Volume 6, Number 1, Fall 1976
My niece in Springfield, sent me a back issue about the story of Bakersfield. I enjoyed this very much. I was born there and my father Aaron B. James was born on the "river farm" on Norfork river. When they first built the bridge, they had "North Fork" river. Dad almost blew a fuse, he wrote the authorities and stated there was nothing North about the river, the early South Carolina and Tennessee residents called the river the "nar fork", because it was the narrow fork of White River. I understood the name was changed.
My Great grandparents came to South Mo., before 1840. I found them selling land in Indiana, in 1836, however they came in 1826 and surveyed and staked out land up and down the river. MY great grandfather Joseph J. James was a son of a Revolutionary war veteran, who died in Indiana, after 1836. South Missouri is a part of me. The story of Bakersfield, was interesting. I talked with my father many times, he went over the 1840 census of the Taney area and 1850 & 1860 census of Ozark County, and told me very interesting stories about many of its inhabitants.
The Odd Fellow Lodge seemed to be about the oldest order about. I went to St. Louis, once and talked with the State President. He read the names of the early members.
Another article I was glad to read, the article on the Butler family. Many years ago, before the Honorable Lyndon Johnson was President, I believe he was in the Congress, Mrs. Johnson ran an advertisement in a genealogy page for information about the Butlers, Neely and his wife, all she knew was that her name was Amy.
There is a good write-up about the Neely Butler family, in the book History and Biography. Mrs. Johnson was living in Austin, Tex. I photocopied the article and mailed it to her. She called me, she was so happy to have this information. My Wilsons and her Butlers married "in and out" of the families for generations. There was always a Butler Wilson and a Wilson Butler. Neely left Mo., when the war came and went to Ark., as they were Confederate. My Wilsons just sat that one out. My James family, after order 11, moved back home to now Phelps Co., Mo. You know North Missouri was Southern and South Missouri was Northern. Rebecca Johnson and I worked on our Wilson Butler lines, until her death.
Another well known family who came from Bakersfield, were the ancestors of the late Honorable Senator Robert S. Kerr of Oklahoma City.
Just one more thing, regarding Bakersfield. They had a newspaper there, called The Boomrang, I believe. I was in Columbia, going over the old News Papers, looking for and copying obits of my Great grandfather Hicks, in the 1930s. I found several issues of this old news paper and greatly enjoyed reading it. The "Sociey" news was very interesting, the paper began in the 1890s, in an 1909 I believe, issue, I found a write up about a party my mother had given, it was very "flowery". The society news was written by Luther Shanks, he was dating my sister, Nell Margaret, whom he later married. He was certainly "striving to please". The advs., for food were interesting, also there was a controversy going on about prospects of a rail road going in there; it didnt.
In or about world war two, I was again in the Library and the news paper had been put on film. However the filming was not good and much of the paper could not be read.
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