Maj. Samuel P. Cox — A County Legend

The adventures of Major S.P. Cox (1828-1913) read like a history of our nation including the westward movement, the Mexican War, the West’s early Indian wars, the California gold rush, the Civil War, and the exploits the notorious outlaws Frank & Jesse James.

The adventures of Major S.P. Cox (1828-1913) read like a history of our nation including the westward movement, the Mexican War, the West’s early Indian wars, the California gold rush, the Civil War, and the exploits the notorious outlaws Frank & Jesse James.

Samuel Cox was born on Dec. 16, 1828, at Williamsburg in Whitley County, KY. He moved to Daviess County, MO, in 1839 with his father, Franklin Cox. The family settled in the southeastern part of the county near the old Ames Saw Mill and Trosper Lake.

Enlisting in the U.S. Army at age 19, Cox was among the Missouri volunteers ordered to help develop the Oregon Trail and Mormon Trail and to protect the Santa Fe Trail. In 1848 he helped complete Fort Kearney, located on the south side of the Platte River in what later became Nebraska.

Cox settled in Gallatin, MO, in 1850, married and worked four years in the mercantile business. Then, with oxen and cattle, he moved his family to Oroville, CA, to work as a teamster for gold diggers. The family prospered but yearned to return to Missouri. So, they sold out and went to San Francisco where they were attracted to a steam ship voyage, a route with Baltimore as a destination by way of Nicaraugua. The family survived a shipwreck near Key West, FL.

In 1859 Cox drew national newspaper publicity for an extraordinary feat. While delivering Army dispatches, Cox covered over 1200 miles in 30 days by mule! His trek from Salt Lake City, Utah, to Nebraska City, NE, included one leg of 125 miles without a stop to avoid hostile Sioux warriors led by Red Cloud. Cox’s feat compares favorably against horseback rides in relay — and he was a lone rider without companions or support, other than two good mules.

Cox was among the first to publicly declare for the Union soon after the start of the Civil War in 1861. He promptly recruited and commanded “Cox’s Battalion.” He fought guerrillas at Kirksville (Adair County), Lee’s Ford (Chariton County), and Union Mills (Platte County).

After the war, the infamous James Gang robbery of the Daviess County Savings Association occurred on Dec. 7, 1869. The murder of cashier John Sheets vaulted Frank and Jesse James onto the wanted list for the very first time and marked the beginning of an assault against law and order of international interest. Samuel P. Cox was a central player in the outlaws’ early plot.

Union Major Samuel P. Cox gained widespread fame when he was credited with the killing of William “Bloody Bill” Anderson on Oct. 27, 1864, near Richmond, MO. The City of St. Joseph presented Cox with a ceremonial sword for killing the notorious guerrilla chief (accused of killing 54 Union men). Few knew Major Cox was actually protecting a bugler under his command, Adolph Vogel, who in all probability pulled the trigger that sent Bloody Bill to his death. Vogel was a young family man, mindful of revenge sworn by Jesse James and other guerrillas against whomever killed their leader. So, as commanding officer, Major Cox assumed that personal risk for years after the Civil War …a risk that became bloody reality when the James brothers later robbed the savings association in Gallatin.

Jesse James swore he would avenge the death of Wm. “Bloody Bill” Anderson whenever he next saw Samuel P. Cox. Thus, during the 1869 robbery of the Daviess County Savings Association, John W. Sheets was an unfortunate victim of circumstance when Jesse James mistook him for Samuel Cox. A horse used during the robbery and murder linked Jesse James to the crime. The Governor of Missouri soon offered a bounty for the capture of the outlaw. This was the first time Jesse James was publicly wanted by the law, the start of a 12-year crime spree.

Ironically, a James Gang member, Clelland Miller, was a friend to Cox and actually saved the Major’s life during the Civil War.

The case can be made for Samuel Cox to top our list of military leaders from Daviess County. His escapades and achievements need no embellishment.

In 1862 Major Cox served the county as recorder and circuit clerk. In 1874 he was collector for Union Township.

If Cox wasn’t particularly interested in business, he certainly knew how to pick business partners. Local records show a mercantile business at the southeast corner of the Gallatin square called Ballinger, Cox & Kemper. It operated a little more than a year, long enough for the birth of William T. Kemper. The Kemper family fortune became one of Kansas City’s largest. The family controls one of Missouri’s largest financial institutions, United Missouri Bank of Kansas City, and the Kemper name is lavished on Kansas City’s civic arena. By the way, the real estate for the business in Gallatin was purchased by the three partners for $1,500. Evidently, business was good. Partner John Ballinger later purchased Kemper’s interest for $1,250.

Samuel P. Cox died on Aug. 21, 1913, a man who lived history in legendary fashion. He is buried at Brown Cemetery, on the north side of Gallatin.

— written by Darryl Wilkinson, Gallatin North Missourian editor & publisher

Dick Paul retires as USAF 2-Star General

Richard R. Paul retired from the USAF on June 1, 2000, as a Major General in command of Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. He directed the Air Force’s $1.4 billion science and technology program which was executed by more than 6,000 people in the laboratory’s component technology directorates and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research.

Richard R. Paul retired from the USAF on June 1, 2000, as a Major General in command of Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. He directed the Air Force’s $1.4 billion science and technology program which was executed by more than 6,000 people in the laboratory’s component technology directorates and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research.

The general planned basic research to ensure continued technological superiority; developed and transitioned new technologies for Air Force weapon systems and their supporting infrastructure; and ensured responsive technical support to time-urgent problems whenever and wherever they occurred.

Paul previously commanded the Wright Laboratory which involved a work force of over 2,500 people at Dayton, including 1,700 scientists and engineers. This was the largest aerospace laboratory complex in the Air Force prior to the 1997 formation of the Air Force Research Laboratory.

