A Directory of Towns, Villages, and Hamlets
Past and Present
of Oregon County, Missouri

Compiled by Arthur Paul Moser

Oregon County


Alf Couch Mill

A grist mill on Eleven Points River, at the mouth of Little Hurricane Creek (q.v.). Named for Alfred Couch, son of Simpson Couch. The mill was not operated later than the middle 1880's, and only the old mill dam remains. (--Place Names.)


Alton, the county seat, in the center of the county, 60 miles southwest of Mill Spring, (Wayne County, on the St. L. I. M. & S. RR.) was laid out in 1859, and contains a population of about 50 (1874). In 1863 the court house and many other buildings were burned, and a great number of inhabitants left. A good court house has since been erected, also a substantial church and school house, but the town is not so large as it was prior to the war. (--Campbell's Gazetteer of Missouri, p. 403.)

Alton, is the county seat, near the central part of Piney Township. On October 9, 1859, William Hodges deeded 50 and 1/4 acres for the site, and the surveying of the town was completed the following month. It has been a post-office since 1862. There seems no doubt that the name was borrowed from Alton, in Madison County, Illinois, from which towns in at least a dozen other states have also taken their names. The Illinois city is said by Gannett to have been named by Rufus Eaton, its founder, for his son Alton Eaton. The fact that William C. Boyd, the first postmaster of Alton, Missouri came from Alton, Illinois, doubtless accounted for its selection. Pioneer humor, however, has been at work in the invention of other explanations of the name. One story has it that the name war originally "All Town," chosen because the three leading citizens appointed to select the name, Boyd, Woodside, and Simpson, could not agree and decided to name it for all of them. Another declared that "Uncle Billy" Boyd, as he was called, spelled the name "Awl Town," presumably associating it with the craft of shoemaking. There is, of course, no basis for these except imagination. It is located at Sections 33 & 34, Township 24 N, Range 4 W, Highways 160 & 19. (--Place Names.)


A discontinued station on the Frisco R. R., 6 miles northwest of Thayer in Big Apple Township; established as a shipping point and doubtless named for the American Orchard Co., of Kansas City, which began the development of large fruit farms in 1893. (--Place Names.)



The early name for Thayer, (q. v.). The town was platted December 2, 1882, by George H. Nettleton of Kansas City, the first president of the Fort Scott, Memphis, and Kansas City R. R. (now Frisco), and named for his wife. When the post-office was established the name was changed (to Thayer) because there was another Augusta in the state -- the one in St. Charles County, which has been a post-office since 1853. (--Place Names.)

Bamby Ranch

About 100 acres of land in Johnson Township, on Eleven Points River, owned by Mack Weilputz of Cape Girardeau. Mr. Weilputz, who owns bakeries in Southeast Missouri, named his ranch for the trade-name of his bread. Weilputz Club House on the ranch is the best equipped on the river. (--Place Names.)


A discontinued post-office, ten miles north of Alton. It was established soon after the Civil War, through the efforts of J. R. Bandy, a physician of the community, who owned land and kept the store. (--Place Names; Gazetteer of Missouri, 1874, p. 408.)

It was 11 miles northeast of Thomasville. (--The State of Missouri, in 1904, p. 465.)

Bradley Camp

This camp is on the Oregon-Ripley County line, a portion of it being in both counties. It was near Bardley, (Ripley County). (--Place Names.)

It was located at Section 36, Township 24 N, Range 2 W on the county line between Oregon and Ripley Counties, on Highway J. (--General Highway Map of Oregon County, issued by The State Highway Department of Missouri, 10-1-68. Unless otherwise noted, all map descriptions are from this map.)

Barren Hollow

In Thayer Township, leading into Warm Fork, just below Clifton, (q. v.). No timber grew there during the pioneer days. Mr. N. B. Allen remarked, "Couldn't get enough timber for a riding switch." (--Place Names.)


Bellah's Falls

These falls are in Eleven Points River between the mouth of Greer Spring Branch (q. v.), and the bridge of Highway 19. The rapids cause a noise resembling that of old time bellows. Some of the persons interviewed insist on spelling the falls "Bellows," but others gave the real origin, the same as that of the ford (q. v.).

Bellah's Ford

The old crossing on Eleven Points River, northeast of Greer Spring. An early family of the name lived near. The river is now spanned at this place by a bridge of Highway 19. (--Place Names.)


A discontinued post-office. See Billmore Hollow. (--Place Names.)

Billmore was in the southeast part of the county, five miles southeast of Jobe, and 3 miles west of Calm. (--The State of Missouri, in 1904, p. 465.)

It was located at Section 18, Township 22 N, Range 2 W, at the junction of Highways 142 & V.

Billmore Hollow

It is in Myrtle Township, leading into Frederick's Creek. Soon after the Civil War, William Moore, known as Bill Moore or More, settled in the valley away off from other settlements. As settlers came, a post-office was established and a small village grew up , but all is lost now except the school that is situated three and one-half miles northeast of Myrtle, (q. v.). (--Place Names.)

Blue Hole

About 3/4 mile from its mouth, there is a cave and a partition in Little Hurricane Creek (q. v.). The water rushes in under the bluff and makes various kinds of noises, quite musical. In the earlier days people believed the place was haunted. The depth and color suggest the name. (--Place Names.)

Blue Spring

See Blue Springs. (--Place Names.)


Blue Springs

Two large springs of bluish water, in Myrtle Township, near "The Narrows" (q. v. ). The scenery in its natural wildness is beautiful. The smaller one, generally known as Blue Spring, is on land now (1937) owned by Mrs. W. L. Caldwell near Billmore School. Its estimated daily flow is from 17,000,000 to 32,000,000 gallons. The larger one is also known as Thomason Spring (q. v.). Its estimated flow is 43,000,000 gallons. (--Place Names.)

Boise City

An early village just across the State Line from Mammoth Springs, Arkansas. It was really that part of Mammoth Springs on the Missouri side. During the early 1880's, when the railroad was being built, it was quite a town, with a store and a saloon. Its growth was favored by the Arkansas Prohibition Laws. Mr. T. S. Taylor explained that it was founded by a man who came over the State Line and helped to get it incorporated, in order that he might sell liquor with impunity. The community has now almost entirely disappeared.

