Progress Notes



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


Monday, January 4, 2010

Progress Notes

Sometimes a figure from the past is remembered not only for their own accomplishments but also for their progeny as well. One Miller County person who would fit that description was George P. Swanson (photo 01).

01 George P. Swanson
01 George P. Swanson

Not only was he one of our more prominent and respected citizens but several of his descendents also were and are known in the county for what they have done also. These include Bill Abbott, our present sheriff; Jerry Setser, former president of Mercantile Bank of Eldon (formerly the Bank of Eldon); and Gardie Swanson, one of Tuscumbia’s most respected elementary school teachers. I have collected some information about Mr. Swanson and his descendents including a detailed genealogical research performed by our museum director, Nancy Thompson, which reveal not only the community contributions of George Swanson but also his descendents. I never knew George but I did know quite a few of those to be mentioned later in this narrative. George’s son, Hannis, had married Ella Fendorf, who was an aunt of Helen Fendorf Phillips of Eldon. Hannis and Ella attended the Presbyterian Church in Tuscumbia where I also attended as a child. They had two sons, Maurice and Ronald. I didn’t know Maurice as he had moved away by the time I was old enough to remember but I did know his brother Ronald who later was one of my teachers at Tuscumbia High School. Hannis had worked for many years at Tompkins Chevrolet in Eldon. Hannis’ sister, Gardie Swanson, who never married, was my first through third grade teacher and she was also my mother’s first grade teacher. One of George’s great granddaughters, Kathryn Setser Abbott, is the mother of Bill Abbott, our current sheriff. And as mentioned above, Jerry Setser, brother to Kathryn, is a great grandson of George Swanson and for many years was president of The Mercantile Bank of Eldon. George P. Swanson’s obituary reveals just how respected he was in our community. As you read the obituary, which has many cross references to descendents of George very well researched by Nancy Thompson, you will discover how many well known members of the community today are relatives of George Swanson.

Tuscumbia Autogram
October 25, 1934

George P. Swanson, Former County Official, Dies

Prominently Identified with Public Life of Miller County for More Than 30 Years; Had Unusual Record of Having Held Three Different Important County Offices

George P. Swanson, one of Tuscumbia’s most honored and respected citizens, passed away at his home Sunday morning at 10:40.

Mr. Swanson was born near Mount Pleasant on July 18, 1853, being at the time of his death 81 years, three months and three days old. He was the son of William F. and Celia Swanson.

On January 27, 1876, he was united in marriage to Margaret Stevens, who died on February 21, 1885. To this union was born one daughter, Fern, now Mrs. W. A. Burd of Tuscumbia. On March 4, 1890, he was married to Martha A. Melton, who passed away November 1, 1923. To this union were born eight children, six of whom survive. One son, Waldo, and one daughter, Mary, preceded him in death. Those surviving are Gardie, Mrs. L.E. Kallenbach and Hannis of Tuscumbia, Opie of Fort Worth, Texas, Mrs. Milton K. Artz of Dalhart, Texas, and Mrs. William Shaw of Kansas City. He is survived by five grandchildren, who are as follows: Geraldine Kallenbach, Maurice Swanson, Ruth Burd Setser, and Margaret and Junior Burd; two great grandchildren, Jerry and Katheryn Setser, also survive him. There is also one sister, Mrs. Susan J. Johnson, of Tuscumbia left to mourn his departure, she being the only one of the William F. Swanson children now living.

About 50 years ago he became a member of the Christian Church at Mt. Pleasant, transferring his membership to the Tuscumbia Church a few years later where it has since remained. He also became a member of the Masonic order when a young man, being received into Ionia lodge No. 134 at Mt. Pleasant in the year 1880. He was a charter member of the M.W.A. lodge at Tuscumbia.

The deceased taught several years in the public schools of Miller County, later working several years for the Harvey tie company at Bagnell. Over forty years ago he came to Tuscumbia where he continued to reside until his death. He taught school at Tuscumbia and elsewhere, and was identified with public life here for many years, serving as county treasurer (1893-1896) and assessor (1897-1900), and then in more recent years (1919-1922) as circuit clerk and recorder of deeds, besides serving many years as deputy collector. For awhile he was also engaged in the real estate and hardware business, then served seven years as postmaster at Tuscumbia.

As a public servant he was outstandingly attentive to his duties, being ready and willing at all times to serve his constituency outside of legal hours.

As a parent he was most devoted and his interest in the comfort and well being of those about him was not limited to his own family.

As a citizen he stood for progress and improvement, being especially interested in the Church and the school.

His passing removes from our midst one of the landmarks of the town who was ever interested in its development and welfare.

Impressive services were conducted at the Tuscumbia Christian Church at 2:30 p.m. Monday by the pastor, Reverend S.A. Crouch, with the building filled to capacity by sorrowing relatives and friends. Six Masons, F.L. Thompson, J.F. Wright, C.E. Fendorf, H. L. Wright, R.V. Wells and D.E. Kallenbach, served as pallbearers, and the Phillips Funeral Home was in charge of burial arrangements. The large number of floral offerings bespoke the high esteem in which Mr. Swanson was held by friends. Burial was in the family lot in the Tuscumbia cemetery.

Numbered among the relatives and friends from a distance who attended were: Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Austin and Mrs. Roy Robinson of Versailles; Mrs. Millie Simmons of Hollywood, California; Mr. and Mrs. Charles E. Abbott and Mr. and Mrs. A.P. Nixdorf of Ulman; Mr. and Mrs. John W. Adcock, Mrs. Grace Eilerts, Mr. and Mrs. Gayl Haynes, Mr. and Mrs. H.M. Atwell, Mrs. W.S. Spearman, R.L. Brown, Mr. and Mrs. Gayl Simmons, R.W. Starling, E. P. Clark, Dr. G.D. Walker, Dr. F.H. Enloe and W.P. Berry of Eldon; Reverend J.C. Thompson and Lee Stanton of Brumley; Mrs. J. R. Wells, Mrs. Sue Speedy and Mrs. J.M. Kallenbach of Jefferson City; Ruffner Watson of St. Louis; John Melton (a brother in law of Mr. Swanson), and Forrest Starling of Olean; Frank Dubbert and Frank Heimann of St. Elizabeth; and Mr. and Mrs. Albert Wentzel of Mt. Pleasant.


One of the early photos of Tuscumbia features George Swanson standing in the river street in front of the old Robinson/Fendorf/Schwabe store (photo 02).

02 River Front Street in Tuscumbia - Hauenstein and Fendorf Stores - George Swanson Postmaster Standing
02 River Front Street in Tuscumbia - Hauenstein and Fendorf Stores
George Swanson Postmaster Standing

Another photo, really old, shows a number of hunters (photo 03).

