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 universities 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}.

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Southeast Missouri Earthquake History

In 2006, the Arkansas Archeological Society in their work at Eaker Air Base in

Blytheville, Arkansas documented earthquake series around AD 900 and again

around A. D. 1450-1470. Researcher Margaret Guccione from the University of Arkansas finds the Mississippi River path changed significantly at this time. Another major series of quakes happened around A. D. 300. Tree ring studies in Reelfoot Lake and the St. Francis Sunken Lands show seismic activity occurred in A. D. 1682 and  1450.

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Salcedo

Salcedo was a small community in the southern edge of Scott County that was established in 1895 when J.W. Baker purchased land there. A rural school in the area was known as Baker School, but when Louis Houck ran a railroad there he changed the name to Salcedo in honor of Don J. Manuel De Salcedo, the King’s Lieutenant, governor of Texas and Brigadier of the Royal Armies of New Madrid in 1803. A. D. 1321

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Bloomfield and Dexter

The first settlement in Stoddard County was in 1832 at Bloomfield and was chosen as the seat of government. First meeting the county court was held at the house of A. B. Bailey, on February 9, 1835; in the southwestern part of town. An early division of townships were Castor, Pike, St. Francois, and Liberty.

During the Civil War, the court house was burned during Price’s 1864 raid. However, the county record books had been removed by Major H. H. Bedford and taken to Arkansas. After the war all the books were returned without loss of a single record.

In 1875, several towns and villages existed in Stoddard County. Castor River was the main water course in the county. On the smaller feeder streams, small grist mills were operating in 1875.

For years there was strong revelry between Bloomfield Dexter and Bloomfield. For a Number of years citizens of Dexter tried to have the courthouse moved their community. To do this, the people of Dexter, in 1895, got a law passed giving Stoddard County two seats of government with Dexter the dominate one. On the strength of this law, Dexter constructed a two story brick court house. After a few years, this arraignment was found to be unsatisfactory. After this law was repealed, Bloomfield again became the county seat.

In 1910 one-half of Stoddard County was still in thick, dense timber. The value of manufactured items was $1,676,351 mainly from flour, lumber cooperage and cotton. With a population of 27,807 the taxable wealth was $6,452,077. Their one-hundred and seven school districts employed 151 teachers.

Timber and cotton, both bulk products, when ready for market required railroads for transportation. Stoddard County had the services of the Cairo branch of the St. Louis Iron Mountain, the Frisco, and the St. Louis Southwestern.



 
 
Union Expeditions into Arkansas in 1864

Reports of guerrilla activity in the Missouri counties of Dunklin, Mississippi, and Pemiscot prompted federal leaders to field an expedition into Arkansas in the spring of 1864. The objective was to find and destroy enemy camps.  U. S. Major John Rabb, Second Missouri Artillery headquarter at New Madrid, was ordered to lead the expedition. He was convinced that the trouble in Missouri were Confederate guerrillas operating from around Osceola and the Pemiscot Bayou area were the responsible groups.

Rabb’s plan had troops moving into Arkansas in two components. One group, traveling overland would go to Pemiscot. Bayou some thirty miles north of Osceola. The rest of the troopers would travel by steamboat to Osceola and approach Pemiscot Bayou from the south. On April5, 1864, Rabb left New Madrid with two-hundred men from Companies H, I, and K of the Second Missouri Artillery on the steamer Silver Moon.

At Barfield’s Point, some twenty miles above Osceola, the steamer landed to disembark one-hundred men led by Captain W.C.F. Montgomery with orders to march to Chickasaw Settlement (Blytheville) on Pemiscot Bayou. After landing at Osceola the remaining one-hundred Union troopers led by Major Rabb started marching to a point ten miles south of Montgomery’s targeted area.

On the morning of April 6, the second phase of Rabb’s plan started. Captain Valentine Preuitt led First Missouri Militia Cavalry units of Companies G, K, and M out of New Madrid towards Arkansas.

Rabb’s troops on their march from Osceola soon became very difficult. They soon found themselves in water from one to three feet deep as the road went through a swamp filled with dense cane and timber.

By April 6, they had traveled twelve miles. So far they had killed five or six guerrillas they had met on the road. That night they made camp at the home of a Confederate sympathizer whose son was in one of the guerrilla bands, Mark Walker.

As attack was expected, the men were ordered not to build fires although there was a cold rain falling. Seventy-five men under command of Lieutenant Winfred from Company K were stationed around the Walker home. About fifty yards out, were the remaining men under command of Lieutenant L.J. Philips.

Around 3:00 a.m. on the morning of April 7th, a gun battle quickly started after Rabb found himself facing a Confederate standing several feet away demanding he surrender. Members of the Seventh Missouri Cavalry were fighting an estimated one-hundred Confederates from Osceola. The battle ended as quickly as it started. Rabb’s Union troops quickly left the area with prisoners and carrying they wounded on litters.

