Washington County Tidbits 1950-59

Tidbits are newspaper articles, etc. which mention names, places, and other information useful to the researcher.
They will be posted as received, with the newest listed first.


E-mail your Washington County, MO Tidbit to Larry Flesher,


Joplin Globe, Joplin, Missouri, September 30, 1950

Potosi, MO September 29
A beaver and a truck driven by Jim Moore of Richwoods happened to get in each other's way recently and the beaver got the worst end of the deal. In fact, he was killed.

It happened this way, according to Conservation Agent William J. Fowler. Moore was called from his home at 1 a.m. to help a neighbor whose car was stuck in the mud. To reach the neighbor Moore had to cross Little Indian Creek. The creek was swollen so Moore shifted into low gear and hit it hard in order to get across. The truck struck some obstruction in the middle of the ford and there was much splashing and flopping. The object turned out to be a 32 pound beaver.

Submitted by Christine Lembeck

Edwardsville Intelligencer, Edwardsville, Illinois, June 2, 1951

Miss Onida Ann Boyer, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Wallace Boyer of Blackwell, Missouri, became the bride Wednesday of Frank Joseph Boyer, son of Mr. and Mrs. Willis Boyer, formerly of Edwardsville, who now reside in Tiff, Missouri. The Rev. Fr. A. Horrman performed the ceremony at 7:30 a.m. at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Tiff, Missouri. The bride was attended by Mrs. Aurelia Boyer of Tiff, who served as matron of honor. The groom chose Lawrence Pinson as best man. The bride wore a navy blue gabardine suit complemented with navy accessories. The matron of honor wore a gray gabardine suit, also complemented with navy accessories. Mr. Boyer, when a resident of Edwardsville, was employed with the Alton Brick Company, before he entered the armed forces. He is now stationed at Ft. Bragg, N.C.

The Newark Advocate, Newark, Ohio, June 23, 1951

Alert Newark policemen Friday night arrested a man wanted by Missouri authorities for passing bad checks and suspicion of burglary and larceny. Police departments in Ohio were asked Wednesday to be on the lookout for Ernest Thompson, 42, of Potosi, Missouri, who was believed to be headed east in a 1940 Hudson with a Missouri license. The radio message was relayed to members of the city police force.

Friday night a vehicle answering the description was spotted by patrolmen and Thompson was apprehended.

The Chillicothe Constitution Tribune, Chillicothe, Missouri, May 14, 1952

Potosi, MO May 14
Three men and two women, believed by the highway patrol to be the same persons who held up the Willis Freeman store at Banner, near Ironton, last Thursday night, obtained $850 and considerable merchandise in two holdups at Fletcher, a small farming community, near here early today. Patrolmen said all the men were armed and were traveling in an old model, faded maroon colored automobile.

They robbed the Fletcher general store of $800 and some merchandise then went across the street and entered another store taking an additional $50 and clothing valued at $140, terrorizing the merchants during the robbery.

The Chillicothe Constitution Tribune, Chillicothe, Missouri, December 4, 1952

The mother of John Baker of Chillicothe died at her home in Potosi, Missouri, Wednesday morning. Funeral services will be held Friday in Potosi. The Bakers, who reside here at 416 Third street, are now in Potosi.

Edwardsville Intelligencer, Edwardsville, Illinois, February 15, 1955

Mrs. Rosa Boyer of Tiff, Missouri, 71, mother of Mrs. Carl Boyer of Edwardsville, died Sunday evening at 9 o'clock at her home. She is survived by her husband, Willis Boyer; one son, Frank Boyer of Tiff, Missouri; five daughters, Mrs. Joseph A. (Florence) Todd of Worden, Mrs. Carl (Margaret) Boyer of Edwardsville, Sister Mary Herman of Denver, Colorado, Mrs. Melvin (Cecelia) Coleman and Mrs. Aurelia Boyer, both of Tiff, Missouri. One brother, Carrick Boyer of Festus, Missouri, and one sister, Mrs. Carrie O'Shea of Festus, Missouri. Four brothers preceded her in death. Funeral services will be held Wednesday morning at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Tiff, Missouri, with Father Horrman officiating. Burial will be in Tiff.

Joplin Globe, Joplin, Missouri, January 26, 1954
Blackwell, Mo.

Sniffles, the deer that went to school, is dead. The young deer accompanied Blackwell's children to school and had become the mascot of this St. Francois County town of 100 population. Conservation officials destroyed Sniffles last week when they found the animal severely bitten, apparently by a pack of wild dogs. Sniffles would not have recovered from the attack, officials said.

