Just two days before Halloween and with the fall season in full swing, the Boone County Historical and Railroad Society (BCHRS) held their Halloween Monday Bash Monday, Oct. 29, at Jamie’s Creative Catering located on Goblin Drive in Harrison.
With a crowd of close to 100, Toinette Madison, director of the Boone County Heritage Museum welcomed guests and supporters of the organization.
The event, which has become a tradition the Monday before Halloween, is a fundraiser for the Boone County Heritage Museum. Tickets holders are served a complete meal with dessert and treated to a special appearance from a Boone Countain from the past. A program is presented and before the evening’s end two local residents are inducted into the Boone County History Hall of Fame.
This year attendees got a look into the past with Audra Connerley Milum, portrayed by Debbie Waters.
Milum moved to Harrison by way of stagecoach in 1897. Her home on West Ridge Avenue in Harrison still stands today, said Waters in her portrayal of Milum. According to a written eulogy printed in the event program, Milum became a poet and was a member of the Methodist church, B&PW Club, Harrison Garden Club, Boone County Historical Society and was active with the Hillcrest Auxiliary to the Hillcrest Rest Home. Milum was the wife of the late Roy W. Milum.
In 1947 she published “Echoes from the Ozark Hills.” During the portrayal of Milum, Waters read two original poems from Milum’s on handwriting, “Our Town” and “When Heaven Hovers Near.”
Milum was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. M. Connerley who operated a boarding house and wagon yard in Harrison. The family later ran the Connerley Hotel. History shows that the hotel was located on the present site of North Arkansas College’s South Campus, the Durand Center. Milum is buried in the Rose Hill Cemetery in Harrison.
Returning again this year with an interesting program was Abby Burnett with “The Dog Make Me Do It.” Burnett, of Kingston, works independently as a researcher, mainly in cemeteries where she studies burial customs, tombstone symbolism, epitaphs and stone carvings. Her work has taken her to many states for research and photographs which she has included in documentaries and features such as “Silent Storytellers” for AETN. She is also the author of “Gone to the Grave,” which notes the burial customs of the Arkansas Ozarks. Her Monday night program featured man’s love for their animals, in so much that man carries his pets to the grave with him in the form of statues in the graveyard and pictures on tombstones. Many pets are buried in pet cemeteries or occasionally, when aloud, by side their owners or just outside of cemetery grounds.
The awaited feature at the Bash event was the naming of this year’s two history hall of fame inductees, Sally Jo Gibson and Mosco Cash. Short videos were shown of both Gibson and Cash and each was presented with a large plaque from the BCHRS in appreciation of their support and contributions made to preserving Boone County history.
Gibson, a retired Harrison choir teacher, is a member of Daughters of the American Revolution, United Daughters of the Confederacy, Boone and Newton County Retired Teachers, Boone County Genealogy Society, Boone County Historical and Railroad Society, Arkansas Audubon Society, Women’s Book Club, Delta Kappa Gamma and others. She is noted locally for her bird watching expertise and she enjoys genealogical research.
Cash a self-made, successful Harrison businessman, is a member of the Harrison Kiwanis Club and the former owner of Home Ice Company and Ozark Post Advertising Company. He and his late wife, Josephine, are generous supporters of Harrison School athletics, both through attendance and financially. The event program named him as the contributor for the Cash Center and a contributor for the Jo T. Cash Track. Also he was a “key contributor to several Arkansas athletic programs.” A dormitory at Williams Baptist College carries his name as well as does a college traveling band, stated the program.
Gibson and Cash will have their name inscribed on a permanent plaque which resides inside the museum located at 124 South Cherry. The museum is open from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday; also from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. on Thursdays. Admission is $5 for adults and under 12 is free.
Past history hall of fame inductees include: J.K. Fancher, Judge Roger V. Logan, Norman Rowe, Sue Barker, Robert McCorkindale and Marcille Lawrence.