Will Mayfield College: The Will Mayfield College stands as a symbol of a once prosperous era for Marble Hill, Missouri. The small town of approximately 1500 people serves as the Bollinger County seat which lies in the Eastern Ozark foothills of Southeast Missouri.

More on Will Mayfield College This is a follow up post to one I published on January 15, 2020 which states, in part that: “The Will Mayfield College began as the Mayfield-Smith Academy in Sedgewickville (originally called Smithville), Missouri in 1878. In 1880 the school was moved to Marble Hill.

Even More on Will Mayfield College On the September 13, 1929 the Republic Tribune (Union, Missouri) carried a lengthy article about the Will Mayfield College stating that: “Due to hard times in the Mississippi Valley the Will Mayfield College of Marble Hill, Missouri had some hard struggles this last year and there was some doubt in the minds of many as to the future of Will Mayfield.”

An Alcohol Riot in Civil War Ironton: Typically I have found in my studies of Civil War Missouri I have found that those of German heritage were staunch Unionists but I have found something interesting while sifting through the book “Three Years on the Saddle 1861-1865” by Charles D. Field. Apparently, several soldiers were frequenting a bar in Ironton, Missouri and were laying about all over the place. Field and some other men were ordered to shut the place down. What follows is a story about how quickly a people like the German’s loyalty can change once control of alcohol is asserted.

Thar’s Gold in Marble Hill! Apparently gold was discovered in Marble Hill, Missouri. The source of the news comes from the May 26, 1866 Charleston Daily News (Charleston, S.C.) and at the time Marble Hill was called “Dallas”.

Murder in Marble Hill! Is the world really worse now than it was over 100 years ago? That’s debatable. What isn’t debatable is the fact that violent crime occurred in “the good old days” just as much as it does today

Horrible Murder in Missouri! The Chicago Tribune in its January 14, 1864 issue reported an attack on the house of Daniel Critze by “eleven rebels” at midnight in Dallas, Bollinger County, Missouri. Killed in the attack were William Critze (brother of Daniel) as well as James Stevens. Wounded in the attack were Daniel Critze and Sheriff James Frasier [Fraser].

Using the Term “Bushwhacker” to Deflect Blame According to Civil War on the Western Border {.org} a “Bushwhacker” is defined as follows: “The “bushwhackers” were Missourians who fled to the rugged backcountry and forests to live in hiding and resist the Union occupation of the border counties. They fought Union patrols, typically by ambush, in countless small skirmishes, and hit-and-run engagements. These guerrilla fighters harassed, robbed, and sometimes murdered loyal Unionist farmers on both sides of the state line. They interrupted the federal mail and telegraph communications, and (most troublesome to the Union command trying to quell the escalating violence in the border region) the bushwhackers held the popular support of many local farming families.”

A Legendary Historian Dr. Nickell spoke to a capacity crowd about the causes of the Civil War and I must say the most impressive thing about his speech was his ability to engage the crowd and let them determine the causes of the Civil War on their own.

A Giant in the Ozarks The September 10, 1885 issue of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat carried the story of a discovery of the skeletal remains of what can only be described as a giant, in a cave located nine miles from Thayer, Missouri.

Who Murdered the Patterson Family? By all accounts Sheriff James Rogers was a criminal but what of the murder he committed during the war?

How To Cover Up War Crimes: Governor Fletcher Vacated All Positions of Law and Order. I wondered how James Rogers was “appointed” the Sheriff of Bollinger County, Missouri or how Erich Pape was “appointed” sheriff after Rogers. These questions were answered when I stumbled upon a March 18, 1865 issue of the Chicago Tribune.

More on Murder in Marble Hill This is a short follow up to my January 29, 2020 post entitled “Murder in Marble Hill!” which covered the story of William Pents who was publicly hanged in April , 1877.

More on Sheriff Rogers In my previous article “Who Murdered the Patterson Family” I made the connection between Bollinger County Sheriff James Rogers (1866-68) and the murder of the Patterson family in Bollinger County, Missouri during the Civil War. Rogers was charged with murder while acting as sheriff, for war crimes he previously committed. In my previous post I stated that there could be no doubt that Sheriff James Rogers was a criminal but apparently the Sheriff hated all things moral.

Marketing vs Facts: Southeast Missouri was Rebel Territory History can be tricky. Missouri history can be more tricky. Many Unionists were slave owners. Many Confederates were dirt poor farmers who never owned slaves.

Respect Escaped Leeper By all accounts William T. Leeper was an ambitious man. Through my research a picture begins to form of him. He was a man who desired to be a man of means, someone of prominence, of importance, a man of authority. In this picture are shadows of darkness, which if examined closely, reveal a man who was willing to do anything to achieve these goals. He was a driven man who chased his dreams with reckless abandon.

