Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Four grocery stores carry an ample supply of food and other merchandise to meet the needs of the people of Rich Hll and the surrounding trade territory.
Red's Food Fair is a large supermarket between Sixth and Seventh Streets on Walnut and owned by Mr. and Mrs. Wayne McCune. Food Fair employs fifteen people including Francis Larce and Nellie Jamett in the meat market with Naomi Wilkerson, Anne Cope and Anabelle Arrasmith as checkers, and Flo Stewart who always helps customers to find items or gets depleted products from the warehouse. Food Fair offers all the advantages of a metropolitan supermarket.
Cash Savers Mart is a new grocery store located in a completely remodeled building on Sixth and Maple Street. The owners are Mr. and Mrs. Joe Boyles and Mr. and Mrs. Steve Williams. The store has well-stocked shelves and an excellent meat market with Joe as the meat cutter. Pat Boyles, Stephanie Perkey and Betty Humble work in the meat department. The two checkers are Betty Ryan and Jeanne Stevens.
In addition to Cash Savers Mart, Joe owns and operates the Boyles Processing Plant on South Sixth Street. He does custom slaughtering and processing. All meat is government inspected.
The Walnut Street Store is owned and operated by Mrs. Linda Hess and carries a large variety of items needed by the Sunday traveler or the neighborhood resident.
The Manchester Store is also a neighborhood grocery located on East Park Avenue. It carries a large selection of items for the neighborhood patrons as well as passers by.
Beautiful flower arrangements for weddings, funerals and special occasions can be obtained at Terry and Arleta Heuser's Flowers and Things. Potted plants, gifts and lawn ornaments are also available at the location on Fourteenth and Walnut Streets.
Potted plants, garden plants, fresh produce and fishing equipment including live bait are available at the Greenhouse of Mr. and Mrs. Charlie Ross on Third and Cherry Street.
Stuart's Flower Shop on Walnut Street offers fresh, artifical flowers and potted plants for all occasions.
Jim's Service Station between Fifth and Sixth on Walnut offers all kinds of mechanic work including electronic wheel balancing. Mr. and Mrs. Jim Smith own and operate this busy place.
Ernie Mitchell has been a mechanic for forty-six years and can be found at his garage every day working on cars, tractors, trucks or doing body work. The Mitchell Garage is located on Fifth and Walnut.
Recently Jim and Steve Poulter have opened the J and S Tire Shop on Fourteenth and Walnut. They sell and repair tires for trucks, tractors, cars and farm machines.
Red Star Fina owned and operated by Laning and Hess offers a full service station, self service pumps, a full time mechanic and motor vehicle inspection all at Fourteenth and Walnut.
Kerr-McGee, another full service station, is located at the intersection of Park Avenue and Old Highway 71.
Phillips 66 and Texaco on old Highway 71 are both self service stations with four pumps.
In recent years the age of an item has been a determining factor in its value. No longer do we sell our old furniture and other old items to the second hand store instead we seek the opinion of an antique dealer. These antique dealers usually know the history and value of any item that has moved into the anitque category. Antiques have become such good sale items that customers and dealers come from miles around to buy a precious treasure from Mrs. Sue Gordon at the Cedar Street Antique Shop, Mrs. Laura Colwell of Maplewood Antiques, Betty McCoun's Antique Shop on North McCombs Street, Mrs. Cecil Morrow's Antiques on South Fifth Street, Rosemary Black's Antiques on East Walnut or Mrs. Louella Nichols Antiques on Highway 71 North. .
Good places to eat are also found in Rich Hill. In-the downtown area Ruby's Mini Dine serves delicious pie, sandwiches, french fries, coffee and cold drinks. Ruby Ellis is the owner and also the cook.
Linda's Cafe owned and operated by Linda Schapeler Snethen is located on Park Avenue and old Highway 71. This cafe is open six days a week serving breakfast and a different menu each day.
Cedar Inn is a new restaurant owned by Randy and Lisa Dixon and features the very latest in furnishings.
