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Episode OS12, 1st Qtr. 1880 - 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 new grocery promised more fresh produce for customers

Produce on the shelf
Produce on the shelf

They celebrated a birthday

Candles on a birthday cake
Candles on a birthday cake | Source

January items of interest

The Chamber of Commerce held their first meeting of the New Year on Wednesday, January 7th, at the Community Building, at 7 p.m. The agenda consisted of a first review of the activities planned for the New Year and consideration of what adjustments should be considered.

It was learned that Owen and Anna Olson and the Olson family had sold their interest in the General Mercantile at Central Avenue and Patton Road to Clyde and Minerva Orchard effective at the close of business on Saturday night, January 31. The store was scheduled to reopen as “Orchard’s Grocery and General Merchandise” on Wednesday, February 4. The Orchard’s indicated they would continue to buy fresh produce from local farmers, beginning on February 4.

In related news, Allison (Owens) Inman announced that she had resigned as Postmaster, effective when a replacement was named and in place. She planned to become a full-time wife and mother to their two children at that time. She also mentioned that her husband, Jacobi, would now be full-time in the Real Estate and Insurance business, with his father, Gideon Inman.

William McDonald was the guest of honor at a sixteenth birthday party on his birthday, Saturday, January 31, at the parental Daniel and Jane McDonald farm home in the east valley. The afternoon and early evening event included William’s high school classmates, Charlotte Crane, Vic Campbell and Kate King, and each of their parents and siblings. These included Thomas, Grace and Cora Crane; Ralph and Sally Campbell; and, Karl, Katherine, Kent and Karla King. Indoor games were the highlight of the afternoon and a covered dish evening meal topped off the event.

More produce promised in the grocery store

Produce in the grocery store
Produce in the grocery store | Source

February items of interest

Clyde Orchard announced in the Wednesday, February 4, issue of the Oak Springs Enterprise that their store would now carry a full line of grocery and produce products. The announcement urged customers to read the Enterprise each Wednesday for a complete offering of sale items for the following week at the store.

Wilhite Drug Store and Sundries announced that to celebrate their First Anniversary in business in Oak Springs, on Tuesday, February 10, all sales on that day would be at a ten percent discount from existing prices, including items already on sale. They urged everyone to stop by to get their favorite bargains.

State Representative Lewis Truesdale announced that the Public School legislation he had sponsored had finally passed both houses and was immediately signed by the Governor to become law. The new Department of Education created by the act would be set up in the coming months and rules for creating local school taxing districts under the new law would be established. He reminded everyone that it would likely take upwards of a year to fully implement the first phases of the law.

Silas Adams, Chairman of the Methodist Church Building Committee announced that the agreed amount of Phase One donations had been reached and that work could begin on the new church building as soon as weather permitted and work crews were available. This would likely occur sometime in March.

Clyde and Minerva Orchard purchased Lot 3 of Block T, just south of the east end of their store property, across First Street South from the Roland Muldrow residence. They plan to build a new home there, in the coming months. Meanwhile, they are residing at the Duncan Boarding House.

Ralph Campbell, President of the Oak Springs Savings Bank, announced that Seaborn Carr had been hired as Clerk of the bank, effective April 1. Carr recently completed the banking program offered by Washington University in St. Louis.

The U.S. Government purchased Lot 4 of Block BB for the purpose of building a stone government office building, to include a new Post Office. The building will face onto Central Avenue on the north side of Main Street, across Central from the Town Hall, and immediately south of the Weston & McDonald Freight Line and Telegraph Office building.

More babies were introduced

A happy baby
A happy baby | Source

March items of interest

Groundbreaking for the new Methodist Church building was held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 14, at the church building site near the northeast corner of 1st Avenue West and West Second Street. Reverend Willis Bailey and Building Committee Chair Silas Adams led the event. On a cool, crisp afternoon, there was a good-sized crowd estimated at 35 persons in attendance at the groundbreaking ceremony.

George King announced that he was resigning as Constable effective March 31 in order to accept appointment as the new Postmaster effective April 1. He and his wife, Marcia, purchased Lot 4 of Block AA, one block west of the new Post Office building, with the intent of building a residence there. Their sons have been farming the home farm in the west valley for some years.

Russell Nixon reported four new additional births across the valley, not previously reported in the Locals column of the newspaper. The first was John Warden, son of Theodore and Ellen Warden, born in January. Also born in January was Charles Pruitt, son of Samuel and Rosa Pruitt. Born in February were two girls: Sallie Taylor, daughter of Bryce and Cissy Taylor, and Bobby Sue Die, daughter of Junior and Emeline Die. Grandparents in the valley were Jasper and Leannah Die.

It was learned that Russell Nixon purchased an interest in the Oak Springs Enterprise and the Potts Print Shop, from the Potts family, with options to buy more of the businesses over time. Details of the private transactions were not disclosed. Russell Nixon was now working full-time in both enterprises, both learning the trades in more detail and making increased contributions to the operations of both. All indications were that Alex McDonald would stay with the combined businesses and also take on increased responsibilities.

Jacobi Inman was named as the Oak Creek Township U.S. Census Enumerator. The 1880 U.S. Census was scheduled in the month of June of the current year.

Note from the author

This is the twelfth 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 First Quarter of the calendar year 1880, 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.”


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    • Homeplace Series profile imageAUTHOR

      William Leverne Smith 

      4 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Thanks for the visit and comment, MsDora. I appreciate your support! ;-)

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      4 years ago from The Caribbean

      New plans and the new babies fit themselves into the schedule. Looking forward to interesting events in the months ahead!

    • Homeplace Series profile imageAUTHOR

      William Leverne Smith 

      4 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Bill, I may have mentioned this before, but, your imagine of drinking your coffee and reading the news in Oak Springs recalls, in my mind, my Dad at the kitchen table, on the farm, all through my youth. He did that every day! Thanks, for the memories! ;-)

    • Homeplace Series profile imageAUTHOR

      William Leverne Smith 

      4 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Jacobi Inman had been working part-time in real estate with his father, Gideon Inman, while Cashier at the bank, for many years. I believe Benjamin Franklin founded the first insurance company. Retail insurance was relatively new in rural areas, however, at this time, I believe. P.S. My maternal grandfather was a rural community bank cashier and worked in an insurance agency in the early 20th century... likely my model for this job situation... ;-) Thanks for noticing and commenting, Sha... ;-)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sorry I'm so late, Bill.

      I'm having a cup of coffee and reading the news in Oak Springs. My goodness, get out of the way and let progress sing. :) Thanks for the morning read.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      4 years ago from Central Florida

      Oak Springs is growing by leaps and bounds. I was surprised to learn that Jacobi Owens is going into real estate and insurance full time. I wasn't aware insurance was available in 1880. Interesting.


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