Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Forgotten Mayor

This blog "The forgotten Mayor Samuel Hackett" was inspired by a set of unusual circumstances. Some time ago, I began a search for a list of the former mayors of Rich Hill.
The first time I came across a list of former mayors was in the Rich Hill Mining Review Jubilee Article then again in the double Jubilee article Mr. Hackett was not listed as a former mayor in either article nor was he lisited on the historical list of Mayors of Rich Hill.
How did I find out about the forgotten mayor?
Well it just happened that one day I came across the 1888-1890 Rich Hill City Directory and I browsed through it and he is listed as mayor. (View for yourself in
The Rich Hill City Directory)
This new finding of a mayor that wasn't listed gave me inspiriration to find out more about Samuel Hackett and his roll in the history of Rich Hill.
My findings are that Mr. Hackett is listed in the Bates County History as one of the first elected Alderman of Rich Hill.

Former Mayor, Samuel P. Hackett, a pioneer, an early alderman and mayor, and a good official in both positions, died at his home in the west part of the city at 4 o'clock this morning after a long continued illness of paralysis.
Mr. Hackett was born in Liverpool, England, in April. 1836, and was 77 years, 10 months and 3 days of age at his death. He came to the United States at 12 years of age in 1848, landing at a southern port in Florida, but came from there to Sedalia in Pettis county, Mo , in 1850 and thence to Bates County in 1853. He was married to Miss Elizabeth Edwards in 1856. and located in Rich Hill in 1880 the first year of the town's history, residing in this and Vernon counties till his death, or for a period of 60 years. He was the father of 11 children, 8 of whom, be­sides the widow surviving. There are also a number of grand-children and other relatives..
The funeral of Mr. Hackett will occur at the Baptist Church at 2:30 o'clock tomorrow (Friday) afternoon. After sermon by Pastor R S. Beal, burial well be made in Green Lawn Cemetery. Friends of the family are invited to attend.
The above obituary came out of the Christmas Day December 25, 1913 publication of the Rich Hill Mining Review.

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Bells of Rich Hill Part 2

This blog is part 2 of last nights blog " The Bells of Rich Hill."
I am sorry but I do not have pictures of all the old bells. I have posted the pictures of the bells I have pictures of.


The old fire bell had served its purpose in this and many other occasions. Several years ago where city hall was remodeled and the top story was taken off, the bell was placed on the lawn just south of the city hall and east of the jail.
Then suddenly as far as records can be obtained nobody knows what happened to the bell. A search through the attic of the city hall turned up nothing. Was it sold? Was it junked? We will probably never know.

There are still a few bells that serve as reminders of early days. The large bell that hung in the belfry of the first Presbyterian Church was ordered to be cast Menleey’s in Troy, New York in 1881. This bell was superior quality and had a beautiful tone when rung from the belfry. It called people to worship from the time it was mounted until the church was discontinued on June 1, 1960.

This bell tolled to announce the death of President Harding in 1921. This bell is now mounted in a tower on lawn of the Methodist Church as a result of the merging of the two congregations.

Another bell that is as old as the town itself is the bell that hangs in the belfry of the Zion Lutheran Church. This bell was placed in the belfry of the church that was built by Peter Kiltz in 1880 as the Methodist Church South. When the building was purchased by the Lutherans and moved to the corner of Fourth and Chestnut Streets, the bell remained in the belfry. The bell has been in continuous use for one hundred years and is still used to announce the call to worship on the Sunday's when services are held. For many years Mrs. Freda Erke rang the bell and taught others the proper was to ring the bell depending on the purpose for which the bell would ring. There was a different way to ring it for a wedding, a death, or a call to worship.

The bell at the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is also a remnant of the past coming from the original house of worship. The original church was purchased from the Presbyterian Church on North and Walnut in 1901. The congregation held services at this location until the building was moved to the present site in 1932. The bell continued to announce the hour of worship until the present structure was built in 1962. At this time the bell was placed in a tower near the church and continues to be used.
A bell that we cannot overlook is the bell on top of the high school building on Olive Street. This bell was of utmost importance to inform the students of the time for classes. For many years it rang at 8:30 A.M. and served as a signal for students to start to school. This gave the students walking from almost any part of town sufficient time to get to any of the three schools before the 9:00 o’clock bell that announced that it was time to start classes. The bell rang at 12:45 and 1:00 P.M. for the same purpose as many students walked home for lunch because there was no lunch room.
The Franklin (East) and Holmes (South) Schools used a small hand bell as the large bell at the high school (Bryant) could usually be heard all over town in a day when there were few other noise – no automobiles, no trucks only a train whistle, a mine whistle, a whistle of the power plant or the ice plant.
With the passing of time, the old bell is no longer used on a regular basis. Now technology has made it possible for electric bells controlled by the clock to indicate the time for changing classes. School buses running on schedule bring students to the school within just minutes of the time for classes.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Bells of Rich Hill

This blog was inspired by another Wagon Wheels Insert to the Rich Hill Mining Review by Miss Mary Griffin. due to the length of this story this will be a two part blog. The second part of this blog will be posted tomorrow night.

The picture below came from the book "The Town That Coal Built." The picture is of the A.C. Cate Livery Barn on south Sixth Street it was the only building saved when Maple Street was consumed by fire in 1897.

Few of us are aware of the role that bells have played in the history of our town. Bells have been used to announce the hour of worship, the death of and individual, the time for school and burning of a raging fire.
Whenever the old fire bell sounded it struck terror in the hearts of the people. For anyone who might remember or for those who have heard of it. One of the most devastating of all fires burned all the business on both sides of Maple Street between Fifth and Sixth.
A letter written by Dave Smalley to L.W. (Dinty) Matthews gives us a vivid description
of that fire disastrous fire as he recalled it.
About eleven o’clock on that morning, Dave a twelve –year old boy had taken his bicycle to be repaired at a shop in a frame building belonging to S. B. Cole. The shop was in the rear of a brick building located on Sixth and Maple Streets also belonging to Mr. Cole.
He then went home to eat lunch and planned to return for the repaired bicycle at a later time. At one o’clock the fire bell was ringing long and loud accompanied by the whistles of a switch engine and the big mill.
Like many other people Dave went to locate the fire and was horrified to see a large cloud of smoke and flames rolling above the Klondike Livery Barn.
This Fire would be difficult to bring under control as the block fifth and sixth streets on Maple were a solid run of frame buildings on both sides of the street.
East of the Klondike livery Barn Charlie Fortune and his father had a feed store. Jim Cooks Blacksmith shop was next to the Livery Barn. Jim’s father and brother had a shop across the street.
Almost immediately all the building near the Klondike Livery Barn were on fire and the flames swept rapidly westward. There were many shops, another livery barn and harness shop owned and operated by Fred Fitzmeyer. Fred had a wooden leg and was remembered to have been seen going west with his arms full of harness. There was a vacant lot between the Fitzmeyer Harness Shop and a small blacksmith shop. The flames leaped across the vacant lot and completed the block of burning buildings.
Almost instantly the fire crossed the street to the many two-story second-hand stores. Herman Schwamb had a carriage shop on the Northeast corner of Fifth and Maple.
Just east of the carriage shop was the Jerome Candy Shop and east of that was another frame building, owned and operated by a man named Sherrick. Now the fire had spread to every building on both sides of the street between Fifth and Sixth on Maple.
The fire department and many volunteers worked hard to prevent the fire from crossing the street west of the Schwamb Carriage Shop to the Wagoner-Weik Shop on the northwest corner of Fifth and Maple. The Wogoner-Weik Shop made wagons, wheels and parts for wagons while the Schwamb Shop was referred to as a woodwork shop and made wheels, spokes, tongues and other parts for wagons and carriages. Both of these shops were of vital importance to the community in a day when transportation depended on wagons and carriages.
It was a real mystery that the fire department was able to prevent the fire from consuming the buildings across the alley on Park Avenue. Some of the buildings were brick, but there still were a few frame buildings on Park Avenue. In the case of the two-story buildings on Maple, the fire department was able to save parts of the buildings in the outer circle.
Three hours after the fire bell had been sounded the fire had been brought under control by a fire department that had fought fire on all sides at once.
As evening came, the only remains of a once busy business section were the charred debris and an occasional chimney had remained standing. Never again was the business section on Maple Street rebuilt. Losses would be difficult to determine but we know it was a hard blow as few if any carried fire insurance. Needless to say that Dave never saw his bicycle again.
To the best of my knowledge, Herman Schwamb was the only one to replace his carriage shop with a brick building where he continued his work. Later Mr. Johnson (father of Martin Johnson and Dora Phelps) went into the shop with Mr. Schwamb as a blacksmith. Mr. Johnson continued to operate the blacksmith shop until around 1950 when his health forced his retirement. When there was no longer need for wagons and carriages, there was still plenty of welding to be done in this shop.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Rich Hill Coal Prophecy

This blog is a continuence of my earlier blog on "How Rich Hill got its name." The first part is a repeat of my earlier blog and the second part came out of an Old Mining Review paper the article was written by Jno. D. Moore. a former Rich Hill Historian.

