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Snapshot of History by Mike Avitt

This week’s picture comes from an early 1950s postcard. The August 10, 1950 Record-News tells us about the beginning of the Clinton Motel. The motel was owned and built by the McCullough Motor Company which was owned by Clinton “Whitey” Rice and his wife Mabel McCullough Rice. Materials for the 244’ x 25’ motel came…

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Snapshot of History

BY MIKE AVITT The Conoco station was closed on August 11, 1998 when this photo was taken. The event was a fund-raising car wash to pay for a trip to the Fiesta Bowl. Korbie Rinehart, Shannon Norris, Josh Rusk, Rachel Derscheid, Megan Petersohn, and Josh Smith performed in the Fiesta Bowl football game in 1999…

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BY MIKE AVITT Mount Ayr High School’s first football field was located in Sheldon Heights. I have read that the football team also played at Saville’s (baseball) field but I don’t know where that was located. Chautauqua was held at Sheldon Heights prior to houses being built there beginning in 1913. In 1923, the Mount…

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Snapshot of History

BY MIKE AVITT The Diagonal newspaper plant burned in December 1917 taking the past newspapers with it. We still know a great deal of Diagonal’s early history because of the coverage in newspapers from Mount Ayr, Clearfield, Shannon City, et al. Most of the information I will share this week comes from the November 17,…

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Snapshot of History

BY MIKE AVITT Household appliances existed long before electricity came along. Sewing machines were a common household appliance 140 years ago and were powered by a treadle. The person operating the sewing machine pumped the treadle, providing power to the machine. Then came electricity. Mount Ayr received electrical power in 1909, although it would be…

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Snapshot of History

BY MIKE AVITT I’m fascinated by early high school sports because of how disorganized it was. There was no schedule nor conference. Equipment, if it existed at all, was inadequate. Coaches were novices and playing fields were muddy pastures. Basketball was played in barns and opera houses before gymnasiums were built. Let’s look at early…

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Snapshot of History

BY MIKE AVITT The Q Club was at 122 S. Taylor Street in Mt. Ayr, and closed in 1975. I saw my first video game here in 1974; it was called “Pong”. This game was followed by “Breakout” and “Centipede.” Let’s talk about Fun Town. Arv and Shirley Woollums opened Fun Town about March 1,…

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Snapshot of History

BY MIKE AVITT In 2006, NAPA (National Automotive Parts Association) Auto Parts was located at 204 W. Madison in Mount Ayr but that would soon change. Let’s look at some auto parts store history. Ringgold County first saw automobiles around 1905 and by 1910 there were many of them. Parts and repairs could be obtained…

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Snapshot of History

BY MIKE AVITT The two-story brick building on the south side of the alley was torn down about 1976. It sat at 112 S. Taylor Street on the east side of the Mt. Ayr square. The building was built for William A. Simpson in 1898. Simpson, the father of Marie Simpson, had moved his general…

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Snapshot of History

BY MIKE AVITT In October 1882, The Ringgold County Board of Supervisors purchased land in sections 17 and 20 of Liberty Township for the purpose of constructing and operating a county Poor Farm. Ringgold County’s population was increasing rapidly at this time and that meant the population of poor, feeble-minded, widowed, and orphaned was increasing,…

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