by Dr. F. M.
The Ledger (Mexico Evening Ledger) begins, in
this issue, the first of a number of reminiscent
articles by Dr. F. M. Shoush, well and favorably
known resident of Audrain county for 53 years.
Dr. Shoush has been bedfast the past eleven
months, and has been almost without sight,
because of cataracts, for almost three years,
yet retains his optimism astonishingly, and from
time to time will relate, from his bedside, some
of the interesting reminiscences and experiences
of more than half a century of residence here.
Published March 15, 1934 5/2
"Fifty-three years ago, on March 13, 1881, I
came to Audrain County, in the midst of a
terrific snow storm. The snow was 22 1/2 inches
on the level. By laying low stake and double
rider fences, my brother John, now of Montgomery
City, the only other member of the family now
living, and I, traveled 25 miles that day, and
landed on the John Winn place, then owned and
controlled by Kern White, father of our Dr. A.
that time, he controlled 2900 acres of land, but
through misfortune lost this. I was one of the
first men to reach him when years later he
dropped dead in front of the city scales on
North Washington street.
born in Macon County, on October 31, 1858, and
as a boy, and young man, spent 10 or 12 years in
Randolph County before coming to Audrain. In
1881, I was one of the 15,000 people who saw the
hanging of James Hayden Brown, in Randolph
County, for the murder of his mother-in-law.
of those whom I first met, and remember best,
after coming to Audrain, was Esther E. Rombaugh,
then a girl of 12 or 13, who later became my
first wife. She was the granddaughter of Simeon
Ham and wife, who were born and reared in
Canada, and Mrs. M. A. Rombaugh, their daughter,
was my wife's mother. My wife had three
brothers, Will, John and Sim. The family is all
gone except Sim, now of Elma, Wash. My wife
died here at the sanitarium, and her remains
were placed beside those of her father in the
cemetery at Centralia.
were married on April 24, 1888 by Rev. J. G.
Hardy, of the Centralia Baptist Church.
of the first fine characters with whom I met,
was Loss Sappington, father of our own W. B.
Sappington, of this city. He was quite noted as
a stockman, and handled fine hogs, horses, and
most everything that belonged to the horse line,
in connection with John Hinman of Centralia. I
was in Centralia and met him, went to his home,
and bought there a fine male pig. I paid him
$6, shipped it to Ironton, and put it in a pen
and sold it there to a man in Wayne County, at
Patterson, named Dafford, for $20. So you see,
I have always been a businessman as well as a
I entered the ministry, the winter of 1888,
before I was married in the spring, I was
assisted by Brother Loss Sappington, in a
revival meeting at Centralia, as a singer, so
you see the gift of W. B. Sappington was
of the next characters I think of was our C. F.
Clark. I met him in the spring of 1881, and
enjoyed the hospitality of his home. That was
while his son, Charles, was just a baby in the
home. I recall that was the spring that Cy
Clark purchased the fine saddle horse, Moss
Rose, in Kentucky, and brought him here. Moss
Rose was one of Missouri's finest saddle
stallions, and as I remember, he paid $2500 for
him. He made the first season at the Clark
farm, near the Fox school. He lived to be of
great age, though never taking the honors that
came later to Rex McDonald.
many near and dear friends, I think of Cy Clark
as being among the best. I always found him
affable, and gentlemanly, with his hand open to
the poor and needy, and seldom, if ever, did a
poor man go to him for labor that he didn't get
it. I remember, when in the ministry, I was
badly in need of a driving and saddle horse.
There was a horse sale here, and Cy Clark
stepped up to me and said, 'Frank, why don't you
buy that horse. It is going mighty cheap.' I
said,'I haven't the money.' He said, 'Don't let
that worry you,' so I bought it. The next day,
at the bank, when I gave a 90 day note for the
amount, he took it and wrote his own name below
mine, an act of great kindness to a poor Baptist
preacher. He was always active in and prominent
in politics, and the activities of his town,
county and state. His first wife was a daughter
of old Buffalo Bill Sims and wife, and a sister
of Joe Potts' wife. Mr. Clark at present, and
for some time, is confined to his home. I have
not had the opportunity to visit him the past
year, as I, too, have been confined to my bed
for more than 11 months with paralysis.
