Times Past


This photo of Dr. W. T. “Willy” Wiles is from an unidentified and undated newspaper clipping posted on the Bakersfield School Alumni Facebook page. A 1901 Ozark County Times item (below) shares a Bakersfield report that Wiles had left for Memphis to attend medical school. The caption accompanying the newspaper photo, obviously published some years later, said Dr. Wiles was “one of four physicians who practiced in the Bakersfield area in the early part of this century. They all would make area house calls day or night on horseback or in a horse-drawn buggy. Wiles, who died in 1961, was Mrs. Swain’s brother and the uncle of Dr. Jack Wiles of West Plains.”
Ozark County Times Nov. 15, 1901 Bakersfield – W. T. Wiles departed Sunday to attend medical college in Memphis, Tenn.     Nov. 27, 1908 Dora – Mrs. Tilda Bennett, wife of Jim Bennett, died at their home just south of Dora last Tuesday night. She was interred in the Sweeton cemetery Thursday at...

These men may have been members of the Gainesville Band who, according to an item in the Nov. 14, 1895, Ozark County News, reprinted below, “ascended the big hill opposite town and rendered several pieces of good music.” Front row, from left: John C. Harlin, Roy Tate, Guy Wood, Harry Walker. Middle: Everett Luna, Harry Force. Back: George Boone, Charley Burk, Averill Harrison, Frank Walker, Will Burk, Unknown. The photo is from John Harlin’s collection; the names were written on the photo by the late Madge Harlin Brown.
Ozark County News Nov. 14, 1895 Last Sunday morning the Gainesville Band ascended the big hill opposite town and rendered several pieces of good music. A better time could not have been selected. The morning was cool, the atmosphere light and clear, and the sun was shining brightly. The band could...

As Ozark County native John R. Sims celebrates his 90th birthday (see page 7), we thought it was a good time to share again this photo of the Sims Locker Plant in Gainesville, from the collection of the late Phyllis Herndon and shared by her niece, Rhonda Herndon. Shown in the 1949 photo are, from left, Odean Goodway, P.O. Sims, John R. Sims, Alton Kyle with son Jimmy, Neil Lawrence, Howard Wade, Jack Barger and Bob Kyle. John R. Sims, now living in Mountain Home, Arkansas, operated the business with his father, P.O. Sims. He told the Times in 2016 he does not recall the occasion for the photo but did remember that Egbert Robbins and Aus Shanks built the locker plant and cheese plant in Gainesville at about the same time, around 1945-46. John R. and Eddie Shanks “mixed mud all summer” for the blocks used in constructing the locker plant; they then joined Hayden Carter in mixing mud for the cheese plant blocks. That summer the Rural Electric Authority ran the first three-phase electrical lines to Gainesville to provide power for the two facilities. The locker plant provided freezer space for rent to residents at a time when most homes only had small refrigerators with tiny freezer compartments.
Ozark County Times Nov. 8, 1901 Thornfield – Elders G. R. Curry and P. A. Byrd baptized 38 converts Sunday. Mrs. Abija Frost and five of her children were baptized. Mrs. Pease died last Tuesday at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Carry Love. The remains were buried in the cemetery south of town.  Our...

The fire that destroyed Dick Deupree’s 93-year-old home in Dora reminded us of this photo of the Deupree Store, which was included in an album of photos found several years ago by John L. Harlin in an unused Century Bank of the Ozarks vault. A 1913 story in the Times explained that E. Y. Mitchell was in the county with a photographer named Stark taking photos, probably including this one, to use in promotional materials for Mitchell’s plan to “colonize” land here. According to a history of Dora by the late Bess Cropper, Dick Deupree’s grandparents, Edwin and Mattie Deupree, bought the Dora store and adjoining farm in 1912, a year before this photo was taken; the family operated the store for decades. It close in 1967 after the death of Edwin’s son, Ray.
Ozark County Times Nov. 2, 1917  Rep. G. W. Collins was here from Brixey Monday on business. He was very sore and barely able to move about, caused from military drilling on Sunday at Brixey under command of Taylor Walker. Mr. Walker was one of the 26 who were sent from this county to Camp Funston...

