Friday, October 24, 2014

The Founding of the Homeplace - The Robert Baldridge Family Story


The Founding of the Homeplace

The Robert Baldridge Family Story




From the short story collection:


Part V:

Centennial Family Bios 

Robert Baldridge Family Story

This Robert Baldridge Family Story was written for the American Centennial by Alex McDonald. It is based on information shared by descendants of Robert and Susannah Baldridge, one of the four founding families of the settlement in 1833 in the valley now known as Oak Creek Township.

Robert and Susannah Baldridge arrived in the valley with their children, Sarah, 11, and David, 8, in late spring of 1833. Although Robert took out farmland as well, his real interest was in the spring-fed Oak Creek and the waterfall formed as the creek came off the ridge into the valley. His goal was a working grist mill in the area along with a saw mill. He felt the location was perfect and he hoped to build his home nearby and get to work on the mill as soon as possible.

The mill on Oak Creek was built slowly and methodically but was in operation for the second season of crops in the fall of 1834, with help from Owen Olson, in particular. Robert and David had worked closely with Jake Patton to examine and explore the area on both sides of the creek to be sure that the west side of the creek by the falls was the best location and that the soil and rocks in the area would support the mill as required. They visited back in the Big Piney area several time to get all the needed materials and Jake Patton use his blacksmithing skills to craft some the needed machinery items as well. 

As they had surveyed and explored the area, they also recognized some important minerals that were available in the caves and did some mining operations.

Robert Baldridge (1803-1862)
married
Susannah Unknown (1803-1862)

They had children:
Sarah Baldridge (1822-  )
David Baldridge (1825-  )

Sarah Baldridge (1822-  )
married in 1842
Harry McDonald (11 Jul 1822-  )

They had children:
Caroline McDonald (2 Aug 1843-  )
Thomas McDonald (1845-1862)
Patrick McDonald (1847-??)
Alex McDonald (1849-  )
Mahala McDonald (1852-  )
Rebecca McDonald (1855-  )


Sarah Baldridge married Harry McDonald in June of 1842. Their first child, Caroline, was born in August 1843. They lived at the McDonald cabin with Henry and young Daniel. Sons followed, Thomas in 1845 and Patrick in 1847. Alex arrived in 1849, followed by two more girls, Mahala in 1852 and Rebecca in 1855.

During the 1840s, Robert, Susannah and David Baldridge expanded their cattle business in the pastureland on the ridge on the north half of their property, west of the road that began to develop on the west side of Oak Creek along the eastern edge of their property. They worked with Victor Campbell and his sons in the western valley to enhance the breeding of each of their herds as well as with newcomers in the valley who each normally brought one to three head of cattle with them. The Baldridges essentially became cattle brokers and stockmen built from their position at the mill where they naturally came into regular communications with everyone in the valley as well as many persons coming to the mill from outside the valley to use the mill facilities. Over time, they also added storage and bought and sold excess grain and seed along with the lumber business.

Robert Baldridge served as Eastern Oak Creek Township Trustee from 1841 until 1847 when he was elected to the Oak Creek County Commission. He lost in his re-election bid in the 1857 election.

When Robert was elected to the Shannon County Commission in 1847, David, who was 23 at the time, took on added responsibilities in the family businesses. In 1846 they had brought in Riley Cooper, and his wife, Julia, from Houston, as well, to assist with the mill. They also added a forty-acre plot that Riley farmed on shares, as well.

When the town of Oak Springs was formed, in 1848, Robert and Susannah agreed to buy two city lots, build a house on one, and move there; which they did. David stayed living at the home near the mill.

Robert Baldridge served on the initial Oak Springs Town Council, beginning in 1848 and was re-elected through 1861. Councilmen in office during the war continued to serve until new elections were held in 1865; however, Robert Baldridge died in 1862.


David Baldridge never married. He served in the Civil War, first in an infantry unit, and later in Colonel Patton’s regiment. He was among the first to return to the Oak Creek valley after the war.


To be continued... next Friday.

Now in Print Edition and on Kindle, as well. Kindleunlimited read for free.

   



May we each have a Homeplace, if only in our hearts!



Dr. Bill ;-)

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Founding of the Homeplace - Building with Stone


The Founding of the Homeplace


Building with Stone




From the short story collection:


Part IV.

