Frances Kathleen Scobee Henderson Collection # 2

The following articles are from the scrapbook of Frances Kathleen Scobee Henderson (24 May 1903 – 20 July 1998).  Submitted by Darla Henderson. 

Florida Methodists Worship Here

     “Florida has a fine brick church,” a correspondent’s report noted in the Monroe County Appeal June 6, 1874 while the 1876 Atlas of Monroe County shows that only a Methodist Church is at Florida so the fine brick church is supposed to be the Methodist Church.  Reports later noted that the Church at Florida had been furnished with a $50 chandelier and was to have a new roof.  Although the original church was brick it burned and records were lost so the only reports on the early church are from newspaper clippings and personal written records.

     In the October 31, 1897, issue of the Monroe County Appeal, the following story appeared on the dedication of the new church:  “The largest crowd ever seen at a church service in Florida attended the dedication of the new Methodist Church last Sunday morning.  The singing was splendid and Rev. Warren’s sermon interesting and appropriate.  The church was paid for before the dedication by a collection was taken up for the purpose of seats.  A basket dinner was served by the people of Florida and her fame for whole-souled hospitality was fully sustained.  The Florida Methodist Church is one of the oldest church organizations in the country.”

     In 1933 the church had a homecoming with a huge crowd and basket dinner.  Former pastors took part in the services at the time. Pastors who served the little country church since 1907 include:  the Reverends C. J. Chappell, J. M. Hornback, A. C. Zumbrunnen, C. L. Hess, H. D. Marlin, Ray S. Tomlin, W. B. Selah, Aubrey Harcourt, Howard Woodruff, Orville Jackson, Leland Loy, L. L. LaFrance, F. Bean, Frank Byrnes, T. P. Middleton, D. T. Morrison, W. K. Harper, Harold Dodds, James S. Kabler, Glenn Ruhl, Wesley L. Brun, O. David Griffin and Don Miller. The pastors are from Monroe City and serve the Florida church as part of their mission to the people of this area. The accompanying picture and information were loaned to the NEWS by Frances Henderson of Florida.  The church with snow for a background forms a perfect setting for a house of worship for Florida Methodists.

Note:  “Text/Juanita Yates.  Information and picture by Frances Henderson.”  Included at the end of the article.



Homecoming to Honor Class Members

     The classes of 1923 and 1948 will receive special recognition at the homecoming events on Friday, October 13 during the football game.

Members of the class of 1923 were:  Mrs. Robert (Frances Alexander) Hecker, Shawnee Mission, Kans., David Bridgford, Colorado City, Texas, Mrs. Russell (Marie Capps) Bishop, Santa Fe, John Critcher, Moberly, M. C. Curtright, Brookfield, Ill., Mrs. William (Florence Dowell) Vanlandingham, Mexico;

Mrs. Glen (Fannie Hartman) Myers, Moberly, Mrs. Gilbert (Dorothy Hess) Breckenridge, Carmichael, Calif., Mrs. Norma Key Richardson, Aptos, Calif., Mrs. Vernon (Helen Payne) Ford, Hope Hull, Alabama, Mrs. John (Ruby Phillips) Byrmes, Oakhurst, Calif., Carl Snell, Speedway City, Ind., Lee Sutton Columbia, Mrs. Guy (Maydie Parrish) Gaines, Madison, Emmitt Wilkes, Mexico,

Mrs. John (Polly Rodgers) Wilson, Mrs. Weldon (Pauline Waller) Rodgers, Fred Warren, Mrs. Ernest (Berniece White) Brengle, Mrs. Bertha Williams McGee, Mrs. John (Rebecca Forsythe) Evans, all of Paris.

Eight members are deceased.  They are Harold Arnold, Vivian Ball, William Brown, Mary Christian, Mrs. Arthur (Katheryn Lowery) Simon, Lucille Murphy, Peggy Nickell Boyd, Mrs. Jessie (Garland Roney) Gentry, Mrs. Viola Wood Peak.


(Note:  This is where my grandmother cut the article, so the class of 1948 is not listed.  In addition, I could not find out what school this was.)



New Post Office and Postmistress

During the last 25 years many small post offices have been closed throughout the United States, many of them inside Monroe County, and it is seldom that one is re-opened.  The village of Florida in eastern Monroe County, birthplace of Mark Twain, is an exception.  Shown above are the postmistress and the postal boxes at the new office there, which opened November 1.

At left is Mrs. Glenn (Louise) Huffman, the postmistress, standing back of the postal counter.  At right are the 44 boxes that have been provided for the office, a sub-station of the Stoutsville office. Mrs. Huffman is authorized to perform any of the services that any third class post office can provide, including mail orders, sale of stamps and other things.

