Through the Years, May 22

50 years ago

May 29, 1974


The City of Exeter in Southwest Missouri’s Barry County has received a top-priority project rating from the Missouri Clean Water Commission, it was announced recently. According to sources in Jefferson City, Exeter’s grant request of $263,250 for a sewer and water project was included in a list of some 25 requests receiving the top-priority categorization. The commission will release about $43 million in federal funds during the 1974-75 fiscal year. Voters in Exeter approved a $234,000 bond issue February 5 to finance the city sewer and water project. The bond issue actually included two proposals: A $34,000 issue to refinance the city’s current water system and a $200,000 proposal in revenue bonds for the installation of a sewage collection and disposal system. The new project will establish lines for the entire city and involve installation of a disposal lagoon southeast of the town. Exeter officials were only recently notified of a $70,000 grant approval from the state by Dr. H. R. Domke, director of the Missouri Division of Health. According to earlier reports the first grant check will be issued when 25 percent of the construction is completed, with additional checks forthcoming at specified intervals. Engineering representatives have set early August as a possible time for letting a contract on the project. The new Exeter sewer system has been in the works since about 1960. No increase in taxes is planned but a monthly service charge for use of the new facility will be levied, probably about $4. Consulting engineers for the project are Allgeier, Martin and Associates of Joplin.


A pasture was converted into an industrial tract in Cassville Tuesday as ground breaking for FASCO Industries Inc., was conducted in conjunction with the company, local Chamber of Commerce and Industrial Development Corporation officials. Soon to replace the cattle that formerly grazed on the 44 acre site is a 150,000 square foot manufacturing complex. Doing the shovel honors for the ground breaking was Richard Gysel, vice-president, motor division, for the company’s’ Rochester, N. Y. headquarters. The event capped a 5 p.m. ceremony which started with a concert by the CHS stage band, under the baton of John Knight. Bob Mitchell, C of C president, introduced speakers as master of ceremonies. In order of their remarks, local participants included, Bill Wiley, IDC president; Mayor Bill LeCompte and State Senator Emory Melton. Each congratulated the community for its efforts in attracting FASCO in a courtship and marriage that has lasted some six months. Peter Weis, vice-president Missouri motor division for FASCO, took the stand to introduce company officials. It is with Weis, headquartered in Ozark, Mo., with which local efforts have been centered. He introduced Morris Castleberry, Cassville plant superintendent and Gysel, who flew here for the occasion. Gysel in turn introduced Mike Prueter, company sales manager and Ralph Kelley of Shell Knob, who recently joined the company and will become an official with the Cassville plant. The Rochester official of FASCO, thanked Cassville interests for their efforts in providing the company with such an overwhelming vote 5489 in favor of their bond issues a week ago. Gysel said the company had high hopes for the new plant, expected to employ 400 persons in the first year of operation. Production is scheduled to commence in late December. Wives of five local leaders were recognized at the conclusion of the program, for their efforts in giving of the time of their husbands. Included were: Barbara Le-Compte, JoAnne Ellis, Bessie Wiley, Sue Mitchell and Virginia Ward of the C of C office. Just before the official ground breaking, Mitchell recognized Fred Meador, 88, oldest living past president of the C of C as a civic leader and one which had contributed much to Cassville’s advancement and attractiveness to industry over the past few years. Mr. Meador, a retired businessman, was visited extensively in his auto following the ceremonies. Gysel then stepped from the speaker’s platform and lifted the first shovelful of dirt to signify the start of construction. In the background stood earth moving equipment of Herman Hutchens, contractor in Cassville, ready to begin earth moving in earnest. Also in the background, a barn that stood on the property purchased from Mr. and Mrs. Rufus Miller, was being demolished as the ceremony progressed. Weis told a dinner meeting of C of C directors, committee chairman, IDC officers and city officials at Roaring River following the ceremonies, that steel for the expansive building would begin arriving on the site this week. FASCO hopes to have the big manufacturing building completed by the first of December, with production to start before the first of the year. Castleberry said the company would begin contacting prospective employees about October.

40 years ago

May 30, 1984


“It’s a bumper crop out there, with the amount of hay taken and possible prices determining the amount of fescue seed harvested this year,” is the general attitude of producers and harvesters in and around the Fescue Capital of the World. The bumper crop predictions are hedged somewhat on how much of the grass will be baled for a depleted hay carryover. Emmett McCord of the University of Missouri extension service, said this week, “more hay is layed down than I’ve seen in several years. Many fields that were combined last year are being hayed because stockmen’s supplies were exhausted last winter.” McCord also said the decision to hay the crop had to be made now to produce the best results for fescue baling. Prospects for market are being watched closely. Last year seed markets were steady at 22 cents a pound for most of the season. Some seed has been contracted at 17 cents this year, according to one major buyer. Growers and custom harvesters say a number of things can happen to the large crop in addition to falling before hay mowing machines. A high wind or heavy rain could hurt the seed season that should begin around the first of July. One grower said the next two weeks would be a factor in farmers making decisions on which way to take their fescue. The choices are renew hay supply or seed on a possible falling per-poundmarket. Both growers and buyers acknowledge there is some carry-over from last year’s harvest. At least two major buyers, Franklin Miller of Pea Ridge, Ark. and Pennington Grain and Seed of Georgia, will be definite markets this year. Others are in the waiting stage.

