Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Ozark County Picnic - 1904

While culling through old newspapers in researching the Baxter County Fair, I came across this jewel of an article. Its’ author was making a comparison between the Baxter County Picnic and the Lick Creek Picnic in Ozark County, Missouri. Being raised on Lick Creek, at Mammoth, Missouri, I have never heard of such an event, and this article caught my curiosity and fascination. At the end of this article, I will make the assumption this picnic was probably held at Mammoth. This may sound like a stretch to some people if they were to drive through there today. Mammoth is not an incorporated town and may have only a couple of dozen people at most. If one would drive through, it would be hard to believe very many people ever lived in the vicinity, but that was the case. According to the following article, about 1200 people arrived to participate in this celebration. The old-timers even had a saying for Mammoth, “Anderson's Town, Dye's Street, Foster's Hotel, and Nothing to Eat!”

Is it possible to have such a large gathering in what we perceive as a small community at the turn of the century? Yes.

According to the 1900 U. S. Census, 2179 people are documented in the Bridges District along Lick Creek. I have gone through the list & maps and have counted over 500 people within 5 miles of Mammoth alone, with 36 associated families.

During this time, principal families were:


Many of these pioneers currently rest in the Mammoth Cemetery. I have found on the website, Find A Grave, the Mammoth Cemetery contains 298 names inscribed on stone. According to the book Headstone Inscriptions from 25 Ozark County Cemeteries, published in 1980, Nellie McGinnis Robbins and Pamela Robbins Trump referenced there were also 102 unmarked field stones in the Mammoth Cemetery. Therefore, this gives us an estimate this cemetery holds is at least 400.

Again, this article is not written in today’s grammar and colloquial speech, and  it was written from Prestonia, Missouri, on the Missouri Arkansas State-line. This article brings into view a wonderful window of time into our Ozarks’ History.

The Baxter Bulletin
 2 September, 1904

Prestonia, Missouri.
I see in the Baxter Bulletin the longest, broadest, thickest, grandest, commendable and comprehensible history of your picnic at Mountain Home on the 5th and 6th of August.

Now for the gratification of my curiosity, and in order to give vent to my spleen, I wish to give a short history of our picnic on Lick Creek, which was to be published in the Bulletin, provided you think it would interest the readers. I was providentially blest to be at both yours and our picnic. I guess you had between two and three thousand, we had between a thousand and twelve hundred visitors. At either place I never saw, smelt, tasted or heard of any of the high lonesome or the glory hallalugaghrum, and never heard one asking God to dam their souls. I was not present the 19th but was there on the 20th. My version of what I saw and heard was, the wash kettles and beef was hauled in Friday evening. Dick Williams and Uncle John Mefford set up all night and cooked it, and they were well on their job. The bread and beef was loaded on a long table, with a dead line stretched around it, then about forty carvers went to work and was soon ready for distribution and then all were invited to come up and draw their rations. All you had to do was stick your hand over the dead line and a waiter, either a man or woman, would fill it. I took my rations from a lady waiters hand, as all know that ordinary men are so busted nasty. I had my doubts whether the men waiters had washed their hands that day or not. All know we had good music because Mart Gault jerked it out of the fiddle while Miss Graves, Tom Graves daughter, pushed, punched and knocked it out of the organ. I think it was conceded that Mart and Miss Minnie must have practiced together on Sunday. I can’t go any further with my rat killing without telling you more about the grub and watermelons, after some had ate until the world looked level. Other ate until they could touch it with their index finger, and the remainder that were there, eat as long as it tasted good. When they began to gather up the fragments and I see the baskets there, reminded me of the five thousand fed on 2 little fishes and 5 loaves as Matthew speaks of also Mark. Watermelon sold there in the evening from a nickel down to giving them away. Some as large as that churn that mam churns in and some very near a large as that one that has a hoop on it. It was here at our picnic as it was at Mountain Home. I went to the Mountain Home picnic to see who all was there and I couldn’t’ see on account of the people, every time I would try to see folks then the fool people would get in my way. I thought I would count the people that were at out picnic that I might come something near that were there, but pshaw, they were so much like fly blows in a carcuss, I was ashamed to tell I tried to count them.  

