A New Book in the planning stages

April 4, 2014

“READIN, RITIN AND RITHMATIC”  A new book to be published by the society pertaining to the Republic Area Rural Schools, and  the Republic Public Schools prior to  the consolidation.  The book will consist of pictures and stories from that time era.  We are so excited to be able to preserve history and include stores and pictures from individual class members from their school or schools.   At this time we are requesting and urging anyone who attended a Republic area school to write a description of their school and tell a favorite story during their attendance, we will have a chapter  for stories from the past if you attended a school out of the area.

No longer do we have a one room school with a coal or wood furnace in the corner or basement, water was pumped from a well outside the building,  most of the rural schools did not have a kitchen,those children brought sack lunches from home if parents could afford a thermos, soup was a big treat during winter months, if a kitchen was available mothers would make a meal for the kids,  bathrooms were outside,  girls on one side of the building boys on the other,  no bus transportation, the board consisted of the dad’s whose child or children  attended their school, pie suppers to raise money, spelling bees, cyphering, map bees on the black board for fun times, outdoor Friday softball games, many different and long forgotten games played during recess or lunch time.  A teacher taught all 8 grades throughout the day, for a few schools,  a young person to the field of teaching would spend the school year with one of the parents.

We urge you to take a trip down memory lane and write your story of how education played a part in your life from a rural or city school  during this time period,  just a good story of how it was in a day of your life attending your school.Pictures would be a treasure to us, any pictures you have please send a copy or email to us.

Please mail all letters to REPUBLIC HISTORICAL SOCIETY        146 N. MAIN          REPUBLIC  MO  65738                IF YOU SHOULD HAVE QUESTIONS  CALL 417-732-7702

OR EMAIL TO    msr31141@yahoo.com           or rob112241@yahoo.com.

More info to follow as we progress..

News Letter 2013

June 16, 2013

2013 pdf newsletter Copy_02013 pdf newsletter Copy_12013 pdf newsletter Copy_22013 pdf newsletter Copy_32013 pdf newsletter Copy_42013 pdf newsletter Copy_5Corrections and added article to the story on Dr. Mitchell,  by Bob Thurman, (son of Bud Thurman) who lived next door.

I read with interest in the newsletter about Dr. Mitchell, since he was our family doctor, delivering me and each of my siblings, and since he lived in the house next door to the house where we lived in my early years.  There was one detail in the story that I think may be incorrect.  It pertained to the “large sturdy sliding board in the back yard.”  My father Bud Thurman and my grandfather Uncle Bob Thurman built a large combination sliding board, swing and teeter-totter in the vacant lot to the east of our house.  Later Billy Miller’s house was constructed on the site and the sliding board-swing-teeter-totter was moved to the backyard.  When we moved to the house at 226 E Elm which had previously been the funeral home owned and operated by my grandfather, the sliding board-swing-teeter-totter was moved again to the new house and a basketball backboard was added which I spent many hours on during my high school years.

I do have a story about the sliding board involving Johnny Mitchell.  When he was quite young, probably 3 or 4 years old, I climbed to the top of the sliding board and encouraged him to follow me.  I must have been 7 or 8 years old at the time. He reached the platform, but could not hold on, and fell to the ground below the sliding board, breaking his arm in the process.  Needless to say I was not highly regarded by Lucille, Johnny’s mother, after that event,  I can well understand why she was unhappy.  Doc Mitchell took it all in stride as just one of the obstacles Johnny encountered in growing up.

I have a couple of other items about Dr. Mitchell.  He was a real fan of sports cars.  I remember the classic MG he owned when we lived next door, and later he owned a Jaguar.  I was very envious since that was a time in my life when I had a very high regard for sexy sports cars.

Behind his garage he built a workshop where he made rifles from scratch.  He could be found in the workshop many an evening turning a rifle barrel on his lathe or preforming some other rifle building task.  He never did anything halfway.

