Monday, May 12, 2008
A few weeks ago, Ina Thompson and Verna Pemberton came by the museum to donate to us
something really interesting. It was the original blue print (photo 01) for the old courthouse in Tuscumbia built in 1910 (photo 02).
01 Courthouse Blueprint
Ina had them because her husband Merle's grandfather, Dan Thompson (photo 03), had been the one who built the
cupola at the top of the courthouse building. The contract for the courthouse construction
had been given to a large construction company outside of this area from St. Louis, but
for some reason, when it came time to construct the cupola the plans required some
techniques that the construction crew didn't know or understand. Being on the spot like
that, the construction foreman asked some local people if Tuscumbia had a carpenter who
could build the cupola. Without hesitation the carpenter the local Tuscumbia residents
suggested was Dan Thompson.
03 Daniel F. Thompson
According to the reports of people who were there, Dan carefully looked the plans
over, then laid out the various pieces of lumber needed, measured them with his fold up
ruler, squared them up with his metal square, and sawed them out with his hand saw. Then
he numbered each piece as it lay on the ground. Climbing the ladder to the top of the
almost finished courthouse, Dan called for each of the pieces he had measured and cut
according to the number he had put on them and then began to put it all together. It was
also said that John Wright, a local artist and painter, put the clock numbers on the face.
This was the kind of clock which displayed the time perfectly accurately twice daily.
Apparently, the County Court was under funded for the project and could not afford the
expense of a large mechanical clock of the size required by the plans.
I had heard this story many times in the past by many different people so I believe it
is true. Dan Thompson was an uncle of Royal Kallenbach (photo 04) of Eldon to whom I talked recently to learn more
04 Royal Kallenbach
Royal, now 93 years of age, also was an accomplished carpenter in Miller County.
Before I talked to Royal I already knew that Dan had been a prolific builder of homes in
the central Miller County area. He even had built two homes for my father back in the
1940's. Royal said that Dan was one of those people who were born with an exceptional gift
which surpassed what normal people could ever do. Dan had an eye that never allowed for a
corner that wasn't square; it was said he really didn't need the metal square tool he
carried with him. Dan also had an eye for design and originality. One of the structures he
built was the first four year high school in Tuscumbia (photo 05 about 1924) including an indoor gymnasium, which at
the time was the first in Miller County.
05 Tuscumbia Grade and High School Before 1938
Royal remembered that Dan had built Ed Kallenbach's house in Tuscumbia which is
still standing (photo 06). Also, Royal
said that the last home built on the original Kallenbach farm on the Little Saline was
built by Dan. This house is still standing and in good condition (photo 07).
06 Ed Kallenbach Home
07 Original Kallenbach Home
(As an aside, Royal said that there were two Dan
Thompsons in Miller County at about this time and they were related although he didn't
know to what degree. The other Dan was known as "Rabbit Dan Thompson" who lived
over on Dry Creek. Rabbit Dan never had any photos made of him as far as anyone knows;
however he can be seen in this old school picture of the Wright school (photo 08).
08 Wright School with Rabbitt Dan 4th Row Number 10
Click image for larger view
The most interesting memory Royal has of Rabbit Dan
is that he was a very methodical, careful and slow person in about everything he did. In
fact, the reason he got his name was the way he rabbit hunted. While the other fellows had
their shotguns for hunting rabbits, Rabbit Dan never used a gun. He was always behind the
other hunters, seemingly "fiddlin around," but then he would stop moving, crouch
down and then leap forward with his arms in front of him and
. "presto!" Up
he came with a kicking rabbit squirming in his hands!)
Dan Thompson also was an accomplished guitar player and singer. While a young man he
toured the Midwest with two other local Miller County fellows, John Wright and Ed
Kallenbach, who performed vaudeville acts at fairs and picnics. In addition, John Wright
performed acrobatic stunts as part of the show (photo
09 of acrobatic John).
09 John Wright - Trapeze Artist
Royal Kallenbach remembers that Dan Thompson didn't
have a car nor did he travel by horseback. Because
Dan was a neighbor to Royal when Royal was growing up
on the Little Saline Creek, Royal had the opportunity
to see Dan going and returning to Tuscumbia everyday,
six days a week, always walking, carrying his few
tools. On the return home he usually was carrying, in
addition to his tools, a bag of groceries bought in
town as he had a wife and family.
