Best Laid Plans (Bloomfield series Book 4)


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Many of their children were my schoolmates. I sometimes meet them and it always is a pleasure. A great many have passed away. Says one, why did you not settle on the prairies? Did we have any snakes here at the time of which you are writing? I guess we had a few rattlesnakes and copperheads, which were very poisonous, to say nothing of other kinds. I have killed many of them. Some few got bitten occasionally.

I remember old uncle Thomas Brooks had a black man bitten by a big rattlesnake, and a brother of mine who was living there at the time was about to start one of the other negroes fof whisky. The one that was bitten wanted a quart. He was like the Indian; when he sent to the Indian agent and asked for a quart. Said the agent, "won't a pint be enough?

The indians came around every fall to hunt, and sometimes made a bad shot and killed a fat hog in place of a bear or deer. Old uncle Abner Holt kept a blacksmith shop andthe Indians came to him often to havc their guns repaired. We had but few mills in this county, and they were horsemills. We sometimes went to Hubbard's mill west of the Two-mile Prairie in Boone county, if it was not in fly time, and if it was we went to Joshua Ferguson's mill in the river bottom three miles above Cote Sans Dessein which was all the town we had at that time.

About this time Jefferson City, Fulton and Columbia were laid off and began to settle, but quite slow. The first store that I recollect in Fulton was Sam L. If I am wrong, tell uncle Felix, your father, to correct me. Then John Yates and J. Henderson, then Broadwell put up a store. If I remember correctly, I. Hockaday was a clerk both of circuit and county court, and if my memory serves me aright, a Mr. Warner was the first sheriff.

I think I would know I. Hockaday's handwriting at this time if I was to see it. He was the father of J. Railroads and telegraph wires were not heard of in this country. I remember the first Governor was Alexander McNear, a large man of a familiar disposition. He staid all night at my father's, en route to St. Louis to take his seat, that being the place. When the Legislature met at that time, not for the purpose of making dog laws, if a man had attempted to announce himself in favor of taxing the dog, he would have had the liberty to stay at home, for there were from three to five dogs on nearly every farm.

They were quite useful to keep off the wild varmints. It was a treat to me, for I caught a great many wild animals with them. I send up the fourth communication, and in doing so I wish to say to your many readers I have no other object in view more than to give some of you a brief outline of the first settlements of this county which are facts as they recur to memory. I will state that the first road or public highway that was cut through this county, began at Cedar creek near where Wm.

Duley lives, the review following my father's wagon trail to where he lived. The first settlers were a good many of them like the old man when he was asked to sign a petition for a certain road, said, "I don't care where it runs if you will bring it by my house. Enoch Murray was appointed overseer. The first night from Cedar creek a number of men stopped with us, and in that company was Thos. Brooks, then a bachelor. The next mornng being cool, Brooks came in to one of the cabins and said to Joseph Nevins, "Joe, your horse is loose;" Joe was seated in a corner by the fire.

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He at once jumped up and ran out. Brooks at once dropped in the chair and when Joe returned, he saw the joke. It was quite a joke on him. The road was cleared out to Cote Sans Dessein. The people of Boone county opened the road from the lowjer end of Two Mile Prairie to Cedar creek, connecting with our road, thence to Columbia.

It was called the Columbia and Cote San Dessein road. What gave rise to the name of Two Mile Prairie was from the fact of its being two miles across it where the St. Charles road then crossed it. The next road was what was called the St. Louis and Jefferson City road.

I, by this time was old enough to take hold and help clear it out. New Bloomfield was not there at the time of clearing out the road. Shortly after it was opened, a Mr. Bruer opened out a lot of goods in the south room of Enoch Murray's and sold goods to the early settlers. Then Bloomfield was laid off in lots. Bruer built a log house, which was the first house in Bloomfield. Being then a mere boy and anxious to get a dollar, I hauled the first load of lumber for that building from Holt's mill, on Cedar creek. John Fry lived about a quarter of a mile east of the little town and was post master for that section of country.

The letters were not stamped at that time nor prepaid, and if I happened to pass and there was a letter for any of us I always got it, money or ho money. The postage was twenty-five cents for a letter. The mail was carried on horseback for a time, then mail coaches started. There was no train robbers in those days and seldom a theft or a murder committed. Rings and cliques nor salary grabbers were not in vogue. My father was a Democrat from his youth and was a revolutionary soldier.

