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From the Archives

1992 – 30 years ago

Attorney General Bill Webster, candidate for governor, bounded into Farmington yesterday to meet with local Republican candidates and cut the red ribbon for the county’s Republican headquarters at 24 Columbia Street. Before leaving for a tour of Iron Mountain Forge in the city’s industrial park, Webster declared Farmington “a city with a business climate that fosters growth. He assailed his Democratic opponent, Mel Carnahan, for saying Missouri is a state in decline.

Although it cost nearly $6,0000 to produce, the recent four-day run of South Pacific earned about $6,000 for the Long Memorial Hall Restoration Fund. The original restoration goal of $25,000 has been surpassed — the total now stands at $29,000. But a new final goal will be set. “This will not be a situation where our hands are going to be constantly out,” said Willa Dean Meyer, the restoration committee’s treasurer. “But the renovation estimate we used was made three years ago by a consulting firm that’s now out of business.”

Several employees at Southeast Missouri Mental Health Center in Farmington, held what was termed “an informational picket outside the facility’s entrance last Thursday. Led by Keith Chaney, business representative for American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, the union which represents the employees, the claim was made that SMMHC had violated a written agreement between the Department of Mental Health and the union.

Farmington is going to bat for the hurricane victims in Florida. The Maple Valley Merchants, in conjunction with the Farmington Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Farmington Organization, and Karsch Boulevard merchants, have joined together to collect cash donations on Sept. 18-19 for the victims of Hurricane Andrew. The organizations decided in a series of meetings and through contacting national emergency organizations that they should collect money to be distributed to a specific location organization in Florida.

Last June, Melinda O’Dell of Farmington had a long-distance phone bill of $413. The calls were made from Farmington to Farmington. In fact, the calling distance was ½ mile. In July, her phone bill was $292 for long-distance calls — again, within the city limits. She expects her August bill to be at least several hundred dollars. Since last February, O’Dell has paid MCI, a long-distance telephone service, $1,520. She wishes the calls were considered local. O’Dell lives right down the road from the Farmington Correctional Center, where her husband is an inmate. She cannot call him; he calls her — collect. And it’s long distance.

1982 – 40 years ago

The finance committee of the Farmington City Council met Tuesday night and adopted the proposed salary increases for city workers and “plugged” them into the new matrix pay system, which is designed to reward quality and quantity of service to the city. The new salary schedule, prepared by the city administrator with the advice of the council, has given city workers an average of a five percent wage.

“It’s fun with a capital F-U-N,” said Kitty Laut about gliding in the sky with a plane powered only by a go-kart engine and wings made of sail cloth. Laut recently became the Missouri State Women’s Ultralight Champion. Ultralights are aircraft which are powered by a 16-horsepower engine which propels it at average speeds of 25 miles per hour. The pilot sits in a swing suspended from a maze of aircraft aluminum pipes and guides the plane by shifting his weight from one side to the other.

Farmington High School seniors are conducting their annual magazine drive. Anyone wishing to renew their old subscription or purchase a new subscription should contact any high school senior or call the high school for information. The drive will be in progress from September 14th through the 20th.

“I want to assure people that you can buy a house today,” said Doug White, owner of Century 21 Real Estate in Farmington. “Things are not as bad as the news media makes them out to be he said. People can buy a house today despite the large down payments that are usually required because of ‘creative financing.” A person should not wait until the interest rates go down because when that happens, there is going to be a “flood” of people on the market and that is going to drive prices up.

1972 – 50 years ago

The Farmington Board of Education opened bids for construction of the new classroom addition and new physical education facilities at Senior High School Wednesday evening, September 6. Three general contractors and sixteen sub-contractors submitted bids on the project. The general construction contract was awarded to Brockmiller Construction Company of Farmington with a bid of $320,710. Other bids for the general contract were $344,808 by Kiefner Bros. of Perryville and $356,719 by Herzog Construction Company of Ste. Genevieve. 

