RURAL HERITAGE DRIVING TRAILS
GREENE COUNTY, MISSOURI
Trail No. 5, Southeast
(Click on Map to enlarge)
1. North Star School 2. Trail of Tears 3. Josiah F. Danforth Homestead 4. Turner Station 5. Kelly Chapel School 6. Mt. Pisgah United Methodist Church 7. Roberts-Dryer Log Cabin 8. Mt. Pleasant School District
At Strafford, Highway 125 (Historic Highway 66) turns to the west. Follow it westward, and then turn left (south) onto Washington, cross the railroad tracks and follow Washington east to North Star School, District #69, which is on the left between the Jiffy-Lube and First Baptist Church. North Star School was originally on Highway YY, east of Highway 125. The building was moved to the corner of Madison and Olive in Strafford, and is currently being used as a community building by the Strafford Historical Society.
North Star School
Returning to Historic Route 66 (Highway 125), turn right (east) onto Highway 125, and follow it to FR 249. Turn right (south) onto FR 249, and continue to FR 104. Turn right (west) onto FR 104. Follow FR 104 to FR 231. Turn left (south) onto FR 231 and you will be following around the diagonal route of the Trail of Tears (the forced removal of the Cherokee Nation through this area from 1837-1839) to FR 112. Turn right (west) onto FR 112. and take FR 112 to the intersection of Highway 125. [NOTE: This intersection of Highway 125 and FR 112 was on the B.B. Cannon Route of the Cherokee Trail of Tears as it proceeded southwest through Greene and Christian Counties. Mr. Danforth’s farm was a rest stop on the Trail of Tears.]
The Trail of Tears
[Greene County’s oldest Missouri Century Farm, the Potter Dairy Farm (established 1832), is on the east side of Highway 125 as it continues south.]
Continue west on FR 112 - another historic Potter farm is on the right - and at the junction with FR 213 go left (south) on FR 213. Powell (Danforth) Spring, which is head of Pearson Creek (named for Jeremiah Pearson [Pierson], who had a water grist mill on this creek prior to 1830), is on the left on the Josiah F. Danforth homestead, (1834). The Josiah F. Danforth House, built in 1849, is on the hill east of the spring/milk house. This house has been marked an historic site by the American Revolutionary War Bi-Centennial Committee and is a private residence at this time, occupied by descendants of Mr. Danforth. In addition to being an early postmaster at Walnut Forrest, Mr. Danforth represented his district in the Missouri Legislature from 1844 through 1848. The house was occupied by Union troops during the Civil War. [There was also a Danforth School for colored students on FR 116 just west of FR 213 but it is no longer standing.]
Josiah F. Danforth House
Continue west on FR 213 and at the junction of FR 213 and FR 116 Danforth Cemetery, established in 1857, is on the left. Turn left on FR 213 and take the half-circle drive through the west side of this cemetery for it was the original road which separated the cemetery from New Providence Church or Danforth Church, established in 1837, which was immediately west of the rock entrance to the old cemetery. Danforth Church burned in June 1955 and was not replaced; however, there is a stone monument in the cemetery recognizing this church.
(click here to see the History of the Danforth Church)
Continue south on FR 213 [the Lecompte log cabin has been moved and is on Pearson Creek by the spring at the Bonebrake Hereford Farm at 1961 North FR 213] to Highway YY (East Division Street).
Turn left (east) on Highway YY (East Division Street), cross highway 125 and continue east. North Star Baptist Church is at 8280 East Division. Continue on Division (Buena Vista ranch will be on the left) which will turn left to become FR 134 and then FR 134 will turn left. Follow FR 134 to Shiloh Cemetery which is on the Greene-Webster County line. University Club Historical Marker No. 20 (marking the location of the first religious service in the Greene County Area) is on the pavilion at the Cemetery. Turn around at the cemetery and reverse your route. Buena Vista ranch is on your right. When you reach Highway 125, turn left (south). Go south on Highway 125.
On the left is the old Gulf Pumping Station just north of a sub-division. Continue south on Highway 125 (The W. K. Blount Farm will be on the left at the T-intersection with Cherry Street) about 2-1/2 miles and turn right (west) on FR 138. The first farm house on the north side is the original home for the McCraw Missouri Century Farm dating from the 1830s.
(click here to see more information on the McCraw Missouri Century Farm)
Smith Cemetery is on the north and McCraw Cemetery is on the south side of the farm road with steps going up from the farm road to each cemetery. Continue west on FR 138 through the McGraw and the Arthur Galbraith Missouri Century Farm dating from 1841.
