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From our files, April 27

100 YEARS AGO — 1919

The mysterious water fowl in the window of the Danville Messenger has been attracting much attention. It is very ferocious and wants to fight everything and everybody that goes near it. The bird is about the size of a turkey and has a long, sharp bill. While returning Sunday from Junction City where he preaches at the Presbyterian Church, Dr. M.M. Allen, president of the Kentucky College for Women, saw a bird struggling on the creek near the Warrenwood farm on Hustonville Pike. He captured the bird by throwing his automobile rug over the bird’s head. He then saw where the bird had been shot in its leg and was unable to fly. He discovered the bird is actually a Great Northern Diver, or loon. Its voice is loud and harsh. The bird at the Messenger office will be released as soon as its wounds heal sufficiently for it to fly and it will be sent on its way from the south to the Northern Lakes.

It was stated in the Messenger that the Swastiki Club had leased a large room over the Chestnut & Salter Hardware Company’s store and that the first dance would be given on May 2 and the public was invited to attend. However, the newspaper has been informed that the Swastiki Club will not hold public dances, but private dances, and only those who are given invitations are expected to attend. This club is composed of 27 prominent young men in Danville and the rooms have been very nicely furnished. The officers are W.G. Wright, W.N. Cosby and T.M. Anderson.

Beginning on May 5, the Danville Messenger will change its name to the Danville Daily Messenger and will be published daily instead of semi-weekly as present.

Mrs. Elizabeth Taylor, a veritable “Mother in Israel” died at her home just over the Mercer County line in Washington County. She was 96 years old and leaves behind eight children, 55 grandchildren, 141 great-grandchildren and 35 great-great-grandchildren.

75 YEARS AGO — 1944

The age limit for members of the Volunteer Nurses Aide Corps has been extended. It is now possible to accept women over age 50 if their doctors feel they are physically fit. The former age requirement permitted the enlistment of women between the ages of 18 to 50 only. Vacancies still exist in the present class of Nurses Aids at the Red Cross. If interested, telephone the office in Danville at 846.

Mayor Henry Nichols outlined a comprehensive post-war plan of public improvements for Danville during the weekly luncheon meeting of the Kiwanis Club at the Gilcher Hotel. The projects, which will take about six years to complete, will be started as soon as possible after the war, and include: street pavements at 28 locations; sidewalks at 23 locations; and water lines at six locations. The total cost of these improvements, including more, will be about $148,996.

The auction sale of personal property at Cecilhurst drew a huge crowd from several surrounding counties. The fine old house, which has been Miss Sadie Cecil’s home for more than 50 years, stands on Lexington Avenue immediately north of Danville and adjoining the property of the water company. It has been sold and the new owners will take possession May 1. The land was sold two months ago to five local business and professional men, Herbert Acton, Joe G. Davis, Evan Edmiston, Hulin Mattingly and Hart Rapier, who already are laying out the tract as Danville’s greatly-needed, future subdivision. Sold at the auction were oil paintings by Miss Sadie, which commanded as high as $25 each. One unusual antique chair brought $69 and a handsome chest of drawers brought $81. Miss Sadie is moving into Danville.

50 YEARS AGO — 1969

One of the finest science fairs exhibited at Danville Bate Junior High School was displayed Friday night. Mrs. Mary Morley, Mrs. Jewell Lay and Mrs. Nancy Kelley, science teachers, were in charge of the exhibit and judges were selected from the community and from Centre College. Seventh-grade winners in physical science were Clay Cantrell, Steve Mowery and Juanita Brown. Seventh-grade winners in biological science were Vi Thomas, Shelby Best and Jennifer Cantrell. Eighth-grade winners were Cindy Sowders, Jimmie Akins and Mark Hughes tied, and Laura Maxon. Biological science winners were Bill Pesci, Alice Sisk and Dot Neale.

Lt. Col. Edward J. Pohlmann, of Boone Trail, received his second award of the Army Commendation Medal in Louisville at ceremonies marking his retirement from the 100th Training Division, U.S. Army Reserve after 27 years of service. Col. Pohlmann received an oak leaf cluster for rendering exceptionally meritorious service as 1st Brigade executive officer, a post he assumed last June. In World War II, Col. Pohlmann, then a captain, landed at Normandy on D-Day and fought in five campaigns, during which he received the Bronze Star.

A Boyle Circuit Court returned a verdict of $15,000 for Marshall Yates in his claim against the Danville and Boyle County Air Board for 7.133 acres, adjacent to the Danville Airport, which was being sought for expansion purposes. The jury determined the value of 19.803 acres was $40,000 before the air board condemned 7.133 acres of the tract and that after the condemnation and the taking of the 7 plus acres, the value of the entire tract was $25,000, leaving a damage fee to Yates of $15,000.

25 YEARS AGO — 1994

The Danville city commissioners decided to pay for picnic tables at this year’s Brass Band festival out of their own pockets. In previous years, the city had picked up the tab for two tables and food. Last year’s cost was about $475. Elected officials, family members and various employees sit at the tables most years.

Houses built in Boyle County will soon be required to meet state building code standards. Van Cook, a local builder, who is president-elect of the Kentucky Home Builders Association, asked the court to start inspecting single-family houses and duplexes. All other buildings are inspected by the state, he said. Currently, only houses built in Danville are inspected.

Freddie DeCristofaro, owner of Freddie’s Restaurant, who served up food and friendship for more than 40 years has died at the age of 79 after a months-long battle with cancer. At the age of 19, Freddie was drafted into the Italian army and his unit was sent to Ethiopia to defend the Italian colony against British invasion during the early stages of WWII. He was captured by the British, sent to a prisoner of war camp, escaped and was recaptured. It was during his nearly six years as a prisoner that he honed his culinary skills as camp cook. Finally back home in Italy, DeCristofaro recovered from his wounds but couldn’t find work. He left for the United States in 1950 on a visit that turned into a permanent relocation. Amelia Marshall of Danville, whom DeCristofaro had met when she was vacationing in Italy, had sponsored his visit to America. They married in 1952. Life continued to be rough for him, as he started his restaurant with little money, business experience or knowledge of his new country’s ways or language. The hard work eventually paid off and DeCristofaro became a successful and popular businessman. “He taught me as a kid to always make people feel welcome. That attitude — that warm, friendly ‘hi-ya’ — is what I’ll miss the most about him,” said G.G. Harmon. “He made it such a joyful place to be. Some people couldn’t make out what he was saying in that broken English, but his smile, laughter and concern for his customers was a language everybody could understand,” Harmon said. Ferinando “Freddie” DeCristofaro was born Sept. 18, 1914, in Frosolone, Italy.