Now I must tell of one speech that was made and but one, but folks! I tell you he said the most in fewest words imaginable. From the way he spoke, I didn’t think his name was appropriate. I thought it should have been Bill Large in place of Jim Small. He is large statue, large cranium and it stuffed, and always eats at the first table, the only trouble was he made his speech blunt, he tapered to fast but sharp enough to stick in, is now teaching school and is the Republican nominee to represent Ozark county.

Now if there is anyone that thinks my history of the picnic is not good and straight goods and that we haven’t had good crops, good health, good grub, good watermelons, good women, men, boys, and good looking galls, you can satisfy yourself by asking your own natives, because there were scuds from Arkansas here that took in the picnic.

Now in conclusion I want to say there never was a place where, or a time when, a people who ever had a day of greater enjoyment than was had on the 20th on Lick creek, Ozark county, Missouri. No accidents, no trouble on any line, on one got hurt except myself, and that was unintentional. I got hit with one of those rubber balls, that had a rubber string growed out of the side of it, longer than a poor man’s arm. A ball came along by me and she let dive at me with that ball and hit me slap dab where I live, exactly where I live, exactly where I had deposited so much watermelon, beef, light bread, cake, pies, apples, peaches, pickles and water. I don’t guess I was tight as a drumhead, but I believe you could have busted a tick thar or thar abouts. It created a big laugh in the crowd because I  grunted, and had to because it knocked it out, and none of you need not laugh, because any would have done as bad, if not worse.

On for fear she sees this, if it is published, and think I am mad, or I might be dead from the effect of the center shot she gave me, I want to say I am not dead or mad, just a little sore, but will say that the next time she throws at me at a picnic, after dinner she should draw a finer bead and hit me six inches above the waistband of my pants, then no bad results to follow.

I guess the editor will think I am checky to think he would publish this, and the type-setters have but little or nothing to do, and the readers of the Bulletin have the patience of Job, and nothing to read, as all can see it takes space, time, pencil, patience and words for me to tell anything. I have to sow pounds to enable anyone to reap an ounce. I hear meat frying, smell coffee, table being set, stomach thinking, throat is cut, and my mouth watering, is my excuse for quitting. Questions answered on short notice and oblige.

 End of Article

Editor's Note: Please take some time to click on the hyperlinks that I've added to the names of people and places in this next portion of this blog. 

Basket Dinner Mammoth, Mo. 1911
The Picture
Last year in June, a picture was posted on the Ozark County Historium’s Facebook page. The Mammoth Picnic photo belongs to Donna Langston Milstead. Donna said the date of the photo was about 1911 because her mother, Pearl Frazier, is the baby in the picture who was born in February of 1911.  Pearl's father, Theron Hamilton Frazier, is holding her, and her mother, Alma Ragland Frazier, is sitting in front of them. The two little boys to their left are Pearl's brothers, Frederick Ragland Frazier and Charles Edward Frazier. Additionally, the people in the picture are clothed in attire that matches of the early 1900’s. Also, someone has inscribed “Basket Dinner, Mammoth, Mo.” on the bottom of the picture. Also, how often would a photographer show up in this small community? I like this picture so much, I’ve download it, printed it out, and have it displayed in my office. Could this picture be at one of these picnics held at Mammoth, on Lick Creek?

In the next few paragraphs, I will show some information I pulled records from primary and secondary sources from the following names in the article from "Mr. Ozarkite." My assumption, the picnic on Lick Creek, in the above article, was probably held at Mammoth, Missouri.  Are we absolutely certain? No. Nevertheless, we will take a quick look at the circumstances of participants mentioned in the article and try to draw a conclusion. We will use our “Basket Dinner, Mammoth, Mo.” picture as our first piece of evidence.

Mart Gault…Fiddle Player
James Marcus “Mark/Mart” Gault was present at the picnic. Mr. Gault’s first wife, Martha "Mattie" E. Cloud Gault, died the 18th of January, 1904, about 7 months before the picnic. Mart Gault married his second wife, Mary E. Grist, the next year, the 18th June, 1905, in Baxter County, Arkansas. According to the Baxter County marriage records, Mart was living in Mammoth, Missouri, in Ozark County. Sometime afterwards, Mart and Mary Gault moved to the Pigeon, or  Pigeon Creek, area in Baxter County. An interesting fact is all three, Mart, Martha, and Mary, originated from Springfield, in Greene County, Missouri. Additionally, Mart’s second wife, Mary, was 25 years his junior. Today, Mart is buried along with his two wives in the Mountain Home Cemetery in Baxter County, Arkansas.

