. The following are from Way’s Packet Directory, 18480-1994 compiled by Frederick Way Jr. Included is the history of 5908 steamboats.

My favorite is # 3926 Mill Boy. Built in 1857 at Brownsville, PA. Owned and operated by Capt. Josiah Cornwall of Chambersburg, OH. He built her as a floating grist mill, and ran a general store plying belying between   Crown City and Gallipolis, OH. Until 1860 she was horse-powered, the steeds operating a treadmill attached to side-wheels. He added a boiler and a small side –value engine in 1860. At the outbreak of the Civil War he sold here and she was moored at Jacksonport AR. On January 31, 1864, a high wind parted her lines. She drifted against a snag, sank and later drifted another nine miles and turned bottom side up. Owned then by Mitchell and Johnson and was grinding grain for the U. S. army. Page 321-322.

Vint Shinkle (# 5580) was a sternwheeler built in 1874 at Cincinnati, OH. On august 22, 1878, up bound from Memphis to Cincinnati broke her shaft near Golconda, IL and three her wheel overboard. The Champion No. 8 towed her in in 1879 Capt. Sterling McIntyre was master when she burned at Belmont, MO Christmas day1884. P. 470.

Charles Curlin, (# 0969) a sternwheeler built at Jeffersonville, IN in 1895 as a pleasure boat for a Seth Curlin, a naturalist and taxidermist the inventor of a canvas folding decoy duck. In March1903 she sank and her passengers were taken ashore for treetops. Frank & Price owned her 1905-1906. She burned in late October, 1906 at Caruthersville. P- 81.

Chesapeake (# 0998) was a side-wheeler built at Harmar, OH in 1883. After a short stay at Jacksonville, FL, she returned to the Mississippi River in 1886 only to burn at New Madrid on March 26, 1887. P-84.

A side-wheeler built in 1850 at Cincinnati, OH, the Col. Dickinson, (#  1219) was snagged and lost at Island 18 (Cottonwood Point in Pemiscot County), on September 13, 1853. (P 103) Ten days later – Sept. 19 - the Farmer (# 2013) was lost in the same location. She was a side-wheeler built at Cincinnati in 1848. P. 163.

Frank Forest (#2123) constructed at Durand, WS in 1870 was running Memphis-Hales Point in 1873. Burned December 12, 1876, at Cottonwood Point. P 171.

Dresden (#1608) a side-wheeler built in1852 at Cincinnati was snagged and lost at New Madrid on February 15, 1855. P 133.

Fred Tron (#2147) a stern-wheeler built 1856 Madison, IN. On a trip from New Orleans she sank at Island # 10 (New Madrid) October 22, 1860.p 173.

De Soto, (1515) a side-wheeler build in 1860 at New Albany, In1861 acquired by United States Quartermaster Department. Captured by Confederates April 7, 1862. P127. The Confederates make her the gunboat General Lyon in October1862. Sold at public auction after the war she became the Alabama (#0093 P 7) on October 20, 1865. P 181.

The ster- wheeler Alabama (# 0096) built in 1912 was one of six steamboats to carry that name. In 1932 she was chartered to George Partin in Memphis for the Memphis-Caruthersville trade. Shortly thereafter she became a Quarter boat (a craft used for housing river workers). P 8.

The Gallardo (2198; P 177) was a stern-wheeler built in La Crosse, WS in 1904. Sold for the second time in 1910 to Frank Gillman of Caruthersville and rename Adeline (0067; P 6) and used as a towboat and was lost when it sank in January 1913.

A.C. Janes # (007) was built by Midwest Boat & Barge Co. in 1925.It had the capacity to carry 24 automobiles. Originally operated at Cape Girardeau before being sold. She burned in May of 1960 at Helena, AR. (P 1).

The General Scott (# 2273) was a side-wheeler built in 1847. On May 13, 1853 she burned at New Madrid. P 183.

On a personal note . . .  On July 26, 1946, at Caruthersville, a ferry boat collided with a barge. Killed, among others, were two twin brothers I did not know I had (Terry and Larry). Shortly after this I met my dad for the only time. It was not until a February 16, 2010 post on the web did is know my father’s name carried a junior at the end. http://www3.gendisaster.com/missouri/15255/

St. Francois Mountains 

The St. Francois Mountains in Southeast Missouri are a range of Precambrian igneous (heat formed) mountains rising over the Ozark Plateau.  The official name is St. Francois Mountain but often misspelled St. Francis Mountains to match the anglicized pronunciation of booth the ranger and St. Francois County.

