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Episode OS10 - 3rd Qtr 1879 - Life in Oak Springs and more

Updated on November 24, 2017
Homeplace Series profile image

Dr. Bill's first passion is family history. His second is a passion for creating family saga, historical fiction stories that share it.

The Celebration was in Centennial Park

Fourth of July Decorations
Fourth of July Decorations | Source

July items of interest

The 4th of July Celebration in Oak Springs was held in Centennial Park for the third straight year. The former Town Square, at Main and Central, was coming to be the center of much town activity as the community developed. The celebration was well attended and positive reports were heard from the throughout the community. The committee of business people, chaired by Jacobi Inman, struck a positive note with their mix of patriotic speeches and family activities and games through the afternoon. Most folks we spoke to hoped the committee would follow a similar plan next year, and the years to come.

The Reverend Willis Bailey had notices in the Oak Springs Enterprise that Methodist Church services would begin the first Sunday in September and plan to meet every week. Arrangements had been made with the Sunday School to hold the service at 11 a. m. in the Community Building shortly after the close of the Sunday School classes. Silas Adams, Superintendent of the Sunday School, speaking for the coordinating committee, was quoted as saying he welcomed the church service and was pleased to be able to cooperate.

Simeon Bishop announced that his committee would put on the First Annual Oak Creek Valley Fair on the first Saturday in August. The Fair would be held in the Town Park area south of Patton Pond, in the southwest corner of the town. With the relatively short notice, the Fair would run from noon until dusk, with a closing fireworks display. Judged exhibits would be limited to pies, cakes, breads, jams and flower arrangements in the nearby Community Building. A limited number of prized livestock animals would be on display, but would not be judged this year. Several commercial and non-commercial exhibits would be on display for the afternoon. Organized games for families and for children would also be provided. Participating families were encouraged to bring a picnic lunch for the evening meal and music would be provided for listening and dancing during the early evening prior to the fireworks. The Committee planned to take comments on the event this year and immediately begin planning for a similar Fair in 1880.

The Valley Fair was Festive

Balloons at the Fair
Balloons at the Fair | Source

August items of interest

The First Annual Oak Creek Valley Fair was deemed a success by the organizing committee and by most participants. There were many suggestions gathered for how to make it better in 1880, but those participating in the several events commended the committee on organizing a fine event in such a short period of time.

Discussions surrounding both the 4th of July and the Fair led quickly to consideration of formation of a Commercial Club among business owners and interested others in the community to provide an ongoing coordinating organization for the many activities that were now beginning to occur throughout the year. Several persons coming in from other, larger communities suggested that this was an excellent path to follow. The success of earlier cooperative moves by members of the business community, such as new people moving to the valley, was also a prime consideration. Jacobi Inman, Simeon Bishop and Joseph Cox took the lead in the organizational effort.

The Reverend Willis Bailey conducted a double wedding ceremony at the Joseph Cox home on Sunday afternoon, August 10. Two sons of Joseph and Tetisha Cox married two daughters of Nathan and Sharon Bishop, of the west valley. Coleman Cox married Ada Bishop and Roy Cox married Pearl Bishop. A reception for family and friends was held in the yard of the Cox home on the bright, sunshine-filled afternoon. Coleman and his bride will make their home at the Cox family farm in the west valley. Roy and his bride will make their home at the former Duncan farm, recently purchased by Joseph Cox from Amanda Duncan.

Russell Nixon reported three additional births in the west valley, not preciously mentioned. Peter and Jane Riley had a daughter, Sallie, born in May. Henry and Isabella Medley had a son, Peter, also born in May. Judah and Victoria Kendrick had a daughter, Chloe, born in June.

They worked on their farm roads

A farm road of the time
A farm road of the time | Source

September items of interest

The 1879-1880 school year opened with a combined enrollment of 76 students in the twelve grades on the first Monday in September. Parents were invited to attend an Open House scheduled for the last Friday of September in both schools. They were advised to move between schools to be sure to see what each of the students had prepared for them to see about what they were learning.

The expected wedding of Aron Cunningham and Bonnie Die was conducted on Sunday afternoon, September 14, at the home of the bride’s parents, Jasper and Leannah Die, in the west valley by the Reverend Willis Bailey. The couple had been engaged since the previous December. They will make their home in a cottage recently finished on the Cunningham family farmstead.

Effective September 1, Ralph Campbell became President of the Oak Springs Savings Bank, replacing his father, Victor. Victor Campbell retained his position as Chairman of the Bank Board of Directors.

Ralph and Sally Rhodes Campbell announced that Joseph Carver, who had been working at their Dry Goods Store for more than a year as well as at his father’s farm in the west valley, had been promoted to Assistant Manager and would now work full-time in the store. Sally Campbell would continue to serve as Manager.

Russell Nixon reported in his Locals column in the Oak Springs Enterprise on a discussion with Karl King regarding roads and bridges in the near west valley. Karl expressed his appreciation, on behalf of the several farmers in the area, to Delbert Campbell, Western Township Trustee, and to Gideon Inman, County Commissioner, for the work recently completed for which planning had begun over two years prior. The county had designated a low-traffic bridge be built over Center Creek on the west end of Patton Road to extend Patton Road west to near the ridge, where it now connects with the Houston Road a half-mile to the north. The bridge was built with a load weight limit much less that being used by the bridge on Houston Road, for example, for use of local farmers. The County Commission had determined several of these could be built in needed areas throughout the county for much less cost than the higher traffic bridges traditionally used. This was the first built for evaluation, over the next year, to see if it met local needs. Local farmers had contributed labor, animals and equipment to assist the county in doing the road and bridge work in a cooperative effort under County leadership.

Note from the author

This is the tenth episode of a new short story (OSx) series, Life in Oak Springs. The stories are set in the Ozarks Mountains setting of “The Homeplace Saga” series of family saga historical fiction. This episode is for the Third Quarter of the calendar year 1879, following the 40 episodes of “The Kings of Oak Springs” stories. That series had followed the time period of the “American Centennial at the Homeplace: The Founding (1833-1876)” collection of short stories. Some of these earlier stories are published on The Homeplace Saga blog, found at the link, below. These OSx episodes move the story forward for the entire "Saga" series.

The first 20 episodes of the King Family series have now been compiled into an eBook, titled: "The Kings of Oak Springs: The Arrival Months in 1876 Vol 1." The second 20 episodes will become Vol 2. See the link, below, to get yours.

“The Homeplace Saga” historical fiction family saga stories are the creation of the author, William Leverne Smith, also known as “Dr. Bill.”

The latest book in "The Homeplace Saga" series of family saga, historical fiction stories

Video Book Trailer

Video Book Trailer


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    • Homeplace Series profile imageAUTHOR

      William Leverne Smith 

      4 years ago from Hollister, MO

      You would be welcome, MsDora, for sure! Small town middle-America can be very inviting... ;-)

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Events like the successful celebration, the double wedding, the family picnics make this community inviting. You make me want to move back.

    • Homeplace Series profile imageAUTHOR

      William Leverne Smith 

      4 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Thank you, Bill. Perhaps that would be another way to find new readership. I look forward to each of your comments! ;-)

    • Homeplace Series profile imageAUTHOR

      William Leverne Smith 

      4 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Sha, perhaps you are correct. What fun! Thank you, so much! ;-)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm not kidding you, Bill; this series could be used as a history class teaching about 19th Century American history. It is that detailed. Well done.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      4 years ago from Central Florida

      Oak Springs is growing by leaps and bounds. We're seeing commerce on its way with the building of connecting bridges. If history had been taught in the form of stories such as this, I'd have paid more attention!


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