Several of us have been working on a ceremony to be held Aug. 5 at Tipton Ford. That day is the 100th anniversary of the Great Tipton Ford Motor Car Wreck and we are going to remember this tragedy with a stone marker.
This past week I have had the privilege of talking with a woman whose uncle and aunt died in the wreck as they were coming home from Emancipation Day activities in Joplin. I have also contacted two sisters whose grandmother was one of the few survivors in the accident. These three people live in three different states but they are planning to come for the event and possibly bring their families. They promise to bring pictures of their family members.
These are just a few of the people who will be at the ceremony in August. I hope many of my readers will be there, especially if they had relatives on the trains.
We have chosen a stone and the ceremony is planned, although at this early date the agenda is subject to change. The stone will be set on the grounds of the Undercliff Restaurant in Tipton Ford where the ceremony will be.
I know it will likely be hot on Aug. 5, but the outdoor ceremony will be short. Afterwards, we are invited to the George Washington Carver National Monument for a light lunch under air conditioning. The monument is just a short drive from Tipton Ford. The lunch will be very simple and informal and people will have a chance to get acquainted. Maybe a few people will be willing to tell their stories about relatives who died in the train wreck.
Thanks to the Carver Monument who is offering their big room for the reception and a monetary donation toward the stone. I expect others will also contribute to this marking of a very important piece of local history.
The tragedy that happened on Aug. 5, 1914, is captured in a mural at the Neosho United Methodist Church. The mural was painted by Anthony Benton Gude, grandson of painter Thomas Hart Benton, who was born in Neosho.
In another matter, the Music Fest at the Neosho National Fish Hatchery is getting very close. I understand that eight bands will be performing from moon until 9 p.m. on May 24. The event is free, but donations will be accepted and several things will be auctioned off with money going to the Wounded Warriors. I hope your favorite band is performing and you will come to at least part of the Music Fest. I also hope you make a donation for our Wounded Warriors.
Music Fest is sponsored by Walgreens of Neosho, with the hatchery and the friends group offering support, along with several businesses. The musicians are giving their talent without pay, and I am sure they want to perform for a big crowd. Be sure to bring a lawn chair or blanket to sit on.
Kay Hively writes a weekly column for the Daily News.