Friday, April 17, 2015

August 1997 - Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace


Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace
August 1997


This series of posts on each Friday during 2015 continues the stories of “The Homeplace Saga” series of family saga, historical fiction families in the area of Oak Springs following the novel “Christmas at the Homeplace.” Here is a peek at ‘Life in Oak Springs,’ and the surrounding valley, in August of 1997.



Sheep waiting to be judged at the fair

Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agricultural_show

The 118th Annual Oak Creek Valley Fair was held successfully on the first weekend in August yet again. What started as a one-day event those many years ago has grown to a four-day-event that attracts visitors from surrounding counties and across the four-state region. License plates were seen in the parking lot from 12 different states, as a matter of fact… and, of course, there could have been more over the four days. Held on the fairgrounds south of Patton Pond in the southwest corner of the city, the fair offers township residents an opportunity to show off their animals, crops and projects. The higher ranked entries can be assured of good placement at the upcoming county fair as well as the possibility of being selected for the State Fair.

Pioneer crafts from the 19th Century were a favorite of Fair visitors as they are every year. We all enjoy being reminded of the simpler (but not easier) times of our pioneer ancestors. A new exhibit this year that drew a lot of attention was that of the new Oak Springs Historical and Genealogical Society where a few of the family artifacts identified earlier in the year were on display along with family stories related to the artifacts.

Six different bands and musical groups took turns performing on the two stages set up at each end of the fairgrounds this year. The carnival was set up in the middle of the fairgrounds, as usual.

The Bevins Corporation announced in the Oak Springs Enterprise that Scott Gates, recent graduate of the Farm Operations program at the Ozarks Community College, had been named Assistant Farm Manager. In this role, he will be involved in the planning and direction of all farm related activities under General Manager, Bart Bevins. The Bevins Corporation is primarily involved in row crops, hay and pasture land management, and a large cow-calf operation.

Locals:

Virginia Hollingsworth was moved to the Serenity Nursing Home [http://homeplace.wikispaces.com/serenity] from the Oak Springs Regional Hospital [http://homeplace.wikispaces.com/hospital] where she had been undergoing care following a serious fall she took while gardening at her home in the east valley.

Late in month, Heather Gates, a junior at the local high school, was to present her FFA annual project at the FFA (Future Farmers of America) State Convention in Kansas City. She had received high praise for the project from her teacher and FFA advisor [http://thehomeplaceseries.blogspot.com/2015/03/may-1997-life-in-oak-springs-homeplace.html], and all her supporters wished her well at State.

Peter Bevins, Managing Director of the McDonald Conservancy, announced that two more persons had accepted appointment to the Board of Directors of the emerging Land Trust. One was a professor in the Biology Department at the State University and the other was a Regional Director of the Missouri Nature Conservancy organization.


Social Notes:

Dr. Raynor Crimmons welcomed his daughter, Randi, for a two-week visit from her home in the Washington, D.C. area, where she works for the Department of Defense. During the visit, they also spend a long weekend in southeastern Iowa visiting relatives and friends. While in Oak Springs, Randi said she especially enjoyed spending time with Karen, Lori and Matt Winslow with whom she grew up as a youngster in Tucson, Arizona. She added that she also enjoyed meeting and getting to know Matt’s wife, Susan, and their two children, Tyler and Emily.

Peter, Sheila, and Jeremy Bevins enjoyed a week of camping along the Buffalo River in northwestern Arkansas early in the month. It was their first out-of-town vacation since had Jeremy became part of the family last year. [Learn more about this in “Christmas at the Homeplace.”]




Cop Shop:

Local police were investigating a fire at the playground in Patton Park, in the southwest part of the city. It appeared that vandals had set fire to the wooden swing set as well as the rubber pelts on the ground about 9 p.m. last Thursday night. An empty container of flammable fluid was discovered near the fire. As of this reporting, no one had come forward with useful information on who may have set the fire or why.



"May everyone have a homeplace, if only in your mind."
Dr. Bill  ;-)


Friday, April 10, 2015

July 1997 - Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace


Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace
July 1997


This series of posts on each Friday during 2015 continues the stories of “The Homeplace Saga” series of family saga, historical fiction families in the area of Oak Springs following the novel “Christmas at the Homeplace.” Here is a peek at ‘Life in Oak Springs,’ and the surrounding valley, in July of 1997.



