History

At the Memorial Weekend alumni barbeque in Willow Springs, I was enormously grateful for the numerous positive comments I received about this column. The curiosity about my other writing efforts, however—particularly the children’s books—surprised me. How long have you been writing? How did you...
Associated with much of the early history and development of Howell County, the surname Bond isn't as well known as some others of the period. In fact, the Bond name to me more elicits a location in West Plains rather than a person. Some important historical events happened in the Bond Block,...
Photo courtesy of Reda Brooks Foster.
Thornton Wilder’s 1938 Pulitzer-winning stage play, Our Town, played out this past Memorial Weekend, as old friends gathered in Willow Springs to reminisce and celebrate. With apologies to revered WSHS English teacher, Mrs. Jessie Munford, I’ll use passive voice and a cliché and say, “Fun was had...
In the spring of 1958, the Montier School bell rang for the last time, when the school that had existed for decades was absorbed into the Birch Tree system. By that year, the school only served six grades. Seventh- and eighth-grade classes had merged the previous year. My brother’s class was the...
He arrived in Howell County in October 1859, at the age of six. Howell County itself was only two years old. In the last of his seventy-plus years in the county, James Nelson Starkey remembered and described the fledgling town of West Plains. Those accounts give us a glimpse of what life was like...
In the late 1950s when I lived in Montier, the folks who attended church, generally went to one of the two churches located in Montier—the Methodist Church, across from the cemetery, or the Church of God of Prophecy, on Highway 60, a couple hundred yards west of Welsh’s Montier Grocery.  The...
The founding of the Howell County community of Brandsville is attributed to wealthy Chicago, Illinois brewer Michael Brand. Less than a year after the railroad arrived in Howell County, Brand teamed up with the president of the Kansas City, Fort Scott, and Memphis Railroad to plat the town on...
For three years, I had a college roommate, Archie. His schemes were legion, and his persuasive talents commensurate. He was a combination of Tom Sawyer, who could have me whitewashing a proverbial fence, and Mr. Haney, the character on the TV show “Green Acres,” who was always trying to involve...
A rather bizarre Willow Springs Republican newspaper article dated July 19, 1923, circulated on Facebook recently. Before, I had seen the story but was reticent to write about it without further research. Here as in other rural parts of Missouri, children whose parents died or could not take care...
The way I remember it, names were omitted to protect the innocent (me) in case I remembered something wrong. Loving horses the way I did, I was intrigued, several years ago, to see a young man often riding his large red stallion through Willow Springs. One day he rode up to my house to admire...

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Howell County News

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

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