An Apology     

At the end of my posting about the “1864 Union Army Expeditions from Southeast Missouri into Arkansas,” I meant to include my main source. However, I had help from a distraction called life and a spotted memory that sometimes plays games on me. For Christmas I got a tee-shirt that had “Cleverly Disguised as a Responsible Adult” on it.  Not long-a-go I spent about three minutes looking for a sock I had on. This in part may explain my typos, misspelling, wrong word usage like there for their, and weird sentence formation.  I leaned heavily, but did not copy, on the research and outline of the 2008 Honors Thesis to the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences of the University Of Arkansas by Lonnie R. Strange, “The Civil Rand and Reconstruction in Mississippi County, Arkansas: The Story of Sans Souci Plantation,” pages 46-52.

 

 “Grand Old Iron State

In the 1896 edition of the History of Dunklin County Missouri, 1845-1985, by Mary F. Smyth-Davis, page 140-141, . . .”It is understood that Maiden, as one of the youngest towns in one of the youngest counties in the “Grand Old Iron State,” Deserves the honor to be known as the Queen City of Dunklin County.”

Dan Whittle Foreign War Correspondent

In 1993 Dan Whittle, author of Canalou, People, Culture, Bootheel Town. Went to Bosnia-Herzegovina with the Tennessee Air National Guard’s 118th Airlift Wing. Along with other foreign war correspondents flew into Bosnia on a medical and food relief mission to war refugees.  As an active newspaperman, he retired in 2006.

 
 

 
 
Morehouse 1880

The Missouri State Gazetteer and Business Directory for 1879 and 1880 place the community of Little River (later became Morehouse) located on Little River in the northwest corner of New Madrid County on the St. Louis Iron Mountain and Southern Railroad. The population was 100 and had what they called a common school. Mail was received daily; U.L. Huggins was postmaster, physician, and station master. Business listed was Kerby and Malone , lumber manufacturers; E.J. Malone, general store; W.C Montgomery, hotel proprietor; Benjamin Richards, blacksmith: and M.J. Tickell, livestock  dealer.

Miller, Hunter, editor, Historical New Madrid County Mother of Southeast Missouri   A Project of the High School Department: New Madrid County Teachers Association, March 19, 1948. Reprinted in 1998 for the New Madrid Historical Museum.

River Gages on Little River

The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers at Memphis maintains river gauges on Little River. Some of these measure the height of the river for flood control and other just record the water flow for historical records.   Seven of the twenty forecasting station are in Missouri near Kennett at Hornersville. The Missouri gauges are manually read stations to only record historic data. The following tell the Little River Floodway Ditch, location, and record flood stage and date. Numbers on gauges are arbitrary with one gauge having no relationship to another gauge.

# 259 near Kennett  15.5    04/29/1927             # 251  near Kennett  21.8   03/11/1964 

# 066 near Kennett  21.8     03/11/1964            # 001 near Kennett  16.81  03/26/1958

# 081 near Kennett  15.11   04/21/1927            # 081 near Hornersville  45.95  01/27/1927

# 001 near Hornersville  45.1  04/25/1973        

Rivergages.com Providing River Gage Data for Rivers, Streams, and Tributaries

http://www2.mvr.usace..army.mil/WaterControl/new/layout.cfm

River Rerouted

At the south edge of the Cape Girardeau Regional Airport there are a range of small hill running north and south. This is an old shallow Mississippi River bed where until 10,000 years ago the rover turned west. During the first part of the ice ages, it flowed west past Advance, to the hills near Poplar Bluff before turning south.

During the latter part of the ice age the water broke through and flowed through Oran and Bell City locations on the eastern side of Crowley’s Ridge. A few hundred thousand years ago, a shallow slice of the Gulf of Mexico . . . Mississippi Embayment . . . came to this area. At which time the Gulf came up to mid-Arkansas.

Tour of New Madrid Seismic Zone        http://www.showme.net/-fkeller/quak/tour.htm

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Morehouse 1889

About 1889, Dr. E.J. Malone sold his saw mill and adjoining land, located where the Cairo, Arkansas, and Texas Railroad (later the Missouri Pacific that ran east and west from Sikeston) cross Little River to I. Himmelberger & Co. This was a partnership between Isaac Himmelberger and his son John Himmelberger.

The Himmelbergers had operated a saw mill at Buffington in Stoddard County. Buffington exist not only as a name place east of Gray Ridge and west of Morehouse. They moved this operation to Morehouse after the Malone purchase. It was several years before the village’s name was changed to Morehouse.

Miller, Hunter, editor, Historical New Madrid County Mother of Southeast Missouri   A Project of the High School Department: New Madrid County Teachers Association, March 19, 1948. Reprinted in 1998 for the New Madrid Historical Museum.

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Early Newspapers Cape Girardeau County

Jackson was the site of the first newspaper published in Southeast Missouri and the second published outside St. Louis. It was the Missouri Herald printed in 1819.

