Monday, December 27, 2010

White River Development Association - Part 3

Now...The Railroad Men.

 K. V. Loba, President of the Ozarks Railroad Company,
hurrying construction into Mountain Home.

K. V. Loba, President of the Ozarks Railroad Company, that will soon build a road through this section of the state, and through Mtn. Home and Baxter county, has made the possible the realization of a dream of the people in this section of 50 years. Mr. Loba portrays a character alive with determination, stickability, and confidence. He was raised a neighbor to the people of this county, having spent his childhood in Ozark county, Missouri. He saw the road he is building now with a boy’s mind, 29 years ago. He also is realizing a dream. The railroad when fully completed will run from Springfield to Little Rock, through the richest undeveloped section of the United States.

Conductor Bill Jones holding 209 for Time at Pine Top.

This is not a good picture of Bill. It does not do him justice. He is far better looking than our artist has shown not having a photograph however, this is the best that we can do. You will know him by his length. The other conductors on the White river passenger have been stunted. He has been punching tickets on the division for a good many years. In fact we cannot remember when he wasn’t. He has an optimistic personality that is marked with a spirit of geniality, friendliness and strict sub-service to his duty. In politics he is a Bull Mooser first, last and all the time, and one of the staunchest supporters the irresistible Teddy had in the White river country during the last campaign. He has a charming family and lives in Joplin.
C. C. Feemster, Immigration Agent for the 
Ozarks Railroad company, as the Pied Piper,
piping new settlers into Baxter county.
C. C. Feemster, Immigration Agent for the Ozarks Railroad company, occupied one of the most important positions with the concern. He is a man that the company depends on to bring new settlers into its territory, and his past record can be taken as a criterion of what he will do here. Baxter county will be several times in population within the next few years what it is now. Mr. Feemster comes from Gentry, in Benton county, this state, and was an important factor in making that county one of the wealthiest and most prosperous in the state. Already hundreds of inquiries are pouring in on him for information on Baxter county, he is carrying on an extensive advertising campaign, which will be expanded as work progresses.

Clyde Miller, passenger conductor of the White river division,
as he would have appeared during the flood 
if he could have gotten hold of the motive power pictured above.

Clyde always gets through if there is a ghost of a show. Our artist caught his likeness during the big overflow in the White river last week. You will notice the pained, determined expression on his face. It is the same kind of expression every man on the division was wearing at the time. It is not a normal likeness of Mr. Miller. Clyde miller has seen all the ups and downs on the division since the first trains began to awaken the echoes in the mountains and along the route. He is a little short on stature but makes up for it in optimism. He walks with a springy step, is congenial, knows his duties from the first to the last letter in the alphabet and adheres to them. He has a large acquaintanceship over the White river country and numbers his friends by the score. He is a believer in the country through which he works, yes sir, a real believer, and is always willing to back that belief with a little money when anything real good bobs up and has been a factor in the development of the country. He lives in Joplin.
J. E. Featherstone, Superintendent of Bridges and Building 
on the White river Division.
 J. E. Featherstone is among one of the oldest men from the point of service on the White river division, and carries one of the most important duties of the division on his shoulders. He has to keep things up in ship shape order. More than any of the rest of us in White river country he likes to see fair weather, for bad weather means slides and washouts. He is rather reticent in disposition but warms up on acquaintance and is chuck full of interesting railroad data and lore. He lives at Aurora, Superintendent Hickey’s village, and is head of a family as interesting as himself. This picture of Mr. Featherstone is published with apologies to his wife.
Mike Farrell, roadmaster of the White river division, 
moving a slide during recent flood on the White river.

Mike Farrell is one of the best known men on the White river road. He is well known because he is an optimist, a hale fellow, well met, with an aptitude of making friends. If Mike ever had a grouch no one ever caught him with it. Mike’s personality is probably best expressed in the way he keeps his part of the road, and his domicile. His office and quarters are established in a boxcar bungalow, in the yards at Batesville. This is not like the others of the same type. It is neatly painted, and surrounded with a well kept lawn dotted here and there with beds of choice of flowers. Mike is Irish, and Sh! Don’t tell the girls, he’s a widower.

Jerry Butterfield, a landscape artist for I. M. and S. and Mo. Pac. Railroads. 
This picture portrays Jerry, rendering a simple melody, "Smother Me with Kisses,"
on the player piano in the lobby of the Taneycomo Club at Hollister, Mo., 
on the White river division.

Jerry Butterfield is a popular personality on the White river division, especially around the little summer resort of Hollister-on-White-river. He is a Missouri product, originating at Lee’s Summit. His physique is characterized by length and his personality by art. Every section of Jerry’s anatomy runs to distance. He is long perpendicularly, as are all of his appendages. He has a long chin, long nose, long hands, long fingers and long feet. He also has a long brain, a soul for music, and an eye for aesthetic beauty. Jerry follows his profession not only for the simoleon. 
H. U. Barton, agent at Norfork, handling 
a 2000 word special to Arkansas Gazette.

H. U. Barton, agent at Norfork, has become a fixture in the town citizenship, and is an enthusiastic booster for his town and White river country. As an operator and agent Mr. Barton holds all records on the White river division from th e point of years at the key.  He is 53 years old and was born in a depot on the Grand Trunk in Canada, where his father was an agent and operator. He learned the key when he learned his a, b, c’s, and took charge of his first station when he was 17 years old. His mother and sisters were also operators. He came from Kansas City Southern to the White river division. Everybody like Barton and he won his circle of friends by his please and friendly personality and the courteous treatment he has accorded them.

Al Rice, one of the three popular 
passenger conductors on the White river division.

