One of Newton County's most notable figures will be honored at the county museum during the month of May.

One of Newton County's most notable figures will be honored at the county museum during the month of May.
The story of Herman Jaeger, the world famous grape grower who lived just east of Neosho on what is now 86 highway, will be told in 13 colorful panels which measure 6.5 feet tall. Panels will tell Jaeger's story in chronological order. They will begin with his migration from Switzerland to Newton County in 1865 and end with his mysterious disappearance in May of 1895.
The exhibit will be sponsored by the Neosho Arts Council in cooperation with the Newton County Historical Society.
Jaeger's life revolved around his vineyards and his winemaking on his farm at Monark Springs. He was very scientific minded and worked with viticulturists all around the world developing new varieties of wine. He was largely responsible for saving the European wine industry in the 1870s and 1880s after it was affected by a phylloxera plague.
For his efforts he was awarded the Legion of Honor by the French government.
His work on his Newton County farm with grapes and wine is nicely told in these beautiful panels which will be displayed at the little schoolhouse in the local Historical Park on North Washington Street.
The official opening of the exhibit will be Saturday, April 28, but there will be a soft opening beginning Wednesday, April 25.
Besides the 13 panels, Herman Jaeger original wine press will be on exhibit, courtesy of John and Linda Smerdon of Neosho. Other early and interesting wine artifacts owned by Maurice Mailes, of rural Seneca, will also be on display. Several photographs if the Jaeger family are included in the exhibit.
The Museum Complex is open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Saturday from Noon to 4 p.m.
The museum director, Deanna Booyer, invites the public to see the exhibit. She urges school or other civic groups take advantage of this special display of a great man who lived in Newton County.
Booyer recommends calling (417- 451-4940) during the museum's open hours to schedule a special tour or a school visit.