Times Past: Dec. 13, 2017


This photo, from the collection of Judy Ford Lyons, shows Ozark County’s second jail, built in the 1870s in Gainesville and most likely the one mentioned in the 1897 report of a prisoner’s attempted escaped in this week’s Times Past. A History of Ozark County, 1841-1991 says the two-story jail, about 12’ x 18’, was attached to the sheriff’s dwelling with removable steps leading to a second-story doorway. The lower jail level could be entered from the long porch fronting the sheriff’s dwelling. The jail and dwelling were “located in the field across Lick Creek, northeasterly from the town square, where Highway 160 bridge crosses the creek,” according to the history book. In its Dec. 28, 1905, edition, the Ozark County Republican expressed its opinion that “the jail ... is little better than a hog pen, ...disgraceful to the county.” A later newspaper story said the old jail “is immediately below a livery stable and the drainage from the stable naturally makes the jail a very unsanitary place to confine persons.” In its Jan. 11, 1907, edition, the Ozark County Times reported that the county court had appointed a committee to select a site and erect “a good substantial stone jail for Ozark County.” That jail is believed to stand today near Harlin Drive and Third Street and is owned by Wayne and Doris Sayles.

Ozark County News

Dec. 9, 1897

Fred Smith: A rural teacher driven to fulfill expectations


Fred Smith is the little guy in the white shirt and light-colored overalls on the right end of the front row in this photo of the Upper Brixey school that was probably taken in 1917 or 1918. Most of the other students are unknown, but Beulah Collins Smith, the teacher, is the dark-headed woman standing in front of the door of the school, which still stands on Highway 181 south of Rockbridge.

Editor’s note: To read more of the reminiscences of Ozark County native Ronnie Parsons, now living in Texas, visit his Facebook page

Christmas events continue in Ozark County this week


Rocky Top Campground, off Highway 160 at the top of the Tecumseh curves, welcomes area residents and visitors to its drive-through Christmas lights display. Owners Joe and Diane Easterday say the drive-through is open to everyone and will continue nightly from dark until about 10 p.m. through the New Year’s. Photo submitted.

Christmas events are continuing this week throughout the area. 

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Ozark County Times

504 Third Steet
PO Box 188
Gainesville, MO 65655

Phone: (417) 679-4641
Fax: (417) 679-3423

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