I imbibed the same principles quite early in my youth and had the pleasure of voting for Old Hickory for the Presidency of the United States the last time he was elected, and never have regretted it to this day, and as long as I am allowed a vote I expect to vote that ticket. About the time I am writing, Abner Holt built a horse mill in about a mile from us and was a great addition to our neighborhood, He was a wide awake citizen, and a splendid neighbor. He died at an early day and his place in our community was deeply felt, especially by my father, for they always were on the best of terms.

Some of his children are here yet, and When I meet them they feel quite near to me, being my school mates; and James Powell, when I stop at his house, or at James Brooks, I feel at home with them. Kind readers of the GAZETTE, I hope you will not take any exceptions at my naming those men, for they have battled with the snakes and wild animals and seed-ticks with me. We share our joys and sorrows together with each other from the fact that you were not here at the time of which I am writing or at least the most of you were not and cannot feel and think as we feel toward each other.

I will not fail to speak of old Dr. Conger, a man of extensive practice and a man of untold worth, a noble physician. If I were in good health, had he told me if I was not looking well, I would have felt uneasy. He had my explicit confidence. His charges were quite low. I recollect when I was a boy that; Allen Ramsey, his brother, Erastus Prince and others started on a bear hunt with dogs, and when within a half mile of my father's they, with their dogs, scared up a panther.

The dogs soon ran him up a tree within fifty yards of where my old friend Horace Sheley built his brick house. They shot the panther, then skinned it, bringing the skin with them the next morning.


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They had a dog with a short tail. They took the hide and tied it nicely on the dog and for the amusement of us children, set on the other dogs. What sport it was to see how the dogs would play aronnd. At last one of them caught the skin by the tail, pulling it off, which stopped the sport. It measured seven feet three inches. Permit me to give the many readers of your valuable paper a description of the farming implements that the first settlers cultivated the soil with.

The plows we then had were not Scoria or Moline patents, nor were any kind of farming; implements shipped here at the time I speak of, yet we had the old Bar-shear plow, duck bill as it was'called made in the following manner: The bar was of a straight bar or piece of iron about two feet long, and the shear, as it was called; was about eight or twelve inches broad, and was welded to the bar, leaving a point or snout extending in front, hence the name duck bill.

The stock was similar to the plows now in use, except the mould board, which was a piece of wood about eight inches high, hewed in a kind of twist, to throw the dirt. A man now living, that ever plowed with one of those plows, will ever remember the kicks they gave him when striking a root or stump. A boy would begin to dodge when he came in, reach of a stump or grub. The question might fee asked, did you raise any corn?

Yes, kind reader, plenty of it, and plenty of wheat and oats, but not a great quantity of hay. Our stock, in the spring, summer and fall, lived an out range. You could hear various kinds of bells in the woods. We kept dogs to guard our sheep. If this meets the eye of friend D. Bailey, I wish to say to him, dogs were not taxed in those days, and we raised sheep then like we do at the present time. We had plenty of venison to feed them, the dogs on, for it was not uncommon for my brother to kill two deer before breakfast in the morning.

They were plentiful here at that time. The little fawns were great pets with the children. They were spotted, the spots running in straight. The fawns were red except the spots. I can look back to those days with fond recollections to those days and see thelittle spotted fawns skipping and gamboling over ths yard, and it is a great pleasure to me. The deer, coon, fawn, wild cat, panther and bear skins were a part or our pocket money in those days. Why said he, "between here and the village. He remarked he was here as early, perhaps, as I Was, and I asked him in what year he was born ; he gave me the year of his birth.

I then told him I was here twenty years before he was borm He looked at me as if to say, that can't be so. Yet it was true. We plowed with shuck collars and rope traces, boring holes in the hames to fasten them, in drilling them to the single tree, with back-band of cloth to match them. Think of it kind "reader, a boy plowing with a duck bill, bar-shear plow, shuck collar, rope traces, cloth backhand, making corn in new ground thick with both stumps and roots, the flies thick on his horse and gnats thick on the boy, "could thejy make corn?