When the post-office was established in 1883, the name Spring City (q. v. ), for Mammoth Springs, was first suggested by Charles Trantham, a leading merchant, and lifelong resident. Later this was changed to Boise City, which some informants think was an old family name in the vicinity. Mr. N. Bell believes it was named for a man who operated a small grist mill near by. Mr. N. B. Allen suggests that it was named for Governor Boies of Iowa, but both spelling and dates make this unlikely; Boies served two terms as the state governor, from 1889 to 1893, and became prominent outside of Iowa only in 1896, when he was one of the leading but unsuccessful candidates for the Presidential nomination at the Democratic National Convention.

The spelling, but not the pronunciation, would suggest that the name was borrowed from Boise City, the capital of Idaho. According to Gannett, the Idaho City takes its name from the Boise River; it is a French word, meaning "woody," given by the early French traders because of the trees upon the banks of the river. Nor has any reason been discovered that would explain a transference of the name from Idaho to Missouri. The precise origin must remain in doubt. (--Place Names.)


Bone Hollow

Bone Hollow is in Franks Township, leading into Eleven Points River, near Cane Bluff. Also known as Huddleston Hollow, Peggy Hollow, and Bozo Hollow. During the Civil War guerilla bands marauded this section and several persons were killed one evening when a dance at Aunt "Peggy" Huddleston's was disturbed. It is said that the people fled and some bodies were left unburied, their bones remaining in the valley. Richard ("Devil Dick") Boze, a guerilla leader, was killed. Superstitious persons always believed the place was haunted and no one would live in the Huddleston house for some years. (--Place Names.)

Boze Mill

A pioneer grist mill on Eleven Points River, in Ozark Township, north of Riverton. It was built as early as 1850 by Richard ("Devil Dick") Boze and his brother. Mr. B. N. Jones of Riverton has the old corn burrs having the patent on some maps, but a granddaughter of Richard Boze gives the "Z" spelling. Later the mill came into the possession of Marshall Boze. Then it was owned by James Conner (see Conner Mill) and others. During the middle 1880's, Clelland Mitchell of Bardley (q. v.) (formerly of St. Louis), bought the old wooden mill. In 1902 Morgan Woodring bought it from the Mitchell heirs, after which he put in a concrete dam and started flour milling. In 1904, he put in a big distillery for the Government. Soon after 1912 the old mill went down and now only the ruins remain. (--Place Names.)

Boze Mill Spring

At the hold Boze Mill. A private resort for camping and fishing. It flows 8,400,000 gallons per day. (--Place Names.)


A post-office established in the store kept by John G. Jolliff at the present site of Willard (q. v.). Named for L. Brady Harris, a lawyer of the community, later of West Plains, who helped to get it established. (--Place Names.)

Brady was 7 miles southwest of Thomasville, and 2 miles north of Rover. (--The State of Missouri, in 1904, p. 465.)

A possible location is at Section 15, Township 24 N, Range 6 W, at the junction of Highway 160 & M, since the map shows a few buildings there.



A discontinued post-office established in the home of Thomas Braswell in Goebel Township about 1897. Rural Routes made it unnecessary. Thomas Braswell, whose father, John Lemuel Braswell came from Tennessee in 1856 and settled here, was a land owner and teacher in the county for several years, and served as representative for the Republicans. Braswell Tower is located here. (--Place Names.)

Braswell Tower

Undoubtedly named for the post-office Braswell, (q. v.). (--Place Names.)


See Butts. (--Place Names.)

Brock Ranch

A large ranch of about 10,000 acres, owned by J. D. Brock, an eye specialist and aviator of Kansas City. It includes the Hitt and Boyd ranches and the old Sitton and Cal. Smith ranches on Eleven Points River. On the ranch he has a good club house and a small aviation field. (--Place Names.)

Brushy Pond

Brushy Pond is between Cook and Trams Hollows. Descriptive of conditions in various areas of the Ozarks. After the heavy pine timber was cut during the 1880's and following years, a dense growth of other timber, chiefly oak, soon covered this section. It is also known as Camp Five Pond, for which see Camp Five. (--Place Names.)

Buckhart Zinc Mine

During the early 1920's two Buckhart brothers from Iowa opened a zinc mine about 1 mile northeast of Alton and worked it two or three years, but it did not prove profitable. (--Place Names.)



An early post-office near the present site of New Liberty in Falling Springs Township. It took the name of an early settler, Johm Butts, who owned a store and operated an over-shot grist mill during the late 1870's and early 1880's. For several years prior to his death in 1889, he served as justice of the peace and postmaster. At this time the office was discontinued until 1901, when James Brawley, a farmer and land owner, took charge of the mail in his home. The office bore his name until 1915, when he turned it over to his son-in-law, L. Allman, who changed the name to New Liberty for the school nearby. (--Place Names.)

Butts Mill

See Butts. (--Place Names.)


A village and discontinued post-office in Cedar Bluff Township. Only one store and the school remain. The local tradition of the origin of the name is as follows: Just when the citizens were casting about for a name and several names were suggested, John Miller's daughter, who had been to Salem, Mass., came in on the mail hack. To her, all was so quiet in this rural section, and the calmness suggested to her the name. (--Place Names.)

It was located at Section 4, Township 22 N, Range 2 W, on Highway 142, near the Ripley County line.

Camp Five

One of the more important timber camps of the Ozark Land and Lumber Company, that cut the pine and some oak timber during the 1890's and 1900's. Headquarters in Winona, Shannon County. In King Township, halfway between Bardley (q. v.) and Wilderness (q. v.). It was the terminus of the tram road (now a highway) from Winona. Camp Five Pond, later known as Brushy Pond (q. v.) is a small natural pond. Camp Four (q. v.) is in Carter County. Camp Six is in Kings Township, 4 miles northwest of Bardley; Camp Seven, in Kings Township, one and one-half miles west of Bardley; Camp Eight, about 3 miles northeast of Wilderness (q. v.); Camp Nine, 1 1/2 miles east of Wilderness; Camp Ten, on White's Creek, (q. v.), about 4 miles south of Camp Five. Nothing remains of the camps, and this region was later sold to the Moss Tie Company, of St. Louis and is now a part of the Fristoe Unit of the U. S. Forest. (--Place Names.)


Camp Five Pond

See Camp Five and Brushy Pond. (--Place Names.)

Camp Four

In Carter County. Of Camp Five in Oregon County. (--Place Names.)

