Callaway Memories

Photo courtesy of the Kingdom of Callaway Historical Society
A photograph of the G.W. Pierce Store in the early 1900's. The Mokane Post Office occupies the same building today.
Photo courtesy of the Kingdom of Callaway Historical Society A photograph of the G.W. Pierce Store in the early 1900's. The Mokane Post Office occupies the same building today.

150 years ago (1873)

WISDOM'S A.B.C.s A Clean glove oft hides a dirty hand. Be ever vigilant but not suspicious. Command

your temper lest it command you. Debt is the worst kind of poverty. Empty vessels make the greatest

sound. Few things are Impossible to skill and industry. Good intentions will not justify evil actions. He

that is hasty fishes in an empty pond. Idleness is the sepulcher of a living man. Judge not at first sight.

Learn to live as you would wish to die. Marriage, with peace, is this world's paradise. Never speak to

deceive nor listen to betray. One eyewitness is better than ten heresays. Put no faith in talebearers.

Quick resentments are often fatal. Riches cannot purchase mental endowments. Scandal will rub out like

dirt when it is dry. The covetous man is his own tormentor. Undertake no more than you can perform.

Vanity makes men ridiculous; pride, odious. When one will not, two cannot quarrel. Years are carried off

on the wings of moments. Zeno, of all virtues, made his choice of silence.

100 years ago (1923)

Fulton High School closed for a week Tuesday afternoon, owing to the number of influenza cases among

the students and teachers. Between 40-50 students and half the faculty are ill, making it almost

impossible to carry on the work. FHS has been struggling to keep up its classes for the last two weeks,

Superintendent J.T. Bush said Wednesday, but it finally came to a point when it was considered

advisable to close entirely to give those who are ill a chance to recuperate and not to work a hardship on

the few teachers in school who are compelled to double their work. There are no substitutes available

for the high school, and as every teacher has her time fully occupied when all the faculty is present,

some classes had to be omitted entirely. School will resume next Tuesday morning, provided the

situation is improved. A number of pupils and teachers in the grade schools are also suffering, but as

substitute teachers are available there, the work in the grades has not yet been interrupted to any great


75 years ago (1948)

Smith Acquires Full Ownership of Mokane's Oldest Firm. Perhaps we shouldn't say "new" owner for Mr.

A. E. Smith has been a partner in the firm of Pierce & Smith for the past 35 years. A deal was completed

whereby the Smiths purchased the interest of the late G. W. Pierce in the firm of Pierce & Smith from

Mrs. Martha O. Pierce. The late G. W. Pierce, original member of the firm, began his career in Mokane

57 years ago when he purchased the interest of A. F. Klein in the firm of Klein & McCall. The store

building at that time stood where the property known as the "Ewens house (now owned by John

Woods)," stands. Several years later, this building was completely destroyed by fire. Mr. Pierce then

bought into the firm of Eels & Driscoll. At that time, the firm's building stood on the lot located between

the Bagley Filling Station and the old Missourian building. Mr. Eels moved to Oklahoma and the firm

became known as Driscoll & Pierce until Mr. Pierce purchased the interest of Mr. Driscoll. Later, Mr.

Pierce purchased the building the store now occupies and moved the business there. In 1909, A. E.

Smith started as a clerk. In 1913, he purchased a one-third interest which became known as Pierce &

Smith. A few years later, he acquired one-half interest in the store and so continued until the Smiths

purchased the other half from Mr. Pierce's widow. The firm, "A. E. Smith, General Merchandise," will

continue to cater to the rural trade in and around Mokane.

50 years ago (1973)

More than 550 Callawegians jammed Tucker Hall for the 68th Annual Kingdom of Callaway Supper.

President of this year's supper, Tom Herndon, was master of ceremonies and introduced Dr. John O.

Esslinger, a surgeon born in Callaway in 1925, who now practices in Birmingham, MI. He spoke on his

memories of a Fulton childhood where his father and grandfather were owners of a shoe store. William

Parrish presented a framed picture of the Kingdom of Callaway flag to Dr. Esslinger and received in

return a gift of a 1922 Westminster College yearbook and an antique shoe which once decorated the

window of his father's store. Speaker, Don Smith, Southwestern Bell Telephone Co. Executive,

humorously informed his audience of the progress of telephone service to customers. Ron Philips was

the recipient of the 1973 Sun Gazette McCubbin Award. The Rev. J. Frank Kirkland, pastor of First Baptist

Church made the presentation. Kirkland listed Phillips' activities. "But his program to eliminate the drunk

driver has been a singular success. It has brought Callaway widespread recognition for its uniqueness

and effectiveness," Kirkland said. Richard Dunn is the president of the 1974 Supper.

25 years ago (1998)

Open to Everyone. A ramp for the handicapped and elderly at Calvary Baptist Church in Fulton should be

finished by early next month, the Rev. Maceo Piggee said. Construction of the ramp on the west side of

the church began last month. It is being constructed with church funds, including special contributions,

and will be finished when hand rails are installed in March. "This will help our elderly and disabled, who

have difficulty getting up the steps," said Piggee, adding that the ramp will also help the church meet

Americans with Disabilities Act requirements. Building the ramp meant some changes to the church

building, constructed in 1917 for $35,000 at the corner of Sixth and Bluff streets. The door from the

ramp leading into the building meant removing a stained-glass window, which the church has saved. (In

a photo by Russell Whanger, Chance Humphrey and Sam Mealy of Glove-Con Construction Company are

pictured loosening bricks from around a window to make room for a doorway for the new ramp.)