Swope's Drive Inn owned by Don and Linda Swope is a good place to get a quick hamburger, Susie Q's, cold drinks or ice cream.
The Stage Coach Inn at the east edge of town is owned by Mr. and Mrs. Jim Bain. Food is a speciality for people from neighboring towns as well as local patrons who enjoy the Sunday Smorgasbord in the dining room where groups or individuals are served.
Monday, May 25, 2009
Osage Valley Pecan cracking is another family business owned and operated by Fred, Mildred, Ronnie and Marcelle Marquardt. It is a very busy place from mid October to Christmas.
The pecans are picked up by a pecan picker at the Osage Valley Pecan Orchard near Papinville and brought to Rich Hill.
The pecans have all sorts of leaves, sticks, rocks and faulty pecans when they are brought in and placed on an elevator. Four women stand at the belt and each has a job of cleaning the trash from the pecans. Air is also used to blow out the trash. The pecans are then put on another elevator and graded into four sizes. Next they are poured into a tub and washed and put onto a roller that takes them to bins with wire bottoms where they dry for a day or more as needed. Then the pecans are sent on to eleven machines where they are cracked and dropped to a belt where the sackers put them up in five-pound bags ready for shipment.
Big trucks come in from as near as Iowa and as far as New York and take truck loads of the sacks to be sold from the East Coast to the West Coast.
Business is done by people who Come from far and near, by telephone, and by mail order. Clubs and organizations buy large amounts of pecans. The output can be as much as a thousand pounds a day. This enterprise is state inspected every year. ,
Fred and Mildred have been in this business since 1956 and employ eight people in addition to themselves.
At the southeast edge of town, I found the Rich Hill and Truck and Equipment Company, Inc. doing a thriving business. Ten years ago Lester and Jim Breckenridge started this enterprise and have continually expanded until today they have 65'Xl'02' building, a 40'X60' sand blast building, and have recently acquired an electric compressor.
The Breckenridges represent the Henderson Manufacturing Company and sell feed delivery trucks (used by elevators and feed companies) truck bodies, fertilizer spreaders and blenders, grain bodies, truck hoists and new and used Chevrolet trucks. They buy these trucks on a fleet purchase.Their sale territory covers Eastern Kansas, Western Missouri and Northeast Oklahoma. Jim told me that if they had the personal they could expand into Northeast Oklahoma. The equipment sells than they can get from the factory and orders taken in October will be ready for delivery in December.
Jim attributes the success of this enterprose to the service given to their, customers. They sell parts and repair all equipment they have sold. An example is that of a customer in Wichita, who needed immediate repairs. Jim flew there and in two hours the repairs had been made. They use their plane as a service tool and sometimes fly as far as Florida to look over equipment before a sale. When equipment is purchased it is driven back to Rich Hill and put on the lot for sale. .
Twelve people (all from Rich Hill) are employed including Bonnie Reed, the secretary who handles-only parts calls, Shirley Tourtillott, the secretary who handles all the other phone calls and does other secretarial work including the compiling and mailing of a weekly newsletter that lists all the used equipment they have for sale. Peggy Breckenridge is the overall bookkeeper.
One week's payroll will run from $3,000 to $3500 and the gross annual sales will run approximately $2,000,000.
The Sohigro Service Company, a division of Vistron Corporation sells liquid and dry fertilizer, chemicals, seed, and feed to the local farmers. Gary Headley has been the manager since 1975 and recently won, "The Manager of the Year" award for the Western District. Mrs. Darlene Nation is the secretary and bookkeeper.
McElroy Feed and Grain is another big business operating on old Highway 71 South. Mr. McElroy and his son Jerry told me that all their bins were full and the grain continued to come in. They buy, store and sell grain, custom grind feed, mix grain, dry grain, and do seed cleaning.
Mr. McElroy has four tractor trailer trucks, and Jerry has one that are used to haul the grain to Iowa and Arkansas. Nine people are employed with an $80,000 to $90,000 pay roll annually.
In addition to the elevator Mr. McElroy owns a garage where the trucks and cars are repaired. Kenny Kassner and Greg Skocy are the two fulltime mechanics employed here.
