Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Southern Pulaski County Railroad

1861 Lloyd's Map showing the proposed original route of what would later be the St. Louis San Francisco Railroad line through Pulaski County, Missouri.
1861 Lloyd's Map showing the proposed original route of what would later be the St. Louis San Francisco Railroad line through Pulaski County, Missouri.


Above is an 1861 Lloyds Map. I am assuming that it is showing the projected railroad through the county as it shows the line being south of Waynesville. Keep in mind that the railroad line was originally planned to go through this part of the county before the Civil War. After the war, the line was re-platted North of Waynesville because of topography. Supposedly this new alignment followed a road that was blazed by the armies during the war. Take note of the town names of Greenville, Colby, Iron Ore, Finley, and Pine Bluff. These places are not on the map anymore.

In Mabel Manes Mottaz’s book, “Lest We Forget”, published in 1960, she states "There is still evidence of some of the fruitless tunneling and grading.". I have came across accounts that an abandoned tunnel is visible a half mile from the main gate of Fort Leonard Wood." Some portions of the work that were completed before 1861 were destroyed by Confederates during The War Between The States.

I have also read that the Irish Laborers worked intensely on the proposed line near Wildwood, or present day main gate of Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. Legend has it, that the tunnel mentioned by Mrs. Mottaz was dug by Irish laborers. Irish Immigration was high after the Great Potato Famine of 1845-1852. Some of those who had fled disease and starvation in their homeland lived and worked in the railroad construction camps in Pulaski County before the United States Civil War. Unfortunately, cholera and smallpox, made their way through some of these railroad camps. Many succumbed, in a matter of days, and were buried in unmarked graves. It has been reported that some are buried in Dry Creek Cemetery, which is either near the Water Plant by the Gas Station on Fort Leonard Wood, or on the Fred Gray farm, East of St. Robert in Township 36, Range 11, Section 25. The latter physical description is from “Tombstone Inscriptions Throughout Pulaski County”. There is also a written report in “History of Pulaski County, Missouri Volume 1” that mentions an Irish grave site near Devil’s Elbow, Missouri although it does not give an exact location. Yet another report, by an author that I only know as Smith, refers to “the Irish Cemetery, now the gates of Fort Leonard Wood”. That same author also sheds light on this subject with these sentences: “Also by that time Irish and German laborers were working on the railroad bed and digging a tunnel in what is now known as Tunnel Hollow near the north gate of Fort Leonard Wood. Legend has it that many Irish laborers died from disease and were buried in a mass grave near the post gate along modern Route 17.

Skaggs Bridge, the first bridge across the Gasconade River between Waynesville and Crocker, Missouri.
Skagg's Bridge, the first bridge across the Gasconade River between Waynesville and Crocker, Missouri. Remnants of this bridge can still be seen two miles downstream from the 1932 Pike's Peak Bridge.


Another side note, a railroad spur from Crocker to Waynesville was proposed during the early 1900's. Some grading was finished before the financing for the deal fell apart. The abandoned railroad bed from this effort was later rehabilitated and converted into New Highway 17, bypassing the Old Waynesville Crocker Road, and Skaggs bridge, by approximately 2 miles west.

The three books that I reference in this article are available at the 1903 Pulaski County Missouri Courthouse Museum.

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Train Wreckers Part VI

The conclusion of the articles concerning the 1877 case of The Train Wreckers in Pulaski County, Missouri. Most of the records of this case were lost in the fire that destroyed the courthouse in Waynesville in 1903. The beginning of the story can be found in "The Train Wreckers Part I." and continues in “The Train Wreckers Part II”, followed by “The Train Wreckers Part III“ and “The Train Wreckers Part IV“. The last newspaper article can be found in “The Train Wreckers Part V”. The following is quoted from Goodspeeds 1899 History of Laclede, Camden, Dallas, Webster, Wright, Texas, Pulaski, Phelps, and Dent Counties, and was the first reference that I saw concerning the case. It should be noted that Goodspeeds thought the case was still noteworthy twenty-two years after the fact.

A case of great interest occurred in 1878; it was a case against some Richland men, Gibson, Long, Greenstreet, et al., who were accused of wrecking a passenger train near what is now Swedeborg, in which three men were killed; there were pistol-shots an other evidence to show that the wrecking might have been done for robbery, but there was not sufficient proof of complicity of these men to warrant anything less than acquittal. The public feeling at the time was very strong.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Train Wreckers Part V

Part V of the articles concerning the 1877 case of The Train Wreckers in Pulaski County, Missouri. Most of the records of this case were lost in the fire that destroyed the courthouse in Waynesville in 1903. Thankfully newspaper coverage of the events have survived, and I am posting them here so that others can read this colorful tale. The beginning of the story can be found in "The Train Wreckers Part I." and continues in “The Train Wreckers Part II”, followed by “The Train Wreckers Part III“ and “The Train Wreckers Part IV“. This is the last of the newspaper articles covered by the Phelps County New Era, based in Rolla, Missouri. A newspaper in Lebanon, in Laclede County, Missouri, covered the story in depth. The New Era editor noted that “The Lebanon Rustic should change it’s name to The Trainwreckers Gazette.” This story is mentioned in Goodspeeds 1899 History of Laclede, Camden, Dallas, Webster, Wright, Texas, Pulaski, Phelps, and Dent counties.



Who Were the Murderers?

The Pulaski County jury have declared that the men charged with wrecking a train on the St. Louis and San Francisco railroad and with murder in doing it are not guilty. If this is a true verdict, then some other parties did the deed. Who are they? We hear of no effort being made to answer this question-no attempt to discover who was guilty of the crime of which Gibson is declared innocent. The crime was peculiarly coldblooded and devilish, and yet the acquittal of Gibson ends all endeavors to detect and punish the authors of it. Why is this? There can be but one explanation offered: the people and authorities of the Southwest, including the court that tried and acquitted Gibson, have not a shadow of doubt that he was one of the authors of the crime-and that it is not necessary to look beyond him. It is estimated that the trial at Waynesville will cost the state $3000. If there is another state in the Union that can expend as much money not punishing murderers we would like to have it pointed out. [Republican

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Train Wreckers Part IV

Part IV of the articles concerning the 1877 case of The Train Wreckers in Pulaski County, Missouri. Most of the records of this case were lost in the fire that destroyed the courthouse in Waynesville in 1903. Thankfully newspaper coverage of the events have survived, and I am posting them here so that others can read this colorful tale. The beginning of the story can be found in "The Train Wreckers Part I." and continues in “The Train Wreckers Part II”, followed by “The Train Wreckers Part III“. This story is mentioned in Goodspeeds 1899 History of Laclede, Camden, Dallas, Webster, Wright, Texas, Pulaski, Phelps, and Dent counties.


A Court Room Scene from the 1880's
A Court Room Scene from the 1880's


The Trial of the Train Wreckers.
Phelps County New Era March 16, 1878 The trial of Gibson, one of the train wreckers, at Waynesville, Mo, drags it’s weary length along. The evidence in chief for the prosecution has been closed and evidence for the defence is being heard, the attorneys for the defense having omitted making a statement to the jury as to their line of defence. It is supposed that the trial will last a week longer before a verdict will be reached. So far on the direct examination the evidence has been very conclusive of Gibson’s guilt and it is the general opinion that he will be convicted.

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Train Wreckers Part III

Part III of the articles concerning the 1877 case of The Train Wreckers in Pulaski County, Missouri. Most of the records of this case were lost in the fire that destroyed the courthouse in Waynesville in 1903. Thankfully newspaper coverage of the events have survived, and I am posting them here so that others can read this colorful tale. The beginning of the story can be found in "The Train Wreckers Part I." and continues in “The Train Wreckers Part II”. This story is mentioned in Goodspeeds 1899 History of Laclede, Camden, Dallas, Webster, Wright, Texas, Pulaski, Phelps, and Dent counties.

