Scott City, Mo.
I want to tell the story of the beginnings
of our three towns, Illmo, Scott City (Edna-Fornfelt) and Ancell. I lived not more than three miles from all
the happenings that were taking place in these towns. It was so exciting to me to hear all the stories about the new
people and the new buildings in town.
Scott City was as Edna then. I was fascinated with this queer little
town. Large numbers of railroad men and
their families were coming into town and there were no houses for them. So all sorts of buildings were hastily put
up for them; some were no more than sheds.
But the people lived in anything they could find until better houses
could be built. Business came,
too. They had to use makeshift
buildings at first. People had to have
food and clothing.
In 1905 I moved to Scott City, and I saw
many changes take place in the three towns.
In Scott City, know at this time as Fornfelt, The main street was divided by the railroad into the north and
south main streets. On the south side
of main street, there were quite a few businesses. A big two-story building had a grocery and clothing store on the
first floor, and the Methodist Church held services on the second floor. (Aunt Lois and Uncle Grover lived on the
south side and had a very nice house which burned down.) Then there was a butcher shop. Mr. Bollinger, who came from Grayspoint, ran
the shop. There was the shoe repair
shop of Mr. Gibson. On the street
behind South Main Street was the McGaugh Boarding House and the Losse Saloon
and Dance Hall (My mother knew
Juanita Losse, whose father was Al Losse.
May Losse, her mother, later ran a boarding house on the north side
after the other place burned down and they also had a saloon over there. Juanita married the bankerís brother and
this was considered quite a step up for her.
She was a nervous girl who had allergies. The boarding house was next door to the saloon and housed men who
frequented the saloon.)
The rest of the area had tents and
shacks scattered about. North Main
Street had a bank and a drug store and the big Baudendistel store that had
everything for sale: clothing , groceries, and furniture.. (It was Coy Drug
Store, and the Tomlinsons ran the bank.
The Baudendistel was a general store that had dry goods and groceries
and they delivered your goods. People
bought there on credit.) Also,
there were about five saloons located about the town. (There was a lot of drunkedness.)
Illmo was named in honor of the big
railroad bridge across the Mississippi River joining the two states of Illinois
Ancell was hardly a town in those
days. As a child of five years old
going with my father to the railroad depot there, my father backed his wagon up
to the freight platform of the depot to pick up a trunk belonging to my aunt. She had come to visit us. Only a few houses were built here and there
in Ancell, and it was later on that Mr. Arnold set up a business (a general
store). It is my opinion that his
brothers were in business with him then.
It was a happy time for me watching three
towns grow. Many, many changes had come
with the years. More homes, nice ones,
had been built and the coming of the big railroad roundhouse and the box
factory gave people more jobs and brought new people to the towns. All the improvements today (approximately
1983) make me remember yesteryears.
(Notes in italics
represent information and comments made by my mother as she listened to this