Route 66: Across 1930s Missouri
from Missouri: A Guide to the "Show Me" State, compiled by the workers of the Writers' Program of the Work Projects Administration in the State of Missouri, 1941.
(East St. Louis, Ill.) -- St. Louis -- Rolla -- Springfield -- Joplin -- (Galena, Kans.); US 66.
Illinois Line to Kansas Line, 317 m.
Concrete roadbed throughout, two and three lanes wide.
St. Louis-San Francisco Ry. parallels route throughout.
All types of accommodations; hotels in larger towns.
US 66, principal highway between Chicago and the Southwest, crosses Missouri diagonally from the Mississippi at St. Louis to the high plains southwest of Springfield. As it cuts through the Ozarks, the highway follows approximately the route of a stage line established by the United States Government two decades before the Civil War. During the war, the road was an important military thoroughfare, traveled by the Federal commands of Frémont, Phelps, and Bliss, and by the Confederate troops of Price, Bains, Hindman, Parsons, and Slack. The Federal Government at that time put in a telegraph line along the road with stations at St. Louis, Rolla, Lebanon, Marshfield, Springfield, and Fort Smith, Arkansas, and the route was known as the Old Wire Road. The Confederates frequently cut the wires. After the war, the government took down the wires, leaving the poles gray and gaunt along the roadside. The country is generally rough to rolling, with slightly more than half the area in hardwood forests. Between St. Louis and Rolla, recreational areas have been developed. Around Joplin is the Missouri section of the great Tri-State lead and zinc fields. US 66 carries more out-of-State traffic than does any other highway in Missouri.
Section a. ILLINOIS LINE to ROLLA, 115 m. US 66
For the first 30 miles, US 66 is an urban and then a suburban thoroughfare. West of the junction with State 100 is the northern fringe of the Ozark Highlands, a recreational and agricultural area of rolling hills, fertile valleys, and occasional sharply broken limestone bluffs. The scene is rural, with valleys patterned in corn and small grains, hillsides and plateaus fenced and cross-fenced into pastures for dairy herds. In the apparently solid sides of many of the bluffs along the river banks, extensive caverns have been eroded by subterranean streams.
US 66 crosses the MISSOURI LINE, 0 m., on the St. Louis Municipal Bridge (toll, used for relief purposes, 10˘ for passenger cars, 15˘ commercial vehicles; pedestrians and passengers free) over the Mississippi River from East St. Louis, Illinois, to ST. LOUIS (413 alt., 816,048 pop.) (see St. Louis).
For 30 miles west of the city limits, the highway is bordered by the HENRY SHAW GARDEN-WAY, a section planted in native flowers and shrubs. Intermingled with hickory, oak, and a few pines are hawthorn, redbud, and dogwood trees. This improvement, developed by a local association with the assistance of the National Park Service and the Missouri State Highway Commission, commemorates Henry Shaw, founder of the Missouri Botanical Gardens (see St. Louis). The hilltops along this section afford magnificent panoramic views of the country side.
At 11.1 m. is a junction with the Laclede Station Road.
Right on this concrete road to KENRICK SEMINARY (R), 444 Kenrick Road, 0.8 m., a Roman Catholic school for young men preparing for the priesthood. The buildings are imposing brick structures of Norman-Gothic design. The school was opened in 1893, and named for Peter Richard Kenrick (1806-96), the first archbishop of St. Louis.
Right 0.4 m. on Weil Avenue to the ST. LOUIS PREPARATORY SEMINARY, an educational institution which prepares junior candidates for the diocesan priesthood. The buildings, built around a court, are of Spanish monastic design and were completed in 1931.
At 16 m. is a junction with US 61 (see Tour 7).
SYLVAN BEACH, 18.6 m., is a privately operated amusement and recreational park on the Meramec River, with free picnic grounds, baseball diamonds, and parking facilities (swimming, riding, and boating at nominal charge). The Meramec River, rising in the southcentral park of the State and winding northwestward to the Mississippi, is one of Missouri's most popular fishing and boating streams. Father Gravier recorded in his journal on October 10, 1700: "We discovered the River Miaramegoua, where the very rich lead mine is situated, 12 or 13 leagues from its mouth." Rumors carried to France that these and other Missouri mines contained silver and gold are said to have given rise to John Law's famous promotion scheme, the Mississippi Bubble (see History and Government). Today, the river serves as a weekend playground for city dwellers, and its banks are lined for great stretches with cabins perched high on stilts to clear spring floods.
EUREKA, 32.9 m. (461 alt., 530 pop.), a crossroads trading center, is said to have been named by the surveying engineer of the Missouri Pacific Railroad, who found that a route through this valley would eliminate many cuts and grades. When a construction camp was established in 1853, it was gleefully called Eureka. The post office, established after the road was built, retained the name. The town was laid out in 1858.
Right from Eureka on an unmarked graveled road to CAMP WYMAN (open June, July and Aug.), 3 m., for underprivileged St. Louis children and their mothers. Equipment includes a swimming pool, crafts shop, dining hall, assembly hall, sleeping cottages, and shelter house for visitors. The camp was established in 1897 as an industrial farm for boys. Since 1928, it has been supported by the St. Louis United Charities.
PACIFIC, 38.9 m. (467 alt., 1,687 pop.), clustered about the junction of the Missouri Pacific and the St. Louis-San Francisco railroads, was platted as Franklin in 1852. Seven years later, when the town was incorporated, the name was changed to Pacific. Silica mines, tunneling into the St. Peter sandstone bluffs (R), furnish employment for many of the town's residents.
West of Pacific, US 66 climbs slowly from the valley. At 39.5 m. (R), if one watches sharply, the southeastern mouth of the railroad tunnel that passes beneath the village of Gray Summit (see Tour 4) can be seen in the distance. At 41.5 m. is a junction with US 50 (see Tour 4), with which US 66 is united for 6.5 miles.
The MISSOURI BOTANICAL GARDEN ARBORETUM (greenhouses open 9-5, free), 41.8 m. (L), consists of 1,600 acres on the Meramec River. In twelve greenhouses, each 100 feet long and 25 feet wide, are grown what is said to be the largest publicly owned collection of orchids in the world. Here are cultivated the plants shown each year at the Botanical Gardens in St. Louis, many of them hybrids developed from parent stock obtained in the American tropics by Superintendent George H. Pring.