A meeting was called during the summer of 1871 at the only store in the community, that of C. W. Ratekin to talk the matter over and start trying to bring a postoffice closer to their doorways. A petition to the Post Office Department in Washington setting out their wishes eventually brought a postal inspector. Another meeting at Ratekin's store closed the matter and the papers were signed to bring them a post office. The only available place was Ratekin's store, and therefore Mr. Ratekin was appointed the first postmaster, receiving his commis­sion August 3, 1871. The postal inspector stated they would have to have a name for the post office. According to John D. Moore, who was the school teacher, stated that William Wear suggested that they were in a very rich country, while Mr. Moore said, "We are on a hill," and that was it—RICH HILL came a borning.

At the same meeting Mr. Ratekin made the prophecy that it would only be a question of time until 100 cars of coal would be moved from that place in a day. The prophecy was considered extravagant at the time but nine years later three hundred cars of coal passed over the switches at the foot of hill from the mines in thirty-six hours.
"Did you know further that the banner mine of the state of Missouri was No. 15 one mile south of Rich Hill ? It is a fact. Hoisting an average of over three ton every minute for seven hours from a depth of 106 feet. It means this a pit car run on the cage 106 ft. down raised to the surface, weighed and emptied into a railway car every twenty seconds.

Mr. Moore concluded this article with a statement that he "may call to mind some other matters that may be of use later on."
I am confident that I will find some additional articles of Mr. Moores' in the future which I will gladly publish for the readers of this blog.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Shock Oats

I have been wanting to blog some stories from the 1940's. Well, it just so happens that I came upon some stories in the archives Miss Mary Griffin wrote about WWII. This blog is about a local farmer getting help with their farming as many people were gone fighting in WWII.

This article is posted as it appeared in the Rich Hill Review.
"Farmers had difficulty getting help to harvest their crops. An example of how this was handled appeared in a copy of the Rich Hill Daily Review July 1943.
Rich Hillians responded to the call for farm help Wednesday afternoon when quite a number reported at the James Bradley farm north of Papinville.
Confronted with the urgent need for help to shock oats, James Bradley appealed to Mrs. Ed (Bert) Montgomery, local representative for Missouri Employment Service. Mrs.Montgomery began contacting local men and soon had 22 ready to help save Bates County's crops.
The men reported at the Montgomery Feed Store at 6:30 p.m. and by 7:00 o'clock the men were at the Bradley Farm ready to go to work. From 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. eighty acres of oats had been shocked.
It was a new experience for a number of the volunteers, but those familiar with the work formed a coaching staff. The men thoroughly enjoyed the work and came home with a deep appreciation of the daily problems of our farmers and the importance of cooperating during such abnormal times.
The following men worked at the Bradley farm Earl Leavitt, Ed Montgomery, Delmar McCombs, Orville McCoy, Harland Swope, Charles Rhodes, Shirley Booth, Ed Kenny, Orben Smith, George Crab, Ed Mead, Charles Starr, Loren McCarroll, Donald Brown, William Feugate, Gilbert Hood, Junior Manchester, Delmar Moreland, John Moore, Vernon Bolser and Bill Satterley."

Monday, January 26, 2009

1909 Rich Hill High Annual

Some people found this old Rich Hill Annual in closet and they sent it to the Rich Hill Memorial Library.

I found this story while browsing throught the pages of this old annual and I thought it was interesting.

In the early part of this year Prof. C. T. VanBenthusen, a teacher of Mathematics and history in the high school was stricken by paralysis while teaching a class. Fortunately he was recuperated enough to be out among his many friends, although unable to teach. Mr. VanBenthusen had been with us for sometime and was held in high esteem by all the pupils and teachers. In fact the entire student body has mourned his affection and anxiously awaited the news that he was out of serious danger. It is the unanimous hope that he will be able to resume his duties as teacher so that the school may once more feel his good influence. The toast of every High School pupil is- “ Here’s to you Prof. Van, may you have health and happiness.”

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Albert Griffen was Greenlawn Cemetery sexton for 40 years

Wow this is a long blog! I hope people don't get bored reading it. This blog come's from the Wagon Wheels, newspaper September 6, 1984 by Mary Griffin.

In 1927 when my father, Albert Griffin, was hired at Green Lawn as sexton, the cemetery was controlled by the Ladies Cemetery Association. I do not know when this association had been organized, but the membership was composed of women who were members of pioneer families of Rich Hill. Some of the women I remember were these: Lizzie McCombs, Edna Douglas, Mrs. R. R. Shafer, Mrs. J. J. Heck, Maggie Akrigg, Fannie Dudley, Belle Zepp, Lulu Kreiger, and Anna Wilson. The women hired the sexton, gave the work orders and paid the bills.
My father was hired to work from May first to the first of October for $30.00 a month. The remainder of the year his pay was whatever was taken in from grave digging with no pay for Sunday graves. Graves were dug with a shovel, pick and a mattock and had to be six feet deep. In wet weather water had to be dipped from the graves with a bucket. Prices of graves varied from $10.00 for a vault grave, $7.50 for a box grave and 2.50 for a childs grave. If the family could not afford the price of digging the graves friends could dig the graves at no cost. A lot for six graves cost $25.00, half lot for three graves cost $15.00 and single graves were sold on the edges of the circle.
The land south of the ditch had not been surveyed. The two very old sections in the southeast part of the cemetery were called Potters Field and single grave. I do hot recall any burials being made in these sections. The dates on the monuments in these sections indicate that the burials were made in the early days of Rich Hill. Many of the monuments are made of marble, and the weather has made it nearly imposs­ible to read this inscriptions on them.
Many people built a walk or a high curb around their lots. Some enclosed their graves with an iron fence. Since the entire cemetery had to be mowed with a scythe, these fences made it necessary for the sexton to climb inside the enclosure to mow the plots. Most people have removed the iron enclo­sures; however, a few remain.
In February the cemetery was burned off. Great care had to be taken not to allow the fire to get to the stones.
There was a concrete walk from the west edge of town to the east gate of the cemetery. The walk was lined with shade trees, mostly catalpa. Cutting the grass along the walk was the sexton's job. Many people walked to the cemetery especially on Sunday afternoon and memorial day. People walked around over the cemetery reading the interesting epitaphs and unusual names. One monument that attracted a lot of attention was the large Scott monument. This stone was placed there sometime after 1890 to the memory of J. D. Scott and his wife. The monument is an excellent example of skilled crafts­manship. It still stands straight and tall with no indication of leaning or slipping. Several other family members are buried on the lot and marked by individual markers. The lot is enclosed with a high stone curbing. Mr. J. D. Scott was a railway contractor who lived s at the corner of third and Walnut and evidently one of the more affluent citizens as I have been told that the Scott monument was erected at a cost of $1000. No small sum even today.
During the 1930's the Ladies Cemetery Association decided to beautify the cemetery. Shrubbery was purchased from the Bartz Nursery and placed at the corners of the sections and a fence of spirea was placed along the north side next to the road.
The job grew into full time employment with opening the ditches along the narrow roads, repairing holes in the roads, trimming trees, filling in graves and straightening monuments reserved for after grass mowing season.
During the 1940's the land south of the ditch was sowed in wheat and harvested by the Methodists as a Lord's Acre Project. This was in exchange for mowing the land south of the ditch including the two southeast sections.
When power mowers came into use, the Ladies Cemetery Association pur­chased different kinds of mowers. Some were more satisfactory on the rough ground. One of the easier to operate was built on bicycle wheels and was not hard to push, but still every foot of the cemetery had to be covered by foot.
Some people wanted perpetual care which was different then perpetual care today. Those people paid a fee. I think $3.00 per year to have their lots mowed each week. Money to operate the cemetery came from the sale of lots, digging graves and voluntary fees. Each Memorial Day Goldie Wheeler and Faye Roll had a booth at the entrance of the cemetery. They collected fees from visitors and kept a list of those who paid.
When membership of the Ladies Cemetery Associton became so small they could no longer operate, they voted to turn the care of the cemetery over to the city. My father remained on the job as long as he was able to work-a total of forty years. He knew the location of every grave, who owned the lots and any available graves spaces with no mix ups in ownership.
Green Lawn was only on the south side of the road. The cemeteries on the north side were Lutheran, Catholic and Robinsons. The Robinson cemetery was started as a family burial ground. Mr. Harve Robinson permitted his friends to have a burial plot without cost except for a small yearly fee to pay for main­tenance. The Catholic and the Lutheran were for the members of their congre­gations and were maintained by these groups. When the problem of main­tenance became evident, these groups decided to turn their cemeteries over to the City of Rich Hill. Any unclaimed land could be sold by the city.
The Ladies Cemetery Association was completely different from Friends of Green Lawn. The purpose of the original association was to control and provide care for the cemetery. The Friends of Green Lawn was formed to assist the city in record keeping and to provide money for needed purposes through money making activities."
The Friends of Green Lawn still exsist today and the City of Rich Hill Maintains the cemetery and records.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

More on the Terrible Mine Explosion of 1888

This blog was inspired by a question from someone who read one of my earlier blogs and asked for some more information.
One of my first blogs was about the Terrible Mine Explosion of 1888. Consequently, I have had some inquiries about those killed in the mine explosion. Another one of his questions was, "Where was mine #6 located?" and "where the negroes buried?" In the earlier blog " The Terrible Mine Explosion of 1888" I stated that the negroes miners were buried in a field. Well, I recently found this information in the Mary Griffin Archives that actually gives names and explains the exact location in Green Lawn Cemetery where the Negroes were buried by the mining company.
I have heard that mine #6 was loacted about 2 1/2 mile northwest of Green Lawn Cemetery. However, I have not found any documentation to support the mines location at least now I know that it was located on the Wilson Farm.

