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Episode OS13 | 2nd Qtr 1880 | Life in Oak Springs and more

Updated on May 11, 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.

Three jail cells were added to the stone Town Hall

Bars on the windows
Bars on the windows | Source

April items of interest

For their First Anniversary promotion, Parks Wagon and Implement Sales Office conducted a drawing from the names of persons registered in the Office on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, April 1, 2 and 3. Each person was entitled to one chit in the drawing, plus one additional chit for each purchase of $1 or more on each of those days. Winners were published in the Wednesday, April 7, issue of the Oak Springs Enterprise as well as in the store on Monday morning. The winner of a $5 store credit was Earnest Potter. Hiram Carver won a $3 store credit. J.P. Polk, Bryce Taylor and Jed Cunningham each won a $1 store credit.

It was learned that the Russell and Norma Nixon family had recently moved into their new home in Oak Springs. Ira Mason and his wife, Eva, had arrived on the former Nixon farm and taken possession on March 1 as agreed.

The Chamber of Commerce held their April meeting on Wednesday, April 7th, at the Community Building, at 7 p.m. The members present agreed to take responsibility for the 4th of July celebration for 1880. Augustus Ward agreed to chair a committee to plan this event, contingent on others helping him understand what had taken place in prior years. Several persons volunteered to discuss that history with Augustus, who committed to make a record of what he learned, for use in future year’s planning as well. The Chamber also passed a resolution urging those interested in continuing the Oak Creek Valley Fair last summer to form a formal Association for better recognition, legal status and funding opportunities.

The Town Council reported two actions related to local law enforcement. First, the addition to the Town Hall consisting of 3 steel bar jail cells had been completed along with the remodeling of earlier holding rooms adjoining. Second, they approved a resolution to hire a Town Marshall, who would also serve as a Deputy Sheriff for Oak Creek Township under an agreement with the County Sheriff’s office. Both vandalism and drunk and disorderly activities had increased in recent months, and required positive action by the Town Council.

Ward Confectionary and Bakery announced that for their First Anniversary on Saturday, May 1, customers that day would receive a 10% discount on any purchase or paid order of over $1. Also, each purchase of over $.50 would earn a free cupcake of choice from among those available at the time.

The town continued to grow

Town Plat of Oak Springs - Mid-1880s
Town Plat of Oak Springs - Mid-1880s | Source

May items of interest

State Representative Lewis Truesdale hosted an information meeting at the Community Building on Wednesday evening, May 5, at 7 p.m. with a representative of the State Department of Revenue which had been charged with the responsibility of setting the rules for the newly authorized local school taxing districts. It was learned that one rule already in place was that an election to set up a local school district could be held beginning as early as the first Tuesday in the coming month of August. Local school officials indicated they would attempt to meet the requirements to do that with the hope and intent that the local electorate supported the school sufficiently to move ahead immediately under the new law.

There was an announcement in the May 12th issue of the Oak Springs Enterprise that Simeon Bishop and four others had formally organized the Oak Creek Valley Fair Association. The announcement urged others in the community who supported the Fair to join the Association in one of several ways listed. The date for 1880 was set for the 7th, the first Saturday of August.

Clyde and Minerva Orchard moved into their new home on First Street South. Seaborn Carr, recently employed at the Oak Springs Savings Bank as Cashier, was making his residence at the Duncan Boarding House. Another a new resident at the Duncan Boarding House was Dr. Ollie Seaman, a Dentist. He planned to open his Dental Office in the Preston Office Building on June 1.

Work had begun on the stone federal government office building, to include a new Post Office, on Central Avenue on the north side of Main Street.

The Oak Creek Valley Fair Association received approval from the Town Council to construct a pole barn on Lot 2 of Block U, directly south of the Olson Blacksmith Shop, and near Patton Pond, that could be used to house animals for the fair in August and other uses during the year.

The Wingfield and Cox partnership had begun construction of four additional rental houses on Block A similar to those they had built on Block E that were so quickly rented to quality tenants. Joseph Cox would again be the rental agent for these properties. It was also learned that Abner Wingfield had purchased Lot 3 of Block AA, immediately west of the George King residence, along West Main Street, for the purpose of eventually constructing a residence.

