Vintage Ozarks

Joseph W. McClurg, 19th Governor of Missouri 

Joseph W. McClurg and partners grossed half-a-million dollars a year at their Linn Creek Big Store before the Civil War. 

The well-educated, dapper gentleman was a strong Union supporter. When hostilities erupted, rebels burned his store and warehouses. 

After the War, McClurg was elected to Congress three times and governor once. Attempting to revive his store on the river in the 1870s, he found the new railroads made his steamboat-based enterprise obsolete. 

The soft-spoken, religious, teetotalling McClurg could be considered the most distinguished figure in early Osage valley history. 

Certainly, he was the only personage in the region photographed by Mathew Brady. Joseph McClurg was governor of Missouri from January 12, 1869, to January 4, 1871.

(From Damming the Osage: The Conflicted Story of Lake of the Ozarks and Truman Reservoir. Lens & Pen Press is having a half price sale for all titles. Damming the Osage is now available online at for $17.50, postage paid.)

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