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Friday, Oct. 28, 2016

Malden 60 Years Ago-A Glimpse At Glimmers of Hope

Posted Sunday, February 28, 2010, at 3:31 PM

"The minor events of history are valuable, although not always showy and picturesque." -- Mark Twain

So begins this blog about Malden history of 1950. There were many glimmers of hope and dreams of Malden 60 years ago. Hope your glimpse along with me is enjoyable and thought provoking.

In 1950, events in Malden was not so much with grand and spectacular historical times. Looking back there is some interesting reflections that are worth including in the blog.

This March, Malden Lions Club of 2010 will have their annual pancake fund raiser. The exact date of the first pancake fund raiser is not known but once again the event caught the attention of the citizens as this article appeared on the front page of the local paper Malden Press. In 1950 headlines read, "Lions Club Nets More Than $100 For Charity At Annual Pancake Day Held Last Friday". The Pancake Day was held Friday at the Hudson Implement Company, according to J. C. Starrett, chairman of the Pancake Day Committee. The committee chairman also expressed his thanks to Ed Degaris for painting the sign on the window; W. H. Hudson for the use of his building and the Malden Grain Co. for furnishing workers and trucks. All of the food was donated by merchants: Barrett's Cafe, furnished coffee; Mitchell-Corder, the syrup; Ozark Dairy, the butter; Pillsbury Mills, the flour; Mills-Napper, cups and plates; and Producers Diary, milk and cream. Members of the Pancake Day committee were J. C. Starrett, J. W. Queen and Roy King.

(Be sure and get your tickets for Malden Lions Club Pancake Day this March to be held at the Malden Methodist Church at the end of the March.)

Mother's Day gifts of candy was featured at Metzger Rexall Store at 101 W. Main. One could shop for costume jewelry, perfumes, cosmetics and toiletries.

Forty-two seniors graduated in May from Malden High School. Colors for the 1950 graduating class were read and white with the red rose as class flower. Their motto was "It's not the gale, But the set of the sail That determines the way we go." Valedictorian of the class was Charles Stobaugh and Kenneth Craig was salutatorian. Rosalind Conrad was chosen the outstanding girl and David Karlish the outstanding boy. Presentation of the class was made by W. O. Johnson, principal of the high school and Dr. L. O. Wicecarver, president of the board of education presented the diplomas.

Installation of parking meters in Malden were completed the Friday before operation that started on Monday, June 5th, according to an announcement made by Mayor J. E. Hunt. Mayor Hunt said the meters will be in effect from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. each day of the week with the exception of Sundays and holidays. Violators will be fined 50 cents to $5.00. The meters were installed on a 90-day trial period by the Martin Red Ball Parking Meter Company of Benton, Ill. At the end of the trial period the City Council will make a decision as to whether or not they should be kept permanently. The new meters are set up to accommodate parking for a period of two hours at the rate of one cent for each 12 minutes. The outstanding feature of the meters is the red ball violation signal that can be seen easily.

Malden's annual clean-up, paint-up, fix-up program started June 7 and was sponsored by Malden Jaycees. Wednesday, June 7, was the day chosen by the Jaycees as that is the day the merchants have agreed to close their doors during the afternoons for the remainder of the summer.

This was the year one could buy Polio Insurance for immediate coverage from date of purchase with Continental's Insurance. Smedley and Swanagon Insurance Agency offered the insurance for coverage up to $500 for each afflicted person. Polio Insurance was only $10 for 2 years. Protection for the entire family. The agency was located at 215 S. Madison.

Malden C.A.P. Squadron was formally commissioned in December 1950. The Malden Civil Air Patrol first meeting was held in December with 50 to 60 members in attendance.

Malden Press June 8, 1950 edition carries the leading editorial on the front page: "What Does Malden Have To Lose?" It reads, "There has been much discussion pro and con since the City Council announced that a special election will be held Tuesday July 11, for the purpose of annexing the airport and making it a part of Malden. We have listened to the opinions of both sides and it seems that Malden has everything to gain and nothing to lose. What city of 3,300 or even smaller wouldn't like to have a modern airport if it is their's for the taking? This is the 20th century--the age of airplanes."

In 1950 Malden Press headlines proclaimed "Malden Gains 709 According To Latest Population Figures. Spoonerville and Airport not included in total. "Malden has gained 709 in population since 1940 according to provisional census figures released by Lloyd Poe, district census supervisor. The population is 3,382 as compared with 2,673 for 1940. Kennett showed the biggest gain by picking up 2,304 for a total of 8,559."

