Missouri and Ozarks History

Information and comments about historical people and events of Missouri, the Ozarks region, and surrounding area.

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Location: Missouri

I'm a freelance writer specializing in the history of the Ozarks and surrounding region. I've written sixteen nonfiction books, two historical novels, and numerous articles. My latest books are Wicked Women of Missouri, Yanked Into Eternity: Lynchings and Hangings in Missouri, and Show-Me Atrocities: Infamous Incidents in Missouri History.

Monday, April 27, 2009

West Plains Notables

Although West Plains is not in my neck of the Ozarks (and, in fact, I don't recall that I've ever even been there) I've been aware for years that the town was home to both country music star Porter Wagoner and major league baseball player Preacher Roe. I think I was previously aware, too, that major league player and manager Bill Virdon grew up there.
However, I was unaware until I started doing a little digging that West Plains was apparently home to a couple of other minor celebrities. Ted Gullic, another major league baseball player, also hailed from West Plains, and so, too, did Jan Howard, a country singer who was famous for her duets with whisperin' Bill Anderson in the 1960s, as well as a couple of songs she did by herself.
West Plains has streets named after most of its famous natives. Apparently, Ted Gullic is the only exception. I guess he has been gone too long or else he wasn't famous enough. Someone in West Plains needs to start a campaign for Ted.
At any rate, West Plains seems to have more than its share of well-known people who were associated with the town. Five celebrities for a town of a little over ten thousand people seems like quite a few.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

i believe dick vandyke was born there also

May 5, 2015 at 7:11 PM  

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