December 5, 2002


The Reverend Mrs. Iris Israel Kerr, Pastor of the Kahoka Presbyterian Church, Kahoka, MO, died suddenly on December 4, 2002, at Northeast Regional Hospital in Kirksville, MO.

Iris was born in a log cabin in Wilmathsville, MO, the daughter of J. Frank and Sylvia Poe Israel.

She is survived by Nancy Kerr of Prince George, British Columbia, Konrad Kerr and his wife, Bonnie of Coronado, CA, and Pamela Kerr Glasgow of Memphis, MO; four grandchildren, Richard Williams of New York, NY, Donna Williams of Great Falls, MT, Jim Kerr of San Diego, CA, Jeff Kerr, with the Peace Corps in Namibia, Africa, the Dr. John Sparks family and early loved "adopted" grandson, Jeff Sparks of Kirksville, MO; special friends, Perlanna Robinson, Joan Ferguson, John and Vickie Dodge of Memphis, MO; her church family in Kahoka, MO; and a host of friends.

Mrs. Kerr's extended family included many members of the churches who called her "Mama Kerr" and remember her as having made an important difference in their lives.

Mrs. Kerr was preceded in death by her parents, J. Frank and Sylvia Poe Israel; a brother, Ernest A. Israel; her husband, Owen W. Kerr; and infant grandson, John Mark Williams; a son-in-law, Henry M. Glasgow and Charles Tylee Issertell.

At the age of 16, Iris taught at the White School, a one-room schoolhouse in rural Scotland County, MO. Four of her students from that school survive her.

Mrs. Kerr was licensed to preach at the age of 16 by the Methodist Church. She was an active Christian evangelist, speaking in many rural churches.

She attended Baker University prior to her marriage to Owen W. Kerr of rural Scotland County on September 1, 1929. They were sent forth from their home church, the Memphis Methodist Church where their parents were active members and where they remained active, into the Christian ministry when they went east to Boston University School of Theology in Boston, MA. Owen graduated with a Bachelor of Divinity and Iris with a Bachelor of Religious Education - Iris was Phi Beta Kappa.

After Mr. Kerr's ordination, their first church was in Haverhill, MA, where their daughter, Nancy Kerr was born. Iris filled the pulpit when her husband studied in the Holy Land from 1936-1938. In 1939, Iris was sent as a delegate to the First Conference for Christian Youth in Amsterdam Holland. In 1940, they moved to a church in East Bridgewater, MA, where their son, Konrad, and their daughter, Pamela, were born. In 1941, Mr. Kerr entered the service as a Chaplain. Mrs. Kerr then served both his church and hers and was finally ordained on December 17, 1943, becoming the second woman to be ordained in that area at that time. She was proud that one of her examiners said that he "had never heard a clearer and more powerful statement of faith than she had expressed".

Although widely separated from their family in the Midwest, the Kerrs had a large, loving "adopted" family in New England, including Charles Tylee Isertell (who was legally adopted), Pa Dick and Ma Frannie Silverthorne, Myra Silverthorne, Kay and Loren Danielson, Keith and Millie Clark, Pat Wells, Martha Perkins and Miriam Cummings.

During the War Years, Mrs. Kerr served the West Congregational Church in East Bridgewater and a mission church in West Bridgewater, bicycling with Nancy between the two churches on Sunday mornings (in fact she loaned the bicycles to a couple she married during the war for their honeymoon). Many of the couples she married during the war years have celebrated their 50th anniversaries. After the war, when Mr. Kerr returned from the service with lung problems, the family moved to Manitou Springs, CO, where they served the Manitou Springs Congregational Church. Mrs. Kerr returned to teaching when her youngest went to school. In 1952, the family moved east to East Natick, MA, where Mr. Kerr served a Methodist Church. In 1954, they moved to Brighton (Boston), MA, where they served the Oak Square Methodist Church. In 1963, they moved to the Highland Union Methodist Church in Lowell, MA.

Mrs. Kerr taught in the Wellesley Public Schools until her retirement in 1976. During that time, she organized and took her fifth-grade class on a trip to Mt. Rushmore one year, stopping in places of interest across the United States, and took the next year's class to Washington, D.C., on crutches and in a wheelchair after suffering a broken ankle. At this time, Iris's accomplishments were read and written into the Congressional Record. Many of her Wellesley students have remained in touch with her these many years.

Mrs. Kerr earned her Master's Degree in Education at Boston University in 1954 with a thesis on Gifted Children and was listed in Who's Who In the East. She continued her education with courses at Harvard University, and served as a guest associate professor at the University of Alaska in the summer of 1967.