One of the principal purposes of the Arboretum is to preserve for the future a typical example of Ozark landscape. Several hundred acres of woodland and meadow along the Meramec were set aside from the first for wild flower gardens. The tract affords possibilities of glade, cliff-side, meadow, and woodland gardens, and consequently it has been possible to introduce garden flowers, wild flowers, shrubs, and trees from many sections of the State to combine with more than 500 species found in the area. The effort has been toward natural effects, and a comprehensive collection of Missouri plants. It is anticipated that in 1941 these gardens will be opened to the public.
At 43.7 m. is a junction with State 100 (see Tour 4). West of the junction, the highway rides a curving ridge that descends into the Bourbeuse River Valley. Approaching the river, the highway divides into one-way lanes and crosses the river on twin steel and concrete bridges.
At 48 m. is the western junction with US 50 (see Tour 4).
Between the junction and St. Clair, US 66 continues along the approximate route of the Old Wire Road, and traversesthe wide, rolling plateau that separates the valleys of the Meramec and Bourbeuse Rivers. Occasional narrow points afford fine glimpses of the level floor and steep, bordering cliffs of the Meramec Valley (L).
ST. CLAIR, 56 m. (770 alt., 1,410 pop.), has the red-brick stores and rambling frame residences typical of rural trading centers. The town was settled by B. J. Inge in 1843 and was known as Traveler's Repose until citizens tired of its being mistaken for a pioneer cemetery or a wayside tavern. The name was changed to St. Clair in 1859, honoring a resident engineer of the Southwestern Branch Railroad.
Between St. Clair and Bourbon the Ozark foothills become sharper, their sheer sides exposing a variety of strata. The lower beds are of hard, grayish-white limestone; the upper, of soft red clay, with an occasional layer of pink limestone. Numerous wayside stands exhibit specimens of native rock.
STANTON, 67 m. (872 alt., 200 pop.), was named for Peter Stanton, who operated a powder mill in the vicinity in the 1850's.
Left from Stanton on a marked graveled road (slippery when wet) that winds downward onto the narrow floor of the Meramec River gorge to MERAMEC CAVERN (open day and night; adm. 40˘ and 25˘; guides), 3.8 m. The electrically lighted first room of the cavern contains parking space for 300 automobiles, and a large dance floor. Reversing the usual direction of caves, this one tunnels upward through the river bluff to a height of 240 feet. It is naturally divided into four floors, through which graveled walks have been laid. The interior formations, often grotesquely shaped, have been given names such as the Natural Stage, 68 feet in height and of 5 different colors; the Wine Table, in what is called the Wine Room, and the Echo Room, in which the sound of one's voice rebounds from formation to formation for several seconds. At the entrance of the cavern is La Jolla Springs, with a flow of 4,700,000 gallons daily. The entrance to the cavern is said to have been discovered by Spaniards about 1760. It was not open to the public, however, until explored by professionals in 1936.
At 73 m. is a junction with State 114, a graveled road.
Left here to MERAMEC STATE PARK, 1.2 m., one of Missouri's major recreational areas. The park, which consists of approximately 7,500 acres of rolling woodland drained by the Meramec River, is provided with rustic shelter houses, overnight cottages, and a dining lodge. Along the river are a bathing beach, a playground, and a small zoo. Hiking and bridle trails wind through the entire area. In MERAMEC STATE NURSERY (follow signs) various trees are propagated for reforestation purposes. The nursery, using the latest equipment, including an overhead sprinkling system, is planted with approximately 3,500,000 seedlings each year.
FISHER'S CAVE (adm. 35˘; guides) is entered through an opening in a bluff on the Meramec River. The first quarter of a mile is a narrow, low-roofed passageway, through which flows a shallow stream. At the end of the passage is the first chamber, an auditorium-like room with a vaulted ceiling 75 feet high. Adjoining the central chamber by passageways are many smaller ones in which are curiously formed stalactites and stalagmites. Near the end of the cave, approximately one mile from the entrance, is a pool of clear water into which flows Dripping Spring.
In COPPER HOLLOW, northeast corner of the park, are the half-obscured remains of an open-pit copper mine and the ruins of an old smelter. The mine is said to have been opened by Peter Stanton (see above). In 1855 the mine was acquired by Reverend Henry I. Coe, who organized a company of ministers and came from St. Louis to take charge of operations. The following year, Dr. Silas Reed, also of St. Louis, bought out Coe's interests. In 1868 the copper ore was exhausted. The major portion of the old copper mining area is within the park. Also on park property is the SITE OF A LEAD MINE, on Thomas Hill (follow signs), which Henry Rowe Schoolcraft, a geologist, investigated in 1819. Schoolcraft reported that the mine had been operated since 1796.
SULLIVAN, 73.3 m. (971 alt., 2,517 pop.), on the hills left of the highway, lives on its farm trade and two shoe factories. The town was established as Mt. Helicon in 1856, but the officials of the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway changed the name in 1860 to honor Stephen Sullivan, who had donated the right-of-way through the village. Sullivan came to the Meramec River country from Kentucky in 1800, and made a fortune in tobacco, and lead and copper mining. Although records do not verify the story, legend says that he manufactured gunpowder for the Confederacy and was executed by Federal troops. In Sullivan was born George Hearst (1820-91), California mining engineer and United States Senator, and father of William Randolph Hearst, publisher. George Hearst married Phoebe Apperson, school teacher, at Steelville, Missouri, (1862).
The GENERAL WILLIAM SELBY HARNEY MANSION (open), in the southwestern part of Sullivan, was built by the Mexican and Civil War veteran about 1870. Two-and-a-half stories in height, with a long rear wing and tan limestone walls, the house contains 35 rooms, of which 25 are bedrooms. The entranceway has wide double doors and a fanlight reminiscent of eighteenth century designs, but in general the house is of modified Swiss chalet type.
At 85 m. is a junction with County H, a paved road.
Left here to LEASBURG, 2.1 m. (1,023 alt., 173 pop.), beyond which are three caves. CATHEDRAL CAVE (adm. 40˘; guides), 2.7 m. (R), is an immense cavern with an opening at the base of a high bluff. Many of the stalagmites and stalactites are unusually white.
The MISSOURI CAVERNS (adm. 55˘; guides), 6.9 m. (R), have an indirect lighting system arranged to emphasize the spectacular colors and shapes of the rock formations. The colors vary from clear crystal to jet black, and include the pinkish-red of onyx. Passage through the cavern is over graveled paths. Some of the formations are the Musician's Balcony, the Cathedral Room, the Live Oak, and the King's Canopy. At the bottom of the cavern, 200 feet down, is Lost River, a clear, subterranean stream that has eaten its winding, rocky way through the bluffs to the Meramec River.