Therefore, we can infer since Mark Gualt was living at Mammoth on Lick Creek, the picnic was probably held at Mammoth, Missouri.

Minnie Graves…Organ Player
According to the 1900 – 1930 U. S. Census, the Graves family was living in Mammoth, Missouri, along Lick Creek. I believe Miss Graves, the organ player, was the daughter of Thomas Jefferson Graves & Martha Ann Web Graves. Thomas and Martha were married in 1880. Mamie was born in March of 1888.  The 1900 U. S. Census shows Thomas Jefferson Graves and his wife, Martha, lived in Mammoth and had a nice number of boys, but they also had a girl Mamie, age 12.  Mamie and Minnie are derivatives, or nick names, for the name of "May." I believe this is the Minnie Graves the author was referring to. Therefore, at the time the picnic, she was about 16 years old. In 1905, May Graves married Charles Stephen Foster, who also resided in Mammoth. They both lived in this community and were buried in the Mammoth Cemetery. Thomas and Martha Graves also have a child, John W. Graves, buried in the Mammoth Cemetery. Martha Graves was eventual buried nearby her young son, John, at the Mammoth Cemetery; Thomas Graves is interned at the Gainesville Cemetery.

James “Jim” Robert Small
Jim Small, Republican, was campaigning for the Missouri State Legislator in 1904, and gave a speech at the Lick Creek Picnic. He won the election later that year, and represented Ozark County for one term. Jim was born the 19th of April, 1878, in Ozark County on nearby Lick Creek. His father, Dr. Robert Sneed Small, former mayor & physician at Gainesville, and mother, Nancy Adeline Wilderman Small, lived near Mammoth and later at Gainesville; both are buried at the Gainesville Cemetery. Some members of the Small family are also buried at the Mammoth Cemetery.

Uncle John T. Mefford.
JohnMefford and his wife, Celesta also lived in the area. He was born in May of 1847. John Mefford is buried at  the Howard's Ridge Cemetery, in Ozark County. 

Dick Williams
On this next person, I owe a debt of gratitude of the research to Mary Belle Green. I received an email from her concerning Mr. Williams. Mary’s great grandma, Viola Campbell, married Dick Williams, which was their second marriage for both of them. Before we get to that, let's over his first marriage.

Absolom Lawrence "A. L. Dick" Williams is also from the Mammoth area. He was born in Missouri on the 23rd of September, 1854. He died the 21st of September, 1931, and is buried in the Mammoth Cemetery.

Absolom’s 1st wife Louise Jane Ewing was born the 29th of March, 1863, in Webster County, Missouri.  She died the 22nd of September of, 1911, in Ozark County, and is buried in the Mammoth Cemetery. Some of their children and relatives are buried at the Mammoth Cemetery:
  1. Claude Christopher Williams,  1881-1962, married Mamie Bell Holland , 1889-1934, are both buried in the Mammoth Cemetery.
  2. Lawrence Wright, 1888-1907, is buried in the Mammoth Cemetery.
  3. Jewel Eugene "Jude” Williams, 1898- 1976, married Ada Lucy Moorehead; he died in Colorado.
  4. Bertha Mae, 1883 -1969, married Wilford Avery Clute; both are buried at the Sardis Cemetery, Leon County, Texas.
  5. Alma Louise, 1891-1915, married Carl Oren Watson.
  6. Nora Ann Williams, 1885-1970, married Walter S. "Walt" Robbins the 11th of March, 1906, in Prestonia, Ozark County, Missouri. They were the parents of Pamela Jane Robbins Trump. She was a school teacher at Mammoth and Gainesville.
Absolom Lawrence "A. L. Dick" Williams’ 2nd marriage was to Viola Campbell Ellison about 1920 in Ava, Douglas County, Missouri.  Viola Campbell was born the 4th of August, 1874, in Marshfield, Missouri. She died the 8th of January, 1926, and is buried at the Howards Ridge Cemetery. She was the daughter of Andrew Jackson Campbell and Martha Thompson Campbell. Dick and Viola Williams had no children.