Dan Thompson was a son of Green Lee Thompson (photo 10), and was a descendent of a family which produced
many interesting and capable people extending back to the earliest days of this country.
10 Green Lee Thompson
Click image for larger view
Clyde Lee Jenkins, Miller County Historian, was very interested in the history of
the Thompsons and did quite a bit of research about them eventually recording his findings
in an article published in the Autogram in the mid 1970's. Because our web site does not
have a significant entry presently about this branch of the Thompsons, I thought it would
be interesting to copy Clyde Lee's article this week on this page of our web site. But
first I want to copy the introduction to Hilary Thomson Adcock Dunnaway's research on the
Thompson family of Miller County as it summarizes the somewhat longer narrative that Clyde
Lee wrote. So first we will read Hilary's summary of the Thompson family of Miller County:
Introduction to the History of the Miller County
by Hilary Thompson Adcock Dunnaway:
This is a history of twelve generations of the Thompson
family from 1610 to September 1979. Some families are not as complete as they could be,
but I have used all the information I have been able to gather in the last twenty years.
My grandfather, Daniel Fraser Thomson (photo
11) worked at researching the family for half a
11 Daniel Fraser Thomson
There may be some questions about the authenticity
of the older generations, but grandfather said, "The history back to and through
Reverend Thomas Thompson is accurate for a certainty." At one time he thought there
was another Thomas in our line, but his final decision was as follows:
1. Daniel Fraser Thompson of Thomas Arrington Thompson
2. Thomas Arrington Thompson of Henry Thompson
3. Henry Thompson of Reverend Thomas Thompson
4. Reverend Thomas Thompson of Absalom Thompson
5. Absalom Thompson of Henry Thompson I
6. Henry Thompson I of Anthony Thompson I
7. Anthony Thompson I, original settler from Scotland.
Dan Fraser never felt certain about Absalom or Henry. I
have taken Clyde Lee Jenkins' (Miller County historian and genealogist and a distant
relative) information as correct, as I have a copy of the will of Anthony Sr. (the second
Anthony) which indicates that it is correct.
The Thompson family is a difficult one to research, as the
name is a common one. The American Genealogical Research Institute of Arlington, Virginia
has published a book on "The Thompson Family." This book states that
"Thompson is the second, most common name in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland; the
fifteenth most common name in London; and the fourteenth most common name in America,
according to Social Security files." In the 1790 census it was twelfth. There were
594,500 Thompsons in America in 1972. The 1790 census showed a Henry Thompson, two Thomas
Thompsons in Dorchester County, Maryland and a Thomas Thompson in St. Mary's County,
A note in the Thompson Family Bible states that the first
census report of the United States in 1790 shows Thomas Thompson, his wife Priscilla, and
five children born to them 1783-1790, two girls and three boys; and their six negro
slaves. See "Heads of Families-"Dorchester County Maryland." This is the
source of the information.
Many of our family spell the Thompson name
differently-even brothers, fathers and sons. It all began when Henry decided the
"h" and "p" were not sounded and so should be dropped. I have tried to
spell names as they were spelled at time of death.
Daniel Fraser Thomson wanted to have a history of the
Thompson family compiled and made available to all our family, but he didn't live to see
his dream come true. It is with fond memories and deep affection that I finish this task
for him, to the best of my ability.
Thanks Hilary. Now we go to the longer narrative by Clyde Lee Jenkins about the Miller
County Thompson family:
Clyde Lee Jenkins
Anthony Thompson, who died in 1683, was born near
"Glasgow, Scotland, about 1610, a kinsman of the Mac tomair Clan, and when 20 years
of age, emigrated to the Bermuda Islands with his father. There he listened to the
stirring accounts of travelers returning from the New World until the spirit of adventure
was so aroused in his own breast that he journeyed in 1634, with one of the brothers of
Cecil, the second Lord Baltimore, to the mouth of the stream of St. Marys in the Lord's
new proprietary of Maryland.
