Along the Wire Road, South of McDowell

The earliest surviving run of newspapers from Barry County begins in the 1890s, but earlier Barry County items survive in other newspapers.   Here are a few miscellaneous stories of Barry County and its vicnity, transcribed from microfilm available through the State Historical Society of Missouri.  The Society has begun a project to digitize its microfilm of Missouri's historical newspapers, and images of some of the original articles may be available online.  Ad images are from the Society's microfilm, either scanned from a paper copy or clipped from the online digital image.

In transcribing the articles, I have occasionally corrected minor spelling errors.  I find the errors distracting when I am reading and find annoying the constant use of "sic" to indicate the error was in the original.  It is also time consuming to sort out their typesetting errors from my typing errors.  It is easier just to correct them all.  I have not corrected proper names, and I have generally kept the original article's eccentricities of capitalization and punctuation.

Highlights of the transcribed articles include:

27 July 1865, Missouri Weekly Patriot, Springfield

Cassville has been abandoned by the military authorities, and the only Post now beyond this, South or West, in the State, is Granby.  We hear of no disturbance, or fear of any, in any part of the country, and believe the people feel perfectly capable of taking care of themselves in the future. . . .

10 August 1865, Missouri Weekly Patriot, Springfield

We learn from Dr. Smith that he and others are erecting a new saw mill at Cassville, which will be in operation in about a month.  The citizens of that place will then commence rebuilding and repairing their houses and fences.  Keetsville, eight miles beyond that place, is about being re-built, and business again resumed. -- There will be more corn raised in Barry county than can be consumed by the present population.  We also understand that the returned federal and rebel soldiers are getting along peaceably, and that all are working faithfully for the restoration of good feeling and a return of prosperity.

4 April 1867, Missouri Weekly Patriot, Springfield

Barry County -- Its Resources.

Barry County is situated in the Southwest part of Missouri, about thirty miles east of the Missouri and Kansas line, and borders on the State of Arkansas.  Cassville, the county seat of Barry, is pleasantly situated near the center of the county, and contains about five hundred inhabitants.

The county embraces an area of over seven hundred square miles.  Its population at present is about four thousand.

The climate is mild, and probable (sic) the most healthy and agreeable in Southwest Missouri.  The summers are long, temperate and dry, and the winters are short and mild.

The surface of the north half of the county is undulating and very rich; about an equal division of prairie and timber.  The south half is somewhat broken and hilly, is well timbered with Oak, Hickory, BlackJack and Pine.  Though not as well adapted to agriculture as the northern part of the county, yet affords a great deal of "barren land" that produces well.

This county is rich in mineral and offers to the miner better inducements than almost any other county in this part of the State.

There are good indications of coal in some portions of of the county and it is hoped that the persons now engaged in developing it will meet with as good success as the indications seem to guarantee.

The county is abundantly supplied with an excellent quality of stone for building and fencing purposes.  There is also, in abundance, clay suitable for making fireproof and water proof brick.

It is very well watered by creeks and springs, affording good water power.  Where it is necessary to dig for water good wells can be obtained by digging from fifteen to twenty feet.

The Osage orange grows well, and if properly cultivated will, in three or four years, make a good fence.  We would recommend those living in the prairie district to try it.

No county in the State is bettter adapted to the raising of stock, than Barry.  Abundance of water, excellent grazing facilities and the mildness of the climate, make stock raising a profitable business.

The principle crops are corn, winter wheat, rye, barley, oats, sorghum, hemp, flax, hops, tobacco, sweet potatoes, Irish potatoes, turnips, cabbage, beets, and in fact all the varieties of seeds and vegetables grown anywhere in the state.

Barry ranks "A, NO one" among the fruit growing counties of the state.  Apples, peaches and pears grow luxuriantly.  Grapes and some of the smaller varieties of fruit grow spontaneously.

There are six flouring mills, -- two steam, four water power -- two saw mills and an extensive carding machine in the county.

There is (sic) three towns, viz: Cassville, the county seat, Gad Fly, situated in the western portion of the county, and Keetsville near the Arkansas line.

There is an ample school fund in the county.

To all enterprising men Barry county promises pleasant homes, wealth and properity. -- Cassville Republican.


The ad is from the Missouri Weekly Patriot, Springfield, February 21, 1867.  M. LaRue Harrison organized the First Arkansas Cavalry (Union) during the Civil War.  After the war, he was the mayor of Fayetteville, a railroad promoter and the namesake for Harrison, Arkansas.  Charles Galloway was an important Civil War figure in Stone and Barry counties.  In 1868 he ran as a Democrat for state representative from Barry County and lost.  George Purdy became the railroad land agent for Barry County and gave his name to the town of Purdy.  In 1869 John Carney helped lynch his son's killer on the courthouse square at Cassville.  Click on the image for a larger view.

30 May 1867, Missouri Weekly Patriot, Springfield

The Stage from Fort Smith was overset somewhere between this place and Cassville on last Saturday night.  Dr. Watson, of this city, was on board when the accident occurred, and received several severe cuts.  His face looks as though he had been in a sanguinary prize fight.  Another passenger -- a stranger, we believe -- was severely injured.  One of his legs is probably broken.

26 December 1867, Missouri Weekly Patriot, Springfield

BEAR FIGHT. -- Some two or three hundred people witnessed an old bruin whip six or eight dogs at the Fair Ground yesterday.  A premium of ten dollars was given the owner of the best dog, and Charly Henslee got it.  Another fight will come off at the same place in a few days, which will be announced by posters.

15 July 1869, Missouri Weekly Patriot, Springfield

Not many days ago, Mat. Harbert, who is Postmaster at Hazel Barrens, and a hired man discovered a large black bear in Mat.'s wheat field.  They soon raised a sufficient force of men and dogs and succeeded in slaying bruin out right.  Every morning since, Mat. has been in the habit of going out to the wheat field to look for another bear.  Last Monday morning he went as usual and seeing something he hastened home and told his wife and children to get up in the loft quick for there was another bear in the field, and a grizzly at that.  He then returned and shot the monster, when on venturing up close, he discovered he had shot his jack.  - Cassville Banner.

16 September 1869, Missouri Weekly Patriot, Springfield

It is reported on good authority that black bear are rather plenty on the 'breaks,' four or five miles Southeast of here.  Their 'sign' is very plenty.  We have a notion of looking after their tracks before long. -- Cassville Banner.

16 September 1869, Carthage Banner

Mr. Gillett had a brand new pet bear in town yesterday, about six months old.  It seemed to be very much like the balance of the Bruin family. -- Barry County Banner

10 January 1870, Missouri Weekly Patriot, Springfield

The Vidette says a woman from Arkansas passed through Greenfield on Thursday of last week driving a two-horse carriage, with two black bears and a cow chained to the rear of the wagon, and travelling along side by side as contentedly as three little brothers.

15 December 1870, Carthage Banner

A Bear on the Rampage.

The rumor that there was a bear loose, last week, a few miles below this city, occasioned considerable stir among the Nimrods.  Old shot guns, were taken down from their hooks, and the dust wiped off, and loaded with deadly charges of powder and shot.  Rifles were wiped and swabbed.  Bullet molds were brought into requisition.  We suppose on a moderate estimate, there were more firearms rigged up in prime order, than in the days of the raid of Old Pap Price.  There was a lively trade in powder, shot and ball.  There was more stir over one bear that was supposed to be loose, than over the ninety and nine that were not loose.

Well after the excitement had raged a while, a forward movement was made, each valiant Nimrod imagining how he would bring back the prize.  Towards evening our hunters returned with the most cheering result.  We saw one brave man with the bear in his hand.  It however lacked several important characteristics of the Bruin family.  The tail was long and bushy.  Its color was gray instead of black.  There was nothing very formidable in its looks, as it was no bigger than a small kitten.  In fact the common cognomon of the creature was, "squirrel."  We noticed another hero of the gun with several bears in his possession; they had feathers.  All who returned -- and we believe the loss was slight -- had something to testify to the success of the expedition.  Most, however, had nothing to show for their pains but a good appetite, and measured by this effect the whole movement was a success.

The original bear, either was a mythological character in the first place or he is still at large.

23 March 1876, Missouri Weekly Patriot, Springfield

A bear fight took place at Joplin on Saturday, 18th instant, and is said to have been witnessed by at least twelve hundred persons.  The contest lasted above an hour, and was decided by the judges in favor of the bear.  The News says six dogs went for his bearship with a vim that at first threatened a speedy end to Bruin, but as the "varmit" warmed up to his work, the tide of battle changed in his favor.  Notwithstanding the six dogs all pitched into him at one bound, he very cooly took one of them at a time and embraced it with so much warmth that it was very glad to get out of his reach.  Two of the dogs are so badly disabled that they will probably die, while the other four were also considerably used up, but will recover.  There was a report started after the fight to the effect that the teeth of the dogs had been filed down so that they could do but little effective work.  This statement is utterly denied by the owner of the dogs, who will make affidavit to the contrary.  The bear came out unscathed, and looked very much as if he would delight in another tussle.


