History

We are continuing our story of West Plains' "old town spring," later known as Spring Park, sold to the Federal Government in 1914 to build a new post office but abandoned. The lot soon lay fallow, and lack of maintenance led to the spring escaping its tile confinement, forming a water pool, or as...
If you attended school in Willow Springs in the 1950s and 1960s, chances are you experienced Fred Thomas in some fashion. In my mind’s eye, I still see him as the WSHS principal, a sixty-something man with mostly gray hair, never perfectly combed unless he was sporting a flattop, wearing a...
The development of communities has always interested me. Towns in this area grew due to their location along vital roadways, or perhaps from selection as a county seat. Jobs were a significant attraction; trade areas served by businesses and the railroad's arrival were factors. Towns provided...
With the Masters golf tournament just around the corner, and my last article about the transition of women’s high school sports still in the back of my mind, I thought of golf professional Jo D. Duncan Armstrong. You haven’t heard of her? Just keep reading.   In the 1960s, WSHS had a boy’s...
My first inclination was to privately record all this and file away my memories of a co-worker who was a lifelong friend and had the most significant influence on my thirty-three-year career in the Missouri State Highway Patrol. However, I decided this is a story that needs to be shared.  ...
In several previous articles, I focused on men’s sports, mostly football and basketball, but a few recent events, including a federal executive order, shifted my thoughts to the progress that has been made in women’s sports.  The Willow Springs school song has the words “. . . playing...
In the previous article, I mentioned connections, in various “degrees of separation,” between the old Willow Springs gymnasium and high-scoring basketball players in the Ozarks. One example was Richard Beavers (WSHS 1964) coaching at Winona, the same school where Willow Coach Johnny Ledgerwood...
Her death prompted newspaper coverage in major cities and small towns across the country. The St. Louis Post Dispatch printed a full-page tribute to her life. An immigrant to this country, on arrival, she spoke no English but quickly learned the language of her new nation. One hundred years after...
The old WSHS gymnasium has always reminded me of a swimming pool, a natatorium of the 1930s, set below street level and surrounded above by concrete bleachers with backless, slatted seats. Reprising the lines of the school song, it was “a place of many blessed memories.”   With the smell of...
One hundred years ago this week, the Thursday, January 27, 1921, edition of the West Plains Journal-Gazette newspaper, on its front page and leading column, reported the: "Largest Funeral in West Plains. One Thousand People Witness Soldier Heroes' Burial." The headline also announced, "Business...

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Howell County News

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

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