The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

The following account was given by the son of an old pioneer settler of Taney County, Mo. It was written to me and I copied it with pleasure because the young man took an interest in writing the account and sending it to me. Here is what he wrote.

Springfield, Mo., September 24, 1906. Mr. S. C. Turnbo, Pontiac, Mo. Dear Sir: I will give you a sketch of a little hunting story that is true and if you deem it worthy enough you can have it printed in your stories of the early days in the Ozarks.

"One day in 1903 I and George Blevins and Sam Swartz went from Harrison, Ark., to Omaha where they were constructing the White River Branch of the Mo. Pacific Railway and built a small house for the purpose of carrying on a restaurant, or boarding house. Omaha was a lively little town while the railroad was being made through the mountains and the largest tunnel on this road was worked through the mountain at this place. In the month of October, 1904, George Blevins died and his body was taken to his father’s home on Long Creek five miles below Denver and buried in the field. One evening when the people were a little quiet in Omaha, I got weary of resting too long and went down to Ed Harlet’s store and bought a Stevens rifle of 22 calibre and taken a stroll out across the hills and finally stopped on the top of a high hill to rest and while I was sitting there I heard something down on the hillside that proved to be a turkey gobbler. As it was some distance from me I began to wish that I had brought a 45 calibre Winchester instead of the little gun I did bring with me, but I concluded to try the 22 Stevens anyway for passtime and so I took aim with it at the turkey and fired. I was surprised at the result for it proved to be a good shot for It filled the turkey. I went to where it lay and picked it up and carried it into town. The people refused to believe I had killed the turkey with the little gun. At that time we had done away with our restaurant and I was boarding with Sam Swartz and he and his wife both accused me of buying the turkey from a hunter and had borrowed the little gun to make them think I had killed it. Mrs. Swartz was an excellent cook and prepared the gobbler for the table and we all had a feast on It for dinner, for It was a large turkey and fat. Several of my friends were invited to come and help us eat it and they did so."

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