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BUSINESSES
Prepared by Joe G. Dillard

Even though Blue Mound never became much more than a hamlet, it did, as many more thickly populated communities throughout Missouri, have some businesses. Of course one of those was a grocery store, the hub of activity for the locals. I could find no evidence of a grocery store in Blue Mound before 1890. There were two of them listed for that time period (see below). From that time on businesses sort of flourished and then dwindled away as roads were improved and automobiles were developed. It appears that the peak years for businesses in Blue Mound was the period 1893-1894.

When I moved to Blue Mound in the mid to late 40's and early 50's, there were only a couple of businesses; a general store owned and operated by Luther Whited and a rock quarry owned and operated by M. M. Green out of Carrollton, Missouri.

I found information on the earlier Blue Mound businesses in the following books, which I have summarized below in order:

  1. Not Much of Anything: A History of My Life, by Johnny Hoyt, Undated.

  2. Missouri State Gazetteer and Business Directory. A series of books variously titled. Books were only available for the years 1860, 1876-77, 1879-80, 1883-84, 1885-86, 1889-90, 1891-92, 1893-94, and 1898-99.

  3. Wallin’s Directory of Livingston County, Missouri, 1899-1900, July 1899, Wallin Directory Company, 204 pp. (Bound with Wallin’s Chillicothe City Directory for 1899 - 1900.)

1. Johnny Hoyt, in his book, Not Much of Anything: A History of My Life, had this to say about the early businesses in Blue Mound (no dates listed).

“In Blue Mound at one time there was a drugstore. You could buy a suit of clothes and it was said you could buy what they called horse-trotting bitters. I remember when W. J. Good had the store. One cold morning there was quite a crowd in the store. John Brown was supposed to be buying a pound of powder. There was one old man warming over the stove that could barely walk on account of rheumatics. There was a disagreement over the weight of the powder. Finally, Brown said, “I will throw it in the stove.” He kicked the stove door open and in went a package of oatmeal. Out went all but one man; the old man with the rheumatism was the second man out. They asked the man that didn’t run why he didn’t run; he said he didn’t think in time. They said it cured the old man’s rheumatism.”

“The MFA organized exchanges in most small towns – Avalon, Dawn and Blue Mound. At Blue Mound we went a little farther and bought the General Store. Also MFA had what they called a cold storage. When the depression struck, the exchange at Avalon, Dawn and also the store at Blue Mound, went by the board..”

“As I look at Blue Mound, at one time there were two stores and a drugstore where we people on Saturday nights would gather. This area now is a rock quarry. There have been two houses burned in the last years, merely to get them out as the rock under the houses is more valuable than the houses.”

2. The following information was excerpted from the series of books variously titled “Missouri State Gazetteer and Business Directory” housed in the Missouri Historical Society Reference Library at the University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri. Parenthetical information was added for clarification.

1860 - There was no information about Blue Mound listed in this volume. No Post Office was listed on Page 739 (which is consistent with information received from the U.S. Postal Service). No businesses were listed.
1876-77 - On Page 94, Blue Mound was listed as: “A discontinued post office in Livingston County”. However, on Page 13, Blue Mound is listed as having a post office. The USPS information indicates that there was not a post office at that time. The post office was discontinued on December 28, 1875 and reestablished on May 24, 1878. No businesses were listed.
1879-80 - On Page 120, Blue Mound was listed as: “A discontinued post office in Livingston County”.
1881-82 - Missouri Historical Society Reference Library does not have this volume.
1883-84 - Listed as Volume IV. On Page 85, Blue Mound was listed as having a post office. On Page 174, the following appears: “Blue Mound. Is situated in a strictly agricultural district in Blue Mound township, Livingston county, 12 miles south of Chillicothe, the county seat and nearest railroad approach and bank location. Land from $5 to $20 per acre, with abundance of timber, red sandstone, rock and blue limestone. Mail tri-weekly. Lewis Johnson, post master” (which agrees with U.S. Postal Service information).

 The only “business” listed was William H. Marker, Insurance Agent.

Blue Mound was shown on a map in this book.

1885-86 -

Listed as Volume V. On Page 157, the following appears: “Blue Mound. Is situated in a strictly agricultural district in Blue Mound township, Livingston county, 12 miles south of Chillicothe, the county seat and nearest railroad approach and bank location, and 235 miles northwest of St. Louis. Population, 20. Mail tri-weekly. Lewis Johnson, post master” (which does not agree with U.S. Postal Service records that show Charles McAlear as post master beginning on April 30, 1884 and Mary C. Rockhold on May 1, 1885).

The only “business” listed was William H. Marker, Insurance Agent.

1889-90 - Listed as Volume VI. On Page 164, the following appears: “Blue Mound. Is situated in an agricultural district in Blue Mound township, Livingston county, 13 (the volume before listed this as 12) miles south of Chillicothe, the county seat and banking point, and 7 from Dawn, the nearest rail approach. Population, 25. Mail tri-weekly. R.S. Haynes, postmaster” (which agrees with U.S. Postal Service records that show Ruben S. Haynes as post master beginning on February 2, 1888).