The Sikeston Herald, Sikeston, Missouri, July 15, 1954

Mr. and Mrs. T. P. Scherer and Mrs. George Frey attended funeral services for Mrs. Frey's sister, Mrs. Mary Young at Old Mines, Missouri, last Wednesday morning.

Submitted by Christine Lembeck

Great Bend Daily Tribune, Great Bend, Kansas, March 10, 1957

322 Acres in Washington County, Missouri, 70 acres of good bottom land. Rest in timber, oak and cedar, one mile. Guaranteed good fishing stream. 30 x 60 hay barn, silo, cribs and other buildings, two acre orchard, 20 x 30 and 12 x 30 poultry house, seven room house, basement, electricity, REA, three good springs, thirty cows, eighteen calves, four sows, 500 bushels corn, 450 bales hay, tractor, and farm machinery. Ill health, want to retire. $18,000 takes it all. If interested, write Charles F. Sansocie, Star Route, Blackwell, Missouri

Submitted by Christine Lembeck

The Newark Advocate, Newark, Ohio, October 19, 1959

Potosi, MO
A large scale search produced no today of a girl, missing all night in near freezing temperatures. Officers said there is some chance the child might have been kidnapped.

Some 300 volunteers were reinforced early today by 150 soldiers from Ft. Leonard Wood and Weldon Spring, Missouri, in the search through a wooded area of the Clark National Forest near this eastern Missouri town. Donna Rulo, 3 1/2, disappeared from the parked car of her parents while they went for a 20 minute hike in the woods Sunday afternoon.

Trooper Alvin Lubker of the Missouri Highway Patrol said it was his personal opinion the probabilities are greater that she was picked up by someone. The temperature dipped into the low 30's during the early morning hours. The child was wearing only a light summer dress. The missing child is the daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Harry Rulo of near Potosi, parents of 10 other young children.

Potosi Newspaper, undated, 1953

New 1953 Chevrolets Are Delivered To Happy Owners
Keys to three new Chevrolet cars and one new pickup truck are being delivered to the owners, Mrs. Jesse Sparks, Miss Virginia Casey and her sister Mrs. Lucille Blount, Bernard Courtois and Harry Hale at the showing of the Beautiful new 1953 Chevrolet at Livingston - Casey Chevrolet Co. Saturday in Potosi. Huge crowds visited the show rooms to see the new cars.

The Chillicothe Constitution Tribune, Chillicothe, Missouri, May 26, 1956

Potosi
A two car collision last night killed a St. louis County man, his wife and mother and injured three other members of the family. The victims wree George C. Scaggs, 32, of St. louis County, driver of one of the cars; his wife, Virginia, 29 years old, expectant mother; and his mother, Mrs. Bessie Edith Scaggs, 60, of Piedmont, Missouri. Injured and taken to a Bonne Terre, Missouri, hospital were a daughter, Linda, 11, who suffered head injuries, a son Ray, 9, back injuries and a sister of the driver, Miss Virginia Bessie Scaggs, 19, head injuries.

Elmer George Smith, 45, of Cadet, Missouri, suffered fractures of both legs and head injuries in the collision on State Highway 21, three miles north of Potosi. He was driving the other car. The Missouri Highway Patrol said Smith's northbound car was passing a truck near the top of a hill and collided with the Scaggs auto.

Bennington Evening Banner, Bennington Vermont, July 8, 1956

Potosi, MO
Della Mae Miller, 18, had a dancing date with someone else the night of July 4, but an admirer, Donald Merceal, 24, asked to take her home. She refused.

A shotgun blast rang out shortly afterward and Miss Miller fell dead. Police summoned to the scene began a hunt for Merceal which ended yesterday.

He was found dead in a wooded area near here by state troopers. He had used a shotgun to kill himself, they said.

Submitted by Christine Lembeck

Joplin Globe, Joplin, Missouri, October 10, 1954

Potosi, MO Oct. 9
Mrs. Mae N. Burford, R.N. of Potosi has been named "Missouri Nurse of 1954" as a part of the observance of the first National Nurse week, October 11-16. Miss Marjorie Elmore, executive secretary of the Missouri State Nurses' Association announce yesterday. Mrs. Burford, who is Washington County's public health nurse was selected because of her unselfish devotion to her duty. "Riding horseback during floods to safeguard the health of flood victims and still answering midnight calls to homes where she is needed. Mrs. Burford spends each Saturday in her office, where she is available to a large group of rural people. She serves them not only in the capacity of a nurse, but also as a friend and counselor."

