Though I personally disagree with a lot of opinions
that Myron had--especially his lack of regard for Christianity, I'm sure
that he had plenty of bad examples around him. However, his mother Susan,
was a deeply devout Methodist.
Myron was an outspoken figure in his time and love to make his voice heard
in newspaper articles.
Writings by Myron Pease:
The early settlers had very little chance to have church services. They had
to wait until some wandering circuit rider came through the country before
they had any opportunity to have church. Then many times the lawless element
would break up church. One of their favorite methods of breaking up church
was to shoot out the lights. One time the lawless element hazed a bunch of
wild horses in where they were having church. Once a bunch made a preacher
dance by shooting at his feet. Another time some one trapped a wild cat and
shoved it in a window where they were having church. Once they kidnapped a
preacher tied him on a wild horse and shipped the horse into the church. One
circuit rider, a man named Devlin, who was passing through the country turned
the tables on the jokesters. He advanced to the pulpit turned and announced
he wished to make a few announcements. He said "I understand you have been
having bad order here. I intend to have order here if I have to kill every
man in the house to get it. It any of you don't like it make your play".
As he finished speaking his congregation was amazed to see he held a gun
in each hand. He looked his congregation over for a minute then started to
preach. No one saw where his guns came from or where they went when he replaced
them. Not a one of the lawless elements made a sound during his sermon. One
of the jokesters said afterward, "When a man can draw so fast I can't see
it and me looking right at him I figure it would have been just plain suicide
to have started something". Devlin preached there two nights and then moved
on. Three weeks later two Texas Rangers, with extradition papers, were here
hunting him. It was never learned whether they caught him or not.
Interview: June 8, 1938, Myron Pease, former county judge and National Peoples
Party delegate, at his home at West Plains, Mo; [from:http://www.watersheds.org/history/influences.htm]
NEWSPAPER ARTICLES WRITTEN BY MYRON PEASE:
(undated, but probably written about 1935)
Editor Journal, West Plains, Mo.
My Dear Sir:
Sometime ago you suggested to me that I write something for the Journal about
old times in this country.
On the 17th day of March, 1868, my father, Miles Pease, with my brother George
and myself and an old negro named Julius, drove down into the bottom close
to the North Fork River near the southeast corner of Douglas county, and made
camp just before sundown, and it was St. Patrick's Day, in the evening.
He left us two boys and the "nigger" to build a house, which we proceeded
to do. For the last mile or two we had traveled through an immense grove of
pine trees, and we cut down enough near by, snaked them in with a pair of
oxen, using small logs as some were too large for us to handle. It was just
a small shanty with a stick and clay chimney to carry the smoke from the
crude fireplace on one side, but we boys were proud of it when we moved in.
When Father got back with supplies and some hired help, we all commenced
the erection of a real house of large, hand hewed pine logs and a five foot
fireplace in the center of one end.
Our nearest neighbors were two and six miles away and our house, being the
largest for many miles around, become the meeting place for all public gatherings.
Old brother Johns, a Methodist circuit rider, got around to our place about
once a month and held services in the big Pease house; dances and various
frolics were held there as no other house in that section was large enough.
It was also the polling place for elections in that end of Douglas county.
In those days, as far as the national and state tickets were concerned, the
votes could just as well have been counted before they were cast as the voters
were Republicans to a man.
And this reminds me of a little incident which occurred on election day.
I was about 17 and a big strapping youngster and, although not a voter, was
around the polling place when I observed some sort of a fracas. It seemed
that old Frank McCarty had called for a Democrat ticket when old Tommie Rice
told him he ought to be "caned" for trying such a foolish thing.
Being always a rather impetuous youth, I walked into the crowd and said that
according to my reading of our constitution, every man had the right to vote
as he pleased and if anybody tried to stop McCarty, he'd have me to whip.
The judges agreed with me and Uncle Frank was permitted to deposit his lone
We had no big blanket ballots in them days, every candidate furnished his
own and they were passed around to the voters.
Now Mr. Editor, I will not attempt to give anything like a complete history
of those olden days, but will touch on some of the high spots as they occur
That first little shanty we boys built in that pinery is still pleasant in
my memory as the March wind roared through the pine trees and no other music
ever sounded so sweet to my ears as the soft whispering and wild roaring of
the wind among the pines and it has always been one of the regrets of my
life that I never made myself a permanent home among the pines. But it is
useless to spend our time with vain regrets.
Now if some of the boys of today had to go out into the woods before breakfast
and hunt up the steers, yoke them up and drive them to a plow, through grubby
land as I did, with the saw-briers cutting into their bare feet, they
would realize the hardships which the early pioneers endured to make a civilization
with all the easy comforts of today.
My Father's object from the very first was to put in a water mill, which
he did and while he and the other boys, with some hired hands, were building
the dam and the mill frame that first year, old Julius and I were making a
crop of corn, some pumpkins and "taters." Along in July we got out of flour
and had to live for quite a while on roasting ears and potatoes.
And when the corn got too hard to eat off the cob we "gritted" it into meal,
which we made into bread until someone could go to Springfield or "Rollie,"
as we called it, for supplies. Both these towns were over a hundred miles
away, over rough roads, and it took from 2 to 3 weeks to make the trip with
our slow-going oxen.
The second summer, Father got his dam built and a small saw rig put in, and
by running the little saw day and night we could get out from 2,000 to 3,000
feet, and as West Plains, (which Jim Riley used to call the “little dog fennel
town,” in his speeches) was mostly of logs, there was a big demand for lumber.
We had choice timber and always made extra good lumber, although at least
half of the timber was wasted, only the choice cuts being utilized.
I never cared for hunting but the woods were literally full of deer and turkey
. . . . . . . . . a Colts six-shooter into the timber and frequently got a
While I seldom hunted and never even shot at a deer I sometimes would get
a turkey. One day while my brother, another man and I were hunting,
we found a large hillside seemingly covered with the largest drove of turkeys
we had ever seen. It was impossible to count them, but we were close enough
to make an estimate, and we all agreed that there were at least 500. All three
of us shot into the drove and I remember I killed two.