An ode to The Frisco, Rolla Missouri  Picture by Snoop
An Ode to The Frisco, Rolla Missouri Picture by Snoop


Phelps County New Era September 8, 1877 THE TRAIN WRECKERS,

CROCKER, Mo,; Sept 5- The little village of Waynesville, nestling in the close embrace of the Ozarks hills, has been thronged for two days in anticipation of the trial of the train wreckers, whose fiendish attempt to glut their greed by the sacrifice, if necessary, of the lives of a trainload of passengers is still fresh in the minds of the public. This morning the attorneys for the defence filed a motion to continue the case of Geo. Gibson, who may be regarded as the chief conspirator in the horrible plot against human life.

The motion was based on the alleged absence of nine material witnesses for the defense, and set forth that the latter would testify that Gibson was at Richland prior and subsequent to the train-wrecking; and could not have participated in that affair. Judge Hill granted the motion.

A similar request was made at once in the case of Allen M. Greenstreet and granted.

An Ode to The Frisco, Rolla Missouri  Picture by Snoop
An Ode to The Frisco, Rolla Missouri Picture by Snoop


THE OTHER CASE.

In the case of James Long and James Woodward, two lesser lights in the gang, the prosecution asked a continuance, preferring that the case of Gibson and Greenstreet should first be tried. In consequence the cases will not come up in court until the first Monday in March.

The tactics of the defense as plainly revealed to-day are delay. In case the state had insisted on a trial objections would have been made, in accordance with the law passed last winter, to Judge Hill presiding in the case, and another attorney would have been chosen from the bar; whereupon the defense would have probably filed a motion for a change of venue to another county. The policy of the defense is to weary out the State and by a series of delays to avoid coming to trial on absence of material witnesses.

An Ode to The Frisco, Rolla Missouri  Picture by Snoop
An Ode to The Frisco, Rolla Missouri Picture by Snoop


It is a notable fact that all the witnesses whose presence is now deemed imperatively necessary were in Richland but four weeks ago and it is more than hinted that the absence was secured as a necessary manoeuvre in the game of cheating the gallows of their due.

Again, it is made apparent to the people of this Judicial district that it has the misfortune to have a judge who has permitted himself to stand in the way of the swift execution of justice.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

PULASKI COUNTY POOR FARM INMATES BURIED IN COUNTY FARM CEMETERY

In an article written by Adlyn Shelden Willits in History Pulaski County Missouri, Volume II, she states “There is a large cemetery on the grounds where there about a hundred people buried.” Since these people were considered paupers and the County paid for their burial, there are few markers. The exact location of the County Farm Cemetery is being researched (August 2009). The cemetery has been abandoned and forgotten by most residents. The Pulaski County Historical Society published two volumes in 1984. These volumes included recording 124 cemeteries in Pulaski County. The Pulaski County Poor Farm Cemetery was not included. The following burials in the County Farm Cemetery were determined by searching the names recorded in the Poor Farm Ledger in the Missouri Death Certificates Database 1910-1958. It is doubtful that we will be able to determine burials before 1910, partially due to the fire that destroyed the Courthouse in 1903. Based on the names in the ledger we have positively identified 21 people whose final resting place is the County Farm cemetery. Their names are below. The list below only represents 35 years of the Poor Farms 83 years of operation. Ongoing efforts are being made to determine other burials on the grounds of the Pulaski County Poor Farm. The research is being conducted by Laura Huffman, Terrie Runion, and Jeff Huffman. We wish to Thank Marge Scott and The Pulaski County Courthouse Museum for granting us access to the Pulaski County Poor Farm Ledger. We also wish to Thank Ruby Carter who donated the Ledger to the Museum, Adlyn Willits who authored the 1987 article, and Betty Pritchett who has given us clues as to the location of the cemetery. This list will be amended as we find more people who are buried here. It is our hope that they continue to Rest In Peace and are never forgotten. To learn more about the Pulaski County Poor Farm see "Pulaski County, Missouri Poor Farm" and "Suggestions as to Sanitation & Management of County Almshouses", and "Inmates of Pulaski County Poor Farm 1874-1957"



ADMIRE, MARY J. FEB 25, 1820-JAN 11, 1916
ADMIRE, PHILLIP O. SEP 20, 1852-JAN 5, 1916
BALLARD, JESSE FEB, 1843-OCT 27, 1925
BALLARD, LAVINA OCT 1, 1854-NOV 5, 1932
BLACKWELL, SARAH CIRCA 1865-MAY 18, 1936
BRUFF, SAMUEL WESLEY APRIL 30, 1868-DEC 11, 1945
CURLEY, MARGARET MARY CIRCA 1860-JUNE 2, 1926
DUNCAN, JOHN MARSHALL AUG 12, 1854-JAN 12, 1922
FARR, JOHN ANDREW JAN 21, 1861-JULY 18, 1934
MASON, FRANK APRIL 11, 1872-FEB 5, 1944
McCULLOUGH, JOHN M. OCT 10, 1855-OCT 19, 1929
McCULLUM, RICHARD JAN 1860-JAN 30, 1928
McREA, E.M. CIRCA 1856-MARCH 27, 1919
PEEL, JAMES JULY 24, 1837-JAN 17, 1916
RICKERSON, CHARLES H. CIRCA 1833-JUNE 17, 1922
STROUP, THOMAS EDWARD AUG 8, 1877-SEP 8, 1928
SWINNEY, CHARLES EDWARD MARCH 28, 1866-DEC 13, 1948
WILLIAMS, ISAAC M. CIRCA 1847-OCT 20, 1913
WILLIAMS, JOHN FEB 12, 1869-FEB 17, 1918
VANGORDON, JAMES SCOTT APRIL 14, 1867-OCT 2, 1930
ZUMWALT, ZINC CIRCA 1847-OCT 15, 1929

UPDATE #1
BROYLES, CORA BELLE APR 8, 1871-AUG 29, 1951
GATES, ELIAS H. NOV 13, 1866- DEC 24, 1946

UPDATE#2
HENDERSHOT, WILLIAM JUNE 5, 1871-JULY 18, 1942

Saturday, August 22, 2009

INMATES OF PULASKI COUNTY POOR FARM 1874-1957

The list of the inmates of the Pulaski County Poor Farm has been presented to Museum Curator, Marge Scott. I am posting this list online to assist relatives who are researching their family's genealogy and to shed light on a part of Pulaski County's history that has been, mostly, overlooked and forgotten. This list of names is not a car wreck for bystanders to rubberneck, the names on this list are people who led lives and have stories to tell. They were mothers and fathers, daughters and sons, grandmothers and grandfathers, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, cousins, and friends to the people in their lives. Some were Veterans, some were helpless infants and children. A majority of names on this list are older people, who by no fault of their own, simply had no one left to take care of them, so their Golden Years were spent in the almshouse. Some people on this list were unable to take care of themselves, sometimes because of a disability, or a mental illness. Some just met unfortunate circumstances. This list is not a spectacle, but a labor of love and the desire to see that their names are not lost. If you have a family member on this list, and have something that you wish to share about their life, please leave a comment below, or email me at snoopdorkydork71@gmail.com. To learn more about the Pulaski County Poor Farm see "Pulaski County, Missouri Poor Farm" and "Suggestions as to Sanitation & Management of County Almshouses".

