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.”

Despite the doubt of many about the forthcoming year the headline of the paper read “Will Mayfield College Opened With Fine Attendance.”

Will Mayfield College, Marble Hill, MoWill Mayfield College, Marble Hill, Mo Fri, Sep 13, 1929 – Page 4 · Republican Tribune (Union, Missouri) · Newspapers.com

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.

According to the paper, a man by the last name of Salisbury had went to another farmer’s residence and “cooly called him out”, informing him that he was going to kill him. Salisbury shot the farmer in the leg, demanded he stand back up and delivered a second fatal shot. The paper reported that the murder had taken place seven years prior and was said to be over a dispute of stock.

Salisbury then traveled to Kansas and was ultimately tracked down when he sold his property in Missouri. He was also suspected of taking part in another murder in Kansas.

Fri, Jul 17, 1885 – 1 · Grainfield Cap Sheaf (Grainfield, Kansas) · Newspapers.com

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. The paper stated , “When captured Bollinger was very violent in his language toward the officers and swore that if he had been at the distillery when they came they never would have taken it; he would have shot them down like dogs.”

Last of the Moonshiners in Bollinger CountyLast of the Moonshiners in Bollinger County Sat, Jul 13, 1878 – 7 · St. Louis Globe-Democrat (St. Louis, Missouri) · Newspapers.com

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.

There are several accounts in newspaper archives from throughout the United States about the crackdown on illegal distilleries in the county. It was not uncommon for federal authorities to make appearances and arrests.

It was also not uncommon for the citizens to intervene in the apprehension of moonshiners. Sometimes they were successful, other times not so much. The May 22, 1871 issue of the Chicago Tribune carries the story of an unsuccessful attempt to free prisoners from Federal authorities.

Post War Lawlessness in Bollinger County, MissouriPost War Lawlessness in Bollinger County, Missouri Mon, May 22, 1871 – 2 · Chicago Tribune (Chicago, Illinois) · Newspapers.com Mon, May 22, 1871 – 2 · Chicago Tribune (Chicago, Illinois) · Newspapers.com

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.

Not surprisingly, many of these men either fled the state or lost their property during the war. A common practice was to claim back taxes owned on the land that were not paid during the hostilities. When the land owners couldn’t pay, they county took the land. In other instances during the war men who were charged with being Southern sympathizers would have to take an “Oath of Allegiance” and put up a bond. If the accused did not have the cash for the bond, they were allowed to use their property. In the event they were accused of disloyalty again, the property was forfeited and often time the accused sent to prison.

It is important to remember that during and after the War most Southerners were Democrats and most Unionists were Republican, of course most Southerners could not hold office or vote until the Drake Constitution (which served as the basis for Missouri Reconstruction) was abolished in 1875.

By 1872 land in Bollinger County could be found advertised in papers throughout the United States but as some would find out, the land was not much of a bargain. Evidence of this can be found in the August 5, 1872 Inter Ocean newspaper (Chicago, Illinois) and the August 8, 1872 Boston Globe (both articles being republished from the St. Louis Globe).

Republicans intimidated in Bollinger CountyRepublicans intimidated in Bollinger County Mon, Aug 5, 1872 – Page 6 · The Inter Ocean (Chicago, Illinois) · Newspapers.com KKK Intimidation, Bollinger County, MissouriKKK Intimidation, Bollinger County, Missouri Thu, Aug 8, 1872 – 4 · The Boston Globe (Boston, Massachusetts) · Newspapers.com

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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”.

Union War Veterans Blamed for Robberies in Bollinger County, MissouriUnion War Veterans Blamed for Robberies in Bollinger County, Missouri Fri, May 29, 1868 – 2 · Intelligencer Journal (Lancaster, Pennsylvania) · Newspapers.com

I knew who “Logan” was. The paper was referencing Union General John A. Logan (from Southern Illinois), he founded the Grand Army of the Republic in 1868, which was a fraternal organization for Union veterans of the Civil War.

At first I thought the “Logan” reference was to a local GAR chapter in Bollinger County but I can find no record, there were to GAR chapters in Bollinger County, Missouri, the Shanks chapter in Lutesville / Marble Hill and the Pape chapter in Zalma.

The paper in its statement that the robbers were probably some of “Logan’s GAR’s was a reference to the organization in general. Army History {.org} states that:

“Following the Civil War, Logan was instrumental in the founding of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), a veterans group comprised of former Union Army soldiers, and served as the GAR’s second elected national commander; General Stephen Hurlburt was the first commander in chief of the GAR.  On 3 March 1868, Logan issued General Order No. 11, which called for a national day of remembrance for Civil War dead.  This order served as the basis for what became the national holiday of Memorial Day.”

General John A. Logan, a veteran of the Union army and founder of the G.A.R.

Sons of (Union) Veterans Arrested in Marble Hill.

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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. While the paper states it was Sons of Veterans Camp #50, an Sons of Union Veterans newsletter lists the men as being members of Thomas Fletcher Camp #56.

Sons of Confederate Veterans members arrested for firing a salute for Memorial Service.Sons of Confederate Veterans members arrested for firing a salute for Memorial Service. Thu, Jul 11, 1889 – 1 · Erie Sentinel (Erie, Kansas) · Newspapers.com

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 hearbreaking experiences and tribulations finally succeeded in founding the Will Mayfield College there.”

The Globe, in its coverage of the counted also painted a picture of what it was like to live in the county during the Civil War.

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Bollinger County, Will MayfieldBollinger County, Will Mayfield Sun, Aug 23, 1925 – 19 · St. Louis Globe-Democrat (St. Louis, Missouri) · Newspapers.com

Will Mayfield Part. 2Will Mayfield Part. 2 Sun, Aug 23, 1925 – 19 · St. Louis Globe-Democrat (St. Louis, Missouri) · Newspapers.com Mayfield Part. 3Mayfield Part. 3 Sun, Aug 23, 1925 – 19 · St. Louis Globe-Democrat (St. Louis, Missouri) · Newspapers.com

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The Dedication of Sam A. Baker State Park

Photo courtesy of Missouri State Parks

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.”

Dedication of Sam A. Baker State ParkDedication of Sam A. Baker State Park Thu, Jul 5, 1928 – 1 · Wayne County Journal-Banner (Piedmont, Missouri) · Newspapers.com

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.

Deadly Storm at Zalma, Missouri. June 1,1917Deadly Storm at Zalma, Missouri. June 1,1917 Fri, Jun 1, 1917 – Page 1 · Natchez Democrat (Natchez, Mississippi) · Newspapers.com
  • Clint Lacy is an author and publisher and founded Foothills Media LLC in February, 2019. His latest release is “The Rape of Delaware County.” Oklahoma used to be a safe haven for outlaws, in Delaware County it still is. The only difference is that some of them wear badges and others have law degrees. $10 paperback, 145 pages.