James Gang Spotted In Bollinger County John Reilly spotted Jesse and Frank James camping “at the foot of the hill just beyond ‘Uncle’ David Lutes’ residence about one-and-one-half mile west of Lutesville [Bollinger County, Missouri].” It was the night after the James Gang’s first train robbery. The holdup occurred near Gad’s Hill, Wayne County, Missouri, on January 31, 1874.

More Murder in Wayne County! The Saturday May 28, 1881 Fair Play newspaper (St. Genevieve , Missouri) reported the murder of New Madrid County, Missouri Deputy Sheriff Robert LaForge by three individuals who then made their way to Wayne County, Missouri at which time they murdered Sheriff John T. Davis and mortally wounded County Collector James F. Hatten.

Murder in Mill Spring! It was during this time of railroad expansion that Mill Spring saw a large influx of workers who were traveling with the railroad. It is also this time that a bar room brawl ended in murder in this Wayne County hamlet.

More On “Jayhawkers” & “Bushwhackers” In a previous post I noted that the term “Bushwhacker” seemed to be used interchangeably to describe partisans of either Southern or Northern sympathies in Southeast Missouri.This also seems to be true with the term “Jayhawker”. Captain William Leeper of the 3’rd Missouri State Militia Cavalry (Union) seemed to do this often.

The “Well-Disciplined” 3’rd Missouri State Militia Cavalry The problems of the 3’rd Missouri State Militia didn’t just stem from leadership either. The War of Rebellion records pages 344- 347, detail the cowardice of officers and men of the 3’rd MSM Cavalry in June, 1863 in the form of a letter written by General John W. Davidson from his headquarters at Arcadia, Missouri on June 28, 1863.

Dr. Frank Nickell: Causes of the Civil War (video of Dr. Nickell’s lecture) On January 25, 2020 Dr. Frank Nickell was the guest speaker at the Stoddard Rangers Camp #2290 Sons of Confederate Veterans January meeting as part of the camp’s Civil War in Missouri Lecture Series. The event was held at the historic Stars and Stripes Museum in Bloomfield, Missouri. 

Bloody Work in Southeast Missouri The May 24, 1861 edition of the Alexandria Gazette & Virginia Advertiser carried the news of a gang operating in Butler County, Missouri. 

Remarkable and Sad Story of an Early Victim of Sex Trafficking The crime of sex trafficking , unfortunately, is a common place news item these days, you can imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon this article from the September 3, 1870 Memphis Daily Appeal newspaper which tells the story of a 16-year-old girl by the name of Mary Austin of Ripley County, Missouri.

Why Gen. M. Jeff Thompson Changed His Mind About Chalk Bluff The Thursday May 25, 1865 edition of The Weekly Ottumwa [Iowa] Courier reported the news of General M. Jeff Thompson’s surrender and it contains information of a particular location to surrender his command.

Argument Between Elderly Confederate Veterans Ended in Knife Fight at Higginsville Apparently when Mose Scott accused Jim Cummings of stealing the spittoon, Cummings called Scott “A damn liar!”. Responding in a fit of rage, Scott then produced a knife cutting Cummings’ cheek and abdomen”

Great Excitement in Greenville The February 17, 1927 edition of the Greenville Sun newspaper carried the story of a fiddling contest that attracted more than 600 people to the Wayne County, Missouri community more than 200 people were turned away , failing to gain admission to the event.

Harry B. Hawes: Pioneer of Missouri’s Highway & Flood Control Systems “Hawes’ next foray into elective politics was more successful, as in 1916 was elected to the Missouri House of Representatives. While brief [Editor’s note: Hawes served from 1916-1917 before resigning to join the U.S. Army, due to World War I, where he was commissioned a captain] , his career in the House was eventful. Hawes authored bills that created the Missouri Highway Department and revised state traffic laws. He also served as chairman of the Good Roads committee and led the effort to pass a $60 million bond issue for creation of the states first highway system. Pertaining to river transportation and its importance to Missouri, Hawes was one of the chief organizers of the “Lakes to the Gulf Waterway Association”, whose goal was creating a series of locks & dams along the Mississippi, Illinois and Missouri rivers that would enable easier shipment of grain and other goods.”

Slavery Was Not the Cause of the War: Another Example While exploring the archives of the Charleston Courier (Charleston, Mississippi County, Missouri) I found another example of Northern views regarding slavery and whether or not Union soldiers were fighting to abolish the institution.

A Northern View on Race I write and post a lot of historical articles mainly related to the Ozarks and the Civil War. Most of it is well received but every now and then and sometimes someone feels the need to dispute what I say. It’s only natural but most of the time when someone is triggered they make a counterpoint by grabbing the first headline that they feel makes their case.

Murder in Mississippi County… An article published in 1987 by the Missouri Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans newsletter , “The Missouri Partisan” carried the article of two Confederate soldiers killed near Norfolk, Missouri and that they were buried at Rush Ridge Cemetery near Wyatt in Mississippi County, Missouri.

