Through the Years, May 29

50 years ago

June 5, 1974


Cassville is currently in a new building and improvement program, headlined by the start of construction on the new FASCO Industries, Inc., plant. Conservative estimates placed on the program underway in nine major projects in the city area place the total value at just under $4 million. Included in the projects are Garrett Manufacturing Co. expansion, Edmondson-Tuner new building adjoining Whisman Laundry, Barry County jail, Cassville MFA building, FASCO, Inc., Cassville school expansion, Jehovah’s Witnesses Kingdom Hall, Jakie Hawk building for Diane’s Poodle Boutique, Bill Henderson’s new car lot facility by Stone County Oil Co. and Rex Stumpff’s remodeling of the former Meador Building into a barber shop and rental office facility. In addition to the in-city projects, Ernie’s Chicken Shack at Hilltop is being expanded in size by the property owner, Mrs. Deloris Hutchens. Considerable expenditure in the projects is expected for new equipment covering operation of the respective businesses and plants. Estimates of costs total about $3.6 million. Another major project, demolishing of a building at Eighth and Mill Streets, removed a structure for possible future expansion and cleaned-up the area. Melvin Creech, new owner of the property adjoining his auto repair shop, has announced no definite future plans, but the area clean-up is an asset to that area of town. FASCO’s project started initial stages last week with the arrival of a large quantity of steel for the 150,000 square foot building. Glen Perkins, superintendent for the prime contractor, De Witt-Newton Construction of Springfield, said the project would be underway for about six months. Not helping any of the projects which are out in the weather, have been recent rainfalls. Combined Friday, Saturday and Tuesday showers deposited three inches of rainfall in Cassville: The current rash of building and improvement is the largest single undertaking in Cassville since the shuffle, moving and building experienced here in 1962. Some of the projects will involve new businesses in town while others will be relocations or expansions of existing operations. While individual figures of cost estimates are not included in the total cost figures run by respective owners and building firms ranged from $6,000 to the total FASCO figure of $3 million for building and equipment. The local Jehovah’s Witnesses Kingdom Hall is the latest addition to Cassville’s church community. A program of dedication was held Saturday and Sunday. The building is located on Kathy Drive portion of Shetley addition in the north part of town. Speakers participating in the ceremony included: Alfred Wood, Neosho minister, who gave the principal address, and these local leaders, Floyd Wilbanks, Curtiss Stoops, John Johnson and Ken Welsh. The previously announced Garrett project will double that manufacturing facility. No tenant has been announced for the Edmondson-Turner facility. Barry County is constructing the new jail in the south part of Cassville. The Cassville MFA building is expected to be available for the business in late summer. FASCO’s plans are to be manufacturing electric motors in their plant by December, according to Morris Castleberry, superintendent designate for the project. Cassville school building is for elementary classroom expansion and transportation system storage and maintenance areas — SCHOOL REPORTS, PROJECT BIDS IN BOARD ACTIONS The Cassville R-4 board of education met in regular session Monday reports Superintendent Jim Ford. The board heard reports on general school conditions. A progress report was given on construction going on at the school during the summer. The board heard a petition presented by a group of school patrons regarding personnel. No action was taken on the presentation, says Walter Ray, board president. The board elected to install a larger gasoline storage for bus operation. The past storage has been 1,000 gallons. The superintendent was instructed to get prices of 4000, 5000, and 6000 gallon tanks for underground storage. The board felt more storage might possibly get the school through a short fuel shortage crisis should one develop. The board reviewed an agenda of Big 10 conference workshop this week at which Ford and Principal Bob LeMon are attending. Employment was extended to Bruce Graber to teach science and assist in the football and track program. Graber is enrolled at Pittsburg State College in the graduate program. He worked last year as a graduate assistant in the athletic program at Pittsburg. Graber. was a high school and college quarterback and running back. Board action let a contract amounting to $36,710 for construction of a new bus barn and transportation shop building on newly acquired land northeast of the campus. Russman Construction of Joplin, builders of the new Barry County jail, were low bidders. Three other contracts were offered, with the high being $45,780, according to George Ulmer, representing Miller-Newell and Associates, project supervisors.