The date and source of this photo of the Elijah store and post office are unknown, but it is known that George Hardin opened the first post office there in 1905 and named it after his son. It’s thought that the photo shows the “mail hack” stopped in front (left) of the store building. Handwriting beneath the original photo said “K. Parker,” thought to be a reference to Avery Elcaney (“K”) Parker (1867-1957), who was postmaster in 1911-1912. The Elijah post office closed in 1973. This photo is reprinted from A History of Ozark County: 1841-1991, now out of print but available on searchable CD at the Ozark County Historium or through its website, ozarkcountyhistory.org.
Ozark County News Oct. 24, 1901 Our County Clerk, John C. Harlin, has purchased the newspaper outfit formerly owned by W. W. Harris at Cabool and has moved it into the old bank building and will establish a new paper here which will bear the name of the “Ozark County Times.”  Mr. Harlin has secured...

This photo of renowned mule trader Ferd Owen, an Ozark County native, is reprinted from the Jan. 26, 1948, edition of Life magazine, recently shared with the Times by Paul Rose. The magazine said that Owen, pictured here with a “cotton” mule, had “bought and sold as many as 100,000 horses and mules in a year.” Even more amazing, he was famous for being able to recognize and name the price of any mule he had ever bought or sold through the years. He was related to the Ozark County Amyxes. A 1955 item in this week’s Times Past collection reports his death at his home near Belton. His former 2,100 ranch there has been developed into a planned community in the Kansas City suburbs where Times Past columnist Mary Ruth Luna Sparks and her husband, Mike, make their home.
Ozark County Times Oct. 20, 1911 Nottinghill – F. H. Cantwell sold his cattle and is going into the sheep business. He says he is not afraid of the wolves now as Mr. Grudier and Mr. Williams make frequent trips over here with their hounds and have killed several wolves.  Landon Gaulding is having a...

Guy Howard, who became known as the Walkin’ Preacher of the Ozarks, is shown in this photo reprinted from the Dec. 25, 1944, edition of Life magazine. Howard is pictured with Lena Clayton (Mrs. Roy) Brown, 17, as she does laundry outside her Turkey Creek cabin in Ozark County. Howard told a reporter for the Springfield News-Leader that he walked about 3,300 miles in a year to preach in churches and schools around the Ozarks. An Oct. 15, 1942, item in this week’s Times Past reports that he had begun a two-week revival in Gainesville.
Ozark County News Oct. 10, 1895  A subscription is now in circulation for the purpose of raising money to purchase the 40-acre tract of land that the Gainesville Cemetery is located on. This is government land. Every-body in and around Gaines-ville is either directly or indirectly interested in...

The late David Ford assists an unknown customer at Ford’s Market in this photo that appeared with the grocery store’s ad in the 1968 Gainesville High School yearbook, the Bulldogger. The market opened in 1906; its closing was announced in a 1980 news item shared in this week’s Times Past (below).
Ozark County Times Oct. 4, 1912 Joe Champieux, the new blacksmith, has installed a telephone in his place of business for the benefit of his patrons.   Rockbridge – The new schoolhouse at Souder will soon be completed. Several from here attended the ball game Saturday. Pine Creek beat Almartha. Don...

Guffey Motors - These photos from the 1960s hang on the walls of the former Brad Guffey Chevrolet office in Gainesville. They show the company’s 1964 wrecker when it was new and the company’s salesmen standing in front of a 1972 Chevrolet in the showroom: from left, Wilbur Cowart, Brad Guffey, Joe McFarland and T. J. White. The company, now Guffey Motors, is owned by Brad’s son Bob and his wife, Deb.
Ozark County News April 29, 1897 Measles are making the rounds in the vicinity of Bakersfield, Moody and other localities of the eastern part of the county. We learned of some deaths as a result of the sickness. We are reliably informed that the wife of Prof. Etherage of Howell county recently died...

Ozark County Times

504 Third Steet
PO Box 188
Gainesville, MO 65655

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

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