Tough challenge for school board

Jeff Fox

From The Examiner during the week of Oct. 11-16, 1971: 

 “TEACHERS STRIKE RUMORS SQUELCHED” – Rumors of a teachers' strike in the Independence school system were squelched today by Jerry Snider, president of the Independence Community Teachers Association 

An ad from 100 years ago this week in The Examiner.

“There has been no intention of a strike in any meetings I have had with teachers,” Snider said. 

The district currently is $13,000 short of meeting the teachers' payroll Oct. 23, due to receipt of less state foundation funds than were anticipated. 

“We are completely in support of the board and feel that there are only two choices before it. Unless the schools can somehow obtain the needed funds for salaries of teachers, borrowed or otherwise, they will have to close until we get another payment from the state.” 

• “IS GOD DEAD? LOCAL MINISTERS DON’T THINK SO” – Is there a decline in religious interest? Most local pastors don’t think so, according to an Examiner survey. 

Articles in the news media, over the past two or three years, have reported a noticeable decline in religious interest, citing such factors as decreases in attendance and finances. 

Dr. John Hughes, First Baptist Church: “In recent years, there has appeared to be a decline in terms of religious dedication. This is brought out in the ‘Death of God’ movement and growing secularism. If this were true, though, I think the trend is in a different direction now. There is much greater religious confidence now than in the past.” 

Rev. Edward Rouch, Englewood Assembly of God: “I must agree with the statistics. There is a decline nationwide, but I don’t think that’s true here. The major contributing factor to the decline, I think, would be affluency. The church is popular when humanity is in need, and not popular when the need is not there. I think the hope is mainly among the young people in our denominations. ... It seems they’ve tried everything else, from promiscuity, to drunkenness, to dope and narcotics, and now they’re finding true peace of mind by serving Christ.” 

 “HOME OF WILLIAM McCOY, FIRST MAYOR, FOR SALE” – A house regarded as historically important to the city of Independence as well as for its style of architecture goes on the market this week in an estate sale. 

It is the Federal-style brick house at 410 W. Farmer, built in 1856 by William McCoy. When it was built, the house stood alone on a 14-acre tract. 

William McCoy and his brother, John McCoy, came to Independence in 1838 from Chillicothe, Ohio, and with Carey A. Lee, a friend from Kentucky, started a mercantile business on the square. The business prospered because of westward travel over the Santa Fe Trail. 

Independence was a village of 900 when it was incorporated in 1849, and William McCoy was elected its first mayor. He served only one term, preferring to engage in private business. 

From The Independence Examiner during the week of Oct. 10-15, 1921: 

• “FOUND 100 GALLON STILL” – A big still on the old Lane farm a mile south of Leeds was raised at 4 o’clock Friday afternoon by John L. Miles and Deputy County Marshals Carpenter and Wilson. The farm is rented to the Witte Bros. Major Miles says he has been working on a clue to this still for some time.  

Three touring cars are thought to be the means of transporting the whiskey. The Witte Bros went before the Prohibition Commissioner this morning and disclaimed any knowledge of the still. 

• “LEOPARD ESCAPES AT ZOO – BLACK BEAST FROM INDIAN JUNGLES, GETTING OUT EARLY SUNDAY MORNING, STILL IS AT LIBERTY” – A black leopard escaped between 2 and 7 o’clock yesterday morning from the lion house at the Horne Zoological Arena Company on the Spring Branch road and at 2:30 o’clock this afternoon was still at large.  

The leopard is one of a shipment of three that arrived at the zoo two weeks ago. They came here from San Francisco and had been shipped there from India. Sherman Horne bought six of the leopards that had just been captured and had them sent to this country. While on the ocean three died. 

Mr. Horne phoned to people for miles around yesterday morning telling of the escape of the animal and asking that he be notified if it was sighted. He also offered a reward of $50 to the one who would locate the beast and tell him where it is.  

“Though the animal still might be near here it is probably that it may have traveled many miles. ... It might be sixty or seventy miles from here by now,” Horne said. 

A number of persons have called the zoo and said they thought they had seen the animal, but no one seems sure he had seen it. Being black and weighing perhaps seventy-five or eighty pounds it might be mistaken for a dog. 

Next week: More on the escaped leopard.