Missouri and Ozarks History

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

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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.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Lucille Morris Upton

To future generations of Ozarkians, Lucille Morris Upton may best be remembered as the author of a book about the Bald Knobbers, but I remember her best as editor of a column in the Springfield Daily News that she filled with poetry and stories from contributors throughout the Ozarks. Originally called the "The Wastebasket," the title of the column evolved to "The Ozarks Wastebasket" and then to "Over the Ozarks." The column ran from 1947 to 1963 under Upton's editorship (although it predated her editorship) and continued for some years after 1963 under other editorship. Some of the contributors were well known, like Rosa Zagnoni Marinoni (poet laureate of Arkansas) and Edsel Ford. Others were somewhat lesser known, such as my father, Ben L. Wood, whose poetry regularly appeared in the column, while there were no doubt some contributors who were published in "Over the Ozarks" one or two times and never again in the Springfield paper or anywhere else. The column was filled mostly with poetry, but it also included brief stories and tales.
Upton also edited a column entitled "Good Old Days" that appeared only in the Sunday edition of the Springfield newspaper. It focused on the history of Springfield. Upton would comb Springfield newspapers from 50 years earlier and then write fictitious letters from "Celia" to her aunt in St. Louis describing what was going on in Springfield at that time (50 years prior).


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