This picture is not of the mine explosion of 1888. I used this picture for a visual on just how dangerous the mines were.

In a newspaper article in the Rich Hill Mining Review March 27, 1958, Frank Ralston tells about his search and findings on the death and burial of the miners killed in the Gulf No. 6 mine explosion March 29,1888. First he talked with Mr. Robert Wilson who lived on the farm where the explosion had occurred four and one half miles northwest of Rich Hill.
Mr. Wilson, who was only sixteen when the mine exploded, was unable to give him the exact number of men killed. Other men who had gone to the scene of the explosion or had been active on the coal industry were also interviewed by Mr. Ralston. These men were John D. Moore, Charles Beasley, Arthur Baukston, J. Elmer Jones and George Copeland. None were certain as to the number killed or injured.
Next he decided to search for official records from the State of Missouri Mine Inspection office in Jefferson City. They had no records for the year 1888. This was also true of the Central Coal and Coke Company who succeeded the Keith and Perry Coal Company. The search continued to the files of newspapers. The files of the Rich Hill Mining Review had burned when fire destroyed the newspaper plant on Sixth and Walnut. No information could be found on the Rich Hill Tribune, an early Rich Hill paper. Then in 1955 Mr. Ralston was examining the Green Lawn Cemetery Burial Permit records in the office of the city clerk. He turned to the 1888 records. Here he found under the March 29-31, 1888 a continuous listing of thirteen names that showed that all were killed March 29, 1888 by a coal mine explosion. It also said that all thirteen were Negroes and were buried in Green Lawn Cemetery. The record gave the names as Charles Smith, Charles F. Young, George Black and George Robertson as single men, and Frank Lawler, Gordon Smith, John Roberts, Henry Sheppard, William Black, Charles Black, Henry Hill, Alex­ander White and Fred Henderson as married men.Mr. Ralston said there was no marker to mark the graves of these thirteen Negroes in Green Lawn but he further inquired and found that Mr. Beasley had attended the funeral and said they were buried in the extreme southeast part of the cemetery. He also talked to Mr. Sam Walls, the only Negro citizen in Rich Hill, and Mr. Walls told him that he too had attended the funeral with 300 other Negroes from the neighboring mine camps. He said that a large excavation was made and all thirteen were buried in one large grave. All were buried in caskets bought and paid for by Keith and Perry Coal Company. He said their mass burial was made in the southeast part of the cemetery and that the graveside services were conducted by the Rev. H. S. Shangle, pastor of the Methodist Church south.Still not feeling that this was authen­tic enough, Mr. Ralston talked to L. W. Matthews who referred him to the files of the Western Enterprise, a competi­tive newspaper to the Mining Review. He found a complete record in the issue of this paper the week following the explosion. This record also gave the names of ten white men killed in the explosion. Those men were Joshua Tricker, age 30 and married; John Lefler, married, aged 29; Peter Spaugler, married, aged 35; Gibson McPheren, Joseph Mays, John C. Neptune, John Gray, L. R. Dixon, Bruce Brown, age 19; Charles Key, age 16. This report also told that twenty-five miners were injured, and all the pit mules were killed in the explosion. No mention was made of the place of burial of the white miners, but it is very likely in some part of Green Lawn as the families of many of these men became permanent resi­dents of Rich Hill.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Rich Hill Track Championship

This blog was made possible by the archives left at the Rich Hill Memorial Library by Miss Mary Griffin who is now deceased.

The following article was copied partially from Miss Mary Griffins archives at the Rich hill Memorial Library. Part of the article is from the May 1, 1928 edition of the Rich Hill Daily Review.

The event described in it was quite a first for Rich Hill High School. On Thursday, April 30, 1928, the local track team won the championship of Bates County.

Front row, left to right; John Pace, Russell Pearson, David Janssens, Earl Sivils; back row, left to right; Carl Janssen, Fred Marquardt, Charles Kienberger, Jay Jenkins, Lester Weath­erman, and coach, Carl Chapman; Not in the picture were Herman Sick and Smith Weddington.

For the first time in the history of the high school. Rich Hill, won the track championship of Bates County.
This was perphaps one of the fastest and most closely contested meets ever held in the county. First one school and then another would be ahead in the number of points scored.
The contestirig schools were; • Adrian, Amsterdam, Butler and Rich Hill. The number of points scored by each were as follows: Adrian 38, Amsterdam 5 : Butler 28 1/2 , Rich ,Hill 41 1/2.
Rich Hill outclassed everything in the tournament, easily winning over their opponents.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Then and Now

This blog features a house ;located on Park Street in Rich Hill Missouri.
The top picture was lent to me by Samantha Hartman to use on this blog. Thank you Samantha for contributing to this blog. The picture of this house was dated 1974. In the information I received about the house said that it had 13 rooms plus a basement. It is one of the only Victorian style homes still standing in Rich Hill. The second picture was taken in December 2008 of the same home.
I am sorry to say that I do not have any history for this house.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Old Advertisement

Rich Hill Newspaper Jan. 8, 1895

The ad says : L. F. Self Manufactor of Wagons,Carriages,Buggies,

and everthing in the vehicle line.

Will also do a general of smithing,plow work, Horse shoeing etc. Repair work in wood or Iron.

The "new Hickory Wagon"built by us is our speciaty. Call and get accquainted.The New Hickory Wagon Works,

Pine St. Near 6th St. Watering trough Rich Hill,Missouri

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Palmer-Pruett Lumber Yard

This blog information was copied from the November 6, 1969 Issue of the Rich Hill Mining Review. This issue of the Rich Hill Mining Review can be found at the Rich Hill Memorial Library. I would like to personally thank Mrs. Dixie Glynn (the librarian) for helping me find this article. Thank You Dixie!

The above picture is of the former Palmer-Pruett Lumber Yard located on the North corner of 7th and Maple in Rich Hill, Mo. in 1968.

A break-in at the Palmer-Pruett Lumber company sometime between the hours of 5 and 7:10 last Wednesday evening, proved fruitless for the would-be burglars.
Dixon Palmer, manager and co-owner of the company, closed the yard at 5 o'clock and went home for dinner. He returned at 7:10 to take inventory and found the place had been entered.
Entrance was gained through a west door into the show room by breaking out the glass. Mr. Palmer's return to the yard evidently frightened the burglars away before they were able to haul off their loot. Outside of the bulling near the gate was an armload of saws and skill-saws. Chances are that if Mr. Palmer had not returned to the yard the burglars would have cleaned the company of all saws, carpenter tools and other small items.
Deputy Sheriff Mike Schwander and a Trooper from the Missouri Highway Patrol arrived and took finger prints and began an investigation. To date no clues have been obtained.

Monday, January 19, 2009

New Post Office

This blog is about the current Post Office in Rich Hill, Missouri, which was built in 1960. This blog story about the post office also has the story about How the town got the name of Rich Hill.
The information was given to me by Ginnie Burchell. Thank you Ginnie without your the pamphlet of the dedication I couldn't have written this blog!

History of the Rich Hill Post office
Compiled by Frank E. Ralston
The first Rich Hill post office was founded 89 years ago last August, and was located 2 miles north of the present site. After the Civil War, as new settlers started locating this territory, they found no mailing facilities closer than 10 to 12 miles distance—having to go to either Butler, Papinville or Balltown for their letters from back home.
A meeting was called during the summer of 1871 at the only store in the community, that of C. W. Ratekin to talk the matter over and start trying to bring a postoffice closer to their doorways. A petition to the Post Office Department in Washington setting out their wishes eventually brought a postal inspector. Another meeting at Ratekin's store closed the matter and the papers were signed to bring them a post office. The only available place was Ratekin's store, and therefore Mr. Ratekin was appointed the first postmaster, receiving his commis­sion August 3, 1871. The postal inspector stated they would have to have a name for the post office. According to John D. Moore, who was the school teacher, stated that William Wear suggested that they were in a very rich country, while Mr. Moore said, "We are on a hill," and that was it—RICH HILL came a borning.
Mr. Ratekin sold the store in- November 1872 to one George Reif. who was immediately appointed the second postmaster and held this office from November 26, 1872 until after the moving of the town to its present site. He relinquished the office April 18, 1881 to George P. Huckeby. It took a little conniving to get the new Rich Hill a post office at once, as the town was on a boom so when they platted the town of Rich Hill they located Blocks number 1 and 2 out at what we now refer to as Old Rich Hill. The Post Office Department ruling at that time was that an office could be moved from one block in a city to another. So Rich Hill got their post office 'by July 1, 1880, which was the date the new RICH HILL was founded. No buildings had been erected, so Mr. Reif secured a large tent, which became the post office for the next six months, while he sold his grocery stock after he found he could not attend to both a post office and a grocery store.
A contract was let to build a one story frame building, located at the site of the new telephone building, and in October of 1880 the office was located there. Later and before the end of the year a number of substantial brick buildings were either erected or in the process of building. As soon as available the post office moved into a brick building, further west in the same block. This was the west one-half of the Heuser Hardware building. Later it was moved to the east half of the Farmers and Manufacturers building, and it opened out on 6th street, what is now the Rich Hill Insurance office. The C. A. Bird book store occupied the front of the building and opened out on Park Avenue. Later the post office was moved into the brick building now occupied by Mc's Cafe, directly east of the Northrup Drug store. It finally came to rest in the building at the corner of 7th and Park Avenue, directly across the street west of where George Reif has set his tent for our first post office. It was located in this building for over 50 years.
So, after close to 90 years moving from one location to another we are dedicating our handsome and commodious new building, which should last us for many generations.
Construction of the new Post Office building was started on July 2, 1960. The contract for the building was let to the Postal Leasing Corp., of Kansas City, Mo. construction of the building was done by the Metropolitan Construction Co., of Kansas City.
The Post Office was moved into the new building on the night of Sept. 30 and was ready for business on the morning of October 1. The first customer in the new Post Office building on Saturday October 1, 1960. This shows Frank E. Ralston who was waiting for the office to open, buying a sheet of commeroative stamps. Frank was waiting for the office to open and brought along his own photographer. He has been a stamp collector for over fifty years.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Royce, William Kingsbury

