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February 1, 2015

1924 History of Warrensburg - Book, "A History with Folk Lore" Wm. E. Crissey

fascinating book...
Property of H. H. Russell, Warrensburg, MO
1924 Warrensburg, MO History Book

1842 Old Courthouse Erected in Warrensburg, MO Johnson County

Warrensburg, Missouri
"A History with Folk Lore", by Wm. Crissey
Just as this book was being completed the author, Mr. W. E. Crissey, passed away April 1st, 1924.

The Star-Journal congratulates Mr. Crissey, upon the completion of a task which was to him, of course, a pleasure but which entailed a considerable amount of work and painstaking investigation.  No man or woman in Warrensburg is more esteemed by all our people, that is Mr. Crissey and there are few indeed, so well equipped to record for contemporary and future readers the story of Warrensburg, where the author has spent many years as an active, potent force in civic affairs.  As he passes into the serenity of age, after a life of high integrity and usefulness, he could make no better contribution to the town he loves and which loves him, that this little volume, which he designates as a history and folklore of Warrensburg, Mo. --Editor
Not long ago a friend said to me: "Please write a history of Warrensburg, as you have known it."  Not at the time being conscious of the task assumed, my reply was: "It shall be done." Upon careful thought it came to me that acquaintance with the town had ever been ever since it was twenty-six years old, fully sixty-one years, for the town now, in 1924, is eighty-eight years of age, and its entire history should be written if possible.
Minute details, tho often quite interesting, would involve much space.  My care shall be to give as full statements of events as can well be done, using the fewest words giving clear meaning.  It would be a great pleasure to give the names of those who have taken a deep interest in the prosperity of the town, but if the name of the reader other name of a friend of the reader is not here, rest assured it is because of limited spaced.  However, the purpose is, as possible, to mention the names o those taking part in the initial steps in the building up fall institutions for the good of community, but more than that, will usually be out of the question.  Horace Greeley, of his own volition, once wrote, “What I know about Farming”.  If this this effort fails to give good insight of and about Warrensburg, the task should not be taken up by me.  The word “town” and “city” care used without reference to whether Warrensburg be town or city at the time spoken of.  Thanks to Miss Lizzie F. Grover for the use of her ably written article: “Sketch of the Early Schools”, and to Dr. A. C. Griggs, who assisted me in comparing dates.  Dr. Griggs has lived in Warrensburg just one month less that I have.  William E. Crissey

The City of Warrensburg 
IN THE WILDWOOD The land now occupied by the City of Warrensburg was pri-marily of the hunting grounds of the Osage Indians and being of the lands drained by the Mississippi River was claimed by France under the discoveries of LaSalle. Under the "Louisiana Purchase" the French claims passed to the United States. Spain al-so made some claim, settled by treaty. Until November, 1808, the United States admitted the rights of the Osages. Some distance west of Johnson county, an imag-inary line was drawn north and south from the Missouri River to the Arkansas River and in November, 1808, the United States purchased from the Indians all their rights in the territory east of that line to the Mississippi River—a vast tract—for a cash pay-ment of $1200, and a yearly trade payment of $1500. The foregoing was obtained from one source. In Lucien Cqrr's History of Missouri-1888—it is said in substance that the United States Government appointed Meriwether Lewis of Lewis and Clark fame, Governor of the Territory and authorized him to negotiate a treaty with the Indians for the land. Governor Lewis appointed Pierre Chouteau to make the contract or treaty. Chouteau concluded the treaty in 1808 with the Osages. The boundary agreed upon was "Beginning at Fort Clark, a post on the Missouri River, thirty-five miles below the mouth of the Kansas (Kaw) River. "Extend due south to the Arkansas, and down the same to the Mississippi." All east of this line, about forty-seven million acres, was ceded to the United States. The money for the first navment was ready in 1810. Governor Lewis had died and Gov-ernor Howard had been appointed. He notified the Osages to come to St. Louis and-get the money. About forty chiefs and braves went to St. Louis, not to get the money, but to Protest against the sale, telling the Governor that the whites had made the chiefs and braves who sold the land, drunk and the sale was void and for him to keep the money, that they wanted the land. Howard said "Possibly there was something wrong in the sale, but the Great Father did not compel them to sell, the sale had been made and they should abide by it." Nothing further seems to have been done along this line, altho later the Government had other dealings with the Osages, about other matters. 
