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Elmer, Missouri - Early History
Elmer Opera House
(Reprinted from the Elmer Centennial, 1087)
In 1898, Henry Miller, father of Minnie who married T. L. Freed, built the first brick building in Elmer. It was located on lots 11 & 12 of block 4. T. L. Freed opened a Hardware, Implement and General Farm Supply in the building. He ran this until he sold out to James Bailey in 1910.
James Bailey ran the same type of business until 1921 when C. O. Drake moved his general store from the original Bradly Building Store into Bailey's Hardware Store.
In 1900 the Opera House, above Miller's Store, was completed and opened for plays and exhibitions. In the early days there were many travelling "Troups" who made the circuit in north Missouri. Elmer's Opera House was a place where all played or performed. If only the walls could talk - but, today, we must rely on the memories of the "Senior" people of the area. Everyone between the ages of 80 and 40 can surely remember Ivy Grubbs selling tickets to the performances. Ivy, and his brother Ethel, also showed silent movies in the Opera House. They also showed silent movies on the back of (now) Spencers Garage in the early 1930's. This was also the site of Bill Galyens, or John Roberts, Blacksmith Shop in the early 1900's.
But back to the Opera House, In the 1920's and on in time until the 1950's, the High School Play was performed in the Opera House, since the school had no auditorium. The playbill shown below describes one such performance.