Progress Notes



Joe Pryor - News Tribune Article Monday, June 04, 2007


Monday, December 10, 2007

Progress Notes

Earlier in one of my previous narratives on this page I discussed several old time general stores owned and operated by members of the Schell family in Eugene, Mary's Home, and St. Elizabeth. This week I would like to highlight Hauenstein's General Store in Tuscumbia. William Hauenstein Sr. an immigrant to this country (photo 01) had returned to Germany in 1871 and on his trip back to the United States he brought his nephew and niece, George T. Hauenstein and Mary Hauenstein, with him. The two children's parents had died and they had no significant support at the time, George being only twelve years old. William had immigrated to this country in about 1850 but didn't arrive in Miller County until 1864. His major business effort here was operating a mill which was a very successful endeavor and was the forerunner of the Anchor Milling Company. You can read more about the Anchor Milling Company on our website at the following website; where a number of mills are discussed: (http://www.millercountymuseum.org/commerce/milling.html)

01 Wm. Hauenstein Sr. 1822-1913
01 Wm. Hauenstein Sr. 1822-1913

 

George Hauenstein grew up in Tuscumbia and in 1886 married Ida McCommons (photos 02 and 03). They started the Hauenstein's General store in a structure located by the bank of the Osage River near the site of the original Harrison brothers' store in Tuscumbia. The times were right for a large general store to be built in Tuscumbia, especially since the Anchor Milling Company's several steamboats could bring in all the supplies that a general store would need for resale. The roads in those days were poor or nonexistent and the railroad system was not yet developed completely so the only way goods for commerce of any quantity could be brought into the Ozarks necessarily would have to have been by water.

02 George And Ida Hauenstein
02 George and Ida Hauenstein

 

03 George And Ida Hauenstein; Older
03 George and Ida Hauenstein; Older

 

The following obituary of George T. Hauenstein is interesting and summarizes well his biography:

Miller Co. Autogram
December 14, 1911
GEORGE THEODORE HAUENSTEIN

Born at Exsinger, Germany, February 4, 1859. His father and mother having died when he was only a small child, he with his sister came to America, January, 1871, to make his home with William. H. Hauenstein, Sr., an uncle who had preceded them to this country. His boyhood days were spent in and near Tuscumbia. He received his education in the public schools of this county and also took a business course at the Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, Indiana.

Mr. Hauenstein was married May 9, 1886 to Miss Ida McCommons, being survived by her.

In the fall of the year 1886, he became interested in the mercantile business on a small scale, but his trade rapidly increased, until at the time of his death his stock was one of the largest in this county. Mr. Hauenstein had excellent abilities as a business man and had became interested in most of the important enterprises of this community. Besides his large mercantile establishment, he owned stock in the Bank of Tuscumbia, the Day and Night Bank of St. Louis, Tuscumbia Bridge Company, Anchor Milling Co., and other concerns, he also owned several tracts of land in the county. He carried $5,000 insurance at the time of his death.

Mr. Hauenstein united with the Presbyterian church here in 1893 and always gave liberally for the support of the church as well as giving encouragement by his attendance at church and Sunday School.

About a year ago Mr. Hauenstien, becoming aware that he had stomach trouble of a serious nature, went to St. Louis, where an examination by physicians of that city showed that he had cancer of the stomach in an advanced stage and he decided to have an operation performed which was undergone Nov. 10, 1910. He returned after this and for some time was able to look after business affairs, but two or three months ago he became confined to his room and death followed December 5th, 1911

Funeral services were conducted by Rev. Bell of Crocker Thursday morning, Dec. 7th, at the Presbyterian church, after which interment was made at the Tuscumbia cemetery.

Deceased leaves a widow, a brother, Louis Hauenstein, of Cincinnati, Ohio, and a sister, Mrs. Mary Nichols of this place, as well as numerous other relatives.

The following obituary of Ida (McCommons) Hauenstein (photo 04) also is instructive, especially about the later years of the large general store in Tuscumbia. The obituary pages are in the Adobe PDF format.  You will need the free Adobe Reader program to view them.  You can download the free Reader HERE. You may have to magnify it to read it (photos 05 and 06).

04 Aunt Ida
04 Aunt Ida

 

05 Aunt Ida Obit
05 Aunt Ida Obit
Click image to open PDF file
06 Aunt Ida Obit
06 Aunt Ida Obit
Click image to open PDF file

I am grateful to Marilyn (Barrons) Bosso for much of the information about Hauenstein's General Store. She spent quite a bit of her childhood life in the store since Ida Hauenstein was an aunt of her mother Ruth McCommons Barrons. The following is her account of the history of the store after Ida Hauenstein passed away in 1948:

"Joe, It just so happens that I was working to update some of my family history. Aunt Ida passed away on Feb 19th, 1948. Dewey and Ina (McCommons) Kallenbach (Ina was Aunt Ida's niece) and Dewey's brother, Leonard, all of whom who previously had worked for several years in the store, continued to work until the Hauenstein estate was settled in1948. My father and mother (who was a niece of Aunt Ida), Dorsey and Ruth (McCommons) Barrons, operated the store for the next several years. In 1961 a man named Bud Ward came to operate the store for my mother with the understanding that he would purchase the store. However, he became ill and was forced to retire because of ill health. The store eventually was closed in 1964 at which time the property was sold to LeRoy Snodgrass, a local attorney. Sometime after that it was torn down."

