The Roaring Twenties: It was a time of conservatism, it was a time of great social change. From the world of fashion to the world to politics, forces clashed to produce the most explosive decade of the century. It was the times of Al Capone and Charles Lindberg.

  • In music, the three sounds were jazz, jazz, and jazz. The Jazz Age came about with artist like Bessie Smith and Duke Ellington. Youth ruled everything. From the young styles of dress to the latest celebrities. If it was young, it was the thing. It was the age of prohibition, it was the age of prosperity, and it was the age of downfall. It was the age of …everything.

The dome of the Daviess County Courthouse was decorated with streamers as Gallatin hosted the 1921 Chautauqua festival. Note the dirt path leading from the courthouse south entrance to the intersection of West Grand and Main Streets in the forefront of this picture.

This 1921 postcard scene depicts the First Baptist Gallatin Church, located south of the town square.

During the 1970s Dixie Murray Chapman bought a desk at an auction and found a number of documents in the desk drawers, mostly checks signed by Daviess County Treasurer Lee R. Pierce. This one stamped “Paid” dated 1921.

Pattonsburg’s oldest school building. The last class to graduate from this building was 1922. The building was then used as a grade school for a number of years. (courtesy Earnest Dickerson, Pattonsburg)

Daviess County Picnic during the summer of 1924.

Emmette Pittman and John Courter are shown at the Wabash Crossing train depot, east of Gallatin, MO, in 1926. Pittman was telegrapher and clerk while Courter was the agent at the crossing of the Rock Island and the Wabash train lines. (courtesy Juanita Pittman, KC)

These are the men who ran the Wabash Depot at Gallatin, MO, during the period between 1927-33. They are John E. Courter, Emmette Pittman, Robinson and Curley Yates; not shown are Jess Binney and Delbert Mooney. (courtesy Juanita Pittman, KC)

In 2008 the City of Gallatin chose to replace the municipal water tower with a new tower located west of the athletic field at Gallatin R-5 High School. Health concerns due to lead paint on the water tower built in 1924 prompted the upgrade. The 1924 tower, located just south of the business square, was dismantled and removed.

This Ferris Wheel was a popular attraction during the 1924 Coffeyburg Show. (courtesy Leta Wade)

The ‘Flapper’

  • This period was called the “Flapper Age.” Women sought fashions that seemed to show no bosom, no waistline, and hair nearly hidden under a cloche hat. This decade began the lucrative  manufacturing of cosmetics. Powder, lipstick, rouge, eyebrow pencil, eye shadow, colored nails. The flappers had it all!
  • The flapper, whose antics were immortalized in the cartoons of John Held Jr., was the heroine of the Jazz Age. With short hair and a short skirt, with turned-down hose and powdered knees, the flapper must have seemed to her mother (the gentle “Gibson Girl” of an earlier generation) like a rebel. No longer confined to home and tradition, the typical flapper was a young women who was often thought of as a little fast and maybe even a little brazen. Mostly, the flapper offended the older generation because she defied conventions of acceptable feminine behavior.
  • The flapper was “modern.” Traditionally, women’s hair had always been worn long. The flapper wore it short, or bobbed. She used make-up (which she might well apply in public). And the flapper wore baggy dresses which often exposed her arms as well as her legs from the knees down. However, flappers did more than symbolize a revolution in fashion and mores. They embodied the modern spirit of the Jazz Age.

Men’s Clothing, Fashion

  • Clothing for men became a bit more conservative in the 1920s. Trousers widened to as wide as 24 inches at the bottoms. Knickers grew in width and length and were called ‘plus fours’. White linen was popular during the summer.
  • And during the winter, an outstanding American coat was popular: the racoon coat. These were very popular with the college men. The slouch hat was made of felt and could be rolled up and packed into a suitcase. A wool suit was only $15.85. Garters were 40 cents. All this and a 12″ long cigarette holder. Cigarettes were 10 cents a pack.
  • By 1921 the longer skirt was back in style for women’s clothing, some long and uneven at the bottom. The short skirt was popular by 1925.
  • This period marked the spread of ready-to-wear fashion. More women were wage earners and did not want to spent time on fittings. The status symbol aspect of fashion was losing its importance as class distinctions were becoming blurred.
  • Inexpensive fashion became available. America moved ahead of other countries mass production of contemporary style clothing for women. America even produced several designers of this fashion including Jane Derby.