Camp Nine

See Camp Five. (--Place Names.)

Camp Seven

See Camp Five (--Place Names.)

Camp Six

See Camp Five. (--Place Names.)

Camp Ten

See Camp Five. (--Place Names.)

Camp Three

In Carter County. (--Place Names.)

Cane Bluff

A perpendicular bluff, about 600 feet high, on Eleven Points River in Woodside Township. It is covered with a dense growth of the Cane Plants. Near by is the Cane Bluff Ford, the river crossing of the old Pocahontas and Thomasville Road. Thomas Bowles of Alton built a club house there about 1923. It burned a few hears later, but the place remains a good fishing resort. (--Place Names.)

Cane Bluff Ford

See Cane Bluff. (--Place Names.)


Cave Springs

About 4 miles northeast of Alton are two small caves; one is dry and from the other flow two small springs. During the Civil War Major George Newman and William Johnson, two older men, took Joseph Johnson, then a youth, with them when they took the county records to the cave for concealment during the danger. Near the springs was built the old log house for school and church, the Cave Springs Missionary Baptist Church, having been organized in 1856. Later a church house was erected and the old house was used for school for several years. Cave Springs School is now consolidated with Couch. (--Place Names.)

Clark Mill

See Mill Stone Branch. (--Place Names.)


See Warm Fork. (--Gazetteer of Missouri, Campbell, 1874, p. 408.)

Clifton was a post-office and village, about 2 miles northeast of Thayer, on the old Thomasville and Salem, Arkansas road. Established before 1874, it became quite a little village with a population of 300, having a large building, erected in 1850, for church, school, and the Masonic Lodge. Its name, "the towns of Cliffs," originated from two prominent landowners and merchants, George and William J. Cliff, who settled here soon after the Civil War. When the railroad was built the village was gradually moved to Thayer. (--Place Names.)

A possible location is at Section 20, Township 22 N, Range 5 W, on Highway 19, as there are several buildings and a cemetery at this site.


Coin, a post-office and small village, now gone, was in the northeast part of Johnson Township. Named for Coin Jones, who, with his father, George Jones, came from Kansas about 1894. A saw mill, a grist mill, and a store were set up on the settlement and soon a post-office was established by the son. Rural Routes caused its discontinuation. (--Place Names.)


Collins Mill

See Graham Spring. (--Place Names.)

Conner Hill

One of the largest and steepest elevations in Ozark Township, north of Mitchell School, (q. v.). Soon after the Civil War George Connor, his widowed mother, and his half-brother James, came from Indiana and settled here. Later James had a partnership in the old Boze Mill, (q. v.). (--Place Names.)


A post-office for El Dorado Springs, (q. v.). The name was suggested by Porter Arnold, probably because of the coppery or golden color of the spring water. (--Place Names.)


A small town in Oak Grove Township, laid out by George W. Couch on the old Simpson Couch Homestead. He was an influential citizen and land owner. He opened and operated a cotton gin, store, and corn mill here. (--Place Names.)

It is located at Section 34, Township 23 N, Range 4 W, on Highway A. west of EE.

Couch Mill

One of the early grist mills on Eleven Points River, 1/4 mile west of the mouth of Big Hurricane Creek. It was built by Simpson Couch, a large landowner near Couch, (q. v.) as early as 1853. It is said to have been the first mill on Eleven Points River. Only the few old ruins remain, and although it was owned by others (See Williams Mill), it was generally known as the old Couch Mill. (--Place Names.)

County Line Garage

In 1933, Mr. Joseph W. Spake of Hardy, Ark., built his farm home at the county line of Howell and Oregon counties, on Highway 80. Here he operated a filling station, a garage, and a small store. He insists that it be called Spakeville, but the place is generally called County Line Garage. (--Place Names.)


Cox's Creek

It is in Thayer Township, flowing into Warm Fork. An old family name. The settlement between Couch and Thayer was known as Cox Town because there were so many of the family living in the vicinity. (--Place Names.)

Cox Town

See Cox's Creek. (--Place Names.)

Crews Store

See Royal Oak School. (--Place Names.)


Deckard was in Woodside Township, north of Alton. Kellis Deckard, farmer and landowner, owns a blacksmith shop. His grandfather, James Deckard, had a blacksmith shop there fifty years ago. Possibly a post-office was there but no records, suggested one informant. (--Place Names.)

Del Haf

A vanished tie and timber village and post-office, established about 1919, on the old Myrtle road halfway between Myrtle (q. v.) and Jeff (q. v.). In existence for only a few years, it was built up by Jasper L. Morris, who had a saw mill and a store. He coined the word from his daughter's name Della, and the "halfway" location of the place. (--Place Names.)


A local name given by some of the workers in the fruit orchards. Really St. Elmo (q. v.) on the railroad records. The name of a kind of peach grown abundantly in that section. (--Place Names.)

El Dorado Springs

A pretty spring that seldom goes dry, about 4 1/2 miles east of Thayer, in a little swampy hollow. Elm tree roots and other vegetation gave the water a coppery color. Some people earlier thought it was mineral water and an attempt was made, during the 1880's, to establish a health resort; for a few years summer campers were attracted, but there was no real value. Doubtless it was the golden hue of the water that suggested the name of the mythical golden city so long sought by the Spaniards in South America. (--Place Names.)


Eleven Points

The 1850 map shows this to be a settlement or village on Eleven Points River, at the crossing of the old roads extending north, northeast, south, southeast and southwest. It was later known as Thomasville, (q. v.). (--Place Names.)


A discontinued post-office in the southeast part of the county on the east side of Eleven Points River, shown on an 1865 map. Apparently in the same location as English, (q. v.), shown on an 1884 map. It is probably an error of the map makers for English. No one interviewed was able to give any definite information. (--Place Names.)

It was in Johnson Township, near Eleven Points River. (--New Atlas of Missouri, 1874, Campbell, Map #32.)


A settlement on the east side of Eleven Points River, near Stubblefield Ford as shown by an 1880 map. English is an old family name in Northern Arkansas and Southern Missouri. (--Place Names.)


Farewell is a small timber village and discontinued post-office in southeast Oak Grove Township. The office was first kept by J. W. Linebarger in his home. It was moved from Jeff (q. v.) to this place in 1913. Refusing the name "Fairview" as sent in, the Postal Department gave the name. Perhaps the name was suggested to the authorities because Mr. James H. Taylor had been the only postmaster at Jeff (q. v.). -- a farewell to him. (--Place Names.)