03 George Swanson, Phil Hauenstein, Joe Cummings, Doc Kouns and Ed Kallenbach
03 George Swanson, Phil Hauenstein, Joe Cummings, Doc Kouns and Ed Kallenbach

George is on the far left standing next to Phil Hauenstein, who was the owner of the Anchor Mill at the time. Next is Joe Cummings, son of Daniel Cummings, one of Tuscumbia’s first settlers. In fact, Daniel Cummings is so interesting that I will make him the subject of a future narrative. Doctor Kouns is fourth in line and Ed Kallenbach last. Ed was the father of Dewey, Leonard, and Joe Kallenbach. I have written about all these Tuscumbia men except Joe Cummings in previous Progress Notes (the fastest way to find what has been written is to use our web search site engine). The men in the photo are really young indicating it was taken no later than the early 1880’s.

To better understand the family of George Swanson and some of the well known progeny of whom he was the antecedent I will copy here the genealogical study researched by our museum director, Nancy Thompson, which gives more biographical information:

Descendants of William F. Swanson

Generation No. 1

     1.  William F.1 Swanson was born in Virginia. He married Delia Hughes. She was born in Virginia.

Child of William Swanson and Delia Hughes is:
+  2        i.  George Perry2 Swanson, born 18 Jul 1853 in Missouri; died 21 Oct 1934 in Miller County, Missouri.

 

Generation No. 2

     2.  George Perry2 Swanson (William F.1) was born 18 Jul 1853 in Missouri, and died 21 Oct 1934 in Miller County, Missouri. He married Martha Ann Melton 04 Mar 1890 in Miller County, Missouri, daughter of John Melton and Eliza Pittman. She was born 08 Aug 1864 in Miller County, Missouri, and died 01 Nov 1923 in St. Louis, Missouri.

More About George Perry Swanson:
Burial: Tuscumbia Cemetery, Tuscumbia, Missouri
Cause of Death: Bright's Disease

Notes for Martha Ann Melton:
The Iberia Sentinel, Date unknown

     Our town was saddened Thursday afternoon by the announcement of the death of Mrs. Geo. P. Swanson after an operation in St. Anthony Hospital in St. Louis, on Tuesday morning for stomach trouble and other complications. She seemed to stand the operation well and was thought to be getting along nicely, but pneumonia developed and she only lived a few hours. Her husband and son, Hannis, were at her bedside when the end came.

     Mrs. Swanson leaves to mourn the loss, her husband, six children—Gardie, Mrs. Leonard E. Kallenbach, Eliza and Clarice of this place, Opie of Okmulgee, Okla., Hannis of Jefferson City, a stepdaughter, Mrs. W.A. Burd of route 1, an aged sister, Mrs. Jane Wright of Eugene, and a brother, John A. Melton of Carrolton, Mo., and numerous other relatives and friends.

     Mrs. Swanson spent her entire life in and near Tuscumbia, became a member of the Christian Church when a child and has been a faithful and zealous worker since the organization of the church here in 1889. It can well be said of her, “Who can find a virtuous woman for her price is far above rubies.”

     Funeral services were conducted Saturday afternoon by Elder W.M. Mundell of Carrolton, Mo., assisted by Elder J.R. O’Heeron of Eldon. Those from out of the community who attended the funeral were D.F. Tomson of St. Louis, Mr. and Mrs. John Melton of Carrolton, and John Adcock and family, Miss Alene Kallenbach, Mesdames W.S. Spearman, W.M. Harrison and Ed Litsey of Eldon.

 

More About George Swanson and Martha Melton:
Marriage: 04 Mar 1890, Miller County, Missouri
    
Children of George Swanson and Martha Melton are:
     3        i.  Mary3 Swanson, died Bef. May 1977.
     4       ii.  Uric Waldo Swanson, born 09 May 1891; died 13 Apr 1906.

More About Uric Waldo Swanson:
Burial: Tuscumbia Cemetery, Tuscumbia, Missouri

     5      iii.  Gardie Prue Swanson, born 23 Oct 1892 in Tuscumbia, Miller County, Missouri; died 29 May 1977 in Jefferson City, Missouri.

Notes for Gardie Prue Swanson:

Obituary:  Unknown Publication, May 1977

         Gardie Prue Swanson, 84, Tuscumbia, died Sunday, May 29, 1977, at Charles Still Hospital in Jefferson City. She taught for more than 40 years with most of her service in the Tuscumbia schools. She was born Oct. 23, 1892, at Tuscumbia to George P. and Martha Ann (Melton) Swanson.

         Miss Swanson was a graduate of Tuscumbia High School and received her degree in elementary education from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She taught in rural Miller County schools for four years before joining the faculty at Tuscumbia in 1918. She retired from the Tuscumbia system in 1958. She was a member of the Tuscumbia Christian Church.

         Survivors include three sisters, Mrs. Eliza Artz, Eldon, Mrs. Clarice Shaw, Shawnee Mission, Kan., and Mrs. Hortense Kallenbach, Tuscumbia; and two brothers, O.B. Swanson, Fort Wroth, Tex., and Hannis Swanson, Tuscumbia.

         She was preceded in death by a brother, Waldo Swanson and two sisters, Mrs. Fery Burd and Mary Swanson.

         Funeral services were held at 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Tuscumbia Christian Church. The Rev. David Guerin and the Rev. A.L. Alexander officiated. Burial was in the Tuscumbia Cemetery under the direction of Phillips Funeral Home of Eldon.

Note: As I mentioned above, Gardie Swanson was my first through third grade teacher. She never married but devoted her life to teaching Tuscumbia students. Unfortunately, she had a crippled left leg, probably from polio, so that she always had a limp. However, although handicapped, she still exacted exemplary behavior from her students, one reason being that she didn’t hesitate to use corporal negative feedback…. the heel of her shoe applied to the buttocks of miscreant students. I escaped the shoe but was stuck in a corner during recess for two weeks for fighting with Gene Hicks. Here are two newspaper articles describing her retirement (photos 04 and 05):

04 Gardie Swanson Retirement
04 Gardie Swanson Retirement
Click image for larger view

05 Gardie Swanson
05 Gardie Swanson
Click image for larger view

My mother told me that Gardie, being unmarried lived with her father, George Swanson, in a house located directly across the street from the Tuscumbia Christian Church. That house no longer is standing. About fifteen or twenty years ago a new house was built on the site by the Christian Church to serve as a parsonage (photo 06).

06 Location of George Swanson Home - Now Christian Church Parsonage
06 Location of George Swanson Home - Now Christian Church Parsonage

After George had passed away, Gardie moved two houses down the street to live with her sister Hortense and brother in law Leonard Kallenbach. Here is Miss Gardie with our first grade through 3rd grade photo with me on the far left at the upper back row (photo 06a).