At present her cancellation stamp carries the caption “Florida, Mo.”  It is planned to secure an additional one which will show that it is the birthplace of Mark Twain, or the location of the Mark Twain Shrine and Birthplace.  The post office sub-station is operated in the Huffman general store in the village.  Until the reopening of this sub-station, all subscribers in the village were served by a rural route out of Stoutsville.  Now many patrons get their mail at the Florida office.

It is thought the office will be particularly valuable next spring when the tourist season opens for those who visit the Twain birthplace and Shrine, as well as the historic village of Florida, and wish to send out mail marked as having been mailed from the birthplace village.  It is also expected that because of the new sub-station and cancellation insignia, considerable postal revenue will be added.




Of 25 Floods in 30 Years, This Was The Highest

Of the 25 floods that have occurred on Salt River in 30 years and that have been officially recorded, the recent one was the record breaker, with a crest of 29.95 feet last Saturday at New London, east of here on the main river.  The crest was reached on Middle Fork at Paris on Friday.  Previous high was on June 21, 1928, when the river reached 28.8 feet.

The official height for the 25 recorded floods and the date on which the record was made, follows:

28.80 – June 21, 1928

21.36 – Oct. 6, 1941

25.35 – June 28, 1942

24.32 – Dec. 29, 1942

27.18 – May 19, 1943

21.29 – June 12, 1943

22.49 – Mar. 17, 1944

26.15 – Apr. 13, 1944

26.32 – April 25, 1944

19.24 – May 2, 1944

21.32 – Mar. 22, 1945

22.61 – April 15, 1945

23.29 – June 10, 2945

19.15 – June 17, 1945

22.03 – Jan. 10, 1946

20.11 – Jan. 7, 1946

22.72 – June 10, 1947

22.96 – June 21, 1947

19.12 – Mar. 19, 1952

19.95 – Mar. 18, 1951

20.40 – Feb. 21 1955

20.46 – June 15, 1957

21.01 – July 17, 1958

27.15 – July 22, 1958

29.95 – Aug. 2, 1958




For the second time in July the Florida community was hit with a disaster from flooded rivers.  All previous records of high water were broken after a near 6-inch rain fell Wednesday night.  What crops had been left by the last deluge were swept away.  Then, to add to the already high water, another torrential rain fell, with near tornado winds, Friday afternoon.  It measured 2.8 inches.  The small branches on the J. C. Roberts farm were overflowing across the road and held up traffic until they had time to abate.  Cars were lined up on both sides.  All the traffic had to pass through this way from 36 and 154.  So we were thankful for a good gravel road to accommodate them.  Florida was without electric power for a while when trees over South River were caught in the high lines.  A large oak tree near Huckleberry hall was blown down.  Thousands of people passed through Florida to view the high water.  A cow was seen floating through the north bridge.  A groundhog had sought refuge in a tree above the water.  Muskrats and fish were seen in the backwater.  According to the critics, “the canasta games must go on in spite of hail and high water,” so one enthusiastic gentleman drove his car, picked up the members, bedecked in their wet weather apparel, and took them to the home of Mrs. J. C. Roberts for their usual good times Friday afternoon.




The Mark Twain club ice cream supper was held at Huckleberry hall Wednesday evening.  Those who ventured out got wet before they reached their homes.




The losers in the canasta tournament, Mrs. Fred Dore and Mrs. Jim Turner, entertained the winners, Mrs. Duard Henderson and Mrs. J. C. Roberts and Mary Jo, with a dinner at the park Monday.  The afternoon was spent at the home of Mrs. Fred Dore.

(Note:  a date of 1958 written in.)



N. T. Cartmell Retires

     N. T. Cartmell retired at the close of business Monday as rural mail carrier after serving 18 years and five months.  In an interview with Mr. Cartmell, he sated he started carrying mail on June 8, 1942, at a salary of $1840.00 a year.  Mrs. Cartmell stated:  “This was the happiest day of his life and he always enjoyed carrying the mail.”  In 1942, Route 2 out of Stoutsville covered 33 miles of fair roads and some mud roads.  At present the route is 41 miles and is all gravel roads or pavement.  The present salary is $5,480 a year.

     In relating some of his experiences over the years, Mr. Cartmell said he had found sticks and rocks and even a cat in various mailboxes.  The most memorable experience was the day he found Buster Searcy had not got his mail on the day before.  Sensing something was wrong, Mr. Cartmell secured help and went to investigate.  They found Mr. Searcy dead in his home.

     Patrons on the route could always set their clocks by his arrival.  In the 18 years he never missed a day because of bad weather.  He also said the worst weather was the deep snow of this last February.  He has used a jeep and 10 cars in his trips.

