Column published March 1, 2013 in The Mexico Ledger

100 Years Ago
"The benefit given by the Junior Mission Study Classes of the Baptist Church, Friday evening, was enjoyed by a large crowd and a good collection was taken. The purpose of the benefit was to raise money to support a native teacher in China. The program given was as follows: Cornet solo, Lady Fonville; recitation by little 4-year-old Virginia Ellen Wilkins; French harp duet, Theodore and Gibson Winans; Miss Mary Sears, of Hardin College sang two Chinese songs in native costume; Japanese drill and song in costume by 12 girls; violin solo by Edward Million; Chinese Boarding School, a short play by 6 girls; tableau, A World of Girls, with reading by Miss Annie Lewis; pianologue, The Gingham Dog and Calico Cat, Pauline Van Ness; tableau, Dixie, Miss Lelia Winans; tableau, Indian Basket Weaver, Emily Gibbs; drill, Out For A Walk, 6 little girls and boys. The program was ended by a tableau, Good, by little Virginia Ellen Wilkins. The three mission study classes, to which most of the children of the Baptist Church belong are led by Miss Annie Lewis and Mesdames T.H. Winans and W.G. Wilkins."
50 Years Ago
"Audrain County's farmers have a problem: They need rain, but if they got it now it wouldn't do them much good. The ground remains so frozen that any rainfall could not soak in; it would just run off. That would do some good filling streams and ponds that are disastrously low. But the basic, crying need is for replenishing of moisture in the subsoil, dried out by the drouth periods of last summer and fall. But with the end of February, another month of Mexico's second driest winter has ended with no relief. To most people the dryness is not particularly noticeable. All farmers are aware of it and concerned about it. But they are not worried – yet. They keep saying, 'Oh, we'll probably get a lot of rain in March.' And they are probably right. However, the last four months have produced only 2.77 inches of rain in Mexico. In only one other period, November and December, 1917, and January, February, 1918, has there been less winter rainfall, 2.35 inches. For seven months now Mexico has had only 9.63 inches of rain, each month's fall being under normal. The 1901-02 drouth period is the only one drier that the last seven months. January's bitter cold sent the frost line deeper into the ground than many farmers have ever seen it. And it hasn't been warm enough yet for the ground to thaw. Many farmers report water lines still frozen since January."
25 Years Ago
"Deputies in the office of the Audrain County Associate Circuit Court (Division II) say they have received numerous telephone calls regarding court cost refunds since a senator's comment last week. In a news story Feb. 28 regarding the Senate's vote to make the state's 3-year-old seat belt law a permanent one, state Sen. Edwin Dirck was quoted as saying 'people who disobey the seat belt law were not supposed to be charged court costs (in addition to a $10 fine) and judges who forced them to pay those costs had misread the law.' Deputies in the office of the court here say they have since been receiving calls from people wanting to know about the $29 court costs being refunded. The office provided a copy of the state statute which provides that no court costs are to be assessed against those violating the seat belt law if that charge is in connection with another violation. The statute reads: 'Each person who violates the provision (of the seat belt law) shall be guilty of an infraction for which a fine not to exceed $10 may be imposed if court costs have been assessed on any other charge arising out of the same occurrence.' For example, if a driver received a summons for speeding, and at the same time another for seat belt violation, when he appears in court and pleads guilty (or is found guilty) of the two charges, he cannot be assessed court costs for the seat belt conviction when he has paid a fine and court costs on the speeding charge."
10 Years Ago
"A free smoke detector received last month my have saved the lives of the residents of a home ravaged by fire last Sunday night. Last month, the residents of the Mexico home were given a smoke detector following a small kitchen fire on Feb. 2. At 11:37 p.m. Sunday, Public Safety Officers and volunteers responded again to a fire at 810 E. Promenade. When officers arrived they found fire and smoke pouring out of the structure. But there was no one in the house when officers arrived at the scene because the residents were alerted by the smoke detector. 'This was a case of a smoke detector really working here,' said Mexico Public Safety Maj. Mike Jerichow. 'They really are effective in saving lives or stopping small fires before they get too big.' Four of the five residents: Melissa Gipson, 22; Jelizabeth Overstreet, 6; and Damenyana Gipson-Palmer, 2; and Erica A. Helling, 17, were taken to the Audrain Medical Center for treatment for smoke inhalation. Helling was also treated for minor burns. Alissa Gipson-Palmer, 4, was taken to the University of Missouri Burn Unit for burns on her face and body. Officers were at the scene for six hours, but the fire was too widely spread to save the house. The roof of the one-story structure collapsed. The Missouri State Fire Marshal's Office was called to the scene to assist in determination of the cause of the fire."
The Yesterday In Mexico column is published daily in The Mexico Ledger.
An expanded column is published on Fridays.

Call the circulation department (573) 581-1111 for subscription information.