The first year after we got the grist mill to running, that is, to grinding
corn, I have known men to come to the mill from a distance and wait a half
a day to get a peck of meal.
There was no wheat raised till the next year and Father told the people that
if they'd raise wheat, he'd put in a bolt so he could make flour, which he
did, and we had grain from Howell's Valley, and at one time, when I was running
the mill, I had grain in the mill from 5 counties in Missouri and 2 counties
in Arkansas, at one time.
The third year we had a carding machine and a cotton gin and I have
known men to camp there for a week at a time to get their cool carded, and
the machine was run night and day.
There were no schools then in the county, so the second year, after we got
to making lumber, we made over a vacant dwelling house into a school and Father
hired a girl to come in a teach, as he has six of us children who needed
Father was trying to get some others to send their children and help pay
the teacher and succeeded in getting quite a number, but old Uncle Pete Collins
wouldn't hear to letting any of his big family of children go to school.
"I don't want no children around me what knows more than I do," said Pete,
"and," said he, "my dad has a dog that orter be shot, he goes out early of
an ev'nin all by his se'f and drives the cows home, which is just too smart
fer airy dog to be, I'd shoot him." One day I went over to Pete's to
get some teeth pulled, him having the only pair of forceps in the settlement,
and when I came in sight a great parsel of children, dressed in a single garment
like a long-tailed shirt, ran into the woods. Many people in those days got
what they called "factory" and made it up something like a night gown and
wore it day and night until it was entirely worn out.
One night my three brothers, I and some other young men went to a dance,
and there was the famous fiddler, Lock Clinton, dressed in one of them long-tailed
shirts, but he sure could make a fiddle “talk.”
The young teacher was getting $30 a month and board, and after we had had
two years schooling of four months each, my brother George married the teacher,
and we had two more years of school in that neighborhood and that was all
the schooling I ever had except 6 months in a primary school at Rolla before
we moved to Douglas county.
In my next letter I will attempt, with your permission, to give some history
of early land deals, mail service and other incidents.
With your permission I will continue my account of some of the early history
as I recall it.
Following so soon after the Civil War, people were still very suspicious
of all newcomers and strangers, as this incident points up. The second year
after father came onto the North Fork there was a man lost, and they were
unable to find him. While the hunt was going on, two strange men came to see
my father, to get him to go to Mtn. Grove to set up a carding machine for
them, which he did.
But those hunting the missing man had seen the strangers come and go and
decided that they might be bushwhackers or other undesirable citizens. As
was the custom in such cases, a committee was appointed to investigate. Often
newcomers were ordered to move on, and on refusal, were escorted out.
So the committee came to our house and talked to Julius, our colored man,
and when they asked if two suspicious characters had spent the night there,
he told them “no.” When Father heard of it he took Julius to task for not
telling the truth, and Julius replied, “If they had asked me if they wuz ‘two
gentlemans,’ I would uv said, ‘Yes, suh!’”
But they had another meeting and decide we were harboring bushwhackers, and
so that we must leave. then another committee was sent to find out we were
fixed for defense if we refused to obey the order to leave the country.
We had a young man named Ed working for and living with us, who had served
three years in the Union Army. He was at the house with chills and fever,
then commonly called “ager,” and when the committee called he was feeling
very cross. When they asked how many “shooting irons” we had he told them
we were well supplied with about 16 guns and plenty of ammunition. He also
informed them that we knew all about their intentions, and when he moved it
would be into a piece of ground about six by three. The committee then held
another meeting, but in the meantime, the body of the missing man was found.
He had accidently shot himself, so it was concluded that the Pease settlement
was all right.
Now about that time, in the early seventies, a grave injustice was perpetrated
on the people of the west part of Howell, east part of Douglas, and the south
of Texas counties, where a fine forest of pine was growing.
Many newcomers and homesteaders had commenced settling in this country, and
the federal government sent surveying parties in; one party stayed at our
house several weeks locating grants of agricultural college land.
They took most of the good land and the heavy timber land, and that put almost
a stop to the immigration and has held back the development and settlement
of this country to this day. Much of the best timbered land was bought up
by eastern corporations for a mere song, and the land depleted of its timber.
When we came to Douglas County, Vera Cruz, about 20 miles away, was the nearest
post office. Mtn. Grove was 25 miles north, Willow Springs, out in the country
east of where the town now is, was 20 miles northeast. West Plains, 28 miles
east, and Rockbridge, 20 miles west. [There is an apparent discrepancy in
the distance as given for Mtn. Grove.]
There was no regular mail routes, so Father began working and corresponding
with the Post Office Department and others in Washington, D.C. to get some
sort of mail accommodations.
Soon he secured the establishment of an independent post office which was
named Richville [not the site as the current cross-road store]; brother George
was appointed postmaster with the cancellations as pay, and extra for carrying
So about once a week one of us four boys made the trip on horseback to Vera
Cruz, but if we were all too busy we went every two weeks. This continued
for some time, and then we got the mail from Willow Springs. Father kept up
his “howling” for better mail service until finally, after about four years,
he got a route established from West Plains through to Ava with service twice
a week. That kept a man and a horse busy six days out of a week, and we four
boys, who were big enough to ride a horse, took turns riding the route of
more than 40 miles.
In those early days there were many people, even as there are today, who
were opposed to all progress, and among the old settlers was Uncle Bobby C---,
who used to complain that the d--n railroads and “thimble skean” wagons were
ruining the country. He was one of quite a number in our community who made
a regular business of making tar out of pine knots, and after putting it
into “kags” they would load an ox wagon and haul it to St. Louis or Rolla.
They found a ready market for the tar, as the old linch-pin wagon required
plenty of tar; that was why the advent of the railroad and the new style wagon
ruined our tar business, as Uncle Bobby saw it.
Uncle Saul Collins was a frequent visitor at our house, and he told us many
stories of times before our coming.
