Howell County, named for an early settler, was organized in 1857. The county seat is West Plains. The collections listed below deal in some manner with Howell County. This list is not comprehensive, so be sure to browse collection descriptions by subject.
*Collections marked with DIGITIZED MATERIALS have additional digitized items available.
American Sunday-School Union, Field Workers' Record Books, 1917-1930, (R0565)
6 folders, photocopies
These are records of field work by F. L. Spindler and J. S. Wallace, missionaries for the American Sunday-School Union, in Christian, Douglas, Howell, Ozark, Texas, Webster, and Wright counties in Missouri. The records include a daily log of missionary activities, lists of churches, Sunday schools, and superintendents visited, and accounts of periodicals sold.
Bennett, Lyman G., Collection, 1857-1865, (R0274)
These are diaries and topographic maps of a civil engineer, member of the 36th Illinois Infantry, and civilian employee of the U. S. Army. The materials concern homesteading in Minnesota in 1857; campaigning in Missouri and Arkansas with the Army of Southwest Missouri, 1861-1862; mapping in Kansas and Colorado in 1865; and the Powder River Indian Expedition in Nebraska and Wyoming in 1865.
Broadfoot, Lennis Leonard, Collection, 1909-2005, (R1277)
20 folders, 1 ledger, 1 ovversize scrapbook
This collection consists of correspondence, personal and legal papers, ledger book, scrapbook and ephemera of artist Lennis Leonard Broadfoot. The collection predominately focuses on his artwork and publications, as well as his promotion of the Ozarks region in Dent and Shannon Counties through the creation of a national park, the Ozark National Scenic Riverways, and the promotion of the arts in general.
Civil War Scrapbook, Missouri, 1823-1868, (C1379)
The papers contain a collection of newspaper clippings on Missouri, 1823-1868, from New York and Boston newspapers, primarily the New York Daily Tribune. Most of the items pertain to the Civil War in Missouri, 1861-1862, and include maps and diagrams of the war in the west.
Coleman, W. S., Collection, n.d., (R1012)
These are labels for cans of "Rosan" blackberries and "Pal-O'-Mine" green beans, packed by W. S. Coleman at his cannery at Willow Springs in Howell County, Missouri.
Commercial Club, Minutes, 1900-1901, (C1886)
The records contain the minutes of meetings, July 10, 1900-December 10, 1901, of the West Plains, Missouri, Commercial Club.
E. C. Markham & Company, Papers, 1895-1900, (R0972)
These are papers concerning E. C. Markham & Company, a real estate agency at West Plains in Howell County, Missouri. The firm's partners, E. C. Markham and C. P. Harper, were agents for the South Missouri Land Company, which was related to the Kansas City, Fort Scott and Memphis Railroad Company.
Eleven Points River Baptist Association, Minutes, 1890-1901, (R0356)
2 folders, photocopies
These are printed minutes of the second and thirteenth annual meetings of the Eleven Points River Baptist Association, 1890 and 1901. Founded as the Elevenpoint River Association of Missionary Baptists, the association included churches in Carter, Howell, Oregon, and Ripley counties in Missouri.
Elgin, Robert L., Research Collection, 1960-1993, (R1261)
These are the research files of a civil engineer, surveyor, and historian from St. James in Phelps County, Missouri. The collection includes reports, scale sketches, and photographs concerning the restoration of various historic sites in Missouri, charcoal iron furnace sites in Missouri, and prehistoric petroglyph and pictograph sites in the Missouri Ozarks.
First Baptist Church, Mountain View, Missouri, Centennial History, 1975, (R0987)
This is an illustrated booklet containing a centennial history of the First Baptist Church at Mountain View in Howell County, Missouri. The congregation was founded as Mount Olivet Baptist Church in 1875.
First Baptist Church, West Plains, Missouri, Records, 1892-1956, (R0348)
These are records of the First Baptist Church at West Plains in Howell County, Missouri. The records include minutes of meetings, membership registers, and statistical data. Also included are minute books from the Sunday school program, 1899-1914, and the record book of the Baptist Young People's Union, 1907-1914.
