Through the Years, April 24

50 years ago

May 1, 1974


The Cassville Chamber of Commerce has instigated a push for road improvements in this tourist area and for general travel improvements in the south Barry County area. A meeting of the C of C roads and highway committee last week requested a session with Wilbur Stegner, district engineer of the Missouri Highway Department to discuss the proposals. Committee members, Truman Baker and Carter Koon, co-chairmen; Tom Cardin, Evan Hutchens, Joe Ellis and Wayne Krepps, devised a letter to Stegner requesting a meeting. The communication was signed by Bob Mitchell, C of C president. In the letter, attention was pointed toward a needed improvement to entrances at Sales Barn Road, with the advent of heavy traffic involving FASCO Industries location here. Junctions at 248 and Highway 37 are cited as improvement areas. Route 37 from Cassville to the Missouri-Arkansas line is another project of improvement boosted by the C of C. The highway from U. S. 60 at Monett was relocated and improved several years ago. The remaining miles from here to the state line are considered high on the improvement list here. Route 76 from Cassville to new Highway 39 at Burbridge Corner and leading into the central Table Rock Lake area, is also a project deemed necessary for tie-in with Roaring River State Park recreation areas. In another letter concerning traffic in this area, the C of C has requested the Missouri Park Board make requests to the highway department concerning direction signs into the Roaring River country at five locations in the general area. Included is on Highway 37 at the Arkansas Line; Highway 71 by-pass near Neosho, Junction 60 and 37 at Monett, Junction 86 and 39 at Carr Lane and Junction 76 and 36 near Hill City. The park portion of the effort is directed toward Roaring River having the heaviest traffic record of any park in the state, affecting a need for better directions for the thousands in the area annually. Plans of the C of C are to council with Stegner concerning the projects, their up-dated traffic count and correct procedure of making official requests to the Missouri Highway Commission at a later date.


A proposed industrial tract, containing 41.44 acres adjoining the Cassville city limits across Flat Creek in the south part of town, was transferred from Mr. and Mrs. Rufus Miller to the Industrial Development Corporation Tuesday. An additional four acres, belonging to Mr. and Mrs. Royle Ellis, will be deeded to the IDC later this week. The IDC paid the Millers $47,000 for the tract, designated to become the new home for FASCO Industries here. Mr. and Mrs. Ellis had previously announced intentions to give the land to the IDC. Purchase of the land was made possible through subscription of funds from 89 business and professional people here. It is the largest effort of this type ever experienced in Cassville. Cassville voters will complete the final stage of FASCO’s location here on May 21 when they ballot on two propositions. One will be a $250,000 general obligation bond issue to make water and sewer improvements. City officials have previously announced the indebtedness could be handled under existing tax levies and water revenue funds. The second proposition will be a $3 million industrial revenue bond issue, previously approved by the Missouri Division of Commerce and Industrial Development. The issue will construct a 150,000 square foot building and provide equipment for the manufacture of electric motors here. FASCO’s payroll after one year would be around 400 persons. None of the industrial bond issue can ever become a tax levy in Cassville. Bonding company officials have pointed out that company rental payments will retire the bonds over a 20-year period. Over the long haul, company failure to continue operations here could not place the burden of payment on local levies. Cassville will have polling places at the city hall and school campus for this issue. The water and sewer portion of the program is a stepup of needed programs that have been expedited by FASCO’s coming here. Part of the improvement will be to provide utilities to the company which would become Cassville’s largest employers.

