Stories

Railroads’ Impact Cannot Be Overstated

The impact of the railroad in the development of rural America cannot be overstated. Nearly all towns in Daviess County were built around railroad depots. Transportation for developing commerce depended on trains, both to ship farm products and livestock out as well as to bring manufactured goods and products here. Trains impacted the very fabric of every community, bringing national figures like William Jennings Bryan here or delivering disadvantaged children from the cities seeking opportunities in rural Midwest small towns via the “Orphan Trains.” And in 2017, railroads still impact decisions here as Daviess County seek ways to replace bridges on low-traffic roads using railroad flat cars.

An important stop on the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific (CRI&P) Railroad was at Altamont, MO. The Rock Island built 13 houses for workers, eight of which were still in use as residences over a century later. (1914)

The influence of railroads here began soon after the Civil War. By 1869 a narrow-gauge railroad called the Chicago Southwestern was rolling through Daviess County. Then in 1898 the Rock Island took over, making Altamont the site of the largest coal shoot between Kansas City and Chicago. For many years Altamont was the railroad’s headquarters for bridge gangs, line crews, coal chute workmen, water works, section crews, round house operators, car repairmen and depot agents — working around the clock. The Rock Island built 13 houses for railroad workers, eight of which still stand in Altamont today. Meanwhile, the Omaha & Chillicothe Railroad was in operation in 1871, putting “Pattonsburgh” on the map in northwest Daviess County.

This is the Wabash Train Depot at Gallatin, MO, looking southward from the junction of the Wabash and Rock Island tracks in the Grand River bottoms east of town. This post card photo is not dated.
This undated post card scene shows the train depot of the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific at Gallatin, MO. The Rock Island bisected Daviess County from east to west.

Gallatin’s prominence was fueled in no small way as the crossroads of two railroads. The impact of rail commerce led to the relocation of a college from Edinburg, MO, to Gallatin (1893-1918). Nationally known McDonald Tea Room built its reputation by attracting salesmen traveling on the railroads who then boosted the restaurant’s reputation across the country. The stopover at Gallatin allowed vaudeville entertainment acts from Chicago one last dress rehearsal before performing for audiences at Kansas City – much to the delight of Gallatin folks hungry for amusement at local meeting halls.

This Rock Island Railroad Bridge spanned the Grand River at Gallatin, MO. During times of high water, the locals would measure water’s depth by counting the large granite blocks supporting the bridge’s steel trusses. (date unknown)

The Rock Island depot at Winston has survived because it was turned into a community museum by the Winston Historical Society. Railroad tracks bisecting the county were torn out during the early 1970s; the last Rock Island train came through in March, 1973. Other depots are now non-existent or in a state of slow decay.

Of all the water tanks, coaling docks, depots, tunnels and turntables built to support the rail lines, only one track is still active here today – the Chicago Rock Island & Pacific near Lock Springs in the extreme southeast corner of Daviess County. Just south of the county on this same line is the newly constructed 110-car shuttle-loader grain storage facility, built by MFA Incorporated and MFA Oil Company. The new facility, capable of handling 14 million bushels of grain annually, opened in 2017. It provides direct access to the Union Pacific Railroad and four-lane Highway 36 to Interstate 35.

Crowds gathering at the local train depot were common occurrences for decades throughout America. This crowd gathered at the Wabash Train Deport, just outside Gallatin, MO, along the Grand River near MFA Exchange (grain bins in background). Circa 1950s
In its latter years of operation, railroad depots were no longer built to please passengers but were constructed for utilitarian purposes. This small garage served as the Wabash Depot at Gallatin, MO, in 1966.

 

RAILROAD GHOST TOWNS

Perhaps no railroad impacted North Missouri more than the construction of the Hannibal-St. Joseph Railroad south of Daviess County. The railroad anchored the Pony Express to St. Joseph, MO, and changed commerce routes by freight wagon not just in Daviess County but throughout the entire region. Wherever trains rolled, communities developed …or else obliterated.

Local communities which became ghost towns due to decisions made by the railroads include:

  • Jackson Switch… Blake… Once about halfway between Jamesport and Gallatin, Jackson Switch was renamed as Blake when the Chicago & Southwestern Railroad designated it as a flag station for its passengers
  • Pattonsburgh… Elm Flat… About 1835 Matthew Patton built the first water-mill in Benton Twp. on Big Creek. Patton Mill later changed to Pattonsburgh. The spite of a railroad official, in charge of the 1871 construction of the Omaha & Chillicothe Railroad, doomed the town when the tracks skirted the river bottoms to arrive at high ground three miles to the southeast. The tracks then illogically turned back south to end on the bank of Big Creek in a low, undesirable site thickly covered with elm trees. A box-car depot was erected, named Elm Flat. Businessmen removed to the “Flats,” and thus removed the name “Pattonsburgh” on the map.
  • Boxtown… In 1825 business coming up the river from Brunswick created a trading center on Lick Fork Creek at a grist mill called Boxtown in Harrison Twp. But then the Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad laid tracks just two miles to the south, eliminating Boxtown’s future.
  • Old Greasy… For over 40 years the settlement between Springhill in Livingston County and Mill Port in Daviess County was known as Old Greasy. In 1871, the St. Louis & Omaha Railroad bypassed this settlement, making way for the rapid development of Lock Springs
  • Victoria… This Jefferson Twp. community, named for the English queen, saw its trade diverted when the Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad was built. Victoria ceased to exist as early as 1880.
  • Bancroft… Located in Lincoln Twp. in northeast Daviess County, this town gave way to Gilman City about 1890 when tracks for the Omaha & Quincy Railroad were laid just a mile away.
Miles of railroad within Daviess County in 1902: Quincy, Omaha & Kansas City — 13.13 miles; Wabash — 35.81 miles; Rock Island (main line) — 28.26 miles; Rock Island, St. Joseph branch — 7.07 miles; Kansas City, Peoria & Chicago — 6.39 miles. Railroads connected Daviess County to the rest of the world. By rail, St. Joseph, Omaha, Leavenworth and Kansas City were within a few hours; St. Louis and Chicago were within a night’s run.

 

SHIPPING LIVESTOCK

Very little land in northern and northeastern Daviess County was purchased by private owners before 1850. Most of the better land in the county was sold under the Pre-emption Act of 1841 for $1.25 per acre, or donated to help develop the railroads. The last recorded cattle drive from Daviess County occurred in 1849. Railroad shipping greatly impacted the agricultural economy here.  N.B. (Pole) Brown became a great cattle shipper when the railroads came. Brown is reported to have shipped 2,000 carloads of cattle during 1870-1880. In 1880 he shipped 400 carloads of cattle from Daviess, Harrison, Gentry and Nodaway counties. Since one carload held 40 head of cattle, Brown would have shipped 16,000 head of cattle during this one year.

 

Written by Darryl Wilkinson, Gallatin Publishing Company 2017

Shultz Studio and Other Residences

Efforts to catalog residences throughout Daviess County have been sporadic over the years. One grouping of eight Gallatin residences was published in the Daviess County Centennial Edition (September, 1937).

Many historical photographs were produced by the Shultz Studio in Gallatin.

Shultz Studio was prominent in recording Daviess County people and places for many decades. This photo was published in the Oct. 24, 1907, newspaper announcing the opening of the studio at the W.F. Shultz residence located at the corner of Jackson and Daviess Streets in Gallatin, MO (one block west of the square).

The following examples are photographs of farm homes and town residences archived by the Daviess County Historical Society:

This photo, taken about 1880, shows Mary Elizabeth McNeel Hill and Anna E. Hill Eads.
The Hugh Tarwater residence in Gallatin, MO. Schultz Studio, date unknown.

 

 

 

Eads Family Gathering (unknown)
Attorney Henry Clay McDougal’s residence while in Gallatin, MO, was located at Berry & Maple Streets. It was a 2-story brick home over a raised basement, which made the main entrance facing Maple Street elevated. This woodcut image was made by Martha P. Sellers.

During the late 1970s, an extensive study of communities throughout the region was done by Tom Carneal, longtime chairman of the History Department at Northwest Missouri State University, Maryville. His catalogs of residences and historical locations includes the following:

The Bob Barlow residence at 412 West South Street, Gallatin, on July 15, 1978.
William Coen Residence, 401 West South Street, Gallatin, on Nov. 27, 1978.
The Eddie Elbert residence at 201 East Grand Street, Gallatin. Photo taken Nov. 27, 1978.
In 1978 the A.T. Ray Home was owned by Stewart Marolf who operated Thompson Implement (John Deere) in Gallatin. This was prior to the house being named to the National Register of Historic Places under the original homeowner’s name, A.T. Ray.

 

Century Farms in Daviess County

The Missouri Century Farm program began in 1976, as part of a bicentennial project. Over the years it has expanded greatly, and there are now in excess of 9,400 Century Farms recognized in Missouri.
There are 75 Daviess County farms listed in the Missouri Century
Farm database as of September, 2016 (celebrated at the Daviess County Chautauqua in Gallatin).

To qualify, farms must meet the following guidelines. The same family must have owned the farm for 100 consecutive years. The line of ownership from the original settler or buyer may be through children, grandchildren, siblings, and nephews or nieces, including through marriage or adoption. The farm must be at least 40 acres of the original land acquisition and make a financial contribution to the overall farm income.

The oldest farm listed was acquired in 1838, which means it has been in the family for 178 years: Dean H. Leopard and Luzelle Leopard. No original owner is listed.

Three farms are listed from 1839: Bobby and Ginger Harlow and Jean Harlow, 160 acres; Paula Jarrett Christensen and Sandra Jarrett Whitman and B. Jan Jarrett Daly, original owner Andrew Jarrett, great-great-grandfather, 523 acres; Stephen C. Reed and Shelley S. Reed, original owner Samuel Hershberger, great-great-great-great-grandfather of Stephen Charles Reed, 40 acres.

Most recently added Century farm (3/8/2016): Mildred McDaniel, original owner James Russell McDaniel, great-great-grandfather of Garold McDaniel (Mildred’s deceased husband). Many farms don’t have the acreage listed, but of the farms that do, the Paula Jarrett Christensen farm listed the most acres, 523. A farm must have 40 acres of the original land to qualify. Fourteen of the farms list 40 acres.

Daviess County Century Farms

The following lists Daviess County’s Century Farms showing recognition date, name, additional owners, original owners, acres, year of acquisition,
and some comments…