One of Dr. Mitchell’s friends was a doctor in Springfield who owned his own plane.  The friend like to show off by doing aerobatic stunts over the field behind Dr. Mitchell’s house.  One time he decided to land his plane on Hwy 60, which was a nearly new road around what was the southern edge of Republic.  It was not a smart move, since his plan clipped a pickup truck which happened to be driving on the highway at the time.  It was all very exciting to me, a young boy at the time, but I wasn’t aware of any consequences that came from that action.  While the plane sustained some damage in the encounter with the pickup, I think the pilot was able to take off from the highway and fly back to Springfield.

Bob, thanks for the corrections; if something is recorded wrong  and not corrected it soon becomes the truth.

I, too, remember the plane and sports cars.

Read the rest of this entry »

Republic Sign

February 24, 2013

Republic Sign Toby Preacht and Nathan Osborne with Pinnacle Sign 2-20-2013 (2)The Society has reached its goal of getting the sign back up.  Pinnacle Sign Group on February 20, 2013, in 30 degree weather installed the refurbished sign in one of the original spots or near, on South Main Street and Highway 60.  Toby Preacht and Nathan Osborne took great pains in seeing that the sign was put up in a professional manner, you could tell these men were the best at their trade.  Thanks to all those who had a hand in seeing this worthy project completed.

To Honor our Veteran’s

June 2, 2012

The last surviving Civil War Veteran in Republic was, Enoch Williams.   Enoch was born in 1840 and died in 1939, at 98 years old.  Thank you Enoch and those who have gone before.  What stories you could share with us.

Republic Record

Thursday, May 4, 1939

­___________________________________________

___________________________________________

Death to Republic’s Last

Veteran of Civil War

 

Funeral services were conducted at the Hood M. E. church in Republic Tuesday afternoon by Rev. Imes for Enoch Williams, last veteran of the Civil War residing in Republic, who died Sunday.  The Ladies of the G. A. R. conducted a flag service at the church and the Sons of Veterans were in charge of the services at the grave.  The body, under the direction of R. E. Thurman, was then placed beside the wife in the Evergreen Cemetery.

Enoch Williams was born in Chester County, Pa., on July 8th, 1840.  He died at his son’s home in Republic, Mo., April 30, 1939 at the advanced age of 98 years, 9 months, and 22 days.  He resided, with his parents,  in Pennsylvania until he was 12 years old, when the family removed to Iowa in 1852.  Mr. Williams grew to young manhood in Iowa and in 1862, when Abraham Lincoln called for volunteers for the Union army he answered the call and enlisted in Company D, of the 24th Iowa Volunteers.  He served with this company and regiment until the close of the Civil War.

During his service as a soldier, he was actively engaged in many of the major battles of the Civil War.  Together with his comrades of Company D he fought at the battles of Cedar Creek , Champion Hill, Port Gibson, Sabine Cross Roads and the Siege of Vicksburg, where he received special citation.  In addition to these major battles, he passed through many minor engagements.   He had a record of having been present and participating in every battle in which his Company engaged during the war.

He was married to Mary S. Stuliff on February 7, 1867.   To their union six children were born, three of whom survive.  He was preceded in death by one son, two daughters and  the beloved companion and mother.  he surviving children are Mrs. W. P. Lumis of Kearney, Nebraska, J. E. and R. E. Williams of Republic.  After his marriage he resided in Iowa for twenty-nine years.  He then came to Springfield, were he remained for four years and in 1900 moved to Republic, where he spent the last thirty-nine years of his life.

When a young  man, Mr. Williams was converted and united with the Methodist church in Mt. Vernon, Iowa.  He retained his membership in the church of his choise until his death and in 1926, under the pastorate of Rev. Courtney he enrolled as a member of the church in Republic and was a member of that congregation at the time of his death.  In the earlier life he was active in the work of his chosen church and was very regular in attendance of the services  of worship.  He always seemed pleased at the visits of the pastor, or of others who called on him in the interest of his church, and expressed a willingness to assist in any way he could.

