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Ina Jenkins Cameron
Interview -September 26, 2003

Joe - I transcribed our interview of October 5, 2000 and there were some questions that I have.

Joe - What was Lewis Mossbarger’s Wife’s name?

Ina - Her name was Rettie. She was Rettie McAlear. She was a Sister to my Mother Lillie McAlear Jenkins.

Joe - You said that Rettie was married in to Lewis Mossbarger in 1910 and that was the same year that your folks married?

Ina - Yes. My Mother, Lillie McAlear married John Jenkins in 1910.

Joe - You said that Lewis Mossbarger came from Ludlow.

Ina - Yes,he just worked around the Ludlow area for farmers and then he got up around Blue Mound and met my Aunt Rettie. They lived there at the old McAlear home because Rettie’s Mother and Father were gone. And that is where he died. He drowned in the well down by the barn.

Joe - And Carrie stayed there with them and didn’t marry?

Ina - Yes, they all three lived there happily. Uncle Lewis was a very quiet man. He got along with everybody.

Joe - And Carrie was the one that worked at the telephone office?

Ina - Yes. It was just across the road from the McAlear place and up a little bit closer to the school.

Joe - Was there anything south of that building where she worked?

Ina - No, not until you got down to the next home which was south of “our” place. That would have been the Haynes’.

Joe - Was that telephone office just a small building of its own then?

Ina- Well, I thought that it had several rooms in it.

Joe - But there wasn’t anybody that lived there that you know of?

Ina - No, but they might have at one time.

Joe - Well, that building was gone by the time we moved to Blue Mound in 1945. (The first building south of the school house at that time was Mr. Whited’s store.)

Joe - Then you said that there was me, my Sister, Mervin Jenkins and his Sister Leola Jenkins (married T. W.???)

Ina - My Grandfather (Charles McALear) was the Postmaster of Blue Mound at one time. I had an envelope once that Mother had saved because it had a necklace in it made by her Mother (Margaret ???). It was one that my Grandmother had made from small beads. You know they used to make them. And it was in the family trunk, but someone took it; envelope, necklace and all! And, I especially wanted the envelope because it was to Charles McAlear of the Blue Mound post office.

Joe - And you said that Lewis died after Rettie did and that she was the head of the family. And what did you mean about the statement re you, your Sister, Mervin and his Sister Leola?

Ina - The point was that Rettie and Lewis accepted us as if we were family since they didn’t have any kids.

Joe - Then you went to see them often?

Ina - Well, yes, they claimed us. But Merve and Leola didn’t always go. Leola didn’t like to leave home. It was a privilege for us to go, and they would always come to our house for Christmas. And so would Aunt Minnie. She didn’t have a family and had a small house. When other kids would talk about going to Grandmas for vacation, I was going to Aunt Retties’.

Joe - Before he died, Lewis talked about leaving the place to you and he had made arrangements to go to Chillicothe to talk to a Mr. Weatherby, a lawyer. He had something to do with the Farmers and Traders Bank in Dawn, but he was a lawyer in Chillicothe.

Joe - You said the he didn’t get to town to see Mr. Weatherby because he fell in the well and drowned.

Ina - Yes, he did fall in that particular Saturday morning that he had the appointment in town.

Joe - So the estate all went to the Kittridges. There was a dentist by that name in Chillicothe at one time.

Ina - Lewis and Rettie had a smokehouse up north of the house and my Mother, Father and me and we went there to get the spinning wheel and the old family clock out of it. And Mother said, “John, load it in the car”. And here came Mrs. Kitteridge and she said, “You can’t take that it will have to be sold and it will bring $25". And Mother said, “It won’t bring $25, it is mine and I’m taking it home with me!” And you weren’t about to stop her when she had her mind made up that the wheel was hers. And Uncle Everett McAlear (her Brother), a lawyer in Oregon had asked for the family clock. So we got it and sent it to him.

Joe - So Everett McAlear got the family clock?

Ina - Yes, but after he died I got it back and it is downstairs with the spinning wheel

Joe - Now you told me the old spinning wheel was one that was put together from two spinning wheels that were blown away in the Great Tornado of 1883 is that right?

Ina - Yes, that’s right. One of the wheels belonged to my Grandmother Margaret? (my Mom wasn’t born yet when the tornado hit, she was born in 1884 - the Great Tornado was in 1883) and the other wheel belonged to Mrs. Haynes (I don’t which Haynes it was).

Betty - Mother’s younger Brother was Lloyd and he stayed in the Dawn area. He married Shatto. He married Jean Shatto. We called her Aunt Jean.

Joe - Did her folks live down there at Blue Mound at one time?

Betty - She did at one time. Her folks decided to live there, but found that it was probably a little bit later in the 50's.

Joe - Ina, do you know where the Shatto’s lived?

Ina - No. I don’t know that area, it must have been after I moved to Dawn

Betty - Well it was just West of Blue Mound. There used to be a road going West. It didn’t have gravel, it was more like a lane. And then you turned (to the North) and the house set back off the road like a quarter of a mile.

