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History of Senath -- "Cotton Country"

Posted Tuesday, August 14, 2012, at 12:52 PM


The post-office of Senath was established in the spring of 1882 at the residence of A. W. Douglass and named in honor of his wife, Mrs. Senath Hale Douglass. Eobert W. Baird was the first postmaster and served in that capacity for several years. In July of 1889, the office was moved to the pleasantly situated town of Senath. From this date Senath began to put on the tangible appearance of a village. It's location in Salem Township on Horse Island was a good one, being ten miles from Kennett, the county seat, and on high land, drained on one side by Honey Cypress, and on the other by Buffalo Creek. Fine farms surrounded it on all sides, and they were owned by an industrious and thrifty class of farmers.

During this time, there were three general stores in Senath conducted respectively by Baird, Satterfield & Co., K. M. Bone & Co., and J. I. Caneer. All did an extensive business furnishing the fine country around them with general supplies. There was one barber shop and J. I. Caneer accommodates the traveling public.

Two cotton gins and grist mills and a blacksmith found plenty of work to keep them fairly busy.

Dr. R. W. Baird was the oldest and leading physician; Dr. W. W. White also had a good practice, and Dr. Burks had only been in the county a short time. Miss Hulda Douglass was a notary public, and was the only woman in the county holding that office. Two churches, and one of the neatest little schoolhouses in the county, were conveniently situated.

Usually a live Sunday-school was kept up in at least one of these churches. Miss Hulda Douglass was, in a way, the leader and chaperon for the young set and children; this was evidenced by their superior manners and morals.

The day school at this place turned out some of the brightest young people in the county, who went on to teaching also. The whole district took pride in the public school, and cheerfully supported an eight month term.

The principal products sold at Senath were cotton, corn, cattle, hogs, poultry, eggs, butter, beeswax, furs, etc. The businessmen were all wide-awake, up with the times, and owned good lands and other property, thus making a substantial basis for their merchandising.

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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