Callaway Memories

Photo courtesy the Kingdom of Callaway Historical Society
Sherry McBride Brown (upper left), Jack McBride (lower right) and family with Jack's teacher, Mary Francis Craighead, at a Lamar School reunion.
Photo courtesy the Kingdom of Callaway Historical Society Sherry McBride Brown (upper left), Jack McBride (lower right) and family with Jack's teacher, Mary Francis Craighead, at a Lamar School reunion.

150 years ago (1874)

Ashland School Exhibition in Reform, Callaway County, Missouri. We {from Fulton Telegraph} were

more than gratified to see so many pupils come off as conquerors in their undertaking during

the exercises at the close of Mr. Finley's school. He had quite a number of scholars. The

majority of them made their appearance on the rostrum with either a declamation, an oration

or dialogue in their mouths, or an essay or composition in their hands, which were delivered

and read well. We were more than amused at the smaller scholars' speeches. They would have

made even a "wooden man" laugh, especially the one by Master Eddie McCall. Mr. Finley's

reputation as a teacher needs no comment. {The program was quite long with most of the

students having more than one role. The following is a list of students who were a part of the

program.} The program included: Hally, Kem, Winnie, Annie & A. Stucker; James, Jackson & Lee

Maddox; Jackson Smith; George, Ella & William Garrett; Robert, Amos, Thomas & Madison

Nichols; Edward, Eddie, Fred, John, James, William, Wheeler & Sparrell McCall; George, Monroe

& Emmett Neal; Annie, Luvisa, Nannie, George & Hayward Ross; Ella, Mandy & Lucy Bridges;

Samuel & Alice Woods.

125 years ago (1899)

Fiddlin' Fiddlers. Long before the opening of the doors of the opera house in which the oldfashioned fiddlers reigned supreme, the "fid" was very much in evidence on our streets.

Fiddlers from all over the Kingdom were there. The excitement reached its height when some

of the contestants had to be pulled off the stage when their time was up, which was limited to

three minutes for each piece or nine minutes for their entire time. Daniel Boone Jones of

Stephens' Store carried off the first prize of a $20 violin. Prof. W. M. Maddox of Calwood won

the $5 prize for second. Geo. Douglas of Fulton won $2.50 for third. The judges were Mayor

Fowler, E. L. Edwards and Dr. Greene McCall. The Mayor awarded the prizes in his usual jovial

way. Afterwards, he gave a selection on his homemade violin which pleased the audience

immensely. The fun that can be had from the fiddling of old-time music!

100 years ago (1924)

Mrs. Earl Koontz Judgment Affirmed. The State Supreme Court affirmed the judgement of

$6,000 in favor of Mrs. Koontz against the Wabash Railroad. The case was tried in the circuit

court and was appealed by the Wabash Railroad. Mrs. Koontz was struck by a Wabash engine in

Macon four years ago when she coming to Fulton to visit relatives. It was feared at the time

that she was killed. It was several months before she recovered. Ernest M. Tipton, of Kansas

City let us {at the Fulton Daily Sun} know the decision. He was the attorney for Mrs. Koontz and

was formerly an attorney at the local bar and was also for two years the athletic coach at

Westminster College. Mr. Tipton is now a partner of John C. Grover, one of the best known

football officials in the West.

50 years ago (1974)

Jack McBride Finds Willie's Heirs in Virginia Hills. After much footwork at Big Hill, VA, Jack

McBride has identified five blood relatives of Miss Willie Edwards, Fulton's tent dwelling semirecluse who was found dead of exposure with an estate of $37,000. McBride was named

executor of Miss Willie's estate and said he used her letters to pinpoint relatives. "Miss Willie

was born in Olaf, VA, but it is not on the map. I asked in Roanoke and finally discovered that

what was Olaf is now called Big Hill--it isn't on the Virginia map either," McBride said. He

considered renting a car to travel to the area south of Salem where a settlement of about 40-50

houses is called Big Hill. "They are right to call it that--I was really up in the hills," McBride said.

The car rental idea was discouraged by natives he talked with because they said he would get

lost. A cab driver said he would take him there but they would surely get lost. They got lost.

Eventually, five cousins were discovered. Some had not heard from Miss Willie for 25 years

while others heard from her about 3 years ago. Miss Willie left Big Hill 30 years ago and

returned once to visit. McBride also helped lead search parties for Miss Willie around Fulton.

She was found on the bank of a pond in northeast Fulton. She lived in economic poverty while

accumulating a modest fortune in bonds which were discovered in a bank lockbox following her

death. {My condolences to the families of Mr. McBride and his daughter, Sherry McBride Brown

for their recent passings. The above article is just an example of how Mr. McBride did so much

for so many in Callaway. I was first introduced to Sherry's special, welcoming smile when I was

a shy newcomer at the Fulton Public Library's Story Hour. She always made you feel included.

Throughout my life, she remained a fixture at the library for me. She was ever ready to help,

although she would never do the work for you. I appreciated her guidance. I will also miss the

jovial assistance and the times of fellowship I had with her while working on Callaway

Memories. My blessings to their families.}

25 years ago (1999)

Jennifer Wieber, a seventh grader at South Callaway R-2 Middle School, and the daughter of

Mr. and Mrs. Larry Wieber of Mokane, was the winner of the National Geography Bee at the

school level. This activity is sponsored by the National Geographic Society.

(From caption of a photograph--photographer unknown). Carol Trokey of the US Forest Service

watches as Boy Scouts Brian Easley and Tim McCarty plant trees on US Forest Service land

adjacent to Dry Fork Creek in Callaway. These trees will help with soil stability, diversity of

wildlife habitat and woodland cover in the future.