During his illness he suffered much pain, but bore his suffering with fortitude as a Good Soldier of Jesus Christ and recently re ——————– that the time for his discharge from this life was very near.  His mind was clear until near the last days, and he spent much time in prayer and communion with God, and approached the end without fear.  He has gone to join his comrades in the great reunion beyond the grave.

Under the sod and the dew

Waiting the judgment day

Under the one the blue

Under the other the gray

Enoch Williams born 7/08/1840

WILLIAMS, SUTLIFF

Posted By: Mary Hitchcock <Mary_hitchcock@hotmail.com>
Date: 12/28/2005 at 14:58:21

Enoch Williams, farmer, Cedar township post-office Solon; was born in Chester County PA July 8, 1840, where ye spent his boyhood days, and is a son of George and Mary Williams. In the spring of 1856 they emigrated to Iowa and settled in Johnson County where he has since resided, and now owns 160 acres of well improved land. He was married February 7, 1867 to Mary s. Sutliff, daughter of Allen C. Sutliff, one of the pioneers of Johnson County. By this union there are five children now living, viz.: Allen G., Ellen G., Kate S., Jesse E. and Ralph E. Source: The History of Johnson County Iowa 1836-1882, p.950-951

U.S. Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles
about Enoch Williams

Name:

Enoch Williams

Residence:

Johnson County, Iowa

Age at enlistment:

22

Enlistment Date:

16 Aug 1862

Rank at enlistment:

Private

State Served:

Iowa

Survived the War?:

Yes

Service Record:

Enlisted in Company D, Iowa 24th     Infantry Regiment on 04 Sep 1862.
Promoted to Full 6th Corporal on 03 Nov 1864.
Promoted to Full 5th Corporal on 01 Jun 1865.
Mustered out on 17 Jul 1865 at Savannah, GA.
Promoted to Full 4th Corporal on 08 Jun 1865.

Birth Date:

8 Jul 1840

Death Date:

30 Apr 1939

Sources:

Roster & Record of Iowa Soldiers in     the War of Rebellion
Research by R. Ross Houston

How to reach the Republic Historical Society

September 7, 2011

The Museum  opens on Saturday’s 10 AM to 2 PM

Phone 417-732-7702, Cell 417-343-1847, 417-343-9352  or Phone 417-732-2181

email rob112241@yahoo.com or msr31141@yahoo.com

Marshals and Police Chiefs

September 7, 2011

This list of marshals was taken from information gained in the minutes fron the Republic City record books.

Marshal’s

John F Cliborne          Jul 17, 1897-Sep 9, 1897

Henry Hayes                Sep. 9, 1897-Apr 12, 1898

Bill Collison                  Apr 12, 1898-Apr 5, 1899

J. O. Kerr                       Apr 5, 1899-Apr 17, 1899

W. J. O’Neal                  Apr 17, 1899–Jul 17, 1899

John F. Clibrone           Jul 17, 1899-Oct 23, 1899

William Collison            Oct 23, 1899-Apr 4, 1900

Joseph Pearce                Apr 4, 1900-Dec 22, 1900

J. M. Hill                          Dec  22, 1900-Apr 7, 1902

P. M. Young                     Apr 7, 1902-Apr 11, 1904

James G. Blades              Apr 11, 1904-Nov 23, 1904

E. F. Collison                    Nov 23, 1904-Aug 7, 1905

Special Police

J. A. Britain                       Aug 7, 1905-Jun 5, 1906

Marshal’s

E. F. Collison                      Jun 5, 1906-1910

records missing until Apr 8, 1912

Sam Williams                       Apr 8, 1912-Apr 14, 1913

Mose Jones                           Apr 14, 1913

J. T. Carr                                Appointed to Saturday and Sunday nights and other night as needed.

W. H. Davis                           Jul 14, 1913-Apr 10, 1916

T. F. Plumlee                         Apr 10, 1916-Apr 14, 1921

Lou Carskaden                      Apr 14, 1921-Apr 14, 1924

Samuel T. Harrison              Apr 14, 1924-Apr 9, 1928

M. S. Noe                                Apr 9, 1928-Jun 10, 1929   Council voted to p-lace a grave marker to be inscribed “Killed in Service”