Named for the St. Francis River, which originated in the St. Francois Mountain. Origin of the river’s name, also originally spelled “Francois” in the French way, is unknown.  Some scholars think the name was to honor St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of the Franciscan order. Yet, none of the early explorers were of the Franciscan order. Other credit the name to Jacques Marquette, a Frenchman who named the Mississippi when he explored the mouth of present day Arkansas River in1673. The spelling progressed from “Francois” to “Francis” in the early 205h century.

Volcanic and intrusive activity son 1.485 billion year ago formed this mountain range. Comparison between it and the Appalachians and the Rockies place the Appalachians started forming about 460 million years ago with the Rockies only being140 million year old. The St. Francois range was already twice as old as the Appalachians are today when they started forming.

Mountains in this range includes: Taum Sauk Mountain, Bell Mountain, Buford Mountain, Proffit Mountain, Pilot Knob, Hughes Mountain, Goggin Mountain, and Led Hill Mountain. This up lift is the center of the Lead Belt and also produces iron, barite, zinc, silver, manganese, cobalt, and nickel. Ninety percent of the lead production in the United Stated comes from the area around Fredericktown. Mining here was started in 1720 by the French.  Taum Sauk Mountain at 1,772 ft. is the highest point in Missouri. (Wikipedia; St. Francois Mountains)

Charleston Earthquake in 1895 

In 1895, a 6.7 magnitude earthquake’s epicenter was a few miles north of Charleston, opposite Cairo, Illinois and “Dogtooth Bend” on the Illinois side. No visible was left here. In Sikeston, building were shook down and the Cairo library had it roof damaged. There was no loss of life. (Tour of New Madrid Seismic Zone: http://www.showme.knet/~fkeller/quake/tour.htm)


Within a twenty-five mile circle of Bloomfield is the largest collection of plutons along the New Madrid Seismic Zone. A pluton is lava that has found its way up through the earth’s Crust because of seismic cracks. “The lava type material usually never came completely to the surface, but adds to seismic instability because it weight down the ground.” None is visible in this area. http://www.showme.knet/~fkeller/quake/tour.htm)

Navy V-12 Training Programs

The V-12 Navy College Training Program was designed to supplement the number of commissioned offices in the United States Navy during World War II. Between July 1, 1943 and June 30, 1946, more than 125,000 men were enrolled in the V-12 program on 131 colleges and university in the United States. 

Once the baccalaureate program, the next step to obtain a Navy commission to attend a U. Snivel Reserve Midshipmen’s School where future officers were required to completer the V-7 program, a four months course that included one month spent in indoctrination. Graduates then were commissioned as ensigns in the U. S. Naval Reserve with the majority entering active duty with the U. S. fleet.

Marine Corps graduates from the V-12 program reported directly to boot camp and a three-month Officer Candidate Course .With the completion of the course, participants became second lieutenants in the Marine Corps.

Southeast Missouri State Teachers College (1919-1946) took part is the Navy V-12 Training Program. {From 1946 to 1973, the institution was known as Southeast Missouri State College: In 1973 it became Southeast State University}  (V-12 NAVY College Training Program ӏ Ask.com encyclopedia      http://www.Ask.com./wike/V-12_Navy_College_Training_Program
Cape Girardeau County Streams and Rivers aka ------

Apple Creek was called Riviere a la Pomme (apple) when the early Frenchmen settled in the area.

Cape La Cruz Creek aka Cape la Croix given by Father Gravier in 1700. It is a small creek staring in Cape Girardeau County and joining the Mississippi in Scott County at Grey’s Point.

Indian Creek is a large creek flowing east in the northern part of Cape Girardeau County to the Mississippi. Called Table River, Riviere Table. Or The Devil’s Tea Table in 1797 when Cornelius Arent settled here. Table River was named from a Projection of rock resembling a tale on the southern side of the creek. This rock has been blasted away. Since 1800, the stream had been called Indian Creed for the Shawnee Indian village on it.

Moccasin Springs was a small village or boat landing on the Mississippi River north of Cape Girardeau. Called Moccasin springs because of the large number of snakes in the area. Once known as Willard’s Landing when the Willard family lived there.

Whitewater River is the largest stream in Cape Girardeau County The Indians called the river Ne Ska or Unica. The Chippewa name is Ne ska or Niske, meaning white water. Early French settlers translated the Indian name as La Riviere Blanch or L’Eau Blanche. The Spanish name was Rio Blanco.

