The following selections are podcasts from longer oral history recordings. Transcriptions of some may be found in past issues of the Old Settlers Gazette.

Fourth of July Picnic

Dru Pippin recounts attending the annual Fourth of July picnic with his father, Dr. Bland Pippin, who was an excellent mimic. Dru recorded his memoirs on a reel-to-reel tape recorder in 1975-1976. Sometimes he hits the microphone or leans back, giving uneven sound, but the stories are always good.


5:00 minutes

Building Fort Wood

Jaretta Laughlin and her husband Roy were farming ground along Roubidoux Creek on what became Fort Leonard Wood. She tells about its effect on her family and neighbors. Jaretta was interviewed by student Beth Scott and recorded by Jan and Terry Primas.


12:30 minutes

Fruit Jar Drinkers

Robert Lee Bates grew up in Harmon Valley near Hazleton in Texas County. As a young man, he made and sold moonshine with his father. Mr. Bates was interviewed in 2004 by Jan and Terry Primas when he was 97 years old. Mr. Bates was blind and hard of hearing, but his memory was fine and he sure could tell a story.


11:23 minutes

Uncle Buck's Famous Elixir

Dru Pippin tells of the coming of a traveling medicine show that set up a tent next to the Black Hotel, now known as the Old Stagecoach Stop. There was musical entertainment, ,a chance to ride a bucking donkey for prize money, and offered for sale was the salutary Uncle Buck's Elixir.


4:39 minutes

Growing Up in Wharton

Pearl Brown Wilson (born in 1912 and pictured at left in 1941) grew up in the crossroads village of Wharton where her father, M. D. Brown, operated a store and post office. The Depression brought about the closure of the post office and store in 1933 and the building of Fort Leonard Wood erased the neighborhood. Pearl describes family life and school in the 1920s. The interview was conducted by Tom Bright in 1991 for the Fort Leonard Wood Post Historian.


19:59 minutes

Civilian Work During WWII at Fort Wood Part 1

Louise Skaggs worked as a civilian payroll clerk then payroll supervisor for 50 years at Fort Leonard Wood, beginning in 1941. Louise received the Exceptional Civilian Service Award for her job performance. She shares some of her memories of working at Fort Leonard Wood during its first year. The interview was conducted by Tom Bright in 1991 for the Fort Leonard Wood Post Historian.


16.09 minutes

Civilian Work During WWII at Fort Wood Part 2

Louise Skaggs is joined in Part 2 of her interview by her husband Argus, who also worked as a civilian employee on Fort Leonard Wood. They share observations about the fort, their work, and their encounters with POWs. Argus and Louise lived on Fort Leonard Wood from 1942 to 1952.


13:23 minutes

A Conversation with Dorothy and Jiggs Miller of Devils Elbow

Jiggs and Dorothy Miller lived 60-plus years in Devils Elbow. Jiggs was the village postmaster for 30 years and he and Dorothy operated the village market. This four-way conversation included Jan and Terry Primas and was recorded in March of 2006.



14:12 minutes

Childhood Chores Irene Mitchell Morgan was born in 1909 on the family farm west of Waynesville. The farm was located in the area where the Waynesville Schools administrative building is now located on Fleetwood Avenue and the surrounding housing area. She recounts the daily chores of a bygone era that she helped her mother do when she was a young girl. Irene and husband Claude were the parents of longtime local attorney Bill Morgan. She was interviewed in 1998 by Alex Primm.


18:08 minutes

Harvey McCoy


Harvey McCoy, like Robert Lee Bates above, was a moonshiner in Texas County. Harvey had a still near the head of Steam Mill Hollow on government land. He was nabbed for making whiskey and talks about his time in the Federal jail at Neosho, Missouri. This interview was conducted by Dr. Mike Duff in 1970 at Harvey's home near Success. You can read more about Harvey's moonshining times in the 2022 Old Settlers Gazette article "Liquor, Lawmen, and a Conversation with Harvey McCoy, moonshiner."

9:52 minutes