Friday, December 12, 2014

The rest of the story... Levi Weston stories, at Weston Wagons West


The rest of the story... 
Levi Weston stories, 
at Weston Wagons West



In case you missed it:

I have a "separate" set of family saga, historical fiction set of stories that includes additional information that is also part of "The Homeplace Saga" stories.

These are, specifically, the 20 episodes in the Lx series, related to Levi Weston, starting here:


There is a direct link from this episode, episode L1, through to episode L20.

As you know from The Founding stories, Jacob and Levi Weston first introduced there.

These Weston Wagons West stories, however, chronicle Levi's birth and his life in St. Louis and Jefferson City before he moved to Oak Springs... as well as the years he was back in Jefferson City during the Civil War... and into 1874.

There are also stories, primarily in Jefferson City, during the war, of other folks from the Oak Springs valley (and The Founding Stories), about their activities there before, during, and after the Civil War. These include Jake and Kate Patton, the McDonalds, the Truesdales, the Baldridges, and more.

If you haven't read these stories, you are missing very interesting information.


Check them out, and enjoy the reading! ;-)

Friday, December 5, 2014

Still time to order for Christmas



Still time to order for Christmas


[Available in both print and ebook formats]

Will they all be home for Christmas? For the first time since their father (Jason) died, Karen (Bevins) Winslow is expecting all her children in Oak Springs for Christmas 1996. This Christmas of homecomings offers some surprises as "The Homeplace Saga" continues. Will Staff Sergeant Travis Inman arrive home from Bosnia in time to see his baby daughter for the first time at Christmas? Will a life-long friend of the Winslow family move to Oak Springs permanently? Does Peter have a son? The boy's mother insists he does. How would this change the inter-generational dynamics in the family businesses in the Oak Creek valley of the southern Missouri Ozarks? Learn more by reading this latest addition to this continuing family saga.

Also, follow local veterinarian Dr. Jennifer Bevins and her young lawyer friend, Brian Kirk, as they temporarily lay aside their personal family history and genealogy research to work with City Librarian Judy Watson and others to form and create an Oak Springs Historical and Genealogical Society. Their hope is that by reaching out to the community they can locate additional local historical records on their families back to the first settlements in 1833 when Jennifer's McDonald ancestors were among those first arrivals in the valley. Learn what else occurs, before Christmas, as Jennifer and Brian devote their full attention to this new set of activities.

"My each of us have homeplace, if only in our hearts!"

Dr. Bill ;-)

Friday, November 28, 2014

Friday Update on "The Homeplace Saga" series of stories


Friday Update on "The Homeplace Saga" series of stories


In recent weeks this weekly Friday space has shared excerpts from "The Founding Stories."

Over this same period of time, new stories with many of the same characters, in the same settings, have been written and shared on HubPages, as part of "The Homeplace Saga" series of family saga, historical fiction stories. Have you read any of them?



We are now approaching 40 short stories in "The Kings of Oak Springs" stories, for example. The first 20 are including in the ebook, available now - see right sidebar - just $.99 on you Kindle.

The most recent stories, are posted at: http://homeplaceseries.hubpages.com/


"In the tradition of Little House on the Prairie, Centennial, and How the West was Won."




Friday, November 21, 2014

The Founding of the Homeplace - The Victor Campbell Family Story


The Founding of the Homeplace


The Victor Campbell Family Story




From the short story collection:


Part V:

Centennial Family Bios 

The Victor Campbell Family

I do not plan to ‘write my memoirs’ as Jake Patton was attempting to do, prior to his untimely death, but I will try to provide some insights into the involvement of my family here in the valley from an early date. Ours was the first family to settle in the west valley arriving in 1836, three years after the earliest settlers. My wife, Camilla, and sons, Ralph, 11, and Delbert, 9, arrived with some cattle and some mules hoping to make this our permanent home on the Western Branch of the Oak Creek. At an early date, we were surprised but positively impressed with the way the others in the valley welcomed us and worked to make our success more assured than we could have done on our own. My sons and I had learned the benefits of using mules in our agricultural pursuits and found a kindred spirit in Hugh Truesdale. We soon became partners, along with Jake Patton and his horses, with Hugh in a very successful breeding and training operation.

Our daughter, Lillian, was born in 1842. In the following year, as I recall, shortly after planting season, our oldest son, Ralph, moved into Oak Springs, at age 18, to work full-time in the mule/horse joint venture. As others moved into the Western Branch area, we encouraged the same kind of cooperation we received, and all of us did well.

