History

I have previously written about venerable teacher, Jessie Munford, who taught at WSHS for over forty-years, from 1928-1968. While researching the article about teacher John Finley a few weeks ago, I discovered aspects I had not known about this remarkable woman. Her dedication to teaching...
In my last issue, we explored the first written history of Howell County, written by Samuel A. Risley on the occasion of the one-hundredth anniversary of the founding of our nation and read by him in a celebration in West Plains on July 4, 1876. We explored Sam's history, covering the first...
Last week, I was interviewed on a St. Louis radio program, “Authors’ Edge,” about The Way We Were, my book with the first fifty articles from this column. I was asked where I got my ideas for the newspaper stories.  After mentioning previous subjects, I explained new topics could be elusive and...
Among the earliest historical sources of Howell County is a speech written and publicly read in West Plains by the pioneer newspaper editor Samuel A. Risley for the one-hundredth anniversary of our nation's founding on July 4, 1876. Over the years, myself, and other local historians have quoted...
One of the things I find interesting in writing these articles, and I hope interesting for readers, is learning history I didn’t know. Invariably, even the smallest amount of research reveals new information. Venerable WSHS teacher John Finley is yet another example of how little I really did...
Photo courtesy of Alice West Brook.
Can it already be that time of the year again? Well, it should not come as a surprise because the yuletide TV advertisements have been hawking the latest “must-have” toys since Halloween.   The Chicago Tribune published a list of the best toys for 2023. The second one in the “best of the best”...
In my quest to find out what happened to the population of Howell County during the Civil War, we take a look at a family who tried to avoid involvement but were destroyed by the conflict. From my reading of the war here, I’ve found the worst thing to do was to not declare a side and be under the...
In Mrs. Munford’s WSHS English class in the 1960s, I vaguely recall reading an abridged version of “The Purloined Letter” by Edgar Allen Poe. My memory is either faulty, or Poe’s efforts did not make much of an impression on several schoolmates, whose recollections are vaguer than mine....
For this story, we go to opposite ends of Howell County. Around the turn of the century, as our earliest pioneers were at an age to reminiscence, local newspapers began carrying their stories. The West Plains Journal did a series in 1904 and 1905 recounting those times in the participants' own...
Photo by Lonnie Whitaker, circa 2005.
Sometime in early 2001, I began my adventure in writing. It was not something I planned or had thought much about. Sitting in the waiting room of a medical office, I perused a copy of Missouri Life magazine to pass the time. A story, written by owner/publisher Greg Wood, about a country barn of...

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Howell County News

110 W. Main St.,
Willow Springs, MO 65793
417-252-2123

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