I thought it would be fun, during this Cross Plains Centennial Year, to share some news stories from old issues of the Cross Plains Review. Most of what I’ll be sharing is from the period that Robert Howard lived there, 1919-1936, and I’m limited by the photocopies I have available, which I brought home several years ago from a visit to the outstanding Southwest Collection at Texas Tech University. But even if we’re a bit limited in our range, I think we can find a lot of material of interest throughout the year.
First up, from January 18, 1929:
NOTICE TO THE PUBLIC: It seems that there is an unusually large number of Donkeys running at large within the corporate limits of the city and as there is a number of complaints coming in each day it has become necessary to call upon the citizenship to assist in getting rid of them. If any of you have children who own them we ask that you take some steps to keep them corralled or tied so that they will not be running at large. Those who find them loose in their yards ruining their shrubbery etc. please notify the mayor and some steps will be taken to dispose of them. — Martin Neeb, Mayor
On Saturday January 12, a party was held to celebrate the eighth birthday of Elizabeth Morris. Among those in attendance were Bobby Lee Westerman, Lorena Childs, Joela Henderson, Nancy and Bobby Henkel, Princy and J.P. Henderson, Oliver Davis, Cornelius Elliot, Leo and Emily Gray McDermitt, Fay Hyser, Wynne Ruth Payne, Billie Ruth Loving, Billy Joe Coleman, S.R. Jackson Jr.
Dr. and Mrs. R. Robertson returned from Temple last Sunday where Mrs. Robertson had undergone an operation and been confined to the sanitarium there for a period of five weeks. [REH note: Dr. Robertson owned the Cross Plains Drug Store, where REH worked for a time in 1928; he appears as “Dr. Robinson” in Post Oaks and Sand Roughs.]
The Piggly-Wiggly was running some specials on Saturday, including 3 pounds of Morning Joy coffee for $1.53, 10 pounds of “good spuds” for 25 cents, and Armour Star hams at 32 cents a pound.
The Liberty Theatre (“Where Everybody Goes”) was showing: Friday, Buster Keaton and Marceline Day in “The Cameraman,” along with the comedy short “Do Gents Snore?” and Free China Ware Day; Saturday, “Silent Trail” with Peggy Montgomery and Bob Custer, with “Should Tall Men Marry?” (Stan Laurel, sans Hardy); Monday, Sally Phipps and Charles Morton in “None But the Brave,” as well as an unnamed comedy; Tuesday, “Dog Justice” featuring The Dog – Ranger, with chapter 9 of the serial “The Scarlet Arrow” and a comedy; and on Wednesday and Thursday, Victor McLaglen [one of Howard’s favorite actors, see REH Goes to the Movies], June Collyer and Earle Foxe in “Hangman’s House” [based on a novel by Donn Byrne which REH commented on in a letter to Harold Preece, see Robert E Howard’s Bookshelf], another comedy, and Free China Ware Day for Ladies.
Moving ahead a few years, the Review of January 18, 1935 reported:
THRICE A WEEK RAIL SERVICE IS EXPECTED SOON: Officials of the M.K.&T. railroad are scheduled for a hearing before the railroad commission Tuesday morning, when they will make application to run a train only every other day from DeLeon to Cross Plains. The commission is expected to grant the request.
D.C. Dobbins, division superintendent, said last week that the action was necessary because of the altered schedule on the main line, whereby the local train can make connection only every other day. He expressed the opinion that the thrice a week service would be only temporary and that the present schedule might be resumed in the Fall….
In Cross Plains a petition of cooperation was circulated last week, assuring the authorities of the M.K.&T. that this city is in complete accord with any action taken toward maintaining the road through the present adversities.
NEW DOCTOR TO LOCATE IN CROSS PLAINS SOON: Dr. T.G. Edwards, of Dublin, will locate in Cross Plains the latter part of this month or the first of February, the Review was authentically advised yesterday. Dr. Edwards is a M.D. of several years experience, yet is said to be a comparatively young man. [REH note: Dr. Edwards signed REH’s death certificate.]
Brunk’s Comedians, a tent repertoire theatre, was coming to town Monday for a seven-day run, sponsored by the Tommy Aiken American Legion Post.
Anderson Chevrolet was moving out some used cars to make room for 1935 models. You could get a 1929 Chevy truck for $85, or a 1930 sedan for $225.
At the Liberty, Bob Steele was featured in the western film “The Man from Hell’s Edges,” showing along with chapter 9 of the serial “Red Rider,” a cartoon and a comedy short; a Sunday Matinee introduced Will Rogers as “Mr. Skitch,” plus comedy and cartoon, the engagement running on Monday and Tuesday as well; and Wednesday and Thursday would offer “Jealousy,” starring Nancy Carroll and Donald Cook.
For January 19, let’s back up to 1934, and some sad news:
C.V. RAMSEY KILLED IN TRAGIC ACCIDENT: Throng of Friends Pay Last Respects Sunday Afternoon: Funeral rites for C.V. Ramsey, 32, local automobile mechanic who was fatally injured when he fell from the back of a truck Saturday afternoon, were held from his home at Cottonwood Sunday, with Rev. Ross Respess and Dr. C.A. Voyles, Baptist ministers officiating. Interment was made in the Cottonwood cemetery.
C.V. Ramsey, who was employed by Anderson Chevrolet Company, had gone out with E.O. Adams, local truck contractor, to listen for a defect in the motor before repairing it. He told Adams that he would step to the back of the truck and listen for trouble in the differential. It is believed that he slipped from the rear of the truck catching his foot in a trailer hitch. He fell to the pavement striking his head a severe blow and breaking a leg. The accident happened a half mile beyond the eastern city limits.
Dr. J.G. Rumph, local physician, was summoned and immediately rendered first aid before placing the injured man in an ambulance en route for a Santa Anna hospital. He died as the ambulance reached Coleman.
Surviving are his wife and infant daughter, and mother Mrs. Missouri Ramsey.
About 1,000 friends gathered at the Ramsey family home at Cottonwood to pay final respect to C.V. who had resided there his entire life. People were present from practically every city or town within a radius of 100 miles.
Pall bearers were F.R. Anderson, Babe Wood, Sidney Ratcliff, Bud Strahan, Howard Strahan and R.P. Bowden.[REH note: Howard wrote about the death of “Skeezix” Ramsey in a letter to August Derleth, July 4, 1935.]
At the Liberty, “Black Beauty,” starring Esther Ralston, Alexander Kirkland, and Gavin Gordon was the current offering, to be followed on Monday and Tuesday by Elissa Landi, Paul Lukas and Nils Asther in “By Candlelight,” and on Wednesday and Thursday “The Stoker,” with Monte Blue and Noah Beery.