Al Rice is one of the oldest conductors on the White river division, having been punching tickets ever since it has been a division. He is rotund, doughy and jocular and what he lacks inn height he make up in ability, girth and congeniality. He has an antipathy toward other professions except railroading. The smell of the coal smoke, the screeching locomotive and the lurching coaches have captured him for life. Among his other characteristics he is a strong booster for the White river country and never loses an opportunity to speak a good word for it. He lives in Joplin, and makes the round trip twice a week.

Next Post...The Newspaper Men.

Works Cited:
The Great and the Near Great in the White River Country - H. U. Barton.” The Baxter Bulletin 14.32 (Aug. 13, 1915) 1. Baxter County Microfilm Archive. Donald W. Reynolds Library, Mountain Home, AR. 15 Nov., 2008.
“The Great and the Near Great in the White River Country - Jerry Butterfield.” The Baxter Bulletin 14.19 (May 14, 1915) 1. Baxter County Microfilm Archive. Donald W. Reynolds Library, Mountain Home, AR. 15 Nov., 2008.
“The Great and the Near Great in the White River Country – Mike Farrell.” The Baxter Bulletin 14.39 (Oct. 1, 1915) 1. Baxter County Microfilm Archive. Donald W. Reynolds Library, Mountain Home, AR. 15 Nov., 2008.
“The Great and the Near Great in the White River Country – J. E. Featherstone.” The Baxter Bulletin 14.33 (Aug. 20, 1915) 1. Baxter County Microfilm Archive. Donald W. Reynolds Library, Mountain Home, AR. 15 Nov., 2008.
“The Great and the Near Great in the White River Country - C. C. Feemster.” The Baxter Bulletin 14.36 (Sept. 10, 1915) 1. Baxter County Microfilm Archive. Donald W. Reynolds Library, Mountain Home, AR. 15 Nov., 2008.
The Great and the Near Great in the White River Country - Bill Jones.” The Baxter Bulletin 14.31 (Aug. 6, 1915) 1. Baxter County Microfilm Archive. Donald W. Reynolds Library, Mountain Home, AR. 15 Nov., 2008.
“The Great and the Near Great in the White River Country - K. V. Loba.” The Baxter Bulletin 14.29 (July 23, 1915) 1. Baxter County Microfilm Archive. Donald W. Reynolds Library, Mountain Home, AR. 15 Nov., 2008.
 “The Great and the Near Great in the White River Country - Clyde Miller.” The Baxter Bulletin 14.35 (Sept. 3, 1915) 1. Baxter County Microfilm Archive. Donald W. Reynolds Library, Mountain Home, AR. 15 Nov., 2008.
“The Great and the Near Great in the White River Country - Al Rice.” The Baxter Bulletin 14.21 (May 28, 1915) 1. Baxter County Microfilm Archive. Donald W. Reynolds Library, Mountain Home, AR. 15 Nov., 2008.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

White River Development Association - Part 2

The following pictures & articles came out of the 1915 The Baxter Bulletin; they were scanned from microfilm. As a warning, newspapers are not scanned for beauty & quality; the microfilm is for historical archiving. Therefore, some pictures in the next few blogs are not picture masterpieces for quality framing. I have tried to clean, sharpen, and enhance the pictures shown, but some are still contrary.  Below each cartoon is a brief paragraph biography in which I have also printed. These articles were a spin off idea from the Saturday Evening Post. Some of these old drawings are from Francesca Posey Shiras & Clyde Wolf .  I hope you will enjoy looking back on the Pioneers of Progress of our Ozarks' History.

In this post, we will discover three assets of the White River area & the White River Development Association.
#1. The Association Meetings
#2. The Land.
#3. The Doctors.
The White River Development Association descending on Ruddels last
Thursday for their midsummer meeting.
You will recognize the snare drum player by his springy step as E. J. Loop of Cotter. The man who is doing heavy work on the bass, is A. A. Webber, sec. of the association of Batesville. The next in line who is tearing off a few strains on the snareette is Austin Wilkinson, of the Batesville Guard, and the color bearer on the extreme right as our old friend Bill Williamson. All in all you will recognize this entire group as being the biggest bunch of booster in the state. They have “PEP.” Pep is the concentrated essence of progressiveness. If you haven’t got it yet, attend the next meeting and become inoculated.

The meeting Thursdays at Ruddells, was a typical meeting of the association. J. R. Case and family were hosts of the big party but they were fully big enough to get away with it. Between 400 and 500 people attended from all sections of the White River Country. A big dinner was spread in the new canning factory building, and it was a good dinner, yes sir, a good dinner. The Boy Scouts from Newport were there with their band, and made plenty of harmonious noise. The speakers of the day were Mr. Coffin of Batesville, Junius Case, A. A. Webber, Wm. Oldfield and H. D. Routzong. It was one of the most enthusiastic meetings that was held. We think our artist Clyde Wolf of Norfork, has done justice to the spirit of the occasion.

The White River Development Association was considered an "Engine of Progress" that fit smoothly in the The Hand of  Opportunity. Double click on the map below and consider what were considered the major land & transportation assets of Baxter County, Arkansas.
      Baxter County Map - Ozarks Railroad.

Next, we come to a revered group of men for their time.
The Doctors.

Dr. Jim Tipton on a popular professional call.
The country doctor does quite a wonderful work in his limited territory as a physician with worldwide reputation. He does more than practice and fills more than a physicians place. He is one of the throbs in the heartbeat of a community. He is father confessor, advisor, friend, and doctor all combined into one. He is one of every family. He is the poorest paid and the most appreciated when his services are needed.

Dr. Jim Tipton who has practiced in Mtn. Home and surrounding territory the past decade and in Boone and Marion counties before that, has passed all vicissitudes of a country doctor, and sits contently on the top rung of his profession. He is an Arkansas product, the son of Col. Tipton, former state treasure.

