February 5, 2004

Longhorn Conversions Trailers Gaining Notority For Manufacturer

What started out as a sideline for a local family to add a little extra income has turned into a full-blown business with exciting opportunities for continued expansion.

Longhorn Conversions started out six years ago on the Emel family farm when Randy, Jason, Melinda and Melissa Emel completed their first trailer conversion job, installing a living quarters area in a horse trailer. The building project still allows the owner to haul horses in the trailer but it converts a portion of the floor space into a living area for travelers to utilize while on trips with the animals.

We had been selling trailers for 10 or 12 years and heard people talking about these types of conversion jobs, Jason Emel said. They were always complaining about how expensive it is. Finally we looked into it a bit and decided that we could build the conversions right here in Memphis for a lot less than what these folks were having to pay.

Six years later the business has expanded and is looking for future growth. Initially the family completed only a handful of special orders in the first few years.

But the orders continued to increase forcing Longhorn Conversions to construct a new shop in Memphis on Highway 136. The company completes many trailers a year.

It takes two to three weeks to build the average conversion with some of the bigger jobs taking at least a month, Jason said. But with the growth in the number of orders we hope to see the production numbers double this year.

Of course that would likely entail further expansion for the growing business.

The company already has added additional staff beyond the founding family members. Jeff Frederick and Drew Holt work on the assembly and construction crew with Jason and Randy. Danny Kirby helps transport the trailers and Jim Adams does upholstery work for the interiors.

While this started out as a family show we definitely wouldnt be where we are today without these guys, Jason said. Were extremely fortunate to have such a good set of employees.

The crew keeps busy installing the living quarters in a variety of styles for horse trailers ranging in sizes offering a number of possibilities.

The typical conversion includes a sleeping area, a kitchen and bathroom complete with shower.

The group starts with the shell and installs insulation, wiring and plumbing as well as all of the other necessities.

Basically we are building a house inside a trailer, Emel said. We pride ourselves in the quality of the workmanship as well as the quality of the products we install in these living quarters.

Typical camper style setups use cheaper materials such as particleboard and other low cost materials. Longhorn Conversions utilizes solid oak paneling, real wood cabinets and other high quality materials.

This serves as a boon to the local community, which is seeing the benefit of the growth in the local trailer companys sales. Emel said the company is able to buy much of the hardware and plumbing supplies locally and also utilizes local services such as welding to help build the final product.

The living quarters come complete with air conditioning and heating, but that option depends on where the trailer will be shipped.

The last trailer we built went to Tuscon, AZ, and they didnt need a heater, Randy Emel said. We sent one to Wisconsin and they didnt think they needed the air conditioning but wanted to be sure the unit had a good heater.

Currently Longhorn Conversions is building units for Titan Trailer MFG. The national company has 115 dealers across the United States. The bulk of the orders come through the companys various dealers.

However Emel noted there is no exclusive contract, meaning the company is free to build conversion units in any type of trailer and has done projects for area dealers including Maxwell Trailer of Missouri.

While the business has focused on conversions for horse trailers, Emel said he anticipates expanding to do some new projects including trailers for ATVs and motorcycles. He also has received interest in a trailer for specialty vehicles such as mountain-climbing Jeeps and noted the local race car drivers also have mentioned interest in seeing trailers for race car transport including living quarters.

But it is the horse trailer outfit that has gained Longhorn Conversions the most notice. The crew recently completed a custom trailer outfit for a new television series Corrals Across America, an American Adventure series that will air on RFD-TV beginning next year. The program features Carey Clay as he travels across the United States to beautiful and exciting places related to horseback riding.

The show is sponsored in part by Titan Trailers, which is providing the custom horse trailer complete with living quarters designed and built by Longhorn Conversions.

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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