While not rare in Southwest Missouri after the Civil War, bears were uncommon enough to be news.  The 1867 bear fight happened at Springfield, where bears were still occasionally killed within 5 to 10 miles of the city.  The Vidette was a newspaper in Greenfield.  Hazel Barrens was 18 miles southeast of Cassville on the line between Section 7 & 8, Township 21 North, Range 25 West.  This is just north of present day Golden.  See Moser's Directory of Towns, Villages and Hamlets Past and Present of Missouri.  Old Pap Price was Sterling Price, a Confederate Civil War general.

16 April 1868, Missouri Weekly Patriot, Springfield

A new paper called the Cassville Banner, has just been started at Cassville, Barry county.  It is radical in politics, and the first number, which is before us, indicates that it will do good service.  Messrs. Stewart & Vance are the publishers.

16 April 1868, Fountain & Journal, Mt. Vernon

Barry County Banner is the name of a new Radical paper, just started at Cassville, Missouri.  Edited by A. J. Stewart, and its business management is by J. A. Vance.  We hope to see the A. J. Steward, so manage the "domestic concerns of the (radical) family of Barry," that its financial matters will continually increase, so that together with J. A., you can add-Vance the general interest of the Office, and the citizens of Barry County.

24 December 1868, Missouri Weekly Patriot, Springfield

J. A. VANCE has retired from the editorial chair of the Cassville Banner.  His successor has not been announced.  The Banner always contained something spicy during Mr. Vance's connection with it, and we regret that he has ceased to conduct it.

10 February 1870, Missouri Weekly Patriot, Springfield

B. W. BENNINGTON will hereafter be one of the editors and publishers of the Cassville Banner, he having associated himself with Mr. J. S. Drake, the former proprietor, for that purpose.  The politics of the paper will not be changed, and during the coming campaign Democracy in that section may expect to lose some fur in the contest.  We wish the institution the greatest success.

2 February 1871, Neosho Times

DIED -- On the 14th of January, 1871, from an overdose of that nauseating humbug known as Radicalism, the Cassville Banner.  While it existed, it bore its afflictions with commendable fortitude.  From the ashes of the Banner will rise the True Democrat, which we wish a long and prosperous career.

2 February 1871, Springfield Leader

The Barry County Banner has also changed hands and heads.  Since the late "bolt" Barry County has been a poor place for "loyal" papers.  Mr. Bennington, the retiring editor, declares that despite the fact that he is a practical printer and editor, nevertheless has not the ability to publish successfully a "loyal" newspaper in Barry County.  Bully for Barry, we say.  The name of the paper is changed to the Cassville True Democrat, under the management of Mr. W. Ogle.  We congratulate the sterling Democracy of the county in having a journal to reflect their sentiments and battle for the cause of truth and liberty.

14 May 1868, Fountain & Journal, Mt. Vernon

(From the Banner.)

Among other sensible things which these honorable gentlemen did at the last session of the [county] court, they changed the name of 'Keetsville' to 'Washburn.'

21 May 1868, Springfield Leader

The Cassville Banner says Capt. Moore, Sheriff, captured a drove of Texas cattle night before last by order of County Board Cattle Inspectors.  They are impounded at W. G. Townsend's.


For several years after the Civil War, the Texas cattle trade was both important and controversial in Southwest Missouri.  Some saw it as an economic opportunity, others as a threat because Texas cattle were believed to carry "Spanish Fever" or "Texas Fever" which killed local cattle.  In 1867, Missouri passed a law setting up a Board of Cattle Inspectors in each affected county to control the movement of Texas cattle and to order diseased cattle removed from the state or killed.  Captain William Ray, an important Civil War figure in Barry County, was one of its first cattle inspectors.  A similar story from 1873.

The ad is from the Springfield Leader of May 28, 1868, but ran for several weeks.  James F. Hardin was a lawyer who practiced at various times in Neosho, Springfield, St. Louis and Carthage.  In February, 1876, he was assassinated in Carthage by a man whom he had shot in a Jasper County courtroom two months earlier.  According to one contemporary newspaper account, Hardin was considered by many as "a dangerous and desperate character."  Carthage, The People's Press, February 3, 1876.  Click on the image for a larger view.

18 June 1868, Missouri Weekly Patriot, Springfield

The Cassville Banner says they have no Drug store, no Boot and Shoe shop, no Stove and Tin store, no Furniture store, and no Meat market in that town.  They need them all very much, and we advise any one wanting a location for business in any of the avocations named, to make a prosperous tour to Cassville.

7 January 1869, Springfield Leader

Mr. Leroy Moore shot and killed a large gray woolf (sic), on the 30th ult., in Barry county.

A drove of 1,400 sheep passed through Barry county last week, going to Carroll county, Ark.

15 April 1869, Missouri Weekly Patriot, Springfield

A GOOD APPOINTMENT. -- Capt. G. A. Purdy has been appointed Railroad Land Agent for Lawrence and Barry counties.

The Railroad Company could not possibly have selected a more competent man for that position. -- Besides being an accurate faithful business man, Capt. Purdy is a gentleman in every sense of the term, and always has plenty of friends wherever he is known.  The citizens of Mt. Vernon, at which place he will make his head-quarters, will find him a valuable accession to their population, as well as an excellent officer.

15 April 1869, Springfield Leader


We are informed, by good authority, that Parson Carlisle, the Radical Treasurer of Barry county, is a defaulter to the amount of over $3,000, and has departed for parts unknown.  The impression in Cassville is that he has gone South again, where he was during the war, but like Longstreet he accepted the situation, and the Radicals made him Treasurer of Barry county.

20 May 1869, Springfield Leader

A few days since, on Jenkins creek, Barry county, a boy fourteen years of age was traveling through the woods, when a large bald-eagle suddenly pounced down upon him, burying its talons in the boy's clothing.  Being armed with a large knife, he instantly drew it out and cut off one of the wings of the bird.  The eagle then attempted to escape, but was soon caught and killed by a dog that was accompanying the boy.  The bird measured seven feet from the end of one wing to the end of the other.

20 May 1869, Missouri Weekly Patriot, Springfield

TWO BOYS KILLED AND EATEN BY A PANTHER. -- One of our citizens, who recently visited Taney county, brought word of a most horrible affair, which is to the effect that a man living in that county sent his boy to mill, a distance of ten or twelve miles, and the boy not returning so soon as usual, a neighbor sent his boy to see what had become of the lad; and the second boy not returning in due season, a party consisting of the parents of the boys and three or four other men, all armed, started to search for the youths.  After traveling some four miles, a sight sufficient to chill the blood of the bravest was presented to their view.  Right by the side of the road was a large panther deliberately tearing the flesh from the remains of one of the boys -- the last sent out.  The grief and horror-stricken parent raised his gun to his shoulder, and taking good aim, fired and killed the ferocious beast.  After searching a mile or so more, the mutilated remains of the other boy was also found. -- Ozark Moniter.  A panther story from Barry County.

6 May 1869, Springfield Leader

Spanish Land Grant Claims, etc.

Cassville, May 3.

EDITOR LEADER:  It is a trite but truthful adage, "That the fools are not all dead yet," and we see this frequently exemplified here.  Old settlers in Southwest Missouri tell us that some twenty years ago, a Spanish land grant, said to have been made to one Vallier, was disturbing the minds of the citizens and making them feel feverish and uneasy about the tenure of their lands.  The deception was then exposed.  But ever and anon since then (as often as it would pay), this bugbear has been paraded before their eyes, and some simple ones induced to buy their lands again of the speculators in this bogus concern.  Last summer the thing took shape again, and an old gentleman from Columbus, Ohio, representing himself as the agent of the company, spent several months here, devoting his time to answering or writing letters, placing deeds on record, &c.  Since he left, several gentlemen from the East have visited us, looking after their "farms" purchased under this company's deeds.  Our two last visitors upon this business left here this week.  Now, while we are happy to have our Eastern friends visit us (and see after "their farms"), it seems to us that this thing has been carried far enough, and that the press of Southwest Missouri ought to ventilate the matter, so that the Eastern people may no longer be deceived by it.  Doubtless many of our old citizens could furnish all the facts connected with this so-called grant from its inception.  It is claimed that it embraces several counties in Southwest Missouri and Northern Arkansas.

Yours, &c.