Continue west on FR 138 to FR 205 [you will be following Taylor Creek as it winds around] to FR 205, a 4-way stop. The red house and barn on the northwest part of this intersection was the home of Lucille Webb, a journalist who was present in the Springfield Newspaper office in Springfield at the time of the Young Brothers Massacre. This farm dates from the 1860s. Turn left (south) on FR 205. The Haden Log Cabin, built in the 1860s, is contained within the house on the east side at 934 South FR 205. The red barn is still standing. Continue south to Highway D.
Turn left (east) on Highway D (East Sunshine) to FR 146/148. Turn right on FR 146/148 (after the junction of Highway D with Highway J) and then right on FR 148 to Turner Station. Daniel and Josephine McCraw Turner opened a grocery store and post office on the Old Rockbridge Road in Turnersville in July 1860. Now known Turner’s Station, the store and post office have withstood the impact of wars, trains, roads, and economic bad times for over 150 years and continues to be owned and operated (Deli open Monday-Friday 8-6 and Saturday 8-3) by descendants of the original settlers.
Continue east on FR 148 from Turners Station. The area south and west of the railroad crossing was a Delaware Indian village during the early 1800s. Continue on FR 148 to Highway 125/D. This is Oak Grove Heights and has a convenience store and Deerfield General Store. Turn right (south) on Highway 125/D. Turn left (east) on D Highway to FR 243. Turn right (south) on FR 243 and follow it through the Blount Palmetto Farm and Palmetto Cemetery. Palmetto was a thriving early railroad community and at one time had stores, a post office and school.
Turn right (west) on FR 170. You will go through Felden Century Farm, established in 1864. Go west on FR 170 to Highway 125. Notice the large farm with white fences in the northwest part of this intersection. It was part of the Gary Davis Century Farm (1883) which has been sold but is still a grass/hay farm. Turn left (south) on Highway 125. The two Wilkerson Century Farms (1859) are on the right across from Logan-Rogersville Football field.
The intersection of Highway 125/US 60 was a community known as Cody because at one time Buffalo Bill (W. F. Cody) camped here with his Wild West Show while performing in the area.
Turn left (east) on US 60 about one mile to FR 241. Turn right (south) on FR 241. The Cole/Alford Missouri Century Farm (est. 1884) is on the left at 5454 South FR 241. Kelly Chapel School, District #120, is on the left at FRs 241 and 185. This rock school was built in 1932 but only used for ten years before being reorganized as part of Logan-Rogersville School District R-VII in 1957. It is now a private home.
Kelly Chapel School
Turn right (west) on FR 184 and it will curve south as FR 237. Follow FR 237 to FR 186. Turn right (west) on FR 186. After crossing Highway 125, the Robert Miller Missouri Century Farm (1858) is on the right (north) side. Smith Cemetery is on the left (south) side. Center Point Church of Christ will be on the right (north) side. Cross over State Highway NN and continue west on FR 186. Mentor School is in a field on the right (north) and Mentor Mercantile Store is on the left. Mentor Baptist Church (est. 1907) is at the intersection of FRs186 and 193 and directly opposite is the Kinser Missouri Century Farm (est. 1891). Mentor was a village established in the 1880s.
Turn right (north) on FR 193 to Highway US 60, a divided highway. Turn right (east) on US 60 and go about two miles--the Werth Johnson Missouri Century Farm (1899) is at 6103 East Highway 60 (north side of road)-- and then turn left (north) on FR 213. (The Rogersville City Limits sign is located at this intersection. After a short distance notice the large estate on the west side of FR 213.
Turn right (east) on FR 170 and then left (north) on FR 219. Turn left on FR 164 (Crossroads Store is at this intersection) and go west on FR 164 to the stop sign. Continue west on FR 164 and Highway J about one mile through several large scenic farms and then continue on west on FR 164. At the stop sign with FR 166 turn right (west) and cross over Kinser Bridge (Historical marker placed at the west end of the bridge by the Captain Robert Napier Chapter of Colonial Dames of the 17th Century) and turn immediately right (north) on FR 193 which follows James River. The George Crighton Missouri Century Farm (1905) is on the west side of this road. This road will become FR 156 going west.