 Viola Campbell was first married to Wiley Ellison the 13th of November, 1895 and their children were:
  1. Dewey Carl Ellison, 1897-1960, buried in the Howards Ridge Cemetery.
  2. Etta Rowena Ellison 1899-1996 married James Bonnie Kirkland, buried in the Howards Ridge Cemetery.
  3. Dona Landers-Ellison, 1899-1943, married Roscoe "Red" Jackson, 1901-1937, who is buried in the Howards Ridge Cemetery. (Note: Dona was an adopted daughter, and I do know the additional story on Roscoe. But, that's for a later time.) 

Works Cited:

"James Robert Small." Missouri State Legislators: 1820-2000. Missouri Secretary of State. www.sos.mo.gov Retrieved: 17 July, 2012.
Milstead, Donna Langston. Picture: “Basket Dinner, Mammoth, Mo.” Facebook: Ozark County Historium. Retrieved: 24 June, 2011.
“Prestonia, Missouri.” The Baxter Bulletin (2 Sept., 1904) 2, 3.
Robbins, Nellie; Trump, Pamela, 1980. Headstone Inscriptions from 25 Ozark County Cemeteries.  Published by Ozark County Times, Gainesville, Mo.
Year: 1880; Census Place: Bayou, Ozark, Missouri; Roll: 707; Family History Film: 1254707; Page: 547B; Enumeration District: 110; Image: 0681.
Year: 1900; Census. Place: Gainesville, Ozark, Missouri; Roll: T623; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 92.
Year: 1900; Census Place: Bridges, Ozark, Missouri; Roll: T623; Page: 16A; ED: 92.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Reunion of the Blue and the Gray...A Picnic in Baxter County

With the ongoing celebrating of the Civil War Sesquicentennial, I decided not to search out articles that  chronicled our division as a nation but would commemorate of our unity in the Ozarks. I believe these next few articles point to the way to healing and the restoration that took years to occur in the Ozarks.

In 1902, a committee was formed in Baxter County, Arkansas, to not only bring together citizens of this region, but give credence to the old Civil War soldiers in their sunset years. This too is the origin of the current Baxter County Fair. Though some of this has been chronicled in past newspapers and books, I believe I have found other articles that have not been published since 1902 – 04.

As I have mentioned in the past, it is truly difficult for me to point the accusing finger wholly at North or South. At times, both sides possessed accolades tribute, and other times each held the disdain of atrocities which seemed to prevail on both sides. However, after decades had passed and the tender wounds had begun to mend, there were men willing to be leaders for the next generation.

I believe history has the potential to change us.

I believe we can be a catalyst to change history by learning from the tragic lessons of the past.

How can we change our history?

Reconstruction will never succeed without Reconciliation.

The day Reconciliation is initiated...is the day History Changes.

As we walk the path of life, there will be opportunities to mend broken relationships. I believe the Father in Heaven can bring about these opportunities of reconciliation no matter our history.

After reading these next few articles, I believe it may be this very point of view the old soldiers of Baxter County would have us to grasp in these days. I believe you too, Dear Reader, can walk away with this same point of view. If this is so, maybe these old soldiers have accomplished their task they initiated in 1902.

This migration from Division to Unity is a welcome commodity in our Ozarks’ History.

Two days for Pleasure!
Reunion of the Blue and the Gray
MOUNTAIN Home, Ark.,
Friday and Saturday,
August 1 and 2
On Friday, Aug., 1, PROF MURGLE of Tioga, Ill., will make a
Thrilling Balloon Ascension and Parachute Leap.
The exercises will consist of music, both Vocal and Instrumental,
 Oratory by the best talent in North Arkansas, Base Ball contest be-
tween  two  crack  teams.   Fire  Works  at  Night.   There will be
swings,   Lemonade   Stands   and   Refreshments   generally.
Everyone is invited to come and with well filled baskets, cheerful
hearts  and  thinking minds.  Come and let us have a  glorious time.
By order of                                       Executive Committee.

End of Advertisement 

Reunion of the Blue and the Gray
MOUNTAIN Home, Ark.,
Friday and Saturday,
August 1 and 2
Address of welcome…….………..………..………………………Z. M. Horton.
Response……………….….Capt. B. F. Bodenhamer, Maj. H. H. Hilton.
Music….”Yankee Doodle,” “Dixie”…………..…………………………..Band.