Royce, William Kingsbury, merchant, was born at Lafayette Grove, Ogle County, Illinois, February 4, 1846. His father, Norton B. Royce, was a native of Ohio, and his mother, whose maiden name was Eunice Dexter, was born in Herkimer County, New York, a representative of the family of which Mrs. William J. Bryan is also a member. One of the paternal ancestors of Mr. Royce was one of the early Gorernors of the State of Vermont. Norton B. Royce began his business career as a merchant at Bucyrus, Ohio. While still a young man he removed with his wife to Illinois, settling in Ogle County, where for a time he operated a farm. About 1851 he moved to Janesville, Wisconsin, and engaged in farming. There he and his family remained for fifteen years. The education of the subject of this biography was begun in the public schools of Janesville,and there ended with a course
in the high school. During the last year of the Civil War the students of the Janesville high school, of whom he was one, organized a company which volunteered its services to the government. They elected one of their professors to the captaincy and soon the organization was mustered in as a part of the Fortieth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. They were assigned to service as a part of the Army of the Mississippi, and for about six months, or until the cessation of hostilities, were stationed at Memphis, Tennessee. Soon after his return from the war he removed with his parents to Austin, Cass County, Missouri, where he assisted his father in the establishment and management of a general store. When the business had become thoroughly organized Mr. Royce once more went to Chicago, where he concluded a course in Eastman's Business College. This was in 1867. Upon his return home he reached Pleasant Hill, but his money having given out at that point he walked the remainder of the way to his home, a distance of twenty- five miles. Until 1869 he continued to act as manager of his father's store, but in that year he bought out the business. His father then opened a hotel at Pleasant Hill, which he conducted until his death, a few years later. His mother died in 1868. For fifteen years the subject of this sketch remained in business at Austin, in the meantime purchasing land in that vicinity until he became the possessor of a fine farm of 900 acres. Upon retiring from the mercantile business he operated this farm for a year or two. In 1881 he was attracted to Rich Hill, then in its infancy, where for two years he made important investments in real estate. In 1883 he removed permanently to that city, where he established himself in the mercantile business and looked after his rapidly increasing real estate holdings. On the lots he had purchased he had erected stores or residences, according to their location, thus becoming one of the actual builders of the town. In 1895 his store was destroyed by fire between the hours of 2 and 4 a. m. While the ruins of the conflagration were still burning Mr. Royce dispatched a representative to Kansas City with instructions to purchase an entire new stock of goods. These were at once shipped to Rich Hill, arriving the following day. Securing a new location, he moved in with that portion of his stock which had been saved from the fire, and by his prompt action succeeded in continuing his business without the interruption of a single day. In 1883 Mr. Rogers established a branch store at Tucson, Arizona, under the firm name of H. B. Dodge & Co., with his father-in-law as a partner. This interest he held for about three years. To Mr. Royce is due the credit of active participation in the promotion of several of the railways of Missouri. Foreseeing the destiny of Rich Hill, and the necessity of increased railroad facilities to that and other points, he was the first to suggest the organization of what is now the Pittsburg & Gulf Railroad. Soon after locating in Rich Hill he went to Kansas City and interested several capitalists in a project for a railroad to run south to Rich Hill and Fort Scott. He paid the entire expense of the first engineering work over the line, and for the first two years of its history he was identified with it as a director. At this time the road was surveyed and the right of way had been secured as far south as Rich Hill. Upon the retirement of Mr. Royce from the directorate, the company, of which Samuel Scott, of Kansas City, was the first president, was reorganized as the Kansas City, Nevada & Fort Smith Railway Company, and afterward as the Pittsburg & Gulf. He was also interested in the organization of what was known as the Kansas City & Southern Railway Company, formed to take up the line of the Lexington & Southern at Blue Springs, thence to run south through Lafayette, Cass, Bates and Vernon Counties to Rich Hill and Fort Scott. The company secured the right of way over the grade of a road which had been projected some time before but never built; the road was surveyed, all the contracts for work had been let, the bonds printed and contracted for by English capitalists and a day set for their delivery in London through their agent there, when the news came that the St. Paul Railroad had defaulted on the payment of its interest. A general railroad panic followed, and before the country could recover from its effects the project in which Mr. Royce had been one of the prime movers went down. Had the failure of the St. Paul Road been averted for three or four weeks the road would have been built, for so successfully had the plans been pushed that all the necessary condemnation proceedings had been carried out, and even the men employed by the contractors were encamped along the route waiting for the material to arrive that they might begin the work. Besides the important part he took in these two ventures, Mr. Royce was interested in securing the right of way for the branch of the Missouri Pacific Railroad extending from Rich Hill to Fort Scott. In consideration of their services, Jay Gould, then owner of the road, gave to the Rich Hill committee, of which Mr. Royce was a member, all the town site privileges along the line. Mr. Royce bought the town site of Richards, laid out lots and within a short time sold sixty-seven of them to persons desiring to locate there. He still has large holdings there, besides his real estate possessions in Rich Hill. In January, 1900, he organized and incorporated the New Century Mining Company, which owns valuable zinc properties at Joplin, and of this company he is president. He is also the possessor of valuable silver and copper mines in Arizona. He was one of a company of three men who purchased 320 acres of rich coal lands located south of Rich Hill, eighty acres of which were sold to the Rich Hill Coal Mining Company. He is still a half owner of the 240 remaining acres in that tract. Fraternally Mr. Royce is identified with the Knights of Pythias and the Woodmen of the World. Though he has always been a Republican, since 1896 he has affiliated with the silver wing of that party, and was a supporter of William Jennings Bryan. He was married at Austin, Cass County, to Irene Nash, a native of Ohio. She died, leaving a son, Ira, who is now manager of one of the leading departments of the Jones Dry Goods Company at Kansas City. In June, 1872, Mr. Royce married Alice Moore, a native of Iowa. The children born to this union have been as follows: Blanche, who died in childhood; Edgar A., engaged in business with his father ; Victor, deceased; William D. and Ralph P., who were students in the graded schools of Rich Hill in 1900.

William,Royce died in Pulaski county Missouri

City Council promoters of Community Betterment

This Rich Hill History blog is about a former city council of Rich Hill.
This Picture came out of the Community Betterment Book from the Rich Hill Memorial Library.
The picture below is a former Rich Hill City Council promoting the Community Betterment Program.
From the Left Mrs. Jim Brooks,Wm L. Newlin, Mrs. Goldie Wheeler,Mayor Kenneth Kerns,Cecil Heckadon,Kenneth Hutchens, Maxine Vodry Ass't. Clerk.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

P.W. Nelson

This blog was inspired by an e-mail a lady from Iowa that was a descendant Peter Nelson sent to me. Her e-mail came to me at a really good time as I was beginning to get discouraged with doing the blogs because you never really know if anyone is reading or looking at them. Here is a brief summary of her e-mail.
"To whom it may concern:
Do you know of anyone who might be interested in taking a picture of our ancestors at the Greenlawn Cemetery?? I live in Iowa. I will be more than glad to pay for the expenses of taking pictures for me. I need that for my family tree."
Well as life goes, I happened to be on vacation when the e-mail was received, so I was able to go out to the Greenlawn Cemetery to take pictures and I also went to the Butler Library and found some of her descendants obituaries. Since this blog is mainly about the history of Rich Hill the Town that Coal Built I would like to share this former coal miners obituary.
Peter William Nelson ,89 years and one month and 4 days of age and highly respected citizen, passed away at his home two miles east of Rich Hill, Wednesday evening, Sept. 16, 1936. He fell and suffered a broken hip on his 89th birthday, which was the ultimate cause of his death.
Mr. Nelson was born in Sweden and when as a young man came to the United States and settled in the Carbon Center neighborhood, where he was employed in the coal mines. He has resided in and around Rich Hill for over fifty years.
On December 10, 1886, he was united in marriage to Miss Sude Winegar at Butler, Mo. to this union were born five children, two preceding him in death. His wife passed away May,28.1926
He is survived by two daughters Mrs. Wallace Kenney of Rich Hill, and and Miss Esther Nelson, address unknown , and one son, Paul Nelson, of the home, also one brother residing in Sweden.
Funeral services will be held from the home Friday afternoon at 9:30
Burial will be made in the family lot in Greenlawn cemetery.

