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Weston Wagons West - Ep. L33 - Levi and Otis Surveyed Their Neighborhood

Updated on April 12, 2018
DrBill-WmL-Smith 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.

New Implements were on display as well as wagons to build to order

The new John Deere plow now available to order
The new John Deere plow now available to order

Levi and Otis took a walk around the neighborhood

It felt like a spring day in late March as Levi and Otis took a break from their work on a custom chest of drawers they were finishing. Levi had worked closely with Otis in creating the metal pulls they were now installing on the drawers of the chest. The first buds were coming out on the trees outside the shop that afternoon. It had not rained for a couple of days, and the ground was dry on the nearby street. Levi suggested they take a walk around the neighborhood, they had not done that in a while.

They walked diagonally southwest across their block from the shop, passing Hiram Park’s residence on the right and Levi’s large garden on the left, sitting on the ‘vacant’ lot south of Levi’s residence and shop, until they reached First Street. Walking west on First Street, past Hiram’s residence, Levi commented that there were still three vacant lots on the south side of First Street. He made a mental note to check if anyone had inquired about them lately. Crossing 1st Ave. E., they walked past attorney Sylvester Preston’s residence first, on the right and then his office which faced on Central Avenue. On the south side of First Street, at the corner of Central Avenue was the Duncan Boarding House. He mentioned to Otis that it always had seemed to keep fairly full from the time they opened, even though it was a little more expensive than the Campbell Boarding House just a block to the west.

They turned right, and walked north on Central Avenue. The Potts building was on the west side of Central, housing the Print Shop and the Enterprise office on the first floor, with four apartments on the second floor. To the north of the Potts building was the Inman Real Estate and Insurance Building. The Potts and Inman residences were behind their office buildings, on the west half of that block. On the northwest corner of Central Avenue and Second Street was the Medical Office. Turning right, back east, they were walking between the Diamond Hotel on the north side of the street and the Diamond Restaurant on the south side. The Cornelius’ ran the restaurant, of course, and this is where Trey Parks spent a lot of time before he married Rebecca. Levi and Otis chatted about Otis’ older brother, Alfred, stopping by there recently himself, since the wedding, to spend time with Rebecca’s younger sister, Rowena. They each smiled thinking about that. Proceeding east, Powell Furniture was being re-built (Powell had opened last November, but then had a fire; there had been complications getting the re-build going) on the north side of the street and Russell Nixon’s family lived on the south side, just west across 1st Ave.E. from the Harness Shop. The northeast corner of Second Street and 1st Ave.E. of course was taken up with the Parks Wagon and Implement Sales Office, with wagons and implements on display. Their 2nd Anniversary was coming up on Friday, April 1. They both hoped the weather would be like it was today on that date. Beyond the Sales Office on the north side of the street was the residence of Trey and Rebecca, of course. On the south side, they were walking past the Wagon Works and arriving back at their own shop and residence. Back to work was the next order of business.

Wagons of many sizes and description were available from the Parks Wagon Works

A typical farm wagon
A typical farm wagon

2nd Anniversary of Parks Wagon and Implement Sales Office on April 1

The promotion for the 2nd Anniversary event was a drawing again this year, but customers had two days to register, both Friday and Saturday, April 1 and 2. Each person was entitled to one chit in the drawing, plus one additional chit for each purchase of $1 or more on each of those days. It made the bookkeeping a little more complicated, but they also saw a big rise from the prior year in the number of chits in the final drawing after two days. Both Trey and Alfred, as owner and Sales Manager, were very pleased with the outcome. The weather had been exceptionally nice for an early spring day, so that was a big positive. Winners of the drawing were published in the Oak Springs Enterprise the following Wednesday, April 6, as well as posted at the Sales Office on Monday morning, April 4. Oscar Street was the winner of a $5 store credit. Junior Die won a $3 store credit. Peter Riley, Henry Medley and Jourdan Sullivan were each winners of a $1 store credit.