After graduating from Gallatin High School, Paul achieved a degree in electrical engineering at the University of Missouri at Rolla. He earned a 1971 Master of Science degree in electrical engineering, Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. He was a 1975 distinguished graduate of the Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.; a 1980 distinguished graduate of the Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.; and a 1984 distinguished graduate of the Naval War College, Newport, RI.

His major awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, and the Air Force Commendation Medal.

Major General Paul is the son of the late Robert E. and Jane Ann Paul, former longtime residents of Gallatin, MO. Bob Paul was president of First National Bank, Gallatin, for many years. The general and his wife, Joyce, are the parents of a son, David.

— reprinted from the Gallatin North Missourian

Arbelia Opera House – Gallatin, MO

In a 2-story building situated on the southeast corner of the Gallatin business square, the Arbelia Opera House once operated on the second floor above a saloon on the first floor. It was so named for the wife of John Townsend, who built the building about 1890.

In a 2-story building situated on the southeast corner of the Gallatin business square, the Arbelia Opera House once operated on the second floor above a saloon on the first floor. It was so named for the wife of John Townsend, who built the building about 1890.

A wide stairway provided the entrance, dividing at the top to provide access to and from the side of the room. There was a balcony all along the rear and opposite there was an adequate stage. Dressing rooms were on either side. There were side curtains and drop curtains. The lights along the front of the stage at first were kerosene lamps with reflectors, but these were later replaced with electric lights. Side lamps with reflectors were also placed along the sides the the stage attached to the wings and later replaced with ceiling electric lights.

In those times companies called “road shows” traveled throughout the country. Bookings far ahead were necessary and companies presented fine, high type entertainment. Lifelong Gallatin native Kathrine Brandom recalled how, as a little girl, she frequently sneaked up the stairs to watch the theatrics. Gallatin proved to be a convenient stop where traveling thespians en route between Chicago and Kansas City could manage a “practice performance.” They would come into town on the train, brought to the hotel by bus where they would remain usually for two to three days.

The leading lady was always most attractive and the leading man — sometimes a villain, true to type. Their fine costumes were transported in old -fashioned trunks and taken immediately to the opera house upon arrival. Costumes were quite beautiful and expensive.

These presentations were considered the ultimate in entertainment, featuring the finest of talent. The opera house would be filled to capacity.

The Townsend building housing Arbelia Opera House burned about 1910, a tragedy marking the end of this type of cultural and educational advantages for people living in this area.

Mr. Townsend also built one of the finest homes in Gallatin where he and his wife raised two sons and one daughter. The home was later the residence of Mrs. Preston Robertson and some time after the Townsend family had gone, it became the home of Gov. A.M. Dockery, who made his home with Mr. and Mrs. E.S. Gregory. This home burned during the winter of 1926.

— Daviess County Historical Society

County Jail Closed by Sheriff

Daviess County no longer has a jail which will accept prisoners. County Sheriff Harold Appley condemned the jail as of Nov. 1, 1975, as being unfit to receive prisoners.

Daviess County no longer has a jail which will accept prisoners. County Sheriff Harold Appley condemned the jail as of Nov. 1, 1975, as being unfit to receive prisoners.

In a letter to Presiding Judge Robert Owings, the sheriff stated: “Due to the present condition of the Daviess County Jail, which does not, in my opinion, meet any of the suggested minimum standards of county, state or federal jail committees as to health and sanitation, ventilation, lighting, prisoner safety, visiting facilities and the impossibility of a continual supervision of the prisoners, I feel it my duty, not only for my own personal liability but that of any prisoners, to condemn this jail as of November 1, 1975, until such time as reasonable quarters can be provided for incarceration of suspected, apprehended or convicted violators of the law.”

The sheriff previously said that he is the only official authorized to condemn a jail. He said Circuit Judge Kenneth Lewis had refused to place prisoners in the Daviess County Jail for many months.

“I have asked for improvements to be made in the jail from time to time,” Appley said, “but the court says they are broke and lake the funds. I do not question that they are hard-pressed for money but this jail is no longer suitable for anyone to be housed in it.”

Appley said it would probably be cheaper for the court to house prisoners in another jail in the long run since the costs of maintaining and heating the old jail and living quarters are so expensive.

Following a meeting of the county court and the sheriff, Judge Owings said it appeared the court has but two alternatives. The first is to make repairs and changes to the present jail to meet the standards; second, to consider moving the jail into new facilities on the upper floor of the courthouse.

The court made an inspection of the fourth floor to determine if this alternative would be feasible. Owings said that the improvements submitted by Sheriff Appley for the old jail were “not bad” as far as expense was concerned but the feeling persists that the old jail facility has simply outlived its time and ought to be replaced.

Judge Owings said the county needs a new jail and he would have liked to see one built “but things just haven’t worked out.” He indicated county prisoners would now be sent to nearby jails until a solution for this county can be reached.

The Daviess County Jail has had an interesting history since it was built in 1888. Until some years ago it contained what was commonly called the “squirrel cage” cells which could be spun around like a merry-go-round with one common entrance to all cells. This apparatus was removed in a major remodeling project some years ago but living conditions inside the jail were not helped much. Sanitation, light and heat have remained a serious deficiency.

Living conditions for the sheriff and his family have also been poor in recent years. These quarters are near the cell area and meals for the prisoners were prepared in the sheriff’s kitchen. Just a few days ago, Sheriff and Mrs. Appley were eating lunch when a snake fell out of the ceiling.

“With the condition of the jail what it is,” Appley said, “there isn’t any way to keep the place in good order.”

— reprinted from the Gallatin North Missourian, Nov. 6, 1975

Jail Escapee’s Freedom Short-Lived

After the unusual rotary jail was modified during the facility’s final years of use, the incidence of prisoner escapes were infrequent but more likely. One escape, which occurred Sept. 9, 1970, even bordered on the humorous.