First Christian Church, West Plains, Missouri, Records, 1893-1983, (R0349)
These are records of the First Christian Church of West Plains in Howell County, Missouri. included are membership, marriage, and death records, lists of officers, and minutes of meetings of the church board, 1893-1954. There are also records of the women's auxiliaries of the church, 1918-1983.
First United Methodist Church, West Plains, Missouri, Records, 1887-1988, (R0359)
11 volumes, 10 folders
These are church registers, quarterly conference reports, and administrative records of the First United Methodist Church in West Plains, Howell County, Missouri. There are records of predecessor Methodist churches in West Plains, including the Methodist Episcopal Church, South.
Fruitville Farm, Pamphlet, ca. 1910, (R0009)
Col. Jay L. Torrey of West Plains, in Howell County, Missouri, promoted Fruitville Farm and Torreytown around 1910. Small farms were to be purchased by individuals, who would live in the "ideal village" of Torreytown. The advertising brochure included testimonials by agricultural experts as to the excellent productivity of the land. Also included in the pamphlet are endorsements of the enterprise by leading citizens of West Plains and Howell County, including the Mayor of West Plains and officers of the West Plains Bank and the Ozark Commercial Congress. Farms of varying sizes were to be grouped around the "ideally planned village of Torreytown, ... where the purchaser can live in town and farm his nearby land."
Future Farmers of America, West Plains Chapter, Scrapbooks, 1955-1978, (R0658)
These are scrapbooks of the FFA chapter at West Plains in Howell County, Missouri. The scrapbooks include photographs, newspaper clippings, and miscellaneous printed material on the chapter's activities, 1955-1966. There is also a printed history of the FFA in Missouri, 1928-1978.
Grant-Davis Lumber Co., Records, 1882-1949, (R0109)
29 volumes, 9 folders
These are business records of a lumber company based in Cabool, Missouri, which operated in southern Missouri and northern Arkansas. The collection includes ledgers, cash books, trial balances, inventories, and correspondence with the St. Louis and San Francisco ("Frisco") Railroad Company regarding freight claims. Russelle Grant Simonsen, daughter of Paul S. Grant, the last president of the firm, donated the records of the Grant-Davis Lumber Company. Mrs. Simonsen also provided background information on the company and the individuals who operated it. This information has been filed in the Information Folder.
Guitar, Sarah (1892-1963), Collection, n.d., (C3391)
1.5 linear feet
Card file compiled by Sarah Guitar, reference librarian of the State Historical Society of Missouri, as a guide to county boundaries of Missouri, 1812-1929; Missouri congressional district boundaries, 1845-1933; Missouri senatorial districts, 1820-1931; and Missouri judicial circuits, 1815-1915.
Guitar, Sarah (1892-1963), Papers, 1931-1944, (C3563)
1.2 linear feet
Correspondence and miscellaneous information on Missouri compiled by Guitar during her employment, under the direction of Floyd C. Shoemaker, as Reference Librarian for the State Historical Society of Missouri. Includes one card box of reference notes.
Heart of the Ozarks Fair and Stock Show, Booklet, 1962, (R1138)
This is a "premium catalog" for the Heart of the Ozarks Fair and Stock Show held at West Plains in Howell County, Missouri, on 5-8 September 1962. Included are rules and regulations for the exhibitions and a schedule of events.
Hershey, Charley, Diaries, 1883-1888, (R0188)
These are diaries of a young itinerant peddler from Joplin in Jasper County, Missouri. Hershey and his brothers canvassed the mining towns in Jasper County and in Kansas. They made a journey down the White River in Arkansas in 1884, and went to California, Nevada, Utah, and Colorado in 1886. The collection also includes a fragment of a short story, "Goldeye's Trip to the Hills," n.d.
How, Russell A. (1906-1996) and Bernadine M. (1910-2001), Collection, 1927-1989, (C4023)
5 linear feet, 4 card files
The Russell and Bernadine How collection contains photographs, maps, printed materials, and notes on grist mills in the Ozarks region of Missouri and Arkansas. The collection also includes materials related to Missouri tourism.
