|I just got my 01/14/2016 copy of the South Missourian News with the article about the unmarked graves on George Martin’s farm. I was raised on the farm adjacent to that farm and there were Civil War-era graves a few hundred feet beyond our property line on property once owned by George Martin. I just asked my brother Mike a few months ago about those graves and he remembers them. Mike and our other brother Harvey played in that area as kids, as did our older brother Dane and our life-long friends Jerry and James Martin. One of the graves had an upright headstone with the name Elizabeth Taylor on it with years in the Civil War era; her birthdate or date of death was November 28.
The “Allen” that Granny Blue was married to for a short time is an ancestor of the Archie Allen family. My brother Harvey has a copy of a letter from Granny Blue that gives a brief summary of her history in the area. The Allen Brothers’ Farm (aka Crow Hill Farm) has a very old log cabin still standing, although barely, that we have always used as a barn. It was the original house at that site. After the current house was constructed, the log cabin was moved from its original foundation to about 300 feet back from the road where it still stands today. I suspect Granny Blue (and one of her three husbands) lived in that cabin at one point. There was another log cabin back on the farm that was dismantled in the ’40’s or ’50’s and I know it was where one of my dad’s great uncles–N.B.Allen’s father, I think–lived.
On Warm Fork River, just upstream from the George Martin/Dan Cover farm, is a long, deep, peaceful water hole we, since the early 1950’s, have known as Granny Blue Hole, an excellent location for fishing and swimming. We kids of the 1950’s almost always had a rope-swing hanging from one tree or another. We frequently floated in a flat-bottom boat from Sloan’s Ford (north of Hwy 19) or Green Lantern Bridge on Hwy 19 to points south: The Old Iron Bridge (recently demolished), N.B. Allen Ford (sometimes referred to as Cover Crossing), Two-mile Creek, Third Cut or Shelby Hole (just upstream from Mammoth Spring.) A few times, we floated on down to Cold Springs, south of Mammoth. (My most recent float trip was in 2014.) N.B. Allen was related to Granny Blue’s husband. He (N.B.) surveyed the area when it was first being settled. The first settlers who actually “settled,” Allens, built a house and lived on the north side of the spring at Mammoth Spring. After finding out they were in Arkansas, they packed up and moved a couple miles up “the warm fork” of the Spring River, permanently settling on Warm Fork River where wagons used to cross the creek on the creekbed instead of a bridge or spillway, at N.B. Allen Ford.
Some information in the previous two paragraphs came to me from my father and grandfather. Some came from the copy I have of Granny Blue’s letter.
This is my first correspondence with your association, so I don’t know how much of this history you are familiar with or how much you know about Granny Blue and the Civil War graves. Pictures on your site seem to be of the Clifton Cemetery, just east of the Green Lantern Bridge, final resting place for several Allens including N.B. (There are also Allens interred at the cemetery located inside Mammoth Spring State Park.) But I did not see pictures of the Civil War graves that I know are located on what is now the Cover farm, although the team from Rolla may have been working at that very site.
If you have any questions you think I could help you with–or have any information you could help me with–I would enjoy communicating with you.
I really enjoy stories about the history of Oregon County, especially those of the Civil War era. I hope OCHS will keep up the good work!
We will have our books for sale and be encouraging families to write their stories.
Join us at the OCMO History Club Meeting. Mike Crawford will be talking about the Wilderness and will be showcasing the new books.
Oregon County History: The Irish Wilderness Yesterday and Today by Mike Crawford
Historical Sketches of the Warm Fork Hill Country by Joe Senn, Dorys Ward, and sketches by Anita Caldwell
We will be at Koshkonong Festival: Sept 12th Saturday, Thayer Homecoming Football Game: Sept 18th Friday, Thayer Alumni Banquet: Sept 19th Saturday, Myrtle Days, September 26th Saturday, and Alton Black Gold Festival: Oct. 3rd Saturday.
July 10 2015 Meeting at the Mammoth Spring Park Railroad Station Museum Depot at 5:00 to 7:00 pm
Attendees: Many visitors plus OCMO members Marge Shipp, Jenny Underwood, Billie Rae Mooney, D.J. Ashford, Lindan Caldwell, Cheyenne Archer
Brief announcement of activities and treasurers report
Subject was Train and Plane wrecks in the area.
The first train wreck was in 1914. There were two train wrecks in 1973. The second train was filled with Sears Merchandise which was purchased in bulk by the Washams of Mammoth Spring. There were boats and divers dragging up sheets, towels, fabric, socks and all manner of dry goods. Hordes of people showed up over the 3 day event. Much of the merchandise is still in use in households today. A Centennial dress was made by Ms. Mainprize, an old time outfit was made by Ms. Nikki Barbee, and a dolls dress was made by Betty Bamber. Another train wreck was up near Koshkonong and had cases of liquor. Some of the local boys left school and went up to get the liquor which they hid in the brush. But the County Sheriff retrieved the liquor. There were cases of apples which were sold locally.
In 1947, there were only two airplanes in Oregon County. On the fateful day, their wings collided and both crashed. Mr. Shepherd died but the other pilot survived after landing in a tree. In 1959, a Navy jetfighter caught fire and was ditched near Sloan’s Ford on OO Highway. The pilot also landed in a tree and survived. There was metal strowed all up and down the area.
In a crash in 1979, a plane piloted by a woman flew into a house. Inside the house were four people playing cards who were able to escape the falling engine. The house owner got a long ladder and escorted the woman down. She said, “I don’t like heights and I don’t like ladders.” which begs the question of why she was flying. Her husband had a minor injury. Rumor has it she never flew again.
We will be posting some of the stories and pictures. We had a great time with people remembering the wrecks. Thanks to all who participated.
We will be talking about the upcoming Memorial Day Events in Alton starring our author Bill Combs.
He will be traveling from Dallas for Homecoming and will be available to tell stories and sign his book.
Thursday May 21st: 10-1 at the Thayer Senior Centers
Friday May 22nd: 5-6 Alton Square Party
Saturday May 23rd: 11:30 to 2:00 Cafe next to Annie’s Florist in Alton
Saturday My 23rd: 5-6 Alton Alumni Banquet at Alton School.