November 13, 2003

Arbela Veteran Made Return Home From World War II 58 Years Ago This Week

Fifty-eight years ago this week, Okie Boyer came home to Arbela. He returned the same way in which he left more than three years earlier, side by side with his twin brother Orville.

Unfortunately not all 22 friends and acquaintances that Okie left Scotland County with on August 18, 1942 ever returned home. The men traveled to Jefferson Barracks in St. Louis to join the United States Army to serve in World War II.

There were 22 of us that left to go into the service at that time, Okie said. There was Weldon Tague, Wayne Newman, myself and my brother plus a whole bunch of other guys from here.

Little did Okie know that the travel to St. Louis was just the beginning of his travels that would take him more than half way around the world where he would give his country more than two years of service in the Pacific Theater of World War II.

From St. Louis Okie went by train to Texas and then on to California where he arrived at Camp Roberts at 4:00 a.m. October 23.

After receiving his training Boyer shipped out from under the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, CA, bound for Australia with the famous 32nd Division. The troops landed at Brisbane, Australia on March 2, 1943.

After arriving in Australia, Boyer was attached to the 126 Infantry Cannon Company and spent the next six months receiving training, such as beach landing techniques, which was taught at New Castle. New arrivals like himself were replacements for soldiers lost in the first stages of the conflicts in the Philippines as elements of the 32nd Division returned to Australia following the initial fighting with the Japanese.

The special training was put to use as Boyer and his comrades made their first hostile beach landing November 18 at Melony Bay in New Guinea.

In the down time between the fighting, the training continued. It was during one of these sessions that Boyers army career change was put in motion. During a series of hand-to-hand training sessions, Boyer injured his back.

I broke my back during the training and then we had to make a move and I was stuck driving a jeep all day long so it put me in a considerably foul mood by the end of the day, Boyer said. To make a long story short, Boyer said that he ended up in an argument with an officer that landed him on KP duty.

All of the old cartoons from WW II showed the solider stuck in a room piled high with potatoes as he peeled away. Well KP duty wasnt far from that, as Boyer was assigned to kitchen duty for a week.

But after Boyer stepped in for one of the cooks and did such a good job, his punishment quickly turned into a permanent job switch.

Id been handling heavy weapons, mortars and machine guns as well as serving in the motor pool, driving jeeps and moving the equipment, but they said I did such a good job that they made me a cook, Boyer said.

On days, Boyer probably would have rather been at the top of the hill facing the Japanese than slaving away in the kitchen preparing food for hungry soldiers.

He received a commendation for his work preparing Thanksgiving dinner.

Malaria had hit really bad and I was the only one left standing in the kitchen. I cooked seven turkeys and kept everyone happy and for that I received a T-4, 1st Cook advancement.

Of course the job change didnt keep Okie off the front lines. In December his unit moved on to Saidore for another beach landing. The fighting was so intense that for two weeks the troops were unable to set up a kitchen and were forced to eat K-rations.

How many of you set up on guard in enemy territory all night long, Boyer said. It was so weird as you would be awakened by the air raid siren, or shots being fired and then you would hear the coffee grinder or some other every day sound all with Charlie still within hearing distance.

By July, Boyers unit had made its way to Aitape and then on to Maraitai by the end of October.

They started 1945 off in the Phillipines at Leyte and then on to Luzan.

There were points that we were on guard at all times, Boyer said. We called it Hard Times. Basically it meant no sleep. There were 22 guns firing all night long.

This became the hardest part of the Boyers more than two years of active duty as in the next few months he was part of four moves that placed him on the infamous Villa Verde Trail.

They attacked, captured and guarded such places as Razor Back Mountain, the Gold Mining House and Hill 502.

Even during the heaviest fighting, Boyer kept up his duties, keeping the men fed.

There was 17 of us on this hill and we were told to hold it at all costs, Boyer said. One of the guys had a little camp stove and I knew the company had just received fresh supplies so I sneaked back to camp and got 18 pork chops and cooked them up for the boys, Boyer said. We stood guard night and day and watched the Japanese moving all around at the foot of the hill but they never mustered up the courage to attack us.