It was located at Sections 1 & 2, Township 21 N, Range 4 W, on Highway V, near the Arkansas State Line.

Father Hogan's Settlement

See Irish Settlement. (--Place Names.)

Ferguson Mill

See Thomson Mill. (--Place Names.)



A little village and post-office in Oak Grove Township. The village was earlier known at Sittonville for a captain of the Confederate army, John J. Sitton, who kept a store on his farm. When the post-office was established, in his store, Thomas Hays, an old army chum of his, suggested the name for President James A. Garfield (1831-1881), who had been assassinated a few years before. All has disappeared but the school and church. (--Place Names.)

It was located at Section 7, Township 22 N, Range 3 W, on Highway E, east of Couch.

Garfield Church

A community building for all denominations near the site of the old post-office Garfield (q. v. ). Originally it was a Methodist Church supported chiefly by John L. Sitton, whose wife, "Aunt Nannie" was very religious. It was a small building, but neat and painted white. As it was unusual for rural schools and churches to be painted, it was generally known as White Church. (--Place Names.)

Grand Gulf

A natural topographic curiosity in Big Apple Township, 4 miles west of Koshkonong. A marvelous example of natural handwork in the Ozarks is this gulf or enormous depression covering probably 50 acres. There are two crater like gulfs variously estimated about 3/4 mile long, 50-100 feet wide, and 150-200 feet deep. So deep that large sycamore trees at the bottom are dwarfed in comparison with the great walls of limestone. The cavern may be traversed when dry, and from it roaring waters may be heard. Some doubt that this running water is the underground stream that forms Mammoth Spring in Arkansas, but the story that bundles of straw thrown into the cave do come out into the spring is still told and believed by many of the natives. The natural bridge, the spring, the valley, the cavern, and the great horse-shoe shaped depression make it a grand gulf in a generally level country. (--Place Names.)


A small village and discontinued post-office in Woodside Township. When the post-office was established January 10, 1890, the first postmaster, Mr. Peter Williams, who is still serving (1937) suggested the name for Captain Samuel Greer of the Confederate Army, who had entered the land before the Civil War. The office was discontinued between 1939-1941. (--Place Names.).


Greer (Cont)

Greer was located at Sections 1 & 2, Township 24 N, Range 4 W, on Highway 19, northeast of Alton.

Greer Mill

A large three-story flour mill, built in 1888 upon the hill about 1/4 mile from Greer Spring. It was run by a cable from the large water wheel at the spring. Because of competition, it has not been in operation since 1916. The original small grist mill set at the spring in 1855 was known as the Simpson Mill for its owner Thomas C. Simpson, a pioneer Baptist minister from Tennessee, who sold it to Capt. Samuel Greer during the Civil War. (--Place Names.)

Greer Spring

One of the largest springs in the U. S., 12 miles northeast of Alton. Its average flow of 209,000,000 gallons (maximum 539,000,000) rushes from under a precipitous bluff, a most picturesque surrounding, and flows with a fall of 46 feet through a narrow rocky gorge with heavily wooded slopes to Eleven Points River, 1 1/2 mile away. One of the scenic gems of the Ozarks, it is a place of unusual beauty and grandeur. Named for a former owner, Samuel Greer, a pioneer from Tennessee, who later was Captain in the Civil War. The spring and a large tract of surrounding land are now (1937) owned by M. L. Denning of St. Louis. (--Place Names.)

Grisham Mill

See Mill Stone Branch. (--Place Names.)

Green Town

It was located at Section 6, Township 21 N, Range 5 W, on Highway 63, south of Thayer.


A small village and post-office in Cedar Bluff Township. There were a store, a cotton gin, and a grist mill, but all were gone before 1910. James Griswold had a store and kept the post-office for a time. It is said that a drunken man killed a member of a wedding party one evening, and the incident caused the death of the village, because people bagan moving one by one. (--Place Names.)



Soon after the assassination of President Garfield in 1881, Robert Hall set up a store about 3 miles southeast of Garfield (q. v.) saying that he would kill that village. Since the Sitton store was spoken of as Garfield, this store was known as Guiteau, for Charles J. Guiteau, the assassin of President Garfield. Still with some feeling political enmity in the community when the Garfield district was divided, the new school, Guiteau, took the name of the Hall Store. The store failed to develop into a village and soon the proprietor moved to Oklahoma. (--Place Names.)


This store was set up as early as 1896. It was given the nickname of "Grab." Mr. Haywood was a very fine, generous man, but he kept only a very limited stock of groceries. An example of good natured joking. (--Place Names.) (Location unknown.)

Hideout School

A name by which Norman School (q. v.) was often known, because it was so far out in the forest region between Alton and Thayer. (--Place Names.) (Location is unknown.)

Hatcher Hollow

A north tributary, leading into Eleven Points River, 1/2 mile below Thomasville. Robert Hatcher, one of the very early pioneers settled there about 1814, according to some informants. Campbell says Samuel Hatcher settled on Eleven Points River in 1816. Parker says the first settlement was made in 1803 by Chester Hatcher. Now known as Mill Hollow because Oliver Longree operated a lumber and planing mill here about 1884-1892. Hatcher Spring, now Posey Spring (q. v.), is 1 mile up the hollow. (--Place Names.)



A post-office 15 miles east of Alton. (--Gazetteer of Missouri, Campbell, p. 408.)

The Cherokee Indians were driven from their ancient home in North and South Carolina and Georgia about 1800 and, finally made their way through Tennessee into Arkansas some 16 or 18 years later. Among them was Sequoah, perhaps the most gifted man ever produced by the Indian race, who invented the Cherokee alphabet, and whom our botanists have honored by naming for him the highest and oldest genus of trees found anywhere on our planet, the California Redwood. Their language had a word ayuhwasi, meaning meadow or savannah. That word survived in Hiwassie in Cherokee County, North Carolina, and also in Hiwassie River in Tennessee. We know they made incursions into Missouri in 1818 or 1819 but we could not be sure they stayed long enough to make settlements if it were not for the village of Hiwassie, oldest place in Oregon County. The name, Low Wassie for a nearby Creek doubtless arose somewhat later, from a misinterpretation by white settlers of the true meaning of the Cherokee name. (--Our Storehouse of Missouri Place Names, Ramsay, pp. 38-42.)