40 years ago

June 6, 1984


Cassville’s newest industry, Alvey Inc. of St. Louis, will observe open house of their plant here Saturday, June 9, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Dick Moger, plant manager, said the public is invited to attend the two-hour tour and inspection of the conveyer systems, announced intentions to locate the 78,000 square foot facility here on March 8, 1983. First shipment of conveyor sections were made from the plant on January 26, 1984. Officials of the firms St. Louis headquarters will be on hand for the observance. Included are Steve Loeb, chairman of the board of directors; James Schloeman, president; Paul Putzel, executive vice-president; Jack Learn, manufacturing manager and Bob Shaeffer, personnel director. The Cassville plant is facility number three for the 73-year-old company that has manufacturing plants in St. Louis and Belgium. The international company specializes in design, engineering and fabrication of unit handling systems. Presently employing 50 persons, the ultra-modern plant will be open for tours during open house. Moger said refreshments and favors would be provided throughout the observance. A tent will be located on the plant parking lot to serve those attending! Alvey’s decision to locate in Cassville began two years before the announcement after a search which considered 17 Missouri communities. Contact with the firm was through the Cassville Chamber of Commerce and Industrial Development Corporation. Financing of the plant construction was covered in a $2 million Barry County Industrial Development Corporation revenue bond issue. The bonds were purchased by Charter Corp. of Kansas City, parent company of Charter Bank of Cassville. Preparation of the 17-acre site on Sale Barn Road began shortly after the groundbreaking March 8. First steel erection on the structure was in late July. The site, purchased by the IDC, was completed through a subscription which included participation by 112 local and area business and professional people which raised approximately $40,000. Initial employment sign-up for the firm was conducted the first of September in 1983, attracting 700 persons interested in jobs. Moger said this week, “We at Alvey are excited about our open house. It will be the first public viewing of the facility. We’re extremely anxious to show the Cassville community what the company is manufacturing here and the facilities we’ve located here. It will also give us an opportunity to express our thanks to all those in this area who participated in any way in decisions for Alvey to choose Cassville.” A privately held corporation, Alvey was established in St. Louis in 1911. Company products are marketed from the Far East, to Europe, to North and South America, to virtually anywhere in the world. Company systems speed production on assembly lines for many types of business.


Exeter high school will have a new classroom building sometime next year, replacing facilities that are over 40 years old. District residents Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a $150,000 bond issue for the program. County Clerk Rex Stumpff said unofficial returns reported Tuesday night gave 291 votes in favor of the program and 43 against. He said an official canvas would be completed today. Planned in the project is a new 11,000 square foot building that will provide eight classrooms replacing the present high school building. Superintendent David Burns said the board of education would be in session Thursday night to complete arrangements for architectural drawings. Under the schedule anticipated, Burns said it would be mis-August before the building could be started. He said working drawings, bid processes, material delivery would all take time. Initial information sets 90 days for construction of the metal building which should put the structure in use no later than January. Requiring no levy increase for debt retirement, the issue attracted only about onethird of the district’s 952 registered voters. Election officials said it was not unusual for a June election to bring out a light number of voters. Burns said the new structure would be located south of the present high school building. A cafeteria phase of the improvement will be accomplished by moving this facility to a present library and all-purpose building. The new building will also contain two administrative offices

30 years ago

May 25, 1994


Tanner wears a light blue, knit sweater, and looks out at the world through puzzled, soft eyes. Miss Daisy looks like a school room from a long-ago era in her hat, wire rimmed spectacles floral dress. Tanner and Miss Daisy are one-ofa- kind collectible teddy Bears created by Bonnie Foster in her Cassville studio. Foster travels extensively throughout the U. S. promoting the bears which carry a Cassville tag. Coster’s bears can be found in Foster’s shop, located on Highway 86, three miles outside of the city limits.) Foster has lived in Cassville for only a year and a half, having moved to the Ozarks from Auburn, California, in December 1992. “The Kids & Teddy Too”, Foster’s collectible gift shop, opened just a month ago. A grand opening, complete with ribbon cutting, will be held on May 27. Although her shop is new, Foster’s artistry has developed over the past 18 years. Foster began making cloth dolls and stuffed animals for her baby daughter and soon was selling her creations at local doll and craft shows. In 1985, Foster shifted her focus to teddy bear making and has been creating her unique bears ever since. Foster said her bears are considered collectible because of the hand craftsmanship, high quality materials used and the fact that she only creates 25 or less of each design. Every bear is numbered, dated and signed. Foster’s teddies range in price from $44 to over $500. Most of her bears are made from German mohair or alpaca fur that costs Foster over $100 a yard to import. The eyes are made from hand blown glass. In a good week, Foster said she can create eight to 10 bears. She estimated that she produces about 500 bears a year. Over the years, Foster has created about 20 different designs. She gives each design a distinctive name. “When I finish a new design, I look at it and then a name usually comes to me,” said Foster. The names given to each design reflect the personality of the bear. R. J. is a little boy bear with knickers and a tiny sweater, Kim Suan is a panda and Trudy wears a big bow in her. Foster said she collects antique dresses, christening gowns, old tatting, antique lace and ribbon to dress her bears. “I love putting on the finishing touches,” said Foster. “It’s then that the bears start talking to me.” Foster cuts out all her bear patterns by hand and sews them on a regular sewing machine. The bears arms and legs are jointed with nuts and bolts and then each bear is stuffed with polyester fiber fill and little plastic pellets, which give the bears “possibility.” The final step in the bear-making process is creating the face and sewing on the ears. Foster gives each bear a unique expression.


Barry County had more jobs available for residents during April to follow a statewide trend for low unemployment figures. Governor Mel Carnahan announced this week a dip to 4.7 percent for state figures. In Barry County the figure went to 4.9. That was down considerably from the 6.6 percent unemployment of March this year and April last year. Governor Carnahan said total employment in Missouri is almost 2.53 million people. Unemployment for the report period dropped sharply to 126,000, down 132,300 from the previous month. The last time there was a lower monthly unemployment total was December 1979; when 118,193 were without jobs in the state. State officials said about one half of the gain in jobs was seasonal. Adjoining county figures for the Missouri Division of Employment Security included, Newton 3.8, Lawrence 5.4, McDonald 4.6 and Stone 8.7.

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