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Saturday, November 28, 2020

Bates County Museum News - December 2020

Thoughts on the Life of the Museum in the Year 2020 A Year Unlike Any Other

The final month of this most unusual year will soon be upon us. The second decade of the 21st century has been unlike any other in history and future historians will struggle to fully comprehend the dramatic and costly challenges to America and the world that played out during the 2020 pandemic.
Early on I began saving news articles and general information that I thought would be of interest in years to come. I have the pattern for masks printed in our local papers, actual masks, press releases from the State, and a Bates County ‘I Voted’ pen and other things.
One of the artifacts in the Museum’s many collections is a flu mask from the infamous 1918 Spanish Influenza epidemic. The mask was issued to students at MU. It is a simple cottony-gauze fabric with ties attached and is part of our World War I exhibit. At the time it was displayed we never imagined that we would be experiencing our own pandemic.
As I looked back at the January newsletter, I saw all the Museum’s plans that vanished with the Virus. There were great programs scheduled along with events, including a very special concert presentation by a friend from Kansas City. Planning for Missouri’s Bicen- tennial in 2021 had begun in the County.
2021 also marks the 200th anniversary of Har- mony Mission’s founding, the 180th anniver- sary of the founding of Bates County, and the
Historical Society & Museum’s 60th. It will also be the 80th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack that thrust America into War. The year 2021 is filled with important dates to be honored and remembered.
But, the pandemic of 2020 seemed to stop everything in its tracks. Flatten the curve. Quarantines. Tests. Masks. Toilet paper shortages. Closures. And in the middle of the crisis was perhaps the most contentious Presidential election in our nation’s history. Throughout these past few months we have breathed a bit easier and tried to find small semblances of normal. Perhaps that was premature in slowing the spread of the virus, but also perhaps the mental psyche of people and the nation required it in order to carry on. For now, as the holidays are here, sick- ness with Covid and the flu has caused us to once again withdraw and avoid gatherings. Our elderly have perhaps been required to pay the greatest sacrifice as the nation grap- ples with how to best keep them safe. There are no easy answers. The debate rages.
Each family choosing what seems to be right for them. I urge you to document your fami- ly’s experiences during this unprecedented time. Your descendants will want to know how you coped with these days of constant uncertainty. May you record that you faced each day with gratitude and fortitude!