E. A. Thurman                       Jun 10, 1929-Apr 14, 1930    appointed to take M.S. Noe’s place

F. E Royston                           Apr 14, 1930-Apr 11, 1932

Mose Jones                             Apr 11, 1932-Apr 10, 1933

G. W. Thurman                      Apr 10, 1933-Apr 13, 1936

Jim Perkins                             Apr 13, 1936-Apr 10, 1939

Frank Bridges                         Apr 10, 1939-Apr 13, 1942

Jim Perkins                             Apr 13, 1942-Apr 4, 1946

Joe Gaddy                                Apr 4, 1946 won election but would not accept.  Jim Perkins appointed.

Jim Perkins                              Apr 8, 1946-Apr 14, 1947

Charlie Jones                           Apr 14, 1947-Apr 14, 1952

A. J. Hughes                             Apr 14, 1952-Apr 3, 1955

Joe Gaddy                                 Apr 3, 1955-Apr 14, 1958

Leo Owen                                   Apr 14, 1958-Apr 11, 1966

Police Chief’s

Roy Mathews                            Apr 11,. 1966-Aug 1, 1973

Bob Duvall                                 Aug 1, 1973-Aug, 1979

Eugene Blades                           Aug. to Nov. 1979 acting police chief

Sam Hartsell                              Dec 1, 1979-Apr, 1985

Roy Graves                                 Apr, 1985-May, 1986

Sam Harsell                                May, 1986-Nov, 2001

Darrell Crick                               Nov, 2001-Apr, 2002       Interim Police Chief

Mark Lowe                                  Apr, 2002-present

Republic Sign

April 13, 2011

The latest project for the Society is to restore and reinstall one of  the neon signs, that once set at each end of Main Street.  If anyone would like to help in this restoration, donations are tax-deductible, under our 501 (c)( 3).  Donations may be mailed to the Republic Historical Society, 146 N. Main St., Republic, MO  65738.  For more information contact Bill Robertson at 417-732-7702.

As of November 21 we have received donations of $5,546.00  toward the actual bid  to restore one of the Republic Signs.  Pinnacle Sign Company, in Springfield, Missouri has been given the bid of $7,987.00 to refurbish and install the sign.  It will be placed on South Main Street and 60 Hwy.   This sign once set near the intersection of North Main and Hwy 174,  the one on South Main was identical but was destroyed.  We are working with MODOT for placement of the sign on the northeast corner of the intersection.

As of the first of February the city of Republic and MODOT, continue negotiations as to the placement of the sign.  We continue to accept donation.

New information has been found on the sign.  In 1948 business  men of Republic  raised money for the sign and turned it over to the city.  More information will follow,with those men being named.

“NOTICE”

We have reached our goal of $7,987.00 to have the sign restored.  Pinnacle Sign Company hopes to have the sign ready to be viewed this week  1-21-2013 to 1-28-2013 with installation shortly after accepting the end product.

The Republic sign was installed on February 20-2013
    Republic Historical Society points to bygone era by restoring old sign

February 20, 2013|by Steve Grant, KY3 News | sgrant@ky3.com

REPUBLIC, Mo. — If you drive along U.S. 60 through Republic, you’ll see a true sign of nostalgia. It’s the newly restored neon arrow pointing to downtown.

It was originally the idea of the local Lions Club to pull shoppers off the road. The original went up in 1949 and caught on with other towns in the Ozarks.

The Republic Historical Society saved the sign from rusting into oblivion with two years of fundraisers.

The blue arrow is not paint. It’s porcelain for weather-proofing. The shiny surface made the neon letters stand out, night or day.

Republic’s new/old sign sits on the south end of Main. It was originally installed on the north end at the Missouri 174 intersection.

 From the Republic Monitor

REPUBLIC, MISSOURI   THURSDAY, OCTOBER  21, 1948

Business Men

Pledge for sign

_____________

The business men of Republic have  contributed to a fund to place neon signs at each end of Main street, at the intersection of Highway 166 on the north and Highway 60 on the south.