Wednesday, June 14, Flag Day, a bronze replica of the Statue of Liberty erected by local Boy Scout organizations at the Highway 25 entrance of the high school campus was unveiled and dedicated in a formal ceremony. The statue was obtained through the efforts of Ira C. Napper, Tri-County Scout Chairman. Present at the ceremony was members of the Cub Packs and Malden Boy Scout Troops. Al Rogers, Scout field executive for this area; and Clyde M. Clark of Cape Girardeau, executive of the Southeast Missouri Area Council of Boy Scouts. Clark gave the principal address of the afternoon. Harold Nance of the Malden Methodist Church gave the invocation. A "hats off" was given by the Malden Press for the impressive scene when approaching Malden from the north and "now with the present situation in Korea, she looks even better." http://www.cheyennetroop101.org/history/...


Production Diary of Malden announced that all their products are now grade "A". Congratulations were extended to V. H. "Hank" Watson. Mr. Watson reported that he had been working day and night to put this program across and available to the people of Malden.

Veryl L. Riddle, of Malden, won his election for Dunklin County Prosecuting Attorney by defeating Leon McAnally of Kennett by 1,061. This was a huge win for the north end of Dunklin County residents and the city of Malden. It was a rare moment for Malden to have a local resident to win an important county position.

This was the year the Malden Press, later to become the Malden Press-Merit, leased the "new building being constructed by L. B. James adjacent to his plumbing and heating building on South Decatur Street." They expected to occupy the building July 1. (This year on July 1, the Malden Printing Company will celebrate that occupancy of 60 years. The printing company was a part of the Malden Press-Merit and remained in business at the same location after the newspaper was sold in the late 1990's.)

What about the airport annexation? Annexation of the airport won by a 2-1 margin. Natural Gas also carried by a big margin. Mayor Hunt announced that in the wake of the decisive vote in favor of annexing the Municipal Airport he would ask Gov. Forrest Smith for a re-count of population figures to include persons residing in the newly acquired area. This will place Malden's population close to 4,000. The present population if 3,382. In Tuesday's election count was 366 in favor and 187 against. Also, the Arkansas-Missouri Power Company was awarded a 20-year natural gas franchise by an overwhelming margin of 513 to 45. The annexed territory later became the 3rd Ward in Malden. City Board of Alderman was increased to six.

In 1950 there was some significant historical event but it seems worth noting at the conclusion of this historical glimpse, there was special for cotton pick sacks. A 9 foot sack went for $2.40 and 71/2 foot for $2.15 at Hudson Implement Company. You could buy a 1931 Pontiac "8" for $29.50; 1924 Model "T" $1 and a 1942 Nash "600" for $425 at B & W Auto Sales.

Malden was progressive in 1950 and at the same time "cotton pick sacks" were important to the economy. It wasn't until many years later "Cotton Pick" machines delivered one its most prized agriculture products in the Bootheel in mass quantities and it remains highly valuable today.

Do you remember pickin' cotton in and around the fields near Malden? That's a good topic for a future blog. I'll work on that story. I can spin a story on my cotton pickin' experience and I bet some of you can fondly or not so fondly, remember your experiences.

Thanks for reading the Maldenite blog. Got a good subject? E-mail me: maldenite@gmail.com


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I enjoyed reading your blog. I just found it by mistake while researching when the Malden Press Merit was first published. I've not found my answer yet, lol. but I'm looking. I have a group on facebook called "Remember Growing Up in Malden MO". If you dont mind Id like to take some of your posting to put up as trivia questions in our group. Would you mind?? Our group is open and your welcome to join, I guess i'm inviting you to become a member. Thanks for letting me read your blog. Thanks for having a blog like this that allows me to read about Malden. I will tell my group about you a little later. But for now i'd like to use you as a source for trivia question. Thank you

-- Posted by Rascalsmother on Sun, Mar 4, 2012, at 9:41 AM

I stumbled on your blog while trying to find some info about my grandparents for a project my granddaughter is doing. On both sides my parents were long-time residents of Malden, graduating from the Malden highschool in the same senior class-- my mother was valedicatorian and my father was salutatorian. Both grandfathers were very active in Malden from the early 1900s.My father and his brother both worked at the Malden Merit when Daddy White was the editor. I learned to run the linotype there and make type. All of my cousins grew up in Malden. I was the only one who did not, as my parents married during the Depression and my uncle took over the paper,while my father worked at a number of newspapers in Tennessee. I was born in Nashville, not Malden. We moved to St. Louis before I started school and I grew up there. Holidays, however, were always in Malden with the Taylor and Morris families. My parents, grandparents and many other family members are buried in Malden.

