Through the years, Feb. 21

50 years ago

Feb. 27, 1974


For the past four months, the sleepy Roaring River valley has been relatively quiet, disturbed only by routine maintenance and traffic of winter-time guests. Friday morning at daylight the scene will change considerably, as upwards of 5,000 persons will cram themselves in Roaring River State Park for the semi-official coming of spring. Forecasts are for good weather this weekend, which could provide the needed ingredients for a record opening at the park. March 1 and the opening of Rainbow Trout season at Roaring River are signals for a lot of beginnings in this area. Fishermen, kept from the stream bank by a season closed since November and winter weather, are anxious to get back to their favorite pastime. Cassville Chamber of Commerce members will serve coffee to the pre-dawn anglers who choose their favorite fishing spot hours before the 7:30 a.m. opening whistle. The C of C is also sponsoring trophies for outstanding catches during the day. The signal for start of fishing will be fired by Secretary of State James Kirkpatrick, an ardent booster of Roaring River’s opening each year. The Eagle Rock community is scheduled to provide additional entertainment for the area with a bean and cornbread feed starting at 3:30 p.m. March 1 at the community center. At 7:30 p.m. a country music show is scheduled, to be followed by a Tall Tale Contest sponsored by the Eagle Rock grounds headed by Charles Thompson. Park Concessionaire Nor. man Chaney said all facilities are in readiness for the opening. Superintendent James Woods expects a big group of campers for the opening and Charles Curry hatchery superintendent, said a large turnout of fishermen is indicated. Cassville facilities still have openings for visitors, even though park accommodation are full for the weekend Service station operations the area report ampule supplies of gasoline on hand to take care of the influx of visitors.


Mr. and Mrs. Jim Patterson of Cassville operators of Sears Catalog Store, have purchased a lot off Highway 248 which fronts on Mill Street here from Mr. and Mrs. Bill Edmondson. The Pattersons made the 90×250 foot lot purchase as a possible future location for the store.

40 years ago

Feb. 29, 1984


Whether it was a late winter or early spring storm is still being debated in these parts. Regardless of the season, Sunday’s 16-inch snowfall has caused widespread hardships in Barry County. Electrical power service to the entire area was virtually nonexistent during a considerable time Sunday and Monday. There were still large areas of problems Tuesday morning. Joe Preddy, manager of Barry Electric Cooperative, said some damage had been experienced throughout the co-op’s 800 miles of distribution lines. During the peak of heavy snowfall and high winds, four of five substations serving the area were out of service. Part of this area’s problem stemmed from difficulties with KAMO transmission and station distribution facilities. The remainder comes from downed lines, those broken by falling limbs and trees and poles that have snapped., Preddy said the 10-man maintenance and construction crew from Barry Electric had been out continuously since 2 p.m. Sunday. “Yet, we have just scratched the service of solving our problems,” Preddy said. Under a mutual-aid agreement with area cooperatives, two construction crews from Clinton, Ark. were on their way to Cassville Tuesday to help. Preddy said all neighboring co-ops were experiencing the same problems as this area. Carroll Electric Cooperative of Berryville, Ark., provider of electrical power for the Southern party of the county, including Table Rock Lake communities, was in the same situation as local power distributors. Preddy said for the most part, people were understanding with the resumption of power problems. He did acknowledge taking some unkind words over the telephone. As lines went down Sunday night, many areas viewed a display that would be the envy of any July 4 celebration. Fireballs and sparks flew through the area, followed by complete darkness in that particular area. Preddy said Tuesday morning, “Most of the feeder lines have been restored and sub-station problems resolved. Now we must turn to individual lines, broken poles and snapped lines. Some of the problem is, that we can’t even get to some of the heavy damage areas due to the impassable condition of the roads.” The storm started Saturday night with thunderstorms rolling through the area. By mid-morning Sunday, the blizzard struck. The ground being warm at the time was the only thing that saved the area from even deeper snow accumulations. Lack of electrical power leaves rural residents relying on individual wells in a situation of being without water. “Cassville’s water condition was neve. in serious danger,” said Tim Miller, water superintendent. According to Miller there was never over a 30 minute lapse in power available to three pumps. Miller did acknowledge any further heavy use such as a Monday fire, could have caused problems. Completely electric units at the Cassville Senior Citizen Rental Housing Authority on Townsend Street, were evacuated Monday due to the power outage. These residents were transported to the Barry County Senior Citizen Center in downtown Cassville where power was available. Retha England, director of the center, said 17 stayed overnight and there were 20 at the center for meals Monday. Barry County sheriff’s department, Cassville police and Neal Cook were responsible for obtaining volunteers. State Representative Nolan McNeill, Presiding Judge Lloyd Dilbeck and Southern Judge Lige Frost coordinated a volunteer effort of the Missouri National Guard out of Monett to provide emergency power generators at area dairy farms. Frost said the state representative and county court members provided information as to location to permit a schedule being formed for rotation of the generation equipment Where needed. Another of the major magnitude problems for the area is the absence of power at Roaring River State Park. John Karel, director of the park system, said the Thursday opening was going ahead as scheduled, but it would be different in the park March 1, unless power was restored. Karel said he had talked to Boyd Holcomb, park superintendent, and it might be necessary to close the motel and units for the opening, since they would have to be winterized to combat expected dips in temperature Wednesday morning. “If we do this, those holding reservations will be notified by concessionaires Mr. and Mrs. Jack Nickols,” he said. Carolyn Marrs, concessionaire for the restaurant, said it would be impossible to provide full food services, “But, we will do something.. it won’t be easy…but we will do all possible for the opening,” Mrs. Marrs said. Any equipment capable of removing snow was at a premium. Individual contractors, including Evan Hutchens Construction Company, did some city streets on a volunteer effort. Roman Carney was in charge of city clearing operations that opened virtually every route in town. Missouri Highway Department crews on top of the situation, clearing routes that eventually melted. “It was a snowman type snow,” remarked one observer, “extremely heavy with moisture.” Utility people, including Continental Telephone and City-Vision Cable television people, probably could most easily testify to the weight. Both these utilities experienced equal problems. Telephone service was intermittent and cable viewing was non-existent. The snowfall added at least two more days on school schedules which were already hard-hit by earlier winter weather. Rural roads, especially those of the east-west direction, were drifted several feet high. Many were impassible. Bob Allen, Chamber of Commerce president, rounded a group of volunteers from Cassville Tuesday to assist with snow shoveling duties at Roaring River. Reports were the park looked like a tornado had gone through with so many trees broken. The same picture was evident throughout this area which took the center of the storm.

