Ozarks History

Information and comments about historical people and events of 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 fifteen nonfiction books, two historical novels, and numerous articles. My latest books are Bushwhacker Belles, Wicked Women of Missouri, and Yanked Into Eternity: Lynchings and Hangings in Missouri.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Simcoe or Simco

I think I remarked in a previous post on the the fact that newspapermen of yore seemed to have employed more colorful language than their modern-day counterparts, who are given to a more matter-of-fact and linear style. The same observation seems also to apply to historians. Some of the county histories written during the late 1800s, for example, are fun to read not just for the wealth of information they contain but also for the colorful, sometimes amusing, way in which the authors impart the information. Two or three weeks ago, for instance, I quoted the colorful words that Sturgis's History of McDonald County uses to describe the demise of Silver Springs.
The author employs similar language in his description of the death of Simcoe (sometimes spelled Simco), a small hamlet located in the northeast part of the county five or six miles from Rocky Comfort. For a while during the latter part of the nineteenth century, the place had a cooperative store run by and for surrounding farmers, but the experiment failed and the store soon passed into private hands. Sturgis describes the rest of the story in his characteristically picturesque fashion: "The neighboring farmers who had banked their savings in the enterprise, for a while basked in the sunlight of their day-visions when they were to be bloated bond holders and sport gold-headed canes. But the weird soughing of the wind through the bare shelves and the rattle of mice in the empty sugar barrels awoke them from their bright dreams, and a melancholy search was made in the recesses of their jeans for about $2000 to settle the liabilities."
Today Simco is a mere wide place in the road, if it's even that. I've actually not driven through Simco recently, if ever. So, I'm not sure exactly what is there, but I know it's not much, whatever it is.

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