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January 4, 2012

Posted Wednesday, February 22, 2012, at 1:32 PM

Glennonville is a postage stamp-sized village in the "boot heel" of Missouri. The town is not actually in the "boot heel," but in a somewhat undefined northeast part of the southeastern corner of the state. The town was named for Archbishop John Joseph Glennon of St. Louis, who believed that the agrarian life was especially conducive to sturdy family life and Christian virtue. In 1905, he started a program called the Colonization Movement, which led to what would become the National Catholic Rural Life Conference.

Glennon and two Irish adventurers set out to establish a community that could be built around their lifestyle and beliefs. The church had purchased twelve thousand acres to colonize and it was their duty to find the perfect spot to start the new colony. After a wary journey through this wilderness they finally found the spot and declared "This is the spot for the new colony."

Hand-picked German Catholics were invited to come to the new colony to buy farmland in a remote settlement far from the banks of the Mississippi River and major highways. A two story hotel was one of the first businesses to be opened in the new colony of Glennonville. It was needed for newcomers and the timber workers. Eventually more business were set up and a teacher was hired to teach the German children English. This was not an easy task for an English speaking teacher.

Even today Glennonville is known as a German catholic community and holds tight to its roots.


The lumber rich community near the Arkansas border was founded by William Barron, who named it after the Latin word for "beech tree". Apparently, Barron named his town before he knew there actually were beech trees in it, in honor of his favorite trees back home. So you can, in fact, find a fagus tree or two around. An interesting fact about the Beech tree is they are not native to Missouri and can only be found in one town in Missouri, which of course is Fagus.

Before gaining the name Fagus, the community was known as Slapout because the local store was always "slap out of meat."

As always, it is an honor to serve you in the Missouri House. If you would like to discuss any issue, please call 573-751-3629. You can also email me at Kent.Hampton@house.mo.gov. I look forward to hearing from you.

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