Volume 1, Number 4
Taney County News Forsyth, Missouri
June 2, 1887 The G.A.R. Post had a celebration of Decoration Day with a service at Walnut Shade. The weather was fine, the crowd large, ceremonies impressive. It was the first Decoration Service ever held in the county. The G. A. R. Post had the matter in charge and as the boys never do anything by halves, it was a big success. The Rev. Samuel Weatherman opened with prayer. "The Challenge" and "The Dying Soldier" were recited by the Misses Lewallen. Capt. John Gideon gave some reminiscences of the early settlers with a few war stories that made everybody (including John) smile.
Col. A. S. Prather delivered an address on the sacrifices and he roes of the War. Capt. N. N. Kinney delivered an able and patriotic address of over two hours. He talked plain English and everybody could understand what he said. There was plenty to eat, fine music, good attention, good order, and a genuine good time
Wheat harvest was begun in some parts of the country yesterday.
Mrs. J. McHaffie has purchased the spring wagon recently built by J. C. Hilsabeck for $75.
A number of unusually large fish have been caught here in the last few days. Last Friday Messrs. Cole and DeLong (editor of this paper) caught one which weighed 48 1/2 lbs; Messrs. Tony and Parrish, one that weighed 59 lbs. the same day. Then Messrs. Young and Brown capped the climax by bringing one into town that tipped the beam at 64 lbs. and a small one that weighed 12 Lbs.
A. C. Kissee
Former Postmaster at Kissee Mills and publisher of the Taney County TIMES, assisted in the mustering in of Willis Kissee Camp No. 48, Sons of Veterans, in June 1887. The camp is named for Mr. Kissees's brother, Willis, who commanded a company in guerrilla fighting in southwest Missouri during the Civil War.
Sons of Veterans
Last Saturday Willis Kissee Camp No. 48, Sons of Veterans, was mustered in by Col. A. S. Prather, assisted by the following members of the G. A. R.: A. C. Kissee, Charles Weinstein, Judge David Cupp, Capt. Nat Kinney, Judge Burks, A. E. Matthews, L. A. Davis, E. B. Queen, and George Stifler. Twenty-four members answered rollcall.
The commissioned officers are J. A. DeLong, Captain; Arter Kissee, 1st Lieut.; C. H. Groom, 2nd Lieut., who were installed. Noncommissioned officers appointed by the captain are as follows: Chaplain J. R. Wyatt, 1st Sgt. D. F. McConkey, Quartermaster Sgt. J. E. Cole, Color Sgt. E. E. Waltman, Sgt. of the Guard W. S. Davis, Principal Musician F. W. Cole, Cpl. of the Guard J P. Morrow, Camp Picket Guard, J. K. Davis, Councilman S. W. Boswell. There will be be another meeting of the Camp next Saturday.
A number of the railroad boys attended Sunday School last Sunday.
It ss reported that Mr Otis has official orders to continue to survey from this place to Omaha, Arkansas, immediately. Chief Engineer Otis returned last night from an inspection of the route from here to Lead Hill via Horse shoe Bend. The surveying party went out about six miles south of town this morning and will survey a line down Silver Creek to this place.
Mr. John Dean, one of the constructing engineers of the Frisco, is with the surveying corps and anticipates an early order to begin construction. The line is now completed from Smith's Hollow through to this place to an intersection with the Beaver Creek line at the mouth of Cedar Creek, leaving a gap of about six miles yet to run between Smith's Hollow and Spurlin's Mill.
The men composing the surveying corps now at this place are the most gentlemenly and courteous set of young men it has been our pleasure to meet in a long time, and our citizens will regret to see them leave when their labors are completed.
1887. Official Directory of Taney County:
Member of Congress, W H. Wade.
State Senator, J. J. Gideon.
Circuit Judge, W. D. Hubbard.
Representative, Samuel Dial.
Circuit Clerk and Recorder, R. S. Branson.
Sheriff and Collector, J. K. McHaffie.
Prosecuting Attorney, H. E. Havens.
Judge of Probate, W. B. Burks.
Presiding Judge, F. M. Keithley.
Assoc. Judges, David Cupp and Green Waddle.
Treasurer, S. W. Boswell.
Assessor, D M. Trammell.
Surveyor, M. Richardson.
James K. P. McHaffie
Sheriff and Collector, Taney County. Elected in 1885, he has so ably filled that position that he will be re-elected in 1887. (Photo courtesy Mr. Arch Mayden)
We are in receipt of some fine new onions from Mrs. G. E. Branson measuring 4 inches in diameter; also some very fine new potatoes from Capt. Kinney.