10 June 1869, Missouri Weekly Patriot, Springfield

Most of our readers in the Southwest have heard of the operations of a company in New York who claim to be the owners of large quantities of land in Stone and Barry counties, by virtue of some old Spanish grant.  For some time past they have been offering these lands for sale in the East, and hundreds of men, tempted by the cheap prices at which they have been offered, have been swindled out of large sums of money by purchasing of them without investigating their title.  The whole thing is a swindle.  The parties selling the land have not a shadow of title, and all who deal with them get victimized.

On last Monday, a very intelligent gentleman arrived in this city on his way to the above named counties, to examine a large tract of land he had purchased of these swindlers.  Upon examination at the Land Office he discovered that his deed, which purported to convey 5,760 acres of land, described only a lot of lands belonging to the Railroad Company, and that he was the victim of a huge swindle.  His deed was executed by one "William Hickok, jr., (bachelor) of the city, county, and State of New York."

A number of other parties from the East, supposing that they were on a straight road to fortune, having purchased large tracts of land of the same swindlers at very cheap prices, have been surprised upon arriving here to find how completely they have been victimized.  Some of them have found that they had deeds to good farms in the possession of owners whose titles could not be questioned, and all of them have discovered that of their extensive purchases they had no title to a foot of land.


These swindlers must have had a sense of humor.  The bogus deeds were signed by "William Hikok, Jr."  Wild Bill Hickok, of course, first made his reputation in the Springfield area.  His real name was James Butler Hickok, but a flattering article in Harper's Monthly in February, 1867, had assumed his given name was William.

8 July 1869, Springfield Leader

The Cassville Banner says:

Japhtha Smith, who is about 18 years old, was in company with other boys on the bluff near the Carlise mill, on Flat Creek, getting near the edge of the bluff and stepping on a stone which suddenly rolled, throwing him over the edge of the bluff.  He fell about forty-five feet, striking on his feet; he then revolved on his axis, turning heels upward, and fell about thirty feet, falling on his shoulders; he then made a series of little tumbles of ten or twelve feet at a leap, making in all a distance of about one hundred feet or more, finally brought up against a tree, when he soon recovered his feet, calling out lustily to the boys, "where is my hat?"  He was considerably bruised, but not seriously injured.  We noticed him on our streets on Tuesday playing ball.

10 February 1870, Missouri Weekly Patriot, Springfield

We are proud to state to our readers that quite a settlement of Friends (commonly called Quakers), are locating a few miles from our town.  Wherever these people settle there is sure to be "peace on earth and good will towards all men."  They hold religious service at the Court House at 2 o'clock each Sabbath, when the day is not occupied.  We hope many more of these good people will come among us. -- Cassville Banner

17 March 1870, Missouri Weekly Patriot, Springfield

PIGEONS in this locality are to be counted by tens of thousands.  It is nothing unusual to see two or three sportsmen come wending their way in to town loaded down to the guards, always asserting they could have killed "as many more." -- Cassville Banner

12 May 1870, Springfield Leader

The Neosho Investigator of the 5th says:

Last Monday morning the first stage started out from here on the new mail route to Sherman, Texas, via Fort Gibson.  Smith & Parker have the contract and will run a tri-weekly four horse coach increasing the stock as the travel shall demand.  A tri-weekly hack also runs to Baxter Springs, twenty-five miles distant, which is at present our nearest point to the Railroad.  The Springfield and Fayetteville mail route, known to the general public as the "wire road" route, now starts out from Neosho, reaching Fayetteville by way of Pineville and Bentonville.

23 June 1870, Springfield Leader

The Southern Mail.

Since the completion of the railroad to Peirce City, the Southern mail by way of Cassville has been discontinued, and the mail is carried from the terminus to Washburn's Prairie, or Keetsville, thence to Fayetteville and Fort Smith.  The contractors have made arrangements to supply the mail to the people of Cassville, who have begun to think they were entirely cut off from the rest of the world.

21 July 1870, Springfield Leader

The Cassville Mail.

The people of Cassville are complaining bitterly about their mail facilities.  We have received several letters recently from citizens of the place, stating that they receive a mail about once a week.  Theo. V. Mathews, stage agent, informs us that up to July 11th the Southwest Stage company carried the mails between Peirce City and Washburne; supplying Cassville regularly, but on July 11th the special mail agent for Missouri, F. W. Schaurtir, extended the route from Fort Smith, to Washburne through to Peirce City, and transferred the mails to the Stage company, who have been carrying the mails south of Washburne, since which time Cassville has received no mail.

We doubt very much whether Mr. Schaurtir has the authority to make such transfers, and if he has he should be severely censured for neglecting the Cassville office in this manner.  We would suggest to the citizens of that place the propriety of sending a statement of the facts to the Post Office department at Washington.

28 July 1870, Springfield Leader

New Mail Contracts.

A private telegram from Washington to Capt. Ad. E. Smith, states that the department has ordered a semi-weekly mail from Marshfield to Hartville; from Peirce City to Baxter Springs via Neosho, six times a week; and from Peirce City to Cassville via Sarcoxie, six times a week.  These routes will be opened immediately, and the people of these places again placed in communication with world.  It is but simple justice to add that this is due to the exertions of Hon. S. H. Boyd.


S. H. Boyd was the local Congressman.  The ad on the left advertising the old Wire Road and other stage routes from Springfield is from the Leader, January 13, 1870, and is typical of ads that ran for a couple of years.  The ad on the right advertising routes from the railroad terminus at Peirce City is from the Leader, September 8, 1870.  By the end of the year, the terminus had moved on to Neosho, but Pierce City remained the staging center for some time.  The Leader was the Democrat newspaper in Springfield, and the Missouri Weekly Patriot was Republican.  When the stage firm Tuller & Parker became Parker & Smith, stage ads disappeared from the Patriot.  Ad Smith was a Democrat.  About September, 1870, at a time when the railroad was building between Peirce City and Nesoho, he moved to Boise, Idaho, and engaged in the stage business there.  The local stage company was renamed the El Paso Stage Line in early 1871.  Click on the images for a larger view.

12 May 1870, Missouri Weekly Patriot, Springfield

Barry County.

CASSVILLE, April 30. -- The best road leading from Springfield, for any considerable distance is the one which brings the traveler to this place.  A considerable portion is along the valley of Flat Creek, a beautiful stream which meanders along the valley, and which must be crossed at frequent intervals.  But one never tires of plunging his team into its sparkling water.  This only ads to the delights which one experiences in traveling the fifteen miles of the "valley of the Flat."  The remainder of the route is through a good country and rugged hills are fewer than on most of the roads in this section of the State.

Cassville has a population of about five hundred, and is a business point of considerable importance.  The country is far better than is generally supposed abroad.  Its locality on the borders of Arkansas has created the impression in the minds of those who never visited it that it is mountainous and unfit for agricultural purposes, But this is a great mistake.  A portion of it is rough and rockly, but it contains fine bodies of rich lands, and some of the best farms in the Southwest.  Its character is correctly indicated by the fact that it is the most populous county in the State, bordering on Arkansas.  At the election of 1868, it cast more than twice as many votes as any of those counties, and since then it has increased rapidly in population.  The nucleus for a large settlement of Quakers in one portion of the country has been formed, and many of this enterprising and thrifty class of people are expected to swell the numbers already arrived during the year.  Some of them are preparing to erect commodious business houses in Cassville, among them a banking house.  Barry county is fortunate in having secured this accession to her population.

The South Pacific Railroad runs near the northern boundary line of the county, the nearest station being sixteen miles from this place.  Pierce City is distant twenty-two miles.

This place has a live earnest newspaper in the Cassville Banner, published by Drake and Bennington.  Mr. Drake is a positive, earnest man, who never leaves one in doubt as to his opinions, and the Banner gives forth no uncertain sound.  He was wounded dangerously two or three times during the war -- once at Quantrells raid upon Lawrence, when he was left helpless in a burning building, and from which he was saved, after being horrible burned as well as pierced by a rebel bullet; and he had not strong affection for rebels -- don't think the suffrage amendment ought to be adopted.

Among other prominent men whom we have met are Hon. J. M. Quigley, the present Representative of the county in the Legislature; Hon. Mr. Boon, now County Surveyor; A Vance, Attorney at law, and J. H. Moore, Sheriff.  The latter gentlemen (sic) is said by those who ought to know to be the best Sheriff in Southwest Missouri.  He has won an enviable popularity among the people of his county, and is generally spoken of as the Radical candidate for Representative this year.

The Radicals of Barry county are among the most earnest and active in this part of the State.  Already they have taken steps to insure a thorough organization in every neighborhood preparatory to entering upon the campaign.  Work like this will tell.  A similar course in all the counties of the Fourth District would add hundreds to our majority this fall.  The Radicals have gained largely over their opponents in the accession to their party from immigration in the last two years, and are confident of an easy victory in the fall.