He had come from the Carolinas many years earlier with a wagon and a four-ox
team. There being no roads, they just drove right through the brush which
was small, and no large trees in most of the country. their bread stuff ran
out before they could raise a little corn so they lived on bear meat and honey
of which there was a great plenty.
Uncle Saul’s oldest boy, Pete, would go into the woods every day and find
a wild bee tree and after all the vessels were filled with honey he would
[make] troughs of logs, fill them with honey for future use until Uncle Saul
said “What fools we all are. There ain’t a neighbor closer than 20 miles,
so why not leave the honey in the trees ‘til we need it, and save all the
time and labor!” So there was no more hoarding honey.
They had to beat their corn up in a mortar to make bread before the mills
came in; the rivers were so full of fish in the spring of the year that a
man could not cross at the shoals without fairly stepping on them.
People enjoyed themselves. I recall on an occasion in 1881 [Myrtle was a
baby] there was a big meeting being held about four miles away. We were living
over in Ozark County then, and the women folks said they’d like to attend.
I told them if they’d cook up some dinner we’d start early and go to meetin’.
I got up early, went out into the woods and got the oxen, had an early breakfast,
and we all loaded into the wagon and started out. The old fashioned wagon
was, I admit, a little crowded with George, his wife and three children, Clint,
his wife and their three children, my wife and me with our two children, but
we got there in about three hours and in time for the meeting. We got back
home by early candle lightin’, and I’m sure we enjoyed ourselves as much
as people today in their Ford V-8’s.
When we commenced hauling lumber to West Plains from father’s old mill on
North Fork, with ox teams it took two to four days to make the round trip,
but we could make it in two days with a good team of horses or by horseback
and today you can go even over to Gainesville or Ava in about an hour.
When I was a boy around 14 to 18 years old and wanted to go to a dance or
a courting I generally went on foot and so was confined to a distance of two
to five miles, and the same if going to Sunday meeting. I often went early
to Sunday meetings and went up on the bluff with a history book to read before
meeting time. If there was company already there we’d get into a boat and
row around the pond.
There was one advantage, however, over present day gatherings. There was
no whiskey as that was permissible only on election days.
And now it is hard, even yet, for me to write to the the subject of governmental
finance, and of course you are at liberty to leave out of these articles anything
you think will not interest your readers or that you object to.
In 1871 there was a Fourth of July picnic held in the bottom across the river
from our mill and there was the usual singing, dancing, platform and speeches.
Among a big delegation from West Plains was Colonel Monks and all the speeches
were Republican. But two years later, when I was 18, it fell my lot to change
the program at another Fourth of July meeting.
The crowd called on me and I made a full-fledged Greenback speech, the first
one, but by no means the last one, I ever made.
When I lived in Horton, a lumber town on the west side of this county referred
to now days as “Old Horton,” and named after George Horton, railroad civil
engineer, we had a debating society and I was always on one side or the other
of every debate, and when the question of Woman Suffrage was up Old Dock Posey
was on the opposite side from me and he said what made him tired was to have
a certain young man bring the greenback argument into every discussion, whatever
the subject might be. I knew that he referred to me and I stated then and
I still insist that that question is yet unsettled and that it ought to be
brought up by the people and in Congress for discussion no matter what other
matter is being considered.
I said then, and the statement still stands, that whenever men elected to
represent the people went back on them and voted against the best interests
of their constituents they were not fit to live in civilized communities and
I even went so far as to say that when our representatives deliberately broke
their promises and sold their people out that hanging was too good for them.
When, in my talks, I would predict that wonderful things would happen in
our generation and that men would fly through the air like birds, some of
the “wise men” would laugh and say, “He must be silly.”
Then in 1892, when I was making speeches for Weaver, the Greenback candidate
for president, I had to meet John Winningham, Democrat, of West Plains, Walter
Jones of Willow Springs and Asbury Burkhead of Ava, Republicans, on the stump.
I told the people that if the money system was not changed, our nation would
be bankrupt in less than 50 years.
That was 46 years ago and if this nation is not today on the verge of bankruptcy
I don’t know how you would describe our present condition.
To the Voters of Howell County:
Gentlemen: I have been nominated by the Greenback Labor Party for Representative
of your county, and I take this method of introducing myself to you. Not being
able to see a great many, I wish to let you know where I stand. Seeing the
wealth producers of our Nation becoming richer year by year is proof that
there is something wrong in the administration of the Republican Party, which
has been in power for 25 years past, except the last 2 years, which has been
administered by its twin brother the Democratic party, which is alike responsible
for all the pernicious acts that have so degraded labor. And believing that
it is impossible to reform either of the old aristocratic parties, I have
voted for 10 years with the Greenback Party whose principles are based on
the declarations of independence.
And as blood is the life of human system so is money the life of labor and
commerce. Draw three-fourths of the blood out of a man's system and you leave
him almost lifeless, and as we have had three-fourths of the money drawn out
of the commercial channels, is it any wonder that it is so hard for labor
Friends, there is no hope that either of the old parties will do us any good
after donating the public lands to railroad corporations by the millions of
acres and converting our money into interest bearing bonds, thereby ruining
thousands of business men and bringing labor down to beggary in the East and
to absolute want in the West. There is no hope left but to dissolve from those
old political bands and vote with the new party of the people, by the people
and for the people.
Farmers, did you ever think why it is that your wheat is selling for 60¢
to 70¢ per bushel when it cost you 75¢ to 80¢ to raise it?
It is because you have been voting for parties that are in sympathy with the
bonded banking system that sucks millions of dollars yearly from labor in
interest alone. Laborers, have you ever thought why it is that your wages
have been coming down year by year? It is because you have been voting to
please your corporation's bosses.
Voters, I don't claim your votes on the ground that I am an old soldier.
I am too young. I do not claim your votes because I am an old citizen of your
county, although I have lived in and near your county eighteen or twenty years.
