Reprinted here with the permission of the "Cedar County Republican Newspaper".
Cedar County places we've never been...and a few we have
by Aaron Sims
Cedar County, like much of rural America, has seen a decline in small towns and communities. Progress has taken away the identity of the communities and distance between places seems much less. Driving 20, 30 or 50 miles to shop is not uncommon today. However, little more than 40 years ago, walking to the general store was a common task. Stores and communities were scattered throughout the countryside, allowing access to local residents. Often, not far from the local store was a one-room school or church, all forming a center for a local community. As times changed, the importance of the local store decreased as both parents worked away from the farm and home. Buying groceries and supplies at the grocery store in the larger towns became more common, and the smaller stores closed.
School consolidation closed the one-room schools, and the small communities faded. Some remain as clusters of homes, others just as memories. Other settlements died long before when natural disasters, such as floods, destroyed the life blood of the community ‹ the local mill. Many Cedar County communities were destroyed by armies during the Civil War, when villages were burned and not rebuilt. Some were bypassed when highways were built and traffic no longer traveled through their location. No matter what the reason, these communities disappeared or grew smaller. Here are more of the places of Cedar County. Again, our thanks to the late Arthur Paul Moser for his work łA Directory of Towns, Villages and Hamlets of Missouri,˛ the source of much of our information.
Dunnegan's Mill was a location on the Sac River where Francis Dunnegan, an uncle to T.H.B. Dunnegan, a founder of Bolivar, settled in 1856 and built a mill, located just above what now is the Highway 32 bridge. The mill was in operation until about 1880, when it was believed to have been destroyed in a flood.
Eaton was a community built about 20 miles northwest of Stockton in Box Township. The community was named after a pioneer family who settled in the area. A post office was established in the 1840s along the mail route from Osceola to Clintonville. The community was destroyed during the Civil War and never fully rebuilt. A store and blacksmith shop were reopened, but the community did not flourish.
Edsall was established around 1840 when John Edsall operated a store about a quarter-mile west of Cedar Creek on the main road between Stockton and Filley. The community was named for John Edsall, store owner and postmaster. A post office was in operation at Edsall from 1901 through 1904, and the store remained in operation well into the 1900s. By the late 1960s, only remnants of the buildings remained.
Filley is located about 12 miles southeast of El Dorado Springs on Highway 32 between Stockton and El Dorado Springs. The community also was known by the names Alice, Horse Creek and Mule Creek.
Once a thriving town, Filley had at least two stores, a school, churches, a number of houses and a blacksmith shop. By the mid-1970s, a few houses, empty stores, the Christian Church and a community building remained. Today, the community building still is in use for 4-H meetings, the Christian Church still is prospering, and a few houses remain.
Forest Grove was a post office location and store 8-1/4 miles southwest of El Dorado Springs. The origin of the name is not known.
Graceland was located in section 35, township 36, range 26 in Washington Township ‹ near the Arnica area ‹ and for a time had a store, school and post office. The community took its name from the beautiful country around it. Rural free delivery closed the post office by about 1905, and the school closed with school consolidation in the 1950s.
Gum Springs is the name of a former Cumberland Presbyterian campground four miles southwest of Stockton, along Highway 39. The location was named for a group of local landowners. At one time, the community had a store, church and school, but no village.
Hamlet was the name of a small trading post in the eastern part of Cedar County, named for Charles Hamlet who owned the store. The location was known earlier as Sexson, after Mort Sexson who built the first store. An exact location is unknown.
Hartley was the name of a store in southeastern Cedar County, established by Dick Hartley. The community also was known by the name of Needmore and was so named by a local joker as a criticism of the small amount of goods in stock. A small group of houses remain in the vicinity, which is near the eastern shore of Stockton Lake. The former road from Stockton to Needmore remains, but is covered in locations by the lake.
Hyattsville, now known as Olympia, was founded by a man named Hyatt around 1895, who submitted names to the postal department and asked for a post office. From his list of names, Olympia was selected. The post office closed in the early 1900s, but a few homes remain in the area.
Ivy, located about 5-1/2 miles southwest of Caplinger Mills, was named because of the quantity of ivy growing on the swamp land in the vicinity. The community was founded in the early 1890s when T.J. Phipps and his son W.E. Phipps bought property on the courthouse steps. W.E. Phipps later built his home on the property, and later the store, blacksmith shop and post office were located in the vicinity.
By 1900, the community had about 40 residents, but after the post office and store closed around 1906, the community faded.
Jaketown was the name of the trading post near the Mollie post office and was named for Jake Dixon who owned the store.
Jerusalem is the name given by residents to a part of Jerico Springs that is cut off from the main village by Jordan Creek. Jerusalem had no legal standing, but was known by the people of the region who took amusement from the imaginary biblical trips from one town to the other. The creek was jokingly named for the river in Palestine, as it was near Jericho.
Kader was a country store located some eight miles southwest of Stockton about the time of the Civil War. Julian Osborne owned the store and named the location after a friend named Kader who later became postmaster. The community faded after the post office was closed. A cemetery is located nearby.
Kinneytown or Kenney Town, was the name of a store on the highway between Stockton and Fair Play, established about 1905 and named for Mitch Kenney who owned the store. The store closed in the 1930s.
Lamberton's Store was a trading post named for Christopher Lamberton who began operating the store in 1838. The exact location of the settlement is unknown, but Moser found several references of the store and community, believed to have been in the area of Cedar Creek east of Filley. The store is believed to have been the earliest mercantile business in what now is Cedar County.
Leila or Lelia was a store established about 1895 in section 20, township 36, range 27 in Cedar Township, about 3-1/2 miles southeast of Balm. According to tradition, the store was named for a woman in the neighborhood by store founder John Schmidt who operated the store and post office until his death in 1922. Schmidtąs wife Laura then operated the business until 1943.
Malt's Point was a community in Washington Township. At one time the settlement likely had a store and post office, but the location is unknown.
Masters was the location of a store 3-1/2 miles southeast of Hartley and six miles southwest of Fair Play. About 1895, Colonel James Masters, a prominent lawyer from Springfield, made a speech there during a political campaign and the residents named the location for him. The community was founded when James Hartley and his 11 children moved to the area in 1837. The Hartley School at Masters was at first a one-room school, but records show that by 1902-03, 106 children attended the school and in 1909 a second room was added. The Hartley School closed in 1950. The community at one time included the school, a horse-powered sorghum mill, a hardware store and telephone switchboard. The store closed by the 1980s after the construction of Stockton Lake moved the main roads away from the community.
Meadow was a small store site in the western part of Washington Township, named for the meadow at the side of the store. The store closed by the 1930s.
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