After the unusual rotary jail was modified during the facility’s final years of use, the incidence of prisoner escapes were infrequent but more likely. One escape, which occurred Sept. 9, 1970, even bordered on the humorous.

Wilburn Earl McAfee, 22, managed to pry his way through the roof of the jail about the time the beauty contest crowd came out of the Gallatin school auditorium, located across the street. He was seen briefly while he was on the roof. But those who noticed simply thought he was a prankster rather than an escaping prisoner, so McAfee successfully made his escape out of town.

Officers searched for him all during that night. About 5 a.m. he was apprehended while hitchhiking north on Highway 13 near Jameson. Gallatin’s night marshall, Doug Roberts, recognized the fugitive while driving home. McAfee didn’t recognize Roberts since the city officer was in plain clothes and driving a pickup truck.

McAfee was in jail on a disturbing the peace warrant issued in Daviess County, as well as for a count of forgery from Caldwell County after he was jailed.

There is irony in the capture of McAfee by Roberts. Wilburn Roberts’ brother, Danny, was the driver of the car that smashed into the Roberts car east of Coffey, MO, the previous June. This resulted in the death of Mr. Robert’s wife and two of their children. Danny’s brother, Delbert, also died in the crash; Mr. Roberts and eight others were injured.

Summarized by Darryl Wilkinson from a news article published in the Sept. 10, 1970, Gallatin North Missourian

The first Longwood Furnace plant

The Longwood Automatic Stove Company is now in production in its new building and owner Wayne Critten expects to complete and install at least 200 units before the 1958 heating season is over.

The Longwood Automatic Stove Company is now in production in its new building and owner Wayne Critten expects to complete and install at least 200 units before the 1958 heating season is over.

In an article published on Oct. 16, 1958, by the Gallatin Democrat, Critten admits that he is just “coasting” this year as far as production is concerned. But another few months should see his dealer organization developed and his patented wood burning stove moving out of the plant on an assembly line basis.

The new 85’x138′ factory building is located on the Critten farm about five miles east of Gallatin. It was built by Critten and his workmen over the summer and has thick concrete walls and an aluminum sheathed roof with color plastic skylights. The building contains floor space for machinery required to handle the big slabs of sheet steel and aluminum plus stalls for trucks and a sizeable area for future office space. The first delivery truck has been purchased and is being painted for use.

Critten, who conceived the idea for his stove as the result of seeing so much timber go to waste on the farm, is now bjuilding three models. He has a new 3-foot model in production this year which is receiving wide acceptance. He also makes a 5-foot built-in unit and a 5-foot basement unit.

Quite a number of the stoves have been in use in the area the past several seasons and all are establishing almost unbelievable results. The stoves, which are thermostatically controlled, operate without a blower.

— from an article published in the Oct. 16, 1958, edition of the Gallatin Democrat

Winston coal mine once a busy place

A one-time major Daviess County industry played out to oblivion in 1958. At a county tax sale, the Winston coal mine failed to produce one interested bidder with only a tax bill of $317.10 pending. That wouldn’t have been the case in earlier years.

A one-time major Daviess County industry played out to oblivion in 1958. At a county tax sale, the Winston coal mine failed to produce one interested bidder with only a tax bill of $317.10 pending. That wouldn’t have been the case in earlier years.

Efforts to mine coal in Daviess County dates back as far as 1871 when an effort was made to form a company soon after a vein of fuel was discovered on a farm belonging to John S. Hughes. This failed, and nothing was done until about the turn of the century when the first shaft was sunk at a depth of 345 feet.

Lack of capital, cooperation and interest soon halted that venture. But in 1934 J.O. Elliott of Cameron opened the shaft, extended it and struck a 36-inch vein of fine quality bituminous coal. This effort ended in failure when litigation over the property forced its sale to satisfy creditors.

The Winston Coal Company was formed in 1936 and a new larger shaft was sunk 300 feet from the old shaft. These were connected and new hoisting machinery, cutting equipment and a double caqe were installed. Improvements increased output to 200 tons a day for a time. There were as many as 50 men employed at the mine and Daviess County coal was trucked into all sections of Northwest Missouri.

In its later years of operation, the property changed ownership frequently and attempts to operate the mine profitably failed. Eventually, federal inspectors would no longer approve the shafts for safe working without costly repairs which the business could no longer support.

— from the Sept. 4, 1958, edition of the Gallatin Democrat

Millstone marks Haun’s Mill

On Oct. 30, 1838, more than 200 members of the Livingston County Militia rode into Haun’s Mill, a small Mormon settlement approximately 10 miles south of Breckenridge, MO. Many of the women and children were able to escape by fleeing into the nearby woods, however, the local men were not so lucky.

On Oct. 30, 1838, more than 200 members of the Livingston County Militia rode into Haun’s Mill, a small Mormon settlement approximately 10 miles south of Breckenridge, MO. Many of the women and children were able to escape by fleeing into the nearby woods, however, the local men were not so lucky.

They sought cover in the blacksmith’s shop but the widely spaced logs offered little protection from the barrage of rifle and musket shots. By the end of the attack, 17 men and boys were dead and 12 were wounded. When the survivors returned the following morning, they placed the dead in an unfinished well located near the mill, covered them with dirt and straw, then headed for the Mormon settlement of Far West. The mill stone was intended to mark the well where the victims were buried. In the early 1900s the stone was washed away by the local creek, though it was later found by the townspeople and placed in its current location at the Breckenridge City Park. Consequently, the exact location of the well is no longer known.

from the Caldwell County News published Jan 2, 2013

Good Roads in 1913

In 1913 Missouri Gov. Elliott W. Major issued a proclamation setting apart two days in August when every able-bodied resident in the towns and rural areas of the state were to render personal assistance in improving the highways. At least 300,000 men were expected to respond and put two days hard work on the roads. Many of these people were willing to furnish teams and machinery.