INMATES OF PULASKI COUNTY POOR FARM
1874-1957

THE FOLLOWING LIST MAY NOT BE COMPLETE. THIS LIST DOES INCLUDE THE ADMISSION DATE OF ALL PERSONS THAT ARE RECORDED IN THE PULASKI COUNTY POOR FARM LEDGER, AS WELL AS THE RECORDED DEATH DATE FOR PERSONS WHO DIED WHILE IN RESIDENCE. THE INDIVIDUALS AGE AT TIME OF ADMISSION IS IN ITALICS. THESE AGES MAY NOT ALWAYS BE CORRECT. ANY MISSPELLING OF NAMES IS UNINTENTIONAL. THE LEDGER IS VERY FRAGILE, AND SOME ENTRIES ARE WRITTEN IN PENCIL, MAKING IT HARD TO DECHIPER. PLEASE NOTE THAT THERE ARE NO ENTRIES FOR THE FOLLOWING YEARS, WHICH MAY INDICATE SEPARATE LEDGERS THAT MAY BE LOST:
1875-1878, 1880-1886, 1888-1890, 1892-1899, 1901-1902, 1904, 1909, 1945, 1947-1957

SKAGGS, CHRISTINA 65 JULY 1, 1874
ROAM, NANCY 45 JULY 20, 1887
SKAGGS, ELIZABETH 40 JULY 15, 1887 DIED SEPT 22, 1899
ADAMS, LEE 32 FEB 10, 1879
TAYLOR, LANDIS 50 JULY 11, 1887
WILLIAMS, JOHN 24 AUG 8, 1891
WHITEMOR, JOSHUA 54 FEB 19, 1900
BRYANT, JOHN 83 APRIL 19, 1900 DIED APRIL 25, 1900
BRYANT, SALLIE 75 APRIL 19, 1900
MUSGRAVE, ??? 76 APRIL 3, 1903 DIED MAY 15, 1903
BRYANT, SALLIE 78 SEP 22, 1903
BRYANT, JOSHUA 87 AUG 8, 1905
WHITEMAN, JOSHUA 59 MAR 7, 1906
ALLEN, NANCY UNK JUNE 14, 1907 DIED AUG 11, 1909
JERDEN, TOM 59 JUNE 30, 1907 DIED JULY 24, 1907
HURST, FAMILY OF SIX JUNE 26, 1908
HURST, TILLMAN T. UNK JUNE 26, 1908 DIED AUG 11, 1908
MATHEWS, T.M. 52 (MALE) NOV 20, 1908 DIED MAR 8, 1909
EATON, CARL 3 M/O INFANT MAY 31, 1910 DIED SEP 12, 1910
EATON, LULA 24 NOV 10, 1910
JONES, TOM 83 MAR 15, 1910 DIED APRIL 26, 1910
EARLY, MARY 51 DEC 10, 1911
YATES, JAMES 83 MAY 13, 1912
HULY, ??? 63 (FEMALE) JULY 17, 1912
WILLIAMS, J. 65 (MALE) SEP 30, 1912 DIED OCT 20, 1913
NOWLAND, TENNESSEE 68 (FEMALE) JULY 29, 1913 DIED SEP 15, 1923
BUCKNER, ALICE J. 40 MAR 10, 1914
BUCKNER, LIGGIS 13 (FEMALE) MARCH 10, 1914
BUCKNER, MAND 7 (FEMALE) MARCH 10, 1914
BUCKNER, BIRTHA 5 (FEMALE) MARCH 10, 1914

The Pulaski County Poor Farm Ledger
The Pulaski County Poor Farm Ledger. Photo by Snoop.


TOMLINSON, J.H. 85 (MALE) MAY 20, 1914
TOMLINSON, E.G. 85 (FEMALE) MAY 20, 1914
ADMIRE, PHILLIP O. 85 AUG 1, 1914 DIED JAN 5, 1916
ADMIRE, MARY J. 86 AUG 1, 1914 DIED JAN 11, 1916
*RICKERSON, CHARLES H. 102 SEP 11, 1914 DIED JUNE 17, 1922
THE AGE FOR MR RICKERSON IS PROBABLY INCORRECT, AS HIS DEATH CERTIFICATE LISTS HIS AGE AS 88
WALTONS (or WALTERS), HENRY 75 DEC 3, 1914
CLARK, MAY 11 JUNE 15, 1915
LOUTZE(?), JAMES 68 APRIL 7, 1915
MOLOS OR MOLDS, ??? UNK MALE AUG 15, 1915
QUATTEN, HENRY 75 JUNE 1, 1914
GERDES, ??? 20 (MALE) AUG 15, 1912
PEEL, JAMES 78 NOV 11, 1915 DIED JAN 17, 1916
VANGORDON, JAMES SCOTT 49 MAY 23, 1916 DIED OCT 2, 1930
GAEAN, LESTA 26 (FEMALE) AUG 15, 1916
SCHOBELL, SAMUEL 77 OCT 5, 1916 DIED OCT 30, 1916
SAMUEL’S DEATH CERTIFICATE IS RECORDED WITH THE LAST NAME OF “CLAPBELL”
SCHOBELL, LAVINGIA “LOVING” 62 FEMALE OCT 5 1916, RETURNED DEC 18, 1916
BLACK, N.A. 79 (FEMALE) JUNE 2, 1917 DIED JUNE 12, 1917
PLATT, NANCY A. 76 JUNE 6, 1917
NOWLAND, TENNESSEE 72 (FEMALE) JUNE 12, 1917
STONE, HENRY A. 67 AUG 17, 1917 DIED MAY 26, 1920
SHANNON, PAT 72 (MALE) AUG 20, 1917
STONER, MAY 24 DEC 29, 1917
STONER, JOHN HENRY BORN AND DIED FEB 17, 1918 (STILLBORN)
PLATT, MARY A. DIED JUNE 29, 1918
WILLIAMS, JOHN DIED FEB 17, 1918
ZUMWALT, ZINC 70 MALE OCT 12, 1918
WHITE, ARCHOY 70 NOV 10, 1918
MCCREA, E.M. 62 (MALE) DEC 30, 1912
RAY, JOHN 71 APRIL 10, 1919
MCCOLLUM, JOHN 69 MAY 7, 1919
DEAN, AMOS 77 JUNE 25, 1919
CLARK, IDA 56 OCT 13, 1919
WILLIAMS, MARION 70 MAY 7, 1920
BULL, WILLIAM 72 JULY 1, 1920 DIED NOV 23, 1921
VAN GORDON, JIM 53 DEC 12, 1920
BULL, JESSIE 44 JULY 1, 1920


