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Dadeville and Arcola, Missouri
This page highlights the history of Dadeville and Arcola, Missouri.

All the information is copied from the book, "History of Dade County and It's People." The copyright laws release the copyright after 75 years. The book was published November 1, 1917. I in no way intent to take credit for other people's work. This page is a time portal for all interested parties.

Dadeville, Missouri

By Sheridan B. Pyle

In the year of our Lord, A. D. 1840 there was a cabin of native hewed logs erected in the northeast corner of a little prairie called Crisp Prairie, in honor of one of the early pioneers of the county, John Crisp. The cabin was built by a man named Johnson, who occupied it for five long years before he had a neighbor. Then in 1845 Thomas A. Dale, a Tennesseean, settled here and built a frame house near Mr. Johnson, beside the wagon road that had been trodden out by ox-teams. A Mr. Theodore Switzler, from Virginia, moved to Missouri and also formed a partnership and entered the mercantile business. A post office was established and named Crisp Prairie, and Mr. Dale was appointed the first postmaster. A Doctor from Tennessee, about this time, settled here by the name of Dr. Bender. He immediately engaged in the active practice of his profession, and his fame as a physician and surgeon went out over the land, and the sick and ailing from a distance flocked to him for treatment. A blacksmith shop was built and operated beside the wagon road by Mr. William Davidson along about 1855 or 1856. Feeling the necessity of a mill, Messrs Gaunt and Berry were induced to build and operate a grist and saw mill. The power used to make the wheels go "round and round" and the upright saw to go up and down was a yoke of oxen and an endless-chain tread-wheel. The people came for miles to patronize and view in wonder the modern machinery of breadstuff and lumber. This history would not be complete unless we mentioned that Thomas A. Dale induce a young Doctor Hampton from Dale's native state and old home, to immigrate to this section of the country. The young doctor, after his arrival, engaged in teaching school, and soon afterward married Miss Sarah Carmack, a sister of J. W. Carmack, one of Dade Counties prominent citizens. Dr. Hampton soon became a very noted character in the neighborhood. For some reason or another, it became desirable to change the name o the post office. Three prominent citizens were selected as a committee to decide upon an appropriate name. Dr. Bender, Dr. Hampton and Mr. Dale were chosen for this honorous duty. Three straws of different lengths were placed in a hat and drawn. Dr. Hampton drew the lucky straw and selected the name of "Melville," and Melville it remained until about 1865, when the Government discovered that the mail was being confused with Millville, another Missouri post office, so the name change to Dadeville, in honor of Colonel Dade of Mexican war fame.

As time passed on, other energetic, enthusiastic young men were attracted by the agricultural richness of the soil and the possibilities for mercantile success in Dadeville, so that the population increased to that of a village in a short time. Bob and Dave Long were among the first merchants. Robert A. Clark soon began selling goods and continued throughout the Civil War an up till about 1879, when he sold out to J. W. Withrow and moved to Springfield, Mo.

This thriving little town was supported by the sturdy settlers and pioneers from Kentucky and Tennessee who had found and ideal home on Crisp Prairie. The entire landscape was carpeted with blue grass, with here and there along the branches dense copses of underbrush and splendid walnut timber. There was an abundance of water for their stock, that roamed at will over the prairie. West of Dadeville was heavy oak timber and numerous bubbling springs of as fine, clear, cool water as ever quenched the thirst of man.

Dadeville has an altitude of 1155 feet and the drainage is divided between Sac River, three miles south, and Little Sac River, six miles north.

The early pioneer, who was a sportsman as well as a farmer, was well supplied with fish from these streams, while deer and wild turkey from the prairie and barren woods were abundant.

Along in the early 50's an academy consisting two rooms was established by private capital, and Nathan Dinwiddie conducted the school for the benefit of the rising generation.

Following are the names of a few of the prominent families who were residents of Dadeville vicinity: Tarrants, Potters, Lindleys, Haileys, Mazes, Divines, Kirbys, Carmacks, Dunways, McMasters, Hembrees, McPeaks, Freezes, Smiths, Longs, Pyles, Mazwells, tunnels, Haywards, Hobs, Carlocks, Pembertons, Wheelers, Grishams, Morgans, Fisks, McGees, Berrys, Gaunts and Cowans.