Marilyn has written a short narrative of her memories of the old Hauenstein's Store. She had opportunity to spend a good part of her youth there since Ida (McCommons) Hauenstein was her mother's aunt and, as noted above, her parents eventually assumed ownership of the store after Mrs Hauenstein passed away. This is a scanned document so you will need to click on the photo of it to read it (photo 07).

07 Hauenstein Home
07 Hauenstein Home
Click image to view larger version

 

Marilyn included in her narrative a photocopy of George and Ida Hauenstein's House. The house, as noted by Marilyn was built in the late 1920's. It is still standing at the western end of Goosebottom Street so I took a photo of it as it appears today (photos 08 and 09).

08 George And Ida Hauenstein Home
08 George and Ida Hauenstein Home

 

09 George And Ida Hauenstein Home Closeup
09 George and Ida Hauenstein Home Close Up

 

The following photos of Hauenstein's General Store taken at different times in the store's existence include first a photocopy from an old newspaper from the past sent me by Marilyn Bosso (photo 10). It was taken soon after the store opened in 1886 and demonstrates that the store had no façade extending upward whereas the next one taken later shows the addition of an elevated façade (photo 11). This photo was sent me by Michael Wieneman, originally of Eldon, Missouri, who has deep roots in Miller County. Also in the first photo a good view of the large storage shed between the store and the river is seen.

10 Hauenstein Store With Shed
10 Hauenstein Store With Shed

 

11 Hauenstein Store; Early 1900's
11 Hauenstein Store; Early 1900's

 

The next photo also sent by Michael (photo 12) was a street scene also taken earlier before a façade was present. You will notice the large store behind the man in the street which is the old Fendorf store. It was a general store also but without the diversity or quantity of products as Hauenstein's store.

12 Main Street Tuscumbia; Late 1800's
12 Main Street Tuscumbia; Late 1800's

 

Another photo sent by Michael also very old is from an old tintype (photo 13). It is thought the photographer was standing on the west side of the building because the slanting roof is on the river side of the building. Or, alternatively, perhaps this photo was taken from a reversed negative because the steps and porch seem identical to those noted in the other photos.

13 Hauenstein Store; 1880's Old Tintype
13 Hauenstein Store; 1880's Old Tintype

 

One of the most descriptive memories of Hauenstein's General Store was written by Doris (Wright) Clemens (photo 14). It is a long narrative, taken from her book, "Life…A Trail Of Memories", from which I quoted last week regarding her memory of Dr. Kouns. I have transcribed it all because it so accurately reflects the atmosphere surrounding these old country general stores, and especially that of Hauenstein's.

14 Doris Wright Clemens
14 Doris Wright Clemens

 

Doris was the daughter of Lawrence Wright who was the publisher of the Autogram for many years. The family lived in a large stone house near the school on the hill. However, Doris and her sister and friends would race down the more than one hundred steps from the courthouse to the bottom of the hill where Hauenstein's was located quite often because it was a busy, fun place to socialize and meet people, especially on Saturdays of each week:

Aunt Ida's Great Store

Ida Hauenstein was not my aunt. When I was growing up all older people were called "aunt" or "uncle" as titles of respect. Aunt Ida had inherited the General Store from her husband George. But we always called it Aunt Ida's Store. It was built when Tuscumbia was founded and George, with his brothers Phil and Bill, settled on the Osage River. Phil was a miller and Bill operated steamboats on the river. Aunt Ida's niece and her husband, Ina and Dewey Kallenbach, helped her run the store when I was growing up. When I say it was a general store that is literally true. From drugs and medicines to yard goods, groceries, farm machinery and everything in between, she carried it. Every weekday morning at daybreak you could see Aunt Ida with her big market basket on her arm coming across the little bridge from her home in Goose Bottom. The bridge was over the slough (backwaters) that drained that part of town. It ran through the town park on one side and Aunt Ida's back lot on the other before emptying into the river. As she approached the store Aunt Ida passed the town pump with a long concrete watering trough for horses. She entered the store through the back door. This entrance was at ground level, but the front double doors opened off a high porch after one ascended a flight of ten long wide steps.

The store was a big white frame building that sat on the front side of a beautifully manicured bluegrass lawn. The building always looked freshly painted and the lawn freshly mowed. A wide concrete walkway supported by tall square concrete pillars led from the high front porch to a large barn- like warehouse on the river bank. The warehouse also sat on high pier pillars to protect if from the frequent floods. Here steamboats unloaded their cargoes of household goods, hardware, machinery, furniture and dry goods they had brought up the river from St. Louis or even New Orleans. Everything to sell in the store except fresh foods. Produce like meat and vegetables could be supplied locally, daily. All other merchandise came by boat or rail to Eldon and then by truck on down to Tuscumbia. The main street curved around the building on one side and on down through the town. An access road to the river from the main street passed in front and along the pier to the river. Here in early days cattle were driven to the river to be loaded on the boats and taken up or down stream to sell. Between this road and the pier was the hitch rail where the farmers tethered their horses for the day on Saturdays.