1:30 p. m. Music
Address………………………………………………………..…….Hon. J. C. Floyd.
Address………………………………………………………..….….Hon. Chas Cole.
Balloon ascension and parachute leap……........…………..Prof. Murgle.
Baseball Game……………….............……….Yellville vs. Mountain Home.
 End of Advertisement  

 Our Two Days Picnic
The picnic at Mtn. Home Aug. 1st and 2nd was a complete success. Early Friday morning, the people began to gather from every point of the compass and by 10 o’clock the town was full to overflowing with plenty of folks at the grounds to keep the four swings and six lemonade stands running full blast. At 10 o’clock a procession was formed on the public square headed by a float consisting of four wagons, pulled by a ten horse power steam engine. On the float was seated the young ladies and little girls representing the several states and territories, and the boys representing the signers of the Declaration of Independence, all adorned with the red, white and blue, surmounted by the American flag. This float truly represented the beauty and chivalry of young America. Following the float came the old soldiers, both the blue and gray. Next a long line of citizens and visitors. The procession wended its way to the picnic grounds on the public school campus. Arriving at the campus, after music by the band and “Hail Columbia” and “Star Spangled Banner” by the chorus class, Rev. H. H. Hilton invoked the blessing of heaven upon the gathering. The crowd was then addressed by the Hon. Z. M. Horton, who took for his subject, “The greatness of our country.” He maintained this was the greatest government in the history of the world and that it was greater than any political party or faction, that it was safe in the hands of any political party and had come to stay. That it was equal to any emergency and capable of settling any question that could arise. In military strength it was invincible. He declared that any government that could subdue and strike from the map of the world the “Confederate State of America,” could bid defiance to any or all other governments. He closed with a tribute to the soldiers of both armies and especially Robert E. Lee, whom he had dominated the vanquished victor. Mr. Horton’s address was timely and well received by the audience. After Mr. Horton’s speech the crowd was dismissed for dinner. Everybody came with well filled baskets. There was enough food for all and to spare. The amount of eatables on the ground both days is conclusive evidence of the prosperous condition of our people. After dinner the crowd was entertained by good music and an able and eloquent speech by Hon. J. C. Floyd, the gifted orator from Marion county. Among other things he referred at some length to our vast mineral wealth, reviewing the various measures that led step by step to its development and made Baxter county the most prominent of all its competitors on the mineral map drawn by Prof. Branner, the best geologist in the world. Mr. Floyd’s address was well timed, instructive and delighted his vast audience.

After the speech of Mr. Floyd, the match game between the baseball teams of Mtn. Home and Yellville was to be the  feature of the afternoon, but the shower of rain caused it to be postponed till the next afternoon, as did also the balloon ascension, which was to have taken place at 4 p.m.

On Saturday, the 2nd day, the crowd was entertained in the forenoon by able and eloquent addresses by Mr. Joe Deatherage and Prof. L. A. Morton.

Prof. Morton has accepted the position of principal in the Mountain Home College, and came just in time to meet the big crowd and get acquainted. He needs no better introduction to our people and the address delivered by him on that occasion. On the manner in which he has met our people and taken to his work, we predict that the success of the school under his management is assured.

After Prof. Morton’s address the crowd was treated to splendid recitations by some of those splendid elocutionists for which Mtn. Home has become celebrated, notably Miss Annie Simpson and Miss Hazel Brown.

The crowd then witnessed the balloon ascension and parachute leap by Prof. Murgle. This was a great feature and was closely watched from the starting of the inflation until the ascension was made and the aeronaut safely landed.

Dinner was then announced and was as plentiful as on the previous day.

Dinner over the crowd divided, part going to the ball game and the others remaining to hear the political discussions between the candidates for governor. Hon. H. H. Meyers, (Clayton Republican) opened the discussion, followed by Hon. T. M. Humphreys, democrat, of Fayetteville, representing Gov. Davis, who was unable to be here. Myers closed the debate with a 30 minutes speech. By this time the crowd was weary, but listened to Judge Greaves (insurgent republican), who represented his side of the case in a half hour speech.