If anybody reading this blog has information that they would like to share or if you know something that happened in the towns' early history or about any of the early economics please contact me at:

Friday, January 16, 2009

Mayor Dr. Cromwell

I found the article for this blog in the July 11, 1929 issue of the Rich Hill Mining Review Newspaper.
The picture below of Dr. Cromwell came out of a plat book at the Rich Hill Memorial Library. Dr. Cromwell died while he was serving his 3rd term as mayor of Rich Hill, Missouri.

Dr. James H. Cromwell, 69 sears old, Mayor of Rich Hill, passed away at
7 o'clock Friday evening, July 5, at the St. Mary's hospital in Kansas City, where he underwent an operation two weeks ago, following an illness of near five weeks. Public interest in the case was universal and never lagged here, and the announcement of his passing was a sad hour for Rich Hill, his family and friends. His wife is almost prostrated with grief. Dr. Cromwell was a strong personality, a man of recoganized ability, and honor to his profession, loyal to his family and friends, and his death is a distinct loss, not only to his family, but the city, county and state. Three times he was elected mayor and also served as a member of the school board. He took a personal interest in the growth of the city, its material and educational advancement, and during bis official career planned and carried forward to success many splendid im­provements, that stand as a monument to his civic pride and public spirit. He also took an active interest in affairs of the county and state. He enjoyed the confidence and high regard of the en­tire community for he was known to be honest, outspoken in his views and an incorruptible man and official.
Dr. Cromwell was born July 1, 1860, in Lexington, Ky. When a young man he came to Kansas City and entered the Western Dental College. He received the degree of L. D S., and practiced a short time in Kansas City, moving to Rich Hill some thirty five years ago where he built up a lucrative practice.
He was married some thirty years ago to Miss Kate Harnsberger, a most estimable lady. To this union was born a son, Jack Cromwell. Surviving are the widow of the home; a son Jack Cromwell of Okmulgee, Okla.; two sisters, Miss Ada Mae Crom­well and Mrs. Mollie Shaw and a brother, Rufe Cromwell, all of Frankfort, Ky.

The body was brought here at an early hour Saturday morning in the Pond & Reavely ambulance, and accompanied by Mrs. Cromwell, Mr. and Mrs. Jack Cromwell, Mr. and Mrs. Chas. J. Klumpp, Mrs. Geo. D. Biggs. and
Dr. C. J. Allen.
Funeral services were held at 2:30 o'clock Sunday afternoon at the home on West Maple street, conducted by Rev. W. W. Garrett paster of the Methodist church. Burial in Greenlawn Cemetery.
The pallbearers were W.W. Ferguson, Robert C. Glenn, Dr. C. J. Allen , Harold F. Hallam, J. S. Connelley and Earl F. Wiek.
Members of the city council and city officers attended the funeral in a body.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

This is part II of the "Missing John E. Klumpp" blog

This is part II of the "Missing John E. Klumpp" blog. There is even more to this story than I have posted. There was a massive manhunt for John E. Klumpp before he was found weeks later by a tramp named Harry Hocum in Carthage, Mo. I was curious what finally happened to Mr. Klumpp so I looked for him, and I found him in the Greenlawn Cemetery burial records and that he passed away 10/21/1964. The Klumpp house was purchased in the early 1970's by Roy and Dixie Glynn who still reside there at the present time.
This blog was taken from the Rich Hill Mining Review July 12th, 1934.

A Victim of Amnesia Causes Him to Wander from One Hobo Camp to Another.
Suffered a Lapse of Memnory--Physician Expresses Belief Mr. Klumpp Will Recover, However.
Mr, and Mrs, Chas. J. Klumpp, Mr. and Mrs. Sam Klumpp and Mac Wilson returned Thursday night from Kansas City, where they took John E. Klumpp, for­mer postmaster and well known citizen who mysteriously disappeared five weeks ago, after his startling discovery at Carthage, Mo., on Wednesday night. He was taken to the Research hospital in that city for treatment. Mrs. Klumpp the wife remained at the bedside of her husband.
The thrilling but sad story of the finding of Mr. Klumpp, his identification by a picture by a boy tramp, Harry Hocum, and questioning when he was given food by Mrs. Chas. Klumpp when the boy stopped at the Klumpp home appealing for something to eat, and his return to Carthage with members of the Klumpp family where the story proved true in every detail was given in Thursday's issue of the Daily Review.
Chas, J. Klumpp said to-day (Friday) that his brother John was found to be in a serious condition from the hardships endured in his timless wanderings, but he believed that John will recover in due time.
Following excerpts from Kansas City reports Thursday afternoon and Friday morning follow: "Recieving the care a physician and nurses at Research Hospital, gazing with searching eyes at wife and relatives gathered in the hospital room, John Klumpp 46 years old, former postmaster at Rich Hill, Missouri, was reported to be very ill today. "
" Obviously suffering from amnesia which caused him to wander from one hobo camp to another, Mr. Klumpp was being questioned in a manner that physcians believed might cause his memory to return. It was believed the emotions suffered by Mr. Klumpp when he gazed once more upon his wife at the hospital caused him to become physically weaker."

"The condition of John E. Klumpp, 46 year-old Rich Hill, Mo. former postmaster, an apparent victim of amnesia, remained the same at Research Hospital Thursday night.
Mr. Klumpp still could not account for his whereabouts between May 25, when he left on a bus from St.Louis for Kansas City, until last Wednesday when he was fonad at a transient camp at Carthage, Mo.
"He suffered the loss of his memory probably while on the bus and left the bus before it arrived in Kansas City. He had been wandering from place to place, using the name of Ralph Koss. A search for him was made in eleven states. "Following his examination of Mr. Klumpp, the physician said he did not know at present what caused the amnesia. He said the loss of memory might be attributed to the mastoid condition or perhaps to a blow on the head which, upon healing of the scalp, would not be noticed. The physician said Mr, Klumpp would recover."

John E. Klumpp's Traveling Bag is Found

In the intensive search made throughout the country for John E. Klumpp former postmaster here who mysteriously disappeared some five weeks ago and who was found last Wednesday night at Carthage, Mo. and then taken to Research Hospital in Kansas City, an effort was made to find his traveling bag that it might lead to a clue. Although Mrs. Klumpp had obtained information that Mr. Klumpp had bought a Mo. Pacific bus ticket in St. Louis for Kansas City, she visted the Kansas City terminal station but no trace of the suit case was then found. He had vanished.
The sequel to this was unfolded late Monday afternoon upon the arrival of a bus here from Kansas City at 4:30 o'clock yesterday (Monday) afternoon the driver stopped at the Parkview hotel end delivered a Gladstone bag, with the identification tag bearing the name of John E. Klumpp, Rich Hill, Mo. The clerk Mr. Zarele at once notified J. P. Klumpp and Sam Klumpp who identified the bag, opened it and found John's suit of clothing, under garments, and other articles. John's watch was found in tha vest pocket.
Mrs Klumpp who is in Kansas City at the bedside of her husband who suffered an attack of amnesia was notified and to visit the terminal station to trace the bag, and where it was left by him in his wanderings.
Burl Holland and H. P. Robin­son of this city visited the hospital in Kansas City Monday afternoon and report an improvement in his condition.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

John Klumpp Missing five weeks, is found

This blog is the first half of a 2 night blog, the second part of this blog will be posted tomorrow night.
I chose the Klumpp family as the feature of this blog. For those of you who do not recognize the Klumpp family name, they were one of the most prosperous families during this period of Rich Hill History.

This article is from the July 5, 1934 Rich Hill Mining Review newspaper.

A Boy Tramp Asking for Food gives Mrs. Chas E. Klumpp the Clue Idenifies Him by picture.

Discovered at Carthage

Suffering from Amnesia, Gives No account of his waderings, Taken to Kansas City Hospital

The response of Mrs. Chas. J. Klumpp to a pitiful plea of a boy 17 years old, a tramp, asking for something to eat about 7 o'clock Wednesday evening, led to the startling discovery that John E. Klumpp was alive and to be found at Carthage, 75 miles south of here. He has been missing five weeks.
Since John Klumpp's disappear­ance Mrs. Chas. Klumpp has made it a habit to question every stran­ger, hoping to find some clue. The boy, Harry Hocum, 17 years old, was questioned and gave a straight story that impressed Mrs. Klumpp. He was shown a picture of the missing man and he said that he met Mr. Klumpp some two weeks ago at the "Jungles," a rendezvous for tramps and job­less men near Carthage, and talked with him, Mr. Klumpp saying that he bad "bummed" his way from Kansas City to Carthage over the Kansas City Southern railroad; that Mr. Klumpp then complained of pains in the side of his head, evidently suffering from amnesia
Having confidence in the boy's story, Mrs Chas. Klumpp, Mrs. John Klumpp, Mac Wilson and Sam Klumpp, accompanied by the Hocum boy, left here in a motor car, arriving at Carthage at 10 o'clock in the evening. The went at once to the ' jurgle" camp and there found John E, Klumpp, the missing man.
He was found to be suffering from lapse of memory, as he failed to recognize his wife or any mem­ber of the family. He appeared in a wretched condition, both physically and mentally, showing evidence of enduring hardships in his wanderings. He failed to give any account of his wanderings over the country the past five weeks.
A physician was called and Mr. Klumpp was taken to the Carthage hospital, where he was given emergency treatment, before leaving for the Research hospital in Kansas City, by Mrs. Chas. J. Klumpp, Mrs. John E. Klumpp; Chas. J. Klumpp joining the party at 2 o'clock last Thursday morning when they reached Rich Hill. Here Mr, Wilson and Sam Klumpp were dropped off.

