Go-Devils and Listers

“Go-Devil” seems to be a brand name such as Allis Chalmers or John Deere. Among other things there are Go-Devil boats and engines.

“Go-Devil” seems to be a brand name such as Allis Chalmers or John Deere. Among other things there are Go-Devil boats and engines.

Probably the two Go-Devils that would interest us the most would be the sled and the one that had disk-like wheels and was used in the fields to hold the moisture. One type of Go-Devil, the sled, was used to drag or carry small logs and other light things. It had the typical two runners, seat, and was made in such a way to be utilized in the above. The runners were usually made from 2×6’s.

The second type of Go-Devil was mostly metal and had large spoked wheels on the outside. Inside there were thee small disk-like blades on both the right and the left side. When planting corn a horse walked on each side of the row being planted as the kernels fell from a seed box and into the furrows. At that time, corn was planted in hills, usually using the checker method. A man would walk down the rows and by using a hand corn planter would plant 10 or 12 kernels of corn in each hill.

The Go-Devil was used in the depression days to help keep moisture in the soil and allow the kernels to be planted deeper. In turn, this allowed the roots to grow deeper in the ground. It could be used as soon as the tiny shoots were tall enough the Go-Devil wouldn’t cover them and could be used until the stalks were so tall it would break them.

A lister is much like a walking plow, but instead of one side curved to make a furrow it has two sides that come to a point in the shape of “>” and makes a larger furrow by throwing the dirt both ways. Furrows were usually plowed to a distance of 42 or 44 inches from center to center, and it left the soil ridged between. Cultivation was accomplished by cutting down the ridge gradually, throwing the dirt around the growing corn.

On man’s stepfather had a team of mules he used. He drove a 200 mile stretch from Iowa to Missouri, which took 10 days. He’d always listed his field in Iowa and he still wanted to farm the same way in Missouri. He used a double lister to make two planter rows and then followed it up with a two row corn planter.

Some farmers made hard work of the double lister. They listed the field, split the ridges by a second operation with the same tool, and planted the corn with a separate plate. The first time open listing and the second time splitting the ridges and using the subsoiler and planting attachment.

Pattonsburg Dam Proposal Causes Concerns

“If the dam were ever built, it could mean the virtual end of Daviess County. It’s been estimated that over 65,000 acres of the most productive land in the county would be taken out of production. It would split the county in half.”

“If the dam were ever built, it could mean the virtual end of Daviess County. It’s been estimated that over 65,000 acres of the most productive land in the county would be taken out of production. It would split the county in half.”

The above quotation was taken from the March 3, 1955, edition of the “Gallatin Democrat” in regard to the construction of the Pattonsburg dam.

In 1949, steps had been taken to have some kind of flood control in the Grand River Valley near Pattonsburg. Some discussion centered on the construction of several smaller dams in the area, but the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers pointed out this would not be economically justifiable. If the dam was built at Pattonsburg, it would control a 12-inch runoff on 2,240 square miles. Six upstream dams that were studied would control only 1,491 square miles and would require an increase in levee heights to provide complete protection on the lower river.

It was pointed out that if the dam and its reservoirs were built the town of Pattonsburg would be flooded. Its population of 1,000 persons would be displaced.

There were about 180 farmsteads within the 50,000 acres of the proposed reservoir. Both schools and highways would be affected. The small villages of Santa Rosa, Weatherby, McFall and Jameson would suffer economically. The county would also suffer loss of the taxation of revenue from the 42,000 acres of land.

Like all projects, the building of a dam at Pattonsburg met with both favoritism and criticism. On the positive side of the argument it was said that the value of a lake, for no other reason than flood control, would save thousands and thousands of dollars in the event of a flood.

Many thought the dam would be good for a recreational center. It was believed the center would be a distinct benefit to the northwest section of the state. Another part of the project would be connecting the Pattonsburg-King City road which would hook up an area not being served at that time.

Those opposed to the dam used the tactic of reflecting on other places where dams had been built and the fact the people hadn’t been told the truth in some areas. For example, many people were under the impression that the scheme of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for flood control of the Grand River involved the building of two big reservoirs known as the Pattonsburg and Hickory reservoirs and 85,000 acres of the best land in north Missouri provided complete flood protection for all the Grand River Valley lands below the dam.

Other factors supported the facts that in the years 1909 to 1943 if the dams had been in operation, in seven of those years the river-flood-height would have been reduced to bank full height at summer. But in 14 of those years the reduction wouldn’t have been enough to have prevented serious flooding of bottom lands in the area. The reason for this was that only 56% of the Grand River drainage area laid above the dams and the other 44% was still sufficient to cause serious flooding.

Many of the people of Daviess County thought those making a study of the flood situations should give more attention to soil conservation practices and head-water detention dams, and see if a plan couldn’t be made which wouldn’t ruin a county and destroy a city. They felt people not having to be separated from their friends and neighbors they’d established meant more than money.

Another example that gave more appeal to the situation was what had happened at nearby Chillicothe. At that point, Grand River had been at flood stage 89 times in 31 years. It was estimated that 50% of all the valley was considered “waste” or was untillable because of the flood hazard. It’d also have an impact on railroads, utilities and business in general.

— researched by Wilbur Bush, Gallatin

Farm Deferments During World War II

In the early 1940s there was a shortage of farm workers and many people stated that replacing these workers was hard to do.

In the early 1940s there was a shortage of farm workers and many people stated that replacing these workers was hard to do.

Thousands of our men took jobs in shipyards and airplane factories thinking they could be exempt from going to war and seek deferment because they had essential operations. However, many of the “higher ups” were under the impression these workers could be replaced far easier than the farmers and their “expertise.” These men played a vital part in the army by furnishing the “bread and butter” for the people.

Some guidelines for deferment for farmers were:

1. A farmer who resided on his farm and operated it alone was required to have at least eight milk cows.

2. If both a farmer and his son lived on the farm together, 16 animal units were required for the man to obtain deferment.

3. By Feb. 12, 1943, in order to get deferment, the farmer had to raise at least 10 animal units.

4. By May 12, 1943, the farmer had to have at least 12 animal units. Feed for the stock had to be produced on the farm where the resident lived.

Since there was a variety of different types of animals on different types of farms, guidelines were often flexible. For example:

For one milk cow there had to be three beef cows; or four two-year-old steers; or four feed lot cattle; or 16 ewes; or 80 feed lot lambs; or flock of 75 hens; or 250 chickens raised; or 500 broilers; or 40 turkeys raised; or nine hogs raised. Breeding herd was not considered at all.

A typical example if a farmer lived on a farm alone, and had the following stock, he would meet the requirement of eight animal units and would be entitled to deferment: 2 milk cows…2; 18 hogs raised…2; flock of 150 hens…2; raise 250 chickens…1; 16 ewes…1; Total animal units = 8.