Mr. and Mrs. Clifton Thomson completed the sale of Thomson Nursery, Inc., on Friday, September 1st, 1972. They sold the nursery stock and the nursery field on Hillsboro Road to West County Nursery, Inc., of St. Louis, Missouri. The buildings and grounds on Ste. Genevieve Avenue were purchased by Paul Lewis in April 1972. Mr. and Mrs. Thomson have operated Thomson Nursery for the past twenty years. They have enjoyed the satisfaction of having had a part in the planting of many different and unusual plants and trees in Farmington and nearby areas.

The fall schedule of meetings for the Farmington Chamber of Commerce got underway Monday noon at Holiday Inn Jr with President Bob Greif presiding. In emphasizing the recent growth of Farmington, he called attention to the increased construction of both residential and commercial property as well as an increase in population. The population increase can be substantiated by Mrs. Betty Merryman of Cordial Caravan, who calls on many new families moving into the area, Greif explained.

“October 10 is the deadline for registration to be allowed to vote in the general election on November7,” says Vollie Hulsey, St. Francois County Clerk. His office on the second floor of the county courthouse is open from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. until 12 noon on Saturday for your convenience. You must be registered to vote. Register now — do not lose your franchise.

The construction of Farmington’s $1,216,000 sewage treatment plant and connecting trunk sewer project was assured at Monday night’s meeting of the Board of Aldermen. The contract with Jackson Excavating Company was signed in the presence of company President Kenneth Sebaugh and his secretary-treasurer, Truman Farrow. City Attorney Gary Wagner was on hand to supervise the signing with Mayor Douglas K. Ross and the company representative.

1962 – 60 years ago

A call for more help from parents was issued this week by Mrs. Elliott Straughan on behalf of the Farmington Youth Center. Her statement read, “I wish a survey or poll could be taken to see if there are at least 104 couples out of Farmington’s 6000 plus population who think it worthwhile to give up one Saturday night per year to chaperone the Youth Center whether the crowd be large or small. Personally, I don’t consider it a waste of time to sit there from 7:30 to 11:00 p.m. for six or 12 children if they are really enjoying themselves. That’s just a dozen less on the streets to get into mischief.”

The Farmington Knights football team will open the season in a game with the Flat River Bears to be played tomorrow night at Farmington’s Wilson-Rozier Park football field. The Knights, who have been sharpening their spears and polishing their shields under the watchful eyes of Coaches Bud Mercier and Mark Hopkins, feel that victory in their first combat engagement of the school year is already within their grasp.

The 130th annual meeting of the Franklin Baptist Association is being held in the Farmington area today and tomorrow. The three sessions today are being held at the Chestnut Ridge Baptist Church on Highway 32, east of Farmington. Tomorrow’s two sessions will be held at the Fairview Baptist Church on Highway D, north of Farmington. Rev. J. Loren Jolly, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Farmington, is moderator of the meeting.

The Third Annual Farmington Bicycle Rodeo will be held on the parking lot of Heck’s IGA Foodliner in Farmington on Sunday, September 23. The rodeo will start at 2:00 P.M. The Bike Rodeo is sponsored by the Farmington Junior Chamber of Commerce, with the cooperation of the Farmington Police Department and officials of the Farmington schools.

The Board of Aldermen of the City of Farmington met in regular session at the Farmington City Hall on Monday evening, September 10, at which time the tax rate for the coming year was set. The tax rate as set by the council is $1.00 on the $100.00 valuation for real estate and personal property, the amount being divided as follows: Contingent Fund, 75 cents; Sinking Fund, 18 cents; Interest Fund, 5 cents; Library Fund, 2 cents.

1952 – 70 years ago

The Cherokee Trail Roadside Park on Highway 61-67, located eleven miles south of Farmington, which is now open to the public, will be formally dedicated on Sunday afternoon, October 5 at 2:00 o’clock, following a basket dinner scheduled for 12:30. The general public is invited.