The Rich Hill Grain Company is another elevator owned by Frank Bartley and located in the old Frisco Depot on Seventh and Maple. Mr. Bartley has three tractor trailer trucks, a straight bed feed bag truck, and a bulk truck. He employs one man to help with the elevator, three truck drivers and Nancy Swarnes Fillpot and Allene Duzan as secretaries. His trucks haul grain to Missouri, Arkansas and Iowa.
The Rich Hill Grain Company handles agricultural chemical, insecticides, feed, seed, and bag and bulk fertilizer
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Todays blog is about Rich Hill Missouri and its once prosperous growing industry and surrounding communities. The blog was written by Miss Mary Griffin in the December 6,1979 Wagon Wheels edition of the Rich Hill Mining Review. This is part 1
EDITOR'S NOTE: We have a three-fold purpose in running the following story by Miss Mary Griffin.
First this story will give our readers a peek at our Centennial Book "The Town That Coal Built". Most of this book, due to be out in June, deals with Rich Hill's past but we thought it fitting that it should also give an account of Rich Hill today for future readers.
Second by running it now it gives us a chance to catch any omissions. If your business isn't mentioned phone, come by or yell real loud to let us know. Once the book is printed it's too late to make changes so let us know now.Third we think it fitting to take a look at our town at the close of a year, a decade and our first hundred years.
Even if Rich Hill didn't turn out to be the industrial giant the pioneers had predicted, perhaps it is time to give some thought to what we do have today. In this article we want to look at Rich Hill as it is one hundred years after its establishment.
Having been a teacher for forty-six years, I find myself thinking of the school as being absolutely essential to the establishment of a community. When we view our school system over the years, we will have to say that certainly the school has contributed much to the community. Our students have been able to live up to the slogan, "Education for Service" as they have taken their place in society as successful parents and career men and women. The town can be proud of the school of the past as well as the present.
The churches of the town have also played a major role in the building of the town.
Next we shall take a look at Rich Hill industry and business.The McKinley Furniture Manufacturing Company is a family industry owned by Chester and Fannie McKinley with Larry and Janelle McKinley as managers. Linda Jennings is the secretary for this company that makes twenty-nine items in unfinished knotty pine. Chests, drawers, desks, night stands and corner cabinets are among the items manufactured in various sizes. These items are sold in thirteen states, from Florida to Colorado and Nebraska to Texas. Everything is delivered in McKinley trucks. These products can also be purchased directly from the factory or Phil's Furniture or Color Craft in Nevada.
Ray Tillery, the foreman, supervises the work in the shop. He told me about some of the saws they have. Among those discussed were a pannel saw, that cuts ten sheets of 1/4 inch plywood at one time. A straight line rip saw that is chain driven, an automatic shop saw that has a button on the floor that is foot pressed and does its own feeding and sawing and an automatic sander where the man starts the board and the machine does the rest.
Every man has a specific job to do. One man puts runners on, another runs the saw, and one man glues the parts together.
The factory employs from six to fourteen people with an annual payroll of $66,800.
The Woodstock Manufacturing Corporation makes finished kitchen cabinets and counter tops. These products are used for housing projects, nursing homes, and apartment complexes. These products are sold mostly in Missouri, Kansas and Iowa and are delivered in the company trucks.
Larry Miller has been the foreman for nine years. The company employs fifteen people both men and women and provides year around employment with no layoffs.
Oscar Toppass has a small factory known as Surface Care. Lacquer sticks are made, and the hot knife is assembled here. The hot knife is used to melt in the lacquer to cover scarred furniture. The lacquer sticks are sold only to repair stores and not to households.
Oscar also makes a Pratt and Lambert Furniture polish that is sold to households mostly in the East and South.
These two companies have salesmen all over the country who say they could sell much more than Oscar has time to make.
There is a plan for expansion by moving into larger quarters where there will be more room to work.
The Midcontinent Optical Case and Supply Company is owned and operated by Joe Thomas and Ed Bennett. Thomas has charge of sales and Bennett is in charge of production.
