85 Years Ago
November 21, 1934
About 10 p.m. Sunday night the large lumber storage shed at Artman's Mills was discovered to be on fire. Both companies responded at once to the alarm. However, the flames had gained such headway that it was impossible to save it. The flames roared for hours until the entire building and contents were but a mass of ashes and charred timbers. The loss was complete. The shed was used for storage of lumber, of which a large quantity was on hand, ready for filling orders.
As soon as the fire was underway and the firemen busy, crowds gathered from all over the city until the streets were almost blocked. The flames were seen from miles away, being visible in Paducah and Mayfield, Ky. Parties coming into town from the west at first thought the entire city was on fire. Sparks were flying in all directions and it took heroic work to save many surrounding buildings. A barn belonging to Dave King, about a block away, caught fire from the sparks and the roof was entirely destroyed.
No positive cause could be assigned for the fire, but some believe it was of incendiary origin. Others think tramps had built a fire there to protect themselves from the cold, and the flames spread from this. The loss has been estimated at up to $10,000, with no insurance. Mr. Artman says business will continue and the shed will be rebuilt.
Ras Owens, driver of the East Metropolis fire truck, is going about with a decided limp. While fighting the fire at Artman's lumber shed he stepped into a hole and badly sprained a foot. He gamely stuck to his work and later was taken to a surgeon for treatment. In the afternoon he and some members of his crew went back to the scene of the fire and saturated the smouldering ashes and debris.
Albert Hamby, 21, son of Mr. and Mrs. Albert Hamby, living near Mermet, died at the Fisher Hospital about 10:30 Sunday night from an injury received when struck by a car driven by William Smith of Mermet.
Coroner Baynes held an inquest and the following facts were brought forth: Lloyd Hart and family were returning to their farm home near Mermet and picked up Hamby and were to take him home. When near Mermet, they started to turn up the side road to Hamby's home, but he said it was not necessary and he would walk the rest of the way. Hamby got out of the car and walked around the left side of it.
A car driven by Smith was coming from the west and when about 50 feet from the Hart car it swerved but still struck Hart's car. Hamby was between the two cars and suffered a crushed left leg which was almost torn off and the right one was badly smashed. Hart's car was moved forward several feet from the force of the collision. The occupants of the Hart car were either hurt about the face or had only slight injuries. Hamby was taken to the Fisher Hospital but nothing could be done for him. Smith was arrested and placed under a $1000 bond, the coroner's jury returning a verdict of manslaughter.
Funeral services were held Tuesday afternoon at Oak Grove Church with interment in the church cemetery. He is survived by his bereaved parents, four brothers and three sisters; also his fiancé, Opal Cook of Metropolis. He was preceded in death by two brothers - James and Lindell.
70 Years Ago
November 17, 1949
If you keep your eyes glued to the road and don't look up at signs on posts, you'll now be able to find out about the STOP at Fifth and Ferry Streets on U.S. Route 45 in Metropolis. Huge signs with the letters S-T-O-P have been painted on the pavement so big that even the near-blind may read. If you don't look at the pavement there are stop signs on posts and other places. If you can't read you're still supposed to stop at the four-way stop at Fifth and Ferry!
The Metropolis Chamber of Commerce announced plans to organize 10 Junior Basketball teams among boys between the ages of 9 to 15 years inclusive. All boys in that age group interested in playing basketball are to meet this Saturday at the Central School gym at 9 a.m. Members of school teams will not be eligible to play with this group. There should eventually be enough boys signed up for 10 teams, but currently only six organizations have signified their intention of sponsoring teams. Anyone belonging to a civic organization or church group who would consider sponsoring a team should call the Chamber of Commerce office.
The Kroger Company presented a movie "Never Keep A Good Steak Waiting" and followed it with an actual demonstration of the cutting of a side of beef by Kroger cutting methods Thursday of last week at M.C.H.S. Members of Massac County "G.I." training classes, Kroger officials and local citizens attended. Ray McClain, meat trainer in the Kroger Meat Cutting School in Carbondale, put on the demonstration. The program was arranged by Charles Cagle, manager of the local downtown Kroger store.