ONONDAGA CAVE (adm. 40˘; guides), 7.4 m., at the end of County H, Missouri's pioneer tourist cavern, is entered by flat-bottomed boats that follow the winding channel of Lost River for approximately 900 feet. Beyond, passage is made by graveled paths, with the river sometimes in sight, sometimes only a murmuring sound. Coleman lanterns are used by both guides and visitors. Some of the formations weigh several tons; others are small and delicate. The common shades of onyx (red, brown, and tan) are interspersed with white. A few of the formations have been named: the two Lily Rooms, in which onyx in the form of lily pads appears to be floating on the river; the Cathedral Hall; Onyx Forest; and the Wonder Room. The formations in the Wonder Room developed under water and are so creamy white they look like rolls of fleece. The water, ordinarily 10 feet deep, is siphoned from the room for use.
CUBA, 92 m. (1,035 alt., 1,033 pop.), with its business center slowly abandoning a location near the railroad tracks for a new one on US 66, began as a farming village and shipping point in 1857, when M. W. Trask and W. H. Ferguson, anticipating by one year the construction of the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway, surveyed a townsite. The nearest house was then half a mile away, on what was known as Simpson's Prairie. Old residents say the town was given its name by two former gold miners from California, who wished to perpetuate the memory of a holiday they had spent on the "Isle of Cuba."
At Cuba is a junction with State 19 (see Tour 14).
ROSATI, 99 m. (1,074 alt., 200 pop.), a sprawling community of small farm sites rather than a town, had its beginning about 1900, when a group of 100 Italian families from Arkansas settled here. They had been taken from Chicago by a cotton planter, but had left Arkansas because of bad working conditions. They named their new home for Bishop Joseph Rosati, first bishop of St. Louis.
The ROSATI WINERY (open weekdays 8-5), northeastern edge of the community, produces a sweet natural wine under bond. The one-story gray brick building has a capacity of 120,000 gallons, stored in glass-lined concrete tanks. Grapes are bought from a local growers' co-operative association, the members of which also own the winery, and the wine is sold wholesale on the open market. Co-operating with the winery, the government is sponsoring a series of experiments designed to increase the quality of the vintage.
Between Rosati and Rolla, US 66 crosses the Big Prairie, a gently rolling plateau broken by small farm sites and patches of hickory, elm, oak, cedar, and pawpaw trees. Josiah Isbell, the first settler, entered a claim to land here in 1836. Other families followed, and divided their time between farming, cattle raising, and manufacturing gunpowder from the saltpetre in the numerous caves. Later, Welsh, Irish, and English families moved in to develop the clay and iron deposits, and French families from the Swiss border came to farm. The mining and powder-making industries are gone, but the section breeds fine Jersey, Holstein, and Guernsey herds, and cultivates extensive berry patches and orchards. Twice each year the people gather to exhibit their cattle, berries, vegetables, canned fruits, and quilts -- at Rolla in May and at St. James in September.
ST. JAMES, 105 m. (1,069 alt., 1,812 pop.), sprawling across US 66, has a charm that belies its comparative youth. The main business street is at right angles to the highway. East and west of it are the residential streets, which end abruptly at the town's edge or wind off into the low hills as country lanes.
The town is the business and commercial center of the Big Prairie. From here are shipped berries and truck and dairy products. Oak, hickory, cotton wood, and elm cut from the surrounding hills are here converted into staves. The town also has a small distillery and a women's garment factory.
St. James was platted in 1859 by John Wood in anticipation of the extension westward of the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway. It was intended as a shipping point for the near-by Meramec Iron Works, which heretofore had shipped by wagon train. First called Scioto, its name was changed within a year. During the Civil War, a detachment of German volunteers, encamped near the town, were so impressed with the location that after their enlistment had expired they brought their families here. When the depression of the 1870's closed the iron mines, St. James turned to lumber, agriculture, and wine making. It was incorporated as a town in 1870, with a mayor and city council. In 1921, Mrs. Mayme H. Ousley was elected mayor of St. James. Each September, St. James holds a Grape Festival and Homecoming.
The STATE FEDERAL SOLDIERS HOME (R), northern edge of town, was founded in 1896 by the Woman's Relief Corps and the Grand Army of the Republic, and sold the following year to the State for $1. The institution is for the care of aged veterans and their wives and widows, and is maintained by the United States Government and the State of Missouri. In 1939, 123 men and 102 women were in residence. The administration building, a massive three-story brick structure with many wings, porches, towers, and gingerbread decorations, was once the home of Thomas James.
Left from St. James on State 68, a graveled road, to a junction with a dirt road (slippery when wet), 2.4 m. Left here 1 m. to the ST. JAMES NATURAL TUNNEL, a passageway through a rock bluff, 150 feet long and 30 feet wide. A small spring rises from the tunnel's center and drains in both directions. In winter the tunnel is often used as a shelter for cattle.
At 4.5 m. on State 68 is a junction with State 8, a graveled road. Left here 3.1 m. to MERAMEC SPRINGS, a charming rustic scene. The spring is in a tiny wooded valley at the foot of a high, rock-studded cliff, and issues from a circular basin in a wide stream that rushes over an old rock dam, passes swiftly beneath an arched bridge, and flows onward into the Meramec River, approximately one mile away. The maximum flow is 271,000,000 gallons daily. At one time the water power was used to serve an iron mine, blast furnace, and gristmill. Today (1941) a small power plant, housed in a frame and native-stone building that blends with the wooded hillsides, uses the stream to develop electricity for a near-by dairy farm.
About the time of the cession of Louisiana to the United States (1804), Lewis Rogers and his band of Shawnee Indians (see Archeology and Indians) established their village near this spring. The site proved unhealthful and several Indians died. The remainder of the group, believing they had intruded "upon the dominion of a Matchee Monito, or Evil Spirit," moved to "Indian prairie, in Franklin county, a few miles south of Union."
