Dec. 28, 1930: Throughout the Depression, whatever the financial despair, somehow the people of Appanoose County found ways to keep giving to those in need. At Centerville Post Office, all workers from postmaster H.C.Haynes down to the messengers, pledged a day’s salary. The city barbers of Local 369 forwent their annual banquet, sending the money to the Christmas fund instead. At Exline, local postmaster G.W. McClaskey asked for donations “each time you collect your mail.” Similar requests went out in Numa, Mystic, Rathbun, Moravia, Unionville, Moulton and Cincinnati. Unemployment in Appanoose County had reached 25 percent — the highest in Iowa.
Dec. 29, 1925: The saga of the Russo sisters takes a turn. In Rock Island, Constanza, the 15 year old sister of Carmela Russo, is shot by Cosimo Malone twice. The bullets entered her jaw and her shoulder. Cosimo was the divorced husband of Carmela. Constanza had been abducted amid local gossip: “Certain customs brought to America from the old country” were at work. A recovered Constanza threw herself for protection on Centerville’s Sheriff Gaughenbaugh, and she got it. (360)
Dec. 30, 1943: Guy Evans at the local employment office was recruiting 220 local workers for an unspecified “vitally important patriotic” project. He hired 125 from Appanoose County, the others from the neighboring counties of Wayne, Davis and Putnam. They were sent to Pasco, Washington State and to Oak Ridge, Tenn. Only when the war was over did Evans and all the workers learn they were assisting in making the atom bomb.