85 Years Ago Republican Herald February 27, 1935

William Isaac Allen, 72, who had been an inmate at the county poor farm for nearly 30 years, died last Sunday of exposure and cold after having fallen from a bridge over a creek at the farm. He was drunk at the time and, being a cripple, fell into the icy water. He was found by John Hildebrand Sunday morning after lying in the creek for more than three hours and was taken to the nearby school house where he shortly died.

The body was brought to the Booker T. Washington Funeral Home and an inquiry was held by Deputy Coroner Ralph Frazier. A verdict was rendered of death from falling off footing across the creek near the Weaver School and lying in the cold water for about four hours and chilled to death, he being too drunk to get out.

When Lige Ragsdale, who lives on Route 146, west of Vienna went to turn his stock out of the barn Saturday morning, he found that two of his best mules were missing. He searched the pastures and inquired of neighbors. Finally, it dawned on him that the team might have been stolen. He notified the sheriff’s office, but clues were hard to find.

S.A. Buzbee, a neighbor of Mr. Ragsdale, said that a vehicle stopped in a driveway a short distance from the home on the night of the disappearance of the mules and that it stayed there for quite a while. It is thought that the mules were driven to it. The mules were put in the stalls in the usual manner Friday night and there is no doubt left with Mr. Ragsdale, but what someone relieved him of about $300 worth of good work stock.

Back in the old days men have been hung for horse stealing and probably the owner feels that it would serve them right if the law could be enforced, should the guilty parties be apprehended. He has found no trace of the mules. They could be many miles north of there or over in Kentucky.

Springfield, Ill., February 20. — Four bombs timed a minute apart blasted five coal cars on a siding here last night. The blasts were thought to be a challenge to officials for the investigations being held throughout Illinois of the violence in the mine faction. The explosions were at the Peerless Mine, which is operated by the Peabody Coal Co. The dynamite was placed between the couplers of the cars and the ends of each car were damaged.

Company officials said the explosions would not cause the mine to be idled and the cars will be repaired. The explosions were felt for miles and heard quite plainly at the executive mansion where Gov. Horner was conferring with high state officials about plans for continuing of the state relief unemployment. — Marion Evening Post.

70 Years Ago Metropolis News February 23, 1950

The Metropolis City Library has a circulation twice that of the Paducah Library according to Mrs. Carrola Ruggles, librarian in charge. In the month of January alone, a total of 4,287 books and periodicals were circulated in one week. During summer months the library use decreases, July being the lowest month. February is usually the largest circulation month. Since the library is supported by city taxes, county residents are required to pay one dollar for their library card. About 40 county residents use the library. The library currently has a total circulation of 11,306 books and 1800 persons use the facility.

Dr. John B. Sleeter, Optometrist, announces the opening of his professional office for the practice of optometry on February 25th, at 417 Ferry St. His practice will be devoted to examination, analysis and rehabilitation of the visual functions. He is a graduate of the Northern Illinois College of Optometry in Chicago and a year’s experience with a Chicago optometrist. His office is open Monday through Friday and 6-8 p.m. on Saturday.

On March 1st the Red Cross Drive begins to seek $67,000,000 for A.R.C. services. In Massac County the quota of $3195. has been assigned. Sixty-three% of the funds collected will remain in the county. Plans are being made for a local house-to-house canvass and business places will be solicited. Saturday has been designated as Red Cross Sabbath and Sunday is Red Cross Sunday in churches throughout the nation.

Rev. O.L. Angel of First Christian Church in Metropolis was recently offered the pastorate of a larger city church with other tempting considerations. He thought that after 10 years of service at the local church it might be possible that the church would feel that a change of leadership would be to its advantage. He therefore requested to be released but was turned down, he being asked to stay for an indefinite time as the church would give him its united loyalty and cooperation. Mrs. Angel also received commendation for her meritorious work with the choir, with the missionary society, the Bible School and in the community.

The Andrews Sign Co., 128 East Third Street, has opened for business. They offer anything in painted signs such as Truck Lettering, Wall Signs, Road Bulletins, Gold Leaf, Window Signs, Sho-Cards and Display Signs. [Note: The advertisement was purposely inserted upside-down to draw the attention of readers.

