My son went to his dentist recently and came back with a question for me. His dentist wanted him to ask me to name the three most important events in history that affected Neosho.

My son went to his dentist recently and came back with a question for me. His dentist wanted him to ask me to name the three most important events in history that affected Neosho.
It didn't take long to come up with my list. I chose the Civil War, the Industrial Revolution and the arrival of Camp Crowder.
This is my reasoning for each event.
The Civil War, of course, affected the entire country, but locally it settled some bad feelings and made different ways of life acceptable. First, we were forced to rethink slavery. While slaves were few and far between in the area, as they were on all of America's frontiers, it did exist. Slaves were instantly freed and began making their own way in the world. Old scores between whites were settled with the end of hostilities. Law and order was much better and much more respected.
I feel that the Civil War was a "settling down" period, as we emerged from a time when laws were nonexistence or ignored. We learned to have respect for our neighbors. It was a time for taming our natural instincts, of not thinking only of ourselves and our circumstances, even at the good of the community.
The Industrial Revolution actually had two parts. It began in England in the late 1700s, primarily in textiles. What is called the Second Industrial Revolution was the one that affected Neosho. The time frame was primarily 1870 - 1890. Neosho was changed so much with the arrival of the railroads, electricity, light manufacturing, and educational opportunities.
Cities started getting brick building instead of wooden framed ones. Electric lines and telegraph lines were strung, and sidewalks no longer had to be logs or wood. Households got electricity and better means of cleaning and caring for the home. Better transportation brought more goods such as machines, farm equipment, and even pianos and large pieces of furniture.
Transportation helped our farmers and cattlemen find new markets for meat and grains. All that put more money in empty pockets.
The Industrial Revolution was basically modernizing our way of life.
For the entire country, World War II was a time of change. But the arrival of Camp Crowder, right on our doorstep, cause an eruption in our daily lives. We went from a sleepy little Ozarks town to a community of 40,000 people. We had people from many races and many cultures and traditions. For an example, men at Camp Crowder played soccer. I'm sure Neosho, at that time, had never heard of this sport.
As a result of Camp Crowder, Neosho became a community of the world, more aware of things as they were way beyond our own boundaries. We were exposed to modern equipment and modern ways of doing things. We had to learn to get along with those who didn't look like us or act like us or think like us. We were people fully involved in the world.
So, that's my answer to a local dentist.


Kay Hively writes a weekly column for the Daily News.