  • 1/1/1976 Charles & Lorie Booram 1855
  • 1/1/1976 Mr & Mrs Hobart Burrell 1872
  • 1/1/1976 Vernice McClung Bush Richard Bush 1854
  • 1/1/1976 Nancy Sue Everly Betty Louise Everly 1857
  • 1/1/1976 S.W. Foley 1840
  • 1/1/1976 Mr & Mrs George Hill 1855
  • 1/1/1976 Kenneth Lee 1865
  • 1/1/1976 Dean H. Leopard Luzelle Leopard 1838
  • 1/1/1976 Dwight W. McGarvin 1873
  • 1/1/1976 Mildred Moulin Marjorie and Neil Brown 1854
  • 1/1/1976 Ava J. Pugh 1843
  • 1/1/1976 Clifton Swaithes Margaret Cox Swaithes 1854
  • 1/1/1976 Walter B. Tibbles 1845
  • 1/1/1976 Mr & Mrs Ves J Ward 1857
  • 1/1/1976 James R. Woodward James R. Woodward Jr. 1865
  • 1/1/1986 Vernice McClung Bush
  • 1/1/1986 Robert L Eckelberry Ross L. Swofford
  • 1/1/1986 S. Wiley Foley
  • 1/1/1986 William F Hill
  • 1/1/1986 Edward Hockensmith, Jr
  • 1/1/1986 John K & Harriet Leopard Mary Alice and Deanc. McDonald 00
  • 1/1/1986 Oliver Franklin Miller 00
  • 1/1/1986 Charlene Hemry Potts Charles Hemry
  • 1/1/1986 Frank A. Woodruff M. Kay & Ivo Woodruff 78 1856
  • 1/1/1987 FrancesAudene Hill 1881
  • 1/1/1987 Florence Glaze Wells 1865
  • 1/1/1988 James F. and Daw Hoover 1860
  • 1/1/1988 Delbert R. Lowrey 1850
  • 1/1/1988 Austin and Ellen Miller 1857
  • 1/1/1988 W. Auldridge Morris 1846
  • 1/1/1988 Glen Osborn 1860
  • 1/1/1988 Mrs. Ves J. Ward 1857
  • 1/1/1991 Wanda C. McGill McGill Barbara J. Colby 225 1854
  • 1/1/1991 Lloyd G. and Nel Philips 80 1891
  • 1/1/1992 Billy F. Lierly 72 1855
  • 1/1/1992 Nita Noranne Searcy 65 1843
  • 1/1/1994 Bobby and Ginger Harlow Jean Harlow 160 1839
  • 1/1/1995 Harold and Ruth Lockridge 40 1840
  • 1/1/1995 Ava Jane Jarrett Pugh 240 1880
  • 1/1/1996 Carlotta R. Arnold 40 1894
  • 1/1/1997 Maurice and Dorothy Critten 160 1868
  • 1/1/1997 William T. Schapaugh 80 1890
  • 6/25/1999 Martha Mabe Paula Dennis PS(Jeff) McCue 80 1891
  • 6/22/2001 Ashley A Deskins Tamara S Deskins Kimbro Smith,grandfather 40 1896
  • 6/22/2001 Franklin L Dunnington Janis Kay Dunnington David W Vaughn, grandfather 145 1889
  • 5/24/2002 Paula Jarrett Christensen Sandra Jarrett Whitman, B Jan Jarrett Daly Andrew Jarrett, great-great-grandfather 523 1839
  • 7/5/2002 George H Olsen Dorothy L Olsen George A. and Alta Olsen, grandfather 60 1902
  • 7/9/2002 Alan Goodwin Linda Goodwin James Haver, great-great-
    great-grandfather (90acres), Othneil 135 1864 1886
  • Brumer, great-great-grandfather, 45A7/9/2002 Richard E.
    Heath William Heath, great-grandfather 40 1883
  • 6/23/2004 Keith C Harpster Dawn R Harpster Joseph Conrad, great-grandfather 160 1893
  • 6/9/2005 Richard G Carpenter Cheri L Carpenter; Richard G Carpenter, as Trustee for Carpenter Family Trust William H. Treon, great uncle 80 1873
  • 5/2/2008 Delbert Lowrey Lavena Lowrey William G. Lowery/ Great-grandfather 240 1849
  • 3/26/2009 Kenneth F. Dunnington Mary E. Dunnington James Franklin Dunnington /Grandfather 40 1875
  • 6/5/2009 Forrest Meadows, DBA, MF & C, Inc Oscar P. Meadows /Father 247 1909
  • 5/3/2010 Garry McFee Susan McFee Gerhard Harms, greatgreat-grandfather of Garry McFee 40 1909
  • 5/18/2010 Stephen C. Reed Shelley S. Reed Samuel Hershberger, great-great-great-greatgrandfather of Stephen Charles Reed 40 1839
  • 5/2/2011 Dixie L. Rogers Rogers Family Trust David N. Terry, great-grandfather 40 1856
  • 5/1/2012 Harold W. Gay Ann Gay, great-grandmother 40 1905
  • 5/16/2012 Steven G. Bohannon Elaine Bohannon Grig T. Bohannon, great-grandfather 160 1908
  • 2/18/2013 Charles Strong Denise Elaine Minnie O. Strong, 140 1910
  • David Strong grandmother 3/19/2013 Billy Keith Payne Brad & Brian Hendren, Julie Ann Bixler, Kirby Lowe Payne August Wood Marshall, great-grandfather 80 1869
  • 5/1/2013 Rodney Thane Knott Shirly Anne Knott Jospeh H. Knott, great-great-grandfather 80 1858
  • 2/1/2014 Phares L. Linville Joyce M. Linville Green L. Linville, great uncle 60 1908
  • 2/10/2014 Jim Linville Sharla Linville Lewis Linville, greatgreat-
    uncle 110 1851
  • 3/19/2014 Kenneth H. Mort Kathryn F. Stith Mort Sarah A. Stith, grandmother 42 1911
  • 4/18/2014 Phyllis McBride Joseph P. Caraway, great-grandfather 78 1843
  • 4/21/2014 Steven R. Schweizer Macon C. Schweizer Isaac M. Swofford, great-great-great-grandfather 40 1881
  • 3/31/2015 Julie Cox Boyd Harrison James W. Ward 80 1908
  • 4/24/2015 Billie Joe Ward Beverly A. Ward Joseph Vogel, grandfather of Billie Joe Ward 41 1882
  • 4/29/2015 Jayla Smith Issac S. Smith, great-uncle-in-law 40 1915
  • 5/4/2015 Janice Smith Rose George M. Smith, great-great-grandfather 40 1858
  • 5/5/2015 Mary Stigers-Roth Bill Roth John Andrew Stigers, great-grandfather 220 1865
  • 5/14/2015 Doyle C. Kime Naomi R. Kime; Doyle C. & Naomi R. Kime Trust Issac Chester Hill, great-grandfather 40 1906
  • 2/29/2016 John F. & Gann Benjamin F. Kissinger & 1911915
    Nancy J. Virgie F. Kissinger
  • 3/8/2016 Mildred McDaniel James Rusell McDaniel, greatgreat-
    grandfather of Garold McDaniel (Mildred’s deceased husband)

Daniel Smoote Sues Jesse James for Loss of Horse …and Still Lives to Tell About It

Mistaken identity led to murder during the December 7, 1869, robbery of the Daviess County Savings Association. When Jesse James dropped cashier Capt. John Sheets with a bullet, mistaking Sheets for Gallatin’s Samuel P. Cox, James thought he had avenged the death of Confederate guerrilla leader Wm. “Bloody Bill” Anderson. Records show that only about $100 was taken from the simple one-room brick building located on the southwest corner of the Gallatin square.

At the time of the crime, nobody knew with certainty who actually pulled the murderous trigger. In their haste to depart, one of the bandits lost his horse and the bandits escaped southwest toward Cameron by riding double on the remaining mount. Along the way, they encountered a local farmer, Daniel Smoote, and forced a horse exchange. The robbers told Smoote he could have the mare they left behind in Gallatin.

Although the bandits were not recognized, the horseflesh they left behind linked Jesse James to the crime. Soon thereafter, Governor T.T. Crittenden proclaimed a bounty for the arrest of the James brothers — marking the first time Frank & Jesse James were publicly branded as outlaws. Mrs. Sheets, the wife of the murdered bank cashier, offered a reward of $500. Daviess County added $250 for each outlaw, the bank another $500, and the State of Missouri $500 — all a part of the $3,000 total reward offered.

People in those times were known by the horses they kept; horseflesh could be easily recognized by those whose livelihoods and well-being often depended upon horses. Good horses were highly prized. Daniel Smoote wanted his own horse back. And the bay mare he kept – linked to owner Jesse James — was proof enough for Gov. Crittenden to publicly brand Frank & Jesse James as outlaws for the very first time.

Smoote contacted a young Gallatin attorney, H.C. McDougal, to sue the James Boys for damages. McDougal later may have had second thoughts about prosecuting the Jameses.

Gallatin attorney Henry Clay McDougal was just embarking upon his impressive career when he agreed to represent farmer Daniel Smoote in a lawsuit against Jesse James.

In his book entitled, “Recollections,” McDougal relates a harried moment when he thought he might unexpectedly be personally confronted by Jesse James while riding on a train.

As the outlaws became more notorious, McDougal’s worries increased. Ironically, after Jesse’s death in St. Joseph in 1882, McDougal assisted in the prosecution against Frank James during a trial held in Gallatin in 1883.

Soon after that proceeding, McDougal left Gallatin for Kansas City and embarked upon a most fascinating career — a founding partner of what would become the renown law firm Shook, Hardy & Bacon. McDougal also became a personal adviser and confidant for several U.S. presidents.

The complaint, filed on behalf of Daniel Smoote against Frank & Jesse James, cites a loss in damages totaling $223.50.
This summons was issued requiring the James Boys to answer charges made against they by Daniel Smoote in Daviess County.

Neither Frank nor Jesse James appeared in court. Smoote never got his own horse back. Instead, he kept the James’ horse, named Kate, and subsequently raised several colts from her. The Smoote family eventually relocated to Belton, MO, where today the family lies in the Belton Cemetery.

The only civil lawsuit ever recorded against outlaw Jesse James was filed by a Daviess County farmer, Daniel Smoote, who lost his bay mare “Kate” to the robbers as the fled from their crime in Gallatin in December, 1869. This docket was rediscovered on file in the Daviess County in 2007.

A Modern Footnote…

For over 100 years Smoote’s lawsuit against Frank & Jesse James was filed among other legal documents in the Daviess County courthouse …overlooked and eventually forgotten. Historians came to believe that these papers were pilfered by some collector or unscrupulous historian. But the authentic legal documents were rediscovered in August, 2007.

Authentic legal documents were rediscovered in August, 2007, by James Muehlberger, shown here with Daviess County Circuit Clerk Sue Bird.

On Friday, Aug. 17, 2007, James Muehlberger visited Gallatin to expand upon his research of Henry Clay McDougal. Mr. Muehlberger is preparing text and a display about McDougal for the law firm where Muehlberger is employed. Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLC is the largest law firm in Kansas City with additional offices located throughout the United States.

McDougal is primarily remembered as one of the special prosecutors appointed by the governor during the trial of Frank James held in Gallatin in 1883. McDougal is also the connection which enabled the Daviess County Historical Society to secure funds from an estate which now finances ongoing maintenance and limited operation of the county’s 1889 Squirrel Cage Jail as a visitors’ information center. McDougal also was identified by Mr. Muehlberger a partner to his law firm’s founder, Frank Sebree.

During his research, Mr. Meuhlberger immediately recognized the significance of the legal papers and the historic docket was soon whisked away to a local bank vault for safekeeping.

The legal papers have been elusive to those previously researching Jesse James lore. In fact, it was commonly thought that the paperwork on this lawsuit might even have been stolen by some collector or unscrupulous history buff. Circuit Clerk Sue Bird explains that the legal papers weren’t actually misplaced, just filed in a way that made sense to the court clerk of that time.

Now that these authentic historical papers have been found, they will be properly preserved. The Secretary of State’s office has been notified, and archival specialists will soon be involved in that effort.

 

A Scientist You Should Know… Mervin Joe Kelly, GHS 1910 Valedictorian

Few people have impacted the communications world we live in today more than this innovative giant, Mervin Kelly (1894-1971). The 1910 Valedictorian of Gallatin High School was the lab research who eventually became Chairman of the Board at Bell Laboratories.

Mr. Kelly had great intelligence and great force. His work with R.A. Millikan at the University of Chicago gave him a lasting appreciation of the rarity and importance of first-rate scientists and first-rate research. He himself did creditable physical research. Later at the Western Electric Company and at Bell Laboratories (which was not formed until 1925), he did early and important work on vacuum tubes, including research, development, and manufacture. His group increased the life of telephone repeater (amplifier) tubes from 1,000 to 80,000 hours which by 1933 led to a transmitting tube for transatlantic telephony and broadcasting with an unprecedented power of 100,000 watts, and then later to a tube with a power of 250,000 watts.

A visionary firebrand, Kelly directed vacuum-tube R&D at the labs

Mr. Kelly was different. His fundamental belief was that an “institute of creative technology” like his own needed a “critical mass” of talented people to foster a busy exchange of ideas. But innovation required much more than that. Mr. Kelly was convinced that physical proximity was everything; phone calls alone wouldn’t do. Quite intentionally, Bell Labs housed thinkers and doers under one roof. Purposefully mixed together on the transistor project were physicists, metallurgists and electrical engineers; side by side were specialists in theory, experimentation and manufacturing. Like an able concert hall conductor, he sought a harmony, and sometimes a tension, between scientific disciplines; between researchers and developers; and between soloists and groups.

