Friday, January 3, 2014

The Founding of the Homeplace - Summer 1848, Progress Report, Part 3 of 4



The Founding of the Homeplace
Summer 1848, Progress Report
Part 3 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 1848, Progress Report

In this episode, we share "Part 3 of 4"


           Jake Patton, now 52, continued to perform gunsmith work along with his many other interests. In 1846, he was elected a State Representative to the Missouri House from the local district and continued to serve in that role.  In 1844, he had added a livery stable north of the hotel to his list of business interests. Ralph Campbell, who had worked in the horse and mule breeding business, had gotten married (to Sally Rhodes) and was now managing the livery stable. He was also farming on shares a 40-acre plot of Patton farmland directly west of the Livery operation. To the north of that, Jake Patton had a similar shares farming arrangement with Reuben Ramsey and his wife, Becky. They were a new young couple that had just moved into the valley from Texas County to the west.  Both Sally Campbell and Becky Ramsey also worked part-time at the Patton Hotel in the kitchen and in housekeeping.

When Jake Patton was elected to the Missouri House, in 1846, Kate Patton became the Postmaster and Victoria Truesdale became the Assistant Postmaster.
In addition to the Ramsey couple, the new families in the valley over the past five years were headed by: Grant Carroll, Lawrence Johnson, Riley Cooper, Nathan Bishop, and Joshua Cox.
In 1847, Robert Baldridge was elected to the Shannon County Commission representing the north half of the county. While taking on these additional responsibilities, his son, David, now 23, took on an even more active management role in the mill operations.  In 1846, Riley Cooper and his wife, Julia, had moved from Houston to be an operator at the mill. Robert and David had met Riley on their trips to the Houston area and asked Riley to come work with them when he had expressed interest. As part of the move, Robert had purchased a 40-acre farm to the southwest of the mill that Riley and Julia Cooper farmed on a sharecrop arrangement.
In 1846 when Jake Patton was elected to the Missouri House, Owen Olson was elected Oak Creek Township trustee to replace him in that role. Likewise, when Robert Baldridge was elected to the County Commission in 1847, Hugh Truesdale was elected to the eastern Township trustee position. Victor Campbell had continued to serve as the western representative. On the roadways in the township, the main emphasis had been on improving the east-west road that ran along the north edge of the Patton property and along the south edge of the McDonald property.  Over time, this road became referred to more and more as “the Houston Road.” 
           

[...to be continued... on Jan 17, 2014, with Part 4 of Summer 1848 Progress Report]

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