The second in a series about Blue Mound, Missouri,
Even though Blue Mound never became much more than a hamlet, it did, as did many of the more thickly populated communities throughout Missouri, have some businesses. Among those, of course, was a grocery store, the hub of activity for the locals. We could find no evidence of a grocery store in Blue Mound before 1888. Then two of them were listed in a directory for 1889- 1890. From that time on, businesses flourished and then dwindled away as roads were improved and automobiles developed. It appears that the peak years for businesses in Blue Mound was 1893-1894. The early history of businesses in Blue Mound is listed below in Appendix 1, which is shown below for convenience, but will be at the back of the upcoming book about Blue Mound.
Through interviews, newspaper articles, and various business directories, we found that there were businesses north, south, west, and east of the existing schoolhouse at the intersection of Highway Z and State Road 240, but were unable to confirm specific locations or proprietors for all of them. Some of what we found follows.
North of Schoolhouse
We have evidence that Charley Brown, Lawrence Hoyt, perhaps Charley Hoyt (although he also allegedly ran a store east of the schoolhouse), John Wilson, Arthur Winfrey and Jess Wallace owned and operated the store in different times before it burned on May 14, 1936. It was at this store that Reva Condron, a former resident, related, “On Saturday nights they had medicine shows. That was some time in the 30’s.”
According to Howard Brown, a former resident, Joe Owens (the son of David Owens) ran the “garage” adjacent to the store on the west, where he fixed mostly farm equipment.
There was also a blacksmith shop about a mile north that was operated by Charley McCracken in the early 1920’s. O. Munroe was listed as a blacksmith in 1892, 1893 and 1894, and a Thomas Hanes [sic, Haynes] in 1889-1890, but we are not sure that this was the same shop.
South of Schoolhouse
We found evidence that Dan Barnes owned and operated a grocery store south of the schoolhouse. Also, Willa Jean Estes, a former resident, related that Maudie and Washie Roark had a grocery store and a filling station just south of the schoolhouse. The last person who operated a store there was Luther J. Whited. We aren’t sure when he started but it was before 1938: nor when he quit, but it was in the late 1940’s or early 1950’s. Joe Dillard (one of the writers of this article) and his brother were in that store many times while living in Blue Mound. After closing his store, Luther sold his property to Green’s Rock Quarries in November 1967.
East of Schoolhouse
This store was in the abandoned Church of Christ building. The church was built in 1907, but was sold to John M. Hoyt in 1922 for $300, and was used as a store. According to Reva Maberry it was run by Charley Hoyt. There is some evidence that Arthur Haynes and Norman Perry ran this store beginning in 1939 and were probably the last proprietors to do so.
There was a grist mill located about quarter mile east of the schoolhouse on the south side of the road. Proprietors listed were H. M. Grace 1889-1890, Good and Sullivan 1891-1892, and Fleshman and Barnes 1893-1894.
West of Schoolhouse
A hotel run by D. N. Barnes was listed in 1893 (From Page 10 in Johnny Hoyts’ book - “.., and a hotel one mile west of Blue Mound in a direct line from the southwest toward the Utica crossing on Shoal Creek northeast of the town of Dawn, a route that people took on their way to the west.”). This was undoubtedly not a hotel as we think of them today, but more than likely an “Airbnb” of the 1800’s.
Not really a business as such, but the Sperry home and telephone exchange were located directly northwest of the schoolhouse.
Businesses listed, but not located, include: insurance agent (William H. Marker), dry goods (G. H. Carr and D. N. Morris), druggist and grocer (D. P. Maberry), physician (G. W. Allman), huckster (G. H. Carr), woos [sic, wood] dealer (George McAlear), barber (Jacob Meade), notary public (D. N. Morris), drugs and justice of the peace (John L. Russell), dentist (Stroabough), and postmaster and notions (D. N. Norris).
When Joe lived in Blue Mound in the mid to late 1940s and early 1950s there were only a couple of businesses: a general store owned and operated by Luther J. Whited, and a rock quarry owned and operated by M. M. Green out of Carrollton, Missouri.
As of 2019, there are three businesses in Blue Mound. The rock quarry owned and operated by the Norris Quarries (a subsidiary of the Con-Agg Companies), the Blue Mound Soap Company founded in 2012 by Laura Childers, and the McCracken Saddles & Tack Company, a small custom saddle and tack shop operated by a husband and wife team, Jake and Laura McCracken.
Appendix 1. Businesses in Blue Mound
The following information was excerpted from various sources as shown.