In 1913 Missouri Gov. Elliott W. Major issued a proclamation setting apart two days in August when every able-bodied resident in the towns and rural areas of the state were to render personal assistance in improving the highways. At least 300,000 men were expected to respond and put two days hard work on the roads. Many of these people were willing to furnish teams and machinery.

The work of 300,000 men for two days would be equivalent to 6,000 days work. Young boys were also expected to turn out for the endeavor. The governor provided ample notice so that local authorities in every community could be prepared to handle the great throng of volunteer road workers. Gov. Major proposed personally to pick up a pick and shovel for one new highway project near Jefferson City, and he expected every state official to do the same.

As with all propopals, this program prompted vocal opposition. By coincidence, the announced days for “Road Days” conflicted with the popular Chautauqua held in Gallatin. Thus, locally at least, some people had choose between which event they would support. Some of the excuses, complaints and sentiments were as follows:

“I believe Gov. Major struck upon a brilliant idea when he issued his road proclamation setting apart Wednesday and Thursday, August 21 and 22, and known as ‘Good Roads Days.’ Every able bodied man in the rural districts and the cities of the state were requested to put in these days work on the public highways.”

“I do not intend to work on the roads. I pay my taxes and will not give any help to a Major advertising scheme.”

“If Elliott W. would furnish me with a gold sledge and plenty of ice water, I might take a one-hour twirl on some smooth road close to my home.”

“Work on the roads during the Chautauqua? Not for me. The governor should have been a little more considerate in selecting the dates.”

“Major’s road proclamation is the first good move he’s made since he became governor. I’ve applied for the boss of the gang in which Matt Givens is going to work.”

“I’d gladly work on the roads if my wife would let me. She says I work at home and that word “nik” is a word on the outside of free labor.”

My wife would not consent. She says if she’d pass along and see me working, it’d remind her of a prisoner — ball and chain – and she couldn’t bear me in that condition.”

“I can never tell in the morning what I will do before night. I might cast a bit of mother earth to the side.”

“If it is cool and pleasant on the morning of the 20th, I may run out in my automobile and see a few of the boys work.” Major doesn’t want any loafers watching the other men work, replied the questioner. “Oh, well, I won’t go out then.”

“I fully intended to work until the governor came out with his second notice asking that the women in the districts aid in the cause by furnishing the workers with lunches and encouraging them with their presence and good cheer. Their good cheer would make me so sad I couldn’t do any work.”

“I’m not able bodied, so that lets me out.”

“Major’s work proclamation is the first good move he’s made since his road proposition and I intend to get all the men out to work.”

“As far as I’m concerned, I won’t be able to work on account of other matters demanding my attention.”

“The governor estimates that work worth a million and a half will result. Let’s hope so. But even this amount won’t justify interference with our great Chautauqua.”

After much complaining from a large number of people concerning the conflict between the dates of the Chautauqua and Good Roads Day, it was decided to change the road days to August 13-14. On those days the road captains assembled men in gangs and used automobiles to take the workers to their various locations where the pick and shovel played an important part.

Researched by Wilbur Bush; SOURCES: “300,000 to do road work,” Gallatin North Missourian, July 10, 1913; “Many excuses are offered,” Gallatin North Missourian, July 24, 1913; “Road days for Daviess county,” Gallatin North Missourian, July 31, 1913; “Some good road work done,” Gallatin North Misourian, August 14, 1913.

Daviess County Musters for “Mormon War”

Captain John Comers led the Missouri Mounted Militia, 3rd Division Daviess County, which mustered into duty on Oct. 29, 1838, to engage in the “Mormon War” in Missouri. This unit was discharged on Nov. 3, 1838. Those who served are listed as follows:

Captain John Comers led the Missouri Mounted Militia, 3rd Division Daviess County, which mustered into duty on Oct. 29, 1838, to engage in the “Mormon War” in Missouri. This unit was discharged on Nov. 3, 1838. Those who served are listed as follows:

Pinkerton, John, 1st Sergeant

Banning, Jeremiah, 2nd Sergeant

Pritchard, George, 3.0 Sergeant

Smith, Isaac, 4th Sergeant

Ashby, Loyd, Pvt.

Atkinson, Joseph M. W., Pvt.

Atkinson, William C., Pvt.

Aubry, Henry, Pvt.

Barer, Isaac, Pvt.

Below, J. J., Pvt.

Blakely, Pleasant, Pvt.

Campbell, Jeremiah, Pvt.

Covington, Phillip, Pvt.

Creekmore, E. B., Pvt.

Darnaby, John S., Pvt.

Dryden, J. J., Pvt.

Etherton, John, Pvt.

Girdner, James, Pvt.

Gross, W. B., Pvt.

Gruff, E. T., Pvt.

Hatcher, Richard, Pvt.

Howell, M. R., Pvt.

Job, A. J., .Pvt.

Job, Robert, Pvt.

Job, W. W., Pvt.

Kelly, Jesse, Pvt.

Leaper, Henry, Pvt.

McDow, Samuel, Pvt.

McGonicle, James, Pvt.

McKavery, William, Pvt.

Miller, Allen, Pvt.

Morgan, Evin, Pvt.

Morgan, Henry, Pvt.

Netherton, J. N., Pvt.

Pennington, Francis P., Pvt.

Perman, Gilas, Pvt.

Price, Addison, Pvt.

Renfrow, John, Pvt.

Roberts, Jacob, Pvt.

Splawn, John, Pvt.

Stokes, John, Pvt.

Vanderpool, John, Pvt.

Wilson, James, Pvt.

Yates, George, Pvt.