Yes I do remember a brief stint picking cotton -- that is a plant that does not give up its yield easily. It is back-breaking work, even for short people. Glad I stumbled across your Blog as it brought back many memories.

Pam Clark

-- Posted by PaminNY on Sun, Nov 18, 2012, at 5:37 PM

Hello I'm back. I was just reading what Pam Clark wrote. It's interesting what she said, that's a part of Malden's History. I'd like to get in touch with her, if you could get a message to Pam I'd appreciate it. Have here contact me on Facebook at Group 'Memories of Growing Up In Malden'. You are also Invite to Join our Group. I'm the Administrator, I created the room for people to tell there stories about Malden growing up there and about the Parents and so forth. Hope to see you there. GOD BLESS!!

-- Posted by Rascalsmother on Thu, May 30, 2013, at 11:34 PM

We Print Three Papers

In April 1950 Dennis Bacon and Russell Coursey, owners of the Dunklin County Press in Senath, took on printing another newspaper, the Malden Press. The town already had a newspaper, but a poor one. An acquaintance of Russell's, Allen Black, had graduated from the University of Missouri journalism school and thought that Malden would be a good place to start a new weekly. He needed a place to have the paper printed until he could assemble printing equipment and a staff.

So for awhile we printed three newspapers: Senath, Puxico and Malden. I was a printer, assembling ads and pages and was on my feet 12 hours a day. There was a rubber pad of some kind on the concrete floor in front of each of the two newspaper makeup stones. Sometimes it would be 10 p.m. before I could leave work. When that happened nothing was said if I'd show up a little late the next morning. As compensation for overtime, Dennis got Russell to raise my salary from $50 to $55 per week.

Sometimes late on Thursday evenings everyone in the shop except me would take a break, go out for coffee before coming back and doing the final press run for the Senath paper, fold and insert, put on mailing labels, and take to the Post Office. One evening there were still the pages backing up the front page and the back page to be run off before the front page and the back page could be done. Anxious to complete my work so that I could head for home (it was then about 10 p.m.) I remained in the shop while everyone else took a break. I completed nearly the whole run on the Delphos newspaper press before they returned.

I rarely operated the Delphos. It was hand-fed. To feed the 32x24-inch sheets of newsprint into the press you had to flip each sheet in such a way so as to get an air cushion under the sheet so that it would glide down to the pins where grippers on the revolving cylinder would pick it up. If you saw that you were going to miss, then you had to hit a release lever so that the print form wouldn't print on the cylinder backing sheet on the next revolution thus causing an "offset." Hitting the release lever at the proper time required quick coordination and action. Some operators were more skilled at this than others and could even go through the motions at fairly high speeds. Cylinder presses were safer to operate because they didn't have the stamping action characteristic of platen presses.

On those days when I'd work into the evening I'd eat supper at Airline Cafe, sometimes with the Linotype operator from Puxico. When the shop took on publication of the Malden paper sometimes he'd work into the wee hours of the morning (Mr. Kern, the regular Linotype operator, being elderly, wasn't up to working long, long hours).

In the summer the heavy workload at the Senath printing plant eased. Allen had set up his own printing plant in Malden and the Linotype operator owner of the Puxico paper decided to have that paper printed elsewhere in southeast Missouri.

 John B. Webster

-- Posted by Plute2 on Sat, Aug 24, 2013, at 3:12 PM

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Maldenite Blog for the Delta News Citizen will be focusing on the history and art in and around Malden. I will be researching from the archives of the Malden Historical Museum and other methods that I might come across. I hope you find this blog to be an occasional peek into the past that will spark pleasant memories from your own past. Please share your interest or facts you know about Malden's past. Art will cover. . . well art. I invite readers to share their artist endeavors. Thanks for taking the time to read the Maldenite and I hope to enlighten you with some history and art in Malden, Missouri. "No harm's done to history by making it something someone would want to read."-David McCullough
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