Leroy Jeffries came to Monett, then called Plymouth or Plymouth Junction, in November, 1882. Except for 8 years spent in Cassville as county clerk (1915-1922), he remained an active merchant in Monett for 68 years, until his death in January, 1951. From 1882 until 1914, he owned three general stores and dealt in local farm produce by the train car load. After he returned to Monett from Cassville, he owned two automobile service stations. He was joined in Monett by his parents, Dr. T. H. Jeffries and Mary Jane Ricketts, in February, 1883. He married Mary Emilie Turpin on December 23, 1888, and they were the parents of four children.
Below is a sampling of early Monett items, mainly from the Jeffries family archives. Additional Jeffries information may be found on the Barry County site at Rootsweb: Monett at MoBarry and Cassville at MoBarry.
||Leroy Jeffries, early 1880s. Leroy Jeffries was born in Benton County, Arkansas, on September 1, 1861, and died in Monett on January 13, 1951. His family moved from Arkansas to Cassville during the Civil War, then to Corsicana about 1868 and finally to Washburn about 1875. This image is from a tintype taken around the time Jeffries moved to Monett in late 1882. 1930 Newspaper Profile of Leroy Jeffries.|
||Mary Turpin. Mary Emilie Turpin was born in Barry County near the future site of Monett on January 18, 1871, and died in Monett on March 29, 1941. She married Leroy Jeffries December 23, 1888. This image is from an undated cabinet card photograph marked "Will F. Simes Art Studio, Opera House Block, Monett, Mo."|
||A Successful Young Merchant & His Family. In a refreshingly informal family portrait for the era, Leroy and Mary Jeffries posed on their porch for a traveling photographer from Little Rock, Arkansas. The children are Earl, Letha and Guy Byron. Guy Byron died in infancy. This photograph was taken before the birth of the Jeffries' last child Lalah (called "Trink"), who was born in October, 1894, so it dates to about 1893.|
||Dr. T. H. Jeffries and wife Mary Jane Ricketts, about 1870s. Thomas Hampton Jeffries, called "Hamp," was born November 18, 1837, in Clinton County, Kentucky, and died August 12, 1902, in Monett. He married Mary Jane Ricketts in Bentonville, Arkansas, on October 27, 1858. She was born in Tennessee on April 23, 1839, and died in Monett on January 19, 1921. Dr. Jeffries was a pioneer druggist and physician in Barry County, living in Corsicana, Washburn and Monett. He served on Monett's first city council. Mrs. Jeffries ran a boarding house in Monett which catered to Frisco train crews. This image is from a tintype probably taken in the 1870s. Goodspeed's Biography of Dr. Jeffries & Newspaper Obituary for Mrs. Jeffries.|
||Jeffries' Frisco Boarding House. In 1883, Dr. T. H. Jeffries and his wife took over the Withers House in Plymouth Junction and ran this small ad in the Peirce City Empire of March 1, 1883. After the Withers House burned in September, 1886, they built the house shown in the photograph at the corner of Euclid & Main, just across the street from the present V. B. Hall building. When Mrs. Jeffries died in 1921, her obituary in the Monett Times noted, "The older railroad men remember the excellent meals served by this industrious woman." This image is from a mounted photograph by an unidentified photographer and shows Mrs. Jeffries and her granddaughter Trink sitting at the corner of the house about 1905-1910. This house burned about 1953.
|| Leroy Jeffries' First Store in Monett (Plymouth), 1883-1886. This store was located near the southwest corner of Central Avenue and Main Street. It and most of the town burned on September 8, 1886, and Jeffries rebuilt at the same location. Leroy is standing just to the left of the entrance way, hatless and holding a white package. His father, Dr. T.H. Jeffries, with the white beard, is standing just to the right of the entrance way next to a man who appears to be black. Lloyd B. Jones, who married Leroy's sister Nolia Jeffries, is driving the delivery hack. The man at the extreme left is Charles McBride. The man standing at the door of the little shack at right is Dick Brite of Pierce City. The others are unknown. ID's are from the Monett Times, which reproduced this photograph in a 1930 article on Jeffries as a pioneer merchant.