The peculiarity of this Colony was that the settlers lived
for some time with the Indians in perfect harmony. When the land for tillage was laid off
near the Indian village, Anthony commenced clearing a three acre tract, and when
completed, like many other able bodied men doing the same thing, he stirred the soil, and
Throughout the remainder of the first year, if not tending
his crop, he was in the wilderness, hunting with the Indians. Deer abounded in the tall
woods, and many were slaughtered, which provided the colonists with venison for food, and
skins for leather breeches, coats, and stockings. The first Marylanders were often called
"leather-stockings" by the earlier inhabitants of Virginia.
Although he was not of the Roman Catholic religious faith,
Anthony prospered in his new environment. He served in the first assemblies, and helped in
the development of St. Marys, but when the border struggle commenced with Pennsylvania, he
crossed the bay, and settled about seven miles from Cambridge, later the county seat of
Dorchester County, Maryland.
Anthony Thompson and his wife, Mary, were the parents of
Thomas, Absalum, and Anthony, Sr. Of these children Thomas, before his death in 1734,
served for some time as rector of the old Trinity Church. Absalum, a planter, died in
1738. Anthony Sr., who died in 1707, was married to a woman named Eleanor. Their children
included Henry, who died unmarried in 1730; Anthony, Jr., who died in 1728; Thomas, who
died in 1724; Richard; Eleanor, who married John Salsbury; and Absalum who was born after
the demise of his father.
(Note: I was confused that Anthony Thompson's son was named Anthony Sr. However,
according to what Clyde wrote just above, Anthony Sr. then had a son he named Anthony Jr.
So, at any rate, what I have transcribed is just as Clyde wrote it.)
Absalum, last mentioned, born in 1707, was married in 1747
to Elizabeth, a daughter of James and Mary Busick of Dorchester County, Maryland. Their
children included Rosannah, born June 29, 1748; Eunice, born January 5 1753; Priscilla,
born June 2, 1757; Thomas, born July 7, 1758; and Anthony, born April 7, 1762. Of these
children, Anthony was married to Mary King on October 24, 1786; and Thomas was married in
1782 to Priscilla Mace.
Now, going back to the first Anthony Thompson, the
original settler, it may be found that upon his death in 1683, he was the proprietor of
several surveys of land in Dorchester County, Maryland, which included one parcel known as
(Note: Hilary Adcock Dunnaway, whose mother was a Thompson descendent, wrote an
autobiography (Peace beside The Spring) in which she identifies the home where she
spent her early childhood as being named "White Haven." This farm is located
between Tuscumbia and Eldon on Hall's Store Road (which, by the way, is the farm where my
wife was raised and where her mother, Elva Steen, still lives). Hilary, who was the
daughter of the famous river boat captain, John Adcock, writes in her book that the idea
to name their farm "White Haven" originated from her grandfather Daniel Fraser
Thompson who named it after the original White Haven in Dorchester County, Maryland owned
by the first Anthony Thomson.)
Anthony's son, Anthony, Sr., then Anthony Sr.'s son,
Absalum, and later Absalum's son, Thomas, successively fell heir to White Haven. Thomas,
the last owner, was a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and during the struggle
for Independence, served in Eccleston's Company of the Second Maryland Infantry. The
Reverend Thomas returned to White Haven when hostilities ceased, but the faltering economy
of an infant nation soon made the maintenance of his holdings rather burdensome. First,
selling the plantation slaves, then the remainder of his real estate, including White
Haven, he removed to North Carolina, and spent the remainder of his lifetime tilling the
soil in Rockingham County.
Priscilla, wife of the Reverend Thomas, was born on
November, 14, 1762, a daughter of John Mace of Dorchester County, Maryland, who later
moved to Virginia.
The Reverend Thomas and Priscilla were the parents of Mary
or Polly, who was married to Henry Brannack; Priscilla, who was married to Thomas
Arrington; Henry, who was married to Elizabeth Lee; Garrett, who was married to Eleanor or
Nellie Lee; and Thomas who died before his 15th birthday. Upon his death in 1828, the
Reverend Thomas was buried beside his son, Thomas, in the family cemetery, which was
situated near the house in which he, as Squire of Thompsonville, had presided. Upon her
demise, his wife, Priscilla, was interred beside him.
