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.
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.
in Santa Fe Area
Mrs. Eugene Sharp
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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¢.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.”
Undated newspaper articles.