With casualties on the Confederate side unknown, the Rebels quickly faded into the night. Both sides suffered a number of Casualties, of which Union Lieutenant Phillips was one.

After leaving the steamer Silver Moon at Barfield’s Point, Montgomery’s men had not encountered any Southern troops. Rabb and Montgomery’s men joined up on the evening of April 7. Next morning, the combined forces marched back to Barfield’s Point and boarded the steamer Darling to return to New Madrid.

Meanwhile Captain Valentine Pruett’s First Missouri Militia Cavalry encountered Confederate Guerrillas forty-five miles out of New Madrid. On April 6, they killed two guerrillas. They next morning, they entered Little River Swamp.

About ten miles west of Osceola, they chanced upon a group of some twenty-five Confederates.  In the skirmish that followed, twelve Southern were killed, with five prisoners taken. The others escaped into the swamp. On the body of Confederate Captain Williams papers were found that told the enemy strength in Mississippi County numbered about one thousand men. Colonels McGee, Kitchen, Clark, and Freeman were the officers in charge of these men. 

From the orders found on Captain Williams the Union troops moved to dense canebrake, known as Blue Cane. Hidden in this thick thicket were several house, with a store of stolen goods, a distillery, and a large amount of cattle. A skirmish left three of Valentine’s men wounded but none were killed.

Colonel Kitchen’s Confederate troops and guerrilla activity was persistent in Mississippi County, Arkansas even with sporadic raids by the Union army into the area. Colonel J.B. Rogers, at Cape Girardeau received a telegram from Captain Pruiett on June 9. Rogers was informed that Kitchen was in Osceola. With him were some eight-hundred men. His plans were to get supplies by seizer of steamers.

A letter on June 29 from acting provost-marshal Lieutenant Steel at New Madrid outlined to Lieutenant Colonel John Burris of the Tenth Kansas Volunteers at Cape Girardeau a horrible situation with Kitchen with four-hundred men were murdering, cutting wires, and stealing.

On July 3, General Ewin received notice that Burris would move what troops that could be spared into Arkansas on July 5 against Kitchen. With a battalion of the Second Cavalry Missouri State Militia under Lieutenant-Colonel Hiller along with Captain Preuitt leading a detachment of the First Cavalry Missouri Volunteer leading a scouting expedition through Southeast Missouri and Northeast Arkansas left New Madrid on July 21, 1864. At Bloomfield, Major Wilson added reinforcement with a battalion of the Third Cavalry Missouri State Militia and a squadron of the Sixth Cavalry Missouri Volunteers.

The Federal expedition reached the swamps of Big Lake in Mississippi County, Arkansas, on August 1. After meeting a small group of “Bushwhackers and Thieves,” Burris’ men captured arms, horses and contraband slave. After burning five houses, they moved three some twenty miles of swamp towards Osceola.

After reaching Osceola on the afternoon of August 2, they met Confederate forces under Captain Bowen and Captain McVeigh. The Confederated were attacked which resulted in a running gun battle for several miles. No Union casualties were reported. Seven Confederates were reported killed with twenty-five captured including Captain Bowen the Father of Captain Fletcher, Colonel Elliott Fletcher. Burris’ men reported capturing a large number of arms and houses. 

Captain McVeigh along with seventy of his men pursued the Confederates with capturing any more of them.

 Captain Bowen was interned in Gratiot Street, St. Louis. Two months later, he escaped with another prisoner, John Hogan Grider, and returned to Osceola.,

The Union army, on August 3, headed towards Pemiscot Bayou and crossed back into Missouri. In his report to Brigadier General Thomas Ewing, the U.S.  Commander at St. Louis, Burris’ official accounting listed forty-seven Confederates killed, including one Captain and three Lieutenants, fifty-seven captured, including two captains and one lieutenant, along with forty wounded, They had also captured and destroyed more than two-hundred guns, and two-hundred thirty horses and mules which they turned in to the quartermaster. Twenty slaves were also brought north.

As the men started this expedition without food for themselves and their animals, they lived off of stolen and captured supplied. Burris also reported that his trek across the state line had largely cleared Confederates ad guerrillas from the area.

In Northeast Arkansas, guerrilla warfare and the bushwhackers activities became ever-decreasing. The lack of supplies curtailed military action against the Union army. Overall, the Confederate army was low on men with few replacements and a critical shortage of supplies.

The Confederacy had begun to unfold. On April 9, 1865, Robert E, Lee surrendered his armies in Virginia. Joseph Johnson surrendered his forces of seventy-five thousand in North Carolina on April 26 (the day before the Sultana exploded and sank near Marion, Arkansas with two-thousand and two-hundred ex-Union prisoners returning home).

