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

Dick Paul – Gallatin’s Major General

A 1962 graduate of Gallatin R-5 High School was promoted to the rank of Major General in the U.S. Air Force. Dick Paul, son of Bob and Jane Ann Paul, was nominated by President Clinton and confirmed by the Senate to become a 2-star general.

A 1962 graduate of Gallatin R-5 High School was promoted to the rank of Major General in the U.S. Air Force. Dick Paul, son of Bob and Jane Ann Paul, was nominated by President Clinton and confirmed by the Senate to become a 2-star general.

At the time of his promotion, Paul was assigned as the Director of Science and Technology at Headquarters, Air Force Material Command in Dayton, Ohio. In this capacity, he was responsible for planning the Air Force’s annual $1.5 billion technology program which was carried out in four Air Force research laboratories in Ohio, New York, New Mexico and Texas. Paul previously commanded the Wright Laboratory which involved a work force of over 2,500 people at Dayton, including 1,700 scientists and engineers.

The Air Force’s four laboratories conduct research in areas ranging from advanced materials to lasers to advanced aircraft and rocket engines so that the Air Force can keep the technological edge over potential adversaries. The end of the Cold War brings new technological challenges with respect to reapidly deployig forces from the Unties States to Third World locations and operating for extended periods of time. The labs sponsor extensive research with universities and industries across the country to assure the best minds in the nation are focused on innovative solutions to these problems.

At the time of this promotion, Dick and his wife, Joyce, were living on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton. Their son, David, had just completed paramedic training in New Mexico and was employed as an Emergency Medical Technician in Silver City, NM.

— from the Gallatin North Missourian

Doc Bailey – “Country Doctor”

Dr. H.W. “Doc” Bailey delivered well over 2,000 babies — including one set of triplets and several sets of twins — during decades of service to the people of Daviess County. The longtime Gallatin doctor exemplified the meaning of “country doctor” while establishing himself in the minds of hearts of many, many people throughout the area.

Dr. H.W. “Doc” Bailey delivered well over 2,000 babies — including one set of triplets and several sets of twins — during decades of service to the people of Daviess County. The longtime Gallatin doctor exemplified the meaning of “country doctor” while establishing himself in the minds of hearts of many, many people throughout the area.

Doc Bailey graduated from Kirksville’s School of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery in January, 1937. After a 6-month internship at a Kirksville hospital, he began practice in Gallatin with his father, Dr. M.B. Bailey. His brother, Forrest, practiced medicine in nearby Jamesport and another brother, Carl, worked from medical offices in Urbanna.

Upon his 40th anniversary of practice, Doc Bailey recalled one of his most unusual baby deliveries. One night during 1953 he was attending a movie at the Courter Theater in Gallatin. “A lady went into labor, so I had to deliver the baby on the floor of the theater,” he recalled for an article published in the Gallatin North Missourian. “We then transported mother and child to the hospital by ambulance and both were well and healthy.”

Doc Bailey prided himself in being a country doctor, especially when government policy changes meant fewer medical students focused on rural health care.

“My father and I did surgery on kitchen tables, years ago,” he said. During his decades of service Doc Bailey reached patients by going to their homes by jeep, car, horse and by walking.

Doc Bailey died at Liberty Hospital following a car accident in the spring of 1986. Harold Bailey, 71, was born in Kansas and moved to Gallatin as a youth. He graduated from Gallatin High School and served in the Army Medical Corps during World War II at Camp Barkley. He was a member of Gallatin First Baptist Church. Doc was an avid hunter and fisherman and enjoyed living at Lake Viking. He and his wife, Ruth, were parents to a son, Bob.

— taken from the Gallatin North Missourian

Harfield Davis

H. Harfeld Davis epitomized what it means to be a successful small town businessman. He was born in Gallatin and lived most of his life here. He owned and operated D.H. Davis Drug Company from 1920 until he retired. The drugstore was founded in 1855 by his great-grandfather, Baalis Davis.

H. Harfeld Davis epitomized what it means to be a successful small town businessman. He was born in Gallatin and lived most of his life here. He owned and operated D.H. Davis Drug Company from 1920 until he retired. The drugstore was founded in 1855 by his great-grandfather, Baalis Davis.

Harfield Davis was a Navy veteran of World War I and a member of the American Legion. He was a member of Gallatin Masonic Lodge and of the First Baptist Church of Gallatin. He married Mary Frances Davis, and the couple had one daughter, Susan Ann.

A small man physically, Harfield was successful both professionally and financially because of his dedication and hard work. He worked with his brother, Bob, who was the “public relations man” at the store while Harfield often worked behind the scenes making business decisions and assuring that things ran smoothly. At an early age he learned the benefits of listening and was widely known as a true gentleman, a loving husband and father — besides an uncommon businessman.

For a man whose philosophy never included the waste of time, gardening was his hobby and release from the pressures and stresses of his days.

H. Harfield Davis, 89, died on June 19, 1986, and is buried in Brown Cemetery, Gallatin.

— taken from Post Scripts by Joe Snyder, June, 1986

Buzz Barton — Freckles and All — to Hollywood

William Andrew Lamoreaux — born in Gallatin, MO, on Sept. 3, 1913 — became known as “The Boy Wonder of Westerns” after his family moved to California. At one time he was probably the most successful and well-known of the young, silent screen cowpokes starring in Westerns. But his starring career floundered as he reached puberty and as the new medium of sound put an end to silent films.

William Andrew Lamoreaux — born in Gallatin, MO, on Sept. 3, 1913 — became known as “The Boy Wonder of Westerns” after his family moved to California. At one time he was probably the most successful and well-known of the young, silent screen cowpokes starring in Westerns. But his starring career floundered as he reached puberty and as the new medium of sound put an end to silent films.

Young William took interest in cowboys while growing up in the Newhall movie sets. He became a skilled horse rider and roper by the time he entered into his first film experience at age 13 in 1926. Cowboy star Jack Perrin helped the freckled faced boy get into movies. He appeared in the Rayhart series with Perrin.

During this period, a nationwide emphasis was placed on youth in movies. In 1927, his parents, Floyd and Myrtle Lamoreaux, signed a long-term contract for FBO (later RKO), making him the youngest actor to star in a western series. His name changed to Buzz Barton, and the first release of “The Boy Wonder” soon followed in October. Then followed “The Slingshot Kid” in December. One early reviewer called Barton as a combination Mix, Maynard and Fred Thomson. Even if this was a bit of exaggeration, the following Buzz attracted was not questioned — a popularity that sustained him throughout the remainder of the silent film era.

Most of Buzz’s titles reflect his youth. He had the misfortune (as well as a number of older cowboy stars) of coming on the scene as the silent era was ending. Although his films were good, fast-paced stories, they were not strong enough to endure the changes taking place in Hollywood. The studio dropped him after starring in 14 features. The last one, “Pals of the Prairie,” was released in July, 1929.

Barton still landed a number of roles in westerns during 1930 and 1931. His popularity at the time still remained so strong that the Daisy Company introduced the “Buzz Barton Special Daisy Air Rifle” (complete with tlelscope sight), to tie in with the Big 4 pictures then being released.

