Volume 4, Number 4 - Summer 1971

Two New Books Tell Ozark History

Two books written by members of the Society are now for sale. Elmo Ingenthron, historian of the Society, authored the first called "Indians of the Ozark Plateau."

Clay Anderson, editor of the Ozark Mountaineer for an introduction to the author says, "Elmo Ingenthrom was born to a pioneer County family in 1911. He attended rural school in the county, was graduated from the Branson High School, attended the University of Missouri, was graduated from Southwest Missouri State College, and did graduate work at both the University of Arkansas and Oklahoma A and M. Starting his career as a country school teacher, he became high school principal at Branson, superintendent at Blue Eye and Ablsville, and for 14 years Taney County Superintendent of Schools, during which time the remote and rural county system was at the forefront of Missouri’s school re-organization. He was elected president of the Missouri County Superintendent Association, is a member of the Civil War Round Table of the Ozarks, numerous archaeological and historical societies, and was the first president of the White River Valley Historical Society. He saw action as a Navy Lieutenant in the Pacific theater in World War II.

"Living with his wife, Bessie, and son, Chandis, on a large ranch near Kirbyville, Mo., Elmo’s interests are many, including agriculture, geology, forestry, and wildlife, as well as education, history, and pre-history. He helped introduce pure bred Angus cattle to his section of the Ozarks, and has developed one of the finest stands of red cedar in Missouri. Two other books are nearing completion—histories of Taney County and of the upper White River Valley."

Lucille Morris Upton (Mrs. Eugene Upton) wrote the second volume, "The Bald Knobbers". This book came out in 1939, published by the Caxton Printers and was never republished. The works of the Bald Knobbers, a vigilante organization attracted the attention of other sections of the United States until the New York Times sent writers to tell the stories.

No other book has told so well the story of the Bald Knobbers as did that of Mrs. Upton. During the past few years we have sold any copy we might find for eighteen and twenty dollars.

The copyright ran out a few years ago. Mrs. Upton renewed it and this year the book is back in circulation much in demand.


The White River Valley Historical Society Quarterly in commenting on the election of Mrs. Upton an Honorary Member of the Society in 1964 says in part:

Her election of honorary membership was in recognition of the outstanding contribution she has made and is making in the preservation of our local history. In addition to her book, Bald Knobbers, which was published in 1939, Mrs. Upton during her years as newspaper woman has written hundreds of articles dealing with the history of this region. Her writings have been directly responsible for creating tremendous amount of interest in our area’s past.

Mrs. Upton grew up in Dadeville. After attending Drury and Southwest Missouri State Colleges in Springfield, she taught in the Dadeville Elementary School, Everton High School and the Roswell N. Mexico, Public School.

She began newspaper work with the Denver Express, now the Rocky Mountain News in Denver, Colo., and later worked on the El Paso Times in Texas. She returned to Springfield in 1926 as a reporter on the Leader, and in 1927 went to the News. She has been with the Springfield newspapers most of the time since then, retiring Jan. 1, 1964.

Mrs. Upton’s interest in the White River dates back to college days spent on Presbyterian Hill at Hollister. Her first newspaper article appeared in the Kansas City Post and listed the names of cottages there. Also at that time she began collecting material for her book the Bald Knobbers.

Mrs. Upton serves as secretary of the Board of Trustees of the First Congregational Chruch in Springfield. She is a past president of the Missouri Writer’s Guild, is a charter member of our organization, a member of several regional historical societies, and a life member of the Missouri State Historical Society...

Since her retirement, she continues "The Good Old Days" column which appears in the Sunday Springfield News and Leader.



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