During periods of illness in Rev. Mr. Kerr's ministry, Mrs. Kerr ably filled their pulpit in addition to her duties as a teacher and a mother. In 1962, Iris, Owen and her mother, Sylvia Israel, served as delegates to the Tenth Annual Methodist Conference in Oslo, Norway.

Mrs. Kerr also fulfilled a lifelong desire (nurtured when she attended the Chautauqua Series in Memphis when she was eight years old) to become a handbell ringer. Mrs. Kerr became one of (at that time) two individual handbell ringers in the New England Guild of Handbell Ringers. Mrs. Kerr's love of ringing handbells led her to handbell concerts across the United States from Maine to Hawaii. She rang her handbells as an individual until suffering a broken arm in 2000.

Beginning in 1975, Rev. Owen Kerr retired to Memphis, MO, where Mrs. Kerr's mother, Sylvia Israel lived. In 1976, Iris joined him. Iris returned to the full-time ministry on September 1, 1982 after Owen's death on April 4, 1981, at the Kahoka Presbyterian Church, where she served as a stated supply until June 30, 1983, when a full-time pastor was called to that church. She was recalled as a temporary supply to that pulpit on April 1, 1986 and served in the position until her death on December 4, 2002. She filled the pulpit on Sunday, December 1, 2002. While Iris was at the Kahoka Presbyterian Church, the church in Kahoka, MO, reroofed the church, sided the church, remodeled the church fellowship room, and installed an elevator which served all three levels of the church. One of Iris' greatest prides was the mission work accomplished by the members of the Kahoka Presbyterian Church including bandage rolling, Festival of Sharing giving, the Heifer Project, Habitat For Humanity, the Food Pantry, Wycliffe Bible Translators, the Gideon's, gifts to Missouri Union Presbytery and support of a candidate for the ministry.

Mrs. Kerr served as former vice-president of the Clark County Ministerial Association and served as Baccalaureate speaker for the Clark County class of 2002, was active in Women of the Church at the Kahoka Presbyterian Church, the United Methodist Women, and a member of the Cottage Prayer Group of the Memphis United Methodist Church. She was a lifetime member of the National Education Association.

In addition to her preaching and teaching, Iris was well-known as a handbell ringer, a strong, supportive person, and as the driver of a yellow convertible who made an annual trek around the Memphis Square to announce the first day of spring whether the weather was sunny, rainy or snowy.

God is good in that during the last week of her life, Iris was able to preach the Sunday service at Kahoka, MO, join the Country Club Christmas party, host the Cottage Prayer group on Monday morning, play cards with friends and her daughter on Monday evening, and host the Bazaar committee on Tuesday afternoon prior to her death on Wednesday morning. To those who are left to mourn, Advent remains the time for us to prepare ourselves for the joy of God's greatest gift to us.

In accordance with her long-standing, stated desire, Mrs. Kerr has given her body (as did Owen) to the University of Missouri for research. A memorial service will be held at the Memphis Presbyterian Church on her 92nd birthday on Tuesday, December 17, 2002. Memorials may be made to the Kahoka Presbyterian Church or the Memphis Presbyterian Church Elevator Fund.

Memphis Man Killed in Crash Near Arbela

A Memphis man was killed and another seriously injured in a two vehicle accident over the weekend in rural Scotland County.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Harley D. Stone, 24, of Memphis was killed when the 2015 Polaris Can Am all-terrain vehicle he was driving collided with a pickup truck on a hill crest on County Road 456 west of Arbela.

The Stone vehicle was eastbound when it crested the hill and met at the center of the road a westbound 2001 Dodge truck driven by Christopher M. Chabert, 29, of Memphis.

Stone and a passenger in his vehicle, Jacob A. Blessing, 21, of Memphis both were ejected from the ATV. Stone was pronounced deceased at the scene at 4:40 a.m. by Scotland County Coroner Dr. Jeff Davis. Blessing sustained serious injuries in the crash. He was transported by Scotland County Ambulance to University Hospital in Columbia.

Chabert was not injured in the crash, which occurred at 4:00 a.m. on May 20th. Chabert was ticketed for driving while intoxicated.

The Patrol was assisted at the scene by Scotland County Fire and Rescue, Scotland County Ambulance and Scotland County Sheriff’s Office.

SCR-I Band to Make ‘Long March’ to Washington DC to Take Part in National Memorial Day Parade

As residents of a rural school district, Scotland County R-I students are used to long bus rides. However on Thursday, some three dozen SCR-I musicians will be boarding a bus for a trip that will exceed their bus mileage for the year, just one-way.

At 4 p.m. on Thursday, May 24th the Scotland County R-I band, along with support staff, boosters and chaperones will be boarding a charter bus departing the SCR-I high school parking lot bound for Washington D.C. The public is invited to line the road to show the band support on its departure.