The St. Francois County Fair is in full swing today, and Wilson-Rozier Park at Farmington, where the annual event is being held, is the scene of bustle and activity. Crowds from all parts of the county, as well as visitors from neighboring counties, throng the tents that house exhibits and concessions. Attractive entertainment features line the midway, and every possible convenience has been provided for the large crowds enjoying the horse and pony shows, the music of bands and the other entertainment provided every night of the fair.

Robert Lewis, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ben Lewis, has returned to Farmington from his position as managing editor of the Fort Scott, Kansas, Daily Tribune. He will enter the Western Auto Store here with his father. Mr. and Mrs. Lewis and their two children, Christina and Gregory, will reside at 123 North Jackson. He will take part in a two-week instructional program this month at Western Auto headquarters in St. Louis.

Preliminary enrollment figures indicate that Farmington’s public and parochial schools are all growing steadily, reflecting the gradual growth in population of the community. While official enrollment figures were not available this week, inquiry by The Press at the three schools revealed that the public, Catholic and Lutheran schools have more students enrolled this year than last year.

1942 – 80 years ago

Bernadine Herzog, 25, of Ste. Genevieve Route One, daughter of Mrs. Lena Herzog, committed suicide by strangulation Wednesday afternoon, one day after she had entered the Farmington State Hospital for treatment. Miss Herzog had been admitted to the Clinic Building on Tuesday of this week. Wednesday afternoon, she had been interviewed by Mrs. Jessie Skinner and Genevieve Aubuchon, the head nurse, and after the interview, she went into the dining hall. Fifteen minutes later, Mrs. Skinner entered the room and found that Miss Herzog had wrapped the cord of a Venetian blind around her throat, then lowered her body and had suffered death by strangulation.

The war will be brought home to the people of Farmington in a most realistic manner on next Wednesday night, September 16, when the first test blackout in this area will be held. At the time of our going to press, plans for the blackout were in more or less of a formative stage, although the main details had been worked out. The blackout will begin at approximately 9:15 and will be signaled by the local fire alarm, which will give a series of short blasts announcing the start of the blackout. 

The Methodist Ministers of the Farmington district held a meeting at the Murphy-Long Memorial Church on last Monday morning. Following the meeting, the ministers had a luncheon at the church, at which time Rev. A.C. Johnson, retiring minister of the Murphy-Long Church, presented most of his books of his library to the ministers of the Farmington district. Mrs. W.L. Scarborough presented the library of Rev. Scarborough, the late minister of the Taylor Avenue Methodist Church at Flat River, to the group at the same time.

The Trimfoot Company of Farmington was presented a Minute Man Flag in a ceremony in front of the company’s building Wednesday afternoon, designating their firm as one of the many throughout the country whose employees are spending at least ten percent of their wages on the purchase of War Bonds. The Flag was presented during a Victory Rally, participated in by the Farmington Drum and Bugle Corps and the State Guard Unit, as well as several speakers.

1932 – 90 years ago

Local merchants, in cooperation with the Ritz Theatre, have made possible amusement for everyone. A plan has been worked out between Geo. H. Karsch, local Manager of the Ritz Theatre and local progressive merchants for a definite period only where these patronizing our local merchants may attend a movie at the Ritz Theatre each week for only 10 cents. Mankind everywhere has required entertainment in all periods of history. During the War, governments provided regular systematic entertainment to sustain the morale of their troops. It is equally as important that the need for enjoyment and relaxation as only a movie provides is necessary to promote happiness.

The annual St. Francois County Educational Conference will be held this year on Thursday and Friday, September 22nd-23rd in the high school auditorium at Farmington. A program of unusual interest and merit has been prepared for this year’s meeting. Dr. Josh Lee of the University of Oklahoma, a speaker with a national reputation and recommended by such men as General John J. Pershing and Theo. Roosevelt, Jr., will deliver two addresses before general sessions and one before a departmental session.

The Farmington High School Foot Ball squad is speedly rounding into shape for a very strenuous schedule. About thirty boys are working out daily and anxiously awaiting the time when they can do their part in keeping up the football record of the school. Only seven letter men are available this year and two star players, Sloan and Lewis, are unavailable through ineligibility.

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