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One Hundred Years Ago
(From the Mount Ayr Record News, Thursday, November 23, 1921.)
Clarinda lawyer tells somewhat fanciful story regarding visit of president.
Here is the story: Some years ago Mr. and Mrs. Warren G. Harding of Marion, Ohio arrived in Mount Ayr, IA, where Mr. Harding was to deliver a chautauqua lecture.
This caused himself and Mrs. Harding to get into the county seat of Ringgold County a day earlier than the time scheduled for Mr. Hardings lecture.
Mr. Harding at the time was a United States senator for Ohio. He also owned a daily newspaper- The Marion Star.
About this particular visit of Mr. and Mrs. Harding, William F. Stipe of Clarinda, who was in Mount Ayr last week employed as a lawyer in the trying of a case, learned something of unusual interest as to the character of the man who now is president of the United States and whose wife is the first lady of the land.
While in Mount Ayr the senator was there a stranger. He and Mrs. Harding stayed at a boarding house. They had a lot of spare time. Three or four or more people told Mr. Stipe last week how the distinguished Hardings disposed of their surplus hours.
Mrs. Harding darned her own hoisery and that of her husband. She borrowed a smoothing iron of the land lady. This iron she used on the wearing apparel of the Hardings.
She worked all day the story goes. What she did probably was like she would have done had she been in their home in Marion or the Hardings senatorial quarters in Washington.
Anyway she left a record for industry which the Mount Ayr lady refers to now with much pride. But what did Mr. Harding do with his spare time?
It is related that he walked over the town and on all the country roads in the vicinity. About 2 o’clock in the afternoon he reached the office of the Mount Ayr Record-News. That is the newspaper which was so ably edited for many years by Rev. J.H. Tedford-whose name still carried at the head of the editorial column of the paper, although Mr. Tedford is an invalid in the Kennelworth hospital in Clarinda, and unable to pay much attention to editorial writing.
It also is the newspaper of which Howard Tedford, former state binder in Iowa, formerly was one of the owners. It now is the property of Sam Spurrier.
Mr. Spurrier probably was in the Record-News office when the Ohio senator walked in. Mr. Stipe did not learn who received Mr. Harding. It undoubtedly was either Mr. Spurrier or the senior or the junior Mr. Tedford.
Whoever it was Mr. Harding, without making his identity known, told the Record News man that he was a printer, that he had thirty years experience as one, and that it had been said could set type pretty well. He inquired about the chance to set some type in the Record-News office.
“It is a long time since any other tramp printer has called here,” The Record News man encouraged Mr. Harding by offering to see if he could find some work for him. Taking Mr. Harding into the back room of the plant, a place was found where he could go to work as a tramp printer (the tramp printer, also known as the tourist printer or hobo antimony jerker ) to be helped out in his misfortune.
Copy was given to the supposed tramp. Mr. Harding took off his hat, coat, and vest and hung them up and started to set type. This work he kept up until 6 o’clock in the evening-quitting time for the day.
The Record-News man inspected the work done by Mr. Harding and complimented it. Mr. Harding was asked about his future movements and replied that he would be in Mount Ayr the next day.
“We might give you some work then,” kindly volunteered the sympathetic Record-News man. “No, I will be busy tomorrow and couldn’t help you,” replied Mr. Harding. “What are you going to do?” the Record-News man wanted to know. “I am Senator Harding, said the printer, “and am going to deliver a lecture at the chautauqua tomorrow.”
Very likely the Record-News man felt just as anyone else would who might have such a joked played on him as the now president of the United States perpetrated in Mount Ayr. The next day in his Mount Ayr chautauqua address, Senator Harding told why he had set type as he did in the Record-News.
He said it was for the same reason that grandmothers did knitting and mothers tatting. Setting type enabled him to collect his thoughts, to think methodically, and to help him prepare his lecture. Over at Mount Ayr they like to talk about how Warren G. Harding, now President of the United States, once set type in their town, mistaken for a tramp printer, and how Mrs. Harding darned his socks in a Mount Ayr boarding house.
Births: Born Monday, a son, George Nelson, to Mr. and Mrs. Paul Finley…A daughter, Maxine Louise, to Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Travis…Born Tuesday, a daughter Virginia Ann, to Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Swain.
Obituaries in this edition were: Mrs. D. Thurman (Mrs. George Roby) and Rev. W.J. Calfee.
(From the Mount Ayr Record-News,Thursday, November 21, 1946.)
Neighbors and friends gathered at the home of Mrs. Ted Ricker, four miles west of Mount Ayr, early last Wednesday morning ready to give their service in harvesting a field of corn.
One hundred-seven men were on hand with nine corn pickers, 25 tractors and wagons and ten teams. Twenty-two women prepared quantities of delicious food.
Marriages: October 29, Phyllis Smith and Bertrand Robinson…November 15, Janice Motsinger and Robert Overholser.
Births: November 14, a son, to Mr. and Mrs. Erwood Huffman…November 13, a son, Charles, to Mr. and Mrs. Iva Sissel…November 18, a daughter, Mary, to Mr. and Mrs. Earl Harlan…November 19, a daughter, Beverly, to Mr. and Mrs. Hale Miller.
Obituaries in this edition were: Mary Ethel Knox Harvey, Lora Christina Reed Bryant, Laura Jane Hale Burham, and infant Sharon Kay King.
Fifty Years Ago
(From the Mount Ayr Record News, Thursday, November 25, 1971.)
The first advance on the $494,642 contract between the Town of Mount Ayr and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) was received here Monday.
A check in the amount of $53,073 was received at the Security State Bank of Mount Ayr for deposit to the account of the Low Rent Housing Agency of Mount Ayr. The funds are to be used for preliminary surveys, architectural fees and acquisition of land for the project.
A Mount Ayr athlete has been awarded a varsity football letter at Simpson College at Indianola. He is Tim Irving, son of Mr. and Mrs. David Irving. Irving a junior half-back was one of 36 players to earn varsity letters for the 1971 season.
Marriage: October 21, Robert Giles and Siriwan Yinerum.
Births: November 20, a son, to Mr. and Mrs. Bob Smith.
Obituaries in this editioin were: Ben H. Barnes and Donald D. Haviland.
( 25 Years Ago & 10 Years Ago will be back in next week.)