JOHNSON COUNTY. Congress made Missouri a separate Territory in 1812 and a State in 1820. President Monroe signed the proclamation declar-ing it a state on August 10. 1821. Lafayette county, about thirty-three miles wide east and west, extending from Missouri River on the north to the Osage River on the south, was organized by the Legislature, soon after, and on December 13, 1834, Johnson county was carved out of it by the same power. 
WARRENSBURG As Warrensburg was to become the Johnson County Capital, a few things done before that event should be told here. The first court in the county was held May 5, 1835, under a tree in a field northeast of the Town of Columbus, and on that day the County Court ordered that the temporary seat of justice for Johnson County be held at the house of Rachel Houx. This was near Columbus, the former home of Nicholas Houx, deceased, and she the doweress of the estate. The courts were held there until the August term, 1836, when they were ordered removed to Warrensburg and for a time were held in the home of Henry Colbern—on the east side of Main street, going towards the Cemetery—since destroyed. Under that tree, on the 5th day of May, 1815, John H. Townsend was made clerk of the court, and his bond $2000 filed for record on same day, was the first instrument filed in the Recorder's office of Johnson County, Mo. The first deed was dated and filed for record on the 8th day of May, 1835, conveying from Solomon Cox to Jeremiah Gregg, the west half of the southwest quarter of section seven, township forty-five, range twenty-six, seventy-seven and eighty-two hundredths acres. These were county affairs. The following is part of a statement made to me in March, 1889, by Harvey Harrison who was county judge for some years. "My wife and I came to Johnson County, Missouri, in the early spring of 1831. There were at the time but about fifteen heads of families in it. At that time the country in its native wildness was sublimely beautiful. "One fall soon after we came, on horseback I left my home, in the northwest part, to see my neighbors ; came south, crossed Blackwater above the mouth of Post Oak creek and followed the west bank of the last named. crossed it at the old ford near Joe Wade's house (long since gone), going thence east to the top of the ground, later Colbern's Cemetery. Here I halted, looking to-wards the southeast directly over and where the City of Warrens-burg now is. There were no buildings of any kind, nothing but a thin growth of scattering black jacks and scrubby oaks, growing up thru the grass. I then rode southeast and east about where Gay street now is until I arrived at a point not more than fifty feet from where Mrs. L. D. Grover's house now stands, there I struck what was known as the Bee Hunter's trail. (See Old In-dian Trail on which this was located). It ran nearly north and south, was a wagon road made by hunting parties who came from points along the Missouri River and went south to Grand River to hunt. This trail followed a sort of back bone running nearly north and south thru the county. The old State Road was nearly on the line of this old trail. "Martin Warren, Sr., built the first house in or near Warrensburg. It was of logs at Grover's place. Benjamin W. Grover bought it of Warren in 1845, and his family lived in that log house until eighteen or twenty years ago. "Before Warrensburg could be platted John Evans and James S. Raynols built a round pole cabin on the ground north of Gay street where Joseph E. Lightner now lives. (Now used as tour-ists' camping ground.) This in 1835, was built there because they could not get a lot in town as it had not been surveyed nor platted. They sold goods there, keeping a small stock of dry goods, grocer-ies, etc. My memory is that they later built at the northeast cor-ner of Main and Gay streets the first store in the corporate lim-its." The City of Warrensburg, of about five thousand population, the county seat of Johnson county, Missouri, is pleasantly located among the hills near Post Oak Creek, on the Missouri Pacific Rail-way, sixty-five miles southeast of Kansas City, Mo., and two hun-dred and seventeen miles from St. Louis, Mo. The city is not remarkable for its manufacturies or its mercantile abilities, altho the Vitt-Mayes Overall Manufacturing Com-pany, wherein good overalls are made, and the Roseland Farm and Manufacturing Company, where meats are cured in winter and ice made in summer, are here. Jesse J. Culp manufactures a swine remedy, and bottled pop is also made on the north side of Pine street, and a very good wholesale grocery is here. A sub-division of Henry Ford's establishment is here, too. But the principal delight of our city is the State Normal College, the buildings of which cost