19 May 1870, Missouri Weekly Patriot, Springfield

Another Railroad Enterprise.

A grand mass meeting of the citizens of Barry county will be held at the Court House in Cassville, Mo., on Saturday, May 28th, preparatory to the organization of a company to construct a Railroad from some point on the South Pacific Railroad, to connect through Cassville, with Bentonville and Fort Smith Railroad, via Cassville and Washburn.  Delegates to be appointed to attend the Railroad Convention to be held at Bentonville, Ark., on the 6th day of June next.


As soon as the South Pacific Railroad reached Southwest Missouri in the spring of 1870, agitation began for a connecting road to Northwest Arkansas.  A decade later, in the summer of 1880, the Frisco railroad (the renamed South Pacific) finally started building a branch south from the main line at the future location of Monett.

10 November 1870, Fountain & Journal, Mt. Vernon

Accidentally Shot

A young man named Henson, a resident of this county, was accidently shot and killed, a few days since.  He had just loaded his wagon with apples to ship to Texas, got in the wagon and started, and had proceeded but a few yards when the lines became entangled with the gearing, he stepped out upon the wagon tongue and proceeded to unloosen the lines.  In moving about his revolver fell from a belt striking against the whiffle trees, causing its discharge.  The ball took effect in his body causing instant death. -- BARRY co. BANNER.

10 November 1870, NeoshoTimes


Corsicana, Mo., Nov. 1st, 1870

The Editor of the Neosho Times.

Dear Sir:  On Saturday night, 29th ult., quite a sensation occurred in the usually quiet town of Cassville, in this county, which very strikingly illustrates the profligacy and utter dereliction of the representatives of the Radical party in this county.  The circumstances, as near as we can glean from what we ourselves saw, and what we could hear from others, after divesting them of all sophistry, are as follows:  About dark, on Saturday evening, a Cassville gent of ebon hue, called at Capt. Ray's hotel for a deck of cards.  A short time afterward this same fellow, with two others of the same exterior, were seen to enter 'Squire Boon's office.  (Present Radical candidate for Representative in this county.)  About 10 o'clock at night, the sharp crack of a pistol, and simultaneous extinguishment of a light, was heard and seen in the office of the aforesaid aspirant for legislative honors.  Some men in the street, hearing the report of the weapon, instantly repaired to the apartment.  Upon opening the door a dark object issued from the room, and fled with the utmost precipitation.  All within was, still as death, and dark as Egypt.  The intruders immediately struck a light, and what was their surprise to find Boon and two negroes, the only occupants of the room, in a state of complete ebriety.  The intruders immediately demanded of the negroes, and the venerable old 'Squire, the meaning of the shooting, &c.  All the intelligence they could effect from these three handsome characters, was that they, with another negro, who had just made a hasty exit, had been engaged in some nameless business; when the latter, who was handling a pistol, without any provocation or saying a word, shot at Boon, who was seated at the table, the ball taking effect in the candle-stick close to Boon's head, thereby extinguishing the light.  (If this be so, the worthy 'Squire's head must have been lying about the middle of the table, for both negroes averred that the candle-stick was near the opposite side of the table from where Boon sat.)  The alarm was raised; the Sheriff was called; weapons were brandished; the most threatening and acrimonious invectives were poured upon the perpetrator of the intended homicide; and for a time all was wild confusion.  In a short time the Sheriff with a posse comitatus made their appearance and went into the office, to gather what information they could.  After listening for some half hour to the incoherent and discrepant replies of Boon and his two associates, the Sheriff and his posse, as well as all sober men present, came to the conclusion that the discharge of the weapon was an accident; that all parties were drunk, and probably playing cards; that the pistol was perhaps part of the stake; that the absent negro was wantonly handling it, when it discharged; and in fact that the whole thing was not worth noticing.  When Boon was asked his opinion, he commenced raising himself into a sitting posture.  After some ten or fifteen minutes, occupied in raising his head and vivifying the lingual muscles, in order to rouse them from their obstinate quiescence, he succeeded, through dint of tremendous exertion, and some [?] manner of contortions of his extremely handsome features, in delivering himself of the following very intelligible speech:  "I-I-I'll be d----d if I d-don't know wh-wh-ats the matter.  J-oh-n Ray's tried to have me 'sassanted!"  With this he brought his fist down upon the table with a vigorous thump.  He then gradually settled his head between his knees, and was soon enjoying that enviable tranquillity and repose that results from long and continued draughts at the enchanting bowl.


Three staples of politics after the Civil War were "the bloody shirt," racism and charges of drunkenness.  Republicans ("Radicals") waived the bloody shirt, accusing the Democrats of harboring traitors from the Civil War.  Democrats made overtly racist appeals, charging the Republicans with favoring the social equality of blacks.  Both sides said the other's candidate was a drunk.

The letter and cartoon above appeared side-by-side in the Neosho Times, which was one of the area's few successful Democratic papers and particularly racist in outlook.  Immediately above the cartoon were the results from the 1870 elections in Newton County, in which the Democrats won a few county wide races for the first time since the war.  Below the cartoon was bold text making fun of the Republican candidates who lost (using puns based on their names, so hardly intelligible now).  How mean were politics then?  Well, all the above was printed after the election.

The charge of drunkenness here was somewhat ironic.  During the Civil War, A. M. Sevier, the editor of the Neosho Times, served as a lieutenant and assistant quartermaster of the 8th Missouri Cavalry (Union).  On February 6, 1865, Captain Frederick Lewis of the 11th Missouri Cavalry (Union) wrote a letter to the commanding general at Little Rock in which he said, "I have personally witnessed said Lieut. [Sevier] being quite drunk and incapable of performing his duties four times in a period of as many weeks. . . ."  Captain Lewis recommended that Lt. Sevier be dismissed from the army.  Whether any action was taken in response to the letter or whether Sevier continued to drink after the war is unknown to me.  Source: Compiled Service Record of A. M. Sevier, National Archives.

4 January 1873, Fountain & Journal, Mt. Vernon

In September last, a man with his rifles, two boys, two dogs, and a small wagon, passed through this place on his way to the swamps of White River, in North Eastern Arkansas, on a trapping expedition.  Yesterday he returned with 100 mink skins, 550 coon skins, and three deer skins, the whole valued at $650, which is pretty good for ninety day's work.  At one time he was 35 miles from any house. -- [Cassville Democrat.

4 January 1873, Fountain & Journal, Mt. Vernon

The citizens of Cassville want an academy, they also want the Gulf R. R. to pass through there.  We wonder if they will not next ask for the capitol at Washington to be moved there.  -- [Lawrence County Democrat.

The above is spiteful and illiberal to say the least of it.  And if we could not conduct a paper on a broader spirit of liberality than that, why we would certainly quit.  -- [Cassville Democrat.

13 March 1873, Missouri Weekly Patriot, Springfield

The Cassville Democrat says there has been a mad stone left at Carney's store for sale -- the owner asks $150 for it and warrants it to be genuine.  It has been suggested that the County Court buy it, and leave it in charge of the County Treasurer, for the benefit of those who may be bitten by mad dogs.  If the Court buys it we miss our guess if it don't get bit itself.

13 May 1873, Neosho Times

The Cassville Democrat of the 8th instant contains the ... following:

We learn that it is actually the case that there are several families starving down on White and Roaring rivers.  All of the citizens that have anything to divide have been doing so, and yet they have not half enough to do any good.  One child has already died of starvation.  We should think that in a civilied country like this, something might be furnished to these poor starving people.  We heard a gentlemen say, who lived down in that part of the county, that if all the wheat and corn was divided that is in that part of the county, it would not last ten days.  There will be several deaths yet if there is not immediate relief.

* * * * *

It is but fair to say that the item in regard to death by starvation on Roaring river is contradicted in the Cassville paper by a citizen living near the river.  [Apparently this is an editorial note added by the Neosho paper.]

23 August 1873, Lawrence County Journal, Mt. Vernon

During the fore part of the week parties were in town from Barry county to put our Prosecuting Attorney on the track of a Texas cattle drover who had been herding Indian stock near Peirce City, and lately drove them over into Lawrence.  A very large number of cattle had died from Spanish cattle fever in the neighborhood where they were herded in Barry, and the people had become indignant, and determined to compel the enforcement of the law upon the intruder to its fullest extent.

28 May 1874, Carthage Banner

Two Barry county men have captured a rattlesnake six feet seven inches in length, having 27 rattles.  As whiskey is a reputed cure for snake bite, and can only be had in Cassville for medical purposes, the proprietors of his snakeship propose to stand him for fifteen cents the single bite -- whiskey thrown in.