Doc is one of those rare personalities among his profession, that carries an air of congeniality and confidence into a sick room, that really does as much good as medicine. Doc goes the gaits, the gaits of a country doctor. No night is too stormy, too hot or too cold for him to ride to the bed of a patient at the other end of the county; and he is never too tired. He is associated in his practice here with Dr. Will Tipton, his brother.

Dr. Z. T. Sheid of Norfork, making a popular professional call.
Dr. Z. T. Sheid of Norfork has been practicing medicine in Baxter County for a good many years, and is one of the best known physicians in the south part of the county.  Friends of Doc say he was born and raised in Izard County.  Like all other products of Izard, he is all wool and a yard wide. In the above cartoon our artist depicts some of his professional spirit.  He isn't a lagger; he moves.  He has a congenial, sympathetic personality, and stands right in line for the things that are right, and enjoys a good practice in his community.

Dr. H. A. Hackler of Gassville, on a professional call.
Dr. Hackler is a well known figure around the little town of Gassville, having resided there since he began to practice nearly a decade ago. Doc's personality is marked by a complacent evenness, which accounts for his success. Doc never gets ruffled or excited. Just the same old Doc 365 days a year. His practice is a large one in a large scope of territory around his town. Besides being a rattling good physician, he is a rattling good citizen, being possessed with progressive ideas, and is always found behind any move to make Baxter County a bigger county from a moral, progressive, and business stand point.
Next Week...The Railroad Men.

Works Cited:
“The Great and the Near Great in the White River Country - Dr, Hackler.” The Baxter Bulletin 14.41 (Oct. 22, 1915) 1. Baxter County Microfilm Archive. Donald W. Reynolds Library, Mountain Home, AR. 15 Nov., 2008.

“The Great and the Near Great in the White River Country - Dr. Tipton.” The Baxter Bulletin 14.18 (May 7, 1915) 1. Baxter County Microfilm Archive. Donald W. Reynolds Library, Mountain Home, AR. 15 Nov., 2008.

“The Great and the Near Great in the White River Country - Meeting.” The Baxter Bulletin 14.30 (July 30, 1915) 1. Baxter County Microfilm Archive. Donald W. Reynolds Library, Mountain Home, AR. 15 Nov., 2008.

“The Great and the Near Great in the White River Country - Dr. Sheid.” The Baxter Bulletin 14.37 (Sept. 17, 1915) 1. Baxter County Microfilm Archive. Donald W. Reynolds Library, Mountain Home, AR. 15 Nov., 2008.

“The Hand of  Opportunity.” The Baxter Bulletin 14.25 (June 25, 1915) 1. Baxter County Microfilm Archive. Donald W. Reynolds Library, Mountain Home, AR. 15 Nov., 2008.

Monday, December 13, 2010

White River Development Association - Part 1

A Little Background
Looking at the present surroundings & advancements of the Ozarks, one can tend to forget those who have laid the foundation for progress & success. One such group was the White River Development Association established in the early 1900's.

Haven’t heard of the White River Development Association?
Haven’t heard of a W. R. D. A. Booster?
Neither had I until about two years ago; that’s when I saw articles and the art work of the association from 1915 in The Baxter Bulletin. This association had members who came from Ozark and Taney counties in Missouri and Baxter, Boone, Fulton, Izard, and Marion counties in Arkansas. These are some of the forgotten pioneers that have paved our way in business & progress.

The White River Development Association must be given credit for boosting the awareness, ability, and potential in trumpeting the natural resources of the Ozarks, such as:
  • The White River
  • Manganese
  • Mable
  • Limestone
  • Zinc
  • Cedar
  • Railroad Staves
  • Mussel Shells
  • Cotton
  • Cotton Seed

(As a side note...look at this picture.   
Read into the picture.   
12 White Progressives & 
1 Black Cook. 
Makes one think wonder. 
What progressive ideas were talked about at that table?    
I digress...) 
The desire of the association was for the Federal Government to install 7 locks and dams for transportation, electricity, and flood control. They were also looking to add more railroads, bridges, and improved access to ferry crossings and steamboat landings. 

Work Cited:
"For Hurried Readers." The Harrison Times. Harrison, Arkansas. (Jan. 29, 1916) 13. Access Newspaper Archive.  Donald W. Reynolds Library, Mountain Home, AR. 2 Nov. 2010.

“The Great and the Near Great in the White River Country.” The Baxter Bulletin 15.24 (June 30, 1916) 4. Baxter County Microfilm Archive. Donald W. Reynolds Library, Mountain Home, AR. 15 Nov., 2008.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Indian Disturbances on the White River

Here is an early reference to the Ozarks from an 1824 newspaper.  Though I have had complaints in the past about posting such items.  It is still a part of our Ozarks' History...warts and all.  May we never forget our past and the lessons it entails.

We learn, by gentlemen from Batesville, that the most serious alarm exists among the citizens above that place, on White river, inconsequence of the disorderly movements of the Shawnees, Delawares, and other Indian tribes, who have been removed to that section of our territory the last two or three years. Some of the old and friendly chiefs have given notice to the white inhabitants, that they cannot restrain the ardor of their headstrong young men, who are resolutely bent on murdering the whites, and the strongest apprehensions are entertained by them that they will very soon carry their savage designs into effect. Two or three old and respectable chiefs, finding the efforts unavailing to maintain peace on the part of the young and refractory men of their nation, we understand, have actually removed from the country, and are returning to their former-residence.

The white people, as may well be supposed, are panic struck. Some have already left their habitations and
improvements, and many others are preparing to leave as soon as possible; and it is the opinion of some of the most intelligent men in Independence county, that the country above Batesville will soon be abandoned to the Indians, unless some efficient measures are promptly adopted to secure our unprotected citizens from the aggression of their savage neighbors.