Turn right (north) on Forrest Heights to FR 148 which is just before Highway D (East Sunshine). Turn right (east) on FR 148 and immediately after going under the railroad trestle turn right on FR 193 and follow this road in an easterly direction. Riverwalk road on the right has a footpath which leads to the Marker of Schoolcraft’s Camp which reads “Henry Schoolcraft, geologist, explorer and ethnologist, camped here Jan. 1, 1819. Site of first lead mine and primitive smelter in Southwest Missouri. Also of Osage Camp. Marker erected 1921 by Rotary Club of Springfield, Missouri.” [Note: this marker may not be there] [The Ray Pursley Missouri Century Farm, est. 1840s, was outside the curve of FRs 193-199.]
Continue east on FR 193 which turns left (north) as FR 199. Follow FR 199 north to Highway D. [note the Clydesdale horses on the farm on the right at this intersection. The farm on the northwest corner of the intersection with the blue house on the hill was the Shirley Webb Missouri Century Farm (1843) which has been sold.] Turn left (west) on Highway D a short distance to Royal Dr.
Turn right (north) on Royal Dr. and to FR 144 and then follow FR 144 west left as it winds around. Please drive slowly on this road. Notice there is still a farm on the left at 4760 East FR 144. There are many large homes in this area. Mt. Pisgah Methodist Church is at 4515 East FR 144 (FR 144 becomes Catalpa Street inside the city) on the right. The Mt. Pisgah Campgrounds, site of the church, were used by early settlers and freighters on the Rockbridge Road. The church was organized on the grounds in 1844 and the current structure was built in 1888 and has been remodeled twice but still serves as a church. Local history states that Mt. Pisgah Campgrounds were a favorite stopp ing place for Laura Ingalls Wilder on her way home and that she had the inspiration for some of her stories from this campground. The area to the west was the village known as Mumford.
Mt. Pisgah Methodist Church
(click here to see the History of Mt. Pisgah Methodist Church)
[Note: Covering various areas, but near Mt. Pisgah is the Pearson Creek Historic and Archeological District, on the National Register of Historic Places, which actually includes 20 archaeological sites; prehistoric sites: Phelps Diggings, Pearson Creek Mines (i.e., Gem Mines, Suffolk and Eversal Shafts; Daisy Mine; Lewis and Benz Mines; Meyers Mine; Wolverine and O’Day Mines; Nathalie and Kodak Mine; Kershner Cemetery; Schoolcraft’s Camp and Marker; and Simpson Cemetery.]
Turn around at the church and go left (east) on FR 144, cross the bridge and immediately turn left on FR 193. Go north on FR 193. The Roberts-Dryer Log Cabin built by William Roberts in 1837 is at 1020 South FR 193 and Roberts Cemetery is farther north on the east side.
Roberts-Dryer Log Cabin
Continue north on FR 193 to FR 136. At this point, you can (1) turn left (west) on FR 136 which becomes Cherry Street, and proceed past Hickory Hills Country Club to Glenstone; or (2) continue north on FR 193, cross over FR 132, and continue north past the Redmon/French Farms on the right at 1224 and 1228 North FR 193 to East Division Street. Turn left (west) and go through Wild Horse Subdivisions and (on the north side) the Jerry French Missouri Century Farm at French Lane to Highway 65.
Trail No. 5 is approximately 63 miles and takes about 2-1/2 hours to drive without stops.
This is the end of the tour of Eastern Greene County and the end of the Tour. We hope you have enjoyed learning more about Greene County’s rural history.
Mt. Pleasant School, District #117, at 6163 South Farm Road 175, is southwest of Highway 65 and Evans Road. Founded and built in 1881, Mt. Pleasant operated until 1953. The original school had a bell tower. It was reorganized as Kickapoo R-VIII in 1951 and reorganized again in 1954 as part of the Springfield R-XII. The building sits behind a home built on the site of the school.
Mt. Pleasant School
*A Missouri Century Farm is a farm of at least 40 productive acres which has been owned by the same family for 100 or more years. This program was started by the University of Missouri as a bi-centennial project in 1976 and continues to this day with enrollment each year during the months of April and May through the local extension services. There are about 100 Missouri Century Farms in Greene County.
Jackie Warfel would like to thank Steve Bodenhamer, Vera K. Chandler, Rose Cole Jones, Sherry Piland, Bonita Blades Pipkin, Patricia Sneed and Ryan Zweerink for their help with proofing the routes; Tom Coots, Greene County P&Z, for the map insert; David Burton, a former Greene County Historic Sites Board member who researched all of Greene County's rural schools; Robert Newmann and his great staff at the Greene County Archives; and Dr. Steve Illum of Missouri State University Department of Recreation and Leisure, and Lauren Breedlove who put these trails on the web.