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 headline read “Nigger Minstrel Saturday Night” which announced a comedy show which featured “The Black Face Boys” and guaranteed that the performance would make each and every audience member “forget their troubles.”

Of course this was a much different time in American history. A time in which “black face” performances were a popular and accepted form of comedy.

Thu, Mar 14, 1929 – 1 · Greenville Sun (Greenville, Missouri) · Newspapers.com

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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.

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.

According to the paper over 20 contestants entered the event, though a few failed to appear for various reasons. A couple of contestants competed with very old fiddles, one of which was found by the contestant’s father on a riderless horse during the Civil War.

Tunes that were played included “Little Brown Jug”, “Drunken Hiccoughs” and “Buffalo Girl”

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After the ballots were counted Earnest Woods was declared the winner, Brian Bell was awarded second place and Abner Barrow third. Prizes for first , second and third place were $10, $5 and $2.50 respectively and paid in gold.

The Sun reported that the winner of this contest was supposed to compete in a larger event encompassing the Southeast Missouri area. I am posting the full article below

Greenville Missouri Fiddler's ContestGreenville Missouri Fiddler’s Contest Thu, Feb 17, 1927 – 1 · Greenville Sun (Greenville, Missouri) · SHSMO Digital Newspaper Project

Respect Escaped Leeper

William Leeper of Wayne County, Missouri

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.

The official narrative for Leeper can be found in “Wayne County Place Names 1928-1945” archived at the Missouri State Historical Society which states:

“Colonel William T. Leeper moved to Wayne County in 1857 and purchased 225 acres of land. In 1858 he was elected County Surveyor and served until the beginning of the Civil War. He organized Company D. of the Twelfth Regiment of Missouri Militia and was made captain.”

That is a sanitized summary of the man. In a previous post I quoted a story from the Wayne County Historical Society about Leeper which states:

“History has not ignored Leeper’s methods or actions. In an account published in the Wayne County Journal Banner and shared on the Wayne County Historical Society’s social media page on August 1, 2018 , Captain William Leeper’s actions while he was in the 12’th Missouri Militia Cavalry (the 3’rd’s predecessor ) so much so that Leeper is labeled the “Chief Jayhawker” himself.

“Captain Leeper, I have no doubt, is wishing to merit and obtain a higher command than he now holds”. This was sent from Greenville and dated February 27, 1862, eleven days after the [Greenville] raid. A telegraph to General Gray at Pilot Knob was sent from Patterson soon thereafter. It read; “I have ordered Captain Leeper of CO B to Pilot Knob. Keep him and learn him to be a soldier”. One historian previously wrote about Leeper: “Captain Leeper’s methods of ferreting out and interrogating men to determine their loyalties were direct and brutal. He was known to shoot anything that moved and burn anything that would light. In February 1863 (almost exactly a year since the Greenville raid), Leeper and the 12th Missouri Militia participated in what was called by some “The Battle of Mingo Swamp” and by others as the “Mingo Swamp Massacre.” The McGee boys had just left the confederate army and returned home; ironically, to protect their home from Captain Leeper’s reign of terror. The McGee’s and their friends, the Cato’s sat unarmed at their camp at the McGee home when they were set upon in the early hours of February 4, 1863 by Captain Leeper and his “militia”. All 29 men were mercilessly gunned down in a barrage of gunfire. Captain Leeper’s report differs somewhat in that he reports “engaging a Union camp” on this date”.

 This account of Leeper is significant as it details his brutality (calling him the “Chief Jayhawker”) but also his gaffs. In this account , a quote of one of Leeper’s after action reports calls attention to Leeper referring to a Confederate camp as a “Union” camp.

Another instance can be found in Ivan McKee’s book “Lost Family, Lost Cause” which states:

“Some of the letters he wrote seem almost pathetic and his hatred must have bordered on the ruminations of a paranoid mind. An example: He had seen a report of a black Union group of soldiers in the general area. He wrote that he would like to see southern chivalry subdued by the African, and continued on that he would like to make a “flank” movement with black soldiers . The term, flank movement, as he used it showed unfortunately he had little or no concept of what a flank movement is in military tactics.”

Another , more humorous account of William T. Leeper’s gaffs , or Leeperisms (as I call them) can be found in the Wednesday February 28, 1872 , Lexington Intelligencer newspaper (which also shows how others viewed him), when Leeper was a Missouri State Representative.

The paper states that Leeper moved to amend everything and would move to amend the decalogue were it introduced in the House and that:

“The business of the House in particular would be greatly facilitated, if not improved, were some three or four [representatives] at home or bereft of speech.”

All of which prove that while that while William T. Leeper was willing to go to most any lengths to achieve success and become a man of means he was unable to achieve what he most wanted from many of his contemporaries, which was respect.

Clint Lacy is author of Blood in the Ozarks: Expanded Second Edition which is available in Paperback for $15 and Kindle format for $2.99. It can be ordered by clicking this link or the image above.

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.

The paper also reports that William T. Leeper formed a posse killing one of the perpetrators and mortally wounding another. Below is a clipping of the full account.

  • Clint Lacy is the author of “Blood in the Ozarks: Expanded Second Edition” and ” A Beginner’s Guide to False Flags: The Deep State Agenda Behind America’s Biggest Events” which can be purchased by visiting Our Products page.