||Jeffries' First or Second Store in Monett, Mid-to-late 1880s. This appears to be the same store as in the photograph above, but Leroy Jeffries is now bald, the building to the right in the earlier photo is gone and the sign has changed. Since stores in this era were sometimes built from kits, this may be Jeffries' second store (1886-1892), rebuilt from the same kit after the town burned. Faded handwriting on the photo mount identifies the persons in the photo as, left-to-right, Viode Rogers on the sidewalk; Sam Alk (?), T. Clinton and Frank Coatney (?) in the hack; Gene Saxe and Mr. Saxe on the sidewalk between the horse and hack; and Geo. G., Leroy Jeffries and Geo. B. on the sidewalk to the right. The elder Saxe owned a butcher shop in Monett.
||Leroy Jeffries' Home, Built About 1889. Leroy's home was at 100 Lincoln Street, a site buried in 1993 by the approach to the new Burlington Northern overpass on highway 37. Leroy bought the lots in November, 1888, a month before his marriage to Mary Turpin, and probably began construction of the house shortly thereafter. This image is about 1905 to 1910. The smallest child is Mary Jeffries' niece Wilma Turpin. The others, left to right, are Mary, Letha and Trink Jeffries. The dog is Cotton.
||Another Store View. Leroy Jeffries stands with unidentified Monettans on the sidewalk in front of his store. The poster in the window announces that the Sadie Raymond theatrical company will appear January 22. No year is visible, but the Neosho Times mentioned that the Raymond troop was in Neosho in January, 1892, and had visited the area a year earlier. This image is from a cabinet card photograph on the mount of Rino, St. Louis and is intriguing because the photo clearly had a printed caption beneath it at one time, which was blotted out before the negative was printed. The middle word in the caption appears to be "MONETT" but the first and last words are obscured. Perhaps this was originally a town or group promotional piece.
||Jeffries' Third Store in Monett, 1892-1914. This store was located on the northwest corner of Central Avenue and Main Street, just across the street from Jeffries' first two stores. Before highway 37 was built in 1929, Central Avenue was the main road into Monett from the south. Leroy built this store in 1892 and remained there until he went to Cassville as county clerk in 1915. He is shown with his daughter Trink. The photo is about 1905-1910.
||Plymouth and Gonten -- One Town, Two Names. On July 13, 1885, Mary Turpin received two invitations to the same party from local young men. One was addressed from Gonten, Mo., the other from Plymouth. Gonten was the postal name of the town, drawn from the name of a local postmaster. Plymouth was the older name of the town and apparently still the name of the railroad station. Most of Mary's surviving invitations from 1885-1887 used "Gonten" but one dated November 1, 1886, said "Plymouth Mo., Gonten PO." In its daily edition of May 2, 1887, the Peirce City Empire announced that the railroad had changed the name of the town from Plymouth to Monett.
||March, 1888, Early Monett Letterhead. This is a receipt dated March 16, 1888, on the letterhead of Saunders & Crewson, Agents of the Monett Town Company. According to the advertising at upper left, Monett was 4 months old when the letterhead was printed and had 1800 inhabitants. The back of the stationary included a map of the Frisco System.
||Store Inventory, January 1, 1893. The Jeffries' papers include an 8-page inventory of Leroy Jeffries' grocery store on January 1, 1893. He valued his stock on hand at $1,703.89 and was owed $2,397.45 for groceries sold on credit, of which he estimated $511.75 was uncollectable. He owed his creditors $1916.05, but this included $600 payable to his wife. He had on hand 900 pounds of flour, 225 pounds of rice and 180 pounds of sugar, plus 171 pounds of stick candy, 65 pounds of raisins, 60 pounds of soda crackers, 27 pounds of cheese and 8 3/4 pounds of shredded coconut. There were canned fruits and vegetables as well as canned oysters, salmon and sardines. He carried an inventory of 18 brands of tobacco totaling over 300 pounds, plus 850 cigars. There were wash boards, brooms, lamp wicks, stove polish, axle grease and fly killer. The only brand names still recognizable today are Arm & Hammer soda and Ball fruit jars. He valued his two acres of land at $125 and his two horses with hacks & harness at $175. Pages 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8.
