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Jake Patton Memoirs - JP30 - Jake Recalled the Mid-Century Year of 1850 in Oak Springs

Updated on July 23, 2019
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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.

A new Dry Goods Store opened in Oak Springs

An example of an early Dry Goods Store
An example of an early Dry Goods Store

Jake Shared the New Valley Residents and Business in 1850

There was a lot of growth in Oak Springs in 1850, but my favorite had to be our second grand daughter, Nellie, born to Hugh and Victoria Truesdale on April 20th. She joined her sister, Jane, 13, and brother, Lewis, 8. What a happy family addition! There were two other birth celebrations that year. Raphael Carroll was born to Grant and Rachel. Shirley Sullivan was born to Jourdan and Martha. If we had a school, they would all be in the same class. A school count was taken and it was found there were 15 potential students between 6 and 13. If they were located close together, it would justify a school. However, of course, they were spread across the valley making transportation to a central location an issue, and no clusters that justified a school yet. The full census of the township in 1850 stood at 87 persons.


It was in the spring of 1850 that Percival Jones and his wife, Katherine, opened a Dry Goods Store across Central Avenue west from the Hotel on Lot 2 of Block N. They lived at the hotel during that year and through that winter before they built their home in 1851. It was a real pleasure to see a totally new business open in our town.


Two professional men first arrived in Oak Springs in 1850 to decide if our new town was right for their professional practices. By the fall they had entered into a real-estate partnership that confirmed they each planned to stay and make Oak Springs their home. Physician Jonathan Ames bought Lots 1 and 3 of Block X, in the new residential section southern Oak Springs for a future home. Likewise Attorney Wesley Mathieson bought Lots 2 and 4 of Block X. Later, jointly they purchased Lot 4 of Block J on which to build an office building to locate their professional practices the following year. This lot was just to the north of the Dry Goods Store, across First Avenue, North, on the town plat.

Delbert Campbell and Delia Rhodes got married in the west valley at the Rhodes home

An early photo of a new marriage at home
An early photo of a new marriage at home

Jake Discussed How Change Was Inevitable As Years Passed in the Valley

In the west valley, George and Marcia King bought the Peter and Elvira Simpson farm. The Simpson’s moved out of the community. They said family issues called them back to where they came from. Delbert Campbell and Delia Rhodes got married and made their home at the Campbell home farm. Victor and Camilla had moved to their new residence in Oak Springs by that time. Also, both Kaitlin, 15, and Luke, 12, Rhodes had moved away to live near relatives to pursue their education and seeks careers away from the farm.


The Baldridges hired eighteen-year-old Theodosius Rhodes to move into Oak Springs and work as a clerk in their feed and lumber store. This turned out to be a very good move for all involved. Oh, yes, it was about this time that, for the fall term, Arne,10, and Alfie. 7, Duncan also left home to go live with relatives where they could attend school there. It was years too early to consider a local alternative for these older youngsters who wanted and needed to continue their education beyond being schooled at home. We hated to see them go, but that was just part of life in the valley.

Jake and Kate continued to enjoy hosting small dinner parties

Dinner set for a party of 8
Dinner set for a party of 8

Jake Noted the Changes in his Approach to His Legislative Work

I had run for re-election to the Missouri General Assembly twice, in 1848 and again in 1850 and won fairly easily each time. I had kept in touch with people throughout the district and seemed to be responding to their needs. I was pleased to continue to represent them in Jefferson City. Kate and I had settled into a fairly regular pattern of time spent in Oak Springs and Jefferson City along with my time traveling around the District to keep in touch with folks.


I found it made re-election much easier by regular visits to each region of the district to discuss what had been done in the legislature and seek their input, than to only visit at election time. I had individuals in each region with whom I regularly send letters with helpful information as well who were good at sharing with the locals on my behalf in between my visits. I seemed to be one of the few representatives taking that approach, but it worked for me and I thought others might benefit from using the approach as well.


Our dinner parties in Jefferson City continued to be well received even though, or because of, they were somewhat fewer in number. Now, my travel around the district took the place of some of the dinner party themes I had used in earlier years. Each year it is best to revise and refine such activities, rather than just repeating them over and over the same way. People appreciate fresh approaches to the same ideas. This works well in many phases of life, I have found. Also, I tried to continue to mix new people in with the ‘regulars’ at these events. This made it more pleasant for Kate and I as well as continued to spread our areas of influence. Of course, we also learned new things from new people. One new trend I liked was the talk of forming Book Clubs in local communities. I’ll talk more about this later, but it was one of the things that was new that came out of these dinners during this time period.

[See JP31, 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.

Video Book Trailer

Video Book Trailer

Video Book Trailer

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    • Homeplace Series profile imageAUTHOR

      William Leverne Smith 

      2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Thank you, Bill. I enjoy your visit and comment every post. Neat!! ;-)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      This continues to be an enjoyable history lesson, so thank you!

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