     Mr. and Mrs. Cartmell were surprised by friends Friday who met at Florida and presented them with gifts and refreshments.  Saturday evening friends and patrons met at the recreation hall in Stoutsville to honor Mr. Cartmell.



Restoring A Log Stage-Coach Stop

Mr. and Mrs. Larnie Janes of south of Florida are shown standing beside the former Lizzie Young property in the village, which they are restoring.  It was once a stagecoach stop and team-change station.  It was formerly the home of Ike Greening, a pioneer resident of Florida, father of Towney Greening, now of Perry.

According to the historical information which Mr. and Mrs. Janes have unearthed, it was used by the stagecoach which operated across this section, coming to Paris from Florida over the old Florida road that runs into Paris from the east.  Here it was that weary horses were unhitched and fresh teams put to work on pulling the cumbersome stagecoaches over the rutted, rough and oftentimes extremely muddy trail that led to and from Paris, the county seat in the time that Mark Twain was born.

Here it was that the owner of the building kept stables of horses back of his place, and fed and warmed travelers and drivers, as well as the animals which made their trips possible through what was then largely a wilderness.  Some of the road sections, especially those across the bottom morasses on the route, were what was called “Corduroy,” that is, they were paved with small poles (saplings to most of us) laid cross ways of the roadway.

While these corduroy roadbeds kept wheels out of the mud they were not exactly designed for smooth riding, resembling very much a washboard.  With the springless coaches and wagons of the early days, modern day folks can imagine the end result.

One commentator has remarked that there probably weren’t many false teeth in those days of corduroy roads and stage coaches, and that those who had them probably deposited them in a pocket before undertaking a cross-country journey.

When Mr. and Mrs. Janes began work in their spare time on working over and preserving the old building, they found the original structure was log, apparently in good condition.  It was of two rooms, one story high where as the present structure is two stories high in front, the only part of the house that contains any of the original structure. [part of the article is missing and continues] may be the spark that lights great enthusiasm for the proposed project.  It is understood that a civic organization will restore the old Gen. Grant place, the Baker property, if it can get permission to do so.



Structures In Monroe County’s Early Settlement Studied For Historic Significance

Monroe County Appeal, Madison Times & Paris Mercury, Paris, Mo., Thursday, April 14, 1977

Text and Photos by Blair Hansen of the Appeal Staff

     One of the two earliest settlements in Monroe County was located between the Middle and North Fork of the Salt River between Paris and Florida, according to the 1884 edition of the History of Monroe and Shelby Counties.  This settlement was designated by the early settlers as the “Smith Settlement.”

     This early settlement, located in the heart of the Cannon Lake area, is now being studied before the land is cleared in preparation for the lake.      The history book listed above states that the Smith Settlement and another, known as Fox’s Settlement, located about three and one-half miles east of Middle Grove, were established about 1820.

     Many of the early structures are still standing, and Karen Platz, who is working with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Cannon Reservoir Archaeological Project as a historical archaeologist, is making records of them.  One of her main endeavors now is trying to determine which sites are eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.       Ms. Platz’s study centers around six structures in the Smith Settlement, all having been built circa 1840.

     The structures themselves help in understanding the settlers’ ways of life.  Many suppose that the early settler lived a primitive life, and that his dwellings were less than desirable.  Ms. Platz suggests that this supposition is probably not true.  Four of the six structures she is now studying are made of logs.  Nearly all the log structures were covered over with clapboards, a kind of siding, to protect the logs.  Hence, many houses that appear to be common frame-type structures could possibly be log.

     The Jordan house, located west of the junction of Highways 107 and 154 on Highway 154 is a good example of the early settlement structure.  The Jordan Branch lies to the west of the house.  Ms. Platz noted that while this house has deteriorated with age, it was once a fairly fancy structure.  Harvey Jordan settled the land in 1829, and it is supposed that the house was build shortly thereafter.  Ms. Platz noted that Jordan must have brought fine carpentry tools with him, due to the fine detail in the ceiling and floor joists, as well as intricate detail in the moldings on the inside of the house.  The logs in the house are joined at the corners with a full dovetail – another mark of fine early carpentry work.  The house is the typical one and one-half story structure common to that time.  It is now owned by the Pease family.

     The Shelton house, which neighbors the Jordan house on the west, is a similar house to the Jordan house, and was constructed for the use of an early iron stove.  Again, the logs in the structure were covered with clapboards to protect the logs and better seal the house.  The land in the area of the Shelton house was settled by Samuel Irvine in 1834.  The house is now owned by the Corps of Engineers.