“Last minute preparations are well underway as the Marching Tigers are putting on the finishing touches on their performance,” said band Director Nathanial Orr. “You may even hear the band marching around town.”

The trip to the nation’s capital is more than 900 miles, with the group expecting to arrive on the East Coast  in time for lunch on Friday.

After the meal with tour manager Barbara Longnecker at Union Station, the group will take a tour of the U.S. Capitol before enjoying dinner at Bertucci’s Italian Restaurant. That evening the group will be treated to a parade at the Marine Barracks featuring the US Marine Band in full dress uniform.

Saturday will feature a full day of tours including stops at Lafayette Square, the White House and the National Archives Building, home of the Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights and the Constitution.

After lunch they will visit Ford’s Theater where President Lincoln was assassinated before touring Arlington National Cemetery to witness the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The evening will conclude with tours of the US Air Force and Pentagon 9/11 Memorials, as well as the Jefferson, FDR and Martin Luther King, Jr. memorials.

The nation’s history will be on display again on Sunday as tour members will visit the Lincoln, and Vietnam and Korean War memorials as well as the US Holocaust Memorial Museum before spending the afternoon at the Smithsonian Institution’s museums. The evening will be capped off at the National Memorial Day Concert on the west lawn of the Capitol. The event will broadcast live on PBS.

Finally on Monday, the band members will get to work, participating in the National Memorial Day Parade.

“The band will be performing ‘Colonel Bogey March,’ a tune featured in ‘Bridge over a River Kwai’,” said Orr. “The color guard will be wearing homemade uniforms representing a different branch of the armed services.  Each member of the guard has a connection as parts of the uniform they will be wearing are from the uniform of their family members.”

Orr said the parade will be televised on the Armed Forces Network as well as streamed on, or

“Due to time constraints and commercial breaks, there is no guarantee that SCR-I will be televised,” he said.

Later that evening, the group will visit the World War II Memorial and place a Scotland County High School wreath at the base of the Missouri state marker.

Tuesday, day 6 of the event, will feature a trip to Mount Vernon, before boarding the tour bus at 2 p.m. for the return trip to Memphis. The group is expected to arrive back home Wednesday, May 30th around 9 a.m.

The trip has been made possible through the hard work of the band students and boosters as well as the generous contributions of local supporters. Work began last May after word was received the band had received the honor of participating in the national event. Numerous fundraisers were held over the next 12 months to fully fund the more than $1,000 price tag per band member for the trip.

Larry Gieseke to Address 72nd Annual Memorial Day Services

Larry Gieseke will be the featured speaker on Monday as the Wallace W. Gillespie Memorial Post #4958 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars hosts the 72nd Annual Memorial Day Services on the lawn of the Scotland County Courthouse.

The services will begin at 10 a.m. with Post Commander Lloyd Erickson and program chairman Donnie Middleton welcoming the crowd.

Veterans Floyd C. Baker and Mike Stephenson will perform the traditional wreath placement at the soldiers’ memorial on the southeast side of the courthouse. Fellow serviceman Bill Camp will lead the gathering in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Sonny Smyser of the Lancaster Church of Faith  will lead the invocation prior to the performance of the National Anthem by the Memphis Community Players, who will also provide additional patriotic music for the service.

Judge Gary Dial will again have the honor of introducing the service’s guest speaker.

Following Gieseke’s speech, veteran Jamie Parker will sing Sleep Soldier Boy.

Following the benediction by Smyser, the VFW members will present a 21 gun salute before the performance of taps by service member Melinda Briggs with ECHO played by Chris Kempke.

The service is open to the public. In case of inclement weather, the program will be moved indoors at the VFW post.

Fifty-Seven Units of Blood Donated at Spring Blood Drive

The spring community blood drive held on May 8th at the First Baptist Church of Memphis resulted in the donation of fifty-seven units of blood to the American Red Cross. We would like to thank all those who took time out of their busy day to come and donate.

Of the sixty-seven people who came out to donate, five were first-time donors: Laura Carr, Reilly Shoemaker, Luke Triplett, Matthew Woods and Mark Zeiset. May this mark the beginning of a lifelong habit of helping others through this life-saving gift.

