Family requests return of dinner bell

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Town Crier News Staff

Thelma Price of Monette is making a plea for the return of her family's "Old Dinner Bell." She said never in a million years would she have thought someone would have taken the bell from her home place at Price Corner south of Monette.

"The old dinner bell has been in my husband's family for probably over a hundred years," Mrs. Price said. "The bell has so many memories. It has been in our family for at least five generations."

Mrs. Price said she and her daughter took a drive out to the home place as they do often since Mrs. Price has moved to an apartment in Monette, and were shocked to find the dinner bell gone.

"When I married E. Price in 1936 the bell was in his mother's yard. She would ring the bell every day at 11:15 a.m.," Mrs. Price said. "We would all lay our hoes down and go to the house for dinner. Even the mules would start braying when they heard the dinner bell ring. Our neighbors have told us they could hear it a mile away and knew exactly what time it was. In the 1930s everyone didn't have watches and we didn't have telephones. There were not many cars around the country in those days. My mother-in-law said the bells were used to bring husbands in from the fields when they were needed and rang even when a new baby was about to be born."

Mr. and Mrs. Price built their home in 1947 in what was to be known as Price Curve. The bell was moved from its original site to their home place after strong winds had blown the bell and pole down.

"My grandkids loved to ring the bell when they were growing up to call their Papa from the barn," Mrs. Price said.

Mr. Price passed away in January 1997.

"My husband would be 87 and the dinner bell was in the family long before he was born," she said. "The bell is special to my family. Probably who ever took it did not think of it as special or they may have thought we just didn't want it. Hopefully, we will be able to get it back. The bell was bolted onto a tall pole. The pole and the bell are both gone. I always thought the bell would stand there as long as the house was standing. It has made my family very sad and it is like taking a part of my life away. My daughter has offered a reward for information leading to the return of the bell."

Anyone with information can call 486-2585, 897-4234 or 219-2198.

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