A trip on Highway 190 to the bottoms of the Grand River takes you to Lock Springs. Hills will family names like “Pepper Hill” and “Reeter Hill” are out beyond “Blacksmith Corner.” An impressive memorial to one of Missouri’s favorite sons, Jerry Litton, stands in contrast to business buildings long past their prime. Some might say Lock Springs is no longer much of a town; its population hovers at half a hundred. It wasn’t always so.

In the early 1900s Lock Springs boasted of two hotels, a blacksmith shop, a lumber yard, drug store, dry goods store, grocery, a stove bolt factory, axe handle and barrel & stave factory — and a newspaper! It was home to more than 300 people.

This is Main Street at Lock Springs as it looked after being rebuilt following the devastating 1909 fire.

The town pump was covered by a bandstand. Town musicians, complete with uniforms, offered concerts.

Three springs ran out of a hillside at the edge of the Grand River bottom. For hundreds of years Osage Indians made an annual trek across the bottom land to the northern plain to hunt. A favorite camping spot was near these three springs.

In 1839 John D. Lock received a government grant of 320 acres which contained the three springs. Early white settlers began identifying the area as “Mr. Lock’s springs,” where women came by wagon to wash wool fleece while making cloth. Hence the town’s name.

Mr. Lock died in 1869. His land was divided and sold to Joseph Offield and Nathaniel Houston. In 1870 a hamlet called “Old Greasy” (because of its location near a particularly trecherous hill road) was moved — all three houses and one small store — to Mr. Houston’s portion of the ground near the springs. In 1872 Houston had the town of 14 blocks platted. A post office was established in 1871.

— Written by Peggy Wickizer for a 1995 Lock Springs Historical Calendar

This undated photo shows students attending school at Lock Springs in Daviess County, MO.

The Wabash Train Depot at Lock Springs, MO (date unknown)

Lock Springs Presbyterian Sunday School (1898-99, thought to be the only Sunday School in town and all came): Front row — Estel Smith, Clyde Minnick, __ Brown, Frank Litton, Willie Conner, Molly Grimes Eads, Winnie Pomeroy, Flay Litton Hosman, Maggie Stout House, __, __, __, __, __, Grade Porterfield, Dora Litton; Thom Houson, John Stevens, Mrs. Frank Moore, Tom Minnick, Lizzie Houston, Ermma Minnick Merrett, __, Lore Houston, Mollie Regina AStarrett, Allie Bray Litton, Emma Litton Platte Del Regan, Andrew Horeston, Jane Minnick, __, Clive Smith, Hester Stokesberry, Berilla Smith, Norma McClure Litton, __, Mary Gaston, Dallas Houston, John Minnick, __, Mary Broodeshire McClure. [courtesy Elizabeth Minnick]

A postcard scene of Lock Springs Presbyterian Church in 1908. (courtesy Jack Tingler)

This postcard photo (postmarked May 23, 1909) shows a Methodist Church located south of Lock Springs, MO. [photo courtesy Michael Sexton, the original mailed to his grandmother, Jenny Sexton, of Tulsa, OK]

Lock Springs as presented in the 1898 Daviess County Plat Book

One of the businesses operating at Lock Springs, MO, in yesteryear was the J.F. Brown Lumber Company. (date unknown)


This shows Lock Springs, MO, in yesteryear (date unknown)

Most communities organized municipal bands for entertainment and to encourage music education. These are member of the Lock Springs Concert Band (date unknown).

This scene shows East Side Lake Street in Lock Springs after a major fire on Aug. 29, 1909. The estimated property loss was $25,000. The J. F. Brown Lumber Company is shown in the background. The postcard photo was taken by Moren [postcard shared by Peggy Wickizer].

The Lock Springs Flour Mill was ruined by the 1909 flood of the Grand River. (courtesy Peggy Wickizer, Jamesport)

In 1906 the Lock Springs Christian Church organized and a building was donated. As church membership grew, a new church was dedicated in August, 1909, by George B. Taubman. The first minister was C.W. Worden. Membership grew to about 130 persons at one time. Mrs. Fannie R. Achauer was said to be the “mother” of the church becuase of her great work in its name.

The Braymer Concert Band is shown at Lock Springs on this postcard photo dated 1910. The only identification marks Irvin Eads, among those standing before the business building for groceries, hardware & implements.

This is G.W. Litton Sr., at his Dry Goods & Groceries store in Lock Springs, MO. At one time Litton was partner with W.T. (Uncle Tom) Minnick. [date unknown]

This is a 1914 photograph of the Moore Hotel Barber Shop. Shown from left are the Rev. W.F. Bradley, Claud Tait and the barber, Bill Moore.

This scene is typical of the Walt Minnick Drug Store in the late 1800s. Shown, left to right, are Walt Minnick and his son, Preston (standing on chair); Bob Eads, Frank Taylor and Henry Links.

This photo was included in a booklet celebrating the Lock Springs Post Office Centennial (1871-1971), printed by K&K Printing Company of Jamesport, MO.

Main Street of Lock Springs, MO, was busy with activity in yesteryear. (date unknown)

This is the southeast view of the H.H. Green Elevator in Lock Springs, MO. A wooden elevator was built in 1914, owned by Green and Tooley. It was operated by Perry Maxwell, followed by John Walter Bills. A hammer mill was added for grinding feed. The original wooden elevator burned in 1956. The third manager was Chester French, then Charles Brewer when this photo was taken.

Perhaps nothing says “Rural American” as the small post office building serving the Lock Springs community …with a coffee pot for its chimney. (North Missourian photo)

Vacant buildings along Main Street offer evidence that Lock Springs, MO, was once a thriving small town and community. (date unknown)