Second in series
Published Mar. 22, 1934 4/3 & 4
Continuing my recollections of my friendship
with Cyrus F. Clark, it was on August 8, 1906,
he was married to his present wife, Miss Sophia
M. Roth, of St. Louis. To this union were born,
Margretha, Elizabeth and Cyrus, Jr. Mrs. Clark
is an unusually bright woman, and a fine
housewife and mother, and has been active in
religious and temperance work since living here.
Clark was a large scale land owner, having in
his possession at one time more than 4000 acres,
including an island of about 3000 acres in the
Mississippi River, and more than 1000 acres in
two children by his first wife, Fannie, who
married Judge G. C. Bledsoe, and Charles. Judge
Bledsoe now holds an important position with the
state tax commission, and is a man highly
esteemed. Mrs. Bledsoe has been a noble
housewife. Charles married Susie Brown, the
daughter of John N. Brown and wife. She is a
very excellent lady, loved by all who know her,
and is active in social and religious circles.
writer has known Charles from his babyhood, and
has always held him in highest esteem, and as
proof of that, when he was making a will in
February, 1921, before a surgical operation, he
appointed Charles Clark as his executor, with R.
Coatsworth and John Deckard as witnesses. We
were operated on in a few days by the late much
lamented Dr. Geo. Stille, of Kirksville, who
died a few days later from a gunshot wound in
the heart, accidentally received at the muzzle
of his own revolver.
Stille was a great hand for a banquet and had
just purchased poultry, geese and ducks for a
banquet he expected to have with his students.
He had also just purchased a gun, and while
showing it at his home, it fell to the floor.
As he stooped to pick it up, it was discharged,
and he was struck in the heart. He was said by
some to be one of the greatest surgeons in
first wife went to school to Cy Clark, at the
Fox school, in Audrain, as did her youngest
brother, Sim, and Cy Clark often spoke of him
and called him the brightest historian he had
Another worthy character I have known a half
century was the late Boone Faddis. He was
living, when I met him, less than a half mile
from where he died, and on August 11, 1932, I
preached his funeral at the Bethlehem Baptist
Church, in the Goodwater, or Naylor district.
left his widow, who has since purchased the
entire farm. They had an only son, and the farm
was sold in settling the estate, and she
purchased it, buying the 160 acres. It is the
only farm I know of in the county with 60 or
more acres of virgin soil. It is one of the
finest, in point of fertility, to be
found in all that
part of the county.
Faddis was a constant member of the Bethlehem
Baptist Church, and his wife is also a member
there, and a woman of great religious activity.
She got the church to work and raised about $750
for its cemetery endowment. Boone Faddis and
his kindred, also Dr. Shoush's parents and
oldest sister are laid to rest there.
Faddis is the sister of the late John Winn, who
died several years ago, and who lived on an
adjoining farm. Mrs. Winn went east, after his
death, and acquired an education as a nurse, and
after her graduation went to Colorado, where she
owns and controls a hospital. She has been
wanting Mrs. Faddis to join her there. Boone
Faddis was a remarkable man. He would come from
the plow handles singing, would play the piano
at noon, then eat dinner, then perhaps play
another tune or two before going back to the
field, and was singing much of the time.
Another amiable character whom I am glad to say
I met shortly after I came to this country was
Judge Creed Carter, who lived in a school
district about 2 miles north of Bethlehem
church. I remember distinctly attending the
first Democratic primary convention I attended
in this county.
1882, the convention had trouble settling on a
representative. The matter was discussed all
day. Finally, Shan Snidow, who lived near Creed
Carter, said, 'I have a name I wish to present.
It is one worthy of your confidence. He is a
well to do farmer, and will reflect credit on
the county, and fill the duties of the office
with credit to himself and friends. This man is
Creed Carter.' There was applause, and he was
chosen on the first ballot.
those days there were no automobiles or
telephones. Shan Snidow was on the committee to
inform him. I was going home on the same road,
with the committee, stopping at the Uncle Billy
Conger farm, one of the first to be settled in
the county, where we lived. The committee
called him to the stile blocks. He declined, at
first, to accept, but was finally persuaded, and
represented Audrain County one or two terms.
