Adapted from the email letter sent by Paul Ovaitt (paulO) on September 7, 2023
TILIW – Digging Up Bones - A lynching in Augusta – Facebook is the Minister of Good Taste? - Bob Brail – a town called Wolkes – seriously, Bob?
Gentle readers, I’m still working on my finale to the 4-part Tom Rueschhoff story, but it has taken me down the proverbial rabbit hole…and I’m still digging my way out…when I’m not playing music. I mean…I’m enjoying it, but I have this gnawing urge to bring you some edifying entertainment more immediately. So, let me tell you a couple of stories.
About the time I was writing my Digging Up Bones stories, Professor Kamphoefner offered me the opportunity to use his own research regarding a lynching in Augusta. Yes, folks…I said a lynching in Augusta. Hard to believe, right?
Walter prefaced his offer with the acknowledgement that I may not want to handle this hot topic. He also told me that the Franklin County Historical Society had seemingly rejected the story because they also found it too hot to handle…yes, Franklin County plays a large role in the story.
When Walter made this generous offer, I wasn’t ready to accept this controversial story because I was still licking my wounds from the rough treatment I received from the Archaeologist/Records Management of Missouri State Historic Preservation Office. At the same time Facebook rejected a couple of my Digging Up Bones stories on the grounds that they might not be suitable for a community site. Good lord! Facebook is the Minister of Good Taste? If you wish to understand this debacle better, click here for my version of the truth: https://www.augustamomuseum.com/post/tell-it-like-it-was-it-s-not-as-easy-as-it-looks-digging-up-bones-part-2
Fast forward a few months…the editor of the Boone-Duden Historical Society newsletter, Bob Brail, contacts me to ask if I know anything about a lynching in our fair village of Augusta. Funny you should ask, Bob…there is such a story, but you need to speak with a higher authority, namely our mutual friend, Walter Kamphoefner.
Bob, in fact, did contact Walter and he ultimately wrote a great story, even adding his own research. It was published in the May-June 2023 issue of the BDHS newsletter. TBH it was better than anything I could have written.
So, was there ever such a lynching? If you have even an ounce of curiosity, I think you should read the story on Bob Brail’s blog to get the answer. Click here: https://justawalkdowntheroad.blogspot.com/2021/10/the-1873-lynching-in-augusta-by-bob.html
Here’s a photo of Bob Brail speaking at a Live Tell It Like It Was on March 14, 2023 at Harmonie Verein. It was joint event between Friends of Historic Augusta and Boone-Duden Historical Society.
Gentle readers, here’s another Bob story. Shortly after I told him about Walter and the lynching story, he emailed me to ask what I knew about a town called Wolkes on the Augusta Bottoms Road, between Nona and Emke Road. Seriously, Bob?
I’m not even going to try to describe the premise. Instead, I’ll quote the opening paragraph of Bob’s amazing story:
This article had its beginning in a 1919 Missouri State Highway Department map of St. Charles County I found on the website of the State Historical Society of Missouri while looking for ideas to write about. As I glanced over the map, one of several I have seen of St. Charles County over the years, I was surprised to see a town I had never before heard of. There in the extreme southwest corner of the county was Wolkes. “Was this a mistake?” I wondered. I have been writing articles about Boone-Duden country for fifteen years now, yet the name Wolkes was new to me. My journey to Wolkes had begun.
Here's the link to the story on Bob’s blog, Just a Walk Down the Road. Don’t be afraid to click on it. His blogspot has never harmed my laptop.
Exercise your curiosity; it didn’t kill the cat or the computer.