06a Miss Gardy's Class
06a Miss Gardy's Class
Click image for larger view

The following are the names best as I and Kathy Martin Fields can remember them:

Back Row:

1.Miss Gardie Swanson, 2. Joe Pryor 3. Morris Wilson 4.Mitchell Keeth 5. Richard Hill 6. Mike Lightfoot 7. Max Pryor 8. Dorsey Hamacher 9. Jim Pryor 10. Jerry Hawken

Middle Row:

11. Earl Wilson 12. Gene Hicks 13. Jerry Hicks 14. Mary Jenkins 15. Mary Robinett? 16. Kay Wilson 17. Marjorie Robinett 18. Joe Ann Casey? 19. Darrell Hunt 20. Bill Condra 21.John Jenkins

First Row:

22. Janice Zimmerman 23. Ann ? 24. Rose Marie Rice 25. Nancy Slone 26. Patsy Burks 27. Kathy Martin 28.Carolyn Barron

 

     6      iv.  Hortense Hope Swanson, born Dec 1894; died 1977. She married Leonard E. Kallenbach 08 Oct 1919 in Miller County, Missouri; born 1895; died 1973.

More About Hortense Hope Swanson:
Burial: Tuscumbia Cemetery, Tuscumbia, Missouri

More About Leonard E. Kallenbach:
Burial: Tuscumbia Cemetery, Tuscumbia, Missouri

More About Leonard Kallenbach and Hortense Swanson:
Marriage: 08 Oct 1919, Miller County, Missouri

Note: Hortense Swanson Kallenbach was the wife of Leonard Kallenbach, son of Ed Kallenbach pictured above in photo 03. Here is a photo I put on the website recently of Hortense sitting on a porch with Leonard, Leonard’s sister Hattie, and Geraldine, their daughter (photo 07):

07 Leonard, Hattie, Geraldene and Hortense
07 Leonard, Hattie, Geraldene and Hortense

    7       v.  Opie B. Swanson, born Apr 1897.
+  8      vi.  Hannis Melton Swanson, born 10 Jun 1900 in Tuscumbia, Missouri; died 29 Dec 1987 in St. Louis, Missouri.
    9     vii.  Eliza L. Swanson, born Abt. 1904 in Missouri; died 1995. She married Milton K. Artz 24 Oct 1928 in Miller County, Missouri; born 27 Nov 1894 in Eldon, Missouri; died 28 Sep 1974 in Jefferson City, Missouri.

More About Eliza L. Swanson:
Burial: Eldon Cemetery, Miller County, Missouri

More About Milton K. Artz:
Burial: Eldon Cemetery, Miller County, Missouri

More About Milton Artz and Eliza Swanson:
Marriage: 24 Oct 1928, Miller County, Missouri

    10  viii.  Clarice C. Swanson, born Abt. 1906 in Missouri. She married ? Shaw.
+  11    ix.  Fern Swanson, born Nov 1881; died Bef. May 1977.

 

Generation No. 3

     8.  Hannis Melton3 Swanson (George Perry2, William F.1) was born 10 Jun 1900 in Tuscumbia, Missouri, and died 29 Dec 1987 in St. Louis, Missouri. He married Ella Fendorf 05 Aug 1923 in Eldon, Missouri, daughter of Francis Fendorf and Mary Martin. She was born 30 Jan 1900 in Tuscumbia, Miller County, MO, and died 03 Jul 1989 in St. Louis, Missouri.

Notes for Hannis Melton Swanson:

Obituary:  Jefferson City News Tribune, December 1987

     Hannis Melton Swanson, 87, of Manchester and formerly of. Tuscumbia, died Tuesday at Lutheran Medical, Center, St Louis. He was born June 10, 1900, in Tuscumbia, son of George P. and Martha Melton Swanson. He was married Aug, 5, 1923, in Eldon to Ella Fendorf, who survives at the home.

     He had lived nearly all his life in Tuscumbia. He worked in the state auditor's office in the 1920s and as a bookkeeper at Tompkin's Chevrolet, Eldon. He was a member of Tuscumbia Christian Church and Modern Woodmen of America.

     Other survivors include: two sons, Ronald Swanson, Manchester; and Maurice Swanson, Marietta, Ga; one brother, O.B. Swanson, Fort Worth, Texas; two sisters, Clarice Shaw, Mission Hills, Kan., and Liza Artz, Eldon; and five grandchildren.

     Services will be at 1 p.m. Saturday at Phillips Funeral Home, Eldon. The Rev. Gene Edwards will officiate. Burial will be in Tuscumbia Cemetery. Visitation will be 4-8 p.m. today at the funeral home. Memorials are suggested to the American Heart Association.

 

Notes for Ella Fendorf:

The Miller County Autogram-Sentinel, July 1989

     Ella M. Swanson, 89, of St. Louis, died July 3, 1989 at the _____ Medical Center in St. Louis. She was born on Jan. 30, 1900 in Tuscumbia to Frank W. and Mary Isabelle Martin Fendorf.

     On Aug 8, 1923, she was married in Eldon to Hannis M. Swanson who died on December 29, 1987. Mrs. Swanson retired as a bank teller at the Bank of Tuscumbia.

     Survivors include: two sons, H. M. Swanson of Marietta, Ga. and Ronald Swanson of Manchester; and five grandchildren.

     Funeral services took place at 1 p.m., July 6 at the Phillips Funeral Chapel with Rev. Joe David Ruffin officiating.  Burial was in the Tuscumbia Cemetery.

 

More About Ella Fendorf:
Burial: Tuscumbia Cemetery, Tuscumbia, Missouri

More About Hannis Swanson and Ella Fendorf:
Marriage: 05 Aug 1923, Eldon, Missouri
    
Children of Hannis Swanson and Ella Fendorf are:
     12      i.  Ronald4 Swanson.
     13     ii.  Maurice Swanson.

Note: I had featured Ella Fendorf Swanson in a previous Progress Note story about the Bank of Tuscumbia robbery. This photo was taken from a newspaper article about the robbery (photo 08).

08 Ella Swanson
08 Ella Swanson

You can read about the robbery at this previous Progress Notes.

 

     11.  Fern3 Swanson (George Perry2, William F.1) was born Nov 1881, and died Bef. May 1977.  She married William A. Burd 24 Nov 1907 in Tuscumbia, Miller County, Missouri.