It was on Razor Back Mountain where Boyer again was in close contact with the enemy. Again the troops were relegated to rations, meaning no kitchen, meaning Okie was on guard duty.

We were guarding the outpost when a Nippie landed a grenade right into a fellows jaw, Boyer said. His buddy was quick enough to grab it and throw it back over the bank before it exploded preventing any more casualties, as the night before they had gotten one of the guards.

Boyers unit continued its work in the region moving on to Santa Fae in August of 1945 as the fight was winding down. It was in Santa Fae where Boyer was among eight cooks that set up an enormous kitchen that fed more than 2,000 soldiers twice a day.

As elements of the 32nd Division began mobilizing to move on to Japan, Boyer received notification that he was going home. On September 13, 1945 he shipped out from Luzan and was ultimately bound for the U.S.A. on September 26 from an Australian port. He spent the next 36 days on a ship before landing in Los Angeles on November 1.

Boyer got his official discharge on November 7 ending three years and 29 days in the service, of which two years, eight months and 21 days was given to foreign service.

On November 10, the day before Veterans Day, Okie Boyer and his brother, Orville, got off the bus at the Arbela Junction and got a ride from a local couple to the Arbela Church.

Scotland County Historical Society Moving Forward With Relocation of World War 1 Memorial

The Scotland County Historical Society met on Monday, February 6, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. in the Downing House Museum. Those present were: Laura Schenk, Joe Fulk, Willa Prather, Janet Hamilton, Elaine Forrester, Sandy Childress, Boyd Bissell, Jeanie Bissell, Rick Fischer, Teresa Fischer, Jim Cottey, Beau Triplett, Leon Trueblood, David Wiggins, Carl Trueblood, Julie Clapp, Harold Prather, Dr. Larry K. Wiggins, Joanne Aylward, June Kice, and Rhonda McBee.

Janet Hamilton, president, called the meeting to order for the purpose of discussing the movement of the statue, “Soldier in the Field” also known as the Barnett Statue and a request from the DAR to add a commemorative stone to the Boyer House lawn in honor of Lucille Boyer.

Carl Trueblood discussed the moving options for the statue. It was suggested it be moved in three parts – base, column and top. There are rods that attach each part. The weight is approximately 14,000 pounds. At this time the base is chipped and photos have been removed. Carl has spoken with Awerkamp’s from Quincy, Illinois about the best method for moving it. Carl has also talked with Irwin Zimmerman concerning equipment needs to make the move. It will require a four foot base that is approximately six feet wide. The concrete base will be dyed and acid washed to improve the appearance.

Dr. Larry Wiggins has had several interested parties who are willing to donate funds to pay for the reconstruction costs as well as willing volunteers to complete the project.

Jim Cottey was present and discussed the reconstruction of the hat, head and cosmetic work on the ear and mouth that he and his nephew have completed. He felt that its current site showcases the historical 18 foot majestic structure and that it deserves a setting that compliments it.

Those present discussed the history, fence and property. It was determined through a review of old newspaper articles that it was donated to Scotland County on May 26, 1932 by the Jayne Law Firm who had ownership of the property at that time. The county planned on moving it to the northeast corner of the courthouse lawn, but action was never taken. The newspaper article also stated that the monument sits on a base of 4 x 4 granite that tapers up with columns and then another granite base.

David Wiggins, county commissioner, was present and it was discussed and decided that Janet Hamilton will represent the Historical society at the next court meeting on Wednesday, February 8, 2017 to review past minutes and finalize the transfer to the Scotland County Historical Society and record it in the minutes.

The group discussed the ideal setting and it was determined that it cannot be placed on the south end of the Memphis Depot due to property lines. Placement at the north end of the Depot was discussed. The group discussion determined that the statue needed to be moved to the Complex or risk that it may be destroyed. Dr. Larry Wiggins made a motion that the “Soldier in the Field” statue, with the Scotland County Commission’s permission, be relocated as soon as possible. Boyd Bissell seconded the motion. All those present were in favor and signified by a raise of hands.