The General Assembly of this Territory have, for years past, petitioned the general government for the establishment of a military post on White River, which they considered indispensable to the security of
the inhabitants in that quarter; and recent events show that their fears were not without foundation. Indeed, it is the opinion of many, that, since such a multitude of Indians of various nations, roost of whom were arrayed against the United States during the late war with England, have been collected together in the northwest section of our territory, a military post on White river, is as necessary as at almost any other point on the western frontier. The assurance, contained in Mr. Conway's letter, that the Indians on White river shall be removed north of the limits of our territory, will, we sincerely hope, speedily be realized.

Work Cited:
"More Indian Disturbances." The Torch Light And Public Advertiser. Hagers-Town, Maryland. (June 15, 1824) 1. Access Newspaper Archive.  Donald W. Reynolds Library, Mountain Home, AR. 2 Nov. 2010.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Jack Thrasher - Snake Killer

Here's a fun little story out of my "Ozark Animal Oddities" File.
Jack Thrasher, a well-known farmer who lives near Arkana, is claiming to be the champion snake killer of Baxter county. He killed 35 snakes with one stone on Big creek one day last week and only threw once. So fa no one has come forward to dispute his title. Coming up the creek he saw an old water moccasin lying in the sun on a rock. Mr. Thrasher picked up a good sized stone, and with the accuracy of Ty Cobb, let drive, striking the old snake midway between the tail and the head. After the smoke had cleared and the squirming stopped, he held a postmortem. He counted about 34 small snakes about 7 inches long and one large one which measured about three feet.

Work Cited:
“Jack Thrasher, Champion Snake Killer, 35 in One Throw.” The Baxter Bulletin 15.38 (Sept. 24, 1915) 1. Baxter County Microfilm Archive. Donald W. Reynolds Library, Mountain Home, AR. 15 Nov., 2010.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Thanksgiving Miracle

For those who read my blog, I will divert to an older history than I usually write about. But, if it were not for the story that I am about to share, there would be no Ozarks’ History.

While working in a library, I have the opportunity to see, view, and critique thousands of books. It seems over the past few years, I have been more discerning about my personal collection of books in my home.  Personally, I think some books are not worth the paper they are written on…others priceless. Therefore, my personal library at home is dwindling. I’m getting picky.
I have one book that I believe The Father in Heaven has placed in my temporary possession which is a history book of North & South America written in 1849. It is not a politically correct, dumbed-down, white-washed bleached version of history that spins events to ones liking. At times, it reveals facets of the past that we have never been told.  In its’ pages lie a wonderful chain events that prefaces the origin and reason we celebrate Thanksgiving.  

I have a common affinity to this particular story I am about to share, since it was written by Thomas Robbins, D. D. who is my 5th great-grandfather. It’s funny…I have never heard this story before; I wonder why? 
Thomas Robbins, D. D.
August 11, 1777-September 13, 1856

 “The present year proved to be a year of suffering, in consequence to the scarcity of food. The following affecting account is given by Bradford:  ‘But by the time our corn is planted our victuals do spent, not knowing at night where to have a bite in the morning; we have neither bread nor corn for three or four months together, yet bear our wants with cheerfulness, and rest on Providence. Having but one boat left, we divide the men into several companies, six or seven each, what take their turns to go out with a net, and fish, and return not till they get some, though they be five or six days out; knowing there is nothing at home, and to return empty would be a great discouragement. When they stay long, or get but little, the rest go a digging shellfish, and thus we live the summer; only sending one or two to range the woods for deer, they get now and then one, which we divide among the company; and in the winter are helped with fowl and ground-nuts.’  It is recorded that, after a drought of six weeks, the government set apart a solemn day of humiliation and prayer, which was almost immediately followed by copious supply of rain. In the language of the chronicles of the times, it is thus spoken of:  ‘Though in the morning, when we assembled together, the heavens were clear, and the drought as like to continue as it ever was. Yet (our exercise continuing eight or nine hours) before our departure, the weather was overcast, the clouds gathered together on both sides on all sides, and, in the morning, distilled such soft, sweet, and moderate showers of rain, continuing some fourteen days, and mixed with such sweet seasonable weather, as it is hard to say, whether our withered corn or dropping affections were most quickened or revived, such was the bounty and goodness of our God.’ Soon after, in grateful acknowledgment of the blessing, a day of public thanksgiving was observed. This, by judicious historian, Thomas Robbins, D. D. is believed to be the origin of the annual thanksgiving of New England.”

It is commonly taught today that Thanksgiving was modeled after harvest festivals that were commonplace in Europe at the time. It is rarely, if ever known, taught that Thanksgiving is commemorated because our forefathers humbled, fasted, and prayed for the breaking of a drought. Their answer to prayer was a gentle and mild shower for 14 days off the East Coast…that did not damage crops. To me, that is miraculous. 

Our ancestors knew how to be resilient and yet humble. They were tough old knots with hearts bent toward Heaven.

And to you my dear reader, are there dry places in your life? Honestly, I can see my fellow man’s parched land before I see my own wilderness. But as I pause and look at my accomplishments against my shortcomings, I fail. I know I cannot live without The Lord’s salvation, guidance, and provision. 

Do I still carry my ancestor’s traditions that will increase the faith of my children and the next generation?

Do you?

I ask this one request of you, dear reader. Print off this old story and share it with someone. Let’s dig out and dust off our foundations and prepare for rain.

Work Cited:
Goodrich, Charles A. Great Events in the History of North and South America. Hartfort: House & Brown, 1949.

Monday, November 15, 2010

What a Dollar Can Do.

I couldn't help it.
I just had to throw this on the Blog.
This advertisement was from an old Baxter Bulletin from 1932.
Just think about this the next time you walk into you small town mercantile...or China-Mart.
 Work Cited:
“What a Dollar Can Do.” Baxter Bulletin 31.27 (10 Jun., 1932) 4. Baxter County Microfilm Archive. Donald W. Reynolds Library, Mountain Home, AR. 15 Nov., 2010.