More About William Burd and Fern Swanson:
Marriage: 24 Nov 1907, Tuscumbia, Miller County, Missouri
    
Children of Fern Swanson and William Burd are:
+  14      i.  Beulah O.4 Burd, born 27 Jul 1895; died 15 Nov 1974 in Sedalia, Missouri.
    15     ii.  Ralph Burd.
+  16    iii.  Kathryn Ruth Burd, born 02 Oct 1908; died 22 Nov 1992 in Tuscumbia, Miller County, Missouri.
+  17    iv.  Margaret Burd, born 04 Jun 1913 in Tuscumbia, Missouri; died 15 Sep 1994 in Tuscumbia, Missouri.
    18     v.  Irene Burd.  She married ? Early.
    19    vi.  Grace Burd.  She married ? Boebel.
    20   vii.  Prue Burd.  She married ? Potter.

 

Generation No. 4

     14.  Beulah O.4 Burd (Fern3 Swanson, George Perry2, William F.1) was born 27 Jul 1895, and died 15 Nov 1974 in Sedalia, Missouri. She married Charles L. Kinder 29 Nov 1912 in Miller County, Missouri, son of John Kinder and Luella Blize. He was born 06 Nov 1890, and died 10 Jul 1954.

Notes for Beulah O. Burd:

Unknown Publication, November 1975

Mrs. Beulah O. Kinder, 79, of Sedalia died Friday, Nov. 15, 1974, at a nursing home in Sedalia. Mrs. Kinder had been sick for a few months and had recently been transferred from a hospital to the nursing home.

     The former Beulah Burd, born July 27, 1895, a native of Miller County, she was the daughter of the late William A. Burds. She was married in 1912 to Charles Kinder who preceded her in death. Their early married years were spent in Miller County, but she had resided in the Sedalia area some 40 years.

     Survivors include three sons, Byron and Charles M. of Sedalia, and Guy of Phoenix, Ariz.; and three daughters, Mrs. Erwin (Dorothy) Cramer and Mrs. Bill (Beulah Mae) Coffelt, both of Sedalia, and Barbara, who lives in Virginia; one brother, Ralph Burd of Springfield; and five sisters, Mrs. Irene Early, Mrs. Grace Goebel and Mrs. Margaret Carmine of California, Mrs. Prue Potter of Tulsa, Okla., and Mary Ruth Setser of Tuscumbia.

     Funeral services for Mrs. Kinder were held at the Ewing Kuneral Home in Sedalia Sunday at 1 p.m. with the Rev. George H. Farr officiating. Burial was in the Iberia Cemetery.

 

More About Beulah O. Burd:
Burial: Iberia Cemetery, Miller County, Missouri

More About Charles L. Kinder:
Burial: Iberia Cemetery, Miller County, Missouri

More About Charles Kinder and Beulah Burd:
Marriage: 29 Nov 1912, Miller County, Missouri
    
Children of Beulah Burd and Charles Kinder are:
     21      i.  Byron5 Kinder.
     22     ii.  Charles M. Kinder, born 03 Sep 1939; died 18 Feb 2000.

More About Charles M. Kinder:
Burial: Iberia Cemetery, Miller County, Missouri

     23    iii.  Guy Kinder.
     24    iv.  Dorothy Kinder.  She married Erwin Cramer.
     25     v.  Beulah Mae Kinder.  She married Bill Coffelt.
     26    vi.  Barbara Kinder.

 

     16.  Kathryn Ruth4 Burd (Fern3 Swanson, George Perry2, William F.1) was born 02 Oct 1908, and died 22 Nov 1992 in Tuscumbia, Miller County, Missouri. She married John A. Setser 19 Jan 1929 in Tuscumbia, Miller County, Missouri, son of Christopher Setser and Stella Musick. He was born 25 Sep 1907 in Iberia, Miller County, Missouri, and died 12 Aug 2001 in Jefferson City, Missouri.

Notes for Kathryn Ruth Burd:

Obituary: Jefferson City Post Tribune, Tuesday, November 24, 1992

     Ruth Setser, 84, Tuscumbia, died Sunday at her home. She was born Oct. 2, 1908, in Tuscumbia, a daughter of William A. and Fern Swanson Burd. She was married Jan 19, 1929, in Tuscumbia, to John A. Setser, who survives at the home.

     She had been employed with Agriculture Stabilization Conservation Service in Tuscumbia for 25 years prior to her retirement. She was a member of Mt. Zion Christian Church.

     Other survivors include: one son, Jerry Setser, Eldon; one daughter, Kathryn Abbott, Tuscumbia; one sister, Margaret Carmine, Iberia; and two grandchildren.

     Services will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Phillips Funeral Home. Burial will be in Mt. Zion Cemetery, Tuscumbia. Visitation will be from 4-8 p.m. today. Memorials are suggested to Mt. Zion Christian Church.

 

More About Kathryn Ruth Burd:
Burial: Mt. Zion Cemetery, Tuscumbia, Missouri

Notes for John A. Setser:

Obituary: Jefferson City Post-Tribune, Tuesday, August 14, 2001

     John A. "Johnny" Setser, 93, Tuscumbia, died August 12, 2001 in Jefferson City. He was born Sept. 25, 1907, in Iberia, a son of C.C. "Lum" and Stella Musick Setser. He was married Jan. 19, 1929, in Tuscumbia, to Kathryn Ruth Burd Setser, who died Nov. 22, 1992.

     He was a member of Mt. Zion Christian Church, near Tuscumbia. He attended Tuscumbia High School and the Iberia Academy. He worked for Miller County as a deputy sheriff for 20 years and retired in 1973 as a sergeant with the Missouri Department of Corrections.

     Survivors include: one daughter, Kathryn Abbott, Tuscumbia; one son, Jerry Setser, Eldon; one sister, Sarah Rapp, Sedalia; one brother, C.C. Setser, Scottsdale, Ariz.; two grandsons, five great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.

     Services will be at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at Phillips Funeral Home, Eldon. Charles Worstell and the Rev. Gene Edwards will officiate. Burial will be in Mt. Zion Cemetery, Tuscumbia. Visitation will be from 5-8 p.m. today. Memorials are suggested to Mt. Zion Cemetery or a charity of the donor's choice.

 

More About John A. Setser:
Burial: Mt. Zion Cemetery, Tuscumbia, Missouri

More About John Setser and Kathryn Burd:
Marriage: 19 Jan 1929, Tuscumbia, Miller County, Missouri
    
Children of Kathryn Burd and John Setser are:
+  27      i.  Kathryn S.5 Setser, born 16 May 1930.
    28     ii.  Jerry Setser.