Joe - Ina, remember that Donald Barnes I told you about? This is his map. Here is North coming in from Baxter Hill. And here is downtown Blue Mound. And the Shatto’s lived right there on that road.

Betty - Oh, yes. I was there once.

Joe - Ina, your Mother lived right there. There’s the Church (Mount Hope), so your Mother lived right there.

Betty - So your Mother lived there (Blue Mound).

Ina - Yes.

Joe - He (Donald Barnes) drew this map supposedly about the 1920's. At that time there was a Mr. and Mrs. Lewis living there.

Ina - In the 20's? No, that was Lewis Mossbarger. The McAlear’s lived there and they had four girls and four boys. The boys all scattered you know. They mostly went West. Aunt Rettie stayed and she was teaching school. Then along came this Lewis Mossbarger and they got married in 1910 (the same year that my folks, Lilie McAlear and John Jenkins, were married). Uncle Lewis I called him. I don’t know much about his family. He came from Ludlow and at that time he was just working with other farmers around the area. And then he got to working up around Blue Mound and met my Aunt Rettie (McAlear) and lived at the McAlear farm since all of Rettie’s family had either died or left.

Another McAlear girl was Carrie - She didn’t marry. And Lewis, Rettie and Carrie all lived there on the old McAlear farm. Carrie worked at the telephone cental office which was right across the road in a small building just south of Blue Mound School.

Joe - Is he (Lewis) the one that died in the well?

Ina - Yes, he is the one. It was after Rettie died (look this up in the cemetery records). She was the head of the family. They had no children and there were four of us. My Sister, myself and Mervyn Jenkins and his Sister Leola Jenkins(married T. W. ???). The Lewis’ had no children, so they just adopted us as their children. When other kids would go to their grandparents, I would go to their house cause I didn’t have Grandparents then. I never did have any. When other kids talked about to Grandmas house, I was going to Aunt Retties.

Ina - So, before she died, they had planned to leave what they had, which was very nominal, just that little 80 acres. It was probably 40 then unless they had bought some more. I don’t know, I was in high school then. He came down one Sunday and said that he had gone to Chillicothe to talk to Mr. Weatherby, a lawyer (who had something to do with Farmers and Traders Bank in Dawn), about making a will to leave it to the four of us. And Mr. Weatherby said, “I am just too busy today come back next Thursday (?). And next Thursday is when they found him dead in the well down by the barn!

Ina - So it went to the Kitteridges’ (a dentist at one time in Chillicothe) of Chillicothe. They were just distant relatives of Lewis.

Betty - So was there an accident?

Ina - I don’t know. They say he had grabbing hooks. He had a bucket down there and he had lost the rope.

Betty - And, of course living alone and there was no one there to ..

Ina - No. Somebody was going to...He had bought a car, but he had never driven a car. Somebody was going to drive him to Chillicothe that day. That is when he had an appointment with Mr. Weatherby.

ADD the after he died stuff. Especially the spinning wheel stuff and the tornado stuff.

Joe - Yeah, Donald Barnes said he had a Franklin car. He is a mechanic and he knows these things. He is a real hoot.

Betty - When did he live in Blue Mound?

Joe - He told me that they moved in 1913 or something like that and left in 1936, I think.

Ina - We got married in 1938. Then I lived in Chillicothe for 5 years.

Not in Order

Ina - And Mother and Harry Truman were the same age. So then here came a letter (re her Birthday?). My Dad picked up down at the Post Office and took it down to the house. She put it up on the refrigerator and asked her, “Aren’t you going to look at your mail” And I had a woman that wanted to buy this because of the signature on it. Anyway, she opened it and she thought that White House was a soap company! She thought it was just an old soap ad. The she said, “Oh, Ina wrote that”.

Ina - Here is an old check is says pay Charles McAlear $250. It is from Grandfather to my Grandfather in August of 1893.

Ina - Here is Mrs Lillie McAlear in Blue Mound. A card from Avalon in 1908.

Joe - Is your spinning wheel where we can see it?

Ina - Oh yea. We go down to her basement. There is my big spinning wheel. It was my Grandmother’s and they had a cyclone there in 1883 and Mother wasn’t born then. And they had all gone to the cave. My Grandmother use this all the time. The small kind was for linen, but this big one is for wool. And this is my Grandmother’s rocking chair with low arms so she could set and work the spinning wheel. Anyway the storm took it away. As a matter of fact it took the whole house away. But it didn’t tear the spinning wheel to shreds. Another woman lost hers too, so they put the two together and this is it. And the other woman said I don’t want it so she gave it to my Grandmother. They called them the wheel.

And I have the old family clock and my Mother’s chair.

If you would like to submit your recollections, please contact Joe G. Dillard at: 3535 West Arbor Way, Columbia, MO 65203 or e-mail

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Blue Mound History - Joe G Dillard
3535 West Arbor Way, Columbia, MO  65203