30 years ago

Feb. 16, 1994


Construction on the new Cassville high school will begin within 30 days, following action taken at a special meeting of the board of education February 10. The board voted to accept the low bid of $4,313,900 from R.E. Smith, a general contractor based in Joplin, to build the 98,418-squarefoot facility. Board members Tim Frye, Mike Ball, Jeff Cooper, RaDonna Fancher, John Sullivan and Landon Fletcher were present at the meeting. Greg Allen was unable to attend. The total bid amount included: a $4,100,700 base bid; $89,600 to build four extra classrooms; $19,000 for masonry work on the industrial arts section of the school; and $104,600 for ground source heat. Board members also accepted the low bid of $118,945 on pre-finished cabinets and science equipment from Arnold Newbanks, Inc. All bids on lockers, kitchen equipment and bleachers for the practice gym were rejected and will be re-bid. Superintendent Dan Bailey said the general contractor will begin moving in equipment this week, and construction is scheduled to start within the next 30 days. A completion date of June 1, C: 1995, has been set. Bailey said four general contractors bid on the project. The next closest bid was from DeWitt General Contractors of Springfield, who submitted a base bid of $4,175,000. Total building cost should not exceed $4.8 million, according to Bailey. Originally, the school board had estimated that the building project would cost $4.5 million. “When we did the original cost estimate, we were looking at a 90,000 square-foot building,” Bailey said. “The cost has increased because we have added four classrooms (8,000 square feet) to accommodate an increasing enrollment. We don’t want to move into the new high school and be full. We wanted to allow room for future growth.” The new high school will include about 44 classrooms. The building will be constructed of brick and concrete blocks. The project will be financed through a bond issue, which was approved by school district voters last April. The new high school will be located at a 40-acre site on the corner of Highway Y and Partridge Drive, about two blocks north of the present campus. Site preparation work began this fall. The school board approved expenditures of $94,500 to complete the ground work. When the high school is completed, the district plans to convert existing high school facilities into fourth and fifth grade classrooms, relieving elementary and middle school overcrowding.


A Monett manufacturing plant was destroyed by an explosion and fire February 9. No one was injured in the blaze at the Central State Fiberglass plant, Monett Fire Chief Ken Smalley said. The cause of the fire has not been determined. The garage area of the plant was burning when firefighters arrived. An explosion followed that blew out windows and spread fire throughout the 5,000-square foot building, Smalley said.


Highway department officials have committed to a $2 million highway project in Barry County for 1994. The county project was listed as one of the Missouri Highway and Transportation Department’s major highway projects in the southwest area of the state. The project will include construction of 1.7 miles of new roadbed and replacement of the Jenkins Creek Bridge on Barry County Route 39. A list of state projects for the 1994 fiscal year was released as part of the highway department’s long-term improvement plan. Under the 1994 constuction program, about 140 miles of new or improved highways will be built and about 1,500 miles of highways will be resurfaced. Chief engineer Wayne Muri said total highway construction is expected to total about $475 million, $90 million more than last year.