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The Early Files: A Look into the Past

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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

117 years ago: 1901

The new gasoline engine which was ordered for The Nashville News printing office some time since has been received and put in operation, and our large cylinder press of which this issue of The News was printed was run with the new engine.  This is the first gasoline engine ever brought to Howard County and has attracted considerable attention.  We are now in the position to do all kinds of printing more promptly and rapidly than ever before.

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100 years ago: 1918

When J. F. Whitten, white, and Hence Wilder, colored, both restaurant proprietors in this city, opened their places of business Thursday morning, they discovered that someone had wrought havoc with their windows during Wednesday night.  Four large windows were broken in Whitten’s restaurant and two in Wilder’s. Several rocks were found at each of the places showing that the miscreants had used this method of breaking the glasses. So far the city officials have made no announcements as to arrests or clues.

Your opportunity to see a good show and not have to go home in the dark.  The Princess is now giving a matinee.

(Adv.) Found:  Lavallier at the Princess Theatre. Owner may get same by calling at Princess describing it and paying for this ad. W. B. Levi

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65 years ago: 1953

Two Nashville servicemen were among 42 Arkansans returning last week from the Far East.  They were Sergeant Berlie Sweeden and Private First Class Burnlee Whitmore.

Pfc. Whitmore arrived at Seattle aboard the transport General William H. Gordon while Sgt. Sweeden arrived aboard the transport Marine Adder.

Nashville’s glistening new and almost completed Auto Theatre shows to its first audience this Friday night. On tap for local first-nighters will be the Columbia’s Technicolor production “All Ashore” starring Mickey Rooney and Dick Haymes.

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43 years ago: 1975

Some Howard County teachers have received unemployment paychecks, and at least 90 percent of the county’s classroom teachers have made application for the benefits.

H. E. “Skip” Craig, head of the Employment Security offices here, said he had received reports of some teachers already receiving checks, which will be a maximum of $84 per week.  Teachers are now eligible for the benefits after they have been idle for a week.

However, bills have been introduced in Congress to end teacher eligibility for unemployment benefits. Until a new law is enacted, the ESD will continue to consider teachers as eligible for the benefit.

A McCaskill man, Herschel Woodruff, has a job which keeps him in close contact with both people and reptiles; both of which benefit from the venture. Folks pay whatever they feel like giving to view a collection of home-grown reptiles. In the fall Woodruff takes his show to schools.

Woodruff travels throughout the state with a trailer full of reptiles, including  23 cottonmouth water moccasins, timber rattlers, snapping turtles, frogs and lizards, and three huge alligators  alive and crawling for all to see. Woodruff and his son, Dale, spend their evenings hunting for snakes, which they catch with their hands. “I wouldn’t advise just anyone to try it,” Woodruff said.