Santa Fe

Benjamin Young settled on the South Fork river not far from here as early as 1820's.  He was the only settler in that portion of the county until 1828.  

The town was laid out in 1837 and was named after Sante Fe, New Mexico.  The first business in town was opened by Henry Canote in 1837.   It was called a "grocery" , but its main item of trade was whiskey.  The first real General Store was opened by Mr. Clemens and Mr. Hall.  The first blacksmith was Thomas Mosely. Dr. D. L. Davis was the first doctor.  Alvin Cauthorn was the first tailor.  The first mill was 3 miles north of Sante Fe on the south fork of the Salt River, built in 1838 by Bybee and Canote.  The first Church was built by the Methodists prior to 1840. 

Business in Santa Fe Area

By Mrs. Eugene Sharp

“SANTA FE – wonder if some people in this community know that there was a railroad from Santa Fe to Mexico at one time. There was, it was started in 1909 and they began laying the track for Mexico – Santa Fe – Perry Traction Co., in Mexico, March 1, 1910.

Judge Crumb drove the Golden Spike where the new West Shopping Plaza is now being built. At that time, Santa Fe was one of the oldest towns in Missouri and was waking up, planning to grow and prosper.

Dr. J.S. Drake and Dr. McDowell Botts pioneered in X-ray and Dr. Botts lost an arm due to the use of X-ray. His brother, Dr. Will Botts, whose wife was the former Verna Bates, was a physician here. R.A. Hanger was a liveryman and had a stable just east of his house, which is now owned by Mrs. Rose Hardin of Boca Raton, Fla. T.E. Hendricks owned and operated a sawmill and Tom Anderson and J.A. Crump were painters. J.N. Bishop, father of Russell Bishop, was a carpenter. Miss Mary Wilson, now of Moberly, was postmaster and also had a grocery store. Jack Stephens bought cream, eggs, and hides, and Perry Davis had a general store. D.M. Fields had a lumberyard, and the home of Henry Taylor, just north of Thomas Mowen’s blacksmith shop now, is a part of that lumberyard. C.M. Paris was mail carrier from here to Paris and made the trips by horse and buggy. L.G. Howard and sons, O.T. and Lloyd Howard were millers and Isaac Wilson, James Camplin and Ernest Smiley were blacksmiths. William Brown was a barber and Leander Heckart, father of Lulu (Heckart) Scobee, had a butcher shop and restaurant. C.E. Smith was cashier of Santa Fe Bank. Troy Lane now owns the old bank building which is an old brick building just next to the Thomas Hendricks residence.

J.R. Smiley was a farmer just east of Santa Fe, where Mr. and Mrs. Mark Henrichsen now reside. W.L. Bybee and George Pittman were among the farmers and stockmen who shipped livestock from Santa Fe to Mexico over this “Short Line” as it was called. It isn’t certain whether Miss Annie and Miss Cordie Snyder ran the Santa Fe Hotel at that time, but they did at a later date. There was an electric car line with a long arm extending above the top of the cars to the electric cable which made it run. Power was generated from Davis Fork, with the power house just below Colonial Hill Farm. There were two passenger cars on this line one of them was yellow and the other one was gray. The line ran on the north of Santa Fe School and the depot was behind the Christian Church. In case you are wondering how the cars turned around, they didn’t. The arm that extended from the car to the electric line, had a rope attached to it. When it was ready to leave for Molino and Mexico, someone held of the rope, pulled the extension arm to the opposite end of the car, and away they went.

The stock pens where livestock was loaded, was across the road from the present home of Mr. and Mrs. Mac Snyder and Kathy. This line ran from Mexico to Molino for a few years before coming to Santa Fe. When it first came from Molino into Monroe County, Sue Ringo, Petey Marshall and Harry McGee were the first to buy a pass to Santa Fe. It cost 45 cents to ride back to Mexico. It was in 1915 when the line came to Santa Fe, which at that time had a population of 135. I will try to tell more about this next week also tell to whom I am indebted to for some of the information on this but part of it I remember myself.

