The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


July 29, 2013

Frankie Meyer: Book details history of Osage River

JOPLIN, Mo. — If you have ancestors who lived along the Osage River, you will want to read a new, non-fiction book "Damming the Osage: The Conflicted Story of Lake of the Ozarks and Truman Reservoir." Authors of the book are Crystal and Leland Payton.

The 304-page book is jam-packed with 435 color illustrations that include contemporary and vintage photographs, maps and artifacts. Among the topics that are discussed are farms and small towns that were affected, paddlefish, Ha-Ha-Tonka, government misdeeds, banking fraud, Native Americans who once called the area home and environmental aspects of the dams.

The lakes were built for hydroelectric power generation and flood control. They also provide recreation, as well as fish and wildlife management. Bagnell Dam, which created Lake of the Ozarks was completed in 1931, and Kaysinger Dam, which created Truman Lake, was completed in 1979. As a result of the dams, two-thirds of the length of the Osage River is now covered by lakes.

Counties that have been impacted by the 55,000-acre Lake of the Ozarks are Morgan, Miller, Benton and Camden counties. Those affected by the 55,600-acre Truman Dam are Henry, St. Clair, Hickory and Benton.

The books are $30. To purchase a book, write Less & Pen Press, 4067 S. Franklin, Springfield, MO 65807. For more info check Your library might have a copy.

Suggestions or queries? Contact: Frankie Meyer, 509 N. Center St., Plainfield, IN 46168 or e-mail





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