Quite a number of our young people gathered at Mr. J. M. Ha worth's last Sunday afternoon to pass the time in singing. About 4 o'clock they were joined by John Dean of the surveying corps and the party adjourned to Mrs. Gibson's and took possession of her organ. Mr. Dean, being a fine per former, was invited to take charge of the organ, which he did, and rendered some fine music.
Missouri Pacific Railroad
We were informed Tuesday that the Missouri Pacific surveying corps were again coming in the direction of White River on Roark Creek and were now in this county. It is thought to be the intention of the corps to locate the route surveyed last winter through the county to an inter section with the Memphis road this side of Batesville, Arkansas. This and the Frisco survey will cross at the Pine Mountain about 3 miles south of Kerbyville.
Elder J. M. Haworth
Mr. Haworth led the devotional exercise at the Swan Township Sunday School Association Convention, June 18, 1887. Forsyth is fortunate in having a citizen such as Mr. Haworth. A minister, business man and agriculturist, he has also held public office, including his election to the 29th General Assembly. (Photo courtesy Mrs. Maggie Stallcup)
June 16, 1887. Swan Town ship Sunday School Association will hold a convention at Cole Spring north of Forsyth, Saturday, June 18, commencing at 10 o'clock A.M. The following will be the program:
Devotional Exercise, Elder J. M. Haworth.
Address of Welcome and Response.
The Work and Its Present Needs, by J. L. Burdett.
How to Maintain a General Interest in the Cause, William Hull.
Various Methods of Conducting Sunday School, J. J. Decker, Mincy.
Dinner- Song Service 1:30 P.M. Essays by William Hull, William Middleton, Mrs. Pryer,
Miss Susan J. Lemons, Miss Ella Reynolds and others.
For a moral and intelligent people, a republican form of government is the best in the world. For an immoral and ignorant people, it is the worst.
The ballots of ignorant voters are more to be dreaded than the muskets of foreign soldiers.
The State of Missouri has set apart 25 percent of her revenue for the purpose of educating the children in order that they may be able to perform their duties as citizens. Ten million dollars of permanent, irreducible school funds represent the inheritance of our children. We are their administrators. Let us do our duty.
June 30, 1887 County Clerk T. L. Layton had a discussion of a new school law requiring school districts to have an official seal, but it applies only to cities, towns and villages, and Taney County at this time has no such schools.
Mr. Layton said that there are 45 districts in the county and that the seal would cost $3.50 and he thought that burden would be entirely too heavy for a district in Taney County to bear.
We understand that a report is being circulated that they are to have a Negro band to play at Kissee Mills' Fourth of July picnic. But don't be deceived, come to Forsyth and pass the most enjoyable day of your life!
C. H. Groom
Co-author of a pamphlet of the history of Bald Knobbers, Mr. Groom began studying law in 1886 and is the youngest man who ever held public office in this county. In 1885, when the courthouse burned, he was treasurer and had so carefully kept his books that he was able to furnish the county with the necessary information to start a new set of county books. (Photo courtesy Mrs. Maxine Evans)
Bald Knobber History
Messrs. Groom and McConkey of this place have had published a 48-page pamphlet giving the origin and history of the Bald Knobbers of Taney County. They have had considerable success in the sale of the book so far and the enterprise has promise of being a success financially as well as being the means of making known to the public the true state of affairs during the past troubles.
The Masonic Banquet given by the Forsyth Lodge 453, A F. & A. M., last Friday in commemoration of St. John's Day was a grand success in every particular. This lodge has been in existence since 1877 and in a more flourishing condition than it has ever been before with a bright prospect for the future.
The Lodge has recently erected a substantial building at this place and the upper storey makes a very pleasant and commodious hall. The hall was comfortably filled by 11 o'clock with members and invited guests and, after listening to a brief outline of the history of the origin and principles of Masonry by E. Chaffin, an invitation was extended to all to partake of the bountiful feast that had been spread by the ladies.
For the excellence of the qual ity of the cooking and the variety, too much praise cannot be be stowed upon the ladies who spread the dinner, nor their un tiring efforts to make the occa sion a memorable one for all. There were about 200 people at the dinner and there seemed to be an abundance left after all were through. It was demonstrated that no famine exists in this region. It is needless to say that the editors were present and did not leave the table hungry.
After dinner the Forsyth choir, led by Dr. Baldwin and Mrs. Joseph Cornett, did some excellent singing.
