This is a story about my great-grandfather, George Rothwell, who made it to Howell County on December 7, 1871. He was the father of my grandmother, Faye, and the grandfather of Elinore, my mother.

Gideon Rothwell, from Moberly, Mo., was a Missouri congressman who, in 1892, was president of the MU Board of Curators after the Academic Hall fire, and led the charge to save the columns from being torn down. Gideon was my great-great-uncle.

I was born and raised in West Plains, Mo., in Howell County. I have seen the River Hills Traveler many times and would like to share some of the stories I have about this area, including three great-grandfathers who lived here in 1880.

But first, I’d like to share a story with you taken from “Howell County, Missouri: Post Offices, Postmasters, and Their Communities, Volume Two” by Gerald and Charlotte Groves.

George Rothwell – Trips to the Mills  (Lived at Lost Camp)  Five miles North East of West Plains

“We used to go to a mill all the way from 15 to 20 miles, generally several of us fellows would go together.  There is one special time that I want to tell about.

“On one of our trips to the mill our party consisted of Ike Elledge, Dick Morgan, William Webb and myself. We went over on North Fork known as the Old Pease Mill. The distance was 20 miles or more, so of course with our oxen we could not make a round trip, and had to camp, which was fun for us, also a much needed rest after walking and pounding our steers along. We did not know much about horses.

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