A post-office kept by a pioneer school teacher, John Dillard in his home on the old Myrtle road.Its location on the divided between Warm Fork and Frederick Creek suggested the name, a whimsical spelling of "high." (--Place Names.)

Irish Settlement (Oregon and Ripley Counties)

An early settlement, chiefly in Ripley County, a few miles north of the present site of Bardley (q. v.), sponsored by Rev. John Hogan, priest of St. Michael's Parish of St. Louis. Father Hogan and others, imbued with the missionary spirit, soon after the panic of 1857, set about to aid the Poor Irish, good home and peace-loving Catholics, many of whom were distressed railroad laborers. Some had fled from persecution in Ireland. Rev. James Fox, of Old Mines, Missouri, bought a tract of land for the settlement. A one-story log house, 40 feet square, was erected, and partitioned: one, for chapel; the other for the private residence. Land clearing, house building and well digging were begun, and by the spring of 1859, about forty families had settled on land entered at 12 1/2 cents an acre, or on improved farms near by. Father Hogan had settled there in November, 1858.

Old Priest Field, now owned by Wm. Hatfield, about 2 miles southeast of Wilderness (q. v.), is now grown up in timber; the ruins of the well, a pile of stones that made the foundation, and some excellent citizens -- descendants of these early settlers -- remain to mark the missionary efforts. During the Civil War, marauding bands devastated the settlement.


Irish Settlement (Cont)

Some were killed; all who could fled to other states or sections. The region in ruins and covered with much timber was later known as the Irish Wilderness. Some land was sold for taxes. The timber was worked off by the Ozark Land and Lumber Co., and the Moss Tie Co. (--Place Names.)

Irish Wilderness (Oregon and Ripley Counties)

See Irish Settlement. (--Place Names.)


A discontinued village and post-office in Oak Grove Township. In 1883, Mr. James H. Taylor, former postmaster and present merchant, applied for the establishment of an office on the old Star route from Gatewood to Mammoth Springs. He offered "Jeffers" for Joseph Jeffers, a Cherokee Indian who owned land and operated the grist mill near by, but the postal authorities, afraid of confusion, gave the first part of the name only. Only the store remains of the little village. (--Place Names.)

It was located at Section 3, Township 21 N, Range 4 W, on Highway V, near the Arkansas State Line.

Jenkins Store

It was located at Sections 23 & 24, Township 22 N, Range 3 W, at the junction of Highway 142 & H, east of Thayer.


See Jobe. (--Place Names.)


Also spelled Job, a decadent village and post-office, discontinued in 1907 when a mail route was established from Couch, near the center of Jobe Township. Campbell describes it as a "thriving little village 21 miles southeast of Alton." There is only one store now. Later maps and postal guides give the spelling "Job" which Mr. Heiskell explains is the true spelling for the family. Jacob Job was a land owner and influential citizen there. (See Jobe Township). Mr. William L. Gum, now owns the Job land and operates a large stock farm there. (--Place Names.) See also, Gazetteer of Missouri, Campbell, 1874, p. 408.

It was located at Section 2, Township 22 N, Range 3 W, at the east and northern extension of Highway KK.


Jobe Township

A small division in the southeast part of the county. One of the original townships, included also what is now Myrtle and Cedar Bluff Townships. Named for a pioneer family. In 1830, Eli Job came from Tennessee with his family when his son Jacob was five years of age. He entered land where the village and post-office Jobe (q. v.) was later established. (--Place Names.)


A small town in Big Apple Township on the Frisco R. R. It was established in 1882 by real estate men, one of whom was Colonel Dobizie, who served on the northern side in the Civil War. The name was suggested by Mr. Diggings, a R. R. superintendent, for Lake Koshkonong in southern Wisconsin, where he enjoyed duck hunting. A creek and town in Rock County, Wisconsin, also bear the name. Koshkonong is an Indian word of doubtful meaning. Possibly, according to Gannett, referring to Koshkosh, a hog. Others have suggested such meanings as "Wild Rice," which grew around the Wisconsin Lake, or "Cross" referring to an Indian village where old trails crossed, or "big water," referring to the lake. It is probably connected with the name Kaskaskia, explained by Gannett as an Indian word of unknown meaning, the designation of a tribe of Illinois Indians. Of course the original signification of the name of the Wisconsin lake has no necessary connection with that of the Missouri village, which merely borrowed it. (--Place Names.)

It is located at Section 5, Township 22 N, Range 6 W, on Highways 63 & F, northwest of Thayer.


A post-office listed by Sutherland, but none of the informants had ever heard of it. (--Place Names.)

Liberty Church

About 3/4 mile northeast of Calm (q. v.), a log house was built as early as 1884 for church and school. Later a house, which burned in 1936, was erected on the old grounds for the Missionary Baptists. This denomination dwindled and the Free Will Baptists became the leaders. The old log house was open for all denominations. Liberty School, 1/2 mile east of Calm, took the old church name. (--Place Names.)


Liberty Church

An old United Baptist Church in Falling Springs Township. It is now a Missionary Baptist organization and the name is changed to New Liberty Church. The school took the name of the church near by. (--Place Names.)

Little Mill

The Ozark Land and Lumber Co., had a saw mill on Eleven Points River, near the mouth of Big Hurricane, the capacity of which reached forty thousand feet a day. It was known by this diminutive name to distinguish it from the main mill at Winona. (--Place Names.)

Low Wassie

A post-office 13 miles northeast of Alton. (--Gazetteer of Missouri, 1874, Campbell, p. 408.)

The creek was named in 1867. (--Our Storehouse of Missouri Place Names, Ramsay, pp. 38 & 42.)

See Hiwassie for an account of how the name was derived.

Low Wassie Creek

A small east branch of Spring Creek in Franks Township. The lower part of the valley was formerly known as Low Wassie Hollow, and the upper part as Hi Wassie Hollow. Through the valley ran the old road from Thomasville to Piedmont in Wayne County. Presumably located in the two parts of the valley respectively are the post-offices listed by Campbell in 1874: "Hi Wassie, a post-office 10 miles north of Alton. Low Wassie, a post-office 13 miles northeast of Alton." (p. 408). Low Wassie appears also on the postal lists of 1862 and 1867, but neither of them appears among Oregon County post-offices in later guides, or on later maps of the county.