A representative of the DAR asked permission to donate a plaque on a rock to be placed near the Boyer House in recognition of Lucille Boyer. A motion was made by Rhonda McBee to allow the DAR to place a commemorative rock with Lucille Boyer’s name near the Boyer House. Joe Fulk seconded the motion. All those present were in favor and signified by a raise of hand.

A motion was made to adjourn the meeting by Boyd Bissell and seconded by Joe Fulk. All those present were in favor and signified by a raise of hand.

The group moved to the outside to determine the possible placement of the monument on the grounds. It was determined that it will be placed on the northwest corner of the north side of the Memphis Depot facing to the west, pending Dig Rite findings and the findings of the City of Memphis Zoning Committee.

The next meeting of the Scotland County Historical Society will be April 24, 2017 at 6:30 in the north conference room of the Scotland County Hospital.

Gorin Go-Getters 4-H Club Hosts March Meeting

by Sadie Davis

President Owen Triplett called the March meeting of the Gorin Go-Getters 4-H club to order on March 19th, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. at Gorin Christian Church. The pledges were led by Emma Gist and Kallen Hamlin. Secretary Lauren Triplett called roll by asking each member what their favorite thing about spring is. Lauren also gave the minutes of the last meeting. Joanie Baker gave the Treasurer’s Report. She reported that the club has a current balance of $2,910.97. Shelby Troutman gave the Council Report.

The Financial Committee reported that the taco bar at the hospital served 118 people and made $757.25. The Community Service Committee reported that working at the movies went well and that the club would not do an Earth Day activity this year. Dawn Triplett reported that Achievement Day had good attendance and that the judges were very impressed with the performance of members.

Project Groups reported that there will be a Pig Showing Camp in Warrensburg on April 29, a Small Animal Show Clinic in Green City on April 29, and a Goat Showing Camp in Bloomfield, IA on May 26-27.

Owen Triplett asked that each 4-H member sell four items for the cookie dough sales, or pay $25. Order sheets and checks made out to Gorin Go-Getters are due April 3. This money goes toward the 4-H Youth Premium Account. Items will arrive May 1. The club nominated and voted on candidates to represent Gorin Go-Getters in the 4-H Royalty Contest at the fair this year. The candidates are Luke Triplett for king, Sadie Davis for queen, Carter Clatt for prince, and Carlee Smith for princess. Joanie Baker recommended that candidates give demonstrations or prepared speeches at a club meeting to practice for the Royalty Interview.

Joanie Baker asked for project leaders for Clover Kids, Cake Decorating, Scrapbooking, Gardening, and Woodworking. All positions were filled in the meeting. She announced that if you were unable to be at the SMQA meeting you will need to complete it online. Joanie also announced that ownership dates for the fair are March 1 for cattle and dogs, April 1 for swine and sheep, and May 1 for goats, horses, rabbits, and poultry. She told the club that 4-H Day with the Cardinals is on May 20 and that you must order tickets by April 10.

Owen Triplett made several announcements: April 1 is the Shooting Sports Fundraiser, April 2 is the sheep and swine weigh-in from 2:00-3:00, April 22 is safety training for Shooting Sports, and May 7 is the goat weigh-in from 2:00-3:00.

The next Gorin Go-Getters meeting is April 9. Refreshments will be provided by the Montgomery Family and hopefully many demonstrations will be given afterwards to meet the club’s 80% goal for members giving demonstrations or speeches.

Carlee Smith gave a demonstration on rabbits. After the meeting was adjourned, Julie Blessing’s family provided refreshments.

SCR-I Artist Honored at Culver-Stockton College Visual Arts Day

Scotland County R-I senior Abi Feeney received a merit award medal for Artistic Excellence for one her works displayed at the Culver-Stockton College Visual Arts Day.

A record number, more than 350, local high school students from 12 area schools participated at Culver-Stockton College’s annual Visual Art Visit Day on March 21st in Canton. Participants learned about art education through workshops and participated in art competitions.

Student participants displayed their work for the juried art exhibition located in the W.A. Herington Center. The welcome ceremony got underway at 9:30 a.m. in the Robert W. Brown Performing Arts Center before students  participated in individually themed workshops to sharpen their skills, including drawing with bleach, ceramics on the wheel, jewelry making, graphite, cartooning, create your own commercial and for the first-time face painting.

