Friday, March 28, 2008

Rootbound in the Hills #22:
23 Feb 1988

by Rocky Macy

My good friends, Fred and Margaret ANDERSON SMITH, of Goodman, MO, sent me a wonderful little book this past week. Ozark Trails and Tales: A Collection of Memories by Fred Wellington SMITH is a delightful account of a trip that Fred and his father took to Chicago in 1922. It is supplemented with many vignettes of life in and around Goodman in the 1920's. The book was compiled and edited by Fred's son as a surprise for his father.

Fred's parents were James Van Etta SMITH and Caroline Estelle STAIGER SMITH. The family moved from Kansas City to Goodman in 1911 after taking advantage of an offer from Kansas City Southern Railway to provide free round trip transportation to anyone who wanted to look for property along the rail line. Fred was only four-years-old when they arrived in Goodman.

Here is a small sampler from Ozark Trails and Tales:
"Do you remember how the Civil War vets would come to town on the 4th of July waving the Yankee and the Confederate hats?

"Two Civil War vets that I knew real well were J.A. BRAY and C.R. EDDINGS. They both bought Model Ts about the same time.

"Mr. EDDINGS learned to drive his after having his right leg amputated. That was because he had bought a pair of aluminum shoes about a year before and developed a bunion on his right foot. Actually they were like snow shoes with spikes on the soles for walking on ice and aluminum capped toes. They had pretty good leather and were supposed to last a long time. I guess the right one did."

Fred's humor is also evident in his poetry. This selection is entitled "Hotel Goodman":
"Did you ever eat dinner in the old Goodman Hotel?
And listen to the stories that the old timers would tell?
Or drink from the wooden bucket at the old Goodman well?
If the man before you chewed tobacco, how the water would smell!"

Persons desiring more information about Ozark Trails and Tales may write to Fred SMITH at P.O. Box 276, Goodman, MO 64843.

Several weeks ago I mentioned the fine genealogy collection at the City-County Library in Neosho. This week I received a letter from Phyllis CHANCELLOR HOLLEY, chairperson of Genealogy Friends of the Library, a support group for the City-County Library. She explained that the group was formed to share genealogical materials for the library.

Genealogy Friends of the Library meet the second Monday of each month in the genealogy room of the City-County Library. They publish a bimonthly newsletter for members. Membership dues are $7 per year. For further information, please contact Genealogy Friends of the Library, 507 W. Hickory, Neosho, MO 64850. My check is in the mail!

I have also recently joined the Missouri State Genealogical Association (P.O. Box 833, Columbia, MO 65205). $10 annual dues entitle members to issues of its newsletter and quarterly journal. Members may submit information for publication and free queries of up to fifty words. The organization also collects and publishes four-generation charts of its members.

I'm still waiting to hear from Rootbound readers about the possibility of establishing a genealogical group in this area. Share your thoughts on this idea - please!

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