It had been the tradition of Oak Springs businesses to use their anniversaries as promotional tools. Campbell Dry Goods Store celebrated their 13th Anniversary on Friday, April 15 with a drawing as well. On May 1, Ward Confectionary and Bakery, on the southwest corner of Central Avenue and Third Street, diagonal from Centennial Square, held their 2nd Anniversary. Each person received a free cupcake, which they used to count their visitors.

Levi, Otis and Alfred all attended the Oak Springs High School Class of 1881 graduation on Saturday, May 21. Somehow, Rowena Cornelius managed to sit next to Alfred Weston for the ceremonies. The men were all happy to see her. There were only three graduates for this first graduation from the Public School, Dora Garrett, Edwin Williams and Peter Wingfield. As the top graduate, Dora gave a short oration. Superintendent Quinton Chambers gave the Keynote address and School Board President Thomas Crane presented the graduates with their diplomas.

Levi, Alfred and Otis bred and raised Morgan Horses

Morgan Horse Mare and Foal
Morgan Horse Mare and Foal

The summer brought a flurry of church related activities

In June it was announced by the Methodist Annual Conference that Reverend Willis Bailey, currently assigned to Oak Springs, had been newly appointed to the church in Lexington, Missouri. To serve the Oak Springs charge for the coming year would be Reverend Arthur Boyd. Rev. Boyd arrived to lead the service at the Oak Springs Methodist Church on Sunday, June 19. He and his wife, Claudia, were residing at the Duncan Boarding House until a parsonage could be made available. Within days, it was learned that three local gentlemen, Gilbert Gower, David Derryberry and Calvin Williams had sent a letter to the Missouri headquarters of the Presbyterian Church organization requesting a preacher be sent to Oak Springs for the purpose of establishing a Presbyterian Church in the community. The gentlemen were said to be upset that the local congregation had no input into the new appointment of the Methodist minister, in contrast to the way appointments were handled in Presbyterian churches. Each of the three had been baptized as Presbyterians.

The following Sunday, Methodist minister Reverend Arthur Boyd made a point of reminding every community member they were welcome at his services. He added that he also welcomed the possibility of a future Presbyterian or other denomination of church in the community. He stated that each person should have the opportunity to worship, or not, as they choose.

Rather than building a new parsonage, the Methodist Church Building Committee was able to arrange to buy the currently vacant rental house across the street west of the church. Funds were quickly raised to finance the purchase and do necessary remodeling to meet their needs. It was believed the new parsonage would be available by the end of July.

Note by the author

This episode continues the Levi Weston family saga fictional stories. Levi Weston family stories were included, from time to time, in the ‘Life in Oak Springs’ and ‘The Kings of Oak Springs’ stories elsewhere here on HubPages. Those stories occurred during the 1876-1886 time frame. This present series is reliving that period but from the viewpoint of this Weston family, through this second set of 20 episodes.

As noted in Episode L1 of this series of historical fiction family saga stories, all of the characters in this episode are fictional. Activities and events are consistent with known historical facts, but are entirely fictitious. The Weston characters that appear here, as well as the McDonalds, were first created as a part of “The Homeplace Saga” stories. The first 20 episodes of this Lx series filled in the early years of the lives of Levi, Jacob and their family.

Some of the stories of the "American Centennial at the Homeplace: The Founding (1833-1875)" collection of historical fiction family saga short stories have also been published on "The Homeplace Saga" blog, found at the link, below, including those introducing Levi and Jacob Weston.

These first 20 episodes of the Levi Weston story have been compiled into an ebook: “Weston Wagons West: Levi Weston, L1-20 (1823-1874).” Thank you for your support.

Video Book Trailere

Video Book Trailer

Video Book Trailer


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    • DrBill-WmL-Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      William Leverne Smith 

      8 months ago from Hollister, MO

      Happy to have you along on the walk. Living history is always fun. Love your visit and comments! ;-)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I just eat this stuff up, Bill! I was taking the walk with them and loving the history lesson.


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