50 Years Ago Metropolis News February 26, 1970

The City council voted Monday night to purchase a 1970 Chevrolet police car to replace the 1968 Oldsmobile now in use. Metropolis Motor Company was low bidder with a proposal of $2,050 with trade-in. The police department was authorized to purchase a new all-transistorized police radio for the new patrol car at a cost of $875 in addition to the trade-in of the nine-year-old police radio in the Oldsmobile patrol car.

James Stewart Ray, Odis Warren Darnell and Darrell Lynn Turner, all of Metropolis, and John Robert Davis of St. Charles, left Wednesday morning for induction into the U.S. Army. Twenty-seven men also left Wednesday for physical examinations.

A solar eclipse of the sun (60%) will occur from about 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Central Time, Saturday, March 7th. Even though it is a partial one, it will be just as dangerous to sight as a total eclipse. Sun glasses, smoked glass and over-exposed photographic negatives give little or no protection. The greatest danger comes from ultraviolet and infrared radiation emitted by the sun.

Fifteen individuals in Illinois suffered permanent eye damage by looking at the sun during the last eclipse in 1963. The safest way of viewing this phenomenon is through a “sunscope.” [Note: An address for free instructions for making this device is listed at the end of the article.]

Funeral services for Henry Fixman, 75, prominent retired businessman, were held Saturday afternoon at Miller Funeral Home Chapel. The Rev. Alfred E. Webb, pastor of First Christian Church, officiated, with burial in the Masonic Cemetery, preceded by military graveside rites by Metropolis World War I Barracks, the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Mr. Fixman passed away Thursday morning at Massac Memorial Hospital, his health having been declining for the past two or three years. He was hospitalized last week. He is survived by his wife Rebecca, a sister and several nieces and nephews.

Shortly after World War I he left St. Louis in a canoe and paddled down the Mississippi to Cairo with all his belongings. He rode a box car to Paducah and in 1921, he and his brother-in-law, Sam Finkel of Paducah, opened The Fair Store in Metropolis. They continued this association for 45 years, until Mr. Fixman’s retirement from the retail business in 1966. He was an active member at one time of the Fort Massac Saddle Club. He was also well-known for his services to the hospital board of directors.

Playing at the Massac Theatre is “On Her Majesty’s Service,” starring George Lazenby, Diana Rigg, Telly Savalas, Gabriele Ferzetti and Isle Steppat. Parental guidance is advised.

25 Years Ago

February 22, 1995

The Metropolis Planet

Metropolis’ city clerk for nearly 14 years, Bess LaVeau, 62, died last Friday at Southgate Health Care Center following nearly two months of hospitalization. She was elected city clerk in 1981 and was currently serving her fourth term. She was one of only two persons to hold that office in the last 45 years.

LaVeau filled the vacancy left following the retirement of Lawrence Walen Barger, who served as city clerk for over 30 years. She previously held positions with the Massac County Sheriff’s office and the Illinois Drivers’ License Examining Station. During LaVeau’s absence, deputy clerk Brenda Griffey has been fulfilling the duties of city clerk.

Funeral service was held Monday at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church with Rev. Joseph Trapp officiating. Burial followed in Massac Memorial Gardens. Survivors include her mother, husband Tom, son John and wife Beth, two brothers, nephews and nieces.

Except for increases in certain types of traffic violations, local law enforcement officials logged about as many incidents in 1994 as they did in 1993, according to figures supplied by the Metropolis Police Department and the Massac County Sheriff’s Department. While traffic stops in 1994 (3690) were roughly half of what they were in 1993 (6009), increases were noted in DUI arrests, driving on suspended licenses, stop sign violations and in particular, speeding.

Metropolis Police officers issued 447 speeding tickets in 1994, compared with 280 in 1993. The Massac County Sheriff’s Department, which is in charge of housing inmates at the Massac County Detention Center, has experienced a 900% increase in the costs of housing juvenile offenders since 1992. As they cannot be housed locally these offenders must be transferred to St. Clair County for incarceration.

In 1994, Metropolis Police officers patrolled 161,885 miles of city streets, compared with 143,797 in 1993. More DUI arrests occurred in December (22) than in any other month. The least active month, in terms of DUI arrests, was September (6).

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