The 4th of July Gala Celebration at the Oak Springs Country Club was a weekend to remember, according to those who attended it this weekend. Good golf, good food, and fun games for the kids were the highlights most often mentioned in the news article.

Scott Gates completed the requirements for the Farm Operations Associates Degree at Ozarks Community College and took part in graduation exercises on Saturday, July 18, at the end of the summer term. A total of 35 persons took part in the graduation exercises and over 250 persons attended the graduation ceremony.

Brian Kirk, President of the Oak Springs Historical and Genealogical Society (Society), reported that members of the community had continued to provide very interesting documents and artifacts from their closets and attics that the review committee had been processing. He noted an interesting sidebar to the review process was that many of the items brought to the attention of the committee were related to others in the community, not necessarily to their own family, of the people providing the materials. Many folks noted they felt these items were important, but didn’t know what to do with them. The donation rate, he added, was running above 75 percent. The others, of course, were items families wanted to keep in their possession. He said that those were especially appreciated, and each was recorded and added to the database of information being gathered. The Society, he added, is still accepting donations of material so do not stop bringing what you find to the Library. Judy Watson will be happy to process it, he said.


Locals:

Ozark Communications, Inc. formally applied to the City Council to be the exclusive cable television provider to the City of Oak Springs. This was in response to the Request for Proposal sent out by the City earlier. Theirs was the only application received by the time of the deadline set for application.

The Oak Springs Enterprise ran a front-page article feature the opportunities for kayaking and canoeing on Oak Creek that featured photos of Oak Creek Outfitters providing services to their customers on a summer outing.

Social Notes:

A graduation reception was held at the Homeplace Country Inn Heritage Room honoring Scott Gates following the graduation exercises at the Ozarks Community College on Saturday, July 18. Scott’s parents and sister hosted the reception: his father, Paul Gates, his mother and her husband from Jackson, Mississippi, Beverly Bevins Gates Threshold and Winnie Threshold, and his sister, Heather Gates. Total guests in attendance exceeded 70 persons including family, friends and co-workers at The Bevins Corporation.

On July 26th, Bart and Diane Bevins returned from a week long vacation trip to the Lake of the Ozarks. They told friends it was great to just sit on the balcony of their condo and stare across the lake for long periods of time. Bart especially enjoyed, he added, taking in several new restaurants they had not tried on previous visits. Diane concurred in that. They highly recommended such a get-away to anyone feeling stressed in their job.

Cop Shop:

Jeremiah Loomis was released from the state penitentiary after having served over twelve years of an original 20-year sentence on drug charges based on his operation of a meth lab in the hills southwest of Oak Springs. The story went on to tell how his brother, Jasper, was charged in the murder of the public defender that represented Jeremiah in court on the drug charges. Jasper was killed by police officers, acting in self-defense, when they attempted to arrest him for the murder and he attacked them with a hunting knife. {For 'the rest of the story,' see: "Murder by the Homeplace:" http://www.amazon.com/Murder-Homeplace-William-Leverne-Smith/dp/1469926652/

Vandals reportedly did extensive damage to three cars parked along west Maple Street overnight on July 17-18. Police are still investigating the incident.



"May everyone have a homeplace, if only in your mind."
Dr. Bill  ;-)


Friday, April 3, 2015

June 1997 - Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace


Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace
June 1997


This series of posts on each Friday during 2015 continues the stories of “The Homeplace Saga” series of family saga, historical fiction families in the area of Oak Springs following the novel “Christmas at the Homeplace.” Here is a peek at ‘Life in Oak Springs,’ and the surrounding valley, in June of 1997.




Dr. Jennifer Bevins and Mr. Brian Kirk were married at the United Methodist Church in front of close family and friends on Saturday evening, June 14th, Reverend Clarice McCauley, officiating. Christopher Ogden served as Best Man and Nicole Ogden served as Matron of Honor. Don Kirk and Linda Ogden served as hosts at a reception in the church Fellowship Hall following the ceremony.

When asked, Jennifer said she would continue to be “Dr. Bevins” in her professional practice, but would be known as Mrs. Kirk in her personal life. Initially, she added, they would live at her apartment near her clinic.