not less than one million dollars. It and its faculty are especially well equipped for the work in hand. SELECTION OF COUNTY SEAT Many years ago some one told me a vote of the county people decided the location of the County Capital. Thus far a careful search has revealed' no record of it, nor of the appointment of the selecting committee hereinafter named. Judge Harvey Harrison, a long time member of the county court, told me the committee appointed selected the ground for the seat of Justice near Mt. Moriah Church, some miles northwest of Warrensburg, and Shanghai (Cornelia) people said "Too far from the county center." The final selection was as follows: In the Circuit Court of Johnson County, Mo. Book A, Page 17. Date April 2, 1836. John F. Ryland, Judge. Following record : The Commissioners, Daniel McDowell, Daniel M. Boone and Henderson Young report as the commissioners to select the Seat of Justice for the County of Johnson, accompanied by deeds from Daniel McDowell and wife and Thomas Mulkey and wife for the land selected as a site therefor to the County of Johnson, and to the inhabitants thereof, "which said deeds the court, upon inspection doth approve as good and sufficient to convey the land to the county, and its inhabitants. All of which is ordered to be certified to the County Court." 
WARRENSBURG NAMED In the County Court of Johnson County, Missouri, Old Record, Page 47. May term, May 9, 1836. The following record: "On motion of James D. Warren, Clerk of the Court, who this day certified to the court the approval of the Judge of the Circuit Court for the County of Johnson of his having examined' the return of Henderson Young, Daniel McDowell and Daniel M. Boone, Commissioners appointed to select a suitable place for permanent seat of Justice for the County of Johnson "and we do approve of the same." "It is therefore ordered that James Carmichael be and he is appointed Commissioner to attend to and lay out a town on the lands designated for the County Seat of said County and that the same be laid out in streets, alleys and lots in such manner as the court may direct and make deeds conveying all interest of Johnson coun-ty to the purchaser. He to give bond in the sum of $2000.00 and he is authorized to employ a competent person to lay out the streets, alleys and town lots. He is to offer said lots at public sale on June 21, 1836. "And it is ordered that the above town shall be called and known by the name of WARRENSBURG." There was no reason given for the name, Warensburg. At the time James D. Warren was clerk of both courts, County and Circuit, and Martin Warren, his brother, his bondsman. The lat-ter owned a large tract of land half a mile east, none nearer. The two deeds are recorded in Book B, Page 11, by Mulkey and wife, dated February 28, 1836, filed December 13, 1836, for the west fifteen acres of the north forty-five acres of the east half of the southeast quarter of section twenty-three, and Book B, Page 214, by Daniel McDowell and wife, dated April 2, 1836, filed December 16, 1E36, for eighty acres, the west half of the south-east quarter of section twenty-three, all in township forty-six, in range twenty-six. 
THE TOWN PLAT. Carmichael did not forthwith have the survey and plat made, and in Old County Record of October 4, 1836, is the following, which is probably as intended by the last order : The Clerk of this Court is directed to call on the Surveyor to establish the corners of the town tract of Warrensburg, and to plant corners at the corner of the lots where they are commenced to be numbered, "and that he make a plat of said town." Car-michael's commission to sell was not revoked, and was evidently still in force. George Tibbs, County Surveyor, platted the town on November 12, 1836, and it was filed for record February 4, 1837; see County Record C, Page 1. There were sixty-four lots. In 1840. John Stirling, County Surveyor, platted and added twenty-two lots and the cemetery lot. These were around those platted by Tibbs, and the plats by Tibbs and Stirling constituted the town. The records show that Carmichael sold these lots. The first burial in the cemetery was probably of I. Davenport in 1840. 
My rambles took me several times thru Warrensburg in 1862. My permanent location here was on October 5, 1865. After the latter date, there stood on the west side of Water Street a log cabin with puncheon floor that was built in 1837, on the southwest corner of the Court House square, as a clerk's office, and often used as a court room while the (old) Court House was being built. After the Court House was finished, a brick clerk's office was built on the south side of the square, finished much later. Imperfect roof construction caused it to be destroyed by fire some years later.  