The Dedication of Sam A. Baker State Park The July 5, 1928 edition of the Wayne County Journal-Banner carried the story of the [then] upcoming dedication of the Sam A. Baker State Park, even Missouri Governor Sam A. Baker was slated to speak at the event.The park is an old favorite destination to many of us in the Eastern Ozarks and the story contains accounts of early settlers of Wayne County, the Civil War (including General Sterling Price’s 1864 raid) and the location of “Rocky Battery”, which I have been wondering about since reading Paulette Jiles’ 2003 book “Enemy Women.”

Deadly Storm Cost Lives, Injuries The June 1, 1917 edition of the Natchez Democrat (Natchez, Mississippi) reported on the deadly storms that passed through Southeast Missouri and Southern Illinois. The paper reported that the storm did the most damage in Wayne and Bollinger Counties, with the heaviest loss in Zalma where 25 lives were lost and 200 injured.

Missouri Governor Claiborne Fox: Secessionist or Peacemaker? Most mainstream history accounts of Missouri Governor Claiborne Fox Jackson describe him as having a secessionist agenda. Lately I’ve been digging through newspaper archives of the era and what I’ve found is that they paint a different picture of Governor Jackson than contemporary accounts describe.

The Bollinger County Light Horse Cavalry It may be significant to note that the Bollinger County Light Horse Cavalry was the first Confederate unit organized in this neighborhood, in mid-March of 1861, which was nearly a month before the South attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina on April 12, 1861.

Impending War Cotton was not king in the Ozarks but hard work was. The soil was not suited for farming. If it had been the planters would have bought it up and brought their slaves with them.

A Desperate Plea (And Warning) From A Friend The August 31, 1861 issue of Louisville, Kentucky’s “Courier Journal” carried a story on the conditions of Bollinger & Madison counties in Missouri. It also contains a letter from I.R. Hidod, of Company G, Missouri State Guard to his friend, Francis Williams. The letter was a plea from Hidod to Williams to reconsider his position as a Union man and enlist in the ranks of the South. The letter was also a warning as to what would happen if he didn’t.

In Defense of South Carolina The Saturday October 13, 1860 issue of The Emporia News (Emporia, Ks) contained the contents of a speech of New York born William Seward. At the time Seward was a Republican candidate for President of the United States. The speech detailed his hatred for the State of Missouri and those who lived within its borders.

Defiant Ozark Women The following information came from an administrator of the Historical Wayne County Missouri Facebook group. Though the author did not provide their name this is an excellent article that not only highlights war crimes committed by Captain William T. Leeper of the local Union militia, it also gives the reader a glimpse of what it was like to be living under occupational rule.

About Those Official Numbers Most “official” sources claim that 110,000 Missouri men fought for the Union and some 30,000 fought for the Confederacy.

More Murder in Bollinger County, Missouri On July 17, 1885 Grainfield, Kansas’s newspaper, the Grainfield Cap Sheaf, reported the capture of a Bollinger County, Missouri murderer.

The Last of the Moonshiners The July 13, 1878 St. Louis Globe-Democrat published an article entitled “The Last of the Moonshiners” about John Bollinger, a moonshiner who was over 70 years of age. Bollinger might have been in “advanced age” as the paper describes him, but he still had plenty of fight left in him.

More Post-War Lawlessness in Bollinger County, Missouri In post-war Bollinger County, Missouri lawlessness prevailed. It seems with little opportunity many turned to distilling corn liquor or “moonshine”. Before the war it was not illegal to do so but after the war it was considered to be against the law due to the fact that the government did not get “its share” through taxation.

In Post-War Bollinger County, Republicans Weren’t Welcome One account of Bollinger County, Missouri during the Civil War called it a “hotbed of secession”, Historian Glen Bishop, (whose speech at the Bollinger County Museum of Natural History was covered in the September 4, 2011 Southeast Missourian Newspaper) stated that 6 out of 10 men in Bollinger County sided with the South during the war.

Union Veterans Blamed for Robberies in Bollinger County Lancaster, Pennsylvania’s Journal Intelligencer newspaper carried news of a string of robberies being committed in Bollinger County, Missouri in its May 29, 1868 issue.The paper stated that the perpetrators wore masks and Union overcoats and stated it was probably some of “Logan’s GAR’s”.

Sons of (Union) Veterans Arrested in Marble Hill. The date was May 30, 1889 and both Union and Confederate veterans gathered in Marble Hill, Missouri to join in a memorial to those who had died in the Civil War. The July 11, 1889 edition of the Erie Sentinel reported that Sons of (Union) Veterans Camp #50 fired the salute (with blank cartridges). Afterwards the Union and Confederate veterans went to the Bollinger County courthouse to continue the service. It was at this time that the members who fired the salute, brought their rifles in the courthouse and were arrested because of it.