Several times, Mrs. Burford has relinquished the opportunity to accept supervisory employment to remain among her own people. She has devoted much time to the recruitment of nurses and is an active leader in the "Career Day" held in Washington County, when high school girls are informed as to the opportunities that a nursing career affords them. She entered nursing from the field of education and received her training from the Missouri Baptist School of Nursing in St. Louis. She has a certicated in public health nursing from Peabody College, Nashville, Tennessee. She is a member of the American Nurses' Association, and has a seat on the board of directors of the latter group. She also is president of disctrict 12 of the state association. Mrs. Burford was nominated for the honor by citizens of her county. A judging committee surveyed numerous nominees from all sections of Missouri. The committee consisted of four St. Louisans, they were Miss Leona Gamble, Mrs. Max Meyer, Mrs. Howard Stark and Mrs. Howard F. Baer.

The Zanesville Signal, Zanesville, Ohio, May 15, 1958

The Inland Telephone Company of Caledonia, Missouri, is a one man affair. President of the company is Robert Wilcox who also is business manager, installation and repair man and switchboard operator. He has 370 customers.

Edwardsville Intelligencer, Edwardsville, Illinois, June 2, 1959

Final rites for Mrs. Thelma Juanita Thomas, 42, of Edwardsville, Rte. 4, Glen Carbon Rd., who died about 1:20 a.m. Monday at St. Mary's Hospital, Clayton, Missouri, will be held Wednesday afternoon at 2 o'clock from the Second Baptist Church, 2100 Illinois Avenue, Granite City, The Rev. Showers, church pastor, will officiate and burial will be in Sunset Hill Cemetery, Edwardsville.

Friends may call at the Mercer funeral home. The deceased was born in July 1916 at Potosi, Missouri, a daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Leonard Turnbull. Surviving in addition to her parents of Granite City, are her husband, Carl; two sons and a daughter, Larry A. Thomas, a student at the University of Illinois, John Paul and Karen Thomas, both at home. Mrs. Thomas was active in Girl Scout work and other civic activities.

Submitted by Sharon Smith

The Independent Journal December 10, 1959 Issue

Magistrate Court News

Lynn Delbert Merrill was charged on November 6 of taking four quail during closed season and was arraigned before Magistrate Judge John A. Eversole. Defendent entered a plea of guilty and was fined $30.00 and costs.

Other trials follow:
Ronald Robert Wilkins - Permitting another person to use his operators license. Enters plea of guilty. Fine $5 and costs.
Larry John Howard no operator's license (suspended). Plea of guilty. Fine $5.00 and costs.
State of Mo. vs. Ben H. Allen - Disturbing the Peace. Plea of not guilty entered. Trial set for December 14.
Benjamin Harrison Allen - Careless and imprudent driving. Defendant enters plea of guilty. Fine $5.00 and costs.
State of Mo. vs. Glen Bishop - No hunting permit. Defendant enters plea of guilty and fined $5.00 and costs.
Danny Phillip Emily - Careless and imprudent driving. Plea of guilty. Fine $5.00 and costs.
State of Mo. vs. Charles Myers - Charged with resisting arrest. Case was tried in Magistrate Court Monday by jury before John A. Eversole. Result was a hung jury.

Barbara Maxwell Hostess To Cosmos
The regular meeting of the Cosmopolitan Society met at the home of Barbara Maxwell. 16 Members answered roll call demonstrating an exercise. Fay Dunlap was program leader. She had all the Cosmos doing exercises and they really enjoyed the evening. A donation of $5.00 was made to Washington County Tuberculosis Association. The Cosmopolitans also made a motion to help Mrs. Viola Patterson with an Xmas Party for her grade of children at Potosi Grade School. The meeting adjourned by the President and delicious refreshments were served by hostess Barbara Maxwell.

Thomas J. Compton Obituary
Thomas J. Compton, son of the late Joe and Zella Compton was born June 15, 1882, departed this life Dec. 1, 1959 at the home of his daughter, Pauline Goodson in Potosi, age 77 years 5 months and 15 days.

He was united in marriage to Fannie Franklin in 1901 to this union one (1) daughter was born. Mrs. Florence Sherman of St. Louis, His wife, Fannie preceded him in death in 1903. He was united in marriage to Bessie Huitt May 25, 1909 to this union 11 children were born. Four (4) sons and seven (7) daughters. Jesse, of Maryville; Luther, of Blanford, Iowa; Russell, of DeSoto and Harvey Compton of Potosi; Bea (Mrs. Howard Bittle), Ruth (Mrs. Jess Eye), Ada (Mrs. Lino Corno), Eunice Compton, Edna (Mrs. Walter Helms) all of St. Louis; Pauline (Mrs. Bill Goodson) Potosi, (Bessie Mae who died in infancy).

He professed faith in Christ in 1901 and united with the Lost Creek Baptist Church, later moved his membership to Breton Creek Baptist Church where he remained a faithful member until death.

