Thoughts on the Life of the Museum in the Year 2020, A Year Unlike Any Other

The final month of this most unusual year
will soon be upon us. The second decade of
the 21st century has been unlike any other in
history and future historians will struggle to
fully comprehend the dramatic and costly
challenges to America and the world that
played out during the 2020 pandemic.
Early on I began saving news articles and
general information that I thought would be
of interest in years to come. I have the pattern
for masks printed in our local papers, actual
masks, press releases from the State, and a
Bates County ‘I Voted’ pen and other things.
One of the artifacts in the Museum’s many
collections is a flu mask from the infamous
1918 Spanish Influenza epidemic. The mask
was issued to students at MU. It is a simple
cottony-gauze fabric with ties attached and is
part of our World War I exhibit. At the time it
was displayed we never imagined that we
would be experiencing our own pandemic.
As I looked back at the January newsletter,
I saw all the Museum’s plans that vanished
with the Virus. There were great programs
scheduled along with events, including a very
special concert presentation by a friend from
Kansas City. Planning for Missouri’s Bicentennial in 2021 had begun in the County.
2021 also marks the 200th anniversary of Harmony Mission’s founding, the 180th anniversary of the founding of Bates County, and the
Historical Society & Museum’s 60th. It will
also be the 80th anniversary of the Pearl
Harbor attack that thrust America into War.
The year 2021 is filled with important dates
to be honored and remembered.
But, the pandemic of 2020 seemed to stop
everything in its tracks. Flatten the curve.
Quarantines. Tests. Masks. Toilet paper
shortages. Closures. And in the middle of
the crisis was perhaps the most contentious
Presidential election in our nation’s history.
Throughout these past few months we have
breathed a bit easier and tried to find small
semblances of normal. Perhaps that was
premature in slowing the spread of the virus,
but also perhaps the mental psyche of people
and the nation required it in order to carry
on. For now, as the holidays are here, sickness with Covid and the flu has caused us to
once again withdraw and avoid gatherings.
Our elderly have perhaps been required to
pay the greatest sacrifice as the nation grapples with how to best keep them safe. There
are no easy answers. The debate rages.
Each family choosing what seems to be right
for them. I urge you to document your family’s experiences during this unprecedented
time. Your descendants will want to know
how you coped with these days of constant
uncertainty. May you record that you faced
each day with gratitude and fortitude!
Strong Membership ~ Strong Society
Please Renew
January marks the Society Membership Renewal
Month and we ask you to please make it a priority
to renew your membership! Help us to maintain a
strong Society. Membership numbers matter. Cost
is minimal and within the comfort range of most
everyone. Join us in generating momentum that
will then multiply. 2020 has reminded us all how
vital the strong the bonds of community can be.
Providing a strong Society & Museum to be keepers
of our history pays honor and tribute to ancestors.
It’s important. Thank you for supporting us!
Any extra donation will be greatly appreciated.
Annual rates are: Single-$12 / Couple-$18 / Family-
$24. Renewal forms are attached to this e-newsletter or
are included in mailed copies.

Museum Gifted Two Research
Collections on Guerrilla Warfare
The Museum’s research archives continues to
grow and we are very pleased to announce that two
separate collections of research materials about the
guerrilla warfare in our area have been donated.
In February I traveled to Bentonville, Arkansas to
receive Rich Stewart’s Quantrill Special Research Collection. This impressive collection of
books, articles, publications, teachers materials,
DVDs, biographies, and more has been inventoried
and will be available to researchers both professional and amateur. Rich Stewart’s body of research
includes information about Bates County Sheriff
John Clem. He was a formidable character who
ultimately moved to Arkansas and is buried there,
as is also Captain Bill Turman of Island Mound
fame and his wife, Charity Weddle Turman. There
is much yet to discover about these men and their
families. We are grateful for Rich’s ongoing research and for the opportunity to house this important collection.
People reach out to us as the reputation of the
Bates County Museum continues to grow. We are
proud to be considered a premiere site in western
Missouri and it was because of this that we were
contacted by the family of the late Harold
Dellinger of Jackson County. He was a lifelong
collector of Civil War history and his personal collection of books, memorabilia, professional papers,
publications, and more is legendary throughout
the region. While Harold was interested in all
aspects of the Civil War in western Missouri,
his true passion was the study of the guerrilla
warfare and the men who fought it. We are very
pleased to have the Harold Dellinger Collection
housed here at the Museum.
Bates County was the epicenter of General
Order No. 11 and it seems quite fitting that we
can now be an epicenter for the study of the
guerrilla warfare here in western Missouri and
along the Kansas border. It is our hope that the
Museum’s reputation as a vital resource library
will continue to broaden in years to come.