St. Louis Globe Democrat Paid Tribute to Will Mayfield & Bollinger County, Missouri The August 23, 1925 issue of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat covered the counties of Southeast Missouri in its “Travelog” series of the state. Included in the article is a substantial article about Bollinger County and William Mayfield, who the Globe described as “the County’s leading citizen” and “after many heartbreaking experiences and tribulations finally succeeded in founding the Will Mayfield College there.”

Group demonstrates in support of keeping monument in place “From left: Steven Thrasher of Cottonwood Point, Missouri; Rodney Neville of Cooter, Missouri; and Clint Lacy of Marble Hill, Missouri, protest the potential removal of the Confederate monument from Ivers Square in Cape Girardeau on Sunday. “We’re protesting the removal of American history; it’s no longer just about the Confederacy” 

Dispelling the Lies and Bringing You the Truth about the Attacks on Cape Girardeau’s Confederate Monument A piece I wrote about our (unsuccessful) attempt to save Cape Girardeau, Missouri’s Confederate monument.

An Example of a Different Time The March 14, 1929 Greenville Sun newspaper [Greenville, Missouri] contained a story that would spark outrage by today’s standards. 

The Fate of Adam Bollinger In my previous post I talked about Adam Bollinger a former slave who was arrested for the murder of a fellow slave in 1862.

A Pre-War Predicament in Post-War Fredericktown The January 8, 1879 issue of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat carried a fascinating story which was originally published in the Fredericktown [Missouri] Plaindealer. The story involves a former slave named Adam Bollinger who murdered another slave named “Jack” (no last name was provided in the report) in 1862.

More Gold in Southeast Missouri I posted an article on January 28, 2020 in which I talked about gold discovered in Dallas (present day Marble Hill) Bollinger County, Missouri in 1866. Recently I discovered that gold has been found elsewhere in Southeast Missouri in 1862. The February 4, 1862 issue of The Daily Missouri Democrat contains information about the discovery of gold in neighboring Madison County, Missouri.

Hypocrisy of the New York Daily Herald The December 31, 1862 edition of the New York Daily Herald contained much information about the situation in Missouri. Among the reports of guerrilla warfare activities and false reports that the Confederates had retaken Columbus, Kentucky is a report of a minister at a St. Louis Church who was expelled for claiming he was “neutral” on the issue of the war. Also in the report in which the New York Daily Herald calls abolitionists in Missouri “nigger worshipers”.

The Past Always Repeats Itself: Election Judge Found Guilty for Not Properly Certifying Election Returns Proper certification of election returns isn’t a new problem, it certainly wasn’t in St. Louis , Missouri. The June 17,1868 Daily Missouri Republican reported that Samuel J. Handy an election judge for the Fifth Ward tried to pull off a “fast one.”

The Smartest Horse in the World: Beautiful Jim Key The story begins with a young slave named William “Bill” King who had a way with horses. His master was described as a kind man who treated Bill as one of his sons. During the war Bill joined his brothers on the side of the South both protecting them, while at the same time helping thousands of slaves escape to the North.

Out of the Past: Scopus Was Once the Headquarters for Large Counterfeiting Operation The June 26, 1891 edition of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat carried an extensive article about U.S. Marshals busting a rather large counterfeiting ring near the town of Scopus. 

The Remarkable Story of “Dr.” William Key & His Horse Jim Key The story of “Dr.” William “Bill” Key is a remarkable one that flies in the face of politically-correct lies that we have been force-fed over recent decades.

Racism in Union Ranks “The white soldiers concluded that they had been outraged by the presence of negro soldiers and abolition lies that all the brave fighting that during the war had been done by negroes, and the took the matter into their own hands and concluded to wreak revenge upon the blacks with stones and revolvers.”

Mystery of Bollinger County Skeleton Solved The July 9, 1874 Iron County (Missouri) Register reported a Marble Hill man digging his garden found a skeleton at the site of where a grocery store once stood. An investigation revealed the bones were buried by a Marble Hill (at the time of the war called Dallas) physician buried the bones secretly to, “keep the Yankee soldiers from stealing them.”

James Gang Gold in Wayne County, Missouri The October 6, 1948 The Daily Standard newspaper (Sikeston, Missouri) reported the curious case of a large cache of gold coins and certificates in a cave near Gads Hill, Missouri. Gads Hill, is the site of the James Gang train robbery in 1874.

Frank James in Advance Missouri The Friday December 3, 1909 Bloomfield (Missouri) Vindicator reported: “The St. Louis Post-Dispatch of November 30th, contained the following article. We are disposed to doubt the statement that Frank James lives in this country but give the article to our readers for what it may be worth.”

Only Nine The December 5, 1878 edition of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch carried an article titled “Shaking in Their Boots”, detailing the appearance of five men appearing before the U.S. Court. Two of the five were from Bollinger County, Missouri and they did not appear to be shaking in their boots.