40 years ago

May 2, 1984


A change in plans for reconstruction of Highway 37 between Cassville and Seligman could be possible: District Highway Engineer Joseph Mickes acknowledged this week that a “stepped-up schedule of relocation of that segment of the improvement project could be in the offering.” Originally scheduled this fail, Mickes said this week the “only possible change could be acceleration of the hearing process. That portion of Highway 37 between Route 76 and Seligman will go under a hearing process as soon as preliminary strip maps are approved,” the engineer said. Improvement of the route between Cassville and the Arkansas line south of Seligman has been in process by the Missouri Highway and Transportation Department for a number of years. At question now is a relocation possibility in the Seligman area. Mickes told the Democrat this week, “The route between Cassville and access to Seligman at the north edge of town will proceed as scheduled with a possible hearing this summer instead of fall. Relocation of the Seligman to state line segment will be decided by the Highway and Transportation Commission at a later date.” Previous announcements by the department of design hearing on the route north of Seligman to Cassville, will have a meeting probably at Washburn. In January, the department held hearings on a proposed a 2.8 mile relocation between the state line and Seligman which proposed a by-pass of the southernmost town in Barry County. While alternate routes were secondary proposals, the department obviously favored the bypass. Seligman residents who responded to information cards in the meeting opposed complete by-pass of the town. The approximately 17 miles of improvement on Highway 37 would include widening, elimination of some curves and two narrow bridge crossings. This section would follow the existing route, except where additional right-of-way was necessary to avoid curve hazards along the route. The project, which has been in a number of fiveyear plans by the department, would include widening to 24 feet and providing six-foot shoulders. The heavily traveled route would be made safer with the elimination of hazards. The cost of the work is estimated to run $5 million. Mickes has said previously the route is presently rated at a 3,400 vehicle per day count which is projected to increase to 4,500 in the next 20 years. Heavy commercial traffic uses the route. Traffic counts in the area are exceeded only by U.S. 71. The engineer said strip maps of the Cassville to Seligman area were being prepared from aerial observations. He said what few relocations that would be required in the project would determined from this gathering of information. These will be available for property owner review at the up-coming public hearing. Department information during development, Highway 37 plans have followed the line of “long range implications must be given first consideration.” The department’s proposed by-pass of Seligman would run about 1,700 feet east of the present location. The new road would begin about 800 feet north of the Missouri- Arkansas line and continue to the north edge of Seligman. Highway 37 was constructed in 1927 and last resurfaced in 1977. The present road is 22 feet wide. The route from Cassville to Monett was relocated in the late 1950’s with most of the 19 mile project a relocation of the road.


Attention nationally is on health care costs, and hospital charges make up the biggest chunk of U.S. health care expenses. Hospital expenditures in 1982 were $135.4 billion, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. That’s 35 times what they were in 950. Aurora Community Hospital recently made a survey of hospitals in the southwest area of Missouri, excluding Springfield and Joplin. Average cost for semi-private room at all hospitals surveyed was $145. Highest reported was $165. For a private room the average cost was $162. Highest was $196. For intensive care or cardiac care the average was $365. Highest reported was $467. South Barry County Memorial Hospital charges $140 for a semi-private room. A private room costs $150 or $155 (depending on which room is occupied), and ICU-CCU costs $325. Telephone is $1 per day, with a $S minimum. Several administrators noted that the actual amount for room rates should be more, perhaps double the amount charged, because many costs are shifted to other areas. The Health Insurance Association of America reported that in July of 1982, the average daily charge for a semi-private room in U.S. hospitals was about $180.

30 years ago

April 20, 1994


Two financial institutions in Barry County are involved in expanding new bank facilities to different communities. Boatmen’s Bank announced this week opening processes of gaining appropriate supervisory authority to open a bank in Shell Knob. First Independent Bank of Seligman and Washburn recently opened a new bank in Aurora. Stan Kelley, president of Boatmen’s in Cassville, said construction plans are being made for a new bank in the lake community and applications have been filed with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation for written consent to establish a branch located at Highway 39 and Route YY. Processing of the request is expected by mid-May. Boatmen’s plans a structure of 1,800 square feet, with special permission obtained for following a log-cabin- style construction of Timberoc Village development owned by Bob Baird. Development of Timberoc proposes the log-type construction for other facilities. The new bank would have a copper roof, similar to Cassville’s new bank, contain full service facilities including a lobby-teller area, new account and loan area and safe deposit boxes. Three drive-up teller lanes including a drive-up Automated Teller machine will be available. Kelley said the new bank is targeted for opening in early fall. The central crossing area of Shell Knob and Viola currently has the service of an independent banking facility, Community Bank of Shell Knob. This financial institution anchored a Bridgeway Shopping Center in the lake community for several years. John Marks, president of First Independent in south Barry County, said First Independent Bank of Aurora opened a short time ago. He said the facility would have no bearing on services provided by First Independent in Barry County. “It just gives us a growth factor from which we hope to be able to provide more services to this area,” he noted. First Independent’s owners include Charles Spangler, president of Metropolitan National Bank of Springfield. Spangler was formerly associated with fiscal institutions in Aurora. Marks said as a part of First Independent’s expansion and update, the Seligman and Washburn facilities would be tied together with a new computer system being installed this week. As a part of the expansion to Aurora, Chris Rahmaeller of the Seligman staff, a native of Aurora, has been transferred to the Lawrence County location. Baird’s other involvements in the Shell Knob area include Timbers Resort and recently acquiring part of the former Windsor Bay development on the south side of Table Rock.