BALLARD, ??? 78 1921
SAN FRANCISCO, OLIVE 16 FEB 9, 1921
BALLARD, JESSE 70 APRIL 12, 1921
GREEN, CELESTIA 32 APRIL 1, 1921
GURLEY, MARY 51 DEC 10, 1911
DUNCAN, J.M. 69 NOV 11, 1921 DIED JAN 18, 1922
SHLOTZHAUER, J. (MALE) DEC 22, 1922
JONES, GENIE 63 MAY 7, 1923 DIED MAY 2, 1924
MURRAY, JAMES 81 OCT 18, 1924 DIED DEC 11, 1924
MURRAY, JAMES MRS. 50? OCT 18, 1924
TIDBALL, MARGARET 67 AUGUST 15, 1925
BLACKWELL, SARAH 62 OCT 1, 1925 DIED MAY 18, 1936
HARRIS, NANCY E. 80 FEB 3, 19??
BALLARD, LIVONIA 62 0CT 12, 1921 DIED NOV 5, 1932
MABES, CURLEY 51 (FEMALE)
BAKER, JOHN THOMAS LORANZO 65 NOV 20, 1923
SVENGY, JOE 74 APRIL 18, 1923
SHLOTZHAUER, JAMES NOV 28, 1926
STROUP, THOMAS EDWARD 51 JUNE 21, 1927 DIED SEP 8, 1928
VAN GORDON, JAMES B. 60 OCT 30, 1926
BRAUN, NILES P. 75 NOV 7, 1925
HILLHOUSE, JAMES W. 68 FEB 16, 1928
CLAYTON, JOHN 76 AUG 15, 1928
KELLEY, CORA ETHEL 19 NOV 20, 1928
COMILL, EDMON 23 DEC 20, 1928
STROUP, CALVIN HOUSTON 70 MARCH 2, 1929
BRUFF, SAMUEL W. 62 FEB 24, 1930
MILLER, CHARLEY HERMANANNE 55 NOV 18, 1929
VAN GORDON, JAMES 63 JAN 10, 1930
GOSLIN, LUTHER M. 49 APRIL 13, 1930 DIED MAY 18, 1930
RICKERSON, WILLIAM 66 AUG 31, 1930
VAN GORDON, JAMES 63 SEP 23, 1930 DIED OCT 25, 1930
STROUP, CALVIN HOUSTON 71 NOV 10, 1930
BENDER, ELDEN 34 DEC 29, 1930
BRUFF, SAMUEL 63 JAN 5, 1931
STROUP, CALVIN HOUSTON 73 MARCH 13, 1932
PETTERS, JOHN RAYMON 18 JUNE 25, 1932
STROUP, CALVIN H. 73 JUNE 30, 1932
CLARK, EVA 42 JULY 29, 1932 DIED NOV 10, 1943
FARR, JOHN ANDREW 71 NOV 23, 1932
BRUFF, SAMUEL 64 FEB 14, 1933
GREY, HARRY JOHNSON 67 MARCH 12, 1933
WISEMAN, DAVID 72 MAY 6, 1933
STROUP, CALVIN H 73 JUNE 15, 1933 DIED JULY 2, 1933
MOORE, JAMES HENRY 73 JULY 31, 1933

The Pulaski County Poor Farm Ledger
The Pulaski County Poor Farm Ledger. Photo by Snoop


FARR, JOHN A. 72 NOV 17, 1933
CAMPBELL, WILLIAM F. 76 DEC 28, 1933
SCHAPP, JOHN 61 FEB 10, 1932
MOLES, JON 37 JAN 22, 1934
BRUFF, SAMUEL 65 JAN 1, 1934
LEWIS, ADDIE 70 APRIL 10, 1934
STEWARD, LOLA 36 APRIL 12, 1934
LYNCH, EDMOND 35 APRIL 12, 1934
WISEMAN, DAVID 73 APRIL 19, 1934 DIED OCT 8, 1935
MOORE, J.H. MAY 4, 1934
WILSON, MARY UNK MAY 11, 1934
MARY WAS TRANSFERRED TO STATE ASYLUM HOSPITAL #4 IN FARMINGTON. SHE RESIDED THERE 22 YEARS, 6 MONTHS, AND 14 DAYS BEFORE HER DEATH.
BARTLETT, GEORGE W. 68 JULY 3, 1934
CHRISTESON, LAFEYETTE 79 JULY 11, 1934
BRUFF, SAMUEL 66 OCT 1, 1934
TOOMBS, AMANDA 68 DEC 3, 1934
MALONE, SARAH BELLE 51 FEB 5, 1935
HOSS, ANDREW J. 76 MARCH 20, 1936
MARTIN, EDWIN H 68 DEC 13, 1936
HARRIS, NANCY E. 80 FEB 3, 1937
ELDREDGE, HOWARD UNK JAN 23, 1938
MITCHELL, GEORGE 65 JULY 11, 1938 DIED OCT 15, 1941
PLANTON, SIMON 58 DEC 19, 1938
CUMMINS, ELI 66 APRIL 22, 1939 DIED SEP 20, 1939
PAYNE, SID 60 SEP 7, 1939
HENDERSHOT, WILLIAM P. 68 MAY 15, 1940 DIED JULY 17, 1942
HERMAN, DOROTHY 12 JUNE 10, 1940
CAQULORD, GENE 62 NOV 28, 1940
MEALES, JOHN 43 SEP 20, 1940
GROVES, TOM 50 FEB 28, 1941 DIED MAR 23, 1941
CLARK, RILEY 31 MAY 28, 1941
SWINNEY, CHARLES 75 JAN 21, 1942 DIED DEC 16, 1948
KING, BOB 21 JULY 14, 1942
BOY, CORD 71 (FEMALE) AUG 6, 1942
MASON, FRANK 71 OCT 12, 1942 DIED FEB 5, 1944
HENDERSON, ISSA MAE 15 (FEMALE) OCT 7, 1942
WAGNER, ANN D. 47 DEC 12, 1942
MALONE, SALLY R. 70 MAY 9, 1943
ELLZEY, CYNTHIA 65 SEP 4, 1943
DIBBLE, EDD 88 SEP 11, 1943 DIED SEP 25, 1943
KENNEDY, SQUIRE 73 JAN 23, 1944
MAUS, NANCY ALICE 72 JUNE 25, 1944
OLIVAR, JOHNLSEE 86 JUNE 25, 1944 DIED JAN 26, 1947
BELL, KULL 66 (MALE) JUNE 1, 1946
YATES, ELIAS H. 87 DEC 16, 1941
BURKS, LA 97 (FEMALE)
CHRISTESON, IVA (FEMALE)



The Pulaski County Poor Farm Ledger
The Pulaski County Poor Farm Ledger. Picture by Snoop

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Train Wreckers Part II

Part II of the articles concerning the 1877 case of The Train Wreckers in Pulaski County, Missouri. Most of the records of this case were lost in the fire that destroyed the courthouse in Waynesville in 1903. Thankfully newspaper coverage of the events have survived, and I am posting them here so that others can read this colorful tale. The beginning of the story can be found in "The Train Wreckers Part I." This story is mentioned in Goodspeeds 1899 History of Laclede, Camden, Dallas, Webster, Wright, Texas, Pulaski, Phelps, and Dent counties. To learn more about Wood End, the settlement where this tragedy took place, please visit Mike Weber's article, "And Now, the Rest of The Story".

View of a railroad wreck.  Date and Location Unknown.
View of a railroad wreck. Date and Location Unknown. Picture courtesy of the Springfield-Greene County Library District.