Williams Creek was first known as Riviere Charles given by early French settler. It was Randol’s Creek on early maps then changed to Randall’s Creek before becoming William’s Creek.

Agriculture in 1880 

The six bottomland counties (Dunklin, Mississippi, New Madrid, Pemiscot, Stott, and Stoddard), all lay within the Missouri Delta, only produced 15,357 bales of cotton. Yet, this represented three-fourth of Missouri’s cotton harvest. Cotton required at least 200 frost –free day to mature. A growing season of barely 200 days placed the Missouri Delta on the northern edge of the “cotton belt”.

On the Delta’s rich soil, Missouri farmers harvested two thirds of a bale per acre. While it was possible in Southeast Missouri to raise cotton, in 1880, only 23,448 acres were planted; that was only one percent of the regions’ total acreage.

Corn acreage was a different story. The Missouri bottomland’s large corn harvest exceeded the corn crops of the Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas Deltas. Framers in the Missouri Delta planted 165,086 acres in corn that yielded 5,275, 619 bushels of corn.

The deltas of Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi were still sparsely settled frontiers. Missouri’s Bootheel had only 52, 885 residents with a population density of less than 16 people per square mile. Only 30 percent of the total acreage in Missouri, Arkansas Louisiana, and Mississippi deltas was farmland with the rest of the bottomland acreage in public or corporate hands. (John Solomon Otto, The Final Frontiers, 1880-1930: Settling the Southern Bottomlands)

Farm to Market in the 1880 Bootheel 

Farmers who lived in the Deltas of Missouri sent much of their cotton to the St. Louis market.  Crowley’s Ridge offered farmers a cry and healthy refuge from the swampy malarial bottomlands. However, the silty-loam soils of the Ridge produced only half a bale per acre of cotton while the lowlands yielded three-quarters of a bale to the acre.

Along the bottomlands of the St. Francis and Little Rivers, remote Dunklin County farmers occupying the ridge lands. Most of the land was unavailable for cultivation because of the overflow. Raising cotton on ridges and prairies, Dunklin’s farmers hauled bales of cotton to distant river landing and rail stations over rutted road for shipment to St. Louis.

It cost a Dunklin agriculturalist as much as $2.50 to carry a bale of cotton to a shipping point. Then another $2.50 cent was charged in freight charges to get it to market.

 In Stoddard County, in the center of the Missouri Delta Cotton bales were hauled to the railway for shipment to St. Louis. They paid $2.50 to reach the St. Louis market.

In the riverside counties of New Madrid, Mississippi, Pemiscot, and Scott counties for farmers that occupied front-land along the Mississippi they had a cheaper opportunity. They could ship their bales of cotton on steamboats to either the New Orleans, Memphis, or St. Louis markets for one dollar per unit. . (John Solomon Otto, The Final Frontiers, 1880-1930: Settling the Southern Bottomlands)


More S.N.I.C.K.E.R (Same Names In Cities, Kingdoms, Empires, & Regions)

From a reference book of American city names

Allenville (2) Illinois and Missouri

Arbyrd (1) Missouri

Belmont (10) California, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Wisconsin

Big Lake (4) Alaska, Minnesota, Missouri, and Texas

Bird Point (1) Missouri

Campbell (7) California, Florida, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, and Texas

Clarkton (2) Missouri and North Carolina

Cooter (1) Missouri

Cotton Plant (2) Arkansas and Missouri

Diehlstadt (1) Missouri

Dorena (1) Missouri

Fornfelt (1) Missouri

Gayoso (1) Missouri

Greenfield (10) California, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Wisconsin

Holcomb (1) Missouri

Hollywood (4) Alabama, Florida, Missouri, and South Carolina

Lilbourn (1) Missouri

Malden (4) Iowa, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Missouri

Matthews (3) Indiana, Missouri, and North Carolina (spelled Mathews (1) Louisiana)

Nesbit (1) Missouri (spelled Nesbitt (1) Texas)

Oran (1) Missouri

Possum Trot (1) Missouri

Steele (3) Alabama, Missouri, and North Dakota

Cape Girardeau County Landing, Ferries, Forges, and Mills

Crawford’s Landing was a ferry land on the Mississippi River in the Northeast part Shawnee Township north of Cape Girardeau in 1873. The Crawford family was prominent in pioneer days and run the ferry.

Hay’s Ferry also known as Neely’s Landing was at the point where a smell creek emptied into the Mississippi River north of Cape Girardeau. John Hays owned the land here in 1805 and operated a ferry know as Hay’s Ferry and Jacob Neely operate a store and ferry in 1808. A post office was established in 1886 and named, as known to river men, as Neely’s Landing. Locals referred to is a Neely’s and the school carried this name.