William Andrew Lamoreaux (1913-1980), aka Buzz Barton, is one more name linking Gallatin, MO, to the Old West, though only through Hollywood and only by his place of birth.

Gallatin’s Connection to the Search for Amelia Earhart

“Without having had the actual experience, it is hard for one to appreciate just how difficult it is for an observer, flying in an airplane, to ‘spot’ an object afloat at sea.” — Commander Dalton Davis of the U.S. Navy, son-in-law to Gallatin’s Frank Davis speaking to Gallatin Rotary Club about the current hunt for famous aviatrix Amelia Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, who were lost in the South Pacific on their attempted flight around the world in 1937.

“Without having had the actual experience, it is hard for one to appreciate just how difficult it is for an observer, flying in an airplane, to ‘spot’ an object afloat at sea.” — Commander Dalton Davis of the U.S. Navy, son-in-law to Gallatin’s Frank Davis speaking to Gallatin Rotary Club about the current hunt for famous aviatrix Amelia Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, who were lost in the South Pacific on their attempted flight around the world in 1937.

Commander Davis has been stationed at San Francisco during the year when the world’s interest focused on the search for Amelia Earhart.  The U.S. Navy sent ships to the area where it is believed the fliers were forced down due to a fuel shortage. Commander Davis is intimately acquainted with naval maneuvers on the Pacific.

"It is very difficult to sight objects at sea. In recent maneuvers we (a fleet) left Honolulu to ‘attack’ another fleet that had left Alaskan waters and was headed south. Planes flew 300 miles each way from ships of each fleet, thereby having an observation range of approximately 600 miles …and neither fleet saw the other."

Commander Dalton, who is in the medical department, was the commanding surgeon aboard the USS Richmond when that ship rescued more than 60 survivors from the ill-fated navy dirigible Macon. The captain of the Richmond at that time is now the commanding officer of the aircrafter carrier USS Lexington which is leading the search for Miss Earhart and her companion.

Is it true that it costs the government approximately half a million dollars a day to conduct the search?

"I’ve heard that report," responded Commander Davis. "But it is not exactly true. Although total expenses, taking everything into account may amount to that sum daily, it does not necessarily mean that Miss Earhart’s accident is wholly responsible. The naval fliers have so many hours flying time, and the ships have to maneuver over the water anyhow, so it is little more than routine duty — except, of course, they have a definite object to search for instead of one which has been ‘planted’ and is searched for."

Commander Davis expressed little hope that Earhart and Noonan still survive. "It is doubtful that they set down on any of the small islands in the South Pacific. However, it is evident that if they were on water they at least survived for a few days because radio reports from them were kept up for awhile. The ship in which they were flying could stay up on quiet waters for a time, but I don’t think it could stay afloat long."

Part of the equipment carried by the fliers was a collapsible rubber boat, but it is not known whether they made use of it.

Until recently Davis was a Lt. Commander which ranks below only that of Captain, Rear-Admiral and Admiral in that order. During his 20 years of service he has been stationed all over the world in naval outposts and at sea. Commander Davis and his wife, and their son, Billy, are visiting Gallatin relatives before departing for his new post at Washington, D.C.

Reprinted from the Gallatin Democrat, July 15, 1937

A Freemason’s Memorial to Alexander M. Dockery

W.A. Clark presented and read this Memorial on the late A.M. Dockery which was unanimously adopted and a page set aside on the records, with copies delivered to the Gallatin North Missourian, the Gallatin Democrat, and to newspapers at Kansas City and St. Louis. The memorial reads, in part, as follows:

W.A. Clark presented and read this Memorial on the late A.M. Dockery which was unanimously adopted and a page set aside on the records, with copies delivered to the Gallatin North Missourian, the Gallatin Democrat, and to newspapers at Kansas City and St. Louis. The memorial reads, in part, as follows:

Alexander M. Dockery was born near Gallatin, Daviess County, Missouri, on Feb. 11, 1845. He was the son of a pioneer Methodist minister, and was the only child in the family to live to the years of maturity. He attended the District schools of his native county but so far as is known he was not enrolled at any higher institution of learning.

While still a young man, he enterd medical college from which he graduated and practiced the healing art for some 8 years. The practice of medicine did not appeal to him and he transferred his activitis from this to banking and politics, to which he devoted himself through most of a long life.

When 21 years of age, he joined Jackson Lodge No. 82, and three years later was elected its Master. He afterwards served as the Master of Friendship Lodge No. 89, and Jamesport Lodge No. 201. He was District Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge from his district for 10 years. In 1881 he was elected Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Missouri, and was elected to the Masonic Home Board in 1886, and was a member of that board continuously until 1926, except 10 years while in Congress.

He served as Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter of Missouri in 1910. He was a member of Kadosh Commandery No. 21, Knights Templar and was its Commander in 1882. He was anointed to the Order of High Priesthood in 1870. His longest service and probably his greatest interest was in the Masonic Home and the Odd Fellows Home, both of which institutions he was very active for many years.

On Dec. 26, 1926, rich in honor and experience he was “cut down by the scythe of Time and gathered to the land where his Fathers had gone before him.” ‘Tis said that “Death loves a shining mark” and if that be true his arrows found the most conspicuous target that the ranks of Missouri Freemasonry could furnish. Whether Most Wonderful Brother Dockery was the most brilliant and learned Freemason of Missouri might be debated, but that he was the most striking and commanding figure in present day Masonry circles, I think, will be conceded. It is fitting that we should pause for a moment and consider the attributes that made him great — that made him the outstanding figure in Missouri Freemasonry.

High in the list of such an enumeration must be put his zeal for the institution, the progress he made in our mysteries, his unswerving fidelity to the principles of the order, and his wonderful appreciation of the necessity of preserving the ancient landmarks. He stated publicly that he considered being Grand Master of Missouri, if possible, a greater honor than being Governor of the State, and this, after he had held both offices.

He was not an orator as Wendell Phillips or Daniel Webster were. He was not learned in the knowledge of the schools and his addresses carried no ornate or well-rounded periods nor classical allusions, but they were so clearly worded, so sensibly conceived and forcibly expressed that they seldom failed to carry conviction.

One could not know him without acknowledging his exceeding reasonableness — his stock of common sense compensated for any lack of preliminary training. He had an ability to think clearly and an ability to put his thougths in homely but clear, forcible English that carried conviction not only to the man in the street but to the intelligentsia as well.

Among his many most valuable and outstanding abilities was an almost uncanny faculty of forecasting the outcome of political movements; for years he had his fingers on the public pulse and was the first to sense the symptoms of political change and unrest. The arrhythmia and the unusual in the trend of political events came to him as the first murmer of a failing organ might come to the ear of a trained physician before it was noticed by the prossessor himself.

He was a fervent hater of shams, imposture, hypocrisy, false tradition and deception of every kind. In the course of his many political battles his life has been searched with lighted candles, but nothing mean or base was ever detected and he emerged from every conflict with the admiration of his friends and the respect of his opponents.