The boys were nearly all Democratic. The boys did not have anything to do with the star route and were contented with their hog and hominy, catching coons, foxes, wild cats and rabbits. They did not expect to get as much for their fox skins as the indian boy did. He sent one to town by his brother and,told him to get a saddle and a pair of spurs and that he could have the balance that was due on the skin. They were onlr worth two bits, and you see he was minus a saddle and spurs.

Wheat drills, riding plows, corn planters and threshing machines were not here at that time, neither were there any wheat fans in vogue. We cleaned our wheat with homemade riddles, fanning out the chaff with a common linen sheet, a man at each end forcing the wind with curent enough to carry off the chaff. Neither the cinch bug nor potato bug were here at that time. We were under Democratic rule at th it time, perhaps that may have had something to do with it.

I send you my sixth communication in order to give an accurate description of the implements of farming in the first settlement in this county. In a former communication I described tie bar shear plow; thej next was the Carey plow, which was a great improvement in farming. It had what might be called a half iron mole-board; the balance was wood extending back of the right-hand handle. This was a very good plow. The next plow was the diamond. The mole-board was all of iron or steel. The plow in use at this time is ut a slight improvement. We ba. Old Uncle Horace Sheley moved into our neigborhood and was a man of usefulness, making wagons, stocking plows and cradles-a useful and good neighbor-his wagons were the wooden spindles and stiff tongue kind.

In a short time farming implements were shipped here. The first wagon was the Quincy, from Illinois, with fall tongue and breast-yoke, thimble skein, a great improvement. If you saw a harrow, it was one with about sixteen teeth. Oxen were worked to a considerable extent. Mules were scarce here in those days and I feel like I would be glad to get once more one of our old fashioned scrub milk cows. Then I would be sure of plenty milk and butter. I was in Texas once and was at a Mr. In the, morning I went to look after my horse and passed through his cow yard there his negroes were milking eleven head.

I told his wife when I returned that when I left home my wife was milking one cow- which yielded more milk and butter than all of hers. She seemed to doubt it, yet it was strictly true and a better article, by far. The old wind-splitter hog was in this country, yet my father, when he left Fleming county, Ky.

He let the children drive them after the wagons the first day or two and after that we had no more trouble with them clear through to Howard county, this State, and when he moved from hog was in this country, yet. He let the children 3rive them after the wagons the firs; day or two and after that we had no more, trouble' with them clear through to Howard county, this State, and when he moved from there to this county the next spring he brought them with him, and from those two pigs we soon had as good hogs as we have at this time.

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Hogs lived well on the range in those days. I have seen a great many killed without eating any corn and were quite fat, yet the meat did not make as firm bacon as corn-fed hogs. It was rather soft, yet answered the purpose very well. We had bear bacon sometimes. I wish I had some at this time. It was excellent and a healthy diet and if I could get a fat piece of venison I would enjoy it greatly.

Since I began to write I have tried to remember who are left of the first settlers. I can find but two remaining. The first is Felix Nichols, and when I meet those old settlers and shake hands with them, I have a warm place in my heart for all of them. I think he will vouch for every word relative to the first settling of Callaway county.

The next are John, and Thomas Nevins, and if ever either of the three mentioned and myself felt cool towards each other I cannot now remember it. I always feel glad to meet them. Kind reader, I at the present time will close my communications with my best wishes for your welfare and long life to you and a happy death. In the meantime I bid you all a pleasant good bye. Dixie was started in It consisted of the store building and the home of Mr.

Walter Sappington, owner of the store. The merchandise had been in a store at Caldwell, Missouri, about three and a half miles to the northwest. There was also a pottery at Caldwell. In the spring of , Mr. Walter Sappington sold the store and his residence to John C. Cave and Shannon Cave. In , Mr.

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Sappington bought the store and residence from the Caves and continued to run it until when it was sold to Mr. John Woody and son Marvin. They ran it until about or Quincy Schreen was the next owner and he sold to his brother Fred. After a few years it was sold to Quincy Schreen and his uncle, Clinton Sparks, in The truck business was founded by Sparks and a nephew, Quincy Schreen, in when the interest in the store was obtained. The truck line, used principally to transport livestock to St. Louis, was started with one vehicle, a Model-T Ford truck. The first run in began at 6 p. Louis, with nine sows shipped on that first trip.

