Through the Years, Feb. 28

50 years ago

March 6, 1974


There was no evidence of gas shortages and certainly no lack of enthusiasm at the opening of Roaring River State Park for the 1974 rainbow trout season last Friday. As numbers always important, the opening morning crowd was bigger than last year, 1,690 tags sold compared to 1,534 last year and the three day crowd was registered at 3,443, compared to 2,877 last year. Balmy weather that climbed into the 70’s later in the day, swelled the spectator crowd to over 5,000 people according to estimates. There was also no absence of trout for the anglers who had waited through several months of winter for the annual ritual of March 1 opening. Largest trout was caught by Jim Thomas of Purdy. His catch weighed in at nine and three-quarter pounds. Bill Ward, of C secretary, who conducted the weigh-in and trophy presentation gave Robert Greer of Webb City the largest limit trophy for his 12-pound catch. Doug Fischer of Cassville was junior winner. Other lunker winners included: Virgil Blevins of Springfield and John Edmondson of Hollister, seven pounds each, Oxford Cope of Crane, six and three-quart-Clos Ellis Motley and James Conley of Pierce City, six and one-quarter each; Larry Roller of Purdy, six pounds and Johnnie Bailey of Monett six and one-half pounds. The three-day turnout of anglers reported by the park hatchery had a total of 1,690 opening day, 1,029 Saturday and 724 on Sunday. Traditional bonfires along the stream weren’t needed for warmth this year but did provide needed light in pre-dawn hours. The temperature was 45 degrees at the opening gun and climbed steadily throughout the day. Standing elbow to elbow throughout the mainstream area from the twin falls to Dry Hollow, anglers had what was estimated to be the usual amount of line entanglements during the early hours. This is what the spectators that lined the stream back behind them came to see. Many a fish escaped at least temporarily as result of the tangled lines and lures. Further down Roaring River stream, at Eagle Rock, festivities observing the opening started at 3:30 when the community threw a bean feed for all that cared to visit. A program that night featured country western music and a talltale contest.


A Cassville graduate is one of three young ladies named to the security force of SMSU in Springfield recently. She is Micki Munday, daughter of Mrs. Helen Stringer of Cassville.

40 years ago

March 7, 1984


Barry County got help in removing 16 inch snow results from the last of February over the weekend as thunderstorms and hail virtually erased signs of the trouble-causing blanket. As the area started a return to near-normal conditions, lightening in the Saturday blow returned some areas to power outage conditions. Mary Ann Thomas at the U.S. Forest Service here, said the last of February snow and rain provided 2.93 inches of moisture. March got a good start with 1.11 recorded this past Saturday. For the year, moisture stands at 5.48 inches. As the fickle weather continued visiting Barry County, utility crews from Barry Electric Cooperative, are “down to scattered outage situations,” said manager Joe Preddy. “This doesn’t mean we are out of trouble, since weakened lines and poles could still cause problems,” Preddy reminded. Crews, from the local coop and assisting organizations, did what many considered a major accomplishment. Preddy said this week, “our emergency plans worked well, with few exceptions. There are always conditions in such a widespread situation you can’t include in planning, but we got good assistance and our crews worked hard.” Saturday’s hail compounded some problems. Insurance companies have asked adjusters for inspection of some roofs. Auto damage was also reported. Shrubbery was pounded heavily by the falling ice. In Cassville, city crews will remove limbs broken in the storms, if they are cut to reasonable size and piled at curb lines. City Clerk Jo Ledgerwood said there was no need to call the city office, since crews would accomplish the duty in regular trips around town as the work assignments permit.

30 years ago

Feb. 23, 1994


According to recently released U.S. Census figures, Barry County grew 3.9 percent to 28,631 residents between 1990 and 1992. Neighboring Lawrence County, grew 1.2 percent to 30,607 residents. In the southwest Missouri region, Christian County grew the most with a 10.7 percent population jump in two years.


The trout-to-angler ratio should be about three to one on March 1 if Roaring River park officials’ Opening Day predictions ring true. Jerry Dean, Roaring River State Park hatchery manager, said he expects the park to meet or beat the record Tuesday opening set in 1988, unless weather forecasts turn gloomy. On that day in 1988, 2,377 tags were sold, and the weather ranged from a low of 25° at the opening gun to a high of 65° At least 7,200 fish should be in the river next Tuesday, according to Dean. Hatchery crews are scheduled to begin stocking the river with approximately 6,000 fish on Sunday, February 27, in preparation for the usual Opening Day crowds. An additional 1,500 fish were stocked during the winter catch-and-release program. “I don’t think anyone will be disappointed in the size of the fish this season,” Dean said. “We have had excellent growth the entire year. Since we have started spawning trout at Roaring River again, we have large fish culled from our breeding stock.” Sixty of these large trout, averaging five pounds each, will be stocked for Opening Day. An additional 93 lunkers were placed in the river during the winter season. All in all, Dean expects fish numbers to break down to about 218 fish in each of the river’s 33 fishing holes. Dean reports that current stream conditions are excellent. The water is clear with a normal flow rate. Park superintendent Pete Landstad said his eight-member maintenance crew has been busy sprucing up park facilities for Opening Day. Because of the weekday opening, Landstad said he expects the campgrounds to be busy but not full. As of Friday, February 18, the park office had received only nine confirmed reservations. Roaring River’s 26 cabins and 24 motel rooms have been booked since last year, according to Jack Nickols, park concessionaire. Nickols said two of the cabins were taken out of service last year to get ready for the new park complex. He added that at this time he had heard nothing about when the complex would be constructed. Roaring River Restaurant is set to open on Saturday, February 26, at 5 p.m. for a dinner buffet. It will also be open on Sunday at 11 a.m. for a luncheon buffet. The restaurant will resume its regular hours, beginning at noon on Monday. The lodge opens at noon on Monday, February 28. Trout tags will be available for purchase at that time. Opening Day festivities will proceed as in years past.


The House Agribusiness Committee heard testimony last week about a 1975 Missouri law banning most corporate ownership of farmland in the state. A bill to repeal this law has been introduced in the state legislature by Reps. Nolan McNeill, D-Cassville, and Gene Copeland, D-New Madrid. Supporters of the measure testified that the law needs to be repealed to encourage hog production and processing in Missouri. Opponents of the bill said the increase in contract farming could squeeze out independent family farmers. Bill Moeller, a vice president at Tyson Foods, testified for the bill, stating that under the present law, Tyson is inhibited in its ability to contract with farmers to raise hogs. Tyson has contract hog farms in only one county in Missouri – McDonald County. People on both sides of the bill agree that passage would result in more contract hog raising in Missouri, similar to the spread of contract poultry growers in the state. The bill has been endorsed by the Missouri Pork Producers Association and the Missouri Corn Growers Association. The House Agribusiness Committee has taken no action on the bill yet.