Brigadier General Jeff Thomason ceased his operation on the White and Little Red Rivers on May 11.  When he surrenders, Thompson was reduced to seven-thousand four-hundred and fifty-four men who had only five-hundred guns, three of four hundred canoes, and no food. Kitchen’s Legion from around Osceola surrendered as part of Thomason’s army. On June 2, General Kirby Smith surrendered his Arkansas army. Next day General Thomas Dockery surrendered the remaining Confederate troops in Arkansas.

At the end came, many of the men had already deserted. Those that were left just went home.   

 
 

“The first courthouse built in the County (Dunkin) was erected on the public square in 1847.  It was forty feet square, one and a half stories high, and composed of hewn gum logs from twelve to eighteen inches broad.”  Smyth-Davis, Mary F., History of Dunklin County Missouri, 1845-1895. Published 1896. Page 87. http://archive.org/stream/historyofdunklin00daive/historyofdunklintlin()
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In the prehistory of human occupation of the Bootheel, the Hoecake phase is defined by the presence of clay-tempered ceramic. This archaeological phase from about 600 to 600 AD referred to as the Baytown Period included the Morehouse Lowland,  Little River Lowlands, Sikeston Ridge, Crowley’s Ridge, Malden Plain, Western Lowlands, and Matthews or East Prairie Lowlands. This pretty well covers all of southeast Missouri. Charles H. McNutt, editor, Prehistory of the Central Mississippi Valley.
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“The first levee on the Mississippi River was constructed about 1717 for the protection of the City of New Orleans. Louisiana planter who had the means built levees to protect their plantations. During the first half of the nineteenth century these private levees were connected, enlarged and strengthened, largely by the employment of slave labor, and by 1850 the land along the lower Mississippi were fairly well protected.” The land in Southeast Missouri and the Eastern third of Arkansas were far less protected. Page 446, Centennial History of Arkansas.  

 
 
Brilliant, the forth of four so named, was a side-wheeler built in 1865 On October 16, 1865 she landed at New Madrid to deliver a lady passenger at 6 a.m. in a dense fog. Backed out and hardly had headway when fires was discovered. The watchman had been putting oil lamps in a locker, blew one out and it exploded. After the boat put ashore, some 65 passengers, many in nightdress, got ashore.  Way’s Packet Directory, 1848-1994.

  The Battle of Belmont

The Civil War battle for Belmont, Missouri, was part of the early moves by Union Forces in taking control of the lower Mississippi River and their move to take the Confederate controlled Island # 10 at New Madrid, taking place November 7, 1861. This was the start of the Union’s Anaconda Plan which was to cut the South in to and restrict the free flow of men and supplies from the West.

This was General Grant’s first test against Confederate armies in the field.  When Grant’s army arrived in Belmont they found a struggling settlement of three ramshackled houses.

The low laying land was swampy and unhealthy. Many of the Rebel forces, estimated up to one-half, were sick. A lot of these men came as reinforcements from Fort Pillow where similar swampy condition.

The battle was considered a Union victory even if Grant retreated from the conflict. Confederate loses, men killed, wounded, and missing, outnumber the Federal loses; realizing their position was unattainable, all the Confederate men withdrew leaving a lot of badly needed supplies and heavy weapons.

The Battle of Belmont is covered in greater detail under cover of the Civil War in another archive of these postings.

Middle Woodland Period

The woodland Period is the transition time, a developmental stage, between the Hunter-Gather eras of 1000 BCE to 1000BCin the eastern part of North America south of the Subarctic Region and the Mississippian Phase. Not massive changes took place quickly. Instead, a slow steady development in stone and bone tools, leather crafting, textile manufacturing, cultivation, and shelter construction. Spears and atlatis, a form of a sling shot, was used until about 600 CE when the bow and arrow was introduced in the Southeast. Blowguns were used by some people in the Southeast part of North America.

The major technological development of the time was the widening use of pottery. While the earliest use of pottery started with the Hunter-Gathers, an increased sophistication in forms and decorations developed during this time. Now they had a vessel to store and prepare a wider variety of foodstuff.

This changed the eating habits of the people. Before this the population declined as the people were starving, stunted and unhealthy.  Sometime between 8000 and 500 BC the basic diet of nuts, fish, venison, raccoon, opossum and turkey was supplemented by other small game, shellfish, fruits, and berries. For the next 7,000 years this was the diet of the populaces of Southeast Missouri.

 Only someone that has tried to crack and eat walnuts and hickory nuts had truly appreciate the technique use by the residents of the era. Nuts were the most important foods in their diet. Their discovery on processing these food items opened up an almost unlimited supply of highly nutritious food easy to harvest, store, and prepare.

