Friday, May 22, 2015

January 1998 - Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace


Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace
January 1998


This series of posts on each Friday during 2015 continues the stories of “The Homeplace Saga” series of family saga, historical fiction families in the area of Oak Springs following the novel “Christmas at the Homeplace,” which ended as 1997 began. Here is a peek at ‘Life in Oak Springs,’ and the surrounding valley, in January of 1998.




At the January meeting of the Oak Springs Historical and Genealogical Society the following new officers were elected:

President: Rhoda Offutt
Vice President & Program Chair: Mona Evans
Secretary: Penny Nixon
Treasurer: Lisa Flanders-Howell
Membership Chair: Sarah Flanders
Immediate Past President: Brian Kirk

Rhoda Offutt reported on sales of the “American Centennial” book that had exceeded expectations, but there were still copies available for those interested. She also encouraged all members to continue to look for old documents about the community and local families in unusual, as well as the usual, places.

Free with Kindle Unlimited]

The Jensen & Watkins Construction Company held an Open House on Wednesday, January 7th, to celebrate the First Anniversary of the Company. The notice in the paper reminded the community that Gary Jensen had been in residential construction in the community for more than ten years. His nephew, Trace Watkins, had come to Oak Springs to join him, just over a year earlier. It was on this date in 1997 that they had officially opened business as the company we know today, located on the west side of State Highway 37 about 2 miles north of the intersection with State Highway 24. Watkins, in his early 30s, had been in construction work in the Kansas City area for more that ten years, as well. The company specializes in single family residences, duplexes and four-plexes.

Locals:

It was learned that Paul Gates, Manager of The Oak Creek Mill, had presented a proposal to The Bevins Trust to build a Par 3 Golf Course on the slope from just above the Mill down to and around the Mill Pond below the Mill. Each tee would be located above the green and hole below on five of the nine holes proposed. He was said to have presented the plan as a compliment to the 18-hole golf course on the west side of Oak Springs at the Country Club, not as competition. He felt that both local and visiting golfers would support both courses.

Lori Winslow confirmed to our reporter that she had met with Gary Jensen and Trace Watkins at the Jensen & Watkins Construction Company office on north Highway 37 northeast of Oak Springs regarding possibly creating a housing development on Bevins Trust land south and east of the Mill Pond, running parallel to Oak Creek as it exited the Mill Pond. It would be designed to integrate with the proposed Par-3 Golf Course, the kayak/canoe portage and serve as a direct link to the Bevins Stables and Trail Ride facilities from the west. It was known that several Bevins family members had talked of building new homes, and it appeared this development might meet those and other local needs. Winslow also confirmed that she had been involved with a residential housing development group in Los Angeles before her move to Oak Springs. She had enjoyed that work, and believed some of what she had learned there could be incorporated into a development here in the valley.


Social Notes:

Trace Watkins, of the Jensen & Watkins Construction Company, created a bit of stir at the local McDonalds last Thursday when a teenager mistook him for the country music singer, Trace Atkins, and set off quite a ruckus. Watkins was a bit embarrassed by the attention, but admitted to this reporter that it had happened to him before, in Kansas City, in years past. He said he preferred to think of himself as resembling his uncle, Gary Jensen, his business partner. But, he added, he really didn’t have much control over what others thought when they saw him, and, admitted it was flattering.


Cop Shop:

A total of four vehicles abandoned on public roadways in the valley following the January 15 blizzard were ticketed and towed to the police compound area. This occurred only after owners had not retrieved their vehicles themselves in a timely manner.


"May everyone have a homeplace, if only in your mind."
Dr. Bill  ;-)


Friday, May 15, 2015

December 1997 - Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace


Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace
December 1997


This series of posts on each Friday during 2015 continues the stories of “The Homeplace Saga” series of family saga, historical fiction families in the area of Oak Springs following the novel “Christmas at the Homeplace,” which ended as 1997 began. Here is a peek at ‘Life in Oak Springs,’ and the surrounding valley, in December of 1997.