THE OLD COURT HOUSE. In Old County Court Records, Page 296. Date February 16, 1838: By order, Harvey Dyer is appointed Superintendent to draft plans of the Court House in Warrensburg, county seat of Johnson County, and submit plans to the court at the next term. Old Record, Page 300. Date, March 13, 1838. Ordered to let the brick work to be done in ten months and carpenter work to be done in twelve months. "Not to cost to exceed $1600.00". "To be forty feet square." Old Record, Page 345. Date, November 16, 1838. Harvey Dyer reports a building forty-four feet by thirty-six feet. "To cost $2500.00"—evidently suggesting inside work—to be finished by January 1, 1840. The house was not finished until about 1842. The exact cost of the entire completed structure is hard to find. The walls are of brick, the first story 24 inches and the second story 18 inches thick. 


The old Court House, its glory gone, 
Yields not to gloom nor swift decay, Courageously it still holds on And renders service every day. 
Content, it stands upon its hill, 
By Court deserted yet not by man, 
Beneath its roof it shelters still The home, 
where order first began. 
Once in its walls was heard the tongue Of eloquent impassioned plea, 
Here tears were shed and hearts were wrung By olden judges' stern decree. 
Strange, that of these wondrous pleas 
And decisions of judicial sense 
All have perished with their fees 
Save the story of a dog's defense. 
WARRENSBURG. Warrensburg was a village until November 25, 1855, when the State Legislature incorporated it a town. On the first Monday in April, 1856, John Foushee was elected Mayor with William H. Anderson, Dr. William Calhoun, Alexander Marr and James M. Bratton, Councilmen. Their first meeting was on April 9, 1856. Years later it was made a city of the fourth class and later still a city of the third class. The mayors names are given. Names of other city officers are not given, there being too many. The Mayors: John Foushee, Daniel Rentch, M. C. Goodlett, D. W. Reed, Platt B. Walker, G. W. Campbell, W. L. Upton, D. W. Reed (second time), G. Will Houts, G. N. Elliott, George Ryan, R. Baldwin, W. O. Ming, H. S. Spore, B. E. Lemmon, J. H. Smith, Joseph Brown, George Stepper, W. L. Hedges, H. F. Clark. A. M. Geer, E. N. Johnson, J. D. Eads, G. R. Hunt, Theo Youngs, C. E. Clark, J. H. Wilson, George W. Hout, W. D. Faulkner, J. P. Ozias, C. D„ Middleton. C. A. Harrison, W. J. Mayes, P. D. Fitch, W. C McDonald and Dr. 0. B. Hall. Judge Harrison also said a hotel or tavern was next built at the place where D. R. Smith's family (until recently) lived. At the date of making the foregoing statement to me, Judge Harrison was about 83 ye9rs of age. He was born in 1806. The first piano in the City of Warrensburg was of the square variety and was owned, in 1865, by Dr. W. D. Pinkston, living on the east side of Main street. The first lawn mower was the property of James M. Ward and with muscular effort he kept the grass down around Ward's brick house, which then stood where R. L. Campbell's house now is on the north side of East Market street. 
AN OLD INDIAN TRAIL This trail traversed Johnson county before the days of LaSalle. No one knows how far back in the ages the Indians started it. As far as Warrensburg is concerned, it came from the angling bit of road along the west side of the W. L. and P. A. Jones farm, southeast of town, thence thru lands, where fields now are, to about where Maguire street, going south, leaves the city, thence northerly thru the city to a point near the Grover dwelling, end on northward to the south line of section thirteen, township forty-six, range twenty-six, and following the crooked road along the west side of the old J. M. Shepherd place, now owned by T. J. Trapp, and north on the Lexington road. As soon as, or before, this was a state, before government surveys came, this trail was made the Lexington State Road from Lexington to Warsaw on the Osage river. 
