyterian Home For Children for $40,000.” Engler warned that these are just the beginning figures, subject to change once all the expenditures and revenues are balanced. The estimated profits from the three-day Country Days weekend were in the area of $20-30,000, Engler said.

It’s time to wear some green, do a jog and enjoy the first of a series of summer concerts. The concert series, sponsored by the Farmington Chamber of Commerce and Medicate Pharmacy, presents The Irish Tradition, featuring Larry McNally. The band will perform at the 18th annual St. Joseph Parrish Picnic on Saturday, June 28 from 4-6 p.m. in Farmington. Special sponsor of this concert is Dr. John Fitz of Farmington.

Starting next Thursday, July 2, the Press Leader will increase the coverage area of the Thursday edition in the Farmington and Flat River area. This aggressive increase in coverage through sampling area homes is a direct reflection of what our readers seem to be asking for. We have gotten so many good comments and suggestions on the changes we have made in our paper, that this was just a natural step in our progression toward a daily newspaper. We have to give the readers what they want, and that’s what we’re going to do.

All systems are go for the Farmington Police Department to begin moving into their new million-dollar facility. Police Chief Bob Oder told the Chamber of Commerce on Thursday that the furniture would be moved in the next day, files would be transferred this week, and this Sunday, “we’ll be operating there.” An open house is set for Saturday, July 4. The complete switchover will be Sunday night about 10, said Oder. The 911 system will be down for less than a minute. A caller at that time would hear a busy signal. “If they hang up and call again, it should be on,” Oder said. There’ll be a period this week when the department will be operating out of both buildings.

1982 – 40 years ago

There will “probably” be some licensing action taken against the Little Town Tavern, according to Mike O’Brien, chairman of Farmington’s license and ordinance committee. The future of the local bar was one of the subjects of discussion at the regular meeting of the Farmington City Council on Monday evening. The committee was scheduled to meet last night and was asked by Councilman Jim Bullis to look into the avenue of declaring the establishment a “nuisance.”

A Southwestern Bell employee addressed the regular meeting of the Farmington City Council on Monday and asked for the council’s assistance in thwarting the proposed transfer of eight employees from the company’s Farmington office to its Rivermines office. Bob Vogelsang told the council that seven installers and one supervisor would soon be reporting to the Rivermines Bell office and then have to travel back to Farmington to do the majority of their work. Several council members expressed their alarm at the fact that many businesses have been moving out of Farmington recently.

The city of Farmington and Farmington Cablevision go to court next month in an attempt to settle a dispute against Mineral Area Cablevision who they allege violated a Farmington city ordinance regulating the granting and operation of cable franchises within the city limits. The ordinance in question was adopted by the city of Farmington in 1978 to regulate cable television operation.

Quietly nestled off of the west side of Middle Street, between Patterson Street and Karsch Boulevard, sits three acres of serenity. Harlan Park. “This is probably the most unknown park in the system,” said Parks Director Dave Koch. “But it’s one of my favorites.” The park has the standard items — swing sets, slides, picnic tables and grills — but it also has a quiet pride. Pride that it sits so close to downtown but is still reserved from the noise and people.

1972 – 50 years ago

“Our Municipal Pool operations have been closed until further notice,” said Mayor Douglas K. Ross. He continued, “approximately 150 children have suffered cuts from broken glass in the pool. The pool is now closed until this offending glass can be removed.” Monday night the entire pool was drained of its 210,000 gallons of water with the assistance of the pumper from the Fire Department. This was done after an on-the-spot investigation by the Mayor, Parks and Recreation Director Freeman, Pool Manager Abbott, Parks and Recreation Chairman – Alderman Cavanaugh, and Committee members – Aldermen Hughes and Cook. The decision was made to drain the pool immediately and thoroughly remove all the particles of glass before refilling the pool.

June 15 was a very special day for the employees of the Mineral Area Osteopathic Hospital in Farmington. On that day, members of the hospital staff quietly celebrated 20 years of accomplishment. The doors to the Osteopathic Hospital opened on June 15, 1952, with a dedication and open house celebration. It was the 52nd hospital in Missouri under osteopathic management.

