Sense of Place

Profiling historical people, places and things throughout the Ozarks. Until recently, Sense of Place had been a long-running series on KSMU. We re-launched the series in August 2017 to capture unique stories on history throughout our region. Below, see recent reports and archives from over the years.

Rick Gunter / Dora Public Library

A tiny town in south-central Missouri was once a refuge for bank robbers and outlaws.  92-year-old Dick Deupree remembers when Dora had its fair share of bandits. 

Dick Deupree recalls how, when he was a child, his father worked in the general store in Dora as the assistant postmaster. While life may have seemed normal in the shop front, there was a lot of drama in the background as his father dealt with notorious bank robbers.

Michele Skalicky

The Ritchey Mansion, east of Neosho in Ritchie, MO, stands tall some 168 years after it was built.  The two-story brick house is in a bucolic setting not far from Newtonia, surrounded by fields and farm roads.  But the area hasn’t always been peaceful.  During the Civil War, the house, built by Matthew E. Ritchey, served as a hospital for casualties of two Civil War battles that raged nearby.  And both Unions and Confederates used the house as their headquarters at different times during the conflict.   

Claire Kidwell / KSMU

Timmons Temple, was once a place where Springfield’s African American community gathered to worship and socialize.  Now known as Timmons Hall, it rests in a new location after it was moved to Silver Springs Park in 2015.  Today, it’s used as an events venue for the Springfield-Greene County Park Board. 

As a part of Silver Springs Park Days, historical Timmons Temple held an open house Sunday for people to gather and remember the old church.

Betty Ransom is playing hymns on an old, donated piano as people wander in.

Michele Skalicky

Anyone who’s been to the Buffalo National River can attest to the beauty of the area, with its massive cliffs, cool, clear water, abundant wildlife and many diverse hiking trails.  But some may not realize the effort it took to create the park and the impact that had on landowners.

Claire Kidwell / KSMU

As people meander through Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park, they can wander into what looks like a set for Little House on the Prairie.

This is the Gray/Campbell Farmstead, and on this property is preserved Liberty School, an old one room school house from the north of Springfield. While the school is no longer in operation, there are still those who remember going to class there.

“I attended as a five year old. In 1947 they didn’t have Kindergarten, but they let me go.”