Near the spring is the SITE OF THE MERAMEC IRON WORKS, established by Thomas James and Samuel Massey in 1826. Only one of the old open-hearth furnaces still stands, a monumental pyramid of cut stone. The ore was mined in the near-by banks of the Meramec, lime for flux and wood for charcoal came from the surrounding hills, and the great spring provided water power. Thomas James, owner of the mines and iron works, was born in Maryland in the 1770's. According to well-founded tradition, he learned of the Missouri iron deposits from a band of Shawnee Indians who visited his Brush Creek furnace in Adams County, Ohio. In 1826, with his foreman, Samuel Massey, and a force of miners, he began work. The village which he developed included a store, a blacksmith shop, and a gristmill. No saloons were allowed. The smelted iron was hauled to Washington and St. Louis until the construction of the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway through the region about 1860, when St. James became the shipping point. The furnace was operated until 1873 and the mine until about 1891.
At 113 m. is the northern junction with US 63 (see Tour 8), with which US 66 is united through ROLLA, 115 m. (1,120 alt., 5,141 pop.), an educational center and the seat of Phelps County. Pine Street, following a slight ridge, is in the business district; east and west, and climbing the hills that surround the town, are the residential streets.
The city had its beginning in 1855, when a group of contractors engaged in the construction of the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway selected a site near the home of John Webber on the Old Wire Road and erected an office and several warehouses. The prospect of a railroad created a mild boom. Within 6 months, 600 persons had moved there. In 1857, Phelps County was organized, and "the child of the railroad" was made the seat of government. The next step was selecting a name. According to legend, John Webber, who had tilled the land and should have known whereof he spoke, wanted to call the town Hardscrabble; E. W. Bishop, resident official of the railroad, wanted it called Phelps Center; George Coppedge, nostalgic for his North Carolina home, asked that it be named Raleigh. This last proposal was accepted, and the name was spelled as Coppedge pronounced it, "Rolla."
On January 1, 1861, a great crowd of people came from the hills to see their first train. With bells ringing and whistle blowing, a diamond-stacked locomotive puffed up to the new frame station, snorted a gust or two of wheezing white steam, and stopped.
As the western terminus of the section's only railroad, Rolla achieved considerable importance. Here, west-bound supplies from St. Louis and the East were transferred from freight car to wagon train. Here, too, persons en route to the Ozark highlands to homestead bought their equipment and supplies. When the Civil War began, its position made the town one of the first military objectives of the Union Army. Almost overnight a great Federal military encampment came into existence; trenches were dug and earthworks were constructed. On the north and south were two great forts (see Tour 8).
Merchants, professional men, and laborers flocked to the town. Families moved in from the hills for protection and supplies. Then, in the midst of the war boom, the railroad was extended west and, shortly afterward, the war ended. Rolla not only lost its strategic importance, but the completion of the Salem & Little Rock Railroad cut off a former trade territory. In 1871, however, it had a rebirth in the opening of the Missouri School of Mines. Today, its economic interests are divided. Each May, Rolla sponsors the Ozark Folk Festival.
The MISSOURI TRACHOMA HOSPITAL (open 9-5), southwestern edge of town, is one of two hospitals in the United States devoted to the treatment of this eye disease. The two-story fireproof building is equipped with 70 beds, facilities for visual training, a recreation and assembly room, a dining room, and a children's playroom. Completed in 1939 at a cost of $137,000 the building was financed by State and Federal funds. The grounds were a gift of the Rolla Chamber of Commerce.
Missouri, with 18,000 known cases, is one of the principal trachoma centers of the country. The disease consistently occurs in many Ozark localities, and is also prevalent among the tiff miners of Washington County (see Tour 13). Although it may be alleviated, there is as yet no cure. State records reveal that about 1 case in 27 results in total loss of sight. The State expends $200,000 a year for cases of blindness caused by the disease, and carries on a continuous campaign of prevention. According to Spencer R. McCulloch, writing in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, an estimated total of 1,000 persons in the State are blind because of trachoma, while hundreds of others are unable to earn a livelihood, but still are not eligible for State pensions.
The E. W. BISHOP HOUSE (open by permission), southwest corner of Eight and Park Sts., set among wide-spreading oaks on a lot that is almost a city block, is said to have been the second house in Rolla. Diagonally across the front lawn is the slightly sunken trace of the stagecoach route between St. Louis and Springfield. The house was built by E. W. Bishop prior to the Civil War, and served during the conflict as a military hospital.
The PHELPS COUNTY COURTHOUSE, Main and Third Sts., overlooks the town from a hilltop in the southwestern section. A two-story red-brick building with white stone trim, it was begun in 1859 and completed about 1862. The front roofline of the main portion is surmounted by a cupola; on each side are low wings. Sheltering the entrance is a small iron balcony supported by slender iron columns. During the Civil War it was converted into a hospital for Federal troops.
The MISSOURI SCHOOL OF MINES, Twelfth and Pine Sts., a college of the University of Missouri, is on a 32-acre T-shaped campus shaded by groves of oak, elm, and maple trees. The dozen or more buildings are of brick and stone, two- and three-stories high. The driveway through the campus crosses a sunken garden.
In 1862 the Congress of the United States passed a bill granting a tract of public land to such States as would establish colleges especially equipped to train students in "agriculture and the mechanic arts." Eight years later Missouri passed a bill providing for the establishment of an agricultural and mechanical college at and connected with the State University at Columbia, and for a school of mines and metallurgy to be located in the mineral district of the State in the county that would give the largest bonus to the school. The Phelps County bid, totaling $130,000, exceeded the second highest bid by $17,000, and Rolla, the largest town in the county, was chosen as the site. That was in June 1871; the college opened in November of the same year. Its real development dates from 1890, however, when most of its buildings and equipment were added. Recognized as an outstanding institution of technology, the school offers courses in various branches of mining and metallurgical industries, including petroleum, electrical, chemical, and ceramic geology. The Mississippi Valley Experimental Station of the United States Bureau of Mines, the State Geological Survey, and the United States Geological Survey, Water Resource Division, all maintain headquarters at the school.
The MINERAL MUSEUM (open weekdays), third floor of Norwood Hall, is the foremost of its kind in the State. It was begun in 1904, when the Missouri mining exhibit at the St. Louis World's Fair was assigned to the school. In the same year the government of Mexico donated the Mexican exhibit, and later the Canadian government gave a collection of Canadian minerals. To these have been added the Missouri mineral exhibit from the Chicago Century of Progress Exposition, and numerous specimens acquired by purchase, exchange, and gift. Approximately 2,500 specimens are exhibited.