After the workshops were completed students ended the day by touring the juried art exhibition, where they viewed the artwork of fellow local students. The main competition and award ceremony took place at 1:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the Robert W. Brown Performing Arts Center.

Scotland County R-I senior Abi Feeney received a merit award medal for Artistic Excellence for one her works.

SCR-I Hosts Annual Campus Bowl Tourney

The junior high campus bowl team claimed 1st place at the Scotland County Tournament. Pictured (L to R) are Corbyn Spurgeon, Kabe Hamlin, Hunter Cook, Haylee McMinn, Morgan Blessing and Zach Behrens.

Scotland County R-1 High School hosted the 2017 Campus Bowl Tournament on Saturday March 25, 2017.

Schools participating in the annual event included Schuyler County, Clark County, North Shelby, Knox County, Milan, Putnam County and Scotland County.

The Scotland County Junior High team  came out on top, winning the tournament with a big 1st place game over North Shelby. Schuyler County finished third, besting Milan

The varsity tourney title went to Knox County’s A team. Scotland County finished second followed by North Shelby and Schuyler County.

The Tigers finished second in the Scotland County Campus Bowl tourney. Pictured (L to R) are Adam Slayton, Even Hite, Coach Billie Lanham, Stephen Terrill, Sadie Davis, Jacob Kapfer and Elijah Cooley.

Two Tigers were named to the all-bowl team at the junior high level. Morgan Blessing led the way with a 7.4 scoring average on questions and Zach Behrens also earned all-bowl honors with a 6.8 scoring average.

Stephen Terrill was named to the varsity all-bowl team after averaging 9.2 questions per game.

The Scotland County squads were coached by Billie Lanham and Dane Riggenbach.

SCR-I School Menus

Breakfast

Thursday, March 30 – Breakfast Burrito, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Orange Wedge/Grapes, Juice/Milk

Friday, March 31 – Sausage/Gravy/Biscuits, Choice of Cereal, Blueberry Muffin, Banana, Juice/Milk

Monday, April 3 – French Toast Sticks, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Fruit Medley, Juice/Milk

Tuesday, April 4 – Cinnamon Rolls, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Orange Rings, Juice/Milk

Wednesday, April 5 – Bacon/Egg/Cheese Sandwich, Choice of Cereal, Cinnamon Biscuit, Fruit Medley, Juice/Milk

Thursday, April 6 – Breakfast Burrito, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Orange Wedge/Grapes, Juice/Milk

Lunch

Thursday, March 30 – Chicken Stir Fry, Goulash, Hamburger Bar, Green Beans, Garlic Bread, Sliced Peaches, Fresh Fruit

Friday, March 31 – Tuna Noodle Casserole, Grilled Chicken Patty/Bun, Potato Rounds, Peas/Carrots, Strawberries/Bananas, Fresh Fruit

Monday, April 3 – Chicken Patty/Bun, Juicy Burger/Bun, 5th/6th Grade Chef Salad, Tri Potato Patty, Creamed Peas, Mandarin Orange Slices, Fresh Fruit

Tuesday, April 4 – Pizza Roll-Ups, BBQ Meatballs/Roll, 5th/6th Grade Taco Bar, Buttered Corn, Applesauce, Fresh Fruit

Wednesday, April 5 – Salisbury Steak, Beef and Noodles, 5th/6th Grade Potato Bar, Whipped Potatoes/Gravy, Cauliflower/Cheese Sauce, Dinner Roll, Sliced Pears, Fresh Fruit

Thursday, April 6 – Beef N Tator Bake, Chicken Wrap, Hamburger Bar, Green Beans, Dinner Roll, Strawberries, Fresh Fruit

SCAMP Trivia Night Set For April 1st

Scotland County Association of Music Parents will host its 3rd Annual Trivia Night on April 1, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. in the SCR-1 High School Commons.

The theme for the evening’s questions will be entertainment, consisting of TV, movies, books, music and sports. Teams may be up to 8 people and the cost is $10 per person and includes food and drink.

Space is limited so pre-registration is encouraged.  Call Ellen Aylward at 660-216-9951 to pre-register or if you have any questions.

