Newtonia Battlefields Living History

Newtonia Battlefields Preservation Association

battles bulletin, november 2010

Battles Bulletin   Nov.- 2010

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

Sorry...We’ re Late

We are a couple of months behind with the newsletter but our editor has been sick and is just now able to get back to work.We hope to do better from this point forward.

Building and Repairing....

We have been busy lately making some repairs on the mansion. The area around the front door and the windows were in very bad shape. The door area is repaired and we are in the midst of repairing the windows downstairs. It has been a massive job—far greater than we thought.

The job is being done by Don Jessen, our “maintenance supervisor” and carpenter Rod Bates.When they are done, it will be a big improvement and we will have screen which will help with the heavy humidity we have in the summer.

In addition, Jean McNabb has allowed some of the funds she donated in honor of her mother, Loreen Ritchey Haseltine, to be used to build a shelter over our state markers. Weather was starting to affect them. Hot summer sunlight was starting to fade them.

The new shelter will help protect them for years to come, and it makes a nice place to put a park bench.

The new shelter on the lawn at Newtonia is protecting the markers from harsh weather. The markers were set

in place by the State of Missouri. Two markers, one for each of the two battles of Newtonia, are popular with tourists.


Battles Bulletin— Nov. 2010

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We lost two members in the last few months. Carolle Barber died on July 26. Carolle was the sister of Ilene Garner and the aunt of Mrs. Tom (Gail) Higdon. All the family contributes to our efforts at Newtonia and we will miss Carolle.

Another loss was Betty Marty. She had joined us a year or so ago and was a most welcome member. She was always more than willing to contribute in any way.

Film Debut....

The latest word on the PBS documentary is that it debut is set for January. The debut will be held at Downstream Casino Hotel and will be quite an affair. Downstream is owned and operated by the Quapaw tribe, the sponsors of the film. Once it’s debuted in front of those who worked on it and paid for the documentary, it will be released to PBS stations across the country. So keep an eye out for it on your local PBS station.

Those of us who have seen snitches and snatches of the film are greatly impressed. Downstream Casino and Hotel is located just west of Joplin, Missouri. You may want to keep an eye on their website for more information.

National Park Service....

The National Park Service is still putting together its proposal on whether or not Newtonia should be in the NPS. They have come back to us with many questions over the last few months and we answered as best we could.We have supplied maps and answered questions that we hope were to their satisfaction. All indications we get are positive, but nothing is set in stone. We are doing our best.


Since we have no caretaker at present our visitorship has fallen off. But we have had the 4th Missouri boys in for a weekend. They came in September for their monthly meeting and drill. We are very lucky to have the 4th Missouri. They have always been a great support.

The Missouri Folklore Society came in early November. They were holding their annual conference in Neosho and made a special request to visit the mansion house. We were happy to accomodate them and glad to host them. They were very interested in everything and were full of good questions.


All the folks in Southwest Missouri want to send seasons greetings to our brothers and sisters in the preservation family. Next year we will be fired up about the sesquicentennial of the Civil War and look forward to hearing about all the celebrations. And if we are lucky we may be able to attend some of them.

So have a Merry Christmas and Happy

New Year.


Big congratulations to our 7th District Congressman Roy Blunt on winning his U. S. Senate race. Mr. Blunt has always been a supporter of Newtonia and he has said he won’t forget us in the Senate. We look forward to working with him.


battles bulletin june 2010

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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   BettyWright

Since it is said that a picture is worth 1,000 words, we send this newsletter filled with new pictures as a way to report on activities in Newtonia. Here a PBS film crew works with some re-enactors to stage a battle over the section of wall built for the filming.

This is the Doug Hall mural as it was set up in the mansion house after the official unveiling. A huge crowd came for the unveiling and tour of the mansion that day. The PBS film crew did a bit of filming at the unveiling, some of which will be in the documentary. 







battles bulletin, June 2010 pg 2

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Mary “Pat” Parsons

Newtonia Battlefields Protection Association lost a good friend in Pat Parsons. Pat and Charley were married 55 years and had two children, Anne and David. Pat was an active Red Hatter, a Master Gardener and was also nvolved with the local Newcomers Club, the New Century Study Club, Meals on Wheels, the local quilting club, as well as the Newtonia Battlefields Protection Association. She was a deacon in the First Presbyterian Church in Neosho. Pat was born Feb. 28, 1934, and attended Saint John’s School of Nursing in Tulsa where she became a registered nurse and spent many years caring for people. She also earned a bachelor of sciene degree in public health from the University of Redlands/California. Besides her husband and children, Pat is survived by five grandchildren. Pat’s charming and friendly smile and her happy outlook on life will remain with us for years to come.

Feasibility Study Underway

Three employees from the National Park Service were in Newtonia on April 21 as the first step in the Park Service’s feasibility study to determine if Newtonia should become a site within the Service. It is estimated the study will last two to three years, and then the Service will make its recommendation to Congress.

 [photos not shown]

Matthew Ritchey watches over the meeting as members of a National Park Service feasibility study speak to NBPA members. The study group were, left to right, Natalie Franz, Ruth Heikkinen and Rachael Franklin-Weekley.

John Berrey, chairman of the Quapaw tribe, along with two staffers, toured the Ritchey Mansion and Newtonia battlefields on April 20. The tribe funded the new PBS documentary which was filmed in May. Shown during the visit are Sean Harrison, front left, Tim Brown, second from the right and Chairman Berrey, far right. NBPA member Tom Higdon is second from the left.