Section b. ROLLA to KANSAS LINE, 202 m. US 66
In southwestern Missouri the highlands of the Ozarks merge with the time-worn plateau of the Springfield area. The hill country, of flat-topped ridges, narrow stream valleys, and small sheltered farmsteads, gives way to the Western Plains, a land of broad gentle valleys and extensive fields of wheat, truck, and pasture. When Schoolcraft traveled through this region in 1819, he found the Ozark ridges "nearly destitute of forest, often perfectly so." This lack of trees was probably the result of the Indian practice (continued by many white settlers) of burning off the land each autumn, which left the soil thin and infertile. On the Springfield plateau, however, Schoolcraft found the soil rich and deep, and observed that "the purest springs gush from these hills... the atmosphere is fine and healthful." As the highway nears the Kansas Line, great piles of crushed grey rock indicate a once extensive mining area.
Between ROLLA, 0 m., and Arlington, there is a drop of 425 feet as the highway cuts through rock bluffs and crosses the valleys of the Little Piney and Gasconade Rivers.
At 1 m. is a junction with an unmarked graveled road.
Left here across the railroad tracks to a small IRON MINE (open by permission), 0.6 m., owned by the Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy and used as a laboratory by students.
One of the many large springs in this region is MARTIN'S SPRING (L), 3.2 m., enclosed within a squat stone house, with a daily flow of approximately 840,000 gallons. The water forms a small stream that empties into Little Beaver Creek.
At 6.9 m. is a junction with County T, a black-topped road.
Left here to NEWBURG, 2.2 m. (712 alt., 1,056 pop.), a railroad division point. The car repair shops of the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway are housed in a group of low, red frame buildings strung along the tracks between the main street and the Little Piney River. The site was settled by William Coppedge, who brought his wife, four sons, and two daughters here in 1823 and began manufacturing powder, using saltpetre from a near-by cave. No village was formed until Captain C. W. Rogers platted a town in 1883, in anticipation of a change in the railroad's division points. In 1894 the shops were moved here, thus giving Newburg an industrial life unusual in a region devoted almost exclusively to agriculture and recreation.
ARLINGTON, 13.2 m. (695 alt., 34 pop.), at the confluence of the Gasconade and Little Piney Rivers, is typical of the hamlets of the region. Through the redrawing of county lines, it has been successively in St. Louis, Gasconade, Crawford, Pulaski, and Phelps Counties, and was even for a short time seat of Crawford County. It also served briefly as a terminal of the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway. At present, it is an outfitting point for fishermen on the Gasconade and Little Piney Rivers (boats and guides available).
The small one-and-a-half-story log cabin, 13.5 m. (R), is the JAMES HARRISON HOUSE (open), one of the best examples of pioneer construction in Missouri. Placed on a low ridge, with its back to the present highway, the cabin's unpainted logs and handhewn shingles have weathered a dull gray. The mud chinking has acquired the appearance of cement; the windows have solid shutters. Said to have been erected in 1812, the cabin has been a pioneer home, a stagecoach station, and the courthouse of Crawford County. The storeroom served as the courtroom, and the grand jury "considered their presentments" in a near-by grove. James Harrison, the builder, was an energetic 200-pound Virginian, who with his sons, Robert and Thomas, was among the first men of affairs in Pulaski and Phelps Counties.
At 13.7 m. is a junction with County D, a graveled road.
Right here, crossing the clear, gravelly Gasconade River, to JEROME (692 alt., 195 pop.), 0.7 m., a sprawling fishing resort (boats and guides for fishing and float trips on the Gasconade and Little Piney Rivers).
Westward, the highway climbs the more rugged ridges of the highlands, the true Ozark country, densely wooded with oak, hickory, elm, ash, dogwood, redbud, and hawthorn. The deep blue-green valleys are cut by swift, cold streams that offer excellent fishing. Sparsely settled by families from Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee during the restless era following the War of 1812, it remained a frontier until shortly after the Civil War, when timber interests moved in and built a few fair-sized towns. But the commercial timber was soon cut, and the people, unemployed, were forced to pioneer again. This time they turned to agriculture, but their denuded hillsides were washed from under them. Later, fishing resorts were developed here, and, with government aid, erosion-control areas, game preserves, and fish hatcheries.
STONY DELL (cabins, picnicking, swimming), 14 m., is typical of the many privately operated resorts that have sprung up beside Ozark highways.
At 17.4 m. is a junction with an unmarked graveled road.
Right here, past two large sinks, to ONYX PARK AND CAVE (adm. 35˘; cabins), 0.9 m. (R). The roof of the cave rises sharply to form a large room. A small stream flowing diagonally across the floor into the Gasconade River is crossed on a fallen stalactite. From the first room the cavern winds into the hillside, forming a horseshoe-shaped tunnel nearly a mile long.
Within recent years the Ozark hill folk have become aware of the commercial value of their handicraft. Many have abandoned their small farm patches and settled along the principal roads. Such a group are the OZARK BASKET WEAVERS (L), 17.7 m., whose bright, clean baskets, strung on wires paralleling the highway, are in sharp contrast with their drab, listing shacks. Methods handed down for generations are used in weaving the cane and hickory splits into baskets. Such tools as are used are largely home-made.
HOOKER, 21 m. (713 alt., 120 pop.), is a focal point for fishermen in the Big Piney, Gasconade, and smaller streams. The highway passes through a mountainous section where second-growth oaks are dwarfed by the few primeval giants lumbering men have left. An occasional fertile valley is under cultivation.
The BIG PINEY RIVER, crossed at 22.7 m., plunges and twists its way from the south, entering the Gasconade River approximately two miles north of this point. The river offers good fishing for perch and smallmouthed and largemouthed bass. Its name had its origin in the short-leaf pine forests along its banks, which provided the first important commercial timber in the State.
DEVIL'S ELBOW, 22.8 m. (15 pop.), is a group of tourist and weekend cottages on a bend of the Big Piney River. The bluffs have been listed by the State Planning Commission as one of the seven beauty spots of Missouri. Legend says the name, Devil's Elbow, was given to the point by lumberjacks who feared and cursed the log jams that formed inevitably at the bend. A trailer camp is among the accommodations.
At 25.4 m. is a junction with State 28, a graveled road.
Right here to a junction with an unmarked graveled road, 2.2 m., which leads R. 0.9 m. to the entrance of POSSUM LODGE, a long-established fishing camp. Near by is a wagon ford used by pioneers. Many legends are connected with the site. One story tells of a wealthy Forty-niner who became ill at the ford on his way back East, and buried gold worth $60,000 in the near-by hills. Another legend has Jesse James and his robber band using the ford as a rendezvous and the hills as a hideaway.