Dockery represented his state creditably for 16 years in the Congress of the United States and served it faithfully as its Chief Executive for 4 years. Later in life when his country was in the throes of the World War he served the nation as Third Assistant Postmaster General in which capacity he directed the funds of the greatest financial institution in the world. As a citizen he was just to his country, and loyal to his government and in the discharge of his political duties faithful to the limit.

He was a pillar in the church, a political leader and seer in his state, a factor to be reckoned with in the national government, a success in business and yet withal, found time to serve at least two fraternal orders in every position from the most humble to the most exalted.

Written by W.A. Clark in 1927

Mary Edna Cruzen — Efficient Labor Leader

In 1935, Mary Edna Cruzen served on the state labor commission and was director of the Missouri State Employment Service. Her home is at… “Gallatin, MO, seat of what was formerly known as the famous Gallatin dynasty. This appellation originated from the fact that Gallatin has produced more prominent personages in state and national history than almost any other county seat town in Missouri.”

In 1935, Mary Edna Cruzen served on the state labor commission and was director of the Missouri State Employment Service. Her home is at… “Gallatin, MO, seat of what was formerly known as the famous Gallatin dynasty. This appellation originated from the fact that Gallatin has produced more prominent personages in state and national history than almost any other county seat town in Missouri.”

Her first lessons in practical politics was learned from Alexander Monroe Dockery — a Gallatin doctor and banker elected to Congress representing the Missouri 3rd District for a number of years. “As a congressman, he became a national figure, not because of oratorical flubdubbery but rather because of his practical work on behalf of the people. As a watch dog of the treasury, he had a head for figures that made him a public benefactor to the taxpayers.”

Mrs. Cruzen was a little girl when Dockery was becoming a congressional star but in her more mature years she developed an interest in good government and things political in general, and Dockery found her to be an apt pupil. At that time women were not permitted to vote, but with the coming of sufferage, Mrs. Cruzen, thanks to Dockery, was equipped with a splendid background of information as to the principles of good government and also a keen knowledge of political expediency.

Dockery elevated from his congressional berth to the governorship of Missouri and his name is written high on the scroll of honor in this state’s history. He later occupied a cabinet position in Washington, D.C., and later died while living a few years in retirement.

Another prominent figure from Gallatin was Judge Joshua Alexander, who succeeded Dockery in Congress and served with distinction — eventually called by President Woodrow Wilson to serve in his cabinet as Secretary of Commerce. Judge Alexander was a personal friend of Mrs. Cruzen. Besides Dockery and Alexander, others who went out into the world to bring Gallatin fame were attorney Ed Yates, and Ed Howe known as the “Sage of Potato Hill.” In addition, Mrs. Cruzen was the wife of a prominent Democratic lawyer, who was personally interested in her political success. So, from this rich political background came Mary Edna Cruzen, an interesting and charming woman and a capable executive.

Mrs. Cruzen received her appointment as labor commissioner from Gov. Park on March 14, 1933, in recognition of her work as a member of the Democratic County Central Committee since the time women were given the right to vote.

As a member of the state committee, she was elected vice-chairman and worked seven weeks at the Democratic headquarters in St. Louis during the 1932 campaign. She was called to New York by Mary Dewson, national director of the women’s activities in the interest of the Roosevelt campaign. Later Mrs. Cruzen was appointed director of the Missouri State Employment Service which responsibility is tied up with her work as State Commissioner of Labor.

The industrial inspection department of Mrs. Cruzen’s administration has supervision of inspection of all industrial hazards to employees, enforcemtn of the child labor law, 9-hour law for women, regulating fee-charging employment agencies, and the organization and administration of the Missouri State Employment Service.

Mrs. Cruzen is the author of the better betting bill which is before the legislature at the time of this writing. This proposes to eliminate the use of second hand materials in bedding and upholstering. She became interested in this particular feature of this work during the sleeping sickness epidemic in the City of St. Louis and in St. Louis County in 1933, at which time she carried on correspondence with noted medical men who were studying the cause of sleeping sickness and suggested that investigation had shown that a great amount of second hand material went into bedding sold throughout the state.

The bill regulating fee-charging employment agencies was introduced at her instigation. A desire to protect those seeking employment from excessive fees prompted this bill which seeks only to regulate fee-charging agencies and not to eliminate them.

Under the administration of Mrs. Cruzen, the Missouri State Employment Service, affiliated with the U.S. Employment Service, was developed and when Washington set up the program for placements under the CWA, all placements in Missouri were made through this service. Mrs. Cruzen went to Kansas City and supervised personally the placement of over 9,000 men and women in gainful employment. She did much to increase the efficiency of industrial inspection which reduces to a minimum industrial accidents and loss of life.

The Jefferson City Central Missouri Review described Mrs. Cruzen as follows: “Optimism is one of the chief characteristics of the vivacious Mrs. Cruzen. She has the happy facility of seeing the silver lining in every cloud. She radiates sunshine and inspires cheerfulness in those with whom she is associated. Governor Park is to be congratulated for the splendid judgment he exercised in appointing Mary Edna Cruzen to the responsible place she now occupies in the state government of Missouri.”

Reprinted from the Apri 25, 1935 edition of the Gallatin North Missourian

Theodore Peniston — First to Navigate the Grand for Commerce

Theodore "Uncle Theo" Peniston is due the honor of being the first to utilize the Grand River as a highway for commerce. And before his death in 1892, Peniston passed through two Indian wars, the Mormon War, the Mexican War, the Civil War, and all the incidents connected with them. He was initimately involved with the beginnings of Daviess County and was popular among its people.

Theodore "Uncle Theo" Peniston is due the honor of being the first to utilize the Grand River as a highway for commerce. And before his death in 1892, Peniston passed through two Indian wars, the Mormon War, the Mexican War, the Civil War, and all the incidents connected with them. He was initimately involved with the beginnings of Daviess County and was popular among its people.

Theodore was but 19 years old when he came to Grand River country. When Black Hawk organized the Sacs and Fox and went on the warpath,Theodore Peniston, in company with others, enlisted as scouts and did good service in patroling Northern Missouri and Southern Iowa until Black Hawk and his band were exterminated.

Again in 1834, Peniston became a scout in what was then known as the Hertherly War. It was at this time that the settlers built a block house near his father’s residence. In the spring of 1836 he built a flat boat on the Grand River near the town of Millport and loaded it with venison hams, deer skins, coon skins, wild turkey, honey and beeswax. He ran safely out of Grand River and down the Missouri River to St. Louis where he disposed of his cargo and then returned home. Thus, Theodore Peniston was the first to utilize the waters of Grand River as a highway for commerce.

About this same time, Peniston studied law and was admitted to the bar. He located in Gallatin, MO, for several years and followed this profession. He later returned to farming.

Theodore Peniston was born in Jessamine County, KY, on May 6, 1812. He married Susan F. Williams in February, 1848. He died in Jackson Township, Daviess County, MO, on Nov. 9, 1892, at age 80. He was buried on his farm in the old family cemetery on the Ridge near where he first located in the county.

Peniston came from a family which was among the very first to populate Daviess County, MO. His father, Robert P. Peniston, settled on Splawn Ridge before Daviess County was organized. At the time of Robert’s death in 1831, Theodore was the only member of his father’s family residing in the county and was the oldest living resident in the county, having resided here for 61 years.