Neighbors of the Reverend Thomas and Priscilla in the
County of Rockingham included Willoughby and Fanny Lee, who in the earlier 1800's, owned
approximately 1,000 acres of land. They were the parents of Jacob, Willoughby, Henry,
Fanny, Harriett, Eleanor, and Elizabeth; the latter two sisters being the Lee girls who
married brothers, Garrett and Henry Thompson, respectively.
Now, at this point, all the relation by consanguinity or
affinity of the original Anthony Thompson, serving no further purpose, must for reasons of
brevity, be dismissed, except for the progenitor of his descendants in Miller County
In 1807, Henry Thompson, a son of the Reverend Thomas and
Priscilla, born at White Haven in Maryland, on March 11, 1737, was married to Elizabeth
Lee, a daughter of Willoughby and Fanny, born in Rockingham County, North Carolina, on
March 19, 1791. They lived after their marriage for some time in North Carolina, then
emigrated from Rockingham County into Hardeman County, Tennessee, where Henry farmed and
hunted, while teaching the rule of three to children in subscription schools, and
preaching the gospel to inhabitants in their wilderness homes.
(The Rule of Three? Read more about this fascinating concept taught regularly in
early American schools at these websites:
Henry Thompson and Elizabeth Lee were the parents of nine
boys and four girls. Their children included William, born September 21, 1808; Thomas
Arrington, born March 5, 1810 (photo 12 of
Thomas Arrington); John, born December 9, 1811;
Fanny Avery, born September 20, 1818; Elizabeth Mace, born September 6, 1820; Henry
Brannock, born February 24, 1823; James Cunningham, born October 25, 1825; Joseph Coe,
born January 24, 1828; Milton Green, born February 2, 1830; Jackson Garrett, born
September 13, 1832; and Irene Anne, born March 10, 1835.
12 Thomas Arrington Thompson
In the later 1830's, Henry Thompson and Elizabeth
Lee moved from Tennessee by ox wagon into Missouri, and settled in Benton County, near
Warsaw. Two years later they emigrated into Illinois, but returned to Missouri in 1842,
and this time settled in Cole County, westerly of Brazito now, and northerly of Hickory
Hill. Here two, one-room log houses with stone fireplaces were raised, with a roofed
breezeway between them.
(Note: The house just described with a roofed breezeway is commonly known around
here as a "dogtrot house." Quite a few of these were built in Miller County
early on and some still exist, although you might not recognize them now since they have
been remodeled by closing in the passageway between the two closed structures. We are
constructing a facsimile of a "dogtrot" house in our museum renovation now just
Henry Thompson died on January 22, 1862; a veteran of the
War of 1812, having served a term of two months and 17 days in the Tennessee Militia. He
was buried in the family cemetery, near the log house which he erected in Clark Township,
Cole County, beside the grave of his wife, Elizabeth, she having died on May 24, 1857.
Of their children, William died in Tennessee on November
1, 1829, when 21 years of age.
Thomas Arrington, the eldest child surviving, born in
Rockingham County, North Carolina, was married to Carrenhappock Sellars on July 31, 1834.
She was born on December 9, 1816, in Dublin County, North Carolina. They came from
Tennessee by covered wagon to Miller County, Missouri, in 1860 and upon arriving, he
swapped a fine team of horses and a good wagon having new bed bows and sailing cloth, for
several hundred acres of land in the Ginger Ridge community. Carrenhappock Sellars died on
May 4, 1890; Thomas Arrington in 1898.
Their children included Josiah Henry Dockery, born January
23, 1837 (photo 13 of Josiah); Green Lee (see
photo 10 above of Green Lee), born December 19,
1838; Sarah Carrenhappock, born Novmeber 13, 1840; James Downing, born October 19, 1847;
Dan Fraser (see photo 11 above), born April 23, 1850; Frances Hespianna or Josephine, born March
25, 1853; Amos Arrington Franklin born November 11, 1854; Jennie, born May 4, 1857; and
Oliver Goldsmith born October 19, 1861, who died July 19, 1862.
