Bits and Pieces — Recently a volunteer at the Downing Depot Museum found a very faded piece of the Excelsior newspaper containing an article of the “Chronology of Marriages for the Year 1934.” That would be 94 years ago—56 couples, with at least one of them residing in Schuyler County. It’s doubtful anyone is going to celebrate one of these anniversaries again, but we thought you might find some of this list interesting:

Ronald Probasco, Downing, MO         to Coleen Gale, Moulton, IA in Lancaster, MO, Jan. 18, 1934; Alexandre Ruelland, Madrid, Spain to Margaret Friedrich, Lancaster, MO, in Bordeaux, France, Feb. 6, 1934; Raymond Duncan, Downing, MO to Mary Cook, Downing, MO in Queen City, MO, Mar. 28, 1934; Leo E. Riley, Downing, MO to Jenivee Ketchum, Downing, MO in Memphis, MO, Aug. 11, 1934; Roy Virgil Ware, Bloomfield, IA to Georgia Ayer, Downing, MO in Lancaster, MO, Aug. 27, 1934; Tillman Sorrell, Lancaster, MO to Anna Groseclose, Downing, MO in Lancaster, MO, Sept. 9, 1934; Roy R. Shaw, Downing, MO    to Ruth L. Jacobs, Downing, MO in Lancaster, MO, Sept. 26, 1934; Edwin Speer, Lancaster, MO to Lucille Schmid, Lancaster, MO   in Eldon, IA, Sept. 30, 1934; Raymond Jackson, Downing, MO to Pauline Moore, Downing, MO in Moberly, MO, Nov. 10, 1934; Oscar Rush, Hitt, MO to Bernice Stice, Downing, MO           in Kirksville, MO, Nov. 10, 1934; Otis Farris, Downing, MO to Ruth Gardine, Queen City, MO in Kirksville, MO, Nov. 28, 1934

On the backside of this article was “The Neighborhood” column where a bit of news was reported from several other newspapers around the area—Edina Sentinel; Moulton, Iowa, Tribune; Bloomfield Republican; Greentop Reporter; and Centerville Iowegian. A partially cut off article from Bloomfield caught my attention (I attempted to correctly fill in the blanks within brackets[ ]) They reported that someone:

“[?Someone in the area] must have had a brand of C[hrist]mas cheer that should have [been] shared with the newspaper [reporter, as on] Wednesday morning as he ca[me to] work he found what he [thought] was a frog hopping along [the] walk ahead of him in the [snow] and sub-zero temperature. A[s he] thought some of his friends [would] be a bit skeptical when he [told] them about the frog he caug[ht it] and took it along to the [office] and put it in a box so he [would] have the evidence. The first [person he] told about it was skeptical, [so] B.L. said he would show [him] the frog to make the story [??] right. He seemed greatly di[sap]pointed when he was told [the] frog was a wounded sparrow.

Thanks go to Lena Gallagher for bringing in an ashtray that advertised Frosty Jackson’s Tank Wagon Service and a framed news article announcing the formation of the Rebekah Lodge in Downing. “Rebekahs Organize” reported on Dec. 27, 1921, that the first meeting of Ariel Rebekah Lodge #752 of Downing occurred with 41 charter members. Eighteen officers were elected, including Ruby Presser and Estalene Cook whom Lena knew.

Looking for help: We’re planning an article and an exhibit about tobacco in the near future. We are collecting information on tobacco farming and production around Downing from the late 1800s to whenever it stopped. If you have any stories or information on this topic, please talk with Don Scurlock at 641-929-3915 — and, we’d like to use photos, too. We’ll be glad to scan any family photos you want to keep and return the originals. For this, please contact Judy Sharp at 660-342-1454.

And more help: There will be a Downing Depot Museum booth at the Scotland County Antique Fair in August. We just realized that there might be some rain (oh, yes, please!!) that weekend, and we don’t have a tent cover for the booth. If anyone has such a thing that we can borrow for three days (Thursday through Saturday), please contact Judy Sharp at 660-342-1454. We will appreciate the “insurance” of not rushing to cover things up to keep them dry.

And even more help: We have two pictures that we’d like to learn more information about. Here is what we know:

Photo taken at Goodenough, Kahoka, Mo. Photo is of a family of six. On the back is written “Mr. & Mrs. Link Turner & family.” Just below this is “Mrs. A. Lancaster.”

Photo taken by B.F. Myers, Downing, Missouri, Branch Gallery at Stiles, Iowa. Photo is of six men. Names are written on three men’s sleeves on front: “McConnell” (front center), “Elmer Petty” (front right), and “Ollie McVey” (back left).

The Downing Depot Museum, located at Downing Appreciation Days Park, is open to the public on the 1st and 3rd Fridays, June through September 2018, from noon to 4 pm. Volunteers will be working there at other unscheduled times, too. If you’re interested in volunteering to help with our renovation, please contact Jerry (660-379-2467), Carol (641-929-3915), or Judy (660-342-1454).

submitted by Judy Sharp