The Sullivan End-‘O-the-Road Livestock Auction opened on June 1, 1997 replacing the Cunningham Livestock Auction. Jerry Sullivan announced that he would continue the auction schedule that Lyle Cunningham had previously used. Sullivan, moving from Houston, had been in the auction business for many years, and looked forward to many years in this new location. The location was actually first settled by his great-great-grandfather, Jourdan Sullivan, in 1852, the first settler on this land… and their house was also located at the end of a long road off of what was then known as the Houston Road, now State Highway 24. Jerry hopes everyone will come to the next auction and see the remodeling now underway to improve an already great facility.



Locals:


In a separate interview, Jerry Sullivan revealed a little more of his family history regarding the land he had purchased along with the Livestock Auction building. He shared that his great-grandfather, Julian, had left the valley with his family as a young man when the Civil War had started.  Julian then served with the Union forces, stationed in Houston. After the war, however, Julian stayed in Houston to raise his own family when his parents had returned to the Oak Creek west valley. Jerry said that his father, Jesse, had been born in Houston, as well.

Penny Nixon, Associate Editor at the Oak Springs Enterprise, announced that the manuscript on the founding of Oak Springs would be published in hard copy, with $2 dollars of each copy sold going to Oak Springs Historical and Genealogical Society. Pre-orders were being taken at $42 per copy. When 100 orders had been received, the books would be printed. Subsequently, approximately 70 copies would be available to purchase at $49 each (about 30 will be distributed to libraries and other repositories).

{Editorial note: This was before “print-on-demand and ebooks” came on the scene.}

 



It does not cost you $49! Actually FREE if you have Kindle Unlimited! ;-)



Social Notes:

We spoke with Jennifer Bevins Kirk after she and Brian returned from their honeymoon, last week. She said they enjoyed the week in a cabin on Table Rock Lake at Big Cedar Lodge just south of Branson, Missouri. While there, they went out to Silver Dollar City one day, went to see Andy Williams at his Moon River Theater, and attended a performance of the Presley Country Jubilee. Weather was very pleasant, she added, and they had a great time away from the pressures of work. She offered a thank you to each person who covered for her and for Brian at work.

Nicole (Mrs. Christopher) Ogden has let her family know that their first child is due in mid-October. She is still working full time at the Big Thunder Lodge.

The Oak Springs Country Club announced their specials for the upcoming 4th of July Weekend, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.


"May everyone have a homeplace, if only in your mind."
Dr. Bill  ;-)


Monday, March 30, 2015

Follow Oak Springs developments in 1877-78, as well


Follow Oak Springs developments in 1877-78, as well




As we look at Oak Springs in 1997 each Friday, here on The Homeplace Saga blog, don't forget to keep up with life in Oak Springs 120 years earlier at our HubPages series of short stories, as well. Here are the recent links:


OS1 - http://hub.me/ajeF0 - Aug 1977

OS2 - http://hub.me/ajhCU - Sept 1977

OS3 - http://hub.me/aji1B - 4th Qtr 1977

OS4 - http://hub.me/ajitd - 1st Qtr 1878

OS5 - http://hub.me/ajiTf - 2nd Qtr 1878

OS6 - http://hub.me/ajlDe - 3rd Qtr 1878


Friday, March 27, 2015

May 1997 - Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace


Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace
May 1997


This series of posts on each Friday during 2015 continues the stories of “The Homeplace Saga” series of family saga, historical fiction families in the area of Oak Springs following the novel “Christmas at the Homeplace.” Here is a peek at ‘Life in Oak Springs,’ and the surrounding valley, in May of 1997.



At the High School year-end awards ceremony, among those recognized for outstanding achievement was Heather Gates for her FFA (Future Farmers of America) Project. Her instructor noted that she achieved the highest rating in school history on complexity, as well as execution and recordkeeping. Her project would be in competition at the next state convention, he said, and he added he would be very surprised if it did not win there.

Heather’s project involved the breeding of her Palomino mare, Sunshine, who recently gave birth to a healthy foal. A yearlong project, Heather had recorded the mare’s vital signs daily, and chose an optimal breeding time. She fully participated with Dr. Jennifer Bevins in the artificial insemination process and fully documented it. She then continued to keep track of the progress of the mare throughout the gestation period and the live birth.