Victor Campbell (1804)
married
Camilla Unknown (1804-  )

They had children:
Ralph Campbell (1825-  )
Delbert Campbell (1827-  )
Lillian Campbell (1837-)


Ralph Campbell (1825-  )
married
Sally Rhodes (1827-  )

They had one son:
Vic Campbell (1864-  )

Delbert Campbell (1827-  )
married
Delia Rhodes (1827-  )

Lillian Campbell (1837-  )
married
Theodosia Rhodes (1832-  )

They had children:
Augustine Rhodes (1855-  )
Vance Rhodes (1858-  )
Earl Rhodes (1862-  )
Lillie Rhodes (1867-  )
Stephen Rhodes (1871-  )

When the township was officially organized, I was pleased to serve as the Western Trustee. Roads and bridges were important to us, and I was pleased to use the opportunities to continue to learn from the others with whom I interacted in that capacity.

By the time the town of Oak Springs was organized, in 1848, my wife and I decided it was time to move to town and let son Delbert take the lead on the farm. Along with Jake Patton and Robert Baldridge, we created the Oak Springs Savings Bank and hired Jacobi Inman as clerk. We built a bank building along Central Avenue north of the Livery Stable. They asked me to serve as bank President in 1855. I felt somewhat inadequate, at first, but worked hard to learn and found I actually enjoyed it and was good at it. I became responsible for both investments and loans of the bank.

As I was learning the business by visiting many other banks around the region, I was able to pick and choose where to make investments that seemed to be the safest in the political environment in which we lived. I learned to believe in diversification, and that paid big dividends when we ended up at war in this country. I moved to the St. Louis area during the war, and kept on top of the bank investments.


When it became apparent that the town could and would be rebuilt, we were pleased to return and be a part of that activity. It has been a good move, and we are happy to be back here, with family and friends, working to make this a great place to live, again.


Note: This concludes the excerpts from The Founding book; order yours, today...


Now in Print Edition and on Kindle, as well. Kindleunlimited read for free.

   



May we each have a Homeplace, if only in our hearts!



Dr. Bill ;-)

Friday, November 14, 2014

The Founding of the Homeplace - The Hugh Truesdale Family Story


The Founding of the Homeplace


The Hugh Truesdale Family Story




From the short story collection:


Part V:

Centennial Family Bios 

Hugh Truesdale Family Story

This Hugh Truesdale Family Story was written for the American Centennial by Alex McDonald. It is based on information shared by members and descendants of Hugh and Victoria Truesdale’s family, one of the four founding families of the settlement in 1833 of the valley now known as Oak Creek Township.

Hugh came as a young man to become a farmer. He had rejected his father’s offer to work in his mill on the Big Piney River. He came to the Oak Creek valley in the late spring along with the Patton, Baldridge and McDonald families.

Hugh married Victoria Patton, when she reached age 16, and he was 21, in the fall of 1833. They were the parents of 3 children: Jane, Lewis, and Nellie

Victoria worked with her mother in the General Store

Hugh began with 160 acres of good farm land. He worked another 160 owned by his father-in-law, Jake Patton and eventually bought it at ‘reasonable’ ‘family’ price.


Hugh was an enlightened and efficient farmer. He learned the value of mules on this land at an early stage of his farming career. He leveraged his Patton connection (to breed and raise mules), and ‘hired’ several others (with Patton share-crop arrangements) to assist with his enterprises.

When the war came, he became a civilian contractor with the army, supplying mules, training and related useful services.

Following the war, he and Victoria split their time between interests in the valley and in their adopted home near Jefferson City.

Hugh Truesdale (1812-  )
married on 1 Sep 1818
Victoria Patton (1 Sep 1818-  )

They had children:
Jane Truesdale (1837-  )
Lewis Truesdale (15 Jun 1843-)
Nellie Truesdale (1850-  )

Jane Truesdale (1837-  )
married in Jun 1859
Daniel McDonald (1838-  )

They had one son:
William McDonald (31 Jan 1864-  )


Jane Truesdale received a secondary education at the Davis Academy for Girls in Jefferson City, in the early 1850s. She lived with her Truesdale grandparents while in school. In June of 1859 she married Daniel McDonald.

Daniel worked with his father on the McDonald farm in the early years and also assisted his older brother, Harry, with his freight business. Daniel joined the union army along side Lewis Truesdale when the war broke out.

Jane and Daniel had a son, William, in 1864.

