By Kay Hively
Posted Oct. 26, 2014 @ 12:27 am
The 150th anniversary of the Second Battle of Newtonia will be commemorated Tuesday, Oct. 28, in the small Civil War community of Newtonia. This is the same date as the actual battle, which was the second important battle fought at Newtonia, in eastern Newton County.
The Newtonia Battlefields Protection Association will host the commemoration which features an open house from 4 to 5:45 p.m. at the 1852 Ritchey Mansion where the host group will serve light refreshments. Visitors can view the mansion, the Matthew Ritchey original bedroom suite and the Doug Hall mural.
At 6 p.m., a program will be held at the Newtonia Community Center, located across the street from the mansion in Newtonia.
Lee Ann and Jack Sours, playing harmonica and guitar, will open the program with a Civil War tune "Going Across the Mountain."
Connie Slaughter Langham, ranger at Wilson's Creek National Battlefield, will give the commemorative address. Langham is a native of Newton County and did her major college paper on Gen. Sterling Price's raid through Missouri. This famous raid was a disaster and ended with the Second Battle of Newtonia in 1864. From that point on, the Civil War was over in Missouri, and actually was over in all places west of the Mississippi River.
The program will conclude with another Civil War tune performed by the Sours.
The public is cordially invited to attend both the open house and the official program.
This bed once belonged to Matthew Ritchey and was obtained by the Newtonia Battlefields Protection Association. A relative of Ritchey donated the bed and other bedroom furniture to the association, and four members of the group transported it from Texas.
Battles Bulletin Aug. 2012 pg. 2
Windows and front door
New windows on the upper floor at the Ritchey Mansion and work on the front door have been made over the last couple of months. The windows are beautiful and energy efficient.W e expect to see big energy savings. Thanks to Don Jessen for raising the money to cover most of the costs, and to Rod Bates and Randell Bray for their good work. Donations have taken care of most of the bill.
Thanks to donors: John Huntington; Sims, Johnson,Wood and Sims Law Offices; Don and Nina Johnson; Kathleen Robertson; Tom and Gail Higdon; Russell and Kay Hively; Lyerla Sheet Metal; Empire Electric; The Quapaw Tribe; The Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma; Community Bank and Trust; Branco Corp.; and Bruce McDermott of MacSteel who sold material at cost.
Roy Warren Johnson, Kirkwood,
Mo. died May 22, 2012. He graduated
from Granby High School, Drury College,
University of Missouri and the US Army
Language School. He taught history for 30
years in high school. He was an adjunct
professor of computer software atWebster
University inWebster Groves, Mo. He is
survived by his wife of 55 years, Doris
Schnake Johnson, and many other family
members. He was a long-time member of
NBPA and was interested in the history of
Shirley Louise Sites died July 8,
2012. She was born in Seneca, Mo. and
lived in the Joplin area most of her life.
She was a homemaker with an interest in
history. Shirley was a volunteer for the
National Park Service. She was a member
of the Civil War Reenactors Association
and on the board of the Newton County
Historical Society. She is survived by her
husband Harold and several family and
friends. She participated in many historic
events at Newtonia.
George Clayton Hancedied April 3, 2011. He was born in Neosho, Mo., and
was a Merchant Marine in WorldWar II
and served in the Army during the Korean
War. He was an electronics technician and
was a Master Mason. He is survived by
his wife, Velma Salsman and many family
members. His burial was in the Newtonia
Connie Sue Love Lawson,
Vallejo, Calif., died February 23, 2012.
She was born in Stella, Mo. She moved
to California in 1939 where she worked
for the Vallejo School District. She is
survived by her daughter Amy and other
family members. She was a member of
the Newtonia Battlefields Protection
Association. Her ashes was buried in
Is Your Membership up to date? Support the NBPA.
Newtonia Battlefields Protection Association
Pres: Larry James V. Pres: Cathy Sheehy
Sec: David Weems Rec. Sec: Denise Jessen
Treasurer: Tom Higdon Board Members:
We’re Sesquicentennial Bound
The NBPA is gearing up for the Sesquicentennal of the First Battle on September 28, 29. Don and Denise Jessen are chairpersons of the entire event. Events include a 5k run/walk; several demonstrations of Civil War soldiers drilling, firing (rifles and cannons); Civil War music; and an open house at the Ritchey Mansion on Saturday. An early-morning Memorial Service will be on Sunday, the 29th. Two special speakers have been invited to the Memorial Service; GlennaWallace, chief of the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma, and US Senator Roy Blunt. Several people will also have a role in the service and some awards will be presented.