One of the two places must be identified with the "Yowassia" placed in the northeast corner of the county on Colton's Sectional Map of Missouri in 1867. There is a tower called Lowassie in Shannon County, located on Pike Creek, but it cannot possibly be the same as the place in Oregon County. In the first place because it is at least 30 miles from Alton and in a different county, and secondly because the Shannon County town has borne the name of Low Wassie only since 1892, being formerly named Pomeroy (see Miss O'Brien's thesis). Presumably it borrowed the old name after the Oregon County village had passed out of existence.

Today the two hollows also have lost their old names. Hi Wassie Hollow is now generally known as Three Mile Spring Hollow, for its spring on the old Thomasville-Piedmont road, a famous place for early travelers and teamsters to make camp. Low Wassie Hollow, and likewise Low Wassie Creek, are now called Two Mile Spring Hollow, for the approximate length of the lower part of the valley.


Low Wassie Creek (Cont)

The origin of the old names is a matter of peculiar interest, for if they are Indian in origin, as seems possible, they are the oldest names in the county. Hiwassie, or its variant Yowassie on the 1867 map is presumably closest to the original form. The name Hiwassie is used for Hiwassie River in Tennessee; there is also the settlement formerly known as Great Hiwassie, now called Savannah Ford, on its north bank just above Columbus in Polk County, Tennessee, and another at its junction with the Peach Tree Creek, above Murphy, in Cherokee County, North Carolina. All of them as pointed out by Hodge in his Handbook of American Indians (under "Hiwassie") were former settlements of the Cherokee Tribe of Indians. Hodge interprets the word as originally Ayuhwasi, meaning 'savannah' or 'meadow'; other forms cited by him are Euforce, Highwassie, Hiwassie (in Bartum's Travels), and Owassa.

The presence of Cherokees in what is now Oregon Co., in the early part of the 19th century is entirely plausible. Shortly after 1800, according to Hodge, numbers of the more conservative Cherokees wearied by the encroachments of the whites, had left their homes in North and South Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee, and had crossed the Mississippi and made new homes in the wilderness, in what is now Arkansas. The most famous of the tribe, (Sequoyah 1760-1843), the inventor of the Cherokee alphabet, came out to Arkansas in 1822 to introduce writing to the western division of the Nation and took up his permanent residence among them after 1823.

There is also evidence that there were Cherokees in Missouri, at least, in the southern part of the state, although this was properly speaking Osage Country. In Schoolcraft's Journal of a Tour into Missouri and Arkansas in the Years 1818 and 1819, there is an interesting passage bearing on this point. It is a part of a conversation which Schoolcraft had with a white settler in Arkansas. "He informs us that a deadly and deep-rooted hostility existed between the Cherokees, who had lately exchanged their lands in Tennessee for the country lying between the Arkansas and Red Rivers, and the Osages, and that they were daily committing depredations upon the territory and properties of each other.

"Having but a short time before witnessed the conclusion of a treaty of peace between these two tribes, made at St. Louis under the auspices of Governor Clark, I was surprised to hear of the continuation of hostilities." To prove what reliance is to be placed on the faith of such treaties, he mentioned that when the Cherokees returned from the council which concluded that treaty, they pursued a party of Osages near the banks of White River, and stole, unperceived, twenty horses, and carried them safely off. (p. 37.)


Lowassie Creek (Cont)

A Cherokee settlement within the bounds of Oregon County is therefore a distinct possibility, and the name Hiwassie or Yowassia would be derived naturally from the original Indian form. The change from Hiwassie to Low Wassie is apparently for instance of popular etymology. Here the explanation given by Miss O'Brien for the Shannon Co. Low Wassie may be cited. Miss O'Brien says it was so "named because of a sink hole close to the village. A 'Wassie' is a dialect term for a rain-wash or swamp."

This derivation from a local dialect term would not in any way be contradicted by the ultimate Indian origin, if that can be established, of the earlier forms Hiwassie or Yowassia. The pioneers were merely following the ordinary processes of popular etymology, by replacing an Indian term that was of course unintelligible to them by a familiar dilaect word. Out of Hiwassee, interpreted as "High Wassie," they first created Low Wassie, and then understood "Wassie" as a common noun. The fact that the whole region is amply supplied with small springs, marshy spots, and sink holes would have been frequent occasion of such a topographical term as "Wassie." (--Place Names.)

Loyd Milsap Store

A cross roads store about 5 miles northwest of Alton, established in 1925 by Loyd Milsap, by whom it was named. (--Place Names.) (Exact location is unknown.)


A discontinued post-office in Johnson Township, kept in his store, by Wm. J. Stairs, a land owner and former judge of the county. The Christian name of Mrs. Wm. J. Stairs was suggested by a Baptist minister, Wm. L. Williams. (--Place Names.)

McFry Crossing

A fishing resort on Eleven Points River, 10 miles northeast of Alton, where the river can be forded in low-water time. During the early 1900's, W. J. McFry owned a farm near; now his son, Ab McFry, who owns the farm, keeps rooms and board for tourists. (--Place Names.)

McFry Ford

McFry crossing, (q. v.) is generally known by this name by the older residents. (--Place Names.)


Many Springs

A village and post-office about 9 miles southeast of Alton on Highway 42. In the early days, the mail was brought by horseback from Doniphan (q. v.). Now it comes on a rural route from Alton. The name was suggested by the great number of small springs in the valley. Only one store and filling station, the church, school, and three or four small springs remain. (--Place Names.)


On Highway 19, halfway between Alton and Thayer, there are a store, filling station, and black smith shop. In 1907, Geo. W. Moore, from Indiana, built a neighborhood blacksmith shop, known as Moore's Shop. The store was added in 1914. All are operated by Mr. Moore and his family. (--Place Names.)


A discontinued post-office, 1 1/2 mile northeast of Riverton. It was kept by a farmer, George Kellams, in his home. A shortened form for Norman A. Mitchell, who was a leading farmer and land owner of the community. (--Place Names.)

Apparently it was located at Section 9, Township 23 N, Range 2 W, on an unmarked country road northeast of Riverton.

Moore's Shop

See Midway (--Place Names.)

Mule Camp

See Paty Hollow. (--Place Names.)


A village and post-office in Myrtle Township. The village was started about 1878 by Scott Moore, who set up a store, and named the place for his daughter. (--Place Names.)