In an earlier article I made mention of the newspaper, The Santa Fe Progress, that Santa Fe once had. I do not know how long the paper was published but I am indebted to the Rev. John H. Vanlandingham for some excerpts that I have taken from The Santa Fe Progress, July 12, 1917. Beneath the name of the paper was the following: “Published in the Best Town in the Best County in the Best State in the Union.” It also told of the death of Dr. J.S. Drake, grandfather of John H. on July 10 about 1 o’clock. His death was very unexpected. John Henry recalled his parents saying that the Doctor had mad a house call in the afternoon before, to the home of the late J.R. Smiley to see Mr. Smiley’s mother. The Editor and Manager of this newspaper was George H. Iseminger. Subscription rates were 1 year $1; six months 50¢; three months 35¢.

Another article read: Dr. and Mrs. W.F. Botts are sporting a new roadster car, a Monroe, which the doctor bought in Mexico of I.N. Bailey the latter part of last week.” The doctor mentioned was a brother of the late Dr. McDowell Botts who at one time was a doctor in Santa Fe. Dr. W.F. Botts wife was the former Verna Bates, an aunt of Bates Browning of near Santa Fe now. This is the time card of the Mexico, Santa Fe, Perry Electric Railway that also appeared in this paper. Leave Santa Fe, No. 2 7:15 a.m.; No. 1 9:30 a.m.; No. 2 1:00 p.m.; No. 1 4:00 p.m. Leave Mexico, No. 1 7:15 a.m.; No. 2 9:30 a.m.; No. 1 1:30 p.m.; No 2 4:30 p.m. Since these cars left the two places at the same time we are sure that they had to switch in Molino in order to make the trips. 

J.B. Bates owned the drugstore in Santa Fe we are sure in 1910 and some earlier. Mac Snyder has a bottle that came from J.B. Bates Druggist in Santa Fe. Dr. J.S. Drake was the doctor who prescribed the medicine; it read: ‘6 drops 3 times a day after meals in a little cold water. Shake bottle.’ Mrs. Bates was Bates Browning’s maternal grandfather. At this time, the doctors of the community were the pharmacists. Mr. Bates sold the drugstore to Dr. McDowell and Dr. Wm. Botts in 1910. Some time after that, we think about 1923, they sold it to Dr. Ernest Bridgford, father of the late Wilbur Bridgford of Mexico. We know that Dr. Bridgford was still running the drugstore in September of 1925 for we have several dishes that we received at our shower that came from his drugstore.

There was also another business in Santa Fe in earlier days, that I remember when I was a girl. It was that of Dan Fleming, of selling buggies. He had two buggy houses just east of the Methodist Church. Mr. Fleming’s first wife was a sister of my maternal grandmother, Mrs. J.F. Sterrett; they were sisters of the late G.L. and Robert Fairbairn of here. Mr. Fleming’s second wife was the former Isabell Wilson, aunt of Oren and the late Cleve Wilson of here.

Editor’s Note – According to Taft’s “Missouri Newspaper, Where and When”, the “Santa Fe Progress” ran only a short time in 1916 and 1917. The history also shows that a newspaper called the “Advertiser” was published at Santa Fe in 1897 to 1900, the “Herald” was operated for a short time in 1894, and “The Record” in 1906 and 1907. Thus Santa Fe has had four newspapers, all weeklies, and all of only a short span.”

“SANTA FE – I will try and give more about the “Electric Short Line” between Mexico and Santa Fe but first I want clear up something that appeared in last week’s items. I did not mean to give the impression that Dr. J.S. Drake was also a pioneer in x-ray, for he was a General Practitioner back in the horse and buggy days when he would go to the houses to make calls on his patients far and near. He was the grandfather of Herbert and the Rev. John H. Vanlandingham.

When work on the grades for the track was being done it was with teams of horses and mules. One of the highest grades between Santa Fe and Molino was on the Bob Hurd Farm on the south forty. Mr. Hurd was the father of the former Carrie Hurd, now Mrs. Edward Peak of Santa Fe. Mr. and Mrs. Billy Steelman now live on this farm. The railroad crew had their tents on the east side of the road between the Henry Fisher place and the Fisher School. The men would buy homemade light bread from Mrs. Sarah Baker, mother of Miss Ella Baker of Mexico; and from Mrs. Tuck Littrell, mother of the late Mrs. Frank Harlow. The Littrells lived where Mr. and Mrs. Richard Greenburg now live, and the Bakers lived in the house just west of where Fisher School stood. It is now owned by Andy Runge of Mexico. They also bought bread from Mrs. Henry Fisher who lived just north of the Fisher School on what will be remembered by many as the Will Talley farm. The workers also bought fresh buttermilk from Mrs. Charlie Sharp, mother of Eugene Sharp, while working on this railroad.