Moccasin Spring was a small village north of Cape Girardeau that served as a boat landing on the Mississippi River. One know as Willard’s Landing as the Willard family lived there. Later named Moccasin Springs for the numerous water moccasin living at the spring. From 1904 to 1908 a post office was active here.

Sheppard’s Landing was a ferry landing north of Cape Girardeau on the Mississippi River. In 1838 E. W. Sheppard operated a ferry there.
Green Ferry Road was a county road running from Green’s Ferry on the Mississippi Rivier to Jackson and then west to Dallas (nor Marble Hill) in Bollinger County. During pioneer times this was an important road .In 1945, it was still in use.

Green’s ferry was located on the Mississippi River. How old this ferry is no one knows. Rev. Parish Green was granted a license in 1826 “to keep a ferry at the place called Green’s old ferry.” It was known as Smith’s Ferry in 1831 when Thomas Smith operated it, and a Vancil Ferry or Vancil from 1854 to 1860. The place no long exists but the name is preserved in Green Ferry Road.

In 1797 the settlement which grew up around Lorimier’s resident (later became Cape Girardeau) was referred to Lorimount by John Gihonehy and John Randol in land petitions. In 1805 it was called Lorimier’s Ferry in an appeal to the Court of Common Pleas.

Waller’s Ferry was located twelve miles north of Cape Girardeau on the Mississippi in 1797 by Joseph Waller.

Dunn’s Ford was a low water crossing across Apple Creek in the north central part of Cape Girardeau County near the David Dun family. In the early days this was an important boundary marker.

Daugherty’s Mill was built on Daugherty’s Creek near Jackson in 1799 by William Daugherty, who settled there.

Davis Mill, a community built up around Davis Mill was village six miles south of Jackson. It was one of the earliest settlement in the County (1802). As late as 1827 a mill operated by Greer W. Davis was active. When a post off was established there sometime between 1876 and 1886, the village became Gordonville name of a merchant Samuel Gordon.

Delp’s Mill was a very important old mill built before 1827 on Whitewater River by John Delp. It was still operated in 1835.Itw often referred as Snider’s Mill and was evidently purchased by Aaron Snider but still popularly known as Delp’s.

Egypt Mills is a community twelve miles east of Jackson. In 1821Elbenezer Baptist Church was established in the Big Bend, a bend in the Mississippi River two-and-a half mile north of Cape Girardeau and was an important landmark with a trading post in 1766.Tradition say a school teach organized a Sunday school class in an old mill located there.

Hubbell’s Mill was a watermill established in 1797 by Ithamar Hubbell, a soldier of fortune, l on Hubble Creek. Hubble Creek is in the center part of the county just west of Jackson. In 1797 the stream was called Riviere Zenon for Zenon Trudeau (18748-179-) Lieutenant Governor of the Louisiana Territory.

McLane’s Mill was located on Apple Creek sixteen miles north of Jackson at Old Appleton. It was established in 1829 by John McLane and in early County Court Records used in marking boundaries or designing places.

Rodney’s Mill was established in 1836 by the Rodney (or Rodner) family. Soon Benedicts Mullett and Bennedict Schineder purchased it. In 19847 a German Evangelical Church was organized here.
Railroads Come to Southeast Missouri

Thomas Hart Benton proposed a railroad from St. Louis to San Francisco at the Second St. Louis Railroad Convention in 1849. That year the Pacific Railroad was chartered and named with expectations of the company reaching the West Coast.  A survey was started for a route from St. Louis to the Pacific Coast.

On July 4, 1851, Mayor Luther M. Kennett of St. Louis turned the first spadesful of dirt for the construction of Missouri’s first railroad. The first iron for the rails arrived in 1852. Thomas Allen began serving as president of the company in 1850. By 1853, rails had reached Pacific a community southwest of St. Louis in Franklin County on Federal Highways 44 and 50.

In 1856, the southwest Branch of the Pacific Railroad was chartered. In 1860 the line extended to Rolla.  By 1860, financial difficulties increased to the point the State Government took control of the railroad. Great strips of the Pacific Railroad was destroyed during General Price’s Civil War raid in 1864.

  In 1866 an act of Congress created the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad and authorized a road to be built to the Pacific Ocean. In 1871 rails were completed to Vinita in Indiana Territory. In 1872, the Pacific Railroad was leased to the Atlantic and Pacific Company never reaching its proposed destination.