By May 1943, there was desperate need for farm workers as farming season approached and seed bed preparation and planting was needed and past due because of the wet weather. Year-round farm hands and seasonal workers could be secured from other sections of the state by making application at the county office or with the volunteer workers in the towns.

Volunteer workers were also needed to fill requests and place workers in as many cases as possible. Also available for summer jobs were the high school and college students.

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Do you remember….

*when service stations filled your gas tank for you, checked the oil and the air in your car’s tires, and washed the windshield

*when ice was sold in large cubes for the ice boxes

*when grocery stores delivered groceries to your home

*when you used red and green mills to pay sales tax

*when farmers took eggs to town in 36-dozen wooden cases

*when farmers purchased baby chicks in the spring and raised them in the brooder house

*when many farmers took their grain to the elevator in their pickups and wagons

*when you couldn’t go to town when the roads were muddy without putting chains on your car

*when cars had mud flaps and running boards

*when hogs were found on most small farms and were called “mortgage breakers.”

*when soot had to be cleaned from the flues

*when vinegar was shipped in large barrels and used to fill the containers the people brought in

*when flour was sold in cloth bags and women used the empty sacks to make a dress, shirt, etc.

— researched by Wilbur Bush, Gallatin

Hope Funeral Home

In 1917, Harry Hope and wife Lenna moved to Gallatin and acquired an interest in the L.T. Killam & Co. Undertaking business and changed the name to the Gallatin Undertaking Company (G.U.C.). The Hope Funeral Home was born.

In 1917, Harry Hope and wife Lenna moved to Gallatin and acquired an interest in the L.T. Killam & Co. Undertaking business and changed the name to the Gallatin Undertaking Company (G.U.C.). The Hope Funeral Home was born.

At first it was a two-fold business with half being a furniture store and the other half being an undertaking business.

In 1918, the business announced they would liquidate their furniture business and devote their time to the undertaking business. At this time, they were still advertising broadcloth, best grade steel caskets, steel vaults, marble tombs, and high-grade burial garments.

The announcement also stated that there wouldn’t be any charge for embalming or for any kind of hearse — motor vehicle or horse drawn — or car for the family.

Lenna Hope, also an undertaker, became the first lady embalmer in Daviess County and one of the few in Northwest Missouri. Mrs. Hope devoted most of her work to taking care of the women and the children while Harry would cater more to the men. In one of their sale promotions they advertised five points:

1. Service;

2. Low prices on the best funeral supplies;

3. The best equipment money could buy;

4. Arrangements taken care of;

5. Years of experience in the undertaking business.
In 1925, the furniture store was no small business and advertised everything from large pieces of furniture to baby buggies.

Stub Richesson joined the firm. At first his duties were mainly in the furniture store, but he soon graduated to the funeral business.

The furniture store had a seven day sale and all merchandise was sold below cost as they didn’t want to move it or store it. They gave people a chance to move it for themselves and at a large savings.

Two advertised items were $350 Baldwin piano for $200 and a $550 Baldwin player piano for $350.

The Hopes always tried to stick to their motto “A square deal for everyone is the basis of everything we make.” They moved to a new location on the south side of the square, truly making it “a square deal.”

Harry Hope died in 1941, and Stub acquired one-half interest in the funeral home. Mrs. Hope received her 50 year pin from the Missouri Funeral directors Association in 1967.
In 1969, Steve and Jan Helton returned to Gallatin after Steve completed his mortuary science education and got his embalmers license.

Steve and Jan purchased the funeral home in 1982, making it the third generation of Hope’s services.

— researched by Wilbur Bush, Gallatin

New Ambulance District Formed

In August 1971, the announcement was made that all the funeral directors in the five county area of Daviess, Gentry, Worth, Mercer and Harrison would terminate their ambulance service. This action meant Daviess County would have to set up some type of ambulance service by Jan. 1.

In August 1971, the announcement was made that all the funeral directors in the five county area of Daviess, Gentry, Worth, Mercer and Harrison would terminate their ambulance service. This action meant Daviess County would have to set up some type of ambulance service by Jan. 1.

An ambulance service was soon made possible by the Chamber of Commerce, the Lions Club and the Rotary Club, each paying $500 to underwrite the cost of the service for a period of six months. The service was to be set up as a non-profit corporation and known as the Emergency Ambulance Service and would operate on a 24 hour basis.

A locally hired driver would provide Gallatin’s service. Membership for the ambulance service was to be $10 per year per family. A vote was to be taken to pass a special tax levy. Even if this levy passed, there would still be a charge for the ambulance trip.

In October, a meeting was held composed of the Daviess County Court and Mr. Wallace, a member of the State Department of Health. They planned to have ambulance service with both Gallatin and Pattonsburg having an emergency vehicle. Mr. Wallace said his office goal was to get an ambulance where needed in 20 to 25 minutes. He also stated the Highway Safety Act provided matching funds for ambulance purchases and one fitting the needs of the Gallatin community would cost $8,732. Daviess County’s poor financial state was a barrier to the program and there wasn’t any surplus funds to operate an ambulance service.

When the levy was voted on, it failed to pass by 61 votes. It was illegal to call another special election before 12 months. However, it was thought if the ballot proposed the setting up of an ambulance district which would embrace the entire county another election could be held.

With only two weeks to solve the problem, Robert Calvert, who’d operated an ambulance service in Kansas City for five years, agreed to provide a manned 24 hour service in Gallatin. The attendant would be hired locally and the ambulance was to be tied in with a network of ambulance services headquartered at Bethany where a countywide service was being organized. Robert Eads was hired to care for the ambulance and respond to calls.

A new vote required 200 signatures, a district with a population of 2,000, and an assessed valuation of at least $2.5 million. Harrison and Jackson townships were added to the list, making seven townships.

In May 1972 the Eads Ambulance Service was discontinued. A new vote was taken and passed to have the new ambulance district. Another election was needed to elect a board to have the responsibility of deciding all questions.

The vote for the Community Ambulance District passed. The Board of Directors approved their estimated budget, and established a levy of 15 cents per $100 evaluation to operate the service. By late October, the district purchased a $11,500 package for just $3,500.

— researched by Wilbur Bush, Gallatin

Early Cars, Car Tags and Vehicle Licenses

Upon the arrival of the 1920s more and more people were driving cars. The new transportation was causing dirt roads to become outdated. At election time the General Assembly voted to levy a tax for road improvement. Amendment 6 allowed the state to issue bonds up to $600,000,000 for the construction of hard surfaced roads.

Upon the arrival of the 1920s more and more people were driving cars. The new transportation was causing dirt roads to become outdated. At election time the General Assembly voted to levy a tax for road improvement. Amendment 6 allowed the state to issue bonds up to $600,000,000 for the construction of hard surfaced roads.

Along with Missouri the Good Roads Federation declared two “auto tag days.” They urged car owners to decorate their vehicles with both a “Lift Missouri Out of the Mud” radiator emblem and a sticker on their car’s windshield. It was hoped they’d leave them there until after the November election. If the voting was favorable, they’d officially lift Missouri out of the mud. It was also suggested to have a sticker pasted on every glass store window where the owner would permit.