Town Merchants again ran weekend specials both weekends before Christmas for the benefit of the entire community. Local citizens have become accustomed to and appreciate the efforts made by the local merchants to meet their holiday needs.

The Town Council awarded the Cable Contract for the community to Ozarks Communications, Inc. (OCI). President of OCI, Matt Winslow, said that his company is dedicated to getting service to all interested residential and commercial customers as soon as possible. The OCI Internet infrastructure is already in place and will also carry the cable signals. Specific information will be provided to customers as each segment of the community is made cable ready. Orders can be placed online, by telephone, or by stopping by the OCI office, he added.

The Oak Springs Historical and Genealogical Society at their monthly meeting announced that new officers would be elected at the January meeting. Several new committee chairs would also be sought, so members were urged to think about which positions they would be willing to fill for the coming year.


Locals:

The annual Bevins Trust Christmas Dinner for employee families was held on Friday afternoon, December 12. Eligible employees and their families were fed and entertained in assigned shifts again this year at the Heritage Room of the Homeplace Country Inn, so that all work assignments could also be covered. Santa Clause appeared at each shift with gifts for the children aged 12 and under. This is an annual event for the Bevins Trust affiliated companies that reached across the community in its impact. All participants welcomed this event as a fine company benefit.

The United Methodist Church Choir presented Handel’s Messiah on Sunday evening at the church with standing room only for this fine seasonal concert.


Social Notes:

Christmas eve candlelight services at the United Methodist Church were each well attended this year, as has been the custom. By holding services at 8, 10, and midnight, each individual and family can attend a service that meets their needs and fits with their family traditions.

Family Christmas dinners were hosted by, among many others: Matt and Susan Winslow, Harry and Sarah Flanders, Peter and Shiela Gates, Travis and Laura Inman, Bart and Linda Bevins, and Don and Linda Kirk.

Cop Shop:

A total of only five DUI charges were made following several Christmas parties at the Oak Springs Country Club this December, down from nine the year before.


"May everyone have a homeplace, if only in your mind."
Dr. Bill  ;-)


Friday, May 8, 2015

November 1997 - Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace


Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace
November 1997


This series of posts on each Friday during 2015 continues the stories of “The Homeplace Saga” series of family saga, historical fiction families in the area of Oak Springs following the novel “Christmas at the Homeplace,” which ended as 1997 began. Here is a peek at ‘Life in Oak Springs,’ and the surrounding valley, in November of 1997.




We spoke with Peter Bevins, managing director of the McDonald Conservancy recently about the latest activities with the Conservancy. He first wanted to send out a public Thank You to Lyle Cunningham and a group of volunteers he began organizing over the summer and the ‘work days’ they conducted during the fall. Peter said these activities were so important for the non-profit organization. This fall, work days have been devoted to ‘creek bank’ cleanup, brush clearing along the expected walking path along the Oak Creek, and clearing brush and small trees from the pasture near the corner of State Highway 37 and the Mill Road. Records are kept, Peter pointed out, of all volunteer activities conducted and the number of hours of each. These can generally be applied, at some point, as ‘in-kind’ contributions that often are valuable in grant applications for matching funds.

The second major activity work for the Conservancy had been on-going planning for the use of the lands donated under the Land Trust laws. The directors each needed to become fully aware of what could and could not be done with the land, to meet legal requirements as well as to manage the land environment most effectively and efficiently within the Conservancy guidelines. Some of this planning activity also included identifying additional potential directors and others who could provide positive guidance.

Finally, but no less important, had been grant writing, Peter added. Each of the directors had been involved in this, as volunteers, as well. Ronny Cox, with the Natural Resources office in Rolla, had also been very helpful in on-going technical assistance on some of the grants, he noted. Several small grant applications had been submitted along with one large grant application to a special fund administered by the State National Resources Department. Peter said there were really very few eligible candidates for this grant, at this time, and he really hoped they had done all of the right things to earn it. Receiving the grant would be a real boon to the community, he added, in terms of additions to recreational activities as well as environmental contributions.