I don't claim them because I have driven cattle and hauled saw logs, neither
do I ask them because I am financially embarrassed and want to make a haul
from whiskey dealers. But I would ask you to consider well for whose interest
you are voting. Is it for mine and yours? Or is it for monopoly?
Friends, you always find me advocating principles of the Greenback Party.
Now, I will ask a favor of all workers in this campaign, however anxious you
may be for my election, never ask a man to take a drink of Pease whiskey,
for that is a Democratic practice not a Greenback practice, and I cannot tolerate
anything to be used to further my election that has caused as much suffering
as whiskey has. With these remarks I ask the suffrage of all fair minded
Myron M. Pease
(written about 1887)
Historical note (by Mary Jo Freeman)
The Republicans had occupied the White House since 1869 with Grant, Hayes,
Garfield & Arthur for 26 years.
Democrat, Grover Cleveland was elected president for the first time
in 1884 defeating Republican James G. Blaine who had been connected with a
financial scandal. Many Repub-licans were outraged by their candidate and
felt it was time for reform. These voters, called mugwumps, said they would
vote for a Democrat if he were an honest man. The Democrats responded by nominating
Grover Cleveland who was known for his honesty and common sense, and had
a reputation for good government. He won a close election.
As president he reformed the federal government and improved civil service.
He was a courageous president and did what he thought was right. In response
to one politician who told him he might not be reelected Cleveland said, "What's
the use of being elected or reelected unless you stand for something?"
In the election of 1888, Republican Senator Benjamin Harrison of Indiana
defeated Cleveland with more electoral votes, though Cleveland received more
popular votes. Harrison was dignified, honest and conscientious, but he lacked
the ability to check the spoilsmen of his party, and Congress took over the
reins of government. (Mrs. Harrison, who had completely refurbished the White
House during her stay there, died a month before "Little Ben" was defeated
In 1892 Cleveland defeated Harrison and returned to the White House.
Pease Mill, Christmas, 1894
Editor of the Quill:
As I sit here in the office today all alone, and I think of the gorgeous
display that is made today in the wealth centers, and methinks I can see the
elegant tables, spread with all that money can buy, and the happy and comfortable
people that gather around them.
Then methinks I can see them as they go to church, and my mind's eye glances
over the good clothes and the costly seats, and I say, "Surely, there is no
suffering anywhere today." And I listen to the prayer: "O, Lord, thy kingdom
come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven," and I hear the preacher
admonish his audience to be liberal, as God likes a free giver, and finally
the collection is taken up and there are a few dollars collected to purchase
nicer seats or to buy presents for children of people who are able to keep
them in comfort.
And my eyes become blurred as they rest on the display as made for show,
and as I look about me I see many that I well know, and they are here praying
to God to make a heaven on earth, and as we look at the happy throng around
them, it looks as if their prayers were being answered; and as we follow them
through the day, as they ride in elegant carriages or listen to nice music
made on costly instruments in their parlors, we are constrained to say, "Yes,
indeed, their prayers are being answered."
But here our mind's eye turns to the last census, and there we find that
there are 6,000,000 families in the United States who are without homes. Ah!
what a condition of affairs is this. Thirty million people in the United States
without homes. Let our mind's eye rest upon some of these people—these poor,
despised outcasts. Follow them today through the various stations of life,
from the few who are able to board in respectability down to the ones who
are crouching under the shade of some outbuilding in the back alley and stealing
a little here and a little there to keep soul and body together, and it's
a scene that make my heart ache and my eyes water.
Then to think that there are many millions more living in mortgaged homes
who are soon to take their place among the homeless. Oh, it makes me tremble
to think what the end may be when our people mostly become homeless, and we
are fast drifting to that point.
But thirty short years ago our people were mostly living in their own homes,
free from mortgage and debt; but today we find 6,000,000 families living without
homes and 9,000,000 in mortgaged homes. Oh, what a thought! And I shudder
again to think what may be thirty years from today, if the system that has
proved so destructive to the welfare of the masses is continued.
And that is the question, Mr. Editor. Is it to be continued? If those who
are praying for heaven on earth would go to work and help us build up a system
of finance in this fair land of ours, that would enable the people to make
their exchange one with another without being robbed of the lion's share of
their toil, we could begin to put men in homes of their own; hence, be making
a heaven on earth. But as it is, they pray for a heaven on earth, but work
and vote to continue the same system that is robbing the people of their
homes and making them paupers and criminals; hence, making a hell on
earth that will finally damn its builders, and they will receive their reward
for their perfidy.
Oh, how my heart bleeds today for those who are wandering in search of bread.
And, dear reader, how would we like to share their fate? And how can we promise
ourselves that some of our little ones whom we love so well will not take
their place in years to come? And it is these thoughts that crowd themselves
into our minds as we try to be gay; and as I sit here alone writing these
lines, I make a new vow and I swear a new oath, that I will do everything
in my power to deliver these United States and their people from bondage to
the money power. I will work with more energy, if possible, to put the people
in homes of their own, thereby helping to tear down the hell on earth that
is being built by others, and do it all.
For justice sake,
Historical note (by Mary Jo Freeman)
Grover Cleveland was elected to a second term in 1892. During his second
term there was a depression, a railroad strike and hundreds of banks failed.
Cleveland did not believe in trying to improve business or provide employment.
He thought that natural laws would take care of that.
In 1893 the panic was on and Cleveland called a special session which was
meant to battle over silver. Conditions were so bad that no one dared let
the country know that the president was to have a serious operation for a
Article in the West Plain Quill:
Past and Present of Richville
Once the Greatest Business Point in South Missouri--Results of a Contracting
Pease Farm, Sept 22, 1895
In company with my wife and children I today visited old Richville, which
is about four miles distant from home. The day was lovely and we all enjoyed
the ride, and as we took our dinner along we stopped on the bank of the North
Fork, where I spent many of my younger days, and ate our dinner and let the
children wade out into the river--and it looked so tempting that I took off
my shoes and took a wade, too.