This memorial plaque is prominently displayed in the Daviess County Courthouse at Gallatin, MO, in memory of those who gave their lives in military service during World War I (1917-19). The plaque was dedicated May 30, 1924, by the Gallatin Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

The Newton Brothers, Notorious Bank Robbers: Four brothers, from a family of 11 children, began their career in crime during the Roaring Twenties. From 1919 to 1924 the gang robbed dozens of banks, claiming a 87 total but only 60 (confirmed) banks and 6 trains (confirmed, including the largest train robbery in American history. One of the banks victimized by Willis and Joe Newton was at Gallatin, MO.

This is Prairie Hall School District No. 57, located south of the junction of Hwy. 69 and I-35 today. This photo was taken during the 1925-36 school year when James O. Dickerson was teacher. Dickerson graduated from Grand River Academy at Gallatin in 1933. He was a country school teacher for 28 years and also worked for Shultz Studio in Gallatin. (courtesy Earnest Dickerson, Pattonsburg)

Emmette Pittman is shown jumping a train at the Wabash Crossing near Gallatin, MO, in 1927. (courtesy Juanita Pittman, KC)

On June 18, 1928, Pattonsburg was struck by a cyclone. There were no fatalities but buildings such as the Turner Hardware building shown here were damaged and families were homeless.

A tornado in 1928 took the roof of the ice plant north of the railroad tracks in Pattonsburg and hit the corner of the Baptist Church, taking the front off and shearing off a telephone pole. This building was located on North Main. No deaths occurred during the tornado but a cellar south of the Methodist Church was refuge for 28 persons.

The Gallatin High School football team of 1929: Front row from left — Loren Terry, Clifford Jarrett, Lowell Doak, Robert Place, Vincent Chamberlain, Homer Roberts, Gordon Murphy; 2nd row — Jeff Whitfield, Victor Brown, Forrest Stapleton, Pharea Ramsbottom, Bill Hockensmith, Busy C. Harvey, Paul Murphy, Maurice Richesson; 3rd row — Leonard Hosman, Bill Whitfield, Herbert Tate, George Koch, Dexter Harvey, Denver Smith, Joe Vyrostek, George Moore, Woodrow Tague, Carey Vyrostek, Wendell Smith, and Mr. Hammett.

This $10 bill, Series of 1929, was issued by the First National Bank of Gallatin. The bank issued bills for $5, $10 and $20, signed by Bank President Chas. Hemry and Cashier F.S. Tuggle, from its facilities on the south side of the business square. Note the bank’s charter number 5827, printed prominently on the front of the bill.

This is the back of a $10 bill, Series of 1929, issued by the First National Bank of Gallatin.

Stock Market Crash of October 1929

  • Thursday, October 24, 1929, has the dubious honor of being called Black Thursday because it was on this day that the New York Stock Exchange crashed, heralding the end of the “Roaring Twenties” and the beginning of the Great Depression. We’ve all read about it in the history books, but what was it like for the people of the time? What did they see in the newspaper when it happened? What did they see that might have warned them of the impending trouble — or worse, might have helped cause it??
  • In the 1920’s, things were really rocking in the US and around the world. The rapid increase in industrialization was fueling growth in the economy, and technology improvements had the leading economists believing that the uprise would continue. During this boom period, wages increased along with consumer spending, and stock prices began to rise as well. Billions of dollars were invested in the stock market as people began speculating on the rising stock prices and buying on margin.
  • The enormous amount of unsecured consumer debt created by this speculation left the stock market essentially off-balance. Many investors, caught up in the race to make a killing, invested their life savings, mortgaged their homes, and cashed in safer investments such as treasury bonds and bank accounts. As the prices continued to rise, some economic analysts began to warn of an impending correction, but they were largely ignored by the leading pundits. Many banks, eager to increase their profits, began speculating dangerously with their investments as well. Finally, in October 1929, the buying craze began to dwindle, and was followed by an even wilder selling craze.
  • On Thursday, October 24, 1929, the bottom began to fall out. Prices dropped precipitously as more and more investors tried to sell their holdings. By the end of the day, the New York Stock Exchange had lost four billion dollars, and it took exchange clerks until 5 a.m. the next day to clear all the transactions.
  • By the following Monday, the realization of what had happened began to sink in, and a full-blown panic ensued. Thousands of investors — many of them ordinary working people, not serious “players” — were financially ruined. By the end of the year, stock values had dropped by fifteen billion dollars.
  • Many of the banks which had speculated heavily with their deposits were wiped out by the falling prices, and these bank failures sparked a “run” on the banking system. Each failed bank, factory, business, and investor contributed to the downward spiral that would drag the world into the Great Depression.