— researched by David Stark, based on writings from The Jefferson Republican (a newspaper published in Jefferson City, MO., 1827-1844, according to the Missouri Historical Review, Vol. 4 No. 1)

Remembering Veterans

In 1950 a petition was circulating in Missouri for a bonus bill to be passed so veterans could be placed on the November ballot.

In 1950 a petition was circulating in Missouri for a bonus bill to be passed so veterans could be placed on the November ballot.

The petition stated the maximum bonuses to World War II veterans would be $400 for those who served within the U.S. and $500 for overseas veterans. Only those veterans who served between Sept. 16, 1940 and Sept. 2, 1945, would be eligible.

The petitions were distributed by representatives of the VFW posts at Tina, Chillicothe, Carrolton, Gallatin, Jamesport, Gilman City, Bethany and Pattonsburg. The petitions were simply a way to get the bonus bill on the ballot at the November election. People signing the petitions had to have resided in the state one year and in the county 60 days. If the bill passed, the bonuses would be derived from special taxes to be imposed on items in 10 categories, nine of which were listed as luxuries, and the 10th against corporations doing business in the State of Missouri.

The taxes used to raise the money would cease on the date the money had been raised. This bonus was completely separate from any federal bonus which might come in the future. To be placed on the ballot, they had to be signed by eight percent of the legal voters in each two-thirds of the congressional districts in the state and filed at the statehouse at least 120 days before the election.

In late May 1950, both the Gallatin and Pattonsburg veterans’ organizations and auxiliaries had memorial services at two different cemeteries. At Brown Cemetery in Gallatin more than 50 veterans and a score of their auxiliaries listened as a brief prayer was said and an American Legion post commander read a tribute to all war dead. A similar service was held at the Pattonsburg Cemetery. At each service, a firing squad of seven veterans fired three shots into the the air and standing at rest were color bearers, flag guard and members of the auxilary. Flowers were placed on veterans’ graves and a American flag was left as a grave marker in honor of each fallen soldier, It was the first time such a ceremony had been held at either cemetery since the close of world War II. Taking part in the services were veterans of the Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force. More than 200 people attended the ceremonies.

At the election, more than 2,200 names were signed to 17 petitions passed among people in Daviess County urging them to vote for a veteran’s bonus for Missourians who were in the armed forces during the last world war. More than 850 of those names were signed in Gallatin alone.

At that time they had to have only eight percent of the voters in two-thirds of the counties of the state to get the measure before the legislature and they had more than the necessary number on the Daviess county petitions.

— researched by Wilbur Bush, Gallatin

1948: County Sends Relief

In 1948, a relief program was started called Christian Rural Overseas Program (CROP). It began as a relief program for 43 war-stricken foreign countries. Daviess County also participated. The program was sponsored by American churches; however, there were many farm organizations, civic and service clubs, and countless other cooperating individuals that wanted to be included.

In 1948, a relief program was started called Christian Rural Overseas Program (CROP). It began as a relief program for 43 war-stricken foreign countries. Daviess County also participated. The program was sponsored by American churches; however, there were many farm organizations, civic and service clubs, and countless other cooperating individuals that wanted to be included.

Contributions made to the program were distributed to those in need such as children, orphans, widows, the aged, those hospitalized, youth and pre-tubercular clinics.
Contributions in Daviess County were to be made in wheat, soybeans, or cash. The county’s quota was for two carloads of wheat or approximately 3,000 bushels, the equivalent in cash being $6,000.

The county committee suggested it would be better for them if the people contributed cash. The program was to be in force until every person in the county had been solicited. It was said concerning the crop donations that “we can raise a crop every year, but people die of starvation only once.”

It was believed there wasn’t a single group in the county that wouldn’t give if the members actually realized the starvation and disease that existed abroad at that time. With inflated prices, it was almost impossible for millions to purchase the very necessities of life. Approximately 90% of the people wanted to give the program a chance and were giving cash rather than grain.

The county quota of $6,000 was to be used by the national CROP office in Chicago to purchase wheat, soybeans, cotton or dried milk products to be sent to four overseas countries where there was the greatest need.

— researched by Wilbur Bush, Gallatin

1924: Gallatin’s New Water Tower

In 1924, Gallatin’s water tower was badly in need of repair. A special city council meeting was called to consider the needed repairs. An examiner, Mr. Gill, who’d previously inspected the tower, was present to report on its condition. The report called for a new bottom and the replacement of the two top rings of the plate. He gave a $700 bid for the project.

In 1924, Gallatin’s water tower was badly in need of repair. A special city council meeting was called to consider the needed repairs. An examiner, Mr. Gill, who’d previously inspected the tower, was present to report on its condition. The report called for a new bottom and the replacement of the two top rings of the plate. He gave a $700 bid for the project.

The insurance factor was also another concern. Gallatin was a fourth class town, but unless certain specifications were met on the water tower, the town would drop to a fifth class town which would increase the fire insurance rates.

In order to meet the necessary requirements, the city had to install a water tower which could furnish a steady stream of water for five hours at a pressure of 60 pounds without any pumping being done. A few additions to the mains were also needed as well as an extra thousand feet of fire hose and new connections on the fire plugs.

An approved water tower needed to have a 75,000 gallon tank set on top of a 135-foot structure just south of the business square. When completed, the new water tower would hold enough water and provide 60 pounds of pressure which would make it possible to furnish a high pressure stream of water on a fire for five hours. In comparison, the old water tower only held 40,000 gallons of water, was only 110 feet high, and only gave a gravity pressure of 30 pounds.

Two weeks later many citizens were both upset and worried as they thought the insurance rates were going to take an immediate increase. Mr. Gill returned and assured them it wasn’t the case. He said the present water tower, the mains, and the fire fighting equipment were sufficient unless there was a large fire which was very unlikely. He also said the water tower should be built on a steel structure and have a 75,000 gallon capacity. He approved the fire truck, but urged that the fire hose and fire hydrant couplings be standardized and the fire plugs painted an orange yellow so they could be seen better at night and on dark and snowy days.