Afterwards, he was elected county judge from the
western district. While he was serving as
judge, I had a matter to come up of taking a
party to Fulton. After getting a physician to
examine the patient, he told me to go to B. L.
Locke, then county clerk. He took the matter in
hand, and it went through all right, and with my
brother, we went over to Fulton with the
brings me up to meeting another amiable,
stalwart character--B. L. Locke, the father of
Pelide, Sam and E. R. Locke.
Third in series
Published Apr. 14, 1934 3/4 & 5
the finest characters I have known in 53 years
residence in Audrain County, was Benjamin L.
Locke, and members of his family. Benjamin L.
Locke was born near Louisville, Ky., on January
3, 1826. He was educated at Brown University at
Providence, R. I., graduating in June 1847. He
came to Missouri and settled at Ham's Prairie.
farmed in Callaway County until 1856, at which
time he moved ten miles southwest of Mexico, and
built what is known as the Newton Davis home.
married Emily A. Moore, who was born in 1829, at
Ham's Prairie. They were married in 1847. She
died in Mexico in 1906, and he died two years
later, in April 1908.
1882, he was elected county clerk of Audrain
County. This office he held until 1886, holding
it longer than any man ever held an office in
the Audrain courthouse, except Judge S. M.
Edwards, who held the office of probate judge
two years longer.
while he was serving his last term, the writer
met him. The writer recalls that prior to the
death of Mrs. Locke, about one week, he was
called to the home to see Mr. B. L. Locke, who
was suffering intensely with an acute attack of
writer was very much impressed with his attitude
toward treatment. He said, "Now, doctor, what
disposition do you want to make of me?" I
answered, "Please lie on this couch, and I'll
see if I can't give you some relief". He
promptly obeyed. If you know anything about
lumbago, it is very painful to endure, but is
very quickly cured, if acute. I gave him a very
severe treatment, doubling him up on the couch,
and bringing his knees on to his chest to
practically touch his chin, and stretching the
ligaments and muscles affected by the rheumatic
troubles. When through, he said, "Well, doctor,
your treatment was rather severe." I said,
"Yes, but I thought you wanted quick results."
He said, "I made up my mind I wouldn't grunt if
it killed me." I answered, "If I'd known that I
might not have treated you so hard."
was on Friday. On Sunday, I went back to see
him, and he was standing before a mirror,
shaving himself. He said, "I don't need any
doctor," and I answered, "I am glad you got such
good results." His wife then called to me, from
where she was visiting with some ladies, and
said, "Ladies, I want you to get my quilts, of
my childhood days, and some needlework, and show
them to the doctor." This they did, and she
showed them to me, and I don't remember seeing
anything quite to equal it. She took quite an
interest, for about an hour, showing me these
things before I had to return to my office,
after expressing my appreciation for showing
met a great many sick people in my time, but
this was a most interesting occasion to me. The
saintly look that woman wore, and her fortitude
and courage was remarkable. As I came to the
east end of the porch on leaving, her son, Elwyn,
was sitting there crying. I said, "Your mother
can't be here much longer." In less than a
week, we were called to pay our last tribute of
Locke sons, Sam, who was born in 1849, and who
died on March 3, 1932; Pelide, who was born in
1851, and who died in 1933, and Elwyn, born in
1863, who is a highly regarded citizen in our
town, were splendid characters. I wish to speak
of some favorable characteristics of these sons.
of all men I ever served in the capacity of
banker, was counted as the most liberal, with
his hand open to the poor laboring man, and the
man who would aspire to better days. Seldom did
a man go to him for pecuniary aid, that he did
not receive it. Several times, when the bank
felt uneasy about loans, he would say, "Just put
it in my name."
liberal in educating poor girls, and in
religious matters, though in his early days he
was not a religious man. All who knew him
admired him, for his integrity, honesty and
patience, fortitude and courage. His wife, the
former Miss Anna Gussin, of Georgetown, Ky.,
died a few months ago, after his own death.
who comes next, was head man in the utilities
for a good many years. He was a man of few
words and yet enjoyed a joke as well as any
man. He died after a useful lifetime, at the
age of 82. He married Miss Mattie O'Rear, and
they had two charming daughters, Allie, who
married Col. Fred A. Morris, and Byrd, who
married C. C. Madison, prominent attorney in
Kansas City, who was U. S. district attorney for
a number of years. The children of Col. and
Mrs. Morris are Miss Willie, a radio star in
Boston, Fred Locke, a student at Notre Dame
University, and Mize, a student at M. M. A.