Taken from a reprint of an obituary printed as a “40 Years Ago” memory printed in the Gallatin North Missourian, 1932.

D.L. Kost — Founder of the Gallatin North Missourian

David L. Kost published the first issue of the Gallatin North Missourian in September, 1864, assisted at that time by B.J. Waters. Mr. Waters remained with the paper only six months, selling his interest to Mr. Kost who edited the paper alone until 1868 when Jehiel T. Day formed a partnership agreement with him. Kost later died at his home in Gentry, Arkansas, at the age of 90.

David L. Kost published the first issue of the Gallatin North Missourian in September, 1864, assisted at that time by B.J. Waters. Mr. Waters remained with the paper only six months, selling his interest to Mr. Kost who edited the paper alone until 1868 when Jehiel T. Day formed a partnership agreement with him. Kost later died at his home in Gentry, Arkansas, at the age of 90.

Founding publisher David Kost was born at Mt. Vernon, Ohio, on Feb. 18, 1835. He taught school when he was 17 years old, graduated from law school at Oberlin, Ohio, at age 21, and served in the Civil War as secretary to the general of the 65th Ohio, Company H. He was involved in several battles and contracted an absess caused by extreme exposure and was discharged after 11 months of service.

Kost was state representative once and a state senator twice while living in Daviess County, MO. He spent the last 12 years of his life at Gentry, Ark., where he was the editor of Gentry’s second newspaper while also farming. Kost was the father of four: Paul and Victor of Chicago; Byrdie of Cleveland; and Nona May of Gentry.

In an article commemorating the newspaper’s 65th anniversary, the following was published: “The Missourian is one of the oldest business institutions in Daviess County and is proud of its record. It is also a service institution, and thru all the years has endeavored to merit approval by striving to serve in the way a newspaper should. Canvassing the very earliest files of the paper back in the 1860s, we find the editor taking a decided stand for the building of railroads in the county and urging the people of the county to assume the responsibility of seeing that the railroads were built as the welfare and progress of its citizens depended upon improved transportation facilities. And such has been the course of the Missourian, at all times sponsoring and encouraging what was considered would be of benefit to the people, and serving as a newspaper duty.

“The Missourian has had a long and honorable career, and many of the paper’s editors were men of strong character and outstanding ability. Ed W. Howe, the famous Kansas philosopher, worked on the Missourian when a young man, and in a recent article “Plaine People” now running in the Saturday Evening Post, Mr. Howe tells of his printing office experiences on the Missourian, and pays compliment to both Mr. and Mrs. Kost in whose home he lived while working on the paper.”

Those succeeding Kost as publisher of the Gallatin North Missourian include Judge Jehiel T. Day, Col. W.T. Sullivan, Robert Harrah, Robert Selby, D.H. Gilchrist and, in 1899, C.M. Harrison whose son, Scout, followed. The newspaper was in the Harrison family for decades, save a period of about four years when it was published by S.G. McDowell and sons. Scout Harrison operated the newspaper for nearly 20 years before Joseph and Katherine Snyder purchased the newspaper in the 1950s. Then Darryl and Elizabeth Wilkinson joined the Snyders in 1978, taking minority interest and eventually full ownership in the 1980s.

Taken from a death notice Aug. 18, 1925; and from an annivesary article published in the GNM on Sept. 13, 1925.

Jerry Litton — Promising Future Abruptly Ended

Jerry Litton (1937-1976), along with his wife and two children, died in a plane crash on Primary Election night, Aug. 3, 1976, at Chillicothe Municipal Airport. Also killed in the crash were Paul Rupp, Jr., and his son, Paul Rupp III. The tragedy affected many people throughout Northwest Missouri, leaving an emptiness and void in the minds of those who believed in the vision Litton described for America’s future. The following tribute was written in the record of the board meeting of the Bank of Gallatin on Aug. 11, 1976, with copies delivered to Jerry’s parents, Charley and Mildred Litton, and other relatives and friends.

Jerry Litton (1937-1976), along with his wife and two children, died in a plane crash on Primary Election night, Aug. 3, 1976, at Chillicothe Municipal Airport. Also killed in the crash were Paul Rupp, Jr., and his son, Paul Rupp III. The tragedy affected many people throughout Northwest Missouri, leaving an emptiness and void in the minds of those who believed in the vision Litton described for America’s future. The following tribute was written in the record of the board meeting of the Bank of Gallatin on Aug. 11, 1976, with copies delivered to Jerry’s parents, Charley and Mildred Litton, and other relatives and friends.

Jerry Litton, 39, was born at Lock Springs in Daviess County, MO, on May 12, 1937. He went to elementary school there and later graduated from the Chillicothe High School, where he was president of the National Honor Society.

Following graduation, Jerry became a newscaster at radio station KCHI in Chillicothe, after serving as president of the Missouri chapter of Future Farmers of America. Later he was elected national secretary of the FFA, and traveled to many states on speaking engagements before trade conventions, at business organizations and professional groups.

Jerry entered Missouri University at Columbia, where he was graduated in January, 1961, with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture journalism. He and Sharon Summervile of Chillicothe were married in 1959, while students at Columbia.

While at the university, Jerry worked as a newscaster at a Columbia radio station and as a newspaper reporter and farm editor. During his sophomore year he was elected vice-president of the student body; he was also named to the Mystical Seven for scholastic achievement and leadership; and he was Missouri chairman of students at MU for Kennedy and Johnson and national co-chairman of youth for Kennedy. Jerry was president of Young Democrats at MU, national chairman of "Youth for Symington" and served four years on the congressional campaign committee of Congressman W.R. Hull.

After graduation from the university, the Littons returned to Chillicothe where they were members of the Presbyterian Church and took up farming as a livelihood. Jerry joined his father, Charley Litton, in a farming partnership, and persuaded the members to invest in Charolais cattle, a new French breed. The partnership succeeded from the beginning, and prospered financially in a big way. The Littons sold Charolais cattle in many countries and soon earned a fine reputation, both national and international, as cattle breeders.

After Congressman Hull announced his retirement, Jerry became a candidate for Congress in 1972, in the 6th District of Missouri. He was tireless in his campaigning efforts. He had confidence and faith in an informed electorate. He made things happen according to plan. People voted for Jerry because of his intelligence, faith and emphasis on issues. He won confidence and support of many persons, both young and old, who soon became his devoted supporters, remaining loyal to him throughout all remaining political campaigns. He seemed destined to succeeed and for leadership from the beginning. He was elected by a large majority of votes.

One remembers the refrain "Don’t let the stars get into your eyes," but Jerry rejected it. He had stars in his eyes and dreams in his heart.

Following his election to Congress, the Litton ranch was sold and the assets placed in a blind trust. In his first term in Congress he quickly gained national attention as a progressive leader who could make things happen. He surrounded himself with young, capable and energetic people. He soon established a monthly television program called "Dialogue with Litton," in an effort to bring government closer to the people. He invited many nationally known leaders to appear on this program.