It is located at Section 35, Township 22 N, Section 2, Township 21 N, Range 3 W, on Highways V & BB.


The Narrows

While not a town, still it deserves a place in this directory. It is one of the beauty spots of unusual scenery. Near Eleven Points River, in Myrtle Township. The narrow valley, east of Billmore (q. v.), barely wide enough for cars to pass, is hedged in on both sides by bluffs of 100 to 200 feet. Beauty is added by the variety of timber, much of which is cedar.

New Home Church (Not A Town)

A General Baptist Church, now (1937) defunct for about five years, in east Big Apple Township, organized by Rev. Allen Barnett under a brush arbor, during the 1880's. Now used as a dwelling by Mr. John Perkins, a charter member who had deeded the site for church and cemetery, under the stipulation that, when no longer used for a church, the land should revert to the heirs. The name was suggested by Jasper Howell then not a member, because this house should be a church house, new and different from Pleasant Ridge School (q. v.) and arbors that were formerly used. (--Place Names.)

New Liberty

A post-office in Falling Springs Township. See Butts, named for the school. (--Place Names.)

It was located at Section 3, Township 25 N, Range 3 W, on an unmarked county road, halfway between Highway 19 and the Carter County line.

New Liberty Church

See Liberty Church in Falling Springs Township. (--Place Names.)

Oaks Hollow

Oaks Hollow was in Ozark Township, leading into Eleven Points River, south of Greenbriar Hollow. Noah Oaks operated a saw mill and kept a commissary there, during the early 1890's. (--Place Names.)

Old's Mill

A water grist mill, 1 mile south of Thomasville, on Elevin Points River, was established during the 1850's by Thomas Old, an early settler and land owner, who came from Virginia to Oregon County in 1841 and settled at Thomasville. It was burned during the Civil War. The early burial ground, Old's Cemetery, 1.4 mile south of Thomasville, has not been used for at least fifty years. (--Place Names.)


Old Town

It was located at Section 6, Township 21 N, Range 5 W, on Highway 63, at the south edge of Thayer.

Oregon County

Organized from Ripley County, February 14, 1845, with a population of 750; and named for Oregon Territory. The controversy between Britain and the U. S. over the possession of this Territory, which gave rise to the slogan "Fifty Four Forty or Fight," was a live issue at the time, finally settled in favor of the U. S. in 1846. Oregon Territory was organized in 1848, and became a state in 1859. It was named for the Oregon River, now Columbia. The name is of Indian origin, but its precise meaning is uncertain. (--Place Names.)


An old village, now completely disappeared, and post-office, 2 miles south of Garfield, (q. v.) on the old Alton to Pochahontas road. Emanuel Pinkley had a black smith shop there on his farm. Later, a store and post-office were established. His sons, Jeff and Ed, owned land near. The place was also known locally as Scott Town for Green Scott, who had a store and the post-office, which was 14 miles southeast of Alton. (--Place Names; Gazetteer of Missouri, p. 408.)

Apparently it was in Section 16, Township 22 N, Range 2 W, north of Highway 142. (--New Atlas of Missouri, Map #32, in connection with General Highway Map of Oregon Co.)

Pleasant Grove School

In Myrtle Township. A descriptive and complimentary name. Also known as Trimble School for George Trimble who donated the site. (--Place Names.)

Pleasant Hill School

No. 13, in Cedar Bluff Township. An ideal and topographical name. Also called Seed Tick School because there were so many of the insects in the region. (--Place Names.)

Pleasant Hill School

No. 52, in Oak Grove Township; situated on a small elevation, north of Jeff (q. v.). Also called Lizard Camp School, because there were so many of these reptiles in vicinity. Also known as Ary School for a pioneer from Tennessee. (--Place Names.)




In northwest Myrtle Township, about 1923 George A. Reed established a store, near The Narrows, (q. v.). It was operated only a few years. (--Place Names.)

Posey Ranch

Posey Woodside, a captain in the Confederate army, a farmer and treasurer of the county at his death in 1912, owned a large ranch (about 2,000 acres) east of Thomasville on Eleven Points River. Posey Spring is a good strong stream on the home place. In 1928 the Eleven Points River Cattle Association of St. Louis was incorporated with C. B. Denham as the president; it included Posey Ranch and other tracts of land, a total of about 8,000 acres north and south of the river. (--Place Names.)

Posey Spring

See Posey Spring and Hatcher Hollow. (--Place Names.)

Rich Hill

The name given to the Hatcher Homestead. See Hatcher Hollow and Richwoods. (--Place Names.)


The name given by the early settlers to what is now Thomasville vicinity. The country was rich in land, timber, and wild animals, Rich Hill was the name given to his home 3 miles north of Thomasville by Charles Hatcher, a Revolutionary soldier, who settled in 1809. The Thomases came in 1817; in 1818 the Bellah, Huddleston, and Howell families came. Campbell says Samuel Hatcher settled near the present site of Thomasville in 1816. Parker says the first settlement was made here by Charles Hatcher in 1803. (--Place Names.)


A village in Ozark Township, at the Highway 42 crossing of Eleven Points River, a good center for hunting and fishing. Charles R. Jones, from Stoddard County, put in the first store in 1923. He gave the name for Riverton, Wyoming, where he had operated a store for a short time. The name, meaning a town on the river, is quite appropriate. (--Place Names.)


Scott Town

See Pinkleyville. (--Place Names.)


A railroad station or switch near Thayer. The railroad put in a side-track in the early 1880's out to a packing plant. (--Place Names.)

Sitton Valley

Sitton Valley was in King Township leading into White's Creek. Warren Sitton owned land here and ran a blacksmith shop at his farm home during the timber days of the 1880's and 1890's... Sitton Spring is on the farm. (--Place Names.)


See Garfield. (--Place Names.)


See County Line Garage. (--Place Names.)

Spring City

Quite a little village grew up just over the State Line from Mammoth Springs, Ark., but now practically all gone but a store and the spring. See Boise City and Tunsel Spring. Arkansas' passing the prohibition law prior to Missouri's action made the liquor business very thriving at this place, and at Boise, (q. v.). It was the post-office for both places. (--Place Names.)


A post-office discontinued about 1922, when rural route No. 2 from Alton was established. See Turner Springs. (--Place Names.)