Monday, November 8, 2010

When in Trouble, Head for the Hills.

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. (KJV) Psalm 121:1

The hills of the Ozarks have been my companion throughout my life. They are part of the cypher and symbols that always call me back home. It usually doesn’t take over an hour to scale its’ crags and hollers; but, they can forever capture a my mind when I'm far from home or sitting on the front porch in the evening.
In the following article, an Ozark native also considered the Ozark hills as a haven during times of national peril. 
Washington, March 7
The removal of the capital of the United States to the Ozark Mountains in Southwestern Missouri is the startling proposal and in a memorial introduced in the House of Representatives this week by Mr. Shartel of Missouri. The communication comes from the editor of small Missouri paper located at a microscopically undiscovered point and instructs the Representatives in Congress of the “show me” state to introduce bill for the transference of the seat of government as proposed “for sanitary, economic, and other reasons. The Honorable Mr. Elliott, who is responsible for the petition urges the change especially for sanitary reasons, suggesting that a great deal of the inefficiency and crookedness at Washington is possibly attributable to the malarial condition of the atmosphere. Furthermore, he does not like the capital located on one edge of the country, open to the attack of what he calls “the unfriendly powers of the old world” adding that if it were located in the Ozarks such an attack and the consequent destruction would be impossible. Germany might bombard Washington with her war ships, but never a city buried in the mountains of Missouri. Congressman have been quick to appreciate Mr. Elliott’s thoughtful and sympathetic fears for their health and bodily safety but at the same time they seem to prefer the depressing conditions and dangers of Washington to the attractions of Missouri.  The petition has been buried in a convenient cubby hole of the Committee, and it seems to assume that the government will continue to do business at the old stand for a few years more at least. 

Work Cited:
“Our Washington Letter.”  The Bourbon News. Paris, Kentucky 26.20 (09 Mar., 1906) 3. Chronicling America. Library of Congress, Washington D. C. 1 Nov. 2010.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Ozark Resource Survey

Question: What was the Ozarks like in the 1870's?
Answer: Rocks & Trees

When I was a kid growing up in Ozark County, we always had a fresh cop of rocks every year to harvest out of our garden. Oh the dread of hearing dad grabbing buckets, with a readiness in his voice, in offering me the opportunity to pick up rocks. But, my respite would be at the end of the day...climbing one of my favorite trees in the back field in the evening hours and watching the setting sun. 

Rocks...I did not love. Give me a tree any day.

Nevertheless, our rocks have brought attention to this area.  Not only have our rocks brought us to the international spectrum, our forests have also garnered value and beckoned as a ready resource for the Ozark Pioneer. I found this article about the Ozarks from a newspaper called The Anglo American Times, in London, Middlesex, with the date from 1874. This may show a little light and as small survey of our Ozark's History. Though the article may seem a bit dry or dull, The Ozarks had an optimistic view for the people across the pond in England.


We have had so many inquiries about the character of the lands in Southern Missouri, that we publish the following from Dr. L. D. Morris, of Kirkwood, Mo., written to the Western Mural:—

Phelps county is remarkable for numerous and valuable deposits of iron ore, and new developments
of great value are continually being made. Simmon's Iron Mountain, in Dent county, is an immense deposit of specular ore, and considerable ore has been mined at Salem and other points between there and Steelville, to be ready for shipment as soon as reached by the railroad.  
Texas County, adjoining Phelps on the South, is a large county; the surface varying from rolling to hilly and broken. In small prairie-valleys, in the valley of the streams, and on a considerable portion of the ridges, is excellent farming land. There is a large quantity of public land, chiefly in the south part of the county, some of it fair for farming purposes, but most of it stony ridges, only valuable for grazing purposes, for timber, or for minerals. There is some pine-land in the interior of the county, of fair quality, still vacant. There is a good deal of iron ore in various parts of the county, some of it promising to yield well, of good quality, chiefly hematite. The St. Lawrence, Salem, and Little Bock Bead, when continued beyond Salem, will enter this county near the north-east corner, and, following a dividing ridge southward, will pass out of it near the middle of the south end. For half the distance or more, it will run through a very good farming region, of clay soil timbered with varieties of oak and hickory. Toward the south end of the county the soil is not so good for cultivation. Doubtless considerable iron ore will be developed along the line. Lead and zinc have been found in the southwest part of the county.  
Howell county has the reputation of being the best in this portion of the State. There is in it a large amount of superior farming lands in the valleys, and a large amount of poor stony ridges. There is a large amount of public land in the county from which may be selected good tracts for farming purposes. It is an excellent grazing region, the whole face of the country, both in prairie and forest, being covered with a luxuriant growth of wild grasses. It is very well watered except in portions of the interior. In the northern part of the county is the best pinery in the State, about 40,000 acres within the county, extending also into Douglas, well watered by springs and clear running streams of water. Hutton Valley, where there are large improved farms, heads at this pinery. There is an urgent demand at that point now for a steam flouring-mill and sawmill. Any one starting a good mill there now would be sure of a good business and might expect an outlet by railroad in a reasonable time. Iron ore is found in many parts of the country, including the pineries, in considerable quantities. In the northwest part some lead has been found, and also a good surface show of a good quality of manganese iron ore.
Douglas County, joining Howell on the west, contains 70,000 acres of good pinery and a large quantity
of public land, much of it of good quality. Large colonies might be located there, even on public land. Iron and lead are found in several localities.  
Ozark county, on the south of Douglas, contains a large amount of public land, about 15,000 acres of good pinery, and a good deal of iron and lead ores. The most important sources of wealth in this portion of the State are its fitness for stock raising, the pineries and minerals. With the rapidity with which railroads are being pushed forward, the time for their development is certainly close at hand. A large part, at least 70,000 acres, of the pineries is owned by the State, for the benefit of the Agricultural College and the School of Mines and Metallurgy, the latter located at Rolla, in Phelps County. The soil is much better than one would expect to find in a pine region. The timber is large, and is a mixture of pine, white oak, black oak, Spanish oak, hickory, and along the streams walnut, hackberry, elm, and sycamore. The proportion of pine varies from one-third to two-thirds. The trees will probably average two and a half feet in diameter; many of them will measure ten feet in circumference and 130 feet in height. An upturned pine tree occasionally shows a depth of the tap root of five feet, and a large ball of gravely clay loam, in colour varying from drab to reddish brown. Farmers say that the pine land will produce better wheat than the best bottom land, and stand drought hotter, which is easy to believe, when the depth of the soil is considered. A considerable portion of the pine lands, however, is too rocky for cultivation, but it is all good fur grass. The college lands are valued at about $1.50 per acre, and may be had, except mineral land, for cash, or on eight years' time. If taken on time by lease, they are exempt from State and county taxes, thus affording a good opportunity for a man who wishes to use his means for improvement, or for one who wishes to lay by something for his children. It is a better investment than life insurance. The timber on these lands can scarcely be worth less than $20 an acre when an outlet is afforded for lumber by railroads. When the late Prof. Shumard was connected) with the State Geological Survey, he made an examination of what was then Ozark county, comprising now Ozark, Douglas, and a portion of Howell. He noted iron ore in eight or ten localities, and lead in three or four. I found iron ore in considerable quantities in a dozen or more localities in the same limits; also manganese of the quality called pyrolusite. Flint, conglomerate and quartz rocks, also crystallized quartz prevail extensively. Buhr-stone, quite like and equal to that imported from France for millstones, is found abundant in the pine regions of Douglas and Howell, and will doubtless be worked with profit at some time in the future. Among the variety of farm crops that are raised in these southern counties may be mentioned cotton as not unimportant. A small patch of half an acre or more has heretofore been raised by nearly every farmer and worked into clothing by hand. About a year and a half ago a cotton gin was put up in connection with a water mill in the south-east part of Douglas County, and many farmers were intending to plant cotton quite extensively, believing that it would become one of their most remunerative crops. They stated that they could raise about 300 to 400 pounds of ginned cotton to the acre. Having been employed in selecting, classifying and appraising Agricultural College lands, I have carefully examined a large portion of the country herein treated of. As a region where desirable lands may now be obtained at extremely low prices and on easy terms, and where a very important rise in value must occur within a very few years, it is certainly well worthy of attention; and especially so on account of its valuable pine timber, iron ore and other minerals. The climate is mild and healthful, and the water pure."

