by Marcia Napier, Grain Valley Historical Society
The Grain Valley Herald went out of business in December, 1918. The owner, R. C. Hague sold his subscription list to The Oak Grove Banner. At that time, he agreed to edit a “Grain Valley page” in the Banner.
From Volume 37, Number 35 published on April 30, 1926, available at the Grain Valley Historical Society, I found they were still including our news in their paper.
By 1926, Mrs. A. M. White was the news correspondent. Like most news of the day, it was mostly “society” news –who ate dinner with whom and who was visiting from out of town. There was one birth announcement and several reports of illness. Well over half of the page was advertisements. I did learn that the Grain Valley baseball team had played on Sunday afternoon at the diamond north of Grain Valley High School. They defeated the Beacon Hill team of Kansas City by a score of 13-2!
On another page under the title, “It Happened Ten Years Ago,” I read the following announcement:
A marriage license was issued in Kansas City last Saturday to Byrl Baumgardner, of Grain Valley, and Miss Ona Stephenson, southwest of Oak Grove. Miss Stephenson is the daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Charles Stephenson.
From the advertisements I learned you could buy a Ford battery for $12.95 at Edgar Huff’s garage and Dr. A. L. Dwyer was in town on Wednesday with offices in the Sni-A-Bar bank building. He was prepared to furnish modern reliable dentistry at reasonable prices.
In the 1920s many newspapers carried advertisement for “Bull” Durham tobacco. Will Rogers, Ziegfeld Follies, screen star and American humorist, was a spokesperson for the American Tobacco Company which marketed the Durham brand. He became well known for his column, The Bull’s Eye. His comments in this particular issue of The Oak Grove Banner might be considered somewhat timely today.
He writes, “Congress, No 2: Statistics have proven that only one-half of one per cent of the speeches made in Congress are listened to. A great many Congressmen speak IN, but not TO, Congress. But every speech is published in the record. They send the records back home to show ‘What they told ‘em up there in Washington.’ Now the people back home think Congress heard their ‘Lem’ tell ‘em this.”
Will Rogers continued, telling folks how to resolve the situation, but the important message came at the end when he stated why “ …they won’t listen to anybody up there? They have gone out to smoke, that’s why, and you know why they’ve gone out to smoke? Why, ‘Bull’ Durham, of course. It’s better than any speech ever made.”
Visit the Grain Valley Historical Society and take a look at our collection. I think you would enjoy both the history and the humor found in these old newspapers.
Visit the Grain Valley Historical Society at 506 S. Main on Wednesdays or visit us online at ww.grainvalleyhistory.com and Facebook (@grainvalleyhistory).