Books James F. Thoma and CDs


Books and CDs

This Cruel Unnatural War


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“This Cruel Unnatural War” by James F. Thoma was first published in 2003 and again in 2006. The first half of this book covers the events of the Civil War in Cooper County, Missouri on a day by day basis format. The events begin with the second land battle of the Civil War which occurred in Boonville, Missouri. Boonville, the seat of Cooper County, is site of four battles during the war. The county is marked by bloody incident after bloody incident as the war turns into one of bushwhacking. Citizens are taken from their Sunday church services, to be later hung on the Lone Elm Prairie. Wives watch as their husband toenails are pulled out with pliers and then murdered. The towns of Boonville, Otterville, Lamine, Bunceton, Gooch’s Mill, Palestine, and Pisgah are all sites of bloodshed.

The second half of this book contains military service records for thousands of Cooper County residents who served in the Civil War. Besides regular service units, muster rolls for Home Guards, Enrolled Missouri Militia, Provisional Enrolled Missouri Militia, and County Guards round out the service records; to include thousands of men who answered the call but never received pensions.

This book is 292 pages in 8 1/2” by 11” page size. It is coil bound with plastic and heavy cardstock outside covers. Over 360 different sources are cited in this book.



Cooper County History Series


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The Cooper County History series is in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format. In order to view and print a book, you will need to install a copy of this free reader. The books on this cd are not images of the original; but are transcriptions of the originals. As a result, the book is fully searchable using the Adobe Acrobat search function. However, no guarantee is made that the books are free of transcription errors. You are allowed to print as many copies as desired of these book for your own personal use. However, copying or printing the CD, or contents of the CD, for distribution to others, either free or for reimbursement, is prohibited. Included on this cd are the following books in pdf format:

 

A History of Cooper County, Missouri by Levens and Drake

Published in 1876 as a centennial tribute, this is the first history of Cooper County, Missouri. As such it is the premier history of the county. The book traces the development of the Boonslick area from the time of the first white explorers through the year 1876. There is little biographical information contained within this manuscript. However, many early settlers are mentioned in connection with their development of Cooper and Howard Counties, Missouri. The book covers the history of the towns of Boonville, Pilot Grove, Otterville, New Lebanon, Palestine, Lamine, Pisgah, and others; as well as the various townships of this county. The war history of the county is covered from the Indian, Mexican, and Civil Wars.

Old Nick Abroad and Other Poems by Horace Hutchison

Published in 1895 this work of poems speaks to the moral sentiments of the mid to late 1800s. A graduate of Kemper School in Boonville, Missouri; Hutchison was later editor of the Boonville Advertiser. He was well known for writing poetry most of his life, including his July 4, 1876 centennial celebration poem which is also included in this book.

The most fascinating poetry in this book is Hutchison work on the devil, also known as ‘Old Nick’. These three to four poems cover more than half of Hutchison’s body of work. The devil comes up from the hinterlands and interacts with the people of the day, in settings in which only the reader and the devil know that it is Old Nick who is interacting with the local citizens.

 

First Hundred Years by Elston J. Melton

Published in 1957 this book covers the first 100 year history of the Thespian Hall in Boonville, Missouri. Melton also updates the history of Cooper County, Missouri from the printing of his 1937 history of the county up to the year 1957. Finally, he covers the gala celebration of the 100 year anniversary of Thespian Hall.

The oldest theater west of the Mississippi River, Thespian Hall has been saved from the wrecking ball and is still in use today. At the time of its construction in 1857 it was the grandest building in many a county. Slaves were held in the basement during the early years and during the Civil War it served as a prison, a hospital and barracks. After the war, the Thespian Hall fell on hard times. The local German community took over the building using it for their plays and as an athletic club. In the late 1800s it entered its heyday, becoming a stopping point for touring companies making the trip between St. Louis and Kansas City, Missouri; the arts finally arrived in the small town of Boonville. Again the Thespian Hall hit hard times and it was converted to the Lyric Theater, showing motion pictures.

 

History of Cooper County Missouri by W. F. Johnson (Volume I)

Published in 1919 the original book was close to 1200 pages in length. It is approximately three-quarters biographies and one-quarter county history. For genealogical information this is the premier history for Cooper County and its villages of Boonville, Bunceton, Blackwater, Lamine, Otterville, Pilot Grove, Prairie Home, Pisgah, Gooch’s Mill, Lone Elm, Palestine, New Lebanon, and Round Hill. If there is one source of genealogical information for Cooper County that you should have, it is this two volume set.