Phelps County New Era June 23, 1877- Hon. V.B. Hill, Judge of this Circuit, we are informed, has ordered a special term of the Circuit Court, for this County to be holden at Waynesville on the 9th of July, (second Monday) for the trial of the parties under arrest with wrecking the train on June 2nd, near Woodend, this county. This will afford them an early opportunity of establishing their innocence, if innocent, as they claim, or mete out to them speedy punishment, as they deserve, if found guilty. [Richland Sentinel of June 22

Phelps County New Era July 14, 1877 The Train Wreckers.
WAYNESVILLE, PULASKI Co.,Mo.. July 10.- The men who, on the night of June 2, are supposed to have deliberately detached a passenger train just south of Woodend, on the St. Louis and San Francisco Road, killing Frank Caton, the engineer, his fireman, and E.L. Atkinson of Pacific, arrived here from Springfield at noon yesterday, in charge of Sheriff Hendricks and a large posse of deputies.
The names of the imprisoned quartet are: Geo. B. Gibson, son of a wealthy farmer living in Richland. Allen M. Greenstreet, a blacksmith, who did business in the same village. James Long, who never had an occupation. Leroy Oliver, who, like Gibson, is the son of a respectable farmer, living on the road between Waynesville and Crocker.
The prisoners are confined in the worst apology for a jail ever tolerated in a civilized community, the structure being built entirely of wood and affording neither protection for prisoners nor security against escape. The Grand Jury convened at noon yesterday, and were occupied all the afternoon in disposing of a couple of unimportant cases. This morning they gave their undivided attention to the case of
THE TRAIN WRECKERS
Which is being conducted on the part of the State by J.L. Johnson. Prosecuting Attorney of the county; assisted by John O’Day, Attorney for the St. Louis and San Francisco Railroad; Gen. E.Y. Mitchell, of Jefferson City, and O.H. Travers, of Springfield, Mo. The interests of the accused will be cared for by T.J. Moore, of Richland; Nixon of Lebanon, and Bland of Rolla; but Moore is the only one of the trio at present on hand. Mr. O’Day arrived this morning from Springfield, via Crocker, and at once went to work with a vim to expedite the investigation before
THE GRAND JURY.
In order that the prisoners might be punished or liberated as quickly as possible, as the testimony warranted. There does not seem to be the slightest foundation for whispered rumors which have been current, to the effect that it was altogether probable that the citizens of the county would take the law into their own hands. Diligent and judicious inqury by your correspondent reveals the fact that there is surprisingly little interest manifested in the case, which, owing to its diabolical character, has obtained almost hational notoriety. While it is conceded that the
OBJECT OF THE SCOUNDRELS
Who wrecked the train was to slaughter all who were not killed in the ditch, for the sake of securing what paltry sums of money, and articles of value, they might have on their persons, the atrocity of the crime does not seem to have agitated the community any more than if it had been an ordinary occurrence in the criminal line. Sheriff Hendricks has not the remotest fear of mob law, and does not anticipate a particle of trouble. The
DEMEANOR OF THE PRISONERS
also denotes that they are not in the slightest degree uneasy. En route to this village the sang songs and told stories in the most jocular manner. but whether their air of braggadocio was mostly for the sake of keeping their courage up could only be conjectured. The only St. Louisan present, except the newspaper correspondents, is John Eagan, the famous detective, who is known all over the land, from the extraordinary success which he achieved in hunting down such expert and sly old counterfeiters, as Driggs, Boyd. Wookey, Bebusch, Trout, Copping, Driggs, and nephew, Guthrie, and others of that ilk.
On the morning of the tragedy railroad officials sent for
DETECTIVE EAGAN,
who had previously been in their employ, and placed the case in his hands. On Monday morning--the accident occurred Saturday night--Eagan proceeded to Lebanon, where he met Assistant Superintendent D.H. Nichols, to whom probably more than any other one man the credit for discovering the perpetrators of the foul crime is due. After an interview, in which the programme to be adopted was laid out, Eagan went to Springfield, where he met that efficient officer, Deputy United States Marshall Langston. And the pair then took the night train to Richland, a station about five miles south of where the murder was enacted, and where some
LIVELY WORK
was accomplished. Oliver, who had allowed his tongue to wag a little, was the first man placed under arrest, and he was prevailed upon to squeal in a very short time. Oliver detailed the particulars of the diabolical plot, and his three associates were at once placed behind prison bars. The particulars of their arrest have already been published. Oliver was the first witness taken before the Grand Jury this morning, and the confession which he made to the detectives was rehearsed for their benefit. George Morgan, the postmaster at Richland, had several
CONVERSATIONS WITH GIBSON
the morning after the wreck, in which many damaging admissions were made, was also examined at length in relation thereto. Smith, the brakeman, and Wilson the conductor of the ill fated train, were also heard. The former, who was out with his red light that morning, saw Gibson in its glare, and, it is said, can swear positively to his identification. The conductor, who was shot at, the ball passing through his hat, just above the band, gave the particulars of the shooting, but failed to identify his assailant. On the testimony of the brakeman who recognized Gibson, Morgan, to whom Gibson gave himself away and on
OLIVER’S CONFESSION
the testimony against Gibson is probably more conclusive than against any of the others, although it is most positive against them.
The indictments as drawn up occupy about thirty-eight pages of foolscap. The first indictment is for the killing of Frank Caton. It contains eight counts. The first count charges James Long, Allen Greenstreet, and Geo. Gibson, as principals, and Leroy Oliver and others, to the Grand Jury unknown, as accessories, with killing Caton, the engineer, by tearing up the railroad track, precipitating the engine into the ditch and scalding and burning him to death. The other indictments charge all four with killing Dr. Atkinson and Sam Richardson, the fireman, in the same way.
Less than a decade later, the town of Woodend had been renamed Swedeborg.  1888 Commissioners Official Railway Map of Missouri
Less than a decade later, the town of Woodend had been renamed Swedeborg. 1888 Commissioners Official Railway Map of Missouri

DELAY PROBABLE.
Although this special term of Court was called for the express purpose of trying these cases, and the prosecution has announced its readiness to go on with them; it is not likely that anything will be done untill the October term, the defense being anxious for a continuance mainly for the reason that the State law, which permits defendants in criminal cases to testify in their own behalf, goes into effect the 30th of the present month. Old man Greenstreet stated this morning that he was anxious to have the charges against his son investigated at once, but the others are not so willing.
RICHLAND, Mo., July 11.--The Grand Jury, before adjourning, last night, placed a fifth one of the Richland train-wreckers, who has not yet cut any figure in the case on, the road to the scaffold or the Penitentiary. The name of the individual is Jas. Woodward, who lives about twenty miles below Dixon. Woodward bought Greenstreet & Gibson’s saloon, at Richland, and ran it for two or three weeks, selling it back to to the original proprietors a day or two before
THE KILLING.
Of Caton, Atkinson and Richardson. While in the whiskey business Woodward violated the revenue law, for which he was arrested and placed in Jail at Rolla, where he now lies, but will probably be surrendered to the State authorities on the grave charge of murder. The prisoner is a gambler of the worst class, and border ruffian of the most pronounced type.
ONE MORE,
Your correspondent learned this afternoon that another man, in addition to Woodward, had been indicted for complicity in the train wrecking and murder. His name could not be ascertained, but the arrest will follow in a day or two, his whereabouts being known. It is stated on good authority that there were ten scoundrels engaged in the affair, and it will be proven on the trial that they intended to murder every soul on the train. They had clubs in readiness to brain to brain those who were mangled too badly to run, and intended shooting all who attempted to get away. The bodies were then to be thrown into the wreck; to which the torch was to have been applied, thus destroying all evidences of the crime. It has been stated that the affair was
POORLY PLANNED.
because the Saturday night run is always the lightest of the week. This idea is a false one. It is true that passenger traffic is always light on Saturday night, which was a big point in favor of the robbers, their main object being to capture the express matter from Texas, which on Saturday nights only goes via the St. Louis and San Francisco Road, the Missouri, Texas, and Kansas not running a train on that night. At a late hour in the afternoon, the prisoners, Greenstreet, Gibson, and Long were
BROUGHT INTO COURT.
After which their shackles were removed. State Senator Wallace, of counsel for the defense, then made application for a continuance, which Judge Hill granted at the defendants’ costs. A request was then made that subpoenas be issued for certain witnesses, which was granted, and court adjourned for the term. The continuance granted throws the case over until the first Monday in September.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Train Wreckers Part I