||Certificate of Election to Monett's Board of Aldermen, 1894. Except for a break from 1906-1908, Leroy Jeffries served on Monett's city council continuously from 1893 to 1914. This certificate of election from 1894 was signed by city clerk R. A. Gardner. Leroy's father, Dr. T. H. Jeffries, served on the council in 1888-89 and his brother-in-law Lloyd B. Jones in 1889-1893.
||Dues Receipt, Monett Fraternal Order of Eagles, 1903.
||A Jeffries Advertising Item, 1903-1904. This package of needles advertising the Jeffries store included calendars for 1903 and 1904. Early Monett Advertising.
||Lawson Jeffries, Monett's First Fire Chief, around 1905-1910. James Lawson Jeffries, Leroy's brother, was born in Corsicana, Missouri on August 11, 1870 and died in a car wreck south of Rolla on November 12, 1930. He married Mary Woolsey of Monett on April 30, 1901. He was Monett's fire chief for 18 years. The photograph was taken at Spracklen's Studio in Webb City, MO. The emblem on the hat says "Chief" and the ribbon says "Annual Meeting, Southwestern Firemen's Association, Webb City."
||Lawson Jeffries' Hauling Business. Between 1901 and 1910, Lawson Jeffries owned a grocery store and pool hall in Monett and managed the town's semi-professional baseball team. Around 1910, he entered the coal business, which eventually expanded into a substantial hauling concern. In this 1930s photograph, his chief driver Charles Doennig stands by a Jeffries truck on Front Street, just east of Central, in Monett. Photo courtesy of Randy Doennig, Charles' grandson. Lawson Jeffries Ads.
||Stock Certificate, Monett and Southwestern Construction Company, 1907. Signed by John R. Christiansen (?) as President and H. W. Clons (?) as Secretary. This company was a subsidiary of the St. Louis and Southern Oklahoma Railway Company, which planned to build a railroad from St. Louis to McCalister, Oklahoma.
||Monett Flood, April 10, 1908. This postcard was postmarked April 17, 1908, one week after the flood. Another 1908 Flood View. A Third 1908 Flood View.
||Temperance Parade on Broadway, June 17, 1908. The message on the back of this Logan McKee postcard says this was a "local option" parade, apparently part of an effort to ban the sale of liquor in Monett or perhaps Barry County. Temperance did not fare well in Monett. The 1914 City Directory listed 9 bartenders, 3 saloon keepers, 3 wholesale liquor dealers, 2 beer agents and 1 whiskey dealer. H.C. Cox, the Budweiser distributor, offered home service.
||Monett Chautauqua, July 7-18, 1908. The Chatauqua was an adult education movement which started in 1874 and was named after a lake in New York state. Tent chatauquas traveled from town to town and brought in lecturers, politicians, preachers, teachers and entertainers. The message on the back of this postcard from P.P. to Lora Reese in Cassville says, "Why haven't you come to Monett? The chautauqua has been fine so far. We go every session."
||Coon Holler. A Monett booth, perhaps at a 4th of July celebration. There are several American flags in the photograph, and all of the men except Leroy Jeffries are in summertime shirt sleeves. The word on the front of the booth, partially obscured by the men, might be "Gulick's," which was a Monett clothing store. This image is from an undated postcard.
||The DeChenne, Monett's Aeroplane. From about 1908 through 1911, Monett investors led by L. B. Durnil and U. S. Barnsley sought to build an airplane and were involved in at least three projects with different inventors. One project, the DeChenne, was a success and gave its first public demonstration flight at Monett on July 4, 1911, flown by Monett druggist Logan McKee. It then made an exhibition tour in Oklahoma and Texas. The link leads to a full page on the DeChenne, including newspaper articles and more photographs.
||Stock Certificate, Holbrook Helicopter Aeroplane Co., Monett, 1911. After abandoning its own airplane project at Joplin, this company became the corporate vehicle for building the DeChenne. This stock certificate was issued to Leroy Jeffries and signed by L. B. Durnil as President and U. S. Barnsley as Secretary. The vignette on the stock shows horse drawn wagons bringing ore to a mining smelter -- apparently the best the printer could do to represent the airplane and modern times. Durnil was a former Monett mayor and Barry County probate judge. He or his family owned a Monett dry goods store. Barnsley and his family manufactured cutlery in Monett.