Gov. Gardner proclaimed Oct. 22 as “Good Roads Day” in all Missouri schools. On that date all the decorating would begin. The purpose of this endeavor was to impress upon the people the need to lift Missouri “out of the mud.” Fortunately, the amendment passed and the mud roads would be obsolete.

By 1925, car licenses were compulsory for the auto owners. The price of the licences were 50% higher than in 1924. A local distributing place was the Gallatin Motor Company. The cost of the licenses varied drastically from car to car. Two examples of this would be a car with less than 12 horsepower at $7.50 and car with 72 plus horsepower at $37.50.

As with any program there were dodgers who tried to get away without the licenses. But the authorities planned to check for these people. One afternoon, cars were checked carrying old state licenses. One car carried only one license plate, but it was the same as another man’s. The driver wasn’t aware of it until he was stopped. The owner of the car with the stolen plate was fined $50 and costs. In default of payment of fine, he was committed to the county jail.
In addition, Gallatin’s citizens had to pass an ordinance that stated they had to obtain a license to drive in the city.

To help cut out tag dodgers, a law was created that stated anyone on relief couldn’t obtain a license because it was believed that if they could afford a car they shouldn’t be on relief. The law also stated that citizens owning dogs couldn’t obtain a license because if they could afford the cost of the dog food they should also be able to feed their own families and their dogs.

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In the early 20th century, there weren’t any large car lots or billboards advertising automobiles. In fact, cars were in short supply. Even though the Ford Motor Company had manufactured 320,817 cars in a seven month period in 1916-17, there was an inadequate supply. It was necessary to be on a waiting list when wanting to buy a car.

The rising demand for Ford cars made it necessary for the company to allot cars to agents who had orders for immediate delivery rather than allow them to stock cars for later sales. All indications seemed to point to the fact that within 90 days the Ford industry would experience its greatest shortage due to increased sales and fear of a price increase.

The Ford Motor Company guaranteed its dealers against a reduction in their prices, but stated it would not guarantee against an advance.

In January 1917, the Gallatin car dealers were temporarily out of cars. The Gallatin Motor Company received a shipment of seven cars. However, in these early times, cars were only partly assembled upon arrival. The job was then completed by the mechanics at the local dealers.

Grocery stores, feed and poultry businesses, etc., were equipping the Ford chassis with bodies especially fitted for their needs.

At this time, cars were selling in the range of $350 to $600. Even though there seemed to be a shortage, car dealers were enticing sales by offering installment loans.
It was a family goal to own an automobile.

— researched by Wilbur Bush, Gallatin

Meat Rationing Necessary on the Home Front

In March 1942, the armed forces and the fighting allies were using about one-fourth of all the meat our country produced. Rationing became necessary on the home front.

In March 1942, the armed forces and the fighting allies were using about one-fourth of all the meat our country produced. Rationing became necessary on the home front.

Civilians would have available only a little more than half of the amount they had consumed in recent years. Everyone wouldn’t get as much of every kind of food as they wanted and their diets might not be as pleasant to eat, but there would still be enough for everyone to have a healthy and adequate diet.

On March 28, 1943, the O.P.A. (Office of Price Administration) became involved in the rationing of meats, edible fats and oils (including butter) cheese and canned food. From then on, a War Ration Book No. 2 had to be used.

In the first month, each card holder, regardless of age, would have a basic allotment of 16 points a week to spend. If all the points weren’t used in the same week, they could be held a week or longer.

The B., C., D. and E. Red stamps became valid in alphabetical order. As each series of red stamps became valid they could be used with complete freedom of choice to buy any one of the rationed products.

The new program permitted the dealer to give change in ration stamps, using only one-point stamps. Surrender of stamps had to be given in the presence of the merchant, clerk or deliveryman.

Some items covered were: 1. All fresh, frozen, cured meats and meat products derived from beef, veal, lamb, mutton and pork, as well as variety meats such as sausages, canned fish and canned shellfish. 2. The most important natural and processed cheeses and their derivatives, but not the cottage type and cream cheeses. 3. Most edible fats and oils, including butter, lard, margarine, shortening, salad oils and cooking oils.

All restaurants, hotels and other “institutional users” were allowed supplies of the rationed foods on the same basis that would reduce their use to approximately the same level as that of the private individual who ate at home.

None of the rationed foods could be used in the manufacture of dog foods.

Point values for the entire list of the rationed foods were to be posted just as if they were canned goods. There would be approximately 150 meat items with about 60 types and cuts made monthly as well as a separate chart for each store.

The new plan didn’t place any restrictions on any of the foods raised by the farmers if they were used for themselves. Farmers and their families were given a full quota of points. If a farmer sold any of his home-produced meat, butter, or other rationed foods, he had to collect ration stamps, checks or certificates when making a sale and surrender the collected points to the OPA.

All county livestock slaughterers, butchers and resident farm slaughterers who sold meat after April 1, 1943, had to obtain a permit from the local USDA War Board. Farm slaughterers included all individual killing and selling of any meat. If they slaughtered exclusively for home consumption on the farm they weren’t covered by the order.

Livestock dealers and agents were required to register and obtain permits partly for the reason of stamping out black markets, providing adequate meat supplies for military and lend-lease needs, and to guarantee sufficient coupons issued by OPA.

Each individual was required to show on his application for a permit the number of each type of livestock which he slaughtered in 1941 and the total live weight of the livestock. Quotas were the applicant’s choice of (1) the number of livestock which he slaughtered in the corresponding period in 1941; or (2) the total live weight of the animals which he butchered and sold during the base period.

Any farm slaughterer who applied for a permit and was unable to furnish data showing his slaughter in 1941 received his choice of (1) 300 lbs. of meat; or (2) the meat from three animals including not more than one head of cattle. Anyone who didn’t obtain his permit before April 1 was required to suspend operation until the proper permit was obtained.

In early 1944, the government issued red and blue ration tokens for buying meat and some types of processed products. Each token was worth 10 points each. Blue tokens were to be used when the price of the processed food was less than 10 points. Red tokens were to used for meat purchases.

— researched by Wilbur Bush, Gallatin

Gallatin’s Problem with Homes for Returning Vets

The ending of World War II was the beginning of a new set of problems for Gallatin veterans. The vets were coming “home,” but there wasn’t any “home” for them to return to. A Gallatin survey revealed there were at least 25 new houses needed since there weren’t any vacant houses nor rooms to rent.

The ending of World War II was the beginning of a new set of problems for Gallatin veterans. The vets were coming “home,” but there wasn’t any “home” for them to return to. A Gallatin survey revealed there were at least 25 new houses needed since there weren’t any vacant houses nor rooms to rent.

The Gallatin Rotary Club passed a resolution backing a building program for the purpose of alleviating the housing shortage and also to curb inflation of real estate values.

