Samuel S. Headlee
Before and during the early part of the war, Headlee was a circuit-riding minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church who often preached at Pleasant View. The Civil War tore the church apart, and it split into two factions, the ME Church North and the ME Church South. Although the Northern faction came to dominate the church by the time the war ended, the Southern faction still claimed title to the building.
The Drake Constitution, adopted in Missouri shortly after the war, forbade anyone who had sympathized with the Confederacy from holding a responsible job like teaching, preaching, or practicing law without first taking an oath of allegiance to the Union. Headlee, as an unrepentant Confederate sympathizer, refused to take the oath but decided nonetheless to try to reclaim the Pleasant View Church for the Southern faction. When he announced that he was going to hold a revival meeting there near the end of July 1866, the Northern faction organized to oppose him and warned him not to try to carry through on his plans.
The headstrong Headlee showed up anyway on the appointed day insisting on his right to preach, but a mob that had gathered to challenge him forced him off the church grounds. As he was removing to some land he owned in the vicinity with plans to preach on his own property, he was shot and killed about a quarter of a mile from the church.