1871-1875 Activity Summary

Building with Stone

Victor Campbell was asked to share his memories of “Building with Stone” in Oak Springs.

In the years immediately before the war came upon us, at the bank we had been discussing building a stone building for the bank. So, with this in the back of my mind, as I went about my work in the years away, I was watching stone construction, who was doing it, and what would be required to do it here. I knew we had limestone hills, just east of town. The questions was: would we be able to use them?

In 1866 as we were considering options for the bank as well as the community, we had a physical survey done of Section 36, directly east of Oak Springs. Based on that information the bank purchased that section of land, previously believed to be ‘worthless,’ but that was with respect to agricultural interests. Subsequently, we entered into a joint venture with Roland Muldrow, Spencer Fielder, and Reginald “Archie” Archer to open a limestone quarry and begin constructing the bank and other stone buildings, homes and structures in the valley. These three gentlemen, respectively, were a quarry manager, a master stonemason and an apprentice stonemason. Other workers were identified and brought into the operation as and when needed. Work on the bank was to begin in 1870.

With the cooperation of Owen Olson, Patton Road was extended east of town, through his property, along the ‘half-mile’ line and into Section 36. This road provided access to the forthcoming limestone quarry and and a ready route to construction sites. A road along the west side of the NW quarter of Section 36 was also prepared, running the half-mile straight north from the Patton Road to the Houston Road. The Houston Road ran along the north side of Section 36, of course.




To be continued... next Friday.


Now in Print Edition and on Kindle, as well. Kindleunlimited read for free.

   



May we each have a Homeplace, if only in our hearts!


Dr. Bill ;-)

Thursday, October 16, 2014


The Founding of the Homeplace

Building with Stone




From the short story collection:


Part IV.

1871-1875 Activity Summary

Building with Stone

Victor Campbell was asked to share his memories of “Building with Stone” in Oak Springs.

In the years immediately before the war came upon us, at the bank we had been discussing building a stone building for the bank. So, with this in the back of my mind, as I went about my work in the years away, I was watching stone construction, who was doing it, and what would be required to do it here. I knew we had limestone hills, just east of town. The questions was: would we be able to use them?

In 1866 as we were considering options for the bank as well as the community, we had a physical survey done of Section 36, directly east of Oak Springs. Based on that information the bank purchased that section of land, previously believed to be ‘worthless,’ but that was with respect to agricultural interests. Subsequently, we entered into a joint venture with Roland Muldrow, Spencer Fielder, and Reginald “Archie” Archer to open a limestone quarry and begin constructing the bank and other stone buildings, homes and structures in the valley. These three gentlemen, respectively, were a quarry manager, a master stonemason and an apprentice stonemason. Other workers were identified and brought into the operation as and when needed. Work on the bank was to begin in 1870.

With the cooperation of Owen Olson, Patton Road was extended east of town, through his property, along the ‘half-mile’ line and into Section 36. This road provided access to the forthcoming limestone quarry and and a ready route to construction sites. A road along the west side of the NW quarter of Section 36 was also prepared, running the half-mile straight north from the Patton Road to the Houston Road. The Houston Road ran along the north side of Section 36, of course.

To be continued... next Friday.

Now in Print Edition and on Kindle, as well. Kindleunlimited read for free.

   



May we each have a Homeplace, if only in our hearts!



Dr. Bill ;-)

Friday, October 3, 2014

The Founding of the Homeplace - The First School


The Founding of the Homeplace


The First School




From the short story collection:


Part IV.

1871-1875 Activity Summary

The First School

Lewis and Caroline (McDonald) Truesdale, along with his sister, Nellie, set the stage for the first school in Oak Springs during the planning phase of their return to Oak Spring in late 1865. Nellie had been attending the same girls academy that Caroline had attended during her teen years. Nellie already knew she wanted to become a teacher. The plan became for Nellie to return to Oak Springs, to assist Caroline with the baby, but also to continue her studies under Lewis and Caroline through the spring. Sometime during the summer of 1866, she would return to school in Jefferson City to continue her education with a focus on being ready to teach in a new school in Oak Springs, probably for the 1869-70 school year. Lewis and Caroline would organize a subscription school and build a building, enlisting help from the community. They knew that doing this would also help attract prospective new residents to the valley.