The signs it is understood, will cost approximately $800.00 and solicitors reported Tuesday that pledges had been made for most of the needed amount,  According to one of the solicitors, the city will maintain the signs after they are erected.

Lavega Claiborn of the Western Auto store.  W.L. Davis of the Republic Hatchery, and Lynn Martin of the Republic Theatre, all members of the Lions club, solicited the pledges.

REPUBLIC MONITOR

REPUBLIC, MISSOURI  THURSDAY,  MAY 5, 1949

Neon Signs Erected at

Junctions this Week

_____________________

The neon signs which the local Lions club have contracted for, and which were financed by contributions from merchants and other business and professional people here, are being erected today, according to Bruce Jordan, president of the Lions club.  They are located at the intersection of South Main street and highway 166 and are completed except for the electrical connections.

If you need information from the Society

October 20, 2010

If you need information about people or history of Republic or the surrounding area, please email with requests  to   rob112241@yahoo.com  or phone 417-732-7702.

Thank you

Bill

History by Clifford Kubat

April 8, 2010

History of Republic,  by Clifford E. Kubat

            In every inhabitated part of the world, we find abundant evidence of occupation by more than one race of people.  Everywhere in Greene County, as well as through the State of Missouri, we find traces of prehistoric dwellers.  In many of our caves there has been found proof of their existence and some of these artifacts have been displayed in the Museum of Drury College.

            When the French and Spanish explorers first penetrated this region, they found it to be the hunting ground, and at times the permanent home of the Osage Indians.  This was the tallest Indian tribe in North America.  Few were less than six feet and many were seven feet tall.  About 1806 the Delaware Indians moved into this territory because of the settlers in their Eastern lands.  They had a village on Wilson’s creek, southwest of what is now Springfield.  Phelps Grove Park is believed to be the site of a Kickapoo settlement about 1812.  Needless to say they were all reluctant to leave this lush prairie country where they found good hunting and fishing.  Republic was crossed by two Indian trails, the Virginia Warrior Trail going southwest and the Osage Trail that went north and south.

            The first white men to come into this territory are thought to be one of Desoto’s exploring bands in 1541.  Around 1715 the French voyageurs from the north and the Spanish from the south came looking for gold and silver.  Some of the first travelers to leave a record of what they saw and did were Henry R. Schoolcraft and Rufus Pettibone in 1818.  The names of Pettijohn, Patterson, Price, Friend, Pierson, Purrill, Prosser, Wells and Ingle appear in the story of early pioneer immigration to this region.  In those days of early settlers, floors were of earth, bedsteads were fastened to the walls in the corners of a house and stood on one leg, wagon grease was made of honey, which was about one cent a pound in the comb and food was scarce, especially bread until the building of mills to grind the flour.  Mortars were burned and carved out of stumps or logs and corn was ground in them by hand.  In most cases the only implement was the faithful axe.

            In July, 1889, Republic Township was created from parts of Pond Creek, Center and Brookline townships.  Its origin dates back to the extension of the St. Louis and San Francisco railroad through this vicinity in the fall and winter of 1871 and 1872.  There was no town then, nothing but prairie and very few houses.  To make matters worse, the railroad company refused to build a switch or even a station for the accommodation of the people   A few hustling citizens, consisting of such men as Josiah F. Brooks, W. H. Noe, H. A. Noe, H. A. White, E. T. Anderson and perhaps others, got together and raised one thousand dollars and built and graded the ground for a switch.  It was under such conditions and circumstances as these, and backed by men of pluck and energy that Republic was born.  The first building was a two-story frame store-building erected by W. H. Noe across the tracks and was known as the “red” building.  Then H. A. White built a store and a hall.  The first dwelling house was erected by John Summer and Rev. Loping, the second built by Dr. Bartlett.  The post office was established and was located about one-half mile south of the depot and the first postmaster was Mark Ritter.  Much credit is due to “old man” Brooks, as he was called.  He led in the fight for a depot and switch.  He contributed largely of his time and means and set out the shade trees on Elm Street.  He also founded and fostered the beautiful Evergreen Cemetery, where his body now rests.  It is a fitting tribute to say that Josiah F. Brooks, the man from New York State who was a quarter of a century ahead of the times, was really and truly the “Father of Republic”. 