The store itself was divided into two rooms, the larger section being the main part. On each side along the walls was a row of shelves with counters in front. The counters ran front to back of the store on either side of the big room. The clerk stood behind the counter as you told him the items you wanted. He got them off the shelves or sacked, weighed, measured and packaged items not on display or shown in bulk. The customer did not wait on himself. The back door which we always used was on ground level and closest to the long flight of concrete steps down the hill (we lived on the hill). Entering the door, we passed double stairs from the middle back of the room going up to the balconies. These balconies ran all around the store over head. Here was kept on display a limited amount of furniture. Half way up, the stairs parted from a landing, some going to one side of the balcony and the others to the other side.

On the wall side of the stairs as we entered was a long built in desk attached to the wall. Sitting on a high stool at the desk much like Bob Crachett pouring over the books usually was the bookkeeper, Leonard Kallenbach, a brother of Dewey's. On the opposite of the stairs was the dress shoe section-shelves for the boxes of shoes and chairs for sitting in to try on. A monstrous pot-bellied stove stood just in front of the stairs. In the winter, benches were stationed on each side of the stove. These were for the convenience of both customers and town loafers. On the left, past the bookkeeper's desk, was the dry goods section. On the shelves were bolts of cloth. To the front was all the finer expensive dress fabrics. To the back cheaper cotton dress materials were stocked with ginghams, percales, cotton flannel, muslins, ticking, linens, oilcloth, etc. Underneath the front shelves were long drawers filled with bolts of silks, satins, taffetas, and velveteen dress materials wrapped in tissue to protect them from fading in the air and sunlight. Stacks of large cardboard boxes nestled on the floor under the back shelves. These held folded wearing clothes and linens. Lingerie, "long-johns," blouses, skirts, aprons, everyday dresses, socks, gloves and some of the sheets, pillowcases and table cloths were stored here. No clothing was out on display. An isle was left between the ends of the front and back counters so clerks would not have to go all around the end to get behind and wait on customers. There were ribbon, thread, button, tape, lace and braid cases sitting on the ledge in front of the shelves. The front counter was all glass-top and sides. Displayed in it was fine jewelry, belts, gloves, fancy jeweled combs for the hair, feathers, jeweled hair pins, and artificial flower boutonnieres-an array of fashion accessories for the lady of the house. Aunt Ida made an annual buying trip to St. Louis to shop for this merchandise at the wholesale houses there. The grocery and drug store sections were on the opposite side of the big room. With the same arrangement of counters and shelves, the medicines and candy were to the front, the groceries to the back. Sloan's liniment, Scott's Emulsion, Aunt Lydia Pinkham's compound for women, Peruna tonic for iron in the blood and Cod Liver oil bottles were some of the home remedies stocked. Cough syrups and Quinine and Bromo Seltzer tablets carne in handy for colds. Then there were Listerine and Colgate toothpaste for hygienic purposes. The glass enclosed candy case tempted the sweet tooth of many a child with lemon drops, chocolate cremes, gum drops, toasted marshmallows, jelly beans, caramels (in wrappers) and peppermint, horehound, licorice and peanut butter filled sticks. Chocolate covered peanut clusters were my favorite. Aunt Ida always gave each farmer's wife that came in on Saturday to shop a sack of candy. She often just stuck it in the comer of the cardboard box that held the packages, buckets and sacks of groceries. To many a farmer's wife and her children that was a real treat to look forward to. Underneath the counter in the grocery isle were large bins that could be pulled out and tilted down. They held dried beans, rice, coffee, popcorn and other similar bulk items that were scooped out with large aluminum scoops into brown. Kraft paper bags to be weighed on the scales. The flap of the bag was folded over and the sack tied round and round with white cotton string. A huge ball of the string was suspended over the counter near the scales from a miniature round iron cage. The end always hung down ready to start on the next sack. Items like lard, peanut butter, hominy, pickles, oysters(only at Thanksgiving), anything moist, was scooped out of large metal drums or wooden barrels with wooden ladles into waxed pasteboard carton boats. After a square of wax paper was placed on top, it was appropriately wrapped in heavy greased paper. This paper was used also to wrap fresh meats. The large roller for the greased paper was securely attached at the end of the counter with large bolts. But meats were only sold fresh as soon as they were butchered and brought in from the farm. Quarters of beef and whole hogs hung on great hooks in the back room to be cut and sold. Cured meats hung on other hooks down from the ceiling in the back or down in the warehouse. It was not unusual for a big slab of cured bacon along with a wooden box of smoked and dried "Fin-and haddie" fish to be on the end of the counter. Fish was shipped in wooden pails of brine, too. Daddy often bought the whole pail. Chickens were kept live in cages in a big pen down on the river bank by the warehouse and were sold on foot. Eggs had to be handled very carefully as protective cartons had not yet been manufactured. As they were counted out they were put in a paper sack usually only one dozen to a sack.