Cape Girardeau’s first newspaper was Whig by political philosophy. The Patriot was established in 1836. Other early news rags were the South Missouri, 1843, The Western Eagle, Democracy, and Marble City, all hitting the streets in 1866. Other early newspapers in the Cape area were The Censor, 1846, the Argus, 1869, Westliche Post 1871, the first German language weekly, The Courier , 1878, the Mississippi Valley Globe in 1875, The Cape Talk, short lived, in 1856, the Baptist Headlight in 1896, Southeast Gazette, a weekly, in 1896, and the New Era,  short lived, 1893

Name changes were frequent as in the Jackson Eagle had its name changed after four year to become Cape Girardeau’s Southern Advocate and State Journal in 1839. In 1845, it was back in Jackson published as The Jackson only to be moved back to Cape Girardeau to become the Southern Advocate in 1849. In 1850, as a Democratic paper, it was named Southern Democrat. The name was changed in 1852 to the Jeffersonian. One early newspaper that did not have a name change, even going through four owners between 1871 up to as least 1912. The Cash Book was a Democratic weekly. A German language newspaper, Deutscher Volks Freund established in 1886 was also still published in 1912.

Douglass, History of Southeast Missouri, 1912
 
 
 
Early Native Americans

In the development of Native American culture, the two periods (phases) of interest in Southeast Missouri are Pascola and Burkett (200 B.C.-100 A.D.). The Pascola phase, in the Little River and Morehouse Lowlands extended west to the Ozark Escarpment. Noted because they represents the early appearance of sand-tempered ceramic tradition in this part of Southeast Missouri. The Burkett phase in the Cairo Lowlands (east of Sikeston Ridge) introduced to the area a clay-tempered ceramic to Missouri. McNutt Prehistory of the Central Mississippi Valley

First Newspaper in Morehouse

The first newspaper published in Morehouse was the Morehouse Sun established by James L. Bailey in 1905. About 1907, it became The Hustler under Claude B. Hay with C. Harvey Burgess, editor .Douglass History of Southeast Missouri. Page 537.

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Brown’s Spur

Brown’s Spur, also known as Browns was a flagstop established about 1912 on the St. Louis Iron Mountain Railroad in Scott County west of Sikeston on old U.S. Highway 60. Founded with Mr. Brown was placed in charge of a dredge boat which was digging drainage ditch No.1 west of Morehouse (Wyhaite) sp?. Constructed as a railroad spur on a high spot to receive materials for the work. (Scott County, Missouri Place Names web site.)

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 Snags in Mississippi River

       
 In America’s steamboat era, the main danger to waterborne travel and commerce was neither fire nor explosions, but rather snags—trees that had fallen into the rivers as a result of bank erosion. The current carried them to the center of the stream, and the heavier end, that with the roots, became lodged in the riverbed with the other end pointed downstream at an angle. A snag could punch a hole in a boat’s hull, often causing it to sink. Particularly dangerous were the fallen trees that lay hidden beneath the river’s surface. Snags caused enormous losses of vessels, cargoes, and lives.

During an age when America moved mostly by water, the Corps of Engineers began removing snags and other obstructions on navigable rivers in 1824.

(St. Louis Division of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Facebook page.)

Morehouse 1880

The Missouri State Gazetteer and Business Directory for 1879 and 1880 place the community of Little River (later became Morehouse) located on Little River in the northwest corner of New Madrid County on the St. Louis Iron Mountain and Southern Railroad. The population was 100 and had what they called a common school. Mail was received daily; U.L. Huggins was postmaster, physician, and station master. Business listed was Kerby and Malone , lumber manufacturers; E.J. Malone, general store; W.C Montgomery, hotel proprietor; Benjamin Richards, blacksmith: and M.J. Tickell, livestock  dealer.

Miller, Hunter, editor, Historical New Madrid County Mother of Southeast Missouri   A Project of the High School Department: New Madrid County Teachers Association, March 19, 1948. Reprinted in 1998 for the New Madrid Historical Museum
 
    Having grown up on Little River, I have been fascinated with it. Over the past several years, as a local historian, this area has been a special interest. 

     These areas have been treated much like step-children by Jefferson City and Little Rock. They seem to believe nothing has ever happened here.  Our history has been long and varied. Hope you enjoy my trip.  

    Near Puxico is the swampy Mingo Wildlife Refuge. One hundred and fifty year ago, most of the Little River Valley appeared that way. This valley covering two million acres was part of the largest wetland in America.

    Floods frequently intimated the Valley. Between 1815 and 2011, 15 major floods covered or threatened the area.

    Timber companies came in at the end of the 19th Century to clean cut the forest. Louis Houck, a Cape Girardeau lawyer and railroad builder, envisioned a rail network that covered the wetlands.

    Little River Drainage District (LRDD) Corporation was established in 1907 by an act of the Butler County (MO) Circuit Court. 

    Between 1909 and 1928 the LRDD dug nearly 1000 miles of ditches and constructed 30 miles of levees to drain 1.2 million acres of swamp and overflow land in Southeast Missouri. More dirt was moved than in building the Panama Canal.

    One surprise I had was the number of settlements in the area before 1811-1812. Another was the water connection between the Mississippi River and the St. Francis and I had no idea that Little River had enough current to run a grist mill.

    Norman Vickers

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