Howell County Bank, West Plains, Missouri, Minute Book, 1890-1912, (R1225)
These are minutes of meetings of the Board of Directors and the stockholders of the Howell County Bank at West Plains in Howell County, Missouri. The minutes begin on 25 October 1890 and continue through 4 November 1912. They concern the elections of directors and officers, approval of loans and discounts, and declarations of dividends to stockholders. Beginning in 1896, there are annual statements of the bank's financial condition by the state bank examiner.
Howell County Baptist Association, Minutes, 1957, (R0358)
1 folder, photocopies
These are printed minutes of the ninety-second annual session of the Howell County Baptist Association, a Southern Baptist organization composed of churches in Howell County, Missouri. The minutes include the constitution, by-laws, and articles of faith, reports on church programs and finances, and statistical information.
Howell County Fair Association, Booklets, 1946-1948, (R0888)
These are programs for the Howell County Fair and Stock Show held at Peoples Park in West Plains in Howell County, Missouri. The booklets are for "county fairs" held on 4-7 September 1946 and 1-4 September 1948.
Howell County Historical Society, Church Survey, ca. 1890-1984, (R0368)
These are data forms, church histories, miscellaneous papers, and photographs collected by the Committee On Church History of the Howell County Historical Society. The papers include information on churches at Hocomo, Mountain View, Pomona, South Fork, West Plains, White Church, and Willow Springs. Non-denominational "Union" churches are also included.
Hunter, Clora Twedell, "Memories and Reminiscences of Early Days at Old Siloam," n.d., (C3539)
History of Siloam Springs, MO, written by one who spent her childhood there.
Kansas City, Fort Scott, and Memphis Railroad Company, Booklet, ca. 1890s, (R1071)
This is Snap Shots in South Missouri, a promotional booklet to encourage land sales along the Kansas City, Fort Scott, and Memphis, and Kansas City, Clinton and Springfield railroads in Missouri. The area is presented as ideal for fruit-culture and raising livestock.
Laramore, Edmond, collector, Baptist Associations Minutes, 1912-1980, (R0394)
This collection consists largely of printed minutes of annual meetings of United or Missionary Baptist associations in southern Missouri. The minutes include the records of annual sessions, committee reports, and statistical information on the associations and their constituent churches. Also included are a few miscellaneous Baptist publications.
Lawrence County Historical Society, Missouri, Baptist association minutes, 1882-1933, (R0644)
These are printed minutes of annual meetings of Primitive Baptist associations in Missouri, Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas, Ohio, and Oklahoma. The most complete series are for the Center Creek and Ozark associations of Missouri. The minutes include the proceedings of the associations, lists of churches, officers, and representatives, the articles of faith and rules of decorum, and correspondence with other associations.
Little Zion Baptist Church, Howell County, Missouri, Records, 1913-1994, (R0503)
These are the record books of the Little Zion Baptist Church near Trask in Howell County, Missouri. The volumes include membership records, lists of officers and pastors, and minutes of church meetings from 4 October 1913 through 1 June 1994. There is also an historical sketch of the church written for its centennial in 1994.
Lynch, William Henry, Papers, 1859-1905, (R0202)
16 volumes, 8 folders
These are diaries and miscellaneous papers of an educator in southern Missouri. Lynch was a native of Houston in Texas County, Missouri. He served in the 32nd Missouri Infantry during the Civil War, and was principal of schools in Steelville, St. James, Salem, West Plains, and Mountain Grove, Missouri, following the war.
Mark Twain National Forest, Historical Photographs, ca. 1900-1985, (R0485)
These are photographs copied from holdings of the Mark Twain National Forest in Rolla, Missouri. Topics include National Forest facilities and projects; forest and wood industries; water mills; lakes, rivers, and springs; mines; dams; and the Civilian Conservation Corps and Youth Conservation Corps.
Mark Twain National Forest, Local History Collection, 1930s-1980s, (R0471)
This collection was selected from unofficial files on miscellaneous historical topics, including local histories, the CCC, the YCC, the "Irish Wilderness," and the Eleven Point River. There are transcriptions of interviews with "old-timers" and Forest Service retirees.
