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Book tells story of Pea Ridge’s past
Weekly Joplin Globe Genealogical Column
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August 6, 2006

by Frankie Meyer
Text Copyright © Frankie Meyer

Publisher notes: Book photo supplied by Gregath archives; this book is now out of print.

Elkhorn Tavern, 1860 by Patrick & Sharolyn McCoyWhen local authors Patrick and Sharolyn McCoy began researching the Pea Ridge area for information on an ancestor, Rhoda Rose, and her two daughters, they had not planned to study the history of that community and adjacent area.

They soon discovered, however, that the lives of local families centered around the Elkhorn Tavern, which served as a post office, stage stop, store, church and meeting place. The couple learned that effective research of an Ozark community, particularly Pea Ridge, necessitated learning about the tavern and other aspects of local history.

They learned that the Rose farm was located where the county and state borders changed three times. When Arkansas became a state in 1837, the land and mill owned by Rhoda and her husband, John, were listed in a survey plat as located in Benton County, Ark. However, a few years later that land became part of Missouri and was listed in McDonald County. The farm later became part of Barry County. Yet, the Roses never moved. As a result of those changes, the couple’s research ballooned to include two states and three counties.

The authors learned that the local families were connected in various ways. Many had lived near each other before moving to that community, having moved together, and they were often related by marriage or blood. Since that region was so isolated, unrelated families helped each other and also became very close-knit. Because of those factors, the couple’s files expanded to include dozens of families.

Their research was complicated by the devastation that occurred in that peaceful community during the bloody Civil War battle that occurred in March of 1862. For two and a half days, 26,000 soldiers — including most of the local men — fought in that region. That land is now part of the Pea Ridge National Battlefield. Thus, no descendants of the early families currently live on the old Pea Ridge farm sites. Fortunately, the authors were able to locate and interview several descendants who live in adjacent communities. The authors also checked census records, military service records, pension records, survey maps, court records, old letters, diaries, local history books and Bible records.

Using their extensive records, the McCoys have compiled an extraordinary, in-depth book that includes data on 1,400 individuals who lived in the 172 households listed in the 1860 census as receiving mail at the Pea Ridge Post Office.

The indexed book is titled “Elkhorn Tavern 1860, the Pea Ridge Community.” The families are organized by household number and head of the family. Included are the names of the people in the household, their ages, occupations and relationships. The authors have added other data, such as the names of parents, spouses and other relatives, places where the families lived previous to the war and after the war, Masonic records, tax lists, lists of troops, military service records, military pension records, and articles about the reunions.

Researchers will also find the endnotes and bibliography to be an invaluable aid for further study.

For further information about the book, contact: Three Sons Publishing Inc., (417) 621-0481.

Suggestions or queries? Send to Frankie Meyer, P.O. Box 731, Joplin, Mo. 64802, or contact