Several groups are joining us in the celebration, including Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield and the 4th Missouri. And, of course, the Village of Newtonia is holding its annual fall festival. So, come spend some quality time in Newtonia on September 28-29 and be sure and bring the family, from kids to grandma and grandpa.
Sign Up For The Run
Cathy Sheehy is chairman of the 5k walk/run at 7:30 a.m on Saturday, the 28th. This
is a fundraiser to help with our celebration expenses. A $20 fee includes a beautiful
CivilWar tee-shirt. You can walk or run a 5k route that starts at the Ritchey Mansion.
The run was held last year and garnered many compliments. Let’s hope the September
sunrise will be at beautiful as before. You can pre-register at the Neosho YMCA or at
the start of the race. All those who pre-register will be guaranteed a shirt. However if you register at the sign up, you may or may not get one or may not get one your size.
The Y’s phone number is 417-455-9999. Call for more information or to sign up.
Geyer Collection at Newtonia
The Geyer Collection of CivilWar books has been given to the NBPA. The collection was housed for many years at the Neosho-Newton County Library. This special collection was given to Newton County by the Geyer family, a once prominent family in Neosho.
The collection contains 300 books and includes many rare copies. The defeat of a bond to expand the Neosho library has forced a reduction in their holdings. It was suggested that the valuable collection be given to Wilson’s Creek, but librarian, Ginny Ray, determined the collection should remain in the county and Newtonia was the obvious place for them.
It is the dream of NBPA to one day have a visitor center with areas to display all the books and other artifacts that NBPS has been given in trust.
Newtonia Battlefields Protection Association
Editor: Kay Hively Pres: Larry James V. Pres: Cathy Sheehy Sec: David Weems
Rec. Sec: Denise Jessen Treasurer: Tom Higdon
Board Members JoAnne Turner Russ Hively Jim Ridenour Betty Wright
Greg Hewlett, Newtonia Supporter, Dies
Greg Hewlett, Richardson, Texas, presented the NBPA with original Matthew Ritchey furniture. We were sad to hear that Greg died in January. Memorial contributions can be made to the Children’s Art Project at M.D. Anderson Hospital in Houston, Tex. Below is part of a message sent by his father.
It is with sad, but joyous hearts we want to share with you that Greg entered into the presence on the LORD on January 17th. His very long battle with cancer is over & he has no further suffering and no longer in pain. He dearly loved the ability to be involved with the historical restoration of the Ritchey Mansion. He was so interested in learning more about his family heritage. His donation of the bedroom suite that he had inherited from his grandmother was especially meaningful to him.
You can see more information on Greg's web page www.hewletts.org and comments can be made which we plan to place in a memorial book for our family and his wife. You can also download a copy of his last sermon that he made on January 2 and see many entries that he made over his 8 year battle; many poems, songs, and spiritual encouragements for others..
You can also see on his Face Book page photographs of our family.
Jim & Judy Hewlett
NBPA Purchases Another Acre of Battlefield...
John Scott, a former resident of the Newtonia, approached David Weems, a member of the NBPA board, with a offer to sell about one acre of land that was part of the battlefields. Mr. Scott lived on the property until he was displaced by the 2009 tornado. He left his property in Newtonia and is now living in Springfield, Mo. Mr. Scott’s home was completely destroyed in the storm, and the land has now been cleared of all debris.
After conducting a title search and looking over the property, the group decided to purchase the land at a cost of $5,000. The land abuts property already owned by the Association and is in the group’s Vision Plan. NBPA did not seek out Mr. Scott for the property, but was contacted with an offer. If it have gone to another party, we could assume it might be many years before it would become available again.
The land is near the center of the 1862 battle, very near the site of Ritchey’s Barn. This brings our total acreage to about 25 acres. Approximately five of those acres are the Old Civil War Cemetery, of which we are the custodians.