50 Years Ago
November 20, 1969
Residents of the area were greeted Wednesday morning with a two-inch blanket of snow, which deceitfully covered a glaze of treacherous ice that had formed Tuesday night as temperatures dropped during a heavy rainfall. Bright sunshine and a rise in temperature quickly changed the situation for the better, but children who had counted on a long period of sledding and snowballing were disappointed.
Thirteen employees of Massac Memorial Hospital have completed a comprehensive ambulance attendants training seminar in preparation for the service which will be offered by the Hospital beginning December 1st. Two new van-type ambulances, each with a capacity of four stretcher patients, have been obtained by the Hospital and the 24-hour service will begin at midnight November 30th when ambulance services will be discontinued by the local funeral homes.
Eugene Cowsert, Hospital Administrator, said that each ambulance will be dispatched with a nurse and a driver who is trained as an orderly. The ambulance will stay in constant radio contact with the hospital. Persons wanting ambulance service need to call the Hospital telephone number.
Concern for the future of the Blood Bank program in Massac County was expressed this week by Red Cross officials as they pondered the serious deficiency in the number of blood donations received last week. The quota was 145 pints but only 99 persons offered to donate and of these only 86 were accepted. There were 167 preregistered donors but obviously a large number failed to appear; many reported to be ill.
The next Bloodmobile visit will be in February 1970 and a special effort will be made to get the families of patients who have used blood to give replacement donations. As of the last donation, Martin W. Logeman reached the two gallon mark and Jesse Lassiter Jr., three gallons.
A house fire early Friday morning was extinguished by the Fire Department at the Flossie M. Clanahan residence at 19th and Simmons. A little damage was done to the attic. On Saturday morning the Rose Goodman residence at 1216 Ferry Street was almost completely destroyed by fire. Furnishing in the house and personal clothing of the family were lost.
Playing at the Massac Theatre is "This Savage Land," starring George C. Scott, Barry Sullivan and Kathryn Hays; also, "Journey to the Far Side of the Sun," starring Roy Thinnes, Ian Hendry and Lynn Loring.
25 Years Ago
The Metropolis Planet
November 23, 1994
Due to the poor condition of the old brick Clark School building which was built in the 1880s, it was decided to demolish it. It is hoped that there will be enough remaining to rebuild it. It does not qualify for the National Register of Historic Places and a committee formed to oversee the restoration recommended it be torn down. The roof was lifted and the double-layer brick walls reduced to rubble.
However, it is hoped that enough bricks survived so that they can be cleaned and reused to rebuild the school. Everything that could be salvaged was saved. In addition to the bricks, items saved include the doors, window and door frames, wooden floors and wooden beams. Cleaning and restoration of individual elements will be provided by volunteers. The salvaged items are being stored at Mid-South. The spot where the school will be rebuilt and how it will be used have not been decided. One suggestion was to use the school as a center for community activities and as a tourist attraction.
Local contractors, city employees and volunteers have been hard at work in Fort Massac State Park on the big holiday light project. However, the lights may not be on as early as planned. As of Tuesday, the workers were still awaiting delivery of the lights and all the framework. It is hoped that the massive light display will be turned on in the next few days.
Sophia M. Fullmer, 104, Route 2, died Nov. 21 at Western Baptist Hospital. Mrs. Fullmer was a homemaker, member of Upper Salem Independent Baptist church and a 74-year member of the Eastern Star. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband of 71 years Aubrey Howard Fullmer, a daughter, brother and a sister. Funeral services were held Wednesday at Miller Funeral Home with burial following in Massac Memorial Gardens.
November 30, 1994
The after school latchkey tutorial program offered through the Massac Unit One School District will begin again Thursday. It will be offered at Metropolis Middle School instead of Central School. The program was suspended on Nov. 16 when funding was cut off by the Metropolis City Council. It is funded through a portion of riverboat tax money that is tagged for education. The funding was cut on the grounds that the program location was not handicapped accessible and did not meet the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Currently there are no second, third or fourth graders in Unit One who qualify for the program who require handicapped accessible facilities. Students will have to be bused to Middle School from Clark and Central schools and additional library materials and playground equipment that were available at Central, but not Middle School will have to be purchased, making the program more expensive.