Column published June 7, 2013 in The Mexico Ledger

100 Years Ago
"Regardless of the good sale of seats for the Elks Minstrels, five hundred more tickets with a seat for each ticket are on sale. As the time draws near, the big show gets better and with each rehearsal one new touch is added to make it better. Every man in the chorus can sing and knows when to sing, which is a great asset in this show. Each artist – and artist is the right word – has his part down pat and such a thing as a fall-down will not be seen in this show. ... Pres. John W. Million of Hardin College and family have reached Colorado Springs and will remain there until the 12th when they will leave for Denver and will likely camp in the mountains several days before they return. They report a delightful outing. ... The coal office of Guthrie & Son, which is being moved just south of its present location will be built of concrete blocks and made into a handsome little business house. Mr. Guthrie, who is a progressive citizen, intends it to be one of the most modern of its kind."
50 Years Ago
"Assessed valuations in Audrain County climbed the usual half million dollars this year to a total of $40,273,300 according to tabulations made by County Clerk Glenn Barnes. That total is subject to some change by the board of equalization which is scheduled to meet July 8. The valuation is $535,635 higher than the $39,737,665 final total last year. Assessments have been completed by Assessor Holloway Neill. Real estate amounts to $33,695,530 an increase of $371,720; town lots amount to $16,472,670, an increase of $243,490; farm lands amount of $17,221,860, an increase of $128,130. Personal property is assessed at $6,932,420, an increase of $160,220. Town personal property is assessed at $3,153,110 and rural at $2,879,310. Railroad and utility real estate, exclusive of the state assessed property, amounted to $452,300, a drop of $1,680; personal property amounted to $94,050, an increase of $5,375."
25 Years Ago
"A welcome sight for area farmers would come in a shade of gray – as in gray rain clouds. However, the skies have remained sunny and blue for the past several days, resulting in excessively dry – and increasingly worse – farming conditions in the area. 'We just haven't had any rain,' said Dale Schnarre, farm management specialist and county program director for the University Extension Center in Audrain County. 'We're about 5 inches below normal, and there's a lot of concern for pastures and forage for the summer and winter.' According to Mr. Schnarre, hay yield in the area is about 25-50 percent of normal. Mr. Schnarre said he thinks wheat will probably be ready for harvesting in about 10 days. 'It's prematurely ripening due to the dry weather, and the grain size won't be as big as normal.' Gary Hoette, agronomy specialist and county program director for the University Extension Center in Montgomery County, said 'There's certainly more shriveled grains,' referring to the current condition of wheat. Among other crops, Mr. Schnarre said soybean stands are erratic. Mr. Hoette said corn planted during the last two weeks in April has been particularly poor 'because it has had no chance to develop any root system before drying off,' while soybeans planted after Mother's Day in May have suffered from lack of rain since that time."
10 Years Ago
"A name such as the Handi-Shop implies a business that is conveniently, located and easily used. A place where the workers are clever with their hands and skillful in a quick and easy way. All the implications are true. The Handi-Shop, Inc. personifies the very definition of handy. In fact, the organization has been a handy addition to Audrain County for 30 years. To celebrate the milestone the workshop is hosting an open house. The day's events include a program, in which several employees will be honored for their years of service. Employees of the Handi-Shop will also participate in job demonstrations. The festivities will be held at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, at the Handi-Shop. The Handi-Shop opened for business on June 4, 1973. Throughout the past 30 years, the shop has employed 250 individuals with disabilities. This number shows, how the organization has expanded over the years. When the shop opened it operated with only 25 employees. That number has increased now to 60 individuals with disabilities from Audrain County. The Handi-Shop also employs a support staff. The mission of the Handi-Shop remains to provide meaningful employment opportunities in a safe and productive environment for people with disabilities. According to Handi-Shop Manager Connie Hale, this organization offers a sense of dignity and belonging for their employees. The majority of the shop's employees do not have family or hobbies."
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