The following was written by my uncle, Robert Clinton Brown, circa 1940, based on merchants I knew were not in business earlier and his statement, “At the moment Jameson does not have a café” which I knew was true about that time. This is from his original typewritten copy, incorporating his handwritten additions, corrections, and rearrangements.
— V.L. Scott (note attached to original 8-5-99)
I, Robert C. (Bob) Brown was born and reared in the Jameson community and came into town to work the latter part of February. This was in the 1911 horse and buggy days. There were no highways then and at times the roads were almost impassable, particularly after a big snow had melted or after a big rain.
I drove a week for Dr. J.B. Graham. His means of transportation at this time was with a team and buggy. Quite a few of his patients lived in the country.
The following week, March 3, 1911, I began work in the general store of A.D. Scott and Sons.
At this particular time there were two general stores, two hardware stores, and one drug store in which there was a jewelry store. Jameson’s only hotel, the Hubbard House, was operated by Mrs. Mary Walls and members of her family. The Bank of Jameson was the town’s only bank at this time. There were two produce houses one of which sold coal and feeds of all kinds, two restaurants (sic), two blacksmith shops, two barber shops, four lodges, three churches, one school with two year high school, one lumber yard, two doctor’s offices, one opera house, one furniture and undertaking store, which also carried a line of groceries, two livery barns, and one dray line. The post office was housed in the J.H. Gillespie hardware and Mr. Gillespie was the postmaster.
Jameson through the years has really been hit by fires, particularly in the business district.
The land on which Jameson is located was originally owned by Wm. E. Barber and Chas. A. Cravens who entered the land from the U.S. Government on Nov. 18, 1850, and March 23, 1854. Henry Briggs obtained title to the land Jan. 24, 1868. The town site was laid off, platted and designated as the Town of Jameson Oct. 2, 1871, and was incorporated Oct. 12, 1876. The first town board was composed of the following citizens: W.T. Stovall, A.O. Siple, J.M. Raley, S.F. Nowell, and A. Ingraham.
During the month on June 1871, the St. Louis, Chillicothe and Omaha railroad, later known as the Wabash, had completed a new railroad as far west as the town site and in Oct. 1871, a post office was opened and John A Brown was the first postmaster.
Henry Briggs, who donated the city park consisting of one block of land, also built the first residence in the new town in 1868, soon after he obtained title to the land.
Herbert D. White built the first business building for a grocery store.
The first hotel was built by E. H. Hubbard and called “The Hubbard House.”
The first house of worship in the new town was a Methodist Church erected in 1874. The second was a Christian Church erected in 1875. The third was a Baptist Church erected in the early 1880s.
The first newspaper published in the town was the Jameson Reporter in 1884 by M.F. Stipes; the second was the Jameson Laconic in 1890 by E.A. Martin; the third was the Jameson Advertiser in 1887 (sic) by the Graves Brothers; the fourth was the Jameson Weekly Journal in 1897 by Joe V. Nowder; the fifth was the Jameson Journal in 1898 by C.C. Bartruff; and the sixth and last was the Jameson Gem in 1913 by Allen F. Wade. Allen’s motto was “I know now what the truth may be, I tell the tale as ’twas told to me.”
The first school established in Jameson was organized in the fall of 1872 and a one room frame school house was built during the winter of 1872-73. The site was a block west and a half block north of the present school building. The first school was a three month subscription school, with an enrollment of about a dozen pupils and was taught by Miss Martin in the summer of 1873, but due to a lack of support this first school was closed after about three weeks.
The second school house was erected in Jameson in 1883, two blocks west of the northwest corner of the city park. It was a frame building of four rooms, with an enrollment of about 100 pupils.
During the year 1914 a consolidated school district was organized. It was adopted March 19th of that year, taking in the town of Jameson and portions of about six of the surrounding rural districts, an area of 37 square miles around the town.