Litton was re-elected to Congress in 1974 by taking 79% of the votes from his district. He had an abundance of energy, action and resolution at all times. He made dreams come true. Jerry was able to capture the heart, mind and loyalty of his friends and followers. His friends and supporters were devoted to him.

Speculation arose almost as soon as he entered Congress of his becoming a U.S. Senator at an early date. Jerry dreamed of it, too. Jerry had a loyal and devoted following throughout the 6th District, consisting of 23 counties in Northwest Missouri, constituting about 20% of rural Missouri. This provided him a very strong base from which to campaign for the Senate.

After careful planning and at a meeting of a large number of persons at Columbia in early 1976, Jerry revealed a campaign plan that involved a careful and intense blend of television and radio advertising with a personal organization that would capture the state and Missourians for him by primary day. He relied heavily on the media of TV and radio, money, supporters, volunteers, workers and plane. He planned to spend more than a million dollars to achieve his goal. He announced his candidacy to the Senate at Columbia on Feb. 22, 1976.

Jerry had a personal political working organization in about 100 counties. He enlisted more than 2,000 volunteers for making telephone calls. He soon realized the importance of establishing his candidacy in the St. Louis area and also southeast Missouri. He set a goal of 20%, but actually received about 24% of the vote there. He carried 96 counties and was second in all other counties, except the county and city of St. Louis.

He served a blitz in St. Louis in April by TV and radio followed in late May with "Meet Me in St. Louis" of numerous volunteers and workers from all over the state coming to St. Louis to campaign for him there from door to door.

Let’s look at a day of Jerry’s campaigning. It is Monday, the last day before the primary election. He left his home about 9 a.m. and went to St. Louis; from there to Kansas City; from there to Joplin; from there to Springfield; from there to Cape Girardeau; from there to Columbia; and from there back to Kansas City to appear at Starlight Theatre to shake hands with the audience dispersing about 11 p.m. After more campaigning and business, he returned to his home about 3 a.m. primary election morning. 

How do you beat a campaigner like him? Who could beat Jerry Litton in a political contest? When I attempt to appraise the life of Jerry Litton, I think of the poet’s description of Mt. Fuji, when he says "The clouds themselves can hardly climb its height; the birds but skirt its side in soaring flight…"

After a busy primary election day with victory achieved, Jerry and his family, with the Rupps, entered the plane at Chillicothe about 8:30 p.m., heading for Kansas City, when the crash occurred.

Death came to him in the hour of his greatest triumph. He was destined for national and world leadership. Jerry Litton would have reached the Senate in the fifth year of his political life, but for fate. Like the ocean he is greater than all our descriptions of him. He reached above and beyond the timberline of the mountains. To such as he there is no successor.

Jerry knew that success in life consists in knowing how to change men’s minds. Jerry was not sectional, but cosmopolitan; he was neither north nor south, east nor west, but a typical Missourian of the great center state of Missouri.

How do you say farewell to a sleek, elegant and graceful ocean queen like the SS France that has carried a million passengers across the Atlantic and retires for no fault of her own, but by the high cost of fuel oil? (She too, is a casualty)

How do we say farewell to Jerry Litton?

I quote the famous lines of Lawrence Binyon:

"Jerry shall not grow old as we that are left grow old. Age shall not weary him nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we shall remember him."

Reprinted from a phamphlet prepared for the Bank of Gallatin by Gallatin Publishing Company, written into the bank board’s minutes on Aug. 11, 1976

Local Historian David Stark

Many of the stories researched and shared on this web site originated with the writings of David Stark of Gallatin. Here’s a brief sketch of a Daviess Countian you should know.

Many of the stories researched and shared on this web site originated with the writings of David Stark of Gallatin. Here’s a brief sketch of a Daviess Countian you should know.

David Stark was born in Daviess County in 1935 and is of the sixth generation of the county. His great-grandfather, Jim Bristow, was in Gallatin when the town was laid out in 1837; Bristow purchased lots in the new town in 1838. David’s parents were teachers.

Mr. Stark is a Korean War veteran and a retired member of the U.S. Army after 25 years of military service. He graduated from Gallatin High School in 1954 and returned to reside in Gallatin in 1974. He graduated from Northwest Missouri State at Maryville, MO, and became a CPA at Arlington, VA, in 1967, working mostly with federal government finance.

In 1968 Stark became a foreign service officer and served five years at the American Embassy in Saigon, Vietnam. He made a world circling trip in 1970, researched family records in Scotland, and visited Expo ’70 in Japan.

From 1974 to the present, David has been busy studying world history and advances in science. Other activities include family history, county history, shooting sports, and Missouri law enforcement.

Published May, 2004.

They Served During World War I

The following is a list of names of Daviess County boys were killed in action, died of wounds or sickenss in France and in camps, or were injured in the service of our country during World War I:

The following is a list of names of Daviess County boys were killed in action, died of wounds or sickenss in France and in camps, or were injured in the service of our country during World War I:

KILLED IN ACTION

Francis V. Frazier, Altamont
William Seiler, Gallatin
Wallace McAfee, Gallatin
Stanley Benard, Pattonsburg
Charles A. Shaw, Pattonsburg
Ray Noll, Jamesport
John Tracy, Coffey
Robert Adkinson, Gallatin
Martin Conaway
John Whetstone

DIED OF DISEASE

Wilford Smith, A.E.F., Jameson
Daniel Collier, Jamesport
Alexander Dowell, Jamesport
Francis McCray, Jamesport
Virgil Utz, Pattonsburg
Bert Ayers, Gallatin
Oather Lukehart, Gallatin
Earl Weist, A.E.F., Gallatin
Lloyd Biddle, Gallatin
William Robinson, Gallatin
Joseph Linville, Gallatin
Earl Weist, A.E.F., Jameson
Emmett Downs, Weatherby
Elmer Oak, Winston
George Hudson, Winston

WOUNDED

Charles McLaughlin, Gallatin
Frank Stapleton, Gallatin
Roy Stephenson, Gallatni
Charles W. Graham, Gallatin
Evan Edwards, Gallatin
Homer Venable, Gallatin
Hemry Ramsbottom, Gallatin
Lloyd Welden, Gallatin
Leroy Spidle, Gallatin
Samuel Graham, Gallatin
Charles Plymell, Coffey
Ora Butcher, Pattonsburg
Frank J. Brown, Jameson
Eddie Earl Smith, Jamesport
Lee Goodbar, Jamesport
Hobart Brown, Jamesport
Clyde Robinson, Jamesport
Ronald A. Ginder, Jameson
E.F. Stephenson, Altamont
John Swofford, Gallatin
Homer Lummon, Gallatin
Clarence Morris, Gallatin

Reprinted from the Gallatin Democrat, Jan 24, 1917

Conrad Burns — Montana’s 19th U.S. Senator

Auctioneer, broadcaster, county commissioner, football referee, livestock fieldman and Marine, Conrad Burns became Montana’s 19th United States Senator on Jan. 3, 1989.

Auctioneer, broadcaster, county commissioner, football referee, livestock fieldman and Marine, Conrad Burns became Montana’s 19th United States Senator on Jan. 3, 1989.