Locke, the youngest son, was deputy county clerk
in his father's office in 1881, the year the
writer came to Audrain County. He had served
there for several years, and principally grew up
in that office with his father. He married Miss
Mary Northcutt in 1894. Mrs. Locke was an
accomplished and talented young woman and
teacher. Her father, Rev. Dr. Northcutt, was
among the most fluent speakers the writer ever
heard. He died suddenly while here, the same
spring that Mrs. B. L. Locke died, if memory
serves, while on a visit here. He preached here
in a revival meeting, and was a brilliant
gentleman. Mr. and Mrs. E. R. Locke have two
fine sons in Sam, in business here, and Ben,
educated in the schools here, and graduated in
electrical engineering at Cornell University,
who has recently taken charge of the management
of forty towns in Kentucky, supplying
electricity in that section, just across from
Lock had a favorite expression that the biggest
investment you could make was in showing some
young boy a kindly
deed. That brings
me to recapitulate and say that it was his
demeanor in the office the day I first called
there with a note from Judge Creed Carter, and
his taking a big red apple out of a grip and
giving it to me, that caused me to forever
our readers not forget there is great power in
Locke entered into his final rest on March 15,
1908, in his eighty-third year, and funeral
services were conducted from the home, his
pastor, Rev. A. W. Kokendorffer, delivering a
beautiful memorial tribute, as friends and
neighbors filled the house. Rev. Mr.
Kokendorffer was assisted by Revs. Wallace and
Headington, and the pallbearers were J. C.
Mundy, John W. Atchison, S. M. Rice, W. R. West,
J. V. Williams, J. F. Baskett.
Rev. Mr. Kokendorffer is now the pastor of a
fine, flourishing church at Sedalia, where he
has been many years. Rev. Mr. Headington, a few
years earlier, had led a group of citizens from
here to the Klondike, but had returned here, and
retired. Rev. Dr. Wallace, a pastor here since
1887, is still spared to the congregation of the
local Presbyterian church.
Fourth in series Published Apr. 23,
1934 3/1 & 2
Another outstanding character here, ever since I
have known him, has been Sam Morris. The writer
recalls that he landed in Mexico with $25 in his
pocket, and went into business here. He was a
purchaser of old iron, rags, feathers, wool,
papers and magazines, and every conceivable
thing. He was not a man to invest in sporting
goods, and the nearest he came in this direction
was when he joined the golf club.
always been a great lodge man, the writer having
met him many times in the Masonic lodge, and
later, in the Odd Fellows lodge. He became a
Shriner in the Masonic lodge, and was an active
T. P. A., and attended its convention for many
years. We were Knights Templar Masons together,
and he became a 32d degree Mason.
very enterprising, and a great man to boost
every local enterprise for good. For instance,
he gave to the schools, and he could be counted
on to be in the lead in any worth while drive
that came before the public. He was ever ready
to help the various denominations in a financial
way. Few men in our town have ever done more to
help the poor. He has always been a man of
generosity, and well liked in business
transactions and in social affairs, having
succeeded admirably along all lines of business,
and at present carries furniture, rugs, and
hardware, with his two enterprising sons,
Herbert and Earl, looking after his business for
him in his retiring years.
a man who has taken unusual interest in his
family, assisting them in whatever selection
they made of a livelihood for life. His two
boys, at the time of the World War, went
overseas, and Earl, the younger of the two,
remained after the close of the war, for five
years in the navy.
daughter, Natalie, is making a success teaching
home economics in the high school at Bunkie,
La., another daughter, Pearl, has remained at
home to give her attention to her father's
needs, in his declining years, and his daughter,
Mrs. E. F. (Gertrude Morris) Klass, is rearing
and educating a family of fine grandchildren,
and at present resides in Columbia.
writer recalls a conversation with Sam Morris
some years ago, while his children were yet in
school. He sent the two boys off to military
academy. The writer said, "Why in the world,
Sam, do you want to send those boys to military
school for. " He straightened up in his chair,
looked me square in the eye, and said, "I'm
sending them off to school to learn to eat."