Work Cited:
“Character and Resources of South Central Missouri.”  Anglo American Times, London, Middlesex. 16. 396 (24 May, 1873) 14, 15.  Access Newspaper Archive.   Donald W. Reynolds Library, Mountain Home, AR. 2 Nov. 2010.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Blind Ambition in the Ozarks

If the odds are stacked against you, never say, “ Never.”

Long Horseback TRIPS
One Rides 36 Miles With Only, His Dog 
for Guide. - All Travel 
Marshall, Ark. -  Riding on horseback thirty-six miles from Boyle, Stone County, to Marshall, by way of Big Flat, James Albert Rorie, who has boon blind since five years old, arrived at Frank Rainbolt’s near Marshall, a few days ago.
He came all the way with no one to guide him except his faithful dog. He chained his dog to the bit of his horse’s bridle. The dog started out in the direction that Mr. Rorie pointed. When the dog came to the forks of a road he would trot back and forth until Mr. Rorie motioned either to the left or to the right, and then they would proceed on their journey.
There are three brothers in this family who are blind, the other two being Henry and John.  They go to any place they wish' with no person to accompany them. Last year James Albert traveled over, Boone, Marion and Searcy counties. For a number of years they have operated a broom factory near McPherson, Baxter county.

Work Cited:
“Long Horseback Trips for Blind Brothers.”  Daily Leader.183 (25June, 1915) 2.  Access Newspaper Archive.   Donald W. Reynolds Library, Mountain Home, AR. 1 Oct. 2010.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Ozark County Refugees in the Time of Civil War


Even when tough times come our way, we can always be thankful for what we have.  Taking a look back in to our Ozarks' History, there was a time of loss & migration, in looking for safety from Ozark County during the Civil War.

And for today..

Though we may see things on the horizon...

May we never crumble to the point of such division and political correctness that we turn against our brother. 

May we always hold our faith resolute to our Father's guiding hand.

May we always bend our will to His and give to our brother in need.

He is more than Providence, as he is intricately working in our lives & this nation.

North or South...Young or Old...Rich or Poor...Unborn or Born.

May we never come to this point of mass hysteria in our nation as to have... An Affecting Sight.

May we throw ourselves at His Mercy, while it is still call Today.

Wouldn't that be An Affecting Sight?

I am respectfully yours,


My email:

An Affecting  Sight.
A long train of emigrant wagons reached St. Louis on Saturday morning, composed of about fifty families from Ozark county, Missouri, who have been driven from their homes by Price's army. The Republican says that on reaching Market street, between Fourth and Fifth, and the levee, the train halted, and a large crowd of people gathered about. A collection of fifty dollars was taken up for the benefit of the suffering refugees. Their destination was Illinois. They represent that they have been stripped of everything of any value which they formerly  possessed by the rebels, and also state that one thousand families in the same condition as themselves are now on their way to St. Louis. 

Work Cited:
“An Affecting  Sight.” The Smoky Hill and Republican Union  1.14(26 Dec., 1861) 1. Chronicling America. Library of Congress, Washington D. C. 1 Oct. 2010.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Why is it called "The Ozarks?"