Stating it was a “have to” case, the following week the city called for an election to vote $10,000 bonds for a new 75,000 gallon water tower. Changes had been made to plans submitted a month earlier and now two $10,000 bonds were on the ballot including the former bonds for the tower and the latter bonds to extend the trunk line sewers. The old tower could continue to be used until the new structure was completed which would take about 30 days. An election date was set for mid-June.

Upon voter approval, the Pittsburg-Des Moines Steel Company was awarded the contract for constructing the water tower for $7,450. In addition, the company would receive $200 for removing the steel from the old tower.

By late December 1924, the water tower was working fine, but the people still had a water shortage. The two pumps that had been used to pump the water from the reservoir weren’t powerful enough to pump the new water tower full of water since it was higher and more pressure was needed.

A new pump was purchased for $1,800 and once it was installed it’d put the city in first class condition. The people wouldn’t know they were working on the tower because the water wouldn’t have to be shut off unless it was at night when they were trying to fill the tank.

The water tower was filled in March 1925 by the employees of the light and water departments working in shifts to see that the pumps were kept running. The findings were that the pumps were good enough to supply the city with an abundance of water. As a result, the order for the new pump was cancelled which saved the city the expense of buying a new one.

However, building a new water tower didn’t solve the water problem. By 1926, the water supply continued to be short. Many were still concerned that if a fire should occur, there wouldn’t be a sufficient water source to extinguish it.

After much consideration it was decided to look into the matter of digging a new well. The city contacted George Austin of Kansas City who had a good reputation for his work. A contract was soon issued and work would start immediately.

After studying the situation, it was decided the best place to dig a new well was just north of the present well which was 27 feet deep. Judging from the present well, a new well would furnish enough water for all purposes and Gallatin would have one of the best water systems in this part of the state. The driller would use a 46 inch telescope casing going down between 50 and 60 feet or until they hit solid rock. When completed, the bottom of the casing would be 18 inches. It would have a concrete curb which would be above the high water mark and also have a concrete screen and a gravel filter.

The contract price was $45 per foot. The city was to pay $900 when the well was completed and make payments of $100 per month in deferred payments with 6% interest.

The well was completed in September 1927. From all appearances, the well would be a good one as the city superintendent had the pump operating for eight hours which filled the 75,000 gallon tank. At that rate, the water was being used at the rate of 150 gallons per minute. There was some concern as to the new well draining the old well, but from all appearances there wasn’t any need to worry as the water level of the new well was only lowered 26 inches in that length of time. As the well was used, it was believed the water flow would increase and the city would have an abundance of water. It would also save the city money as it wouldn’t require a man at the power house at night as plenty of water could be pumped during the day.

At a city council meeting in October 1927, Mr. Austin presented the city with a bill for $2,670. After reading the contract, the city council and the city attorney decided the amount was incorrect as to the amount of footage that was dug. A compromise was made and the city only paid $2,112.

The cost of the well was to be paid out of the proceeds of the light and water fund. There wasn’t to be any increase in city taxes.

1947: Pennies Worth Dollars

On April 16-17, 1947, Gallatin merchants tried a gimmick that brought many people to Gallatin to shop. The gimmick was the 1939 penny. On these two days if you had a penny bearing this date you could trade it for some merchandise at the local store. Some items listed were worth 10 cents and some were more than a dollar.

On April 16-17, 1947, Gallatin merchants tried a gimmick that brought many people to Gallatin to shop. The gimmick was the 1939 penny. On these two days if you had a penny bearing this date you could trade it for some merchandise at the local store. Some items listed were worth 10 cents and some were more than a dollar.

When people heard the news, penny hoarding occurred. Not only were children searching for pennies, but adults as well. It was estimated the 1939 pennies ran about one or two to the 100 pennies in circulation. One lady, an exception to the rule, found 50 of them.

Banks and business houses had been trading other denominations for pennies at the request of the customers. The Courter Theater gave a show for the school children with the admission price of a 1939 penny. Those students with the penny were allowed to miss school for the movie if they brought their penny to school.

“Penny Day” was a success. It brought customers from nearby towns as well as Gallatin itself. Store owners claimed they saw people they’d never seen before. Customers were present from Hamilton, Maysville, Cameron, Bethany and Gallatin. All the banks from these towns, as well as others, reported a run on pennies. One Gallatin woman received 18 by air mail from her daughter in Chicago.

Most of the stores were jammed with customers throughout the two days. Some even found customers outside their building waiting for the stores to open. Drugstores, which had listed malted milks and ice cream sodas were especially busy. A department store advertising ladies silk hose for a 1939 penny sold its supply within a few hours. Many stores received more than 100 pennies while a few received over 200.

Not only did the penny sales bring the people to Gallatin, but they purchased many other things at the stores and some thought they might have gained a few regular customers.

— researched by Wilbur Bush, Gallatin

Labor Shortage in 1943

An act of Congress made a farm labor program possible for rural areas which included Daviess County. One step of the plan was for the Farm Security Administration to bring in south Missouri farm hands.

An act of Congress made a farm labor program possible for rural areas which included Daviess County. One step of the plan was for the Farm Security Administration to bring in south Missouri farm hands.

In 1943, nine workers were brought to Daviess County. But it wasn’t a satisfactory arrangement to many because the workers didn’t have previous farm experience and didn’t know how to do things.

Still, it was believed full-time work was critical as the time for preparing the ground, haying, planting, etc., neared.

The school’s summer months would provide some farm labor. Volunteers also were available to help with the labor shortage. Several businessmen went to the farmer’s fields in order to prepare the ground for planting and seeding. One man worked 28 hours which was almost equivalent to three, eight hour days. Other store owners went and helped three and four hours at a time.

