Volume 7, Number 5, Fall 1980
A "Show and Tell" program brought out a surprising variety of items from the homes of The White River Valley Historical Society members when they gathered for the quarterly meeting at The School of the Ozarks on Sunday afternoon, September 14.
Twenty-four members shared in recounting anecdotes and in the display of treasures, ranging from quaint old books to a sausage stuffer, and from a ticket to the last legal hanging in Missouri (on May 21, 1937, at Galena in Stone County) to a framed certificate for excellence in handwriting, presented in January, 1870.
There were old photographs, a "letter edged in black," an old sourdough pot, and even a miniature handmade mattress, a model of those made in a depression-days, government-supervised project which used bales of locally grown cotton as padding. Each items story was told briefly by its owner.
Several exhibitors brought mementos related to the Civil War, many of them found where battles once were fought in this region more than a century ago. Among the personally owned memorabilia was the honorable discharge certificate of a Union soldier, issued in "Cherokee Nation" in 1865, and another issued the same year at Little Rock, Arkansas.
Of special interest to Branson residents is an album of Branson postcards (1917 era) exhibited at the meeting, pictorially reviewing the years when visitors arrived by railroad, not by highway, and when some of the towns commerce was still carried on by riverboat. This album was donated to the Society by a St. Joseph member, and henceforth is included in its archives.
This collection and the other items and anecdotes brought to mind the tremendous changes that have occurred in this region within the lifetimes of many of our members.
The White River Valley Historical Societys own beginnings contributed to the display-an officer brought the first membership dues receipt book from the days when the dues were but one dollar per year. The first receipt was dated May 28, 1961, as were those fifteen other persons who attended the first official meeting on that date. The book was closed on October 16, 1961, with receipt number 184 ending charter enrollment.
The Society will observe its 20th anniversary on June 14, 1981.
Copyright Ó White River Valley Historical Quarterly
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