The Pacific Company was then sold at public auction to Andrew Price Jr. on September 6, 1876 and two days later sold to L. K. Garrison and the newly organized St. Louis San Francisco Railroad (Frisco) to become part of the Jay Gould system in 1879.

The St. Louis Iron Mountain Railroad was incorporate on March 3, 1851.  Its name indicated a desire to construct a rail line between St. Louis and Iron Mountain or Pilot Knob. Preliminary surveys were made in 1852. Only twelve miles of road were built by 1856. However, in 1858, the road reached Pilot Knob.

In 1866, debts prompted Missouri to sell the railroad, however, since bids did not cover the indebtedness, the commissioners purchased it. Because of public outrage the road went to Thomas Allen, who had resigned as president of the (Missouri) Pacific railroad in 1854. A survey had been made in 1854 by J. H. Morley civil. Engineer for the St. Louis Iron Mountain Railroad completing the 119 miles from Bismarck in St. Francois County to Belmont in Mississippi County passing through Madison, Bollinger, and Cape Girardeau counties.

Construction started on both end of the line, Belmont and Bismarck; and at midnight August 14, 1869to two part of the line met in the middle of the Bollinger County Tunnel. It opened for travel August 19, 1869. In 1880, the Missouri Pacific purchased the St. Louis Iron Mountain Railroad and still known by that name. That branch of the St. Louis Iron Mountain Railroad extending from Bismarck to Belmont on the Mississippi River became known as the Elmont Branch, from it terminus.

 Permission was then grained to extend to road to the Mississippi River at Cape Girardeau and other points south. It was started south with the proposed to begin at Cape Girardeau to the Arkansas line in 1869 by the Cape Girardeau and State Line Railroad Company (1859-1880. No work was done on this route. Then in 1871, Missouri Governor Fletcher reorganized to company as the Illinois, Missouri and Texas Railroad Company hoping to connect the three states by rail.

 Louis Houck purchased this charter in 1880 and organized the Cape Girardeau Railroad Company (1880-1881) financed by business men of that community. A name change, Cape Girardeau and Southwestern Railroad Company (1880-1891), indicated the direction from Cape Girardeau the rails were to go. Part of this construction included a railroad line extension from Cape Girardeau to Thebes Bridge (in Scott County), sometimes it was now the Gulf Branch and now abandoned by the Frisco system. In 1891 another name change, St.  Louis, Cape Girardeau, and Fort Smith (Arkansas) Railroad (1880-1898), described the company’s new ambition. This design included the line of the Missouri and Arkansas Railroad (1893-1902) organized in 1891 by Houck to build a road from Morley to Cape Girardeau, and the St. Louis, Kennett and Southern Railroad, (1890-1895) from Campbell to Kennett, and the Kennett to Caruthersville Railroad, (1894-1902). The Morley and Morehouse Railroad (1897-1902) became part of his Missouri and Arkansas Railroad. In 1902, all these roads were consolidated under the Name St. Louis and Gulf Railroad (1902-1904). All eventually became part of the Frisco system.

Other short line railroads became part of the St. Louis San Francisco Railroad system through a series of complex mergers. Several, but not all were railways build by the Cape Girardeau lawyer, large land owner and railroad builder, Louis Houck. Included in Southeast Missouri are the St. Louis, Arkansas and Texas Railway company (Missouri) (1880-1881); St. Louis, Memphis and Southeastern Railroad Company (1898 -1907); St. Louis, Caruthersville & Memphis railroad Company (1897-1901); Southern Missouri and Arkansas Railroad Company (1899-1902).

Pemiscott Southern Railroad Company (1900-1902); Lt. Louis, Morehouse and Southern Railroad Company ( 1896-1902); Pilot Knob, Cape Girardeau and Belmont Railroad  (1859-1869); Clarkton Branch St. Louis, Kennett and Southern Railroad (1901-1902); Cape Girardeau, Bloomfield and Southern Railway (1887-1902); Missouri Southeastern Railway (1891-1898); and Pemiscot Railroad Company (1892-1895).
Pemiscot Southern Railroad Company (1900-1902); Lt. Louis, Morehouse and Southern Railroad Company ( 1896-1902); Pilot Knob, Cape Girardeau and Belmont Railroad  (1859-1869); Clarkton Branch St. Louis, Kennett and Southern Railroad (1901-1902); Cape Girardeau, Bloomfield and Southern Railway (1887-1902); Missouri Southeastern Railway (1891-1898); and Pemiscot Railroad Company (1892-1895).