Murder in Marble Hill 1879 Perhaps I could have picked a better title for this particular blog post. Technically when L.B. James killed Charles Whitworth it was murder but it was murder in self-defense.

Stoddard County Embraced Secession “The Military ardor of South-East Missouri is up to the highest point. We hear of companies being raised at St. Luke, St. Francoisville, Spring Hill and Lakeville [present day Advance] as well as in other portions of our County. On Sunday a company of infantry, numbering about seventy members, was on parade in St. Luke and judging from appearances they would do some good execution in our swamp country. In Bloomfield we have both cavalry and infantry companies under drill. Whenever circumstances make it necessary Stoddard County will be respected on the field of battle.”

1947 Debate About Who Fredericktown Was Named The August 3, 1947 issue of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat carried a story on the controversy over who the Madison County town of Fredericktown was named.

Objection to “Decoration Day” The June 27, 1889 Warrensburg Standard “calls out” the Kansas City Globe for getting its facts wrong. Apparently the Globe claimed the prosecutor in Johnson County, Missouri filed criminal charges against an individuals for trying to honor Decoration Day. According to the Standard, it was not Johnson County in which this event occurred, it was Bollinger County.

General Order #1 Forbade Anyone From Leaving Perryville / Bollinger Counties The August 16 , 1862 Perryville Weekly Union carried the notice of General Order #1 issued by Provost Marshal Charles Weber. Weber was Provost Marshall for Perry and Bollinger Counties. The notice stated that no resident of these counties could leave the county in which they lived until a draft could be made.

Stolen Elections Are Nothing New The December 30, 1867 St. Louis Daily Missouri Republican carried the story of something Americans in 2021 are all too familiar with, stolen elections. The paper reported that in Wayne County, Missouri: “At a recent election in Wayne County to fill a vacancy of the House, caused by the resignation of James S. McMurtry, Dr. James Woods (radical) was elected, receiving 97 votes, against 56 votes polled for two other candidates. In 1860 Wayne County polled 724 votes for President. Nevertheless, a Radical exchange says the election of Dr. Woods was “a victory for the Radicals of Wayne , that they may well be proud of.”

Breaking Brake From the June 19, 1867 Daily Missouri Republican, a story of a horse thief from Bollinger county horse named “Brake” and a Madison County sheriff who planned to “break” him of his hobby.

Hidden in a Hogshead The May 29, 1863 edition of the paper carried the story of a Mr. Herwig who was arrested by Sheriff McBride un suspicion of stealing a mule. Herwig aroused the suspicion of the sheriff because he was riding the mule bareback.

Guerrillas in Patton The Friday May 29, 1863 edition of the Perryville Weekly Union reports that guerrillas (Southern partisan fighters) intercepted a Union captain and some other Union troops from Madison County, Missouri 

Radicals Treatment of Conservatives in Missouri “The radicals of the era , as they referred to themselves, imposed harsh treatment of Southern sympathizers both during and after the war. In fact, after the war, they turned on the Germans.”

Frank Valle: A Perry County Secessionist That Bollinger Countians Wanted to Elect The July 8, 1864 issue of the Perryville Weekly News (Perry county, Missouri) paid special attention to inquiries from Bollinger County, to its paper seeking information pertaining to whether or not a Perry county resident by the name of Frank Valle had been nominated to the state convention.

The Capture and Execution of John Bolin The February 10, 1864 edition of the Philadelphia Inquirer carried the news of John Bolin’s capture on Holcomb Island, the many papers mistakenly reported Holcomb was “near” Cape Girardeau, Missouri , it is much farther South. Bolin never received a trial.

Harsh Words and Veiled Threats All Part of a Newspaper Feud From the late 1800’s through the early 1900’s it was not uncommon for rival newspapers to take lighthearted jabs at each other from time to time but an article found in the October 29, 1897 Dunklin Democrat newspaper revealed a feud between two papers that was anything but lighthearted, in fact, it was down right nasty.

Choosing Sides In early 1861 states found themselves with a difficult decision to make, either secede or stay loyal to the Union.

Lutesville Soldier Dies in Vietnam Army Pfc. David Keith Pomeroy was killed on February 18, 1968 while serving in Vietnam.

No More Passengers on Freight Trains The December 23, 1909 Democrat – News ( Fredericktown, Missouri) announced that only the southbound local freight train of the St. Louis , Iron Mountain and Southern Railroad, would carry passengers between Bismarck and Glen Allen. The paper cited that the railroad now had two passenger trains running north and south daily and that the public should patronize them.

My Address to the Wayne County Historical Society I was invited to speak to the Wayne County [Missouri] Historical Society on April 5, 2021 and I have to say that I’ve never met a more welcoming, friendly and generous group of people. I would like to thank David Bollinger for the invite and all of those who came to listen to me speak. I had a great time and met so many great people afterwards. Wayne County, you really know how to make a guy feel welcome! (Video in link).

