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Mike Watson: The Columbia Fair was Big Event 90 Years Ago

By coincidence, History Siamese twin cousins Jim and Mike Watson, reviewed the same issue of the Adair County News, Tuesday, August 7, 1928. Both historians touch on the big news of the week, Celebrities on their way to Creelsboro, The Columbia Fair, and Statistics on Salvation, Redemption, and Revivals. But their takes on the journal are amazingly fresh reads, regardless of which one reads first.
Click on headline for Mike Watson's essay.

By Mike Watson, Adair County Historian

Four big days of fun and frolic were approaching as the Adair County News went to press for 7 August 1928. The big Columbia Fair was slated for the following week, the 14th through the 17th.

Any fair was a time of reunion for those living near and far. A front page article boasted "fine races and lots of show rings which stock lovers will enjoy." The Alabama Show Company was to provide entertainments for old and young alike, day and night. A half page ad promised a "Big Carnival! and a Good Band!"

Three exception cows given away at the Fair
Three exception cows were to be on display at the Fair. These were to be given away by the Livestock Promotion Association on August 22nd. Tickets were being sold by various establishments around town.

Count Stults brought used cars from Louisville to the fair

And taking full advantage of the crowds, Count Stults, in business in Louisville, advertised that he would be at the fair with "splendid bargains in used cars--Fords and Chevrolets."

Fly-in at then 'Russell County International Airport'
Flying men were also on the front page, but not as fair attractions. There was to be a huge meeting on the 11th at Creelsboro concerning the Louisville to Chattanooga highway. Several delegates from Louisville were to fly in to Russell County by plane. Three planes were promised by Mr. Bowman of the Cardinal Flyers, Inc. A suitable landing field had been prepared just for this spectacular event.

There was a general call to "all car owners" to be of assistance in transporting Louisville guests to their destination, to and from Creelsboro. Owners were encouraged to contact Herbert Taylor, W.I. Fraser, S.T. Davis or Frank Merkley if willing and able to chauffeur the dignitaries.

VIP's were to see clean, trimmed roadsides
Further, an announcement was made requesting a general clean-up and weed-cutting before the many delegates and visitors coming from Frankfort, Louisville and elsewhere by car passed through Columbia and Adair County. Gov. Flem Sampson and the Honorable Ben Johnson, chairman of the Kentucky Highway Commission, would be among those coming through and "we should all take pride in doing our bit to make Columbia attractive."

Sergeant York invited to Creelsboro by Gov. Sampson
Another column informed that Gov. Sampson had invited War Hero Alvin York to join him at Creelsboro during the meeting. Sergeant York would certainly be as much an attraction at the meeting as any Governor. The new road would be named the York Trail in honor of his heroic actions on the Western Front in World War I.

Lightning & Garlin Pie Supper in the news
News closer to home included a report of lightening striking the chimney of Mrs. Josephine Rowe's home the previous Tuesday, but the house was not set afire. A pie supper was to be held at Garlin school on the 10th and everyone was invited to attend.

Elbert Nell and Otis Rose opened new grocery store

Elbert Nell and Otis Rose were on the verge of opening a new grocery store in town, located in a new brick building still under construction. The business faced on Burkesville Street, and they would also handle Columbia's express business.

Fried chicken was the loot of choice.
Who doesn't like good fried chicken? Evidently chicken was the loot of choice during the summer of '28. A man had been arrested in Adair County by Evan Akin on a charge of chicken stealing. The alert came from Mr. Dudgeon, agent at the Armour House in Campbellsville, upon receiving a crate of fowl. Suspicious, he questioned the man, who then fled. Revealed later, the fellow was resident of Marion County and the stolen chickens were later identified by an Adair County man; so three counties were represented in a chicken stealing scheme. The News reported there had been wide-spread chicken thefts in the three counties in the past week. Lock up your hens!

Montpelier community lost good citizen Mr. W.C. Leach

The Montpelier community lost a good citizen with the death of Mr. W.C. Leach. He was a patient at Elizabeth Hospital in Lebanon and had been operated on for "intestinal paralysis." Survivors included his wife and five sister; funeral at the Pleasant Hill Christian Church with interment in the cemetery there.

School Supt. Noah Loy authorized sale fo surplus Glens Fork School Building
Superintendent Noah Loy authorized the sale of the old school building at Glensfork, stating it would make a fine house, and the lot contained a good well. Bids were being taken. Bids were also being taken for delivery of six tons of good coal and a load of kindling to the Columbia post office, at the behest of Mike Winfrey, post master.

It was revival time all over the county
Revivals were being held all over the county, and Russell as well. All reported several conversions and church memberships were swelling. The Basil newsletter stated Elmer Loy would sing at Pleasant Ridge on the second Sunday in August.

The primary election, which had just passed, had gone off without difficulty, it seems, and the voting was light.

Dr. W.R. Murphy, optometrist, was practicing in Campbellsville, KY

Many may remember Dr. Murphy, whose office in Columbia for many years located at the corner of Campbellsville and Lindsey Wilson Streets. Doc served as Mayor of Columbia on at least one occasion.

Be sure to read: JIM - Goings on Around and Beyond the shire 90 years ago - EARLY AUG 1928

Mike Watson, Adair County Historian and co-impresario with Pamela Hoots, in this fall's major Kentucky Author/Book Fair, set for 10amCT-2pmCT, October 6, 2018 Saturday, Adair Regional Author & Book Fair, at the Church of the Nazarene's Wheet Fellowship Hall, 1200 Jamestown Street, Columbia, KY. Book lovers will want to Come to Columbia for this sale with statewide standing.

This story was posted on 2018-08-05 11:12:44
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