The McDonald County Historical Society enjoyed a great meeting Sunday at the new museum, located on the square in Pineville.

The McDonald County Historical Society enjoyed a great meeting Sunday at the new museum, located on the square in Pineville.

Reports from the display committee (as well as a tour and stories from that committee) and a report from the research committee made it very interesting afternoon. All members ($15 annual membership) are receiving their quarterly newsletter and are reminded that nominations are in order (nomination forms in the newsletter) for the election coming up in September.

A check of publications available at the Emporium in this wonderful old Courthouse Museum is a book compiled by Larry A. James in 2006 titled “From Camp Crowder to Crowder College” (Newton County Historical Society) with great pictures. If anyone from your family ever worked at Camp Crowder, you just might find them pictured here.

According to author James “most families in the Neosho and Newton County were affected by construction at the post, many individuals had an opportunity to work at good wages for the first time in many years. In all, 20,000 workers were needed for the construction of the camp, with most of the work force coming from the immediate area…. Local businesses profited and many jobs, for both men and women, opened at the camp. More jobs and opportunities resulted from the second opening of Camp Crowder. Nearly one half million individuals have played a role in the Crowder area during the 65 years since construction of Camp Crowder began in August of 1941.”

My father walked out from our farm and caught a ride with Miss Neff, who drove the few short miles from the New Bethel/Splitlog area making it possible for him to enjoy good employment – employment that, for the first time in decades, afforded an income never imagined. With bad news from the war, this was a windfall for those who were turned down by the draft board.

With time, Camp Crowder, with support from our local dedicated citizens (thank you, Mr. Jim Tatum) became a community college, again an amazing opportunity for the local people. Today, Crowder College, again with the support of dedicated citizens and Mr. Tatum, are bringing educational opportunities to McDonald County, just north of the Missouri/Arkansas border.

If you get a chance, do stop by the McDonald County Museum on the square and browse through any one of Mr. Larry A. James’ books. We hope you will visit us, open Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday afternoon. If you would like to write us, just address McDonald County Historical Society, P.O. Box 572, Pineville, 64856. You will find dedicated volunteers ready and willing to visit with you and share our histories.

Alberta Anders writes a weekly column for the Daily News.