June 18, 2018 my dad and I left St. Louis, MO area and headed to Kennett, MO, where we would stay a night and visit my Grandma’s grave. My Grandma passed away last year and we were unable to attend the funeral. (RIP to my Grandma 1919-2017)
Kennett, MO is actually home to Sheryl Crow. I wasn’t able to snap a photo of the welcome signs around town, but here is her history. Population of Kennett, MO is about 10,932 and on our recent visit, talks around town were of the only hospital closing. The closest hospital will be located in Poplar Bluff, about an hour away.
My dad pointed to San Francis River in a fishing channel where he and his brothers would catch catfish and take then home to eat.
In Holcomb, MO, a favorite place my dad would eat at, called Strawberry’s, was right along the way to Kennett. We stopped for a gallon of their famous BBQ sauce and seasoning and also had a bite to eat. The food was amazing.
The most current information I could find about Holcomb is that the population (from 2010) was 635. I couldn’t even locate a city website!
Right before Holcomb, MO there is a town called Campbell, MO, the peach capital of Missouri. This is where a famous farm is located, called Bader Farms. We were going to stop, but locals said peaches weren’t ready yet, despite what the website said.
I found a bit more information for Campbell, where the population is now close to 1900:
“The City of Campbell has roots dating back to before the Civil War. It was founded with the arrival of the railroad in 1880-1881.
Less than two miles northwest of the present city is the former settlement of Four Mile, so named because it was situated four miles from the St. Francis River ferry at Chalk Bluff, and four miles from various other important local points.
During the 1850’s the inhabitants of this little settlement petitioned for a post office, which was granted. The town consisted of a drug store, two or three general stores, several practicing physicians, and a more than adequate number of saloons.
During the Civil War, the little town saw many skirmishes of Union and Confederate troops, climaxing with a battle at Chalk Bluff in 1863. Following the war, the town settled down to its former quiet life. A Baptist Church and a Masonic Lodge (Four Mile Lodge No. 212), both now in Campbell, were chartered that same year.
Life was peaceful in Four Mile until the area was startled with news of a railroad coming. The line was built in 1880-1881, running two miles south of Four Mile. Merchants were quick to set up little branch stores to do business with the railroad work crews.
Campbell started with the railroad and Four Mile was doomed. Within two years every business there had moved to Campbell.
Campbell flourished and during the 1890’s it grew into a timber center. Sawmills and lumber companies dotted the town and one owner made a million dollars within a few years. Campbell was the most thriving town in Dunklin County until the timber was gone, about 1908.
Following the disappearance of good timber, the community settled down as an agricultural town. Growth over the years has been relatively slow, but it has been steady. During the past three decades, while other Missouri towns of its size were losing population, Campbell continued its steady growth.
The City of Campbell continues to look forward to the future. With its famous peaches, cotton, and other agriculture, it has progressed to its current population of 1,883.”
It was really special to hear about my dad’s stories of growing up and sharing that with him while traveling on the road with him again. My best memories to date. He’s the best guy I’ve ever known.