The following donors are recognized for reaching their respective donation goals: a one-gallon pin was awarded to Harley D. Saulmon and a two-gallon pin, to Mike M. Blain. Carol McCabe earned a five-gallon pin, Sara Frederick earned a seven-gallon pin, and Bruce Childress was awarded an eight-gallon pin. David M. Ahland earned his fourteen-gallon pin. Way to go, Mike! But, the greatest achievement goes to Larry Riney who has reached 20 gallons, which is equivalent to 160 units of blood. This is the average total amount collected from two of our community blood drives. Thanks, Larry, you are an encouragement to us all and remind us that even one committed person can really make a big difference. Let’s be encouraged by their commitment, knowing that we, too, can make a difference, Congratulations to all these who have reached their respective goals and to all first-time donors. Your much-needed donations are greatly appreciated.

Special thanks are in order to Lighthouse of Faith for their generous supply of homemade cookies, to Community Bank for providing sandwiches, to Pizza Hut for donating free pizzas to student donors and to J’s Food for providing orange juice to all donors. And a very special thank you to all the local Red Cross volunteers for making this event possible by serving food and drinks to donors and providing comfort and support to both the Red Cross workers and all who give. God Bless!


Mandi and Chris Cicero, along with sisters, Kara and Alexis, would like to announce the birth of Christina Violet Cicero, born May 2, 2018 at Capital Region Medical Center.  She was born at 3:19 p.m., weighed 7 lbs 14 oz and was 21 ½ inches long.  She is the granddaughter of Wayne and Terri Bulen, Stephanie Cicero, and Kelly Wiles.


Kira Stark of Kahoka and Dante Davis of Kahoka are the parents of a son, Trevon Land Buckner-Davis, born May 12, 2018 at 8:45 a.m. at Scotland County Hospital in Memphis. Trevon weighed 6 lbs 8 oz and was 20.5 inches long. Grandparents are Dede Segovia of Kahoka; Steven Stark of Kahoka; Carissa Smith of Keokuk, IA; and Rick Davis of Keokuk, IA.


Justin and Diana Hill of Bloomfield, IA are the parents of a son, Maverick Gabriel Hill, born May 5, 2018 at 8:06 p.m. at Scotland County Hospital in Memphis. Maverick weighed 7 lbs 14.8 oz and was 21.5 inches long. Grandparents are Monty and Isle Hill of Bloomfield, IA; Jim and Linda Snowbarger or Marshalltown, IA; and Thomas Upton of Mediapolis, IA.


Bruce and Kendra Small of Memphis are the parents of a son, Abel Forrest Lee small, born May 11, 2018 at 2:36 a.m. at Scotland County Hospital in Memphis. Abel weighed 6 lbs 8 oz and was 19 inches long. He is welcomed home by siblings, Mason and Vancel. Grandparents are Bobby and Shelley Small of Memphis; Jodi Heatherly of Memphis; and Kenneth Westfall of Perry, IL. Great-grandmother is Linda Baker of Memphis.

Scotland County Genealogy Society Hosts May Meeting

Terry Arnold vice- president of the Scotland County Genealogy Society called the May 14th meeting to order with 10 members present.

June Kice gave the treasurer’s report.

Old business: Terry Arnold reported on work days.

New business: Bonnie Hayes reported the group’s copy machine will need replaced.

The book sale was discussed for Antique Fair days and the cookie sale will be held again at the Antique Fair, on Saturday as in the past.

A work day was scheduled for Tuesday, June 12th.

June Kice gave a program on the history of Mother’s Day, which was started in the 19th Century before the Civil War by Ann Reeves Jarvis of West Virg1na to teach local women to care for their children. Later, others honored Friendship Day, when mothers gathered with former Union and Confederate soldiers to promote reconciliation.

Suffragette and abolitionist Julia Ward Howe wrote a Mother’s Day proclamation promoting world peace The official Mother’s Day holiday arose in the 1900’s as the result of Anna Jarvis as a way of honoring sacrifices of mothers for their children.

President Woodrow Wilson signed a measure officially establishing the 2nd Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.

Terry Arnold closed the meeting.

Refreshments were served by Twyla Stevenson and Marlene Cowell.

Connie Bratton, Secretary

Register Now for SC Tiger Cub Summer Football Camp

Scotland County Tiger Cub Summer Football Camp 2018 will be held July 17, 18 and 19 from 4:00 p.m. – 5:40 p.m.

Kids entering fourth, fifth of sixth grade who are interested in playing football are encouraged to attend.

Coaches Kirk Stott, Nic Hatfield, Matt Buford, Travis Stott, William Parsons, Josh McSparren, and Curt Triplett will work with camp participants on fundamentals of the sport.

Registration forms, camp fee, complete with t-shirt size and parent/guardian signature must be returned to Coach Stott at the High School Office by Thursday, May 31, 2018.

This camp is used to learn basic fundamentals of the Scotland County Tiger football program.

Payment of $20.00 must accompany the entry form. Make checks out to Tiger Cub Football.

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