How did the Ozarks get its’ name?
It seems I get this question about 3 or 4 times a month from visitors to the area. Well, to answer that question, I have found an old article from 1932.

Confronted with many questions of varied nature the Jefferson city Chamber of Commerce which has become adept at answering queries, almost met a Waterloo Thursday when an elderly couple, en route home from a vacation trip at, the Lake of the Ozarks, stopped here and asked what the meaning of “Ozarks" happened to be. After a search, which for a while proved  discouraging, the chamber found a report by Miss Jeffries in a Lake of Ozarks publication which explained that, the derivation of Ozarks was from the French "aux arcx," which means "with bows and archery", and not from the Indian as has been popularly supposed. "When the explorations of the French carried them into this j section, the only known inhabitants were Qaw Paw Indians, a branch of the Sioux. They migrated here from the Ohio and Illinois rivers when the white man came," Miss Jeffries said in her explanation. "The French established the first trading post, Aux Arcx in this bow and arrow country. Later the Spanish came questing for hidden gold. Many of their hidden treasures, repose no doubt, beneath the Lake waters of the new inland sea." The local Chamber of Commerce invites anyone having a different explanation for "Ozarks", to write and tell them about it.

Work Cited:
“Ozarks is from the French, The Bows and Archery.”  Jefferson City Post-Tribune 66.183 (15 July, 1932) A1-1.  Access Newspaper Archive.   Donald W. Reynolds Library, Mountain Home, AR. 1 Oct. 2010.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Bill Clark, Deer Slayer & Bee Hunter

I would like to begin by saying thank you for the temporary breather since I have been away from my blog. I am in the middle of establishing a Local History & Geology Room in the new Donald W. Reynolds Library. It is a big challenge that can stretch one’s nerve a bit. But, the lessons of doing things different and new are always rewarding.

Every new task can hone our skills & temper and show your areas of improvement. It requires us to grow. I use to think consistency was a good thing. And in some terms it is. But Bernard Berenson once made a quote that has stuck with me; he said, “Consistency requires you to be as ignorant as you were a year ago. “
I can look back over my life and see some areas I could call consistent when it is really an excuse to stay comfortable.

Thank goodness for growth.

As things are gearing up at work for our library’s grand opening, I was putting some of my favorite books into their new home. One of those treasured authors of times past was Silas Claiborne Turnbo also known as S.C. Turnbo.  I ran a quick search and discovered one of his articles from The Harrison Times in 1901that tells one of his great old stories. This is one of the many Ozark tales that can be read that was once published in local Ozark newspapers.

Bill Clark was well known many miles along White River. Almost every pioneer settler in Taney and Ozark Counties, Mo., and Marion County, Ark., knew him, or had heard of him, for his fame as a hunter went far and wide. As a deer and bee hunter he had but few rivals. It is told of him that he never done but few day’s work on a farm, entirely depending on hunting for a living. When he was hungry for bread he would approach a farmer and purchase a turn of corn on credit, promising to pay for it with a fat buck. It might be a month or a year before he fulfilled his promise, but it is said he hardly ever failed to bring the deer according to contract. He tramped the woods so frequently in search of game that the front part of his pant legs unless they were made of tanned buck hide were worn into tatters by the saw briars. To avoid the wear and tear on his pants he would often step high through the grass like a blind horse.

Referring to his renown as a bee hunter, a settler who lived on White River sent for him one day to find a bee tree that he and others failed to locate. When Clark arrived several men were sitting around watching the bees alp the bait. Some timber prevented the men from getting the proper direction the bees came and went. Bill seated himself to watch the bees for a few minutes, then he stationed himself on the bank of the river. He soon discovered that they flew across the river (his eyesight was so good he could see the flight of a bee a long distance). After getting the direction the bees flew he prepared to locate their home. Every man in the crowd had his eyes on Clark, for he was acknowledged to be a great bee hunter. Soon he noticed a bee heavily laden, which flew very slow. Bill watched it intently and said to the men, "Look, boys, look, look, look, boys, look. Into a tree it went, by jacks." His eyes had followed the bee into the face of a bluff on the opposite side of the river and saw it go into a tree. The men crossed the river in a canoe and discovered the bees in the tree Bill had named. He had located the tree in less than half an hour, where others had hunted for days and failed to find.

I remember seeing great numbers of wild bees visit our spring on Elbow Creek in 1850. The direction they came and went indicated that there was more than one hive nearby. Father was not a bee hunter, but he enjoyed eating wild honey and he sent for Bill Clark and when he made his appearance which was in a day or two father employed him to find bee trees. I was only six years old, but I recollect how Clark coursed the bees from the spring.

The hunter seated himself near where the bees were sipping the water and watched those that flew across the creek; then he ran and followed one to the creek and halted and waited for another one. In a few seconds another one appeared which flew just over his head. Bill began to repeat the words, "There it goes; there it goes; there it goes; over the hill it went, by jacks." Then he climbed the bluff on a line the bee had went and stopped on the top of the bluff where he saw the bee pass over. In a little while another bee went buzzing just over him. His eyes quickly perceived it and I heard him sing out, "Yonder it goes! Yonder it goes! Yonder it goes into a post oak tree, by jacks." The man had located it in a few minutes. Returning to the spring he proposed to find another swarm in less than an hour. Another course was followed west from the spring. Some timber intervened and so obstructed the course that Clark had some difficulty in finding the tree, but in about 40 minutes he treed the bees in a large cedar tree a few hundred yards from the spring. The bees went into the tree near the ground.

In the early forenoon the weather was clear and bright, but soon after locating the swarm in the cedar tree the sun was hidden by clouds which broke up the bee hunt. Going to the house for ax and vessels the hunter chopped a big block out of the tree and exposed to view a fine quantity of rich honey comb which filled the cavity in the tree. Rain began falling while we were feasting on the honey. In a day or two we felled the post oak tree on the creek bluff that Clark had found first, but it contained only a small amount of honey.