He was a member of Potosi Lodge No. 131 A.F. & A.M.and a 32 degree member of the Scottish Rite Valley of St. Louis and a member of the Eastern Star Browne Chapter 320 Potosi, Mo.

He is survived by his wife Bessie, eleven children, 24 grandchildren, 2 brothers, Joe and Roy Compton of Granite City, Ill., 3 sisters, Mrs. Bessie Carpenter, Mrs. James Metcalf, Mrs. Ada Winter, all of Granite City, Ill. and a host of other relatives and friends, (brothers preceeded him in death) our loss is heaven's gain. He will be sadly missed by the family and friends.

Funeral services were held from Breton Creek Baptist Church on Thursday, Dec, 3. Eld. S.D. Gibson officiationg assisted by Eld. J.L. Britton and Eld. C.A. Darst. Masonic rites were under the auspices of the Scottish Rites and the local Masonic Lodge. Mr. Compton was buried in Shirley in a vault or mausoleum prepared by himself several years ago. Jenkins Funeral Home was in charge of proceedings.

Copied from Independent Journal, December 10, 1959, Microfilm 50, January 1, 1959-December 29. 1960

Henry S. Hartzell Obituary
Henry S. Hartzell, whose funeral services were held on Monday, November 30 from Smith Funeral Chapel with the Rev. Joseph Schejbal officiation. Burial was in St. James Catholic Cemetery in Potosi by Smith Funeral Directors. A military service was also held by the American Legion.

Henry Silas Hartzell was born November 29, 1894 at Cadet and passed away suddenly on November 27, 1959 at his home netar (this is how it is typed) Potosi. He would have observed his 65th birthday on Sunday before he was buried Monday. His parents were John B. and Nancy Belle Wall Hartzell. On July 28, 1919 he was married to Julia M. DeGonia at Herculaneum by Rev. Father G. Brinkman and to this union four children were born - Mildred of Rosemead, Calif., Nancy of Leachville, Ark. and Dolly of Potosi and one sone, James, now deceased.

Mr. Hartzell had spent his entire life in Washington County, except for the time he was in World War I. He served overseas in the Signal Corps in the 82nd Field Artillery. After his return to Civilian Life he served as Commander of the American Legion. He also served as Alderman of Ward One in Potosi several terms. Mr. Hartzell organized the H. & P. Mining Co., and served as President until he sold his interests to Mr. Homer Politte. Mr. Hartzell was also associated with Potosi Mill and Elevator Co., for several years. He also helped construct the first tiff mining co. at Fountain Farm years ago. About nine years ago, Mr. Hartzell semi-retired to his farm south of Potosi, but had been working at Magnet Cove Mining Co. prior to his death.

Mr. Hartzell was an Amateur Ham Radio Operator and was the first person in Washington County to assemble a radio before World War I. Seven years ago he received a license to operate an Amateur Ham Radio Station and he would spend evenings and Sundays "working the net", At the time of his death, he was serving as Radio Officer for the 6th District of Missouri (Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Services) RACES.

Surviving are his three daughters, one sister, Alice Portell of San Diego, Calif, one brother, Jack Hartzell of Sikeston. One brother Bruce died several years ago. He also left 9 grandchildren.

Out of town relatives and friends to attend final rites were:
Mr. and Mrs. Charles Hartzell of Sikeston, Dr. and Mrs. Earl Kennedy of Farmington, Bob Roth, Ste. Genevieve, Glen Nager, Mr. and Mrs. Phil Letibel of Cape Girardeau , Mrs. Clara Trudo of Imperial, Mr. and Mrs. Homer Schmidt of Weingarten, Mr. and Mrs. Jim Hill of Doe Run, Mr. and Mrs. Melvin Hubbard of Festus, Dick Lemon and the Lodholtz family of Bonne Terre, Clarence and John DeGonia of Granite City, Ed Portell of Festus, and many from DeSoto and other nearby towns.

Latest Arrivals
Born to Mr. and Mrs. Gene Hahn of Fenton, Missouri, on November 1, 1959, a baby boy weighing 6 lbs, 13 oz. He has been named Tracy Eugene. The Hahn's have a daughter Beverly Ann aged 14 months. Grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. James M. Hahn of Ironton, Missouri and Mr. and Mrs. J. P. O'Hanlon of Potosi, Missouri.
Born to Mr. and Mrs. Mathue L. Miller of Irondale a baby girl on December 2nd at Mineral Area Hospital.
A baby girl was born December 4 to Mr. and Mrs. Robert R. Young, also of Irondale at Mineral Area Hospital.

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Larry Flesher, Washington County, MO

Larry Flesher