Volume 4 , Number 1 , Fall 1970
One of the smallest, yet best historical society publications that comes to my desk, is that edited by Donald Pharis for the Clay County Museum Association. It is a two-page, that is both sides of one sheet which measures 14 by 8 1/2. On one side Donald Pharis gets in more news than could Tommy Morelock, beloved teacher at Missouri School of Journalism, who blue-penciled out so many words or like the editor Lucille Anderson told of who would take and make smooth copy. On the other side of the page Donald runs a history of some family or other historical sketch.
In one sketch I found a family name of my ancestral line. In a sale I noted that three scythes sold for 1.00, a large "kittle" for 2.50 but a set of silver spoons for 1.43 and a lot of salt for 7.25.
The letter of James Rawles to Mrs. Melissa E. Lyon Bennett reminds us that Mrs. Bennett was the wife of Lyman Gibson Bennett whose soldiers diary we published a few years ago. Bennett was the cartographer for the Union Army that crossed through Stone and Taney counties. Lyman Bennett of Ozarks says, "The orignal letter is written in a precise script. Some of the construction might merit criticism, but the penmanship would shame many of the modern "formally educated" students .... Could "Moneka be Monett? We have no knowledge of Moneka?"
"Mr. Lyon of the letter was Robert Lyon. An older brother of mine was named for him, Robert Lyon Bennett."
Mildred Pauline Robertson Derr of Mansfield, Ohio desires information concerning her "Grandma". The grandmothers name was Catherine Phennix; she married D. Frank Robertson. She had one daughter when married, Roxalie. She and Robertson had two sons, William Lee, born Sept. 13, 1884, and James Franklin, b. Nov. 25, 1886. Catherine and D. Franklin Robertson separated when James was two years old. James Franklin, father to Mrs. Derr, was born in Ozark County. Catherine Phennix "lived up on Beaver Creek and around Brown Branch when she married Robertson."
"D. Frank Robertson was married four times, his first wife was Myrtle Laurence, her father was a doctor. About the other three I do not know whether Molly Tripp or my grandmother was 2 or 3, but Dosh Wise was his last (I think). They had one daughter, Earnestine, who married a Hardcastle, they separated, she lives at Buffalo, Kansas, and Mr. Hardcastle lives or did live around Squires. My father, James Franklin Robertson, will be 84 come Nov. 25. He is blind and hard of hearing, had his right hip broken in six pieces in June of 69. ... I was born at the Dam Site in a tent Oct. 21, 1912."
This month Elmo Ingenthron, Myking, and I drove to Ava, for dinner with members of the Business and Professional Womens Club, their husbands, members of the WRVHS, and their friends. Elmo spoke on, "Indians of the Ozark Plateau." We just "happened" to take along ten of Elmos newly-published book, on those same Indians and wished we had taken three times as many, for every family wanted a copy. Myking read the book with pleasure and when Myking reads with evident enjoyment, something that is not making the world over, that book must be excellent. So buy one with confidence.
Me, I just talked....about everyone collecting history...but Mrs. Logan Brown who arranged the program, "brought in the bacon". She brought in thirteen new members for the WRVHS. She is now copying the marriage records of Douglas County. Those we will publish as soon as we have completed the Taney County records.
If everyone of those who promised to send to me material concerning their family, those with whom I talked at the Fall Meeting held at Ozark, keep their promise, you will experience good reading in the next issue. I will mention, just as a reminder, Col. Ablert Cummings, Mrs. John H. Thomas, Mrs. Ralph McPherson, Harriet Howard Massey.
Al has been promising for about five years so I am thinking he may have to get into the wheel chair stage before he even starts writing but Mrs. McPherson may come thru soon just to show that she is one step ahead of her husband... Mr. McPherson, so enjoying the good dinner, when interrupted to make introduction, did not include his wife.
[Inside Back Cover]
A new Ozark cook book arrives each seaon. This summer I preferred the foods themselves when Mr. and Mrs. Buford Wilson served their "teas" with out receipes.
First there was mint tea, made from just the ordinary garden variety that grows wild in many places. But that cup o tea was not ordinary. Mrs. Wilson had first placed the green leaves in the blender and lo, after a bit of blending the finished tea was of such a beautiful shade of green that the taste mattered not.
Then came "Comfrey Tea" made from the long leaves of the Comfrey plant. From a plant that can solve all the problems of England but the economic ones...That I gathered from the magazine from England that Mr. Wilson lent to me. I am now drinking it each day, tastes like tea to me.
The third was made from the tiny new leaves at the end of a branch of the cedar. With that one I needed a good cooky. But I am glad to know of it. Mr. Wilson says that when they were exploring upper western Canada and Alaska the men were dying from scurvy until the Indians told them about the cedar tea. In late years in Califorina they are found thru research that his tea is filled with vitamin C. Who knows when one might really need Vitamin C. In this area there is always cedar tree handy.
Jewell Ross Mehus.
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