Battle Bulletin pg. 2 May 2011
Chelsey Henry, age 13, was part of Missouri History Day, the national effort to involve students in studying American history. In this competition students present a subject with a written paper, a display, a video, a performance, or in several other ways. Chelsey chose a performance based on
the First Battle of Newtonia. Her first round of competition was at Missouri Southern State University where she took second place which gave her a chance to compete at state. The performance, which is 10 minutes in length, deals with effort to place Newtonia in the National Park Service. Her performance begins with Chelsey as a National Park Service Ranger and changes to a Cherokee Indian at the time of the battle and then back again as a Park Service Ranger testifying before Congress. Chelsey gave her performance at the March meeting of the NAPA. Her performance at Newtonia was used as a practice before state competition. At state, Chelsey failed to advance to nationals, but she won the Loman D. Cansler Folk History Prize 2011 and the AAUW Women’s History Prices 2011.
NAPA congratulates Chelsey and thank her for giving Newtonia a big plug. We wish her well with next year’s History Day project.
Jerry Joe Christian
Jerry Christian, a long time supporter of the Newtonia
Battlefields Protection Association died March 7, 2011.
He was a retired science teacher. He led a small Indian
mission church where he served for 31 years. He had a
knack for small engines and he was often called upon to
repair or tune up our lawn mowers. Jerry was very active
in the community and was a master gardner. He leaves his
wife Lucy and two children and their families.
Richard Robertson & Juanita Ferguson
Kathy Richardson, a former board member, lost both her
husband and mother recently. Richard Robertson, of rural Newtonia, died on February 28, 2011. Richard was a Joplin businessman. In addition to his wife, he leaves a daughter Kerry and her husband, Michael, and two grandchildren.
Juanita Ferguson died March 30, 2011. A homemaker, she leaves two daughters, six grandchildren, three greatgrandchild, and a daughter-in-law.
The NBPA offers sympathies to the survivors and thanks to the lost for their service.
Battle Bulletin pg. 3 May 2011
The NBPA has been given a lovely set of “Grandma Moses” prints to use as a fundraiser. It has
been decided they will be the center piece of a Silent Auction to be held at the Neosho Fall Festival in
September of 2011. The prints will be accompanied by several other items that will be provided by
members and/or their friends and supporters. We are hoping to have 10-12 nice items for the auction. The items do not have to be art-related. Two pieces of local folk art have already been donated which will be auctioned off as one unit. We would hope that the bidding for items will START at about $20. I know September seems a long way off, but time flies when you’re having fun, so put on your thinking caps and find something for the auction. Anyone willing to donate something for the auction, should call President Larry James at 417-451-3715.
Board member, Jim Ridenour, will leave in late April for the New Orleans area to take part in a new horror movie. The movie is based on a best-selling novel “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter,” will include some federal soldiers, and Jim has been asked to take a role. The film is directed by the director of “Batman,” and is reported to cost $70 million. Jim is only getting a small part of the 70 million. I know the title sounds almost sacrilegious but it apparently is a serious film. The next newsletter will have more about Jim’s adventure.
Jessens and Higdon on Regional CivilWar Committee
Don and Denise Jessen and Tom Higdon, of NBPA, are members of The Greater Ozarks Regional
Sesquicentennial Coalition which meets regularly in Springfield. Connie Langum, of Wilson’s Creek
National Battlefield and a strong supporter of Newtonia, is also on the Coalition. They are able to keep
us up-to-date on CivilWar events going on in the Ozarks and in the state.
Newtonia Documentary Available...
The DVD documentary on the First Battle of Newtonia is now available. They are available from
NBPA members or at the Mansion House for $12 each. The DVD’s may be purchased through the mail
for $15. To order the DVD, send $15 to Larry James, 400 Susan Place, Neosho, Mo. 64850.
5-K Run Set for September
The NBPA will sponsor a 5-K Run at the 2011 Fall Festival on September 24. Cathy Sheehy, our
vice-president, will coordinate the run which she expects to be a sanctioned run. She was quick to
emphasis that the run is also a walk and encourages everyone to participate. Profits from the “Battlefield
Run” will fund our normal operating expenses. If you walk or run or know someone who does,
please tell them we would welcome their participation on this first effort by NBPA. More information
will be released as it becomes available. For those who are not into walking or running, a 5-K
run is 3.1 miles. Cathy says she hopes many members will participate.
Mowing season is underway and with all the rain and warm temperatures, there’s a lot of work to do. Last year, mowing around the mansion and in the old Civil War Cemetery costs us $1,800 for fuel and labor. This year, with higher fuel prices, it is expected to be more. Larry James, our president, is appealing for a little help with the mowing. Anyone wishing to donate is asked to send any contributions to 400 Susan Place, Neosho, Mo. 64850.
there’s a lot of work to do. Last year, mowing around the mansion and in the old Civil War Cemetery
costs us $1,800 for fuel and labor. This year, with higher fuel prices, it is expected to be more. Larry
James, our president, is appealing for a little help with the mowing. Anyone wishing to donate is asked
to send any contributions to 400 Susan Place, Neosho, Mo. 64850.
