Ozarks History

Information and comments about historical people and events of 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 fourteen nonfiction books, two novels, and numerous articles. My latest books are A Concise Encyclopedia of the Ozarks, Bushwhacker Belles, and Wicked Women of Missouri.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Cross Timbers

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the heyday of Windyville, a small community that was located in northeast Dallas County about ten miles northeast of Buffalo. Actually, I guess I should say it still is located there, what's left of it.
Another town in the same general vicinity that is well past its prime is Cross Timbers, located about 29 miles north of Buffalo on Highway 65 in northern Hickory County. While present-day Cross Timbers amounts to quite a bit more than Windyville, it is, as I say, well past its prime. Back in the day, though, it was a booming little town.
A correspondent to the Springfield Republican in October of 1911 gave an overview of Cross Timbers at the time. The town and its surroundings, said the correspondent, was "not a paradise for the shiftless, but a land of great promise for the willing worker."
Cross Timbers had a population of about 400 people at the time. It had a state bank with over $100,000 in assets. Other businesses included a flour mill, five general stores, one 25-room hotel, one confectionary, one furniture store, a barber shop, a photo gallery, an undertaking business, two blacksmiths, and one restaurant.
The town also had one doctor, one lawyer, and two churches. One of the churches had a full-time minister, while the other pulpit was filled by supply ministers.
The Cross Timbers school was a four-room brick building that cost $4,000 to build. The school was mainly for grades 1-8, but it also offered high school work if demand warranted. The school had two teachers who had completed normal school training, a library, and "other necessary equipment." The school had 82 students, fielded a basketball team, and offered "commodious grounds for exercise."
The town had two active fraternal organizations, the Odd Fellows and the Modern Woodmen.
The correspondent noted that the sentiment of the townspeople was strongly anti-saloon, and Cross Timbers had no saloons.
Dairy farming was the dominant occupation of the citizens in the countryside around Cross Timbers.

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