Huge wooden barrels sitting in every available space held apples, potatoes, onions and even crackers in bulk. Lemons, oranges, cabbage, etc., were shipped and displayed in crates. Fresh vegetables were at a premium. The first crate of fresh head lettuce in cracked ice was shipped in when my Mother's doctor ordered that she have it. Daddy bought it and had it shipped by rail from Kansas City. Albro Stepp, the mailman from Eldon, brought it to Tuscumbia in his Model T. We had to agree to take the whole case, so we sold some to neighbors. It became so popular the grocers began to stock it. Soon it was a staple in winter. Flour and sugar sold in cloth sacks-twenty-five pounds of flour and ten pounds of sugar to the bag. Cornmeal came in heavy twenty-five pound paper bags. Lard could be bought by the "stand"-twenty-five or fifty pounds in large tin canisters. Dried beans, both navy and pinto, rice and potatoes could be bought in hundred pound burlap bags. Vinegar was stored in a wooden barrel with spigot in the back room. Each customer always brought his own vinegar jug to have it filled. The same was true of kerosene and each had his own kerosene can. Butter, along with the eggs and chickens, was bought fresh from the farm wife. A pound round of it was put into a "boat" first covered with wax paper before the greased wrapping paper. Sorghum and syrups came in gallon and half gallon tin cans and buckets. The shelves in the grocery section held all canned fruits and vegetables much as they appear today. Boxed items such as salt and pepper, soda, baking powder, Argo starch, corn starch, coconut and Quaker oats stood here. Bottled items like bluing, mustard and later catsup also were placed on these shelves. Bread was held on wire racks supplied by the bakery. The bakery supplied only the one brand of bread and it was white. Daddy, being the health "nut" that he was, introduced the town's people to whole wheat bread. The grocer special ordered him a loaf or two at a time. Soon others wanted to try it so the grocer started getting more. It soon became a staple like the lettuce. The grocer carried only one brand in everything he sold. So the housewife was never in a dilemma over what brand was best. And pre-prepared foods were unheard of. The back room out the door from the grocery section was a long narrow room with counters down the center. It always smelled of leather, rubber, fertilizer and feeds. Bridles and other harness hung from the walls. Later automobile tires were stacked in this room. Blocks of salt for the farmer's cattle were stocked along with the dry feed and fertilizers he needed. Small machinery, farm hardware and tools were kept here. Nails, screws and bolts stood in wooden kegs and were sold from the bulk by the pound. They were weighed up in heavy brown paper bags. Cans of varnish and linseed oil were stacked on the shelves with the buckets of paint. Paint brushes, hammers, pliers and other small tools were suspended from wall hangers. Larger tools and machinery such as plows, harrows, wheelbarrows, rakes, shovels, picks, axes, etc., were stored in the warehouse. Some of the farmer's work clothes such as heavy plow shoes, overshoes, gum boots, caps, heavy work socks, gloves, shirts, pants and jackets were displayed on the counters. A crank phone hung on the back wall and was in use quite frequently. Aunt Ida's was a busy place. Cane bottomed straight chairs were placed in convenient spots all around the main floor. These were for the convenience of customers, especially on Saturdays. Saturday was a visiting day, the day all farmers came to town. Not only to bring their farm products but to buy "store-bought" staples like sugar and coffee. They were accompanied by their wives and children. The most important thing for the ladies and men both was to catch up on the local news and gossip. While the men went to the bank, conducted business at the courthouse, went to the printing office to pay their subscription or any of the other town chores, the ladies sat and visited and the children ran and played outside.

Dan Welshons was a handyman and liked to visit with and tease the children. Dan did all the dirty chores like feeding the stove with wood, sweeping floors, toting freight, and helping unload or load wagons. He lived in a shanty in the woods just outside the Possum Trot neighborhood. It was covered with sheets of galvanized roofing for siding. It was only one tiny room but since he spent most of his time at the store, it was sufficient. The story was told of a Mr. Helstab who forgot and left his wife in town one Saturday. Seems after they had gone to town, he spent the day on various errands and late in the afternoon hitched up the team, loaded the groceries in the wagon and left up the river road for home. Upon arrival he realized his wife was still in town. He returned for her!

Mrs. Small always walked to town to shop for dress materials. She walked from their log house on the Eldon road outside Tuscumbia because they had neither horses or wagon or buggy to bring them the three miles. Her husband always worked in Kansas City and seldom came home. Mrs. Small had five daughters so had a lot of dresses to make. Each girl took her turn for a new dress and their mother always brought that one to town on Saturday with her to select the material. Then she actually measured the cloth to her daughter's body. If she had a pattern she laid that out on the material on the counter. She spent the afternoon figuring to be sure she didn't buy an inch more than was necessary.

The Jackson family came from their farm across the river near the small town of Ulman about fifteen miles away. They were sure customers before the day was over. Their old maid daughter Julia drove their big Hudson like a chauffeur. The mother and father rode in the back seat. They always went through town early on Saturday morning on their way to Eldon to shop for dry goods. In early afternoon they came back to shop at Aunt Ida's for groceries on their way home. They were wealthy-the only farmers in the area to own an automobile. Mr. Jackson had made his money buying and selling cattle. Like a true cattleman he always wore his black Stetson hat. The mother and daughter were always dressed in the height of fashion. As a young teenager I admired Julia's attire and her social graces and demeanor. She entered the front door of the store with her kid gloves (driving gloves) and fancy hat on. A tall slender lady of noble carriage and stature, she made quite an impression on me. An attorney, Jack Stanton, was a close friend of Julia Jackson's. Originally of Miller County stock, he lived most of his life in Kansas City. Upon retirement he built a law office in Tuscumbia and practiced. Julia's parents were dead, but she still lived on the farm near Ulman. Before Jack died he had a large, oblong monument erected possibly ten or twelve feet tall in the country cemetery near Ulman. On it, his lifetime history was engraved. He was a man of great personality as well as size and his tombstone is equally imposing.