STREETS in 1865, Holden street, north from Gay street, was rough and hilly, not open for vehicles. Most of the trees had been cut off but stumps and brush prevented travel, except by a foot path. Vehicles went west to Main street, thence north and east on the Lexington road by J. M. Shepherd's house. In a year or two that part of Holden street was made barely passable, for teams, and in 1920, at much cost, it became a paved street. In 1869-70 Holden street from Gay street south to Culton street was cut down to the present grade, five or six feet being the cut in front of the Masonic Temple site. This was about the time R. Baldwin was mayor and John W. Brown, H. F. Clark and others councilmen. Much other good initial work was done about that time. In 1900 the east part of west Pine and Holden from the railroad to the Court House square were brick paved. About 18— Gay street from Cross street to the Railway spur and Broad street from Holden to Maguire street were macadamized, and about nine years ago Gay street was brick paved. Many years since, in 1900, the east part of west Pine, and Holden street north to the court house square were brick paved, and later Holden street north to Gay and Holden from Railway to Gay resurfaced in 1923. In 1911, Market street from Holden to Mitchell street was brick paved. Since then, some streets with brick, oth-ers with macadam have been paved until ten or twelve miles of paved streets are now in the city. 
SIDEWALKS In 1865, and long after, sidewalks mostly of planks were bad. Now, generally, they are of brick or granolithic. Ordinances have been passed prohibiting plank walks, however, a few remnants of such antiquities remain in neglected parts of the older city. In 1865-66 tree stumps were in the west end of East Market street. 
PUBLIC ROADS. Approaches to the city at some points are not the best, but are gradually improving. Some suggest that the cities should perfect and maintain their approaches. For the cities to get trade, this is good ; however, it is a fact that the Missouri cities pay the largest proportional share of road and bridge taxes thru ordinary taxation. Again, good roads should interest both city and country, ease of travel being for both. Here the city and county joined to make turnpike ways north of Blackwater river and west of Post Oak creek. In recent years from Kansas City to St. Louis, the Capital and Southern Highways, cross state roads, have been put on the map. Both run thru Warrensburg. The north and south road from St. Joe thru Lexington, with a fine bridge there over the Missouri river, thence south thru Warrensburg and Clinton to Springfield, Mo., is well under way. In 19— the state established another cross state road straight east and west from Kansas City to St. Louis which is to be hard-surfaced with hard-surfaced spurs south to Warrensburg and north to the Lexington bridge. Often the question is asked why the angle in the street; of the east part of the city. Col. Benjamin W. Grover bought these lands in 1845 of Martin Warren who had built a pretentious log house, of four rooms and a kitchen house, near the northeast corner of what is now Gay and Miller streets. There was also a fine elm tree still nearer Gay, standing in Miller street. Miss Lizzie Grover says the tree was of no importance, but the house was, and as it stood in the way or if run due east, the angle was made that the house might remain intact, which it did until torn down, and the frame took its place a little further away. The Bell Telephone came many years ago. The home Telephone is of more recent date and has absorbed the Bell phone. Electric lights came about 1880; before that, gas makeshifts and coal oil held the field' and all was dark. Defects exist in both phones and lights but they are improving—the rates are high. 
Under an ordinance of the City in 1895, the present system of street numbers was established by the writer hereof. West Pine Street was first but sixty feet wide. About 1870 it was made seventy feet wide as far west as Washington avenue, by contributions of ten feet by owners of the lots on the north side. The city has a small library. The College has a very good and growing reference library. 
In the old court house Senator Vest's famous eulogy of the dog was uttered and tho the house is now privately owned as a dwelling, the Historical Society of Missouri has placed a tablet at the right side of the front door stating the fact. The tablet is twelve inches wide up and down, and eighteen inches long horizontally, and the wording as follows: "Within these walls on September 23, 1870, Senator George Graham Vest delivered his famous eulogy on the dog. He died August 14, 1904, and was buried in Bellfontaine Cemetery, St. Louis." In 1870 there were no stenographers here and it is said that Col. Thomas T. Crittenden, later Governor of Missouri, took down the eulogy recorded below. Senator Vest had the distinction of having been Senator of the Southern Confederacy and afterwards of the United States of America. The writer considers the eulogy one of the finest contributions to our literature. Here is the story and the eulogy: In the southwest part of the county, Lon Hornsby killed Dog Drum, owned by Charles Burden, who brought suit for damages. The suit was in the courts for many months, decided first for one and then the other. The costs were great; the attorneys, all good ones, were rather expensive. Final trial was had in the Court House in 1870. Vest, one of the Plaintiff's attorneys. appeared to pay no attention to the progress of the suit. but in pleasant voice made the closing argument for the plaintiff. 
