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FORISTELL A CENTURY AGO

1835--Virginians William & Nancy Lockett arrive in vicinity. Joel Davis comes the following year. Soon other families from Virginia and other eastern states settle in area.

1847--Hickory Grove Christian Church is founded.

1849--Frederick Blattner sets up a Trading Post in his nearby farm, and adds a mill for grinding corn to accommodate his neighbors.

1856--Land transaction is completed for a new town named "Millville" (or Mehlville) on land owned by Joel Adison and Francis M. Davis. A Post office was established under the name "Snowhill", and the first Postmaster was J.P.Simpson. The town's plans also included a one-hundred foot right-of-way for railroad tracks, and tracks were laid down for the Wabash, St.Louis & Pacific Railroad. By this time there were many farms, ranches and tobacco plantations surrounding Millville. Owners were chiefly settlers from virginia who were slave holders. Mr.Raleigh built the first house in town.

1857-Millville was officially platted on both sides of the railroad tracks with 14 lots on the south side, and 20 lots on the north side.

1861-Frederick Blattner builds large stone building for a general store on the south side of the tracks. War materials and Civil War troops were carried by rail through Millville. On at one occasion a Union troop train was fired upon by Confederate sympathizers.

1865--During this period Millville was showing considerable growth. Lewis constructed the "Millville Mills", and Harry Gray & Thomas Mason built a tobacco factory. Another leading citizen in the community at this time was Pierre Foristell, an immigrant from Ireland who had come into the area in the late 1850's. He had become a large land owner, stock raiser and tobacco grower.

1867--Samuel Burlingame, a shoemaker, came to Millville and settled on south edge of town. As years passed the Burlingame family became very prominent.

1871--A.E. Fordehase was appointed Postmaster.

1872—Dr. C. W. Pringle MD begins practice and remains the town’s physician for 30 years.

1875--The official name of the changed from Millville to Foristell, honoring Pierre Foristell. Also Snowhill Post office now became Foristell Post office.

1876--E.M.Pringle buys A.E Fordehase’s share of store business, and builds a large lumber yard. A. E. Fordehase builds a store of his own.

1877/78--During these years, Henry Higginbotham was the Ticket, Freight and Express Agent at the depot.

1879--Alexander Young, immigrant from Ireland, sets up blacksmith and wagon making shops. Henry W.Williams builds a small commercial hotel and drug store.

1883--Ed Pringle sells his general store business to John Schatz (age 28) and John H.Schiermeier (age 22), and expands his grain shipping business. Pringle also becomes Foristell's Notary Public, a post he held for many years.

1888--H.William Schmidt purchases a 4th interest in the Blattner Store. When Blattner bowed out, the store became "Schatz & Schmidt", then "Schemmer & Schmidt", and finally Bill Schmidt retained full control. It remained "Schmidt's Store" until 1943.

1889--Schatz sells his store share to John Schiermeier & his brother Ernst. John was appointed Postmaster, a position he held until he moved to Matson in 1894.

At the close of the century Foristell was a busy railroad town. There were the Methodist and Christian Churches, and the Wide Awake, Blattner, Hickory Grove and African grammar schools were near.

• information from Craker Barrel Country, Volumes III & IV, by J W Schiermeier.


 
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