The December 5, 1919 edition of the Arkansas Democrat newspaper reprinted an article that had appeared in the Times-Echo about a McCall family reunion.
This clipping is from a 1967 copy of the Eureka Springs Times-Echo newspaper. Howard Weems would have been 18 years old when he wrecked his 1957 sedan. As horrific as this car accident appears, it did not kill him. He “escaped with serious head lacerations” the caption says. Howard died in 2011 in Eureka Springs, Arkansas at the age of 64.
I opened up the November 16, 1978 Eureka Springs Times-Echo and saw my wife looking back at me from page 3, though she was only 11 years old. She, along with classmates Clyde Osterhout, Jessica Lux and others, were winners in the school poster contest. Over on page 2 is a large photograph of Paul Anderson with art teacher Barbara Ackley. He won the grand prize in the contest and his artwork would soon grace the cover of the new Ozark Gardens menu.
The lead story of the week is about the ongoing plans to build a city parking lot on Water Street in the wooded valley between Douglas and Steele. City Administrator Karen Grulkey updated the city council about problems with the appraisal process when Mayor-elect Marcile Davis said she wasn’t in favor of the location. After input from City Attorney Ed Buice, alderman Bill Reasor introduced a motion to drop the Water Street project completely. The motion failed when only Truie Walsh and Bill Reasor voted for it. Al Westphal, Richard Kelley and Dave Drennon abstained. I believe Water Street is now a city park.
It was also reported that United States Senator Dale Bumpers would be the keynote speaker at the upcoming Chamber of Commerce banquet. An $8.50 ticket, purchased at the Chamber of Commerce office located in the Municipal Auditorium, bought a meal of cordon bleu.
Also on the front page is a photograph of Ruth Eicher, Jeanette Bullock and June Westphal being sworn in as members of the Historic District Commission. Previously, Charles Freeman and Clio Miller were sworn in by Mayor Charles Robertson. There is also a photograph of Eureka Springs native, Sheriff Jerry Colvin.
I perused the restaurant ads, wondering where people may have had plans to eat out for Thanksgiving the following week. Inn of the Ozarks and Eureka Inn had competing Thanksgiving buffets planned. The Hylander Steak House also had a special menu advertised. Miceli’s and the Spaghetti Mill have ads, though it wasn’t clear if they were open Thanksgiving Day. Tastee-Freez announced they’d be closed so they could stay home with the kids.
Time to dip into my boxes of old Eureka Springs Times-Echo newspapers and see what the past has to tell us. The news of September 25, 1969 was dominated by preparations for the upcoming Ozark Folk Festival. I’ve always heard that the scale of yesteryear’s Ozark Folk Festivals was much larger than that of those held currently, and the newspaper articles confirm this. For instance, the 140-member Razorback Marching Band was slated to lead the festival parade. Another example is that Louise Berry announced that TV Channel 27 out of Springfield, Missouri was going to broadcast a 30 minute program previewing the 1969 festival. Local Eureka Springs musicians and entertainers were to appear on the show.
This front page article caught my eye. The estate of the late Miss Beulah Edge, formerly of Eureka Springs, was left to the United Nations. The estate consisted of $125,000 in cash and 50 oil wells situated on 4,000 acres of land in Roberts County, Texas. The short item states that Miss Edge had a PhD and that her parents were natives of Eureka Springs.
The classifieds are always interesting in the snapshot of the past that they provide. In 1969, one could purchase Avon products from Judy McClelland or buy a 1954 Ford (with radio) for $250.
Prolific writer Virginia Tyler penned three separate columns for the Times-Echo back then. The first reported that 19 had attended the meeting of the Ukulele Club at the New Orleans Hotel. The second column told how seven car loads of folks hiked the old railway line for the meeting of the Alpine Hiking Club. She mentioned that “devil-may-care individuals such as Janie Reeder and Bob Kappen” had walked across the tall trestle. She was disappointed that the old train tunnel was blocked by fencing that they couldn’t scale. Virginia Tyler’s third column was the long running Around Town and it told about George and Ruth Pinkley’s business, the Wardrobe Cleaning Company. She reported that several Birchfields worked there and that “These Ozark hills are full of Birchfields – they are all related, and are the salt of the earth.”
