Looking Back March 21
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One Hundred Years Ago
(From the Mount Ayr Record-News, Thursday, April 19, 1919.)
Letters From the Soldier Boys: From Marion Stephens; Toul, France, December 19, 1918.
To the Editor of the Record News; Dear Sir, enclosed you will find the official citation that was bestowed upon the officers and men of the old famous 42 division, known as the Rainbow Division,that was among the first of American troops to be sent to the battle fields of France. (The 42nd was created August 19, 1917 and was comprised of volunteers from National Guard Units from 26 States and the District of Columbia. The nickname “Rainbow Division” represented the diversity of men grouped into one division as reflected by Chief of Staff Major Douglass MacArthur that they “would stretch over the whole country like a rainbow.” MacArthur’s vision, evolving from a desperate need for more experienced officers to train the newly drafted army, created the 42nd. The 42nd was the first U.S. combat division sent to France. They fought at the second battle of the Marne, Luneville Sector, Ourcq River, Chateau-Thierry counter offensive, St. Mihiel, Verdum, Champagne Woever and Meuse-Argonne, suffering heavy losses of more than 12,000 casualties in 264 days of combat operations out of 457 days of service on the front lines.) I would like very much to have you publish these few words which mean so much to our boys from Iowa, whose fighting record can be surpassed by none. Every home represented in this division should be proud to keep these few words which will mean a great deal in the long days to come. Two hard battles have been fought since the presentation of this citation, in which the Rainbow Division took an active part. The first was the St. Miheil and Metz drive. There they captured prisoners by the thousands and took large quantities of ammunition, guns, and railway equipment. From this sector they went to the Verdum front, where the final and defensive battle was fought between old Fritz and the 42nd division boys. Through this great dense forest they struggled and fought their way through machine gun nests and fierce artillery fire until they had almost reached the frontier of Belgium. Then the enemy seeing that they could no longer standup against such fighters as the U.S.A. had sent to France, gave up. The signing of the armistice on the 11th day of November stopped the final battle of the 42nd division in Sedan. (The citation will be in next weeks edition.)
Births: Mr. and Mrs. James Carson are the parents of a baby boy…Mr. and Mrs. Warren Curyy are rejoicing over the arrival of a baby boy born March 23.
Obituaries in this edition were: John Alexander Underhill, Mary Elvina Jarred McAninch, William E. Armstrong, Lovina Goon Brubaker and George William Coverdell.
(From the Mount Ayr Record-News, Thursday, April 6, 1944.)
In tradition fashion, colored chicks will be distributed, Monday, April 10, by X.T. Prentis Hatchery to boys and girls under 12 years of age. Mr. Prentis said he would prefer to make it a pre-Easter event, as the custom has always been, but on account of the labor shortage he must postpone it to Monday when he will have to depend upon school children to make the distribution. Rural teachers have been requested to make distribution to the rural pupils in order to save gasoline and tires.
Ringgold County Farmers are on the assembly line producing vital military supplies and right now production of one of those supplies is threatened, Roy Lepley, chairman of county agricultural conservation committee, said today. In making a plea for more soybean production, Mr. Lepley said, “Our vegetable oil sources in the far east are still held by Japan. There is only one way to get that oil-produce it ourselves. One of the big sources we can depend on is soybeans.
Miss Barbara Sylvester was united in marriage to James Spencer, February 23…March 6, Pearl Stevenson and Carl Buys were united in marriage.
Births: March 29, a son, Eldon Dean, to Mr. and Mrs. Edgar Morris…April 2, a son, Arlo Ray, to Mr. and Mrs. Ivan Johnston…Mr. and Mrs. Albert Hall announce the arrival of a baby girl born on Sunday…Cpl. and Mrs. Richard Campbell report the arrival of a bay boy.
Obituaries in this edition were: John A. Irving, John Franklin Jones, William Sampson Cole, Jerry Lee Ruckman and Hugh H. Wilson.
Fifty Years Ago
(From the Mount Ayr Record-News, Thursday, Apil 3, 1969.)
Class for county’s educable to start…The Ringgold County Board of Education took steps to set up a class for mentally challenged children in the county for the 1969-70 school year. At a meeting with superintendents and one board member from each school district in the county and parents of educable children, it was decided to hold the class in a mobile classroom on the Mount Ayr school grounds. It will meet from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Parents of children enrolled in the class will be responsible for transporting the children to and from school, with transportation costs to be paid for by the county.
The salary base for teachers in the Mount Ayr Community school district will go from $5,800 to $6,100 according to Superintendent O.C. Walker, who announced the recent decision of the board of education.
Two county men inducted into Basketball Hall of Fame. O.C. “Pop” Varner who coached at Delphos, Diagonal and Mount Ayr and Dick Ives, Diagonal and University of Iowa star were named to the select group this year.
Births: March 27, a daughter to Mr. and Mrs. Vance Briner of Mount Ayr…March 30, a son to Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Smith of Lamoni.
Obituary in this edition was: Hattie Pearl Fertig Johnston.
Twenty Five Years Ago
(From the Mount Ayr Record-News, Thursday, April 7, 1994.)
Places expansion would mean change to business area north of the Mount Ayr square…the business district a block north of the Mount Ayr square may have a new look if a proposed project takes place. The Mount Ayr city council worked Monday night on business that could pave the way for a doubling of the size of the Place’s store here and the construction of an adjoining parking lot that would close traffic on Adams street north of the present store.
Spring sports at Mount Ayr high school will get under way with a flourish this week following the high school spring break. The track teams will see their first outdoor action and the golf squads will begin their campaigns in action when classes resume.
Births: March 26, a son, Nicholas Kevin, to Mr. and Mrs. Kevin Thomas.
Obituaries in this edition were: Orville Poore, Tanzy Florence Scott Thurman and Ora Paige Hagen.
Ten Years Ago
(From the Mount Ayr Record-News, Thursday, March 19, 2009.)
Film crew documents area meals on wheels effort…Ringgold County may have a glimpse of fame in a documentary being made about Rural Meals on Wheels program. A camera crew from Kansas City, MO. and Marley Rove from Alexanderia, VA., visited with Mount Ayr mealsite Wednesday, March 11, where they interviewed Steve Bolie, executive director of the Area Agency on Aging, Lillie Rippenger, nutrition director for the agency and Marvin Dillenburg a volunteer who helps deliver the meals.
Diagonal Maroon senior, Ryan England was selected to the class 1A third team by the Des Moines Register for the 2008-09 season. He is the son of Mitch and Melinda England.
A Mount Ayr landmark was removed over the weekend when the old Catholic church building east of the Mount Ayr Fire Department was torn down. The lot is being cleared so the Mount Ayr Fire Department building can be expanded to provide more room. A new Catholic church has been built to the north of the fire hall.
Births: Randi Elliott is a proud parent of a baby boy, Ethan James, born March 9.
Obituaries in this edition: Vera May Jimmerson Blades, Charolette Nell Gray Carter Clark, and Bonnie Mae Sartor Percifield