Volume I is approximately 650 pages with the first half being the county history and the second half being biographies. Admittedly there is not much new in the county history that is not available in the 1876 and 1883 county histories.

 

History of Cooper County Missouri by W. F. Johnson (Volume II)

Published in 1919 the original book was close to 1200 pages in length. It is approximately three-quarters biographies and one-quarter county history. For genealogical information this is the premier history for Cooper County and its villages of Boonville, Bunceton, Blackwater, Lamine, Otterville, Pilot Grove, Prairie Home, Pisgah, Gooch’s Mill, Lone Elm, Palestine, New Lebanon, and Round Hill. If there is one source of genealogical information for Cooper County that you should have, it is this two volume set.

Volume II is around 600 pages in length. This volume is entirely biographies of county residents, their ancestors and their descendants.

 

This Cruel Unnatural War by James F. Thoma

Published in 2003, the first half of this book covers the events of the Civil War in Cooper County, Missouri on a day by day basis format. The events begin with the second land battle of the Civil War in Boonville, Missouri. Boonville, the seat of Cooper County, is site of four battles during the war. The county is marked by bloody incident after bloody incident as the war turns into one of bushwhacking. Citizens are taken from their Sunday church services, to be later hung on the Lone Elm Prairie. Wives watch as their husband toenail are pulled out with pliers and then murdered. The towns of Boonville, Otterville, Lamine, Bunceton, Gooch’s Mill, Palestine, and Pisgah are all sites of bloodshed.

The second half of this book contains military service records for thousands of Cooper County residents who served in the Civil War. Besides regular service units, muster rolls for Home Guards, Enrolled Missouri Militia, Provisional Enrolled Missouri Militia, and County Guards round out the service records; to include thousands of men who answered the call but never received pensions.

This book was originally 260 pages in 81/2” by 11” pages size. Margins are .6” / .7” inner margins with .75” top and bottom margins. The first 130 pages were in 10 point Arial type while the appendixes are in 9 point Arial type. Over 360 different sources are cited in this book. However, this manuscript is being continually revised and you will receive the latest edition.

 

History of Howard and Cooper Counties by (Volume II)

Published in 1883, the original book has been divided into two volumes. Volume II was originally 549 pages in length. Of this, 310 pages are biographies of individuals with the remaining 239 pages being a history of Cooper County, Missouri. For genealogical information the biographies are for Cooper County and its villages of Boonville, Bunceton, Blackwater, Lamine, Otterville, Pilot Grove, Prairie Home, Pisgah, Gooch’s Mill, Lone Elm, Palestine, New Lebanon, and Round Hill. This is an often overlooking source of biographical and genealogical information for Cooper County. The county history is largely a duplicate of that found in Levens and Drakes 1876 history. I would estimate that 1/3 of the county history is new information.

 

Home Town Sketches by Emile R. Palliou

Published in 1926, the flyer reads: "HOME TOWN SKETCHES, probably the only book of its kind, contains intimate sketches of interesting people and quaint characters who live or lived in the little Missouri town of Boonville during the period of 1870 to 1900. The Author knows his home town thoroughly and has drawn for his contemporaries and for posterity pen pictures that will endure, showing characters and conditions now rapidly becoming obsolescent. Dr. Paillou uses the actual names of his former fellow citizens, thus enhancing the local interest without decreasing that of the general reader.

Among the most pleasing of these sketches are those depicting friendship, and of these Tyler and Phil is especially touching. There is something appealing in the affection of these two manly fellows - truly a modern Damon and Pythias!

What Zink Wanted is a pastel, a charmingly simple sketch of a lowly citizen and the occasion of the three words spoken fifty years ago. Turk Gooseberry! How we long for more than the brief line which Dr. Paillou gives to this wonderfully named negro. We are somewhat consoled by the delicious bit about Turks sister, Mary.

In the sketch White-Wash Laura, Dr. Paillou has by his artistry embalmed a character well worth preserving for posterity. He makes us visualize the life and labors of this ancient slave woman, carrying us to the full climax by anticipating her career beyond the grave in the words that make us forget that Laura is only a colored woman, and we hear her asking for her reward at the gates of Paradise "where flows the milky river of white-wash."

Human interest knows no geographical lines; hence Captain Porter, Whistletrigger, Sorghum Bates, Five Cent Butter, Guinea Sam and a score of other characters which hold our interest and make us wish for more.

 


 
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