Note: Johnny Setser’s wife, Kathryn Ruth Burd, was the granddaughter of George Swanson. As noted above Johnny was long associated with law enforcement in Miller County as deputy sheriff and later with the Department of Corrections. He was very well liked by everyone who knew him. Here is a family photo of Johnny, his wife Ruth, and children Jerry and Kathryn Setser (photo 09):

09 Jerry, Johnny, Ruth Burd Setser and Kathryn Setser
09 Jerry, Johnny, Ruth Burd Setser and Kathryn Setser

As noted above, Jerry became a banker and retired after many years as President of the Mercantile Bank, formerly known as The Bank of Eldon, the one started by Robert S. Harvey. Those of us from Tuscumbia have always been very proud of Jerry’s accomplishments. Gardie Swanson was Jerry’s great aunt. Jerry told me that one day when he was in third grade he nearly suffered the shoe negative feedback reinforcement by Miss Gardie (as we always called her). What transpired was that one day after an altercation with a couple of other boys at the drinking fountain Miss Gardie appeared on the scene, and as she was a strict disciplinarian, she was not pleased. However, since the boy who was the inciting culprit was not exactly certain to Miss Gardie, she spared the boys of the discipline of the shoe. So the punishment was two weeks without recess. As always seemed to happen in those days, the parents knew about their children’s transgressions even before they ever returned home. And so it was with Jerry. He told me his father, Johnny, sat him down and they had an hour talk on proper deportment and behavior at school. Jerry said his father was so stern and serious and that he felt so guilty he decided a whipping would have been easier to take! Here is a photo of Jerry and his wife Billie Thompson Setser (photo 10) and another photo taken from a newspaper article summarizing Jerry’s career (photo 11):

10 Billie and Jerry Setser
10 Billie and Jerry Setser

11 Jerry Setser History
11 Jerry Setser History
Click image for larger view

     17.  Margaret4 Burd (Fern3 Swanson, George Perry2, William F.1) was born 04 Jun 1913 in Tuscumbia, Missouri, and died 15 Sep 1994 in Tuscumbia, Missouri. She married John M. Carmine 04 Jun 1938 in Tijuana, Mexico. He died 07 Jul 1960.

Notes for Margaret Burd:

Obituary: Jefferson City Post Tribune, Friday, September 16, 1994

     Margaret B. Carmine, 81, Iberia, died Thursday at Miller County Nursing Home, Tuscumbia. She was born June 4, 1913, in Tuscumbia, the daughter of W.A. and Fern Swanson Burd. She was married June 4, 1938, in Tijuana, Mexico, to John M. Carmine, who died July 7, 1960.

     She worked in real estate sales for more than 40 years. She lived in Southern California before moving back to Central Missouri. She was a member of Mt. Zion Christian Church, Tuscumbia. Survivors include one daughter, Carol Smith, Crocker; and four grandchildren.

     Services will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Phillips Funeral Home, Eldon. The Rev. Gene Edwards will officiate. Burial will be in Mt. Zion Cemetery, Tuscumbia. Visitation will be from 6-8 p.m. today.

 

More About Margaret Burd:
Burial: Mt. Zion Cemetery, Miller County, Missouri

More About John Carmine and Margaret Burd:
Marriage: 04 Jun 1938, Tijuana, Mexico
    
Child of Margaret Burd and John Carmine is:
     29      i.  Carol5 Carmine. She married ? Smith.

 

Generation No. 5

  1. Kathryn S.5 Setser (Kathryn Ruth4 Burd, Fern3 Swanson, George Perry2, William F.1) was born 16 May 1930. She married Walter Gail Abbott 29 May 1949 in Miller County, Missouri, son of Charles Abbott and Ollie Roberts. He was born 22 Mar 1924 in Tuscumbia, Missouri, and died 16 Jun 2008 in Tuscumbia, Missouri.

Note: here is a recent photo of Kathryn taken at the Miller County Museum (photo 12).

12 Kathryn Setser Abbott
12 Kathryn Setser Abbott

Notes for Walter Gail Abbott:

Rekus Funeral Home Web Site, June 16, 2008

     Walter Gail Abbott, age 84, of Tuscumbia, died Monday, June 16, 2008, at his home. He was born in Tuscumbia on March 22, 1924, son of Charles Elmer and Ollie R. (Roberts) Abbott. On May 29, 1949, at Mt. Zion Christian Church, he was married to Kathryn S. Setser, who survives at the home.

     He was a Navy veteran of World War II serving from 1943-1946 in the Philippines and Sydney, Australia. He was a member of the Miller County VFW Post 2442 and the Rocky Mount AmVets Post. He was a member of Mt. Zion Christian Church. He loved spending winters in Texas and also loved sports.

     Other survivors include one son, William M. “Bill” Abbott and wife Linda of Tuscumbia; four grandchildren, Gayle Trachsel and husband Matt of Henley, Gwen Kesel and husband Randy of St. Elizabeth, Chad Abbott and fiancée Colleen Griswold of Tuscumbia, and Courtney Abbott of Tuscumbia; and seven great-grandchildren, Sydney, Kenadi, Gage, Madilyn, and Sophia Trachsel and Matthew and Mackenze Kesel. He was preceded in death by his parents and one brother, Billy Gene Abbott.

     Services will be at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, June 19, at Rekus Funeral Home in Iberia. Charles Worstell will officiate. Interment with military honors by the Miller County VFW Post 2442 will be in Mt. Zion Cemetery near Tuscumbia. Visitation will be from 4-8 p.m. on Wednesday at the funeral home. Memorial contributions are suggested to the Mt. Zion Cemetery Fund.

 

More About Walter Gail Abbott:
Burial: Mt. Zion Cemetery, Miller County, Missouri

More About Walter Abbott and Kathryn Setser:
Marriage: 29 May 1949, Miller County, Missouri
    
Children of Kathryn Setser and Walter Abbott are:
+  30      i.  William M.6 Abbott.
    31     ii.  Billy Gene Abbott.

Note: Walter Gail Abbott’s father was Charlie Bill Abbott, who served as sheriff of Miller County in the 1930’s. Here is a photo of Walter Gail with his parents (photo 13).

13 Charlie Bill Abbott - Right, Walter Gail Abbott - Middle, Nellie Abbott - Left
13 Nellie Abbott, Walter Gail Abbott and Charlie Bill Abbott

Here is a more recent photo of Walter (photo 14):

14 Walter Gail Abbott
14 Walter Gail Abbott

Walter and Kathryn (Setser) Abbott’s son, of course, is William (Bill) Abbett who is our current sheriff (photo 15).

15 Sheriff William Abbott
15 Sheriff William Abbott

George Swanson was Bill’s great great grandfather as is recorded in the genealogical line just below:

Generation No. 6

     30.  William M.6 Abbott (Kathryn S.5 Setser, Kathryn Ruth4 Burd, Fern3 Swanson, George Perry2, William F.1) He married Linda ?.

Children of William Abbott and Linda ? are:
+  32      i.  Gayle7 Abbott.
+  33     ii.  Gwen Abbott.
    34    iii.  Chad Abbott.
    35    iv.  Courtney Abbott.