The Commencement Speaker at the Oak Springs High School was Professor Dr. Raynor Crimmons, with Central Arizona University. Dr. Crimmons is on the Graduate Faculty of Management and teaches all his courses online. He is currently a resident of Oak Springs. The topic of his speech was “Be All That You Can Be!”

Lyle Cunningham announced that after being in the business for 42 years, he had sold his “End-‘O-the-Road” auction house business effective May 31, 1997. Lyle thanked all his customers over the years. He said that the new owner would be making an announcement about the new operations in due time. When asked when came next for him, Lyle said he was pleased to say that he would continue, and probably increase, his volunteer time with the McDonald Conservancy. As a board member, he added, he felt there was much more he could now contribute to this fine community asset.



Locals:

Graduation exercises for Ozarks Community College were held on Saturday, May 24, on the college campus, in the Community Theater building.


Travis Inman, of Inman Real Estate, invited members of the community to a tour of open houses on Sunday, June 1, starting at the Inman Real Estate Office in downtown Oak Springs. Five three-bedroom homes will be featured, each of similar size but each with differing amenities. The tour will begin promptly at 2 pm.



Social Notes:

Several graduation parties were held around the valley in connection with the families of graduates of this year’s High School Seniors.

A graduation recognition party was held at the Homeplace Country Inn Heritage Room on Saturday night, following Commencement at the High School, honoring the graduating seniors of workers of The Bevins Trust and affiliated companies. Commencement Speaker, Dr. Raynor Crimmons, was honored guest. He was pleased to spend some time with each of the graduates and their families.




"May everyone have a homeplace, if only in your mind."
Dr. Bill  ;-)


Friday, March 20, 2015

Apr 1997 - Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace


Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace
Apr 1997


This series of posts on each Friday during 2015 continues the stories of “The Homeplace Saga” series of family saga, historical fiction families in the area of Oak Springs following the novel “Christmas at the Homeplace.” Here is a peek at ‘Life in Oak Springs,’ and the surrounding valley, in April of 1997.



Source:http://www.freeimages.com/photo/1162290
User smithwil

Oak Creek Outfitters, Inc., providing canoe and kayaking adventures on Oak Creek, announced plans to expand their service through a joint venture with Big Thunder Lodge and the Oak Creek Mill and Mill Market, in cooperation with the National Forest and State Natural Resources Department. Jonathon Offutt, General Manager of Oak Creek Outfitters, said that services comparable to the 1976 season would begin on Monday, April 7, of 1977, from the “bend of the creek” south of the Mill Pond, down Oak Creek, to the Oak Creek Outfitter facilities at the township line. Under a new agreement with Big Thunder Lodge and the Oak Creek Mill and Mill Market, Oak Creek will be available to float from Big Thunder Lodge, in Dent County, south to just north of the Oak Creek Mill. Portage will be provided, if desired, off the ridge to restart at the “bend of the creek” to continue down the Creek.

Big Thunder Lodge announced that the lake that had previously been built near the lodge on Oak Creek had been drained, gradually, over about 60 days, and that a new, floatable stream bed was being dredged from the north edge of their property to the south edge so as to return the creek, as near as possible, to its original path. Stream bed maintenance consultants are now supervising placement of rock along the creek to make the best float experience possible through the lodge property. Float options on the Big Thunder Lodge property, only, will be available, as well as continuing south down Oak Creek. Oak Creek Outfitters is the concessionaire for the entire float experience on Oak Creek. The float experience on these two new, upper stretches of Oak Creek will be available later in the year, as facilities work is completed.

In cooperation with the National Forest, and the Bevins Trust, floaters will be able to continue south on Oak Creek to just north of the Oak Creek Mill where a portage will be required off of the ridge. Floaters will have the option of stopping at that point (and returning to the lodge) or continuing from the “bend of the creek” below the Mill Pond.


Locals:

The Oak Springs Enterprise announced that they would sponsor publication of the “lost manuscript” of the Founding of Oak Springs originally prepared in the 1870s for the American Centennial in the community. Details of pre-ordering copies would be announced at a later date. Dick Nixon, Editor and Publisher, stated that is was very critical that this “historical treasure” be made available to a wide audience both locally and to interested people everywhere. Penny Nixon, Associate Editor, who is credited with discovering the manuscript, said she was very pleased that the Oak Springs Historical and Genealogical Society had set in motion the activity throughout the community that brought about this discovery. She challenged others in the community to continue to look for similar historical documents and artifacts.