Locals:

The annual Bevins Trust Thanksgiving Turkey Day for employee families held on Sunday afternoon, November 23, was another big success. Eligible employee families each picked up their frozen turkey plus a sack of fixings. Everyone enjoyed refreshments and a social time prior to the actual distribution of goodies. This has become an annual event for the Bevins Trust affiliated companies that reached across the community in its impact. All welcomed this event as a fine benefit.


Social Notes:

Reverend Clarice McCauley baptized baby C.P. Ogden at the United Methodist Church on Sunday, November 23. His parents are Christopher and Nicole Ogden. Also attending the service were grandparents Don and Linda (Ogden) Kirk, Bart and Diane Bevins, and Jack and Mona Evans. Great-grandfathers present were Doc Evans and Lyle Cunningham.


Cop Shop:

A disgruntled former city employee was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct for “keying” 3 cars sitting outside City Hall late in October. He has arranged to make restitution in lieu of jail time.


"May everyone have a homeplace, if only in your mind."
Dr. Bill  ;-)


Friday, May 1, 2015

October 1997 - Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace


Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace
October 1997


This series of posts on each Friday during 2015 continues the stories of “The Homeplace Saga” series of family saga, historical fiction families in the area of Oak Springs following the novel “Christmas at the Homeplace.” Here is a peek at ‘Life in Oak Springs,’ and the surrounding valley, in October of 1997.



The 11th Annual Arts and Crafts Show fund-raiser held on Saturday, September 27, was a huge success again this year. We spoke with Mona Evans, Chair of the Planning Committee, on Monday following the Show. Mona thanked all the people who came to the show and especially the members of her planning committee who made the whole event possible. She was careful to point out that the prime beneficiaries of the community wide event were the charities: Breast Cancer Awareness and HIV/AIDS Awareness programs benefiting needy members of the community again this year. Mona pointed out that all booth spaces for crafters had been rented out, both on the grounds of the Homeplace Country Inn and on the grounds of the Oak Creek Mill and Mill Market. 3 more artists had accepted invitations to the juried art show this year, another new record number, and those sales added to the new fund-raising total in 1997. She did add that a few copies of the full-color program for the art show were left for purchase, at the Oak Springs Enterprise, for anyone interested. All proceeds would go to the charities.

The Oak Springs Country Club was hosting a Halloween themed party for members on Saturday evening, October 25.

The Community celebration of Halloween would be on Friday night, October 31; from 6 to 8 p.m. Parents were urged, along with all of their children, to observe these hours. October 31 will be a new moon, so, it will be very dark during the night. People were urged to use care in all of their activities.


Locals:

Christopher and Nicole Ogden became the parents of their first child, a son, on October 15. They named the boy Carter Palmer Odgen, but he will go by “CP” - keeping up the naming pattern heritage of his father, Christopher. CP is the fourth generation with the initials C and P. Grandparents are Linda Ogden, Bart and Diane Bevins, and Jack and Mona Evans. Great-grandfathers are Doc Evans and Lyle Cunningham.

It was learned that Reverend Clarice McCauley had married Don Kirk and Linda Ogden in a private ceremony at the Methodist Parsonage on Sunday afternoon, October 26. Brian and Jennifer Kirk stood up with the couple as they took their vows. When we talked to Don, he said they just decided it was time to get married, quietly. He added that they would be at home at her house. He also mentioned, that after some remodeling, Brian and Jennifer would be moving into the condo that Don and Brian had shared, earlier.

Paul Gates, Manager of the Oak Creek Mill and Mill Market, and Julie Barnes, Activities Director at the Big Thunder Lodge, each attended the Fall Tourism Conference in Rolla, October 16-18.