One element of his approach was architectural. He personally helped design a building in Murray Hill, N.J., opened in 1941, where everyone would interact with one another. Some of the hallways in the building were designed to be so long that to look down their length was to see the end disappear at a vanishing point. Traveling the hall’s length without encountering a number of acquaintances, problems, diversions and ideas was almost impossible. A physicist on his way to lunch in the cafeteria was like a magnet rolling past iron filings.

Another element of the approach was aspirational. Bell Labs was some-times caricatured as an ivory tower. But it is more aptly described as an ivory tower with a factory downstairs. It was clear to the researchers and engineers there that the ultimate aim of their organization was to transform new knowledge into new things.

Still another method Mr. Kelly used to push ahead was organizational. He set up Bell Labs’ satellite facilities in the phone company’s manufacturing plants, so as to help transfer all these new ideas into things. But the exchange was supposed to go both ways, with the engineers learning from the plant workers, too. As manufacturing increasingly moved out of the United States during the last half of the 20th Century, it likewise took with it a whole ecosystem of industrial knowledge. But in the past, this knowledge tended to push Bell Labs – and this country – toward new innovations.

“True Innovation”
by Jon Gertner
published Feb 25, 2012, in the The New York Times

Why study Bell Labs? It offers a number of lessons about how our country’s technology companies — and our country’s longstanding innovative edge — actually came about. Yet Bell Labs also presents a more encompassing and ambitious approach to innovation than what prevails today. Its staff worked on the incremental improvements necessary for a complex national communications network while simultaneously thinking far ahead, toward the most revolutionary inventions imaginable.

Indeed, in the search for innovative models to address seemingly intractable problems like climate change, we would do well to consider Bell Labs’ example — an effort that rivals the Apollo program and the Manhattan Project in size, scope and expense. Its mission, and its great triumph, was to connect all of us, and all of our new machines, together.

In his recent letter to potential shareholders of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg noted that one of his firm’s mottoes was “move fast and break things.” Bell Labs’ might just as well have been “move deliberately and build things.” This sounds like the quaint pursuit of men who carried around slide rules and went to bed by 10 o’clock. But it was not.

Consider what Bell Labs achieved. For a long stretch of the 20th century, it was the most innovative scientific organization in the world. On any list of its inventions, the most notable is probably the transistor, invented in 1947, which is now the building block of all digital products and contemporary life. These tiny devices can accomplish a multitude of tasks. The most basic is the amplification of an electric signal. But with small bursts of electricity, transistors can be switched on and off, and effectively be made to represent a “bit” of information, which is digitally expressed as a 1 or 0. Billions of transistors now reside on the chips that power our phones and computers.

Bell Labs produced a startling array of other innovations, too. The silicon solar cell, the precursor of all solar-powered devices, was invented there. Two of its researchers were awarded the first patent for a laser, and colleagues built a host of early prototypes. (Every DVD player has a laser, about the size of a grain of rice, akin to the kind invented at Bell Labs.)

Bell Labs created and developed the first communications satellites; the theory and development of digital communications; and the first cellular telephone systems. What’s known as the charge-coupled device, or CCD, was created there and now forms the basis for digital photography.

Bell Labs also built the first fiber optic cable systems and subsequently created inventions to enable gigabytes of data to zip around the globe. It was no slouch in programming, either. Its computer scientists developed Unix and C, which form the basis for today’s most essential operating systems and computer languages.

And these are just a few of the practical technologies. Some Bell Labs researchers composed papers that significantly extended the boundaries of physics, chemistry, astronomy and mathematics. Other Bell Labs engineers focused on creating extraordinary new processes (rather than new products) for Ma Bell’s industrial plants. In fact, “quality control” — the statistical analysis now used around the world as a method to ensure high-quality manufactured products — was first applied by Bell Labs mathematicians.

So how can we explain how one relatively small group of scientists and engineers, working at Bell Labs in New Jersey over a relatively short span of time, came out with such an astonishing cluster of new technologies and ideas? They invented the future, which is what we now happen to call the present. And it was not by chance or serendipity. They knew something. But what?

At Bell Labs, the man most responsible for the culture of creativity was Mervin Kelly. Probably Mr. Kelly’s name does not ring a bell. Born in rural Missouri to a working-class family and then educated as a physicist at the University of Chicago, he went on to join the research corps at AT&T. Between 1925 and 1959, Mr. Kelly was employed at Bell Labs, rising from researcher to chairman of the board. In 1950, he traveled around Europe, delivering a presentation that explained to audiences how his laboratory worked.

His fundamental belief was that an “institute of creative technology” like his own needed a “critical mass” of talented people to foster a busy exchange of ideas. But innovation required much more than that. Mr. Kelly was convinced that physical proximity was everything; phone calls alone wouldn’t do. Quite intentionally, Bell Labs housed thinkers and doers under one roof. Purposefully mixed together on the transistor project were physicists, metallurgists and electrical engineers; side by side were specialists in theory, experimentation and manufacturing. Like an able concert hall conductor, he sought a harmony, and sometimes a tension, between scientific disciplines; between researchers and developers; and between soloists and groups.

ONE element of his approach was architectural. He personally helped design a building in Murray Hill, N.J., opened in 1941, where everyone would interact with one another. Some of the hallways in the building were designed to be so long that to look down their length was to see the end disappear at a vanishing point. Traveling the hall’s length without encountering a number of acquaintances, problems, diversions and ideas was almost impossible. A physicist on his way to lunch in the cafeteria was like a magnet rolling past iron filings.

Another element of the approach was aspirational. Bell Labs was sometimes caricatured as an ivory tower. But it is more aptly described as an ivory tower with a factory downstairs. It was clear to the researchers and engineers there that the ultimate aim of their organization was to transform new knowledge into new things.

Steven Chu, secretary of the Department of Energy, won a Nobel Prize in 1997 for his work at Bell Labs in the early 1980s. He once said that working in an environment of applied science like Bell Labs “doesn’t destroy a kernel of genius, it focuses the mind.” At Bell Labs, even for researchers in pursuit of pure scientific understanding, it was obvious that their work could be used.

Mr. Kelly believed that freedom was crucial, especially in research. Some of his scientists had so much autonomy that he was mostly unaware of their progress until years after he authorized their work. When he set up the team of researchers to work on what became the transistor, for instance, more than two years passed before the invention occurred. Afterward, when he set up another team to handle the invention’s mass manufacture, he dropped the assignment into the lap of an engineer and instructed him to come up with a plan. He told the engineer he was going to Europe in the meantime.

In sum, he trusted people to create. And he trusted them to help one another create. To him, having at Bell Labs a number of scientific exemplars — “the guy who wrote the book,” as these standouts were often called, because they had in fact written the definitive book on a subject — was necessary. But so was putting them into the everyday mix. In an era before cubicles, all employees at Bell Labs were instructed to work with their doors open.

Saddled with a difficult problem, a new hire there, an anxious nobody, was regularly directed by a supervisor toward the guy who wrote the book. Some young employees would quake when they were told to ask a question of famous mathematicians like Claude Shannon or legendary physicists like William Shockley. Still, Bell Labs’ policy was not to turn them away.

THERE was another element necessary to Mervin Kelly’s innovation strategy, an element as crucial, or more crucial even, than all the others. Mr. Kelly talked fast and walked fast; he ran up and down staircases. But he gave his researchers not only freedom but also time. Lots of time — years to pursue what they felt was essential. One might see this as impossible in today’s faster, more competitive world. Or one might contend it is irrelevant because Bell Labs (unlike today’s technology companies) had the luxury of serving a parent organization that had a large and dependable income ensured by its monopoly status. Nobody had to meet benchmarks to help with quarterly earnings; nobody had to rush a product to market before the competition did.

But what should our pursuit of innovation actually accomplish? By one definition, innovation is an important new product or process, deployed on a large scale and having a significant impact on society and the economy, that can do a job (as Mr. Kelly once put it) “better, or cheaper, or both.” Regrettably, we now use the term to describe almost anything. It can describe a smartphone app or a social media tool; or it can describe the transistor or the blueprint for a cellphone system. The differences are immense. One type of innovation creates a handful of jobs and modest revenues; another, the type Mr. Kelly and his colleagues at Bell Labs repeatedly sought, creates millions of jobs and a long-lasting platform for society’s wealth and well-being.

The conflation of these different kinds of innovations seems to be leading us toward a belief that small groups of profit-seeking entrepreneurs turning out innovative consumer products are as effective as our innovative forebears. History does not support this belief. The teams at Bell Labs that invented the laser, transistor and solar cell were not seeking profits. They were seeking understanding. Yet in the process they created not only new products but entirely new — and lucrative — industries.

There’s no single best way to innovate. Silicon Valley’s methods have benefited our country well over the course of several decades. And it would be absurd to return to an era of big monopolies. Today’s telecom industries are thriving, and customers likewise have access to a dazzling range of affordable devices and services, which most likely would not have been true had the old phone company remained intact. Though it had custody of the world’s most innovative labs, AT&T introduced new products and services slowly, and rarely cheaply. As Time magazine once put it, “Few companies are more conservative; none are more creative.”

But to consider the legacy of Bell Labs is to see that we should not mistake small technological steps for huge technological leaps. It also shows us that to always “move fast and break things,” as Facebook is apparently doing, or to constantly pursue “a gospel of speed” (as Google has described its philosophy) is not the only way to get where we are going. Perhaps it is not even the best way. Revolutions happen fast but dawn slowly. To a large extent, we’re still benefiting from risks that were taken, and research that was financed, more than a half century ago.

Gunsmith Valentine Shuler (1808-85)

Walk any cemetery and be reminded that behind every marker lies a story. Among the older markers in Daviess County is one in Mt. Zion Cemetery near Jamesport, where rests a man once nationally known for his craftsmanship in making guns.

Skilled craftsmanship was evident in everything Valentine Shuler created.

Valentine Shuler (1808-1885) was born in Pennsylvania, married a girl from Ohio, and eventually died in Missouri. Today Shuler’s work still lives on among the guns featured in the book, “Ohio Gunsmiths & Allied Tradesmen” (by Donald A. Hutslar, published by the Association of Ohio Long Rifle Collectors, page 125). Some of the finest guns ever made in Ohio were from Valentine’s hand. There are dozens of surviving “Shuler Rifles” still in the marketplace although most of these are not at all like the “family gun.”

A gunsmith of national renown was Valentine Shuler (1808-1885), member of the famous Ohio family, who last resided in Jamesport, MO.

In a ledger covering the period 1837-45 there is evidence that Valentine Shuler was not only filling orders for guns but was also training apprentices. The ledger lists 33 special orders, though to be custom made guns rather than guns sold from stock. Prices ranged from $13 to $25. The record also lists the number of balls to a pound, barrel length, half or full stock weight, patch box style plus any special features ordered.

Shuler made patented locks, so if this was desired it was noted. One unusual order called for “German silver butt plate eight pieces of silver, brass around lock plate and patch box with spring hook.” The price was $20.

Information compiled by John Shuler, the great-great grandson of the gunsmith, includes comments describing four family guns that he owns. He writes:

“All four guns are different, so he (Valentine) expressed his artistic ability in different ways. He signed all of his guns apparently. Three that I own have Valentine Shuler on the barrel in block letters and the fourth and earliest is signed in script on the barrel and the lock plate has a script signature lus New Phila. Two that don’t have his handmade lock with ‘R&W.C. Biddle & Co., Philadelphia’ on the plate…

“One of the Valentines I have was made in Missouri. Many of its features reflect the change from Ohio to Missouri style and he was obviously affected by the Hawkins style plains rifles that were in demand there.”

The Shuler name is a familiar family name to Daviess County. Darwin Shuler (1898-1977) resided at Gallatin, north of the present day Eugene Taul residence at the east end of East Grand Street. Darwin Shuler was featured by photograph in the Daviess County History (published 1985, page 487). His genealogical records and personal memories help describe Valentine Shuler, the gunsmith of national renown.