William T. (Buddy) Fisher of Mexico, was motorman on the “Short Line” from Mexico to Molino and Santa Fe all the time. He now lives on N. Clark St. in Mexico. The late Eugene Williams, husband of the former Lela Davis, now of Mexico, was also motorman on one of the cars. His late brother, Clark Williams, husband of the former Mary Beckley now of Mexico, was conductor. When the “Short Line” was returning to Mexico from Santa Fe once there were so many army worms on the track that it would not run. The passengers had to get off and push a path. Army worms are larvae of a night flying moth that often travels with large numbers of its kind, devastating grain and garden crops. Another time a stockcar loaded with hogs jumped the track and turned the carload of hogs over near the Will Sharp farm, killing some of the hogs and injuring others. A hole had to be cut in the side of the car to let the hogs out and of course they were scattered. Mr. Sharp was the father of Mrs. Ira Smith of near here, and Mrs. William Grow of Paris. This farm might be better known to some of the younger generation as the John R. Carter farm where the Charles L. Foster family now resides. It was nothing unusual for the cars to jump the track, and when they did they had to use crowbar to get them back on the tracks again.

I can well remember when several of us school girls would put hairpins on the track to be flattened out when the cars ran over them. I, too, remember when my father, W.L. Bybee, would drive hogs from our home to the stockyard to be loaded onto the stock cars. It would take about every member of the family to drive them over and there would always be some very contrary ones. The hogs would get very hot and tired before getting there, and sometimes we would have to pour cold water on them when they would get so hot.

Another place of business in Santa Fe during the time of the “Short Line,” and even after, was the Hanger-Snyder Undertaker Establishment which was in the Store building just north across the street from the Snyder-Clement garage, now owned by Mr. and Mrs. James Davis. Frank Snyder bought out the Hanger interest. The hearse was a horse drawn vehicle. Mr. Snyder was the father of Mac Snyder and Mrs. Stanley Poage. Mrs. Poage has her father’s diploma that he received from St. Louis College of Embalming May 31, 1916. She also ran across a certificate of her father being appointed Santa Fe Postmaster dated June 16, 1911 by Frank M. Hitchcock, Postmaster General of the United States. 

There was a newspaper, “The Santa Fe Progress” in Santa Fe at this time. The owner and editor was George Iseminger. Mr. Iseminger and his family lived in the hours where Mrs. Cash Scrogin now lives and owns, across the road north of the Santa Fe Community Center. The Iseminger children were Ila, Beth, Myrtle, Raymond and I think there was also a younger boy. He was one of my best friends during out grade school days. As well as I remember they moved from here to Carthage, Mo., and I heard from Ila even after she married Francis Peasley. Like a lot of others, we became careless in writing and I do not know her whereabouts. I plan to tell something more about this newspaper, which published the timetable for this short line. Some friends in this community have a copy which also contains an obituary of Dr. J.S. Drake.

Irene Hendricks Reed gave this information – Students from Santa Fe who attended the Mexico High School would ride daily on the electric train. She recalls what happened one morning at the creek which the train had to cross. There had been a big rain the night before and when they came to the creek the water was rushing under the bridge and it looked very dangerous. The conductor had the passengers get off and walk across the bridge and the motorman also got off and walked across. The conductor got the train started it again as it came to the bridge he jumped off. It was going very slowly and when the train got across the motorman jumped on and stopped the train. The conductor walked across and he and the passengers got back on the train and all arrived in Mexico “safe and sound”.”

As automobiles were coming into being and we were entering World War I, the sale of the old Electric Line was at the Courthouse in Mexico on Saturday, May 18, 1917. It was sold to the government for scrap iron and brought $37,000. A small steam engine was used when they tore up the track. I am indebted to Miss Martha Tuepker of the Audrain Historical Society of Mexico and Buddy Fisher of Mexico; Mrs. Edward Peak and Mrs. Stanley Poage of Santa Fe and my husband, Eugene Sharp for some of the information I have used in writing of the Mexico-Santa Fe-Perry Traction Company.”

Source: Undated newspaper articles.