Bob Mitchell: More men remembered

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Finishing the ďmenís listĒ brings some names that will go over a lot of heads, but they were important here. Here goes the final shot:

Coach David Large came to Cassville from a not too impressive record at El Dorado and eventually put the football Wildcats on the Missouri sports map with successive state championships. His successes resulted in the top-quality field house being built on the R-4 campus.

Charles Vaughan, one-time rural school teacher and county schools superintendent, his tenure as scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 76 produced over 50 Eagle Scouts and started the Scout House and Broken Arm Valley campsite owned by the troop.

Clyde Hoover, a principle in Forest Products, Inc. here for years, his interest in baseball fostered the Cassville Blues for a number of years. His efforts built Blues Park, present location of Crystal View. The Blues assets went to Cassville R-4ís second athletic field.

Successive MoDOT district engineers, when headquarters were in Joplin, were responsible for signalization and flood control facilities in central and south Cassville. Wilber Stegner and Joseph Mickes, at one time against vocal opposition from some interests in town, saw the need for the projects and spent considerable highway funds in providing the protections for Cassvilleís future. Mickes, before his retirement, became chief engineer for the system.

Floyd Barber was proprietor of Sanitary Market on the north side of the square. Floyd and his wife Ruth continued home delivery of groceries during World War II by using a horse drawn wagon. The firm was capable of providing fresh meat to the community, covered by ration stamps, through their slaughterhouse located on Hawk Branch in northwest Cassville. That facility was operated by their son, Bill Barber, even when he was in the upper grades of elementary school.

Jeweler, cattleman, Cassville Blues pitcher and one-time mayor Rolland Meador surprised everyone when he entered city politics. He ran his own administration, often admonishing council members possibly acting in their own interest. Forty years ago, he fostered purchase of the South Industrial Park when it was believed industrial UDAG funds were being used to bankroll city government.

Going way back, Lynn Mitchell, insurance man and auto dealer, was for several years coordinator for Cassvilleís Saturday Cash Drawings. He was in charge of raising the money, collecting the registration tickets and conducting the money drawings on the public square. This happened to be in not too stable economic times in the country, thus attracting big crowds in town for each event. The winners were presented cash, which merchants hoped would be spent here before their departure. Mrs. Mitchell had the first potato chip factory in the region.

Not many people will remember Fred Johnson who regularly traveled Cassville streets selling watermelon, other fruits and wares out of his pushcart.

Then there was the memorable Ray Correll, city superintendent with maybe one helper, for many years. He was a friend to everyone, an ardent quail hunter and fisherman. He was always available on weekends to accompany river floaters to put-in and take-out points, if he could be supplied with a few dozen Crayfish to use from the bank while waiting for his floaters.

Itís the 11th month

If you have failed to notice, this is the eleventh month of 2017, and if anyone has any idea of where this year has gone, please let me know!

There is an important date this month, a week from Saturday, itís Veterans Day, November 11.

One of the important events in this connection is no longer observed in Cassville, at least for this observerís knowledge. Itís the Poppy Day Sales that were once conducted by faithful members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post of Cassville. Although small in number, the faithful were on hand, in all types of weather or whatever, to provide funds for veteran projects. The Post did not have a home, utilizing their fellow veteran organizationís American Legion Home for meetings. Among the most ardent of these VFW boosters was the late Lamoine Weathers.

Observance in this community will probably be limited to the display of the American Flag, provided by Irwin-Easley American Legion Post members using the main business district for their annual holiday display and the annual Cassville R-4 program. That event will be Friday, Nov. 10 at 9 a.m. in the senior high gymnasium. The program is usually provided by the Music and Speech Department. I had the honor of speaking at the first, held outdoors and instigated by then-principal Jerry Marple.

Incidentally, the program is open to the public.

There would be a safe bet for anyone who would be willing to make a wager that there would be no kneeling or failure to observe proper procedure during the playing of the National Anthem or repeating the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America at this event!

Bob Mitchell is the former editor and publisher of the Cassville Democrat. He is a 2017 inductee to both the Missouri Press Association Hall of Fame and Missouri Southern State Universityís Regional Media Hall of Fame.