At 3.7 m. (R) on State 28 is a good view of the narrow valley of the Gasconade River. Across the valley, rimming the river, are magnificent bluffs.
Crossing the Gasconade River, State 28 climbs the northern bluffs to PORTUGUESE POINT, 5.3 m., a high elevation formed by two large rocks jutting from the cliff's wall and overhanging the river. The valley circling the point is a popular subject for artists and photographers. It was originally settled by Portuguese farmers, who made a good living raising cattle and sheep.
At 28.9 m. is a junction with State 17, a graveled road.
Left here to the entrance to the GASCONADE DIVISION OF THE MARK TWAIN NATIONAL FOREST, 2.1 m., a 114,587-acre unit established in 1933 under the supervision of the National Park Service (see Tour 14). The forest authorities are restoring, protecting, and using natural resources to furnish employment and pleasure to the people of the State. Of the gross receipts from all forest revenues, such as grazing permits, timber sales, and the lease of recreational areas, 25 per cent is given to local counties for roads and schools.
At 12 m. is an unmarked graveled road, which leads L. 3.4 m. to BIG PINEY (100 pop.), a tiny crossroads village. Left 3.1 m. on an unmarked road, and R. at each fork, is MILLER SPRING, issuing from the foot of a massive cliff. The spring, one of the largest in the State, has attracted scientific attention because of its curious ebb and flow; the amount of water gushing forth measures from 3,000,000 to 13,000,000 gallons daily. The creek formed by the spring drains into Big Piney River a quarter of a mile away. Near by in the bluff is MILLER CAVE (free; no guides or improvements; inquire at house), investigated by representatives of the Smithsonian Institution and believed to have been the dwelling of a primitive people. Basing their opinions on the mortars, pestles, bone awls, animal and human skeletons, and other objects uncovered here, archeologists advance the theory that the cave was continuously occupied for several thousand years. Many artifacts found here are displayed at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D. C.
WAYNESVILLE, 32 m. (806 alt., 468 pop.), at the foot of variegated rock cliffs and all but surrounded by serpent-like Roubidoux Creek, is the most venerable of Pulaski County towns, and is, as might be expected, the county seat. It has a leisurely atmosphere, unmarred by the smoke of industry and the impatient panting of trains, and but little jarred by farmers' Saturday visits or meetings of the county court. Hill people buy their blue denim and flour, their coffee, salt, and sugar with unhurried deliberation. Between purchases they talk. All are called by first names, except the very old. They receive the title of "uncle" or "aunt," and are always referred to by both given name and surname, as "Uncle Jim Corbin."
Waynesville's county court has been in existence for over a hundred years. G. W. Gibson "squatted" on the townsite early in the year 1831, when the near-by spring was a watering place on the Kickapoo Trace (later known as the Old Wire Road). In 1835 James A. Bates opened a store that served also as a temporary courthouse. More people moved in, and in 1839 the town was platted. Harvey Wood secured the post office and named it for "Mad Anthony" Wayne.
About the time Pulaski County was organized, the "ill-famed Counterfeit bank of Niangua" set itself up with a president, cashier, clerks, and a "grave board of directors." The enterprise, described by Wetmore in his Gazetteer of the State of Missouri (1837), flourished until "Mistress Missouri Anne Amanda Jemina Skidmore," widow of a director who had been denied his share of the profits, "sharpened her fingernails afresh, and with the extreme violence of female passion, declared a war of extermination against the counterfeiters." With her assistance the United States Marshal broke up the ring.
During the Civil War, town and county were for the South. The courthouse flew the Confederate flag, until Federal troops marched down the Old Wire Road and took over the town on June 7, 1862. A small fort was built as a base on the Federal supply line between Rolla and Lebanon. Since the war, Waynesville has tried lumbering and agriculture and at present is looking with interest upon the ever-increasing tourist trade.
1. Left from Waynesville on an unmarked road to WAYNESVILLE SPRING, 0.5 m., boiling from the rocks at the edge of the road, which is protected by a concrete retaining wall. After heavy rains the flow of the spring increases from a normal daily flow of 7,000,000 gallons to 104,000,000 gallons. The water empties into Roubidoux Creek, which at high stages submerges the spring.
2. Right from Waynesville on State 17, an asphalt highway, to PIKE'S PEAK CAVE (adm. 35˘; guides), 2.4 m., a large cavern with a wide, high entrance in a bluff overlooking the junction of Roubidoux Creek and the Gasconade River. There is a dance floor in the entrance chamber. Fishing in both streams is good.
The highway crosses the northwestern boundary of the Gasconade Division of the Mark Twain National Forest at 36 m., and at 40 m. forms a junction with County P, a graveled road.
Right here to a junction with County A, a graveled road, 1.2 m.; R. on County A, along a high, narrow ridge and across the Gasconade River, to the OZARK SPRING RESORT (overnight accommodations), 5.5 m. From the resort a graveled road leads 2 m. to TURKEY RIDGE, a plateau-like elevation approximately 4 miles wide and 15 miles long, named for the wild turkeys there. On the ridge is POOR MAN'S CHANCE, developed by E. A. Steckel, who, after being pronounced an incurable cripple, was given 80 acres here by a friend. Steckel, in gathering native ferns for eastern markets, regained his health. In gratitude, he divided his land into ten-acre plots, which he sold to poor farmers at a nominal price. A community of neat houses and profitable orchards has been the result.
HAZELGREEN, 48 m. (64 pop.), a trading center and fishing resort, is bounded on three sides by the ever-twisting Gasconade River (boats and guides for fishing and float trips). Along the highway and on side roads marked by signs are many resorts equipped for the convenience of fishermen and their families.
At 53 m. is a junction with County T, a graveled road.
Right here to WET GLAZE, 13 m. (32 pop.), site of the OZARK FISH HATCHERY (open), one of the country's largest hatcheries for the exclusive propagation of goldfish. The fish are reared in a hundred small ponds fed by a large spring.
LEBANON, 65 m. (1,265 alt., 5,025 pop.), the seat of Laclede County, is the only urban center on US 66 between Rolla and Springfield. A sprawling town of tree-shaded streets and frame and native-stone houses, Lebanon reflects the agricultural prosperity of the surrounding plateau. It is a shipping point for wheat, corn, oats, and hay; within the last decade the value of its dairy products has increased from $2,000 a year to $2,000 a week. An overall factory supplements this agricultural income.
