One African American Family’s History in Southwest Missouri

One of our readers sent in a story from the Springfield News-Leader regarding the legacy of race, slavery, and family in Missouri. Although the story does not feature anyone from the Joplin area, the story of Moses Berry and Thulani Davis is one that undoubtedly echoes the lives of some of Joplin’s residents. Unsurprisingly, African American history in Jasper County, Missouri, has long been overlooked by local and academic authors. With the exception of White Man’s Heaven, by Kimberly Harper, which recounts the 1903 lynching of Thomas Gilyard in Joplin and Lori Bogle’s Missouri Historical Review article, “Desegregation in a Border State: The Example of Joplin, Missouri,” little has been published. What stories are waiting to be uncovered in Joplin?

Globe Coverage of Powers Museum Lee Grant Exhibit

We previously mentioned the impending opening of the traveling Lee – Grant Exhibit, but wanted to bring to attention some coverage of it by the Joplin Globe.   The article includes a nice list of events happening in relation to the exhibit such as lectures, and reminds us, the exhibit is only around until the 20th of this month!  Also touched upon is Amanda Shurlds, the wife of General Grant’s brother-in-law.  With the impending 150th anniversary of the Civil War about to begin next year, now is the time to refresh yourself with the generals who helped brought about the war’s end.

Lee & Grant Traveling Exhibit Arrives at Powers Museum

Wikipedia image of Robert E. Lee painting

A portait of Lee via Wikipedia.

The much talked about Lee & Grant traveling exhibit will be opening September 1st at the Powers Museum in Carthage. The exhibit features,”a major reassessment of the lives, careers, and historical impact of Civil War generals Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant.”  Furthermore, the exhibit, “encourages audiences to move beyond the traditional mythology of both men and rediscover them within the context of their own time — based on their own words and those of their contemporaries.” To do this, the exhibit uses a great variety of items, such as photographs, paintings, accouterments, coins, prints, and reproduction clothing.  Also used are documents written by each of the famous generals.

Unknown to many, Julia Grant, Ulysses’ wife, had relatives who lived in Carthage, which created a connection to the Jasper County city and the Grants.  Lee also has a connection to Missouri, where while in service with the Corps of Engineers, he helped to prevent the Mississippi from flowing away from the bustling city of St. Louis.

For a sneak peak of the exhibit, check out this link on the exhibit from the National Endowment For the Humanities.

Of course, available all year round is the Powers Museum, a great place for local history.

A Very Brief History of the Joplin O.P. Morton Grand Army Republic (GAR) Post

Joplin’s O.P. Morton GAR Post was organized on May 17, 1882. It was named for Indiana Governor Oliver P. Morton. W.H. Fairbanks was elected commander; F.M. Redburn served as senior vice-commander; John C. Bailey elected junior vice-commander; S.B. Williams selected quartermaster; J.W. Lupton voted adjutant; C.T.G. Workizer elected chaplain; C.C. Wheeler, voted officer of the day; and H.C. Combs elected officer of the guard.

Other members included B.F. Joslin, T.H. Mintner, W.E.O. Rush, Edwin Whipple, F.M. Downing, F.D. Owen, N.L. Barner, E.W. Beach, G.O. Boucher, J.T. Everett, Jacob Lurwick, Samuel Ramsey, M.W. Stafford, Ira W. Gilbert, F.E. Eberhart, Samuel Lake, W.S. Scott, T.H. Short, William Stump, Ira Creech, Peter Bittmer, A.B. Adair, W.F. Cloud, T.P. Hill, W.W. Pate, William Sergeant, and W.C. Williams.

In the twenty-five years that followed, hundreds of other names were added to the post’s membership rolls. In 1907, only four of the original charter members were alive: Downing, Whipple, Boucher, and Joslin.

A list of the post’s commanders follows:

1882 W.H. Fairbanks and W.H. Pate

1883 E.W. Beach

1885 E.W. Beach

1886 E.W. Beach

1887 F.M. Redburn and Henry Phelps

1888 Henry Phelps

1889 E.W. Beach and J.L. Briggs

1890 J.G. Lurwick

1891 P.L. Schwartz

1892 A.H. Brewer

1893 J.L. Briggs

1894 H.W. Davison

1895 F.M. Redburn

1896 J.R.B. Roe

1897 H. Crandall and John R. York

1898 John R. York

1899 W.H. Crane

1900 J.R. Goheen

1901 G.W. Hight

1902 L.D. Middleton

1903 W. Jones

1904 M.M. Rice

1905 W.H. McCubbin

1906 G.W. Hight

1907 Henry Digby

1908 Henry Digby

1909 Henry Digby

1910 Albert McCann

1911 J.N. Theurer

1912 D.H. Rhodes

1913 J.M. Theurer

1914 F.L. Yale

1915 F.L. Yale

1916 F.L. Yale

Sources: Joplin News-Herald; Roster of O.P. Morton Post No. 14 G.A.R., Department of Missouri, July 1, 1916 Roster