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.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Morgan, Lalede County

I don't think I've ever been to Morgan, Missouri. I've been to Lebanon and other places in Laclede County numerous times but not Morgan. It's located in such an out-of-the-way place that you wouldn't normally pass through Morgan on your way to anywhere else. And I've never had a reason to make Morgan my actual destination. As far as I can tell, there wouldn't be much to see if I did go, because there's not much there. This hasn't always been the case, though.
Morgan, located in southern Laclede County, came into being on March 31, 1896, when Philip Rader established a post office there and became its first postmaster. He named the place Morgan after Asa Morgan, a local resident and Civil War veteran.
By 1925, Morgan had grown into a small town of 100 people with a city government and a thriving business community. W. A. Foster was mayor in 1925, and the town had two general stores, a bank, a barber shop, two churches, an elementary school, a canning factory, a garage, an ice cream parlor, a produce exchange, a post office, a mill, and a blacksmith.
In 1925, J. H. Linsay, one of the general store owners, had the longest tenure of any businessman in town. "There have been many who have come and gone," said a correspondent to the Springfield Republican, "but Harvey still stays in the corner and vends his many wares." Linsay tried to keep everything in stock that might be needed on the farm, and he would "buy anything that the farmer has to sell."
The Bank of Morgan was established in 1919 with a capital of $10,000. The bank had "always been able to run on its own resources." The garage owner, Charles Adkins, said the correspondent, "enjoys fishing and hunting as well as working, but is always ready to work and can fix anything that is needed about a car."
The town's two churches were the Lutheran and the Missionary Baptist. The Lutheran Church had full services every Sunday, while the Baptist had only a one-fourth time preacher but with Sunday School and prayer meetings every week.
"The little postmistress," said the correspondent, "is ever ready to attend to Uncle Sam's business," although he didn't give the name of the "little postmistress."
The elementary school was for grades 1-8, and C. R. Willard was the teacher.
The correspondent predicted that Morgan, located "on a good road nine miles east of Conway on the Frisco," was destined "soon to become a much larger town."
Alas, it was not to be. What would the prognosticating correspondent think if he could see the town of Morgan today?

2 Comments:

Anonymous Marcal Eilenstein said...

Larry:

Having been through Morgan hundreds of times in my life, I can tell you that I have often heard about the post office run out of the postmaster's house, and the churches are still there, but not much else. There is a gas station/garage, but no ice cream parlor, sadly. Anyone who lives there now is a farmer or a commuter into Lebanon, I reckon.

April 21, 2017 at 3:45 PM  
Blogger Larry Wood said...

Thanks for the additional info about Morgan, Marcal. Too bad the ice cream parlor is gone.

April 22, 2017 at 8:11 PM  

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