The Barnsley Brothers Cutlery Company was a Monett business in the early 1900's. A stock prospectus published in the Monett Times in July, 1909, said the firm did "nearly $57,000 worth of business during the panic year of 1908 on a capital of $14,700." According to an inflation calculator, in today's dollars, that would be almost $1.2 million of business on a capital of $292,000. More information on Barnsley Brothers.
| Earl Jeffries. Earl Jeffries, Leroy and Mary's oldest child, was born in Monett November 27, 1889, and died in Monett April 3, 1914. He was working as a Frisco switchman at the time of his death and was killed when he fell under a moving train. This image is from a postcard. Newspaper Account of Earl's Death. Earl Jeffries Photo Gallery.
|| Frisco Yard Crew, Monett, May 27, 1912. Earl Jeffries is at left. The other three men are unknown, although a note on the back says "compliments of Paddy Clinton 5/27/12." This image is from a postcard. More Frisco Crews.
||1914 Monett City Directory. Monett was a railroad town. If there's any doubt, glance through the pages of the city directory published in 1914. It lists hundreds of men in railroad jobs: engineer, brakeman, fireman, signalman, switchman, conductor; station master, dining car chef, ticket agent, claims agent, postal clerk, express messenger; car inspector, coach cleaner, boilermaker, machinist, hostler, steel gang, section hand; works in yards, shops, round house, freight house, cinder pit. The link leads to a complete scan of the 60-page booklet.
||Martin's White Sox, 1908. Earl Jeffries is in the center of the back row with the Monett park hill in the distance behind him. The others are unidentified. This image is from a postcard. More Monett Baseball & Other Sports.
||A Photographic Fad. Earl Jeffries poses on a crescent moon. The Jeffries papers have two other photographs with different young men on different moons. Apparently every photographer had his own variation of this set, which may have been especially popular in arcades at fairs and carnivals. Ralph Turpin and Bant Roderick are on the right in their respective photographs. The other young men in the photos are unidentified. These images are from undated postcards. Ralph Turpin on the Moon.
Bant Roderick on the Moon.
||Dues Receipt, Monett Elks Lodge, 1912. Earl Jeffries' receipt.
||B. P. O. Elks New Club House, Monett, Mo. Undated postcard, but according to the Monett Times, the new club house opened April 1, 1911. The Elks' Minstrels.
||Theodore Roosevelt in Monett, September 23, 1912. In the 1912 presidential election, Theodore Roosevelt ran as independent on the Progressive or "Bull Moose" ticket against President William Howard Taft and Woodrow Wilson. This postcard shows his whistle stop campaign appearance in Monett. My grandfather Alba Banks is standing in the right center foreground wearing a dark hat with crossed suspenders showing against the back of his white shirt.
||Letha Jeffries. Leroy and Mary Jeffries had two daughters. Letha Jeffries was born in Monett July 31, 1891 and died in Monett May 16, 1968. She married Wiley Wayne O'Banion May 15, 1924 in Benton County, Arkansas. This is a studio portrait by Jenks, Monett, about 1905-1910. Letha Jeffries Photo Gallery
||Trink Jeffries. Lalah Irene Jeffries, called Trink, was born in Monett October 6, 1894 and died in Monett June 28, 1980. She married Cecil Long in Monett March 20, 1929. This snapshot shows her with an unidentifed WW I soldier, probably in Cassville about 1917-18. Trink Jeffries Photo Gallery
||Now That's a Swing!. Letha and Trink Jeffries, with their dog Cotton, enjoy an elaborate platform swing. The image is from a mounted photograph by an unidentifed photographer, about 1905-1910.
||Rock Quarry City Park Ca. 1900-1905. In this photograph with identifications and the note "City Park" on the back, Letha Jeffries is sitting at right with George Roderick beside her and Charles Woosley behind her. The boy at left is Guy Miller. The other girls are Lena Roderick and Pearl Miller in unknown order. A similar Jeffries photograph, too poor in quality to reproduce, is labeled "Old Rock Quarry City Park." Monett's current South Park was the Meador Farm purchased in 1923 and seen from the north in the background of the photograph of the 1908 Martin's Baseball Team. This quarry photograph may well have been taken there when it was still private land. The east-facing slope above today's soccer fields, often used for snow sledding, was created by fill over a quarry and cave entrance.
