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2004, September 16
200th Anniversary Celebration Marquand, MO
Marquand, Missouri celebrated the 200th anniversary of the founding of the settlement originally known as Whitener's Settlement which was later named Marquand in honor of H. G. Marquand who donated $1000 to help with the completion of a local church. The Henry F. Whitener and Mouser families settled the area in 1804. Marquand is located on Highway A between Highway 67 and Patton, Missouri. The celebration took place during the town's annual festival that is known as Pioneer Days on September 24 and September 25. Following tradition, Pioneer Days was held the last weekend in September. On Friday evening an All Gospel Music Festival was at 6 p.m. The Southern Brothers were the featured musicians and offered quality southern gospel music. Eli Valencia, a 14-year-old mountain dulcimer artist provided wonderful and inspirational renditions and The Gipson Family was on hand to fill the evening with exceptional gospel music. A donation of $5 was requested from anyone over the age of 10. The music was in the Marquand Historical Park. On Saturday morning the park was bustling by 7 a.m. in preparation for the day's events. There were be apple butter making demonstrations, Antique Tractor Show, Horseshoe Tournaments, Sand Volleyball Tournaments, Basketball Tournaments, First Annual KnitOut complete with knitting, spinning, tatting workshops, kids games, kiddy tractor pull, blacksmith demonstrations, craft booths and demonstrations, parade at 10 a.m. and much more. The 2nd Annual Car Show was again presented at the Marquand Zion High School. The Sitzes Homestead and Reagan Hotel was open for costumed tours. Kay Mouser, Ivan Ward and the students of Marquand School performed a costumed interpretation of the founding of Whitener Settlement. There was again be music in the air. The Barry Jones Family performed their brand of Bluegrass/Gospel music and was joined by the Gipson Family. Eli Valencia also performed. The Marquand Senior Citizens served Pioneer Stew at the Marquand Community Center. The day was completed by a fireworks display over the Caster River.
Pioneer Days is produced by a local community organization known locally as CROP--Citizens Realizing Our Potential, a not for profit organization. The group is dedicated to not only remembering and honoring Marquand's colorful past, but is also helping it to embrace the future. This group began by reclaiming the old train bed that runs through the center of town and turning it into the Marquand Historical Park. They began by dismantling, relocating and restoring the Sitzes Homestead, which stands prominently in the park. The restored cabin has become the centerpiece and emblem of the Marquand Historical Park. The group also built a depot replication that is earmarked to become a transportation museum. A portion of the L. S. Lett Bridge has been located in the park and will be converted to a bandstand in the near future. The memorial rose garden has recently been updated and is beginning to take shape. In recent years, other attractions have been added as follows: regulation horseshoe pits, sand volleyball court, a pavilion and basketball court. In their attempt to embrace the future while still honoring the past, members of CROP applied for and were awarded several grants. MODOT has awarded a grant to enhance the city with a hiking/biking trail complete with period lighting, updated sidewalks, seating and trash receptacles. The grant will also help in completing the transportation museum to be located in the depot replication. CROP was also awarded NAP Credits (Neighborhood Assistance Program) which is making the dream of revitalizing the downtown area a reality. Through donations from Missouri businesses, CROP has secured the funds and the restoration of a local historic building known as Homan Hall has begun. The building has been the cornerstone of the downtown area for over 70 years. Homan Hall was originally built with community donations and volunteers and has survived more than one disaster. The funds will not only restore the building but will allow for the tornado damaged downtown to again become a bus tling commercial district. The upstairs of Homan Hall will be restored as a theatre and will allow the community to again produce their own plays and entertainment. The downstairs will house small shops and entrepreneur businesses. The newly constructed portion of the revitalization project will allow space for rent or lease to new or existing businesses. In the past, the group has been awarded Missouri Arts Council grants to assist with bringing traditional entertainment to Pioneer Days.
