May 11 & 12, 2018


Sucker Day History

In 1967, the cost of a sucker fish meal was $1.00

In 1962, J. H. Keltner was the champion sucker carver.

In 1963,  Mayor Kirk Hawkins was the winner of the smallest catch weighing a whopping 1 oz 1 gram.

In 1962, Charlene Schupbach took top prize in the Ladies’ Division for biggest catch with a 1-pound, 11-ounce yellow sucker. Her prizes were a $4.95 ceramic fish vase, $2.50 cash from Nixa Self Service, $2.50 for Lois’s Beauty Salon, and one pair of hose by Nixa Ready To Wear.

In 1963 & 1964, Clifford Schaffer, the “Salad Master”, prepared  tossed green salad.  Today, coleslaw is served.

                1963 Sucker Day Supper Supplies:

                   2600 lbs of fish - 200 loaves of bread  -  200 lbs of lard    

              30 lbs salt  -  10 lbs black pepper    -    51 lbs green peppers

  60 bunches of green onions  -  2 lugs of tomatoes - 3 crates of lettuce

    1 bunch of curly lettuce - 30 stalks of celery  - 4 quarts of liquid smoke

                  140 lbs yellow corn meal   -  70 gallons of beans     

     5 gallons of radishes  -   5 gallons salad oil - 1000 pints of milk

                       12 quarts of half & half  -  35 lbs of coffee   

                                    50 lbs chopped onions

In 1963, Nixa Sucker Day became incorporated, and the name, “Sucker Day” was patented - with a copy both in Washington DC and Jefferson City - for the protection of the Nixa Sucker Inc., by Finis Gold.

In 1962, Rex Harp held the record for the biggest catch at 4 pounds and 19 ½ inches long.



for biggest catch

with 4lbs, 19 1/’2”

In 1962 & 1963, Denny Hicks held the record for most fish caught - 51 in 1962 and 32 in 1963.

In 1962,  approximately 4000 people attended Sucker Day, and over 1500 plates were served.  In 1963, over 1 ton of fish was consumed by 3842 people.  In 1964,5000 pounds of fish were served to 5487 people.  Attendance in 1964 was around 6500.


On May 1, 1969, Sucker Day was added to Missouri’s Congressional Record!!

In 1962, fish tasters picked suckers grabbed off the Finley River as having the best taste.


Finis Gold

Danny Curtis (1983-1988)

Ray Wilcox (1989)

Glenn Scott (current)

Finis Gold’s hat and belongings

In 1990, KTTS, Riverfork Ranch, and the Ranch Hands were the sponsors for Sucker Day!!!


Photos from years past - Not sure of the dates

Recipe for Nixa Sucker Cocktail (Sucker Soup)

Quoted Directly from 1963 Nixa Newspaper

1 large bunch Finley Creek Sucker Heads

1 pound Black Pepper

1 “can” Nixa Whole Milk

1 “hunk” Farm Butter

Salt to Taste

Clean the eyeballs from the heads.  Remove loose gills.  “Bile” (boil) in big black soap kettle till meat drops from skulls.  Remove bones.  Add other stuff.  Simmer until served.  Serves one sucker party.


This here sucker soup, known to city folks as Sucker Cocktail, is good for babies and people over 40, or to fertilize your roses, is nonalcoholic, contains higher vitamin potency than raw oysters, will not grow hair on bald heads, or curl toenails, soothes belly ache, limbers your arthritis, saves doctor calls, and is recommended by life insurance companies

From 1965 newspaper:  “The Nixa Jaycee Wives will operate a coffee stand Sucker Day, May 7, beginning at 4:00 p.m. - Price - 5 cents per cup!