Instead of cracking hard shell nuts laboriously picking out the meat, they could pulverize then, shell and all in wooden or stone mortars. Then place everything, shell and nut meat, into a pot of boiling water. Cooking slowly. As the valuable nut rose to the top it was skimmed off. Now they had oil for use in cooking. The shell sank to the bottom. Slightly above then, the nut meat waited to be skimmed off. Nut meat could be eaten then or be dried in cakes for storage.

This life style covered most of the area between Crowley’s Ridge and the Mississippi River; from the Commerce Hills almost to the present day Arkansas- Missouri line. Over time the area grew, then shrank, only to grow and change. (for these changes, see McNutt’s book pages 4 -12.)

From . . .Frank Schamback & Leslie Newell, Crossroads to the Past: 12,000 Years of Indian Life in Arkansas. Charles H. McNutt, editor, Prehistory of the Central Mississippi Valley.

 
 
The municipal airports in Southeast Missouri, Sikeston, Malden, Cape Girardeau, Gideon, and Campbell, all had their start during WWII. Sikeston, Malden, and Cape Girardeau all were primary training bases. Of the three, Sikeston was they only one with our paved runways. Its runway was turf.

At the height of its train the MIA had 520 cadets and 170 planes. Of the 7,000 hopeful pilots entering training at Sikeston 5,000 graduated. During training, the pilots had several auxiliary air fields they could use. One of these auxiliary air fields may be listed twice under different names. Matthews, which was the sight of 15 accidents; West Auxiliary had 3 accidents; South Auxiliary, 1 accident; North Auxiliary, 1 accident; Bertrand Auxiliary,5 accidents; Kewanee, 2 accidents. Harvey Parks had much more traffic, therefore the most accidents with 30 either on sight or within 12 miles of the field. All the listed fields were turf.



Dexter, was one of the six local auxiliary airfields ( for Malden) in the vicinity for use in emergency and overflow landings. Elevation was 315 feet, with two asphalt runways; 4,500 x 100 feet running N/S and 4,500 X 300 NE/SW. Accident report show nine accidents accursed here. Dexter Auxiliary Field #1 was. It was located one mile southeast of the city. This field later became Dexter Municipal Airport.

Parma was the location of auxiliary field #2. At 286 feet above sea level, the runway for this airfield was turf some 5,700 x 5,640 feet. No accidents were reported here. This airfield, located 3.8 miles north of town, no longer exist.

Auxiliary Air Field #3 was at Risco and was located two miles west of town. No evidence of the airfield remains. At 276 feet elevation, the runway was a 5,500 x 5,125 foot field. One accident was reported in this area.

Gideon Auxiliary Field #4 was 0.8 of a mile southeast of the city. Now the Municipal Airport has two asphalt runways, both 4,500 feet long, one runs N/S, the other NNW x SSE. No reported accidents in the area.

Advance Auxiliary Field #5 is another World War II airfield with no physical evidence remaining. One accident happened near here. At an elevation of 355 feet, it was located 0.8 of a mile west-south-west of the city.

Campbell, the site of Malden’s auxiliary field number six (has also been listed as #2) is now the city’s airport. It is located 3.5 miles east of Campbell with an elevation of 284 feet. The runway was turf; 7,380 by 4,800 feet. Two accidents were reported as happening here or close by.

Harris Army Airfield (Cape Girardeau) had three auxiliary air fields. All were turf fields. All are now closed. Benton was the site of 12 accidents; Chaffee had nine, with Lee, all the way across Missouri, recording seven.

Just across the state line in Arkansas was the 2,600 acre Blytheville Army Airfield (BAAF). Here more advanced training took place with pilots training on two-engine aircraft, to fly bombers, and cargo planes and female WASP pilots trained to be co-pilots as B-25 and other aircraft. BAAF had auxiliary airfields in Hornersville, Cooter, and Steel, Missouri, as well as Manila and Luxora, Arkansas. The Blytheville Army Air Force Base closed in 1945, to open again during the Cold War

Cooter Army Airfield was designated as BAAF Auxiliary # 5. It was the only BAAF auxiliary in Arkansas to have paved runways. On the 699 acre irregularly-shaped property, southwest of Cooter, were two asphalt 4,000 foot runways, oriented north/south and northeast/southeast. Hangers were never constructed here. As Cooter Airfield closed in 1953, evidently, to field was used during the meanwhile in some capacity after the base in Blytheville closed.

The other Auxiliary fields supporting the BAAF Base were all sod fields. Hornersville reported the most accidents with 12, Cooter next with ten, Steel had five. Other accidents, in Missouri but not at a Blytheville support field were Hayti and Gideon both reported two. Advance, support field for Malden, reported three accidents related to aircraft from Blytheville AAF. Ten accidents occurred here involving military training.

 
 
 
 
. 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)

Plutons

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.

 [NV1]

 
 
    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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