New births were announced each month

Another smiling baby
Another smiling baby | Source

June items of interest

Russell Nixon reported three new babies born across the valley, one each in March, April and May, who would be included in the 1880 census. Agatha Derryberry was a daughter born to David and Dorcus Derryberry in March. T.J. and Shirley Sullivan Toll were parents, in April, of a daughter, June Toll, as well. Grandparents were Ivan and Hazel Toll, in town, and in the west valley, Jourdan and Martha Sullivan. Albert Johnson was a son, born to Campbell and Lizzie King Johnson, born in May. Grandparents were Lawrence and Lucinda Johnson and George and Marcia King.

On Sunday afternoon, June 20th, Reverend Willis Bailey officiated at the wedding of Vance Rhodes and Alice King. This wedding was in the west valley at the Theodosius and Lillian (Campbell) Rhodes farm home. The couple’s extended families were in attendance and partook of fine refreshments at the reception following the wedding. The Rhodes family recently purchased two additional 160-acre tracts of farmland south and east of the original farm that had been first settled in the late 1830s. Vance and Alice will make their home in a new cottage built along the West Branch Creek, not far downstream from his parental farmstead.

Joseph Carver and Vicki Wingfield were wed at her parents’ farm home north of Oak Springs on Sunday afternoon, June 27th; Reverend Willis Bailey officiating. The families of both enjoyed gathering for the wedding and reception following. The newly wed couple will make their home at the Campbell Boarding House, where he had been residing and where she had been working for the Campbell family as well. He, of course, is the Assistant Manager of the Campbell Dry Goods Store.

Knowing that Jacobi Inman was the Oak Creek Township U.S. Census Enumerator, we asked him late in June if the census was complete. He said that he had turned in all of his required paperwork on Friday, June 25th. He said that he sincerely appreciated the kindness shown by all persons he contacted across the township in carrying out his duties. He added that all information gathered was confidential and could not be shared.

Note from the author

This is the thirteenth 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 Second 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.”

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

      Kennett is in the 'boot heel' for sure! Thanks! ;-)

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      Look at the bottom of the map in this link. That's where Mom was born and raised - in the Boot Heel of Missouri.

    • Homeplace Series profile image

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      I've never been to the "boot heel" - but frequently hear of good things "coming out of" there!! What fun! ;-)

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      Mom was raised in the "boot heel" of Missouri. Look at a geographical map and you'll see what I mean.

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      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      That is for sure, Sha! I recently finished reading the latest Robert E. Lee biography. Fine book. Many very nice things to say about Stonewall Jackson, for sure. "Lee's favorite - most trustworthy - general." or something to that effect!! You should be proud of that line... as well as the Cherokee. Missouri was and is a melting pot... among other things.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      Bill, I don't know if I ever revealed this to you, but I'm directly related to Stonewall Jackson. My mother's mother's maiden name was Jackson. He was a great (or great-great) uncle to her. I know he had his idiosyncrasies, but I'm proud be be a part of the Jackson bloodline.We have Cherokee in us, too. Missouri bred an interesting group of people.

    • Homeplace Series profile image

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Law enforcement was certainly a challenge during this period of our history, following the Civil War. Lawlessness was rampant in Southwest Missouri in this time period, but, to this point, I had taken the position that this town (and valley) were very isolated, in many ways (no railroad, for example)... but, with the population growth, trouble was unavoidable. Interesting choices to be sure to include, trying to be historically accurate but also staying within the general themes established for this "long-lasting" family saga... What fun! Love your comments!!! ;-) P.S. I was born in 1939... very good year! ;-)

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      I never even thought of jails needing to be built, but with the town growing as quickly as it is, I guess it's necessary. So sad. At least now there's someone in charge of keeping the peace, so to speak. Now that I think about it, outlaw-minded folks were rampant back in the day.

      My mom was born and raised in Kennett, Missouri (by the way, I also remembered my maternal grandpa was an insurance salesman. I don't know when he was born, but my mom who is the 9th of 10 kids was born in 1938, so that puts Granddaddy pretty close to this time period). Anyway, she told me that one of our ancestors was wanted for murder in one town and elected sheriff in another. I guess who better to elect than someone who had proven himself as an accomplished shooter, huh?

    • Homeplace Series profile image

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Thank you, Bill! I'm still enjoying the process! ;-)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Each episode is a mini-history lesson of the United States. Well done, Bill.