Mr. and Mrs. Joe P. Klumpp, Mrs. Burl Holland and Mrs. Will Vogel returned late Friday night from Kansas City where they vis­ited John E Klumpp at the Research hospital where he was taken after being found at Carthage last Wednesday night at the "Jungle Osmo" through a clue given by a 17-year-old boy who, tramping through Rich Hill, stopped at the Chas. E. Klumpp home for something to eat, which was given by Mrs. Klumpp, then questioned closely, and stating that he had met Mr. Klumpp and, when shown a picture, recognized Mr. Klumpp and then accompa­nied the members of the Klumpp family to Carthage.

J P. Klumpp after his return home said his brother was still suffering from amnesia, that his memory is very cloudy, and that his condition is yet very serious. Three hospital physicians are at tending Mr, Klumpp, but were averse to giving an opinion as to the outcome of the case at this time.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Celebration of Our Seventy-Fifth Jubilee

I think this is the last image sent to me from Jeff Droz out of the of 75th anniversary paper. This picture is an add by Mayor Marvin Hurst and the Board of Aldermen from page 8 of the paper promoting the 75th Jubilee Milestone.

For those who cannot read the above ad because it it is so small, I have written out the ad as it appears in the picture.

Many young people of today have never seen a blacksmith shop . Yet time was when even the smallest village boasted at least one.

Times Have Changed and So Has Rich Hill.
Our vast coal fields have become depleted. Our webwork of railway facilities have been taken over by the truck and automobile. Our smelting plant, mills and factories are all gone, but we still retain our
Godgiven Indomitable, Preponderant Spirit
of one happy family, living peacefully and neighborly together without a thought to laying away worldly things which availeth not. So it is with this feeling and concern that we
Heartily Welcome You to Rich Hill to Join in the Celebration of Our Seventy-fifth Jubilee Milestone
The City of Rich Hill, Missouri

Monday, January 12, 2009

Soda Fountain Advertisement

This blog was taken from the Rich Hill Review Newspaper Sept.8, 1938 edition. The story was positioned along side of this picture in the "Old Rich Hill Review.

Install New Fountain

That this is truly an age of “steamline” was demonstrated at the Northup Drug Store Wednesday where workmen are installing a new steamline soda fountain.
The new fountain is one of the very latest models and only the most modern materials are used in its construction. It is built of a new material called Plymetal which is lighter and stronger than steel. This fountain made by Liquid Carbonic Corp. is narrower than any other soda fountain yet produced. It is only 30 ½ inches wide, which makes much easier for the dispenser to serve customers. The steamlining makes it more beautiful and because all sharp corners and services are eliminated it is very easy to keep spotlessly clean. It is chock-full of a new and interesting features. For instance, the syrup jars where flavors are kept are made stainless steel and rest in an ice water bath. The marble counter panels are imported. There is much storage space in the fountain.
The Northrup Drug Store is to be commended on their progressiveness. The installation of this new equipment should add to the splendid repu-tation they already enjoy.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Huckeby, George Proffltt

This information came from Encyclopedia of the History of Missouri: A Compendium of History and Biography for Ready Reference
By Howard Louis Conard
Published by The Southern history company, Haldeman, Conard & co., proprietors, 1901
Item notes: v.3
Original from Harvard University
Digitized Jan 23, 2008

The picture came from Find A Grave

Huckeby, George Proffltt, lawyer and dealer in real estate, was born in Rome, Perry County. Indiana, May 7, 1841, son of Elijah and Nancy (Groves) Huckeby. His father, a native of Hardin (now Breckinridge) County, Kentucky, was a son of John Huckeby, a native of Botetourt County. Virginia, who removed to Kentucky in the early days of that State. Elijah Huckeby was born in 1811. At the age of twenty-one years he removed to Indiana, where he married Nancy Groves, a native of the last named State and a descendant of Pennsylvania Dutch ancestry. She was a daughter of David Groves, who came from Germantovvn, Pennsylvania, locating in Perry County, Indiana, in 1808. Upon his death, August 22, 1851, he left an independent fortune to all his heirs. Most of the life of Elijah Huckeby was devoted to merchandising. In 1874 he located in Butler, Missouri, where he died in May, 1895. The subject of this sketch resided in his native town until the opening of the Civil War, attending school there and at Hanover College, at Hanover, Indiana. When President Lincoln first called for volunteers he enlisted, July 29, 1861, as a private in Company D, First Indiana Cavalry. His command saw service in southeast Missouri, participating in the battle of Fredericktown. Soon after this engagement he contracted typhoid fever, and upon his recovery was discharged and sent home, being mustered out as a sergeant of his company. After his course in Hanover College he read law in the office of Randall Crawford, at New Albany, Indiana, and then took a course in the law department of the Indiana University at Bloomington. In October, 1865, he was admitted to the bar at New Albany, Indiana, and at once began practicing his profession there, where he remained for nearly fifteen years. In 1879 he removed to Butler, Missouri, where he was engaged in teaching school for a year. Upon the founding of Rich Hill, in 1880, he removed to that place and at the urgent solicitation of leading Republicans there he established the "Rich Hill Gazette." A year later, in recognition of his services to the Republican party in the campaign of 1880, President Garfield appointed him postmaster of Rich Hill, in which office he served from May, 1881, to October, 1885. At the close of his term he opened a loan and real estate office in Rich Hill. In 1887 he went to Wichita, Kansas, where he operated in real estate for about a year and then, returning to Rich Hill, he resumed his business there. From October, 1890, to October, 1894, he again served as postmaster under appointment by President Harrison. Since 1894 he has been engaged in the real estate and insurance business, besides practicing his profession. Mr. Huckeby has always been a staunch Republican. In 1882, 1883 and 1884 he was a member of the Republican congressional committee, served on the Bates County Republican committee three terms, and in March, 1900, was honored by his party in being nominated for presidential elector. Since he was twenty-two years of age he has been a Mason, and in that order has taken thirty-five degrees. He retains his membership in the blue lodge at New Albany, Indiana. For forty-five years he has been a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and was one of the founders of the church at Rich Hill, in which he is trustee. He is a member of General Canby Post, No. 10, Grand Army of the Republic of Rich Hill, of which he has been adjutant almost continuously since its organization. Mr. Huckeby was married December 21, 1865, to Maria Castlen, of New Albany, Indiana, who died April 1, 1898, leaving five children. They are Jessie Fremont, Nancy Rafter, Sallie Lyndall, Isabel de la Hunt, now the wife of Samuel H. Gosnell, of Butler, and George Andrew Huckeby.

HUCKEBY,GEORGE Died- 4/5/1915 is buried in Greenlawn

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Ed R. McQuitty

Ed R. McQuitty Obituary
Ed was a colorful person of Rich Hill.
I found his obit online and the picture came Jeff Droz. Thank you Jeff!

Ed R. McQuitty's Death
Died Aug 21, 1957. One of Leading Citizens Passed Away in Kansas City on Wednesday. A fine writer Ed was one of the "Old Timers" around here and was liked by all the people. Ed R. McQuitty, 87 years of age, died in Kansas City, Wednesday afternoon, at the home of his son Fremont where he had been staying for some time. He suffered a stroke a few days ago and never recovered from this attack. The death of Ed McQuitty takes one of the colorful figures from Rich Hill and one who was much beloved by all our people who knew him. He had lived here during the big boom years of the town and had been associated with all the high spots of the town. He had worked for the railroad for some time, but what he really loved was the newspaper game. And he contributed a great deal to that profession as he had the knack or gift of being a very fine writer. He had seen many things take place here and had the ability to tell about it in a most vivid manner. He also had a great sense of humor and could always see something amusing in most any incident and then could put it down on paper so you could see it too. We would say that he was sort of a connecting link between the old rollicking, rip snorting days of the big coal mines, the open saloons, the Saturday night fights, the happy go lucky attitude of the miners, and the present more quiet and peaceful days of good streets and pretty parks, good churches and schools and the quieter and less exciting days of the present. Ed wrote a cracking good article! People liked to read them as he had the happy faculty of bringing in a big lot of human interest in all his stories. He could take an ordinary incident and make it uproariously funny. We like to read his articles as did everyone in town and in the country around here who all knew Ed. Ed wrote the story of the history of the town for the Mining Review for the 75th Anniversary edition. He did a splendid job of it too. He brought little incidents in that story that brought the events back to the minds of the people who had forgotten them. He did a grand job on the affair. At the 50th anniversary, he ran a special edition and Ed had a good story in that paper that was enjoyed by everyone who read it. He worked like a Trojan on the publicity for the Shelter House and it was through his articles coupled with the work of the ladies of the Civic club did that the Shelter house was built and the great popularity of the house with the people of this entire section of the country is one of the more progressive moves that this town has done in many years. He loved baseball and was very active in getting our present fine baseball park built. He worked out there for weeks getting things in running order. He worked a great deal in helping put over our very fine Public Library. In fact you could count on Ed doing anything in the way of publicity to help any movement for the betterment of the town. He loved Rich Hill and was always glad to do what he could to better the town. Rich Hill has lost a valuable citizen in the death of Ed McQuitty. Whether it was in the roaring days of the coalmines and the saloons, or in the quieter days of today, Ed was always in the pitching for his town of Rich Hill. We know of no one who can take his place.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Bates County Championship

The picture of Rich Hill Bates county Champions came out of the 1980 Book "The Town That Coal Built."
The blog article was taken from the Nov 3rd 1928 Issue of the Rich Hill Mining Review.