            In 1883 Republic contained two general merchandise stores, two drug stores, one hardware and agricultural implement house, one shoe shop, three blacksmith shops, a livery stable, two grain houses, a good grist mill with three run of burrs, two churches, Congregational and Baptist, and a population of 150 people.  Sometimes one of the churches was used as a school.

            The Congregational Church as organized in September, 1876.  The original members were P. L. Anderson and wife, Edward Howell, Phoebe Tibbets, W. S. McCleary and wife, Armita Criswell, Mary Hackett, Mrs. J. F. Brooks, Minnie Smith and Hattie Brooks.  The church building was completed in 1880 at the cost of $2,000.00 and dedicated to Rev. Robert West.

            The Baptist Church was organized in 1874 by Elder J. M. Lapin.  Original members were W. B. Searcy, W. H. Harrison, and J. P .Youngblood, A. E. Searcy, T. J. Harrison, F. A. Youngblood, Anna Newberry, Celia Stamps and Ella Decher.  The church was built at the cost of $1,000.00 and was out of debt with a membership of 36 in 1915.

            Other early churches were Methodist Episcopal in the year 1891 and the Christian Church in 1872.  In 1915 the attendance at the various Sunday Schools averaged between four and five hundred.  This was certainly a great showing for a town the size of Republic.

            The first Board of Trustees of Republic in 1890 was:  Dr. E. L. Beal, Chairman; Henry Hayes, Treasurer; H. A. Noe, Secretary; John House and B. E. Williams.  C. Howell was Street Commissioner at $1.50 per day; John Rose was Assessor for $2.00 a working day; and B. E. Williams was the Marshall who was paid 75¢ for each arrest resulting in a conviction and 25¢ for each summons or subpoena served.  J. A. Youngblood was the City Attorney.  There were 593 residents.

            The first copy of the Monitor was issued by J. J. and I. S. Jones, April 7, 1894.  The printing was done on a Washington hand press in a small frame building on the east side of Main Street known as “smoke row”.  Charles E. Gentry was the first “paid up” subscriber.

            In and about Republic were to be found many small tracts of land devoted to small farming, fruits and vegetables.  The soil is peculiarly adapted to strawberry culture.  Under the direction of Dr. E. L. Beal, quite an enviable record was made in fruit growing.  The township contained about ten miles of macadamized rock roads in 1915 that cost about a thousand dollars per mile, all of which was paid for by public donations.  Republic enjoyed the distinction of having a city lot enclosed with sheds and stalls for the accommodation of the horses and vehicles, free of charge, from the heat of summer and the chilly black of winter.

            The famous Wilson Creek battleground where General Lyon fell August 10, 1861, is some four of five miles south and east of Republic.

            Republic can boast of having had one of the largest and best equipped flour mills in the state.  The first small mill was founded in 1890 by R. C. Stone and L. E. Prickett.  This mill went up in flames in 1894.  In 1897, through the efforts of the citizens of Republic, who contributed one thousand dollars as a donation, R. C. Stone re-established a much larger mill of five hundred barrels capacity, which was known as the R. C. Stone Milling company.  In 1903, through the efforts and contributions of the citizens, the mill capacity was increased to one thousand, five hundred barrels and several hundred feet of warehouses were built, together with several large elevators, making this mill the largest exclusive soft wheat mill in the U. S. A.

            The Republic Custom Mill, known as the “little mill” was organized in 1904, through the efforts of G. W. Thurman and P. A. Chaffin.  In 1911 the mill owners purchased the electric lighting plant, which was then in its infancy and ran it in connection with the mill.