Valentine Shuler was the great-grandson of Franz Schuller, a German who settled his family, associated with the German Reformed Church, in Berks County, PA. His son, Johann Valentine Schuller (1759-1833) was a renowned calligrapher whose works are treasured in numerous archives. About 1817 Schuller and his wife moved to Licking County, OH. The future master gunsmith was one of the couple’s six children. He was age 8.

By 1830 Valentine Shuler had developed a considerable gunsmithing trade and was co-owner of a sawmill. In 1853 after his first wife’s death, Valentine remarried and moved to Chillicothe, MO, in 1861. Four years later he relocated to Jamesport, acquiring small parcels of land and a homestead with his sons William David, Martin Banes, and Ulysses Franklin.

This marks the resting place of Valentine Shuler (18-8-1885) in Mt. Zion Cemetery at Jamesport, MO.

Valentine combined gunsmithing and farming, amassed a small personal library, and left behind scant papers in intermingled German and English. One of his sons, William David, lived on the same Jamesport farm for 67 years – continuing some gunsmithing and locksmithing while working as a railroad clerk and in local schools. William Shuler was the last of the Shuler gunsmiths in the lineage of craftsmen who worked in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Missouri for approximately 200 years.


Who taught whom?

The succession the craft of the gunsmith through the generations is often a matter of speculation rather than fact, since surviving documentation is so rare. This is certainly true for the Ohio Shuler Gunsmiths. Some surmise that Johann Valentin Schuller was a gun maker and, if so, it is reasonable to assume he trained Johannes (John) in Northumberland County, PA, before moving to Ohio. Johannes was approximately 23 and married with one son when he moved with his father to Licking County. If the old man did not do it, certainly Johannes was old enough to have trained his younger brothers, Daniel and Valentine. Also, Valentine passed the trade on to at least two nephews and one son.

How many guns made?

Don Shuler notes that a fine small lane, marked “J. Shuler,” has been passed down through the family. It has a numbering system of carefully inscribed grooves and hatches, and it stops at number “193.” This has the family this is the number of guns made by Johannes (John) Shuler over his lifetime. It is unknown how many total guns were made by the Ohio Shuler Gunsmiths.

Nameplates like this marked the craftsmanship and authentic work of Valentine Shuler

Gallatin Skate Center Built in 1964

June, 2017 — Judy Elbert will be selling between 75 and 100 pairs of roller skates from the Elbert’s Skating Rink. The collection includes white high-top ladies’ skates and black three-quarter-top men’s skates and children’s skates.

After years of unuse, the Gallatin Skate Center is getting cleaned up to house a flea market. Approximately 75 to 100 pairs of leather roller skates are being offered for sale by property owner Judy Elbert. Although in storage for 25-30 years, these skates can be easily reconditioned for use.

The skates will bring back lots of memories for those who can recall gliding along the wooden floor in an endless circle and leaning into corners while going perilously fast. Others will remember the bumps and bruises from spins and flips and zigzags gone wrong, and may still have the scars to prove it.

The roller rink, located on the south edge of Gallatin, was once a popular activity for children, teenagers, and adults.

The skating rink has not been in business for many years and Judy said she has only sold a few skates in the past.

“People who used to skate at the roller rink would ask to buy a pair just for the childhood nostalgia,” she said.

Recently, when James Hawks asked to rent the lot bordering the rink for a flea market, he suggested that Judy put the rental skates up for sale.

“They’re still usable; they have good wheels; they’re all in pretty good shape,” Judy said. “They’ve been sitting for 25-30 years so they’re a little dusty. But they’re made of good leather and can easily be cleaned and reconditioned and put back into use.”

Edward Elbert (Judy’s father-in-law) and N.C. Bennett were partners in the building of the roller rink. N.C. was the contractor, and it was built it in 1964. Mr. Elbert and Mr. Bennett ran it together for five years. Mr. Bennett eventually lost interest, so Mr. Elbert bought his share. Mr. Elbert ran the roller rink until he passed away in 1975. After that, his wife Margaret Pauline ran it for the next two years.

Carl and LaJoy Abbs leased and renovated the skating rink in 1977.  After that, Bonnie Lowe had a video business in the building for a number of years. That was the last time the building was rented out.

This photo, dated June 22, 1977, accompanied the newspaper article announcing the re-opening of the Gallatin Skate Center. Shown, from left, are youngsters Roger Woody, Teresa Frost, Kim Abbs, Kelly Elbert, Beth Schweizer and Slade Elbert with adults Carl and LaJoy Abbs who leased the rink. These young people — plus Jim Elliott, Mark Abbs and Chris Elbert who were not present for the picture — cleaned 787 ceiling tiles, and rebuilt 192 pairs of skates, including 1,536 wheels and 23,296 ball bearings, for the center’s re-opening.
Carl Abbs offers a steady hand to Denise Focht. Carl and his wife, LaJoy, reopened the center to the delight of many throughout the Gallatin community.

By far, the Elbert’s Skating Rink heyday was in the mid to late 60s.

“During those years, it was quite popular with the young people around here; there was skating every night,” said Judy. “On Friday and Saturday, there was an early night and then a late night session. Whole church congregations and other organizations would rent the building for skate parties on Sunday.”

Eddie Elbert was still running the rink during the heyday. “He loved skating, even when he was in his seventies,” Judy said. “He’d skate with the kids and have a wonderful time.”

Judy’s late husband Spence was also involved with the skating rink and would go down every night after working at the department store and stay until the rink closed.

Part of the fun at roller skating rinks involved contests testing skater prowess, as demonstrated here by Todd Evans in 1977.

Speed skating around Stacy Kirkendoll is Jerry Barlow in this photo snapped during the re-opening of Gallatin Skate Center in 1977.
Jessica Eskridge, left, was all smiles rolling onto the skating rink.
The skating rink was a favorite place for area youth to meet and make memories to last a lifetime. Shown are childhood buddies Denise Focht, Stacy Kirkendoll, Shelly Williamson and Candi Love. By 1980, Gallatin Skate Center housed a video business and skating rolled into nostalgia.
Youngsters enjoying their roller skating are Jason Love, Loren Adkins, and Alan Wood (1977).
Friendships strengthen as youngsters depend on each other to learn how to skate. Shown here is Jenny (?0, Stephanie Bradley and Amber Burns in 1977.
Debbie Pittzenbarger and Shelley Fales demonstrate “skating low,” a skill necessary to compete in The Limbo contests.
Roller skating served up plenty of humiliating moments… but all in fun. Here Alan Wood weathers a spill yet still laughs at himself in such a splitting predictament.
Candi Love demonstrates how the athletic agility of girls can rival that of the boys in roller skating. (1977)

USN Capt. James A. Shreckengaust

Vietnam War veteran James A. Shreckengaust is among those from Daviess County achieving high military rank. The native of Pattonsburg (PHS Class of 1954) retired after 34 years as a captain in the United States Navy.

Although he had many assignments, Shreckengaust was most proud of being the commanding officer of the military sea lift command in the Indian Ocean and Executive Officer of the USS Oklahoma City, Seventh Fleet Flagship home ported in Yokosuka, Japan.

Shreckengaust received his Bachelors of Mechanical Engineering from the University of Missouri and his Master’s in Computer Systems Management from the Naval Post Graduate School.

He was born Sept. 12, 1937, to Ralph and Vera (Campbell) Shreckengaust in Daviess County. He married Shirlene Huntsberger on Dec. 23, 1962. The couple raised three daughters, Jill Simmons (Dennis), Virginia Beach, VA; Robyn Lakamsani (Vamsee), Livermore, CA; and Karen Hanley (Michael), Austin, TX.; and have four grandchildren, Alexandra and Katherine Simmons and Sarada and Hansa Lakamsani. His sister is Reva Lupfer, McFall, MO.

He died Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014, at Heartland Regional Medical Center in St. Joseph, MO.

Commander James A. Shreckengaust, the commanding officer of the military sea lift command in the Indian Ocean and Executive Officer of the U.S.S Oklahoma City, Seventh Fleet Flagship home ported in Yokosuka, Japan. Shreckengaust, 76, of St. Joseph, MO, died on Feb. 26, 2014, at Heartland Regional Medical Center. He is buried at Leavenworth National Cemetery.

1973 Flood Waterlogs Pattonsburg

Daviess County is rebounding from the most severe flooding of the Grand River since the 1947 flood. Pattonsburg was hard hit this time with three-fourths of the community under water for about three days; farmers all along the river are suffering varying degrees of crop damage.

Accurate estimates of flood damage are hard to come by. Figures suppied by the ASC office to government officials indicate $3 to $4 million in crop damage and another million in damage to property, machinery, etc. But at least one bank official in the county said that, in his opinion, the total damage could approach $10 million or more.

This aerial photo was taken when flooding was near its crest with 9 uptown businesses and homes throughout Pattonsburg damaged by flood waters.

The American Red Cross made a tour of Pattonsburg and came up with 35 homes with major damage, 70 homes with lesser damage, and 14 mobile homes with major damage.

The crop damage is not confined only to those crops in the bottoms — but also to those crops on higher ground which were thoroughly soaked by the heavy rain which caused the flooding. The flooding resulted from heavy rain to the north wne west which descended on the county via Grand River, Grindstone, Sampson and Big Creek. The amount of rainfall above Daviess County varied from 4 to 6 inches on ground previously saturated from heavy rain.

A number of people were evacuated by boat while some merely walked through the water; in some areas of Pattonsburg the water rose to about four feet or higher. During the height of the flooding, the only entry into Pattonsburg was by boat or walking the railroad tracks. Hundreds of sightseers gathered.

A wide area of Northwest Missouri was declared a disaster area by Gov. Kit Bond and federal government designations are also anticipated.

At Gallatin, the water rose into the MFA and also into Froman Elevator areas east of the river for the first time since it was built. Water crept into the city’s sewage treatment plant settling basins. A sand plant and new ready-mix plant equipment were all under water.

The river’s crest nearly equaled the mark set in 1947 in some locations but fell short in others. It is believed this is due to the location of the tributaries which fed the flood, as well as the contour of the land which has drastically altered since 1947 by drainage projects and commercial uses.

At Jameson, the high water makres of prior floods in 1909 and 1947 were not approached — the level of the water at the Lewis Mill Bridge, for example, lacking 32 inches of hitting the 1947 mark.

Leland Stitt looks on the rising flood waters of the Grand River, standing on the Lewis Mill Bridge near Jameson. On the bridge beam, above the arm of Dale Alexander, is the high water mark of the 1909 flood; below his arm is the high water mark of the 1947 flood. The 1973 flood crest was approximately 32 inches lower than the 1909 mark.

The major flooding has left the county and areas from Livingston County south to the river’s mouth at flood stage. Fortunately, the rain to the south was not nearly as heavy as in the north — had it been, the losses would have been far worse. As it is, the Grand River was spread all over the bottom from Albany to Brunswick.

There are two ironies connected wit the flood. The first was that Congress approved an immediate start on the reservoir project on Friday, not being aware that a serious flood was in progress as they voted.

The second irony was that the S.O.S. organization, which had invited city people to come up Sundy for a tour of the area as part of their strategy to get public opinion against the reservoir, had to postpone the even because of flooding.

Congressman Jerry Litton has kept in close touch with the river situation, having suffered personal losses in the past floods himself. He flew over the flooded areas last weekend and had photos taken of the flood. He has requested President Nixon to declare the region a disaster area and provide federal disaster relief programs and benefits.

–taken from the Gallatin North Missourian Oct. 18, 1973

Unusual Weather, Flood Stages Recorded

The year of 1936 was remarkable for the grasshoppers eating all vegetation, including the bark off trees. The following year was also a “grasshopper” year. But 1937 is remembered for another weather-related hardship. Daviess County was covered with a heavy coat of ice for 5 consecutive weeks — the ice was 5 inches thick!

On May 3, 1943, it began raining and rainfall didn’t stop for three weeks. Water overflowed into the Grand River bottoms. By June 11, 1943, the river reached the 28-ft. flood stage. It rained on Easter Sunday (April 25, 1943) and rained on seven consecutive Sundays.