Lewis Truesdale married Caroline McDonald (Harry and Sarah’s oldest daughter) during the war. Before the war, both Lewis and Caroline had attended secondary school in the Jefferson City area before returning to Oak Springs.

Lewis worked for his father and grandfather before the war. When war broke out, Lewis joined his grandfather’s regiment, eventually earning the rank of Captain. As the regiment was being formed, Lewis was an active recruiter for the Patton regiment.

Upon return to the valley, Lewis and Caroline had first a son, James (Jimmie), and then a daughter, Myrtle.

Lewis led the immediate recovery and continuation of the Patton-Truesdale interests following the period of the war, in Oak Springs and the Oak Creek Valley. Lewis and Caroline were instrumental in the creation of the first subscription school in the valley.


Nellie pursued a normal education and became the first teacher for the Oak Springs subscription school.



To be continued... next Friday.


Now in Print Edition and on Kindle, as well. Kindleunlimited read for free.

   



May we each have a Homeplace, if only in our hearts!



Dr. Bill ;-)

Friday, November 7, 2014

The Founding of the Homeplace - The Jake Patton Family Story


The Founding of the Homeplace

The Jake Patton Family Story




From the short story collection:


Part V:

Centennial Family Bios 


Jake Patton Family Story

This Jake Patton Family Story was written for the American Centennial by Alex McDonald. It is base on information shared by family members and descendants of Jake and Kate Patton, one of the four founding families of the settlement in 1833 of the valley now known as Oak Creek Township.

Jake Patton was a blacksmith and gunsmith by trade, but he had wide interests. By the time he had decided, in 1833, to join others to settle what become known as the Oak Creek valley, he and his wife, Kate, had already had accumulated some wealth.

Although continually seeking to increase his personal wealth, he was also very generous in helping others, but always benefited himself, as well. This was the way he/they lived.

An early activity in 1833 was participation in surveys of the valley along with Robert Baldridge and others. Jake sought to expand his holdings early on, using his capital and labor of others. For example, he rented out several 40 acre plots to newcomers - thereby justifying acquiring more land.


Jake Patton (1798- Jan 1872)
married
Kate Unknown (1798-Mar 1872)

They had one daughter:
Victoria Patton (1 Sep 1818-  )

Victoria Patton (1 Sep 1818-  )
married on 1 Sep 1818
Hugh Truesdale (1812-  )

They had children:
Jane Truesdale (1837-  )
Lewis Truesdale (15 Jun 1843-)
Nellie Truesdale (1850-  )

With the others in the valley, he led the way to set the barter and compensation patterns for the valley from an early day. Jake was the most political, and represented the interests of all, in the valley. He made regular political trips throughout his life. He became widely known in central Missouri.

Elected as Eastern Oak Creek Township Trustee in 1841, he served until 1846 when he was elected as State Representative for the multi-county district in which he lived. Jake also served as the first Oak Springs U.S. Postmaster from inception in 1842 until elected State Representative in 1846. He was first elected State Representative in 1846, and served until he was elected to the County Commission in 1859. At the time, he felt he serve the interests of the people of the valley more effectively on the County Commission than in the State Legislature.

At the same time he was elected to the County Commission post in 1859, he actively supported the candidacy of Hugh Truesdale, in son-in-law, who did win Jake’s former seat as State Representative in 1960. Jake also served on Oak Springs Town Council continuously from 1848 until his death.

Jake relied heavily on Kate to look after his business interests in the valley, along with Hugh and Victoria Truesdale. In turn, Jake benefited as well from Hugh Truesdale’s industry and skills

Among Jake’s notable project in Oak Springs and the surrounding valley, of course, were his Blacksmith and Gunsmith Shops, the Patton General Store, the Post Office, his town plat vision, the Patton Hotel and the Livery stable.

Jake Patton had an early and intense interest in horses. Once settled in the valley, he focused on the needs of newcomers and visitors, as well. He was an early supporter of the McDonald freight line, for an excellent example.


During war, using his political connections, he sought and obtained the rank of Colonel by raising a regiment from his contacts and recruiting efforts. He received the active assistance of his grandson, Lewis Truesdale, in this particular activity.

After the war, Jake returned to the valley regularly to protect and expand his interests, and those of his family.

Colonel Patton returned to the valley intent on doing what he could to uphold the interests of the people who had settled there before the war intervened in all their lives. He and Gideon Inman had stayed in touch throughout the war period. Even before war broke out, in the mid-1850s,  Jake and Gideon (who had served as town clerk and helped out with land records from his arrival in the valley) had managed to develop a complete copy of all of the land records for Oak Creek Township from the County records in Eminence. These records were helpful in normal times, but as tensions had grown, they had correctly foreseen that they might become essential. Gideon had kept those records with him, and had managed to preserve them through the period of the war.

