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.



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    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