In 1988, Burns defeated incumbent Senator John Melcher by a 52 to 48 percent margin, becoming only the second Republican Senator ever elected from his state. He was the only Republican chalenger to defeat an incumbent that year.

Prior to his election as the first Republican Senator from Montana since 1953, Burns served as Yellowstone County Commissioner for two years. Yellowstone County is Montana’s most populous county. He was a farm and ranch news reporter for a Billings television station before creating the Northern Ag Network in 1975 with four radio stations. By 1986, when he sold his interest in the network, it served 31 radio and six television stations in Montana and Wyoming.

Burns was born on a small farm near Gallatin, MO, on Jan. 25, 1935, to Russell and Mary Frances (Knight) Burns. Both of his parents, now over 80, still live near the family farm. His mother was active in politics as a county chairman and state committeewoman for the Democratic Party. Burns attended Pleasant Grove, a country grade school. He graduated from Gallatin High School in 1952.

After two years in the College of Agriculture at the University of Missouri, Burns enlisted in the Marine Corps where he was a small arms instructor and served in the Far East. He then worked for TWA and Ozark airlines for three years. In 1962, he became a field representative for Polled Hereford World Magazine and moved to Billings, MT. He married Phyllis Kuhlmann of North Platte, NE, in 1967. She graduated from Concordia Teacher College in Seward, NE, and was a teacher at Trinity Lutheran Grade School in Billings from 1966 to 1970. Burns was named the first manager of a Billings livestock show in 1968 and became involved in radio and television broadcasting of agricultural market news while working for Billigns Livestock Commission.

Burns serves on three Senate committees: Commerce, Science and Transportation; Energy and National Resources; and Small Business. Although he’s 99th in seniority, Burns has positioned himself to help his state by gaining a top position on key subcommitteees on each committee.

As the senior Republican on the Foreign Commerce and Tourism Subcommittee, Burns is positioned to help the future economic growth of tourism, Montana’s second leading industry and employer and to promote Montana’s products overseas.

The two other Commerce Subcommittees Burns serves on area Surface Transportation and Communications. He hopes to use this slot to improve transportation in Montana and the nation. Burns expects to use his background as a radio and television broadcaster to help broadcasting and telecommunications industries grow.

In an effort to have an immediate voice on water rights issues that affect the western United States, Burns gained the top Republican position on the Water and Power Subcommittee of the Senate Energy Committee. Finding alternative methods of storing water for later use will be a priority for Burns on this subcommittee. He understands the important role adequate supplies of clean water play in the future of his state and the nation.

Burns also serves on the Public Lands, National Parks and Forests Subcommittee. A new Montana Wilderness Bill will fall under the jurisdiction of this subcommittee. The Energy Research and Development Subcommittee membership gives Burns a say in energy policy decisions that affect the future of Montana’s coal, natural gas and oil reserves.

On the Small Business Committee, Burns is the top Republican on the Urban and Minority Owned Business Development Subcommittee, which Burns hopes to use to improve the small business climate for minorities including native Americans. Burns, who was raised on a family farm and has strong agricultural roots, will also serve on the Rural Economy and Family Farming Subcommittee.

Burns has been appointed Vice Chairman of the United States Group of the Interparliamentary Union (IPU) and as a member of the Military Academy Board of the Army for West Point.

Senator and Mrs. Burns are parents of a daughter, Keely, a 19-year-old sophomore pre-med student at Montanan State University, and a son, Garrett, a 14-year-old ninth grader. The Burns are Lutherans.

Burns is also known as a humorous speaker. By poking fun at himself, he hopes to show that politicians should not take themselves too seriously, but should take their jobs seriously. An example is his observation: “We all do dumb things 15 minutes a day. The key is not to go over your quota!”

Press release by Bryce Dustman (a Daviess Countian) for Senator Burns on Oct. 4, 1990

Admiral Richard H. Cruzen — A Biography

Admiral Richard H. Cruzen (1897-1970) was a graduate of Gallatin High School and became one of Gallatin’s most decorated sons. During his exciting military career including polar explorations, he received many decorations including the Legion of Merit, the Atlantic Fleet Clasp, the Second Nicaraguan Campaign Medal, the Yangtze Service Medal, the American Defense Service Medal, the Fleet Clasp, the American Area Campaign Medal, Philippine iberation Ribbon with two bronze stars, and World War II Victory Medal. But Admiral Cruzen is best known for his exploration of the Antarctic.

Admiral Richard H. Cruzen (1897-1970) was a graduate of Gallatin High School and became one of Gallatin’s most decorated sons. During his exciting military career including polar explorations, he received many decorations including the Legion of Merit, the Atlantic Fleet Clasp, the Second Nicaraguan Campaign Medal, the Yangtze Service Medal, the American Defense Service Medal, the Fleet Clasp, the American Area Campaign Medal, Philippine iberation Ribbon with two bronze stars, and World War II Victory Medal. But Admiral Cruzen is best known for his exploration of the Antarctic.

Richard H. Cruzen was born on April 28, 1897. After graduating from Gallatin High School in Gallatin, MO, he attended the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, VA, and the Severn School in Severna Park, MD. He was then appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy.

As a young midshipman, Cruzen served abord the USS Mississippi, operating with the Atlantic Fleet during the summer of 1918. A year later, he graduated from the Naval Academy and was commissioned an ensign. Being advanced in rank to lieutenant on June 7, 1925, Cruzen served in various capacities with the U.S. Navy and was then promoted to lieutenant commander on Oct. 1, 1935, commander on April 1, 1941, captain on June 20, 1942, and finally to rear admiral on April 1, 1944.

Between the years of 1925 and 1937 Richard Cruzen served aboard several cruisers, battleships, and destroyers including the Idaho, the Claxton, the Navada, the Rigel, the Delphy, the Sinclair, the Shirk, the Elliott, the Pope, the Simpson, and the California.

Cruzen’s next assignment, as commander of the 65-year-old barkentine name the Bear, took him into the stormy Atlantic ice pack. From 1939 to 1941 he was with the U.S. Antarctic Service Expedition, second in command to Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd, the veteran explorer who led the government financed expedition in search of geographical and scientific data.

According to a Navy report, 1,000 miles of new coastline was discovered on exploratory trips by the Bear and Byrd’s sea plane. Commended by Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox for his “superior seamanship, ability, courage, determination, efficiency and good judgment in dangerous emergencies,” Cruzen was one of the 16 members of the 1939-41 expedition who received the Antarctic Expedition Medal, presented in November 1946.

On Dec. 2, 1946, Cruzen once more set sail for the Antarctic continent. This time, as Task Force Commander under Admiral Byrd of the Navy’s Antarctic Developments Project, also known as “Operation High Jump,” Cruzen led a force of 13 ships carrying some 4,000 men, including meteorologists, zoologists, physicists, and experts from oceanographic institutes. Besides looking for new scientific data, another purpose of the expedition was to train Navy personnel and to test standard Navy ships and other euipment in cold weather operations.

