This week I continue with the article on “Box Suppers.” In 1915: “A box supper will be given at Leachman’s school-house Saturday night, Sept. 18. Girls please bring your boxes, and boys please come and buy one. Proceeds for the benefit of the school.” And in 1928: “There will be a pie and box supper at Leachman school Sat. night, for benefit of school. Come and bring your friends and pocketbook.”
Guffy News in 1935: A ”Hallowe’en party and box supper will be given at the school building Sat. night. Mrs. R.T. Tichenor was appointed general chairman of the committee on arrangements and Mrs. Roy Nesmith, chairman of the masquerading committee. The entertainment will consist of music, fish pond and masking.”
From 1908: “The pupils, patrons and teacher of the Livia school gave a box supper at the schoolhouse Wednesday evening from 7:30 to 10—proceeds to go to the improvement league at the school. There was about 30 nicely trimmed boxes, well filled with something good to eat sold, after which the young folks engaged in playing games. There were about 200 people present and all expressed themselves as well pleased.”
From the Island News in 1911: “The Ladies Aid gave a box supper Sat. night for the benefit of M.E. Taylor, the proceeds to be used in paying for an artificial limb for him. Quite a neat little sum was realized.” In 1916: “The box supper given by the West Island school last Friday night for the benefit of the school was well attended and a neat sum was realized.” And in 1920: “The box supper at East Island school house Friday night was largely attended and the proceeds being $32 will be given to the Baptist Orphans home.”
In 1926: “The P.T.A. of Calhoun will give a program and box supper at the school building Wed. evening after prayer service at the Baptist church. This program promises to be very laughable and entertaining. One thing in particular will be the impersonating of the grown-ups by the children, which is set forth in the following playlet, ‘Friday Afternoon at Hickville School.’ Ladies are requested to bring lunch for two. Louis F. Bennett will auction the boxes. A small admission fee of five and ten cents will be charged.” And in 1950: “The new livestock pavilion erected on the Farm Bureau site will be dedicated Saturday night, Sept. 16, with an old-fashioned square dance. The Buel band will furnish the music. A pie and box supper also will be a feature of the evening. Proceeds from the affair will be used in completing the building, including wiring and installation of water lines.”
And one of my favorites, from 1911: “The box supper at Pack school-house, given by the young folk of the neighborhood to raise money to buy a bookcase, was well attended. There was several boxes sold, some going as high as $1.55. There was also a beauty contest. A cake of soap to the ugliest boy, and it was voted on L.O. Rust by a big majority; the soap brought something over $2. A nice pin was given to the prettiest girl; there were several girls nominated, but the two leading candidates were Misses Verna Bell and Mary Rust; Miss Rust winning by just a few votes. The pin brought a little upwards of $31. The total amount received that night was $46.54.”
In 1961 the Livermore youth organization, the Teen Canteen, planned a teenage jamboree, with proceeds benefiting the March of Dimes. The jamboree would include an old-fashioned box supper for teens, amateur talent show, and square dancing for all ages. The box supper would start off the evening, and each girl was to prepare a supper for two, to be auctioned off to the highest teen bidder. The article added that “Grandmothers should probably be consulted for advice on the preparation of these box suppers.” It was held in the National Guard Armory on Friday, Feb. 3, from 6 to 11:30 p.m., with the Montgomery Brothers String Band of Centertown playing music for the square dancing. A total of $204 was raised from the Teen Jamboree. The next event noted was in 1979, when the Senior Citizens held an Old-Fashioned Box Supper at Livermore, with proceeds to be used by the senior citizens.
Other schools mentioned as having box suppers included Little Grove, Oak Grove, Reeves Schoolhouse, Fairview, Glenville and the “Brick” school house. For all of these events, people would not only attend in their own town, but would go to others, like Beech Grove teens would go to Leachman School, and people from Handyville would go to Glenville School, etc. A great way to meet new people! In some locations the best decorated box also won a prize. The latest “old-fashioned box supper” I found online was when the Utica Chapter of the Eastern Star held such an event at the Lodge on Oct. 25, 1980. Ray Wilson was to serve as the auctioneer and sing. A White Elephant Sale was to follow, and Jim Boarman and his band would provide the music. If anyone has a memory of a box supper, please let me know.
From the February 4th article, recounting the bad weather of July, 1910, I heard from David Scott, who said that reminded him of this: “When I was a boy, I sat with my father on the back porch, and watched a hailstorm destroy our dark tobacco crop. The tobacco was nearly ready for harvesting. This was (the) late fifties.” It’s one thing to write about things you research, and another to think about how something similar to what you wrote affected someone you know. I’m sure such events were truly heartbreaking for all those that farmed (and still do), when their livelihoods were dependent on the weather.
The Museum and Treasure House are open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays; the Museum from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and the Treasure House from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. To reach us at the Museum you can call 270-499-5033, or email us at email@example.com. Our Facebook page is: McLean County KY History Museum & Regional Family Research Center. I wish everyone a safe week!