First from a series of books variously titled as “Missouri State Gazetteer and Business
1860, 1876-77, 1879-80 - No businesses listed.
1881-82 - Missouri Historical Society Reference Library does not have this volume.
1883-84 and 1885-86 - The only “business” listed was William H. Marker, Insurance Agent.
1889-90 - Businesses listed were: grist mill - H. M. Grace, general store - Grace and Haynes, and general store - D. P. Mayberry. (It is interesting to note that Mr. Maberry had a business although he had been blinded from a gunshot wound to the face during the Civil War. He did receive government disability for that injury.)
1891-92 - Businesses listed were: grist mill - Good and Sullivan, farmer - J. S. Burner, dry goods - G. H. Carr, grocer - W. J. Good, stock raiser - Charles McLean [sic, McAlear], druggist and grocer - D. P. Mayberry, dry goods - D. N. Morris, blacksmith - O. Munroe, stock raiser - James Smith, grocer - J. W. Sullivan.
1893-94 - Businesses listed were: grist mill - Fleshman and Barnes, physician - G. W. Allaman, hotel - D. N. Barnes (From Page 10 in Johnny Hoyts’ book - “.., and a hotel one mile west of Blue Mound in a direct line from the southwest toward the Utica crossing on Shoal Creek northeast of the town of Dawn, a route that people took on their way to the west.”), huckster - G. H. Carr, grocer - W. J. Good, general store - Good and Sullivan, livestock - L. M. Haynes, teacher - Charles Kern, fruit and livestock - Jonathan B. Knox, woos[sic, wood] dealer - George McAlear, livestock - Charles McLean [sic, McAlear], Barber - Jacob Meade, dry goods and nootary public - D. N. Morris, drugs and justice - John L. Russell, blacksmith - O. Munroe, stock raiser - James Smith, grocer - J. W. Sullivan, and dentist – Stroabough.
1898-99 - Businesses listed (there appears to have been a most precipitous drop in the number of businesses as only one was listed): general store - W. J. Good
1899-1900 - Wallin’s Directory of Livingston County, Missouri, 1899-1900, July 1899,
Wallin Directory Company, 204 pp. (Bound with Wallin’s Chillicothe City Directory for 1899 - 1900.) provided this one additional bit of information. Businesses listed: General Merchandise-- E. B. Brown, Blacksmith--Thomas Hanes [sic, Haynes], Barber--Jacob Meed [sic, Mead], and Postmaster and Notions—D. N Morris.
1929 - Merchants, Tradesmen and Manufacturers Financial Condition for Livingston County, Missouri 1929. Businesses listed: Blue Mound Exchange - (No information on proprietor), Broun [sic, Brown], Chas. - General Store, and Vaught, H. D. - Auto repair and supplies.
From Chillicothe Constitution Newspaper Articles and Personal Interviews (We added parenthetical information for clarification).
1908 – Marvin Carlyle sold his interest in a Blue Mound store to Dan Barnes and that the store is now owned by Lewis and Barnes (no evidence of location).
1909 - Charles Hoyt of Dawn, who recently purchased a store here has taken possession and will move his family here in the near future (no evidence of location).
1933 - Arthur E. Winfrey, the proprietor of Blue Mound store died. This store (the one directly north of the existing schoolhouse) was destroyed by fire three years later.
1935 - Willa Jean Estes, in an interview, said, “Arthur Winfrey had the grocery store just across the road north of the school and Maudie and Washie Roark had the second grocery store and a filling station just south of the school house.”
1936 – Howard Brown, in an interview, said, “Right before the quarry came in, John Perry was farming that ground to the east of Dan Barnes’ store (Perry’s property was south of the existing schoolhouse).
1939 – Arthur Haynes opened store in the former Hoyt store; Norman Perry is manager (no evidence of location).
1954- Approximate closing date of last store owned by Luther J. Whited (He sold the land and store to the M.M Green Quarries of Carrollton in November 1967; about 13 years after closing store).
So, the businesses that served Blue Mound flourished and disappeared in a relatively short time span (approximately 1890’s – 1950’s). As the roads were upgraded from mud, to gravel and then to blacktop, more and more residents conducted their business in Dawn or Chillicothe.
Note to readers: Senior author, Joe G. Dillard, would appreciate receiving any suggestions you have for corrections or any other information you have about Blue Mound, especially photos, diaries, or other artifacts. Those may be sent to: Joe G. Dillard, 3535 West Arbor Way, Columbia MO 65203 or DillardJ@missouri.edu.