(Note: Actually, Jackson C. Stanton's burial was in Freedom Cemetery near Linn Creek. His tombstone there definitely was impressive (photo 15). I wrote a narrative about Jackson which you can find in the archives listed at the bottom of this page: http://www.millercountymuseum.org/071126.html)

15 Jackson C. Stanton Tombstone; Freedom Cemetery; Camden County
15 Jackson C. Stanton Tombstone; Freedom Cemetery; Camden County

 

The Flaughers were regulars, Bertha and Charley. They were farm folks from up the river. They had a little boy about five years old whose name was Junior. Junior had taken the bottle when he was a baby and couldn't give it up. At the age of five he still brought his bottle of milk (with nipple) to town...in the hip pocket of his bib overalls. He sure looked strange out playing with other little boys with his bottle in his pocket, but it never embarrassed him to get it, out and "pull" a drink when he got thirsty. These people were all very unique and entertaining to me and my sister, Dorothy. Sadie McCommans was another "fixture" in the store. She was an old maid from Ulman, the sister of lna, and clerked in the dry goods section for years. Leonard and Dewey took care of the grocery and hardware sections, and Aunt Ida would "wait" on anyone, for anything, anytime, to make a nickel. But she was generous to a fault to the poor, especially at Christmas. We considered Sadie a buddy. Even though she was quite a few years older than we, she got lonesome staying in the store all day, and always enjoyed our visits. She knew all the gossip, the juicy bits of news which she shared with us. She liked to tease us about our "boy friends," too. So after school visits and Saturday afternoon hours we whiled away were a part of our country "fun." As soon as the house was swept, scrubbed, polished and shined, Dorothy and I took our weekend baths and dashed to Aunt Ida's on Saturday to spend the rest of the day.

On one warm, breezy spring afternoon when Dorothy and I burst in the front door from school Mother questioned, "Would you two girls like to go down to Aunt Ida's and pick out a new spring coat?" Oh! of course! The city salesman was in town for the day. It would be the first spring coat either had ever owned. We were delighted and scampered down the hundred and fifty steps to town at breakneck speed. Bounding in the back door, we dashed up the stairs to the balcony. That was where the salesman would have set up his racks of merchandise. We started sorting through the displays picking out and trying on-admiring ourselves in the long mirror-trying on coat after coat. We had so much fun trying on and parading up and down the long balcony, each critiquing the other. Finally, we each had our favorite. Dorothy's was a light-weight camel tan flannel with an overall cape hanging to the waist. As usual I went for one more suitable for an older person, more reserved yet more unusual. Mine was black rayon faille with inch wide, lengthwise satin strips through it. It only had a half cape-fin shaped, it was stitched to the coat down the center back coming to a point at hip length. It fell over my left arm and shoulder only. Both coats were straight, no belts; and the sleeves in both were straight and plain. The salesman also had dresses and, my coat having cost less than Dorothy's, I got a new dress, too. I was a junior in high school, Dorothy a senior. I wanted the dress for Sunday night baccalaureate church services. Juniors always served as ushers for the seniors as they marched in. My dress was of soft rayon taffeta. It had tiny pin dots of white on a dark navy background. The waist was basque fitting and was buttoned down the back with tiny self-covered buttons. The sleeves were short, tiny full gathered puff sleeves bound with an edging of the same material. The neck was finished with a frilled ruffle of three layers of white and pastel pink and blue sheer crep-de-Chine or georgette. The skirt fell princess style from the tight waist in deep folds with many gores. I was so slender, young and girlish, yet a young lady. It became my favorite "sparking" dress and the next summer after graduation I was married in it. Aunt Ida's store is no more. It was torn down many years ago after Aunt Ida died and it passed through several hands. The natives all bought cars and most started going to the chain stores in Eldon to shop for cheaper groceries. The lot is now used by the State Highway Department and is piled high with gravel for road maintenance. The boat landing with access road and river bank is still kept beautifully seeded with blue grass and mowed by the Corps of Engineers. It is still a very pretty setting where visiting tourists can launch their boats in the Osage River on fishing expeditions. Tuscumbia, with a fifty percent loss in population, still supports one grocery store only. It is up on the hill (Note: since this was written no complete line grocery store exists in Tuscumbia). Aunt Ida's only competition in general store trade was Uncle Frank Fendorfs store across the street. Uncle Frank was a brother of my Grandma Wright and after he died, and I was an adult, his store burned. So time marches on. .

Thanks Doris.

My own memories of Hauenstein's Store are similar to those above narrated above. Several memories, however, stand out above the others in my mind. One of these revolves around the characters of Charles "Catfish" Williams and his brother, Willard "Friday" Williams. Catfish always wore an English style cap with short brim, sometimes called a "driver's hat" (photo 16).