10 June 1875, Carthage Banner

On last Wednesday evening as Miss Vera Cox, who resides four miles east of Cassville, was riding out hunting for cows, when she was chased by six Panthers, three of them being full grown, the others being kittens, one of them sprang at her horse frightening him terribly.  Four years ago Wilson Hunkel saw a panther near the same neighborhood.  Some of our citizens went out yesterday to hunt the panthers but we have not yet learned with what success. -- [Cassville] Democrat.

22 July 1875, Carthage Banner

On last Tuesday Messrs. Fortenberry, C. A. Lea and Wm. Noel organized a hunt for the panthers that have been killing some stock in their settlement and otherwise disturbing the peace of the neighborhood.  We have not learned with what success they have met, but hope they will bring in at least half a dozen scalps of these troublesome denizens of the forest.  These are the first panthers that have been in the neighborhood for twenty years, and our citizens were quite incredulous upon the subject, until they commenced their depredations upon the stock but their doubts are now at rest.  Alpheus Talburt who has had much experience as hunter and is familiar with their habits and characteristics of the wild beasts of the western wilde, examined the tracks of these animals carefully and says they are panthers beyond a doubt, a description of one of these animals as seen by a lady last week also points to the same conclusion. -- Cassville Democrat.

5 August 1875, Neosho Times

The Peirce City Record says: -- Mr. Purdy, Land agent of the A. & P. company, is at present in communication and making negotiation with a committee of eight Italians, who represent forty families who are seeking a location in this section of country.  These people are Protestants, of the Christian sect of Waldenses, and are good, industrious looking people, all having money.  Their interpreter, Rev. Mr. Solomon, reports the present families to be from South America, where they settled some years ago, but owing to the very disturbed state of the country and the frequent revolutions there, they all desire to leave that country and settle in a more settled and stable government.  The present party want seven or eight thousand acres of land in a body, for the present forty families they represent.  They also report that when they settle the rest of the colony from South America will also come to them as fast as they can dispose of their property.  Also that they are looking for a location for fifty or sixty families at present in Illinois, who desire to move West.  Mr. Purdy is taking great pains to locate these parties and suit them in lands.  If they should decide to come among us, our people will welcome them and do all they can to make their new home feel pleasant.

20 April 1876, Missouri Weekly Patriot, Springfield

A very brilliant meteor was observable from this point last Friday morning.  It made its appearance at about nine o'clock and shot athwart the heavens in a northwesterly direction at an angle of forty-five degrees, in brightness eclipsing the sun.  The explosion was audible and resembled somewhat the noise caused by a bursting boiler.  This was heard, and the shock felt by many, although few were fortunate enough to witness the phenomenon.  From all reports which we can gather, the explosion of this heavenly body occurred in Barry county, where considerable excitement is felt.  Rumors came into Cassville, the Circuit Court being in session at the time, that an earthquake had taken place a few miles in the country, which, coupled with exaggerated reports of the upheaval and rending of the earth, created no little commotion among the attorneys gathered together at that point.  An investigating party has since set out for the scene, and we hope to be able to give the result of their observations in our next.  The concussion was felt at Granby, but as the meteor was not perceivable at that place, it was attributed to an earthquake.

27 April 1876, Missouri Weekly Patriot, Springfield

Was it an Earthquake?

We are yet without positive data as to the nature of the convulsion that shook the Southwest on the morning of Friday, April 14th.  Speculations of multifariouis character reach us through the local press, but they are too intangible to serve as a basis for a fixed theory upon the subject. The Neosho Journal of last week says:

Last Friday forenoon a noise was heard by several of our citizens, something like that of thunder.  So distinct was it that they went out of their houses and looked around to see if a storm was coming up, but found to their astonishment that the sky was perfectly clear.  Others thought it was a boiler explosion, and as the sound was in the direction of Granby, fears were entertained that some of the boilers used in the mining district had exploded.  Still others who heard the noise, also say they felt the ground shake, as though shook by an earthquake.  This is a matter as yet unexplained.  We see by the Granby Miner that the phenomenon was also felt and heard at that place, and it was noticed by parties living between Granby and Neosho, and over in the direction of Newtonia, also on Diamond Grove Prairie between this and Carthage.  If there is any scientist who can explain this phenomena, and give any light on the subject, we should be glad to hear from him.

The Granby Miner of the 22d contributes some facts and fancies upon the bewildering theme, as follows:

At Van Winkle's mills, sixty miles south of here, the report and shock were very distinct, and the shaking part more lively and artistic than at our Granby end.  The sound of the concussion indicated that the row in the earth's bowels was in a northeasterly direction.  But sound in the White hills can't go cross-lots.  Like a dog, it finds "the longest way round the surest way home."

Several miles northwest of Washburn, a Mr. Callet was digging a well, and was down 25 or 30 feet in the ground.  He heard heavy reports, and the ground shook so that he was alarmed.

We have talked with scores of other people, and all declare that they never heard such concussions before.  The singular phenomenon has been the theme of quite general conversation here.

The Pierce City Empire also heard the reports, but attributed them to a possible boiler explosion.  We shall expect to get further facts from the southeast of us this week, and it is not improbable that we shall have something additional to give our readers.

There is a rumor that in the vicinity of Forsyth, a large stream of water had undermined a mountain, and that on Friday last week the ribs of the mountain gave way and it tumbled with an immense crash into the valley below.  This would be an "immense thing," but the grapevine line over which the news came is out of repair and confirmation is wanting.

18 May 1876, Missouri Weekly Patriot, Springfield

About Aerolites.

A writer in the Mt. Vernon Fountain and Journal has the following conerning a phenomena that occurred in Southwest Missouri, on the morning of Friday, April 14th, and which was mistaken at some places for an earthquake, and at others for a meteor.  He says:

The cause that produced the loud report has been ascertained.  It was the explosion of a large aerolite, (meteoric stone) erroneously called by some of the papers a meteor.  The final explosion occurred a few miles from Washburn, in Barry County, though, without doubt, there were several explosions as it passed along.  The noise at Mt. Vernon was sufficient to jar the windows and produce considerable excitement.  Several persons in this locality observed the aerolite as it passed from northwest to southwest.  It was also seen at Springfield.  We learn the report was heard as far south as Fayetteville, Arkansas.

What these aerolites are, or where they originate, is yet unknown to the scientific world.  Although astronomers have penetrated thousands of millions of miles into the material universe, weighed the sun, balanced the stars, and determined the eccentricities of their orbits for millions of years to come, they have never satisfactorily determined the origin of the aerolite, though there are three theories given by scientifc men, viz:  That they come from the mouth of some volcano on the earth, having been cast up to an immense height, or are thrown out of the moon by volcanic force, or are the fragments of a planet that had been burst asunder by some internal explosive force.

Reason, which should always be one of the tests of any scientific theory, explodes all these theories, but we cannot deal with these now.  We believe scientific research will prove that these vagrant wanderers of the skies originate within the earth's atmosphere, notwithstanding they are composed of stone and metalic substances which are said to be foreign to our earth.

The largest aerolite of which we have any account of coming in contact with the earth, was one which fell on the farm of a Mr. Burr, near Huntington, Connecticut, in 1807.  It exploded three times before reaching the earth, with a loud noise resembling the discharge of a twelve-pounder.  It was estimate that before the explosions this meteoric stone was nearly a mile in diameter.  Many pieces were picked up before they cooled.  Another fell in the State of New York, some years ago, which weighed several hundred tons.  There are several accounts on record of these "falling stars," as they are called by the uneducated.  They are a part and portion of the universal harmony of the great Architect of the Universe and are brought about by natural laws which seem to be a disturbance in the course of nature, but are a harmony not understood by us frail mortals.

These "signs and wonders" are not indications of earthquakes, floods, pestilence, famines, wars or any other evils of mankind, which superstitious notions are only to be found in the heads of weak minded men and silly women.

4 May 1876, Neosho Times

Beware of Him

The imposter who under pretense of being a sick and destitute mason imposed on the charitable masonic fraternity of Joplin, made his appearance in the same villanous role in Barry county last week.  The Cassville Democrat reports the scamp's attempted fraud as follows:

At the Henderson school house last Sunday they were organizing a Sunday school when a lot of frightened little boys came running into the house with the news that there was a dead man out on the road; when the whole school immediately adjourned to that point and found a man apparently dead lying on the ground, with blood oozing out of his mouth and nostrils.  After considerable exertion on the part of the crowd he was revived, and when able to sit up he inquired if there were any masons about, as he was a mason and wanted assistance.  Asa Carlin happened to be present with a paper that had a description of an imposter who could have fits at will, and it was soon seen that the description suited this fellow in a dinctum.  They therefore took it out and read it to him; but he denied the soft impeachment and claimed to be sick in earnest.  They then told him that if he were really sick he should be helped, and they went back to the school house, promising to be back soon; but they had not got out of sight before he jumped up and ran so fleetly that he could not be overtaken.  He is evidently an imposter and should be handed around.  He is a short, thick, heavy set man, with black hair parted in the middle, with marks of wounds over one eye, on the hand and through each side, eyes blue.

