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One Hundred-FortyYears Ago
(From the Mount Ayr Record-News,Thursday, September 30, 1880.)
First Families of Ringgold County…Who They Were…Where They Lived and What They Did.
John Scott: an old settler and one of the rich men of the county was born in Morgan County, Illinois in 1833. He came west in 1855 to Decatur County, Iowa. He was not able to buy a team of his own and drove out from Mr. E. Ray. He was poor and a single man then, but he had come west with the determination to change both these conditions. For three years he worked out by the month at $12 per month and winters he worked at the same price chopping and mauling rails. He put in long days, too often working from daylight in the morning until 10 o’clock at night. When he came to Decatur he entered 120 acres of land, in 1855 he helped a runaway couple who were on their way to Missouri with oxen team driven at a trot to escape, by misdirecting the old bruiser of a father-in-law who was in hot pursuit on a horse, and would have ran them down before they reached the line otherwise. In spring of that year, Mr. Scott broke prairie for his employer and as there was no grain to be had, the oxen subsisted by grazing. He would plow a few hours and then unyoke them and allow them to fill up on the grass. At first he went twenty miles into Missouri to a mill known as Hammer’s Mill. This was quite a primitive affair rigged with wooden cogs and worked by oxen. He and a neighbor ground from daylight until dark one cold winter day on ten bushels of corn, and scarcely kept their extremities from freezing. During this winter, 1856-57, during a protracted storm of intense cold, such, Mr. Scott says, as no one feels in Iowa now, when it was thought safe to be out with a team, the breadstuffs failed in the neighborhood. The stock had been running low for some time, but people hoped that the cold would moderate in time for them to obtain a new supply before they were entirely out, but it didn’t; the cold seemed to increase instead of diminish and starvation appeared to be just before the whole settlement. A council was held at one of the houses. The men huddled around the fire with despair in their hearts, the thought of the hungry wife and little ones at home adding to the misery of the situation. But few plans were suggested-hungry men are not the richest resources. To stay home meant starvation, while to attempt the road meant certain death. The idea of giving up and trusting to fate was recommended by several; the discussion of this proposal didn’t warm up the assembly by any means, and the meeting was about to breakup when Mr. Scott, who was president, volunteered to take a team and brave the cold in search of provisions. An attempt was made to dissuade him from what seemed a useless and fool-hardy attempt, as it was thought no one could live in the cold; but he went, no one expecting to ever see him back. He obtained a few bushels of corn and had it ground at Frank’s Mill. He walked behind the oxen all the way and then found it difficult to keep warm. Once when returning, he became so tired of tramping through the frozen, creaking snow, that he concluded to ride a mile or so. He soon regretted it, felt that he was sorry that he had begun to ride at all, wished he had kept on walking, but while this was passing through his mind, he was becoming drowsier and sleepier and could not summon sufficient energy to dismount. At this point “ Mr. Scott says, “my life was saved by a saddle blanket: not by the use of one, which I greatly needed, but by the mere sight of it. It caught my eye nearly closed by the deadly stupor that was fast creeping over me, in the snow, not far from the sled, and I was certain that it was a man, frozen or freezing to death and the sight and the feeling excited by it, aroused me. I was excited, aroused, I felt new vigor in my limbs and warm blood in my veins. I alighted and although I could scarcely walk at all, so numb were my limbs. I made my way to the object which proved to be a saddle blanket dropped by someone, perhaps weeks before. I did not rescue a fellow being and I probably would not have been able to have done so had I had the opportunity, but the exercise saved my life. I was on my feet once more and knew too much to give away to weariness again. The blanket was just in the right place: five minutes more and it would have been too late, for I should have been asleep and sleep meant death.” During the “big sleet”, Mr. Scott walked to Decatur City, ten miles, to get the mail. He wore boots out on the trip, had them repaired then, but wore them through again on the return trip. Mr. Scott acted as Clerk at the first election held in Fayette Township, Decatur County. In 1862 he moved across the line into Ringgold County. A big snow covered the fence in December 1861, then hardened on the top and 14 of Mr. Scott’s cattle went off the farm one night over the fences. Six of them perished before he could find them. Mr. Scott is now a very rich farmer. Besides other property, he owns nearly 700 acres of valuable land in Ringgold and Decatur counties, the home farm one mile east of Kellerton, contains 400 acres. He completed in 1876, the largest and best finished farm house we have ever seen in the county. It is fitted with a large cellar, cistern, etc., and over 300 fruit trees are bearing on the farm. He rents out part of his land. Sells 100 hogs a year and some cattle. Has several miles of hedge; farms 160 acres himself. Nine acres of grove. He is a leading official member of the M.E. Church and is a Republican. .