The Cottonbelt Railroad, uncommonly known at the St. Louis Southwest Railroad, is primarily a Texas rail line. Being organized in 1890, it purchased roads already created and then extended the line. Entering Missouri from Piggott Arkansas crossing the St. Francis River at St. Francis, Arkansas to continue north-north-east towards Campbell and Malden where it turns north. Then through Bernie into Dexter turning to skirt Crowley’s ridge past Bloomfield then past Painton into Perkins. Turning north the White River, the Cottonbelt enter Cape Girardeau County following the river to Randles. Turning east again at Deltas the rails split at Scott City. One branch went across the Mississippi at Thebes with another line running north into it northern terminal in Cape Girardeau.

Not many branch line switch of the Cottonbelt. At Dexter, a short line braches eastward into Essex. The map shows this line running through Gray Ridge and Morehouse. However, Essex is the only with the line east of here has be removed.

The Cottonbelt enters New Madrid County from Malden then arches north through Parma and Como before moving south into Carton, Lilbourn into New Madrid. This branch of the Cottonbelt system was first incorporated as the Little River Valley and Arkansas Railroad in 1876. Early plans were for this to be a tow road between New Madrid and Malden. Before construction plans changed it to a narrow gage railroad between these two communities plus connecting Malden to Kennett. Great hopes were for this line through the heart of the Little River Valley with a connection crossing into Arkansas.

The road from New Madrid to Malden was finished in 1878 by Otto Kochtitzky and George B. Clark .It was extended to the state line of Arkansas and Missouri and consolidated with the Texas and St.  Louis Railroad Company of Missouri and Arkansas in 1881. Next year a branch was built from Lilbourn to Bird’s Point in Mississippi County.

In 1886, the Cottonbelt went into the receivership of Mr. Fordyce to be reorganized as the St. Louis, Arkansas and Texas Railroad in order to extend the road to Texarkana, Texas. The line was sold again in in 1890 to be reorganized as the St. Louis Southwestern Railroad Company in in 1893, because it has its terminus in Texas the in the Cottonbelt of the United States, as the Cottonbelt Route.

The Deering Southwestern Railroad was built from Deering, Pemiscot County, to Caruthersville to carry lumber from the Wisconsin Lumber Company. It was absorbed by the Cottonbelt System. Sometime after 1945, the line fell out of use and is no longer on maps.

Indian Names in Stoddard County 

A number of Indian Mounds were found in the Stoddard County before 1945. According to Historian Louis Houck, 3,211 with the most famous being in Elk Township in Southeast Stoddard County.

Indian Ford was an old Indian Ford crossing the St. Francis River in the eastern part of Duck Creek Township. A post office (Indian Ford) was established a few miles north of the ford on the St. Louis and Iron Mountain Railroad in 1867 and closed in 1873. The name does not appear after the Post Office closed and is though that the river was no longer shallow enough to permit fording in this place. Hodges Ferry was established a short distance south of this place in1903.

Indian Spur was a short track built the Frisco Railroad about 1907 to transport lumber from the Himmelberger Harrison Lumber Camp. It was named by the railroad officials at the request of the company. It was o name because the Himmelberger family came from Indiana.

An old Indian Trail, still pointed out in 1945 as a land mark lead north from Bloomfield. Houck in Vol. I of A History of Missouri from the Earliest Explorations and Settlements Until the Admission of the State into the Union, that in 1816, Shawnee and Delaware Indians living on Castor River traveled this trail twice a year, spring and fall. During the spring they sold their furs and bear and winter deer skins, and in the fall their summer skins, honey and bear’s oil[NV1] .

Gobler Mercantile Store in Pemiscot County   

The largest business in the town of Gobler (Pemiscot County) was the Gobler Mercantile Store. Here you could find about anything you wanted. The business started in 1937. By 1939, the inventory was worth about a thousand dollars (according to web site Measuring Worth, the 2011 income value was $69,000).  

Dennye Mitchell owned and worked as clerk in his store with his brother Stanley assisting. Investing his profits back into his business it grew in a few years to cover five acres. For several years he did over two million dollars in sales (2011 real price is $61,000,000). He used twenty-three trailer trucks, each costing $30,000 picked us his merchandise from everywhere.

His stock included groceries, housewares, appliances, furniture, lumber, medical supplies, barb war ammunition, clothing, and later added television sets with his own TV repair service. He also supplied farmers with cottonseed, animal feet and practically everything he need. After the store burned on March 31, 1956, the town started declining and never recovered.


    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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    Little River's Geographic Past