That was his way of saying he was sending them
to school to learn proper discipline.
want them to learn to have some style, and some
manners about them, and to take some pride in
their appearance." The writer said, "Why, Sam,
what do you want to fool away your time trying
to give these boys a military education? What
education can you
give your boys than they can get right here in
this business house of yours? You're the best
educated man in Mexico today. You know your
business thoroughly. The evidence of that fact
is found in your success. Take your boys out of
school and put them in here, and teach them this
business you have."
did so, and today, his boys are thoroughly
informed along the line of their business, as
much so as any business man you might find in
the county. You could take a pelt from an
animal's back to one of those boys, and after
feeling of it, he can tell you the month in
which the skin was taken. And in all
particulars of their business, they are fully as
are certain characteristics connected with every
business that are bound to determine its success
or failure. Sam Morris is a man possessed of
the characteristics of integrity and honor, and
of forthright and square dealing, that should
dominate any life of success.
would be hard for me to think of a man in Mexico
today who has as many friends as Sam Morris.
And, perhaps, few men of whom the public at
large and businessmen have knowledge, throughout
this entire country, from New York to San
Francisco, are held in higher business esteem
than Sam Morris, of our own home city.
Fifth in series
Published Apr. 27, 1934 3/4
continue this story by mentioning, first how Sam
Morris came to Mexico in the year 1879. He came
to the United States in 1876.
a young man, he placed his best energies in the
pursuit of knowledge and book learning, and as
was the law and custom of his native country of
Germany in those days, he was compelled to
complete a school curriculum that would measure
up with what we might call a public school
as was the custom, every boy was compelled to
learn a trade, after first having his education
as a foundation for success.
supposed to select his own profession, or his
parents would do it for him. It suffices to say
that he selected the trade of cigar maker, and
worked at the business until he became a very
fine cigar maker.
then came to America, landing in New York, with
only a few dollars in his pocket. Without money
he refused to think of crossing the ocean again,
until he had something ahead. He took whatever
presented, thinking this better than to spend
his money and time looking for a select
occupation or calling.
will, in a few words, give you a sketch of his
life in New York. Sam went from the hotel down
the street, and stopped in a place of business,
thinking he could perhaps get a position there.
stepped into a store and asked for the
proprietor. New York having so many Jews, he
was not so much troubled about the language. He
said to the old gentleman he found there, "My
friend, I am out of work and I'm stranded. I've
got to earn the money today to permit me to
sleep in New York tonight."
man said, "All right, sir. I give you a job.
No man is turned from my door, if he's a man for
work. Experience is not necessary. You simply
go out and find your people and do business,
right on the spot. I want you to go out and buy
hair combings for me."
man manufactured hair jewelry. He had quite an
interesting factory. "If you do your part, you
will come to the front," he said.
went out and walked the city until noon. "I
couldn't make it go, I came back to him and told
my story. He said, "Well, get a little bit
farther away. You's begin to pick it up in
no success the first day, Sam had a sleepless
night. He said, "I rolled and tossed on my bed
the whole night through. I could find plenty of
hair combings, and they wanted to sell them, but
their prices were too high. I couldn't do a
thing. So I fell upon this plan. I got farther
away from the factory and stopped at a house. I
rang the door bell. A woman came.
said, ' Hair combings. I'm buying hair
combings. Have you any to sell?' She said,
'Yes, walk in. Have a seat.' she said, and
stepping into another room, came back with two
or three shoe boxes of hair combings. As she
approached, I rose to my feet leaving my hat on
said, 'Let's see, Madam,' and as she took off
the box lid, there was the nicest black hair. I
hadn't seen any nicer the day before. I said,
'Red hair, red hair. It is the only kind we
buy.' Then I said, 'Well, we do buy some black
hair, too, but it is very cheap, if we buy it.