13 Rev. Josiah Henry Dockery Thompson
(Note: Clyde spells Carrenhappock with a "C" but Hilary Thomson
Adcock Dunnaway spells it with a "K.")
John, the third child of Henry Thompson and Elizabeth Lee,
was married in Tennessee, but he died soon afterward, on September4, 1834, when 22 years
Fanney Avery, the fourth child and first girl, was married
to Valentine Jenkins, in Tennessee. They followed Henry and Elizabeth, Fanney's parents,
into Missouri, but settled in Ripley County. He served as a chaplain in the Confederate
Army. He was the father of Henry Robert, born March 7, 1862; and James Lee, born May 28,
1863. Nothing more about him is known by this author; nor is much known about Joseph Coe,
Milton Green, and Jackson Garrett, the 10th, 11th, and 12th children of Henry and
Elizabeth, except that Joseph Coe was a lieutenant of cavalry in the State Guard under
Governor Jackson, fighting for the Confederacy, and after the war, moved to the state of
California; that Jackson Garrett died on September 15, 1855; and Milton Green, a composer
of music, suffered mental derangement over religion when about 30 years of age, and died
while a patient in the State Hospital at Fulton, Missouri.
Irene Anne, the last child of Henry and Elizabeth, came
with her parents to Missouri when they first settled in Benton County, then was carried by
them into Illinois, and back to Cole County, Missouri. She was married to Presley S.
Riggins on October 8, 1856, and they were the parents of one son, James Henry, who was
born on January 21, 1858, and died in 1870. Presley S. Riggins was the owner of more than
200 acres of land along the Little Saline Creek in Miller County. He became ill late in
the summer of 1858, and although attended by Doctors A.P. Nixdorf, Bolton, Bollinger,
Wells and Winston, died on November 3.
On January 24, 1860, Irene Anne was married to William
Thomas Harrison. He was born on August 31, 1859, a son of a widow Milla Ann Harrison who
came to Equality Township from Benton County in the 1850's. Irene Anne and William Thomas
were the parents of Sarah Leona, born December 8, 1861; Joseph Richard, born February 26,
1864; Charles William, born September 11, 1866; John Jenkins, born September 27, 1863;
Anna Lee, born in 1870; Cora Angeline, born June 17, 1872; and Lena Zobeda, born September
12, 1875, Irene Anne Harrison died on December 7, 1870, in the 44th year of her lifetime.
Of Irene Anne's children, only one, Cora Angeline, who
married Charles Vaughan, died under 60 years of age, Sarah Leona, who married Wiliam G.
Carrender, was approaching a century of living at her death in 1961. Joseph Richard lived
almost 77 years; Charles William, 87 years; John Jenkins, 97 years; Anna Lee, 97 years;
and Lena Zobeda, who married Marvin Slote, is still living, approaching her 97th birthday
on September 12, 1972. She is the only living grandchild of Henry Thompson and Elizabeth
Lee (photo 14 of Lena Slote).
14 Mrs. Leona Slote
Mention will now be made of some of the descendants
of Henry Thompson and Elizabeth Lee, especially the descendants of Thomas Arrington
Thompson and Carrenhappock Sellars. Josiah Henry Dockery, their eldest child, was a
prominent preacher of the Church of Christ, and held many meetings in central Missouri
where early churches of that faith were established. He was a composer of music,
especially sacred songs. He published the Gospel Proclamation, a religious monthly, at
Tuscumbia, with James Pinkney Wright (photo
15) in the 1870's.
15 James Pinkney Wright
In January, 1879, they changed the name of the
religious tabloid to Good Tidings, in order to better spread the "good tidings of
Campbellism as hatched out in the backwoods of West Virginia." In February, 1880,
they commenced The Miller County Vindicator, a weekly newspaper, published at Tuscumbia,
which lasted for seven years, although Josiah H.D. sold his interest in the paper to his
partner, and cousin, James Pinkney Wright, in January 1883. During the Civil War, Josiah
H.D. was a guard at the Missouri state penitentiary in Jefferson City. He was married to
Mary Anna Rainey, a native of Tennessee, born September 11, 1838; died May 22, 1908. They
were the parents of three children, James Franklin (photo 16), born October 23,
1856; William Thomas (photo 17), born August 22, 1859; and Nancy Joann (photo 18).
