JOPLIN, Mo. —
Hearthstone Legacy Publishers has a website that provides biographies and maps (both free of charge) that will be useful in your search of family history in the Ozarks. The site is www.mygenealogyhound. com.
Most of the biographies are from county history books that were published by the Goodspeed Publishing Co. in the 1880s. A section of each Goodspeed book consisted of biographies of residents, usually men, who were willing to pay a fee and submit information such as their place of birth, names of siblings, names of spouse and children, area where he lived, his political affiliation, how he made a living and his religious affiliation.
When the site opens, click on "Browse by state and county" on the far right. When the next screen opens, click on "Missouri."
A list of counties is provided on the next screen. Select a county. After checking biographies in that county, use the "back" arrow to return to the list and check another county.
Notice that the list of counties also has a section called "maps of Missouri counties." The maps are from a book titled "History of Missouri," which was funded by the state Legislature in 1904. When you click on that choice, you will be given a list of counties. Select a county.
The maps are extraordinary because they show communities, waterways, railroad lines and roads as they were in 1904. The distance between towns is listed on the roads.
The map of Camden County shows the area before Lake of the Ozarks was built. Only one road entered the county from the southeast and then meandered northwest in 1904. It was joined by a road from the small community of Bagnell. The county had no railroads.
After the lake was built in that area in the 1930s, the county changed drastically. Some communities, such as Osage Ironworks, were flooded and ceased to exist. The county seat of Linn Creek was also flooded, although some families chose to move their houses and businesses to higher ground and start a new Linn Creek.
The map of Jasper County shows the railroad lines in the county in 1904. Two main hubs can be seen. Three railroad lines that stopped in Joplin were the Kansas City Southern, St. Louis and San Francisco, and Missouri Pacific. The other hub was Carthage, where one can see the routes of the White River, St. Louis and San Francisco, Carthage Western and Missouri Pacific.
Maps of less-populated counties are also interesting, because they show the location of small communities that have ceased to exist as roads changed and people moved. Some of the long-gone communities that I noticed on the McDonald County map were Alvarado, Payne, Wylie and Newville.
Suggestions or queries? Write to Frankie Meyer, 509 N. Center St., Plainfield, IN 46168 or email frankie firstname.lastname@example.org.