History

The possibility of a national railroad strike has been in recent news. A similar strike at the same time of year occurred one hundred years ago and profoundly influenced our local economy in Howell County. It delivered the coup de grace to a struggling peach industry when train carloads of...
Howell was not the only southern Missouri border county to suffer post-Civil War violence and civil unrest. Both sides had committed atrocities, and the tendency to take the law into one’s own hands was prevalent among the population supposed to be at peace. The 1879 tragedy of the killing of the...
The first day of law school orientation, the professor told us “The law is a jealous mistress.” At the time, I did not understand the metaphor, although I knew what a metaphor was because WSHS classmate Jimmy Thomas had distinguished it from a simile in English class in response to a question from...
In the late 1980s, while in my late teens, I worked at radio station KUKU in Willow Springs as an announcer. One of my duties was contacting the owners of Kilpatric's Supermarket for their weekly ad sheet to record it into a commercial. Phil and his wife Gerry Kilpatric were the owners, and Gerry...
Current life events often cause a reflection on the past. Of course, that’s what this column generally does, but I’m often surprised at the simple, but meaningful, things I still recall. For example, the words a seventh-grade classmate wrote in my 1960 Willamizzou: “Never forget about when we...
Ira Wayne Smuck was born December 11, 1911, in Cabool, Missouri. His parents, Homer and Lily Roberts Smuck had an older son, Garland. The family had moved from extreme north Missouri with their two children a few years after Wayne's birth. A few years later, Lily Smuck died in Cabool in 1916....
Photo from the 1958 Willamizzou yearbook.
Say it ain’t so—this year, the August primary election in Howell County marks the fiftieth anniversary of Wendell Bailey’s initial campaign for the Missouri House of Representatives from District 163. To put the time in perspective, Don McClean’s “American Pie” was the No. 1 song on the Billboard...
Hate is a strong word, often misused. I can think of no one coming close to the title of most hated in the history of this region than William Monks just before, during, and after the Civil War. For decades mere mention of the name Monks could release a torrent of invective in print throughout...
During orientation my first year at Mizzou, all freshman were required to give a short speech before an instructor to determine if the student had a speech impediment. We were warned not to talk about what we did on summer vacation because the topic was too tedious. Nevertheless, that’s what I’m...
Extreme variations in the weather are something that long-term residents of Howell County have learned to expect. One of those extremes is drought. In August 1901, the Howell County Gazette published a letter from an over fifty-year resident here recounting a drought he witnessed in 1854. The...

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Howell County News

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Willow Springs, MO 65793
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