Volume 4 , Number 1 , Fall 1970
Mrs. Lucille Adams Anderson became "The First Lady" of the White River Valley Historical Society on October 18. By two counts she won the honor; first, for arranging for good food and historical surroundings for the Fall Meeting; second, for the talk she gave. She missed on the third count. . . the weather . . . a cold rain made for discomfort and difficult driving.
Yet sixty members and friends of the Society came to Riverside Inn in Ozark, to and to enjoy hearing Mrs. Anderson and Mr. Elmo Ingenthron speak.
Of those sixty persons, Mrs. Helen Roberts came the farthest, from Seattle, Washington. Hal Dobbins came from Evansville, Indiana. Mrs. Bess H. Janes, of Branson, claimed title for the eldest at age 90 years.
The fact stands that Mrs. Anderson did not speak. Mrs. Anderson visits with her audience.
First, she told us that we sat within a few feet of the spot where Henry Schoolcraft, the historian, pitched his tent in 1818; that we looked across Finley River to "The Cave" that schoolcraft mentions and of which many a native tells had the widest opening of any cave in America, but of which the National Geographic says is "one of the widest".
Mrs. Anderson pointed out that little has been written of the history of Christian County, that most of the stories were carried down by word of mouth, so often became embellished, often blurred, or lost entirely. I should say that Lucille Anderson never omits the embellishments and leaves with her audience no effects of blurring.
Though the 100th Anniversary Committee for Christian County chose a committee to write a history of the county, we always say "Mrs. Andersons History of Christian County". Mrs. Anderson calls it a "hodge podge of history and trivia".
Seriously, though, we do suspect that Mrs. Anderson believes the human element often gives a better picture of Christian County than do the facts of growth of banks or of monies earned or of automobiles consumed or left to litter the countryside.
Mrs. Anderson said, too, that no modern thriller could outdo the stories encountered in the county. She cited the days of "Where to put the Court House?" of Civil War gruesome days, of the punishing of horse thief, and of the coming of the railroad when Chadwick shot up a frontier town in the best movie script type. Mrs. Andersons term was, "They played it rough in those days".
Today the county library with 49,000 books and which Mrs. Anderson heads, lends an average of 12 point plus books per person per year in Christian County.
We will continue to wish that Mrs. Anderson will put into print her stories of Christian County that we may all enjoy them.
Elmo Ingenthron, insisted that he could not give a book review of his newly-published, Indians of the Ozark Plateau". Mr. Ingenthron says that he long ago began calling it "our" book, for so many helped him with the facts therein.
Mr. Ingenthron insists that every historian owes it to himself and to his readers to know that his words state true facts. That theory of Mr. Ingenthron accounts for his spending fourteen years of research and near fifty years of living with Indians and Ozark History before publishing a volume.
Neither will I attempt to review the Book, "Indians of the Ozark Plateau," for you can now buy it. Elmo always just happens to have one or more in his car, ready for sale.
You will not read it through at one sitting, but you will continue reading the next day or the next until you complete the volume. One of the characters noted is Dr. Silas Scruggs Stacey, fine physician of the Ozarks and grandfather of Mrs. Albert Cummings, whose husband is secretary of the WRVHS. Mrs. Cummings was the first editor of the Quarterly.
Dr. M. Graham Clark, president, and other members of the board will set the date for a winter meeting of the Society and send notices to all members.
Twice president M. Graham Clark (he too serves as president of the School of the Ozarks) saw to it that everyone present told his name and address. These included members from each of the five Missouri counties included in the society, but none from Arkansas.
Copyright Ó White River Valley Historical Quarterly
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