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Episode OS19 - 4th Qtr 1881 - Life in Oak Springs and more

Updated on November 20, 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 Lumber yard changed names

Lumber at the lumber yard
Lumber at the lumber yard | Source

October items of interest

As of October 1st, the local business known as the Baldridge Lumber and Grain store changed its name to Oak Creek Farm and Home Supply. It was learned that Store Manager, Simeon Bishop, had been given options, to be exercised over the next ten years, to purchase a majority interest in the business. Current owners were the Estate of David Baldridge and Sarah (Baldridge) McDonald and her husband, Harry. No major changes in the business were anticipated with the name change. Lumber from the Oak Creek Mill would continue to be available on the same basis as had been the case previously.

Open House was held at both buildings of the Public School on Monday evening, October 10. At the High School, Superintendant Quinton Chambers introduced the teachers for the year, including two additions for the current year. At the High School, Leroy Ring joined Flo Fields and Andrew Gilmore. Ring, 26, had taught two years in Rolla before coming to Oak Springs. At the Patton School, Ellis Prince had been named Principal, and taught 7th and 8th grades. Nellie Truesdale was teaching 4th, 5th and 6th grades. Joining the school this fall, and teaching 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade was Irene Cunningham. Her parents were Jed and Lethia Cunningham of the west valley. Irene had recently completed her normal training to qualify to teach and chose to return to her ‘home town’ to do so. Each room had examples of the work that students had been doing for their parents, and others in the community, to see as they visited each of the classrooms during the Open House. Superintendant Chambers said that he was very pleased with both the preparation the students and teachers had done and the responses received from the many visitors to the Open House.

It was learned that Bryce Taylor, and his wife, Cissy, had arranged to purchase the rental home they were living in on Lot 1 of Block E from Joshua Cox and Abner Wingfield. Bryce had been a Blacksmith with the Owens Blacksmith Shop for three years. Bryce and Cissy have a daughter, Sallie, nearly 2 years old. They said that they had been very pleased with the home, had built up a fine garden, and hoped that they could make it their home. The opportunity to do so was greatly appreciated, they added. Joshua Cox noted that all four of the rental houses on Block A, north across Third Street from the Taylor’s home, were now rented.

All had turkey for Thanksgiving dinner

Oven-roasted turkey
Oven-roasted turkey | Source

November items of interest

Powell Furniture held a First Anniversary event on November 15, a Tuesday. Customers on that day were registered to win store credits, to be drawn at the end of the day. Winners did not need to be present at the drawing to win. Many items were discounted on Tuesday for customers looking for special bargains. Winners of $1 store credits were Catherine King, Isabel Garrett, Calvin Williams, Marcia King, Callie Tombridge and Rhoda Adams.

Reverend Walter Ware continued to conduct Presbyterian services at the Community Building each Sunday at 1 p.m. His services were well attended, and he was said to be a fine preacher with a meaningful message for his listeners in each sermon. It was also learned, however, that getting commitments to join the congregation on a permanent basis was not going that well. Reverend Ware met with any community members he could, sometimes alone, sometimes in the company of one or more members of the organizing committee, Gilbert Gower, David Derryberry, and Calvin Williams. The combination didn’t seem to make much difference.

Thanksgiving seemed to be celebrated by each family in the valley this year. Orchard’s Grocery reported record sales leading up to the holiday this year. Clyde said they made a special effort to have a wide variety of popular products on hand, as well as many turkeys of various sizes, and they practically sold out of everything.

The Chamber of Commerce and several businesses sponsored a special notice in The Oak Springs Enterprise congratulating Dr. Wood and Dr. Potts on their third anniversary in the Oak Springs Medical Office.

Iceboxes came in different styles

Different Icebox styles
Different Icebox styles | Source

December items of interest

Clyde Orchard, Harvey Williams, and Fred Powell had a notice in The Oak Springs Enterprise, in the December 7 issue, regarding ice for the coming year. Orchard and Williams were offering a long-term discounted contract for ice delivery in 1882. Powell was offering a special on advance orders for an icebox for delivery in March or April of 1882.

Russell Nixon announced two babies born in the valley. Rose Tombridge was born to Mathis and Callie Tombridge, in October, joining 2-year-old brother, Lucas. J.H. and Nancy Miller were the parents of a son, William, born in November. William has a 2-year-old brother, Lawrence.

The Chamber of Commerce promoted the Christmas season shopping and they were supported by what appeared to be increased ads in the newspaper by all members of the business community. Special events were well planned, and staggered, so that everyone who wished to participate could take in each event without missing another.

Keith King arrived on the December 20 stagecoach from Jefferson City to spend the holidays with his parents and siblings on their farm west of Oak Springs. Keith was at the mid-point of his sophomore year at the University of Missouri in Columbia where he was studying a course in Civil Engineering. There to meet him were his parents, Karl and Catherine. His siblings, Kate, a senior, Kent, a sophomore, and Karla, in the 5th grade were still in school, of course.

Reverend Arthur Boyd, of the Methodist Church, and Reverend Walter Ware, of the Presbyterian Church, announced a cooperative Christmas Program, Saturday evening, December 25, Christmas Eve at the Methodist Church. Normal Church Services would be conducted on Christmas Day. All services were very well attended.

Note from the author

This is the nineteenth episode of this 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 1881, 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 episodes of the King Family series have now been compiled into two eBooks, titled: "The Kings of Oak Springs,” Vol 1 and Vol 2 (20 episodes each). 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.”

Video Book Trailer

Video Book Trailer


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    • Homeplace Series profile image

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      It was a challenge, for sure. I went to one-room school through 7th grade. 15-21 kids, all ages, all in the one little room; 1st through 8th grade. But, I learned a lot. Listened to older kids lessons, a lot! ;-)

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      Things are running quite smoothly in Oak Springs. I feel for the teachers who have to teach several grades each day.

    • Homeplace Series profile image

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Thank you, Larry. I both work at it and enjoy it, very much! ;-)

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      You really do a good job of giving us a snapshot of this time in history.

    • Homeplace Series profile image

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Indeed they are. Thank you for your visit and comment! ;-)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I can't begin to tell you how much I enjoy this series. It's like reading about old family friends.