Jerry Potts joined with Lewis and Caroline in creating the subscription school, which they named “The Patton School” in honor of Jake and Kate Patton. Jake Patton entered into an agreement to provide land for the school to be located between Patton Road and Patton Spring (Lot 1, Block Q). This was across the road south from the Livery Stable business, and west of where Lewis and Caroline were building their new home (Lot 2, Block Q). Nellie would continue to live in the Patton cabin, just southeast of that location (southeast corner of the same block), once the new Truesdale house was completed.

The first innovation of The Patton School was that transportation would be available from both the east valley and the west valley to and from school during the fall and spring school sessions. Two carriages were built that would accommodate up to eight adults or up to sixteen children. Two livery stable workers were assigned, one primary, one back up, to make the two “school” runs. After the fact, several of the families said having the transportation available was the primary reason they were able to participation in the school for their children.

The initial plan was for the school to run from mid-September in the fall to mid-December and then from mid-January to mid-April in the spring. Classes would be five days a week, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

It was also arranged for Alex McDonald to teach each afternoon, 1:30 to 3:30, the older children, aged 10 through 13, in history, literature and the classics. He would also serve as substitute teacher if Nellie Truesdale was unable to be in the classroom. Alex had been working with Jerry Potts at the print shop and continued to do so.


As so often happens, all the pieces were not yet in place for the 1869-70 school year, so the start was delayed a year. During early 1870, however, subscriptions began to be received, fairly quickly. These included, from east to west:

East:
Penelope Street, 12
Oscar Street, 9
William McDonald, 6
Charlotte Crane, 6
Jason Garrett, 13
Sharon Garrett, 10
Dora Garrett, 7
Fred Gower, 11
Samuel Gower, 8
Vicky Wingfield, 12
Peter Wingfield, 7
Vic Campbell, 6

West:
Bonny Die, 12
Lula Die, 8
Vance Rhodes, 12
Earl Rhodes, 8
Alice King, 11
Hattie Cox, 13
Roy Cox, 10
Ada Bishop, 13
Pearl Bishop, 9

The twenty-one (21) students broke out this way by age groups:

Charlotte Crane, 6
Vic Campbell, 6
William McDonald, 6

Dora Garrett, 7
Peter Wingfield, 7

Earl Rhodes, 8
Lula Die, 8
Samuel Gower, 8

Oscar Street, 9
Pearl Bishop, 9

Roy Cox, 10
Sharon Garrett, 10

Alice King, 11
Fred Gower, 11


Bonnie Die, 12
Penelope Street, 12
Vicky Wingfield, 12
Vance Rhodes, 12

Ada Bishop, 13
Hattie Cox, 13
Jason Garrett, 13



The fall session of 1870 went remarkably well for an opening term. An overnight snowfall the first week of December caused some anxiety, but was not enough to disrupt picking up and delivering the children very close to the scheduled time. Nellie Truesdale proved to be an excellent teacher and beloved by the children. Some parents had been concerned about Alex McDonald teaching the older students, but he demonstrated an intense interest in his subject matter in a way that was infectious to the students so that they learned much and were enthusiastic to continue.


To be continued... next Friday.


Now in Print Edition and on Kindle, as well. Kindleunlimited read for free.

   



May we each have a Homeplace, if only in our hearts!


Dr. Bill ;-)

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Today's Thoughts on… the family saga… "The Homeplace Saga"… series of stories


Today's Thoughts on… the family saga… 
"The Homeplace Saga"… series of stories


I have recently been asked to write a monthly post on the Worldwide Genealogy Blog along with a number of other genealogy bloggers… from around the world - thus, the name of the blog. It will appear on the 11th day of each month.

The subject I will be writing on is: "Keeping Family History Stories Alive through Fiction." The post on October 11 is simply labeled, "Part A." It is an introduction to the upcoming series of monthly posts. The point of the article series is for people to consider using the amazing family stories we all come across in our family history research as the basis for writing fiction stories based on those real stories.


This is essentially where my "The Homeplace Saga" here got its origins… the stories I've gotten from research and observation - about family relationships. I've now created this amazing "place" with all these amazing, yet ordinary, people whose lives we can share and interact with. They just keep telling me their stories to share with you.