Miami Club, West Plains, Missouri, Record Book, 1901-1913, (R0209)
This collection consists of a record book and miscellaneous papers of a men's club in West Plains, Howell County, Missouri, 1901-1909. The volume also includes records of expenses for dances held by the Pickwick Club and the Marquis Orchestra, 1911-1913, and the minutes of meetings of the "Republicans of West Plains," 1912.
Missouri Ex-POWs Oral History Project, Records, 2000-, (C3975)
Interviews with ex-prisoners of war (POWs). The records include audio cassettes and transcripts.
Missouri Extension Homemakers Association, Inc., Sacred Stones & Stained Glass Windows, Project, (C3723)
7.1 linear feet
Statewide documentation of local churches by county. Includes cultural arts reports, church histories, floor plans, architectural details, clippings, slides, photographs, and miscellany.
Missouri Federation of Women's Clubs, Sixth District, Secretary's Record Book, 1932-1943, (R1175)
These are the secretary's minutes of the annual meetings of the Sixth District, Missouri Federation of Women's Clubs. The record book includes minutes of the twenty-ninth through fortieth annual meetings, 1932-1943.
Mitchell, Ewing Young, Jr. (1873-1954), Papers, 1840-1949 (C1041)
0.4 linear feet
Papers of a Springfield, Missouri, lawyer active in Democratic Party politics, who served as assistant secretary of commerce in Franklin Roosevelt's first administration. Material concerns family affairs, law practice with emphasis on county indebtedness, Ozark land speculation, and Democratic politics on the state and national levels.
Morrow, Lynn, Collection, 1982-ca. 2010, (R1000)
296 folders, 7 cubic feet
These are the correspondence and research files of a Missouri historian. Topics include history, personages, architecture, culture, and folklore, particularly of the Ozarks region of Missouri, but also areas in the central and northern parts of the state. The papers include wide-ranging correspondence concerning research into and publication of the 19th century historical writings of Theodore P. Russell of Iron County and Silas C. Turnbo of southwest Missouri. The collection also includes a large selection of promotional publications and ephemera associated with late 20th century tourism in Missouri and Arkansas.
Neathery, Robert F., Collection, 1903-2001, (R1112)
These are the papers of Robert F. Neathery, a developer and operator of radio stations and cable television systems at West Plains in Howell County, Missouri. They consist of personal, family, and business papers, drafts and other papers concerning Neathery's memoir, West Plains As I Knew It, and miscellaneous topical files.
Nelson, Buck, Souvenir of Buck's Spacecraft Convention, 1960, (R0759)
This booklet was published in 1960 to be sold at subsequent annual "spacecraft conventions" held on Buck Nelson's ranch in Texas County, Missouri. The "conventions" were gatherings for "flying saucer" enthusiasts and persons interested in interplanetary space travel.
New Hope Baptist Church, Peace Valley, Missouri, Records, 1886-1990, (R0484)
7 volumes, 4 folders
These are records of the New Hope Baptist Church in Peace Valley, Howell County, Missouri. The collection includes minutes of meetings, membership records, treasurer's reports, and a history of the church to 1985.
Ozark Mountain Lakes and Rivers, Inc., "White River Lakes of the Ozarks," 1954, (R0713)
This is a brochure-map of the White River region of Arkansas and Missouri. Intended for tourists, it includes a map of the region, lists of sponsoring businesses, a promotional text by Charles C. Williford, and color lithographs of tourist activities and scenic views.
Ozark Playgrounds Association, Booklets and Pamphlets, 1929-1955, (R0854)
These are three booklets and three pamphlets published by the Ozark Playgrounds Association promoting "Playgrounds of the Ozarks," in an area encompassing parts of Missouri, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. Included in the booklets are geographical listings, while two of the pamphlets contain highway maps and listings of member hotels, motels, resorts, restaurants, and tourist attractions, while another contains more general information.
Politics in Missouri Oral History Project, Records, 1996-, (C3929)
1.8 linear feet
Interviews with Missouri legislators, politicians, aides, and other participants in Missouri politics. The records include audio cassettes, compact discs, and transcripts of the interviews.