I first heard mention of "The Train Wreckers" in Goodspeed's 1899 History of Pulaski County, Missouri, while I was researching The Pulaski County Poor Farm. Since the trial was in 1878, twenty five years before the Courthouse was struck by lightning and burned to the ground, I assumed that the details of this case were lost to time. I was thrilled when I came across accounts of the incident in the Phelps County New Era newspaper. I have copied the full text of the articles, as they were printed, and will be posting them in this forum.
An 1880's Era St. Louis-San Francisco Railway Engine
An 1880's Era St. Louis-San Francisco Railway Engine

A Murderous Act

Daring Attempt To Wreck and Rob A Train


Phelps County New Era June 9, 18777- A daring attempt by a band of would be train robbers caused a serious accident on the St. Louis and San Francisco railway on Saturday night last, about 11 miles west of Wood End, a point 155 miles from St. Louis. The particulars of the occurrence as obtained from D. Wishart, general passenger agent of the road, are as follows:

The regular Saturday night Texas Express which is due in St. Louis Sunday morning at 6:15, encountered last Saturday night a severe storm of wind and rain some two hundred miles from St. Louis. The storm was so fierce that the speed of the train, consisting of baggage, second-class, first-class, and Pullman cars, was slackened to 10 miles per hour. While running thus through the heart of the Ozark Mountains and on a very lonely point on the road the engine was
THROWN FROM THE TRACK.
By some misplaced rails and turned completely over down a forty foot embankment. The engineer, Frank Caton, was so badly injured that he died in two hours, and the fireman and a DR. E.L. Atkins, of Pacific City who was riding on the engine, were instantly killed. The baggage car was partially overturned, but no one within it received any injury. The other cars remained on the track, and with no damage to their occupants. The engineer lived long enough to testify to have seen a man upon or near the track, and also some slight obstruction. He reversed the engine, applied the air-brakes, and was at the same instant whirled with his engine down the embankment. The first imitation of catastrophe received by Conductor Wilson of the train was a sudden checking of the train, as though the air-brakes had been applied. He sprang to the door and perceiving at once that something serious had occurred, jumped from the car and proceeded as fast as the darkness would permit him toward the front of the train. While scaling a fence which he found was in his way some half dozen pistol shots were discharged at him, one ball passing through his hat. The passengers, many of whom heard the shots, were much alarmed. One passenger claims to have seen
1872 Asher & Adams Railroad Map of Pulaski County, Missouri, showing the settlement of Woodend between Crocker and Richland.
1872 Asher & Adams Railroad Map of Pulaski County, Missouri, showing the settlement of Woodend between Crocker and Richland.

FOUR OR FIVE MEN
By the light of the pistol flashes, but Conductor Wilson saw no one. The dastards, who by misplacing the rails caused the accident, had evidently expected that the passenger cars would be thrown down the embankment, but finding that this had not happened they were not bold enough to attack the train, and so sneaked away into the woods. As said before-the fireman, Samuel Richardson, was instantly killed, as also Dr. Atkison. As soon as lights could be had, an examination of the cause of the accident was made. It was then found that two rails (one on each side) had been unjoined and swung around so as to tip the engine over almost to a certainty. The work had been skillfully done, and close by were found a new monkey-wrench, a claw-hammer, and a pick, which may be of great service in tracing the perpetrators of the foul deed.
Before any aid could be obtained it was necessary to walk back seven miles to Richland, the nearest telegraph station. From Richland an engine was sent up to the scene of the accident, with a physician, but when it arrived the unfortunate engineer had breathed his last. The train with its twenty passengers was eventually brought on to St. Louis, arriving in this city yesterday at 2:30 P.M.. Mr Wishart, general passenger agent of the road, was at the time on his way down to Springfield. He returned to the city with the disabled train.
FRANK CATON,
The engineer, who was killed, was one of the oldest and best engineers upon the road, having been ten years running upon it. He left a wife and three children living at Pacific.
Samuel Richardson, the fireman, was a single man, who also lived at Pacific. Dr. E.L. Atkison had been for some time located at Pacific, but came originally from St. Louis, where he had a mother, brother, sister, and many friends. He was acquainted with Caton, the engineer, and when the train stopped for supper, the latter invited him to ride a little while on the engine, which invitation he readily accepted. The accident occurred at 9:20 P.M.----[Ex.
LATER.
Four of the desperados who wrecked the train at Wood End on Sunday night last, have been captured; their names are Leroy Oliver, Geo. B. Gibson, Jas. Long, and Allen M. Greenstreet, and all are residents in the immediate neighborhood of the scene of the deed. Oliver, who is only 20 years of age, has turned States evidence and made a full confession, giving the names of all the parties concerned in this dastardly deed. Four of the gang are still at large, but the large reward of one thousand dollars that is offered for their arrest, has stirred up every officer for miles around, and it is not likely that they will be able to get away. Gov. Brockmeyer is determined to have them prosecuted with vigor. and will request the judge of the circuit court to hold a special term for the trial of those already arrested. A speedy conviction will no doubt follow, whatever the sentence may be, it cannot be too severe---hanging is too good for such miscreants.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Devil's Elbow Motel, Ruins Of Route 66

I do not know any of the history of this place, so if anyone has any information, please email me at snoopdorkydork71@gmail.com, or comment below. I would like to be able to piece together the story of this place. I was able to find a vintage postcard of the old motel. The Devil's Elbow Motel is still standing, but is not in any type of a livable condition. It looks like the owners of the property may have turned it into apartments at one time, the present day fate of S&G Motel in Buckhorn, Missouri. However, the units today are uninhabitable, but the office building has been converted into a private residence and is a rental property. The brick wall pictured in front of the office is only a memory. No trace remains of the sign and what became of it is unknown.

A Vintage Postcard of Devil's Elbow Motel
A Vintage Postcard of Devil's Elbow Motel


Devil's Elbow Motel, Summer 2009.  The backside of a billboard on Interstate 44 can be seen on the right side of the picture.  The construction of I-44 was the end of the Route 66 heyday in the Devil's Elbow, Missouri area.  Picture by Snoop
Devil's Elbow Motel, Summer 2009. The backside of a billboard on Interstate 44 can be seen on the right side of the picture. The construction of I-44 was the end of the Route 66 heyday in the Devil's Elbow, Missouri area. Picture by Snoop


Consider a building with a few broken windows. If the windows are not repaired, the tendency is for vandals to break a few more windows.-The Atlantic Monthly
Consider a building with a few broken windows. If the windows are not repaired, the tendency is for vandals to break a few more windows.-The Atlantic Monthly. Photo by Snoop.


The section of the motel shown on the right side of the vintage postcard as it looks in August 2009.  Picture by Snoop
The section of the motel shown on the right side of the vintage postcard as it looks in August 2009. Picture by Snoop


The two sections of the motel meet.
The two sections of the motel meet. Photo by Snoop.


The section that runs parallel to Route 66
The section that runs parallel to Route 66. Picture by Snoop.


Another view of the section that runs parallel to Route 66.  Picture by Snoop.
Another view of the section that runs parallel to Route 66. Picture by Snoop.


The end unit, behind the office.  Not visible from Route 66.
The end unit, behind the office. Not visible from Route 66. Photo by Snoop.


Interior of a unit in The Devil's Elbow Motel
Interior of a unit in The Devil's Elbow Motel. Picture by Snoop


Interior of a unit in The Devil's Elbow Motel.  Oddly, I do not recall seeing any toilet or shower facilities in this unit.  A far cry from the refuge that a traveler of Route 66 would have found during the motels heyday.  Picture by Snoop.
Interior of a unit in The Devil's Elbow Motel. Oddly, I do not recall seeing any toilet or shower facilities in this unit. A far cry from the refuge that a traveler of Route 66 would have found during the motels heyday. Picture by Snoop.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Old Brownfield, Missouri?

