Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA


September 7, 2012

Moulton-Udell grad takes a deeper look at her hometown

Part III: An Investigative Story and Jamboree


MOULTON — Garrett Memorial Library



In Memory Of

Wilbur F. and Jennie M.



John M. Garrett



Mrs. Hugh Wood, Sr.

Mr. A. S. Hill

Mrs. Cliff Cosby

Mrs. Wayne Bassett

Mr. J. M. Garrett

Federal Library Grant of 1968

The style of this plaque looked very familiar. I walked around the library and found it just inside the first entrance. It was like being pulled back in time. Garrett Memorial Library in memory of Wilbur and Jennie Garrett (early residents of Moulton) was founded by John Garrett on May 30, 1969.

According to Moulton archives, “Cong. John Kyle was present to deliver the afternoon’s address at the open house. After a short program, John Garrett presented the keys of the library to Mrs. Hugh Wood, chairman of the library’s board of trustees.”

There was a photograph of the board of trustees sitting in the chairs in front of the fireplace inside the library. The chairs were different in the photograph than in person, but I remembered the other chairs being there. They were older, and square in shape. They were a dull yellow color. I remember each year a Santa Claus sitting in those chairs handing us children a brown paper bag with goodies. The current chairs are a dark red with gold buttons in the seat, looking almost like royal thrones. These chairs are so familiar to me now that I don’t even remember when they were changed. But I do remember that the older chairs were used in the aisles of the books shelves for a while before they completely disappeared; before they were gone just like one more piece of history forgotten in a little “unknown” town.


Our black 4x4 pick-up drives into town passing the Daniels’ Station, the trailer park, the abandoned brown house with a sunroom, and Dave Edwards’ barber shop. We come up on an orange net hanging on the back of the Davis County U.S. Bank stage, and we have to take a detour around some Moulton homes on bumpy streets. Moulton is actually in Appanoose County, but has borrowed the Davis County’s fair stage for Jamboree for many years. Pick-ups all over town are parking along side roads or in the alleys behind local businesses. It’s still early so the rides are going, but not many kids are making sounds of fun and joy. The armbands don’t start until 7 p.m. The stage is empty at the moment, but will soon have people milling around setting up equipment, lining up props, and checking the speakers and the sound system. I have helped Gary Harris, the current Moulton town mayor, with arranging the music for the Prince and Princess contest since around fourth or fifth grade. It’s always on the first night of Jamboree, Thursday. This year was the first year that I wasn’t able to help.  

Many of the Moulton-Udell students would consider Jamboree a long-time honored tradition. However, many of them probably have no idea how long or what Jamboree used to include. There used to be sheep shearing contests and dog sheep trials. Jamboree parades have always included the schools. There used to be as many as 15 rural schools involved in the parade. Current day, the only other schools in the parade beside our own are just the bands. No other schools do floats. The Jamboree parade always passes Pulliam Park, where the judges sit in the band stand along with the emcee. George Pulliam’s wife thought Moulton should have a park and wanted to name it after her late husband who died in 1921. At first, there were arguments and opposition, but eventually she got her way and the park became a reality according to Moulton archives. Udell used to be its own school; Udell sixth grade won first place of the floats in the Elementary division of the Jamboree parade. Udell now combines with our school, and a Moulton bus goes to Udell to pick the children up. There also used to be a contest for boys to capture a greased pig. There was a picture of Jerry Daniels, now the bus maintenance man for M-U school, as a young boy with his captured greased pig in Moulton the archives. Other celebrations that are now a part of the past include Pioneer Picnic, and 4th of July parade.

Look for Part 4 soon, in which the author looks at how the town has changed and what the future might hold.

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The Iowegian wants readers to think about the solicitation ordinance that will prevent groups or individuals from entering a roadway to solicit money. The Centerville City Council in June by a 5-0 vote passed the first reading of just such an ordinance. Public pressure and during a subsequent special meeting, the council voted 3-2 to table the ordinance. A second special meeting to discuss the solicitation ordinance is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 7 at City Hall. So, the question of the week is, "Do you or do you not support the ordinance to prevent solicitation of funds in city streets?"

A. I support the ordinance
B. I do not support the ordinance
C. Not sure
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