Community of Pioneer, MO


Foot Bridge over Shoal Creek

T 25 N, R 29 W

Submitted by: Linda Stephens McCormick

Nora Eden noticed that the Poster in the window was a 1918 one and is listed on the American Red Cross site of posters.

Pioneer Twp. of Barry Co., MO, of the 1920 Federal Census gives us an insight as to who these people might be. There are 8 census pages for Pioneer. Among those listed was Sherman Francis, age 50, listed as the grocery store merchant. A few doors away was Gray McMillian who was listed as a salesman for the dry goods grocery. He was age 28, born in MO and was living with Charles O. Brown, salesman of a grocery store. Gary was listed as the brother-in-law of Charles Brown. Charles' wife was given as Tufa?, age 28, born in MO. They had a son, Lawrence, age 6, and a daughter, Lois, age 4 1/2, both born in MO.

W. S. Francis of Pioneer was in Cassville on business Monday. Mr. Francis has lately sold his mercantile business at Pioneer to Charles Brown and Bates McMillan who are doing business at the old stand under the title of the Brown McMillan Merc. Co. Aug. 7, 1919, Cassville Republican

Betty Lamberson added: Gray McMillen and his sister "Fufa" operated the store in Pioneer about the time of WWI. Gray was one of eight children of Edward Bates McMillen and Mattie Dent Speight. Gray was a veteran of WWI and sometime after the war he traded his interest in the Pioneer store for a farm on upper Shoal Creek.

More information about the McMillen family can be found in The Wheaton Echoes, published 2007. Information was via his daughter Jo Ann.

The Maynard Francis family owned it for a time. They later owned a store in Wheaton.

Betty Lamberson
Pioneer School

Pioneer School - abt. 1931 - Submitted by: Jay McCandless

1947 School - Pioneer - Submitted by: Alice Allen

In 1920, Marie O'Dwyer, age 18, was listed as the school teacher.

In 1920 Lillie Davis, age 20, was listed as the school teacher.
Pioneer Plat Map

Pioneer - 1909

There was a church at Main & Wright


December 1, 1910, Thursday, Cassville Republican, Barry Co., MO

Aged Mother Passes Away: At the ripe old age of almost eighty-three years Mrs. Elizabeth Hutchens widow of the late John B. Hutchens, died at her home at Pioneer Wednesday, Nov 23, 1910. For months her condition had been critical on account of a dropsy trouble and her advanced age.

It was a source of inexpressive consolation of this aged mother to have about her bedside during her last hours all the nine children to whom she had given birth, natured and stated out in life with a mother's blessings a mother's love. It was somewhat remarkable that of that large family of nine children all were living and all were with her when she passed away. The children are: W. L. Hutchens of Webb city; Evan Hutchens of Pioneer; Mrs. J. M. Black of Cassville; Wilson Hutchens; Mrs. Mary Allen and Isaac Hutchens of Pioneer; Mrs. Bettie Jones of Lohmarsburg; John Hutchens of Pioneer; and Miss Effie Hutchens of Pioneer who had always remained at home and gave her constant attention to her mother.

By religious family Mrs. Hutchens was a Quaker. She was a devoted Christian and exemplified in her daily life the principles, which guided religious faith. An old friend of the family, Rev. Ellwood Harvey of Cherokee County, Kansas, preached the funeral and her remains were laid to rest in the Quaker Cemetery north of Cassville.

Thursday, August 9, 1945
Landmark Destroyed by Fire Tuesday

Article from Wheaton Journal clipping collection of Mary Borushaski.

The Pioneer mill, located five miles north of Wheaton on the banks of Shoal Creek, was completed destroyed by fire, which stated about five o'clock Tuesday morning of this week. When residents of Pioneer reached the mill smoke was pouring from the room which housed an electric generator, and it is presumed that a short circuit in the electrical equipment started the fire. There was no chance to save the building from the flames.

Although the mill had not been operating for more than a year the water powered electric power plant was in operation. The plant furnished lights for the residents of Pioneer and was being sold to the New-Mac Cooperative when the plant was destroyed.

Some small items had been sold out of the mill, but most of the flour and feed manufacturing machinery used by the milling company was destroyed by the fire. Only a small amount of insurance was carried on the building and equipment.

The mill belonged to the heirs of the late J. F. Hutchens, and had been in the Hutchens family for about 54 years. The mill, which was one of the land marks of the Ozarks, was built in the spring and summer of 1868 by Tom Morton, who was noted for building dams and water mills throughout the Ozarks. Part of the original building was still standing prior to the fire. However, the building had been enlarged and re-built. It was three stories high and contained a basement.

J. F. Hutchens, who passed away March 13, 1942, came to Pioneer in 1889 and the mill has been owned and operated continuously by his family since that time until the machinery was seriously damaged by floods of recent years. In April 1941 flood waters washed away part of the buildings near the main building. The mill was again put into operation, after a lot of hard labor, and another flood in May 1943, damaged the mill and machinery even more than the 1941 flood. After the death of Mr. Hutchens, his son, George, operated the mill, but except for the light plant, the big turbines which furnished power to grind meal, feed and flour for seventy-seven years, have been idle. In early years people came for miles around to Pioneer to get a "batch" of white corn made into meal of a sack of soft wheat made into flour. Some even had to wait a day or two to wait their turn. These scenes will never again be re-inacted at the Pioneer Mill. Only the dam remains intact, but the old mill is gone forever.

Research Note: Pioneer had a newspaper called The Pioneer Miner - see excerpt in Wheaton Echoes, p. 324. This clipping is not available in the collection of Wheaton Journals, because it is from the war years that are missing in the archives. Submitted by: Betty Lamberson
Pioneer Cemeteries Mt. Olive Cemetery - In Newton Co., MO, about a mile from line.
September 11, 1913, Thursday, Cassville Republican, Barry Co., MO

Pioneer News: Dr. L. D. Freeman is going to clean up his farm on Shoal Creek with a herd of goats.

Pioneer News: The heat ran up high as 108 one day at Pioneer a few days ago.

Pioneer News: Jack Stewart and wife will go to house keeping next week in their home near Newtonia.

The mill is gone now but you can see where it was in Pioneer, MO. It was located on Highway T, which is off Highway 86 in Northern Barry Co., MO. The little village of Pioneer was once a small trading center but now there are only a few houses that remain. Darla Marbut said that the Whittington family who were in the Roaring River area ran a mill and she's wondering if it could have been this one.

Historical Spots in Old Barry County, by Nellie Alice Mills, printed 1952, page 67: "A large flouring mill on Shoal Creek was at Pioneer, southwest of Monett and not far from the Jolly Mill. Not far southwest of the mill the creek crosses over into Newton County, receives the water from Capps Creek, and becomes the leading stream of Newton County, furnishing power in the past and the present for many mills.

The history of the mill begins in 1875. John L. Morton, known as one of the leading millwrights of the region, owned it in 1878, when he sold it to John L. Prickett who was the sole owner until 1885 when he sold one-half interest to Tillman Hoover. They refitted the mill with roller process. In 1886 Mr. Prickett bought Mr. Hoover's interest but he sold one-fourth interests to three others. In 1888 the mill was owned by L. E. Prickett, R. C. Stone, and C. W. Crider.

The Hutchens brothers came from McDowell and bought the Pioneer Mill in 1889. Three generations of the Hutchens family have owned the mill and operated it. In 1884 L. E. Prickett acknowledged the town of Pioneer. Pioneer became a very popular picnic ground and school and private parties."
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