 

Generation No. 7

     32.  Gayle7 Abbott (William M.6, Kathryn S.5 Setser, Kathryn Ruth4 Burd, Fern3 Swanson, George Perry2, William F.1) She married Matt Trachsel.

Children of Gayle Abbott and Matt Trachsel are:
     36      i.  Sydney8 Trachsel.
     37     ii.  Kenadi Trachsel.
     38    iii.  Gage Trachsel.
     39    iv.  Madilyn Trachsel.
     40     v.  Sophia Trachsel.

 

     33.  Gwen7 Abbott (William M.6, Kathryn S.5 Setser, Kathryn Ruth4 Burd, Fern3 Swanson, George Perry2, William F.1) She married Randy Kesel.

Children of Gwen Abbott and Randy Kesel are:
     41      i.  Matthew8 Kesel.
     42     ii.  Mackenze Kesel.


So that completes the story of George Swanson and some of his well known descendents in our county.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the “Strip” at Lake Ozark, and last week I wrote about the Musser/El Rancho Resort complex at the intersection of Highway 52 and 54.

These areas never would have been developed as tourist destinations were it not for the building of the Bagnell Dam and creation of the huge Lake of the Ozarks. But some today do not realize that early on the local residents did not appreciate the potential of this area to become a huge tourist destination. However, those who lived away from here began to appreciate the positive changes occurring over time recognizing that the area had a very promising future. Once in a while, articles to this effect were written and published in local papers. The following is one of those articles which summarized the history of the area and discussed the many opportunities for development here. The article was written by the State Historical Society and was published in 1936:

Miller County Autogram
June 11, 1936

Steamboats Had Important Role in Development of Miller County

Compiled by the State Historical Society of Missouri, at Columbia

A county, which in recent years is becoming known to the entire State as the result of the construction of the dam across the Osage River at Bagnell, is Miller County, named for John Miller, fourth governor of Missouri (photo 16).

16 John Miller
16 John Miller

Predominately an agricultural county, the Bagnell Dam project with its magnificent Lake of the Ozarks seems to be opening a new era of development and progress for Miller County (photo 17).

17 Bagnell Dam
17 Bagnell Dam

The first historical inhabitants of the county were the Osage Indians, America’s tallest race of men (photo 18).

18 Osage Indians and Traders
18 Osage Indians and Traders

In order to trade with the Indians, and to trap fur bearing animals, traders and trappers pushed into the region of Miller County along the Osage and its tributaries near the beginning of the century. Among those granted exclusive trading privileges were the Chouteaus and Manuel Lisa (photo 19) who reaped the rich reward of a trade estimated in 1804 at $28,000 annually.

19 Manuel Lisa
19 Manuel Lisa

Though trappers and traders were comparatively numerous, permanent settlers in the county before 1830 were few. The first pioneers settled along the Osage, the Tavern, and in the fertile prairie region in the northeastern section of the county, where the earliest land entry was made in 1826. Subsequent entries in the 30’s and 40’s, near the present sites of Pleasant Mount, Tuscumbia, Iberia and Spring garden created the nuclei of later villages. The lands in these areas were entered by settlers predominantly from Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee. In 1837 the county was organized and the county seat located at Tuscumbia. Here, on June 22, was held the first session of the circuit court.

From 1850 to 1860 the population increased from 3,834 to 6,812. Though agriculture was the main industry, with wheat, tobacco, oats, corn, rye and stock raising the chief products, the most interesting phase of the county’s early development was the Osage River trade at Tuscumbia.

This picturesque little town, surrounded by hills and originally an Indian camp, became a lively trading point. Warehouses sprang up and flatboats loaded with merchandise were poled up and down the river (photo 20).

20 Ferry Landing at Tuscumbia
20 Ferry Landing at Tuscumbia

Later, when steamboats replaced flatboats, caravans came from southwest Missouri to Tuscumbia and merchandise was shipped by ox teams and wagons to points as far as Springfield (photos 21 and 22).

21 Steamboat John R. Hugo
21 Steamboat John R. Hugo

22 Steamboat Ruth
22 Steamboat Ruth

Following the Civil War during which the county was divided an influx of Pennsylvanians to Richwoods township helped to give the county an “above the river” and “below the river” political character…the population suffered a decline, due to the prevalence of lawlessness and the depredations of “bushwhackers” (photo 23).

23 Bushwhackers
23 Bushwhackers

In the late ‘70’s,  ‘80s, ‘90s and 1900s, however, began a new era of progress characterized by a further development of the steamboat trade and steamboat building at Tuscumbia, by lead and iron mining, the railroad tie industry, and influx of Germans, the establishment of a health resort at Aurora Springs, educational progress and the construction of railroads. As a result of the last, steam boating on the Osage was eclipsed and new towns came to the fore…chief among these being Eldon, the county’s chief railroad town and the largest town in 1930 (photo 24).

24 Steamboat Killer - At Eldon
24 Steamboat Killer - At Eldon

Also Olean, Aurora Springs, Brumley, Bagnell and St. Elizabeth grew and prospered. At Bagnell was centered one of the largest railroad tie industries in the State (photo 25), while at St. Elizabeth centered the trade of a large community of German farmers (photo 26).

25 Bagnell Tie Yard
25 Bagnell Tie Yard

26 Hieronymus Otto with Team
26 Hieronymus Otto with Team

In 1868 the first academy was organized at Spring Garden (photo 27) and in 1884 was established the Miller County Academy at Aurora Springs; In 1891 Iberia Academy, the oldest fully accredited high school in south central Missouri, was incorporated.

27 Miller County Institute Adv.
27 Miller County Institute Adv.
Click image for larger view

This academy, upon adding a college department in 1926, became known as Iberia Junior College which is today the county’s outstanding school (photo 28).

28 Iberia Academy - 1909
28 Iberia Academy - 1909

After a period of comparative quiescence, between 1910 and 1920, when Miller County again suffered a loss of population, Highways 54, 17, and 52 were built through the county, farm to market roads were also completed, and a “boom” period, reminiscent of the early railroad frontier, was inaugurated in 1929 with the building of Bagnell Dam (photo 29).

29 Missouri Road Map - 1923
29 Missouri Road Map - 1923
Click image for larger view

Though agriculture, stock raising, dairying and poultry raising are the basic industries…many fine farms are located in the county….a new future is no doubt opening for Miller County through the development of hydroelectric power, irrigation and mining… including iron, lead and barites…. and the tourist trade. In respect to the last, the Lake of the Ozarks has made the region the Mecca of tourists from all parts of Missouri and the United States and will no doubt bring to the county new developments that only the future can show.