On Dec. 18, 1945, Daviess County endured a 9-inch snowfall with the temperature at 11 degrees below zero.

Snowfall on Dec. 23-24, 1958, measured 15 inches deep with temperatures at 22 degrees below zero.

July 1975 was the driest July since 1888, according to an article published in the Kansas City Times. Only .25 of an inch of rainfall was recorded at the weather station at Kansas City International Airport, breaking the prvious dry record of .36 of an inch set in July, 1936. Average precipitation for this month, according to the National Weather Service, is 4.37 inches.

FLOOD STAGES:

The following flood stage measurements, spanning 42 years, were recorded by Mrs. Russ (Alma) Wilson for local records:

  • July 7, 1909 — 39.06 feet
  • July 2, 1915 — 36.06 feet
  • May 15, 1916 — 34.0 feet
  • May 28, 1917 — 36.0 feet
  • March 16, 1919 — 34.03 feet
  • April 11, 1919 — 25.0 feet
  • May 5, 1919 — 34.03 feet
  • June 5, 1919 — 34.03 feet
  • March 27, 1920 — 27.04 feet
  • July 12, 1922 — 36.05 feet
  • July 1, 1924 — 30.05 feet
  • Sept. 17, 1926 — 36.09 feet
  • Oct. 5, 1926 — 34.03 feet
  • April 21, 1927 — 33.0 feet
  • June 4, 1927 — 30.0 feet
  • June 19, 1928 — 29.07 feet
  • July 24, 1928 — 32.08 feet
  • Sept. 15, 1928 — 31.04 feet
  • Oct. 18, 1928 — 30.0 feet
  • Nov. 19, 1928 — 35.05 feet
  • April 4, 1929 — 33.06 feet
  • June 2, 1929 — 37.07 feet
  • July 7, 2919 — 33.07 feet
  • Nov. 16, 1931 — 29.03 feet
  • Nov. 25, 1931 — 33.0 feet
  • Jan. 2, 1932 — 32.0 feet
  • June, 1935 — over high bottoms
  • June 11, 1941 — 27.04 feet
  • June 22, 1942 — 31.05 feet
  • May 5, 1943 — over low bottoms
  • June 11, 1943 — 28.0 feet
  • April 24, 1944 — 31.05 feet
  • May 17, 1945 — 30.03 feet
  • April 26, 1945 — 28.06 feet
  • Jan. 8, 1946 — over low bottoms
  • June 8, 1947 — 33.03 feet
  • June 22, 1947 — 34.85 feet
  • July 7, 1951 — 28.0 feet
  • Oct. 13, 1973 — 32 feet

Distinguished Flying Cross to Capt. Jim Sears, Jr. for Heroism Against Taliban

Awarded for actions during the Global War on Terror

General Orders: Headquarters, U.S. Central Command Air Force (USCENTAF), Special Orders G-334 (August 21, 2002)

Distinguished Flying Cross

Action Date: January 20, 2002
Service: U.S. Air Force
Rank: Captain
Company: 18th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 2, 1926, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross with Combat “V” to Captain James R. Sears, Jr., United States Air Force, for heroism and extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight as F-16CG flight lead, 18th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron on 20 January 2002.

Captain Sears distinguished himself as On Scene Commander for a downed CH-53 in a heavily defended area of Taliban control in Northern Afghanistan during Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. During the Combat Search and Rescue he organized, directed, and controlled a total of 13 aircraft including three Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, five helicopters, one C-130, two F-16s, and two F-18s. He rapidly developed a deconfliction plan that ensured the safety of all assets and allowed them to operate within a five nautical mile radius of the downed helicopter. After receiving the initial coordinates of the crash site he realized they were over one nautical mile off the actual location in heavily mountainous terrain.

After a diligent, methodical search of the area, Captain Sears was able to get his eyes on the site, provide a perfect talk-on for his wingman, and direct the other support assets to the crash site. Using on-board sensors, Captain Sears was quickly able to pass updated coordinates to the thousandth of a degree to command and control agencies without compromising the safety of the entire rescue operation. He expertly sanitized the 60 nautical mile ingress and egress route through enemy territory.

Captain Sears then executed the demanding task of rescue escort for two helicopters. This involved maintaining visual contact and constant coverage while flying over 300 knots faster and being 15,000 feet higher than the helicopters. Captain Sears, in conjunction with command and control assets, coordinated a plan to move three separate tankers close enough to the crash site to ensure constant command for the entire time on scene.

Captain Sears’ flawless flight leadership allowed him to intercept and visually identify a Red Cross aircraft flying in the vicinity of the downed helicopter, not identifiable by electronic means or talking to command and control assets, ensuring the safety of the entire rescue effort. Captain Sears passed off On Scene Commander duties to two United States Navy F-18s after 4.5 hours on scene.

Captain Sears’ tireless efforts and tremendous focus was unprecedented considering in his single-seat F-16 he flew more than 3500 miles, logged 11.1 hours, and ten air refuelings requiring more than 120,000 pounds of fuel to be onloaded through hostile territory. Captain Sears’ courage, superior airmanship, and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of personal danger were instrumental in accomplishing this hazardous mission and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Air Force.

[Source: http://valor.militarytimes.com/recipient.php?recipientid=5557]

Daviess County Library Begins in 1947

The Daviess County Library was established as a county library by the voters in the spring of 1947. Miss Leona Funk was the first librarian followed by Mrs. Ross (Ina) Naylor, Betty Price, and then Jan Johnson (who retired in September, 2016, succeeded by Allison Spidle in October, 2016).

Prior to Jan’s promotion to the position of director, Jan had been a member of the staff and an active patron. In addition, Jan’s mother, Hazel Gibbens, was also on the staff and served as interim director.

At the time of Jan’s appointment to director in 1979, the library had already moved from its original location in the Van Dyke Building on North Main Street to the historic, Victorian two-story home at 215 North Main.

“The old building did not comply with the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act,” Jan said. “Even after building a ramp, the building was crowded and spacing was a problem. It was like overnight the building was no longer adequate for a library.”

Jan remembers that the first half of the 1990s was a period of major changes. In 1992, county residents were asked to vote an increase in the tax levy. “That was something I lost sleep over,” said Jan. But the voters came through, and the tax levy went from 10 to 20 cents per $100 of the assessed value.

In 1993, the Pattonsburg branch, which opened in 1952, was closed due to the 100 Year Flood….”Seeing the pictures of all the books underwater, it was hard to take.”

Daviess County Library, housed in the 1900 Queen Anne style residence on N. Main Street, Gallatin

In December, 1995, the county library relocated to 306 West Grand, Gallatin. The building which previously housed a car dealership, was purchased using a matching federal grant $131,500 for a total of $263,000. It was the last year federal funds would be available for any type of library construction or renovation. The staff moved 30,000 books, five years of 40 magazine subscriptions, videos, cassettes, shelves, cabinets, microfilm paperbacks, computers and numerous heavy items (an atlas stand weighed 150 pounds!).

“Using federal funds, which were later audited, and working with architects and contractors was not part of most librarian’s job descriptions,” Jan said. “Many decisions made during the building process were a learning process for me.”

Board President Daren Adkins said he admired Jan’s calm and poise as she kept the library fully functioning and open to the public through its move in 1995 and its many other renovations in the years to follow.

“She spearheaded the move in 1995 and that was a big job,” he said. “Through the years, she has led the process of digitilization and electronics and she has been instrumental in writing numerous grants that allowed many new programs and services.”

INTERIOR IMPROVEMENTS:

In December of 1995, the lower level community room was renovated through a gift of $100,000 from Farmers Bank of Northern Missouri, formerly First National Bank of Gallatin.

In April of 2014 a new reading area opened. This donation was in memory of Lloyd and Helen Weldon and their family. After Lloyd’s death Helen remarried and was later known to many as Helen Burge. The 15 foot by 45 foot reading area is located in the north end of the library. New furnishings included comfortable egg chairs, sofas, conference table and chairs. Custom made bookcases now divide the area into three sections. Modern lighting and wall art complete the contemporary look.

EXTERIOR IMPROVEMENTS:

Since 1995 the library was also able to make several exterior improvements, including a new roof, a synthetic stucco finish, metal coping on parapet walls, metal canopies over main and community room entrances, and larger, bolder signage on east side of building.

The community parking areas were paved; automatic door openers were installed; the southern library boundaries were expanded and fenced, and several areas were landscaped.

Gifts and donations which helped make the renovations possible included a contribution from the Franklin Wilder Estate of around $45,000 in 2005, and a $20,000 gift from BTC bank in 2008.

MODERN INSIDE AND OUT:

The Daviess County Library is modern inside and out – and it features a lot more that just books.

Today the library offers special areas and services to meet the desires of all users: children’s castle, children’s computer area, teen section, public computers, hi-speed wireless Internet, computer lab, digital format in the genealogy department, gaming programs, electronic books, to name a few.

The Daviess County Library accepts as its basic objectives the provision and servicing of selected books and other materials which aid the individual in the pursuit of education, information or research, and in the creative use of leisure time.

“Updates and improvements are vital,” said Jan. “But it’s equally important for the staff to maintain a personal, friendly relationship with our library patrons.”

East side main entrance (under doorway canopy at left) into the Daviess County Library (2017)
Community Center entrance on west side of Daviess County Library (2017)

Many other fine features and furnishings in the library today would not have been possible if not for the donations and efforts of individuals, groups, and businesses.

  • April 16, 2014 New Reading Area in Library Set to Open. This donation is in memory of Lloyd and Helen Weldon and their family. After Lloyd’s death Helen remarried and was later known to many as Helen Burge.
  • Nov. 8, 2013  iPad the Fad at County Library
  • Aug. 2, 2013 A new bench is ready for outside seating. Greg Houghton designed, built, and set this bench in memory of his mother, Nancy Houghton, who was an avid reader and supporter of the library.
  • April 2013 Through a gift from the Lake Viking Homemakers, the Daviess County Library has purchased a digital image converter that converts old slides.
  • April 2013 Secretary of State Jason Kander announced the Daviess County Library received a Nonfiction Collection Makeover Grant in the amount of $4,000.
  • February 2013 Secretary of State Jason Kander announced Daviess County Library received service and programming funds in the amount of $10,699.43.
  • October 2012 E-Readers available for check out at Library.
  • August 2012 Jone Perry retired after 23 years.
  • July 2012 Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan has announced the Daviess County Library received an eReader Exploration Grant in the amount of $1,580.
  • June 2012 Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan recently announced the Daviess County Library received a Website Makeover Grant totaling $4,707.
  • April 2012 Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan recently announced the Daviess County Library received a Targeted Collection Development Grant in the amount of $1,200.
  • November 2011 Daviess County library offering online classes.
  • July 2011 Low vision aids available at the county library.
  • May 2011 Anita J. (Janie) Dunning, Missouri USDA Rural Development State Director, announced funding of $15,750 to the Daviess County Library to install a new roof on the library.
  • November 2010 The Daviess County Library 2010 book budget was increased by almost 33% through a Missouri State Targeted Collection Grant.
  • June 2010 County library receives grant for 11 new computers The total grant amount was $9,900.
  • Oct. 2009 Daviess County Library is now a wi-fi hotspot
  • Aug. 2009 Mary Jo Pittsenbarger uses her artistic skills to paint the book-shaped pillars at the Daviess County Library.
  • July 2009 Daviess County Library receives over $5,000 from Gates Foundation
  • May 2009 The Daviess County Library has received a Missouri State Library Technology Mini Grant in the amount of $5,241.
  • October 2008 BTC Bank recently presented $20,000 to the Daviess County Library to be used toward exterior renovation of the library.
  • February 2007 The Daviess County Library received notification from the State Library and the Secretary of State’s office that it had been approved for an LSTA Teen Space program grant of $9,000.
  • May 2006 The Daviess County Library and the Gallatin First Christian Church are recipients of a very generous donation from the estate of the late Franklin Wilder. The library and church each received $25,000 about halfway through the probate proceedings from the sell of real estate. Both distributees have $19,919 still coming along with four gas wells which have been inventoried
  • May 18, 2005 Retirement reception for Jean Fales
  • December 2004 Gallatin DAR presents flag to library
  • September 2004 Improvements underway at library, new sign will be added
  • May 2004 Daviess County Library receives grant to host fair for senior citizens The library has received a $1,240 Federal IMLA/LSTA grant
  • January 2003 Computer classes offered at public library
  • February 2002 Raffle winners donate Big Screen for public use at county library Access II fund raiser helps make everyone a winner!
  • October 2001 County library receives $44,620 grant Secretary of State Matt Blunt in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s U.S. Library Program announces grants totaling $44,620 for the Daviess County Library System for computer hardware, software, training, and technical support. The library will receive a cash grant for computers, a laser printer, and wiring costs.
  • March 2001 The Daviess County Library was awarded a $6,517 grant from the Missouri State Library to purchase two new computers.
  • March 2001 The Verda Clements Memorial Fund has placed a piano in the Daviess County Community Room.
  • August 2000 Improvements at the Daviess County Library in Gallatin are being funded by Public Library Equalization funding received locally for the second consecutive year. County Librarian Jan Johnson says over $17,000 received here financed book purchases boosting the young adult book series, the audio book department and computer technology at Gallatin and at the Jamesport branch.
  • July 2000 Helen Muller caps 24 years serving on the library board
  • June 1999 A new parking lot is completed and other exterior remodeling projects are in progress this summer at the Daviess County Library in Galatin. A fund raising drive in support of the project is still in progress. The project is estimated at $37,500. Fund raising efforts have thus far raised $28,400. The library is still accepting donations and the library staff hopes the work can be done completely with contributions. Those donating $25 or more will receive a canvas book bag with the library logo printed on the front. Present donations have ranged from $1.00 to $1,000.00.
  • December 1995 The library relocated in the building at 306 West Grand, Gallatin in 1995, using a matching federal grant ($131,500) for a total of $263,000, which was the last year that federal funds have been available for any type of library construction or renovation.
  • December 1995 The lower level community room was renovated through gift of $100,000 from Farmers Bank of Northern Missouri, formerly First National Bank of Gallatin.