Julie Barnes, Activities Director at the Big Thunder Lodge, invited interested members of the Oak Springs Community to take advantage of a Spring Weekend promotion being run at the Lodge to encourage people to get to know the Lodge better as a “getaway” from everyday life. Special room rates were available for the weekends of April 5-6, 12-13, and 18-19, along with discount coupons available for use at either restaurant on site. She added that Big Thunder Lodge was encouraging visits by the general public this year whereas in past years they were primarily noted for catering to Sportsmen Only. New management encouraged area residents to take advantage of a “getaway” weekend at the Lodge.


Social Notes:

Senior Prom for the Oak Springs High School was announced for Friday night, May 9 this year. A committee of students, teachers, and parents was responsible for planning the event for the benefit of the students approaching graduation. A Gala event was expected, committee members said.

“Arsenic and Old Lace” was the last play of the season at the Ozarks Community College Theater with performances on Thurs, Fri and Sat nights at 7 p.m., April 24-26.



"May everyone have a homeplace, if only in your mind."
Dr. Bill  ;-)


Friday, March 13, 2015

Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace - Mar 1997


Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace
Mar 1997


This series of posts on each Friday during 2015 continues the stories of “The Homeplace Saga” series of family saga, historical fiction families in the area of Oak Springs following the novel “Christmas at the Homeplace.” Here is a peek at ‘Life in Oak Springs,’ and the surrounding valley, in March of 1997.



Matt Winslow, President and CEO of Bevins and Winslow ISP, Inc., announced that effective April 1, 1997, the company name would be changed to Ozarks Communications, Inc. (OCI) due to the growth of the company, the area served, and the new services being offered. OCI now offered cable television services as well as Internet access services. The company was also positioned to provide telephone services to communities, as well.




Karen Winslow, Chair of The Bevins Trust, announced the formation of a Central Office for The Bevins Trust and affiliated companies, effective April 1, to be headed by Susan Winslow, Vice-President of Administrative Services. This action was a next step of the ongoing reorganization announced in February. The Central Office will consolidate all accounting, finance, human resources, benefits administration and risk management activities of the units and companies served. Susan Winslow was quoted as saying this centralized office will bring more efficiency to the operations as well as allow continued improvements in the effectiveness of each of the administrative services provided to the work force in each affiliated company. The Central Office will be located in The Bevins Trust building, next door to City Hall, which also houses the Ozarks Communications, Inc., offices and shops.

The Oak Springs Historical and Genealogical Society published a notice in the Oak Springs Enterprise reminding community members that they still seek information, documents, photographs, and other artifacts from the early days of the settlement of the valley we now know as Oak Creek Township. Items from the early 20th Century should also be considered. If you have materials, of any kind, that you think might be of interest, please contact Judy Winslow at the City Library. A hard-working volunteer committee will evaluate the material for you. The Society is not looking for the materials to be donated, unless you want to. They only want to inspect, perhaps copy, and record the information, materials or artifacts as part of their study of the early days of this fine community. Your help and serious consideration are appreciated.


Locals:

The Annual Alumni Basketball Exhibition Game, featuring an Oak Springs Alumni Basketball team versus the Oak Springs High School Boys Team, which represents the end of the current season, will be held on Saturday night, March 29, at the Oak Springs High School Gymnasium. Proceeds from the game benefit the High School Athletic Equipment Fund. This is always a fun game for everyone in the community.

Paul Gates, General Manager, announced that the Oak Creek Mill and Mill Market would resume a full seven-day a week schedule for the season beginning on Monday, March 24. Hours will be 10 am to 6 pm daily. The admission price for the Mill tour will stay the same as last year; admission to the Mill Market is free. Gates also announced that for the first full week, from March 24 to 30, as an Area Appreciation promotion, admission to the Mill Tour would be half-price and many other activities would have special pricing as well. He added they were hoping for good weather so that many people from the community would be able to participate.

Social Notes:

The Annual St. Patrick’s Day Party at the Oak Springs Country Club was well attended as usual. Harry and Sarah Flanders chaired the arrangements committee this year and were able to have an authentic Irish Pipe Band from Houston provide the featured entertainment for the event.




"May everyone have a homeplace, if only in your mind."

Dr. Bill  ;-)