— researched and presented by Wilbur Bush, Gallatin, MO

Note: Printed editions of the Gallatin North Missourian and the Gallatin Democrat are preserved on microfilm and available for viewing at the Daviess County Library, 306 West Grand Street, Gallatin, MO 64640


A flower parade was part of the 1901 Gallatin Street Fair.

Details shown in this scene of the Gallatin Street Fair of 1903 include a large clock (foreground) and a bandstand and tents on the courthouse lawn. The street clock was located in front of Davis Drug Store on East Main Street. Thus, the view of this photo is from the storefront, looking west.

This photo of the Daviess County Savings Association, on the southwest corner of the square, was taken in 1903. Standing from left: Robert Foster, Allen Place, John Roney, John Leopard, A.M. Irving, James Hunter, Wm Sheets (brother of Capt. John Sheets), J.T. Day, Jacob Mettle (in doorway), Wm Yeisley, Wm Pendleton, James Vandyke, Thomas J. Crain, Arch Cope, Joseph Koger, J.B. (Pole) Brown, Samuel McDonald, E.M. Mann, Charles McCoy, Thomas Hemry; seated from left: Wm Fisher, Mathew R. Mann, S.P. Cox, Benton Miller, D. Harfield Davis.

This GHS football team posted a perfect 5-0 record in 1904. Shown are: Coach Jack Grover, Vincent Brandom (LG), Ralph Cline (LT), Clarence Beck (HB), Ralph Davis (HB), Preston Alexander (HB), Ed Sawyer (C), Alex Richardson (FB), Capt. Boyd Dudley (QB), Rufus Howard (RG), James Gillispie (E), Prof. Fred Haynes (mgr.) Harry McClure (E), and Fred Harrison (mascot). Scores were as follows: GHS over GRC, 21-0; GHS over Trenton, 5-2; GHS over Cameron, 11-0; GHS over Hamilton, 52-0; GHS over Trenton, 16-0. [identification by Mrs. Alberta Brown]

National fiscal policies favoring national banks originated in 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln signed the National Currency Act. A national bank could circulate notes with a total value that depended on the value of securities if deposited with the U.S. Treasurer. Local banks could loan 90 cents for every dollar paid. The currency was delivered in large sheets to the local bank where individual bills were cut; irregularities make these bills extremely valuable to collectors today. Not all banks, even those chartered as national banks, issued money. A charter was good for 20 years. When a bank bought out another bank or holding company, the buying bank’s name might be shown on the bill with the purchased bank’s charter number. This example was issued by the First National Bank of Gallatin, when Chas. Henry was bank president operating facilities on the south side of the Gallatin business square. (circa 1897-1901; courtesy Jim Mogg, Hamilton)

This church was formed by the union of the First Presbyterian and Cumberland Presbyterian churches in 1905. The Presbyterian Church union was merged and the name Cumberland was dropped. The new brick building was 60’x57′ with the auditorium at 32’x50′ and lecture room at 20’x42′ with a classroom in front. The lecture room and auditorium were separated by a door which could be raised or lowered from the ceiling. When raised, nearly 500 hundred people could be seated.

A basketball team of notoriety was the Allen Brothers, circa 1905. Shown here are Home P. Allen (A1), Elmer M. Allen (A2), Harry “Pete” Allen (A3), Forrest “Phog” Allen (A4), Hubert Allen (A5), and Richard Allen (A6) with Homer White Allen as team mascot. Phog Allen was born at Jamesport, MO (the “Allen Addition” in Jamesport was organized by Phog Allen’s father). Phog Allen became known as the “Father of Basketball Coaching” and was inducted as a Hall of Fame Basketball Coach in 2006. He learned under the game’s inventor, Dr. James Naismith, and lettered at the University of Kansas in 1905-07. Phog Allen coached Central Missouri State University to a 102-7 record from 1912-17 with championships every year. His Jayhawk teams at KU won 24 conference championships and one NCAA title in 1952. He was a driving force in getting basketball accepted as an official sport in the 1936 Olympics. At his retirement in 1956, Forrest “Phog” Allen held what was then a national record of 746 coaching victories. He died at age 88 in Lawrence, KS. The home of Jayhawk basketball bears his name today: Allen Field House.