Strong Membership ~ Strong Society
Please Renew
January marks the Society Membership Renewal Month and we ask you to please make it a priority to renew your membership! Help us to maintain a strong Society. Membership numbers matter. Cost is minimal and within the comfort range of most everyone. Join us in generating momentum that will then multiply. 2020 has reminded us all how vital the strong the bonds of community can be. Providing a strong Society & Museum to be keepers of our history pays honor and tribute to ancestors. It’s important. Thank you for supporting us!
Any extra donation will be greatly appreciated. Annual rates are: Single-$12 / Couple-$18 / Family-
$24. Renewal forms are attached to this e-newsletter or are included in mailed copies.
**************************** Museum Gifted Two Research
Collections on Guerrilla Warfare
The Museum’s research archives continues to grow and we are very pleased to announce that two separate collections of research materials about the guerrilla warfare in our area have been donated.
In February I traveled to Bentonville, Arkansas to receive Rich Stewart’s Quantrill Special Re- search Collection. This impressive collection of books, articles, publications, teachers materials, DVDs, biographies, and more has been inventoried and will be available to researchers both profession- al and amateur. Rich Stewart’s body of research includes information about Bates County Sheriff John Clem. He was a formidable character who ultimately moved to Arkansas and is buried there, as is also Captain Bill Turman of Island Mound fame and his wife, Charity Weddle Turman. There is much yet to discover about these men and their families. We are grateful for Rich’s ongoing re- search and for the opportunity to house this im- portant collection.
People reach out to us as the reputation of the Bates County Museum continues to grow. We are proud to be considered a premiere site in western Missouri and it was because of this that we were contacted by the family of the late Harold Dellinger of Jackson County. He was a lifelong collector of Civil War history and his personal col- lection of books, memorabilia, professional papers,
publications, and more is legendary throughout the region. While Harold was interested in all aspects of the Civil War in western Missouri, his true passion was the study of the guerrilla warfare and the men who fought it. We are very pleased to have the Harold Dellinger Collection housed here at the Museum.
Bates County was the epicenter of General Order No. 11 and it seems quite fitting that we can now be an epicenter for the study of the guerrilla warfare here in western Missouri and along the Kansas border. It is our hope that the Museum’s reputation as a vital resource library will continue to broaden in years to come.
Best of Times in the Worst of Times
Despite everything that 2020 has unleashed, there have been some good times in the life of the Museum this year!
In early March we held our annual Show & Tell Gathering and Annual Meeting. There was a good crowd and many interesting things and stories were shared. The Society held its annual meeting and the 2020 Board of Directors was elected. Chris Gach-President, Donna Gregory- Vice President, Tyler Bise-Treasurer, Doris Fuller-Secretary, Stan Sechrest, Doug White, Maggie Roberts, Randy Bell, and Scott Mallatt. Many thanks to them for serving the Society!
The annual This & That Sale was rescheduled and held the first weekend of June. It was a fan- tastic success and we thank all who supported the sale. Income was a bit over $3,000 and eve- ry donation and each sale is greatly appreciated!
While virtually everything closed down and folks avoided crowds, we actually had a good number of visitors from the Metro area. They were looking for easy drive destinations and found us. In early October we also had a small group of 3rd graders from KC come to spend the day. The children were great!
The first weekend of November we held our first ever Holiday Décor & More Sale. Once again you, our supporters, came through like the heroes you are! Fabulous donations and sales that were remarkable. We made over $2,300 and are grateful for every penny.
Thank you, one and all...You’re the best!!!

~The Museum Out & About~
As the nation opened a bit in the summer and early fall, some annual celebrations were able to be held. In September the Museum had a booth at the Amsterdam Jubilee. We met lots of people, some we knew, and some we befriended that day. Wind gusts were fierce and, despite concrete blocks, our booth canopy lifted and flipped. We were right in front of the Amsterdam Café which has big paned windows but thankfully the canopy landed on the sidewalk and no bystanders were injured. What a day!
The first weekend of October we were at Butler’s Hucksters Day event and thankfully the wind cooperated! The day was fun and we visited with many folks. The Friends of the Museum gift shop merchandise was sold and we made quite a bit of money so it was another wonderful day out and about.
I want to thank Doris Fuller for her tireless efforts in behalf of the Museum. Doris serves on the Society Board as Secretary, she takes care of all the outside plants and gardens, and she basically IS the Friends of the Museum. Doris seeks out every estate sale, garage sale, thrift shop find, individuals, anyone and any- where she can get items for resale in the Mu- seum’s Gift Shop, our Sales, and when we are out and about. Doris devotes countless hours to the Museum and this acknowledgement of her work, her hard work, is small but certainly not insignificant. We would be lost without Doris and I know of no one who could fill her shoes. If you see her out and about, take a moment and thank her for all she does to keep this Museum thriving. She’s one in a million!
If you have any donations for the Museum please call us. Although we are technically closed for the winter, most days someone is here working. Your generous donations are what enable us to have these sales and gener- ate income for the Museum. Thank you.
Battle of Island Mound
Network to Freedom
In August Mo State Parks held their annual Public Information meeting at the Battle of Is- land Mound State Historic Site. This year it was a bit more than the normal gathering. Sev- eral State Parks dignitaries were on hand as well as Bates County Presiding Commissioner Jim Wheatley, Southern Commissioner Larry Hack- er, Jim Ogle, Executive Director of Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area. The impres- sive list of State Parks representatives is:
Mike Sutherland, Dir. Mo. State Parks, Jeffer- son City // Brian Stith, Deputy Director, Mo. State Parks, Jefferson City // Mike Ohnersorgen, Program Dir. Cultural Resource Management & Missouri State Museum, Jeffer- son City // Laura Hendrickson, Regional Dir., Ozark Region // Justin Adams, Deputy Re- gional Dir., Ozark Region // Ranger Caleb Richerson, Missouri State Park Ranger, Truman State Park // Kenny Neal, Manager, Southwest Management Unit, Stockton.
The Battle of Island Mound State Historic Site received the National Parks Service designation of being part of the International Underground Railroad Network to Freedom. Jim Ogle read a proclamation from Missouri Governor Parsons’ declaring September as the month to honor the Island Mound site which is the only Missouri site with this National Parks designation. Bates County Commissioner Jim Wheatley read a proclamation prepared by the Commissioners.
Several members of the public were present at the meeting and expressed positive comments about the sites amenities and maintenance.
Museum Gets a Little TLC
During the down time several volunteers were at the Museum working, cleaning, repairing, painting, and giving our grand old building a little TLC. There is always much to do but the list is now shorter than it was. Most notable is the Men’s Room on the main floor. Repairs, a lot of prep work, and new paint made a big dif- ference. There is even art hanging on the walls! The cleaning and sprucing 'up will con- tinue throughout the winter.

