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July 9, 1999

In the late 1930s and early 1940s, two organizations helped Noble county farmers with marketing their livestock and produce. One was the Perry Sales Day Association and the other was the Northern Oklahoma Hereford Association. As I recall, the Sales day Association was fostered by the Perry Chamber of Commerce as it recognized the need for a marketing tool to help support the farms of this area. The association, originally called the Perry Community Sale, purchased equipment and rented the fairgrounds arena and other facilities for weekly auctions that attracted hundreds of prospective buyers. Around 1940-41, C-C directors sold the operation to local auctioneers Sherm Trussel and Zeke Walker. The sale had been losing money and the C-C believed it would serve best in private hands.

Ken Box recently brought me printed programs used at the annual banquet of the Chamber of Commerce and the Perry Sales Day Association nearly 60 years ago, and the information on those programs is fascinating. Ken's dad, the late William A. Box, was president of the C-C in 1941 when the organization's dinner was held in the basement of the First Presbyterian church. Music was provided by Dr. W.C. Marshall and Bert Shaw. Rev. David Thomas, the Presbyterian pastor, gave the invocation. O.R. Hall gave the report on the annual membership drive. G.T. Webber, program chairman, turned the floor over to speakers on seven topics: Improvements, Billy Lynch; streets, Paul Cress; flowers, Mrs. Emil Voigt; music, Elmo Schultz; rural contacts, Mrs. Grace Hampton; main street, Ben Childers; and advertising, W.K. Leatherock. The program committee, in addition to Mr. Webber, included Frank Douglass, Joe Foster, J.O. Silverthorne, Herman Ladner, Dick Eby and Walter Kehres. The C-C treasurer's report showed total receipts for the past year amounted to $3,452.76. Salaries, presumably, for the C-C manager and his secretary, totaled $1,975.

The printed program for the tenth anniversary dinner of the Perry Sales Day Association does not bear a date, but it apparently was held in 1940. It, contains an annual report covering the period of March 1, 1939, to February 29, 1940. This affair was in the First Presbyterian church basement but was served by ladies of St. Rose of Lima Catholic church, and music was provided by Dr. W .C. Marshall, who also led group singing. Rev. W.H. Reid gave the invocation. New members and guests were introduced by William A. Box, who was president of the C-C at that time. Charles B. Forney was president of the Sales Day Association. For fun time during the evening, a Doctor I.Q. show, based on the popular radio quiz show of the day, was staged by Glenn Yahn and these assistants: Charles Monroe Jr., Ralph Treeman, Jack Smith, Dr. Marshall and Keith McQuiston. A photo story of the sale, fat stock show and Herefords was provided by R.T. Scott and Everett Nelson. The committee in charge of arrangements for the evening was composed of Keith McQuiston, chairman; Ralph Treeman, Charles Monroe Jr., Jack Smith, L.E. Plumer, Dr. W .C. Marshall, R.T. Scott and Glenn Yahn.

The annual report of the Sales Day Association showed total receipts during the past year of $180,030.46. The manager and secretary received a combined total of $1,310.93 in wages for the year. Animals sold totaled 14,758 and they included mules, horses, cattle, hogs, sheep and goats. In addition, the sale handled 33,440 bales of hay, 37,536 posts; and 191 pieces of farm machinery. Closing notes on the program concluded with this statement: “The office of the sale has been a clearing house in locating seed oats, purebred animals, hay and the like for farmers in the trade area.” And that was just what this depression-weary rural area needed at that point. Thanks to Ken Box for showing me these interesting mementos.