Battle Bulletin pg. 4 May 2011
Nathan McAlister has been coming to NBPA meeting since he was a small boy. He and his brother, Lyndell, would play cars on the floor during meetings. But Nathan is all grown up now and about to graduate from college. He presented a program on CivilWar and Ozarks music at the March meeting. Here is part of a story that appeared in the paper.
Nathan, who was accompanied by Jack and LeAnn Sours and Bruce Harvey, played several dance and listening tunes. Explaining the sometimes unusual names for fiddle tunes, Nathan said they often didn't have names but were given names based on something that happened when the tune was played. Nathan, who is a senior at Missouri Southern University, said when he was just a boy, he was playing at Crowder College along with other Ozarks musicians.
"I remember that Ruth and Lillian Hammer, (the famous Hammer Sisters) took me to the back of the Elsie Plaster Center, and taught me a song that is a pure Missouri Ozarks song," Nathan said. 'It's called 'The Spider Bit the Baby.' They wanted me to learned the story and carry it on. I'm sure it was one that got a name based on something that happened." One of the truly interesting songs was played with "fiddle sticks." With LeAnn playing the fiddle, Nathan sat very close and played with sticks on the same fiddle, like he would have playing a dulcimer. Nathan also talked about the German population which moved into the Ozarks and brought their love of the waltz. He and his group played one of the German waltzes to demonstrate.
The crowd was entertained with a dozen or so toe-tapping tunes, including well-know "Arkansas Traveler" and "Leather Britches." Nathan said the first time he heard live music was when he was a little boy and Billie Johnson played the fiddle for the Newtonia Battlefields Protection Association. "He was sitting in the same spot I am now, and Margaret was playing the piano. So I'm happy am very happy to be playing here tonight."
Nathan McAlister plays his "fiddle sticks" and LeAnn Sours played the same fiddle. They are accompanied by Jack Sours and Bruce Harvey. The quartet performed at the NBPA March meeting.
Nathan McAlister has been coming to NBPA meeting since he was a small boy. He and his brother, Lyndell, would play cars on the floor during meetings. But Nathan is all grown up now and about to graduate from college. He presented a program on CivilWar and Ozarks music at the March meeting.
Here is part of a story that appeared in the paper.
Nathan, who was accompanied by Jack and LeAnn Sours and Bruce Harvey, played several dance and listening tunes.
Explaining the sometimes unusual names for fiddle tunes, Nathan said they often didn't have names but were given names based on something that happened when the tune was played. Nathan, who is a senior at Missouri Southern University, said when he was just a boy, he was playing at Crowder College along with other Ozarks musicians.
"I remember that Ruth and Lillian Hammer, (the famous Hammer Sisters) took me to the back of the Elsie Plaster Center, and taught me a song that is a pure Missouri Ozarks song," Nathan said. 'It's called 'The Spider Bit the Baby.' They wanted me to learned the story and carry it on. I'm sure it was one that got a name based on something that happened."
One of the truly interesting songs was played with "fiddle sticks." With LeAnn playing the fiddle, Nathan sat very close and played with sticks on the same fiddle, like he would have playing a dulcimer.
Nathan also talked about the German population which moved into the Ozarks and brought their love of the waltz. He and his group played one of the German waltzes to demonstrate.
The crowd was entertained with a dozen or so toe-tapping tunes, including well-know "Arkansas Traveler" and "Leather Britches."
Nathan said the first time he heard live music was when he was a little boy and Billie Johnson played the fiddle for the Newtonia Battlefields Protection Association. "He was sitting in the same spot I am now, and Margaret was playing the piano. So I'm happy am very happy to be playing here tonight."
Battles Bulletin Feb.- 2011
Newtonia Battlefields Protection Association
Editor: Kay Hively Pres: Larry James V. Pres: Cathy Sheehy Sec: DavidWeems
Rec. Sec: Denise Jessen Treasurer: Tom Higdon
Board Members: JoAnne Turner Russ Hively Jim Ridenour Betty Wright
Newtonia Documentary Scheduled for Debut...