According to the Eureka Springs Times-Echo, June of 1961 was a fairly quiet month in Eureka Springs. The only local topic with extensive coverage was the twelfth season of the Fine Arts Colony at Inspiration Point.
With Beaver Dam being built west of town, the inevitable demise of the Mundell community was apparent. The Mundell News column by Mrs. John Schnitzer recorded the preparations for the coming inundation of water. She mentioned that work began to remove the remains of ancestors buried in the Union Chapel Cemetery. She announced that Brother Herman Williams of Busch was going to preach at the Mundell church on the coming Sunday. She noted that it could be the last service held there. I can’t help but wonder what Brother Williams had to say.
In other news, future Eureka Springs Fire Chief Wayne Brashear won the essay contest sponsored by the “radio station at Rogers” on the subject, “Why I Should Learn to Drive Safely.” His prize was a week-long stay at the Lake Frances Boys Camp at Siloam Springs. Returning from a week at church camp near Paris, Arkansas were Julia Freeman, Clark Freeman and Butch Berry.
Walker’s Super Market advertised whole fryers for 25 cents per pound and bananas for 9 cents per pound. Remember ice milk? Half-gallon containers of Meadowgold Ice Milk were priced at 49 cents each. Walker’s advertised one free delivery of groceries daily. (I noticed that the competition, Clark’s Super Market, advertised free deliveries twice daily.)
During this time, the Basin Theater located at 95 Spring Street was showing movies seven nights per week. Some of the films advertised were The Naked Jungle with Charlton Heston and The Misfits with Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe.
My father used to recall from his younger days that Eurekans wanting a late night meal would drive to Seligman, Missouri to a cafe located there that was open 24 hours per day. That’s why I’m surprised to see an advertisement for McBride’s being “Eureka Springs First All Nite Restaurant.” Perhaps it had something to do with the building of the dam and the new families that moved to town.
The first step is to admit I have a problem: I think I’m living in the past. These old Eureka Springs Times-Echo newspapers keep calling to me and I can’t stop looking through their brittle yellow pages. Many of these newspapers date from before my birth and yet so many of the names are familiar; people I’ve heard about my whole life.
The bulk of my habit has been supplied by Kay Kelley. She and Richard had quite a collection of Eureka Springs memorabilia and I was lucky enough to get a couple of boxes of newspapers. Recently, Genevieve Bowman kindly passed along a bundle of old newspapers also. Others have slipped me individual clippings and odds and ends.
Sometimes I read the old newspapers so much that I find I don’t have time to keep up with current news. I may not know much of what is happening today, but I can tell you that LB Wilson scored 23 points in a winning effort for the Highlander boys against Reed Spring on November 17, 1967.
The main photograph on the front page of the November 23, 1967 Eureka Springs Times-Echo is that of the recently completed statue of the American Mastodon at Ola Farwell’s Dinosaur Park near Beaver Dam. I’m sorry that the park is now closed.
Norma Scates column, Busch News, recounts the killing of a tame deer called “John Deer” the second day of hunting season. His bloody collar was found down behind Huffman’s Rock Shop at Busch.
Today, with nearly a thousand killed annually in Carroll County, deer are taken for granted. They are thick everywhere it seems. But in 1967, as the resident deer population was still rebounding, the animal still held novelty value. The 109 hunters that killed deer in Carroll County during the first segment of the November, 1967 season are listed on the front page of the newspaper. Winifred Prior killed a 13 point buck.
Just as now, not everyone welcomed deer hunters on their property. Included in the “No Hunting” classified ads is this one: “Anyone trespassing on my property for any reason does so at his own risk. Mary Jane Fritsch.”