Harold D. (Wheels) Kuehle of Cape Girardeau will bring his 1972 campaign for the office of Secretary of State to St. Francois County next Monday night, June 26, as he appears as the guest speaker for the monthly meeting of the County Republican Club. Kuehle is now the collector of revenue for Cape Girardeau County, an office he has held for two terms. His announcement earlier this year made him the only avowed candidate to oppose current Secretary of State James Kirkpatrick, a Democrat.

The monthly Democratic meeting was held Thursday, June 15 at 7:30 p.m., in the County Courtroom at the courthouse in Farmington. A large number were in attendance. Faye Romburg announced that the response to the membership drive has been excellent. The meeting was honored by the presence of a number of candidates. Local candidates present were Don Sanders and Boss Lalumondier, both running for Assessor; Jeff Matkin for Associate Judge of the 1st District; Ralph Bess for Sheriff, and Hugh Roberts for Prosecuting Attorney.

1962 – 60 years ago

Ralph W, Pingel, formerly of Perryville, has been named manager of the new Farmington Municipal Airport and is entering upon his duties here this week, Mr. Pingel was a pilot in the United States Air Force during World War II and during the Korean war, He has held an instructor’s rating since 1946. He operated the Perryville airport for two years, and for eight years operated an aerial dusting and spraying business, His most recent work has been as instructor in the Student Program of the Cape Central Airlines, Cape Girardeau. Mr. Pingel is enthusiastic about the possibilities of the Farmington Airport and says that he sees no reason why the fleld should not become a center for air traffic in this area.

“Join the Circle of Safety-Check Your Car-Check Your Driving-Check Accidents,’ Mayor Orville Woodard urged all area motorists today. The Farmington Lions Club’s voluntary Safety-Check is scheduled for Saturday, June 30 and Saturday, July 7. “This voluntary Vehicle Safety-Check gives every motorist a chance to do his part in making our community a safer place to live,” he said. “Even our best drivers are poor risks If they are driving cars with bad brakes, worn tires, or other neglected items.”

A feature story, profusely illustrated with pictures, telling of the work of J.L. Seal Jr., State Farm Insurance agent at Farmington, was published in the June 1962, issue of the Reflector, a monthly magazine published by the State Farm Insurance Company. The feature article tells how Mr. Seal puts time to work for him by planning his day’s selling activities to achieve the greatest efficiency. “Operating in a town of 6,000 people, “the article says, “J.L. Seal Jr. is doing an outstanding job of writing multiple lines.”

A new transformer of 5,000 KVA capacity is being installed at the Farmington city substation on East Liberty Street this week. The piece of equipment, purchased from the Westinghouse Corporation of St. Louis for $28,500.00, was delivered to the plant site early yesterday morning. It is estimated that the new transformer will take care of the city’s growing needs for electric power for about 10 years, before additional equipment is needed, at the present rate of population growth.

1952 – 70 years ago

Despite the extremely hot weather, a large and appreciative crowd attended the formal opening ceremonies and open house at the new Mineral Area Osteopathic Hospital last Sunday afternoon. Although no accurate count could be made, it was estimated that about 3,000 people visited the hospital during the afternoon between the hours of 2:00 to 5:00. Prior to the opening of the doors for public inspection, a brief dedication ceremony was held on the lawn.

LePere-McCalister Post 416, American Legion, of Farmington will hold their sixth annual Old Time Fourth of July Picnic this year at Clardy’s Grove on Highway W just past the hospital grounds. As in the past, it will be an all-day affair. The main attraction of this year’s picnic will be an amateur contest with cash prizes and the regular features of the past picnics, the old fiddlers’ contest and square dance contest will also be held. The St. Francois County Band will play during the afternoon and there will be continuous entertainment all through the day.

It has been erroneously reported that Sylvia Jean Thurman, age 11 years, and her brother, David, 9 years old, who have been ill at home for the past three weeks and who are now in St. Mary’s Hospital in St. Louis, had polio, but their father, Mr. S.L. Thurman has asked that it be announced that they do not have polio after all the tests have been made. The specialists are of the opinion it might be rabbit fever but have not given a full diagnosis as yet.

Temperatures which soared into the 90s or above for seven consecutive days the past week and a complete absence of rainfall in the community since May 27 have contributed to a drouth which, if not broken soon, will become a very serious matter. Crops and pastures in this area are already suffering and serious damage threatens. Fourteen out of the first 15 days of the month of June have recorded temperatures of 90 or above according to Fred M. Karsch, local weather observer, the last 13 days having kept a consecutive reading of 90 or better.