Under the terms of the consolidation the first term of the new school district was held in the several districts. In April, 1915, the building was begun at the southeast corner of town and was completed within that year at a cost of $30,000. On Monday, Oct. 4, 1915, school opened in the new building with an enrollment of 300 students, with B.F. Brown as Superintendent. The new system had a complete grade and high school rating and was approved by the State Department in February, 1918.
Much credit for the new school should go to J.C. McDonald who worked tirelessly in the promotion of the proposition. Graduates of the Jameson school are holding positions of trust all over the United States. The trophy cases at the High School attest to the success of the Girls and Boys basketball teams in the local, district and state tournaments.
In the mercantile field Jameson had a number of general stores, grocery and variety stores. The merchants who owned or operated them are as follows: Martin G. Scott, Chas. W. Dunn, A.D. Scott, D. M. Lasley, Jno. W. Reed, M.A. Scott, C.L. Prayne, W.B. Magruder, Jim Stucker, F.W. Rhoades, J.E. Scott, J.R. Scott, R.C. Brown, Mr. and Mrs. Geo. Palmer, Mr. and Mrs. W.H. Briant, Ed Casteel, Harry Barton, A.H. Handy, Mr. and Mrs. Carl Alexander, Mr. and Mrs. Jno. Smith, Mr. and Mrs. Ivan Caraway, and Mr. and Mrs. Dale Alexander.
Hardware stores haven’t changed hands as often as other lines of merchandise. The owners were: A.O. Siple, J.H. Gillespie, J.H. Sawyer, W.T. Feurt, S.C. Shaffer and J.R. Somerville.
Drug stores were owned by Matt Cavolt, Marion Barnes, Hugh Wells, Tom Magee and George and Henry French.
There have been a number of produce houses in the town, owners were W.T. Stoval, J.W. Jinkens, Cal Fasher, J.J. Jarrett and Jim (Butch) Reed.
Perhaps the man who contributed the most to the town was W.T. Stoval. He was on the first town board and a stockholder in the Bank of Jameson. He was a large land holder and out of his produce houses, he operated a number of huckster routes which picked up produce from all the surrounding towns. He brought Jameson and Coffey their first telephone lines. His illness was of short duration and he passed away July 21, 1908. The income from all of his holdings, according to the eulogy written at his death, was at times in excess of $40,000 per month, nearly one half million dollars per year.
Lodges organized and instituted during the years have been Lodge No. 500 A.F.&A.M., I.O.O.F., the John Kennett Post of the G.A.R., Royal Neighbors, the Knights of Pythias, the Eastern Star, and the Woodmen of the World. The A.F.&A.M. and the Eastern Star are the only ones that have survived through the years. Around July 1892, the Knights of Pythias instituted an annual celebration to be known as the Jameson K.P. picnic. This event was celebrated for a number of years, but after the K.P.’s surrendered their charter the local merchants have taken over and carried on until the Lion’s Club was organized. They have made it a three day affair with the 9th(Aug.) as one of the days, if possible.
Jameson at one time had two banks, the Bank of Jameson and the Farmers Bank. Among the folks who worked in the bank were L.M. Brown, J.C. Stovall, J.R. Scott, J.O. Wallace, Millard Overstreet, J.E. Scott, R.E. Irvin, J.H. Gillespie and Bryce Adcock in the Bank of Jameson and in the Farmers Bank were J.E. Jenkins, Ruby Jenkins, Geo. Johnson, Boyd Feurt, Helen Feurt and Wilma Jinkens. Sometime during the depression in the 1920’s Jameson lost both their banks about a week apart.
At the moment Jameson does not have a café, but at one time there were two. Among the owners were W. O. Breeden, J.W. Reed, Orval Jinkens, Webster Smith, Boyd Walls, J.W. Harris and J.O. Huntington.
