|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!
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.
Bill writes a series of stories of events in Oregon County when he was growing up. The “Oregon County Growing Up” book takes you back to your childhood as he walks back into his. It can be ordered on Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/Oregon-County-Growing-happiness-situation/dp/1505378028/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1419772385&sr=1-5&keywords=Oregon+County
Kindle book to come. And more books from the OCMO Club are in the queue.
We presented Taylor Emberton a scholarship from the OCMO History club based on her essay on what growing up in Oregon County has meant to her. There were a number of young people at the meeting and we challenged them to become like Dorothy Ellis who had a calling to save Grand Gulf when she was not much older and did it even though it took 40 years. Then she fought to save the Wilderness (12 years), Greer Mill, and the Scenic Riverways National designation. Dorothy preserved History by preserving our pristine forests, rivers and caves. September meeting will be at Grand Gulf on the 12th and Dorothy will take us on the journey of saving important historical places.
Will McNeal and Ashley Downs from the Forest Service gave us updates on the Greer Mill preservation. A group from Colorado will come down in September to assess the repairs of the foundation, walls and roof. The Friends of the Eleven Point River have been raising funds. They hope to add a visitors sign and a porch to the building.
We are moving ahead on the History Books. The Summary Book is now published but won’t be sold until we get the Blue Book Reprint complete which we will sell at Fall Festivals in the area and online on Amazon and Createspace.com. The new book of events and families that were not in the original Blue book is evolving but we need family histories and updates. Had submissions on the Railroad from Max Evans and several more posts from the “You Know you are from Oregon County if…” Will need some additional help to set up how to finish, sell, and account for books sold. Tell your friends and family to email stories and history to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lou Wehmer reported on his study fo Civil War skirmishes and guerilla wars (both North and South). He followed Devil Dick and the killing of Boze at Braswell Spring. John J. Sitton, County Sheriff after the war kept a diary before and after the way where he told of soldiers who died. In January 1865, at the end of the war, Senei Evans talked about battle at Evans Mill on English Creek. Lou is working on a Book. He edited a bookwritten by Colonel William Monks: A History of Southern Missouri and Northern Arkansas at http://colonelmonks.com/. He also has a video telling a story of Oregon County at https://search.yahoo.com/search?fr=spigot-nt-gcmac&ei=utf-8&ilc=12&type=576859&p=lou%20wehmer
We are sponsoring a Granny Blue Day on November 8, 2014. She was a colorful pioneer who lived in these parts. We will have proclamations signed by Mayors of Thayer and Mammoth Spring. We want to put a gravestone on the Granny Blue farm near NB Allen Ford on Barren Hollow Road to honor the seven or more Civil War soldiers there. Mike Walters and his men of Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp #203are getting the stone and want to place it on the Granny Blue day.
Which manages Grand Gulf and other parks in Missouri at http://ladfoundation.org/index.html
Ms. Owen (an early Geologist and Caver) made a trek to Oregon County and visited Greer with the caves. Then she went to Grand Gulf. She was able to go back into the cave, get in a boat and actually float out into the underground lake. A tornado closed the entrance in the late 1920’s so it’s virtually impassable now. She recants the white blind cave fish and many interesting observations. Her book is free through the Guttenberg Press at http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/17354