When the International Saddlebred Hall of Fame held its' Second Annual Induction Ceremony on June 3rd at Simmons' Stables in Mexico, local Jim Simmons and Dale and Glenda Pugh of New Bloomfield were recognized along with Don Harris of Simsponville, Ky.
There was also a Postumous Honoree to this grand institution that evening from right here in Mexico named Tom Bass.
Not to be overlooked because of the 130th anniversary of the Big Barn on the Boulevard, Bass was, according to the State Historical Society of Missouri, "A former slave who became a world-famous rider and trainer of fine show horses. Bass rode before presidents and royalty and represented Missouri at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. He invented the 'Bass bit', a horse bit that prevented the abuse of horses during training."
Having been born, Jan. 5, 1859 in Boone County, Bass spent most of his life in Mexico except for a small time period in the 1890's when he operated a stable in Kansas City. It was during that part of his life he invented his bit, and even though he never patented his invention, meaning he also never reaped the financial benefits of his own creation, the invention is still widely used today.
It was Nov. 20, 1934 when he suffered his fatal heart attack. While Bass was also inducted into the Missouri Hall of Fame in 1999 at the State Capitol in Jefferson City, he's now buried at Mexico's Elmwood Cemetery.
"He gained respect for his exceptional skills at a time when African Americans were discriminated against in most areas of life. He is remembered for making Mexico, Missouri, the 'Saddle Horse Capital of the World'."
Another individual who wasn't born in this area, but did spend many of his formative years on the local front, is Glenn Jacobs according to the city of Paris' Wikipedia page. While that name doesn't mean a whole lot to most, that's because he's been performing for World Wrestling Entertainment since the late 1990's under the name, "Kane".
Jacobs has actually lived a rather international existence that began with his birth in 1967 at a United States Air Force base in Torrejon de Ardoz, Spain. His roots to this area also goes so far back that when he earned his degree from Truman State University in English Literature, the school was still being called Northeast Missouri State University.
Just because his own Wikipedia page documents his early days as the Unabomb and then evil dentist Isaac Yankem DDS, that doesn't mean the now 50-year old star of the films See No Evil and See No Evil II only identifies himself as the character that turned him into a world-wide attraction.
Instead, Jacobs is currently running for mayor of Knox County, Tn., where he already owns and operates his own insurance agency and lives with his family while on hiatus from the company previously known as the WWF before losing a 2002 lawsuit with the World Wildlife Fund.
Another Paris product that went on to brighter days and better ways was Richard Parrish, who, according to the city's Wikipedia page, "spent 44 years in the newspaper industry including the position of sports editor of the former St. Louis Globe-Democrat".