The current book in the series - a collection of short stories
Direct link to Amazon.com

And now, all of them are available free, to you, if you have the Kindle Unlimited account with Amazon.com. There are now available in this series: 1) three novels, 2) one novella, 3) one short story collection, and 4) one ebook. There is this free blog, that has posts back to March 22, 2010. There are also a couple of what I call developmental wikis, as well (educational websites related to writing historical fiction based on family history research).

Two more ebooks are pending, based on stories that have been shared on HubPages, and are now available for all readers at:

1) http://homeplaceseries.hubpages.com/ - 45 articles (or hubs) - each 1200-1500 words with 3 images each - These include "The Kings of Oak Springs" series and several miscellaneous related stories of "The Homeplace Saga." This is a great place to start, for easy reading! ;-)

2) http://drbill-wml-smith.hubpages.com/ - 60 articles (or hubs) - all in the various branches of the "Weston Wagons West" series of stories where the descendants of the three Weston brothers have interacted with my ancestors over the past  nearly 400 years here in America. One line of this story intersects with "The Homeplace Saga" folks in Oak Springs, as well.

3) http://drbillsmithwriter.hubpages.com - 150 articles (or hubs) - where about 20 have to do with family history and this series of stories - the rest are on a variety of topics, includes about 25 or so related to Heritage Tourism and perhaps another 20 related to book reviews and recommendations.


May we each have a Homeplace, if only in our hearts!


Dr. Bill ;-)





Friday, September 26, 2014

The Founding of the Homeplace - Governmental Positions by Residents to 1875


The Founding of the Homeplace


Governmental Positions by Residents to 1875




From the short story collection:


Part IV.

Governmental Positions by Residents to 1875

Governmental Positions and Assignments - Oak Creek Township and Residents

**U.S. Postmaster

Jake Patton, 1842-1846
Kate Patton, 1846-1854
Victoria Truesdale, 1854-1865
Anna Olson, 1865-

**U.S. Assistant Postmaster

Kate Patton, 1842-1846
Victoria Truesdale, 1846-1854
Anna Olson, 1854-1865
Allison Olson (Inman), 1865-

**Oak Creek Township Trustees

****Eastern Trustee

Robert Baldridge, 1841-1847
Hugh Truesdale, 1847-1860
David Baldridge, 1860-

****Central Trustee

Jake Patton, 1841-1846
Owen Olson, 1846-

****Western Trustee

Victor Campbell, 1841-1865
Delbert Campbell, 1865-

**** Justice of the Peace

George King, 1842-


**Oak Creek County Commission

Robert Baldridge, elected in 1847; failed re-election bid in 1857
Jake Patton, 1859-1871
Gideon Inman, 1871-

**Missouri House of Representatives

Jake Patton, elected 1846-1859
Hugh Truesdale, 1860-1872
Lewis Truesdale, 1872-


**Missouri State Senate

Hugh Truesdale, 1872-


**Oak Springs Town Council - initial Council served through the War years, as well

Jake Patton, 1848-1861
Owen Olson, 1848-1861
Victor Campbell, 1848-1861
Hugh Truesdale, 1848-1861
Robert Baldridge, 1848-1861

New Town Council elected in late 1865 as reconstruction began:

Jake Patton, 1865-1874
Sylvester Preston, 1874-
Owen Olson, 1865-
Victor Campbell, 1865-
Lewis Truesdale, 1865-1872
Joshua Cox, 1872-
Gideon Inman, 1865-1871

Jacobi Inman, 1871-


To be continued... next Friday.


Now in Print Edition and on Kindle, as well. Kindleunlimited read for free.

   



May we each have a Homeplace, if only in our hearts!


Dr. Bill ;-)

Friday, September 19, 2014

The Founding - Oak Springs Town Plats and Subsequent Purchases



The Founding of the Homeplace



Oak Springs Town Plats and Subsequent Purchases


The green hill in the valley


From the forthcoming short story collection:



“American Centennial at the Homeplace: The Founding (1833-1876)”

Part IV.

Oak Springs Town Plot Land Exchanges [You can reference the maps, posted last week, to identify the locations of the properties.]

Oak Springs Town Plat and subsequent transactions

The initial Town Plat consisted of 26 blocks of 2 1/2 acres each. Each block was designated with a letter. Each block consisted of 4 numbered lots.

