So many interesting personalities in McDonald County, today and yesterday.

I am enjoying, again, McDonald Co. Sesquicentennial Family Histories and Judge J. C. Lamson. Submitted by Natalie Armstrong, it caught my eye.

According to Natalie, “John C. Lamson was born in New York, Nov. 29, 1827. In his veins was the blood of nine old New England families, who came to America by 1637 or earlier. Most of these followed Roger Williams into the wilderness for conscience’s sake. He also had the blood of the Huguenots, who crossed the ocean for liberty to serve God. He himself was converted in Indiana, when a boy of 17. He was a Christian for 68 years. More than half of his adult life he was a Sunday school teacher…Judge Lamson was a graduate from both Oberlin College and Albany Law School. In the Civil War, John Lamson went out among the very earliest troops and served as captain of the 17th Indiana Mounted Infantry. In 1866 he came to McDonald County. He purchased land in the corner of the county. In 1870 John Lamson, surveyed and plotted the town he named, Southwest City, Mo. Pineville had all but been destroyed in the Civil War and “dog fennel” still grew in the public streets. (He) served as school commissioner of McDonald County. He was twice elected prosecuting attorney and he represented McDonald County in the legislative of 1871-72. He served as circuit judge of this judicial district from 1893-1899. No one ever blushed over any speech that he made, or any deed that he did. He was an honorable, clean-minded and high-idealed Christian gentleman.”

Is this legacy something how we would like to be remembered? “He was an honorable, clean-minded and high-idealed Christian gentleman. He always tried to bestow his charity quietly…” Today I can name several current residents of McDonald County that I would put up on that pedestal with Judge Lamson  Gentlemen like Mr. Jim Tatum, Dr. Al Chapman, Representative Sam Gaskil, retired County Clerk Gene Hall, R. David Hill DO, Mr. Paul Lewis. So many I can’t name them all but am proud of all they have accomplished to make McDonald County what it is today.

All are supporters and contributors to the success of the McDonald County Historical Society. The Society has closed the museum for winter, however, by appointment we can make it available to visitors. The number at the museum is 417-223-7700, you can leave a message or write to P.O. Box 572, Pineville, Missouri 64856, Go to for more information. The Sesquicentennial Family History, (1849-1999)  dedicated to Ralph Winfred Pogue, published by McDonald County Press, Inc can be purchased at the museum, it can be mailed as are many other local publications.

Next week I would like to share with you an interesting McDonald county story proving that crime doesn’t pay. In the meantime, as the new year opens up with opportunities for us all, think about how you would like to be remembered, just what will they write about you and me?    

Alberta Anders writes a weekly column for the Daily News.