The problem came to light when a man went to buy a permit to build in the city. He found a building priority for a home was impossible to obtain unless the town in which he resided had a set building quota. Gallatin didn’t have any such quota.

Building quotas were based on each particular town and an investigation of Gallatin revealed several factors had to be resolved before a quota could be set. A few of these factors were:

1. There were eight or more families without places to live and several others were inadequately housed

2. Property values had inflated from 100% to 300%

3. Many retired farmers were moving to town

4. Several returning veterans had expressed wanting to live in Gallatin.

A proposal was set up by the FPHA (Federal Public Housing Authority) stating they’d furnish pre-fabricated houses of a war-housing type and ship the parts to Gallatin for assembly. The housing units would remain federally owned. They would be four, five, or six bedroom homes and modern in every way.

Only discharged veterans or families of servicemen were eligible to apply for the accommodations. Before applications could be made for the temporary housing, an estimate of community needs had to be made. All veterans and servicemen’s families who wanted the accommodations were urged to sign up for them. The number of houses to be asked for depended upon the number of people interested in securing this type of housing.

In January 1946, Gallatin made application for 15 temporary family units to be occupied by discharged veterans and the families of servicemen. Additional units were to be ordered if the houses were being utilized and proved to be satisfactory. The government would furnish pre-fabricated war-housing type dwellings delivered prepaid by the city. The cost of a site and connecting the utilities would be paid to the city. The rent, at a very nominal cost of $22 a month, was to be charged to the veterans and families.

The application was turned down because the quota for the houses had been exhausted. Both the project requested and the number size of the housing administration was too small. They’d substitute 10 trailers. In February, 1946, 10 family trailers were ordered and were to be of two sizes, 7′ x 22′ one bedroom units and three 22′ x 22′ bedroom units. Each trailer had their water and electricity. The trailers would be allotted to the applicants in the order the requests were received.

Dockery Park was chosen for the site because there’d be less work and expense. There’d be little grading and sodding to be done, sidewalks and gavel driveways were already built and present light and water facilities were nearby. Rent from the trailers would go to the FPHA after the expenses of maintenance were deducted. FPHA retained the title to the buildings. Families of servicemen and veterans were the only eligible tenants of the trailers. Also included were men seeking accommodation so they could bring their families stationed outside the locality.

Nearing the end of February, Gallatin was assured of its trailer colony housing project. The FPHA would provide the materials and the labor for the construction of two baths and laundry buildings at the trailer site. The building would be 29 ˝’ x 23′ and would cost $8,300. The project had been turned down earlier by the city officials due to the scarcity of materials and labor.

In May 1946, the government agreed to relieve the city of any responsibility in building construction. The bath and laundry building was approved for the colony. Under the proposal the city would sign a contract with the housing authority to build the structure, with the government agency paying the bill. The city was to hire the labor, buy the material, and supervise the construction. The building was to be centrally located in the trailer colony.

— researched by Wilbur Bush, Gallatin

World War II Scrap Metal Drives

In 1942, there was a big demand for scrap metal materials for the fighting of World War II. On Oct. 9, 1942, there was big scrap metal drive in Daviess County.

In 1942, there was a big demand for scrap metal materials for the fighting of World War II. On Oct. 9, 1942, there was big scrap metal drive in Daviess County.

It was estimated that 1.5 million tons of scrap lay useless on U.S. farms. Enough to build 139 modern battleships for the navy! If the average farm generated 125 pounds to be mixed with other materials, each farm could possibly make a 500 pound aerial bomb. If the farmers banned their collection and accumulated 36,000 pounds there would be enough scrap iron to build one 27-ton tank.

All the scarp was important: One old shovel would make four hand grenades; one old disc would provide scrap steel for 210 semi-automatic light carbines; one old broken plow would help make 100 75mm armor piercing projectiles; one useless old tire would provide enough rubber for 12 gas masks; old lawn mowers, flat irons, broken tools would all count; 125 pounds of rusty metal, mixed with other materials, was enough to make a 500 pound aerial bomb; an old hand corn sheller would make three one-inch shells.

The Daviess County USDA war board took the responsibility to encourage the collection of scrap metal from all the local farms. The metal would be taken to the smelters and blast furnaces to be remade. The need for it was vital because many steel plants throughout the country had been slowed down or had to suspend operations because of the lack of material.

On Oct. 9, plans were made for every school and every business in the county to close and to work out their plans such as arranging for trucks, how to collect the scrap, where to sell it, what to do with the money, etc.

The schools and town salvage committees took the lead in the collection. Some people donated their trucks for the project. However, the scrap had to be brought to them as they didn’t have time to go from farm to farm and pick up the metal.

This enabled every man, woman and child to have an opportunity to help. Four Gallatin girls helped in a big way when they removed an entire iron pump from a well in south Gallatin which had been donated. People were willing to help as there were approximately 500 Daviess County boys fighting in the U.S. Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force.

Nearly 300 tons of scrap metal was collected. In Gallatin the scrap was hauled to the Whitfield salvage dump and the Hacker junk yard. Approximately 270 tons of scrap was purchased in the county on scrap day. Including what had been purchased prior to “scrap day” brought the county 457 tons.

Another important campaign was the collection of two million victory keys. The goal was to raise 12,000,000 pounds of metal. The average key contained about 80% nickel silver which was desperately needed by the Navy, particularly the Yale and Corbin type keys. These keys could be deposited in Gallatin stores, namely the Merrigan Grocery, Davis Drug Co., King’s Drug Store, the high school and the Gallatin Publishing Co.

Every penny over the actual cost of the campaign was given to the boys in the service through their United States Organization (USO).

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Throughtout the war years after the war started, a temporary freeze was put on farm machinery because of the scrap iron shortage. There were exceptions to the rule, but a farmer had to present a valid reason why he needed new equipment; why he was unable to repair his present equipment; why he could not purchase or rent used machinery; or why he could not use custom or exchange work. The purchaser also had to present a satisfactory reason for changing from horse power to motor power. If refused, he could appeal to the state USDA board.

There was a shortage of car manufacturing and new cars were hard to come by which caused a safety hazzard. Motorists were driving older cars which were harder to keep safe because of the shortage of spare parts and skilled mechanics. Car tires were used beyond their safely point. Many cars which had been discarded as unfit for service were back on the road.

On Oct. 9, 1942, a big scrap drive took place in Daviess County. All the county schools and stores closed in order for every man, woman and child to be able to participate. Each county town and each school district worked out a plan for such things as how to collect the scrap, where to sell it, what to do with the money, etc.

The courthouse was chosen as the central point and committees went out in four directions. Each section was appointed a captain and each section was to pile their scraps where it could be seen.
Another important nationwide campaign was the collection of keys. Two million victory key kans and two million placards were distributed throughout every U.S. city. The goal was to raise 12,000,000 pounds of metal. The average key contained 80% nickel silver which was vital to the navy.

