|If you have any letters you would like to add, please forward them to Rhonda Stolte Darnell. Remember that any letter dated long ago may be of interest to others!|
|Following is a 1913 letter from Louisa Petty Milburn to the Frankford, MO Chronicle newspaper. A transcription is provided below.|
LETTER WRITTEN TO THE FRANKFORD, MO. CHRONICLE ---- “REMINESCINCES OF FRANKFORD EARLY DAYS” ---- MRS. LOUISA MILBURN, AGE 85 WRITES AN INTERESTING ARTICLE FOR THE CHRONICLE –
Cleburne, Tex., Dec. 14, 1913
I have been thinking for some time I would write and thank you and my many friends for the nice cards and letters I received on my birthday. I heard from old friends and relatives I thought were dead. It was a great pleasure to me to hear from them, and I spend many pleasant hours reading and looking at them. One friend requested me to write a little history of Frankford as I guess I am the only one living that knows anything about the beginning of it, I thought maybe you would like a little sketch for your paper, then they could all read it.
The land where Frankford is built was owned by old uncle Solomon Fisher (an uncle of my father, who was Absolom Petty). The town was laid out in 1819, nine years before I was born. Uncle Solomon had father clear and fence a whole block in the southeast part of town; he built a log house and lived there until he died in 1865. When uncle Solomon died father bought four lots for sixteen dollars. I was born and raised right there, under the shade of an old elm tree, and raised my family there. I lived there until I was fifty-seven years old. My children played under the shade of that dear old tree where I was born; now they tell me it is gone, they have cut id down. It makes me sad to think about it.
In 1849 father built a large hewed log house near the first one.
The first doctor in Frankford was Dr. Winn; the next, Dr. Tate, then Wilburn, Dunkum, Smith, Toliver, Cravon and Henry. That was all the doctors up to 1878.
The first merchant was Jerry Stark; the first blacksmith was Caleb Mefford (Gabe Mefford’s father). Reason Vermillion was the first cabinet workman; he made all the furniture and coffins, never heard of such a thing as ready made coffin; Fisher Petty was the first tanner and Jack Bullin, the shoemaker, made all the shoes. Solomon Petty was the first saddler, Patrick Glen was wheelwright; made large wheels for the women to spin wool rolls on, and small wheels to spin flax. The women made most all the clothes. Little Tom Cash and a man named Estes built the first carding factory, I don’t remember the exact year, but I think it was 1857 or 1858. One of my brothers worked in it.
Uncle Solomon Fisher had a mill on Peno Creek, run by water power; he ground all the wheat and corn for bread for the town and farmers, until 1850 or 1851, Jeff Tompson and two other men built a steam mill in town.
Among the first preachers was Timothy Ford, Sandy Jones and Ruby. The first church was a big hewed log house; all denominations preached in it.
We only had mail once a week. Uncle Solomon Fisher came in once a week to make up and open the mail at my father’s house. No one was allowed in the house while it was was being opened or made up.
The first newspaper that came to Frankford was the Salt River Journal, printed at Bowling Green; the editor’s name was Noyes.
In 1833 we had the first case of cholera. A man named (Dismake?), who lived at Bowling Green, had been to Palmyra on business and stopped in Frankford, and died in a few hours. His grave is right at the steps of the men’s door at the old brick Presbyterian church. I guess I am the only one that knows it is there.
Amoung [sic] my cards was a picture of the high school at Frankford. I just thought what a difference in it and the house the first school was taught in. It was a little log house with a dirt floor and a fire-place; the seats were logs split open and two holes bored in each end and logs put in. My brother older than I went to school there. The first school I went to was taught in a little log house on the hill, near the Pitt residence; then I went to school in the old log meeting house. Children in those days did’nt [sic] have such a good chance for an education as they have now. They studied or read in any kind of a book they happened to have; the first one to get there in the mornings was the first one to recite; many a race I have had to get there first so I could recite first. I know the old blue back speller by heart. I remember well getting a prize, when I was nine years old, for getting the most tickets for standing head the most times during the term. It was a belt for the waist made of light green calico; I was prouder of it than children are nowadays of a gold medal. Aunt Polly Stark was the teacher. She was Dina Campbell’s aunt. The last school I went to they had them classed.
I owned the first coal oil lamp ever burned in Frankford. We used candles. Gabe Mefford’s mother owned the first sewing machine and the first sausage grinder; our sausage was beat out on a big block of wood. Colonel Mase had the first cook stove. All the cooking was done on the fireplace.
My husband, W. H. Milburn, helped to charter the Masonic lodge; I think it was in 1859. There was only five Masons besides himself; Bird Gordon, Billy Penix, Harve Stillwell, Judge Phillips and Daniel Stark. Mr. Milburn went to Hannibal and got old Mr. (Dunn?) and another man, I have forgot his name. That was the beginning of the Masonic Lodge at Frankford.
In my recollection Deer and Wild Turkey were plentiful; there wsa very little hog moat ___; it was no trouble to go before breakfast and kill a deer or turkey. Wild honey wsa plentiful, too. My father used to get it by the barrelfull. [sic]
Now if you think this sketch, written by an old lady, is worth publishing, you can publish it in your paper. I am eighty-five years old; am in fine health, and can see to sew and do fancy work. I make lots of my own clothes by hand, as I like it better than machine work. I help do house work, as I still like to work. I live with my daughter, Hollie Guyton. She is all I have left; my daughter Rose has been dead nine years, and my only boy, Willis Milburn, died one year ago last February. Hollie and I are all there are left of the family. The good Lord has sustained me through all my troubles, and I realize that He is a very present help in time of trouble, and than Him for all His kindness and care. Am just waiting His summons to go home to be with dear ones who have gone before.
I will close now by wishing you and my many friends and relatives a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Louisa D. Milburn
December 14, 1913 (handwritten)
|Following is a 1911 letter from E.C. Long Mfg. Co. of Hannibal, Missouri requesting payment along with the envelope in which it was sent. A transcription is provided below.|
Not seen here is a Bowling Green postmark on the back of the envelope dated Feb 9, 7 AM and marked REC'D.
E.C. Long Manufacturing Co.
HANNIBAL, MO., Feb 8 / 11
Dr M. O Biggs
send check so it will reach us by saturday morning. Thanking you in
advance, we remain,
P.S What became of the prospect at your town for a Thomas Flyer, dont [sic] you think we could sell him a Maxwell, we have some fancy prices on Maxwells now to offer him.
|Following is a 1910 letter from the Chicaskia Stock Farm to Mr. M. O. Biggs along with the envelope in which it was sent. A transcription is provided below.|
Not seen here is a Bowling Green postmark on the back of the envelope dated May 9, 5:30 AM and marked REC'D.
Bowling Green, Mo.
Dear Sir: -
I thank you for your favor of the 2nd, with entry list. I raced some in Missouri last year and was nicely treated, but this year their classes do not suit my string, and I expevt [sic] to race through the Kansas & Oklahoma Circuit.