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Episode OS15 - 4th Qtr 1880 - Life in Oak Springs and more

Updated on November 23, 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.

A new furniture store opened in Oak Springs

A nightstand
A nightstand | Source

October items of interest

At the first October meeting of the Town Council, Town Marshall Fetter reported that 22 drunk and disorderly arrests were made during the prior month, his first month on the job. He added that most were able to “sleep it off” overnight and were released the following morning. Five persons had been retaining in the Town Jail for up to three days for more serious offenses. Fetter also reported that the number of necessary arrests had tapered off as the month went by and residents realized they would be subject to arrest for such conduct.

There was much interest shown in the upcoming General Election both in the valley and statewide. Former Democratic Congressman Thomas Theodore Crittenden was squaring off against former Republican Congressman David Patterson Dyer in the race to be the next Governor of Missouri. Stirring the pot even more was the candidacy of Greenback nominee Luman A. Brown.

Professor Quinton Chambers announced, on behalf of the school district, that after the first 30 calendar days of the new school year, elementary attendance was up by 8, and High School attendance was up by 3 over the same time the prior year.

It was learned that the building going up on Lot 4 of Block G, between the Diamond Hotel and Parks Wagons and Implement was to become Powell Furniture, owned by Fred Powell, currently a resident of the Campbell Boarding House. It was also learned that Fred Powell was an experienced Undertaker and would have that service available at his store, as needed. Mr. Powell said that his wife and children, now living in Salem, would move to Oak Springs next spring when their house was built and school was out for the children.

Two births in the valley were noted. David King was born in September to Rufus and Daisy King. Lena Potter was the new daughter of Earnest and Cordelia Potter. The Potter grandparents lived out of town, but David King’s grandparents were long time valley residents George and Marcia King and Jasper and Leannah Die.

The General Election was contested

Ballot Box
Ballot Box | Source

November items of interest

In the heavily contested election for Governor of Missouri on November 2, Democratic candidate Thomas Crittenden won election over his two rivals.

Thomas Crane, President of the Oak Springs Public School District Board of Directors, announced that the first millage levy for the new District had been turned in to the State Department of Revenue for review. The millage levy will be applied to the property values in the township as of December 31, 1880, and receipts will begin coming in during the spring months. Operations under this levy will begin with the new school year starting on July 1, 1881. In the meantime, he reminded everyone, the schools would finish the current school year under the subscription model. In the fall of 1881, attendance would become mandatory for all eligible students, just as the tax levy would be mandatory for each property owner.

G.W. Mason was appointed Justice of the Peace for Oak Creek Township by the County Commissioners to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of George King at mid-year. There were sufficient notices needing to be served in the Township on behalf of the County to justify filling the position. The appointment had been stalled by concerns, on the part of Commissioners from other parts of the county, that the position might not be justified based on needs of the county.

Fred Powell announced that the Powell Furniture store would open on Monday, November 15, in time to purchase goods needed for the Thanksgiving holiday as well as for the Christmas holiday season. The store would carry many ready-made furniture items as well and both metal and wooden household items that every home needed at very reasonable prices.

A new judge was appointed by the County Court

The new judge used the gavel
The new judge used the gavel | Source

December items of interest

Powell Furniture had large advertising spaces in each issue of the Oak Springs Enterprise with special items of interest to their customers. Mr. Powell seemed very anxious to make potential customers here in his new “adopted hometown,” as he said it, feel welcome and wanted.

The Enterprise was also filled with ads from all the merchants in town, of course, leading up to the Christmas holiday season. The Chamber of Commerce had led an effort to assure that, as much as possible, evening shopping hours were coordinated among the merchants so the stores were opened and closed at about the same times so customers would be able to shop in all the stores when they wanted to.

The Oak Springs Public School District Board received a letter of approval from the State Department of Revenue stating that the first millage levy proposed for the new District had been approved and would be effective December 31, 1880.

The County Court appointed Attorney John Coffee an Assistant County Judge to act on Oak Creek Township cases, as needed. An arrangement had been made with the Town of Oak Springs to use the Courtroom in the Town Hall when cases needed to be heard. There had been enough cases during the year where a Judge had to sent from out of town, with the costs involved in doing so, to justify the part-time assignment in the Township moving forward into the new year.

Rev. Willis Bailey announced the schedule of programs and services for the Christmas season at the Methodist Church. He said that all members of the community were invited to participate in these holiday programs and services, whether members of the church or not.

Note from the author

This is the fifeenth 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 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

Video Book Trailer


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    • Homeplace Series profile imageAUTHOR

      William Leverne Smith 

      4 years ago from Hollister, MO

      It was a pretty normal town, in many ways. Thanks for noticing!! ;-)

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Drunkards, although undesirable, make Oak Springs more real; so does the thought of funerals by the mention of the undertaker. I'm beginning to know my way around the town.

    • Homeplace Series profile imageAUTHOR

      William Leverne Smith 

      4 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Hard not to think of Otis, for sure! ;-)

      Some furniture was often made on-site... caskets, as well. Fairly common, actually.

      Thanks for your regular visit and comment. Much appreciated!! ;-)

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      4 years ago from Central Florida

      Undertaking services in the furniture store? Wow, what a mix! Otis (of Mayberry) came to mind when you mentioned the drunken disorderlies. :-)

      Organized government is starting to take shape. Very interesting series!

    • Homeplace Series profile imageAUTHOR

      William Leverne Smith 

      4 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Actually, much of that is in my "American Centennial" book, linked above, in the late 1840s and through the 1850s. That is when Oak Creek Township and the Town of Oak Springs were formed by the local folks... available in both print and kindle, editions. Also, on my blog, if you take the time to find it... ;-) Love both comments, keep them coming... ;-)

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      Bill's right, this is fascinating. I like the way you've provided so much town information from the town meeting. Back in the day town meetings were important to the townspeople, keeping them abreast of what was happening around them.

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Although you're writing about 1880 at this point, I've always thought it would be fascinating to be in an area as they considered township...all the decisions to be made...all the meetings...planning the future of the e meetings and elections....I don't think I'll be able to experience it unless I start my own town in the near future. :) Anyway, I find this series fascinating.


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