Old Richville is situated on the bank of the Big North Fork of White River
and was once the greatest business place in South Missouri. Yes, at one time,
when I helped to tend mill for father when I was a boy, we had grain in the
mill from Wright, Texas, Howell, Ozark and Douglas counties, and some from
Arkansas. this was about the time that the post office was established and
given the name Richville. It was an independent office and we had to carry
our own mail some twenty miles. Uncle Sam did furnish a mail bag, however,
and, we boys used to take it turn-about and go after the mail. Still, with
this drawback, Richville did more business than any place in South Missouri.
it was so uncommon thing to see from fifteen to twenty wagon camping there
over a night waiting for lumber or grinding.
But what a sight met our eyes. Today where once stood the busy mill the willows
were so thick as to almost hide the place; but part of the old dam was there,
almost hid by the willows, too, and where once was the mill pond, where I
have spent many a Sunday boat-riding, the eye could see nothing but willows
and sycamores growing so thick as to almost hide the river itself. Then we
raised our eyes to the majestic cliffs, where we had put in many an hour rolling
rocks over just to see them tumble--you know how it is your- . . . . .
. . . . . . --but the bluffs were still there, a living memory of the past,
just as beautifully tinged with the autumn leaves mingled with the pine and
cedar, just as beautiful as they ever were; yes, but little change in those
old flint rock bluffs.
Then we let our eyes turn and look for the mill yard where once so many busy
people had trod and where so much trading had been transacted. Ah! but instead
of the piles of lumber, instead of the well-filled wagons of grain, instead
of the ox-cart and horseback grist that used to meet our gaze, we saw growing
tobacco, sweet potatoes, sugar cane and cane. Yes, still a little life there,
but oh, so little.. Then we looked for the old house and barn. They were not
there. No, the old log house, with its large stone chimney and big fireplace,
where once a busy family used to gather to study, to read, or to play cards
and checkers, and to where the whole neighborhood used to gather to dance
or to hear some circuit rider preach--for they were all welcome around that
hearth--and, I had almost forgotten, there, too, was where they used to hold
elections and vote ‘er straight--hardly any use to count the votes there in
those days; just count the men and say so many republicans, for it was all
one way; and I can well remember when old Frank McCarty voted the first democratic
vote and came very near having to fight for being so foolhardy as to vote
his sentiments, but when I became a voted I was foolhardy enough to vote
the greenback ticket, and today old Richland township can boast of having
a populist majority--but, to return to my sketch, the old log house is gone
and I could not see the weeping willow tree that used to stand in the yard.
Yes, all gone. Of the many houses that used to be there, there are but two
left, and they will soon be gone. Next we visited the grave of father, all
grown over with the brush and wild grapevines, and while we stopped there
the thoughts crowded themselves into our mind of how our father had battled
against a contracting currency. Being of a very energetic and ambitious nature
he went into debt in the latter part of the sixties when there was plenty
of money in circulation and having considerable bad luck in the loss of property
by high water, and the money getting scarcer every day and the prices of
his products getting cheaper every day, it so worried and harassed father
that through exposure and overwork trying to extricate himself from the dilemma
its soon told on his constitution and sent him early to his grave. Ah! how
many there are who have traveled the same road. Look at the last census and
we find thousand are every year traveling the same road. And, as we stood
at the grave of our father and thought of how a contracting currency had
blighted his life and lessened our opportunity for get the education we craved,
I swore a new oath and made a new vow never, never to give up the fight as
long as there is a bank of issue left to ?w??or contract the currency at
Now, Mr. Editor, let us turn up an electric current to light up the path
to Greenback and Prosperity.
Yours for justice,
M. M. Pease
by Myron Metcalf Pease — Sunday, May 19, 1895
Yes; gone, and it was not till we stood by the grave of mother that we realized
the full meaning of the word gone—and now as I write these lines, I hear the
romping of the children, and the rattle of busy wagons as they go to and
fro, as though nothing had happened; and now, sitting in Mother's easy chair,
that the thought is pressed fully on my mind the meaning of the word—gone.
I think of the stern, though gentle commands of Father who went out years
ago— commands to keep me in a moral path; I think of sermons that I have heard;
I think of the long chapters of scripture that I learned at Sunday School,
and of the prayers that were uttered in former days, but it all passes into
insignificance in the way of making what good there is in me as compared with
the words of advice given me by Mother.
Ah! well, do I remember, and will till my dying day. It was years ago—in
my boyhood. Father and I had had a difference and I was leaving home, and
it was then she said to me with the tears streaming from her eyes, "My boy,
for my sake, you will never do anything that you will be ashamed for your
mother to know."
How I wish I had followed that advice. Had I done so I would have been a
perfect man. But many is the times that I was about to do a thoughtless wrong
when the words of Mother would come before me and check the act. They are
always with me—my guard and shield, and now the giver is forever gone. Yes,
we will all miss that blessed mother's charms, George, Ida, Clint, Alando,
Ella, Minerva and I. We cannot call each other around the fireside by the
presence of Mother. She is gone and we are lonely; but it is a comfort to
know that we did all in our power to make her declining years easy, as we
well know how she toiled for us, from the granite hills of New Hampshire to
the flinty hills of Missouri, and she is gone and her form is with us no
more; yet who can say she is not with us still, and will always remain with
us. Each of us have some kind word of advice from her that makes our lives
better and brighter; and now that she is gone, they will cling to us and
enter into our everyday lives and brighten the world around us.
