The Maynard Gang

A recent visitor caused me to reflect upon the significant role of the Fourche River Valley in our state’s history and that of the Old Southwest. Rick Mansfield of Ellington, Missouri was seeking the landowner’s permission to cross the fence on the west side of the highway 328 bridge to take some pictures. I presumed to tell him that Billy Ray James would not care.

The purpose of Mansfield’s exploration was to recreate the route of English explorer Henry Schoolcraft’s 1818 journey from Potosi, Missouri across the Current, Fourche, Elevenpoint and Strawberry Rivers and descending the White River by boat. He is in the process of making a television documentary.

Schoolcraft spoke of settlements six miles north of the Fourche crossing. This is probably a reference to the John Shaver and Matthias Mock families who came to the Mud Creek - Palestine Church area in 1815.

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