Honor Flight an Emotional Trip for Korean War Veteran Jim Edwards

When Korean War

veteran Jim Edwards of Jamesport and 55 other veterans aboard Honor Flight arrived in Washington, D.C., they were met by a crowd of people who applauded, shook their hands, and thanked them for their service.

“It was pretty emotional,” Jim said. “It was a long day and exhausting — but well worth it.”

The group had to be at the airport by 4 a.m. for the American Airlines flight. They left Kansas City at 6:30 a.m. on Nov. 3, 2016, and arrived back at 10:30 p.m. the same day.

Honor Flight Network is a non-profit organization created solely to honor America’s veterans for all their sacrifices. Honor Flight transports our heroes to Washington, D.C. to visit and reflect at the memorials dedicated to honor the service and sacrifices of themselves and their friends. Top priority is given to the senior veterans – World War II survivors, along with those other veterans who may be terminally ill.

Of Jim’s group of 55 veterans, 30 were in wheelchairs. Each veteran was to have a guardian who assisted them. Jim’s guardian was his daughter, Jill. Jill also assisted another veteran, Dean Weddle, 90, of Allendale, after Dean’s own guardian couldn’t make the trip.

After arriving at Reagan Airport, the group got on two tour buses led by a motorcycle cop who buzzed them through all the stoplights to the World War II memorial. There they saw the laying of the wreath ceremony. Next was the Korean and Vietnam and Lincoln Memorials. A group photo was taken at the Iwo Jima Memorial. Then they departed for Arlington National Cemetery to view the “Changing of the Guard” at the tomb of the unknown soldier. There are over 400,000 graves at Arlington. Lastly they viewed the Air Force Memorial, which is a fairy new addition. Jim said the tour bus drove by the Pentagon building and also the White House.

Jim is a veteran of the Korean War, having served from 1951-1955. He was an SK2 in the Navy, stationed in San Diego. He was in the service for nine months when he married his childhood sweetheart, Janene. Two of their four children were born in San Diego. Janene passed away 11 years ago and they lost a daughter.

Veteran Jim Edwards of Jamesport with pilot, Jared Williams

 

 

Jim did not know any of the other veterans on the Honor Flight. But he did know the pilot, Jared Williams, the son of a family friend from Jamesport. Jared’s grandfather was aboard a World War Two destroyer at Leyte Gulf, the second battle of the Philippine Sea and the largest naval battle in history. Jared was proud to display his grandfather’s honor flag in the window of the plane. Jim and Jill got some special treatment since they knew the pilot. They were ushered first on the airplane and got to sit in the cockpit for some pictures.

In Washington, D.C., Jim was also surprised and pleased that a grandson, Bryce Hughes, who works at an IRS building, came to the memorials to visit with him.

The group of veterans arrived back home at about 10:30 p.m.

“When we arrived in Kansas City, there were two- or three-hundred people lined up to greet us,” Jim said. “They cheered and banged drums and gave us lots of farewell hugs. I came back with videos, pictures, and wonderful memories.”

Gallatin’s Dr. Larry Dickinson Awarded Family Physician of the Year (2017)

Larry Dickinson, D.O., family physician in Gallatin, was awarded the 2017 Osteopathic Family Physician of the Year Award by the Missouri Society of the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians (MSACOFP).

Dr. Dickinson was honored at a ceremony on Jan. 28, 2017, at the Hilton Garden Inn in Independence, MO, during the 2017 MSACOFP Winter Scientific Seminar. The prestigious award is given to an osteopathic family physician who exemplifies the principles of osteopathic family medicine via outstanding accomplishments and service for the betterment of the osteopathic profession. He was nominated by John R. Sparks, D.O.

Dr. Larry Dickinson, Gallatin

Dr. Dickinson is a 1975 graduate of A.T. Still University – Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kirksville, MO. He has been in private practice for over 40 years and is an active staff member at Hedrick Medical Center in Chillicothe. He is board certified in family medicine by the American Osteopathic Board of Family Physicians. Dr. Dickinson has been active with the MSACOFP for many years and served on the Board of Governors from 2010-2012.

Dr. Dickinson also served the Missouri Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons (MAOPS) on its Board of Trustees and as a delegate at its House of Delegates.

Larry grew up on the family farm in “beautiful downtown Carlow” in Daviess County and they still own the farm.

Growing up on the farm, Larry dealt with runts and sickly animals on a regular basis. And he found that if he took care of them, they usually lived. And when they lived, they became his property. “I made money that way,” he said. He was actually born at Hedrick Medical Center and graduated from Gallatin R-5 High School in 1968.

His experience with small animals made him a hero to his young children when he saved their ailing pets, at one time even using an IV to care for a small dog with a flailed chest. The dog lived to a ripe old age.

Dr. Dickinson stopped delivering babies in 2004, due to the high cost of malpractice insurance. With malpractice insurance so high, after 28 years and roughly 2,000 deliveries (1,864 after coming to Gallatin, not counting the babies delivered in training), he made the decision to quit.

The last baby he delivered was on Nov. 10, 2004. He recalls that all of the OB nurses at Hedrick gathered for that last delivery, just to mark the milestone. There were so many nurses in the room that the mother asked if it was normal to have so many. But they were celebrating his last delivery. “Quitting was like withdrawal,” he said. “And we had an empty nest at the same time.”

When Dr. Dickinson first started his practice, there were eight physicians in Daviess County alone, and there were seven doctors making deliveries at Hedrick in 1976.

Larry and Patty met while he was in medical school at Kirksville. Patty was working toward a degree in Special Ed and Learning Disabilities. Larry graduated on June 4, 1975, and the two were married three days later.

Patty spent some time in her chosen profession. She set up the K-12 programs for Special Ed and Learning Disabilities in Ashley, Michigan, Bowling Green, Missouri, and Gallatin, where she taught for three years.

But when Larry needed help at his office in Gallatin, Patty volunteered. They’ve worked in tandem since 1976. “We were newlyweds,” said Larry. “And we just didn’t see much of each other.”

The benefits of working together are many. “When you get home you don’t have to tell the story over again. She already knows it,” said Larry.

Together, Larry and Patty delivered 14 babies in his office. “She can hand me the right instruments, while holding a baby on her hip … at 1 a.m. in the morning. She is very adept!” Patty stayed at home for a few years when their kids were small, but then started bringing them to the office, the best kind of daycare … with both mom and dad around.

Larry and Patty built their home east of Gallatin on Highway O in 1989.

Both of the Dickinsons’ children have pursued careers in the medical field. Their son Patrick and his wife Ashley reside in Valparaiso, Ind. Patrick is in anesthesia as a CRNA and Ashley is the Chief Operating Officer of Porter Hospital in Valparaiso. Kari and her husband Eric Genenbacher reside in Mesa, Ariz., where they are busy with Eric’s dental practice and raising their daughter Reese and son Rhett.

Since Dr. Dickinson’s office is equidistant between four hospitals, many trauma victims are actually brought to his office to stabilize. He has dealt with many industrial accidents, as well as agricultural accidents.

“If you do what you’re trained to do, I can’t imagine not being kind and genuine as part of this vocation. It’s second nature, because it helps a lot of people more than medicine, especially patients who are terminal or have a disease that can’t be cured. And I always tell my young mothers that I don’t mind if they call me at home, because we’re both more comfortable knowing that the baby is ok. And it is great to have the privilege of taking care of five generations of a family, too.”

In 1983, the Columbia Missourian did a story on Dr. Dickinson, because his name kept cropping up in the university’s sociology studies concerning country doctors and doctor shortages. He has a long list of professional osteopathic affiliations on his resume. He served as Hedrick’s chief of staff in 1987, 2000 and 2005, as well as many other positions there. He served on the Board of Directors of Hedrick Medical Center from 1993-2003, and on the board of Grand River Medical System – St. Luke’s Health System from 2003 to 2005. He was the 1993 Missouri Emergency Medical Service Association “Physician of the Year.” He is also affiliated with Wright Memorial Hospital in Trenton and Daviess County Nursing and Rehab.

Dr. Dickinson may have been the last person to do family practice and OB, because that’s very uncommon now. But he still takes care of babies. The hours are not quite as long now. He doesn’t have to go to the hospital every day, so he can have office calls in the morning.

“I need to write a book,” Larry said. “My stories aren’t always sad or funny, but they’re good solid memories of 40 years. One night I parked in a different spot at the hospital, and the staff got concerned. I had put in a long night and had simply disappeared to take an hour’s nap, but I got in trouble for moving my parking spot!”

Dr. Dickinson’s most recent honor is from the MSACOFP, a network of osteopathic family physicians dedicated to providing the finest family medical care in Missouri. The mission of the MSACOFP is to preserve and promote the distinct philosophy and practice of osteopathic family medicine by advancing quality education, leadership and responsible advocacy. The MSACOFP actively works to defend and protect the rights and interests of the osteopathic family physician.

In Dr. Dickinson’s words to the Society:  “I would like to thank my wife and children for their support in allowing me to live this dream. All I’ve ever asked was the love and respect of my patients and my community. Now to be recognized by my peers; all I can say is, I humbly thank you.”

[Portions of this story were taken from an article printed in the Gallatin North Missourian in September, 2006, when Larry and Patty were chosen to be grand marshals in the Daviess County Chautauqua parade.]

Daviess County Couple Records Extraordinary Find of Indian Artifacts

April 15, 2006, started off as an ordinary spring day for Shannon and Amy McCrary of Pattonsburg — but it would quickly take an extraordinary turn as they discovered on a farm-ground hilltop some of the most spectacular blades ever created by Native Americans.

The McCrarys were mushroom hunting.

“We weren’t having any luck finding mushrooms so we switched over to looking for rocks,” said Shannon. “We knew there were some flint pieces scattered around and a campsite in the area.”

They concentrated their search on a hilltop where land had been cleared to build fence and seed with grass for pasture.

Their first clue to a lifetime discovery was made when Amy picked up a polished white blade measuring over five inches long, and then, moments later, another blade, equally huge.