Best of Times in the Worst of Times
Despite everything that 2020 has unleashed,
there have been some good times in the life of
the Museum this year!
In early March we held our annual Show &
Tell Gathering and Annual Meeting. There was
a good crowd and many interesting things and
stories were shared. The Society held its annual
meeting and the 2020 Board of Directors was
elected. Chris Gach-President, Donna GregoryVice President, Tyler Bise-Treasurer, Doris
Fuller-Secretary, Stan Sechrest, Doug White,
Maggie Roberts, Randy Bell, and Scott Mallatt.
Many thanks to them for serving the Society!
The annual This & That Sale was rescheduled
and held the first weekend of June. It was a fantastic success and we thank all who supported
the sale. Income was a bit over $3,000 and every donation and each sale is greatly appreciated!
While virtually everything closed down and
folks avoided crowds, we actually had a good
number of visitors from the Metro area. They
were looking for easy drive destinations and
found us. In early October we also had a small
group of 3rd graders from KC come to spend
the day. The children were great!
The first weekend of November we held our
first ever Holiday Décor & More Sale. Once
again you, our supporters, came through like the
heroes you are! Fabulous donations and sales
that were remarkable. We made over $2,300
and are grateful for every penny.
Thank you, one and all…You’re the best!!!
~The Museum Out & About~
As the nation opened a bit in the summer
and early fall, some annual celebrations were
able to be held. In September the Museum
had a booth at the Amsterdam Jubilee. We
met lots of people, some we knew, and some
we befriended that day. Wind gusts were
fierce and, despite concrete blocks, our booth
canopy lifted and flipped. We were right in
front of the Amsterdam Café which has big
paned windows but thankfully the canopy
landed on the sidewalk and no bystanders
were injured. What a day!
The first weekend of October we were at
Butler’s Hucksters Day event and thankfully
the wind cooperated! The day was fun and
we visited with many folks. The Friends of
the Museum gift shop merchandise was sold
and we made quite a bit of money so it was
another wonderful day out and about.
I want to thank Doris Fuller for her tireless
efforts in behalf of the Museum. Doris serves
on the Society Board as Secretary, she takes
care of all the outside plants and gardens, and
she basically IS the Friends of the Museum.
Doris seeks out every estate sale, garage sale,
thrift shop find, individuals, anyone and anywhere she can get items for resale in the Museum’s Gift Shop, our Sales, and when we are
out and about. Doris devotes countless hours
to the Museum and this acknowledgement of
her work, her hard work, is small but certainly
not insignificant. We would be lost without
Doris and I know of no one who could fill her
shoes. If you see her out and about, take a
moment and thank her for all she does to keep
this Museum thriving. She’s one in a million!
If you have any donations for the Museum
please call us. Although we are technically
closed for the winter, most days someone is
here working. Your generous donations are
what enable us to have these sales and generate income for the Museum. Thank you.
Battle of Island Mound
Network to Freedom
In August Mo State Parks held their annual
Public Information meeting at the Battle of Island Mound State Historic Site. This year it
was a bit more than the normal gathering. Several State Parks dignitaries were on hand as well
as Bates County Presiding Commissioner Jim
Wheatley, Southern Commissioner Larry Hacker, Jim Ogle, Executive Director of Freedom’s
Frontier National Heritage Area. The impressive list of State Parks representatives is:
Mike Sutherland, Dir. Mo. State Parks, Jefferson City // Brian Stith, Deputy Director, Mo.
State Parks, Jefferson City // Mike
Ohnersorgen, Program Dir. Cultural Resource
Management & Missouri State Museum, Jefferson City // Laura Hendrickson, Regional Dir.,
Ozark Region // Justin Adams, Deputy Regional Dir., Ozark Region // Ranger Caleb
Richerson, Missouri State Park Ranger, Truman
State Park // Kenny Neal, Manager, Southwest
Management Unit, Stockton.
The Battle of Island Mound State Historic Site
received the National Parks Service designation
of being part of the International Underground
Railroad Network to Freedom. Jim Ogle read a
proclamation from Missouri Governor Parsons’
declaring September as the month to honor the
Island Mound site which is the only Missouri
site with this National Parks designation. Bates
County Commissioner Jim Wheatley read a
proclamation prepared by the Commissioners.
Several members of the public were present at
the meeting and expressed positive comments
about the sites amenities and maintenance.

