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Neosho Daily News - Neosho, MO
  • ALBERTA ANDERS: The day McDonald County 'seceded'

  • It was April 1961 when McDonald County became McDonald Territory USA.
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  • It was April 1961 when McDonald County became McDonald Territory USA.
    Resolutions were sent to the mayors of each McDonald Territory town to send envoys to participate in the government. The secession was a great publicity stunt and the public ate it up and begged for more. Overnight, the Border Guards and McDonald County became famous.
    The crack border patrol were members of the Elk River Gun Club, affiliates of the National Rifle Association. Their main duty was to guard against any influx of "revenuers" and unwanted aliens. Dressed in ridiculous mountain garb and carrying priceless old muzzle-loading rifles, the men would go down in secession history as the roughest, toughest, brush-jumping hillbillies ever to crawl out of the deep, dark caves of the Ozark Mountains. Time after time, these fun-loving, wise-cracking Border Guards appeared on television, newscasts, and private parties and blowouts to put on their act and heckle the people. Passports were printed and issued for safe passage into the territory.
    These "outsiders" were advised to have their passports ready if the Sergeant of the Guards, Jim 
Stevens, leveled his Kentucky long rifle across one arm and squinted a cold, blue eye down the barrel in their direction." From McDonald Territory, Secession 50th Anniversary," compiled by David R. Sparlin for the McDonald County Historical Society.
    Check out the rest of the story. Your 2010 Historical Society Calendar (schools in McDonald County) is available now at a discounted price of $5 donation, as is the "When Playing Baseball Was a Community Affair," for 2012. The 2011, "McDonald Territory Secession 50th Anniversary" calendars are available for an $8 donation and it accompanies the secession information for an additional $8.
    Our museum at 302 Harmon is closed for the winter, to open again in early spring but the mailing address is P.O. Box 572, Pineville, 64856 and additional information is available on the 'net' at www.mcdonaldcohistory.org. (Also available at Mustang Pharmacy in Anderson, Cornerstone Bank in Southwest City and at Pineville city Hall as well as Chamber of Commerce at 302 Harmon in Pineville.) Future plans are for an open house the weekend of Memorial Day, at the grand old courthouse on the square — should be a very exciting couple of days, not the least being descendants of Tyrone Power (star of the 1939 movie, Jesse James," which was shot on location in Pineville and other places in McDonald County) will be attending. For now our next meeting will be Jan. 20 (Sunday) at the new courthouse on "W" Highway, at 2 p.m. You do not have to be a member to attend. Come join us and use this as your opportunity to get your calendars.
    Alberta Anders writes a weekly column for the Daily News.

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