There were five places to deposit the keys in Gallatin: Merrigan Grocery, Davis Drug Co., Kings Drug Store, Gallatin Publishing Company, and the high school.

On scrap day, Gallatin and the community collected 100 tons of scrap and the county gathered 275 tons.

The scrap had to be sorted, graded, prepared, packed and placed in railroad lots for loading onto freight cars. If there wasn’t enough material of one grade in a county to make a carload, it became necessary to combine grades from several neighboring counties.

In early October, it was announced that any county that made a per capita collection of 100 pounds or more of scrap from any or all sources during the period of Sept. 1 to Oct. 31, would receive a Victory Salvage Pennant to fly from the flagpole in the courthouse yard.

By early December Gallatin reached its 900 ton goal. More scrap iron was still to be found. The government dedicated the remaining years of 1942 to an extended scrap hunt. Salvage committees were instructed to continue to make available to farmers all the transportation facilities and manpower needed.

In April, 1943, an all out effort was made to gather tin cans. They were piled separately from the other trash and city trucks picked them up.

Copper was the most important and the most needed of all metals for war production. One hundred pounds of tin cans was equal in worth to one pound of copper.

— researched by Wilbur Bush, Gallatin

Food Shortages During & After World War II

In 1943, women on 175 Daviess County farms were doing more work than ever. Many were going to work in the fields in addition to carrying on what had always been the women’s share of the farm work such as milking, taking care of the chickens and gardening.

In 1943, women on 175 Daviess County farms were doing more work than ever. Many were going to work in the fields in addition to carrying on what had always been the women’s share of the farm work such as milking, taking care of the chickens and gardening.

They started a plan as to what other things they could do such as:

1. To grow a garden that would produce enough food to feed the family the year around.

2. To can 100 to 200 quarts of food and store six to 10 bushels of potatoes and other storable food.

3. To use home-produced foods in well-prepared meals which met the requirement for good health.

4. To buy as little as possible from commercial food supplies, leaving it for the armed forces and those that couldn’t produce their own.

5. To take care of equipment and supplies to extend their usefulness and prevent need for replacement.

6. To adjust homemaking practices and the use of time and energy so the family’s welfare wasn’t neglected while at the same time making possible the production of more of the foods essential to war needs.

There were drawbacks in regard to the canning, as sugar was rationed at five pounds, but a new ration stamp for an extra 10 pounds would soon be sent to those who would do the extra canning.

After World War II had ended, there was still a food shortage at home and abroad. Mrs. Truman’s instructions at the White House were: wheatless day every Monday; use wheat food only at breakfast on other days; no bread served at dinner.

There were nine ways in which Daviess County homemakers could save critically needed foods, including:

1. Cutting down on the waste of bread in every way possible. Estimates indicated one slice out of every loaf of bread went into the garbage can.

2. Reducing the amount of bread used at each meal through substitutes such as potatoes and oat cereals. Fruit could be used instead of cake and pastries for desserts.

3. Using alternate foods and using less wheat cereals for breakfast.

4. Saving cooking fats by making more extensive use of meat drippings for cooking and seasoning food.

5. Holding down the number of fried foods that were served.

6. Saving and reusing fats and oils for cooking purposes.

7. Holding bacon grease for cooking and rendering out excess fats or meats.

8. All fats that couldn’t be reused could be salvaged and turned in at the butcher’s shop or grocery store.

9. Using less oil and salad dressing.

— researched by Wilbur Bush, Gallatin

Meat Rationing during World War II

In March 1942, the armed forces and the fighting allies were using about one-fourth of all the meat our country produced. Rationing became necessary on the home front.

In March 1942, the armed forces and the fighting allies were using about one-fourth of all the meat our country produced. Rationing became necessary on the home front.

Civilians would have available only a little more than half of the amount they had consumed in recent years. Everyone wouldn’t get as much of every kind of food as they wanted and their diets might not be as pleasant to eat, but there’d still be enough for everyone to have a healthy and adequate diet.

On March 28, 1943, the O.P.A. (Office of Price Administration) became involved in the rationing of meats, edible fats and oils (including butter), cheeses and canned food. From then on, a War Ration Book No. 2 had to be used.

In the first month, each card holder, regardless of age, would have a basic allotment of 16 points a week to spend. If all the points weren’t used in the same week, they could be held a week or longer. The B.C.D. and E. red stamps became valid in alphabetical order. As such series of red stamps became valid they could be used with complete freedom of choice to buy any one of the rationed products. The new program permitted the dealer to give change in ration stamps, using only 1-point stamps. Surrender of stamps had to be given in the presence of the merchant, clerk or deliveryman.

Some items covered were: (1) All fresh, frozen, cured meats and meat products derived from beef, veal, lamb, mutton, and pork, as well as variety meats such as sausages, canned fish and canned shellfish. (2) The most important natural and processed cheeses and their derivatives, but not the cottage type and cream cheeses. (3) Most edible fats and oils, including butter, lard, margarine, shortening, salad oils and cooking oils.

All restaurants, hotels and other “institutional users” were to be allowed supplies of the rationed foods on the same basis that would reduce their use to approximately the same level as that of the private individual who ate at home. None of the rationed foods could be used in the manufacture of dog foods.

Point values for the entire list of the rationed foods were to be posted just as if they were canned goods. There would be approximately 150 meat items with about 60 types and cuts made monthly as well as a separate chart for each store.

The new plan didn’t place any restriction on any of the foods raised by the farmers if they were used for themselves. Farmers and their families were given a full quota of points. If a farmer sold any of his home-produced meat, butter, or other rationed foods, he had to collect ration stamps, checks or certificates when making a sale and surrender the collected points to the OPA.

All county livestock slaughterers, butchers and resident farm slaughterers who sold meat after April 1, 1943, had to obtain a permit from the local USDA War Board. Farm slaughterers included all individual killing and selling any meat. If they slaughtered exclusively for home consumption on their farms they weren’t covered by the order. Livestock dealers and agents were required to register and obtain permits partly for the reason of stamping out black markets, providing adequate meat supplies for military and lend-lease needs, and to guarantee sufficient coupons issued by OPA.

Each individual was required to show on his application for a permit the number of each type of livestock which he slaughtered in 1941 and the total live weight of the livestock. Quotas were the applicant’s choice of (1) the number of livestock which he slaughtered in the corresponding period in 1941; or (2) the total live weight of the animals which he butchered and sold during the base period.

Any farm slaughtered who applied for a permit and was unable to furnish data showing his slaughter in 1941 received his choice of (1) 300 pounds of meat; or (2) the meat from three animals including not more than one head of cattle. Anyone who didn’t obtain his permit before April 1 was required to suspend operation until the proper permit was obtained.

In early 1944, the government issued red and blue ration tokens for buying meat and some types of processed products. Each token was worth 10 points each. Blue tokens were to be used when the prices of the processed food was less than 10 points. Red tokens were to be used for meat purchases.