Peggy’s Ponderings...
Changes, changes, so many changes! A new era is being ushered in. Often during chaotic times a sense of priority settles. It’s peculiar how that can happen but I believe that’s exactly what some people have experienced. Families are spending more time at home. The constant racing here and there schedules have calmed considerably. The newest, latest, greatest whatever doesn’t seem to be needed quite so urgently. Actual conversation is making a comeback. Isn’t it strange how the worst of times can bring out the best in some things and cause us to remember what truly enriches our lives. We are entering the season of reflection and hope. I know my hopes for this Museum are high and genuine. This place keeps our stories. She is a grand lady and one we all need to re- spect and honor. How empty our lives would be if we had no stories. We would be nothing more than banging gongs and clanging symbols. Hollow and noisy! The stories of our lives give depth, meaning, sadness, joy, sorrow, gladness, and hope. These make this earthly journey worthwhile.
My hope is that 2021 will afford us the opportunity to celebrate the important occasions of the past and allow us to pay tribute to our ancestors and all those who have gone before us. We all know there’s yet a long way to go to achieve the hopes of our forbearers....but....never forget to remember how far we have already come!
I am pleased to let you know that Doug Mager of Mid America Live (Bates County Wire) asked me to provide a weekly Museum Minute story to be posted online. It’s been a good partnership and I think there is opportunity for us to grow and perhaps expand beyond where we now are. The closing of the newspaper in Butler was regretful but the South Cass Tribune is working to fill the gap and has entered into a great relationship with Mid America Live. So here again, I can see the Best of Times in the midst of the Worst of Times. Life is funny that way.
We are extremely fortunate to have a local radio station and I’m thankful for KMAM-KMOE 92.1 in Butler. We’d be lost without them! Don’t take them for granted. We have successfully advertised our sales and special events with them and this past Halloween night the Museum was proud to present the original Mercury Theater broadcast of Orson Welles’ “War of the Worlds.” It was great and a perfect fit for 2020! Because of the success we’ve enjoyed with them, the Museum will again host the Christmas Eve broadcast of “A Christmas Carol.” Tune in that evening. You will be transported back to a simpler time and I’m sure a smile will appear on your face.
Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, and May God Bless Us One and All in the New Year!
PO Box 164 Butler, MO 64730 660-679-0134 Name:__________________________________________________________________________ Address:________________________________________________________________________ City/State/Zip:___________________________________________________________________ Phone:______________________________ Email:______________________________________
Membership Rates: Single-$12 yr. / Couple-$18 yr. / Family(3 or more)-$24 yr. Business-$25 yr. (owner & 2 employees) / Business Plus-$50 yr. (owner & 5 employees) Individual Life Member $200 / Couple Life Member $300 / Family Life Member $500 Memorial Donor $1000 or more

 Bates County
Historical Society
& Museum
802 Elks Drive / PO Box 164
Butler, MO 64730
660-679-0134 April-October Tue-Fri 9:30am-4pm / Sat 9:30am-12noon Admission is $5 adults / $2 students