Home Early Files Early Files: A Look into the Past

Early Files: A Look into the Past


The Cecil ‘Birddog’ Harris Memorial Early Files: Tales from Howard County’s history reprinted in honor of longtime staff historian and photographer, Cecil Harris (9.19.38-12.15.12). Compiled by Patsy Young

Peach harvest with Kenneth Ford, Banks and Anita Ray

June 13, 2018:

117 years ago: 1901

Among the passengers who arrived on the evening train last Wednesday was Mr. A. G. Ford of Paris, Texas, who was en route to County Line to pay his brother, Mr. Henry Ford, a visit. Unusual interest is attached to this otherwise unimportant announcement from the fact that these brothers have not met since 1856, when they separated in Alabama, their native state. Mr. Henry Ford now one of the best known and most influential citizens of Howard County came here about twenty years. Mr. A. G. Ford remained in Alabama until about six months ago, when he removed to near Paris, Texas. Both the brothers were in the Confederate Army.

(Adv.)  We now have 800 gallons of genuine apple vinegar on tap, which will be sold at 20 cents per gallon for the next 30 days. The season for pickling is near at hand and this will be an opportunity to secure vinegar for all pickling purposes at a reduced price.


100 years ago: 1918

Our attention has been called to a rather interesting record of an Aberdeen Angus cow owned by Dr. W. B. Dormon of this city.

While this magnificent type of beef cattle is not generally supposed to class as dairy animals, this cow has been milked for some time, and is now giving five gallons of milk and one and one-quarter pounds of butter per day. This record is maintained on a system of light feeding.

(Adv.)  Men wanted: For oil field work, pay $4 to $4.75 per day straight time, steady work, board $1.00 per day. Apply at office of Gulf Refining Company, Mooringsport, La.


65 years ago: 1953

Eight and one-half tons of soda pop were aboard a brakeless truck that smashed into a packing shed here in the twilight hour Tuesday. “Luck? No, it wasn’t luck- the Lord just had His arm around me,” vowed driver, Henry F. Benson, a short, hairy man in green livery who calls Hot Springs home.  Beason came out alive and unscratched, but scared and grateful. 

The 1952 Chevrolet truck with its load of refreshments plowed deep into the Missouri Pacific packing shed about 5:45 a.m.  Hundreds of broken bottles and puddles of soda water cluttered up the floor of the packing shed.


Elberta, cool theatre Sunday and Monday, John Philip Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever,” in Technicolor starring Clifton Webb and Debra Paget.


44 years ago: 1974

Eight Howard County 4-Hers competed at the Western District 4-H O’Rama at Fort Smith on Wednesday and brought home first place trophies in these activities: LaDonna Green, Household Equipment; Lofton Lamb, Safety; Alan Green, Leadership: Brad Frost, Bicycle: Relinda Bearden, Food Nutrition; Ronald Kesterson, Weed Identification; Johnna Yates, Modeling and Ruth Brown, Household Equipment.

Two teacher resignations were accepted by the Nashville School Board Monday night. One was from longtime English instructor Mrs. Mary Sue Williams, who retired and the other from  Mrs. Jessie Connor, remedial reading teacher.

June 13,2018:

117 years ago:  1901

Three fine milch cows belonging to Capt. J.J. Thomas were killed by lightning during an electrical storm Thursday night.  The cows were under a hickory tree on the hill east of the depot and when found were near each other.

While hoeing in the field last Tuesday near Lockesburg, the son of Mr. Tom Backus was struck by a falling limb and his skull was fractured.

Drs. Norwood and Boyce were summoned at once to attend the injured boy, who was unconscious for twenty-four hours, but is now convalescing.


100 years ago:  1918

Friday, June 28th has been set aside by President Wilson as Thrift Day in the United States, and on or before that date it is hoped that everyone will sign pledges to practice thrift and serve the government to the utmost.Mr. Wilson stated: “This war is one of nations, not of armies and all of our one hundred million people must be economically and industrially adjusted to war conditions, if this nation is to play its full part in the conflict.”

When one of our soldier or sailor boys makes the supreme sacrifice we say he died doing his duty.  When one of us over here buys an interest bearing government security bond we want to be called a patriot. Let’s buy War Savings Stamps to help our country and not to be glorified.

(Adv.)  We hate to see you stuck in the mud, but if you are in, call us and we will come quick and pull you out  Utley Transfer


65 years ago:  1953

Television, rapidly developing in the area, brought two Howard County youths into the field in Nashville this week.  Joe T. Jackson and Roy C. Cook, both natives of Dierks, have formed a service and repair company for television users and have established an office at 125 West Clark Street.

A sharp toothed enraged alligator gar that roamed the Little River bottoms came out Friday night, an unwilling captive to five fishermen.  Two Nashville brothers, George and J. T. Crisp, accompanied by Clyde Crisp, Wayne Crisp and John Spanhanks exhibited the six-foot eight-inch monster with 100 vicious pounds of weight, and hundreds of residents saw the creature on the street here Saturday afternoon. 

(Adv.) Elberta Sunday and Monday. The show Marilyn Monroe puts on is as electric and spectacular as Niagara itself.  20 Century Fox, “Niagara,” Marilyn Monroe and Joseph Cotton.


43 years ago: 1975

Murfreesboro residents will have something extra to celebrate on July 4 this summer, a new doctor. Dr. Phillip Lee White will begin July 1st and will be associated with Dr. Hiram T. Ward.

Dr. White received a Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Arkansas Medical School in Little Rock in June 1974. He served his internship as a family practice resident at Baptist Medical Center in Little Rock.

Dr. White is a 1966 graduate of Nashville High School and is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Wilfred White of Nashville and is married to the former Donna Lou White, also of Nashville. 

Dr. and Mrs. White have an 11-month-old daughter, Heather Leigh.