||Cigar Factory Girls, Monett, 1913. Ruth Roderick, a friend of Trink Jeffries, is the girl in black at front left; the others are unknown. This image is from a postcard with "cigar factory girls 1913" penciled on the back. William Fredrick opened his cigar factory in Monett in July 1909. A man named Runkel opened a factory about 1910/11. Fredrick was listed in the 1914 Monett City Directory but Runkel was gone, so these women were most likely employed by Fredrick. Fredrick's Cigar Tin, Copyright 1915. Fredrick Ads 1914.
||United States Express. The driver is not identified on this photograph, but looks like Bant Roderick, identified on other surviving Jeffries photos. Undated, but probably early to mid teens. Monett's E&F Laundry Wagon.
||Herron Westbay Frisco Photo. Harry Westbay was the Frisco claims agent in Monett from 1906 to 1932. His oldest son Herron was fascinated by trains and, as an adult, worked for the engineering department of the New York Central for over 30 years. "Photo by Herron Westbay" is printed on the back of this postcard, which may have been sold at the Frisco depot. James Henry Turpin (1865-1945) is at right. He was Mary Turpin Jeffries' brother and a Frisco employee. The other man is unidentified. Undated, but around 1910. Another Jim Turpin Photograph.
||Frisco Engineer J. J. Kenney and son Bill. Joseph J. Kenney was a prominent Frisco engineer in Monett. He started with the railroad in Ft. Smith in 1885, came to Monett in 1897 and retired in 1935. According to the 1900 Barry County Census, he was born in Indiana about March, 1868, but his parents were born in Ireland, which you might guess from his son's appearance. Many early railroaders had an Irish heritage. These images are from undated postcards, but around 1910.
||Monett Street Scene. Bill Kenney, an early boyfriend of Trink Jeffries, on an unidentified Monett street. William Henry Kenney was born October 13, 1892 in Arkansas and died February 26, 1972 in Monett. He worked for the Frisco from 1915 to 1935, then succeeded Cecil Long, Trink's husband, as city clerk of Monett, a job he held for 18 years. This image is from an undated postcard. More Monett Street Scenes.
||Barry County Officers, Courthouse Steps, November 29, 1916. Leroy Jeffries, front row left, was Barry County Clerk from 1915 to 1922. Behind him are his clerks, Mabel Messer (backrow left) and his daughter, Letha Jeffries. The others are unknown. The date is written on the back of the photo.
||Future Bank Robber Mearl Turpin, About 1917. Mearl Turpin was Mary Turpin Jeffries' nephew. He received a serious head injury working for the Frisco before World War I, which the family believed explained his later turn to crime. About 1920, he robbed a train in Kansas and spent 12 years in the federal prison at Leavenworth. Then, on July 17, 1937, he was shot to death by highway patrolmen near Marshfield, Missouri, after robbing a Springfield bank. Under a banner headline, the Springfield newspaper ran ghoulish photos of his body and the crowd staring at it in a Marshfield funeral home. More Mearl Turpin.
||Stock Certificate, Barry County Oil and Gas Company, 1921. Signed by R. O. Bodine as President and E. R. Perriman as Secretary.
||Wayne O'Banion, Mahutska Mining Co., 1923. Wayne O'Banion was born near Aurora, Missouri, March 20, 1898, and died in Springfield December 28, 1958. He married Letha Jeffries May 15, 1924, in Bentonville, Arkansas. He is shown here, at right, working for the Mahutska Mining Company in Picher, Oklahoma, in 1923. He later worked for the Railway Ice Company in Monett and managed the Jeffries garage.
||Ku Klux Klan, Monett, 1924 Membership Card. Wayne O'Banion's 1924 membership card in the KKK, with a pencil rubbing of the embossed seal. Reportedly, Letha Jeffries put an end to this. The membership wasn't renewed. More Wayne O'Banion.
||Leroy Jeffries' First Gas Station in Monett, 1923-29. After serving as Barry County Clerk, Jeffries returned to Monett in 1923 and built this gas station and garage on the northwest corner of Central Avenue and Main Street, the location of his third grocery store. He became a Sinclair dealer on May 1, 1924. The view here looks north up Central. When highway 37 was built in 1929, he built a new station on the highway.
||Jeffries at the Pumps of His First Station.