Yes, we know that the world is better for her having lived; and this is one
of the great desires of my heart that when I am gone that some may feel and
know that the world is better because I lived, and I owe it largely to the
good advice of Mother when she said, "Never do anything that you would be
ashamed for Mother to know." Oh! what a world this would be if all boys would
follow these words of advice. If the tincture of shame would never rise to
the boy's face to have their mothers know their every act, this would be a
heaven on earth. Somebody's mother fails to give this needed advice, and some
boys fail to follow the advice when given; but poor human nature is weak
and depends too much on some unseen being to guide them through this world
and do not rely enough on their good deeds to brighten and make this world
Where in the lids of the Bible, that Mother loved so well, can there be found
a text to compare with the one, "My boy, never do anything that you would
be ashamed for Mother to know." And as I sit tonight, though late, too full
to talk, to sad to sleep, I can only think and put my thoughts on paper, and
my mind runs back, away back and I can see dear Mother as she used to put
us to bed and carefully tuck the cover around us and say good night. We can
see her as she toiled over the wash tub; we can see her as she called us
on Sunday morning to wash and put on clean clothes, and we can see her as
she used to sit by the fire knitting stockings and mittens for her many children,
while we were studying or playing cards or checkers to pass away the time.
We see her in later years when the family begins to scatter, welcoming us
all back at Christmas to the old home—but alas!—after a few days absence we
come home again to be met by mother at the door, and she said Father is no
more, he is gone. It was sad news indeed. It meant no more reunion at the
old home; the first tie was severed to scatter the flock.
We saw her make her favorite of the baby and we felt no jealousy, only that
we could not be the favored one.
Oh! but how anxious we were to see her make her annual visits, for it was
her custom to visit all the children once a year and make glad each home in
time. But we are called to her bedside. She fell and dislocated a hip and
broke an arm. For weeks and months she lingers between life and death, but
at last she recovers; not the same active form, but the same mother on crutches.
She hobbles away among us, still giving joy at her coming and sadness at
her going; not only to her own children, but to her many grand children who
was always happy with Grandma.
When we visited each other and saw the piles of carpet rags scattered around
her we wondered if Mother's work will never end, and the answer is echoed
back to us, "no, never." And we know as we drop a tear on these pages tonight
that her work will live forever.
Not until my son Walter rode up to the fence this morning and said, "Grandma
is dead," did I realize that the end was so near and the dearest of family
ties was now gone. And when I sat in the church beside her cold, lifeless
form with my heart pierced to the core, I then thought of her words of advice
to me years ago, "Never do anything that you would be ashamed for Mother to
know." I then realized how I had failed to keep that good advice, and when
I looked upon that cold, stiff form for the last time, the thought of the
past came to me, how could I have committed an act that I would be ashamed
for Mother to know. But why grieve over the past? We can only atone for the
past by doing better in the future.
Mother is gone, her work is well done; let ours be likewise.
Newspaper article: 1923
Gone, yes gone, is Eva
Pease, beloved wife of Myron Metcalf Pease, passed to spirit life on
the morning of May 7th at 8:20 o’clock.
Eva White was born May 2, 1869, near Nevada, Ohio, and was married to Myron
Metcalf Pease November 11, 1889. She has left to mourn their great loss, a
loving husband, nine children and three step-children. What greater tribute
can be paid her than to say that she has for thirty-four years made a good
wife, a good mother and a good neighbor. But now, just as everything is putting
on new life, Eva has gone to put on new life in the spirit world and left
us here. Oh, so lonely, but why should we mourn, for we know that she has
gone to a sweet rest, a lovely home that she has so enriched by her kind deeds
here. But thirty-four years of harmonious life with one companion and so
sudden a separation is very hard to overcome, and time only can heal the wounds
that have gone so deep.
Her children were all with me at her bedside to do all in their power to
make her departure as easy as possible. Eva has never made any profession
of religion, never been baptized into any church, but she said to me in a
sweet talk some ten days before she passed out that she was going to the spirit
world to meet her daughter who passed away some eighteen years ago, and that
she was not afraid to die. And why need she be? For if as good as she was
are not rewarded in the next world there is no justice nowhere in the universe,
and maybe I shall hear the rustling of a wing and feel the presence of a
loving wife near me at times.
--Myron Metcalf Pease.
Yes, gone is our beloved nephew; gone in the very dawning of life--a life
that was destined to be full of usefulness and good. But, alas! that life
has been cruelly snatched away from us. And how bad that life was needed;
for there are few lives like his--never giving offence, always ready to do
a kindness, always noble and brave enough to do right, thereby being a living
example for others to follow. This is the kind of lives that are so much needed
in this old world of ours, aristocratic on the one side and so poverty stricken
on the other--lives like Frank’s, that could be conscious to all alike, regardless
of the clothes they wear; liberal and sensible enough to be endowed with
a spirit of justice for all, regardless of religious or political belief.
Such was Frank’s life, and it is a great loss to the rising generation to
have such lives cut short at this time; for the next generation have before
them the fiercest struggle to maintain liberty, justice and right that the
world ever saw, and such lives as Frank’s will be very much needed in the
conflict. But his life has gone, and today is a long day as we sit here and
write these lines. We can hear the birds as they sweetly sing in the apple
tree outside, and as we smell the fragrance of the roses, it tells us that
it is Spring. One of the loveliest months of the year is the month of May,
when everything seems to take on new life. And, has Frank taken on a new life?
Has he entered another life in a world unknown to use, where he will be happier?
We know not. But we feel that if there is any reward after death for goodness,
Frank will receive his share. They tell us he was unconverted and belonged
to no church. But what of that? Such lives as his need no conversion, they
need no church. The church would do well if it would lead as exemplary a
life as his has been. Our great love for Frank has not caused us to overestimate
his goodness. We have heard the children make complaints of their other cousins,
that they had done so-and-so, but never was there complaint from any that
Frank had done aught that was wrong. This is positive proof that Frank was
good. The parson told us yesterday that God has taken him to Himself all for
the best, but we failed to see the point; and it makes us think of one who
went out years ago. Yes, Harry died at about the same age that Frank has.
He, like Frank, was good, noble, kind, and beloved by all who knew him; yet
Death snatched him away from us right in the spring of life. Now, the thought
comes to our mind: if this is God’s work, as claimed, how will He make the
world better by taking the best out of it? Is not their presence needed to
better surroundings? It seems almost blasphemous to attribute such cruel
work to God. Oh, how much better the world would be is all were good, and
how much better ti would be to make folks happy here on earth and not look
so much to their welfare in an unknown future. Make life as pleasant as we
can for ourselves and those around us. Possibly we know nothing of the future.
