History

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...
I remember this conversation as if it were yesterday, and it happened sometime in 1975 when I worked for a law firm in St. Louis. One Saturday morning, I got a phone call at home from an office secretary, a woman who was assigned to the senior partner of the firm. The partner, a lawyer nearing...
If you have spent much time in downtown West Plains, you may not know him by name but likely by deed. An iconic building he built in 1912, still in use, hasn't changed much in appearance since it was made. For much of the building's existence, it served as the home of his beloved Howell County...
Those of us old enough to remember the song “School Days,” with the words “readin’ and ritin’ and ‘rithmatic,” will recall the lyrics also include “hickory stick,” which is a metaphor for classroom corporal punishment. Principals had paddles, with and without holes. My Catholic friends tell tales...
An article published in the August 22, 1918 edition of the West Plains Gazette called attention to what was apparent to Howell county residents; the immense pine forests were gone. Yellow short-leaf pine is the only pine species native to Missouri. It grows well all over the county but had self-...
Born in 1879, George Oliver Rothwell’s obituary in 1969 indicated he had been a lifelong resident of Willow Springs, but he lived in other areas of Howell County, including Lost Camp and Hutton Valley. I only knew him as Pappy. That’s what my stepfather and mother called him, and I did, too. In...
A 1904 book titled "The State of Missouri, an Autobiography," produced on the occasion of the World's Fair in St. Louis, extolled the value of various farm products in the state. Dairying was high on the list because, as the book put it, "Missouri is a dairy State. Its climate, soil, situation...
Following the Battle of West Plains, the afternoon of February 19, 1862, a thorough search of the town was conducted by Union troops. Any man of military age was arrested unless he could prove his loyalty to the Union cause. West Plains had been in rebel hands since the war began, and Union...
In 2015, my WSHS class celebrated its 50-year anniversary. At the annual alumni banquet, the alumni association presented scholarship awards to recent graduates. A member of our class gave the keynote speech and observed that at our commencement, the fifty-year class would have graduated in 1915...
In the 1990s I became a Special Assistant United States Attorney, and the Justice Department sent me for special litigation training in various cities across the country. Two of the trips were to the DOJ Advocacy Center in Columbia, South Carolina. After classes were finished each day, I would...

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Howell County News

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

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