16 James Franklin Thompson
Click image for larger version
17 William Thomas Tomson
18 Nancy Joann
Josiah H.D. Thompson died on December 13, 1913,
having moved from Miller County to Greeley, Colorado before his death.
Dan Fraser (see
photo 11 above), the fifth child of Thomas
Arrington Thompson and Carrenhappock Sellars, was born in Hardeman County Tennessee. He
came with his parents to Miller County in 1860. He enlisted in the Union Army when only 15
years of age, and served as a drummer boy. After internecine conflict he took particular
interest in the GAR.
He was engaged for some time in the newspaper business,
his first job being editor of the Osage Valley Sentinel in 1872, the first newspaper
published in Miller County. Later, he helped Jim Pink Wright in the office of the
Vindicator, and after his marriage, published a newspaper at Linn Creek. Moving to
Richland, he founded the Richland Sentinel; then engaged in the publishing business at Hot
Springs, Arkansas, where he founded and organized the Royal Knights of Labor in that
state. Upon returning to Central Missouri later in life, he published newspapers at
Iberia, Eldon, and Versailles. He served as ward master at the U.S. Marine Hospital in St.
Louis in 1871; served on the staff of the State Senate; and was clerk in the adjutant
general's office during the administrations of Governors Folk, Hadley, and Garner. He
spent three years in Washington, D.C., copying the Civil War records of Missouri soldiers,
and was often commended for his accuracy in record keeping and attention to minute details
in veterans' affairs. He was married early in life to Eliza Catherine Melton, and they
were the parents of Ida May (photo 19), born January 12, 1873, who was married to John W. Adcock (photo 20);
19 Ida May Thomson Adcock
20 John Adcock
(Note: see above about John Adcock and White Haven Farm.)
Nellie Lee, born July 1, 1875, who was married to James
(Note: I have written about James Skinner recently on more than one occasion on
this page. He is the one who has a tomb on Highway 52 between Tuscumbia and Eldon.)
Rathgar Downing or Dixie, born October 13, 1878, who was
married to John Milton Kallenbach; Eliza Carenhappuck or Carrie, born January 26, 1881,
who was married to George G. Sullivan; and Thomas Fraser or Fray (photo 21),
born August 23, 1883, who was married first to Anna Bethke, second to Mary Leita Webster,
and third to Norma Jones.
21 Thomas Frazer Thomson
Dan Fraser Thompson died on January 28, 1918; his
wife, Eliza Catherine Melton, born December 28, 1856, died January 3, 1918.
Ida May Thompson (see photo 19 above), daughter of
Dan Fraser, was married to John W. Adcock (see
photo 20 above) on May 28, 1899. For many years he
was captain of the steamer J.R. Wells, freighting the Osage and Missouri rivers.
James Pinkney Wright (see photo 15 above), a son of
James Lawrence Wright and Elizabeth Mace Thompson, grandson of Henry Thompson and
"Elizabeth Lee, was born in Cole county on November 14, 1850. As a boy he came with
his parents to Miller County where his father operated a carding machine and grist mill by
the Little Saline Creek.
During his earlier years he became interested in newspaper
work and in the 1870's in association with his cousin J.H.D. Thompson (see photo 13 above), published religious tabloids at the county seat. In 1880, they
established The Miller County Vindicator, a weekly newspaper, which was published at
Tuscumbia for seven years. Later, he published a weekly newspaper at Tuscumbia known as
The Eye Opener; then after a stint as editor and manager of the Western Preacher,
abandoned newspaper work, and spent the remainder of his lifetime engaged in agricultural
pursuits. He was married to Carrie M. Fendorf on November 11, 1880, and they were the
parents of Lizzie Belle who died in infancy; Grace May, who died in 1906 when 22 years of
age; Lawrence A., who was engaged in the printing business for many years; Chester Roland,
who died in infancy; and Tennyson Clay, best known for his work in the field of education.
James Pinkney Wright, a devoted member of the Christian
Church, died June 19, 1923.