We may, if we will not stop to reason but indulge in a being faith, imagine
that we will go to a future state of bliss. But away with such faith, if
it bars us from that brotherly love for our fellowmen. Be he Methodist, Baptist,
Catholic or infidel, or whatever he may be, let us do unto others as we would
have them do unto us, and we will have a heaven on earth while we live and
our chance will be good for any boon that may be in store in the unknown
world. Such seemed to be the life of Frank. But he is gone, and it is a cruel
reality to us, and we can only mourn his loss.
Sunday, May 19, 1895
OTHER NEWSPAPER ARTICLES about Pease family members:
Obituary from ??? newspaper in 1894
Medcalf (sic) Pease, of the Pease Brothers, died at the residence of
her son, Geo. A. in this city? Thursday evening, after a short illness?
Mrs. Pease was born in New Hampshire in 1823 and was 71 years old. She raised
a large family of boys all? of whom are well and favorably? known throughout
South Missouri. She has been a faithful member of the M.E. Church for more
than 20 years. The funeral services were conducted by Rev. J.W. Medsker at
3 o’clock ???day afternoon. The remains were interred in the Oak Grove cemetery
[now called Oak Lawn in West Plains].
. . . . . . . . . . . . . .
???????????????, Ill in Washington
A. Pease, Founder of G. Frank Pease Library, in Hospital in Spokane.
Messages received by relatives here this morning announce the serious illness
of Rev. George Pease, of LaCross, Washington, a former well known resident
of West Plains. Rev. Pease has been taken to a hospital in Spokane, but as
yet his case has not been fully diagnosed, the message states.
Rev. Pease, who was a resident of this city for many years has scores of
friends throughout this section. He is a brother of C.M. Pease, of the Pease-Moore
Milling Co, of this city; and of M.M. Pease, of Richville, Douglas County.
Rev. Pease and his wife were the founders of the G. Frank Pease Library in
this city now combined with the public school library. The library was
founded in 1894 as a monument to the memory of their deceased son, for whom
it was named.
Mrs. Pease is with her husband at the hospital in Spokane.
In memory of Frank
Roll on cold world roll on.
Death claimed him for his own
He sleeps his last long sleep,
He is singing while we weep.
No night shall be in Heaven, no sorrow reign.
No secret anguish, no corporal pain,
No shivering limbs, no burning fever there,
No soul’s eclipse, no winter of despair.
The angels softly whispered in his ear,
“Child, thy Father calls thee, stay not here.”
And they gently bore him robed in white,
To his blissful home of light.
Now we shall not see him soon again,
Gone with the joy and love he bore,
Far away blooming in his fadeless bower,
Is sweet laurels, our precious flower.
(don’t know who this was written by)
newspaper article: (undated, but must be sometime before 1910)
C.M. Pease, ???, Miller, ???, Passes Away after Long Illness
Head of Flour Milling Company Was First President Local Chamber of Commerce.
Was first president of Chamber of Commerce Here.
M. Pease, 70 years old, one of the most widely know millers of south central
Missouri and for many years one of West Plains’ most popular businessmen,
died at his home on Pennsylvania avenue at 8:25 o’clock last night,
following a prolonged illness due to kidney trouble. Mr. Pease had been
in frail health the last several years. He went to Mayo Brothers Hospital
in Rochester, Minn., a few years ago and underwent an operation for gall stones,
with the hope of regaining his health, but was unable to recover fully. However
he as able to continue activities in business most of the time until a few
Mr. Pease, who had been president and general manager of the Pease-Moore
Milling Co., since its organization twenty-four years ago, was one of the
most scientific millers of the state, and a few years ago served as president
of the Southwest Millers’ Association. He had been a resident of Howell
county for nearly forty years, having been engaged in the milling business
in Pottersville for a few years before coming? to West Plains ???
when he and a brother, the Rev. George A. Pease, purchased the Enterprise
Roller mill here which they operated for a number of years, but which was
later destroyed by fire.
No man who has ever lived in West Plains has enjoyed more fully the confidence
and esteem of those with whom he dealt. A man of the highest honor and integrity
he far rather would have lost dollars than to have received a penny more than
was justly due him on any business transaction. Of far more than average business
ability and a man who made more than one average fortune in business, he
several times was financially crippled because of his kindness and generosity,
which kept him constantly paying notes for others or helping others in some
other way financially. However, no financial reverses ever handicapped him
for long, as his ability and the confidence which others had in his ability
and his integrity always enable him to “come back.”
Throughout the years of his life in West Plains Mr. Pease was prominently
identified with every movement in the interest of the town and county. He
helped to organize the West Plains Chamber of Commerce and was its first president,
although for the last few years his failing health had prohibited him from
being as active in the Chamber’s work as he was in the earlier life of the
Mr. pease was born in Providence, R.I., the son of a pioneer New Englander
of Puritan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .for his sturdy and admirable principles
of manhood, which distinguished him in all his dealings. When he was still
a child his parents came west and settled in Minnesota, where his father,
Miles Pease, hauled up the Mississippi River from LaCross, the first printing
press ever taken to St. Paul. A few years later the family came to St. Clair,
Mo., where the father engaged in the manufacture of woolen goods. Later they
lived for a short time in Gasconade county and in Rolla, before coming to
the Southern Ozarks and locating in Douglas county, where they engaged in
the milling business. It was here that Mr. Pease gained his early and valuable
experience in the milling business. His father established the first grist
mill, saw mill and planing mill in this section of the country. For a number
of years the people of West Plains and vicinity took their grain to the Pease
mill on the North Fork of White River in Douglas county to be ground, and
the lumber for some of the first buildings were from the Pease mill in Douglas
In 1880 Clint Pease and his brother, George Pease, established saw mills
in the pineries of Ozark and Douglas counties and for four years were engaged
in milling pine lumber there before coming to Howell county.
