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Late June - early July, 1936: Events around The Shire

As June segued into July 1936, the U.S. economy had recovered somewhat but unemployment remained high. A blistering heat wave held most of the nation in an unrelenting grip, and even hotter weather loomed on the (mercifully yet unseen) near event horizon. The Democratic party nominated Franklin Roosevelt & John Nance Garner to head the executive ticket in the general election, and Kentucky Governor A.B. Chandler raised the ire of the general populace by imposing a hefty luxury tax on soft drinks, sweets, chewing gum, and cosmetics.

But meanwhile, back in The Shire:


William Cheatham, then associated with Patteson & Stotts funeral home, had just received his embalmer's license, this coming six months after receiving his undertaker's license the previous December.

Columbia's homestanding American Legion baseball team roughed up Somerset pitcher C. Barlow for 18 hits and 18 runs. Ace Columbia twirler Stanley Rosenbaum allowed 13 hits but also struck out 13 batters, and solid defensive work by the Adair County nine held the Pulaskians to six trips across the plate.

Dr. N.A. Mercer, local Health Officer, issued a stern warning about the dangers of swimming and bathing in the local streams, noting the paucity of rainfall had brought the flow of water in Russell's Creek and the Green River to a virtual standstill. He pointed out the danger of typhoid and other diseases easily contracted through contact with stagnant water.

At Baldwin's Cash Market on the square in Columbia, 15 cents bought a pound of Pride of Adair brand coffee; 80 cents got a 24 pound bag of Elk brand flour; and 95 cents let shoppers take home five pounds of rolled oats, two cans of corn, three bars of O.K. brand laundry soap, and a gallon of pitted sour cherries.

Groceryman E. Campbell asked 20 cents for a pound of Bliss brand coffee, and 95 cents dropped in the register there put a can of pink salmon, two pounds of pinto beans, a four pound bucket of lard, and two cans of corn or tomatoes (mix or match) in one's grocery bag.

Columbia Gulf Service had Gillette tires and tubes for sale; Adair Service Station (V.R. Yarberry, Prop.) offered the Firestone Stewart-Warner six-tube car radio for $37.95; Ralph Bolin (Phone 97-B) solicited repair work for radios, any brand, and offered Delco radios and light plants for sale.

No fewer than ten newsletters -- including two from the Greater Joppa Metroplex -- filled the columns of The News eighty-five years ago. A majority of the letters commented about the heat and lack of rain.

Over at Gentry's Mill, near the Russell County line, R.E. Conover had lost a good cow and Mont Wilson had nearly lost a horse to choking; Mrs. Alice Conover's two prize turkey hens had produced some 170 eggs between them; and a homecoming at New Freedom Church attracted folks from Casey, Pulaski, and Russell counties as well as Adair to enjoy the program.

In the Cyclone community, the sick were on the mend; James Keltner and Nancye Keltner had returned home after a stay in Jackson, Mich., and Wadsworth, Ohio, respectively; and Lessie Keltner was the proud owner of a new radio. Otherwise, everyone who was anyone either had visited or had been visited by someone.

At Coburg, practically in Taylor County, the correspondent reported the wheat crop as extra good despite the dearth of rain and overabundance of heat. Sarah Jane Bridgewater, 84, "of color" had passed at her son's home near Campbellsville, with the funeral held at the "Kellyville Colored Schoolhouse and burial in the colored cemetery not far from her old home at Kellyville."

In the Sparksville country, the population had increased by two with the arrival of a daughter at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Baker and a son at the Grover Campbell residence. A revival, held by the Revs. Hodges and Nichols, was ongoing at Antioch, and Rev. Fred Harvey was conducting another "between this place and Chance."

The Ozark correspondent reported general good health, farmers cutting wheat, Mrs. Martha Bryant making slow recovery from a serious illness, and the recent death of Mr. F.P. Bryant.

Around Joppa, Mr. R.T. Bennett suffered from tuberculosis; Mrs. Verna Franklin had answered the final call; Charley Sanders and family of Colorado had paid visit to his mother, Mrs. Joan Sanders; and Joppans in general anxiously awaited completion of the road from Zion to Montpelier.

In the vicinity of Gradyville, Ralph Russell Walker's infected foot was getting better; work on Highway 80 hummed along; and "Mr. H.M. Keltner motored through [Gradyville] with a truck load of folks to Argo, Ill., last Friday. These folks are seeking employment."

Down at Melson Ridge, sorrow prevailed over the deaths of Mrs. Maud Hadley and 18-year-old Lena Margaret Jackman. Otherwise, as with Cyclone, a lot of visiting had occurred, including several former residents coming in to see the home folks.

And finally, the Picnic correspondent reported Pearl Coomer on the sick list, Maudie Williams on the mend, and Venus Williams as having lost a good milk cow.

This story was posted on 2021-06-27 10:02:52
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Black & White Store advertisement, ca 1936

2021-06-27 - Columbia, KY - Photo courtesy JIM.
This ad from the July 1, 1936 Adair County News is the only mention found of the Black & White Store in the extant editions of the paper.

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