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.


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  ;-)


  1. You have quite an imagination, Bill. Just the job of naming all these people, and coming up with individual incidents for them all....I'm exhausted thinking about it. And keeping track of them all....your organization skills are first rate, my friend.

    1. Thank you, Bill... I think. I just treat it somewhat like the small town I grew up near. Each family has it's unique characteristics, and special individuals, doing their own things! I really appreciate your visits! ;-)