Note: Use of the surname by different members of this
family may appear as Thompson, Thomson, or Tomson. The author is especially indebted to
Ailene Watson and Anne Kallenbach of Jefferson City, John and Sophia Hill of Tuscumbia for
pictures, to Hilary Dunnaway of Topeka, Kansas, and many others for little bits and pieces
Thanks Clyde. In addition to Ina Thompson who brought us the courthouse blue print I am
also indebted to Dennis Thompson, grandson of Dan Thompson, for the photo he copied for me
of Dan. I also am indebted to Billie Thompson Setser, sister of Ina, for additional photos
and especially the Autogram article about the Thompsons written by Clyde Lee. Another
resource was the Thompson Family History written by Hilary Thompson Adcock Dunnaway, a
copy of which is in our research library.
We are continuing to work at the museum to have things ready for the museum open house
on Saturday afternoon, May 17, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. As you can see by the photo (photo 22), volunteers are working steadily
to get things arranged. The construction crew is finishing up small details in the
renovation project of the original old museum building, and a clean up crew is coming in
later this week. Almost finished and ready is the upper level of the new addition (photo 23).
22 Busy Workers
23 Almost Ready
Helen Phillips (photo 24), well
known as a member of the Phillips family of Eldon which for many years has provided a
funeral home for all of central Missouri, has donated to our museum something very
precious and meaningful to her.
24 Helen Phillips
It is her childhood rocking chair (photo
25), bought for her by her parents when she was barely two years old. Helen
will be one hundred years old in June of this year, so the tiny chair is at least that old
or older. Helen does not know exactly from where her parents obtained the chair but it has
been with her all her life until now.
25 Child's Rocking Chair
In the past, Helen also donated her bed which she slept in as a child to the
museum (photo 26). We have a framed
photo display of Helen when she was an infant hanging on the museum wall very close to
where the bed is located.
26 Child's Bed
I featured Helen in Progress Notes last year (August 26, 2007) which you can find listed below in our archives
which are arranged by date.
The raffle quilt for this year has been selected (photo 27); it is one made by Elva Steen of Eldon. Elva made
the one we sold last year as well which was very successful in attracting attention and
selling raffle tickets for us which helped support our building program. We are very
thankful to Elva for once again offering to donate us another quilt.
27 Raffle Quilt - Sharon Holder, Elva Steen and Judy Pryor
I went to visit Al Kliethermes of Eldon last week to see his huge bicentennial
collection of memorabilia which he and his wife, Donna, have been collecting since 1992.
Al, for several years, had a flea market close to Mount Pleasant, so he had opportunity to
come across interesting bicentennial items quite often. Also, because of his business he
and Donna, his wife, frequently took trips across the country expressly for the purpose of
purchasing items not only for the flea market but also for the bicentennial collection.
Many of the collection items are located in large glass cases in his garage, very neatly
and expertly arranged in attractive displays. Included in the collection are colorful
plates, radios, jewelry, pipes, coins, candle holders, rugs, cigarette lighters, mugs,
glasses, dolls, postcards and flags. Here is an example of the many glass cases which
contain items from the collection (photo 28).
28 Centennial Display
One notable item is a collection of old flags from the early days (photo 29); another is a set of color prints
of scenes and people of the Revolutionary War (photo
But Al has other interesting things to show as well which are not related to the
Bicentennial era. One is a canvas water bag to help radiators cool the engines of cars (photo 31).
31 Cooling Bag
Another is one of the first air conditioners used in cars (photo 32).
32 Early Air Conditioner
But the rattlesnake (photo 33)
he has hanging on the wall is a real eye catcher. When Al lived in Oklahoma he loved to go
diamond back rattle snake hunting.
33 Rattlesnake Skin
Here is a photo of a rattle snake catcher (photo 34) [note: snake was added for demonstration] and here is the rattler cage where he temporarily
contained the rattlers (photo 35).
34 Rattlesnake Catcher with snake added for demonstration
35 Snake Cage
But the most outstanding display item in Al's garage is his 1927 Model T Ford (photo 36) which he bought many years ago
which originally had been owned by a former Warden of the Missouri State Penitentiary. Al
has kept the car in top condition and good working order, something he can do since he is
an excellent mechanic.
