Column published September 21, 2012 in The Mexico Ledger

100 Years Ago
"The Mexico Ledger stands for all public enterprises that will help make Mexico a greater city and that includes a public library. Let's start work on the library building and then go after a hospital. That's the way to grow. ... Joseph A. Murphy, general manager of the St. Louis Fair, is negotiating with Ben. R. Middleton in reference to exhibiting Rex McDonald at the fair in St. Louis next week. Mr. Murphy was conductor of the St. Louis Fair in the nineties, when Rex McDonald defeated Lou Chief and knows the qualifications of this fine animal. ... Some people seem to take pride in their efforts to keep Mexico from having a public library even after the people have voted to maintain it, and in spite of the fact that the books and the site and money for the building are available. Is that the Mexico spirit? ... There are Mexico business men who want the newspapers to fight mail order houses and in spite of the fact that there are four printing offices in Mexico they have all of their job printing done not only out of town but out of the state. What's the use? ... The Ledger joins the people of Mexico generally in expressing regret that the disastrous fire which destroyed one of the barns belonging to the Lee Brothers also burned quite a number of their horses. Lee Brothers are among our most enterprising and progressive business men and do a large business dealing in horses and bringing thousands of dollars to Audrain County from the East every year. We are sorry the insurance was not larger, but glad the barn will be rebuilt at once. ... What has become of the plan for making denatured alcohol so cheap that it would supplant gasoline? ... The big state fair at Sedalia will open September 28 and will be attended by quite a number of Audrain County people. The State Fair this year promises to be better than ever. ... The fall opening of Phillips' Ladies Toggery on Monday was well attended. Music was furnished throughout the day. Those who visited the store expressed much delight over the beautiful gowns on display. ... The residence of Steve Reighley, on East Liberty, was slightly damaged by fire Monday morning. The blaze originated from a defective flue and damaged the roof slightly. Prompt arrival of the fire company perhaps prevented a more serious fire."
50 Years Ago
"This is the centennial year of the War Between the States and the connection of the local community with some of the colorful and historic events of that period still are apparent. Cole Edwards, one of Audrain County's well-known residents, was named for Coleman Younger, a friend of his Southern sympathizing maternal grandparents. Later Younger, after leaving the guerrilla forces of the South, became one of the famous James Gang of outlaws. In a recent interview Mr. Edwards gives some interesting comments on his contact with Younger after Younger and Frank James had been pardoned and came to Mexico with a wild west show. ... A Ralston Purina grain bin is taking shape at the north edge of Montgomery City, adjacent to the company's new warehouse where business operations will begin Oct. 15. Excavation has been done for the mill itself, which will open next spring and employ bout 50 people. First operations, next month, will begin with storage of Purina products in the warehouse for shipment by truck to retail dealers. ... Another sign of summer's end: the fire house doors are closed. ... Mrs. Frances Horton, owner of the Hat Shoppe, has announced that Miss Martha Ward, 610 N. Wade, won the mink hat given away at the Hat Shoppe's fall fur showing. ... Many are hoping to see the Jaycee Wives continue the book fair as an annual event after today's opening event at the courthouse. Several hundred volumes went on sale at varying prices, drawing a fairly constant stream of book buyers though the day. The book fair will continue tomorrow to 5 p.m. ... The Mexico Bulldogs, with all their hopes pinned on more heat in the line, visit Helias tonight for their annual battle. It's been many a moon since the Bulldogs were considered more than a sacrificial victim on the Helias alter, but tonight they'r eat least even-up choices. In talent, the Bulldogs probably have the edge. In spirit, Helias has the edge.Last week the Bulldogs played Marceline like they were entertaining at a wake and lost 12-6. Mexico will have two men definitely out of action tonight, with another very probably our and two more who have been handicapped by injury. Sure not to play are linemen Jim Neifert and Doug Clibourn, both starters and both suffering from probably mild concussions. Quarterback Steve Taylor, a bight spot in last week's otherwise drab situation, is a big question mark with a badly bruised hip."
