"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/2001_7_18.html
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.
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