Presbytery of Missouri, Minutes, 1920-1943, (C1353)
0.2 linear feet
The records contain official copies of minutes of the Presbytery of Missouri. Minutes for 1920-1939 are bound; others are in pamphlet form.
Presbytery of Missouri Records, 1817-1920, (C1354)
1.4 linear feet, 6 oversize volumes
The records of the Presbytery of Missouri contain minutes, reports, and other records of an organization composed of ministers and representative elders of Presbyterian churches in Missouri. Volumes 1-6 have been microfilmed. Volume 7 is available onsite. See also collection C1353.
Ramsay Place Names File 1928-1945, (C2366)
12 cubic feet
Card file of origins of Missouri place names, compiled by students of Robert L. Ramsay, University of Missouri professor of English.
Reed-Harlin Company, Minutes of Meetings, 1904-1978, (R0489)
These are minutes of meetings of the stockholders and board of directors of the Reed-Harlin Company, a wholesale grocery firm based in West Plains, Howell County, Missouri. The records begin with the organization of the company in 1904 as the West Plains Grocer Company, and continue through its dissolution in 1978.
Reese, Sherwood, Papers, 1878-1891, (R0380)
1 folder, photocopies
These are miscellaneous papers and family history of Dr. Sherwood Reese, a physician at Mountain View, Howell County, Missouri.
Risley, Alice Cary, Papers, 1857-1991, (R0478)
This collection consists of correspondence and miscellaneous papers of Alice Cary Risley, a volunteer nurse for the Union army in New Orleans during the Civil War, and a postwar resident of West Plains, Missouri. Risley was active in the National Association of Army Nurses of the Civil War and the Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic. She corresponded with members of these organizations and with former soldiers.
Shannon County, Missouri, Photographs, ca. 1900-1930, (R0280)
These are views of Shannon County from the collection of Lon Hogan, Winona, Missouri. Included are views of Eminence, Fishertown, and Winona showing church and school groups, a baseball team, a band, a store, and Hogan's Photo Gallery. There is also a view of the Willow Springs Bank at Willow Springs in Howell County, Missouri.
South Fork Congregational Methodist Church, Howell County, Missouri, Record Books, 1899-1950, (R0487)
These are record books of the South Fork Congregational Methodist Church in southwestern Howell County, Missouri. The volumes include membership rolls and minutes of church business meetings beginning 25 July 1899 and continuing through 21 August 1950.
South-West Railroad, Papers, ca. 1914-1916, (R0516)
These are notes, maps, and draft of a pamphlet concerning construction of a railroad from St. Louis, Missouri, to Lewisville in Lafayette County, Arkansas. Included are notes on grades, mileage, prominent individuals, and Congressional lands available along the proposed line. There are also notes on the Ozark Railroad, proposed from Liberty, Arkansas, on the White River, to St. Louis.
St. Patrick Church, Rolla, Missouri, Seventy-Five Years in Rolla, 1862-1937, (R0665)
This is a pamphlet written by Father Sidney P. Stocking and committee members of St. Patrick Catholic Church at Rolla, Missouri. It contains photographs and brief historical sketches of the parish, early pastors, nearby churches established as missions, and lists of baptisms and marriages.
Standifird, Aquilla, Civil War Diary, 1862-1865, (R0458)
1 folder, photocopies
This is the Civil War diary of a sergeant and, later, lieutenant of Co. D, 23rd Iowa Infantry. The diary covers duty in Missouri, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas, 26 July 1862 -- ca. 15 April 1865. Included are descriptions of service in the Army of Southeastern Missouri, the Vicksburg Campaign, including the battles of Port Gibson, Champion's Hill, Big Black River Bridge, and Milliken's Bend, and furlough and medical leave in Iowa.
Stevens, James A., Journal, 1878-1884, (R0192)
1 folder, photocopies
This is a journal of a missionary for the American Sunday School Union in southeastern Missouri. Stevens promoted and organized Sunday school classes in Butler, Madison, St. Francois, and Wayne counties from a base in Fredericktown.
Swastika Club, Willow Springs, Missouri, Pamphlet, 1921, (R1083)
This is a pamphlet "year book" for the Swastika Club, a woman's club at Willow Springs in Howell County, Missouri. It covers the meeting year from September 1921 through August 1922. Clara Hollenback Campbell served as president of the club, and Alice Billingsley Hammer was the secretary.