July 7, 1887.
The following marriage licenses have been issued since our last report:
W. L. Tucker of Dade County to Miss Vandalia Hopper of Eglington, this county.
G. W. Sherod of Bradleyville to Mrs. Sarah J. Julen of Brown Branch.
H. F. Owen to Miss Evy Trotter, both of Protem.
W. G. Fullerton to Miss M. M. Logan, both of Branson.*
(The Branson community referred to was a postoffice near White River above Forsyth, and not the present city of Branson.)
Born July 5 to Mr. and Mrs. T. J. Vanzandt of Kerbyville, a boy.
Kerbyville school district met recently and condemned the old school house and
decided to have a new and more commodious building. Considerable progress has
already been made toward its erection. It is to be built in Kerbyville and is
to be large enough to run a graded school which they intend to keep going nine
months of the year.
Fourth of July Picnic
The Fourth was generally celebrated throughout the county with picnics and celebrations. They were held at Forsyth, Bilyeu Creek, Kissee Mills, Kerbyville, Renshaw's Grove, Walnut Shade, and perhaps many other places we have failed to hear from.
The morning of the Fourth at Forsyth was saluted by the firing of anvils, and long before the hour set for the commencement of the program, people were streaming in from all directions. By 10 o'clock, there were at least 700 people on the grounds.
Shortly after 10 o'clock, the assembly was called to order by the chairman, J. A. DeLong, and the exercises were carried out as follows:
Singing of the Choir-Sopranos, Mesdames J. C. and J. H. Parrish, Mrs. Frazier, Miss Etta Boswell, Mrs. Cornett; Mrs Rosa DeLong sang alto. Bass, J. H. Parrish; organist and tenor, John Dean of the Frisco survey corps.
Devotional Exercise, Elder J. M. Haworth. Reading of the Declaration of Independence, Mrs T. W. Phillips.
Oration, Capt. Nat N. Kinney.
Instrumental Solo: Little Willie Connor, 7 years old. Dinner, followed by amusements.
Potato Race, Capt. Kinney, J. H. Houseman, J. W. Nagle, Jasper Brown, Grant Burns, G. L. Taylor. First Prize won by J. W. Nagle, second by Jasper Brown
Barrel Race, George Gladson, George Padgett, F. W. Cole, J A. DeLong. Won by George Gladson.
Tub Race, R. I. Parrish and W. H. Bilyeu. Won by W. H. Bilyeu.
Climbing Greased Pole, no entries.
Promptly at dark, the Committee on Fireworks, C. H. Groom, D.
F. McConkey, Joe Burns, and J.
A. DeLong, proceeded to the balcony on the front of the Berry store and discharged
what was conceded by all to be the finest pyrotechnic display ever seen in the
D. F. McConkey
One of the Committee on Fireworks which made the Fourth of July. 1887. memorable in Forsyth. Mr. McConkey is a well-known schoolmaster and co-author of the pamphlet of the history of the Bald Knobbers. (Photo courtesy Miss Frances McConkey)
July 14, 1887- The thermo
meter registered 110 degrees in the shade at 1:30 P.M. Tuesday.
Miss Lois Hilsabeck has
been suffering from an attack of chills and fever for several days.
Deputy Clerk D. F. McConkey is officiating in the Clerk's office, during the absence of Clerk R. S. Branson.
Last Sunday evening, Messrs. J. E. Cole, Floyd Cole, and J. C. Parrish attempted to ford the river just below the ferry boat and found the water too deep to cross and touch bottom. They were compelled to swim to shore.
The wagon bed and pine wood with which it was loaded floated down the river about 50 yards where it caught and landed. The team was left on the shore hitched to the front wheels of the wagon while the boys were down the river looking after the remnants of the wagon and load.
The horses got tired of waiting and struck out for home with the wheels, and passed through town like a young cyclone, creating considerable excitement and upsetting an old hack on their way in which a little boy was lying asleep.
The boy shot into the air like a rocket and lit on the ground running and never stopped until he got home. He did not seem to be injured in any way, except it is now impossible to get his hair to lay down so he can keep his hat on.
Very little damage was done to the wagon and team, but it took about half a day to put the wagon together again.
July 28, 1887. Road overseers are now required by law to erect a post at every fork or crossroad in their districts that would likely mislead travelers, and to fix a finger board directing the way and distance to the next important place on the road. Road overseers failing in this shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor.