(From the Mount Ayr Record-News,Thursday, November 8, 1945.)
Taxes will be higher next year on property located in Ringgold County. That statement will be substantiated the first of the year when the first half installment of the 1945 taxes are due in 1946, become due to collectible. Higher taxes may be attributed to higher levies for schools, roads, and municipalities. A comparison of the amounts per $1,000 taxable valuation in the towns for the years 1945 and 1946 is as follows: Ellston, from $55.39 to $57.35; Tingley, from $48.52 to $62.42: Beaconsfield, from $61.12 to $64.15: Shannon City, from $58.32 to $65.40: Clearfield, $75.02 to $69.75; Delphos, from $35.62 to $36.31; Benton, from $42.61 to $43.64; Maloy from $36.59 to $44.63 and Redding, from $46.33 to $48.30.
Marriages: At high noon, November 3, Miss Jean Wilson and Virgil Howie were united in marriage.
Births: November 1, a daughter, Sharon Sue, to Mr. and Mrs. Perry Kaster.
Fifty Years Ago
(From the Mount Ayr Record-News,Thursday, October 22, 1970.)
The MACHS Raider marching band will present a rare treat for home fans tomorrow night at half time of the Osceola-Mount Ayr football game. The Physical Education Department will join forces with the band to play a brief powder-puff football game.
Marriages: Saturday evening Barbara Carson became the bride of Robert Strange.
Births: October 17, a daughter, to Mr. and Mrs. Phil Foltz…October 17, a son, to Mr. and Mrs. Bill Sickels…October 20, a son, to Mr. and Mrs. Ed Hightshoe…October 18, a daughter, Amelia, to Mr. and Mrs. Monte Akers.
Obituaries in this edition were: Frank Faris Wilson, Thelma Olney Kite, Bessie Shields Kerr, Charles Everett Norris, Ernest Allen Kling, Cecil Carl Cornwall, and Ella Amanda Burnison Stuck.
Twenty Five Years Ago
(From the Mount Ayr Record-News,Thursday, October 19, 1995.)
Doubling WoodLink facilities would be aided by TIF financing approved by the Mount Ayr city council. Dick Elliott and Joe Murphy from the Ringgold County Development Corp. attended the city council meeting Monday night to discuss plans for expansion of WoodLink plant in Mount Ayr. The company, which makes birdfeeders and other lawn and garden products at its plants in Mount Ayr and Winterset, is seeking to add 30,000 square feet to it’s plant in Mount Ayr. The addition would make the plant here the largest of its buildings and would more than double the size of the original building. With the expansion the equivalent of ten new jobs are estimated for first year and twenty new jobs for the second year the new portion of the plant is in operation.
Tara Groves and Clint Dredge were crowned queen and king of the MACHS homecoming activities.
Births: October 9, a son, Ibrahim, to Mr. and Mrs. Khaled Abdalla.
Obituaries in this edition: Raymond Everett Walter, Elmer Scott, Virginia Florence Geneive Ahlastrand Stephenson, Vera Grace Fine Starmer, Goldie Muriel Gibson Kelley, and Marion Joseph Main.
Ten Years Ago
(From the Mount Ayr Record-News,Thursday, October 14, 2010.)
The 2011 United States Border Collie Handlers Association National Cattledog Finals will be held May 26-29 just outside of Redding, IA in Ringgold County. This will be the first year that this event will be held in Iowa. The national finals draws some of the best handler/dog teams from across United States and Canada. “This is the biggest thing to happen to Ringgold County in 20 years or more,” said Ron Abbott of Southern Iowa Tourism.
Births: October 5, a son, Klayton, to Jacque and Darren Verbick.
Obituaries in this edition were: Rosetta (Gigi) Mae Rush McGehee and Helen Martena Vanderpluym Mobley.