Callaway Memories

Photo courtesy the Kingdom of Callaway Historical Society
Fred Backer working on Backer's delivery truck at the potato chip factory on old highway 54 just north of Hiller's Creek.
Photo courtesy the Kingdom of Callaway Historical Society Fred Backer working on Backer's delivery truck at the potato chip factory on old highway 54 just north of Hiller's Creek.

140 Years Ago – The Fulton Telegraph (1884)

The ladies of the M.E. Church of Cedar City have formed themselves into a sewing society, to better

advance the pecuniary interests of the Church, and they have done exceedingly well since they began,

have worked hard, and deserve the credit and praise of all. They got about a dozen small round jugs,

which they distributed among the young ladies of the society and a few little girls, to ask for contributions

from those who felt an interest in the society to be dropped into the jug which could not be gotten out until

the jug was broken, and at the same time giving each contributor a ticket, entitling them the privilege to be

present when the jugs were broken. The jugs are now nearly full, and the time for breaking has been set

for the evening of the 8th of February at the residence of Mr. John C. Hart, and a number of the young

ladies have prepared pieces to read upon the occasion. All the friends of the society and church, are

respectfully invited to attend, and we hope the weather will be favorable and we know that all who attend

will be amply paid for their trip.

115 Years Ago – The Fulton Weekly Gazette (1909)

The Fulton public library, opened to the public on July 2, last, contains 587 volumes, and regularly

receives 24 magazines and three newspapers, according to the report of the executive board of the

library association. During the year the association received $657.35 and expended $502.53, leaving a

balance of $124.82 on hand. Of the amount received, $492 was collected from personal solicitation by

members of the Woman's Club. The largest item of expense was $178.94 for new books. Eighty dollars

was paid for rent; $92.50 was paid to the librarian; $39.50 for magazine subscriptions; and $51.85 for

furniture. The officers of the association are: Mrs. D.R. Kerr, D.H. Harris, Mrs. W.E. Jameson, Miss

Elizabeth Kerr, and W.F. Henderson. Ways of interesting the public in the library were discussed, and the

fact was brought out that many persons do not understand that the library is for the free use of everyone,

and that the magazines and reference books may be used at the library during the hours it is open and

that the other books may be taken out.

90 Years Ago – The Fulton Daily Sun-Gazette (1934)

Sunday morning services at the Ebenezer Baptist Church, five miles northeast of Fulton, were opened

with singing old-time religious songs with Miss Clara Bell Craighead at the piano. Some church history

and also some Civil War events were recounted by Madison Wright, who recalls that the Ebenezer church

was organized in 1879, which makes it one of the old congregations of Callaway county. Mr. Wright told

of a battle that occurred in the community, a few miles south of the church known as Moore's Mill, during

the Civil War. The confederates were in hiding and when the federal soldiers came along they started

firing, and killed between 75 and 80 of their enemies. This was said to have been the last battle fought in

this section of the state. The church is in a splendid location on the old St. Louis road and the

congregation owns a fine, modern piece of church property. It is a large frame structure, containing a

balcony, apartments for classes, a roomy basement and modern furnace equipment. Preaching services

are conducted there three Sundays of each month.

65 Years Ago – The Fulton Daily Sun-Gazette (1959)

The Fulton Steam Laundry building and the former cafe building which adjoins it on the east, 202 East

Fifth street, has been sold to the Backer Potato Chip Company. William Backer said the firm operated by

him and his brother, Fred, would receive possession on February 12. The laundry closed several weeks

ago. The present location of the potato chip firm, on Hiller's Creek north of New Bloomfield, will be closed.

William Backer said the potato chip firm, founded in 1931 by his father, the late Ernest Backer, now has

retail outlets in Fulton, Jefferson City, Mexico, Columbia, Centralia and Linn. Continued expansion is

anticipated and the firm will install new automatic equipment in the Fulton location. In addition to potato

chips, the firm also handles popcorn and corn products.

40 Years Ago – The Kingdom Daily Sun-Gazette (1984)

Bob Bentley and Sons Excavating is a family business. With heavy earth-moving equipment like backhoes and bulldozers, Bob and his two sons, Bobby, 21, and Chuck, 20, dig ditches, excavate house

foundations and unearth water and gas lines. Last Friday, Bob and Bobby were digging a sewer line on

Blackburn Street in south Fulton. Bobby was operating the back-hoe. They had discussed shoring up the

ten and a half foot earthen walls but decided against it and then Bob went down to check the pipe. "I went

down to check the sewer pipe," Bob remembered. "I saw it caving in and got one step back." That one

step was as far as he got before being covered with a wall of wet earth. Bobby then jumped off the back

hoe and frantically began digging. Then Bobby got back on the back-hoe and began digging when Tom

Underwood, Paul Herring and Mike Hawkins arrived on the scene to help. Bob said that only other

excavators would have the knowledge to get someone out of a cave-in and these men had that

knowledge. Approximately an hour after the accident, Bob was out of the trench and on the way to the

hospital. He had no broken bones but was severely bruised. Bob said to his son, "You saved my life, I

guarantee you that."