5 years ago
Two of the more popular — and unique — midway attractions at the Nodaway County Fair this year were a pair of animal exhibits named Woody’s Barn Yard and Woody’s Menagerie.
The Barn Yard consisted of a miniature sawdust-covered track that — following the traditional “Call to the Post” fanfare — was used to stage a series of comic races featuring a variety of critters, including dachshunds, ducks, pigs and goats.
Kids loved it, “kids” in this case being everyone between five and 90.
The Menagerie featured an exotic collection of beasts embracing three lion-tiger mixes (ligers), a Eurasian eagle-owl, a white wolf, a European lynx and a brown bear.
Excluding livestock shows and petting zoos, such animal attractions are a rarity at small-town festivals. Exhibits like those offered by Woody’s don’t come cheap, and the fair here usually just can’t afford them.
But this year was an exception that grew out of the years-long friendship between animal showman Gregg Woody and the late Brian McPherson, the longtime Fair Board member who died last year at age 60.
The 2017 fair was dedicated to McPherson’s memory, and Woody, with a convenient gap in his schedule caused by a cancellation, agreed to bring his Menagerie and Barn Yard to Maryville at a significantly reduced cost.
He also dropped admission charges, instead collecting freewill donations at the Menagerie that will help support next year’s fair. …
“I love the small fairs, and I like working with volunteers,” he said. “The members of the Fair Board really have their hearts in this, and it’s great to see the cooperation they have with the county and the city. I think, nationwide, a lot of people are forgetting what fairs are for. But Nodaway County doesn’t do that.”
15 years ago
On Wednesday night, officials from four different Nodaway governmental agencies met with homeowners in the Maryville area in an effort to replace or upgrade streets that had somehow slipped through cracks in previous zoning efforts that have resulted in thoroughfares with no one to account for them.
At issue was the long-term maintenance of streets that have fallen through gaps in former zoning that literally allowed developers to place streets in their projects with scant oversight from any municipality. While these loopholes have since been closed, according to local officials, the reality is there are streets in varying stages of decomposition that need to be attended to by someone.
To that end, a meeting was called to present possible options to the residents who live along these streets.
Representatives of the Nodaway County Commission, Polk Township, the City of Maryville and the Nodaway Joint County Planning Task Force were present at the meeting at the Nodaway County Courthouse which was attended by 40 or 50 concerned homeowners.
The meeting was moderated by Tye Parsons, director of the Northwest Missouri Regional Council of Governments. He introduced Roger Prokes, a resident of Golf Tee Lane in Maryville who has successfully shepherded an effort to create a Neighborhood Improvement District to resurface the street servicing the dozen or so homes along that street. …
“It simply would have cost us too much to bring it up to the code required,” Prokes said. “As a result, we may well face another situation of resurfacing at a later date.”
25 years ago
The Maryville City Council Monday took the first step toward strengthening its power to suspend or revoke liquor licenses throughout the year, voting 4-1 to accept the first reading of an ordinance that outlines the city’s power.
The new ordinance, if approved on a second reading, would strengthen and update an existing ordinance that now allows the city to suspend or revoke licenses but has not been used in several years.
Traditionally, the Council has reviewed licenses when they are up for renewal and has chosen to either renew the license for the next year or to refuse it. If the ordinance is approved on second reading, the Council will hear monthly reports from Maryville Public Safety on arrests and citations at Maryville bars.
100 years ago
OF PEN AGAIN;
IS SECOND ESCAPE
Man Sent from Nodaway County to
Do Seven Years Leaves State Penitentiary Wednesday Night
FOR TRACK TEAM
The Missouri state penitentiary doesn’t seem to have a thing on the Nodaway County jail when it comes to holding Irvin Swearingen. Swearingen made his second escape from the penitentiary Wednesday evening, tying his record in getting out of the county bastile(sic) here. Following is the story of his latest escape as taken from Associated Press dispatches in … yesterday’s metropolitan newspapers:
Before his incarceration in the penitentiary Irvin Swearingen, sent from Nodaway County for seven years, was a professional sprinter. He has been taking a prominent part in prison athletics and desired permission to train in the late evening hours on the cinder track in the prison playground.
This was readily accorded him, as he has a good record, and he desired to be in readiness for athletic contests to be held tomorrow. Wednesday evening he began his training. He trotted around the track in the gloaming and after darkness came he was seen no more. Whether he went over the wall and continued his training by putting as much distance between himself and the prison as possible or whether he is hiding out inside, awaiting an opportunity to get outside, is not known by the prison officials, who are conducting a search for the missing man.
At any rate he is missing and when he returns will probably lose his place as a member of the prison athletic team.
Swearingen was sentenced to the penitentiary from Nodaway County by Judge John M. Dawson on October 27, 1921. He pleaded guilty to charges of burglary and larceny in connection with the theft of an automobile and spare tires from the Manchester and Dodd garage at Skidmore. He was brought there, after breaking jail and being at liberty for almost a year. Deputy Sheriffs L. E. Atherton and G. L. Purcell went to Minot, N. D., for him.
After pleading guilty in court here he asked to say something in his own behalf and told a wierd(sic) tale in which the implication was made that Sheriff John F. Dowden connived in his escape in consideration of a sum of money which Swearingen said he had hidden near Gentry, Mo.
Swearingen(’s) … first appearance in this section of the country was when he was arrested in Worth County for stealing an automobile. He escaped the sheriff by jumping through a window on the train. He was captured, convicted, sent to the penitentiary and a short time later escaped from that institution by donning the civilian clothes of a guard and walking out of the penitentiary with a gang of visitors. He was soon caught, however, and returned to serve his term in Jefferson City. It was only a short time later that he was arrested here.
The 100-year flashback is courtesy of the Missouri Digital Newspaper Project from the State Historical Society of Missouri, viewable at shsmo.org/collections/newspapers/mdnp. The original article ran in the July 15, 1922, edition of The Maryville Tribune, a predecessor of The Maryville Forum.