Many years ago when the fine valley of Big Creek in Taney County, Mo., was wild, Bill and his brother, Calvin Clark, were hunting one day on the right hand prong of the creek. The weather was warm and the weary hunters had stopped at a spring of water to quench their thirst. Before either one had time to drink a bee alighted and began sipping at the water. Bill remarked, "By jacks, Mr. Bee, I will find your house before I drink of this water."

Both men waited patiently until the bee filled itself and started. Bill watched it move off and followed it with his eye and saw it enter the cavity of a post oak tree just 15 paces from the spring. This proved to be a rich tree and the comb had a peculiar formation. The tree was large with a big hollow. A column of honeycomb was on two sides of the cavity, from the ground to seven feet above where the hollow terminated. From the center of the termination of the cavity was a round column of rich comb three inches in diameter and 2 ½ feet in length, which hung between the two columns of the main comb. It was held in place by a small neck—the lower part was not attacked to anything. Both of the men said that the formation of the comb in this tree was strange to them.

As we have given some samples of how the noted hunter located bee trees we will now relate some stories of how he slew wild turkeys and deer.

One night in the month of January, 1844, while his father, Billy Clark, lived at the mouth of Shoal Creek just over the line in now what is Boone County, Ark. He and his brother, Calvin, went up to the upper end of the river bottom above the mouth of the creek to shoot turkeys. Great numbers were roosting in the timber. The night was cold, but it was brilliantly lighted up by a full moon. In a large sycamore tree the limbs were crowded with turkeys. Both men took a station at one tree and shot, time about, until 14 fat turkeys fell dead. Thinking it wrong to kill more than they could make use of for awhile, they ceased the slaughter and swung the dead turkeys on a pole and carried them home.

Where the little hamlet of Dugginsville, Ozark County, Mo., now is, is several fine springs of water. Here on this spot of land Bill Clark often camped and killed scores of deer on Cedar Creek. The hills and valleys in this section were a garden spot for deer. Some 200 yards from the main spring, Bill said that he killed the largest buck he ever saw. The animal was so fat and heavy that it gave him and his brother Calvin a hard lift to carry it to camp at the spring. Campbell Barry, who was then County Clerk of Taney County, had offered a fine pocket knife as a premium to the hunter who brought in the largest buck hide in proper shape. Clark said that the hide from this buck after being well dried weighed 12 lbs. and 2 oz. at Forsyth. Bill took in the knife by a close call, for another hunter had brought in a buck hide that weighed 12 lbs. and one ounce. Besides the knife he received 30 cents per lb. for the hide.

On another occasion Bill, accompanied by his brother Calvin, were on a camp hunt at this last named spring on Cedar Creek. The men needed a supply of pelts more than they needed venison. This time out they killed deer for the hides only. They soon killed enough for a fair load. One morning the wind was blowing brisk and the hunters thought they would have no success that day on account of the blustery weather. But they went out to try their luck at least. Just below the spring on the creek they met a herd of deer which divided, and each man followed a bunch of them. The deer were not wild and soon stopped. Calvin said that he killed three of them as fast as he could load and shoot. The second one fell across the first one and the third one fell in a few feet of the other two. The other deer ran off.

"In the meantime," said Cal "I heard Bill shooting, and knew he was putting in good time. When he quit firing I went to him, he being near ¼ mile from me, and found that he had slain four deer and they were all lying within ten feet of each other. This was seven deer killed in a few minutes. This gave us a spell of work to remove the hides. We had enough green pelts on hand now to care for, and we loaded them on our ponies and returned home. At the mouth of Shoal Creek." Bill Clark has left his earthly hunting grounds and has passed over to the other shore where we hope he is "resting under the shade of the trees." His death occurred in the month of May, 1886. He died on the south side of White River above the mouth of Little North Fork and just below Blanket Bottom. On the 26th day of December, 1905, as I stood on a hill on the north side of the river and viewed the locality where the old pioneer hunter gave up his unerring rifle to occupy his resting place under the sod my heart seemed to throb slower then it beat faster at the memory of this man who once was so noted among the wild bees, wild turkeys and deer. After his death his family and friends conveyed his body to the north bank of the river and deposited it in a grave dug in the cemetery in the lower part of the bottom opposite the mouth of Music Creek. Clark had hunted until he was too old and feeble to follow the fat bucks or kill the big fat gobbler or hunt the rich bee trees.

A few years ago the writer met his widow, Mrs. Celia Clark. She was at that time residing near Dugginsville, a part of her husband’s old hunting grounds. She is a daughter of Arch and Elizabeth Tabor. Her mother was a daughter of Tommy Morris who died on Big Creek in 1858.

In referring to old times on Big Creek Aunt Celia Clark said that, "some of the women in the early days knew how to use a rifle as well as men. One evening in 1840, when I was about ten years old, " said she, "I went to Uncle Isaac Tabor’s to stay all night. Next morning before breakfast a large flock of wild turkeys alighted in some trees near the house. Uncle Isaac was gone but Aunt Tilda, his wife, says, "Let us have turkey for breakfast." Then she took down the rifle and walked out into the yard and taking deliberate aim at a fine gobbler, shot and killed it."
S. C. Turnbo

Works Cited:
"Bill Clark, The Deer Slayer And Bee Hunter." Harrison Times 25.31 (09 Feb., 1901) 4.  Donald W. Reynolds Library Microfilm Archive. Baxter County Library, Mountain Home, AR. 1 Dec. 2009.

Turnbo, S.C. (1994). The White River Chronicles of S.C. Turnbo : Man and Wildlife on the Ozarks Frontier / selected and edited by James F. Keefe and Lynn Morrow ; introduction by W.K. McNeil.