Jake Patton Memoirs - JP26 - Jake Patton Elected State Representative in 1846
Jake and Kate bought a home on a small ranch
Jake Became Part of The Missouri General Assembly Political World
1846 was the year I was first elected to the State Legislature. It was a two-year term representing a district that included not only Oak Creek Township but also as far west as Houston and as far north as Salem. During the March to August period I spent a considerable amount of time visiting each part of what I hoped would be my district to get to know the residents and let them get to know me better. I already knew a lot of the key people, but needed to be known by more ordinary voters if I hoped to be successful in running for this state office. I had much encouragement for those who already knew me, so that was probably the deciding factor in winning the election.
The General Assembly met during the first three months of the calendar year, so I had a chance to visit with many of my new constituents through the fall of the year before actually taking my new legislative seat in January of 1847. Kate and I also decided we wanted to have our own home near Jefferson City so as to be comfortable during the legislative session and to have our own place to stay at when I needed to be there for committee meetings and other affairs when the General Assembly was out of session. We knew we would want to be entertaining some, to be a successful politician, so that played into our decision as well. We were pleased with the fine ranch home we were able to purchase, a few miles to the south of the city, and it certainly worked out well, over time, as it turned out.
A side issue occurring in the Missouri political world at the time was the need for a new constitution. A Constitutional Convention was being held during 1845-1846. The new constitution proposed was turned down in 1846. I was not directly involved, but I certainly followed the news of the proceedings very closely so as to be fully informed. It was obvious to me that the core issues in dispute related to what became known as North-South issues in terms of way-of-life, including the issue of slavery. The issues were couched in many other terms, but this was at the root. I also knew that our Township sat right on the dividing line between “North” and “South” in Missouri. I knew it would be a challenge that would not end soon, nor peaceably.
They bought a bit of land for the Coopers to farm
Jake Recounted the Community Growth
1846 was the year Joshua and Tetisha Cox, with their two young children, a boy and girl, as I recall, arrived in the west valley. They settled on the quarter section between Victor Campbell’s home place and that of Michael and Amanda Duncan. We had no way of knowing at the time, of course, what a big role their family would play in our community life in the coming years. They were just another fine young couple we were happy to have join us. And join us, they did. They were actively engaged in all of the activities right from arrival. I suppose we actually expected that would continue. With some folks, you just know!
Peter and Elvira Simpson had their second son in 1846. They named him Bart, joining his older brother, Elmo. They were quite an active pair of boys as I recall from seeing them at Fourth Sunday gatherings. Funny how you remember some people distinctly, and others just blend into the landscape. Those boys did not just blend in, they stood out.
During 1846, Robert Baldridge had acquired a new worker whom he and David had gotten to know in the Houston area. When he expressed interest in coming to the valley, they offered him and operator position at the mill. Riley and his wife, Julia, were pleased to accept the offer. Similarly, I had come to know a young couple in Houston who expressed interest in our valley. It was in 1846 that they came over to help with the Hotel and the Livery operations. This was Reuben and Becky Ramsey.
The Township Trustee worked with the creeks and the bridges
Jake Recalled How Roles and Responsibilities Changed with the Years
When it became official that I was elected to the Legislature, we chose to have Kate named Postmaster and Victoria named Associate Postmaster. While I could have held on to the title, State Representative only being a ‘part-time’ position, we felt it would be more appropriate to actually recognize reality and have Kate hold the post and the title. Women were only rarely being given just recognition, and we wanted to be a part of that trend - especially since it was the reality of the situation. Similarly with Victoria. This was a good way to get her started in the right direction, as well. It worked out very well, actually.
Similarly, I gave up the position of Township Trustee for the central district and Owen Olson was elected to replace me. He certainly had well earned the recognition, and carried on the responsibilities of the office with vigor. Again, I was pleased we all made that decision. It is important to have many different people in roles of responsibility in the community, if at all possible. Up to this point, Owen had been largely focused on his work. It was great to see him ‘come out of this shell’ and take on a lead role in the larger community. Sometimes we don’t learn these things about people until they are given the chance - the opportunity - to shine. He was certainly one who did just that.
I should also note that Anna Olson was taking on a larger role in the operation of the General Store during this period. Especially when Kate and I began to spend more time in Jefferson City, Victoria took on more of the Postmaster responsibilities, and Anna took on more of the General Store responsibilities. It was interesting, and gratifying, to see each of these key people grow with their roles in our little community.
[See JP27, to follow]
From the Author
This series of stories, JPx, is part of a first draft of what I hope and assume becomes a published novel in support of “The Homeplace Saga” series of family saga, historical fiction stories. It features the self-told story of one of the original settlers of the Oak Creek Valley, Colonel Jake Patton. Some, including him, would say he was the leader of the group. He had a very big ego, that is for sure, but he always tried to make it look like what he was doing was for the benefit of the community. And, of course, it was. But, there was always something in it for him, as well. He managed to grow the inheritance he was fortunate to receive from his father into something that left a nice trust fund for his descendants. We’ve already seen some of these stories, earlier, in the Saga tales. Come along, and let’s see how Colonel Patton tells his own story.
Note: I will publish JPx hubs, from time to time. I will write occasional notes at Patreon about Jake Patton. I may write other things elsewhere. These are each a part of the creative process to create the true first draft of a novel. You, my readers, can take part in this effort at www dot patreon dot com slash HomeplaceSagas. Join us there Today.
This is "The Homeplace Saga" series of family saga, historical fiction stories
- "The Homeplace Saga" Blog
The home blog for "The Homeplace Saga" series of historical fiction family saga stories set in the southern Missouri Ozarks. All updates of the series are mentioned on the blog, regardless of platform.
For more stories of The Founding of Oak Springs and Oak Creek Township
This book has the full, original set of short stories on the Founding of Oak Springs in the Oak Creek valley for first settlement in 1833 to the Centennial celebrations of 1876