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For more information, contact:

Greene County
Historical Society
P.O. Box 3466 GS
Springfield, MO 65808

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This site was last
updated on
April 2, 2004

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Jackson Township....

Jackson Township is one of the original townships established when the county was organized in 1833. Its present boundaries include all of the Sections of T30N and R20W plus Sections 13-36 comprising the south twelve Sections of T31N and R20W. It is bounded by Dallas County on the north, Webster County on the east, Taylor Township on the south, and Franklin Township on the west. The township is blessed with abundant streams. The Pomme de Terre River (which in French translates to "fruit of the earth" or potato) crosses the township diagonally from the southeast to the northwest. The headwaters of the Little Sac River are also to be found in the Jackson Township.

Jackson Township was settled before the county was established by Andrew Bass who is said to have arrived in 1829. Other settlers followed, including: Alphens Huff, 1830; Alexander Chadwick, 1831. Three settlements, two of which became major towns, are within the boundaries of Jackson Township. These are Fair Grove, Strafford, and the community of Bassville, being named for Andrew Bass who settled in the area. Other communities no longer in existance include: Nogo, noted for the location of a railroad passing track, Walnut Forrest, Mulroy, Lyman's Switch, and Martin.


Strafford

Strafford was laid out in 1871 along side the tracks of the new Atlantic & Pacific Railroad which had come through in 1870. The land was donated by Sarah Lane and the town named for the town in Connecticut where prominent railroad stockholders lived. In addition to having the advantage of being on the railroad, it later was located on the old Highway 66 which came through in 1929.


Fair Grove

The town of Fair Grove originated around the Duke School, named for the teacher, Chatham Duke. The school house, a log structure with a puncheon floor, rough hewn benches with a hole in one wall to admit light, was erected c. 1850. A store followed in about 1853. Originally operated by John Ramey, ownership passed through several hands after that until the store's goods were seized by Rebels during the Civil War, leaving the proprietor, John Bales, "holding the bag."

In time merchandizing began to develop around a town square. One of the businesses that was established and contributed to the success of the town was a mill, erected by Joe Hines and John Boegle in 1883, later becoming known as the Wommack Mill. A 1920 photo shows a gazebo in the center of the square that contained the town's electrical plant. For a time the town of Fair Grove was on a major route running from Minnesota to the Gulf. In 1930, when US Highway 65 was constructed, it bypassed the town by a short distance.

The name "Fair Grove" was reportedly suggested by Uncle Willis Spence at a religious service in a brush arbor. This was the name of a Methodist church in Randolph County, North Carolina, where Spence had been a member.


Wommack Mill

In 1883, Joe Hines and John Boegle constructed a mill in the community of Fair Grove. The Fair Grove Historical and Preservation Society was organized in 1977 to restore and care for an old cemetery west of town that was being neglected and allowed to grow up in weeds and briars. With this project brought to a successful conclusion, the society embarked upon another project, the restoration of the mill. The mill had been most recently operated by Clifford Wommack from 1923 till 1969. It stood idle for several years until being purchased by the Society along with two acres of land. The Society began making plans for its restoration as a working mill. Much of the original machinery, including the buhr stones remained in the mill.

Return to the list of Greene County's townships.

 

   
   

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