The company manufacturers thirty-five styles of eye glass cases, coin purses, and cigarette cases. Various materials and colors are used. First, the material is cut into strips. Then a die cutter stamps out the pattern for the style. A clip is then sealed to the material by high frequency radio beams. The case is then sewed and the name of the purchasing company is stamped on the case.
The glass cases are sold in forty-four states and Canada to eye doctors. There are just twenty-five manufacturers of these products and most of them are located in the East.
Sixteen people are employed with ten of them as production workers, one bookkeeper, one foreman, the two owners and two salesmen. All employees are Rich Hill people and each has a chance to acquire all the skills through a system of rotation from one operation to another.
The company has an annual payroll of over $240,000.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
Rich Hill City Park taken at 9:30 P.M. 1/15/1924
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Friday, May 15, 2009
Two topics of recent discussion have been the flood of '86 and the Rich Hill water. Neither of these are new subjects as both presented problems to the early settlers of Rich Hill.
In 1882 Rich Hill was a new town, but there had been settlers in old Rich Hill and the surrounding area for several years. These settlers had seen the MaraisDes Cygnes overflow its banks and flood the lowlands but nothing to equal the flood of 1882. Most of the land was covered with prairie grasses; and as the waters subsided, there had been little evidence of damage.
In the winter of 1882 the heavy rains came and the Marais Des Cygnes River and all the creeks and branches overflowed their banks and flooded the lowlands, and the waters rose higher than any previous records indicated. The water came within three miles southwest of Rich Hill where mine No. 14 was located. Miners who lived in Rich Hill and worked in the mines were unable to get to work. Families living in the mining camp were unable to get to town to buy food. The Gulf Railroad did have a commissary that could supply food until the supply became exhausted. The water northeast of town was also raging with such force that it caused a suspended cable bridge (five miles northeast of town) to be entirely submerged. All kinds of debris was carried downstream by the rushing water. Rich Hill was completely surrounded by water. The only method of transportation was riding horseback in the zero weather.
After three weeks the waters began to recede, and the only remaining evidence of the flood was the mile after mile of shimmering ice. The twenty below zero weather had frozen the water to a depth of twenty-four inches. As the water below began to fall, a vacuum resulted between the frozen top water and the water soaked ground. Skating was a favorite past time, also a method of transportation. This unique situation created a different kind of experience as the sound of the metal skates glided across the ice-covered vacuum.
This information came from a newspaper clipping that appeared in the Rich Hill Review in January, 1882. Flooding has been a part of the history of this area since before men kept records, but the lowlands have been productive for farmers to the extent that many believe the risk is worth taking. Man's attempt to control flood waters has been effective to a large extent; but when the volume of water is as great as the flood of 1986, levys and dams have been inadequate.
During the first two years of Rich Hill history the only water supply came from nearby springs. Water was hauled in barrels and sold to the inhabitants. During this two-year period Mr. Charles Woolsey began to drill wells using a span of miles to power his drill rig. He was kept busy drilling these wells. He had found an ample water supply at sixty feet, but the water was so hard that housewives found it difficult to use for washing or cooking.
Until about thirty years ago there was one of these drilled wells on the Clovis Sivils property. These wells had a small casing perhaps eight or ten inches in diameter. A small bucket that looked like a stove pipe had a flexible bottom. When the bucket was lowered into the well, it filled with water; and as it was pulled up, the weight of the water held the bottom of the bucket down and prevented the water from running out. Sometimes these wells had a small wooden frame and a pulley used to draw the water up.
Water for the ever increasing population was a major problem. In the spring of 1883 the City of Rich Hill granted a franchise to the Garrison Brothers who represented a St. Louis syndicate. The franchise gave them the right to start construction of a water works system. First a pumping station was built on the bank of the Marais Des Cygnes River about 2'/2 miles northeast of Rich Hill. Next large cast iron pipes or mains were laid throughout the original town and fifty-five hydrants were placed at regular intervals. This was adequate for the time. As additions were added to the town, supplemental water lines were laid. Sometimes they were private waterlines hooked on to a main a few blocks away. . .