The blades and artifacts from the McCrary collection found in Daviess County. The blades were laid out on black cloth and the photo was taken from a tractor seat. The McCrarys turned over their entire collection to Dr. David A. Easterla. Not a single artifact remains in their home as the collection should remain together.

“We found two points on that day,” said Shannon. “The first piece was not broken. The second piece was broken pretty badly.”

When they got home, they tried to find a match for the blades in their guidebooks. But they couldn’t identify them by the points. The blades were too large.

Amy and Shannon McCrary with their sons, Gunnar, the older boy, and Grady.

Certain there were more blades to be found on the hilltop, the McCrarys called Kenny Mort for advice. They knew Mr. Mort to be an avid collector of Indian artifacts in Daviess County. Kenny told them to make sure they documented their find, took pictures, and to notify a professional archeologist at a college or university.

The McCrarys contacted a university professor who told them they should have the area looked at to make sure it was not a burial ground. Disturbing burial sites, even ancient Indian burial mounds, is illegal in Missouri. The McCrarys had the site examined and it was determined that no bones or teeth were located there. That cleared the way for further excavation.

They returned to the site with hand trowels, tin foil and zip lock bags. They created a grid map to record every piece they picked up.

“We were pretty particular,” said Shannon. “We took exact measurements in case there would be future research.”

They dug in the same spot as before and found five more blades. All of the blades had been broken and placed into a pit. The hole measured about 25 inches around and was eight to 12 inches deep. All the broken pieces could easily be fitted together.

Before this discovery, the McCrarys had found small points, a small axe, some celts — or un-grooved axes, and some scattered chert — a common rock type consisting mostly of quartz crystals.

They were fully aware of the significance of their new discovery.

“Most hunters never find a cache. To find a cache is like striking gold,” said Shannon.

Many of the buried blades had been deliberately broken and buried — what archeologist call “killed”. The Indians of old had not used these blades to hunt elk or scrape hide or clean fish.

“They weren’t used for anything,” said Shannon. “The blades were strictly made and killed for a ceremonial purpose.”

And what was the purpose of the ceremony? Nobody knows for sure. But it is certain the blades had some type of symbolic power and were buried as part of a ritual. Perhaps it was an offering to the gods.

“It’s kind of a mystery,” Shannon said. “There are lots of theories. The blades were fantastic in color. They were beautiful. To go to that much trouble to knap them, only to break them and bury them, something significant had to have happened.”

The Medicine Man or Shaman cache. It includes five tiny picks; two polished disk-shaped stones; one game ball; one bright red jasper stone (and bird stone and burned chunk not shown). All the things found on the hilltops correspond with the age of the blades; it is all fairly close in origin.

Amy and Shannon found a total of 56 blades. About 43 of the blades were called Ouachita. These were the larger blades and the name derives from an Oklahoma Indian tribe.  There were four large unidentified blades with too many pieces lost for identification. There were also 13 unnamed blades.

“The 13 unnamed blades are significant in the artifact world,” said Shannon. “All blades have a name. It’s possible these blades will have our name put on them. That would be fantastic. We could call them ‘The McCrary Cache of Daviess County’ or whatever we wanted.”

The blades varied from five to nine inches in length. The killed blades were made of Burlington chert, which is not native to the area, but found in eastern Missouri, around the Jefferson City/St. Louis area.

Knapping is a technique for making stone tools and weapons by striking flakes from a core with a hard stone. Since no chips or flakes were found in the area, it is believed the blades were knapped somewhere else and brought there by the people.

Some of the blades had heat-treated faces. Heat treating makes chert easier to flake. The edges were often ground and polished.

For the next five months into August, Amy and Shannon would dig in their spare time. They eventually discovered 12 caches or pits.

Ten of the pits were killed. Two of the pits were established at a later time. But all of the artifacts dated from around the same time, plus or minus 50 years.

“In one of the caches we found what appeared to be a grass sack or a basket,” said Shannon. “Maybe they put the blades in the basket before they buried them.”

It is believed the 10 killed caches represent the Hopewell Culture. This is a culture well established to the south in the Kansas City area with over 30 registered sites.

“They would have been old, old; our idea of cavemen,” said Shannon. “The men averaged about five feet tall and lived to be around the age of 30. They had a hard life in a rough climate and amongst predators. If they saw a tornado or felt an earthquake for the first time, it would have been reason enough for a ceremony.”

Kenneth Mort experienced a moment of awe when he dug up this blade at the McCrary cache. This photo is of a large unnamed blade. It measures lengthwise nine inches with the greatest width being 3 1/8 inches.

All 12 of the caches were found on a center hilltop. The caches were from five to 35 feet apart.

“That one hilltop is a natural knoll,” said Shannon. “This is unusual because the Hopewell Indians built their own mound to bury their ceremonial pieces. Maybe they just liked the location. It was alongside a bend in the Grand River at the time. It would have been a beautiful spot 3,000 years ago. The ceremonial mound would have been located away from the main camp. The ceremonial area was off-limits.”

The center hilltop was surrounded by eight more natural knolls that stretched about three-quarters of a mile. These small hilltops faced south toward an old Grand River bed.

On two of the adjacent knoll tops, the McCrarys found a full groove axe, and three different types of arrowheads (Hardin, Goddard and Steuben point). These were all found on the surface.

It was another exciting moment for the McCrarys when they discovered a fire pit on the same center hilltop. The fire pit was eight to 14 inches deep and three feet in diameter. It contained charcoal and red ochre.

Early on in their dig, the McCrarys met David A. Easterla, who studied at the University of Missouri and later received his doctorate a Purdue University. He worked for the National Park Service for 15 summers. He retired from a 51-year career of teaching and is an Emeritus Distinguished University professor. As a researcher, Dr. Easterla believes publication is one of the best ways to advance archeology.

Dr. Easterla visited the McCrary site many times. He sent samples off to carbon date the fire pit and to determine the origin of the points and chert. The age of chert is determined by examining the patina. Patina is a thin layer on the surface of stone that builds over time.

The charcoal carbon dated 3,041 years before present day. This was the Late Archaic period.

It took 11 years for the McCrarys to finish their research. They have turned their whole find over to Dr. Easterla who displays it in his collection.

A broken blade found in a cache containing five Ouachita blades, the longest measuring 7 3/4 inches; one large broken unnamed blade; one unbroken Epps blade measuring 4 9/16 inches long; plus 11 galena pieces. The McCrary Cache photographs are featured in “Who’s Who in Indian Relics, Volume 11” by Steven R. Cooper, available at the Daviess County Library in Gallatin. The volume is 600 pages with thousands of rare and interesting artifacts shown in color and large, easy-to-read layout.

His collection is among the Who’s Who in Indian Relics by Steven R. Cooper, which has been placed in the Daviess County Library as a memorial book by Kenny and Kraig Mort.

“A very special thanks to the Mort family, Kenny, Katherine and Kraig Mort,” said Shannon and Amy.

Dr. Easterla believed that the McCrarys’ find is one of the more profound flint finds ever made in the state of Missouri.

“The author seemed pretty excited to have our caches in his book,” said Shannon.

Shannon now makes presentations on his artifacts to school and clubs.

“Ultimately, the goal was to record the find for future reference, to make sure history was properly noted,” he said. “If someone finds similar artifacts they’ll have a reference to do a comparison. And somebody, someday, will find more. My theory is that 90 percent of artifacts are found by hunters, not archeologists. About 80 percent of the artifacts in this area are still yet to be found.”

The story of the ancient Hopewell tribe has yet to be told.

“The only way we have of knowing our ancestors is through stone,” said Shannon. “They left behind no history books. All we have as evidence of their existence is from the pieces we find today. Where did these people go after leaving Daviess County? Their story continues.”

And the McCrary story continues as well.

“Our son, Gunnar, is 10, and loves to go arrowhead hunting,” said Shannon. “The joke between us is that one of these days he’s going to find something big. He’s looking for that treasure.”

 

USAF Brig. Gen. Jim Sears Returns After Counterterrorism Command Overseas

Air Force Brig. Gen. Jim Sears, who commanded the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing (AEW) at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan for the last 12 months, returned home to the United States on June 4, 2017.

The Gallatin Class of 1987 graduate took a military flight to Qatar, located next to Saudi Arabia and across from Iran in the Persian Gulf, then changed to a commercial flight to Miami to later arrive in San Antonio, TX, late on Sunday. The trip home took 27 hours.

Sears will continue his Air Force career as the Director of Intelligence, Operations, and Nuclear Integration, Headquarters Air Education and Training Command, Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, TX.

Brig. Gen. Jim Sears on an F-16 while in counterterrorism duty in Afghanistan (2016)

The 455th AEW is considered as the premier counterterrorism air mission in Afghanistan. The wing’s operations enable the NATO Resolute Support mission to successfully train, advise, and assist the military and security forces of Afghanistan, while restricting and deterring the terrorist threat in the region.

During his time at Bagram Airfield, Brig. Gen. Sears’ leadership enabled 15,800 combat sorties, accumulating to 102,877 combat hours. This resulted in more than 1,369 kinetic strikes and 2,836 enemies killed in action.

These details were reported on the website of the U.S. Air Forces Central Command where Sears thanked his family for their sacrifice the last year. He also thanked the airmen who project airpower every day as he departed from command duty in Afghanistan.

“Commanding in combat truly has been the greatest honor in my career,” said Brig. Gen. Sears.

“There are U.S. and coalition forces that were able to go back and hug their families because airmen were there when they needed them. Because of [455th AEW] airmen like you, there are fewer terrorists in the world today. I am tremendously proud of what you do every day to protect America.

“Thank you for your service and I thank your families for their sacrifices today and every day, so we can successfully conduct counterterrorism operations and enable the train, advise, and assist campaign with our Afghan partners. America is safer because of you.”

Sears’ replacement, Brig. Gen. Craig Baker, took command of the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing during a change of command ceremony June 3, 2017, at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. Baker is a command pilot with more than 2,600 flying hours and has commanded at the Squadron and Wing level.

In 2015 USAF Col. James R. Sears, Jr., was nominated for appointment to the grade of brigadier general as announced by U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter. At that time Sears was serving as the director for assignments and air expeditionary force operations, Air Force Personnel Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, TX.

This promotion is one of many during a distinguished military career.

Prior to his current assignment Sears was the 14th Flying Training Wing Commander where he led more than 3,000 Airmen and civilians in conducting Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training for US Air Force and allied officers. The wing possessed the largest fleet of aircraft in the Air Force inventory with 222 aircraft and produced more than one-third of all USAF pilots.

Colonel Sears was commissioned in 1991 as a graduate from the United States Air Force Academy. He has commanded at multiple levels and held staff assignments at Pacific Air Forces and U.S. European Command. He is a command pilot with over 3,200 flight hours and operational experience from C-130 low level special operations to every conventional mission in the F-16.

In 2003 he was awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross for heroism after successfully leading an 11.3 hour combat search and rescue that resulted in the safe recovery of seven US Marines in a downed helicopter in Afghanistan.

Brig. Gen. Jim Sears, Jr., with father, Jim Sears, Sr.

Brig. Gen. Sears and his wife, Vikki, have two daughters. His father, Jim Sr., and wife Gina, live in Arizona. The elder Sears owned and operated Pill Box Pharmacy, once located on the east side of the Gallatin business square, for several years.