7 September 1876, Neosho Times

Infantile Energy
Pierce City Record

The following remarkable case of infantile energy, perseverance and endurance is one that we have never heard equaled:  Mr. J. B. Tabers, whom our citizens will remember as being a resident of this place for sometime and who moved to Cross Hollows, Arkansas, 54 miles south of here, last spring, has a little boy named Carl, not quite nine years old, small for his age; will hardly weigh 25 pounds.  One day, while at home, Carl left the yard bars down and a yearling colt got out and strayed off.  It could not be found for some time, so last Monday Mr. Tabers told Carl to go and hunt the colt and not to come home till he found it, if he had to go to Peirce City after it.  Carl started out determined to obey orders.  After hunting around home awhile he concluded the colt had gone back to Peirce City, so he struck out for this place.  He was barefoot, dressed in light linen pants, and calico infant waist.  After traveling the first day, he says he slept that night in a cane brake, without a bite to eat.  When asked if he was not afraid at night and did he not cry, he said he was not much afraid, but cried some and thought he ought to be at home.  The next day he struck out, and had got within a short distance of Peirce, when Buck Northcutt, who was coming home, saw and knowing him took him in his hack and brought him to town.  In this trip he had traveled over a rough, stony road 54 miles barefoot, without anything to eat for over 40 hours.  The next morning after breakfast, he started out, when Parson Northcutt asked him where he was going?  He answered:  "He had started to hunt that colt and was going to get it."  The Parson told him he should not walk, but told him to take one of his horses and ride it and if he did not find the colt to come back and stay all night with him again.  Carl started out and finding the colt, south of town, returned the horse and on Wednesday morning was ready to start home on foot and report, but Mr. Northcutt would not let him, but prevailed on him to wait till a wagon passed that way, and in the meantime he would write his father he was here.  Carl said if the colt could carry him he would ride it home.  If Carl lives to be a man, we expect to seem him sign after his name Commodore, or General Commanding.

18 January 1877, Neosho Times

...[F]rom the Peirce City Record of the 13th inst.:

Last saturday Messrs. Lehnhard and Pratt shipped to New York Twenty-five Thousand Pounds of Game.  Just think of it, 25,000 pounds of rich, rare and jucy wild game.  In the lot was about 5,000 rabbits, and the rest quail and prairie chicken.  This was the last shipment of the week, our merchants having shipped every day during the week by express.  The total shipments during the week, not including rabbits, would reach over one hundred thousand pounds.

8 March 1877, Neosho Times

The Cassville Democrat of last week says:  Last Saturday night there was a ledgermain sort at a show up at Washburn; when the principal showman offered to let any one shoot at him with a rifle, and he would catch the bullet with a stick.  Sheriff Hopkins took his gun and blazed away at him, but Mr. Showman did not catch the ball on a stick, but did catch it on the side of his head; which bled quite freely.  And the said showman does not want to be shot at any more; and we dare say Sheriff Hopkins does not want to do any more such shooting for the whole of it was superlatively foolish.


According to Goodspeed's 1888 History of Barry County (reprint), pages 73-74, ex-sheriff Hopkins was shot to death in Long's saloon at Washburn in February, 1882.  His killer, Napoleon Rowley, was acquitted.  A newspaper account of the murder is here.

3 May 1877, Fountain & Journal, Mt. Vernon

We glean the following from the Cassville Democrat:  On last Monday morning, James Banks, of Shell Knob, in this county, captured six young wolves; they were about a week old, and he thinks he will be able to catch the two old ones.  The den was in a cave extending about ten feet under a shelving rock.  Mr. Banks, while hunting the wolves, struck a bear trail, and expects in a few days to have some cubs to keep company with the pups.

21 September 1877, Fountain and Journal, Mt. Vernon, Missouri

The Valley Press, formerly published at Corsicana, Barry Co., Mo., by W. I. I. Morrow, has recently been sold to the Valley Press publishing company, who have moved it to Cassville and placed it under the management of Sam W. Simpson, an energetic young man whom we wish great success in his new avocation.  As of old we welcome the Valley Press to our trade as an exchange.

14 March 1878, Peirce City Empire

A justice court in Barry county, Missouri, took a fellow's wooden leg to secure his appearance for trial.  That sort of leg-bail stumps the scamp instead of the sheriff. -- Bentonville Advance.

2 May 1878, Neosho Times

One day last week, some boys, who were working for Mr. Timothy Trulove, who lives near Washburn, were plowing in the field, had the good luck to unearth about $80 in gold and silver, which Mr. Trulove had buried there, about the beginning of the late unpleasantness.  Mr. Trulove rewarded the young gents who found the money, with half the money which no doubt was very acceptable. -- Cassville Democrat

23 May 1878, Neosho Times

Matt Frost was down here last week in attendance on Probate Court and says that in the year 1862 he caught a terrapin and cut the initials of his name on its shell.  A few days ago, within a few hundred yards of the same place, he caught the same terrapin again, as was plainly evident from those very initials which had been cut there 16 years before.  Matt, after duly inspecting his terrapin, turned it loose again, to enjoy another tramp for years to come; and if it should live another decade and six years, we hope that Matt will live to find it again, when both with be alike venerable and celebrated. -- Cassville Democrat

26 June 1879, Peirce City Weekly Empire

Barry county rents a part of her court house yard for a croquet ground, according to the Democrat.

2 February 1881, Peirce City Weekly Empire

Land for Lairds.
[Chicago Times.]

A very heavy transaction in Missouri lands has recently been concluded between a Scottish land company, on the one hand, and the St. Louis and San Francisco railroad, on the other, whereby the former acquires title to more than 141,000 acres in Missouri.  The negotiations were conducted by Messrs. Sidway, Bogue & co., of this city, whose standing in this community is a guaranty of the substantial character of the deal.  Mr. Sidway returned from Scotland last week, whither he had gone to perfect the details of the transfer.  To a reporter for the Times he stated, on yesterday, that the transaction referred to was a purchase by the Missouri Land company, of Edinburgh, Scotland, from the St. Louis and San Francisco railroad company, of about 142,000 acres of farming land in Barry, one of the southwestern counties of Missouri.

"It is high undulating land, part prairie and part timber," said Mr. Sidway, "and is in many respects similar to the blue-grass regions of Kentucky, although more level, and was selected by Mr. Wm. Goodlet, a well-known Forfarshire farmer -- and myself chiefly on account of the climate and its adaptability for stock raising.

"The English and Scotch agriculturalists have been doing badly for several years, and many of them are preparing to come to America, while others who will not come themselves are buying land for sons and other members of their families.  Indeed, this company had its inception in that way, and many of its shareholders will undoubtedly become purchasers of land.

"The company is more in the nature of a syndicate than of a speculative land company, and it is the intention of the directors to sell the land off promptly and be able to close the company affairs within two or three years.  A good many shares are taken on this side, but a large majority are secured in Scotland.  The sale must necessarily be highly advantageous to the interests of the St. Louis and San Francisco railroad, and to all that portion of the state, as much of the land will very soon be occupied by a desirable class of farmers, such as had not been coming to this country in great numbers, who will be followed by others of a similar class.  In fact, it would be difficult to overrate the probable advantages to that portion of the state which will be derived from so many representative Scotchmen becoming identified with it.

"I think the preference for land companies which appears to exist in Great Britain grows largely out of the fact that there are a great many persons desiring to purchase land for future occupancy who can not conveniently come over at present to select it, but are willing to invest upon the judgement of others in whose integrity and ability they have confidence through personal knowledge.  And I suppose it is a convenient way of aggregating capital for buying at the lowest prices.  Certainly a great many persons will come here through becoming interested in a company that would otherwise never would without such assistance.

"I judge from what I saw and heard, and from the great desire for information regarding the United States, that there will be an unusual influx of persons of means during 1881, and especially among the farming classes, and others who desire to engage in cattle-growing on the plains, many of the latter being young men from the cities."

14 July 1881, Neosho Miner and Mechanic

The Seven Star Springs Beacon says that about three miles from that place are three large drill holes where it is presumed the Spaniards mined for precious metals.


Seven Star Springs was located in Section 10-T22N-R29W, in the southwest part of Barry County near the McDonald County line (west and north of Washburn, west and south of Exeter).  Mineral springs were a great health fad of the late 19th century, brought to prominence in southwest Missouri by the founding of Eureka Springs, Arkansas, in the late 1870s.  Seven Star Springs was platted in March, 1881, and a petition to incorporate it was presented to the county court in December, 1881.  About the same time, Mineral Springs, St. Jacob's Springs and Excelsior Springs were all founded in Barry County.  None of these towns survive.  See Moser's Directory of Towns, Villages and Hamlets Past and Present of Missouri.

