In the last two days I have thoroughly enjoyed the book “West Plains Missouri…As I Knew It” by Robert Neathery and told to Marideth Sisco (1994). It was the first time I had ever really gotten a “feel” for the town in which so many of my families lived and originated.
Robert mostly describes his own life growing up in West Plains and his own family, but he did mention a few of my family members, one of which was Pauline Smith Pond. As it turns out, she also wrote a book entitled “Teacher, You’re Almost a Lady”. Pauline, along with my other cousins were some of the earliest of my family to join the Ozark Springs DAR Society in West Plains.
Robert Neathery was in the telephone and radio business (and several other endeavors) and he tells some interesting stories of bringing electricity to the city, life before the air conditioner and refrigeration, and power outages. As time went by and new conveniences were introduced, it didn’t matter if you needed help in Brandsville or West Plains, Robert knew how everything worked and even how to fix it!
If you are at all interested in West Plains, Missouri history you might find Robert Neathery’s book very interesting. He describes the West Plains dance hall explosion and what caused it; local characters like his uncle who would rather do yard work for the government than put in an actual day’s work at the radio station even though he was a partner; or why the peach trees down by Brandsville eventually failed.
Surnames of my families that lived in Howell County: MORRISON, YATES, PENTECOST, SMITH, BREEDLOVE, WRIGHT, KELSEY, DAWSON, and HOLMES.