            The Republic public school was the pride of its citizens and had the distinction of having the best high school, outside of Springfield, in Greene County.  The building was a large two-story brick, modern in improvements and built in the year 1893.  It was centrally located on a beautiful campus with nice shade trees and had concrete walks extending entirely around the building.  In 1915 the enrollment was about 350 and more than one hundred students had graduated in the high school course.  Many students from the surrounding country attended the school.  The following members composed the school board of that year:  Walter A. Coon, President; J. P. Kitchen, vice-president; Dr. O. N. Carter, H. B. Ingler, Ed Gammon and W. S. Cliborne.  W. P. Anderson was Treasurer and J. __. Robertson was the clerk.  High School teachers were:  W. B. Rice. Superintendent; Ira H. B. Welch, Principal; and Gladys G. Sherwood, Language.  Grade teachers were:  Miss Gracie Youngblood, Mrs. Fannie Washam Garbee, Miss Cleo Youngblood, Mrs. Ira Welch, Mrs. Virginia McGuire Squibb and Charles Roper.

            At the present time our school enrollment is 1034 students.  The 1960 census shows 1519 residents.  Today it would be safe to say we have over 2,000 residents.  We are growing in every direction and it’s a great town to live in.

            Most of this information was taken from a book entitled Green County, Missouri, published in 1915.

History of Republic

April 8, 2010
History of Republic

 

Republic, Missouri began its existence as a typical crossroads station during the period from 1850 to 1860. Early settlers came from various Eastern states as Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia, bringing with traditions and customs peculiar to those states. Others came from New York, Illinois, Ohio, and Michigan. From the North and East they came, bringing their habits, beliefs, and customs. Among the first families to settle here were the names of Ritter, Noe, White, Claiborn, Hayes, Britain, Anderson, Blades, Beal, Brooks, Criswell, Davis, House, Howard, Hagewood, Howell, Land, London, McDaniel, Owen, O’Bryant, O’Neal, Pickering, Robertson, Rainey, Richardson, Short, Sparkman, Thurman, Williams, and Youngblood. Many citizens of Republic today are direct descendants of these early families.Little is known about how Republic got it’s name. Some of the older residents say that Mark Ritter and his sister, Mrs. Worsefield, (the first postmaster and his assistant), named it. Still others say that Uncle Billy Cliborn gave it the name it now bears.

Republic was located in the center of the township and in the midst, at that time, of a rich, thickly populated prairie and an excellent local trade. Republic, being situated on the Frisco Railroad, became a well-known shipping and traveling point.

Before the railroad was built, a small town called Little York, located a short distance from the present site of Brookline, had been the market center since the Civil War. Even before the war, Little York had been the center of trade for most of the countryside southwest of Springfield. After the war, the Frisco Railroad was built through this section (about 1869 and 1870.) The citizens of the then small community of Republic asked the Frisco Company to build a depot or a switch station at this site. The company refused. Mr. Noe, a citizen who had much faith in the future of Republic, raised subscriptions of $1,000 for the purpose of the depot. Republic is deeply indebted to Mr. Noe, not only for the railroad, but perhaps for its very existence. After the building of the railroad, Republic began to grow very rapidly. Little York was replaced by Brookline.

Brookline and Republic absorbed the country trade because of their now ready trade and marketing facilities. Trade was carried on mostly by exchange, there being little money and little need for it. The work of the surrounding community gradually made enough business to cause Republic to make a start.

Aside from farming, few industries were found in and around the little crossroads settlement at its earliest time. The first building, a storehouse, was built by W.H. Noe. This building was located on the site or the present site of Bacon Tire Company. This building became know as the old “red building.” Mr. Noe operated a general store stocked with such useful necessities as feed, flour, soap, harnesses, thread, kerosene, or almost anything needed in those days. This building stood longest of any of the old timers. H.A. White soon built the second store and a hall. The first dwelling house was built by the Reverend Loping, the second by Dr. Bartlett and others were soon erected. Eli H. Britain owned and operated a brick yard near his home just west of town (the present-day site of where West Elm Street joins Highway 166.) Two grain elevators were built. One of which the building is still standing, was located across the street from the lumber yard. The other was located about where the depot now stands. The site of Johnston Feed Mill was once the home of a thriving tomato factory. Republic also boasted of a cheese factory, which old timers declare bore all the earmarks of the genuine article.