Taylor, George W., Medical Examinations, 1901-1920, (R0158)
These are records of medical examinations of Union Civil War veterans in Ozark, Taney, Howell, and Douglas counties, Missouri, and Baxter and Boone counties, Arkansas, performed for the U.S. Bureau of Pensions. Each "Surgeon's certificate" includes a medical history of the claimant, descriptions of wounds and disabilities, and recommendations for pension payments.
The Missouri Collection, (C3982)
The Missouri Collection is an artificial collection combining miscellaneous small acquisitions related to Missouri places, individuals, organizations, and events.
Torrey, Jay Linn, Scrapbook, 1893-1920, (R0218)
This is a scrapbook of Jay L. Torrey of Howell County, Missouri. Torrey was a rancher, politician, veteran of the Spanish-American War, and promoter of southern Missouri. The scrapbook includes material on the Missouri Immigration Society, the State Fruit Experiment Station, the "Good Roads" movement, relocation of the state capitol, Fruitville Farm and the proposed village of Torreytown, and the campaign for the U.S. Senate in 1918.
U.S. Work Projects Administration, "Church Bibliography, Baptist Bodies of Missouri, Associational Minutes," 1941, (C1312)
The collection contains a list of the various Baptist associations in Missouri and the dates for which their records are in existence.
U.S. Work Projects Administration, Historical Records Survey, Missouri, 1935-1942, (C3551)
302 linear feet; also available on 817 rolls of microfilm
Correspondence, records, and working files. Originally designed to survey and inventory all county government records, the survey finally included inventories of church records, manuscript collections, vital statistics, American imprints, and federal archives. Incorporates records of the Federal Writers Project for Missouri.
West Plains Business and Professional Women's Club, Booklet, 1936, (R0961)
This is the program booklet for the "First Annual Amateur Program Sponsored by the West Plains Business and Professional Women's Club" at West Plains in Howell County, Missouri. The show was presented at the high school auditorium on Thursday evening, 30 April 1936.
West Plains Chamber of Commerce, Brochures, ca. 1920s-1960s., (R0822)
These are 13 items published by the West Plains Chamber of Commerce to promote the city of West Plains in Howell County, Missouri, and the surrounding area. Included are tourism brochures, promotional brochures, and a booklet describing automobile excursions to area resorts and attractions.
West Plains High School, West Plains, Missouri, Course of Study, 1911, (R1019)
This single-sheet, four-panel pamphlet is the "Course of Study and Rules Governing Course" for West Plains High School in Howell County, Missouri. Although undated, a footnote says that "Physics will be offered in 1911 and Chemistry in 1912-13." William Melcher served as Superintendent of the school.
West Plains Public Schools, West Plains, Missouri, Program, 1937, (R0974)
This is Graduation Exercises of the West Plains Public Schools, a program for the baccalaureate, high-school commencement, and eighth-grade graduation ceremonies at West Plains in Howell County, Missouri, in May 1937. Included are names of participants and graduates.
Willow Springs, Missouri, Postcards, ca. 1930s, (R0328)
These are two postcard views of the business district of Willow Springs in Howell County, Missouri. The cards were published by the Willow Springs News and marketed by Ferguson Drug.
Wobus, Paul A., Papers, 1918-1989, (R0008)
52 folders, 89 notebooks
The Rev. Paul A. Wobus was born in St. Charles, Missouri, on 14 February 1893. His father, Reinhard Wobus, was pastor of the Evangelical Church there. Paul Wobus died on 11 December 1982 in Concordia, Missouri.
Woman's Christian Temperance Union, West Plains, Missouri, Minutes, 1949-1978, (R0116)
These are minute books of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union's chapter at West Plains in Howell County, Missouri. The volumes contain minutes of meetings, records of activities, and membership rolls from April 1949 through March 1978.
Wright, W. S., Ledger, 1881-1882, (R0117)
1 folder, photocopies
This is an indexed account ledger from a general store operated by W. S. Wright on the North Fork River in Ozark County, Missouri.