Information and comments about historical people and events of the Ozarks region and surrounding area.
- Name: Larry Wood
- Location: Missouri
I'm a freelance writer specializing in the history of the Ozarks and surrounding region. I've written twelve nonfiction books, two novels, and numerous articles. My latest books are Murder and Mayhem in Missouri; The Siege of Lexington, Missouri: the Battle of the Hemp Bales; and A Concise Encyclopedia of the Ozarks.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Livingston was an interesting character who refutes the common perception of Confederate guerrillas in Missouri. Today they are thought of by many as little more than outlaws who merely used the Civil War to indulge an already-established proclivity toward lawless behavior, but, in reality, such a stereotype fits a relatively small number of them. Livingston, for instance, was a well-respected merchant and smelter in Jasper County prior to the war, and many of his followers were landowners and established citizens of the county. Livingston lived at a place called French Point, located on Center Creek just a mile or two west of present-day Oronogo, which was known as Minersville during the Civil War, and most of his men, as I pointed out last time, came from the western half of Jasper County in and around Sherwood.
Livingston was killed in July 1863 while leading a charge on the courthouse at Stockton in Cedar County. Acording to one story, he was brought back to Sherwood and buried in the cemetery there, but a second, more likley story, says he was buried in an unmarked grave at Stockton.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
At the time of the Civil War, Sherwood was the third-largest village in Jasper County, trailing only Carthage and Sarcoxie. On May 18, 1863, Jasper County guerrilla leader Thomas Livingston surprised and overran a foraging party of Union soldiers southeast of Sherwood, killing about twenty of them. Most of the dead men were black soldiers stationed at Baxter Springs, Kansas, and the next day Federal troops from the post came back to Missouri and burned Sherwood to the ground, because most of Livingston's men lived in and around the village. Most of the civilian refugees from the destroyed town fled to Texas, and Sherwood was never rebuilt.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
It was located on the south bank of the White River just below the Missouri-Arkansas line near where the community of Diamond City is now situated a few miles north of Lead Hill, except that the actual town site of old Dubuque was covered by the waters of Bull Shoals Lake when the dam was completed in 1951.
During the first half of the nineteenth century, Dubuque was the northern-most point for steamboat travel on the White River, and the town was a receiving point for merchandise headed to Forsyth and other places upstream via the old Dubuque-Forsyth road and a shipping point for furs and other goods headed downstream. Today, much of the old road is likewise covered by Bull Shoals.
During the Civil War, Dubuque was a Confederate stronghold and the site of a lead smelter that supplied bullets for rebel forces. It was the scene of several minor skirmishes, including one in November of 1862 when Captain Milton Burch led an expedition of the Fourteenth Missouri Cavalry (Militia) into southern Missouri and northern Arkansas. In his after-action report on the mission, Burch explained, "I thought it best to visit the vicinity of Dubuque and break up the harbors of the rebels who have with impunity infested that portion of the country." The result of the raid on Dubuque, according to Burch, was twelve Southerners killed and one taken prisoner. Among those killed was a man named Oldham, who was the postmaster at Dubuque.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
As I've chronicled during the past couple of weeks, Granby had at least five desperate characters who not only were associated with the town during the post-Civil War era but who lived there during most of their youth and early manhood, and this number does not include brothers and other sidekicks of the notorious quintet. If another town of comparable size produced as many infamous characters during America's Wild West era as Granby, I don't know what that town would be.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
What is known is that Layton and Hudson, along with Hudson's brother Jack, were passing through Batesville, Arkansas, on the evening of November 7, 1879, and tarried in town long enough to get into a barroom brawl. They conked one man over the head with a pistol and fired a shot at another one. A posse followed them to their camp outside town and captured George Hudson after an exchange of lead, but the other two men escaped. Layton came back to Batesville the next night to try to break George Hudson out of jail and was shot and killed after he was recognized and ordered to halt but went for his gun instead. Thus was cut short the promising criminal career of Robert Layton.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
For a more detailed account of Hudson's murderous shenanigans, look for my article in an upcoming issue of Wild West Magazine on the "autocrat" who sat on the "criminal throne" at Granby.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
About two years later, Hobbs Kerry drifted to nearby Joplin, also a booming mining town, where he met Bruce Younger, half-uncle of the infamous Younger brothers, and made the acquaintance of two members of the James-Younger gang. In June of 1876, he and the two gang members rode north to link up with Frank James, Jesse James, Cole Younger, Bob Younger, and one other man. In early July the eight gang members robbed a train on the Missouri Pacific Railroad just east of Otterville in Cooper County. Kerry, though, was quickly captured after he came back home to Granby and started flashing cash around. He received a light sentence in exchange for his cooperation, but by the time he gave his incriminating testimony, the other members of the gang were already headed north on an ill-fated mission to rob a Northfield (Minnesota) bank.
For a more detailed account of Hobbs Kerry's brief outlaw career, you might want to read my article in the October 2008 issue of Wild West Magazine.