Friday, January 17, 2014

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

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

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

           On June 26, 1848, the plat of the town of Oak Springs was formally approved and the town was organized. It was four blocks wide and six blocks long, running north and south with Central Avenue being in the center of the north-south plat. Central Avenue was the street running in front of the General Store, Donagan’s Tavern, the Patton Hotel and The Livery and stable, as Jake Patton had envisioned it from an early day. The southwest portion of the plat incorporated Patton Spring, the pool, and a portion of Patton Run, the small creek running south and west toward Center Creek. Jake and Kate Patton donated the land to the city, reserving to their ownership that land on which sat the Blacksmith Shop, their house, the General Store, the Tavern land, the Patton Hotel and The Livery. The land west of Central Avenue and south of the shop was designated as a public use area to be developed as a park and fair grounds, which had become its common use through years of practice.  In addition, two blocks to the east that included the Olson home were included in the original town plot, donated by Owen Olson with the east block, where their home sat reserved to their ownership. These made the town plot consist of 26 blocks of 2 ½ acres each. Each block, designated by a letter, consisted of 4 numbered lots.

Sale of the rest of the lots would build a capital and operating fund for the town.  Initial Council Members, who each subscribed to buy two of the town lots immediately, were Jake Patton, Owen Olson, Victor Campbell, Hugh Truesdale and Robert Baldridge.
Jake and Owen already lived in the new town limits, of course. Victor Campbell pledged to build a new town residence before the winter set in, as did Robert Baldridge. Hugh Truesdale indicated that he, Victoria and Nellie would be doing the same in the summer of 1849 coincident with the marriage of their daughter, Jane, to Daniel McDonald, who would then move into the family home on the farm.
Around the valley, Joshua Cox and Nathan Bishop located near Victor Campbell farm on the Western Branch while Grant Carroll and Lawrence Johnson located near the Center Creek near Frances Holt and Jacob Pryor. Peter Simpson, Eli Rhodes and George King were the other Western Branch area farmers.

[This is the last in this series of posts]

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