— researched by Wilbur Bush, Gallatin

Fuel Shortage in the mid-1940s

Due to World War II, fuel was in short supply on the home front. Prior to the winter months and anticipating a shortage, people were urged to start preparing for it to avoid being “left out in the cold.” This included wood, fuel oil and coal.

Due to World War II, fuel was in short supply on the home front. Prior to the winter months and anticipating a shortage, people were urged to start preparing for it to avoid being “left out in the cold.” This included wood, fuel oil and coal.

Those people who heated with fuel oil were urged to get their storage tanks filled as quickly as they could. If these tanks weren’t filled then, fuel might not be available when it was needed. Tank cars were being diverted to transport a large part of the Navy’s fuel oil to the West Coast, leaving less overland transportation available for civilian needs. Still, in these summer months, supplies were greater and would allow for more efficient delivery than when the product was needed the worst.

The previous winter, about 3,000 homes had been heated with fuel oil. Now, in these mid-summer months many of the people had already mailed applications to the War Price and Rationing Boards. The boards urged the people to get their fuel allocations while transportation was more readily available and there was still time to repair their old and their current equipment. Many people had followed suit and were starting to get their coupon books for their fuel allotment.

Still, many were using the primitive way by heating with wood. Many people had woodlands with plenty of wood for their use and there wasn’t any reason they couldn’t have fuel. People were urged to share their wood with others who didn’t have an adequate supply. Everyone didn’t cooperate; many had woodlands with plenty of firewood and refused to share it with those who were in dire need even though some of it was laying on the ground rotting. Others were profiteering from the wood supply even though it was greatly discouraged.

Likewise, those who used coal were also encouraged to lay in their winter supply. One factor was the space because neither the mines nor the local dealers had the capacity to store large amounts of coal. If the transportation process was slowed down in the cold months, these minimal amounts would soon be depleted and new shipments could be delayed creating another shortage.

At that time it was predicted transportation facilities were going to be tighter than ever before. It was imperative that the coal flow from the mines to the dealer’s supplies and the consumer’s bins. There couldn’t be any working time lost by the coal mines which were operating with the smallest crews and task force.

Just the mining and the preparing fuel weren’t entirely caused by the shortage of the fuel. Other factors entered in, such as the shortage of men to work the mines and transport the product because many of the men who had the jobs were now fighting overseas. Likewise, proper manufacturing could be hindered by the lack of machines in top quality.

The homeowners were also urged to take conservative measures by cleaning and repairing their present furnaces and heating equipment. They were also urged to install insulation and weather stripping.

— researched by Wilbur Bush, Gallatin

Shoe Rationing in 1943

In 1943, shoes were rationed and had to be purchased with ration stamps. However, in order for the merchants to rid some of their odd and end pairs, a “shoe holiday” was established which lasted for two weeks from July 19 to July 31.

In 1943, shoes were rationed and had to be purchased with ration stamps. However, in order for the merchants to rid some of their odd and end pairs, a “shoe holiday” was established which lasted for two weeks from July 19 to July 31.

Some of its stipulations were the sale would only consist of a small percentage of each type to be sold. The dealer could sell only 1% of his stock of men’s dress shoes and men’s work shoes, 4% of womens’ shoes, 2% of misses, children and infant’s shoes and 2% of all other rationed footwear.

The sale price couldn’t be more than a 10% mark-up from the price paid by the dealer. If the price couldn’t be determined or if the shoes were made by the owner of the establishment, the selling price had to be at least 25% of his selling price on July 1, 1943. It was a way both the merchant and the customer could benefit by purchasing a few odds and ends, broken sizes, and any other problem shoes on the merchant’s shelves.

The shoes were to represent a fixed percentage of retailers’ stocks which were to be marked down and they had to be stamped with stickers bearing “OPA lot release” in any notice or advertisement. People were urged to turn in their old shoes, boots and soles.

The amendment also allowed mail order houses, wholesalers and manufacturers to move the same percentage of such shoes without a time limit, after July 19, but they had to apply to the district office for permission.

Other rules were more lenient concerning children’s shoes. Considering the fact children would outgrow their shoes, parents could apply to their board for special permission to buy additional shoes and if the parents could prove a need, they would probably be given extra stamps.

In a hardship case when a person couldn’t afford to buy a pair of shoes in addition to the regular pair option they were asked to apply for special coupons.

— researched by Wilbur Bush, Gallatin

Tire Rationing in World War II

During World War II the government’s demand for rubber to use almost exclusively for defense purposes caused the need to ration tires on the home front. The Office of Price Administration (OPA) in Washington D.C. regulated the quota and the rules for tires and tubes issued to each county.

During World War II the government’s demand for rubber to use almost exclusively for defense purposes caused the need to ration tires on the home front. The Office of Price Administration (OPA) in Washington D.C. regulated the quota and the rules for tires and tubes issued to each county.

It became necessary to get a certificate when a tire was needed and purchased. The certificate had to be used for that month and couldn’t be carried over to the following month. In January 1942 Daviess County’s allotment was 12 car tires and innertubes and 25 truck tires and innertubes.
The OPA started the Tire Purchase Plan.

Under the plan gasoline rations would be denied to those with more than five passenger cars with more than five tires on each car. If a person had passenger tire trailers, they could have one tire for each running wheel without forfeiting the right to buy gasoline.

The procedure for purchasing new tires required several steps. First, the vehicle the tire was purchased for had to be inspected and an application form filled out. The form would be taken to Gallatin’s rationing board. The board would issue a necessary permit upon proof the tire was needed.

The dealer couldn’t sell a new tire or tube without the certificate. The old tire had to be sold in five days and the certificate had to be approved by the local board. Upon completion of the sale, the dealer could get a new replacement tire for wholesale purposes. The new tire couldn’t be used on any other piece of machinery or vehicle other than the one purchased for and violation of the law meant punishment by the federal government.

No other certificate could be issued unless it was for:

1. An ambulance;

2. Vehicles used specifically for fire fighting, professional services used by a physician, surgeon, visiting nurse or a veterinarian;

3. Vehicles used for fire fighting, police service to regulate laws exclusively relating to public health and safety, garbage disposal and other sanitary services, and mail service.

4. On vehicles with a capacity of 10 or more passengers for regular transportation, students and teachers, employees of any mining or construction work.

Due to the tire shortage of grade III tires, the government released two million usable tires. Some needed repair while others could be used in national emergencies without repair. Large orders were placed with the large company stores and exclusive tire dealers in the larger cities, but very few orders were received from the small dealers in the farming areas where the most critical tire shortage existed.

Local dealers were advised to urge framers to get their orders in quickly because of the high demand that might last 60 to 90 days. Any dealer could purchase from 25 to 100 of these tires for immediate delivery. An “O” would be branded on the sidewall and sold at a price not to exceed a dollar.