1942 – 80 years ago

Yoeman Harold Alexander, of the U.S. Navy, son of Mr. and Mrs. J.C. Alexander, of Farmington, was a special guest of the Chamber of Commerce last Thursday night and gave those present a vivid first-hand picture of what happened at Pearl Harbor on the morning of December 7th. Yoeman Alexander has been in the Navy for nearly three years and has been stationed during the greater part of that time at Pearl Harbor. His duties are of an observation nature and he is known as a “spotter.” He was not on active duty at the time of the attack but stated that within a few minutes every man on the ship was at his post and in action. He stated that there were many things he could not tell, such as the name of the ship he was on, etc. He did state that his ship was within a very short distance of the U.S.S. Arizona that was lost in the attack and that this incident alone was enough to cause every American sailor to want to avenge the loss of life and property caused by the sinking of this vessel.

The St. Francois County Horsemen’s Association will stage their annual Horse Show at the Wilson-Rozier Park in Farmington next Tuesday night June 23rd. All net proceeds from the event will be turned over to the U.S.O. as part of St. Francois County’s quota of $5,500. The vent is expected to raise considerable money for the U.S.O. as expenses are being held to a bare minimum. Various civic organizations have underwritten the prize money in each of the 11 classes, and other revenue is expected to offset the incidental expenses, leaving the total gate receipts as clear profit.

St. Francois County War Price and Rationing Board No. 94 is making an appeal to all residents of the county to assist in the war effort by salvaging scrap rubber during the two weeks extensive drive launched by the General Salvage Section of War Production Board. The drive started at midnight June 14 and ends at midnight June 30. The County Board, to which is delegated the task of tire and other rationing, is finding it more difficult each month to make an equitable distribution of tires, tubes, and retreads to those whose services are essential to the war effort and health and welfare.

The Missouri Natural Gas Company will sponsor a free demonstration of home canning methods at Farmington High School next Tuesday afternoon, starting at two o’clock, under the supervision of Mrs. Mary L. Thomson. The public is cordially invited to attend the demonstration in the home economics room. With so many Victory Gardens this year, and the need for canned vegetables so great, there should be considerable interest in the correct canning methods, and Mrs. Thomson, who is the local home economics teacher, is well qualified to demonstrate the correct procedure.

1932 – 90 years ago

A recent report from the County Superintendents’ office indicates that all of the high school districts in St. Francois County have had a reduction in their valuation, ranging from a 6 percent reduction to a 21.5 percent reduction. The taxes next year will be paid upon the reduced valuation. The income for the school year 1931-32 was approximately 10 percent less than for the previous year which will mean that the revenue for next year will be approximately 30 percent less than it was two years ago. This is especially true in the Lead Belt districts.

At a meeting last Tuesday afternoon between the factory committee, and Mr. Julius Boehmer, architect and engineer for the Rice-Stix Company, a contract for the erection of the shirt factory building was awarded to G.C. McDaniel, local contractor, on a bid of $36,376. New bids had been previously asked for as the engineer had added about $1000 worth of extras to the previous specifications. Four bids were offered. The lowest was Gerhardt Construction Co. of Cape Girardeau with a bid of $35,950. Mr. Boehmer asked the committee to consider only the two lowest bids and despite the fact that Mr. McDaniel’s bid was $426 higher than Gerhardt’s, the contract was awarded to him.

A feature on the recreation program for adults at the annual Farm Bureau Picnic, on July 28, will be a baseball game between married and single men, according to the entertainment committee of which Fred Kollmeyer is chairman. George Detring has been selected to head the married men’s team. The leader for the single men has not yet been named though several active prospects are being considered. In view of the probable lack of practice, soft indoor baseballs will be used. In every other respect, the game will be conducted along regulation lines.

On last Saturday, Sheriff Presnell received a tip as to the identity of three men who are alleged to have stolen four hives of bees last November from the farm of Zeno Kerlagon of near Marvin Chapel. Jess Marler, Harvey Williams and Fred Circlum, all of the Lead Belt, were arrested and charged with theft. The hives were stolen and taken to a nearby river where the bees were drowned and the honey taken out of them. Williams and Circlum were released on bond and Marler is still in jail awaiting his preliminary hearing.

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