Volume 1, Number 2
In each issue of the Quarterly the Spotlight will be turned on some historic site in the Upper White River Valley.
In this issue of the Quarterly the Spotlight will be turned on an historical site near Rockaway Beach, Missouri.
By an act of the Missouri Legislature in 1837 the home of lesse Jennings, located below Rock- away Beach and a short distance above Cedar Point, was made the first Seat of Justice to serve Taney county and attached territory until such time as a permanent county seat site could be selected. It should be remembered that all of present day Stone county, a major part of Christian county and a part of Douglas county was for a time included in the early boundary lines of Taney county. In addition all of the territory east of T a n e y county, including a major portion of present day Douglas county, Howell county and all of Ozark county was attached to Taney county for civil and military purposes and was served by this first Seat of Justice. While the selection of a permanent Seat of Justice wavered between a site at the mouth of Bull Creek and one at the mouth of Swan Creek the business and political affairs of all or most of this wide expanse of territory was served for nearly a decade by this first seat of Justice.
Jesse Jennings was a prominent Missourian and an outstanding leader in the early histori cal development of the Missouri portion of the White River country. Between 1840 and 1871 he served a number of terms in the State Legislature, taking port in many history making decisions.
Just a few yards north and in front of this historic spot ran the old Osage - Forsyth trail which came down White River from the mouth of Bull Creek passing through Rockaway Beach about where the main street now runs. In the l83O's and the 1840's this was the main traveled thoroughfare between the Fayetteville - Huntsvi lie - Osage and Carroliton regions of Arkansas and Forsyth, Missouri. The United States mail was being carried from Springfield, Missouri to Carrollton, Arkansas over this historic trail as early as 1837. During Civil War times the old trail was traversed by both Confederate and Union troops in their skirmishes against each other.
The old Jennings' Cemetery, perhaps the region's most h i s tori c underwater cemetery, is located some forty rods upstream from the old Jennings' home. Here lies the remains of Jesse Jennings and other early White River settlers buried beneath the sediments and impounded waters of Lake Taneycomo.
This is one of the oldest historical sites in the upper White River region. Fortunately there is an excellent place where an historical marker could he erected on or very near the exact spot where the old Jennings' home and the first Seat of Justice stood. Should same chamber of commerce, civic club or individual choose to finance a marker for this site a semi-circle drive just off the paved road could be provided for the erection of the marker.
Many thousands of tourists visiting the Rocka way Beach - Forsyth area could have had their vacations enriched had such a marker been erected years ago. There are also many native people whose lives could have been enchanced by properly depicting this portion of their heritage. Why not dedicate a marker at this treasured spot?
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