"Gentlemen of the Jury:—The best friend a man has in the world may turn against him and become his enemy. His son or daughter that he has reared with loving care may prove ungrateful. Those who are nearest and dearest to us, those whom we trust with our happiness and our good name may become traitors to their faith. The money a man has, he may lose; it flies away from him perhaps when most. "A man's reputation faced in a moment of ill-considered action. The people who prone to fall on their knees to do us honor when success is with) us may be the first to throw the stone of malice when failure settles its cloud upon our heads.
“The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous is his dog. A man’s dog stands by him in prosperity and in poverty, in health and in sickness. He will sleep on the cold ground where the wintry winds blow and the snow drives fiercely, if only he may be near his master’s side. He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer. He will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounters with the roughness of the world. He guards the sleep of his pauper master as if he were a prince. When all other friends desert, he remains. When riches take wings and reputation falls to pieces, he is as constant in his love as the sun in its journey thru the heavens.
“If fortune drives the master forth an outcast in the world, friendless and homeless, the faithful dog asks no higher privilege than that of accompanying him. to guard him against danger. to fight against his enemies, and when the last scene of all comes and death takes his master in its embrace and his body is laid away in the cold ground, no matter if all friends pursue their way. there by the grave side will the noble dog be found, his head between his paws, his eyes sad but open in alert watchfulness, faithful and true, even in death."
When Vest closed there were few present whose eyes were dry, There was no further argument, the jury at once returned a verdict for the plaintiff.  
Few be living who remember the incidents of antebellum days here when the old Court House was the center of many political activities. It was the custom in all country towns in Missouri to plat them with a court house square in the center. Warrensburg followed the rule. The court house was built on the square, a plank fence around the square, outside of the fence a plank walk, and outside of the Walk, all around, a row of posts connected by chains to which horses could be hitched, 0n big days these places were crowded to excess. All days of political gatherings were practically holidays for those attending. Real estate and slaves were frequently sold as advertised. 
Old Courthouse, Johnson County, Missouri - Warrensburg

There was a stairway from the 
southeast corner of the court houes to the top of what is now a first story bay window where under the door is the second story was a large platform Where many slaves were sold under the hammer. The bidders usually stood on the ground south of the building.
W. O. Davis, present owner of the building, tells that a few years ago, an old negro from another place came to see the premises and that door from which, when young, he was sold.
In 1873 the city bought the ground on the west side of Holden street and gave it to the county for the present court house site. A few citizens of New Town built a frame house on it and gave it for Court House use. Many attempts were made to get the county people to vote bonds for a permanent building. In 1894 a vote was obtained to build one at a cost of not more than fifty thousand dollars, to be paid by direct tax for three years.
Before the election on November 23, 1894, one hundred and nine, many of them the strongest people of the city, guaranteed that it should cost no more than $50,000. My memory is that it cost $50,895.00. The excess was paid by those who gave the guarantee.´The first court was held in the new building on February 1, 1898, on change of venue from Pettis County Circuit Court. Billy Henshaw was clerk of our circuit court, and on my suggestion, made a record of the event. The house is said to be small, It has now been used twenty- five years and may easily do for twenty—five years more.

Some amusing stories of early Warrensburg life are told by different persons, who vouched for the facts, but for obvious reasons the names are not given.
