By Liz O’Farrell
Bowling Green Times Contributor
Prairieville, LaMotte, Kissinger, Sledd, Booth, Elklick Springs, Buckskin, Buzzard’s Roost and many others are all part of the almost-200-year history of Pike County, Missouri.
They appear in local histories, on old maps, in memories. The Pike County Bicentennial Committee is looking for all of those things. And, it needs everyone’s help.
As part of its mission, the Bicentennial Committee is producing a book (as yet untitled) which will reflect the 200-year-long story of this county. There will also several other projects which will be spotlighted throughout the year.
Ethan Colbert, editor of the Bowling Green Times, is chairperson of the committee. His love of local history began at an early age, while he was a student at Frankford Elementary School.
“The teachers at Frankford Elementary ensured that we took pride in where we came from,” he said. “We went to the post office and to the Daisy Patch. We celebrated Missouri Day every year. They wanted us to understand that every community, every person has a story.”
“This area,” he said, “has a wealth of stories.”
Colbert’s involvement with the Pike County bicentennial began with a discussion with the Pike County Commissioners and an internet search.
The discussion involved the age of the Pike County Courthouse, which Colbert began researching because, “It’s what I do.”
He discovered that Pike County was quickly approaching its bicentennial, of December 14, 2018, and discussed that fact with the Pike County Commissioners.
The Bicentennial Committee grew out of that discussion.
“We didn’t want the date to pass us by,” he said.
“We need your time,” Colbert said. “Dates and facts are important, but they don’t bring history to life. Telling the stories of the people who lived that brings it all to life.”
The Bicentennial Committee is looking for those stories and those pieces of history, and we need the help of the communities involved to do that. We need artifacts from the past—railroad schedules, ticket stubs, posters, letters from Champ Clark or others, photographs, street signs, etc.
“If it represents any part of the history of Pike County, we’d like to see it,” said Elizabeth O’Farrell, Committee member. “We will scan it or photograph it and get it right back to you.”
“We need information on and artifacts from every corner of the county,” said O’Farrell.
If you have anything you would like to share, please contact Ethan Colbert at the Times office or e-mail O’Farrell at firstname.lastname@example.org.