All proceeds go to SCAMP for the benefit of the SCR-1 Music Department.

Do you know…

Do you know of the recent destruction and devastation by wild fires fanned by high winds in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Colorado?

Do you know that thousands of head of livestock were lost; not to mention homes, homesteads, equipment, winter pasture, hay, fences, lives, and yes, probably some minds?  This was total devastation.

Do you know, “Except by the Lord go I”?

Do you know that many of our northeast farmers (young and old) donated and delivered to strategic locations over a thousand big bales of hay?  In a normal year, that would exceed $50,000.

Do you know if cash was donated to those truckers from those states to help defray per mile costs in transporting hay bales back to Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Colorado?  I’m sure there was; this is northeast Missouri at work.

Do you know how proud we in northeast Missouri are of our farmers for “stepping up to the plate”.  Well, we are so very proud.

God Bless You!  Charlene Fisher

Park Ranger to Speak on Climate and Our National Parks

Kirksville, MOOn Friday, March 31, Brian Ettling, a Missouri native and veteran national park ranger will present a program entitled “Is Climate Changing Our National Parks?” The free event will be held at 7pm in Magruder Hall, Room 2001, 100 E. Normal Ave., Kirksville, MO on the campus of Truman State University.

Ranger Ettling will share a slide presentation about the changes he has seen in the Everglades National Park in Florida, Crater Lake National Park in Oregon, and his beloved home state of Missouri. He will describe his observations of the impacts of sea level rise, drought, rising temperatures, and wildfires on our wild national treasures. The presentation will be followed by a discussion on the impacts of climate change on our state of Missouri and what actions can be taken by citizens of the area.

“I have been working in the national parks for almost 25 years now,” said Ettling.  “My talk will illustrate how I have seen, up close and personal, how our changing climate has affected these national treasures. My talk is also full of hope, as I believe that there are viable solutions to stem the effects of climate change. As a Missourian, I know that folks in northeast Missouri live close to the land and weather systems, and I am delighted to talk with folks in the Kirksville area about this very important topic.”

The event is being held amidst growing interest within the Republican Party regarding climate change. Last week 17 members of the House of Representatives signed on to the Republican Climate Resolution (H.Res. 195) supporting the need to take action on climate change.  Additionally, 15 Republican members of Congress are now actively engaged in the House Climate Solutions Caucus.

This event is hosted by the Kirksville Natural History Club, Citizens’ Climate Lobby of Northeast Missouri, and the Osage Group of the Missouri Chapter of the Sierra Club. It is free and open to the public.

Citizens’ Climate Lobby of Northeast Missouri seeks to create the political will for a stable climate.

Niffen Selected for FRS D.C. Youth Tour Sponsored by NEMR Telecom 

Shannon Niffen of Scotland County R-I and Jillian Albrecht of Green City R-I have been selected to participate in the Foundation for Rural Services annual youth tour to Washington D.C. sponsored by NEMR telecom.

NEMR Telecom hosted an interview dinner to choose two candidates to represent the company at the 23rd annual Foundation for Rural Service (FRS) Youth Tour to Washington D.C.

High school juniors within the company’s telephone service area are given the opportunity to apply for this trip by submitting a one-page essay and an application.

Shannon Niffen of Scotland County R-I and Jillian Albrecht of Green City R-I were among the candidates who attended.

On Wednesday, March 22nd, the students and their family members joined with the Education Committee from NEMR Telecom’s Board of Directors and Jim Sherburne, CEO, to meet for a dinner and interview process.

The students were each called upon to introduce themselves and give a brief family history and other relevant information. Students shared about their hobbies, interests, future plans and other reasons they believed they were good candidates for the FRS Youth Tour.

Following the dinner, the Education Committee formally selected both students to participate in the tour to D.C. this June.

“Shannon and Jillian impressed our Education Committee and we all enjoyed learning more about their lives, interests, and desire to go on the tour,” said Sherburne. “Both students are excellent candidates and we look forward to having them represent NEMR Telecom on this year’s FRS Youth Tour.”

