History

My journey into writing local history was initiated over thirty years ago by a dear friend and co-worker, Sergeant Gerald Groves. He and his wife Charlotte had embarked on a project that would span many years, writing a history of any community in Howell County that once had a post office. Gerald...
The previous article, “Wrong Turn at Pismo Beach,” ended with losing my merchant seaman’s license on the beach in Miami, Florida, when I was supposed to be in Houston, Texas.  To recap, in 1967, the summer after my sophomore year at Mizzou, my stepfather had arranged for me to acquire a...
Since its creation in 1857, Howell County has depended on agricultural products to sustain its populace and economy. Farming can be a struggle in our part of the Ozarks. Much of the county is rocky with thin topsoil, and the weather is often inconsistent and severe. But this marginality has...
In the 1950s, my brother and I saw a Looney Tunes cartoon on TV featuring Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd. In the video, Elmer, wielding his trusty (“twusty,” that is) double-barreled shotgun, chased the rascally rabbit until Bugs escaped by jumping down into his rabbit hole.  Bugs began burrowing...
One hundred years ago, the actions of a private company could have changed the face of our part of the Ozarks. Following large-scale timber harvesting made possible by the railroad's arrival in Howell County in 1882, additional rail lines were added to get to more trees. For another decade, the...
For several decades I've been in the habit of noting and attempting to preserve the earliest accounts of settlement in our county. I recently ran across a short letter written to the West Plains Journal in February 1899 by James A. King. Entitled "From an Old Settler," the writer recalled, "My...
public domain
Author Thomas Wolfe claimed you can’t go home again, and singer-songwriter Steve Earle crooning “Hometown Blues” wishes he had never returned home, because none of his old friends hung around there anymore. Well, that wasn’t my experience retuning to Willow Springs on Memorial Weekend for the...
On a trip to Van Buren last week, I noticed some parts of the old Current River Railway trackbed still visible from the highway, starting at Willow Springs. I often walk the old bed east of Willow Springs and admire the rockwork and pilings used to build trestles to cross the Eleven Point River....
photo credit: State of Missouri - Official Manual of the State of Missouri
Part 1 focused on the conflict that existed in the Missouri Senate in 1973 stemming from provisions of the Missouri Constitution. On one hand, the Constitution provided that the lieutenant governor was the presiding officer of the senate, but on the other, granted the senate rule-making authority...
www.senate.mo.gov
“Fulltime” Phelps and the Missouri Senate Showdown- Part 1 One of the more interesting jobs I’ve ever had, and certainly one of the most educational, was working for the Missouri Senate in 1973, as the reading clerk. That year, the upper house of the Missouri General Assembly provided political...

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Howell County News

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

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