16 Driver's Hat
16 Driver's Hat

 

I never saw him in overalls like many of the men wore then, but always in tan colored pants and shirt. He had a tendency to drink too much and always had a cackling type laugh which would burst out at not particularly relevant times. He was not permanently employed but helped with tasks around the store. Sometimes he was a chauffer for Dr. Kouns, but that was before I was born. It was said he got his name due to an accident which occurred while fishing when he cought a big catfish and on yanking on the fishing pole the hook came out of the fish's mouth and poked through his lip in such a way that Dr. Kouns couldn't get it out without a lot of holding Cat down as well as dealing with a lot of profanity. It didn't seem to cause any significant resentment on Cat's part toward the Doctor because he continued to be his driver for house calls. Friday could be found every day sitting along side the old cement watering trough which before my time was used to water the horses and teams that came to town. Friday always wore overalls, a stained leather Stetson, smoked cigarettes which he rolled, and had a bad eye which was scarred, red, and was turned upward. He also did some small chores for the store. I haven't found anyone who knows how Friday got his name. Some of the readers of this narrative may be old enough to remember these brothers. I hope so because the mystery of their family of origin and from where in town or the county they came is unanswered. In all the time they were around town, no one ever seemed to ask or inquire, and now that they are gone, it has been an impossible task, it seems, for me to know more about them than just they were perennial fixtures associated with the store which made an impression on a young boy's mind.

When I was a young boy, the store still retained most of the features described by Doris above. I had a saddle horse from about the age of ten which I used a bit on the farm mostly to ride the fence line to find where the cows were getting out (and where Jim Harrison's bull was getting in). Elmer Flaugher was still blacksmithing then as well as serving as the local ferrier. He always sent me to Hauenstein's to get the shoes for my horse when it needed shoeing. I remember the bins of shoes and square horse shoe nails stored in the west section of the store where farm tools and equipment could be found as well as a lot of horse tack. Elmer usually didn't need me to buy any "toes" for the shoes; however, by the time I came along times had changed and some of the roads had been paved in town causing my horse to slip and slide as I was riding it to the saddle club arena in the ball park. So I remember one time he had me get some toes from the store which he forged at the front of the shoe and he heated the shoe horns at the rear to bend up some "caulks," all to give the hooves some traction on the pavement. Elmer was a man of many talents. Besides being the town blacksmith for many years he also was well known for the "John Boats" he constructed as well as having been a "tie whacker" and fiddle maker (photos 17 and 18).

17 Elmer Flaugher; Cutting Ties
17 Elmer Flaugher; Cutting Ties

 

18 Elmer Flaugher
18 Elmer Flaugher

 

One very happy memory I have of Hauenstein's Store were the "ice cream cones" which sold for a nickel and were always vanilla flavored.

Another thing I remember when I was in high school (when Bud Ward owned the store); I was wondering around the up stairs and found some old cardboard boxes stored away under a large shelf which contained about fifty or more old English styled caps (photo 16 above), the type to which I referred above which Catfish Williams wore. I doubt they were special ordered for Cat Williams. Bud knew nothing about them. They must have been stored away for a long time back there under those shelves. I know that in the 1800's you could find photos of men around the area who wore this style cap so I imagine they had been bought long ago for resale at a time when some men wore them. At any rate I asked Bud if I could buy one and for how much. He couldn't decide right away so I offered twenty five cents each if I bought ten of them. He readily agreed and I took them away and sold some of them to some of the kids at school for fifty cents each. I don't know now where they all went to including mine. Bamber Wright may have bought some in the past since he can be seen even now sporting this style cap once in a while. Another time I was meandering around inside the old large storage shed between the store and the river and found an antique popcorn machine. Again, no one knew its origin; I suspect it was used at the Annual Homecoming Picnic at the Riverside Park located just across the Shut In Branch west of the store. I bought the popcorn machine from Bud for twenty five dollars and later sold it for forty dollars after I got married and had no place to store it. The old store had lots of memories for everyone who went there and I just wonder what interesting treasures were left like the ones I discovered when it was torn down years ago.

Finally, my mother spent all her youth along the river in Tuscumbia since her parents owned a store just down the street from Hauenstein's Store. I asked her to email me some of her memories:

Joe told me he was writing about Hauenstein's Store and has asked me to send him all of my remembrances. I will send all that I can think of but they won't be in sequences since I have to wait on my mind to respond & then I will immediately write it down. First is the loafing place right at the back of their store where their well was located. It had a concrete slab covering it which afforded plenty of sitting room. People that had nothing else to do liked to sit there & watch what went on because it was located facing main street. Would you believe romances developed there with complete strangers to start with?

There were a few of the same people there every day. For instance, there were Catfish & Friday Williams who were brothers. Jack Hawken is another one that comes to mind. Tuscumbia is the only place that had a high school in this area & if folks wanted to further their education there were a couple of buses that brought them in from St. Elizabeth & Iberia Mo. These people explored the town during the noon hour. They found it interesting to talk with whomever was at the Well. It seems that this one pretty girl from St. Elizabeth found Jack Hawken very appealing. They met every day & there developed a serious romance. So much so that they defied tradition & eloped together & nobody knew where to find them. Margaret never confided with her folks & Jack had no folks to confide in. That all created quite a buzz. As time passed the curiosity ebbed & at the same time Jack got hungry to see his friends at the Well, his favorite Loafing Place so they came back to Tuscumbia & moved into a two-room cabin that my Mom had in the back of our house in Goosebottom. It must have been a bonified storybook romance for they stayed married until years later when Jack passed away. Two strangers met at the Loafing Place & made a go of it, Margaret Holtmeyer & Jack Hawken and that's what I meant when I said romances began at the Well.