Some tires were later retread and recapped, but since the lack of crude rubber used in making the compound was limited it greatly curtailed any great supply. The process to obtain one of the tires was similar to that of purchasing a new one. No applicant would be granted to anyone who had more than one car or truck unless the tires on both machines were worn out.

By June 1943 the drive for scrap rubber had resulted in an accumulation large enough to meet the needs for months to come and the drive was discontinued.

— researched by Wilbur Bush, Gallatin

Gas Shortage and Rationing by OPA

In the early 1940s, cars were coming on the scene and gas was utilized more and more. However, due to World War II, the military’s demand for gas caused a shortage on the home front.

In the early 1940s, cars were coming on the scene and gas was utilized more and more. However, due to World War II, the military’s demand for gas caused a shortage on the home front.

Gas companies were drawing on their reserves and using the oil faster than they were finding it.
The partial solution seemed to be to use what they had very sparingly. Gas rationing became necessary and coupons were needed to buy gas. The allotment allowed a person to buy four gallons at a time and it depended on the mileage used. Coupons were mailed to the motorists. The coupon’s expiration date was about 15 months after they’d been issued. The allotment was later changed to two gallons weekly.

Black markets for gas appeared and the ration boards tried to stop them. The boards offered a new plan, hoping to eliminate ration coupon thefts. Soon, when a motorist went to buy gas they were required to show all their gasoline coupons as proof that they were valid. If all the coupons weren’t endorsed, the investigator explained the endorser’s importance, which was a move against the black market.

Any dealers handling coupons that weren’t endorsed had to appear to the local war price and rationing board within 10 days to show that all their coupons had been endorsed. A copy of the notice was then forwarded to the ration board and any motorist failing to comply was to have a hearing for the purpose of revoking their gasoline ration.

The check of coupons in the Kansas City area comprised 51 counties in western Missouri and three counties in Kansas.

Rural areas were hurt to a greater degree than the urban areas by gas rationing because many farmers needed the fuel to power their tractors.

— researched by Wilbur Bush, Gallatin

Sugar Rationing During the War Years

Just as the sugar rationing was being put in effect in 1942 during the war years, Daviess County had taken steps to prepare to hand out ration stamps and ration sugar when they got the “go” orders.

Just as the sugar rationing was being put in effect in 1942 during the war years, Daviess County had taken steps to prepare to hand out ration stamps and ration sugar when they got the “go” orders.

The supplies for the rationing were locked in a vault in the city clerk’s office. The supplies included 15,000 rationing books, 16,000 application blanks for books, and 16,000 instructional leaflets.
At the appointed time, these books had to be available for necessary distribution 24 hours a day. Only one member of the rationing board would be able to pass out the books.
Ration books were issued to each household for the eligible amount of sugar they’d receive. For example, a war stamp book No. 8 was issued for a 10 week period from Aug. 23 to Oct. 31, 1942, and was good for five pounds of sugar.

Later, there was a small change. The half pound per person per week was the same as the five pound per person for 10 weeks. This new change was more efficient as it was easier to divide the five pound purchase, which was packed in five, 10, and 25 pound bags that had been put up the previous fall before the sugar was rationed.

Sugar ration books issued to persons who had since died, entered the army, or had been absent from the country for a period of more than 30 days had to be returned to the local War Price and Ration Board which issued them.

To keep informed of the status of consumers in this area, members of the ration board were established. They kept in contact with the local draft board and county health authorities who had a record of deaths.

— researched by Wilbur Bush, Gallatin

Farmers Telephone Brings Dial System to Rural Areas

In July 1951, the officers and directors started the work for a new dial system for the rural areas being similar to the REA. The new company was called the Farmers Telephone Co-op.

In July 1951, the officers and directors started the work for a new dial system for the rural areas being similar to the REA. The new company was called the Farmers Telephone Co-op.

At that time, there were about 1,200 subscribers and several existing telephone companies had expressed a desire to sell to the co-op which included Daviess, Caldwell, Ray, Carroll and Livingston counties. The cooperative would be the first one in this area. If it worked out it was thought it would be the beginning of a plan which might cover a very wide area.

It would take a minimum of 2,000 subscribers before a cooperative could be established and the ultimate number of the cooperative was expected to be 5,000. Not more than eight parties could be on one line and for that reason, farmers were expected to sign up on that basis. After a line was filled no more subscribers could be taken on that line. This meant if the farmer didn’t sign up in the beginning it might be hard for him to do so later since the line could accommodate no more than eight. Still, farmers were given a “grace period.” They could wait until the engineer came to lay out the system, which took approximately 30 days after the maps had been turned in.

The new system would be fully automatic dial, and would have a double wire metallic to eliminate roaring and static. One of the several reasons this was important was that the telephone cooperative could use the power poles that were already in use by REA at a substantial savings in cost. This completely modern telephone would be accessible to the already existing REA customers.

Existing systems could be purchased in some instances, it was stated, where mutual agreements could be reached. It was desirable that all towns with less than 1,500 population would be regarded as rural and could participate in the program.

By March 1951, the co-operative had enough signers to put the plan in action. The Farmers Telephone Company was in position to buy out present privately-owned rural systems in order to make the co-cooperative and its automated system as far reaching as possible. Two of the proposed buy-outs were Civil Bend and Crab Apple.

There was a $5 registration fee with the application, but it would be returned if the co-operative was not formed. The customer wasn’t required to pay any more until he knew how much the cost would be per month. The monthly cost of the service after it had been installed was estimated to run between $2.75 and $3.75 per month. If not satisfied, or if the co-operatives weren’t formed, his $5 would be refunded. If he was satisfied, he purchased one share of the co-operative at $45. There could only be one share per person.

— researched by Wilbur Bush, Gallatin

Veterans Offered Farm Training

On-the-job training offered veterans who want to learn to farm after WWII.

On-the-job training offered veterans who want to learn to farm after WWII.

As more veterans returned home, many didn’t have jobs and wanted to farm. Factory work and clerical work didn’t appeal to the boys who were raised on farms. To help solve this problem, the Missouri Department of Education, working in cooperation with the Veterans Administration and the state’s high schools, worked out a plan for the modification of “on-the-job” training. This combined school instruction and actual farm work to place the veteran on an even footing with skilled farmers in his own community.

The new plan was divided into three categories. The first plan was the “institutional program.” In this step, the veterans went to school to learn to be a farmer, just as he would go to school to learn about dentistry, law, or engineering. The students learned most of their training in an agricultural school, with off-campus inspection trips to supplement the education.

The second classification was when veterans trained for a position existing in the employer’s farm organization. Off-the-farm instruction of a supplementary nature was included. This plan held the employer responsible for the training. The veteran was trained to take over a certain phase of the farm operation, such as dairy supervisor or being in charge of the beef cattle.

The third classification was the comprehensive plan developed by the Department of Education, Veterans Administration, high schools and agriculture agencies, plus on-the-farm training. These phases were planned so that each supplemented the other. The responsibility for the entire course rested with the school. The school not only offered the classroom instruction, but it also helped with the on-the-farm phase of training.

