Elk River Basin - History
Early Settlers |
Civil War |
The History of Rivers' Names |
Native Americans traversed the Missouri portion of the Elk River Basin to hunt, no
permanent residences were established. However,
many Native American tribes traveled through and established homes in parts of the basin
within Oklahoma. In 1907, Ottawa County was
created from land within the Cherokee Nation. It
was named after the Ottawa Indians, a name that comes from the Algonquian term meaning to
buy and sell or trade and traffic. More Native American tribes
have historically inhabited Ottawa County than any other county in the United States.
After the American Revolutionary War, Delaware Indians
from the east settled in the Spavinaw hills of what would later become the
district of the Cherokee Nation. This area
later became Delaware County
settlers of the area established farms. They
drove their hogs and pigs all the way to
Louis to market, where they often brought several hundred dollars.
Horses could be sold in southern markets for $75
to $100 prior to the 1900s.
The first people of European descent that
settled in Newton
County came from Arkansas
around 1830. From 1941 to 1946, Camp Crowder military base was
established south of Neosho MO and was used as a
training area during World War II. This base
greatly increased the population of the Elk River Basin.
The Battle of Pea Ridge
Fought on March 7th and 8th of 1862, the battle of Pea Ridge was a crucial
battle for the Union, as control of Missouri
was at stake. Led by Brigadier
General Samuel R. Curtis, 10,250 Union soldiers
faced 16,000 Confederates, who were led by Major General Earl Van Dorn, Brigadier General
Benjamin McCulloch, and Major General Sterling Price.
In addition to rebels from the south, 800 Cherokees fought for the
Confederacy. Soldiers from
fought among the ranks of the Union Army, many of which were of German descent.
Union forces won this battle and continued their
more information and photos, visit the links at
famous native of
was George Washington Carver. Born into
slavery and orphaned very young, George Washington Carver was never certain of his
birthday, although he believed his birthday was in January of 1864.
George had an enthusiasm to learn everything he
could and worked his way through elementary school in
while living with a African American couple. He
after finishing school in
and graduated from a high school in
George Washington Carver later received his
Bachelors of Science and Masters degree from
He continued as a professor at the Tuskegee
While there, his work focused on helping southern
farmers learn how to better manage their crops by planting peanuts.
He is famous for developing uses for peanuts,
including peanut butter. He lived frugally and
refused to accept salary increases. He established a fund to support young African
Americans pursuing science. The fund would provide sixty thousand dollars to the
university after his death. His contributions
to agriculture has impacted the future and will for years to come.
Today there is a national monument at his boyhood
home in Diamond, MO. For more information about George Washington Carver, visit http://www.nps.gov/gwca/expanded/index.htm
Walton is the founder of Wal-Mart discount stores. Born
he attended Hickman High School in
MO, and went on to graduate from the
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During World War II, Sam Walton served in the
military within the
In 1945, he bought his first franchise retail
store. In March 1951, he opened the first
store of his own, Waltons 5 &10. By
1962, Walton owned 16 stores and created the Wal-Mart franchise.
Today, Wal-Mart employs over 600,000 people and is
read more about Sam Walton, visit the links at http://www.time.com/time/time100/builder/profile/walton2.html
History of Rivers' Names
For histories of rivers in the Elk River region, visit
Buffalo Creek is believed to be named by the first Catholic missionary to traverse this area in
search of American Indians. Legend has it that
when a rainstorm came upon his group one day, the river rose and the party was unable to
cross. One member of the missionary party killed a buffalo and preserved its skin as a robe.
Creek is believed to be named after John Patterson who settled near its waters in 1833.
South Indian Creek
Indian Creek is named after an Indian camp that was located along this rivers banks
long before the arrival of European settlers.
North and South Elkhorn
The names of these streams originated because early settlers found remains of elk horns near
the banks, evidence of past grazing by these animals.
An early settler, John Roseberry, supposedly found a set of elk antlers that
were as tall as a man.
Creek was named after John B. King, an early settler that was a lawyer and involved in saw
was named after Phillip Michael, the first settler on the stream, who farmed there in
Big and Little Sugar Creeks
two rivers were named after the abundance of sugar maples that used to grow along their
banks. In times of early settlement, sugar
tree orchards were located along the stream, providing early pioneers with maple syrup and
Creek derives its name from a saw mill located on its bank which was run by Moses Martin
in about 1835.
Before coal-burning power plants were used to produce electricity, running water in a river was
used to turn a watermill. The energy produced by the watermill was used to grind corn and wheat into flour.
Havenhurst Mill, located on Little Sugar Creek, one mile from Pineville, MO,
was built in 1868 and remained in operation until it burned in 1962.
For more information on the mill and the history of
Little Sugar Creek, visit