For more historical information and schedule of events visit their website. Better yet stop in for a visit the last weekend of September. See the town that has survived the death of a railroad, fire, tornado and floods. Drive past the school's gymnasium that is the largest still standing structure built by the WPA in the state of Missouri. You will see the restoration of two landmarks---Homan Hall and Homan Oil Company.
The first school in the community was located on Jeff Limbaugh's farm (now the Tink Masters farm). The school was located two miles from Marquand. The school was functioning before the Civil War. The teacher was Mary Grounds. She boarded with the Limbaugh's. She was paid by subscribers. There were no free schools in Missouri. There were at least four subscription schools operating in the area before the Civil War. Each subscriber paid $1.00 per month. The school furniture and seats were made from split logs. Heat was from a fireplace in the corner. Goose quill pens were made from goose feathers brought by the children and sharpened by the teacher. The ink was made from indigo, lampblack, and pokeberries. The three r's - "reading, riting, and rithmatic" were taught. Books used included the Blue Bank Speller & McGuffey's Reader. The second school was located near the Baptist Church on the Wash Mouser place. The third school was located in the Ward settlement.
A Lewis Revelle taught the first term. He was a minister as well as a teacher. He was born in 1830 and cast his first vote for Franklin Pierce in 1852. He organized a Missionary Baptist Church six miles below the present site of Marquand. Immediately after the Civil War a Public School was started. This was located in Mousers Grove and Naomi Cook, daughter of Doctor Cook, was the teacher. A school was opened in Marquand near the site of the present school and began a high school in 1919 with the addition of the ninth grade. The next year a tenth grade was added, but it was obvious that a new building was needed before a full four year program could be offered.
In April of 1927, a special election was called for the purpose of voting $7500.00 in bonds for a new school building, with the state providing an additional $2000.00. The proposition carried 124 to 5 and the eight members of the class of 1928 were the first to graduate from Marquand High School. At that time there were two elementary teachers, two high school teachers and a principal. The building voted in 1927 is still in use.
A gymnasium was added during the Depression (with WPA labor), and a cafeteria and additional classrooms were added in 1956. A separate elementary building and a building housing Kindergarten, Home Economics, Industrial Arts and Music were added in 1972 and later. The MARQUAND School District was enlarged several times through consolidation and reorganization, the last time in 1966 with the addition of the Zion Community.
The following information was taken from the official School Board Minutes: On November 6, 1951, the Marquand C-1 School District reorganized, taking in the following three director elementary school districts: #38 Greasy Creek, #43 Mouser, #44 Big Four, #45 Sugar Grove, #53 Buckhorn, #54 Allbright and #55 Moores Chapel. At that time new school board members were elected from the enlarged district. They were: Lindall Tinnin, President; Marvin Hawn, Vice President; Floyd Whitener, Secretary; Paul Mouser, Member; J.C. Moore, Member; Carl Reimler, Member; and Fanni Lett, Treasurer (Appointed).
On August 20, 1967, voters approved the reorganization of the school district, adding the following elementary school districts. They were #47 Mt. Pisgah, #35 Zion and sections 16 and 17 of the Tip Top School District. At the time the name of the school district officially became the Marquand-Zion R-VI School District, which the district is officially known as of the present time. Superintendents serving the district from 1948 to present were: R.D. Guthrie, L.J. DesPres, Marshall Arnold, Charles Riddle, B.T. Sheppard, Roy Sharp, John Black and Jerry Deardorff (1984 to present).
By Mrs. Evelyn Shetley
This page is for perpetual written accounts of historical events that have occurred in the city. Anyone who feels they have pertinent information may submit it. This includes all people in or out of Marquand and could involve any interested adults or children with events or items that are of interest. Items may be submitted for publication on this page where they will remain as part of a historical archive for the city. Items of interest may include noteworthy events, special events of historical importance, information about area growth that pertains to the history of the city, and other pertinent notes. We hope to establish a large data base of information about the history of each city. Historical Societies are encouraged to open their own page on Key to the City for more extensive historical information.
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