Even though the war intervened a few years after this article was published, the Lake continued to attract tourists, early on mostly fishermen and duck hunters. But those who did come began to tell friends and families such that soon after the war a great economic boom was realized in the area. And when one considers that the building of the dam in the late twenties and early thirties helped us to suffer less economic deprivation during the depression than in other parts of the country, we have to conclude that in some ways we and our ancestors were fortunate to have lived here.


In previous Progress Notes I have highlighted the careers of various attorneys throughout the history of the county. These have included the story of the colorful Jackson C. Stanton, as well as another well known attorney in the county, Judge Walter S. Stillwell.

Another of the most respected attorneys in the county was Harry Kay (photo 30).

30 Harry Kay
30 Harry Kay

His life and career can be reviewed in a series of three Autogram articles which I will copy just a little later in the narrative. Harry attended Eldon schools and we have some photos of that period of his life taken from an old Eldon school annual. The first photo is of the Eldon Basketball team of 1912-1913 (photo 31).

31 EHS Basketball Team - 1912-1913
31 EHS Basketball Team - 1912-1913
Click image for larger view

He appears in another couple of photos of him included in his Junior and Senior classes (photos 32 and 33).

32 Junior Photos
32 Junior Photos
Click image for larger view

33 Senior Photos
33 Senior Photos
Click image for larger view

Harry was joined in his practice in 1928 by another very capable Eldon attorney, Roy W. Starling. They formed the well respected partnership known as "Kay and Starling" for the general practice of law with offices in the Buehler Building. You can read more about Roy Starling on our own website.

You will need to scroll halfway down the page to get to the section about Roy.

The first Autogram article features a young Harry who was making his foray into politics running for the office of State Representative. Harry, a lifelong Democrat, who lived in a strongly Republican Miller County, didnít win that race in 1934 which was won by Republican, Bob Kallenbach. But the article gives us an insight into his sense of values and ideals and the accomplishments he had made up to that point in his career.

(Note: For more information about the 1934 election our website director, David Statler, found this page from the Secretary of State's site that shows all of the various State Legislators from 1820 through 2000. This particular page is for the last names that start with "K" as you will see Robert Kallenbach's name listed there.)

Tuscumbia Autogram
October 4, 1934

Harry H. Kay Announces for Representative

The Autogram is this week authorized to announce the candidacy of Harry H. Kay of Eldon for the office of Representative in the Legislature. Mr. Kay was nominated without opposition on the Democratic ticket at the August primaries.

Mr. Kay has been active in public life for many years in Miller County and he is therefore well known over the entire county. After graduating from high school in 1913 he attended Missouri University. He then taught school for two years, after which he was employed as Assistant Postmaster at Eldon. He resigned this position in July, 1918, to enter the United States Navy where he served for one year. Returning from the Navy he again resumed his duties as Assistant Postmaster at Eldon, resigning from this position shortly thereafter to accept the position of Assistant Cashier of the Citizens Bank of Eldon. He was admitted to the Bar in 1922, and he has been actively engaged in the practice of law ever since. He served several terms as city attorney of Eldon and served one term as prosecuting attorney of Miller County. He has always been active in public affairs and has acquainted himself with problems affecting the public interest. He is 38 years old, is married and has three children.

Mr. Kay feels that one of the chief interests of Miller County will be that of preventing the passage of legislation which would take away from Miller County a part of the taxation on the large Bagnell dam. As the law now stands Miller County can and does assess the dam itself; that is, the physical structure, and all other real estate in this county connected therewith. At each of the last two sessions of the Legislature bills have been introduced and vigorously pressed to allow the State Tax Commission to assess the dam itself and all submerged land in the Lake as one tax unit or one complete project, and then divide the taxes collected from the entire unit thus assessed between the four counties in which the Lake of the Ozarks lies. Such a system of taxation would deprive Miller County of a large amount of revenue as the county now levies and collects about $65,000.00 per year from the dam and other real estate connected therewith in this county. On the strength of this large amount of revenue the county court has been able to reduce the county tax rate in this county until we now have a very low county rate compared to other counties in the state. If we lost this large assessment in the manner proposed or even a large part of it, there would have to be an increase in our county tax rate.

During the last two sessions of the Legislature Mr. Kay has been employed by the county court to gather evidence and data with which to oppose such legislation and to personally fight the bills. He worked in conjunction with the Representative from Miller County in each session, and personally appeared before various committees of the Legislature in opposition to this proposed legislation. It is known that a similar legislation will again be proposed at the coming session of the Legislature, and Mr. Kay feels that from his experience in the past two sessions he is thoroughly familiar with the fight necessary to prevent the passage of such laws. On account of his experience and service in this connection many people urged him to become a candidate for Representative so that, if elected, he would be in a still better position to protect the interests of the county in this connection.

On other questions which will arise in the Legislature, Mr. Kay feels that his training and experience will enable him to be of service to Miller County.

Mr. Kay states that it will be impossible for him to see personally all the voters of the county before election, but he will appreciate the favorable consideration of all the voters. He promises that if elected he will devote his very best efforts to protect and further the interests of the people of Miller County.

 

The second article from the Autogram was an interview when Harry was nearing retirement and presents a well summarized review of his career in Eldon:

Tuscumbia Autogram 1982

Lawyer Ends 60 Year Career

The dean of Miller County attorneys, Harry H. Kay of Eldon, has decided to retire at age 87, after a 60 year career in the legal profession. The former assistant state attorney, county prosecutor and city attorney said he decided to retire at the end of 1982 because “there comes a time when you have to quit.” Past clients and associates might argue with Kay on his need to quit. Physically he has remained active and more than half a century of legal battles have left few wrinkles. Not many of those who know Kay realize he is an octogenarian.

The legal profession has changed quite a bit in 60 years, Kay said, and he thinks lawyers have changed for the better although there are a few bad apples in any profession. Kay said his dream of becoming a lawyer started while he was in high school in Eldon. He said back in those days legal professionals were not held in very high regard and he felt he could bring dignity and honesty to the profession. Most people would agree he has.

Kay came to Eldon at age 13 with his parents. He was born at McGirk where his father was a school teacher. In 1913 he was graduated from Eldon High School. The class prophecy incorrectly reported Kay would become an inventory of space ships. Elsewhere in the book he was referred to as “Sir Happy Harry.” During his high school career Kay must have been busy. He was a member of the first basketball team (The team had a record of 1-3). He worked at the post office and sometimes moonlighted at the ice plant.

After graduation Kay attended the University of Missouri for two years before returning to Eldon to teach the eighth grade for a term or two. He also worked as assistant postmaster at Eldon for a year and as an assistant cashier at the Citizens Bank of Eldon. Somewhere along the line he found time to join the Navy during World War I. After returning to the university to complete his law degree, he was admitted to the Bar on June 16, 1922.

