Friday, November 15, 2013

The Founding of the Homeplace - Summer 1843, Progress Report, Part 4 of 4

The Founding of the Homeplace
Summer 1843, Progress Report
Part 4 of 4

"The Founding of the Homeplace" stories will continue here on every other Friday during August and September. This is a serial presentation of the story, beginning in 1833, when four families decided to settle the land, the valley, that would become the setting of the first two books in the The Homeplace Saga: "Back to the Homeplace" and "The Homeplace Revisited" and subsequent series stories, set in 1987 and 1996, to date. The underlying premise of this series is the desire of the family matriarch to retain the family farm in the southern Missouri Ozarks in whole and in the family. 

Characters in this series become actively involved in the study of their family history and snippets of that research appear, from time to time through the series (one example). This serial presentation begins to share that ‘research’ in Story Form, and, some of the Stories represent 'writings of the family' that were ‘discovered’ in the process of that research. Each Story is an essay or report of the activities of the initial four families and their descendants that settled the Homeplace – the farm and the surrounding valley.

Summer 1843, Progress Report

In this episode, we share "Part 4 of 4"

           Jake Patton applied for a Post Office shortly after the Oak Creek Township was organized. In October of 1842, a post office was approved, with the name “Oak Springs” – Oak Creek was already taken. The new post office would be located at the Patton General Store, with Jake Patton as Postmaster, and Kate Patton as Assistant. It actually began operation in March of 1843.  Henry McDonald earned the first mail contract from the Big Piney lumber camps to Oak Springs on a weekly schedule, which he would carry out along with his regular freight runs.  By the summer of 1843, Jake Patton, seeing the success of Donagan’s Tavern, also began construction of a two-story hotel immediately to the north of the Tavern. The north-south path between the Blacksmith Shop and the General Store was taking the form of a street, as he had hoped, and the hotel was built on the east side of the street making three buildings in a row, facing across the street to his Blacksmith Shop, and cabin, set back from the ‘street.’
In other social news of the community, Harry McDonald and Sarah Baldridge had married in June the previous year and were expecting their first child come August, to become the sixth McDonald in the household. As the wedding was being planned, the McDonald family had made the decision to add on to their house rather than build a new one.  Harry McDonald’s younger brother, Daniel, was now an active 5 year-old.
Hugh and Victoria Truesdale were parents a second time, a year ago, a son, Lewis, to join sister, Jane, now 6.            
In the spring of 1843, Frances and Elizabeth Holt, a young newly wed couple down from the north, purchased 160 acres and settled into their new house just west of Center Creek and on the north side of the East-West road. About a month after the Holt’s arrival, Jacob and Patsy Pryor bought the 160 acre farm just east of the Holt’s and built their house on the east side of Center Creek.

            Following the formation of Oak Creek Township and the election of the three trustees, in 1842, upon their recommendation, the County Commissioners appointed George King as Justice of the Peace. He was responsible to the Circuit Court Judge who came to hear any cases that might arise early in the first month of each calendar quarter. The county paid for use of the community building on a daily basis to be used as the courtroom.  There was little activity in those first couple of years.

[ be continued... on Dec 6, 2013, with Part 1 of Summer 1848 Progress Report]

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