Flood of 1982 Devastated Lutesville / Marble Hill, Missouri In early December, 1982 the towns of Lutesville and Marble Hill were devastated when area flooding caused Crooked Creek to overflow its banks and entered local homes and businesses. The flooding was so severe it made the headlines of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in its December 05, 1982 edition.

Patterson Woman Served Two Governors

“Mrs. Birdwell bore the distinction of having been hostess and cook to [Confederate] General Sterling Price and his staff officers when they came through Patterson in September, 1864 on their way to Stoney Battery and Pilot Knob, where they routed the Union forces. Because of the good cooking of Mrs. Birdwell, General Price left several of his men at the Birdwell home as a guard to protect the young woman, then Julia English, and her sister, mother and aunt from bushwhackers and marauders. The English home was guarded under special orders from General Price for several months. It was the means of saving the family from the raids of the Northern spies, who might have burned their cabin because it had sheltered Price.” Interesting to note is the fact that Mrs. Birdwell’s father was a soldier in the Union army.

Bank Robbery in Lutesville! The May 23, 1972 issue of The Daily Standard (Sikeston, Missouri) reported the robbery of the Bollinger County Bank the previous day. According to the paper a masked gunman entered the bank with a revolver and demanded the teller empty her cash drawer.

Burlison Opposed Abandonment of the Belmont Branch Lately I’ve been finding a lot of information on the railroad that passed through Bollinger county. Originally built by the St. Louis Iron Mountain and Southern, the line eventually fell into the hands of the Missouri Pacific railroad and though few signs remain to remind the public the railroad existed, it was once an engineering marvel, and an important part of the local economy. However, by 1970 times were changing. The December 15, 1970 edition of The Daily Journal (Flat River, Missouri) carried the news of Missouri Pacific’s plan to abandon the line, as well as efforts to save it by local elected officials.

Bollinger, Perry Counties Competed for Railroad The May 26, 1871 Perryville Weekly Union documented a rivalry of sorts between it and the Bollinger county Standard. The cause of the rivalry was whether or not the Iron Mountain railroad would be built through Bollinger or Perry county.

Frank Valle Captures Union Militia The Perryville Weekly Union archives have really turned out to be a treasure trove for Southeast Missouri history. The May 15, 1863 edition of the paper reports of Frank Valle capturing local militia members.

Many Unionists Protected Slavery

In 1863 Perry County, Missouri was by and large controlled by Union authorities. Therefore, it is not surprising that the May 15, 1863 edition of the Perryville Weekly Union reported the following: “NEGROES ARRESTED- Two negro boys were arrested last Monday morning, by Assistant Adjutant General Huff, of General McCormick’s staff, near Perryville and lodged in the Perry County jail. They told several conflicting tales, but from the best information obtained, it appears that the belong to a man by the name of Seabaugh, of Bollinger County, and were going to Illinois. Another was arrested on the same day by James Burgee and Augustus Doerr between this place and Chester and brought here and placed in jail.”

Laflin’s Farm Implement Dealer I found this old advertisement for Champion Equipment in the May 21, 1902 issue of the Marble Hill Press newspaper. There isn’t much left of Laflin, Missouri now but in 1902 it was a small community with a store and home to an equipment dealer named Fred Clippard.

Thomas Fletcher: Missouri’s Most Hated Governor At first glance, reading a brief summary of Fletcher’s military and political career in a Wikipedia article seems impressive, however, a closer look at this career will reveal he was a corrupt criminal and a very accurate view of just how the citizens of Missouri felt about him can be found in the June 28, 1866 issue of the Cape Girardeau Argus (Cape Girardeau, Missouri).

Richard Saling’s “Small Fortune”

In 1996 the St. Louis Post-Dispatch published a public interest story about Bollinger County resident Richard “Mac” Saling. The paper, in its March 10, 1996 issue reported that when “Mac” Saling died around Christmas, 1994: “He left behind 40 acres of timber and stickerweed, a $25,000 checking account, a collection of over 100 shotguns and rifles, six guitars, 18 pairs of brand new overalls and thousands of dollars in cash hidden in and around the little house where he had spent most of the past 40 years.”

Public Transportation Comes to Bollinger, Cape & Wayne Counties I found this advertisement in the December 6, 1945 Wayne County Journal- Banner newspaper. Public transportation has always been a problem in the Eastern Ozarks of Southeast, Missouri but Scofield Bus Lines tried to address the problem.

The Merger of Lutesville & Marble Hill The February 17, 1986 edition of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported on the possible merger of the towns of Lutesville and Marble Hill, Missouri. The two tiny towns separated only by Crooked Creek were probably unfamiliar with the vast majority of its readers.

