Drumroll please… “Blood in the Ozarks: Expanded Second Edition” is now available at Barnes & Noble for $15.00 (paperback).
“A fascinating story of conflict played out in a country of great beauty but thin soil, heavy swamps, thick forest that almost nobody wanted, except the people who lived there.” – Paulette Jiles, author of “Enemy Women”, “News of the World” & “Simon the Fiddler”.
The Thursday September 28, 1905 edition of the Wayne County Journal (Greenville, Missouri) reported on the election of Missourian Harry B. Hawes to the position of Commander in Chief of the United Sons of Confederate Veterans and as the paper pointed out , his family tree made him well qualified for the position.
In addition to the information found in the Wayne County Journal , the Political Graveyard website states that Harry Hawes grandfather , Richard Hawes served as the Confederate Provisional Governor of Kentucky from 1862-1865.
Harry Hawes was a member of the Democratic Party and after an unsuccessful bid for the office of Governor of Missouri in 1904, He was elected to the Missouri House of Representatives and served from 1916-1917.
A brief history of Harry Hawes on the Wikipedia website states:
“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.”
Upon returning home from the war, Harry Hawes was elected as U.S. Representative for Missouri’s 11’th Congressional District and serving from 1920-1926.
In 1926 Hawes was elected to the U.S. Senate serving from 1926-1933 (he resigned from the U.S. House of Representatives to take his Senate seat early due to the death of Senator Selden Spencer.
During his time in the Senate Hawes continued his work of flood control, by advocating the building of dams and levees along the Mississippi River.
After leaving the U.S. Senate, Harry Hawes returned to practicing law , specializing in foreign relations. During World War II , Hawes served as legal council for the Philippine government in exile while the island nation was occupied by Japan.
Harry Hawes, the architect of Missouri highways and flood control efforts, died on July 31, 1947 in Washington , D.C. his remains were cremated and his ashes scattered along the Current River, near Doniphan, in Ripley County, Missouri. He was the product of Southern honor and ancestry, upholding his family’s long tradition of politics, patriotism and military service.
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.
Mary stated that her family moved to Helena, Arkansas. Shortly thereafter both of her parents died (she did not elaborate how). It was at this time that she went to work for a planter by the name of Captain Beard working in the cotton fields for a year when she met a young man whose name was Dick Austin. Mary told the Daily Appeal:
“There was a young man named Dick Austin (no kin of mine) visited me then and everyone thought he was a clever young fellow, so about two months I was married to him.”
This would have made Mary Austin at 15 years of age at the time she married (which was not necessarily uncommon at the time). Mary stated that:
“He never did anything toward supporting me from the minute we were married. On the contrary I had to work for him. I worked at a Dutch boarding house for our board for a while, and afterward I went to another boarding house and worked. He left me about a week ago and went on board of a boat on the river.
A few days after leaving to work on the boat Mary’s husband Dick sent for her with news that he had secured a job for her on the boat as well. Once aboard the boat she realized her husband had taken up with another woman and that the vessel was actually a floating house of prostitution. In short, her husband had “pimped her out”.
Mary escaped by waiting for her chance , climbing down to a skiff that was tied to the stern of the boat, cutting the rope loose and drifting aimlessly downstream during which time she was nearly ran over by a steamboat, narrowly avoiding a collision, the boat’s captain swerved to one side. As soon as it was possible a boat was lowered into the river to rescue her.
You would think this would be the end of the story but when they got to Memphis the boat’s captain told Mary’s story to a man who supplied meat to the steamboats, the vendor promised to find the young lady a boarding house to stay.
Unfortunately , after arriving Mary Austin found that the “boarding house” was a front for another house of prostitution, once again, “pimped out” by someone who promised to take care of her but Mary was brave and cunning and like the boat she had been trapped on she waited for an opportunity to escape, which came when someone rang the bell at the door.
Mary Austin fought her way free and was running down the street holding her clothing when a policeman stopped her to enquire what was the matter. After hearing her story the Chief of Police ordered the arrest of Ed Smith (the man who pimped her out the second time) and as Mary Austin stated: