Centerview Township, Johnson County, Missouri
|Greendoor, Centerview Township, Johnson County, Missouri|
A post office called Greendoor was established in 1890, and remained in operation until 1902. The community was so named because the local post office had a green door.
Harvey Russell, born in 1834, was a Greendoor farmer--Biographical Sketch of Harvey Russell, Johnson County, Missouri, Warrensburg Township, from "History of Johnson County, Missouri," by Ewing Cockrell, Historical Publishing Company, Topeka, Cleveland, 1918.
Harvey Russell, proprietor of the "Willowdale Stock Farm" and one of Johnson County’s most noble pioneers, is, at the age of 83 years, as active and alert physically and mentally as men 25 years his junior. He was born October 22, 1834, in Montgomery county, Kentucky, son of Joseph and Elizabeth (Penn) Russell, the former, a native of Loudoun county, Virginia, and the latter, a native of Kentucky, a distant relative of the renowned William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania. In 1856, the Russell family moved from Kentucky to Missouri, where they settled near Pleasant Hill. Joseph Russell was a teacher by profession. To Joseph and Elizabeth (Penn) Russell were born seven children: Dr. Joseph Penn, who for 40 years was engaged in the practice of medicine at Waveland, Indiana; Dr. John T., a professor in Eminence College Eminence, Kentucky; Mrs. Charlotte Berry; Mrs. Katherine Penn; Mrs. Emily Gillespie; Harvey, the subject of this review; and Mrs. Elizabeth Wherritt. Both father and mother have long since been deceased. In private schools in Kentucky, Harvey Russell received his early education. He was later a student for two years in Waveland Academy at Waveland, Indiana, Montgomery County. Mr. Russell's first business venture was at Pleasant Hill, where he and W. H. H. Gustin were in partnership in the mercantile business for 24 years, the partnership being dissolved in 1897, when Mr. Russell sold his interest in the establishment to Mr. Gustin. The store is still being conducted in Pleasant Hill, now under the firm name of Gustin & Son, their place of business today the same as when Harvey Russell and W. H. H. Gustin were partners more than a score of years ago. Leaving Pleasant Hill, Mr. Russell came to Warrensburg, where he purchased 509 acres of land located on Blackwater near Greendoor, Missouri. The tract of land has a splendid drainage ditch crossing it and on this farm, which is widely known as the "Willowdale Stock Farm," Mr. Russell was for many years engaged in raising Hereford cattle. A tenant, Mr. Miller, has occupied the place for the past thirteen years and he is engaged in general farming there. Each winter, for eight years past, Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Russell have spent in Miami, Florida, where they own a beautiful home. Mr. Russell enjoys fishing in the ocean at that place and in the winter of 1915 landed a forty-two pound fish, rivaling the celebrated Isaac Walton himself. August 29, 1907, Harvey Russell was united in marriage with Margaret Zoll, daughter of William and Sarah Martha (Alderson) Zoll, both of whom were natives of Virginia. William Zoll came to Missouri in 1857 and located at Lexington, where he remained 6 months.
From Lexington, he moved to Warrensburg and the Zoll family resided on Gay Street, which was not then a part of the city of Warrensburg. Mr. Zoll purchased the B. W. Grover farm and 23 acres of land, the latter located on the present streets of Broad and Zoll. A part of the twenty-three acres, three and three-fourths acres, now comprise the present lovely woodland home, known as "The Pines," where Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Russell reside when at home in Warrensburg. The handsome and now modern residence is surrounded by numerous, tall, stately pine trees, which were planted by William Zoll more than forty years ago. This was the Zoll homestead.
Blind Boone Park Warrensburg Link
|John William "Blind" Boone, born in Warrensburg, MO., and died of a heart attack in the backyard at 408 (West) Market Street in Warrensburg, Buried in Columbia, MO |
|Rachel Ann Carpenter Hendrick, John William Blind Boone's Mother, buried in the SW Corner of Sunset Hill Cemetery|
Blind Boone's Mother, housekeeper for Colonel Zoll.