The following career milestones were current for Brig. Gen. Jim Sears, Jr., as of August, 2014:

EDUCATION

  • 1991 Bachelor of Science in Political Science, United States Air Force Academy 1997 Master of Arts in Human Resource Development, Webster University
  • 1998 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
  • 2003 Air Command and Staff College, by correspondence
  • 2005 Air War College, by correspondence
  • 2006 Master of Science in Joint Campaign Planning and Strategy, Joint Advanced Warfighting School, National Defense University
  • 2011 Leadership Development Program, Center for Creative Leadership
  • 2012 Executive Leadership Development Program, Darden School of Business, University of VirginiaASSIGNMENTS
  • August 1991 – September 1992, Student, Undergraduate Pilot Training, Williams AFB, Ariz.
  • October 1992 – January 1993, Student, C-130 Replacement Training Unit, Little Rock AFB, Ark.
  • January 1993 – December 1995, C-130 Aircraft Commander, Special Operations Low-Level II Pilot, and mission scheduler, 40th and 41st Airlift Squadrons, Pope AFB, N.C.
  • December 1995 – March 1998, assistant chief of standardization and evaluation, T-3A Instructor Pilot and Flight Examiner, 557th Flying Training Squadron, United States Air Force Academy, Colo.
  • April 1998 – Jun 1999, Student, F-16 Replacement Training Unit, Luke AFB, Ariz.
  • July 1999 – April 2002, Wing Training and Life Support Officer, Flight Commander, and F-16 Mission Commander, 18th Fighter Squadron, Eielson AFB, Alaska
  • May 2002 – April 2003, Assistant Director of Operations, F-16 Instructor Pilot and Flight Examiner, 35th Fighter Squadron, Kunsan AB, Republic of Korea
  • April 2003 – June 2005, Deputy Director, Pacific Air Forces Commander’s Action Group, Hickam AFB, Hawaii
  • July 2005 – June 2006, Senior Developmental Education Student, Joint Advanced Warfighting School, Naval Air Station Norfolk, Va.
    July 2006 – July 2007, Chief of Wing Safety, 56th Fighter Wing, Luke AFB, Ariz.
  • July 2007 – October 2008, Commander, 61st Fighter Squadron, Luke AFB, Ariz.
  • October 2008 – August 2010, Special Assistant to the SACEUR and Commander, USEUCOM, Supreme Headquarters, Allied Powers Europe, Belgium
  • August 2010 – June 2012, Commander, 20th Operations Group, Shaw AFB, S.C.
  • June 2012 – July 2014, Commander, 14th Flying Training Wing, Columbus AFB, Miss.
  • July 2014 – Present, Director of Assignments and AEF Operations, Headquarters Air Force Personnel Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Tex.

FLIGHT INFORMATION
Rating: Command Pilot
Flight hours: More than 3200
Aircraft flown: C-130E, T-3A, F-16 blocks 25-50, and T-38C

MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS:
Legion of Merit with one oak leaf cluster
Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor Device
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster
Air Force Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters

EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION:
Second Lieutenant May 29, 1991
First Lieutenant May 29, 1993
Captain May 29, 1995
Major April 1, 2002
Lieutenant Colonel March 1, 2006
Colonel October 1, 2009

Dr. Lee Rogers, One of America’s Leading Podiatrists, Receives Award in Scotland

Dr. Lee Rogers (GHS Class of 1996) was named this month as one of America’s Most Influential Podiatrists by Podiatry Management magazine for his national leadership, research, and advocacy in prevention of amputations from diabetes.

His notable accomplishments included more than 150 published papers, articles, and book chapters on the subject, and he has delivered more than 400 lectures worldwide.  He currently serves as the medical director of the Amputation Prevention Centers of America, part of a company overseeing 200 wound care and limb salvage centers in 34 states.

Rogers said, “Every 30 seconds, somewhere in the world a limb is lost as a consequence of diabetes.  And after amputation, the prognosis is poor, 70% will die within 5 years.”  Yet, the World Health Organization estimates that 80% of diabetes-related amputations are preventable.

In a seminal paper, “The Right to Bear Legs, an Amendment to Healthcare,” Rogers explained how foot problems make up roughly one-third of the total cost of diabetes in the United States and how simple, inexpensive measures could save the healthcare system billions of dollars.  In 2016, the three national thought-leaders on the diabetic foot, including Rogers, founded a company to aid health insurance companies and governments to improve care and reduce costs related to the diabetic foot.

In 2011 in Paris, France, Rogers led the International Consensus on the Charcot foot, a rare but devastating complication in the diabetic foot frequently leading to amputation.  Rogers’s subsequent manuscript, “The Charcot foot in diabetes,” is now the most frequently referenced paper on the topic.

Dr. Lee Rogers

In June, Lee was selected as a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons in Glasgow, Scotland for his international work in diabetes complications.  Fewer than 20 American podiatrists have been admitted to the Royal College in its more than 400-year history.

Dr. Rogers has been quoted by the Wall Street Journal, US News and World Report, the Washington Post, and he’s appeared as a guest on ABC’s The Doctors, PBS’s American Medical Journal, and Al Jazeera International’s The Cure.  His work in diabetic amputation prevention has brought him to all 50 states and more than 30 countries.

Dr. Rogers is the son of Madelynn and Steve Adkison, Jameson, and the late Bob Rogers. His mother once owned and operated Sandman Motel in Gallatin; Bob Rogers owned and operated Skakey’s Place restaurant and also served as Gallatin mayor.

 

Extraordinary find of Indian artifacts

April 15, 2006, started off as an ordinary spring day for Shannon and Amy McCrary of Pattonsburg — but it would quickly take an extraordinary turn as they discovered on a farm-ground hilltop some of the most spectacular blades ever created by Native Americans.

The McCrarys were mushroom hunting.

“We weren’t having any luck finding mushrooms so we switched over to looking for rocks,” said Shannon. “We knew there were some flint pieces scattered around and a campsite in the area.”

They concentrated their search on a hilltop where land had been cleared to build fence and seed with grass for pasture.

Their first clue to a lifetime discovery was made when Amy picked up a polished white blade measuring over five inches long, and then, moments later, another blade, equally huge.

“We found two points on that day,” said Shannon. “The first piece was not broken. The second piece was broken pretty badly.”

When they got home, they tried to find a match for the blades in their guidebooks. But they couldn’t identify them by the points. The blades were too large.

Certain there were more blades to be found on the hilltop, the McCrarys called Kenny Mort for advice. They knew Mr. Mort to be an avid collector of Indian artifacts in Daviess County. Kenny told them to make sure they documented their find, took pictures, and to notify a professional archeologist at a college or university.

The McCrarys contacted a university professor who told them they should have the area looked at to make sure it was not a burial ground. Disturbing burial sites, even ancient Indian burial mounds, is illegal in Missouri. The McCrarys had the site examined and it was determined that no bones or teeth were located there. That cleared the way for further excavation.

They returned to the site with hand trowels, tin foil and zip lock bags. They created a grid map to record every piece they picked up.

“We were pretty particular,” said Shannon. “We took exact measurements in case there would be future research.”

They dug in the same spot as before and found five more blades. All of the blades had been broken and placed into a pit. The hole measured about 25 inches around and was eight to 12 inches deep. All the broken pieces could easily be fitted together.

Before this discovery, the McCrarys had found small points, a small axe, some celts — or un-grooved axes, and some scattered chert — a common rock type consisting mostly of quartz crystals.

They were fully aware of the significance of their new discovery.

“Most hunters never find a cache. To find a cache is like striking gold,” said Shannon.

Many of the buried blades had been deliberately broken and buried — what archeologist call “killed”. The Indians of old had not used these blades to hunt elk or scrape hide or clean fish.

“They weren’t used for anything,” said Shannon. “The blades were strictly made and killed for a ceremonial purpose.”

And what was the purpose of the ceremony? Nobody knows for sure. But it is certain the blades had some type of symbolic power and were buried as part of a ritual. Perhaps it was an offering to the gods.

“It’s kind of a mystery,” Shannon said. “There are lots of theories. The blades were fantastic in color. They were beautiful. To go to that much trouble to knap them, only to break them and bury them, something significant had to have happened.”

Amy and Shannon found a total of 56 blades. About 43 of the blades were called Ouachita. These were the larger blades and the name derives from an Oklahoma Indian tribe.  There were four large unidentified blades with too many pieces lost for identification. There were also 13 unnamed blades.

“The 13 unnamed blades are significant in the artifact world,” said Shannon. “All blades have a name. It’s possible these blades will have our name put on them. That would be fantastic. We could call them ‘The McCrary Cache of Daviess County’ or whatever we wanted.”

The blades varied from five to nine inches in length. The killed blades were made of Burlington chert, which is not native to the area, but found in eastern Missouri, around the Jefferson City/St. Louis area.

Knapping is a technique for making stone tools and weapons by striking flakes from a core with a hard stone. Since no chips or flakes were found in the area, it is believed the blades were knapped somewhere else and brought there by the people.

Some of the blades had heat-treated faces. Heat treating makes chert easier to flake. The edges were often ground and polished.

For the next five months into August, Amy and Shannon would dig in their spare time. They eventually discovered 12 caches or pits.

Ten of the pits were killed. Two of the pits were established at a later time. But all of the artifacts dated from around the same time, plus or minus 50 years.

“In one of the caches we found what appeared to be a grass sack or a basket,” said Shannon. “Maybe they put the blades in the basket before they buried them.”

It is believed the 10 killed caches represent the Hopewell Culture. This is a culture well established to the south in the Kansas City area with over 30 registered sites.

“They would have been old, old; our idea of cavemen,” said Shannon. “The men averaged about five feet tall and lived to be around the age of 30. They had a hard life in a rough climate and amongst predators. If they saw a tornado or felt an earthquake for the first time, it would have been reason enough for a ceremony.”

All 12 of the caches were found on a center hilltop. The caches were from five to 35 feet apart.

“That one hilltop is a natural knoll,” said Shannon. “This is unusual because the Hopewell Indians built their own mound to bury their ceremonial pieces. Maybe they just liked the location. It was alongside a bend in the Grand River at the time. It would have been a beautiful spot 3,000 years ago. The ceremonial mound would have been located away from the main camp. The ceremonial area was off-limits.”

The center hilltop was surrounded by eight more natural knolls that stretched about three-quarters of a mile. These small hilltops faced south toward an old Grand River bed.

On two of the adjacent knoll tops, the McCrarys found a full groove axe, and three different types of arrowheads (Hardin, Goddard and Steuben point). These were all found on the surface.

It was another exciting moment for the McCrarys when they discovered a fire pit on the same center hilltop. The fire pit was eight to 14 inches deep and three feet in diameter. It contained charcoal and red ochre.

Early on in their dig, the McCrarys met David A. Easterla, who studied at the University of Missouri and later received his doctorate a Purdue University. He worked for the National Park Service for 15 summers. He retired from a 51-year career of teaching and is an Emeritus Distinguished University professor. As a researcher, Dr. Easterla believes publication is one of the best ways to advance archeology.

Dr. Easterla visited the McCrary site many times. He sent samples off to carbon date the fire pit and to determine the origin of the points and chert. The age of chert is determined by examining the patina. Patina is a thin layer on the surface of stone that builds over time.

The charcoal carbon dated 3,041 years before present day. This was the Late Archaic period.

It took 11 years for the McCrarys to finish their research. They have turned their whole find over to Dr. Easterla who displays it in his collection.

His collection is among the Who’s Who in Indian Relics by Steven R. Cooper, which has been placed in the Daviess County Library as a memorial book by Kenny and Kraig Mort.

“A very special thanks to the Mort family, Kenny, Katherine and Kraig Mort,” said Shannon and Amy.

Dr. Easterla believed that the McCrarys’ find is one of the more profound flint finds ever made in the state of Missouri.

“The author seemed pretty excited to have our caches in his book,” said Shannon.

Shannon now makes presentations on his artifacts to school and clubs.

“Ultimately, the goal was to record the find for future reference, to make sure history was properly noted,” he said. “If someone finds similar artifacts they’ll have a reference to do a comparison. And somebody, someday, will find more. My theory is that 90 percent of artifacts are found by hunters, not archeologists. About 80 percent of the artifacts in this area are still yet to be found.”

The story of the ancient Hopewell tribe has yet to be told.

“The only way we have of knowing our ancestors is through stone,” said Shannon. “They left behind no history books. All we have as evidence of their existence is from the pieces we find today. Where did these people go after leaving Daviess County? Their story continues.”

And the McCrary story continues as well.

“Our son, Gunnar, is 10, and loves to go arrowhead hunting,” said Shannon. “The joke between us is that one of these days he’s going to find something big. He’s looking for that treasure.”

— written by T.L. Huffman, Gallatin North Missourian,
published April 12, 2017; Vol. 152, No. 46