ON THE HEAD OF SWAN CREEK IN THE PIONEER DAYS
By S. C. Turnbo
During the three years of 1868-9 and 70 Dr. Silas S. Stacy lived in a cabin where the village of Isabella Ozark County, Mo. now stands. Doctor Stacy is a son of William Stacy an early settler of Green County, Mo. and was born in Jackson County Tennessee in 1828 and came with his parents to Green County in 1832. During Doctor Stacys residence at Isabella he was a prominent practitioner of medicine and he rode over part of Ozark County and the edge of some of the adjoining counties dealing out medicine to the sick. Stacy was a reformer in the art of medicine and in the main followed the rule of the Eclectic school of medicine. He was the first physician as far as I know that introduced a mild form of treatment of the sick in Ozark County. He was a close student of the study of diseases and their treatment. He knew but little about medical colleges and diplomas. He was a great admirer of John M. Scudder, M. D. of Cincinnati Ohio who advocated the use of special remedies for special conditions of disease and not the names. He held out that man changed the name of diseases which was misleading. He claimed that physicians would have better success to combat with the ailments of humanity if they would leave off the so called names of diseases and strike at the cause of complaint and not the symptoms. Enough on this subject at present. While the doctor lived at Isabella the writer had considerable acquaintance with him and he told me a number of accounts of incidents of early times in Green, Christian and Taney (only Green and Taney then) Counties Mo. He said that his father William Stacy left the locality where he first settled in Green County and moved to the head of Swan Creek just over the line in Taney County (Christian County not yet organized) where he bought a small improvement from a man of the name of Sloane. This was in 1835 and there were a few scattering families living in that section then. Prominent among them was a Mr. Edwards who was the first Justice of the Peace in that neighborhood. The first school house established and the first school taught was by Sam Eslick. The next teacher that taught school in this same house was Jim May. Eslick and May give the boys and girls of this part of Swan Creek their first introduction to Book knowledge. The first marriage in this neighborhood was Martin Grider a son of a Baptist Preacher and Betsey Edwards daughter of the Justice of the Peace. Powder was manufactured by a Mr. Eslick on the head of Swan Creek. This man had discovered a salt peter cave and this started him to making powder. Bullets were made from lead ore which was smelted Indian fashion in a gum which was made of a hollow log a few feet long which was filled with small dry wood of what ever kind would make the greatest heat. The ore after it had been beaten into small bits was placed on the top of the gum which was set upright and after the ore was melted the gum was removed and when the smelted ore had "gone to sleep" it was remelted and moulded into bullets and old wet hollow sycamore log made the most durable gum. Bill Stacy my father made many pounds of sugar from the sap of the maple trees found in the creek bottoms and in the face of the bluffs along Swan Creek. In addition to this he had plenty of venison bear meat and fish. A man of the name of Bill Anderson lived on Swan a mile below us.
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