William Zoll was one of Warrensburg's most prominent citizens and a leading man in civic affairs. During the Civil War, he was public administrator. He and Senator Francis M. Cockrell were very dear and intimate friends and in spite of the fact that in the Civil War the two men were on opposing sides, the friendship endured the test of the bitter strife of the sixties and lasted throughout the life of William Zoll. The two friends were made Elders Emeritus of the Cumberland Presbyterian church of Warrensburg at the same time, when the union of the Cumberland and Presbyterian churches of Warrensburg occurred.
|Cumberland Presbyterian still standing at College (Miller) and Grover Streets, Warrensburg, MO|
William Zoll and Edward Kelley established the Zoll & Kelley Nursery in Warrensburg in 1872 and they were associated in nursery business in this city for more than 20 years. Later, William Zoll purchased Mr. Kelley's interest and the firm became known as Zoll & Son. William and Sarah Martha (Alderson) Zoll celebrated their golden wedding anniversary at "The Pines" in 1898 and nine of the ten children born to them were present at the celebration. Their children were as follow: Allen A., whose death occurred in 1876; Charles H., formerly county engineer and surveyor of Johnson county, at present residing in Miami, Florida; Margaret, who is the wife of Harvey Russell, the subject of this review; Mrs. Flora Z. Briggs, Atchison, Kansas; Mrs. Sallie Callaway, Waverly, Missouri; Mrs. Mary Z. Doyle, Albany, Missouri; William, Jr., who was killed in 1899 in a wreck on the Missouri Pacific railway, being employed as engineer by the company; George A., who resides at Fayetteville, Arkansas; Dr. Frank C., who is engaged in the practice of medicine at Reddick, Florida; and Robert L., Miami, Florida. At the time of Mr. Zoll's death in 1908, he was the oldest Mason in years of membership in Johnson County. His death occurred at the age of 93 years, caused by a stroke of apoplexy 3 years previous. Prior to that, William Zoll was keenly alert mentally and physically very strong. He was well posted on all current events and exceptionally well informed on political subjects, in which he always took an active interest. Mrs. Zoll had preceded her husband in death many years before, her death occurring at the age of 71 years. Both father and mother were laid to rest in the cemetery at Warrensburg. Harvey Russell keeps abreast of the times and has read extensively on current topics. He is a very entertaining and gifted conversationalist.
Possessing a remarkable physical constitution, he is the equal, if not the superior, of men more than a score of years younger than he. Since he was eighty-two years of age, he has mastered the intricate machinery of an eight-cylinder Scripps Booth car and he is his own chauffeur.
|Scripps Booth 8-cylinder engine, similar to Harvey Russell's.|
Mr. and Mrs. Russell never speak of their "lost youth" or represent the period of youth as the end of happiness. Mr. Russell states emphatically that he is enjoying life more today than at any other period in his career. He believes that, as Joseph H. Choate once said in an after dinner speech, when he was 78 years old, "The happiest years of life are those between 70 and 90, and I advise you to hurry up and get there as soon as you can." A visit at the Russell home, at the beautiful "Pines," will convince anyone that it is a fallacy to lament one's lost youth. Both Mr. and Mrs. Russell are giving Johnson County a wonderful example of how to grow old, not gracefully, but triumphantly.
|Harvey and Margareta Zoll Russell, buried in Sunset Hill, Warrensburg, Missouri|
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From "History of Johnson County, Missouri," by Ewing Cockrell, Historical Publishing Company, Topeka, Cleveland, 1918.
Joe Simmerman Profile - 1918
Joe Simmerman, a leading merchant of Greendoor, Missouri, for the past twenty-six years, is a prominent citizen and successful farmer and stockman of Centerview Township. Mr. Simmerman, while a native of Illinois, is a member of a highly respected Johnson county pioneer family. He is a son of W. T. and Margaret Simmerman. W. T. Simmerman was born in Virginia, a son of Thomas Simmerman, who was born in Virginia in 1793. Thomas Simmerman came from Virginia to Missouri in the early part of the nineteenth century and settled on a tract of land comprising 124 acres located in Columbus Township. He prospered well in the new Western home and became widely known in Johnson County as an enterprising and successful farmer and stockman. Mr. Thomas Simmerman died in February 1874 and his son, W. T., born in Missouri, remained on the home place for several years continuing the work his father had begun.