Another memory I found a little startling to me, a child. The Tuscumbia annual picnic was in high gear & a small crowd began to gather around the porch on Hauensteins Store. There was a man lying there that some said was dead & others thought had imbibed too much liquor & just passed out. Nobody seemed to want to investigate. To me that was eerie & I left quickly only to find out later he was dead. I also knew the man & that made it worse.

George & Aunt Ida Hauenstein built the Hauenstein Store & built it up; then George died leaving the store to Aunt Ida to manage. She was not so young at this time so she asked her niece, Ina McCommons & her husband Dewey Kallenbach to help her as well as Leonard Kallenbach, Dewey's brother. It must have been a fun place to go down to their store in the evening & stay until they closed at night because I remember so many people who socialized there in the evenings.

One Halloween night the trick or treaters were on the prowl to see what they could cook up for excitement. They spied a trailer about the size to haul a pretty good load sitting there in Hauensteins parking lot close to the store. Well, they decided to turn it over & did. But it was heavy & made a big loud noise & they all scattered in a hurry. The owner heard the crash & came running; the loud cursing that he gave when he saw it was louder than the crash of the trailer. I witnessed this episode from the porch on our store across the street & I also knew him. If you stayed at the Well late enough on Halloween you could see shadowy forms on the bluff above turn over a privy or two.

Dewey delivered groceries from the store to those that called the order in & he usually came every day. Joe was around 4 yrs. old & every morning Dewey greeted him by saying, "Good Morning, Orange Blossom". That didn't take too good for that little four year old. So Dewey obliged him & a few days later Dewey told me about it

The Hauenstein Store kept all kinds of attractions up in their balcony that kids liked. I still have several different things such as vases, etc. that Joe & Trish bought me for my birthday. There was a box of men's caps up there that had long passed their popularity. Joe spied them & thought they were neat for it was the kind that Catfish Williams, the Loafer always wore. So Joe asked them how much they cost. I guess that kind of amused them so they told him about a quarter. He bought one & so proudly wore it to school. The next day the kids all ran down the steps to Hauenstein's and piled upstairs into the balcony & bought all they had.

There were a few times that poor old Catfish moved out of his spot at the Well whenever Dr. Kouns asked him to drive him to see a patient for he never learned how to drive and they say he always kept his foot outside the car on the running board of the Ford car he owned.

Aunt Ida was sorely missed when she passed away at a good old age. Leonard decided he wanted to build his own grocery store & Hortense (Swanson), his wife & her sister, Gardie Swanson, the long time elementary school teacher in Tuscumbia helped him. This store was built just across from their home on the hill near the courthouse. The women prepared lunches & Leonard took care of the rest of it. I guess Ina & Dewey were ready to 'hang their hats up" too so Dorsey & Ruth Barrons bought Hauensteins Store. Ruth was Ina's sister & Aunt Ida's niece.

Sometime later Ruth sold the store to a couple with the last name of Ward. I moved to Kansas City shortly after that, so I don't really know the rest of the history but the last time I looked the Hauenstein Store was no more & most of the people I've talked about are gone; it is sad to see the empty spot of so much history.

Thanks mom.

You may have noticed in the narratives above that the "steps" leading up the hill from Hauenstein's Store to the Courthouse location are mentioned. You can read more about the "steps" on our own website in an article about Tuscumbia written by Doris (Wright) Clemens' father and uncle, Lawrence and T.C. Wright found at this location: http://www.millercountymuseum.org/communities/tuscumbia.html

You will have to scroll down the page to near the end of the article where the photos and narrative about the "steps" can be found.


Last week a number of volunteers at the museum accompanied my wife, Judy, myself and museum director Nancy Thompson to visit the Moniteau County museum in California, Mo (photo 19).

19 Brice and Betty K., Doris W., Nancy T., Judy P., Sharon H., Richard S.
19 Brice and Betty K., Doris W., Nancy T., Judy P., Sharon H., Richard S.

 

The museum director, Richard Schroeder, is a retired Missouri Conservation agent who has an intense interest in the history and culture of Missouri, and especially that of Moniteau County. Richard remembered well a couple of agents in our Miller County with whom he worked at times, John Dinkens and Richard Robbins (who sadly passed away a few years ago). Richard Schroeder is a person with artistic and design talents and has worked with other very talented members of the local historical society to create a museum which is highly touted and recognized by experts in the field. So we were very appreciative of the wonderful tour he gave us and the pointers he offered to help us with the redesigning and restructure of our own Miller County museum's new addition, a project in which we very busily are working this winter. The museum is located in the old post office (photo 20) and is across the street from the famous Latham Clinic (photo 21) now closed.

20 Old Post Office
20 Old Post Office

 

21 Latham Clinic
21 Latham Clinic

 

The Latham Clinic at one time was very famous; patients traveled there to receive consultations from very far away. My grandfather went there often when he felt he had an illness that was "too tough" for the local doctors. One of our board members, Betty Kallenbach, was delivered there. The museum's major unique feature are the many display cases with glass windows each of which has a historic theme accompanied by photos, artifacts and artistic drawings which tell a story. Richard has agreed to consult with us soon on implementing some of his ideas in our new museum addition. Another famous store in California, now closed, was "Heck's Saddles".