At the breaking out of the Civil War, most all of the inhabitants of Dadeville and vicinity were loyal to the United States Government. In 1860, however, there was but one Republican vote cast at this precinct, and that was a written ballot, since only democratic tickets were printed in the county. A few years ago, Allan McDowell, the grand lecturers of the Masonic fraternity for Missouri, visited his old birthplace, about four miles northeast from Dadeville. I had the pleasure as well as the honor of accompanying the distinguished gentleman while hunting for landmarks. He mention4ed the fact that while his father lived here that their children were born in three counties, although all in the same house. The explanation was that Polk, Dade and Cedar counties had all formerly comprised territory which belonged to Barry County, and changes in the county boundaries had placed this house in three successive counties.

W. K. Pyle, the father of Sheridan B. Pyle, moved his family from Dadeville to Greenfield in 1848, as a County Official. In 1861 at the breaking out of the Civil War, he enlisted in the Union army. On the 4th day of July, 1861, there were 200 men from Dade, Cedar, Polk and Greene counties responded to the call at Dadeville, and enlisted in the Sixth Missouri cavalry, volunteers, organizing Companies "L" and "D" and also Company "E."

On the 14th of June, 1864, Guerillas burned the town of Dadeville, leaving but a few houses standing, and killed a number of citizens. Among them were Lieutenant Jesse Kirby of Company A, Sixth Missouri cavalry; John Cantrell, Shed Berry, a blind Negro. William Bradford, who was wounded, died shortly afterward. Sam Landers, now of Webb City, was also wounded. The town was soon rebuilt.

About the year 1892, Prof. George Melcher, one of the leading schoolmen of the state, induced some of the enterprising citizens of the town and surrounding country to build an academy. The enterprise proved a success and for several years, it was one of the leading High Schools of Southwest, Missouri. Other neighboring towns being inspired by the success of Dadeville, began to improve their graded schools and to establish High Schools, so that much of the patronage was withdrawn and the Academy went down, but soon afterward eight school districts organized a consolidated school district. It is said to be one of the largest and wealthiest consolidated districts in the state. With just a little "kick", it is possible to establish at Dadeville one of the leading High Schools of the state.

Dadeville today is an incorporated city of 500 people. It has three churches, nine store, two blacksmith shops, one shoe shop, garage, a fine flouring mill of fifty barrels daily capacity, and a flourishing bank.

S. B. Pyle

Sheridan Byron Pyle-Says of himself: that he was born September 21st, 1856, in Dade County, Missouri. His parents were W. K. and Artimissa Pyle. His mother died in 1861, leaving three children, Lisyra and Rosalia, his two sisters. His father enlisted in the Union army in 1862. Indulgent grandparents cared for the homeless children until 1866, when his father married Mollie Finley and made a home for them on a farm. Rosalia died when17 years of age. S. B. attended the country schools, and had two years at Morrisville Academy in Polk County, working for his board and tuition. He married Matie Underwood March 31st, 1877. To them have been born four children, Lewis K. Thomas, Roscoe G. and Leslie C., only one still living, Roscoe G. Mrs. Pyle's father and mother, L. M. and N. J. Underwood, moved from Minnesota to Missouri soon after the war.

Sheridan B. Pyle engaged in the mercantile business in Dadeville in 1880. while not a very successful merchant, still continues in business. He votes the Republican ticket, having but once departed from the faith of his fathers, being in 1912 voted for Theodore Roosevelt for President on the Progressive ticket. He was a candidate for Representative once but was defeated by a good, round majority.

