Ancestors, Legends & Time

Dennis Weaver grew up by Stone's Corner

Picture of Jeanne Newby

Jeanne Newby

March 13, 2024

Last week we were sharing the memories of Jim Moss who grew up at Glen Elm, which we all know as Stone’s Corner, in the early 1900s. As he takes his trip down memory lane, it is hard to imagine what he describes.

Jim talks of people he recollects from his childhood and gives the locations of their homes, which were in the area of the airport along what he called Webb City Road (MacArthur Drive and Airport Drive). Those houses along Webb Road housed people like Ma Barker and her boys. He mentions the trouble those boys caused the Webb City police until they moved to Tulsa, Okla. in 1915.

Jim attended school at the Brick School on Fir Road and the Prairie Flower School on the old Webb Road and Prairie Flower Road. He recalls that in 1913 he witnessed Sam Edge and Walt Troup move the Prairie Flower School (which was the second building for the Prairie Flower School) from its location to the present location just north of Fourth Street in Webb City (in the woods west of Walgreens). Jim says that if the older generations would write down memories like this the younger generations would cherish the knowledge.

Jim had a picture of the Brick School students from about 1909 and he names quite a few of the students. He also had a picture of the Prairie Flower School in 1915, in which he names all the students and gives a little rundown of what happened to each student in later years. He even mentions some of the Dickson family, brothers and sisters of my mother-in-law. The picture he put with his memories is a photo copy and is not clear enough to print.

The Barker Boys were not the only people of fame in Jim’s life at Glen Elm. There was a family by the name of Prather, whose children consisted of Dennis, Rector, Lenna, Jessie, Vernon “Vernie,” Wesley, Madge and Eugene. The child, Lenna Prather, was the mother of Dennis Weaver. You know there is a road going into the airport from Airport Drive named after Dennis Weaver which was close to his old stopping grounds. There was an apple orchard by the Prather House, that was planted about 1913 by the previous tenant, Mr. Francis.

Jim recalled that in November of 1915, his half brother, Albert Scherer, was going to his first day of work in the Pocatello Mine, which was located 1½ mile west of Glen Elm and ½ mile south, underneath the Frisco Railroad property. At age 24, Albert died within an hour and a half on that first day working underground. As the ambulance headed for Webb City, they stopped at Prairie Flower School to pick up Jim. His mother was in the back seat crying. What sad memories for a young boy. His sister died in 1911, Albert in 1915 and his dad, Jess, died in 1917. Jim said that Albert had just purchased a new Indian motorcycle for $360 and needed to make more money to pay for it. He could make more money in the mine than any other place, so he decided to take the job. A decision that changed everything.

Jim Moss talks often about houses being moved from one location to another, as if it was one of the easiest things to do. Houses were even moved from Webb City to Glen Elm. Jim’s dad was a carpenter, and he built a new house in front of their old house. He was surprised that he built it identical to the old house, just newer. He also mentions the death of a 4-year-old child in 1895, who was buried in the child’s yard under a lilac bush. In his detailed memories, Jim mentions almost every family that ever lived at Glen Elm and the location of their home. Sometimes, he even gives a detail of what happened to them in later years, who they married and when they died. His memories are a printed genealogy of the Glen Elm district. I won’t go so far to say they are completely accurate, but they are a pathway to help some genealogist in a pursuit of family information, as he tried his best to mention the children by name.

Jim speaks of a time about 1917 when he would walk to Webb City to see a show, and then he would have the fearful walk home in the dark. If he walked out West Fourth Street toward Glen Elm, he had to cross a bridge east of Prairie Flower where a man had been murdered. (I can’t imagine where there would have been a bridge on West Fourth Street of Webb City going toward Glen Elm.) It seems you could occasionally see a man standing at the bridge, and Jimmy was told he was the murderer. If Jimmy walked out North Madison Street and turned toward what was later to be the Tuberculosis Hospital, he had to pass timber where there was a wolf for each tree, howling like they smelled him. Not only that, but Jimmy said there were wildcats a plenty waiting to take their turn if the wolves left any leftovers of the young boy. Jimmy claims that later in life he found a dead bobcat in those woods near a large hole in the ground. So was it the imaginations of a young boy or was it for real?

Next week, I will tell you about Dr. Stone for whom the name of Glen Elm was changed to Stone’s Corner.

Jeanne Newby

A lot of us appreciate the Bradbury Bishop Fountain, but Jeanne actually worked behind the counter making sodas while she was in high school. She knows everything about Webb City and is a member of the Webb City R-7 School Board.