Gideon had held a civilian administrative job with the US Army during the war in St. Louis. With the end of the war, he, with Jake’s assistance and encouragement, had set about attempting to make contact with each and every former valley resident, or their families. This effort helped them to determine the level of interest from each family in either returning to the valley or relinquishing their claims to land in the valley. They generally sought to ascertain the current situations of as many of ‘their people’ as possible. These efforts were intensified as the year 1865 passed by.

 As for Jake Patton’s personal businesses in Oak Springs, he had agreed to an arrangement wherein Owen Olson would purchase the city lots from Patton west from the Olson home through the old General Store location and the original blacksmith shop. Olson would then set up his new blacksmith shop in approximately the location of the original. The Olson’s would build a new Oak Springs General Merchandise store in about the same location as the original, with the existing Central Avenue running between them.

Shortly after the war, the Lewis Truesdale cabins had been built near the location of the remains of the original Patton cabin. In fact, the chimney and fireplace had still been standing and were restored and used in the double cabin that was first built. Jake used on the those cabins for his base of operations in Oak Springs until he was able to build a new home on his old lot in the southeast corner of the town.

Also as the war ended, the Oak Springs Bank board, which consisted of Jake Patton, David Baldridge and Victor Campbell, wanted to build a new stone bank building in Oak Springs. Their choice of new location, however, was still up in the air as 1865 became 1866. Jake Patton, Gideon Inman and Victor Campbell formed the Oak Creek Real Estate and Land Office late in 1865 and built an office building from which Gideon Inman could operate it in the spring of 1866 as he continued making and receiving contact with former residents and providing information to new prospects, as well. One of the functions of this company was also to be in a position to purchase (for resale), at a nominal fee, any land in the township not re-claimed and re-settled between 1865 and and December 31, 1870. Jake was active in supporting this process.

Based on the contacts Jake Patton and Gideon Inman had made and continued to make through 1865, no new returnees were expected in the rest of 1865, but a number of intentions to return in 1866 and thereafter were anticipated. With this information, and proper notifications, a new Town Council was elected in November: Jake Patton, Owen Olson, Victor Campbell, Lewis Truesdale and Gideon Inman. Victor Campbell and Gideon Inman had not yet moved to the valley full-time, but had filed letters of intention to build homes on lots they already owned in the spring of 1866.

By this time, the Town Council had also made a few more relevant decisions that affected location planning for this and other building plans. They had re-platted the northern end of the original town plan to create a town square east of Central Avenue and south of the newly created Main Street - to run east and west, a quarter-mile south of and parallel to the Houston Road. The plan was to build both the new Town Hall and the stone bank building on the perimeter of the Town Square. In addition, they had passed an ordinance that provided adequate space between any wooden structures so as to reduce the likelihood of a fire in one building spreading to nearby buildings, as had become a common issue in many towns where buildings were right next to one another. The Town Hall and Bank Building were built on the new Town Square, as planned.


Unfortunately, Jake Patton died at his home near Jefferson City about the time all of this was being finished, early in 1872. His wife, Kate died shortly thereafter, as well. They had lived long lives full of adventure together, and their lives ended within a number of weeks from each other, as well. All of their holdings and interests passed to their only child, their daughter, Victoria, and her husband, Hugh Truesdale, of course.

To be continued... next Friday.

Now in Print Edition and on Kindle, as well. Kindleunlimited read for free.

   


May we each have a Homeplace, if only in our hearts!



Dr. Bill ;-)

Friday, October 31, 2014

The Founding of the Homeplace - The Henry McDonald Family Story

The Founding of the Homeplace


The Henry McDonald Family Story




From the short story collection:


Part V:

Centennial Family Bios 

Henry McDonald Family Story

This Henry McDonald Family Story was written for the American Centennial by Alex McDonald. It is based on information shared by members and descendants of Henry and Laura McDonald, one of the four founding families of the settlement in 1833 of the valley now known as Oak Creek Township.

Henry McDonald (1801-1872) was born in Kentucky as was his wife, Laura Wallace (1801- 1848). They married in 1821 and removed to the Big Piney River region of south central Missouri where Henry was employed in the logging business. Their first son, Harry, was born there in July 1822. In the late spring of 1833, the three members of the McDonald family joined a group of settlers migrating into the Oak Creek valley several miles to the east southeast.