Editorial Note.-It will be seen by the above that Sheridan B. Pyle is a man of extreme modesty, but I know from personal acquaintance that his attainment far outweigh those of men who are given to vain boasting. Mr. Pyle has for years been one of the leading citizens of Dadeville, identified with every public movement, given of his means freely to the support of church and schools, invested in speculative mining enterprises "for the good of the community," always at the bat in every political campaign to help boost the other fellow into office, a man of wisdom, poise and discretion, being the soul of honor and a perfect Chesterfield in demeanor. Dadeville can well be proud of Sheridan B. Pyle when the entire community proclaims him as her First Citizen. A. J. Young.

Arcola, Missouri
By Dr. R. M. Crutcher

For a number of years after the pioneer from Tennessee had erected his cabin near the spring and cleared out a few acres of choice branch bottom for cultivation, in the wooded sections of Dade County, the deer roamed at will during the daytime and the coyote made night hideous on the rolling prairies of northern Dade.

On the 4th day of May, 1860, George W. White entered the northwest quarter of the northwest quarter of Section 2-32-27, and sold the same to Isaac Killingsworth on the 3d day of April, 1861. On the 20th day of January, 1872, Cyrus C. Bean appeared upon the scene and for a consideration of .00 purchased two acres of land in the northwest corner of Section 2, upon which he erected a combined residence and store building and began selling goods that spring. Application was made for a post office, which was granted, C. C. Bean appointed postmaster, and the location named "Arcola" in honor of the ancient city of Arcola in Northwest Italy, where Bonaparte in 1796 gained a decisive victory over the Austrian troops.

Other parties had been engaged in business before the advent of the writer in 1876, bu at that time Bean’s store was running in full blast. Charles Rosenhauer conducted a booze drug store, and a man by the name of Anderson was the blacksmith. He was afterward succeeded by J. P. Cagle, who conducted a ship for many years. He in turn was succeeded by his son, W. B. Cagle. As late as 1876 prairie chickens were plentiful and were shipped by Mr. Bean in larger quantities than live poultry. Eggs and in fact all kinds of produce was plentiful in those days and very cheap. Many wagon loads were sent to market, usually Ash Grove or Springfield.

Arcola, however, was destined to be something more than a wide place in the road. It was a cross-roads point, and early had aspirations of becoming a city. On the 27th day of July, 1880, C. C. Bean platted four blocks in the northwest corner of Section 2, on the 13th day of December, 1880, E. E. and C. F. White laid out thirty-three lots in the southwest corner of Section 35, calling it White’s Addition to Arcola. On the 14th day of December, 1883, J. M. Travis laid out six blocks in the southeast corner of section 34, calling it Travis’ Addition, and finally on the 21st day of March, 1884, S. H. Bales had surveyed and placed upon the market three blocks in the northeast corner of Section 3, which he called Bales Addition. Arcola was now a city with streets, alleys, public parks and boulevards.

About the year 1877, D. Underwood engaged in the mercantile business and continued in it till hi death, at which time the firm was Underwood & Son, being composed of Decatur Underwood and T. J. Underwood, the latter still being one of the leading merchants of the place. Mr. Bean finally sold his business to J. M. Travis and R. M. Crutcher, and they continued the business for seven years, when they sold out to Stewart & Hawkins, the junior member of the firm, P. H. Hawkins, having clerked for Travis & Crutcher a number of years and being fully equipped for the business. After about six months J. M. Travis again became a member of the firm, in which he continued until the death of J. T. Stewart. Since then the firm has changed hands many times. C. F. White, Clyde C. White and J. R. Daughtery were early merchants of the place. The hardware business was started by S. H. Bales, who was succeeded by Porter a& Harber, M. Pyle, M. Small, W. H. Watson, John O. Mitchell and I. A. Young & Co., this last named firm being the present owners,. It is today one of the leading hardware, implement and farm supply houses in Southwest Missouri. From time to time many other merchants have been engaged in business at Arcola, among them W. P. Murphy, C. A. Wilson, Wm. Meek, Uel Murphy, Ben Appleby, Murphy, Russell & Whittaker, L. M. Duncan, O. C. Whitley, L. Killingworth, J. G. Sloan & Sons. At the present time H. W. Kitsmiller, W. T. Underwood & Bro., Achord Bros. J. W. Griffin, I A. Young & Co., and possibly others whose names I do not recall are actively engaged in mercantile enterprises at this place. For a number of years C. F. White had a store in Arcola and his son, C. C. White, in company with J. N. Preston and J. R. Daugherty, succeeded him. Dr. a. Higgins came to Arcola in 1904 and opened up a pharmacy, also entered the general practice of medicine, in which he has been successful.

