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Jefferson County, Missouri

Southwest Townships

Township 39 North, Ranges 3 and 4 East
Township 38 North, Ranges 3 and 4 East

The map shows a great deal of overlap into the T40N township. Only a portion of T39N,R3E and T38N,R4E are in the county; the southwest corner of T39E,R4E is also outside the county.

The northern boundary of T39N is the solid horizontal line that runs through the north side of De Soto. The boundary between T39N and T38N is the line slopes somewhat south and follows Pagel Rd and Sunrise School Rd, then bends to more nearly horizontal and passes through Valles Mines. The southern boundary of T38N in Jefferson County is the county boundary at the bottom of the map.

The western boundary of R3E is the Jefferson County line which runs northwest-southeast until it hits Big River, and then follows the course of the river southeast and then south. The boundary between R3E and R4e is the darker vertical line in about the left third of the map (sections 12, 13, and 24 of T39N,R3E can be seen clearly marked just west of this line). The eastern boundary of R4E is the solid "vertical" line that runs between Sunrise Lakes and Lake Valle.

The offset between the T39N section boundaries and the T40N section boundaries to their north is how the land was actually surveyed. The same is true of the often odd shapes of the sections in T39N and T38N.

A Bit of Family History

Our father, Wayne Varney PIERCE, was born and raised on a farm near Ware. He started teaching school in a one- room schoolhouse near there (Brown School, we believe) in about 1922-23 when he was 17 or 18 years old. We aren't certain how long he taught there, and we believe he may have also taught for a year or so in Pevely about the same time.

In 1956, we were living in Fort Worth, TX when our father got an opportunity to teach again in Pevely (in grade school, though I don't remember which grade). He moved back to MO, and, along with teaching at Pevely, he sold lots part-time at Valle Lake, which had recently been built by Ed LUCAS. I believe Mr LUCAS had been a student of dad's, or possibly it was Mr (Bob?) POTEET, who was the head salesman at the lake. We followed father to MO after school was out in June, 1957. "We" were our mother, Neva (Vernon) PIERCE, my sister Jo Ann, and myself (and the dog - Smokey).

We first lived in a house built on pilings over the flood bed of Joachim Creek, where Mt Olive Church Road intersects Highway "V" (essentially on the boundary of sections 12 and 13 of T39N,R4E). This house was on land owned by a Mr FRIEDMEYER (I believe - the spelling is probably wrong), who owned quite a lot of grazing land west of Joachim Creek. The top of the bluff that formed the west bank of the creek was heavily wooded, but covered with cow trails. It finally leveled off (sort of) into lightly wooded meadows a quarter mile or so west of the creek. Mr FRIEDMEYER had a barn perhaps half a mile north and west of our house which could be accessed by a track off of Highway "V" that forded the creek. I believe he grew some crops (corn, possibly) around the barn, but I no longer remember for certain.

Our parents and our uncle, Walter Clayton PIERCE, bought lots at the lake, and the following summer we moved into a house our uncle built on one of them. This was (at the time) the second house (on the left) after you crossed the dam and started up the hill. It was quite large, or seemed so then. With a full basement that served as the garage and a partial second story, it was effectively a three-story house. I believe the house was built by Clay WIDEMAN, and some COPELANDs also worked on it (some of whom lived up the hill from us).

I went to the 7th and 8th grade at Sunrise Elementary, which isn't shown on the map but I suspect it's vastly larger than it was. After 40+ years, I can bring up off-hand only a few of the people I went to school with: Doug HENRY (whose mother had been a student of my father's at Brown School), his cousin Jeannie (Jean? - surname forgotten), Timmy and Tommy BECKHAM (twins, but not identical), Vera and David (I believe) HAVERSTICK, Wanda HILDYARD (I believe that's right), John BRADLEY (I believe this family lived on Fox Farm Rd), Eddie MUZZY, Janet CANTRELL (spelling?), and I believe there was a STRICKLAND or two.... The 7th and 8th grade shared a room (I don't remember about the others), and the teacher was also the principal, though again I don't remember her name.

We moved back to TX in the early fall of 1959, and I haven't been back since. I've been a little afraid to go, actually - it must have changed enormously and I remember it as a truly great place for a kid to live. (I lived in Hawaii for a couple of years in the early 1960s, and made the mistake of going back 25 years later... it was depressing.) Uncle Walter kept the house at Valle Lake, and moved into it after he retired from Bell Telephone. He lived there with his second wife, Helen STOVESAND (the widow of Ross BLEIKER), until his death in January, 1978.

John W Pierce - R2 Systems, San Diego - 19991212