The first post office was located one-half mile south of the depot. Just why the post office was so far out of town has not definitely been determined; however, one old timer jokingly said that it was because the Republicans were afraid the Democrats might take over, or possibly it was the other way around. Of course the location of the railroad was the other way around. Of course the location of the railroad was the obvious reason for bringing it back into town. Mark Ritter was the first postmaster, and his sister, Mrs. Worsefield, was his assistant.

A blacksmith shop, operated by Henry Hayes, was also Owen and Short Hardware for many years. The building formerly occupied by the Ford Motor Company on the east side of Main Street, was a livery stable. Traditionally speaking, it was the peak of fashion and the height of extravagance to be seen driving and impressive team of high-stepping horses from the livery stable.

For years a lime kiln was operated just south of town and employed quite a number of men. During the years 1904 and 1905, iron ore was mined and shipped from Republic.

The O’Neal Lumber Company was established in Republic more than 75 years ago. Mr. O’Neal was also prominent in the promotion of civic and church affairs.

The first flour mill was built in 1890 by R.C. Stone. Later it was remodeled and had a running capacity of 2,000 barrels every 24 hours. During the years between 1900 and 1907, the mill was operated night and day. At that time it was the largest flour mill in the Middle West, and carried the slogan “The World is Our Field.” Flour was shipped out to all sections of the United States. The mill was in the large, brick building on the corner of Elm and Main Streets.

Early life in the small community of Republic was very much like that of any other pioneer settlements. Homes were simple with few furnishings, but hones hearts and patient toil were at the back of every task begun. Hospitality, thrift, and a spirit of progress were worthy traits of character shown in the lives of the pioneers. The men worked in the field, woods, or shop, while their wives kept the house, spanked the children, made the garden and many other things to keep the home going. The greatest event of the spring was the observance of “groundhog day,” such a date being followed by “corn planting,” and “soap making,” both with proper regard for the light and dark of the moon. In the fall, crops were harvested and hogs were butchered. These events were of great importance as, of course, were Thanksgiving and Christmas. Activities of social life were few, the chief amusements being singing, spelling bees, and family gatherings. Food was plain and simple; corn bread, cured meat, vegetables, and dried fruits being the most common fare. Meat was cured and kept in a smoke house built for that purpose. Here originated some of the most famous hickory smoked ham and bacon, once tasted, was never forgotten. Often vegetables were buried for winter in a deep hole dug in the corner of the garden, lined with straw, and heaped in with thick layers of dirt. Nearly every family kept a barrel of molasses made from cane raised in their own field. These people made vinegar and raised chickens. Flour, brown sugar, and coffee could be bought at the general store.

Clothing was usually of the homespun variety with some muslin, gingham, shirting, and calico bought from the general store. Sometimes a seamstress, who was also a tailoress, was employed to go from house to house to make men’s suits and some of the more “well-to-do” women’s clothes.

Trade was carried on mostly by barter, or exchange, there being little money and little need for it. However, work in and around Republic increased and business began to grow. Gradually these early industries and places of business changed ownership or were replaced by new industries. Dairying, poultry, stock raising, and fruit growing replaced the one time general farming, and in 1971 new modern factories and businesses replaced most of the farming industries.

Republic began its educational and religious training almost from the beginning. The first school was a one room structure located on West Elm Street one block west of the present Chevrolet Company. This building was replaced by a two story brick one, which remained in use until the present elementary school was built in 1954. The bonds were voted on for the first time in 1892, and since that time many new and modern buildings have been erected to help Republic train it’s youth. In 1920, the first high school was built. In 1937, a gymnasium was added to the high school.

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Since then, Republic has become a thriving community and is constantly growing and will continue to grow into a prosperous city.

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