All the speakers are fluent talkers and made hard hits at each other, eliciting applause whenever a good point was made. But the people were out for enjoyment and seemed to take very little interest in the discussion. It is an old axiom that a “a fool can ask questions that puzzles a wise man to answer.” There was one in the crowd that undertook the role of questioner while Judge Humphreys was speaking, but was soon silenced by a good natured, witty reprimand.

There were 2,500 to 3,000 people in attendance each day, perhaps the largest crowd ever assembled in Mtn. Home. It was the most orderly and well-behaved gathering of its size ever known in the place, and many say the best they ever saw anywhere. There was no drunkenness, quarreling or boisterous conduct, and nothing to mar the general good will that seemed to prevail all minds. Everybody seemed to enjoy themselves and go away feeling glad that they came.
End of Article 

 The Ball Game.
The Yellville boys were “too many” for the home nine, as might have been expected. The home nine were “just jumped up” for the occasion and had only two or three days practice, while the Yellville team is an old one and well drilled. However there was some good work done by the home club. John Harlan was by odds the best player on the ground, and if the catcher could have held the ball he pitched the game would have been closer than it was 42 to 6 in favor of Yellville. As it was Harlan “fanned” 13 in the game and would have got more of ‘em but for being hard hit on the arm by the Yellville pitcher. Good feeling prevailed and an ambition was aroused in Mtn. Home that we hope will culminated the organization and maintenance of a home baseball team willing and able to cross bats with any of our neighbors.
End of Article 

The North Arkansas United Veterans Association of the Blue and Gray.
Among stated features of the picnic program, none was more completely carried out than the organizing of “The Blue and Gray,” with thirty-one charter members adopting the following constitution and by-laws:
Section 1. This organization shall be known as The North Arkansas United Veterans Association of the Blue and Gray.
Section 2. As a qualification for membership the applicant shall offer satisfactory evidence that he was a regularly enlisted soldier in the Federal and Confederate army, during our civil war or in our war with Mexico.
Section 3. The prime object of this organization is to encourage, cultivate and strengthen that sincere relation of loyal and fraternal friendship which should ever exist between us as Americans, although representatives of two once opposing armies; earnestly blending our humble efforts in eliminating any and all feelings of animosity that may exist with references to our said civil war.
Section 4. This organization is entirely non-political, and is in no sense intended to control, modify or influence the opinions of its members on any of the present or current political issues of the day.
Section 5. The officers of this association shall consist of one president, two vice-presidents, one secretary and one treasurer, who shall hold their respective office for a term of one year or until their successors are elected and qualified.
Section 6. it shall he duty of the president to preside at all meetings and perform all duties usually incumbent upon such officers.
Section 7. It shall be the duty of the secretary to keep record of all regular proceedings, and conduct all correspondence of the association; providing himself suitable record book, stationary, etc., with funds obtained by written order of the president drawn upon the treasurer.
Section 8.  It shall be the duty of the treasurer to collect all annual dues, to have charge of all funds of the association and make complete financial report at each meeting thereof.
Section 9. That for the purpose  of defraying incidental and other expenses there shall be paid annually in advance by each member as annual membership dues the sum of twenty-five cents.
Section 10. That the following list of officers duly elected, this organization is hereby declared permanent:
President - B. F. Bodenhamer.
First Vice President – L. A. McPhearson.
Second Vice President – H. G. Shearer.
Treasurer – A. J. Truman.
Secretary – J. A. Surby. Buffalo, Arkansas.
Executive Committee: Wesley Barnett, Robt. M. Hancock, Mart Bodenhamer, E. C. Cook, Sr., and W. D. White.

Next meeting to be 1 p.m. on first Saturday in October, 1902, at Mountain Home, and during which rally there will be organized a camp of the Sons of Veterans of the Blue and Gray. Meantime, call at drug store and enroll your names, young men, with your comrade “Dick” Cowan, giving descriptive data to facilitate the work of organizing.
End of Article  

Expression of Public Sentiment.
Editor Bulletin: Responsive to numerous earnest solicitations, and with heartfelt assurance that we voice sincere sentiment of all concerned, it is highly gratifying to publish the fact that without one accident or act of disorderly conduct worth mention, throughout two long days, the promiscuous assembly of about 3000 sociable, intelligent people of North Arkansas principally of Baxter county, really enjoyed the complete carrying out of a picnic program at Mountain Home, August  1st and 2nd , 1902.
W. J. Baker, H. W. Redus, A. J. Truman, R. H. Hudson. Executive Committee. 
 End of Article 