     An interesting characteristic of nearly all the early Smith Settlement houses is that they are near to both timber and the prairie.  It is suspected that most of the early settlers that most of the early settlers were from Kentucky and Tennessee, which were densely wooded areas, and to be without wood or easy access to a stream was inconceivable.  A supply of close-by timber made building a house much easier and provided fuel in the winter.

     A few miles west of the Shelton house is the John McKamey house, now owned by J.J. Higgins of Mexico.  This land was settled about 1830.  The unique aspect of this structure is that it is the only full two-story house so far discovered in the Smith Settlement research.  The logs of this house were covered with clapboards, then later were covered with an asbestos type material, making it look to the uneducated eye like a common frame house.  The house is only one room deep, but is two rooms wide.  Another interesting feature of this house is the root cellar, which has been preserved.  It is round and looks like a part of a ball protruding from the ground.

     Probably the fanciest house in the early Smith Settlement was that of Matthew Mappin, located northwest of the previously described structures.  Although the land was settled around 1828, the house is not made of log structure, but is made of heavy cut timbers, then clapboards were put over the outside.  An interesting feature of the house is the “catted noggin.”  The early settlers used this method, that of splitting saplings and putting them between the timbers then dabbing mud and straw onto them as a kind of plaster, to better seal the house.  The house was originally constructed with an outside, second story balcony, overlooking the Middle Fork of the Salt River.  The house, which is owned by the Corps of Engineers, is now occupied by Raymond Scott.

     The Samuel H. Smith house, located a few miles northeast of the Mappin house, is an unusually fine example of the early log construction.  Many of the logs in this house are as large as 17” wide and were joined at the corners with dovetails.  The land in the area of this house was settled in 1828.  The Monroe County History notes that Samuel H. Smith was appointed as the first Monroe County Collector during the second term of the Monroe County Court, held May 2, 1831.  He also served on the third grand jury in the county, the history notes.  The Smith house is also known as the old Scobee house, and was known as the Barker place when it was sold to the Corps.

     The James Miller house, located on Corps of Engineers land, is one of the later houses built in the Smith Settlement.  The land was settled in 1837.       Ms. Platz noted that there may be more structures which were part of the Smith Settlement, and urged anyone knowing of a structure which could be log to contact her.

     Contrary to the belief that the settlers used crude and primitive methods of construction, the houses of the Smith Settlement were well constructed, apparently by people who were acquainted with fine carpentry methods.  Most of the houses also have painstakingly laid floors.  Although much can be gained by a study of the structures, Ms. Platz stressed the need for original source material in her search.  She requested that persons with primary documents, such as letters, photographs, diaries and journals contact her.  They could prove more invaluable to more fully understanding the settlers’ way of life.



The Turning Page

Fifty Years Ago

  • Dr. S. W. Downing of Thompson, came to Perry and opened a drug store.

  • Mrs. Beshears, of Salem, passed away.  She was the mother of Hiram Beshears, of Center.

  • The steamer “Flying Eagle” with about 200 Sunday School children aboard, sand at the drawbridge just north of Hannibal.  Four people were drowned.

  • A baby daughter was born to Mr. and Mrs. Thos. Scobee, near Goss.

  • Robert Carman and Miss Alice Gibbs, of near Florida, were married.

  • Mr. and Mrs. Chas. Sankpill, of near Hutchison, were the parents of a baby son.

  • T. A. Fitzpatrick was postmaster of Perry.

  • Winters & Tucker, of Perry, sold the Levi Keithly farm of 400 acres near Center, to Peter Sandel, of Illinois.


(Note:  the baby daughter mentioned was my grandmother, Frances Kathleen Scobee Henderson.)



Twenty-Five Years After Graduation From High School

Here is part of the Paris High School class of 1925, as they appeared at a class reunion Sunday, 25 years after graduation.  With them are R. T. Scobee, supt. in 1925, and E. T. Fuller, speaker on Sunday.  Story on Page 2.  Those in picture, left to right:  Cecil Ensor, Clyde H. Wood, E. T. Fuller, Virgie Lee Peters, Paul Gerster, Ray Francis, Beulah Dean Phillips, Mary Legrand, John Warren, Ruth Sheerman, Brooks Vaughn, Anna Mae McGahen, Berniece Hawker, Ralph Howe, Edna Gwynn, R. T. Scobee, Harley Jackson, Lon James, Perlie Murphy, Annabelle Lyle, Erma Tipton, Estil Pugh


(Note:  This is the caption for a picture.  The article was not attached.)


The ninth grade has been increased by six in the past week.  Pauline Waller comes from Powers school; Frances Scobee and Edna Roney from Kirkland school:  while the Smizer district furnishes three – Fannie Lee Riley, Margaret Shumard and Raymond See.

(Note:  Date would be approximately 1919.)