The government started a farm department designed to keep dairy, livestock and poultry farmers working. The department did this through draft deferment, wage stabilization and banning employment in other work. Some of the objectives were:

1. Local draft boards would grant occupational deferment to necessary men on essential dairy, livestock and poultry farms. The agreement would be withdrawn if they ceased to perform the work for which it was granted.

2. The army and navy would refrain from recruiting such workers or accepting them for voluntary enlistment.

3. All other employers would refrain from hiring skilled workers who’d been engaged in these three types of farm production.

4. The agricultural department would move toward stabilizing wages on dairy, livestock and poultry farms with a view to assisting those farmers in securing and maintaining an adequate supply of labor.

5. The department would take necessary steps to control the sale of dairy cows for slaughter so as to check a trend which was threatening to reduce dairy production.

In addition, the program for building dairy, livestock and poultry production included plans for aiding producers in building up livestock, training unskilled workers, buying or renting more productive farms, and job placement service for unskilled farm operators and laborers along with aid in transporting them to farms where they were needed most.

Another factor of the labor shortage occurred when the men and boys who’d served their time in the war returned home to find there weren’t any jobs for them to do.

— researched by Wilbur Bush, Gallatin

Wilburforce School (1866-1957)

In November 1866, the Gallatin School District met to discuss the educational opportunities for the county’s black students. It was believed these students would do better educationally if they had their own school. A teacher, Miss Celia Calahan, was hired and the school opened; however, she had to wait until the money was collected before she received her pay.

In November 1866, the Gallatin School District met to discuss the educational opportunities for the county’s black students. It was believed these students would do better educationally if they had their own school. A teacher, Miss Celia Calahan, was hired and the school opened; however, she had to wait until the money was collected before she received her pay.

The students came from all parts of the county because there weren’t enough of them to warrant having more than one school. The first school session was taught for four months; two of these months were taught in a rented room from Captain Ballinger while their school was being built.
In 1870, there were 96 black children attending Daviess County schools. Also, 50 of these lived in the Gallatin district and attended school there. The remaining 46 black children were scattered over 13 townships, but less in any one township to warrant an organization.

In 1871, the black people kept their school open three years by donations. However, by 1874 there were 66 children attending the school.

In 1898, the Wilburforce School surpassed the Gallatin school with three graduates from the Wilburforce school graduation while the Gallatin school graduated only one student. A large audience of Gallatin’s citizens filled the Arbelia Opera House to witness this graduation. One portion of the program was furnished by the Wilburforce orchestra.

The school was still in operation in 1933 and three students graduated from their eighth grade class. At commencement there was a capacity crowd. One of the outstanding features of the night was the portrayal of birds and insects by the undergraduate classes.

The Wilburforce School operated until the 1956-57 school term when integration became a factor and black elementary graduates attended the Gallatin High School. This change meant additional educational opportunities for the black children because all of them had the chance to attend high school for the first time. After 1957, elementary students went to the elementary school. In later years, some people thought the schoolhouse was torn down for the lumber.

At this point it might be of interest of how early teachers from other schools were paid. H.W. Euyart from Benton township taught the first three months in the summer of 1837, and three months the following winter. He was paid two dollars a student in currency of the county; sometimes he received payment in corn of which he made his own meal using a bowl shaped dish he’d made by burning a hole in a log. Other forms of payment were deer skins and honey. It was the exception rather than the rule to be paid in cash.

— researched by Wilbur Bush, Gallatin

1948: Gallatin’s First Wolf Hunt

In January of 1948, Gallatin’s first wolf hunt was held. The hunt had a two-fold purpose. One purpose was to rid the community of the wolves which preyed on game, sheep and cattle. The other purpose was to donate the bounty money to the March of Dimes campaign.

In January of 1948, Gallatin’s first wolf hunt was held. The hunt had a two-fold purpose. One purpose was to rid the community of the wolves which preyed on game, sheep and cattle. The other purpose was to donate the bounty money to the March of Dimes campaign.

It was hoped that 400 men would participate. The hunt would cover a four-square mile area south and west of Gallatin. The hunters were to meet on the east side of the square on Sunday morning. Trucks would be waiting to transport the men to their destination and to bring them home.

The hunters would line up on four sides of the area of the hunt and converge on a point near the cottonwood schoolhouse, southwest of Gallatin. A big balloon would be elevated in the vicinity of the school and all the hunters would work toward it.

The hunters were asked to wear something red for identification purposes, either a red hunting cap or jacket, or they could tie a red bandana around their neck or cap. There’d be a captain for each line and they were to be in charge of the men on the hunt.

No hunting license was required. Minors were not encouraged to participate. If they did, they were to be accompanied by their father or another adult. There was to be strict law enforcement and no drinking was to be allowed. Only shotguns were to be used and they had to be broken, or if automatic, the breach open when they gathered in Gallatin. During the hunt, all guns were to be carried with the safety on. No animals except coyotes and wolves were to be killed.

On the day of the hunt only 150 men, including men from St. Joseph and Kansas City participated. Only one predator was killed and the $5 bounty was given to the March of Dimes.

Plans were soon underway to form a Daviess County Wolf Association. Membership was $2.50 per member. A fund was to be set up by member contributions to pay a bounty in addition to the one the county was paying. It was to be organized in each township and two members of the individual township board were to serve on a county-wide association board. The township boards were to organize their districts for raising the bounty money.

— researched by Wilbur Bush, Gallatin

John D. Gagan and Crystal Springs

Once one of the most popular institutions of Northwest Missouri was the famous Crystal Springs on the John Gagan farm in Benton Township of Daviess County, about five miles northwest of old Pattonsburg on Crystal Springs Branch that empties into Sampson Creek.