Cruzen navigated through an ice pack of several hundred miles before reaching Little America. Icebergs and unpredictable weather were formidable foes during the course of this expedition. Among the discoveries made during the 1946-47 expedition was the sighting of two “oases,” one a region of ice-free lakes and land. More than 300,000 square miels of unpathed territory were charted on aerial mapping operations. Their observations proved that radical changes would have to be made on existing maps of the Antarctic.

Admiral Richard H. Cruzen died on April 15, 1970.

Researched by David Stark

Sen. Burns Clings to his Roots

Conrad Burns’ roots go back to a plain white house on a small farm on the green rolling plains of Northwest Missouri. It was here where Burns says he learned the work ethic and life’s other lessons from hard-working parents who had survived the Great Depression. His father and mother regained the family farm after his father’s family lost it during the Depression.

Conrad Burns’ roots go back to a plain white house on a small farm on the green rolling plains of Northwest Missouri. It was here where Burns says he learned the work ethic and life’s other lessons from hard-working parents who had survived the Great Depression. His father and mother regained the family farm after his father’s family lost it during the Depression.

By vast Montana standards, the Burns farm, now owned by someone else, isn’t much. “Two rocks and a dirt,” Conrad Burns recalls, half-jokingly. It’s only 180 acres, including some hills and a spring, but it was enough to support Russell and Mary Frances Burns, their two children, Conrad and younger sister Judy, and 45 registered Black Angus cattle. His mother, now 85, apologies that the farm house, which is no longer occupied, has fallen into disrepair since they sold the farm in 1974.

Conrad Burns was born in that farm house, four miles northwest of Gallatin, MO, and about an hour north of Kansas City, on Jan. 25, 1935. “He was born talking, wasn’t he?” says his aunt Georgie Morrie, when asked how Burns acquired his speaking skills.

In Missouri, hardly anyone calls him Conrad, even today. His mother, aunt and most everybody else still refer to him as Connie Burns.

Burns speaks with admiration for his parents. His father, who died in 1992, and his mother, who lives nearby in Cameron, MO, were “so pragmatic, they never ever lived in a dream world,” he says.

The Burns kids earned their keep on the farm, their mother says. Besides cattle, the family raised oats, corn, hay, hogs and chickens, and sold cream, eggs and other products throughout the year. The kids helped with the chores. “You have to have something to sell every month,” Conrad says.

Burns recalls working as a water boy, delivering drinking water to a threshing crew and pitching hay for 35 cents a day. “I can remember when Dad bought me my first 3-tine pitchfork,” Burns says, “I was 9 or 10. That was pretty big stuff.”

He learned to cultivate the fields with his father’s two mules. The farm had no tractor until 1947, no electricity until 1949, and no indoor plumbing until the mid-1950s. Times were often tough. Sometimes an orange in his stocking was the only Christmas present he got.

“Life was good,” Burns says. “I had a very happy childhood. We had no money, but we didn’t know it.

COMMENTS FROM THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL:

Here are some comments of Conrad Burns during the 1994 campaign for the U.S. Senate.

— Quoting writer P.J. O’Rourke in Rolling Stone magazine: “If you think health care is expensive now, wait until it’s free.”

— “Everybody ought to go broke once. It’s a terrible thing to say, but it’s a wonderful learning experience.”

— “We haven’t changed any, and we ain’t going to change. We’re way too old.”

— “Bureaucrats can make a lot of bad decisions, but they still get a check.”

— About the logging, mining and agricultural industries: “I don’t know how people who provide wealth are bad people.”

— About Congress: “As long as we’re not in session, the country feels pretty good, and we can’t damage ’em.”

— After his daughter told him she intended to go to law school instead of medical school: “Great. I’ll educate a doctor; I won’t educate a lawyer.” (She eventually went to medical school)

— “As far as growing up and what you did in life, I think that’s worth more than a PhD.”

— On his first speech in the U.S. Senate, which was about Montana’s statehood Centennial: “I was just squeezing the oil out of that desk. I was just shaking. Al Simpson (the Wyoming senator) said he was, to, on his first speech. He said, ‘If you weren’t like that, a lot of folks would be worrying about you.'”

— On how he enjoyed refereeing Class C football as much as Class AA, A, B and Frontier Conference football games: “In Fromberg on Friday afternoon, it’s those kids’ Super Bowl.”

— How he was described as a high school football player for the Gallatin (MO) Bulldogs: “He’s not quite big enough, but he sure is slow.”

— His late father, when showing Conrad Burns the $25 check he wrote to the doctor to deliver the future senator: “Just remember that. That’s what you’re worth. You’re not worth any more or any less than $25.”

Written by Charles S. Johnson, State Bureau Chief for the Billings Gazette, 1994

Sen. Burns’ First Day in Congress

On his first day in the U.S. Senate (101st Congress), Conrad Burns (R-Montana) kept one promise: “I’ll never take a chew under the Capitol dome.” Burns, a longtime tobacco chewer, didn’t need the brass spittoons on the Senate floor as he joined the “world’s most exclusive club.”

On his first day in the U.S. Senate (101st Congress), Conrad Burns (R-Montana) kept one promise: “I’ll never take a chew under the Capitol dome.” Burns, a longtime tobacco chewer, didn’t need the brass spittoons on the Senate floor as he joined the “world’s most exclusive club.”

The Senate, which has a Rockefeller and a Kennedy, now includes a Burns, 53, a former livestock auctioneer, farm-news broadcaster, traveling salesman and high school football referee. “I’ve done a lot of things to understand this country, and not just in a political sense,” Burns said. In fact, Burns’ political experience is two years on the Yellowstone County (Mont.) Commission.

But if he was awed, he didn’t show it. Jumping from the county budget to the federal budget is merely “a matter of bigger zeroes,” he said. Six, to be exact ($34 million vs. $1 trillion).

And his daughter, Keely, 17, may keep him in his place. As they drove from Billings, MT, to Washington, she read aloud a newspaper article about senators choosing their new desks.

It noted that Burns gets the last pick. “I thought that was really hilariouis,” Keely said.

Later, at a modest reception, Mary Burns, 79, the former Democratic Party chairwoman of Daviess County, MO, said of her son, “I don’t hold it against him for becoming a Republican.” But she added, “That Democratic raising helped him a bit …but I told him, ‘Don’t ask me to vote for (George) Bush.'”

Burns didn’t. Even senators listen to their mothers.

Written by Bob Minzesheimer, published in USA Today

Sen. Burns No Easy Mark

Gallatin native Conrad Burns is a Republican Senator from the strongly Democratic state of Montana and was seen as vulnerable in the election of 1994. But this campaign, following his freshman year in Washington, D.C., reveals much about the Missouri man serving Montana.

Gallatin native Conrad Burns is a Republican Senator from the strongly Democratic state of Montana and was seen as vulnerable in the election of 1994. But this campaign, following his freshman year in Washington, D.C., reveals much about the Missouri man serving Montana.

According to the anti-Washington gospel of the 1994 elections, Sen. Conrad Burns ought to be a sitting duck. Among the Republican incumbents, his seat once looked most vulnerable to a Democdratic gain that could balance a loss somewhere else. But on Nov. 2, just days before the election, his hard work and rich campaign treasury seem to be carrying Burns, despite a series of weaknesses that might cripple another candidate.