Social Notes:

Matt Winslow, Christopher Ogden, Travis Inman and Raynor Crimmons attended the University of Missouri Tigers football game at Faurot Field, in Columbia, on Saturday, October 4, against the Iowa State Cyclones, battling for the Telephone Trophy. The home team was victorious 45-21. The happy fans returned home safely.

Paul Gates was the escort for Julie Bares at the Halloween themed party at the Oak Springs Country Club on October 25.


Cop Shop:

It was reported that 3 cars sitting outside City Hall had been ‘keyed’ on Tuesday, October 28th. No information was available at press time on possible suspects.


"May everyone have a homeplace, if only in your mind."
Dr. Bill  ;-)


Friday, April 24, 2015

September 1997 - Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace


Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace
September 1997


This series of posts on each Friday during 2015 continues the stories of “The Homeplace Saga” series of family saga, historical fiction families in the area of Oak Springs following the novel “Christmas at the Homeplace.” Here is a peek at ‘Life in Oak Springs,’ and the surrounding valley, in September of 1997.


Oak Creek Outfitters, Inc., announced that float service on the upper Oak Creek at Big Thunder Lodge was now open for business. Completion of all facilities took a little longer than expected, but service all the way down Oak Creek from the Lodge in Dent County to the facilities at the south end of Oak Creek Township are now open (further south, of course). Portage is available around the falls at the Mill, by appointment. Jonathon Offutt, General Manager, offered his thanks to all the parties involved in making this possible.

The wedding of Scott Gates to Rachel Nixon was held at the First United Methodist Church with Rev. Clarice McCauley officiating. The church was filled with family and friends. The reception was held at the Homeplace Country Inn Heritage Room in order to accommodate everyone. Following the traditional cutting of the cake, lunch was served to all guests. Music for dancing was provided by the local band, Black Magic.


The Bevins Trust announced the donation of an additional 320-acre-tract of land in the east valley to the McDonald Conservancy. The announcement noted that additional lands would continue to be donated when certain metrics of the Trust and the Conservancy were met. This was just the most recent donation resulting from those metrics being met.

City Manager Jacob Howell reported that city sales tax receipts for the first six months of the year were up 4.5% over the same period in the previous year.

Sullivan End-‘O-the Road Livestock Auction advertised a special auction for Wednesday, September 17, featuring a premium selection of cow-calf stock from several breeders in the area. This is the time to upgrade herds, the ad noted.


Locals:

Heather Gates, a junior at the High School this fall, earned a Blue Ribbon on her FFA Annual Project from the past school year at the FFA State Convention held the end of last month in Kansas City.

The September meeting of the Oak Springs Historical and Genealogical Society was very well attended. Six new members were welcomed. Each had learned of the Society’s program from the exhibit at the Fair in August. The report of the first exhibit was presented with overwhelmingly positive response. A few recommendations for next year were entered into the minutes for the planning committee for the Fair exhibit in 1998.

A notice in the Oak Springs Enterprise thanked those who had ordered “The Founding” book and reminding others of the need to get pre-orders in by the 30th of September.

The Oak Springs Savings Bank reminded everyone that it was not too late to start a Christmas Club Savings Account.


Social Notes:

Scott and Rachel (Nixon) Gates returned from their honeymoon trip to Branson after four days so that each could get back to their respective jobs. They said they had a great trip but were happy to be back home to start their new lives together.

Lori Winslow attended a Residential Real Estate Development workshop in Springfield the first week of September. Karen Winslow accompanied her and they enjoyed visiting some the Springfield sites and restaurants while they were there.


Cop Shop:

Local police arrested two juveniles following the investigation of a fire at the playground in Patton Park, in the southwest part of the city, two weeks earlier. The fire destroyed the wooden swing set as well as the rubber pelts on the ground. An empty container of flammable fluid discovered near the fire was found to have fingerprints of both individuals charged with the crime. Eyewitness reports placed the individuals in the vicinity near the time of the act. The fingerprints confirmed their involvement. When the evidence was presented to them, they both confessed to having set the fire. They claimed to have a grudge against parents of some children who regularly played there. Juvenile court will decide their punishment.