Once one of the most popular institutions of Northwest Missouri was the famous Crystal Springs on the John Gagan farm in Benton Township of Daviess County, about five miles northwest of old Pattonsburg on Crystal Springs Branch that empties into Sampson Creek.

John Gagan was born in Cork, Kings County, Ireland, on the Shannon River on June 24, 1819, to John and Catherine Gagan. He was brought up a strict Catholic, to further educate him for the priesthood. At the young age of eight years he came to America with his father in 1827 and located in Bedford County, Penn., near the town of Bedford. Later he worked on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad which were the first rails built in the United States about 1836.

John also learned the stone-masons trade. He worked his way down the Ohio River and landed in Kentucky, where he met and married Sarah Devor Williams in 1846. In 1847, with the gold and silver they had saved, he rode horseback and headed for northwest Missouri to buy land. After buying 200 acres, he returned to Kentucky for his wife and they moved to Missouri in 1848.
John and Sarah had six children, all born on his farm in northwest Daviess County. He built up his land and raised his children on it. The couple had 28 grandchildren. He’d changed from Catholic to Christian earlier, known as Campbellites.

Although through the lineage there isn’t anyone to carry on the Gagan name, he has a legend for it. One of the most popular institutions of Benton Township or even Daviess County and northwest Missouri, was the famous Crystal Springs on the John Gagan farm about five miles northwest of old Pattonsburg on Crystal Springs Branch that empties into Sampson Creek. He planted fruit trees and grapevines, and there was a beautiful forest of trees on his farm. He was noted for having the best wine and winery west of the Ohio River.

The springs all had a chemical analysis that possessed healing properties. They all had a rocky bottom of limestone and soft slate stone, hard, and then succeeded by a species of limestone and hard brittle. John built a large resort, and guests numbering in the thousands came in the summer months to drink of their waters for medicinal purposes.

Someone found a gold coin along the road to the Springs, assumed he was rich and tried to rob him, and then burned the resort town down. He got out of the hotel alive, but was shot and killed on Dec. 15, 1887. A man was caught and tried. Who and was he found guilty? No proof of evidence could be found, other than matching boots and the tracks found around the place.

Today, John and Sarah D. are buried in the Oak Ridge Cemetery, Benton Township, Daviess County.

— compiled from the 1985 Daviess County History Book, submitted by Arley Pearson Wurdinger, who was a great-granddaughter of John Gagan

1960: The Upside Down Winter

In March 1960, Daviess County had an unusually large snow. An excerpt from the March 17, 1960, Gallatin Democrat stated that “winter-weary Daviess County is digging out from under the worst snowstorms of the season which hit the area Tuesday, dumping an additional 10 inches of snow accompanied by high winds which closed most roads and brought activity to a standstill.”

In March 1960, Daviess County had an unusually large snow. An excerpt from the March 17, 1960, Gallatin Democrat stated that “winter-weary Daviess County is digging out from under the worst snowstorms of the season which hit the area Tuesday, dumping an additional 10 inches of snow accompanied by high winds which closed most roads and brought activity to a standstill.”

Weather records were broken everywhere. Snowfall unofficially increased the snow count to 44 inches for the winter. When this last snow had ended, there was still over two feet of snow on the ground. Some drifts were four and five feet high.

This last snow storm lasted almost nine hours. A large portion of it was heavy. The highway department trucks, which had been battling to keep the roads open for several weeks, had to shut down because the blowing snow prevented them from seeing what they were doing. Traffic was held up several hours, delivery trucks couldn’t get through, mail was delayed, schools were closed, farmers had difficultly getting to pasture to feed their livestock. Even birds and wildlife were handicapped as to moving around and finding food. Country roads were covered with great drifts.

The large snow surface caused other effects by having a tendency to keep the air cold and stormy which caused more snow. Climatologists called it an “upside down” winter as it was colder than normal in the south and warmer than normal in the north.

Temperatures during the storm didn’t drop below 27 degrees. With only four days until spring, the area had only two or three days above freezing since Feb. 21. During this period of time the mercury had dropped three times below zero: March 4 it was nine below; March 5 it was 18 below; March 6 it was nine below.

According to the weatherman, the crazy March weather of 1960 started in February when a westerly river of air in the upper atmosphere moved suddenly south of its normal course across the country which produced the first March snows that covered most of the nation.

— researched by Wilbur Bush, Gallatin

Teacher Shortage During World War II

In the days of World War II there was a teacher shortage due to various reasons. Some of the male teachers had been called to service while others had resigned to take on higher paying jobs in industrial plants where war necessities were made. As a result many small schools were faced with closing by 1944.

In the days of World War II there was a teacher shortage due to various reasons. Some of the male teachers had been called to service while others had resigned to take on higher paying jobs in industrial plants where war necessities were made. As a result many small schools were faced with closing by 1944.

Although it was nearing the end of the school year, the state had barely enough teachers to operate. Predictions were that there would be an even greater loss of teachers the following year.
The state’s Department of Education was working with the local superintendents in solving the problem. Some of their suggestions were:

1. Dropping the bars which many school districts had erected against employment of married women.

2. Urging retired teachers to return and making it easier for them to renew their certificates.

3. Closing small non-essential schools with their small enrollments and sending the pupils to nearby schools.

4. Dropping some special courses to permit reduction of staffs in larger school systems.

5. To make it easier for teachers to renew teaching certificates the state colleges offered special summer extension and correspondence courses and the state department issued special one-year certificates.

A later survey revealed 1,765 vacancies in 9,000 schools in the state, exclusive of Kansas City and St. Louis. Further plans to alleviate the situation were the issuing of special emergency teaching certificates to people with two years of college work and the combination of some school districts. Some 700 districts had been merged so teacher’s could utilize the same materials.

— researched by Wilbur Bush, Gallatin