30 years ago

May 18, 1994


Economic conditions in Barry County are enhanced annually with an inflow of at least $65.7 million in revenue from the tourist industry. Statistics, the latest available for 1992, show $65,727,782, an increase of 2.8 percent over 1991, flowed into the county due to tourism in 1992. Dean Brooks, media coordinator of the Missouri Division of Tourism, said the two-year-old figures were the latest available. Information, coming from sales tax and informational questionnaire statistics by the division. list nearly two billion dollars, $1,927,497,428 coming into the 13-county Ozark Mountain Region during the period. That figure was up 174 percent from the $1,590,081,665 regional income coming from tourist dollars. Included in the regional county listing, Barry, Christian, Douglas, Greene, Jasper, Lawrence, McDonald,Newton,Ozark, Stone, Taney, Webster, and Wright. Five of these counties were above Barry for income generated by tourist dollars. Taney led the list with $869,559,476, Greene was second with $386,649,057 followed by Stone $275,637,685, Newton $117,893,937 and Jasper $86,422,283. Adjoining Lawrence County was the biggest loser over the two-year period, falling 12.1 percent in tourism income from $16 million to $14 million. A view into tourism’s impact on Barry County with Roaring River State Park and Table Rock Lake providing the major attractions, came to the commission through a conducted survey by Certec, Inc., completed in October 1993. From the state’s standpoint, tourism and travel industry business contributed over $12.3 billion to the state’s economy in 1992. Direct expenditures by tourists accounted for $8.6 billion of this total. This is an increase in real dollars of 7.1 percent over 1991. While all regions and counties of the state received expenditures from tourists, three, Ozark Mountain, St. Louis and Kansas City accounted for nearly two-thirds of the total. Providing for every two of three dollars spent were lodging, food and beverage and shopping Travelers in the state generated nearly $2.3 billion in tax revenues to government, $686 million state, $298 million locally and $1.3 billion federal. Per-person-perday expenditure levels show $96.97 hotel-motel, $51.31 attractions, $62.56 VFR, $68.39 campground and $27.56 pass through, Nearly 265,000 jobs in Missouri resulted from the industry in 1992, which amounted to $3.7 billion in wages. Seventyone percent of the 1,780 accommodation facilities, proving 86,832 rooms for tourists to rent, are located in the three top regions. A total of 769 attractions are bonifide as drawing tourist into visiting and possibly buying admission tickets. Mid and south Missouri mostly provides 421 campgrounds with a total of 28,308 campsites in the state, three-fifths of these in the two regions mentioned. Among Missouri’s top lists of attractions are 84 state parks and historic sites. Breakouts of statistics for tourism place 1,580 jobs in Barry County relating to tourism, with a total wage package of just over $18.7 million. Again the figures are for a survey that was completed two years ago this fall. In the Ozark Mountain region, wages were $555.3 million for 46,343 persons. Barry County was fifth in this category. Lodging and shopping purchases accounted for over onethird of all travel expenditures, another 30 percent going for food and beverage. Missouri Tourism lists 32 facilities in the hotel, motel, resorts and bed and breakfast categories in Barry County. These have 537 total rooms. Facility numbers increased by one in the year to year report period, rooms by just under 50. In the Ozark Mountain region, 552 facilities have 19,906 rooms. Ozark Mountain listed 120 attractions two years ago, three of these in Barry County, a number that remained steady during the statistic years. Missouri campground statistics listed 1l in Barry County with 409 sites.


Back in session Friday after not finishing their business four nights earlier, Cassville city council put machinery in motion that could get serious work started on a onemile Greenway along Flat Creek from the northeast edge of town to mid-town areas. Councilman Rick Linebarger reported the Ozark Greenways, Inc. had accepted Cassville’s project for planning purposes toward grant applications. Still not finished with their business, the council was scheduled to be back in session at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday to complete agenda items that had not been completed. Linebarger explained to mayor Rolland Meador and council mem-Ders Daryl Ledenham, Randy Stockton and Sue Brattin that the Project would be planned under a 16,500 fee, fronted by Cassville. Directions would be toward funding by programs under the Missouri Department of Conservation and Missouri Highway and Transportation Department. The project, planned for several years, would run from Rocky Edmondson Memorial Park sections of the R-4 campus southward to end at the Highway 248 bridge or Cassville park developments. Under the contracts OG Inc. will plan the project, make applications and provide information for piggybacking grant possibilities through the two state agencies. No dollar figure was placed on the project, according to city clerk Jo Ledgerwood. Council also agreed to a $12,000 engineering services through Bucher, Willis, Ratcliff of Kansas City for getting repair projects at the waste water treatment plant ready to bid in the same package as an addition project that is going before voters June 7 in a $1.1 million sludge removal pro-gram. Mayor Meador said council approval went under the theory that work on needed repairs and new construction could be accomplished by the same contractor if they were coordinated. Council authorized mayor Meador to contract with Smith Edging and Mowing Service, for mowing at waste water plant. Fee $120 per time. Mayor also authorized to complete $2,000 involvement with Southwest Missouri Drug Task Force. Approval came on a zoning and planning consideration for a special use permit to Larry Bussman for construction of storage facility on land recently purchased from R. G. Edmondson in the Hilltop community. Included in reconvened session items, review of salary scheduled for city employees. Ledgerwood said the council had a list of present salaries for all departments. No recommendations have been made for possible changes. Also scheduled for the meeting will be discussion of the up-coming bond issue and possible construction of an additional ball field to alleviate crowded conditions on existing playing fields.

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