"May everyone have a homeplace, if only in your mind."
Dr. Bill  ;-)


Friday, April 17, 2015

August 1997 - Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace


Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace
August 1997


This series of posts on each Friday during 2015 continues the stories of “The Homeplace Saga” series of family saga, historical fiction families in the area of Oak Springs following the novel “Christmas at the Homeplace.” Here is a peek at ‘Life in Oak Springs,’ and the surrounding valley, in August of 1997.



Sheep waiting to be judged at the fair

Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agricultural_show

The 118th Annual Oak Creek Valley Fair was held successfully on the first weekend in August yet again. What started as a one-day event those many years ago has grown to a four-day-event that attracts visitors from surrounding counties and across the four-state region. License plates were seen in the parking lot from 12 different states, as a matter of fact… and, of course, there could have been more over the four days. Held on the fairgrounds south of Patton Pond in the southwest corner of the city, the fair offers township residents an opportunity to show off their animals, crops and projects. The higher ranked entries can be assured of good placement at the upcoming county fair as well as the possibility of being selected for the State Fair.

Pioneer crafts from the 19th Century were a favorite of Fair visitors as they are every year. We all enjoy being reminded of the simpler (but not easier) times of our pioneer ancestors. A new exhibit this year that drew a lot of attention was that of the new Oak Springs Historical and Genealogical Society where a few of the family artifacts identified earlier in the year were on display along with family stories related to the artifacts.

Six different bands and musical groups took turns performing on the two stages set up at each end of the fairgrounds this year. The carnival was set up in the middle of the fairgrounds, as usual.

The Bevins Corporation announced in the Oak Springs Enterprise that Scott Gates, recent graduate of the Farm Operations program at the Ozarks Community College, had been named Assistant Farm Manager. In this role, he will be involved in the planning and direction of all farm related activities under General Manager, Bart Bevins. The Bevins Corporation is primarily involved in row crops, hay and pasture land management, and a large cow-calf operation.

Locals:

Virginia Hollingsworth was moved to the Serenity Nursing Home [http://homeplace.wikispaces.com/serenity] from the Oak Springs Regional Hospital [http://homeplace.wikispaces.com/hospital] where she had been undergoing care following a serious fall she took while gardening at her home in the east valley.

Late in month, Heather Gates, a junior at the local high school, was to present her FFA annual project at the FFA (Future Farmers of America) State Convention in Kansas City. She had received high praise for the project from her teacher and FFA advisor [http://thehomeplaceseries.blogspot.com/2015/03/may-1997-life-in-oak-springs-homeplace.html], and all her supporters wished her well at State.

Peter Bevins, Managing Director of the McDonald Conservancy, announced that two more persons had accepted appointment to the Board of Directors of the emerging Land Trust. One was a professor in the Biology Department at the State University and the other was a Regional Director of the Missouri Nature Conservancy organization.


Social Notes:

Dr. Raynor Crimmons welcomed his daughter, Randi, for a two-week visit from her home in the Washington, D.C. area, where she works for the Department of Defense. During the visit, they also spend a long weekend in southeastern Iowa visiting relatives and friends. While in Oak Springs, Randi said she especially enjoyed spending time with Karen, Lori and Matt Winslow with whom she grew up as a youngster in Tucson, Arizona. She added that she also enjoyed meeting and getting to know Matt’s wife, Susan, and their two children, Tyler and Emily.

Peter, Sheila, and Jeremy Bevins enjoyed a week of camping along the Buffalo River in northwestern Arkansas early in the month. It was their first out-of-town vacation since had Jeremy became part of the family last year. [Learn more about this in “Christmas at the Homeplace.”]