Postcard scene of groundbreaking for the Daviess County Courthouse in Gallatin, MO. In the background is the northwest corner of the square, including the Oddfellows Bldg. (center) and the Gallatin Hotel (right).The back of this card is postmarked Dec. 24, 1906.

This Shultz Studio photo shows the laying of the cornerstone for the Daviess County Courthouse. Former Missouri Gov. A.M. Dockery of Gallatin is standing next to the cornerstone. Dockery was involved in nearly every local event of note. He was cashier and secretary of the Farmers Exchange Bank for 13 years before entering politics and elected office.

Members of Masonic Lodge led a ceremonial procession as part of the setting of a cornerstone of the Daviess County Courthouse on May 24, 1907. This scene unfolded on the east side of the Gallatin square after the courthouse foundation was pronounced satisfactory.

Gunfighter Jim Warford (alias Jim Lambert)

Jim Warford, alias Jim Lambert who grew up at Pattonsburg, MO, became a well-known and much feared gunman in Cripple Creek, CO, from 1903 to 1912. These were times when gunplay and dynamite punctuated showdowns between the Mine Owners Association and the Western Federation of Miners. Lambert was born in Liberty, Clark County, Iowa. But in 1868 beginning at age 3, he spent his childhood on his father’s farm west of old Pattonsburg and Elm Flat Station in Benton Township, Daviess County, MO. (Daviess County records indicate that Jim tried farming on his own in the summers of 1886-87; he may have gone west in 1888 at age 23.)

Gunfighter Jim Warford of Pattonsburg, MO, alias Jim Lambert, became a well-known and much feared gunman in Cripple Creek, CO, from 1903 to 1912.

1908: Model T car maker Henry Ford introduces his Model T automobile. By 1927, when it is discontinued, 15.5 million Models T’s will be sold in the U.S. Ford owes much of his success to his improved assembly line process, which by 1913 will produce a complete Model T every 93 minutes.

Before constructing a new brick facility across the street, Gallatin Motor Company operated a Ford dealership from the McClaskey Building (later to house Woodruff Ice Cream Factory) at 211 North Main Street. New Ford Model-T cars are shown at right. The newspaper office of the Gallatin North Missourian was next door at left.

Gallatin Motor Company moved its Ford dealership at 211 North Main across the street into this larger, new brick building at 212 North Main Street. New Ford Model-T cars are shown.

This building was constructed in 1908 when Gallatin was the smallest town in the U.S. to have such a YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association) building. It operated as such for nearly 20 years before its activities waned. Gallatin Mayor Henry J. Lynch led a civic effort to purchase (for a nominal fee) and convert the property into Gallatin City Hall by 1930. (1915 photo)

This postcard shows Grand River Academy, postmarked 1909. Grand River College became Grand River Academy and served as a preparatory school for William Jewell College when William Jewell College agreed to pay off the mortgage and provide an endowment for the institution. The school was directed at that time by Dr. Dow. In 1909 a $6,000 dormitory was erected but the Academy closed the following year in 1910.

A shootout with law officers followed by an extensive manhunt occurred on March 29, 1909, in Daviess County, MO. Three bandits, running from burglaries at Spickard, MO, were traveling on an eastbound freight train when they were discovered while the train stopped at this depot in Jamesport. The bandits used bottles of nitro to steal jewelry, loot and equipment and thus were named the “Nitro Chism Gang.” Earl Chism died from gunshot wounds. Once caught, Roy Chism served a 5-year sentence at Leavenworth, KS; Harvey Chism was later arrested in Bloomington, IL.

This post card scene shows the junction of two railroad lines east of the Grand River at Gallatin, MO, in 1909.

This is the Wabash Depot at Pattonsburg, MO, soon after the 1909 flood of the Grand River. (coutesy Carman Antiques)

Built prior to the 1909 flood, this bridge spanned the Grand River south of Jameson on Kodiak Road (County road 586). The high water mark of the 1909 flood was painted on the northeast truss of the bridge. The bridge had a single 180’ steel through truss main span. The total length of the bridge with approaches was 280.9 feet. It had a 15’9” wide wooden plank roadway deck. In February, 1980, the bridge was deemed inadequate for the school bus to cross. The bridge was swept downstream during the flood of 1993 and replaced with a concrete span in 1996. The replacement bridge crosses the river upstream of the Guthrie Bridge pictured.

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 1909 Grand River Academy “Invincibles” football team photo of Gallatin, MO.