Mr. Pease always has been progressive in business. He and his brother established
in the old Enterprise mill here one of the first full plansifter flouring
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . plans . . . to date as new systems were introduced.
For many years, Mr. Pease had been affiliated with a number of local fraternal
orders, among them the Masonic order, in which he affiliates with the Blue
Lodge, the Royal Arch Chapter, the Knights Templar and the Shrine, having
taken the Shrine degree in Kansas City more than a quarter of a century ago,
before the Abou Ben Adhim Shrine was established in Springfield, where he
had had his Shrine affiliations in recent years. He had been a member of the
Methodist church for many years. As in business he was unpretentious and
unassuming in his religion, but his sincerity and faithfulness made him always
a valuable member of the church.
Beside his widow, Mrs. Sidney Moore Pease, Mr. Pease is survived by three
sons, Fred E. Pease, of the Langston-Mantz-Pease Mercantile Co., of West Plains,
Charles Pease of Little Rock, Ark., and Robert Pease, who is connected with
the Pease-Moore Co., here, by three daughters, Mrs. Carl Bonham of Pomona,
Cal., Mrs. William B. Stryker of Chicago, and Miss Geneva Pease of Ft. Worth,
Tex., and two brothers and one sister, Clarence Pease of Mtn. Grove, Myron
M. Pease of Dora, Ozark county, and Mrs. M. King of El Paso, Tex. The two
sons here and the daughter from Chicago were at his bedside at the time of
his death. Miss Geneva Pease and Charles Pease will arrive here tonight, but
the daughter in California, who was here a short time ago, will not return....
Newspaper article from West Plains Quill. 1923:
Wife of Former West Plains Man Dies at Home Near Dora
White Pease, wife of Myron M. Pease, a former well-known resident of
West Plains, died at her home near Dora, Monday, May 7. Mrs. Pease, whose
husband is a brother of the late Rev. George A. Pease and the late C. M. Pease,
well-known pioneer residents of West Plains, is remembered by many friends
here. She was 54 years old, having been born May 2, 1869, near Nevada, Ohio.
She was married to Myron M. Pease November 11, 1889, and the family resided
in West Plains for several years before moving to their farm near Dora.
Besides her husband, Mrs. Pease is survived by nine sons and daughters, all
of whom were at her bedside at the time of her death. Also three devoted step-children
Newspaper article: 1940
End Comes to M.M. Pease, Pioneer Miller of Ozarks
Myron Pease, Engaged in Milling in Howell, Ozark and Douglas Counties for
Myron Metcalf Pease, 85, pioneer miller of Howell, Ozark and Douglas counties,
died shortly before noon yesterday morning at the home of a son, Herschel
Pease of 123 West Cleveland Avenue in West Plains, death following a long
illness from the complication of senile diseases.
In his earlier life Mr. Pease lived in West Plains for a number of years,
but had spent most of his latter years on a farm near Dora, in Ozark county,
returning to West Plains two years ago to make his home with a daughter, Mrs.
Timon Bay of Locust Street. He had been a confirmed invalid for some time,
and only recently was moved to the son’s home, where he died.
Surviving him are three children by his first marriage, Walter A. Pease of
Springfield; Mrs. Myrtle Lindesmith, of Ft. Collins, Colo., and Russell Pease
of Harrison, Ark; and nine children by a second marriage. They are Norton
Pease, of Dora, Mo; Byron Pease, of Pacific Beach, Calif; Mrs. Susie Decker,
of Cottage Grove, Ore; Mrs. Minnie Dickinson, of Buckhart Mo; Mrs. Opal Dickinson,
of Ava, Mo; Mrs. Eula Kane of Carmel, Calif; Herschel and Joe Pease and Mrs.
Timon Bay of West Plains.
All of the sons and daughters, excepting the ones in the west, are here.
Byron Pease of California, and other members of the family have visited Mr.
Pease recently, and will not return for the funeral.
Mr. Pease’s first wife, who died a few years after their marriage was formerly
Miss Winnie Johnson. His second wife, who died 17 years ago was the former
Eva Lina White.
Member Family of Millers
Mr. Pease, who was born Jan. 15, 1855 in New Hampshire, came from a family
of millers. His father, the late Miles Pease, migrated to the southern Missouri
Ozarks in 1863 after a long trek from the east into Minnesota and on down
into Missouri covering a long period of years.
Myron, or “My” Pease, as he was known to many of his (family? and? friends?)
engaged in the sawmill and ????? business with his father in Douglas
and Ozark counties and later with two brothers, the late? . . . . . . . .
. . . . He and the same two brothers also operated the Enterprise Roller Mill
in West Plains for several years.
There were five brothers and three sisters in Mr. Pease’s family, and of
the eight only one sister survives. She is Minerva King, who lives in Texas,
and who is advanced in years.
Funeral services for Mr. Pease will be held tomorrow afternoon at the Sweeten
cemetery near Dora in Ozark county, and will be in charge of members of the
Masonic lodge at Dora, of which he was a member. Burial will be in the Sweeten
Arrangements for the funeral and burial are in charge of Mr. and mrs. Hal
Thornburgh of the Thornburgh Funeral Home.
From Friday’s Daily Quill
Little Helen Pease died ??? morning at 10 o’clock at the home of her parents,
Mr. & Mrs. C.M. Pease at 315 Pennsylvania Avenue, of appendicitis and
perotonitis. She has been ill only since Tuesday night.
Helen, who was twelve years of age, was the second daughter, and not ony
a beautiful child but unusually bright, and the idol of the home. She was
a talented elocutionist and has taken part in many private and public entertainments
in West Plains.
She leaves besides her heartbroken parents, three sisters and two brothers.
Little Helen was a member of the First M.E. Churh and the funeral services
will be conducted at that church tomorrow afternoon at 2 o’clock by Rev. S.F.
Stevens. Internment will take place at Oak Grove Cememtery.