For a number of years, Arcola suffered great inconvenience for want of proper banking facilities. Finally on the 17th day of October, 1910, The Bank of Arcola was organized with A. Higgins, President; C. W. Cassell, Vice President; W. d. Brickey, Cashier, and W. E. Petty, Assistant Cashier. It was capitalized at ,000. In 1912 W. E. Petty was made cashier and served till 1914, when he was succeeded by J. W. Mayfield, who served six months, when on the 4th day of January, 1915, C.C. Duncan was elected to that position and is still serving. The Directors of this Bank are W. U. Brooks, C. W. Cassell, S. P. Guinn, A. Higgins, C. A. Jordan, W. C. Noffsinger and w. D. Brickey. It is one of the sound financial institutions of the county.

Arcola has always been proud of her schools and churches. Both the Methodist and Christian people have church buildings and consistent membership. Upon the adoption of the school law authorizing consolidated districts, Arcola immediately organized Consolidated District No. 1, composed of several country districts, and erected a modern, up-to-date High School building. The present management is: J. T. Wilkins, President; c. c. Duncan, Secretary; A. D. Hughes, Vice President; C. C. Duncan, Treasurer. W, H. Riley, Principal; Miss Dobs, Katie Brand, R.M. Owens, Cecil Oldham and F. L. Twaddell teachers.

Arcola has always enjoyed a good trade and boasts of her splendid citizens.

Cousins City

Cousin City, Dade County, Missouri by Bernard TefeCousin City (as I remember)

Mt. Zion School District

Dade County, Missouri

I have started this letter so many times, but always something comes up, such as Christmas cards, and then I do not know if it makes sense to anyone else but me or not.

I found it interesting to learn that you had not heard of Cousin City.

I believe there are a few ways to get to the used to be Ghost Town of Cousin City. And there are several people around who know. I shall try to remember a few at the end.

The way that we usually went was: From Greenfield take Highway #160 to CC and just follow it around.

If you will draw with me (take a piece of 8 and a half by 11), I will try to recreate that area:

In the lower left hand corner, draw a right angle, a road going East and a road going South.

In the exact corner put #1. On another piece of paper put #1 as Store of Harvey & Molly McMasters. To the left of the store just a few feet, #1A for the home of Harvey & Molly (big family of about 14 Children) among them, Lee, Horace, Reba Carmack, Bessie Wheeler, Benton, Geneva Stanley, James Junior, Joe Wesley, Clyde, Elvin, Phyllis Bishop. Elwood & Farrel.

Going South (several yards) a store on the right hand side of the road, mark #2 as John & Floy Jennings, their children being, Cleo, Glen, Dale & Joyce. Behind the store in the field (do not know who owned it), there was a baseball field, where many games were played, mostly on Sunday afternoon, I believe.

Directly across the road from the Jennings store was the #3, Mt. Zion School House. On Sunday, the school house was used as a Church, and sometimes Revivals were held in the school. In later years, Jennings Family built a new store across the road , south of the school house.

Going South, on the right side of road, #4 Cecil & Ethel Hull. Next house on the left of road #5, Frank & Eva Porterfield, at the moment I remember, sons John & Homer, daughters, Zinia & Rue Fite.

Past the Porterfields, another road branches West.

Continuing South, at the point where the other road branches, on the left is #6 Harry & Beatrice Carmack, some of children, Gerald, Lillian Aileen, Wayne, Mary Denzil, Gene, & Joe. I remember Lloyd Cooper and family lived there also. (Later My uncle Hiram & Marjorie Tefertiller lived there before they moved to the Old Grey Place. Children being, Mildred Vaughn, James, Jerry, Larry & Richard Lee.