25 Years Ago
'McDonald's is planning to provide 500 helium balloons for 'Old Newsboys' to give away on Oct. 3 to youngsters of people buying the special coupon-packed edition. The 90 volunteers are organizing to sett the special edition between 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. One Mexico merchant's coupons will be worth about $80. ... Nice crowd on hand at the VAS-sponsored circus. A very nice show. ... Former Mexicoan Bill Duncan was honored as the 'Man of the Year' recently by the Troy Chamber of Commerce. Bill is a retired FBI agent, now a vice president of People Bank and Trust Company in Troy and Hawk Point. ... Several Mexico merchants are buying multiple coupons in the 'Old Newsboys' coupon special. Some have already agreed to buy six or 12. ... We're still taking nominations for the oldest living Ledger carrier. So far the oldest we know about are 70 and 76. ... A south-side business landmark is scheduled to close this week after more than 20 years of operation. Cruzan's Liquor Store is scheduled to close Friday, business owner Duane Cruzan said today, and the remaining contents and store fixtures are to be sold at auction Saturday and Sunday. The business was started 24 years ago at 111 W. Promenade. It was moved to its current location at 1707 S. Clark in Oct. 1967. Mr. Cruzan said he plans to go into the auto sales business with his brother-in-law, Charles Greenburg, owner/operator of the Airport Sinclair & Auto Sales on Highway 54 East. ... Today was the first day of autumn. ... Cleaning the undergrowth from the land around the front of the Missouri Veterans' Home in Mexico sure has improved the looks of the area. ... New signs up identifying the industries in Mexico's industrial park sure look nice. ... Some good lines at last night's dinner honoring National Refractories. Master of Ceremonies Col. Charles R. Stribling III observed that he knew the evening must be of some import because John Dial showed up in dress slacks instead of his usual jeans. Meanwhile, at one table, a lady turned to Jerry Brown of Union Electric and said 'Let's see, are you water or light?' Others at the table quickly responded that Jerry was light and gas. ... Bumper crop of buckeyes this year around town."
10 Years Ago
'The pigeons turned out to be unavailable Friday to help celebrate Mexico High School's 2002 football debut at Hawthorne Heights. Maybe that was a sign the non-conference contest was going to be decided on the ground and not through the air. Sedalia Smith-Cotton rushed 65 times for 364 yards despite a damp field to spoil the Bulldogs' initial festivities 27-7, making the Tigers 3-0 so far and dropping the Mexico varsity record to 1-2. Mexico players were supposed to release pigeons as they were introduced, capping the presume festivities honoring local emergency personnel. The contest was the first of three consecutive home appearances by the Bulldogs, the next two returning them to NCMC action against first Helias and then Hannibal. ... Sarah Williams calls it an accident the name of her horse, soon to be traveling to Harrisburg, Penn., for the National Shire Show, is named Gulliver. 'Everyone knows the book 'Gulliver's Travels,' so that's what we're calling this trip,' said Williams. Gulliver, a one-year-old Shire, was recently awarded Grand Champion of the Missouri Sate Fair in the Clydesdale/Shire class. Gulliver was soon invited to attend the National Shire Show on Oct. 3 in Harrisburg. She is currently seeking help from the Mexico community to raise the $2,000 needed for the trip to Pennsylvania. 'We've had a lot of interest and support so far from several businesses and others, but we haven't reached our goal quite yet,' said Williams. She sees the trip not only as a way to show off Gulliver, but as an opportunity to create awareness and community support for her Storybook Farms. ... "As Cliff Lewton fills his 1995 Mustang with unleaded gas, he shakes his head. The Columbia resident is passing through Mexico and has less than a fourth of a full tank. 'I don't understand why gas is more expensive in Mexico,' he said. Lewton isn't the only one. Over the past couple weeks, The Ledger has received several letters to the editor and phone calls about what is perceived as a 'huge' gas price problem in Mexico by certain concerned citizens. Many residents say gas in Mexico costs four to 12 cents more per gallon than in nearby towns such as Kingdom City, Centralia, Hallsville and even Columbia. Some local merchants defended their gas prices, saying they have little influence in the prices. 'Those people in the Open Forums are misinformed. They don't know what they are talking about,' said Dave Murray, owner of Murray's on Business 54. Average gas prices as of Sept. 16: U.S. $1.40 per gallon, Missouri $1.28.6, Mexico 1.32.9, Columbia $1.28.9, Centralia $1.27.9, Kingdom City $1.28.9. Highest gas price in U.S. was $1.99 in Kailua Kona, Hawaii and lowest was $1.17 in Resaca, Ga."
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