The Quapaw Tribe will host the debut of the long-awaited documentary “The Civil
War Battle of Newtonia.” The event will be at 1 p.m. on Saturday, February 19 at the Downstream Casino at Exit #1 on Interstate Highway 44.
Five days later, on Feb. 24, KOZK in Springfield, Mo., will broadcast it. After that, other PBS stations, be airing it. Each station airs it at their pleasure. If you live outside the area, call your local PBS station and ask that it be shown.
The Quapaw Tribe funded the major part of the cost of the film. The tribe will host a reception for invited guests at the showing at Downstream Casino.
Paul Wannenmacher, writer and producer, of the documentary will be on hand as well as many of the reenactors who took roles in the film.
This film is one of the ways the Newtonia Battlefield Protection Association is celebrating the sesquicentennial of the CivilWar. This was a major project for Newtonia with much time, talent, and coinage put into the effort.
We wish to thank everyone who contributed to this film. Everyone from the Quapaws to Wannenmacher Productions to those who volunteered to be in the film and did behind the scenes efforts.
NOTE- Ozark Public Television has schedule another showing of Wannenmacher’s documentaries on Thomas Hart Benton and Charles Banks Wilson. Back to back on March 24 will be the Benton film at 8 p.m., and the Wilson film at 8:30. As you may know, Benton was born in Neosho, and Wilson was a fellow painter and good friend of Benton. Be sure to tune in.
Ridenour in Kansas City...
Newtonia Board member was the guest speaker at the annual dinner meeting of the Kansas City Civil War Round Table.
A new permanent exhibit is coming to Springfield, Mo. Herman Jaeger, who won the French Agricutlure Medal of Honor, for saving the vineyards of France in the 1870s will be honored by international scientists. Mr. Jaeger’s vineyards were about six miles from Newtonia.
Scientists now believe the “Jaeger 70” hold the key to a mildrew-free grape. Imagine if you can, saving the vineyards of the world twice, once 100 years after his death. Kay Hively, a member of our group, will speak at the grand opening on April 8.
Battles Bulletin— Feb. 2011
page 2 By Kay Hively - Neosho Daily News
In keeping with the season, and in keeping with history, several members of the Newtonia Battlefields Protection Association carried out an old fashioned "pounding in" for the new caretakers of the Ritchey Mansion in Newtonia.
Admittedly, some of the people had to learn what a "pounding in" is, but they were eager to be a part of this age-old ritual.
Robert and Rebecca Martineau moved into the mansion on Sunday December 5. The old home had been unoccupied since mid-summer. To welcome the couple, members of the Newtonia Battlefield Protection Association showed up unexpectedly on Sunday, December 12, bringing the traditional "pound."
Long ago it was the common for people to welcome young people, especially newlyweds, into their new home. Friends and neighbors would show up at the couple's home bringing a pound of something. They might bring a pound of sugar, a pound of flour, a pound of butter, a pound a potatoes, a pound bacon, or something for the kitchen.
Robert and Rachel are not probably fit the term newlyweds. They were married in July, after graduating from Crowder College. The young couple are no strangers to Newtonia. This spring they participated in the PBS documentary that was filmed in town.
After graduating from Crowder College, Rachel has taken a job at Scholastic, while Robert is continuing his education at Missouri Southern State College. He is studying to be a teacher and hopes to teach Social Studies in Middle School.
The people at the "pounding in" brought apples, oranges, cake mix, turnips. a pound of butter, a pound of coffee, corn bread mix, and other delicious things.
Perhaps the most unusual gift came from Jim Ridenour, a member of the Newtonia board. Both Jim and Robert Martineau are CivilWar re-enactors, so Jim brought Robert a pound of black powder for his vintage rifle.
Once everyone arrived, the Martineaus got to tell about themselves and how they had made it for a week in their new home. They said they were very happy, and Rachel expressed her pleasure with the kitchen, saying it was much bigger than where they had been living
Several of the group answered questions about the house. The Martineaus are waiting for their first guests and trying to learn what they can. They say that if anyone wants to tour the mansion, they will accommodate them if at all possible.
The number to call to make an appointment to see the mansion is 417-214-1851.
Even though Rachel is working and Robert is going to school, they will have the house open as much as possible.
The members of the Newtonia Battlefield group are happy to have Robert and Rachel and, quite possibly, they enjoyed the "pounding in" as much as the Martineaus.
Click here for Kay Hively's account of the public hearings held in Newtonia on July 8, 2010 by the National Park Service.