Friday, February 14, 2014

The Founding of the Homeplace - Summer 1855, Progress Report Part 2 of 2

The Founding of the Homeplace
Summer 1855, Progress Report
Part 2 of 2

"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 1855, Progress Report

In this episode, we share "Part 2 of 2"

Also in 1852, the new Oak Springs Savings Bank was formed by Jake Patton, Robert Baldridge and Victor Campbell. Jacobi Inman was hired as clerk in the bank. A building for the new bank was built on the east side of Central Avenue to the north of the Livery Stable (on Lot 3, Block G). The Livery Stable building complex had been expanded in 1849 to include an office and a sale barn facility (all of Block K) for the local mule and horse breeding business. 

In 1854, the Town Council finalized plans for and constructed a Town Hall on a lot just south of the Patton Blacksmith Shop and adjoining the town park which had been named Patton Park. This was now designated as the southwest corner of 1st Avenue, W. and First Street, S. (Lot 2, Block U)

Through a series of additions and renovations, the Patton General Store had been converted to a General Mercantile Store (now on Lots 1 and 2 of Block S) which continued to include the U.S. Post Office operation. It was now managed by Anna Olson. Victoria Truesdale served as Postmaster and Anna Olson as Assistant Postmaster.

In the fall of 1854, a student count was again made. Those eligible now totaled 27 and included the following, but they were still spread across the valley, making even two school buildings too far from many of the students:

First grade - Lily Johnson, Paul Pryor, Dorothy Cox, Charity Dodson, Stefanie Gifford
Second grade - Patrick McDonald, Leon Bartlett, Alice Duncan, Belinda Carroll, Sasha King
Third grade - Bart Simpson
Fourth grade - Rose Rhodes, Edward King, Priscilla Pryor, Thomas McDonald, Julia Sullivan
Fifth grade - Anderson Cooper, Charlie Dodson, Monty Carroll
Sixth grade - Bernie Cox, Alfie Duncan, Lorraine Bartlett, Caroline McDonald, Franklin Gifford
Seventh grade - Elmo Simpson, Lewis Truesdale
Eighth grade - Mark Rhodes

In the southeast corner of the town plat, a fine residential neighborhood (Blocks W and X), on the east side of Central Avenue, had arisen with the addition of new homes for Jake and Kate Patton, Victor and Camilla Campbell, Jonathan and Jessica Ames, Hugh and Victoria Truesdale, and Wesley and Betty Mathison.

In the western valley, Delbert Campbell and Delia Rhodes were married and moved into the Victor and Camilla Campbell family home as the Campbell parents had already moved into Oak Springs. 

George and Marcia King bought the Peter and Elvira Simpson farm and the Simpsons moved out of the community. Both Kaitlin and Luke Rhodes moved away to live near relatives and, to date, had not returned. Likewise, Arne and Alfie Duncan left home to attend school near relatives in the St. Louis area and had not returned. 
In the central valley, Reuben Ramsey and his wife, Becky divorced in 1851, and, within a year, each had left the valley to return to Texas County from whence they had come. Gideon and Louisa Inman purchased the acreage where the Ramsey’s had been farming from Jake Patton and now live in the home on that property. As noted above, Jonathan Ames had brought his bride to live here in Oak Springs as had Wesley Mathison. Three new families have moved into the central valley, each on Center Creek south of Houston Road, Jasper and Leannah Die, Jourdan and Martha Sullivan, and Jefferson and Sophia Lowden.

In the eastern valley, along Oak Creek, new farm families were Samuel and Cordelia Street and Edmond and Josephine Gifford.

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