Many were acquainted with the genial, friendly Mel P. Moody, son of William B. and Nancy J. (Anderson) Moody Mel came into existence about 1855. He said he chose Warrensburg as a
good place to be born in. From first acquaintance, a warm friendship, never broken, sprang up between him and my family. A volume of his poems exists. He was well informed, a wit, could see the humor in any thing. Not long before his death, he published a newspaper in the city. Below are two stories as told to me by
A girl living north of town had three beaux, equally acceptable, two living outside of and one in town. She had agreed to marry the two country swains, setting the same day and same
place, Collins Hotel, Warrensburg, for the ceremony. Before the day set, about six inches of snow had fallen. On that morning one of the men with team and buggy drove to her house and
brought her to the hotel, put her in the sitting room, hung his Prince Albert on a chair in the hall and went to the wash room. The parson was there to perform the ceremony. While he was in the wash room, the second swain, who had been to the girl‘s home to get her, came to the hotel, and asked Collins if No. 1 were there.
Collins said “Yes, and that’s his coat." No. 2 took the coat by the tails and ripped‘ it up the back to the collar, At that moment No. 1 came out of the wash room, saw what had been done, and chasing No. 2 overtook him about one—fourth mile north on Main street, opposite the Colbern house, where they fought. In the meantime, the City Lover, No. 3, came on the scene, found the girl and they were married by the preacher No. 1 had employed.
Another by Mel Moody:
Uncle Billy Stephenson was the first editor or a newspaper of any sort in Warrensburg. He issued four or five copies weekly of “The Warrensburg Times," all in script, and passed from hand to hand. He was an artist and had comical illustrations, some of 
THE MOODY DWELLING, 0n North Main Street, In What is New Old Town, Warrensburg, MO

them a bit hard on those he did not like. He had an old time fid
dle. He knew no sacred music, had no such ideas. yet was often called upon for various occasions, joyous or otherwise. One time in a Sunday School procession, he was asked to join and play some thing appropriate. He played “Turkey in The Straw” which he thought was entirely proper. 
Another time a traveling evangelist, not well acquainted him, asked him to play something befitting, after the sermon.  The sermon was long, about the raising of Lazarus. Uncle Billy amazed the entire crowd by playing a hilarious song of that time beginning: “Come, rise up, William Riley, and go along with me, the boat is on the river and we are bound for Tennessee ” 
Judge R. N. Warnick, of the Probate Court, told this; but would give no names, “because the men have too many descendants around here.”
A Justice of the Peace, a Constable and a mere citizen, together got on a “whirl” one night and before morning were so full they had to get to a room in the court house and “sleep it 0ff.” The next morning the justice issued a warrant and had the Constable arrest the mere citizen and arraigned and fined him for being drunk the night before.
Joe Wade made the brick in the old Court House, he had a brick kiln near Post Oak Ford, a little north of the bridge. Joe had a limited vocabulary all his own, Three words are recalled, “Jiggeramus,” “Forkinize” and “Consquintillate.” His use of the first made it a noun and of the other two, verbs. He said when Methusalah was five hundred years old, the Lord told him to build himself a house, and when Thusy found he had but four hundred years more to live, he said it was not worth while.
At the time of the War, the town was rather compactly built on the high ground of Old Town. Many of the antebellum people who “stayed thru” had a continually terrified life and were glad to believe such troubles were of the past when the war closed. Persons from other states came here ostensibly to make their homes. Most of them, with speculative intentions hoping to improve or make their fortunes, failing in either, intending to move on until some place glittering with gold would be reached. Many, like floating debris of an overflowing river thrown high and dry on the shore. with nothing left to carry them further, collapsed sullenly in the place with no ambition to do more than to eke out an 'existence as best they could. Some came with an exalted idea of their worth socially and otherwise to those who were here and a fervid ambition to succeed in any laudable enterprise presenting itself, some came hoping for political advancement, others came caring little for the
kind of employment, provided money could easily be made thereby. The worst ones were those who came to get money honestly if so be, but caring naught for processes whereby to obtain it. Of those already here there were plenty of all the classes named with all the ambitions and desires of them all. Remember the town was in its swaddling clothes, twenty-nine years old in 1865
Those here before that time and those who came after were practically adventurers with all the diverse theories, characteristics, plans and lack of plans heretofore named and with them were the young of the separate households who were to succeed to the interests of their ancestors, grow up, choose occupations, fall in love, form other households and perform all the acts incident to citified communities. If there can be told here some incidents relating to the people of this dear old city, anything that one may be glad to read, anything older residents may enjoy with a smile or ponder over

to be continued, work in progress

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