The Rich Hill Tigers by defeating Butler on a slick and water soaked gridiron 6 to 0 brought home the first Bates county championship in football, Friday.
During the first quarter of the game fumbles were very costly to the local boys. The ball being slick and muddy was fumbled twice and recovered by Butler, when in striking distance of their goal.
Butler seemed to rally during the close of this quarter and the first of the second quarter and ad­vanced the ball to Rich Hill's 45 yard line. Hare a pass was in­tercepted by Kienberger and he carried the ball to Butler's fifteen yard line. A series of line smashes by Lady, Marquardt and Capt. Janssesn made it first and ten and their Kienberger carried it over for the first and only touchdown of the game on an off tackle smash.
At this period of the game Smith and Bell were sent in to stop Butlers line smashes and both played a creditable game. Smith did his work well at end stopping the plays time after time before getting started.
The second half again was a battle with Butler attempting everything they had to score. At this time Dirk replaced Moreland at center and Jenkins replaced Yeaces. Butler sending in eight new men. Rich Hill held and again kicked the ball and held But­ler within their own forty yard line. During the last quarter it looked as if the officials would place Butler within striking dis­tance of a touch down, even with an unfair decision by the officials which netted Butler 3> yard* the Rich Hill boys stopped the offense arid again carried the ball to But less 15 yard line when the game ended.
Friday next local boys will play the strong Nevada team on the gridiron.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Bates County Drainage Ditch

This post cards is of the Bates County Drainage Ditch. Once again, this is another fine contribution to this bog made possible by Jeff Droz. Thank you Jeff!
Some information about the drainage ditch located just outside of
Rich Hill. The "ditch" runs at a southeast angle just about two miles north and two miles east of Rich Hill. The drainage ditch is an important part of the Rich Hill area.

This info came from the Missouri Department of Conservation
The Marais des Cygnes River (7th order) originates in Wabaunsee County in east central Kansas, and flows southeast 184.0 miles through Kansas and 33.8 miles in Missouri (the current channel). The original Marais des Cygnes River channel in Missouri was 52.2 miles in length. All but six miles were channelized in the early 1900s, creating the Bates County Drainage Ditch . This channelization changed stream length and order, resulting in a loss of 9.5 miles of 7th order stream and 8.9 miles of 6th order stream. The current river channel includes the first 14 miles of the Marais des Cygnes River where it then flows into the Bates County Drainage Ditch. Three confluences occur; the original Marais des Cygnes River channel joins the Marmaton River (RM 4.6), and the Bates County Drainage Ditch merges with the Marmaton River and the Osage River (93.8 miles above Truman Dam). The Osage River originates at the confluence of the Bates County Drainage Ditch (RM 2.0) and the Marmaton River.
Major tributaries to the Marais des Cygnes River are Miami Creek (including the Miami Drainage Ditch) and Walnut Creek. Miami Creek begins in extreme northwestern Bates County. The original channel flows southeast for 39.2 miles to its confluence with the Marais des Cygnes River . Channelization of the lower 4.5 miles of Miami Creek during the early 1900s created the Miami Drainage Ditch .

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Old fairgrounds

This picture came out of the book the (Town that Coal Built).
Baseball scene at the fairgrounds 1907 Rich Hill White Sox vs Rockville.

Today, what the old Ball field looks like . They haven't played Baseball here for years

I want to thank Larry Ramage for the use of his book (The Town that Coal Built).

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A World Record for Rich Hill

This blog is also from the Rich Hill Mining Review July 29, 1955 this editon was written by Ed McQuitty- for 75th Anniversary Issue.

A World Record for Rich Hill
Although there but very few people living that know anything about it, Rich Hill has the distinction of holding at least one world’s record. This statement refers to the prize fight between two men of the town staged in 1884, which contest continued through the 133rd round, finally ending in a "draw" or no decision. So far as any available records show, this was the greatest fight of all time in regard to durability. The bout was waged between two Rich Hill coal miners, Jim Fell a Welshman, and Hugh McManus, a Scotchman, both American born who worked side by side in the same "room" of one of the first Rich Hill Coal company’s deep shaft mines, Number 13, located five miles northwest of town. Neither could be classed as professionals, although six weeks of daily training under the instructions of Harry McCoy, a professional boxing master, at his specially constructed quarters at the Arcade saloon, both had become so adept with his fists that each was led to believe that he was “just a little better man” than was his friend. And is exactly what they were, boon companions without the least enmity toward each other whatsoever. The battlers were heavyweights of better than two hundred pounds. So, by mutual agreement at nightfall on July 15, 1884, Fell, McManus, with McCoy as referee, followed by every means of transportation available, loaded to capacity with fight enthusiasts, the procession started for the place of encounter. This was at a point due west of Rich Hill, just inside the Kansas border. The Missouri laws at the time prohibited “fights to a finish” Due to secrecy of the affair there were no more than one hundred spectators, all from Rich Hill except for a dozen or more from Hume. Stakes were driven and ropes stretched to enclose the ring, or square would be a better description for the scene of battle. After traversing the thirteen miles to get out of Missouri, the fight got under way about 10 o'clock with torches and lanterns affording the only lighting.
Under the London prize-ring rules, only bare knuckles were permitted, with time limits for "rounds" two minutes. The fight was fast and furious during the first twenty-five rounds, but at that time there was a clamoring among the spectators for an intermission or rest period every hour thereafter the fight continued. In this the pugilists were not so nearly so concerned as the onlookers, for they were just beginning to get warmed up. However, some of the audience demanded some time to crawl under the fence get to their conveyances, mix up a drink or two as an after midnight eye opener and get back to their seats on the grass without missing anything. As the hot summer's sun peaked over the horizon the next morning, July 16, the fight was still in progress in its 133rd round. Both participants were weary, of course. The proper guards were difficult to maintain, the wollops of the early stages of the fight were lacking but neither man would admit defeat. As no definite conclusion of the contest seemed evident, and for the thought that "the law" might be awakening from the morning's siesta, Referee McCoy declared the fight "a draw or no decision contest."
It was claimed afterward In sporting circles that Fell lost the fight as a consequence of a foul blow, but those of us who actually witnessed the battle know this to have not been true.
Comparable to the Fell-McManus I33rd-round, the John L,. Sullivan-Jake Kilrain fight of 75 rounds was a mere amateur exhibition, so far as endurance, at least, was concerned. After the encounter fell and McManus returned to Rich Hill side by side in a curtained carriage, friends as always, on the road occasionally administering to each others battered nose, ears and face with a special pain relieving concoction, while still claiming "to be the best man."
Incidentally the resultant "no decision" ruling cost most of the spectators many dollars and a goodly number of very unhappy miners who had wagered a month's pay check that the contest would end in a complete knockout.Jimmie and Hougnie are not concerned with the "ring" or its vicissitudes today as both are "ringed" in by six feet of cold turf, peacefully sleeping in Rich Hill's beautiful Green Lawn Cemete

Monday, January 5, 2009

Old Town

This blog came to me, from an Old Mining Review newspaper via Jeff Droz. Thank you Jeff, for sending me the articles and making this blog possible. I have been wanting to do an article on "Old Town Rich Hill" and Jeff's articles made it possible. thanks again, Jeff.

This blog is from the Rich Hill Mining Review July 29, 1955 this editon was written by Ed McQuitty- for 75th Anniversary Issue.