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As was the case with most Model-T owners, Sparks once suffered a broken arm while trying to crank the vehicle. The truck line in later years consisted of a pickup truck and two straight trucks, used for hauling livestock to St. Louis and to deliver feed and farm supplies to area farmers. The interest of Quincy Schreen was purchased by Sparks in , and S. Sparks and his wife Rosie operated both businesses alone until their retirement in The store at one time also handled a large volume of dry goods business, but that went out as the innovations came in.

The store has never handled fresh meat, but has carried a stock of canned goods and staples. Its main business was selling livestock feed and supplying gasoline to area residents. At this time S. He was the first man in the Dixie Community to build terraces on his farm; he built 12 miles of terraces with a tractor and an old motor grader. The farm was chiefly in pasture-with cattle and sheep the main projects.


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  • He worked closely with the U. He also had served about 26 years on the Victor School board and was president of the board for more than 18 years. Before his death on January 14, , he was very active as a church worker and had been on the board of the Dixie Christian Church for about 35 years and had been an elder for the last 15 years of his life.

    After S. The store remained open until at which time it was closed. The trucking business was not sold until September In the south-central portion of the county, in Caldwell township, the settlement of Dixie came into being in the late 's. Located 5 miles east of New Bloomfield, the area was first called Caldwell. Named for N. Caldwell, who erected the first business - a general store - in the area, settlement of Caldwell came into existence around The general store, although built by Mr. Caldwell, was operated by John Ferguson. The post office, in operation ftom , was most likely housed at the general store and the first postmaster was N.

    Caldwell; blacksmith - J. Hobbs; schoolteachers - S. Beaven and P. By , a second store was built a mile or so south of Caldwell and became known as Dixie Store. Where the name came ftom is an unknown mystery. Clinton Sparks ; S. Clinton Sparks ; Dorris Jones In , Quincy Schreen opened a trucking business in the small town of Dixie. The truckline, used to transport livestock to St. Louis, was started with one Model T Ford truck. Nine hogs were the first livestock reportedly shipped out in that Model T truck.

    Schreen sold his interest in the store and the trucking company to S. Clinton Sparks in Sparks became a very influential businessman in town, operating the store and trucking enterprise until his retirement in Upon his retirement, Mr. Sparks sold both businesses to his son-in-law, Dorris Jones, who continued operating both business ventures. The Dixie store closed in and the trucking company stayed in business until Christian Church was organized in the area in the late 's and served the communities of Dixie, Caldwell and Pitcher.

    Today, regular church services are conducted and the present pastor is Dr. Parker Rossman. Victor School served the community'S educational needs for a number of years before it consolidated with the New Bloomfield school system in the late 's. When the Dixie store and trucking company were built it acquired many of Caldwell's patrons, thus making that small settlement obsolete.

    Later, Caldwell became a memory to those who remembered it and the regional community became known as Dixie. Samuel T. Guthrie was born in Madison County, Kentucky, in They settled on the present site of the town of Guthrie. He died April 24, , at the age of 79, less than two months before the town was founded. John Guthrie and Samuel N. Guthrie, sons of Samuel T. Guthrie, laid out the town of Guthrie, on June 10, The first census shows Guthrie with a population of one hundred. The population has fluctuated very little until this present time.

    Bruton was the first postmaster, express agent, notary public and lumber -dealer.

    Ben Bigbee, a wealthy man who furnished the money to build the railroad and went broke due to this venture, no doubt was unable to underwrite the huge cost of building the railroad. The town was originally named Bigbee for this man. He was an aristrocrat, influential, and no doubt, wealthy. This may have been reason for the town being named for him. The old survey maps still show the east part of Guthrie as Bigbee. The old house on the John Reynold's farm, one mile south of Guthrie, had the air of a southern mansion, and may have been built by Ben Bigbee since at this time he lived in the area.

