Volume 7, Number 8, Summer 1981
Greetings to all my fellow members of the White River Valley Historical Society. On June 14, 1981, by the vote of the members present, I became your president for the following year. It is my wish at this time to tell you that I deeply appreciate your vote of confidence. I consider it a privilege and honor to serve the society in any and every way I can. I hope to continue the good work that has been done by all of the officers in the past which has enabled the society, since its birth in 1961, to grow steadily into the 20th successful year.
I wish to thank in advance, all of the other elected and appointed officers who will serve with me so that the WRVHS will continue to prosper and grow in the years to come.
Perhaps you, as members would like to know a little more about me. I could be very brief and borrow a line from one of my sons eighth grade compositions. He was to write a story about a famous person. His idol at that time was a famous general. As his story went, and I quote: "Claire Chennault was born in Texas and later became a general." End of story. That could be the story of my life: born in Westphalia, Kansas, later became president!
But I will supply a few more details. It is true I was born April 16, 1904 in Westphalia, Kansas. When I was about two years old we made a long move - about eight miles - to another little farm town of Mont Ida, Kansas. This was farm country, corn, oats, wheat and prairie hay being the main cash crops. I lived there until I was about twenty when I moved to Kansas City, Missouri.
Sometime in the early twenties I made a trip to the Ozarks region. That was when I got hooked. I think I knew without a doubt I would someday wind up living somewhere in the hill country. Of course there were a few interruptions like living in Kansas City for over forty years on account of thats where I was making a living.
In the middle fifties my wife and I discovered Taney County, bought one hundred acres and started to fulfill our dream of living in the Ozarks. It took several years but in 1970 we quit our jobs and moved in to what would be our home from then on.
I always have and always will have a very strong feeling for the hills and the hill people. Not the hills of the music shows and tourist attractions but of the people that lived here and raised their families and lived off this land. Sometimes a hard life, but a life that developed the kind of people I am proud to have for my neighbors and friends.
That is why I have been so interested in the history of the area and why I am so grateful that in some way I can be part of a society to preserve that heritage.
It is my hope that in this coming year you will all join me in working for the continued progress of the White River Valley Historical Society.
Copyright Ó White River Valley Historical Quarterly
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