Buried in Bessville: Tales of an Indian Chief, a Haunted House & the Lost Treasure of a Mexican Prospector The July 16, 1909 issue of The Democrat- News (Fredericktown, Missouri) carried a fascinating, yet outlandish tale of buried treasure in the Bessville, (Bollinger County) Missouri area.

Bucky: Marble Hill, Missouri’s Famous Deer The May 14, 1969 issue of The Daily Standard newspaper (Sikeston, Mo.) published an update on “Bucky” a deer that had been injured near Marble Hill, Missouri and rescued by a local couple. The “Bucky Report” appeared in newspapers across Missouri.

Hope for the Northern Portion of the Belmont Branch The April 24, 1973 edition of The Daily Journal newspaper reported on efforts to save the northern portion of the Belmont Branch of the Missouri Pacific Railroad from abandonment. 

Last Chance for the Belmont Branch The September 23, 1972 issue of the Kansas City Times reported of a “Hail Mary” pass of sorts by those who opposed the abandonment of the Belmont Branch by the Missouri Pacific railroad.

Uncertain Future For Belmont Branch The Daily Journal newspaper, in its October 23, 1970 issue, reported the bleak future of Missouri Pacific railroad’s Belmont Branch.

The Twin Cities Did Themselves Proud; Was this 1893 event the biggest ever held in Lutesville, Marble Hill? “Wrapt in admiration of the grand thoughts of that immortal document, the Declaration of Independence, and contemplation of the heroism that established its demands the people of Bollinger, Madison, Cape Girardeau, Wayne, Scott and Stoddard counties, to the number of perhaps, 7500 assembled at Conrad’s park, between the Twin Cities last Tuesday to celebrate the Nation’s Birthday.

The Last One The August 2, 1940 issue of the Dexter Statesman [Dexter, Missouri] published a photo of “Uncle” George Fox and Francis M. Snider , the last two surviving Civil War soldiers in Southeast, Missouri and noting that with the recent passing of Fox, Snider was the last surviving Civil War veteran in the Southeast Missouri district.

The Intruder: When Hollywood Came to Southeast Missouri Since the movie was set in a small Southern town, Missouri’s “Bootheel” region was a natural location. The movie was actually shot in the towns of Charleston, East Prairie and Sikeston.

Rattlesnake Raid in Bollinger County The May 13, 1886 Warrensburg Standard newspaper reported on a rattlesnake raid in the vicinity of Bollinger Mills (present day Zalma). According to the paper the party killed 17 rattlesnakes ranging in size from four feet to six feet. Additionally six “very large” snakes of varying species were killed before the rain stopped “the slaughter of the innocents” as the paper put it.

The Confederates of Brazil The following article was originally published in the May 5, 1983 issue of The Tipton Times (Tipton, Missouri).

Hanging Narrowly Avoided in Delta The January 12, 1917 issue of the Bloomfield Vindicator carried the news of a Black porter (railroad employee who handled baggage and assisted passengers) who assaulted a citizen in Delta, Missouri at the Delta Hotel.

Big Plans for Bollinger The May 11, 1893 edition of the Marble Hill Press reported that big plans were in the works for Bollinger County, Missouri which included either an improved (possibly new) railroad depot in Lutesville and a mining operation at Alliance.

Sasquatch Activity in Reynolds County, Missouri. Special thanks to Joseph Hayden who shared this documentary on Sasquatch (Bigfoot) activity in Reynolds County, Missouri. Some might chuckle a bit about the headline for this post. Do Sasquatch exist? I don’t know. Whether or not you are a believer in such things, I think you will find David’s story fascinating.

Oklahoma Corruption I don’t know how I missed this but somehow a year after the fact, I stumbled upon Paulette Jiles review of my book “The Rape of Delaware County”. Many thanks Mrs. Jiles, I am once again honored and humbled.

The Post-War Betrayal of Missouri’s German Population. Kristen L. Anderson, in an article published in the Fall, 2008 issue of the Journal of American Ethnic History noted that one particular point of contention of the Germans concerning the Drake Constitution were the religious provisions of the document.

Sam Hildebrand Pays a Visit to Bollinger County “Sam Hildebrand’s Confession” is certainly and interesting read. On pages 196-197 Hildebrand writes about a visit to Bollinger County, Missouri on May 25, 1864. He writes of going in the direction of “Dallas” in Bollinger County [present day Marble Hill, Mo.] and encountering 7 federals [Union soldiers}. Hildebrand notes that at the time Dallas was garrisoned by approximately 100 “Dutch” soldiers.

Photo Essay: Celebrating Boston On Friday August 27, 2021 residents of Bollinger County, Missouri gathered to celebrate the life of Ed “Boston” Dorrer. The attendance of the event was a testament to the man and the people who loved him. There were no tears, just laughter, fellowship and fond memories shared. I think he would have wanted that way.