    Martin Butler at one time owned all the land south and west of Guthrie. It was known as the Guthrie land and was approximately acres. Matt Guthrie married a Butler and became heir to this land. They are the most outstanding stones in the cemetery. Emerine Butler left an endowment fund for upkeep of the cemetery. The Matt Guthrie home on the south central part of the farm was, and is to me still, my idea of heaven with a fireplace and little upper windows on each side with deep window casings, a winding corner stair case, a puncheon door with a latch string, a south window with a couch beneath, a shed kitchen with a door to the east, grapevines on a trellis over the well, a garden gate where holly hocks grew, a four-rail fence on either side of the walk, a fire bush and hugh oak trees on the lawn.

    Ewing Guthrie was the father of George and Jim Guthrie. They lived at the old Guthrie home, where Tonanzio's now stands. I remember, probably seventy years ago, the morning the old house burned; we stopped by on the way to school. Nellie, a girl who lived with Sallie, Lou and Bax, was sitting on a big rock crying. I presume this was the original house. My father, "Bill Jack" Wilkerson, farmed the Guthrie land, approximately acres. This was the Matt Guthrie farm located south and west of Guthrie. He raised wheat mostly on this land.

    There was not a single gully then. I was a very young child at that time. My husband J. Tots Holt told me Dad shipped as much as two car loads of wheat a year from Guthrie that he raised on this farm.

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    It was very good land, and Dad, who was a good wheat farmer, took care of the land. It was quite a feat to sow and harvest three to four hundred acres of wheat with a horse drawn grain drill and grain binder and then to thresh with steam engine threshing machine and horse drawn bundle wagons and grain wagons. It took twelve to fourteen bundle wagons, six to eight men pitching bundles onto the wagons, three to four grain wagons, three machine men and several boys.

    The threshers spent several days, and the women spent many hours preparing and cooking the meals for possibly thirty men with farm hand appetites. History records a beginning for this area at the time Samuel T. Guthrie and many other settlers came in The first church in Guthrie was founded on October 4, ; it was the Cumberland Presbyterian.

    It was the third church organized in the county. It was a small log cabin daubed with clay, known as Log Providence. Javascript is not enabled in your browser. Enabling JavaScript in your browser will allow you to experience all the features of our site.

    Learn how to enable JavaScript on your browser. See All Customer Reviews. Shop Books. Read an excerpt of this book! Add to Wishlist. USD 8. Sign in to Purchase Instantly. Explore Now. Buy As Gift. Architect and hometown boy Hal McKenzie is called back to Bloomfield when the mayor needs help figuring out how to expand the city hall and courthouse. That will mean having to move the old Founders Cottage provided by the Caroline Short family.

    Best Laid Plains is a charming romance illustrating how honesty really is the best policy, and God is in control of even the smallest details of our lives. Product Details About the Author. About the Author Martha Rogers has experienced life as a public school, Sunday school, and university English teacher as well as a mom, grandmother, and great grandmother.

    She published her first fiction in and speaks at luncheons, retreats, and conferences on topics of interest to women of all ages. Average Review. Write a Review. Related Searches. While her Cleveland friends relocated to Southern California and Italy, year-old computer whiz Chloe Humphrey moves with some uncertainty to Appleseed Creek View Product. Soon after the dust has settled on a buggy accident that turned out to be murder, an unknown assailant begins cutting off the long hair

    Best Laid Plans (Bloomfield series Book 4) Best Laid Plans (Bloomfield series Book 4)
    Best Laid Plans (Bloomfield series Book 4) Best Laid Plans (Bloomfield series Book 4)
    Best Laid Plans (Bloomfield series Book 4) Best Laid Plans (Bloomfield series Book 4)
    Best Laid Plans (Bloomfield series Book 4) Best Laid Plans (Bloomfield series Book 4)
    Best Laid Plans (Bloomfield series Book 4) Best Laid Plans (Bloomfield series Book 4)
    Best Laid Plans (Bloomfield series Book 4) Best Laid Plans (Bloomfield series Book 4)
    Best Laid Plans (Bloomfield series Book 4) Best Laid Plans (Bloomfield series Book 4)
    Best Laid Plans (Bloomfield series Book 4) Best Laid Plans (Bloomfield series Book 4)
    Best Laid Plans (Bloomfield series Book 4) Best Laid Plans (Bloomfield series Book 4)

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