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    Register News Tidbits 1999
    1966- BLACK BEAR SHOT NEAR WALTONVILLE- One of the biggest local stories from the year 1966 was the shooting of a 305 pound black bear near Waltonville. After a four day search,the bear was shot out a tree about noon , May 19, 1966 in the Big Muddy Bottoms, northeast of Waltonville on the Lowell Davis property.Jerry Jones, manager of the drive in theater, had seen tracks in the county about two months previously. It was shot by Everett Weems , an expert hunter from Salem. Among the people who took part was Deputy sheriff, Jack Fairchild, Donald Laur of Waltonville,and Tom Telford of Salem. Several letters to the editor, voiced disgust about the shooting. Dogs from Salem, trained to trackbears led the hunters on the chase. The bear was first seen in Spring Garden township,east of Ina. The next day, it was tracked all the way to Ewing in a wooded area and then it wound up in Waltonville. Jefferson county animal warden, Howard Williams hoped it captured instead of being shot but the bear turned on the dogs and it was either kill the bear or let it escape according to Sheriff Dewey Barton. Williams said '' a bear that big could kill a man or a dog with one swipe." After a session of picture taking, the bear was brought to Mt Vernon Frozen Food locker, where it was kept. Because of the great interest,the locker was open into the evening and many people saw the bear there. Donations were collected,and the bear was stuff by a St Louis taxidermist. Donations were then collected for the display case. Smokey as he was named was on display for many years at the courthouse and several years ago was moved to the Jefferson county historical Village. REGISTER NEWS 1999 Submitted By: Janice Staples

    Register News Tidbits 1999
    Oct 27, 1999 1973:Mitchell Museum opens. Mitchell museum first opened on Friday Nov. 2 1973 to local and state public officials. John and Eleanor Mitchell has provided numerous opportunies for the public to enjoy the arts. John Russell Mitchell was born in 1905. He attended school in Mt. Vernon and the University of Illinois. , he began his career with National Bank of Commerce in St.Louis. He opened Mitchell furniture co in Mt Vernon in 1923 and later added stores in Harrisburg, Mattoon and Vicennes Ind. In 1931 he married Eleanor Fuhr, who was born in Macomb in 1903. Mrs. Mitchell taught an art program at Mt Vernon high school from 1929 to 1932 and also taught dramatics and physical education. John helped organize Security Bank and Trust and served as chairman of the board and later as director for many years. He established in 1946 radio stations Wmix am and Wmix fm. The Mitchells were extensive travelers and completed a trip around the world in 1949.They were active collectors for more than 40 years, acquiring a small significant collection of late 19th and early 20th century sculpture and decorative arts. REGISTER NEWS 1999 Submitted By: Janice Staples


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