Water that was pumped from the Marais Des Cygne was of poor quality especially during times of high water. Frequently the water was muddy; and when used to extinguish a fire, mud damage was worse than water damage. Other kinds of debris also came through the water lines, but the inhabitants had no alternative but to use it.
The St. Louis syndicate spent more than $90,000 on the water system.
Several years later the City of Rich Hill voted bonds and bought the property, dismantled the pumping station and took up the main from the pumping station to the east corporate limit of the town. A site was selected for a power plant on Maple Street just east of the railroad tracks. Drilling was started and a subterranean water vein was found at 800 feet.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
They had quite a bit of trouble with the drilling. One man I asked said there was oil but too much water. They had to give it up because the casing would not keep the water out. He said they went to a depth of about 3000 feet. When the oil rig was removed, the well caved in and now it is not possible to locate the place.
Among the papers was a handbill that had been circulated inviting the public to bring a dinner and spend the day at the well on October tenth. The big drill would be in operation and people were asked to come and see what it cost to drill a well 2800 feet deep, why it took so long, and what became of the money. The day was not just for stockholders only but for anyone interested. People were to bring friends and neighbors, and no one would be asked to buy shares. Questions would be answered by representatives of the company.
I called on George and Grace Craig to find out more about the drilling. George said that Fred Neptune was the last driller. The drill hit a very hard granite-like formation that the drill would not cut through. When the drill started off in a slanted direction, Mr. Neptune reported this to the officials and was told that the agreement called for 3000 feet. Soon the drilling was stopped perhaps because they ran out of money. Mr. Craig said that the subscribers did not necessarily pay the full amount all at one time, but some paid $10 a month until they had paid the full $100. The company had started the sale of stock in 1921 and were still selling at the same price in 1924. George also said that usually a casing was used for the first 200 feet, but it seems there had been so much trouble with the drill that the casing was damaged and had to be taken out and repaired several times. This required time and delayed the drilling operation. I personally knew some of these men who controlled the company. They were all successful business men who must have felt very strongly that this would be a successful business venture. Mr. Strickland owned and farmed several acres around the Papinville area. He kept hired men in the houses on the farms, farmed with mules until tractors came into use, had many cattle and even in later years did strip mining near Rich Hill. His coal was hauled in a wagon, shoveled by hand on to railroad cars, sold to the Rich Hill Power Plant and the Ice plant. When he suffered financial reverses, many men were put out of work.
As is true in any investment or business venture some of these men were not hurt by the failure find out but others found the loss put a strain on their financial standing.
With Today's technology and a sufficient amount of capital deep oil in large enough quantities for marketing may be a possibility in the near future.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
While browsing through a box of old newspaper clippings at the Memorial Library, I ran across some materials on the Rich Hill Oil Company. In the 1920's this company was organized as the Units Oil, Gas and Development Company by a group of businessmen, cattlemen, farmers and landowners. I thought this might be interesting since today the L.M.B. Leasing Company Incorporated of Paola, Ks. has leased some five thousand acres in approximately the same area for the purpose of drilling for oil. In addition to this, another company had made some leases northwest of Rich Hill for the same purpose.The purpose of the Rich Hill Oil Company was to develop the oil prospects of this locality. The United States Geological Survey and the Missouri State Geological Department had made favorable reports on the possibility of both deep and shallowproduction of Oil. A one hundred-sixty acre tract of land between Rich Hill and the" state line had been drilled by a local company and had found five wells producing at one hundred twenty-six feet and drilled by an ordinary well drill. The plan had been that when enough wells had been drilled and were producing, a small..pipe line would be laid to a nearby railroad. Then a pumping plant would be installed to market the oil.
The following reasons were given for believing that we were in an oil producing area:
l. The formations known to be oil and gas producing in Eastern Kansas (especially Linn and Bourbon Counties) extend into Vernon, Bates arid a part of St. Clair Counties in Missouri.
