The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

Gainsville the County Site of Ozark County stands on the west side of Lick Creek a tributary branch of Big North Fork. The town is situated on the slope of a hill a short distance above the mouth of Thompson Hollow. Though Gainsville is not as large a town as some of the county seats of the surrounding counties, but the residence houses as they stand on the hill side among the shade trees make a nice view. As observed from the summit of the bluff on the opposite side of the creek the town has a business like appearance. Numbers of farmers who reside in the surrounding neighborhood and for miles distant visit here to trade with the merchants do their milling and transact other business. The scenery in the valley of Lick Creek is beautiful. It is interesting to notice the round top hills that reach up higher than others. As we stand on the top of the bluff mentioned Gainsville and part of the valley of Lick Creek they lie before us. Both above and below the town this valley is dotted with farms residences, deep hollows and wooded hills are observed. A short distance below Gainsville on the east side of the creek is the cemetery where a goodly share of the pioneer citizens their wives, children and their grand children lie at rest. The land where the dead are resting is a pretty plot of ground and I am told the graves are well cared for. It is said that the body of Dr. Matthew who was a popular man was the first interment here. Dr. Matthews death occurred about the year 1869. There are other grave yards along this stream. but my information about them is meager, but I am told that just below the old Steve Sanders Homestead is an old time grave yard that had its origin from a moving family who camped here one night and during the night one of their children died and its body was buried on the spot where they camped. Some 5 or 6 miles below Gainsville near the mouth of Possom Walk Creek is another grave yard where I am told that Jesse Satterfield whose death occurred many years ago was the first burial here. Among other old timers resting here is Jack Coffee. Recently when I stood on the top of the hill on the opposite side of the creek from Gainsville and viewed the town and valley of Lick Creek my mind drifted back to the time when this section was unbroken forest but as time went on the wild woods were gradually settled up and converted into civilization and as I viewed the town with its business men and visiting farmers I was surprised to note how soon this change has been made. It is said that Isaac Workman was the first settler on the land where Gainsville now stands which was in 1847. It is also said that Thomas Guifford was the name of the merchant who sold the first goods at Gainsville which was before the beginning of the great Civil War. William Bridges was the first settler on Lick Creek. He located 4 miles above the mouth in 1839. Some of the names of other early residents who lived on Lick Creek were Abraham West, T. C. Fluty, John B. McClererndon, Ben and Asa Turley William Jones, William Thompson, Edward Upton, Allin Sanders and Jesse Sutterfield.

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