Cop Shop:

Local police were investigating a fire at the playground in Patton Park, in the southwest part of the city. It appeared that vandals had set fire to the wooden swing set as well as the rubber pelts on the ground about 9 p.m. last Thursday night. An empty container of flammable fluid was discovered near the fire. As of this reporting, no one had come forward with useful information on who may have set the fire or why.



"May everyone have a homeplace, if only in your mind."
Dr. Bill  ;-)


Friday, April 10, 2015

July 1997 - Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace


Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace
July 1997


This series of posts on each Friday during 2015 continues the stories of “The Homeplace Saga” series of family saga, historical fiction families in the area of Oak Springs following the novel “Christmas at the Homeplace.” Here is a peek at ‘Life in Oak Springs,’ and the surrounding valley, in July of 1997.



The 4th of July Gala Celebration at the Oak Springs Country Club was a weekend to remember, according to those who attended it this weekend. Good golf, good food, and fun games for the kids were the highlights most often mentioned in the news article.

Scott Gates completed the requirements for the Farm Operations Associates Degree at Ozarks Community College and took part in graduation exercises on Saturday, July 18, at the end of the summer term. A total of 35 persons took part in the graduation exercises and over 250 persons attended the graduation ceremony.

Brian Kirk, President of the Oak Springs Historical and Genealogical Society (Society), reported that members of the community had continued to provide very interesting documents and artifacts from their closets and attics that the review committee had been processing. He noted an interesting sidebar to the review process was that many of the items brought to the attention of the committee were related to others in the community, not necessarily to their own family, of the people providing the materials. Many folks noted they felt these items were important, but didn’t know what to do with them. The donation rate, he added, was running above 75 percent. The others, of course, were items families wanted to keep in their possession. He said that those were especially appreciated, and each was recorded and added to the database of information being gathered. The Society, he added, is still accepting donations of material so do not stop bringing what you find to the Library. Judy Watson will be happy to process it, he said.


Locals:

Ozark Communications, Inc. formally applied to the City Council to be the exclusive cable television provider to the City of Oak Springs. This was in response to the Request for Proposal sent out by the City earlier. Theirs was the only application received by the time of the deadline set for application.

The Oak Springs Enterprise ran a front-page article feature the opportunities for kayaking and canoeing on Oak Creek that featured photos of Oak Creek Outfitters providing services to their customers on a summer outing.

Social Notes:

A graduation reception was held at the Homeplace Country Inn Heritage Room honoring Scott Gates following the graduation exercises at the Ozarks Community College on Saturday, July 18. Scott’s parents and sister hosted the reception: his father, Paul Gates, his mother and her husband from Jackson, Mississippi, Beverly Bevins Gates Threshold and Winnie Threshold, and his sister, Heather Gates. Total guests in attendance exceeded 70 persons including family, friends and co-workers at The Bevins Corporation.

On July 26th, Bart and Diane Bevins returned from a week long vacation trip to the Lake of the Ozarks. They told friends it was great to just sit on the balcony of their condo and stare across the lake for long periods of time. Bart especially enjoyed, he added, taking in several new restaurants they had not tried on previous visits. Diane concurred in that. They highly recommended such a get-away to anyone feeling stressed in their job.

Cop Shop:

Jeremiah Loomis was released from the state penitentiary after having served over twelve years of an original 20-year sentence on drug charges based on his operation of a meth lab in the hills southwest of Oak Springs. The story went on to tell how his brother, Jasper, was charged in the murder of the public defender that represented Jeremiah in court on the drug charges. Jasper was killed by police officers, acting in self-defense, when they attempted to arrest him for the murder and he attacked them with a hunting knife. {For 'the rest of the story,' see: "Murder by the Homeplace:" http://www.amazon.com/Murder-Homeplace-William-Leverne-Smith/dp/1469926652/

Vandals reportedly did extensive damage to three cars parked along west Maple Street overnight on July 17-18. Police are still investigating the incident.



"May everyone have a homeplace, if only in your mind."
Dr. Bill  ;-)