My brother has been searching for the old town of Brownfield, Missouri. We have located the location of the Brownfield Store, near the Brownfield Baptist Church on Highway K. We are assuming that this area is New Brownfield. Google Maps shows Brownfield as being at the intersection of Flagstone and Fairview Road.

However, on a recent "off the beaten path" trip in Kyle's Bronco, we saw some old buildings that made us think that maybe it was actually located down Fair Road, off of Fairview Road. If you can identify these structures, please email me at snoopdorkydork71@gmail.com

A structure on Fair Road, that we believe may have once been a store. Photo by Snoop


A wonderful old barn on Fair Road, not far from the Pulaski County Line. Photo by Snoop


A sign, done in the style of the sign on the M*A*S*H* television show, pointed us further down the road to Blackberry Meadow, Eagle Point, Gasconade River, Gravel Bar, and Katie Spring. Fair Road was gated before we reached the Gasconade River, but before we got to the gate we found this beauty:

Farm House at End of Fair Road. Photo By Snoop.


I am not an expert on old houses, but I am guessing that this was built in the mid to late 1800's, with the Victorian style front addition built on later. I bet this grand old lady has quite a few stories to tell. If anyone knows of any of them, please share!

I have also learned that there are two cemeteries in Old Brownfield, Missouri. Jeff pointed out a "cemetery" somewhere on this road trip, but I do not recall where we were when we found it. He pointed back off the road, at what he had been told was a cemetery. We will have to go back when the leaves are off the trees to be able to tell for sure.

Nicks Cemetery: Laclede County, on a farm owned by Dr. Harvey Nickels. Highway 17 South to Old Brownfield.

Nicks Cemetery: Pulaski County, on a farm owned by Earl Nicks. Highway 17 South to Old Brownfield.

Cemetery directions from "Tombstone Inscriptions Throughout Pulaski County" available at the 1903 Pulaski County Missouri Courthouse Museum.

Plane Afire; Falls; 30 Die


The following is a newspaper article reporting on the doomed American Airlines Flight 476 which crashed August 4th, 1955 just shy of the runway at Fort Leonard Wood, MO. There were no survivors. It was printed in the Chicago Tribune, August 5, 1955. For more newspaper articles concerning this flight please see: "AMERICAN AIRLINES FLIGHT 476 AUGUST 4, 1955", 30 Killed In Flaming Airliner", "Pilot Had 4 Children"

Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., Aug. 4 (AP)--An American Airlines Convair, with one of its wings burned off and desperately trying for an emergency landing carried 30 persons to a flaming death on this military reservation today.

There were no survivors. Among the dead were four Chicagoans.

The two engine plane crashed in woods not far from the reservation's housing area where about 5,000 persons live.

Rescue workers, hampered for hours by intense heat from the wreckage and burning underbrush, finally recovered all the bodies. Fewer than a third of the bodies could be readily identified; the rest were charred beyond recognition.

Pilot Struggles to Land

The 27 passengers and three crewmen included eight women, two children and a Catholic priest.

Witnesses said veteran pilot Capt. Hugh Barron of Tulsa, Okla., fought desperately to glide his crippled plane onto the military airstrip for an emergency landing even as one of the wings dropped off in flames.

The plane plummeted in flames a quarter-mile from where the wing burned off.

Eyewitnesses at the housing area told how the stricken plane roar overhead, only a few hundred feet above the ground.

"At first we thought he (the pilot) would make it," said Beverly Streeter, a WAC private from Asbury Park, N. J.

"Then we heard muffled explosions. Parts seemed to be dropping from the plane. We lost sight of it after that."

Near Landing Filed

Over Lebanon, 30 miles away, smoke had been seen pouring from one of the engines.

The heavily wooded area where the plane crashed was only one-half of a mile short of the post landing field. But the terrain was so rugged it took bulldozers two hours to slash a temporary road to the scene.

Between 150 and 200 soldiers joined in fighting the forest fire which spread over a one-third square mile as a result of the crash.

The Convair had taken off from Springfield, Mo., only a short time earlier. It was winging its way from Tulsa, Okla., to La Guardia airport, New York, via Chicago, under clear skies.

Seeks Emergency Landing

Suddenly one of the engines caught fire. Capt. Barron radioed that the No. 2 (right) engine was afire and he was goin to attempt an emergency landing.

An onlooker said the plane barely cleared the reservation administration buildings at a height of about 200 feet. One wing was tipped downward. Seconds later if fell off. And then came the flaming crash.

The priest aboard was the Rev. George L. Krock, 47, a Roman Catholic missionary and member of the Maryknoll order who recently returned from Guatemala where he was assigned in 1950.

With Barron who had been with American since 1942, were First Officer William G. Gates, also of Tulsa, and Stewardess Thelma Ruth Ballard of Salisbury, N.C.

Another American Airlines plane, also a Convair, crashed last March 20 with the loss of 13 lives in coming in for a landing at the Springfield airport, 80 miles southwest of here.

(Capt. Barron was the central figure in a dramatic crash landing at Glenview naval air station last November. His Convair, with 43 persons aboard, including Mrs. William Stratton, wife of Gov. Stratton of Illinois, circled Chicago for 68 minutes while its crew struggled to release the right main landing gear. Then with its fuel supply almost exhausted, the Convair crash landed on the jet runway at Glenview. The airplane rolled on its left landing gear for 4,000 feet before the right wing tip dipped and dragged, and the plane came to a stop. None of the passengers was hurt.)



Monday, August 17, 2009

Suggestions as to Sanitation & Management of County Almshouses

This is part of my ongoing efforts to research the history of the Pulaski County, Missouri Poor Farm. The text was copied from a document found in the 1903 Pulaski County Courthouse Museum. The original document that is in the museum is typewritten on faded, yellowed paper. I do not know if it is an original document to the Poor Farm itself, or if it is a copy that someone typed up at a later time. At this time, I have not done research on this particular document to attempt to date the paper. For further reading, please see my blog entry "Pulaski County, Missouri Poor Farm".

Suggestions as to Sanitation & Management of County Almshouses

The county Almshouse and inmates are under the control of the superintendent. No inmate shall leave the premises without permission from the superintendent.

Inmates shall arrive at once when the signal sounds and promptly respond to the call to meals.

After breakfast each inmate shall go to work as directed by the superintendent or his assistants.

No lights will be allowed after eight o’clock p.m. except in rooms where there are sick persons.

Quarreling and use of profane or obscene language is expressly forbidden.

No spitting or filth of any kind will be allowed on the floors, or to be thrown out the windows. Spittoons must be cleaned everyday.

Every inmate will have to bath when admitted, and once a week, or oftener, thereafter, if required by the superintendent.

Smoking in the sleeping apartments, or in other rooms, except the sitting rooms, is prohibited.

Inmates in good health will not be allowed to occupy the sleeping apartments during the day. The rooms will be closed when the inmates leave them in the morning and remain closed until bedtime.

Each person will be held responsible for the care of his room, seeing to it that the same is kept in good order.

It is the duty of the superintendent to enforce these rules strictly and impartially. Inmates refusing to comply herewith are liable to be punished as the superintendent may deem necessary. Any inmate showing violence, disobedience, or disrespect to the superintendent or his family, or to any assistant, shall be liable to be imprisoned or discharged.

Some kind of chemical fire extinguisher should be placed on each story of the building and two or more members of the family taught to use it.

Complete medical and physical examination should be made by a physician of each patient on his or her entrance to the County Home.

A sufficient supply of clothing should be furnished to the inmates in order for them to present a clean and tidy appearance.