Henry had sought out this particular valley because it had a good water source and the best land in this region, in his view. He wanted to be an independent farmer. That was his goal. From the moment that Henry and Laura arrived in this valley, Henry was totally dedicated to making the most of this opportunity that he had helped create. Laura and their oldest son, Harry, worked hard to support that family goal.

In July, 1838, sixteen years to the month after her first son, Laura (Wallace) McDonald gave birth to a second son, Daniel.

Early in their time in the valley, Henry saw that being the one, along with his son Harry, to make regular trips back to the lumber camps from whence they had come, to bring staples, supplies and continuing news of the outside world, would be a specific task they could perform while still meeting all of their farming goals. In fact, it would enhance them by providing them with some ‘control’ over what was obtained and made available to the folks, their friends, neighbors, and relatives, here in the valley. In early 1843, Henry McDonald won the first postal mail contract to the new Oak Springs post office from the lumber camps. Their good work allowed them to continue the service until the war suspended postal service.

Laura, his wife, was a Wallace, supposedly descended from Sir William Wallace the famous Scotsman. She was an avid reader and had inherited her family book collection. Her favorite book was “The Scottish Chiefs,” published in 1809, about Sir William Wallace that her father had purchased just before his untimely death and gave to her as one of his last wishes. She treasured it, reading it several times, and using it as a text from which her sons would also know ‘their heritage.’


Laura had difficulty with her pregnancies, and only had two sons, Harry, and several years later, Daniel. She died in May 1848 at age 47 when Daniel was just 10 years old. Laura McDonald was buried on a small rise along the south edge of their property that became known as the McDonald Cemetery; it later was expanded to become the Oak Creek Township Cemetery. Later, Henry was buried next to his wife.

Henry McDonald (1801 - Mar 1872)
married
Laura Wallace (1801-May 1848)

They had children:
Harry McDonald (11 Jul 1822-  )
Daniel McDonald (1838-  )

Harry McDonald (11 Jul 1822-  )
married in 1842
Sarah Baldridge (1822-  )

They had children:
Caroline McDonald (2 Aug 1843-  )
Thomas McDonald (1845-1862)
Patrick McDonald (1847-??)
Alex McDonald (1849-  )
Mahala McDonald (1852-  )
Rebecca McDonald (1855-  )

Daniel McDonald (1838-  )
married in Jun 1859
Jane Truesdale (1837-  )

They had one son:
William McDonald (31 Jan 1864-  )

Harry married Sarah Baldridge in 1842, when each were 20. Many assumed they would marry earlier, but they felt it was important to reach this stage of maturity before they wed. They had lived and worked closely together as youngsters since the settlement began in 1833 and knew each other for some time before that. An early connection was the chickens that were first her responsibility. As early as that first year, when Henry and Harry brought back a new coop of chickens on one of their trips back to the lumber camp, they became Harry’s responsibility, as well, and she shared the knowledge she had gained to help him be successful with the new batch. Over those early years, they were quite successful in growing their chicken flocks, both individually, and collectively for the benefit of everyone in the valley.

Harry and Sarah were still living with Henry and Laura when Laura became ill and died. Daniel was only 10 years old at the time. Sarah became, essentially, the “lady of the house.”

Whereas Laura had difficulties with pregnancies, Sarah did not. She had a daughter, Caroline in 1843; sons, Thomas in 1845, Patrick in 1847, Alex in 1849; followed by daughters Mahala, in 1852, and Rebecca, in 1855.

Daniel McDonald married Jane Truesdale in June 1859 and they lived in the Truesdale farm house as her parents had moved to a new home in Oak Springs.

Daniel worked with his grandfather, father and brother on the farm in the early years, and also assisted his older brother, Harry, with the freight business.

Daniel joined the union army along side Lewis Truesdale. They served together in Colonel Patton’s regiment throughout the war. They were among the first to return to the valley after the war ended.

Jane and Daniel had a son, William, in 1864. From an early age, William was a leader, encouraged by his mother to always do the best he could in every activity he pursued.

After the war, Daniel was in charge of the Oak Springs Freight Line Stations of the Weston - McDonald Freight Line with regular runs, eventually in three directions, to Houston to the west, Salem to the north, and Eminence to the south.


Henry McDonald died in March 1872 and was buried beside his wife in the McDonald Cemetery.



To be continued... next Friday.


Now in Print Edition and on Kindle, as well. Kindleunlimited read for free.

   


May we each have a Homeplace, if only in our hearts!



Dr. Bill ;-)