First, Burns won only 51 percent of the vote in 1988 in a strong Democratic state.

Second, the freshman senator’s main claim to fame is that he has taken 68 lobbyist-paid trips and has often voted the way his hosts at events such as the Kentucky Derby and the Orange Bowl would like. Then he voted to support a filibuster against a bill banning such trips.

Even The Billings Gazette, which endorsed him in an editorial Monday, said that “Burns’ propensity to sit on the lobbyists’ knees is an issue.”

Jack Mudd, a former University of Montana law school dean who is running against him, repeats that Burns is “too close to lobbyists,” as he put it in a Kiwanis Club speech Tuesday in Missoula.

Third, Burns, a conservative Republican, has made no legislative mark in Washington.

Then last month, Burns repeated a common racial epithet for blacks when he was telling of being asked by a constituent how he managed to live with all the blacks in Washington. “It’s a hell of a challenge,” he said he replied. He apologized.

When he was asked in a debate what he would do in Congress to help the minorities, he said the answer was to “live by example — it’s what we do and how we deal with those people.”

But Burns is doing fine, despite all that and despite his fractured grammar and despite clear proof of the falsity of his major television advertisement, in which he says he has never voted to increase taxes.

Burns seems about to become the first Republican ever re-elected to the Senate from Montana, the most Democratic of the Rocky Mountain states, where a strong labor tradition grew from the mines and railroads. Recent polls show him with leads of about 15 percentage points.

Mudd relishes exploring the complexities of policy in a televised debate and is unhappy that there was been only one. But both candidates say they oppose a government takeover of health care.

Burns argues for changes in insurance law, but Mudd goes further, telling small-business people they should support univeral health care because without it, “you are paying for everyone who is uninsured or underinsured.”

The Mudd campaign’s television advertisements have lacked bite. Mudd said Tuesday that his basic problem has been a lack of money to get them on the air. His campaign had collected $810,102 by Oct. 19, the last pre-election filing date. Burns raised more than $3.2 million during six years, and he voted to continue a filibuster on campaign-spending legislation, too.

But there is much more to the Burns success than money. He has campaigned hard, touring the state by bus and plane. Last Saturday he and some of his supporters made an all-day bus trip from Lewistown to Billings. He detoured to visit “a dilapidated old cowboy,” made brief speeches and greated old friends from his days as a farm broadcaster, livestock auctioneer and high school football referee.

His highly organized campaign is personal, with more than 12,000 people (1.5 percent of the state’s population) who know him, volunterring to make calls and get out the vote.

Burns’ speeches stress his opposition to taxes, gun control and a rampant environmentalism that he says puts man only equal to teh “Australian kangaroo rat.” He complains that Washington is ignorant about farming, and he rails against the decline of standards generally: “There is kids setting in classrooms with ball caps on.”

His continual presence and his manner, even his somtimes embarrassing bluntness and semi-coarse wisecracks, may explain why the lobbying issues has not crippled him. While the Mudd television ads ask, “Who is he really working for?” Burns in person just does not seem to have forgotten Montana for seductive lobbyists.

But the money helps. It pays for a field staff, for direct mail that says Mudd wants to cut Social Security and for television ads, including one showing champagne glasses clinking as Burns says that special interests press for tax increases.

“I’ve never voted for a tax increase, not one. Forty times they tried to get me to raise your taxes — Democrats tried it, Republicans tried it, and every time I voted no.”

Burns does have 40 anti-tax votes on his ledger, although some sought to carve out tax breaks for farmers and other interests. But he also voted in 1990 for a $3 tax on airline tickets and in 1993 for $15 billion in new user fees on items such as mining and patents.

Writtey by Adam Clymer, New York Times News Service, published in the Nov. 2, 1994 edition of The Oregonian

Busy Bertie Brown

To reach the age of 80 these days is not unusual. However, to reach that mark in a lifetime and still be healthy and active in civic organizations is quite a blessing. This is so with Mrs. Bertie Brown of Civil Bend, well-know telephone operator for Civil Bend Telephone Company and longtime reporter for the Gallatin North Missourian.

To reach the age of 80 these days is not unusual. However, to reach that mark in a lifetime and still be healthy and active in civic organizations is quite a blessing. This is so with Mrs. Bertie Brown of Civil Bend, well-know telephone operator for Civil Bend Telephone Company and longtime reporter for the Gallatin North Missourian.

Bertie lived in the same house at Civil Bend since 1915, “when I married Frank.” With his death in 1971, she has lived alone in the 7-room house, tending to its upkeep.

She rises each morning around 7 a.m. and begins the day by caring for her dog and five cats. Later, garden work is pursued. She also helps mow her yard, which is about an acre. Up until last year, she mowed it herself.

“I am currently secretary-treasurer of the Linger Longer Club. I was also a 1932 charter member of the organization.” Bertie is a member of the Rebekah Lodge at Pattonsburg and received her 50-year pin four years ago. She is also past secreary-treasurer of the Young at Heart at Gallatin. She served as Civil Bend correspondent for the Gallatin North Missourian for nearly 30 years. “I collect the news by telephone,” she explains, “beginning about 3 or 4 p.m. Sunday. I usually finish by 9 p.m. It goes in the mail at 8 a.m. Monday”

The correspondent says she looks forward to Sunday evenings as she gets a chance to visit with her friends and neighbors. “If one doesn’t keep in touch with people, he’ll get soured on the world,” she philosophized. “Besides, it gives people a chance to tell me their problems, and I tell them some of mine.” She added with a grin and a twinkle in her eyes, “I guess that’s why it takes me so long to gather the news!”

Editor Joe Snyder says “Bertie Brown is one of my favorite gals. She is special not only because she is a fine person, but she’s been one of the most loyal and dependable reporters this paper ever had. Some people send us news when its convenent, but Bertie sends it in regularly whether it’s convenient or not, because she feels a responsibility to us and to her readers. I wish everyone was like Bertie.”

From April, 1915, to August, 1960, the Browns ran Civil Bend Telephone Company. Bertie served as linesman, repairman, operator and an answering service for some. “Yearly rates were $10 a year when we began,” she said. “When we quit in 1960, due to dial phones being installed, the rate was $12 a year.” This included 24-hour line maintenance and operator service.

As operator, Bertie was expected to “know the price of eggs, if the mailman was coming, where the ambulance was headed, and other community news. Now one can’t call the operator for anything but a telephone number!”

When not gathering news, working in her garden, or doing housework, Bertie crochets, keeps a scrapbook and watches television. She crochets afghasn, shawls, centerpeices and edging for pillowslips. She has kept a scrapbook since 1920. It includes the deaths of frinds, relatives and acquaintances and anything of interest in the community.

“Probably the reason I don’t always get my work done is because I have to watch ‘All My Children’ and ‘General Hospital’ on television,” Bertie says. She says she has no specific plans for her birthday. “I usually get a long-distance telephone call from my sister. And a neighbor of mine always takes me out to eat, and I do the same on her birthday.”

Written by Cindy O’Brien for the Gallatin North Missourian, 1976