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Episode OS11 | 4th Qtr 1879 | Life in Oak Springs and more

Updated on April 28, 2015
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Dr. Bill's first passion is family history. His second is a passion for creating family saga, historical fiction stories that share it.

They printed the newspaper in the print shop

Metal movable type and a composing stick
Metal movable type and a composing stick | Source

October items of interest

The Oak Springs Enterprise expanded to a four-page tabloid format for the weekly newspaper beginning with the edition of October 1, 1879. Most of the merchants in town had purchased ads in the paper congratulating the newspaper on expanding and providing more local, state and national news for the community each week thereafter. Some of the ads also introduced Halloween specials and were continued in subsequent editions.

Jacobi Inman, Simeon Bishop and Joseph Cox took the lead in the organizational effort to determine if the businesses in the community were interested in supporting a Commercial Club or Chamber of Commerce in Oak Springs. The purpose would be to promote the interests of the businesses in the community both within the community and to others outside the community on a continuing basis. The consensus they found was for a group, Chamber of Commerce was the preferred name, that would meet monthly the year around and be the core group to promote both town activities, such as the 4th of July Celebration and the Oak Creek Valley Fair, and to spread the word around the region regarding what the local community had to offer to potential future residents. A first organizational meeting of a Chamber of Commerce was called for Wednesday, November 5th, at the Community Building, at 7 p.m.

It was learned from Professor Chambers at the High School that based on the report to the legislature prepared by Mr. Gilmore and approved by the Board of Education the legislature had approved a second year grant to the school. Mr. Gilmore would continue to document the processes and progress made at the school as well as challenges faced and write another report for the use of the legislative committee on schools.

They held a double wedding

A wedding cake with decorations
A wedding cake with decorations | Source

November items of interest

The first meeting of the new proposed Chamber of Commerce, held on November 5th, attracted 22 persons representing 15 of the approximately 23 businesses in Oak Springs. Voting to approve the recommendations of the organizational committee was one vote per business entity. Actions approved included: 1) formation of a Chamber of Commerce group representing local businesses, 2) monthly meetings and small initial monthly dues from each participating dues paid voting business, 3) election of Simeon Bishop as initial President, Joseph Cox as Vice-President, and Jacobi Inman as Secretary-Treasurer, and 4) a set of By-Laws, prepared by Attorney Sylvestor Preston, that would make the organization a legal entity under Missouri law.

It was learned that a Building Committee had been appointed by the Methodist Church organization for the purpose of raising money and in-kind contributions for the purpose of constructing a church building on land the church would own. Silas Adams had agreed to chair the Committee.

On Sunday, November 23, at the Samuel Street home in the east valley, Rev. Willis Bailey conducted another double wedding ceremony. Jason Garrett married his bride, Penelope Street. Oscar Street married his bride, Sharon Garrett. Samuel and Cordelia Street and Willis and Isabel Garrett were the proud parents. With the harvest in, the families will cooperate in building a cottage for each of the newly wed couples at each homestead. Jason and Penelope Garrett will live at the Garrett farm while Oscar and Sharon Street will live at the Street farm.

Silas Adams, Chairman of the Methodist Church Building Committee announced that a City lot, Lot 3 of Block F, had been purchased and donated to the church for the purpose of building the church building. The land was donated by Gideon and Louisa Inman along with the Jacobi and Allison (Olson) Inman family, including their children, Aden and Angeline. Adams said the church building would face on Second Street. The lot was located across the street north of the Gideon Inman residence, and immediately south of the Jacobi Inman residence. The Oak Springs Medical Office was located on Central Avenue immediately east of the church property. West of the church property was residential property.

Winter was coming

Firewood collected for the upcoming winter
Firewood collected for the upcoming winter | Source

December items of interest

Russell Nixon reported five new additional births across the valley, not previously reported in the Locals column of the newspaper. Jesse and Dora Starr had a son, Leroy, born in October. M.L. and June McKinney became parents for the first time, with a daughter that they named Sue Ellen, in October, as well. Meanwhile, also in October, J.H. and Nancy Miller also had their first child, a son, Lawrence. Simeon and Hattie (Cox) Bishop had a daughter born on November 1. They named her Tetisha after her maternal grandmother. Mathias and Callie Tombridge became the parents of a boy they named Lucas, on the last day of November.

Local merchants were featuring Christmas gift specials in their stores and shops through the month of December according to ads run in the Oak Springs Enterprise. A walk down Central Avenue certainly confirmed that each merchant was anxious to receive their customers’ Christmas business.

The Ward Confectionary/Bakery had an especially appealing ad in the newspaper three weeks running offering several holiday specials of cupcakes, cakes, and other holiday suggestions for their customers.

At the Methodist Church service on Sunday, December 21st, Rev Willis Bailey baptized Tetisha Bishop, young daughter of Simeon and Hattie (Cox) Bishop. Also participating in the service along with the parents, were both sets of grandparents, Joshua and Tetisha Cox and Nathan and Sharon Bishop.

Russell and Norma Nixon sold their farm north of town to Ira Mason, effective March 1, 1880, and planned to move to town when their new home was finished. They purchased Lot 2 of Block K and contracted with Abner Wingfield to build their new home on the lot as soon as weather permitted. Once in their new home, Russell would be affiliated with the Oak Springs Enterprise and the Potts Print Shop. Details of this arrangement were to be announced at a later date. Ira Mason and his family would be coming from the Rolla area to take over the farm in the spring, starting March 1.

Note from the author

This is the eleventh 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 Fourth 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 stories

Video Book Trailer


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    • Homeplace Series profile image

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Critters come first, for sure, now as then. Thanks for getting by, Bill!! ;-)

    • Homeplace Series profile image

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      The financial Panic of 1873 was wearing off - having a growth spurt, for sure, Sha. Thanks for your continuing support! ;-)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sorry I'm so late. Critters demanded a lot of my attention yesterday. I'm really enjoying "watching" as the town grows.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      The town is growing rather quickly, especially after having to rebuild. Oak Springs is becoming quite organized and sophisticated!