Probate Court Docket, August Term, 1887
Estate of D. H. Burnett, dec., Henry Burnett, administrator. Estate of Thomas D. Connor, dec., Elizabeth Connor, administratrix. Estate of Martha Goodall, a minor, H. B Goodall, curator. Estate of H. G. Snapp, dec., Thomas A. Layton, administrator and executor.
Mr. J. W. Gaskill sold his farm on Swan Creek last Thursday to Mr. A. Stolpe for $625. Mr. Gaskill is as yet undecided whether he will remain in this county or not. Mr. Stolpe is a friend of Messrs. Keck and Nuesse who came here last spring and located homesteads near Mr. Gaskill's place.
Don't forget the fish fry at Hawkins Ferry on the 2nd and 3rd of August. Come prepared to spend two days. Bring your frying pan and grease.
August 4, 1887.-The engineering corps who are surveying for a line south from Chadwick into Arkansas are now south of White River. Mention was made yester day of the fact that vice-president O'Day was at Salem, Missouri, arranging for the extension of the Frisco south from that point. It is understood that the Frisco will at a very early date extend the Salem branch to somewhere in the vicinity of Lead Hill, Arkansas, where a junction will be made with the Springfield and Southern Railroad, and a single line built from that junction to Little Rock.
The engineering corps which came in from the south Friday evening will next proceed to the Indian Territory where work is assigned them.
The line as surveyed will cross White River at what is known as Harper's Ferry within 7 miles of Lead Hill. (Quoted from the Springfield Republican of August 1, 1887.)
Colonel Blow of St. Louis, the well-known, wealthy capitalist and miner, is now at Elixir Springs, Boone County, Arkansas, buying or leasing all the mineral lands he can get hold of. He has great confidence in the extent of the mineral resources of that section to be developed when the railroad is built.
time this paper reaches the reader, the old court house rooms will have been
almost removed from the Square in Forsyth, and an eyesore and a disgrace
to the citizens of the county will be obliterated. Last week permission to
remove it was asked of the County Court and granted, and on Tuesday a number
of men and teams were set to work, and it is the intention to give the town
a thorough cleaning before they stop. We always did claim that Forsyth was not
dead, but sleeping
Marble City Cave and Vicinity
August 18, 1887.-While on an official trip to the west end of the county last Monday, we had the pleasure of a visit to that wonderful formation of Nature, the Marble City Cave (now Marvel Cave) situated in the east edge of Stone County.
Accompanied by two of the chief justices of the lower County of Taney, Esquires W. R. Cox and M. Walton, we made the trip from Mr. Cox's residence in. about one hour, reaching the cave about 3 o'clock in the afternoon, but up on our arrival, we found the City of Marble deserted and no one to guide us into the cave, the mayor, city marshal, and councilmen all having gone to Galena to attend the trial of Dr. Beaver. After some skirmishing, a candle was found and Esq Cox induced to lead the way and down he went into the cave. Mr. Cox, having visited the cave twice before, was somewhat timid in leading the way and our explorations were not very extensive, but enough was seen to convince us that this cave is one of the finest, if not the finest, in the West. Little has been done yet to make it convenient for visitors, but we were informed that steps would be taken in a short time by the company that owns it. This place could be made one of the best health and pleasure resorts in the West if arrangements were made to pump the water to the surface and build a hotel in the vicinity.
Our space forbids a more minute description of this wonderful place at this writing, but at some future time we wish to make a more extended visit and description.
By the way, Editor Powell of the Stone County Oracle is erecting an elegant residence in the vicinity of the cave near one of the finest springs of water in that section.
Mr. George Compton. and Miss Melvina Faucett were united as one by Esq. W. R. Cox last Sunday evening. May their necessary troubles come singly and not too often.
Mr. James Oliver of Kerbyville had a very painful and perhaps serious accident last week. While attempting to climb a fence, a rail turned with him, throwing him upon his right arm, breaking it in two places and dislocating it at the elbow. At last account, he is improving slowly.
Last Monday, while Dr. F. B. Baldwin, wife, and baby were returning from Beaver Creek in a buggy, their team became entangled in the harness in some way which so frightened them that they started to run. After running a short distance, the team struck a tree, throwing all out of the buggy, bruising the doctor's and his wife's faces seriously, but the baby escaped without injury except for a few slight scratches. The buggy and harness were badly broken up but the horses were not injured.
(The foregoing items of seventy-five years ago by courtesy of Mr. W. E. Freeland, Forsyth.)
Copyright Ó White River Valley Historical Quarterly