The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

The following amusing incident was told me by John Crenshaw who was born on Crane Creek in Stone County, Mo. in the month of December 1850. His father William Crenshaw was among the first settlers of that part of Missouri. His mother whose given name was Rhoda was a daughter of Nick Bailey the first assessor of Stone County. William Crenshaw has been dead a number of years and is buried in the Dallas Hart Grave yard near Dugginsville, Mo. John Crenshaw said that the village of the "Mouth of Flat" at the mouth of Flat Creek was once the county seat of Stone County before it was removed to Galena.

Mr. Crenshaw in giving the interesting story mentioned above says that Mr. Asa G. Smith was an old pioneer settler of Stone County and was known by almost every resident in that section. "The incident I refer to", said Mr. Crenshaw, "occurred 5 years before I was born but it is so well authenticated that there is no question in my mind as to the truth of it" said he. "One day in the year 1845 Asa G. Smith went to the then small town of Springfield to transact business at the land office. On arriving at the future city he found himself very hungry and the first thing he did on reaching there was to hunt a boarding house to procure something to appease his appetite. On inquiry he was directed to a small house where they give travelers a chance to get something to eat. On reaching the house Mr. Smith stepped into the dining room and called for a lunch, and the proprietor soon prepared a plate and a seat for him at the table. There was a young gawky looking fellow seated at the table when Mr. Smith entered the house and the latter was requested to sit down at the table on the opposite dide from where the young man was seated. As Mr. Smith began to make way with what was placed before him the young fellow who was something of a smart alex stopped eating a moment and looked straight at Smith and says, "Hello, Mister. Where do you hail from", and Mr. Smith replied, "I live down on White River above the mouth of James in Stone County". "Oh yes" answered the smart young man, "you stay in the midst of horse thieves, hog thieves and ruffians who infest that region". This was too much for Asa G. Smith to bear and considering it an insult flung at himself and friends he resented it by replying, "Mr. gawky, my neighbors and people are not of that class and they enjoy the reputation of being as honest and clever as the people are in any county of the state of Missouri and I will not permit you not no other man to disparage the character of my friends and neighbors in such a disgraceful and disgusting way, Sir", and shoving himself back from the table he raised his feet and placed them against the side of the table and shoved it violently against the now thoroughly frightened young fellow with such force that it knocked him sprawling on the floor and the table and its contents fell on him. The youngster thought he had come in contact with his Satanic Majesty and he kicked and yelled to release himself and on getting free from the table he leaped to his feet and ran out of the house hallooing murder, murder, as loud as his vocal organs would permit, the dining room was a sight to behold. Plates, knives, and forks and victuals lay scattered over the floor. The proprieter was greatly excited and expected that the wrath of Smith would hit him next but the latter was calm as a pickled cucumber and he says to the owner, "Sir, what is the damage", and the seared man replied, "Ten dollars", and Smith reached down into his pocket and took out his purse made of tanned deer hide and fished out a ten dollar gold piece and handed it to the proprietor and says, "Take it my friend, I have value received" and left the house to finish his meal at another boarding house. The demolished young man was not in sight and they said he left the village on quick time."

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