There were two hotels here at one time: John A. Brown owned the Cottage House, his son J.F. Brown remodeled it and made a residence which now houses the Superintendent of School, Mr. Agenstein and family. The other was the Hubbard House built by E.H. Hubbard and was destroyed by fire many years ago. The home of Guy McNealy occupies the old site.
Postmasters serving the Jameson community have been John A. Brown, A.O. Siple, J.H. Gillespie, Cappie Hubbard, Neve Jinkens, Henry French, Maude Reed, John Smith and Jess Ferguson. Rural carriers have been Bert Wilson, John Sloan, J.C. Merrifield, Tom Foster, Roy Troxel, Sam Pugh, John Smith and Jack Tingler. A great change has been made in the Postal Service. At one time Jameson had three rural routes, now they have only one and he goes to Jamesport and serves one route out of Jamesport. Jack Tingler who had a route out of Jameson, serves a route that takes in Winston and Altamont. He still lives in Jameson.
Jameson is without a barber shop but at one time there were two shops here. Operators were John Curtis, Tom Simmons, Walter Merrifield, Abe Merrifield, Ed. Davis and Geo. Flint. Tom Simmons was a fine musician and during his stay here he organized a band. We had some good musicians and also some good concerts.
There has been quite a change in the millinery business in the last few years. Women rarely wear a hat, but Jameson has had some wonderful milliners among who were Eliza Hubbard, Josie Kehler, Mrs. Chas. Walls and Mrs. F.W. Elmore. Between seasons these ladies would go to the City and spend some time in the wholesale houses acquainting themselves with the new styles and the new trimmings that were being used.
One of the things Jameson misses probably more than anything else is a resident doctor. Through the years they were used to having two or more doctors living in the town, among whom were Dr. Howell, Dr. Pipkin, Dr. Raley, Dr. Martin, Dr. Galbreath, Dr. Wetzel, Dr. J.B. Graham, Dr. T.E. Graham and Dr. Fuson. Now Jameson is serviced by doctors living in Gallatin, Pattonsburg, Winston and mostly from their offices.
At one time Jameson had three blacksmith shops whose owners and operators were John Copeland, Geo. Stucker, Frank Gillespie, John Marshman, John F. Wilden, and Frank Bland. Along with cars came garages and filling stations. They were owned and operated by R.O. Graham, Bob Drummond, Bob Duly, Leroy Miller, Ralph Hughs (?), Andy Moulin and James Moulin.
Six passenger trains a day, three each way, for traveling salesmen who would call on their customers between trains. The traveling men also contributed to the hotel and to the liveryman. There were two livery barns in Jameson at one time, owned by R.A. Wilson and Walter D. Jarrett. The railroad also contributed to the welfare of the dray lines as there were two local freight trains (one each way) and quite often they would set out building materials, coal, flour, etc., in carload lots to be transported to the various stores by the dray lines. The dray lines throughout the years were owned by Earn Walton, Byrd Grant, W.D. Jarrett, and Brown and Huntington.
The old frame depot was destroyed by fire and was replaced by a concrete one which was eventually torn down. Jameson has no depot now and only two passenger trains a day (one each way) and no local freights. Telegraph operators and agents through the years were Brack Magruder, L.W. Bashaw, W.H. Taylor, John Hankins, John Robison, Dave Zornes, and Ava Pugh.
Only five of the original buildings that housed the above businesses remain and only two of the three churches, the Baptist and Christian.
Jameson has always been blessed with plenty of good carpenters, painters and paper hangers, and plasterers. Among the carpenters were Silas Hammond, Bud Wyrick, George Johnson, Sam and G.R. Clark, Dan and Lon Smith, Jack Tingler, and John Smith. Cement workers, plasterers, Etc., were Eb. Smith, Dan and Lon Smith and Henry Hightree. Painters and paper hangers were John Rybolt, F.O. Reed, Claybe and Chas. Smith.
–reprinted from the Gallatin North Missourian, August, 1999
NOTE: Images shown were not submitted as part of the writing submitted but added to this text when posted online.