It was located at Section 2, Township 24 N, Range 3 W, on an unmarked county road, northeast of Alton.



A small city in Thayer Township, on the Frisco R. R., and on Highways 19 & 63. Platted as Augusta, (q. v.). When the post-office was established there was considerable confusion about the name. Upon a petition of the majority of the citizens of the town, the circuit court, on August 24, 1886 gave the name for Nathaniel Thayer, of Boston, Mass., a very wealthy stockholder of the R. R. Co. (--Place Names.)

It is located at Sections 29, 30, 31, & 32, Township 22 N, Range 5 W, on Highways 63, 19, W, & 142.

Thomason Mill

A pioneer grist mill set up before the Civil War by a Mr. Ferguson, and known by his name as Ferguson Mill. Soon after the war, Jack Thomason from Tennessee, bought the farm and mill now owned (1937) by William Sheers, a merchant of St. Louis, and operated by S. S. Williams. Besides meal, flour and stock feed grinding, cotton is ginned. (--Place Names.)


A small village and post-office in Moore Township, originally known as Rich Woods (q. v.), the oldest settlement in the county and adjacent region. The original county seat of Oregon County, it was laid out in 1846, incorporated in 1873, and named by the county court for George Thomas who settled 1 mile north of Thomasville on land now (1937) owned by Charles Gum. The Thomases came in 1817. (--Place Names; Gazetteer of Missouri, p. 408.)

The post-office is now a rural branch of Birch Tree, Shannon Co. (--U. S. Zip Code Directory, p. 827.)

Thomasville is located at Sections 31 & 32, Township 25 N, Range 5 W, on Highway 99, north of 160.

Town Fork

A small stream in Oak Grove Township, flowing into Frederick's Fork, 2 1/2 miles south of Couch (q. v.). Some think the name is derived from an old Indian village, as the remains of the old burial ground may be seen. Many Indian relics have been found along the stream. Local records reveal that Lindley Couch came with his family from Fulton Co., Ark., (originally from Virginia) in 1830 and located on a fork of the Frederick River and put up a little store that gave the creek the name of Town Fork. He was the father of Simpson Couch, and grandfather of Alfred and George Couch. See Couch and Alf Couch Mill. He moved to Dade County, Missouri, and died soon after the Civil War. (--Place Names.)


Trantham Mill

A small grist mill on Warm Fork above Clifton (q. v.) operated by John Trantham for a few years soon after the Civil War. (--Place Names.)

Tunsel Spring

A well kept spring at Spring City (q. v.). Harry Tunsel, land owner had a store and small lot with spring for a number of years during the 1880's, or earlier. This spring was the origin of the name Spring City, according to informants. cf. Spring City. (--Place Names.)

Turner Springs

A later name for Falling Springs (q. v.). During the late 1880's or early 1890's Jesse L. Clay Turner, from Tenn., homesteaded 160 acres on Eleven Points River; thus securing possession of the spring, the daily flow of which is estimated at 1,600,000 gallons. About 1895 he bought from the Hardin Brothers the ruins of the old Williams Mill, (q. v.), and put it in repair here. Later he put in a saw mill and operated a store. For a time he operated a toll bridge; and when the post-office was established, he gave the name Surprise, saying the people would be surprised at what a well-improved place he was developing. His mill, too, went into ruins after his death, and the post-office was discontinued, but the spring remains, strong and beautiful. (--Place Names.)

Wallace Store

It is on Highway 14, about 5 miles east of Alton. It is a service station with groceries. Now (1937) owned and operated by Earnest Wallace. (--Place Names.)

Warm Fork

A small town and post-office 2 miles north of Clifton, (q. v.), laid out in 1873 on Warm Fork Creek for which it was named. It was the business point for the southwest part of the county. It is shown on an 1855 map and listed a post-office as early as 1862. Nothing now remains of the place. (--Place Names; Gazetteer of Missouri, p. 408.)


A post-office kept by Alec Wason 5 miles east of Thayer. Mr. W. Heiskel thinks there was a family name in that part of the county. Doubtless the postal authorities shortened the name. (--Place Names.)



A post-office between Gatewood (q. v.) and Calm (q. v.). Springs in that vicinity keep small streams of water running at all times. (--Place Names.)

Watson Spring

Watson Spring marks the old settlement 5 miles east of Rover, where Samuel Watson from Tennessee settled before the Civil War. (--Place Names.)


Webster 6 miles south of Alton, situated in a rich farming country, is a trading-point of some importance. (--Gazetteer of Missouri, 1874, p. 408.)

A possible location was at Sections 33 & 34, Township 23 N, Range 3 W, on Highway CC, north of KK. (--New Atlas of Missouri, Campbell, 1874, Map #2, in connection with The General Highway Map of Oregon County.)

Apparently it was near Couch, near the township line between Townships 22 & 23.

White Church

See Garfield. (--Place Names.)


A village and post-office in King's Township. The name is a survival of the Old Irish Wilderness Settlement, (q. v.). Robert A. King, a Presbyterian minister, was the first postmaster, about 1881. (--Place Names.)

It is located at Section 32, Township 25 N, Range 2 W, at the southwest end of Highway K, near the Carter Co. line.


A store, trade-center, and filling station at the junction of Highways 80 & 14, in northwest Highland Township, established by William D. Willard. (--Place Names.)


Williams Mill

Earlier Couch Mill (q. v.). William Williams, born in Scotland, bought the mill in 1867 or some what earlier. The dam washed out, and he sold it in the early 1870's to the Hardin Brothers, who tried to keep the dam repaired, but soon gave up and the old mill went to ruins. Some of the old mill stones may still be seen. (--Place Names.)


Woodside was a little settlement 6 miles north of Alton. (--Gazetteer of Missouri, 1874, p. 408.)

Apparently it was in Section 3, Township 24 N, Range 4 W, on Highway 19, west of Greer. (--New Atlas of Missouri, 1874, Campbell, Map #32 in connection with General Highway Map of Oregon County.)

It was a little settlement and post-office, 6 miles north of Alton. Nothing remains now but the ruins of an old mill. It was named for the large land owner John R. Woodside, a native of Franklin Co. Pennsylvania, who was a prominent citizen and circuit judge for several years; he moved to Oregon County about 1844, near Thomasville. (--Place Names.)


See Low Wassie Creek. (--Place Names.)



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