Continuing South, you cross a bridge over a small branch and come to a steep hill, and a road that branches of to the left going up hill. At the top of the hill lived the Walter Pyle Family, which later became the home of Mrs. Leslie and her son Roy Leslie. Continuing on the road south, at the top of the hill on the left, lived #7, Jim & Myrt Dill, children, Zella Bennett, Thea, Tommie, Jimmie, Herschel.

Across the road from Jim & Myrt Dill and down a long steep hill lived Ken & Mae Hull. The children were Clint, Aldrie, Euel, Erma, Aileen Wright & Joe Thomas, the youngest. You can label the Hull family as #8. Running at the base of the hill where the Hulls lived was a small branch. They had a big spring that had the coldest water around. They would hang milk & butter in the spring to keep it cold for household use.

Across the little branch was a Croquet Game that we would all play for recreation when we visited them. In the summer time we gathered there to make ice cream. Ken & Mae had a 5 gallon freezer, and we had a gallon and half freezer, so that was really enough for the whole community.

South down the hill on the other side, on the right, #9 George & Della Tefertiller, owned by Hiram Tefertiller. Next house on the left going south up a slight hill lived #10 Jonathan & Mamie McConnell, children, Clinton, Marjorie Tefertiller, Raymond, Mary, Marguerite, Juanita Skaggs, Eugene, & Lucille Butterworth.

At the end of the road #11, Sytha Bennett and children, Nora, sons Milton, Troy, Everett, & Earnest. Behind the Sytha Bennett house lived #12, Lloyd & Cora Bennett, the older son of Sytha.

The road south actually ends, but there is a trail going on south.

On the left of Bennetts was the Tefertiller land, and road leading down to #13 Herbert & Florence Tefertiller, children, Gene & Bernard (me)

There was a trail through our land that eventually went to Corry, MO. At one time, people were able to drive through to Corry, but the trail was eventually closed.

A road was built much latter from Greenfield, that came through the old Sytha Bennett place.

Now if you go back to the beginning, house #1 of Harvey & Molly McMaster and take the road East you will find a road North (a short distance) where an old cemetery (few graves) is located. Going on East on the right is the Dick Montgomery place, children, Adrian, Glyndol, Elnora Russell, Wayne & Richard.

On East where the road turnes South lived the Carl Reynolds Family. Mrs. Reynolds was formerly Mrs. Terrell, with children, Juanita, Betty Cummings, Edna and two sons whose names I do not remember.

The road going South from the Reynolds house eventually arrives in Dadeville where we went to High School. The children that graduated from Mt. Zion School, had a choice of going to Dadeville High or to Greenfield High.

There are many more families that lived in the Cousin City Area, and went to grade school at Mt. Zion. If your took the road west that was just south of the Porterfield home, you would see the Clovis & Sarah Emma Carmack place. She was my great Aunt Emma, daughter of Henry Franklin & Sarah Jane (Cox) Tefertiller. Their children were: Harry, Madge Sawyer, Bernice, Frank, Eunice McMasters, Theo Thompson, Enid Glenn, Faye Hembree, Floy Hartwell, Evelyn McMasters & Emma Lee Reed.

That road would take you past the Jennings Family, Travis Family, and on across the Seybert Bridge, where the Seybert Mill once stood, past the home of Bess Freeze, Thea Freeze Family and then the Seybert Store.

Other families that live in the area, and I do not mean to slight them by not mentioning their names, but I know that you must be tired of reading this letter, were the Vaughns, Dickersons, Aelshires, Tolers, Kings, & Wests.

I could go on and on with info and probably some not remembered but you will get the idea.

People you can call and probably know: Elnora (Montgomery) Russell, Way & Richard Montgomery, Lloyd Cooper (in rest home I believe),Lucille Butterworth, Herschel Dill, Dale Jennings, etc. Elnora would probably be the best to call.

Bernard Tefertiller, New York City

(Note:  The emails links for this page are not connected to Bernard.  If you would like to contact him please email me and I will forward your email address to him.)