Missouri and Ozarks History

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

My Photo
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.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Slicker Wars and other Vigilante Feuds

Vigilante movements of old usually started in one particular area but often spread to neighboring communities. For instance, the Bald Knobberism that sprang up in Taney County during the mid 1880s soon spread to nearby Christian and Douglas counties. Also, sometimes a later vigilante movement would simply take the name of an earlier one. The Regulators of Greeene County shortly after the close of the Civil War were preceded by the Regulators of Missouri's territorial days fifty years earlier. The territorial Regulators were centered around the St. Louis area, notably St. Charles County, and spread to nearby counties like Lincoln. The dispute, at least initially, involved bogus bank notes. There have been other vigilante groups throughout American history who called themselves "regulators," and there may well have been others just in Missouri's history, because the term "regulators" was quite common.
The Slicker Wars of the 1840s in Benton and Hickory counties of Missouri also had some of the characteristics of a vigilante movement, although it apparently devolved into little more than a feud. It, too, seemingly spread from its point of origin to neighboring communities, but even pinning down exactly where its point of origin was is somewhat difficult. I've read at least two different accounts of the feud. One says it started south of Warsaw but still in Benton County, whereas the other places the center of the feud around Quincy in Hickory County and extending as far south as Elkton, which was a "hot bed of contention." Both accounts give Turk, Jones, and Nowell (or Newell) as some of the principal family names associated with the feud, but one account also chronicles the large role played by the Hobbs family while the other fails to even mention the Hobbses. Apparently the Slicker Wars started out as a dispute over gambling but expanded into a general feud.
As I mentioned in a previous post, researching pre-Civil War events in the Ozarks is difficult, but finding out more about the so-called Slicker Wars of the Benton/Hickory counties area is something I might like to attempt one of these days.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

hit counter
web hosting providers