8 September 1881, Peirce City Weekly Empire

Barry County Silver Mining Co.

Some parties prospecting for mineral over near Mineral Springs claim to have struck a fine prospect for silver, having already a number of specimens richly mingled with silver.  A company has been organized here to develop the prospect.  At a meeting of the company a few days ago the following officers were elected:  C. W. Chamberlin, President; ?. J. Lawrence Secretary; S. H. Livingston, Treasurer; J. B. Misner, Mining Engineer; Wm. Misner, Asst. Mining Engineer.  The company are sanguine of striking paying mineral, and we hope that their highest hopes may be more than realized.  The prospects for good mineral here are certainly as good as in many localities where rich mineral has been found.  Even if they should fail to find silver in paying quantities we believe if they persevere they will strike lead or jack.  There is no question as to its being here.  -- Exeter Republican

20 October 1881, Peirce City Weekly Empire

Latest advices from the shaft of the Barry County Silver Mining Company are to the effect that the work is rapidly being pushed forward.  The main shaft is down 25 feet and from that depth has been drifted about the same distance through silver ashes and tallow clay.  Mineral has already been found which contains silver, and bids fair to become a paying lead.  They have already more prospects in view, and we doubt not that Barry county will become one of he richest mining districts extant, Colorado excepted. -- Exeter Republican.

25 January 1883, Carthage Banner

A circular has been issued by the Frisco company to the general passenger and ticket agents of all the division of the Frisco road, announcing that the Eureka Springs Railway company will on February 1st, 1883, complete and open for business a line between Seligman, Mo., and Eureka Springs, Ark., nineteen miles.  The fare between Seligman and Eureka Springs will be $1.75 single trip and $3.50 round trip.

6 December 1884, Neosho Miner and Mechanic

The Cassville Fruit and Evaporating Company shipped 10,000 lbs. of dried apples to St. Louis last week.

17 January 1885, Neosho Miner and Mechanic

Gone West to Grow up Etc.

The Barry County Beacon, which first piped at Seven Star Springs in Barry County about three years ago, passed through a feverish fitful existence until the novelty of the seven little stone cups cut by the old Indian had worn off, and the fifty or a hundred deluded families who had sought to get a corner on good pure cold spring water, found the supply greater than the demand.  Mr. Benham took the Beacon into politics and abandoned hydropathy.  It was moved to Exeter and spent a six months pilgrimage there, and afterwards to Purdy, where it has subsisted for about a year.  Mr. Benham sold out a half interest in the paper and skipped over into Kansas, and grappled on to the Columbus Times which he has held a good square temperance and Greenback organ.  The Beacon has fed on husks the past year, but last week Mr. Benham slid down to Purdy, bought out the other half of the paper and it will this week be shipped to Protection, Kansas, where Elbridge G. Phelps will sling it forth as a rattling county organ in Camanche county.  Success to Mr. Phelps and the old Beacon.

6 June 1885, Peirce City Empire

What is known as the Ash Cave, just this side of Talbert's mill, is being cleaned out, the ashes being from one to ten feet deep.  There seems to have been work done here, but for what purpose, or for [whom?], is a matter of conjecture, although we learn that the present workmen, in some way or from some person, got possession of information which is to the effect that it is an old Spanish working.  Next week we hope to be prepared to give a full description of their discoveries. -- Cassville Republican.

12 April 1888, Peirce City Empire


ED. EMPIRE: -- Quite an exciting episode has occurred amongst us this week which promises to get some of our best citizens in an awkward predicament, and is as follows:  W. F. Herrall, as surveyor, and W. M. Carlin, Charley Carlin, Jas. Means and Mr. Hale were surveying some land in the north part of the Prairie, and in running a certain line to a corner, ran into a field belonging to Mr. Grieshat, an Italian.  The field notes called for a witness tree, a hickory one, 200 links of a certain bearing.  There was no tree, and they used a pick to see if they could find the stump or roots.  The owner discovered them, and he rushed to them and inquired of them their intentions.  They told him they wre surveying land.  This did not seem to satisfy him, and he ordered them off of his premises.  When they were gone he got pick and shovel and repaired to the place and went to digging in dead earnest for a buried treasure.  He worked it by day and slept by it at night, lest some thief should come and steal the coveted treasure.  He so continued until Thursday night when a shower of rain drove him to seek shelter in his house for the night.  Some mischievous boys of the neighborhood found how the old man was running things.  They, with malice aforethought, repaired to the shaft, dug a hole in one side, smashed an earthenware jar to many pieces, and scattered a few pennies around.  Mr. Grieshat set his boy at daybreak to see if theives had intruded upon his sacred rights of property.  The boy reported that they had; that the jar was broken and that there were pennies scattered around.  Mr. Grieshat lost no time in getting there, only to find the boy's words too true.  His wrath and indignation knew no bounds.  But not to be beaten by such wiley thieves, Mr. Grieshat went to Peirce City on Friday to see if any of the above individuals had made heavy deposits of rusty money in the banks of the city.  Not making any discoveries in that line, on Saturday he went to Cassville to investigate there, and to take out a warrant for the arrest of such parties. 

His chief indignation is against W. F. Herrall, as he is the guilty rascal who carried the divining rods.

We await further developments with great anxiety.


5 February 1910, Monett Times

That Cannon in Flat Creek

Just before R. P. Kerr and family moved from Mississippi County, Ark., to near this city, an old Confederate soldier, said to one of Mr. Kerr's sons, that there was a cannon thrown into Flat Creek 3 or 4 miles down the creek from Cassville and that he was present when it was rolled in.  The hole in the creek, where the cannon was rolled in, is known as the "blue hole," and has always been very deep, and is just above the last crossing of Flat Creek, going to the Talbert Mill from Cassville. -- Cassville Democrat.

22 December 1910, Lawrence Chieftan, Mt. Vernon

Searching for that Cannon

E. F. Heisler, editor of the Kansas City, Kan., Sun, came in last week and organized a crew of men and commenced working in the "Blue Hole," in Flat Creek, out on the Springfield road 3 1/2 miles, to locate and secure the cannon dumped into that deep hole of water, by General Sterling Price's army of confederates while on a retreat south, during the Civil War.  Last spring he was here and made a search for this cannon.  He has had prepared a coffer dam ready to put down, to assist in recovering the cannon.  He left Saturday, and will probably go to Jefferson City, to ascertain if he can use dynamite in this hole, to blow the accumulation of logs out of the way.  He may have to make excavations, as forty-six or seven years of continued washes, has probably covered the cannon with mud and gravel. Cassville Democrat.

22 December 1910, Cassville Republican

E. F. Heisler came in again Sunday morning to continue his work to secure the much talked of cannon in the "Blue Hole" in Flat Creek, three and one-half miles below Cassville.  Mr. Heisler got permission to use dynamite in the creek for the purpose of blowing out logs which appear to have collected about and over where he believes the cannon is located.  The gun which he seeks to obtain as a civil war relic was thrown into a deep hole in Flat Creek by General Price's army while on retreat south during the civil war.  There has been much talk by old settlers about the cannon but it has not been definitely located.  For sometime Mr. Heisler has been trying to get the relic and believes he will succeed.

Deputy Game Warden Ben Dillard of Aurora was here Monday. He accompanied E. F. Heisler to the "Blue Hole" on Flat Creek where dynamite was used in trying to get the canon supposed to be in the creek.

30 December 1910, Aurora Advertiser

Trying to Recover A Confederate Cannon

Cassville, Mo. Dec. 24. -- E. F. Heisler of Kansas City, Kan., came in this week to resume his search for the cannon in the "blue hole" three and one-half miles out on the Springfield road.  He could not remove the logs with block and tackle and secured the consent of State Game Warden Tolerton, so far as he could extend clemency of law, to allow him to use dynamite, in order to remove the logs.  Deputy Game Warden Ben Dillard of Aurora was here and kept an eye on the job to see that no unusual amount of fish was slaughtered.  This deep hole of water was bombarded with rocks and chunks, driving nearly all the fish away from the works.  The first shot killed four hog suckers.  John Ivy used the dynamite.

The cannon was dumped in the river by General Sterling Price during the civil war.  Price was retreating from Missouri, followed by a federal army.


From Springfield Leader

Men who fought in the battle of the Big Blue in 1864 have found a cannon captured from Col. G. W. Veal of Topeka near Cassville, Mo., after a search of 46 years.  The cannon is to be raised from the bottom of a mud hole into which it was thrown and placed in the rooms of the Kansas State Historical society until a monument is erected to the memory of the Kansas pioneers.

