FIVE YEARS AGO

The Memphis Area Chamber of Commerce rewarded three area homes for their efforts of bringing the Christmas spirit to passersby.

The Alan and Tammy Adams residence on Missouri Street earned first place in the annual MACC decorating contest, taking home the top prize of $80 in Memphis Bucks.

Second place and $60 in Memphis Bucks was awarded by the judges to Jed and Keri Hinds for their display at their home just east of town on Highway 136.

The Boyd and Jeannie Bissell residence at the corner of Jackson Street and East Monroe was named the third prize winner and received $40 in Memphis Bucks.

The Memphis Funeral Home received the top prize in the commercial category as the best decorated business, earning a holiday gift basket courtesy of the Chamber.

TEN YEARS AGO

Today, most emergency service workers are armed with thermal imagery devices.  The Scotland County Fire Department was at the forefront of such a movement when it bought its first thermal imager nine years ago. Thanks to a recent grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the department will continue to be at the leading edge of technology. FEMA awarded the local department a grant in excess of $15,000 for the purchase of a new T1 Commander Thermal Imager produced by Bullard.

The imager offers improved sensory, meaning it will detect heat sources more accurately than the original imagers from a decade ago. In addition, the new T1 offers expanded coverage, detecting heat from as far away as 900-feet when used in searches and other types of situations. The machine offers an image zoom option that doubles the magnification and also can be used to record up to 24 digital images for training purposes or arson investigations.

20 YEARS AGO

Christmas spirit has helped make this year’s Santa’s Helpers program sponsored by the Memphis Police Department, an overwhelming success story.

The department has been contacted by 17 families requesting Christmas assistance for their children.  A total of 50 Scotland county children will find gifts under their Christmas trees thanks to donations made by area citizens to the Santa’s Helpers program.

Ki Reese of the MPD has been heading up the project.  She said local merchants have been helpful.  One in particular has offered a discount on all items purchased for the program.  Employees of another local store purchased all the wrapping paper for the gifts as a donation.

30 YEARS AGO

Taking first place in the residential Christmas lighting contest was the Clifford and Lucy Horton home, 427 North Maple.  Second place went to Mert and Dorothy McCarty, 312 Watkins; third place, Charles and Judy Myers, Rt. 3, North Lincoln; and Honorable Mention, Mrs. Albert Gardner and family, 317 South Adams.  The Memphis Merchants Association, who sponsored the contest, stated the choice was very difficult, as all the entries were beautiful.  According to President Jeanie Bissell, the Merchants Association is very grateful for those who entered the contest, and they hope next year’s contest will be even bigger and better!  They plan to make the outside Christmas lighting contest an annual event.

40 YEARS AGO

The Gorin Christian Church held their Christmas program on the evening of December 21 in the church sanctuary.  Rev. Murray Frick led the opening devotions by lighting the advent wreath and talking about Chris – mass.

The youth of the church, led by Sherrill Erickson, presented an inspirational program in verse and song.

A live nativity scene was also included in the program.  Mrs. Lee Schultz presided over the music and set the mood with a lovely prelude of Christmas Carols.

Fellowship was later enjoyed by everyone in the church basement with a gift exchange, and refreshments of punch, coffee and a variety of delicious Christmas goodies, provided by the women of the church.

50 YEARS AGO

Christmas was almost “black” in this area.  At the last minute on Christmas eve we received some snowfall in the early evening.  The results were that it was quite slick underfoot early Christmas day but the temperature rose and by mid-day main-traveled roads were merely “sloppy”.

Sunday continued moderate with the temperature in the thirties with continued loss of our brief snow cover.  Slick spots remained in the shaded areas.

Monday was one of the coldest days of the season so far with 16 above the early morning reading and by early afternoon the temperature had only climbed to 20.

60 YEARS AGO

Judge Sam C. Blair in circuit court at Jefferson City has upheld Missouri’s cigarette tax law, approved by the voters in a special election last Oct. 4.  Brown and Sons Tobacco Co., of St. Louis sought to have the new 2 cent per package tax thrown out as invalid in a test case because the House passed a certified copy instead of the original bill.  House Speaker Roy Hamlin of Hannibal refused to sign the copy on those grounds.  The challenge should have been made before the special election, Blair noted.  When the people voted freely to adopt the measure it ended the matter.

70 YEARS AGO

A total of $5,410.96 of the loot stolen last Wednesday from the Citizens State bank of Winigan has been recovered.  That amount represented most of the money lost.

The robbery was planned at the Sunflower Ordinance works, DeSota, KS, Hugh Henderson, 27, Frankford, KS, one of the two men accused of first degree robbery, told Prosecuting Attorney Walker in a signed statement.

Henderson said Vance Pierce, 30, who committed suicide as a posse closed in on the three bandits, suggested the robbery.  Henderson said they decided they needed a third man and they approached Edward King, 19, Topeka, whom they met in Lawrence, KS, and he agreed to help.  King, who with Henderson is being held in the Sullivan county jail, is A.W.O.L. from the army, having failed to return to Ft. Leavenworth after a furlough.

King and Henderson were returned to jail after being treated in the Milan hospital for shotgun pellet wounds believed suffered in an exchange of shots while they were being chased by the posse.

Pierce committed suicide in a house on a farm owned by his father, Dick Pierce, Green City, MO.  The house was unoccupied except at intervals when young Pierce lived there alone.  It is about five miles east of Winigan.

It was said that practically all the town’s residents took part in the chase of the three men or were on the street when the bandits started to make their getaway.

While the robbery was taking place, a citizen deflated a tire on the bandit car.  In that condition they could not make much headway in the snow storm.