W. T. Simmerman spent some time in Illinois and a part of one year in Johnson County, Kansas, after which he returned to Johnson County, Missouri, in 1866, and purchased 86 acres of land in Centerview Township, to which he later added forty acres, thus forming a valuable stock and grain farm of 126 acres, near Greendoor, Missouri. Mr. Simmerman was the popular and efficient postmaster of Greendoor for twelve years. He was ever active in politics, being an influential member of the Republican Party and at one time was elected justice of the peace of Centerview Township, but refused to accept the office. W. T. Simmerman had a host of friends in Johnson County. He was known and admired for his honorable business dealings and strong moral character not only in this county but also even beyond its confines. Mr. Simmerman died April 24, 1905. His widow still survives her husband and is now making her home with her son, Joe, the subject of this review, who was born March 20, 1865.
The first school Joe Simmerman attended was a private school taught by his cousin, Miss Isabel Renick. Mr. Simmerman was born just at the close of the Civil War, in 1865, and in his childhood, there were yet few public schools established in Johnson County. At a later time, John W. McGivens was employed as teacher of the public school of which Mr. Simmerman was a pupil. He personally knew Reverend Pitts, in whose honor Pittsville was named, and Reverend J. H. Houx, Peter and Thomas Cobb, and Finis King, effective pioneer preachers of Johnson county in the early seventies. When Mr. Simmerman was a youth, much of this county was open prairie and pastureland. Wild game abounded and he tells an interesting story of how he assisted in netting quail in those days of the long ago. He states that netters always obeyed an unwritten law of quail hunters, namely: to turn loose a male and female from every covey they captured.
In 1890, Joe Simmerman and Mattie J. Hinkle, daughter of John Hinkle, a resident of Johnson County for many years, were united in marriage and to this union has been born one child, a daughter, Beulah, who is now Mrs. Middleton of Rural Route 3, Warrensburg, Missouri. In addition to his mercantile interests in Greendoor, Mr. Simmerman owns a farm of 126 acres of land and is engaged in raising stock extensively and in general farming. He is at present interested in Poland China hogs and Durham cattle. Mr. Simmerman keeps purebred animals and is the owner of a splendid purebred Durham male. The farm is supplied with plenty of water and farm buildings. This past season of 1917, twenty acres of the place were in corn and 460 bushels of oats and 64 bushels of rye were harvested. Mr. Simmerman is a very intelligent and prosperous merchant.
|Jacoby Chapel Cemetery, Johnson County, MO|
W. T. and Margareta Jackson Simmerman
from there shipping it to Kansas City, Missouri. The milk goes on ice to this city dairy and always grades A. In the winter time, the cattle are fed ensilage and Mr. Parsons has erected in 1913 and in 1915 silos, of one hundred and one hundred thirty-five tons capacity respectively. He employs one assistant all the time and his two sons are invaluable in
the work of the dairy.
In 1898, W. B. Parsons and Jettie Taylor, daughter of John and Julia Taylor, of Hazel Hill township, were united in marriage. Mr. Taylor is deceased and the widowed mother makes her home with her children. Jettie (Taylor) Parsons has lived on the farm which is now and has been her home ever since she was three years of age. To W. B. and Jettie Parsons have been born two sons: Guy, who has just completed two years of the course in the Warrensburg High School and attended this institution during the term of 1917 and 1918; and Glenn, a student in the Warrensburg High School. Mr. and Mrs. Parsons are progressive, hardworking, excellent young people and are richly deserving of all the success which has in the past and will in the future certainly attended all their enterprising efforts.