Unlikely Friend The first time I met Ed “Boston” Dorrer he was at the Bollinger County Eagles in 2010. It was a memorable day. My kids were at their mother’s house , dark clouds were on the horizon and tornado warnings filled the airwaves, a typical stormy Spring day in Southeast, Missouri.

They Thought He Was Frank James I was recently given some old copies of the “Echo” , a magazine that used to be published by the Bollinger County (Missouri) Historical Society. I am already finding some interesting material. One such story was found in the October, 1979 issue of the Echo, on page 117. The article, titled “They Thought He Was Jesse James’ Brother , Frank” was written by Clyde Willis who writes about a visit to the Randles James farm by two Pinkerton detectives.

Colonel Jeffers Captures Dallas (Marble Hill) The August 23, 1862 edition of the Perryville Weekly Union reports that Colonel Jeffers (of the 8th Missouri Cavalry, CSA ) entered Dallas with around sixty men and surrounded several homes in which members of the Union state militia were encamped.

Illinois Invades Bollinger County By January, 1861 Illinois troops found there way to Bollinger County. As the January 18, 1861 issue of St. Louis’s Daily Missouri Republican reported.

Carpenter’s Court Martial The November 17, 1863 Daily Missouri Republican (St. Louis, Missouri) reported of court-martial proceedings against Captain John Carpenter, Company C, 2cd Arkansas Volunteers (Union). It appears that Captain Carpenter was briefly stationed in Bollinger County, Missouri and feared an attack by Confederate forces. In his haste the paper states that he burned “government bacon and pork” to prevent it from falling into the hands of Confederate forces.

Botched Attack in Bollinger County The November 21, 1862 edition of the Perryville Weekly Union newspaper carried the story of a Captain Johnson, who resided in Bollinger County, Missouri and was attacked at his home by a Emanuel Grounds, who was accompanied by 14- 15 men.

Remembering Arcadia I recently discovered a treasure trove of articles I had written dating back to 2003 which documented efforts to combat what many of us felt was a grave injustice to Missouri history by the Governor of Missouri at the time.

Slavery & Stereotypes in Confederate Arkansas Most of us were taught that the Civil War (War of Northern Aggression, War Between the States etc) was a noble endeavor to free the slaves from bondage in the South. However, a review of the facts reveals that Northern attitudes toward race did not reflect the humanitarian propaganda being distributed from Washington, D.C.

Happy Missouri Secession Day! After the Missouri State Guard secured victories at Wilson’s Creek (near Springfield, Missouri) in August, 1861 and Lexington, Missouri in September, 1861, the Missouri Legislature met at the Masonic Hall in Neosho, Missouri on October 28, 1861 to debate the subject of secession from the Union.

Photo Essay: Pilgrimage to Pulliam’s On Saturday October 23, 2021 I accompanied members of the Stoddard Rangers Camp #2290, Missouri Sons of Confederate Veterans and members of the John Crawford Smith Camp #2302, Arkansas Sons of Confederate Veterans, on a visit to Pulliam’s farm, site of the 1863 Christmas Massacre in Ripley County, Missouri.

From the Foothills to the Delta: Spending a Day On the Rock Island I had the opportunity to take part in a “speeder” run on the newly reborn Rock Island railroad from Swan Lake to Clarksdale, Mississippi recently. “Speeders” are track inspection vehicles from the days of old and running these pieces of history has become a niche hobby over the years. Before I get into the events of the day I need to share a bit of history.

Battle of Round Pond & The Murder of John Chasteen Official records indicate that the battle took place near the Castor River but this is incorrect as the Castor is several miles south of the location and I believe the official reports confused the Castor River with the Whitewater River which is much closer to the location of this event.

Announcing “From the Foothills” a new podcast from Foothills Media Foothills Media LLC is proud to announce the launch of our new podcast “From the Foothills” a new podcast that focuses on the music, heritage & culture of the Eastern Ozarks of Southeast Missouri.

Walk to Tower Rock Realizing that this type of event doesn’t happen often, I decided to drive up and experience the site for myself. I made the drive on Friday October 21’st. Recent social media posts reported the site was very crowded on the weekends, but technically Friday was a weekday so I was not expecting the site to be crowded. I would soon found out I was wrong.

Battle at Jackson: How one town’s City Council turned its back on its Heritage and bowed to Left-Wing radicals The following articles are from the Southeast Missourian archives from January-March, 2005 and detail my efforts to erect a Missouri Battle Flag at the monument of Colonel William Jeffers in Jackson, Missouri, a proposal that originally had the backing of  (then) Jackson Mayor Paul Sander, the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Interview with Bollinger County Resident Denny Cato The following video interview was conducted with Mr. Cato at his residence on July 21, 2022. In it, Cato shares the story of his nearly six-year relationship with the City, personal struggles he endured and what he feels were the real reasons his employment was terminated.

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