The Reunion of the Blue and Gray was a total success and continued as an annual event. Two years later, this next letter of praise to the editor of The Baxter Bulletin came from a spectator from across the state-line...Prestonia, Missouri, in Ozark County. 
With all due of respect, this letter was written with poor grammar and spelling; nevertheless, I believe it was penned with sincerity from the heart of a gentleman from Prestonia. I will admit, the first time I read it, I my eyes were straining and my mind was in a whirl trying to figure out what this gentleman was trying to say. But looking back at this time period in Ozark' History, a public education was not afforded to everyone in this region. Hard times required tough choices, and its' settlers had to work hard in order to scrape out an existence. Therefore, as we read this last article, let us thank the Father in Heaven for those who have sacrificed many things in the past that we may afford the life we have today.
  A Prestonia, Mo., Spectator.
The picknick at Mtn. Home, your town, is what I want to tel about. My wife told me if I’d sta at home frida and keap the chickins out of the garden, I mout go saturday to the picknick. She and the chaps went. She sent Gim bak frida nite so I could go saturda. I axed Gim who was their. He said ever boddy. Wel sur, I found out bot bein their Saturda that Gim didn’t no, cause ever boddy was their and ever boddy fotch somebody with them, then thar was lots from our county, besides them. Then them foaks from Maryon and Izzard County, what has so many babys thay was their, and thay brout the fokes and their babys what lived tother side of them. Oh I gist wisht I’d had the larnin so I cood have counted um. I axed for U, tha sade U was not thar. U ediiter I mean. I node U had the larnin and cood count um, then you cood told everboddy how many was their through the Bulletin.  I believe I and  ever boddy else would node U caz tha sed  them pictors that lade thick on the platform and all over the ground their was sum pritin on it too. I coodent read it but sum seed it was the program whot was on it. I wish all of our county foakes had bin their to seed everybody caze never seed so many at Gainsvil nor no other place in Ozzark County.

I’ll tell it as it comes to mind. Next was a joke on myself. Thar was a little boy, guess he was acomin two ears old, was lost, come hugin round me legs, thout I was his dad, atter a while he seed I was not but favored him, caze he then looked around and broak to one of the ugliest that I seed that day and some one said  we favored. The way I felt I had soon staid at home and minded the chickens out of the garden. Nother thing I was like the Irishman that went to see a sitty but coodent see it for the houses, so I coodent see the foakes at the picknick for the people bein in the way. U all has got the best foaks down thar I ever seed. No fussin, I never heard a cuss word nor bad word all day. All laffin and gassen with their heads up steppin like a blind horse and acted more like tha was lookin for rain. Everthing there was good and nice. Good speakin, good lemonade stands, good show, good grub, good water, good musick, good racin, good throwin, and thought ever boddy felt gooder, looked gooder, acted gooder, dressed gooder and was gooder caze I felt like a sheep at a shootin match. That day at Mountain Home will be in memory til I have to fall in line at the roll above. I wish we could all meet again in Mountain Home then meet in a higher home afterwards.

Works Cited:  
“Advertisement: Blue & Gray Picnic.” The Baxter Bulletin. (11 July 1902) 6.
“Advertisement: Blue & Gray Picnic.” The Baxter Bulletin. (18 July 1902) 6.
“Advertisement: Blue & Gray Picnic.” The Baxter Bulletin. (25 July 1902) 6.
“Advertisement: Blue & Gray Picnic.” The Baxter Bulletin. (01 Aug., 1902) 6.
“The Ball Game.” The Baxter Bulletin (8 Aug., 1902) 4. 
“Expression of Public Sentiment.” The Baxter Bulletin (8 Aug., 1902) 7.
“Organized: The North Arkansas United Veterans Association of the Blue and Gray” The Baxter Bulletin (8 Aug., 1902) 7.
“Our Two Days Picnic.” The Baxter Bulletin (8 Aug., 1902) 4. 
 “ A Prestonia, Mo., Spectator.” The Baxter Bulletin (2 Sept., 1904)2 -3.