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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Book highlights life in Oregon County

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Rosie Freeman of Thayer stands beside the mural of Turners Mill she has painted on a wall in her home. A sketch of the mill and several other works done by Freeman can be seen in a book "Life in Oregon County, Mo.," compiled by Joe and Ruth Crider of Alton. Photo by Jan Thompson
OREGON COUNTY -- Joe and Ruth Crider from Alton have compiled stories, memories, sketches, pictures and poems from people around Oregon County into a book, "Life In Oregon County, Mo."

The book took two years to put together. "I got the idea from seeing a book someone else had seen along the same lines," Joe Crider said.

There are a lot of pictures of families and old schools in the book. There is a section in the book of photos of rock houses in the county taken by the late Ermin McKibney.

One of the most fascinating features of "Life in Oregon County, Mo.," is sketches of historic places around the county done by Thayer resident Rosie Freeman.

"In the mid 1980s my husband Pat Freeman (now deceased) ran for associate circuit judge in the county. We printed out a campaign message or letter and included several sketches I had done of some of my favorite places in the county and included them in the campaign packet we handed out," Freeman said. She added, "That's the reason all these old sketches are all over Oregon County."

Included in the book are sketches of Turners Mill, Greer Springs, the old Oregon County Courthouse, the Thayer City Hall which was once the Opera House and the Thayer Train Depot.

Freeman has murals of all the sketches in her home.

In the Crider's introduction to their book, they said that they are relative newcomers to the county, arriving in the mid-1990s. They said it was interesting to find out about the people of the county and the stories they had to tell.

Joe Crider began the Alton Advertiser in 1996 and began asking for residents of the county to share their stories or stories of their ancestors.

The book is a compilation of the stories he has received to date. He said most of the stories he has received came from the northern portion of the county and the Alton area. Crider said he hopes the book will spark memories from other residents in other areas of the county and they will want to add stories from their family for later editions of the book.

The book costs $15 and can be purchased at Crider Bookkeeping, Alton City Hall and the Oregon County Extension Office, all in Alton, and Aid's Downtown Antique Mall in West Plains.

All proceeds from the book will go to the Oregon County Community Foundation Scholarship Fund.

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