36 Model T
Al was born in Oklahoma but returned to Missouri at the age of eleven with his
family; his father originally was from the St. Anthony area and that is where Al spent the
rest of his youth attending school in St. Elizabeth. He has a brother and other relatives
who live in that area of the county. Al moved to Eldon in 1960.
I want to express my thanks to Al for showing me his Bicentennial display as well as
the other interesting items he keeps in his garage.
Last week Jody Newman delivered to us a beautiful quilt made by a former Miller County
resident, Kay Allen Hanauer (photo 37).
Kay spent more than a quarter of a century handcrafting this quilt because it was so
unusual in its theme and design.
37 Dam Quilt
Below Kay describes the story of the quilt as well as a short summary of herself
and her family:
As the 50th anniversary of Bagnell Dam grew near, Mother
(Eula Jenkins Allen) asked my sisters and me to write about our families for the book
planned for that occasion. Reflecting on those happy years and coming from a quilting
family, this just naturally transformed into a quilt project. Little did I know that it
would take 27 years to finish. I combined some photos into a pattern, and completed the
dam portion that first year. Each winter after the holidays were over, I would, with great
expectation take the quilt from the closet and begin to work on it-sewing pieces together,
then ripping them apart. This continued off an on for 25 years. Realizing it was now
nearing the 75th anniversary, I was determined to finish that "dam" quilt.
Although I have no stitching skills, this time I persevered. I mentioned the quilt to Jody
Newman, and she was able to find it a wonderful home.
About my family: Mother and Dan married in April 1933. My
father, Edgar W. Allen, born in North Dakota, came to Miller County when construction of
Bagnell Dam began. He worked there nearly 40 years and retired in 1970. Always a busy man,
after retirement he began refinishing antiques Mom brought home. That evolved into a 20
year collecting and restoring business. In 1976 he and Mom moved to Longview, Texas near
my sister. Patty worked with the genealogy of our family for many years. She gathered that
information into a book before her death, so I'm quoting from her data. Mother's family
were long time residents of Miller County. The Jenkins, Bond and Loveall ancestors were
born in Miller County in 1850 and 1860. Spyres (of that generation) married a Jenkins
1873. Harrison H. Jenkins served as J.P. for Miller County in 1842 so some members were
there before that time. Several of the ancestors are buried in the Jenkins Cemetery near
Mary's Home which Harrison started for the family.
My grandfather was Isaac A. Jenkins, and my grandmother
was Cora Bond. They were married in September 1901 and had 10 living children. Both were
born in Miller County and are buried at Spring Garden. Mother was the 6th of the living
children. She will be 95 in July, lives in a nursing home nearby. She has one sister
living, two daughters living, seven grandchildren living, and fourteen great
grandchildren. I began the process of bringing our family history current, but with my 32
first cousins, their children, grands and great grands, it will be a job!
As for me, I was the middle daughter. Patty was older and
Nancy younger. All three of us were born in Miller County and left the area after
marriage. We lost both Patty and Dad in 1994. Nancy lives in Scotland working as a
missionary. I'm retired and spend my time in my home with various crafts, garden and
family. I have 2 daughters, Cindy and Linda. My son, Joe died in 1997. My granddaughter,
Brittany, is married and lives in Mt. Vernon, Indiana. My grandson, Dexter, is in the
Kay Allen Hanauer
4111 Country Place Drive
Newburgh, IN 47730
And finally I want to recognize Frank Baugh and David
Jarrett (photo 38) of Embellishments Design and Decor in Osage
Beach who generously have provided the historic 1870's
era wall paper covering for the bedroom and kitchen
areas of the newly constructed "dog trot house" inside
the Museum in Tuscumbia, valued at $2000.00. Frank
said he and David were delighted to be able to "give
back" to their community. He and David are Eldon
residents. We are very grateful for their support to
our museum renovation.
38 Frank Baugh and David Jarrett
Pictured below is an advertisement (photo 39) to be placed in this week's Advertiser and Autogram:
39 MCHS Open House Ad
Click image to view larger PDF file
And that's all for this week. Be sure and visit us next Saturday, May 17, between 1 and
4 in the afternoon for our open house.