Businesses listed were:

  • grist mill - H. M. Grace

  • general store - Grace and Haynes

  • general store - D. P. Mayberry

1891-92 - Listed as Volume VII. On Page 165, the following appears: “Blue Mound. Is situated in an agricultural district in Blue Mound township, Livingston county, 14 (a mile further than what the last volume listed and two more miles than the earlier volumes) miles south of Chillicothe, the county seat and banking point, and 7 from Dawn, the nearest rail approach. Population, 50 (double that listed in Volume VI). Mail tri-weekly. D. N. Morris, postmaster” (which agrees with U.S. Postal Service records that show Drury N. Morris as post master beginning on January 6, 1890)

Businesses listed were:

  • grist mill - Good and Sullivan

  • farmer - J. S. Burner

  • dry goods - G. H. Carr

  • grocer - W. J. Good

  • stock raiser - Charles McLean (most likely McAlear)

  • druggist and grocer - D. P. Mayberry

  • dry goods - D. N. Morris

  • blacksmith - O. Munroe

  • stock raiser - James Smith

  • grocer - J. W. Sullivan

1893-94 - Listed as Volume VIII. On Page 165, the following appears: “Blue Mound. A village on Mound Creek, in Blue Mound township, Livingston county, 14 miles south of Chillicothe, the judicial seat, and 8 (earlier volumes listed this as 7) from Dawn, the nearest banking and shipping point. Stage daily to Dawn and Lina (Tina?); fare 25 and 75 cents respectively. Population, 60 (the most ever listed from this source). Mail, daily. D. N. Morris, postmaster” (which agrees with USPS records that show Drury N. Morris served as post master from January 6, 1890 to January 12, 1903).

Businesses listed were:

  • grist mill - Fleshman and Barnes

  • physician - G. W. Allaman

  • hotel - D. N. Barnes
    (From Page 10 in Johnny Hoyts’ book - “.., and a hotel one mile west of Blue Mound in a direct line from the southwest toward the Utica crossing on Shoal Creek northeast of the town of Dawn, a route that people took on their way to the west.”)

  • huckster - G. H. Carr

  • grocer - W. J. Good

  • general store - Good and Sullivan

  • livestock - L. M. Haynes

  • teacher - Charles Kern

  • fruit and livestock - Jonathan B. Knox

  • woos dealer - George McAlear

  • livestock - Charles McLean (likely McAlear)

  • Barber - Jacob Meade

  • dry goods and notary public - D. N. Morris

  • drugs and justice - John L. Russell

  • blacksmith - O. Munroe

  • stock raiser - James Smith

  • grocer - J. W. Sullivan

  • dentist - Stroabough

1898-99 - Volume unknown (information from an incomplete photocopy). On Page 170, the following appears: “Blue Mound. Population 25 (this would be a drastic decline from the 60 people reported in the 1894-95 volume). On Mound Creek, in Blue Mound township, Livingston county, 14 miles south of Chillicothe, the judicial seat, and 8 (earlier volumes listed this as 7) from Dawn, the nearest banking point. Stage daily to Dawn and Lina (Tina?); fare 25 and 75 cents respectively. Population, 60 (the most ever listed from this source). Mail, daily.” (No postmaster listed but U.S. Postal Service records show that Drury N. Morris served as post master from January 6, 1890 to January 12, 1903).

Businesses listed (there appears to have been a most precipitous drop in the number of businesses as only one was listed):

  • general store - W. J. Good

1900 - (No further volumes available from this source at the Missouri Historical Society Reference Library, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri.)

3. Wallin’s Directory of Livingston County, Missouri, 1899-1900 , July 1899, Wallin Directory Company, 204 pp. (Bound with Wallin’s Chillicothe City Directory for 1899 - 1900.) provided this one additional bit of information.

1899-00 - On Page 181 the following appears: “Blue Mound. Is situated seven miles se of Dawn and about seven miles sw of Avalon and 14 miles s of Chillicothe. D. N. Morris is postmaster. Population 50

Businesses listed:

  • General Merchandise--E. B. Brown

  • Blacksmith--Thomas Hanes

  • Barber--Jacob Meed (likely Mead)

  • Postmaster and Notions--D. N. Morris

The history of businesses from 1900 until 1945 is unknown to me. Jim Jones of Dawn, Missouri told me in an email dated June 3, 2002, “I have little information on Blue Mound other than what is in the various county history books. I don't live in Chillicothe, but about 2 miles west of Blue Mound. The site of the town is clearly visible from my home. I remember watching from my home the remaining store burn in the 1940s. Now there is nothing but the vacant church and the old school building, and a large rock quarry.”

Later Jim told me in an email dated June 5, 2002, “Warren Hoyt confirmed that it was Luther Whited that had the store in Blue Mound. Warren added that Whited tried to establish a dance hall, but there wasn't enough local interest to make it successful.” (This was the infamous Blue Moon that Mr. Whited and some of his neighbors built just south of his store while we lived there. It was a place to play music and dance.)

As of 2004, the only business left in Blue Mound is the rock quarry owned and operated by Hunt Enterprises out of Kansas City, Missouri.


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Blue Mound History - Joe G Dillard
3535 West Arbor Way, Columbia, MO  65203
573-445-5377
E-mail:  info@bluemoundhistory.com