Central Avenue split the town plat north and south; two block to the east, divided by 1st Ave. E. and two blocks to the west, divided by 1st Ave. W. The eastern and western boundaries were therefore 2nd Ave E. and 2nd Ave W.

Patton Street ran east and west just north of the General Store. This left two blocks to the south, divided by First Street, South. The southern boundary of the town plat was designated Second Street, South. To the north, separating each set of blocks, were: First Street, Second Street, etc. This made the northern boundary Fourth Street.

Jake Patton retained ownership of Blocks K, O, S, R, and Q.
Owen Olson retained ownership of Block Z

In Nov 1867, the town council purchased six block from Jake Patton directly north of the existing town plat and extending two blocks to the east. The blocks numbered from the west, were: AA, BB, CC, DD, EE, and FF.


Sale of lots:

1.              Sep 1848 - Robert Baldridge - Block N, Lots 3 & 4.
2.              Sep 1848 - Jake Patton - Block W, Lot 1, and Block T, Lot 1
3.              Sep 1848 - Owen Olson - Block Y, Lot 2 and Lot 4
4.              Sep 1848 - Victor Campbell - Block W, Lot 3 and Lot 4
5.              Sep 1848 - Hugh Truesdale - Block W, Lot 2, and Block L, Lot 1 and Lot 3
6.              Jun 1850 - Percival Jones - Block N, Lot 2
7.              Jul 1850 - Jonathan Ames - Block X, Lot 1 and Lot 3
8.              Jul 1850 - Wesley Mathison - Block X, Lot 2 and Lot 4
9.              Nov 1850 - Ames & Mathison RE - Block J, Lot 4
10.           Feb 1851 - Percival Jones - Block N, Lot 1 and Block M Lot 2
11.           Feb 1851 - Ames & Mathison RE - Block J, Lot 2
12.           May 1851 - Gideon Inman - Block J, Lot 1
13.           Jan 1851 - Oak Springs Bank - Block G, Lot 3
14.           Jun 1857 - Levi Weston - Block L, Lot 2 and Lot 4
15.           Mar 1860 - Jerry Potts - Block J, Lot 3
16.           BREAK DURING WARTIME
17.           Oct 1865 - Owen Olson (from Jake Patton) - Block S, Lot 1 and Lot 2, Block T, Lot 1, and Block Q, Lot 4
18.           Oct 1865 - Land Office (from Ames and Mathison RE) - Block J, Lot 2 and Lot 4
19.           Oct 1865 - Land Office (from Jonathan Ames) - Block X, Lot 1 and Lot 3
20.           Oct 1865 - Land Office (from Wesley Mathison) - Block X, Lot 2 and Lot 4
21.           Apr 1867 - Land Office (from Percival Jones) - Block M, Lot 2, and Block N, Lot 1 and Lot 2
22.           Oct 1867 - Ralph Campbell (from Land Office/Jones) - Block N, Lot 1 and Lot 2
23.           Nov 1867 - Block C designated by town council as a Town Square
24.           Nov 1867 - City planned to build new Town Hall on Block CC, Lot 3
25.           Nov 1867 - Oak Springs Bank - exchanged Block G, Lot 3, for Lot 2, Block B, for new stone bank
26.           Nov 1867 - Oak Creek Valley Livery and Stable - working with Jake Patton and Hugh Truesdale, exchanged their interests in Block K - where the livery had previously been located - and Lots 1 and 3 of Block L, for Block M and Lots 3 and 4 of Lot I
27.           Nov 1867 - Ace Donagan (from Jake Patton) - Block O, Lot 3
28.           Nov 1868 - J.W. Norton - Block I, Lot 1
29.           Nov 1868 - G.W. Mason - Block I, Lot 2
30.           Feb 1869 - Jerry Potts - Block J, Lot 4
31.           Jul 1869 - Sylvester Preston - Block K, Lot 3 and Lot 4
32.           Sep 1870 - Weston-McDonald Freight Line - Block BB, Lot 2
33.           Oct 1870 - Joshua Cox - Block T, Lot 2
34.           Apr 1871 - Ivan Toll - Block G, Lot 3
35.           May 1875 - Jacobi Inman - Block F, Lot 1


To be continued... next Friday.


Now on Kindle, as well. Kindleunlimited read for free.

   



May we each have a Homeplace, if only in our hearts!


Dr. Bill ;-)