The plan was broken down further into two subdivisions. One plan was designed for the veteran who could take the on-the-farm portion of his training on his own farm; the other plan was for a farm under his management. In each case the veteran was enrolled at the local school as an agricultural student.

Under all the training plans the veteran was allowed to receive monthly subsistence allowances from the government which enabled him to earn a living while learning the science of farming.

— researched by Wilbur Bush, Gallatin

Scrap Paper Drive in War Effort

In 1945, clothing and wastepaper drives were necessary for the World War II defense. Clothing was desperately needed.

In 1945, clothing and wastepaper drives were necessary for the World War II defense. Clothing was desperately needed.

President Roosevelt stated that as many war victims had died from exposure and lack of clothing as had died from starvation. This could be solved to a small degree by people on the home front donating their unused clothing which could hopefully save lives or prevent suffering.

It was believed that almost every household in every town had scrap or unused clothing in their closets and attics. The national goal was five pounds of usable clothing from every man, woman and child in the nation.

It was thought Daviess County could reach the goal because it fell in the time when spring house cleaning was being done and unused clothing was being discarded.

In every town in the county there was someone appointed to head the campaign in that particular community. In Gallatin, the collection depot was located at the Red Cross surgical dressing room on the first floor of the courthouse. At a later date, arrangements were made to pick up the heavier bundles. A few of the garments asked to be donated were infant wear, shoes, knit clothes, blankets, etc.

Likewise, waste on unused paper was also needed for war products. Everyone was encouraged to scout around and find the paper products which would be gathered by veterans and boy scouts. A person was to call for a pickup or deliver them to the collecting station themselves. As a result, several truckloads were sent.

— researched by Wilbur Bush, Gallatin

Old Bloomington Trail

Ad Pages-East columnist Chuck Haney, who also authors the monthly “Slice of Life” feature in that publication, was contacted by email by Sandy Sappington in regard to the Old Bloomington Trail that they were researching. They seek help from the people of Linn, Livingston and Daviess counties in regard to any information about the Old Bloomington Trail which ran across northern Missouri. Since that time the Sappington’s (Howard and Sandy) and the Livingston County Historical Society also have published information in two articles in the newspaper in Chillicothe and one in the Brookfield paper.

Ad Pages-East columnist Chuck Haney, who also authors the monthly “Slice of Life” feature in that publication, was contacted by email by Sandy Sappington in regard to the Old Bloomington Trail that they were researching. They seek help from the people of Linn, Livingston and Daviess counties in regard to any information about the Old Bloomington Trail which ran across northern Missouri. Since that time the Sappington’s (Howard and Sandy) and the Livingston County Historical Society also have published information in two articles in the newspaper in Chillicothe and one in the Brookfield paper.

With the permission of Mrs. Sappington we are using her article to Mr. Haney as a Slice of Life feature in both the East and West editions of the Ad Pages with a combined circulation of 21,000.

Here is her letter:

“I thought you might like to read some of the background about the covered wagon trail, the Bloomington Trail, we are researching.

“We were intrigued about the trail two years ago when I read a sentence in the History of the Gateway to the Green Hills 1976, which ran across northern Missouri that was used by so many covered wagons that the wagons were so close together that the front animal could touch the back of the wagon in front of it and stretched as far as the eye could see.

“Years before, we had seen the swales, or ruts left by the Santa Fe Trail wagons in Kansas so we wondered if there could be swales to be found here. We found that yes, there are still swales to be found here, but it takes the community to tell us what they know about trail history.

“We’ve had great success in tracing the trail in Linn County. We ran an article in the newspaper at Brookfield and asked if anyone had heard of the Bloomington Trail and if so to let us know. That began many weeks of people calling and writing us about family histories, about seeing it in the description on their land abstracts, or sharing stories of the stagecoach relay or maybe an inn. With the information told to us and using what we had already learned, we know that the Bloomington ran from Hannibal to St. Joseph and so far we have been able to trace it across from Macon and Linn County to Linneus.

“The trail was first an Indian trail, and then used by fur trappers and bee tree hunters. Then when settlements sprang up, it was the connector between them. It was called the “Old Trail” and the when Bloomington became a crossroads in what is now Macon County, it was called the Bloomington Trail.

“In 1822 the new legislature passed a law that all the counties would have a road to connect the. This northern tier of counties was not even organized, but by 1837 they were. So with just a few minimum improvements, the trail was then called Old State Coach Road; it was also called the Bloomington to Plattsburg road.

“The most traffic was during the 1840-1850’s when people went to the California gold fields and to Oregon territory for free land and used it to cross Missouri and hook up with the Santa Fe and Oregon trails in St. Joseph. We know it was still being used in the 1880’s because we have been told a family history that says they used the Bloomington Trail when the came here from Ohio.

“It is our hope that people may remember hearing family histories about the trail and right now we are focusing on the area between Linneus and Chillicothe. We know it came into Linneus behind the old school building; it followed Jefferson Street north of the courthouse, past a stable used as a stage stop then on out of town.

“It went through where Cleo Munsterman has small lakes behind his home, behind where the county poor farm was located and watered at a spring at the bottom of that hill. It crossed Locust Creek then followed where fence row is now and came out close to the junction of B and Y three miles west of Linneus. One history books says the trail forked one mile west of Linneus, one fork went to Trenton, it doesn’t mention the other fork but we assume it went to Chillicothe since it was connecting the county seats.

“This is where we have no more information until it crosses Medicine Creek (now Muddy Creek) where we believe there was a stagecoach stop and perhaps a cemetery used by the travelers on the trail. Today this is near Livingston County road 232 at Roger Bernskoetter’s then Collier’s Mill was on the east bank of Medicine Creek west of the stage stop.

“One history book calls this area the Medicine Swamp and tells the story of a stagecoach caught in a flood in about 1857 and the local settler had to send oxen to pull them to dry land. The trail came into Chillicothe on east Jackson Street. We are working that section now.

“We believe that people in the community may know just a part of this story, but when we put several parts together we can have more history to pass down. We want to ask this of your readers: Do you know of any stories, know about Collier’s Mill, did it have it own community? We have been told there may have been an Indian settlement near there at one time. If your family had land near where the trail may have passed is it described on your abstract? D you know of any small settlements as we have found they sprung up about every 15 miles to meet the needs of travelers.

“Our goal is to trace the trail as it leaves Chillicothe, crosses the Grand River on a ferry and goes to Springhill, Cold Springs, Millport and on to Gallatin. Would you contact us if you have any information? As long as we receive information from the readers we will pass it on.

Thank you and the Ad Pages for all your help with this project.”

Howard and Sandy Sappington, 1310 Miller Street, Chillicothe, Mo. 64601. Phone 660-646-6098 and email hwsappington@sbcglobal.net