The Skidmore Standard voiced many opinions, including thoughts on the hours kept by local merchants. We bring you arguments for shorter operating hours from the January 6, 1903 edition, page 1:
To Close Early
The dry goods merchants at Maryville will close their places of business each evening at six o’clock from January 1st to March 1st. Why can’t the Skidmore merchants close up some time during the fore part of the night and give their clerks and themselves a chance to visit wife or sweetheart an evening or two in the week other than Sunday evening? They would be better prepared to do a day’s work after a good night’s sleep, and would not have to pinch themselves to keep awake while waiting on customers. We will venture to say that if the merchants of Skidmore would all close their stores at, say, 7:00 or 7:30 in the evening, their cash sales and book accounts would be as large as if they closed at 11:00 or 12:00 o’clock. Some of them might not hear as many “smutty” stories as they did beforehand, but they would feel more like smiling than yawning at the first few customers that entered their places of business the next morning. What if the other fellow does happen to sell a dime’s worth more goods than you do! What has he gained by it? Nothing! He is the loser. You have had a good night’s rest and feel like running a foot race with the first fellow you meet the next morning. Money is all right but if a fellow has to make a slave of himself to get it, he had better leave it alone.
We have about so much space to fill and this will serve the purpose, along with some other stuff, but to be honest and sincere in this matter, we like to see a fellow prosperous and making money, but we like to see him enjoy himself while doing it.