When inmates are sick their relatives should at once be notified of same. When death occurs, if the body is not claimed after sufficient time has elapsed, the body should be interred at institution and the name, place of birth, and age marked upon a stone and placed at head of grave.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Pulaski County, Missouri Poor Farm

I intend to write articles about the Pulaski County Poor Farm as I research this overlooked piece of Pulaski County's past.



Pulaski County Poor Farm, Resident's Home, 2009. Photo by Snoop.


During the Summer of 2008, Terrie and I, went to the Old Courthouse Museum in Waynesville, seeking information on an old bridge located in Pulaski County. We toured the museum and at the top of the stairs, leading to the court room, is a display with an old ledger. The ledger grabbed my attention. This summer I decided to go back and take another look at the old journal. I returned to the Museum and after explaining my mission to Marge Scott, I was allowed to read and record the names listed in the book. Marge let me set up shop in the old vault of the 1903 Court House, armed with a notebook, a pen, and the camera on my cell phone. Some would think that I was crazy for wanting to spend an August Saturday afternoon in an 106 year old room, with no air conditioning, reading through a book that is possibly 135 years old. The people who are listed in this book have a story to be told, and I hope to be able to tell it.

The Pulaski County Poor Farm, or County Farm, is not often referenced. It is mentioned in Chapter 6, “The Late Nineteenth Century Landscape”, of an unknown book by an author whose last name, I believe, is Smith. I think this report was written in 1993. The author states:

“For the mentally incapacitated, and the destitute, a Poor Farm was established in 1876, two miles south of Waynesville. In 1889 it had 100 acres under cultivation but the buildings “are in somewhat inferior condition.” The farm had four male, eight female inmates, two of them being of “unsound mind.””

The author lists his source for this tidbit of information as Goodspeed Publishing, History of Laclede, etc., p. 809. I believe that Goodspeed may be off a year or two, because the earliest entry in the ledger is that of Christine Skaggs, who was admitted July 1, 1874.

Coincidently, the work by Smith, speaks of old roads in Pulaski County in the late nineteenth century. I was able to locate the Poor Farm by his description, but hesitate to disclose the location, as the property is currently abandoned. The property has 110 years of County Farm history attached to it, and I would hate for it to fall victim of vandals. For those genuinely interested in the history of the Pulaski County Poor Farm, please email me at snoopdorkydork71@gmail.com and I will provide you with directions.

Pulaski County Poor Farm is also mentioned in “History Pulaski County Missouri, Volume II” published in 1987. The article was written by Adlyn Shelden Willits. This book is still available for purchase at the Courthouse Museum. The research for her article also included conversations with people who remembered some of the residents of the Poor Farm. Mrs. Willits’ article states “There is a large cemetery on the grounds where about 100 people are buried.”

After conducting research on the names recorded in the Pulaski County Poor Farm Ledger, I have been able to confirm the burials of 22 souls who were laid to rest in this forgotten cemetery. I will post those names on this blog next Saturday after I have handed the list to Marge Scott, the Curator of The Pulaski County Courthouse Museum.

There is already a published record of one of the individuals whose final resting place is The County Farm Cemetery. The same volume of History Pulaski County Missouri, has a short article about the life of Charles H. Rickerson. The article was written by John Andrew Rickerson, a great, great grandson and confirms the burial of Charles H. Rickerson, a Civil War Veteran, in the abandoned cemetery of the Pulaski County Poor Farm.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Vernelle's Motel, A Survivor's Story


Vernelle's Motel, a survivor of multiple road alignments, is still open for business. Photo by Snoop.

Terrie and I took a short trip exploring Sugar Tree Road on July 30th. Our first stop was to pop in and visit Ed Goodridge at Vernelle's Hotel. Ed waved us across and we visited with him and Foxy for a bit before we headed down the road to John's Modern Cabins.

Ed Goodridge, Proprietor of Vernelle's Motel, and his companion, Foxy. Photo by Snoop.


Vernelle's Motel opened in 1938 and has endured all the road alignments that have occurred in the past 7 decades. Ed was quick to remind us that he is still open for business. For those who love The Mother Road, an overnight at Vernelle's is a must. His business card advertises Clean Rooms and Reasonable Rates.

Vernelle's Motel, 8 Miles West of Rolla MO, on Historic Route 66


Vernelle's history can be traced back to the late 1930's when it first opened as Gasser Tourist Court. The name was changed to Vernelle's after Fred and his wife, Vernelle, bought the tourist court from Fred's uncle, E.P. Gasser. The couple expanded on the original tourist court, which consisted of six cabins, a novelty store, and a gas pump. In 1952 Fred and Vernelle Gasser built a hotel and a restaurant on the property. Travelers refueled at Cities Service Station. A petting zoo was used at one time to entice travelers to come off the road and part with some of their cash.

In the book The Route 66 Cookbook: Comfort Food From The Mother Road, written by Marian Clark, Vernelle states “We served a lot of barbecue and chicken. Soldiers from Fort Leonard Wood were some of our best customers.” Sadly, the restaurant closed in 1957, to make room for the new four lane alignment of Route 66. A part of Vernelle’s Café lives on in The Route 66 Cookbook. Marian Clark shares Vernelle’s recipe for Vernelle’s Café French Dressing.

Vernelle's Motel & Cafe before the
Vernelle's Motel & Cafe before the "new" 4 lane alignment of Route 66.


The hotel has changed hands in it’s 71 year history. Forest Riley purchased the place and then sold it to Nye Goodridge in 1960. The Route 66 icon has stayed in the Goodridge clan since then with Ed at the helm today.

The Vernelle’s Motel sign, a mainstay, on Route 66 is original, dating back to 1952. The Route 66 preservation group, Friends of The Mother Road, gave the sign a fresh coat of paint in the last few years.


Vernelle's Motel On Old Route 66. Photo by Snoop.


Vernelle’s Motel is off the beaten path, not even visible from the most recent round of road improvements of Interstate 44, and almost 60 years from today's interstate traffic. A visit with Ed and a stay at the motel is good for the soul.

Vernelle's Motel, Life in The Slow Lane, Photo By Snoop


For more information or to make reservations at Vernelle's Motel, contact Ed Goodridge at:

10891 Sugartree Outer Road
Newburg, MO 65550

Phone: (573) 762-2798

http://www.route66motels.com/vernelles/vernellesmotel.html

Pilot Had Four Children

The following is a newspaper article reporting on the doomed American Airlines Flight 476 which crashed August 4th, 1955 just shy of the runway at Fort Leonard Wood, MO. There were no survivors. It was printed in the Florence County News, August 5, 1955.


NEW YORK, Aug. 4 (AP) Capt. HUGH C. BARRON, pilot of the American Airlines Convair plane which crashed today at Ft. Leonard Wood, Mo., killing all 30 persons aboard, was the father of four children.
The 46-year-old flier, American Airlines officials here said, joined the line in 1942 after owning and operating a flying school at Macon, Ga. He was born in Laurens County, Ga., and lived at Tulsa, Okla.
Other crew members aboard the plane were:
First Officer WILLIAM G. GATES, 35, of Tulsa. Born at Tyrone, Pa., he had been with American Airlines since 1945.
Stewardess THELMA RUTH BALLARD, 21, a native of Salisbury, N. C., but now of Tulsa, was graduated only last May from the airline's school for stewardess at Chicago. She has a sister, MRS. G. O. BARGER, of 133 Jackson Homes, Charlotte, N. C. Her mother is MRS. MAUDE BALLARD of Salisbury.

Florence Morning News South Carolina 1955-08-05