OPEN HOUSE - June 27

NBPA will host an Open House from 2-4 p.m. on Sunday, June 27. This will allow the public to see the new bedroom furniture which was donated by a descendent of Matthew Ritchey.

Visitors will be able to see the mural, and author Larry Wood will be signing copies of his new book on Newtonia.

The 2010 Christmas ornament will be on sale. It features the new mural and Doug Hall will be there if anyone wants an autograph on their ornament.

It is not firm yet, but members of the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma may be on the mansion lawn in native dress.

battles bulletin, June 2010, pg 3.

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Four members of the Neosho High School History Club, along with their sponsor and his wife, worked in a hard rain to help get the “movie set battlefield” ready for filming. This project was one of the first attempts the club made to do public service outreach. NBPS is proud they chose to help with our efforts and hope one day, some of these young people will join us and continue what they began on a cold and rainy day.

Support the Newtonia Battlefields Protection Association

Join or Re-UpToday!

THE TWO CIVILWAR BATTLES OF NEWTONIA is off the presses. Author Larry Wood will attend the June 27 Open House to sign copies. This book is part of a series of civil war books which will commemorate the sesquicentennial of the beginning of the American Civil War. The series is published by The History Press.

NBPA will be selling this new book.

NBPA is pleased that Newtonia is in this series. We are doubly grateful to Larry Wood who made it happen with his suggestion that this battle in Missouri be included.

The old cemetery at Ritchey, MO was brought back from a "wilderness" state in early April 2010 as friends and family members of those buried there came for an old-fashioned work day. The event was organized by Bill Ritter and supervised by Lewis Marion. This land was donated by Laurence Cox and is the burial site of Jennie Henderson, the only sister of Matthew H. Ritchey, founder of the village of Ritchey as well as the founder of the village of Newtonia.

Lewis and Carolyn Marion supervised and fed volunteers at the cleanup of the old Ritchey cemetery.

battles bulletin, June 2010, pg 4

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Thanks to the generosity of artist Doug Hall, NBPA is allowed to sell Giclee canvas prints of the new mural. These wonderful prints are 36X24. The prints may be bought framed or unframed. The framed Giclees are $850 plus $120 if it must be shipped. Unframed Giclees are $775 with a $50 fee for shipping. Already we have sold three or four of these limited editions. Only 100 limited editions will be sold. NBPA is given a fee for each one sold.

Efforts are underway to secure “paper prints” which will be sold as well. These will be much less expensive and should be great sellers. Anyone wanting more information of to order may contact any member of NBPA. President Larry James can be reached at [email protected] or via phone 417-451-3415 or contact Kay Hively at [email protected] or via phone at 417-451-3415.

2010 Newtonia Christmas Ornament

The 2010 Christmas ornament is now on sale and can be purchased in person or by mail. The ornament sells for $15 with a $5 shipping fee. (The $5 can ship up to four ornaments to one address.) The 2010 design will be of the new Doug Hall mural. For more information, or to order, contact Larry James or Kay Hively at the e-mail or telephone numbers listed above.

The Newtonia ornaments will be sold until January of 2011.

Matthew Ritchey’s bed is back home in Newtonia. This bed, along with three other nice pieces of Mr. Ritchey’s own bedroom furniture, was donated to NBPA by Greg Hewlett of Richardson, TX. Greg is a direct descendent of Matthew Ritchey, saying he is the fifth generation to sleep in the bed. Everyone is happy to have Mr. Ritchey’s bed back in the home, and in the room, where it sat for many years. On your next visit, we invite you to stop by for a look.

It has been a very busy time for us all, but we want to serve everyone. If anyone wants any information on the mural Giclees, the Christmas ornament or the new book on the two battles of Newtonia, please let us know. Just contact Larry James ([email protected]— 417-451-3517) or Kay Hively (mailto:[email protected]or 417-451-3415).

Our sales pay the bills!

June 27, 2010 open house

Successful Open House!

Sunday night - June 27

Just want everyone to know the Open House today was a huge success. We had
people so thick in the house you could hardly make your way across the floor and this went on the entire time.

Larry Wood was there autographing his Newtonia book. We had ordered 40 books and they sold out completely. Larry had brought along 5 or 6 and they sold out. As we were running out of book, Larry's wife drove back to Joplin and got more books to sell....everyone was happy with that.

Doug Hall was there autographing Christmas ornaments. We had 24 ornaments to sell and they were all taken. We got an order and the money for 10 more so we will order some new ones this week. Many of us have never gotten one
because we keep giving them up as "outsiders" ask for them. Doug was kept
busy visiting with people and signing the ornaments. Some who had bought
ornaments before brought them to the house today for a signature.

The new furniture was a big hit and that kept people moving upstairs to see it. Many people took  lots of pictures of the furniture and everything else.

We had good workers: Tom Higdon, Denise Jessen, Linda James, Russ Hively,
Russell Hively, Kay Hively, Jim Ridenour, Larry James, Don Johnston, David
Weems, JoAnn Turner, Jerry Faules, Shari McAlister and Eddie McAlister (and I probably forgot someone!)

Thanks to everyone for the help and congratuations on a big day that will
certainly be good for our bank account.

Our next big event will be the Newtonia Fall Festival which will be on the
last Saturday in September. See you there!

Kay Hively

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