Corn game – gambling or skill?

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Posted: Wednesday, June 12, 2019 4:41 pm

The earliest archives of the Union County Courier at the Elk Point-Jefferson Community Library begin in November of 1877, although the paper began in 1870. The Elk Point Leader debuted in 1890. The Leader bought out the Courier in 1913 and became the Leader-Courier.

A front page story in the Jan. 9, 1930 paper told of a dispute between Clay County Commissioners and the Clay County Auditor. The fair had presented its annual bill and the commission approved it, but the auditor refused to pay it on the grounds that gambling had occurred during the fair. Auditor F. Belle Conrow contended that the corn game (today’s corn hole) was a game of chance, not of skill and as such violated the terms the fair board had agreed to.

The Brule Creek Ladies Aid and Helping Hand societes scheduled a social in the Spink Hall, as reported in the Jan. 30, 1930 edition. Members of the Aid were asked to bring two dozen bread and butter sandwiches and two dozen cookies. Members of the Helping Hand were asked to bring homemade candy. Both groups were encouraged to donate items to the fishing pond.

Jefferson Notes in the Feb. 20, 1930 paper included a recap of the boya basketball team’s thrilling 13-9 double-overtime win over Meckling. The score was tied a 9 at the end of regulation and neither team scored in the first overtime. That changed at the start of the second:

“Finally, Bosse, forward, looped in a long one and then R. Hebert, grabbing a ball off his own bankboard, dribbled to the middle of the floor and dropped in a long one to clinch the victory.”

The March 13, 1920 paper reported on a robot bartender that was all the rage in Paris. The machine had a series of buttons across the front. Press 1 and 3 for a sidecar, 3 and 2 for a martini. Wine vendors were alarmed by the machine’s popularity, as their sales were declining. The writer seemed not to care:

“France likes cocktails and she likes the new robot bar which makes them.”

See full story in this week’s Leader-Courier.