Apart from its Jeffries connection, this building has an interesting history. On September 21, 1931, after Jeffries had moved his station, Monett night watchman E. L. Hagler was shot by burglars in the building, then the Hildreth garage. Hagler died October 21, 1931, and was the only Monett police officer ever killed in the line of duty.
||Jeffries' Second Gas Station in Monett, 1929-1960s. This station was located at the north end of the Burlington Northern overpass on highway 37, about 1/4 mile north of the junction of highways 37 and 60. It opened July 3, 1929, and remained a service station into the mid-1960s. The last member of the Jeffries family to run the station retired about 1963. This photo is around 1950.
||Leroy and Mary Jeffries at the Pumps of their Second Station, 1930s. The sign in the window advertises Junge's Bread. Jeffries Motor Company Photo Gallery
||The Old Blue Buzzard, 1934. During the Depression, the National Recovery Administration ("NRA") sought to spread work around by ensuring "fair" competition. Businesses subject to its rules were supposed to display the NRA emblem, a blue eagle, on a placard in their window. Leroy Jeffries threw his away. When a government gumshoe demanded to know where it was, Leroy reportedly said, "Well, Mister, that old blue buzzard flew off to crap and just never came back." The Supreme Court eventually ruled the NRA unconstitutional. This NRA letter complained that Jeffries was giving exceptional service to certain truck lines in exchange for their business. The main firm involved was the Jones Truck Line out of Springdale, Arkansas.
||Monett's 50 Anniversary Celebration 1937. For the parade celebrating Monett's 50th anniversary in 1937, Leroy Jeffries arranged a covered wagon to emphasize his status as a pioneer merchant. In this snapshot, Monett's 1937 Mayor Clyde McKee (left) stands next to Monett's 1887 Mayor Stephen Courdin. The boys in the back of wagon are unidentified. In Another Anniversary Photo, McKee and Courdin stand with Jim Hildreth, who drove his 1907 chain-drive Buick in the parade. A Third Anniversary Photo.
||Ozark Fruit Growers Association, Monett. A strawberry crate label, undated. The Ozark Fruit Grower's Association was listed in the 1914 Monett City Directory but this label may be considerably later. I have seen the slogan "The Land of a Million Smiles" used on Ozarks brochures as early as 1930, but it may have continued in use for many years.
||Over the years, Monett was home to a number of rival fruit growers associations. This is a label from the Growers Mutual Distributing Company, probably from the 1920s (image & dating courtesy of eBay seller labelman).
||City of Monett Stationary, 1932-34. Monett's offical stationary for 1932-34 carried a full page promotion for Monett on the back, emphasizing Monett as a railroad division point and as a center for stock raising and the small fruit industry. It also added the racist comment that Monett had "6000 good citizens -- all white." This same stationary design was apparently also used by some Monett businesses. I have seen it with a Callaway Furniture letterhead.
||Letterhead, City of Monett Stationary, 1932-34. Cecil Long, Trink Jeffries' husband, was city clerk and treasurer at the time this stationary was issued. L. H. Ferguson was mayor. Note the Monett advertising symbol, Magnet of the Southwest. The Monett centennial book shows it in a photograph as early as 1925 but with a strawberry rather than a map in the center.
||Cecil Long, 1937. Cecil Long was born in the Waldensian community near Monett on October 5, 1901 and died near Eureka Springs, Arkansas, August 30, 1969. He was the son of Henry Long and Catherine Courdin. He married Trink Jeffries March 20, 1929 in Monett. After working as a fireman on the Frisco railroad, he was Monett city clerk in the early 1930s, Barry County Recorder of Deeds from 1935 to 1950 and state representative from Barry County from 1951 to 1957. He was a member of Monett's legendary 1921 football team and a locally noted outdoorsman active in the Barry County Hunting and Fishing Association and Monett Sportsman's League. Cecil Long Photo Gallery.
||Trink Long and Congressman Hall, About 1960. As the daughter and wife of public officer holders, Trink Jeffries Long was active in Republican politics for many years. Here she is second from right, standing beside Congressman Durward G. Hall in the center. Undated, but probably 1960. The others are unknown. Another 1960 Political Photograph.
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