Although Jesse Ballew is said to have been the first man to cross the hills and settle in the vicinity, supposedly in 1820, Lebanon had its beginning when Laclede County was formed October 1, 1849. During the Civil War, the community gained strategic importance through its location on the military road between St. Louis and Springfield, the line of march for both armies. It was occupied alternately by the North and the South. At the end of the war, the town's badly disrupted economy was further demoralized by the coming of the railroad in 1868 and the re-location of the town. It is said that railroad officials, denied free land and a depot in town, built their station a mile from the village center. Lebanon picked itself up and moved to the new site. As Harold Bell Wright says in The Calling of Dan Matthews, the residents "left the beautiful, well drained site chosen by those who cleared the wilderness and stretched themselves along the sacred right of way." Lebanon has grown and thrived on the mud flat, with depot, yards, section house, and water tanks dominating her business district. It was in Lebanon, as pastor of the First Christian Church, that Harold Bell Wright, the novelist, began his literary career.
The RICHARD PARKS BLAND STATUE, SW corner of the courthouse square, commemorates Lebanon's most distinguished citizen. Bland was born in Hartford, Kentucky, August 19, 1835, and came to Missouri from Nevada in 1865. After practicing law for four years in Rolla, he moved to Lebanon. In 1872 he was elected to Congress, where he so distinguished himself that he was returned to office 12 times. He suffered political defeat in his district only once, in 1894. Called "Silver Dick" for his 16-to-1 free-coinage stand in 1877, he was co-author of the unsatisfactory Bland-Allison Act. In 1890 Bland renewed his fight for unrestricted coinage of silver. In 1896 he was leading candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, until William Jennings Bryan unleashed his oratory at the national convention. On June 15, 1899, Bland died at his farm near Lebanon.
JOSEPH W. McCLURG MEMORIAL, Lebanon Cemetery at the northern edge of town, is a simple granite shaft erected by the State in honor of another notable Missourian. Joseph W. McClurg, pioneer builder and merchant, began his political career as deputy sheriff of St. Louis County at the age of 20. Emerging from the first year of the Civil War with the rank of Colonel, he was elected to Congress in 1862, and served three terms. As governor (1868-70), he was largely responsible for the establishment of the Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy, the agricultural college at the University of Missouri, and the State normal schools at Kirksville and Warrensburg. McClurg died in 1900.
The BLICKENSDERFER INDIAN RELIC COLLECTION, in Joe's Delight Barber Shop, Commercial St. between Jackson and Monroe Sts., contains more than 1,500 Indian arrowheads, tomahawks, mortar stones, skinning knives, and other articles found in the vicinity.
Right from Lebanon on State 64, an asphalt highway, to a fork at 10.8 m.; L. here 1.2 m. to BENNETT SPRING STATE PARK (cabins, hotels, camping grounds, trout fishing, hiking, horseback riding, swimming, and one-day float trips), a major recreation area. Comprising 574 acres of hilly, wooded lands, and cut by the blue-green Niangua River, the park includes the former hamlet of Brice, settled by James Brice in 1837. Here, separated by landscaped lawns, are shelter houses, a post office, store, and tavern -- all constructed of native stone in modern design.
BENNETT SPRING, the sixth largest in the State, rises quietly from a circular basin with an average flow of about 95,000,000 gallons of water daily. The spring stream tumbles over a six-foot dam, passes beneath a rustic stone bridge, and crosses approximately a mile of rock ledges and gravel bars before entering the Niangua River. At the dam, a part of the water is diverted into a millrace, which is divided into sections and used as a FISH HATCHERY for breeding rainbow trout, clearly visible in the water. The hatchery raises 200,000 fish annually, with which it restocks the State's streams. Muskrat and mink, protected by park attendants, are plentiful along the waterway, and are quite tame. BENNETT'S MILL, a three-story red frame gristmill on the stream's bank, is the "Gordon's Mill" of Harold Bell Wright's The Calling of Dan Matthews. The old miller was a friend of Wright's, and the author spent much time here while writing the book. The Niangua River and the small pool above the dam are two of the best fishing spots in Missouri.
MARSHFIELD, 96 m. (1,487 alt., 1,764 pop.), half-hidden among the hills and valleys (L), was named in honor of the Massachusetts home of Daniel Webster. The business district is built about the two-story, brown-brick Webster County courthouse, an imposing structure erected in 1870, with twin cupolas and an arched passageway through the center. Marshfield is a shipping point for corn, oats, and barley, for chickens and dairy products, and for tomatoes -- the latter the all important crop, for Webster County is one of the largest tomato producing areas of the State. The fruit must be picked as soon as it is ripe, and wrapped, packed, and shipped immediately. The processing is done in Marshfield, where everyone is concerned about prices and weather, since livelihood depends on these.
The Flannagan family, who arrived in the early 1830's, are said to have been the first white settlers within the present limits of Marshfield. The town was not surveyed until 1856. During the Civil War the village suffered numerous raids. In 1878 and 1880 it was visited by tornadoes which killed 87 persons, injured 200, and removed the second story of the courthouse. Since then things have gone fairly quietly, with only the rise and fall of farm prices to affect the town's tranquillity.
Between Marshfield and Strafford the highway passes from the highlands into the Old Plains or Springfield Plateau. The land is gently rolling and adapted to cultivation. Peculiarly isolated in pioneer days because of its distance from large streams and the difficult country to the east, its history is more meager than that of other border sections. Prior to the War of 1812 it was known as the Osage Country. Some time during or immediately after the war, a band of Kickapoo Indians moved into the area, causing it to be known as Kickapoo Prairie. The land, settled comparatively late, has lent itself to development in large farms for dairy herds, wheat, and oats.
STRAFFORD, 110 m. (1,478 alt., 175 pop.), is a crossroads hamlet on land that was once a Kickapoo Indian reservation. By the Treaty of Edwardsville, Illinois (1819), the Kickapoo Indians ceded lands in Illinois and Indiana to the United States in exchange for these lands in southwest Missouri. In 1832, by the Treaty of Castor Hill, St. Louis County, this was again exchanged for lands west of the Missouri State line.
Left from Strafford on an unmarked graveled road, taking first road R., then L. at fork, to the DANFORTH HOUSE (open by permission), 2.7 m., an excellent indication of the prosperity and culture developed on the Old Plains shortly before the Civil War. Erected in 1839 and enclosed by a low stone fence, the house is a two-story white structure of Georgian design. The brick of which it is built was fired on the place by slaves, and the deep-set stone of the foundation was dug from quarries in the vicinity. On the lawn is a millstone shipped from France to Natchez by way of New Orleans, and thence across the river and overland by wagon. On an opposite hill is the site of the plantation slave quarters and graveyard. The house was built by Josiah Danforth, and, it is said, was once used as a wayside tavern. It is occupied by a descendant of the builder.