2. These sediments contain sandstone, shale and some limestone that can serve as excellent deposit ones for gas and oil.
3. The Rinehart (Henshaw) well near Rich Hill was drilled to a depth 1870 feet. In the record there were a number of good showings of oil and gas in the Mississippi Lime.
4. Further explorations on the proven structure was expected to discover commercial production possible in Bates and Vernon Counties.
5. An oil sand was found in the number two. Morrow well in Vernon County at a depth of 1800 feet.
6. Both oil and gas had been found in the Richards and Stotesbury wells.
7. The coal fields, the presence of natural gas andthe presence of oil in every well gave hopes of quantities of oil.
8. For years there was a seepage of oil in the river where the leases were located (Marais des CygnesValley). The oil bubbled up in the river at any time of the year, and there was enough that it could be dipped up and lighted.
9. For years Rich Hill was the only town that burned gas produced in the state. These wells were drilled to a depth of three hundred feet, and all had a showing of oil in them.
At the start a number of Bates County people got together and decided to make a thorough search for deep oil. They organized with a Board of Trustees to be elected annually, and they in turn would select the officials and managers. Among the names listed as Trustees and Officials were the following:
Frank A. Strickland, president and judge of the Southern District.
C. F. Lane, first vice-president, owner with Mr. Strickland of the Lane and Strickland three thousand acre Stock Ranch and several improved farms.
Dave McCombs, second vice-president, coal operator and landowner.
T. W. Robertson, third vice-president, investments, and large landowner here and in Louisiana.
W. W. Jamison, secretary-treasurer and officer in the Farmers and Manufacturers Bank with which he has been associated for sixteen years and a Mayor of Rich Hill.
S. M. Davis, Trustee, associated with the commercial Bank and owner of several large farms.
George B. Dowell, Trustee, Secretary of the Beasley Mercantile Co. Acre of the most successful mercantile firms here.
Charles J. Klumpp, Trustee, secretary of the Kreiger-Klumpp Ice Manufacturing Company and a large farm and city property owner.
R.N. Montgomery, president of the Commercial State Bank.
Robert Thompson, large owner of Bates County farm lands.
J. F. Kern, one of the largest owners of improved farm lands in Bates County.
The Company hired a man at a daily wage plus expenses to secure leases. He appealed to the landowners to make leases without cost to the company. The result was a block of over 20,000 acres in leases. In the event that deep oil was found, the landowners would get one-eighth royalty which would make a handsome profit.
The form of organization was known as "Common Law" or "Declaration of Trust." There were no promotional shares and every share owner paid cash for his shares. The officials, managers and trustees were to serve without compensation. The shares were to sell for ten dollars each, and each subscriber was to buy, a unit worth One hundred dollars. The plan was to sell six hundred units. When $60,000 had been subscribed, a standard drill, tools and casing were to be purchased two test drills were to be made as soon as the geologist chose the most favorable place and weather permitted. When four to six test drills had been successful, the price of the shares was to be raised.
A strong standard drill, a string of tools and casingwere purchased for $15,000. A local man was to be the driller.
This quote is taken from one of the brochures: "We do not claim this an investment. It is a chance pure and simple. But with our large acreage and smalj capital, we think it offers the biggest gamble you ever were offered a chance to get in on. We do not want anyone to go in with us who does not feel willing and able to lose the amount put in, for it is simply a matter of whether or not we strike oil. If we don't, your money is gone; but, if we do, it will make you the largest returns on the amount that you ever invested."
The rest of the story will be posted on tomorrow night's blog!
Monday, May 11, 2009
I like this story because it's about City Hall 30 years ago
One of the jobs Marcelle was interested in in Rich Hill was the position of City Clerk. However, the position became available before she did. Her youngest son was still in junior high at the time the council was looking for city clerk applications. But if it knocks twice it isn't opportunity and shortly Marcelle found herself in city hall.
The position of city clerk had appeal to Marcelle for two basic reasons - she doesn't like routine work and she does like working with the public. Being city clerk is anything but routine and there is plenty of public contact, said Marcelle.
Marcelle learned much about working with the public from her father-in-law and former employer, Fred Marquardt, she said. She also credits Mrs. Opal Heatherly, as do many former students of Rich Hill High, for having the background in commercial subjects to handle the duties of city clerk.
It was hard to track down all the duties of the city clerk due to the variance in the nature of the work. Basically the city clerk is responsible for the office work of the city of Rich Hill. Again Marcelle is quick to credit others. This time it's her co-workers, assistant clerk Beth Smith and secretary Renea Castlebury. Much of Renea's time is spent in getting the utility bills figured, addressed and mailed. Beth handles the bank deposit and records when meters are turned on or off.
The other two women handle many of the complaints that come in, said Marcelle. However "the real hot ones" still go to Marcelle. Marcelle became city clerk in August of 1976 and inherited the problems that go with a major" Construction project the Rich Hill sewer system.
Marcelle disagrees with the saying "You can't fight City Hall". Anyone with a complaint is heard and an effort made to work the problem out, she said. You can get something done or your problem aired by using reasonable discussion, she said.
While some people will complain no matter what the vast majority are not hard to work for, she said. Even with the inconvenience of the sewer construction and 10 days of pump trouble most people were very understanding, she said.
"Totally impossible", she said when asked about corruption in city hall. It would be very difficult to rip off the city funds due to the annual audit. ''If we mislay 15c the auditors will find it", she said. The federal funds for the various projects are received by the city only when requested to meet current obligations, she said. Even in the $15 petty cash fund the auditors require a receipt for each penny.
The adjustment back to a working woman required some changes in the household chores but there were big problems. Her husband, Ronnie, while not wild about her returning to work has supported her efforts, she said. She does miss working on the farm with him but everything has it's drawbacks. Her oldest son, Rocky, is attending the University of Missouri and her younger son, Zack, is a freshman at Rich Hill High.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
With Rich Hill's Centennial coming up soon, I have had occasion to look into the early history of our area. I'm sure you know who was here before we were, or any of our ancestors. Yes, it was the Indians, but we don't know how long they had been here. In 1673 when Father Marquette explored the Mississippi and its tributaries, he made a map showing this to be Osage territory. It remained so designated until 1825 when the U.S. Government made a treaty with the Osage Indians and moved them farther west into Kansas Territory.
Perhaps the earliest white men to make regular visits to this area were the French Canadian trappers and hunters, who traded with the Indians, buying furs from them. Of course, early traveling was done on the rivers, and the Indians themselves chose sites nearby streams for their villages. A few years ago an archeologicol team uncovered one of those settlements near the Marmaton River south of Rich Hill. There are circles of Indian mounds on several farms around here where it is supposed they pitched their tepees. Also collectons of arrowheads and other artifacts have been found.
We also learn something about the Osages from accounts left by those who tried so hard to bring the gospel to them. I am speaking of the men and women who founded Harmony Mission in 1821. The Osages, hearing that Union Mission had been founded in Arkansas Territory the year before, went to Washington to ask that they too have a similar mission. As a result of this the United Foreign Missionary Society assembled a party of ten men and their families and three single women to make up the Mission family.
They left Pittsburg, Pa. on April 10, 1821 on Keel boats to make their way down the Ohio River, stopping off at various places to get provisions and visit fellow Christians. When they reached the Mississippi, the journey became much more dangerous, with the river at flood stage. Finally reaching the Missouri River, they went upstream a short way to St. Charles and on June 9th presented their official papers to Governor McNair.
After poling up the Missouri to the Osage, it was August 2nd before they finally stopped at the Government Trading Post near what is now Papinville. They lived in tents for a while, until, they could, find the proper- site for the Mission. They chose a spot about one and a half miles north west of what is now Papinville on the north bank of the Marias Des , Cygnes river. It was a mile above a fine mill seat and the U.S. trading house. Eventually they erected 10 cabins, a large main building, a schoolhouse. blacksmith shop and storehouse. Today all that marks the site is a small sandstone marker with the initials D.A.P. scratched on it, and perhaps
some depressions in the earth that mark the last resting place of some of these brave souls.
The Missionaries were anxious to convert the Osages to Christianity, but found that they could not conceive of an invisible God. for they worshipped the things they saw in Nature, the sun and moon, perhaps the lightning. It was very hard to convey the message because of language difficulties, but there was at the Government Post a good interpreter, William Sherley Williams, known as the "Mountain Man." He had first come preaching to the Indians, but later married an Indian woman and lived as one of them. He was able to help the Missionaries translate a small portion of the scriptures for their use.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
During the summer months, Saturdays were always big days in Rich Hill before the turn of the century. Because that was the day when Mr. J. M. Thatcher entertained the paying public with his phonograph. Mr. Thatcher was the father of Mrs. C. j W. Pyle, an early day physician, who lived at the corner of 6th and Chestnut, in the house now belonging to Carl Hankins. When the coal miners and farmers began to come into town about the noon hour, Mr. Thatcher brought out his phonograph and set it up at the northwest corner of 6th street and Park avenue, and from noon until around 9-10 o'clock it was constantly in use. It cost the sum of 10 cents to stick the listening tubes in your ears and be entertined by the "devil machine" as one old lady called it. However an early day newspaper stated: "That the human voice can now be reproduced by the instrument and is a wonder well worth hearing.
An early day newspaper man was Mr. J. P. Wiseman, who came to Rich Hill from his home in Fayetteville,West Virginia in 1881 and together With a Mr. Magille, established the Western Enterprise. The first issue hit the press September 1, 1881. It was a weekly newspaper, and after about 4 years Magille sold his interest to Wiseman, who in turn contracted to sell the paper to a Mr. C. C. Graw of Grant City, Mo. and in early November 1885 Mr. Wiseman departed from Rich Hill for his old home in Fayetteville. For some reason the deal didn't stick. Wiseman returned to Rich Hill and in the January 22, 1886 issue of the Enterprise we find the following: "Graw thou are gone but not forgotten; may the Devil deal gently with you for we can't. ...Christ was betrayed into wicked hands, and so were we."
Monday, May 4, 2009
Frank called himself the Old Historian,
Rich Hill has had outstanding baseball clubs over the years, and have developed some very classy ball player, but we doubt if anyone now alive recalls that Rich Hill sent a young ball player to professional baseball as early as the spring of 1887. Thomas Hackett, a young blacksmith was signed to a Kansas City Western League contract and left for the spring training April 13, 1887. A local paper stated at the time: "Tom is a young man of good character personal bearing and one whose Rich Hill fans feel a pride and personal interests." Sorry, we cannot give you any record of his success. Tom also played the tuba in the famous Rich Hill band of those days.
One of Rich Hill's prosperous industries before the turn of the century was the Vertified Brick and Tile plant, which employed more than 50 men and operated for a number of years. The company was organized and built by Major D. H. Wilson and Thomas Sanderson and T. B. Farmer, all prominent business men of the early days, and they were the local stockholders. Mr. J. H. Curry was in charge of the building and was superinternment of the plant. The plant was built in the spring of 1891 on the Spencer land, directly east of the Rich Hill Zinc Smelters, another early day industry. After operation for a number of years, the plant was sold to Walter S. Dickey of Kansas, who converted the plant to strictly a tile plant, and it was in operation for a number of years. Many a car load of brick and tile was shipped, from this plant.
Saturday, May 2, 2009
We think the baby is a boy(Paul Nelson) not girl because why would parents leave a little boy out of the picture??? and the last sister was not even born yet. what do you think but too bad they did not write names on this picture....
Friday, May 1, 2009
The first substantial improvement was made when Mr.George Logan voluntarily and at his own expense erected a nice band stand in the West park. This work was done in the early nineties and served the public until dismantled and replaced by a more modern pavilion during the W. P. A. days. At the same time a number of stone ovens were built in the East park for the benefit of picnickers.
During the late Dr. Cromwell's administration, as mayor, concrete entrances were added at either end of each park which helped greatly in the beautification