More information is coming in about the Miller County Jail. Cindy Helton, who with her husband Ron, is rehabilitating the old jail in the courthouse square, reminds me that an interim jail (used by the county between the time of exiting the one that the Heltons' now own and the time that the new one on highway 52 was finished just a few years ago) was a small white cinder block building (photo 22) on the west side of the courthouse just south of the Miller County Title Company.

22 County Jail; 1980's and 1990's
22 County Jail; 1980's and 1990's

 

The white cinder block building is still owned by the county but utilized for storage. In 1980 the old vacant jail now owned by the Heltons' was utilized by the Miller County Historical Society for its museum until 1991 when the museum was moved to its present site in the old Anchor Milling Company Hardware store on highway 52 near the present courthouse where the new and the last jail also is located. The Heltons' purchased the old jail and courthouse from the county a couple of years ago. More information about this interim jail was given me by Peggy Hake:

"The cinder block building to the west of the old courthouse was first built as an office (I think someone once told me an attorney had an office there) and later was used as the jail until the new one was built. In the 1980s the cinder block building was a VERY crowded jail and there wasn't nearly enough room in it for the number of prisoners that were held. Some had to be farmed out to other jails in the region. On the lower level were the cell blocks (dirty, dark, and really forboding!) I had to visit there on different occasions when I was a commissioner and hated to go to that area, but usually had someone to escort me through the mess........Sheriffs Gerald Whittle and Gaylord McDaniel always gave me some assistance and I felt safe with them on hand.....The building sat next to the Miller County Title Company, owned by Jim Grantham in the late 1970s and early 80s. I worked for Jim for a couple of years until I ran for the office of judge/commissioner, That was when I first became acquainted with the insufficient jail on the cliff side of the courthouse........

Peggy"

Last week on this web page I mentioned some information given me by Ron Helton about the remains of an old foundation which he believes was an old jail used by the county in the time between the use of the first one built farther north on High Street across the street from the Christian Church and the use of the one he now owns in the old Courthouse square. So a few days ago I went to the south west side of the old courthouse square and indeed found an old concrete foundation buried in the brush and trees located at the left side of the top of the stairs (if you are facing down the stairs) which descend the hill down into the old part of Tuscumbia. The foundation is small, about ten by ten feet square. Only the concrete floor is present. The foundation under the floor has two small screened windows, one on the north and one on the south side. Under the steps on the west side of the foundation an opening has been bricked in. I am uploading photos of what I saw (photos 23, 24, 25, 26).

23 First Floor
23 First Floor

 

24 Steps Leading to First Floor West Side
24 Steps Leading to First Floor West Side

 

25 Small Screened Window Lower Level South Side
25 Small Screened Window Lower Level South Side

 

26 Small Screened Window Lower Level North Side
26 Small Screened Window Lower Level North Side

 

The old Goodspeed history book on page 541 says "In 1865 the present stone jail in the court yard was ordered built and in 1879 one cell of this was leased to the town as a calaboose." Ron Helton tells me his research indicates that Missouri law in the distant past required that any jail had to be within eye sight of the gallows used for hanging. That is why Ron believes that when the old brick courthouse was built on the square at the south end of High Street, the old jail first built further north on High Street across from the Christian Church had to be moved. Ron believes that this old foundation hidden in the brush is that building; that is, the second Miller County Jail.

I am very thankful to Ron and Cindy Helton for helping me to be more accurate about the story of the Miller County jails. They have spent hours and hours researching the subject a great deal of which is from the microfilm archives of the State of Missouri. It is clear that when they complete their restoration of the old jail and courthouse the historicity of the old buildings will be preserved.


Our Christmas Potluck Dinner was celebrated last Sunday afternoon (December 9) at the new museum activity hall on the lower floor of the new addition. Prior to the meeting Karen Smith, Nancy Thompson and Doris Wiggins were busy preparing enlarged photos and narratives to hang on the walls to display pictorially the history of early transportation in the county via steamboats and railroads (photo 27).

27 Karen Smith, Nancy Thompson, Doris Wiggins
27 Karen Smith, Nancy Thompson, Doris Wiggins

 

Come Sunday the day of the Christmas Potluck Dinner and the meeting room was exquisitely decorated and ready (photo 28). Christmas decorations were placed and waiting (photos 29 and 30).

28 Ready For Christmas
28 Ready For Christmas

 

29 Corner Santa
29 Corner Santa

 

30 Wall Angel
30 Wall Angel

 

However, we awoke to a terrible ice storm closing roads and causing widespread power loss. The meeting wasn't cancelled and we had a nice crowd attend (photo 31)…..our two mothers!! Well, actually a few more braved the storm (photo 32). They were treated to homemade coconut cream pies by Elva Steen (photo 33) and homemade bread by Janie Davis (photo 34).

31 Elva Steen and Susie Pryor
31 Elva Steen and Susie Pryor

 

32 Susie Pryor, Judy Pryor, Donald Steen, Alisa Steen, Elva Steen
32 Susie Pryor, Judy Pryor, Donald Steen, Alisa Steen, Elva Steen

 

33 Coconut Cream Pies by Elva
33 Coconut Cream Pies by Elva

 

34 Homemade Bread by Janie
34 Homemade Bread by Janie

 

And on that note goodbye until next week.

Joe Pryor



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Here We "GROW"




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