But, I'll tell you, lady, what I can do for
you. We make hair jewelry, all kinds of it,
watch chains, watch guards, bracelets, breast
pins, everything you can think of.
tell you what I can do. I'll make up the hair
into jewelry and sell it back to you, and take
the hair as part pay. She soon signed with me
and I had the hair and was gone, to return in a
few days. This I did, closing some very
"Leaving that house, I called at another in the
same block, and was permitted to enter. I had
about the same success. But the success in all
of it was in buying the goods right. She said,
'Yes, I have some combings,' and brought me two
shoe boxes full.
she entered the room, I rose, and said, 'Let's
see,' and when the lid was taken off, and I
looked in, I said, "Ah, black hair, black hair,
we buy only red hair. That is, we do buy some
black hair, but if we do buy it, we buy it very
cheap. However, at our factory, we'll
manufacture this hair into jewelry and I know
that you'll be interested in it, and want to buy
some of it. When you show to your husband the
jewelry made from your hair, he will only want
to know the price and will buy it.
make the story short, a sale was accomplished,
and I soon had the boxes of hair, and was gone
with them. When I thus got all I could carry, I
then started for the factory. There, I turned
in the contracts and got my commission, and went
out for another load. It was hard work but
proved to be good pay.
proprietor was much gratified, and wanted me to
stay with him, especially when I told him the
secret of my success, but after remaining there
some time, I made up my mind to go on west.
When I purchased my ticket, I had $5 left, and
enough to buy a few sandwiches on the way.
landed in Mexico one night and took lodging.
Next morning, I started early, looking for
employment. I am still a seeker.
started out at once, buying old rags and papers
and wool and feathers, hides, pelts, and skins
from forest animals. His motto was ever, "Quick
sales, and small profits." He opened on the
east side of Jefferson Street almost opposite
the present Llewellyn residence.
succeeded, as he mingled his thoughts with his
labors. I recall meeting him one morning on the
street, after I opened my practice here in
1902. He said, "I can buy the G. D. Ferris
property for $3000. What do you think about
it?" I said, "Sam, don't let the sun go down
before you have closed the deal." He went away
and as I recall it, he closed the deal before
noon. He has since been in business at that
location. He continued for a time in the same
line of business, and has only discontinued the
pelts and hides the last 12 or 15 years.
interesting things in Mr. Morris' life come to
mind. Mrs. Morris, his wife, was a splendid
housewife, who lived (sic) after all the
interests of the home in general.
interesting to me to hear him tell how he
purchased his wife a nice surrey, that she
wanted very much. His wife, one morning, said,
"Mr. Morris, I've been thinking about how nice
it would be for you to purchase a nice surrey
for the children and me."
Morris said, "Very well, we'll see about that."
In a day or two, meeting me on the street, he
said, "I've just bought my wife a surrey. It
cost me $135." I said, "Yes, Sam, it is a very
handsome one." "I'll tell you how I got it," he
said, "I called the Wilder and Pearson firm at
Laddonia, over the phone. It cost 25 cents. I
asked them if they had any wool for sale. They
said they did. I told them I'd be down in the
morning. I went down on the 7 o'clock train the
next morning and bought the wool. There was a
car load of it. It was a lump deal. I get the
market every day by wire and watch it very
close. I turned the car over to the St. Louis
people, there in the siding at Laddonia, for
enough profit to pay for the surrey and the cost
of my train fare to the cent. So the surrey
cost me only my telephone call.
still Mr. Morris' custom to get daily prices on
the lines of goods that he handles. Besides
that, he gets a daily report of all transfers
and chattels in this town.
recall another season when he made $1000 in the
wool business and didn't buy a pound. I met him
one morning on the street. He said, "Doctor,
I'm going to take my daughter, Pearl, and go to
California for a month or two." He went the
southern route and came back the northern one,
taking in many of the large cities and staying
some time in New York. When he returned home, I
met him again on the street. He said, "Doc, I
made more than $1000 this year in the wool
business without buying a pound. Some of my
competitors lost thousands. But the market
didn't look good to me, and I left home, leaving
orders for them not to buy a pound. I'm
confident I saved more than a thousand dollars."
suffices to say, from these illustrations, that
he will leave his children, financially
speaking, on Easy Street.