Visitors at the McDonald County Historical Museum often inquire just when was Pineville established?
I am referring today to a wonderful "A Look At the Past," a pictorial journey through McDonald County compiled and edited by Gayle Foster and Karen Utter-Jennings just this year.
They describe a war between Rutledge and Pineville for the county seat "finally relocated at Pineville in 1857…." During this time considerable ill feelings were engendered and several fist and skull fights occurred between members of the two factions. Propositions were bandied back and forth to meet at the ford of the river and "fight the battle of Buena Vista" over again, and let the result settle the matter. But this was done rather in a spirit of humor or bravado.
In the history of this county published in 1888 is the following account: "The row over the county seat in 1849 resulted in the murder of Colpin Goss by Simon Cockerill, David Finch, by Hamp Walters and in old man Finch stabbing Walters at the same time, from the effects of which he died some time later."
The west end of the county contained the largest population consequently were able to out vote the east end, but in 1857, an act of the legislature was procured providing for the location of the county seat within a certain distance of the center of the county. This left Rutledge out of consideration and Pineville, being the only point available, was selected as the permanent county seat.
In November 1872, two-thirds of the taxpayers petitioned the county court to incorporate the town, which was accordingly done. It was again incorporated in 1895. In 1899 Pineville was described: "it was now assuming new dignity as a city and had left far behind the village airs. Pineville stands on a knoll about ½ mile from Elk river or what is universally known as Cowskin river, a deep treacherous stream. Shade trees beautify the square, and together with shrubbery add to the appearance of the residence portion of the city."
This interesting book shares wonderful pictures and stories about McDonald County and popularity demanded a reprint this year, available at the museum, open on Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday as volunteers are available. The museum is located in Pineville, on the square. Go to www.mcdonaldcohistory.org for more information.
You may write to the McDonald County Historical Society at P.O. Box 572, Pineville, 64856.
The next meeting of the Society will be at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 17, at the new courthouse in Pineville.
An open invitation to all to join us and share our histories.
Alberta Anders writes a weekly column for the Daily News.