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This collection of 1000 photos of the Novinger area was graciously given to the Adair County Historical Society by the family of Cyrus R. Truitt.

Dona Truitt and Claire Lloyd spent hours compiling and cataloguing this collection. Claire Lloyd donated her time in typing the table of contents in several forms. Students of Truman State University along with Claudia Minor scanned the photos.

Addendum to Cyrus Truitt's Introduction to Mostly Ghosts

By Dona (White) Truitt

Mostly Ghosts is the title that Cyrus R. Truitt, a long time citizen of Novinger, Missouri, gave to his extensive collection of 1,000 photographs which he assembled over a period of approximately 15 years, beginning in about 1950. The Adair County Historical Society ("ACHS") sometimes uses the title Cyrus R. Truitt Collection. Cyrus R. Truitt, Novinger's beloved historian, died in 1981, and in the following year Mrs. Cyrus (Ruby) Truitt and their daughter, Lillian (Truitt) Loe, gave the collection to the ACHS. The photographs include some originals which were taken mostly by Raymond Loe, Cyrus' son-in-law, or by Cyrus himself. As he stated in his introduction, Cyrus copied many of the photographs from collections of his friends and acquaintances. This valuable pictorial history includes street scenes, people, homes, businesses, churches, coal mines, trains and depots, organizations and schools in the greater Novinger area. There are also some photographs taken in Kirksville and other Adair County areas and a few beyond. Cyrus' assembly of this collection was a tremendous contribution to local history. However, the photographs themselves would be of little value were it not for the hundreds of hours that he spent researching and writing the captions for each photograph including the identity of individuals wherever possible. Cyrus wrote many of the captions from his personal memory since he spent almost his entire life (1891 to 1981) in the Novinger area.

Unfortunately, Cyrus mounted his valuable collection using materials unsuitable for long term storage. He used masking tape to affix the photos to any paper readily available to him, including brown wrapping paper such as that used in paper bags. Because the original albums themselves were deteriorating, and since the high acid materials used would eventually destroy the photographs, I (Dona Truitt) volunteered to solicit funds from Truitt family members for materials and to assist in reconditioning the collection using all archival quality materials. The masking tape had to be removed, all photographs remounted and placed in new sleeves and then placed in box binders. Also, I either retyped or copied every caption on acid free buffered archival quality paper. Editing of some of the captions was necessary. The renovation of the collection was done by Gary and Claire Lloyd and me in 2003-2004. Financial supporters of this project besides myself were nieces and a nephew of Cyrus Truitt including Dianthe Cable, Jeanne Coy, Mary Anna Eaton, Shirley Watkins, Robin Drivon, and Gary C. Truitt. Randy Walker donated the wood for the bookcase he made to accommodate the collection, and Marty Jayne arranged for its construction.

Mrs. Charles R. (Dona) Truitt
February 2005


By Cyrus R. Truitt

As time goes on so swiftly we seldom have the time to look back and see the wonderful past, and the things that are no more, which were the basis of lots of pleasures, as well as sorrows, of our lives. In compiling these pictures I hope to capture at least some of the spirit, and revive some of the memories, of the more pleasant things, events, and happenings as recorded by photographs. I must give a lot of credit to the good friends who let me copy the photos that they have so cheerfully hunted out of the keepsakes and loaned to me for this purpose. I assure all of them that this is fully appreciated, and for which I thank them very much, and sincerely. I hope that those who look over this collection will recall to memory lots of things that have slipped their minds and let them live a little in the past with all its nostalgic wealth. Also, I hope to preserve for the younger generation, who did not live at the time that most of these pictures were originally made, a knowledge of the glorious past of Novinger, and the surrounding community, which as declined from an estimated population of about 5,000 persons at the height of its mining operations to its present population of only a few hundred people. It almost gives the town the status of a GHOST TOWN, like a lot of other abandoned mining towns of other places. With this in mind, I must admit that I expect that my own pleasure in looking over the pictures will more than compensate for the time, effort, and expense of making up the books.
Cyrus R. Truitt