About a year ago E. F. Heisler, secretary of the Kansas Soldiers' Memorial association, learned that a cannon had been thrown into the "blue hole" in Flat creek, four miles north of Cassville in Barry county.  An attempt was made to raise the cannon with dynamite.  That attempt failed.  The water will be pumped from the mud hole and a derrick will be used to raise the cannon.

Judge Logan of Aurora who was in charge of one of General Sterling Price's batteries told Mr. Heisler that he remembered the day the cannon was captured.  He said he was one of the men who threw it into the mud hole.  He said the captors of the cannon were closely pursued and that one wheel of the carriage was broken by striking a stone.  Rather than see the cannon fall into the hands of its owners those who had captured it threw it into the hole.  Later a wagon load of lead was thrown into the same hole.

Mr. Heisler will invite Gov. Hadley and Gov. Stubbs to deliver addresses at a joint reunion over the recovery.


Judge Logan went to Cassville last week to assist in recovering the cannon.

5 January 1911, Lawrence County Record

Civil War Cannon Found

Exeter, Mo., December 28. A much sought after old cannon, captured from Kansas troops by Gen. Sterling Price's men in 1864, was found to-day in a deep hole in Flat Creek, near here.  A party headed by E. F. Heisler, secretary of the Kansas Soldiers' Memorial Association, found the gun.  It will be placed in the rooms of the Kansas State Historical Society at Topeka.

The cannon was part of the equipment of a force of Kansans under Col. G. W. Veal of Topeka on a march from Springfield, Mo., to Fort Smith, Ark.  Attacked by Gen. Price's command and driven back toward Springfield, the Kansas forces lost the gun, but rallying pursued Price's men so closely that they, rather than risk losing the artillery, threw it down a deep hole, where it has remained forty-six years.

8 December 1910, Cassville Republican

Gold Discovered in Barry County.

Four miles west of Washburn one fourth mile southeast the Big Springs on Greasy Creek on the land of P. A Sultz.  We can sight you.  At the office of the REPUBLICAN at Cassville, Mo., can be seen a diagram of a deposit of gold bearing ore, showing an extensive deposit, showing a large pocket and different leads from the main body.  The entrance to this deposit had been made through a cavity or opening through the earth which had been crossed by a volcanic eruption and after the discovery had been made, probably by the Spanish or the Indians, the cavity and entrance had been filled up level with the surface.  There was left at the entrance a large, flat, smooth stone with this same diagram of the pocket and the different leads of ore carved nicely on the stone.  Also, a diagram and discription of a shaft and tunnel can be shown at the REPUBLICAN office, which has lately been made showing a part of the east edge and a part of the north edge of the gold bearing ledge which is 4 feet thick between the cap rocks and the lead rock and the out-cropping of the ledge is unearthed and shown in the tunnel a distance of 45 feet and assays all along on the edge of the out-croppings of the ledge which has been made by expert assaayers and chemists at Denver, Colo., and at Washington, D. C. shows the ore to be very rich for out-croppings.  We have another shaft sunk within 8 feet of the main body of the ore deposit where the bed of ore is thicker and no doubt will run much higher in the per centage of gold, being a number of feet back on the deposit from the out-croppings.  Assayers sample ore, the shaft and tunnel and the diagram that is carved on the stone and the out cropping ledge of gold bearing ore in tunnel will be carefully shown up for inspection, and free samples to any and all parties who may become interested, who mean business, no time to fool with mere curiosity seekers.  We can and will sight you.  Deposits of gold bearing ledge and samples and assays shaft, tunnel and diagram of deposit on stone, if you are interested.  Titles are good.  We are under some financial embarassment owing to expenses and the amount of money that we have paid out in the past 5 years in prospecting and development work without any success until now.  If you will help use we can and will help you.  First come is first served.  We want some help financially to enable us to go farther before we advertise this for sale and place it on the market.  Let us co-operate.  It is the only sensible plan.  We prefer to do business with men in Barry county or adjoining counties in Missouri any parties wishing to come and inspect the mines and made investigations will be meet at Washburn if they will give me three days notice.  Otherwise parties can get off the train at Washburn and travel one miles west to Greasy creek then down Greasy creek to the Big Springs to where I live and I will take pleasure in sighting them, as it is Missouri's style.

E. M. Rich
r. f. d. 1 box 96
Seligman, Mo.

ED. -- The parties now associated with Mr. Rich are Scott Carr, an experienced miner, P. A. Sultz, owner of the land, and J. H. Baggly.  For five years some of these men have been plodding away and are now quite certain they have something to pay them for all their toil and expense.  What they need is some financial assistance to develop it.

22 December 1910, Cassville Republican

The latest industry to be reported as planned for Barry county is a skunk farm.  Plans are being made to establish a skunk farm near Madry, so the report goes.  Barry county is good for most everything else, we suppose it also well adopted to the raising of skunks.

16 July 1915, Monett Times


Dr. Peabody and E. H. Jacobs and party ... have camped at the Ash Cave, 3 1/2 miles out on the Springfield road for ten days, where they have engaged in making prehistoric research, and have been working very hard in order to finish up their work by the 28th.

They have sectioned the large ash bank in front of the cave, where they take up a section at a time and work it out and take out and keep everything of interest to be found in the distinct class.

They have found bones of animals and human beings in those ashes, which they are caring for and will take away.

They have also found pieces of stone that is believed to have been used by the Indians when they were the only settlers of this country in dressing skins and furs.

From these finds that place was evidently the camping place of the Indians or rather headquarters, because it was centrally located in and to the good hunting grounds and a splendid supply of water near at hand.

No doubt but that the Delaware Indians have chased the buffaloes, antelopes, bears, wolves and every other kind of wild animals that was in this section.  There was plenty of deer and turkey and wild honey and they had only to furnish the bread, as everything else was free. -- Cassville Democrat.

6 August 1915, Monett Times


Dr. Peabody and daughter of Cambridge, Mass., who in company with Dr. and Mrs. Jacobs of Springdale, Ark., have been doing historical research work at Ash Cave, north of Cassville, returned home Tuesday evening.  Dr. and Mrs. Jacobs will remain at the cave for a while yet.  Several hundred Indian relics were found and were shipped to the Peabody Institute, Cambridge, Mass.

An excavation of several feet to the red clay and a careful search was made.  Dr. Peabody was well pleased and felt well paid for his long trip and trouble.

Dr. Jacobs has made some fine photographs showing views within and about the cave where the work was done. -- Cassville Republican.

20 August 1915, Monett Times


In every part of the known world the remains of prehistoric man have been discovered.  America is no exception to this rule, for everywhere on the western continent are found evidences of ancient savage inhabitants in the form of mounds, village and camp sites; cemeteries, etc.  The Ozarks present a different culture to that of other sections of America in many respects, for here are found aboriginal remains closely resembling those of the paleolithic caves and rock shelters of Europe and Western Asia.  Barry county has its share of these, and one of them, the well known Ash Cave on Flat Creek four miles below Cassville, has been the subject of scientific research during the past month.  On June 28, the Archaeological Department of Phillips Academy at Andover, Massachusetts, established a research camp at Ash Cave, and continued the same till last Saturday, and in these weeks dug out the ash bed in the entrance to the cave, exhuming a goodly number of the implements and tools and refuse of the savage men who once inhabited the place.

The expedition was in charge of Dr. Charles Peabody, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, who is also connected with Harvard University.  He was accompanied by his daughter, Miss Peggy, and Miss Ella Mullaney, also of Cambridge, and Messrs. E. H. Jacobs and Rex. Kilbourn of Bentonville, Ark.  Mr. Jacobs came in the capacity of consulting archaeologist and geologist, and Mr. Kilbourn as general assistant.  The working force was secured locally and consisted of "Uncle" Tom Roberson, Leo Roberson, Estil Bush, Mr. Gregory, Mr. Woods, Marion Black, Allen Bush and Ferrill Roberson.  The digging continued four full weeks, and the result was a large number of flint and other stone implements, a few bits of very crude pottery, thousands of flint flakes and chips, the refuse from ancient industry, and numerous fragments of animal bones.  These bones were, of course, the remains from savage beasts, and all the larger ones had been cracked to get at the marrow, an interesting feature that is found in the bones that are obtained from the caves of the Old World.  A singular fact is that not a single bone was found that could be definitely stated as of human origin.

The purpose of the expedition was to throw some light on ancient man in America; to help in determining if possible how long humanity has lived on this continent.  The cost was largely borne by Phillips Academy and the specimens will eventually be placed in the museum of the Archaeological Department of that school. -- Jo Dill Jr. in Cassville Democrat.

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