Museum Gets a Little TLC
During the down time several volunteers were
at the Museum working, cleaning, repairing,
painting, and giving our grand old building a
little TLC. There is always much to do but the
list is now shorter than it was. Most notable is
the Men’s Room on the main floor. Repairs, a
lot of prep work, and new paint made a big difference. There is even art hanging on the
walls! The cleaning and sprucing ‘up will continue throughout the winter.
Peggy’s Ponderings…

Changes, changes, so many changes! A new era is being ushered in. Often during chaotic times
a sense of priority settles. It’s peculiar how that can happen but I believe that’s exactly what some
people have experienced. Families are spending more time at home. The constant racing here and
there schedules have calmed considerably. The newest, latest, greatest whatever doesn’t seem to be
needed quite so urgently. Actual conversation is making a comeback. Isn’t it strange how the
worst of times can bring out the best in some things and cause us to remember what truly enriches
our lives. We are entering the season of reflection and hope. I know my hopes for this Museum
are high and genuine. This place keeps our stories. She is a grand lady and one we all need to respect and honor. How empty our lives would be if we had no stories. We would be nothing more
than banging gongs and clanging symbols. Hollow and noisy! The stories of our lives give depth,
meaning, sadness, joy, sorrow, gladness, and hope. These make this earthly journey worthwhile.
My hope is that 2021 will afford us the opportunity to celebrate the important occasions of the
past and allow us to pay tribute to our ancestors and all those who have gone before us. We all
know there’s yet a long way to go to achieve the hopes of our forbearers….but….never forget to
remember how far we have already come!
I am pleased to let you know that Doug Mager of Mid America Live (Bates County Wire) asked
me to provide a weekly Museum Minute story to be posted online. It’s been a good partnership and
I think there is opportunity for us to grow and perhaps expand beyond where we now are. The
closing of the newspaper in Butler was regretful but the South Cass Tribune is working to fill the
gap and has entered into a great relationship with Mid America Live. So here again, I can see the
Best of Times in the midst of the Worst of Times. Life is funny that way.
We are extremely fortunate to have a local radio station and I’m thankful for KMAM-KMOE
92.1 in Butler. We’d be lost without them! Don’t take them for granted. We have successfully
advertised our sales and special events with them and this past Halloween night the Museum was
proud to present the original Mercury Theater broadcast of Orson Welles’ “War of the Worlds.” It
was great and a perfect fit for 2020! Because of the success we’ve enjoyed with them, the Museum
will again host the Christmas Eve broadcast of “A Christmas Carol.” Tune in that evening. You
will be transported back to a simpler time and I’m sure a smile will appear on your face.
Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, and May God Bless Us One and All in the New Year!

PO Box 164 Butler, MO 64730 660-679-0134
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