SPRINGFIELD, 121 m. (1,345 alt., 61,238 pop.) (see Springfield), is at a junction with US 65 (see Tour 9) and US 60 (see Tour 6); with the latter, US 66 is united for seven miles.
West of Springfield the highway crosses thickly settled country. The farms are smaller, but the yield is greater than in the region to the east. The principal crops are wheat, oats, strawberries, dairy products, and poultry, with orchards providing a supplementary source of income.
At 137.4 m. is a junction with County F, a graveled road.
Right here to ASH GROVE, 9 m. (1,048 alt., 1,101 pop.), a prosperous farm trading center settled and named by Colonel Nathan Boone, the youngest son of Daniel Boone. R. from Ash Grove 1.8 m. on County V, a graveled road, to (R) the NATHAN BOONE HOUSE (open by permission), a "double" cabin built by Colonel Boone in 1837, when he moved his family to Greene County. The exterior logs have been weather-boarded and a new roof has been added, but otherwise the cabin is unchanged. The wide plank flooring is held in place by wooden pegs. The house has four rooms divided by a simple hallway. At each end of the house is a native-stone chimney. Near the cabin is the family cemetery, containing the graves of Nathan Boone and his wife, Olive van Bibber Boone (see Tour 1A).
At HALLTOWN, 140 m. (1,143 alt., 168 pop.), is a junction with an unmarked dirt road.
Left here to CHESAPEAKE STATE PARK (picnic grounds), 3 m., a 117-acre tract on which is maintained a State fish hatchery for bass, crappie, goggle-eye, and bluegill.
CARTHAGE, 179 m. (941 alt., 10,585 pop.) (see Tour 10), is at a junction with US 71 (see Tour 10). Westward are the famous Tri-State lead and zinc fields, centering about Joplin and embracing the border counties of Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma. When the mines were in full operation, the district produced one fourth of the world's zinc. The contemporary scene, however, is characterized by great piles of chat, dusty-looking buildings, and smokeless chimneys, in sharp contrast with the carefully cultivated wheat, oats, and dairy farms that surround them.
CARTERVILLE, 188 m. (1,003 alt., 1,582 pop.), reflects the desolation that descended on Missouri's great lead and zinc mining area when the mines were closed shortly after the World War. Once a vigorous, prosperous city of 12,000 persons, the town now stretches between great white mounds of chat, and its main street, built unusually wide to carry a heavy traffic, is all but empty.
Carterville was surveyed in August 1875, shortly after John C. Webb had discovered lead in the vicinity (see below) and W. A. Daugherty had erected the first house. The following year a hotel was built, and in 1877 the town was incorporated. The World War demand for zinc caused a boom in Carterville as it did in Webb City and other towns of the district. Laborers, professional men, salesmen, and adventurers poured in. New dwellings and business houses were erected, streetcar lines and additional railroad tracks were laid. Then the war ended, production fell off, and, one by one, the mines shut down. Most of the miners moved away. Those who remained have drained several of the mines, however, and, in groups of two or three, are reworking the veins.
Between Carterville and Webb City the mounds of chat and abandoned shafts are continuous.
WEBB CITY, 189 m. (1,003 alt., 7,033 pop.), in contrast to Carterville, checked the rabid decline that set in at the death of its principal industry by developing new sources of income. The T-shaped business district retains at least a semblance of its former activity, and only a few of the pre-World War commercial buildings are vacant. The residence sections are shady and clean; the houses are kept in repair.
Until 1873 the site of Webb City was part of the fertile acres belonging to John C. Webb, whose corn and wheat farm consisted of a quarter-section bounded on the east by the Carter farm. In the summer of 1873, as Webb was following his team over the fields, his plowshare hit a hard, half-submerged chunk of lead. Webb put the specimen aside until fall when his corn had been harvested. That winter he showed his discovery to W. A. Daugherty, who immediately became his partner. The winter's work brought little success, however, because of water in the mine. After the second year Webb became discouraged, and sold his interest to C. P. Ashcraft, an experienced miner, who promptly dynamited the shaft. The explosion threw lead in all directions, and opened the greatest mining era Missouri has known.
Some of the miners and promoters who flocked to the area settled to the east, establishing Carterville on Mr. Carter's farm; others settled to the west, on Webb's land. In July, 1875, Webb platted the town of Webb City. In the 1880's, discovery of commercial uses for zinc expanded local mineral production. A large semicircle of mines half surrounded the town; the population doubled almost over night. Between 1894 and 1904 the mines produced approximately $23,000,000 in mineral wealth, yet did not reach their peak until 1917-18, when crews worked night and day filling World War orders. At the end of the war Webb City turned its attention to agriculture, and textile and processing plants were opened. Today (1941) two large factories produce work clothes and other wearing apparel, and an enterprising gravel company turns the chat of abandoned mines into road-construction material. Two hospitals further contribute to the resources of the community.
Right from Webb City on an unmarked black-topped road to ORONOGO, 3.8 m. (975 alt., 593 pop.), a dilapidated, ghostlike reminder of Jasper County's lead and zinc mining industry. Here is the ORONOGO CIRCLE MINE (open weekdays 8-4; guides), famed for the production of some $30,000,000 worth of lead and zinc ore during the last half century. The mine, all but hidden by mounds of chat, operates in an open pit approximately 200 feet deep. Said to have been bought in 1854 for $50, the 10-acre circular tract was at one time the scene of operations for 20 mining firms. The initial purchaser, who bought the land before ore was discovered, operated by lease at a reported $9,000,000 profit. He then sold his title to another firm, which also leased the building and mining rights for a substantial fee. Since the 1890's, the original $50 land purchase has made a dozen or more millionaires.
Between Webb City and the Kansas Line are continuous mounds of chat left by former smelting and mining operators and now being processed by smaller firms who recover as much as 5 per cent of lead and zinc concentrates. These tailing mills have produced approximately 25 per cent of the output of the district in recent years.
At 196 m. is JOPLIN (1,008 alt., 37,144 pop.) (see Joplin).
US 66 crosses the KANSAS LINE, 202 m.(see Kansas Guide ) , 58 miles northeast of Vinita, Oklahoma.
THIS TEXT IS IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN