The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

The first settlement made at Pontiac Ozark County, Mo. was a hewed log school house, which was built by the citizens of school district No. __. The way it come about to be built was this. A small log house stood on Gooleys Spring Creek and another little log building stood on Brattons Spring Creek just above the mouth. The sentiments of the people living in the district were divided - some of them who lived on Gooleys Spring Creek and near it wanted the school taught in the house on their side others wanted the school taught in the house on the other creek and to settle the matter some of the citizens employed Tom Burgess a surveyor to survey the district and establish the lines and corners and locate the center of the school district and when the work was done the center was found to be on the hill side just west of where Pontiac now stands and the log house was built on the crest of the ridge where several schools were taught and a number of interesting protraded meetings were held. In a short time after the house was finished a post office called Pontiac was established on the ridge where the oakland wood leads from the present site of Pontiac ½ a mile from the school house with H. E. (Ed) Upton as Postmaster,, Dave Brundige also kept the office awhile. Finally Mr. Upton built a house where the F. M. (Phine) Smith dwelling now is at Pontiac and kept the Post Office there until 1897 when he moved away and Sam Martin taken charge of the office. Returning to the old log school house at Pontiac I am told that on one occasion while Capt. Jim Dowd was teaching school in this house, George Neasby son of Cage Neasby was going to school there. George was commonly known as "Yank" Neasby. One evening just before the teacher dismissed the school young Neasby went out of the school house and crawled under the floor and when the teacher was calling the roll he says ‘George Neasby’ and the boy answered, "Here I am under the floor."

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