The "Old Rich Hill" was a sleepy little village, everything from day to day being routine, nothing going on in the way of relaxation or entertain­ment, except perhaps the music of the anvil in the blacksmith shop, and nev­er any excitement, except on one occasion when there was aplenty, an ac­count of which is told in a letter re­ceived recently from Mr. Homer Spen­cer of Concord, North Carolina. Rem­iniscing, Mr. Spencer said, doubt if there is anyone living today that re­members the Dave Hardy 'hanging bee' that took place near Old Rich Hill in 1876. I was only four years old at the time and must tell of the incident as afterward told to me. Har­dy had stolen some merchandise at Butler. A Mr. Wilson, constable of the territory, with a warrant in his pock­et, rode up to the village to serve the document. Hardy perceived the officer’s coming and ran into the timber, which grew to within a short distance from the little town. The officer pur­sued on his horse, soon catching up with the criminal. Hardy was carry­ing a shot gun and when overhauled pointed it at the constable and warn­ed him to desist, vowing to shoot his head off if he advanced nearer. Wil­son however, continued on, and with a smile exclaimed: No, Dave, you wouldn't shoot me,' whereupon Hardy leveled the weapon and fired. Wilson fell dead from the saddle. Watching from the post office, several people witnessed the murder and at once formed a posse, capturing the crimi­nal a short time afterward. At the school house, house Hardy was given a ‘trial,’ declared guilty, served with good meal and placed astride a horse. The posse escorted him to a big oak tree growing near where the Rich Hill Zinc Works used to operate, plac­ed one end of a stout rope around his neck, the other to an overhanging limb. The horse was slapped on the rump and Davey, old boy, swung dead, leaving no street address or telephone number. The incident was strictly hush, hush, never again referred to in the community and escaped mention in the Butler papers, so, if the story is published, it will be the first time it ever appeared in print." Continu­ing Mr. Spencer said "us kids were in the habit of gathering- hops in the vi­cinity of the old oak tree with which mother made yeast for bread. Well, af­ter the hanging we were so frightened of the locality that we “hopped” around in a different place for mother’s bread making ingredients.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Cheverton Bros. Advertisement

Rich Hill Newspaper Jan. 8, 1895
The ad says : Cheverton Bros., of the West End Meat Market
opposite Talmage House,
Rich Hill-Missouri
Are now prepared to fill all orders for
Lard,Hams,Etc,at wholesale or retail, at Home or Abroad.
They also continue headquarters for beef Poultry,Game,and Sausage.
Everything fresh and clean. Free delivery to all parts of the City.
Their Home-Cured Meats are the Finest in the City.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Old Rich Hill Dicectory's

This picture is from the book "The Town That Coal Built"
I am posting a link that has two "Old City of Rich Hill Directories" you can veiw them through Excel or pdf.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Picture by Ada Griffin

This is a copy of a picture drawn by Ada Griffin. The picture is stored at the Rich Hill Memorial Library. There is no date on the picture dipicting when this drawing was done.

Rich Hill's golden Jubilee Speech

This inspirational speech by Dr. William H. Allen, comes from the July 31, 1930 edition of the Rich Hill Mining Review.Dr. Allen was the first mayor of the city of Rich Hill in 1880. He was still alive and of good mind in 1930 to give the following speech

Rich Hill Golden Jubilee Speech by Dr. William H. Allen

Chosen by the committee for the duty of this hour I am here to tell you that we are glad to welcome you all to the festivities of this occasion.
We are assembled today to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the birth of this city, and we want every one of you to enjoy the occasion to the limit of your capacity of enjoyment.
We have another reason for this. In 1980 we will meet again on our centennial day, and I wish you all can come then and help us—then you can revert to this day and say it was the most enjoyable day of your life. I shall try to be here then to welcome you, but if by any accident I shall not be here in the body I shall preside over you in spirit and give you my silent benediction. You know that there are some trite sayings, as death choses a strong mark — the good die young —these we have heard all of our lives. If they are true, and I have no reason to doubt them, I ought to reach the age of Methuselah, whom we are told was 969 years, then I will be here in 1980, still going strong.
We have unlocked the city and thrown the key in our deepest well, we have chloroformed our city marshal! and his policemen for forty- eight hours and put them to bed, we have removed the doors from the city jail and the city is yours. We want every one of you to be happy for the two days and all we ask when you go to your respective homes you leave the city here so we can use it after you are gone don't take it with you.
I have been requested to give a short biography of our city. Now all of you have read biography of persons and know that the history of a person, in whom you have no interest, does not arouse enthusiasm or interest. The history of a city is no more enthusing than personal history, and if this is prosaic you will be patient for it will be brief.
In 1869 the town of Old Rich Hill started two miles north and soon became the trade center of this thinly settled community, and it was a very good village for about 12 years. We had a good lot of old persons here then to break the sod and put this land in cultivation. On the north, the Wears, Perry Mudds and Ratekins. On the west the Robisons, Rands, Borrons and Wheatleys. On the south the Cresaps, Fergusons, Crabbs, Handleys, and Heddens. On the east the Neptunes and Philbricks and later the McCombs' — Tom and Dave, all pioneers and builders. To all these men we owe a debt of gratitude. The best known of these men was W.C. Hedden, who wrote for years for the Rich Hill Review -- a fine, modest man who never spoke an unkind word of any man or woman. He was as gentle as a little child. We shall always-remember Gabe.
In 1879 the land on which this town was built belonged to the Logan County National Bank Russelville, Kentucky, and was purchased by a group of Bates County Citizens under the name of the Rich Hill Town Company. Early in the spring of 1880 engineers laid of the city into lots, blocks, streets and parks, and on the 17th day of May a charter was secured, and in early June an election was held of a mayor, four alderman, clerk, attorney, treasurer and marshal and the town got away to a good start. The number of votes cast was an indication of about 1500 inhabitants.
In 1881 the "Talmage house was built and became the center of all social activity. Buildings were erected on every hand. The sound of the hammer and the saw rang way late in the night and everybody was employed. The mayor was also police, judge and held court every Monday and no one was ever in his court and failed to be convicted. No expense was necessary. The fact that he was in court was proof of guilt and the judgment uncontested. A prison was built, crude but strong. But my fellow citizens, buildings, streets and parks do not make a city. A city is made by the strong upstanding, intelligent men and women who make up the citizenship, who are willing to stand shoulder to shoulder and fight for civic betterment with the motto "one for all and all for one."Take one verse of the Elegy of Way "Let us then be up and doing, with a heart for any fate, still achieving still persuing, learn to labor and to want." We have always had that kind of citizens here—Early came a young man who started a small jewely store; he became a booster —his business grew and expanded until today it is one of the most important mercantile establishments in the city, and he is still boosting. 1 refer to Chas. S. Beasley of the Beasley Mercantile Company. Soon came two young Jewish citizens who started a small clothing store, which by energy and thrift has become one of the largest department stores in Bates county—I refer to Herman and Simon Loeb, Simon has gone to his long haven, but Herman still lives to enjoy the fruits of his long labor.
George A. Logan, now a citizen of Vernon County, was an early resident. He is yet living, an esteemed, fine moral old man, surrounded by a fine family who do credit to him in their lives.
In 1882 the Fergusons came to this city and organized the Farmers & Manufacturers Bank, which still stands as firm as the rock of Gibralter, a perpetual monument to the name. Soon W.W. Ferguson became its president and ruling spirit— a man of the very highest class— gruff, honest, truthful, courageous; his word was as good as the national money. He never betrayed a friend nor did he retreat from an enemy. Every subscription started for civic betterment or for charity was headed by W. W. Ferguson with a generous amount. He was my constant companion for over 40 years and when he lay down by my side and departed this life I was grieved, and that grief remains with me to this hour — I hope when the time shall come for me to lay aside these habiliments of morality and go on that long journey somewhere in the great beyond I shall meet him again and renew those pleasant relations which were interrupted by his sudden end and untimely death.
Early came two stalwart Germans from the state of Kansas, who came boosters and builders —Phillip Krieger and John Klumpp. Both have passed away but have left behind, them families who have carried their designs into execution.
Soon there came a young dentist —gruff, energetic, ingenious, who gave more hum to civic improvement" than any one who ever came here. He has left us and gone to his reward. I refer to Dr. J. H. Cromwell, our late mayor.'
But who cares for the setting sun, typical of old age as it sinks in the western horizon it reminds us of the old, whose hair is whited by the frost; of many winters; whose eyes are growing dim; whose footsteps are failing, and whose life it is to sit by the fireside and live again the victors and defeats of the past. And when the sun of life has set we look for the dawn when it shall appear again and light the world, an emblem of the Resurrection. Who cares for the setting sun when all eyes are fixed on the rising star, typical of youth energy, vision, and strength. They are the ones to carry on when age has left off, and we feel they will do all and more than we could have done. We look at our city and all its improvements and we bow to our young rising star, George B. Dowell, our young, active mayor, who by energy and activity has made these things possible, and again ask, who care's for the setting sun when the rising star is within our vision?
The first child born in this town-site is, I think, with us today, Julia Connelly, late the wife of John Schmidt of the Loeb Mercantile Company —a fine matronly lady, surrounded by a family of grown children who might well be the envy of the city. She is not a grandmother yet but that is an oversight that cart be corrected.
My friends I am a dreamer and in my dreamings I travel over the world — I stand upon the Alps and look down upon sunny France upon the one side and Italy upon the other. I stand upon the banks of the Rhine and see the huge commerce rushing over her broad bosom to all the ports of the world with German energy and thrift—I stand upon the banks of the classic Nile and view her sparkling water and her fertile valleys. I climb the hills of Palestine and stand where the Shepherds stood when they found the star that guided them to the manger where the Babe of Bethlehem lay—the Savior of the World. I come back to Rich Hill and look at our substantial churches and free schools—her fine, upstanding men and women. I look over Bates County with her fertile lands, cultivated by a citizenship unsurpassed by any in the whole world. I look over Missouri, the most notable state in the 48 that forms this American union, and I am proud to live in Missouri; I am glad to live in Bates County, and I rejoice to be a citizen of Rich Hill, and I am content to remain here until the end of my time.
Just here I pause to deliver a toast fit to be drank by the Gods of Nectar: Woman, the star that shines with brightest ray. Wherever our footsteps roam. Her only Sovereign we obey. The Mistress of our Home.