He served one, two year term as Miller County prosecutor. In 1938, he joined the staff of the Missouri Attorney General, remaining there until 1943. For another year he was a special assistant to the attorney general, working from his office at Eldon. Except for a stint in association with a law firm in Kansas City, Kay has spent the remainder of his career practicing law in Miller County. For a number of years he was in partnership with Robert Quigley of Eldon. Kay said he does not regret retiring and that he views it as “something new to try.”

Since his baptism in 1910, Kay has been active in the Baptist church. At Eldon First Baptist Church, he has held every office except for those he said are traditionally held by women members of the congregation. He also has been a Sunday School teacher. Members of his class say one of the delights of being taught by him is that he shares stories from his personal experiences. He recently told of a lesson in Christian charity he learned from a bootlegger he was prosecuting. The bootlegger came upon Kay stranded along the road to Jefferson City with a broken down car and a baby in his arms. All kinds of “upright” people whizzed right on by, he said, but the bootlegger stopped to help. Kay’s work in the church has not stopped at the local level. He served as a trustee of the Missouri Baptist Foundation from 1949 to 1980, longer than any other trustee. He also served as president of the board of trustees. For a number of years he was a member of the board of trustees of Southwest Baptist University and served as legal counsel to the institution. He is also a past vice president the Missouri Baptist Convention.

Following his Sunday School class Christmas party on December 30, Kay was honored with a “This Is Your Life” program at his home church.

Surprise guests included his daughter and son in law, Mr. and Mrs. Buell Weathers of Springfield; grandchildren Charles and Barbara and Barbara’s husband, Jeff Schulz; and Dr. Thomas W. Nelson of Jefferson City. Attending as special guests from Eldon were Mrs. Kay; Mr. Kay’s son Allan; his secretary for 28 years, Mrs. Glen Rice, and her husband, his former law partner and wife, Mr. and Robert Quigley; and familyh friends, Shirley Williams and Charlotte George.

The group also heard a taped message from Mr. Kay’s son, Richard of Nashville, Tennessee, and a letter was read from Mrs. Irene Younger of Colorado.

Richard Kay is director of programming for the Southern Baptist Sunday School Board in Nashville. Son, Kenneth, is a lawyer, following in grandfather’s footsteps. Another son, Randy, is head of security for a group of Sears stores.

Mrs. Younger introduced Mr. Kay to the former Ruth Irwin of Tennessee several years after the death of his first wife. The matchmaking by the wife of former Pastor Malcolm Younger was a success and the two were married.

Kay said he really is not sure what he and his wife will do now that he is retired. They like to travel and have been in every state in the union and several years ago took a trip around the world. However he decides to spend his golden years, Harry Kay has left a part of himself embedded in his community.

 

Finally, I copy below Harry Kay’s obituary. It is surprisingly brief considering all he accomplished in his life and the degree to which he was respected by his peers as well as the community. Helen Phillips told me he was one of the finest men she ever knew!

Obituary: Jefferson City News Tribune, Sunday, November 12, 1995

Harry H. Kay, 99, Eldon, died Friday at Eldon Healthcare Center. He was born Dec. 26, 1895, in McGirk, a son of Hilliard and Annie Cunningham Kay. He was married on May 28, 1923, to Pauline Higby, who died on Dec. 2, 1946. He was married on Feb 4, 1949, in Eldon to Ruth Elliott Irwin, who survives in Eldon.

He attended the University of Missouri-Columbia and was admitted to the Missouri Bar in 1922. He was granted a life membership in the bar after 50 years membership. He served as assistant Missouri attorney general for several years. He practiced law in Eldon for 60 years prior to his retirement in 1982. He was a longtime member of the First Baptist Church of Eldon. He served on the Missouri Baptist Foundation for many years. He was a charter member and first president of the Eldon Lions Club. He served as board member and legal counsel for Mercantile Bank of Eldon. He served on the board of trustees of Southwest Baptist University at Bolivar. He was a U.S. Navy veteran of World War I, and a past member of the Masonic Lodge.

Other survivors include: two sons, Richard Kay, Fresno, Calif., and Allan Kay, Eldon; one daughter, Jean Weathers, Springfield; four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. Monday at First Baptist Church of Eldon, with the Rev. Thomas Nelson and the Rev. Randall Bunch officiating. Burial will be in Eldon City Cemetery.

Visitation is from 4-8 p.m. today at Phillips Funeral Home. Memorials are suggested to First Baptist Church of Eldon or Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar.


A few weeks ago I included in the narrative some information about the old abstract office started by Walter S. Stillwell who was later joined in the business by his son, Roger Stillwell. Since that time I came across an old article in the Miller County Autogram with further information about the Stillwell abstract office (photo 33a).

33a Stillwell and Stillwell Abstracting Firm
33a Stillwell and Stillwell Abstracting Firm
Click image for larger view

The article was written about 1946, soon after Roger returned from serving in WWII to join his father in his abstract and law office.  It is incomplete but what is preserved is interesting, especially the information that Walter was first associated with Luther N. Musser, an attorney who was involved with the early development of the Musser Resort which was discussed in last week’s Progress Notes.

On the previous Progress Notes of October 15, 2007 more can be learned about the life of Walter Stillwell.


In this week’s episode of The Cricket’s Song, Hannah goes over to Linn Creek to see her old homesite just before the filling of the Osage River valley by flood water due to the recently completed Bagnell dam covered it over forevermore. But once there, looking down from a hill top, she is able to say goodby because it no longer is her home; her home now is in Bagnell with her children and her husband Davidson. However, Davidson is not able so easily to say goodby to his just married daughter, Mary, who will be leaving home soon with her new husband, Shannon, nor is he able even after many years to say goodby to the terrible years of his childhood in Oregon. This scene is quite sad and moving especially when Davidson describes how his father died (photos 34-41).

The Cricket’s Song

By Tim Pilkington

Act One - Scene One
Act One - Scene Two
Act One - Scene Three
Act One - Scene Four

Act Two - Scene One
Act Two - Scene Two
Act Two - Scene Three (photos 34 - 41)

Just click on any of the photo thumbnails to view a larger image.

Note: Once you click on an image below, a new window will open. It would be best to maximize this new window by clicking on the middle box in the upper right-hand corner of the window. When you move your cursor over the image in this new window, it will change to a magnifying glass. Once this occurs, click on the image and it will show in a larger format for easier reading.

The Cricket's Song
The Cricket's Song
The Cricket's Song
The Cricket's Song
The Cricket's Song
The Cricket's Song
The Cricket's Song
The Cricket's Song

That’s all for this week.

Joe Pryor



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Here We "GROW"




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