1910: Halley’s comet. China abolishes slavery. Thomas Edison demonstrates “talkie” movies. In Seattle, Washington women win vote. Aviator Charles Hamilton flies first heavier-than-air flight here. Union Pacific arrives.

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.

The Winston Bank and Odd Fellows Lodge I00F in 1910. (courtesy Jim Mogg, Hamilton)

The Thompson Blacksmith Shop operated in 1910 in Coffey, MO. The business was located north of the city park. Henry Monroe Rector Thompson built a new house next to this shop in 1918. Lewis Paul Thompson, son of Henry Thompson, also operated the shop (courtesy Tommy Thompson, Pattonsburg)

1910 Missouri Farmer Away, Led Astray

A Missouri farmer away from home and Josephine. The farmer was in Dalhart, Texas. He was a railroad official, there to help the agriculture commissioner run the farms in the 14 states along the Rock Island. The Missouri farmer was Thomas Jefferson Putnam. Here’s the story, as presented on Jan. 26, 1910:

“I must tell you all somethin’ about my trip down here. Cottrell told me to go it along till he could come from the land show at Chicago. While I ain’t so overly religious and set in my ways, I’m pretty dern kearful around home where I go of a evening’. Josephine — that’s my wife — is most generally with me after dark. I reckon they is a reason. I got a cow the home place that I named Josephine, because she is so stubborn. Josephine had a bull calf that was allus breakin’ through the fence, a gittin’ into the clover. I seen Josephine — that’s my cow — many a time stand in front of the weak spot in the fence and keep that thar caff from goin’ through.

“Just like Josephine — that’s my wife — many a time has she stood between me and temptation by pullin’ me past one of them cheap theaturs. But just as soon as Josephine — that’s my cow — had turned her back, that caff would be through the fence. And as soon as I got out of sight of Josephine — that’s my wife — I got into one of them cheap theaturs.

“…and there was a leetle gal a-dancin’ till I thought her feet would break off. I felt sorry fur her right on the jump, and I thought of how the poor gal must suffer in them thin duds on such a chilly night… Well, by and by the show was over and I do say I was a deal troubled by conscience if I done right or not in seein’ such goings on. When I got on my train the conductor says they got nothin’ left but uppers… I clumb in and was soon snorin’ I drempt about that consarned show all night. About 8:30 I heard the porter callin’ me, sayin’: “What’s the mattah wif you all?” I riz up and there I was with my feet twisted around the brass rod, a trying to de a slack wire stunt and the hull car up and gigglin’ their fool heads off.

“That’s what a old fool like me gets fur breakin’ through the barbwire fence.”

This 1910 postcard scene displays Altamont Main Street, looking north.

In 1910 fire gutted the Woodruff Hotel, located on the south side of Gallatin’s business square.

Fire which occurred in 1910 damaged the Woodruff Hotel, located on the south side of the Gallatin square. Reconstruction assured continued use during the ensuing years.

Looking south on Davis Street in Winston, MO, circa 1910. (courtesy Jim Mogg, Hamilton)

— researched and presented by Wilbur Bush, Gallatin, MO

Note: Printed editions of the Gallatin North Missourian and the Gallatin Democrat are preserved on microfilm and available for viewing at the Daviess County Library, 306 West Grand Street, Gallatin, MO 64640

Fitterer Grocery & Bakery was founded by Enos Fitterer in 1877. By 1900 the bakery was producing some 5,000 loaves of bread each week. But times changed. Factory-prepared cake or panroll mixes were being sold directly to households. Other factors were the large city bakeries and their daily truck deliveries. By 1949, less than 1,000 loaves of bread were being produced and pastry-making had dwindled accordingly. Then the Fitterer sons, Frank and Oscar, renamed the business named the M.E. Fitterer’s Sons Grocery and Bakery. In 1903, some of the store’s features were 57 varieties of apple butter kept in stone crocks and sold by the pound. Farmer’s products were purchased and they often received 12 cents per dozen for eggs which could be used either for cash or for trade. The old brick ovens became cold and unused in 1949.

This is the men’s side of the Rosenthal & Haas General Store (ca 1900) with Alex Haas and Homer Brown pictured. The door at left led to the groceries; on the right was the women’s and more general merchandise.

Note: Printed editions of the Gallatin North Missourian and the Gallatin Democrat are preserved on microfilm and available for viewing at the Daviess County Library, 306 West Grand Street, Gallatin, MO 64640