The Foundation for Rural Service’s (FRS) annual Youth Tour is one of the most visible examples of the foundation’s involvement with, and commitment to, rural youth.  2017 marks the 23rd annual Youth Tour.  Each year, in collaboration with NTCA member companies, FRS brings rural students from across the United States to Washington, D.C. for a four-day tour of some of the most historical sites in the nation.

Joe Lopez and the ‘Crescent City March Two-Step’

In mid-December of last year, a representative of the C.L. Barnhouse Publishing Company reached out to Chanel Oliver and the Scotland County music department seeking information regarding a piece of music entitled “Crescent City March Two-Step” that was dedicated to the Memphis Community Band and copyrighted in 1917.

Through a series of contacts, local historian and genealogy researcher Joanne Aylward began searching for more information on Mr. Lopez and his connection with the Memphis Community Band and composed the following biographical information about this man’s connection to the Memphis community.

JOE LOPEZ

Joseph Rogelio Lopez was born in Key West, Florida on May 27, 1887 to Joseph F. Lopez and Mary Lopez.  Joe R.’s father was a Cuban immigrant who had come to the United States at age three and become a naturalized citizen.   Joseph F. worked as a cigar packer, as did some of his eight children, including Joe R.   Census records show that by 1910 Joe’s mother Mary was widowed and had moved to New Orleans.

Little is to be found about his family or childhood or any sort of musical training he may have had.  However, according to a New York Clipper newspaper, in 1916 he was playing cornet with the Yankee Robinson Circus.

He traveled with the Robinson Famous Shows (Big Ten Shows) in 1916 where he played under the direction of C. H. Tinney, bandleader who hailed from Memphis, Missouri.   Tinney died unexpectedly on December 28, 1916 in Oklahoma and Lopez travelled to Memphis to play at Mr. Tinney’s funeral.

An article in the April 21, 1917 Billboard Magazine stated that “Joe Loepasz [sic], solo cornet with Tinney’s Band last season will not troupe this year.”  Apparently, he moved to Memphis, Missouri during this period of his life and became the director of the Memphis Community Band.  On June 5 in 1917, Joe registered for the draft in Memphis, Missouri and reported for his physical but was discharged on August 20, 1917 as “not physically qualified for service”.  Documents and photographs indicate that he was a small man, only 5 feet and ½ inch tall, which may explain his discharge from the service for physical reasons.   Lopez was married to Nettie Ralph, daughter of Fannie Ralph of Memphis, but no records of the marriage are found in Scotland County, so the date of their marriage is unknown.

It was October 1917 when Joe Lopez published his work “Crescent City Two-step march” which was dedicated to the Memphis Community Band.  (New Orleans, the “Crescent City” had been the home of Joe and his mother after the death of his father.)  The piece was arranged by F. H. Losey, himself a composer and later the editor-in-chief of the Vandersloot Music Publishing Company.  The following description was included with a copy of the music, published in the Memphis Reveille in 1917:

“A copy of the march was submitted to F. H. Losey, one of the best arrangers of band music in the United States and he pronounced the copy as a remarkable composition and one that would make a good impression on any audience. This march is especially adopted for all occasions as it opens with a bugle call prelude—which makes it fitting for parades, concerts, military services and for dress parade circus openings.  It is a very melodious number as the composer does not believe in the idea of boisterous “rip and tear” marches”.

Joe Lopez signed a contract in September 1917 to travel to Havana, Cuba to become a performer (cornet player) with Gran Circo Santos and Artigas for a salary of $21 (American) per week.  Santos and Artegas’ Circus had been hailed as the Ringling Brothers of Cuba.  Santos and Artigas were entrepreneurs who had been film producers and theatre owners and had founded their highly successful circus the previous year in 1916.   Joe was to leave from New Orleans and travel to Havana on November 10, 1917. Nettie Lopez joined her husband in Cuba later in November, 1917.

Later, Joe Lopez served as a band leader of the Campbell-Bailey-Hutchinson Circus in 1920, but left after that season and the CBH Circus later closed after the 1922 season and was offered for sale, but was sent to W. P. Hall’s circus “bone yard” in Lancaster, Missouri.  Nothing more is known of Joseph Rogelio Lopez, the cornet player and composer who called Memphis, Missouri

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