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Jake Patton Memoirs - JP31 - Jake Saw Many Changes in Oak Springs in 1851

Updated on July 30, 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.

The Inmans rented out the land they had purchased

Horses in the field
Horses in the field

Jake Recalled Growth and Changes in Oak Springs in 1851

Growth of Oak Springs continued in 1851 partially based on the groundwork that was laid in 1850. Ames and Mathison completed their office building to the north of the Jones Dry Goods Store on the west side of Central Avenue in May. Physician Jonathon Ames opened his medical practice and Lawyer Wesley Mathison opened his law office there shortly thereafter. They also began discussing building another building to the north in the near future. During that year they also each completed their residences on Block X which they had purchased the prior year. The town now had two professional men in practice. At the time, I hoped we would be able to support both of them, but was really pleased that they had decided to settle here.


Jasper Die and his wife, Leannah, purchased a 160 acre farm to the north on Center Creek in the Spring of 1851. She was pregnant when they arrived and later gave birth to their first child, a son they named Junior, later in the year. Jesse and Eliza Bartlett, in the central valley, had a third child in 1851, a daughter named Ashbury.


As I mentioned earlier, Reuben Ramsey and his wife, Becky, had been share-cropping a 40 acre plot in the northwest corner of the section where Oak Springs sat. He had worked in the Livery Stable and she worked at the Hotel. It was in 1851 that their marriage fell apart, to say it in most simple terms. Before long, they both left town, presumably returning to their roots in Texas County, to the west, though we never really heard for sure what happened to them. I was fortunate that while this was going on, Gideon Inman and his wife, Louisa arrived in town. They asked me if they could purchase that 40 acres and live in that house while they decided for sure what they wanted to do. By that time, I was pleased to see someone responsible take it over. It turned out, of course, that Gideon and Louisa became rock solid members of our community. You just never know when you will get the chance to turn a lemon deal into delicious lemonade.


As the year went by, it turned out that Gideon was a real estate guy and he worked with Ames & Mathison to build that next office building for him. He and Louisa also purchased the Lot just to the west of that planned office building and built their home there. They then rented out the house they first lived in and the farm they had purchased from me earlier. He eventually brought the first insurance business to the town, as well. He was a very enterprising gentleman.

Jake recounted one important dinner party in June

They enjoyed hosting dinner parties
They enjoyed hosting dinner parties

Jake Recalled One Dinner Party in Particular in 1851

One of the several of our dinner parties in Jefferson City that I recall as especially significant in 1851 was one in June where I had invited Hugh, Victoria, and their daughter (my granddaughter), Jane, to attend. They were seriously considering sending her to Jefferson City for a secondary education. One person I wanted them to meet in this process, a regular guest of mine there, was Beth Davis. She was an Oberlin College, in Ohio, graduate who had been married to a prominent local business leader, Drexel Davis. Drexel had died and left her a substantial estate. In recent years she had used a portion of the funds of that estate to found an Academy for the education of young women in the area.


She was now Headmistress of the Davis Academy for Girls and I wanted my granddaughter and her parents to have a chance to meet and talk to her about the work of the Academy. This dinner party worked out well to provide opportunity to each of them. Therefore, I will take a little credit for Jane actually enrolling in the Academy in that fall and completing her program there in the following years. It was a great experience for her.


Beth Davis was also one of the leaders in the community who was promoting the use of Book Clubs in local neighborhoods of educated folks to promote community education improvement as well. She and Levi Weston had become active in that promotion. Although they certainly did this in other venues, I feel confident that the gathering of many of these people in my dinner party settings really enhanced the spreading of the useful information about the value of participating in these Book Clubs.

Roads and bridges were the responsibility of the Trustees

Roads were improved during this period
Roads were improved during this period

Jake Remarked on Local Political Matters

Robert Baldridge had run for and was elected to the County Commission representing the northern part of the county in 1847. He was re-elected in 1849 and 1851 but I noticed that his margins of victory were narrowing rather that widening, which concerned me. It was not something he wanted to talk about, of course. Robert was very bright and did a fine job, but sometimes his approach with people, when they disagreed with him, was not as smooth as I would have hoped. It was his life and office, of course, so I had to pretty much hold my tongue.


When Robert was elected to this office, he relinquished being East Valley Trustee. Hugh Truesdale replaced him in that capacity in 1847. Otherwise, our various representations were remarkably steady over these years. Continuous incremental improvements in roads and bridges and other such community projects were the goal. I feel our people continued to do a fine job of meeting those improvement goals across the valley.

[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

      That is always true, Bill. Thanks for your visit and comment!! ;-)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      So much to do; so little time. Things haven't changed that much, eh?

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