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City of Hawk Point

121 W. Lincoln Drive | P.O. Box 302 | Hawk Point, MO | 63349 | 636.338.4377 | Hours: Tues. - Fri. 8:00AM to 5:00PM

The following information was gathered from "A Harvest of Memories - Hawk Point Tells it's Story" written by Don Gordon (a former resident of Hawk Point, from 1948 until 1957) and Jim Hall (a resident of Hawk Point since 1969). The actual date of this book is not shown but it is suspected to have been written in or around the late 1970's to mid-1980's.



Pictured above: (left) Don Gordon & (right) Jim Hall, Authors of "A Harvest of Memories - Hawk Point Tells it's Story"


Pictured above: Cover of "A Harvest of Memories - Hawk Point Tells it's Story"

**This historical book is available at City Hall for viewing**

**...** Notes from City Clerk



Long before the coming of the Kennedy's Masheks, Tomeks, Duncans or Howells, the prairie hawks came to roost in a point of woods where timber left off and open, rolling hills began. Quite naturally, the area came to be known as hawk's point, then the Hawk Point Community and finally the town of Hawk Point. **Now named the City of Hawk Point**

Early settlers, farmers mostly, began drifting into that section of Lincoln County during the first half of the 19th century to stake out homesteads and start new lives on the land that afforded more open space than the eastern regions they had left.

At first, their communities centered on the church as the primary social institution of the time. Nearly all the churches of the area had their origins in the mid-1800's, the Catholic community springing up in the Bohemian settlement at Mashek northeast of Hawk Point, and the Baptists, Christians and Methodists on the east, north and west of the presented town site.

Hawk Point's first public official undoubtedly was the postmaster who may have been either John Kennedy of Oliver Holmes. Accourding to papers of former U.S. Rep. Clarence Cannon, the first Hawk Point post office was established on Feb. 20, 1840, with Mr. Kennedy as postmaster. The other version of the establishment of a post office is more detailed, except no dates are given.

On property now belonging to Vannie Vejvoda, in fact at the corner of his yard, the post office reportedly was established in the farm home built by Mr. Holmes and he was put in charge. Federal Authorities had heeded the application for mail service for the growing population of the area. The same account has it that the name Hawk Point was officially adopted at the time because of the roosting place near the post office site, which is along the first road west of Hawk Point and perhaps two miles or so south.

Mr. Holmes supposedly was postmaster for a number of years -- the mail then was carried from Troy once a week (this is where Bill Doll Sr. now lives) before  the office was moved to the home of another pioneer, Armstrong Kennedy.

There is no indication what relation, if any, Armstrong Kennedy was to the John Kennedy mentioned in the Clarence Cannon's papers, but in 1840, Armstrong Kennedy's family had been in Lincoln County for 20 years, so John conceivably, could have been a son. The Democratic political tradition that to this day is strong in Hawk Point was evidenced in the Kennedy family. Armstrong Kennedy was affiliated with the party and later his son Alexander likewise would be holding office as justice of the peace under that label.

After another interlude during which Mr. Holmes was postmaster, the post office was moved in 1860 to the Alexander Kennedy home where he took over the post office he would hold until his death in 1895.

Alexander Kennedy also was Hawk Point's first merchant, establishing a store in his home in 1860. This major figure in the community's early history was married three times and twice widowed. His first two wives were sisters, first Sarah Howell and then Mary Howell. His third wife was Rhoda Williams.

A year after Mr. Kennedy's death, his store building and contents burned to the ground. Merchandising quickly was taken over by Alex Owens and a man named Sparks who built a store that over the following eight or so years would have an interesting existence. The store was built on property now owned by Hurley Creech.

Mr. Sparks bought out Mr. Owens and put the store on wheels and moved it to his home. Then in about 1900, Mr. Sparks sold the store to W.L. Duncan who put it on wheels and transported it to the farm property he had purchased from Alexander Kennedy.

Four years later, the store building took to wheels once again and was moved into town, behind the present site of the Enterprise building. It held the stock while the Enterprise was being built  and later was used as a poultry house for the Enterprise.

By this time, the Burlington Railroad was coming through Hawk Point, houses were Being Built, more businesses were being established.

Hawk Point was changing from a collection of scattered farm homes centering as a community on a store and post office into a bona fide town.

Before the town was established, there was a store where Leonard O'Hanlon lives and also a post office there, though not necessarily the Hawk Point office. This was in about 1895.

Tom Blair ran the store as first. Later, George Nasser operated a grocery on the site and lived upstairs in the present house, which he built. Others who operated a store at that location were Henry Meyer, Charles Gililland and Frazier Riddle until it closed in 1916.

Some of the early settlers in and around Hawk Point included Peter Rinaman who homesteaded land his great-grandson Derwoon Rinaman still farms and Sheridan Howell, whose land had remained in the family more than 100 years.

The 1878 atlas shows that these men came into Lincoln County or were born here during the early to mid-1800's: Peter Keller, blacksmith, S.D. Cannon, G.H. Copher, Henry T. Lansche, Alexander Kennedy, Henry Frank and E.D. Owens, a Baptist minister.

The atlas also shows these landowners in and around Hawk Point in 1878: Ben Kelly, J.H. Bishop, J. Havener, D.R. Abel, T. Bishop, G.H. Copher, H.P.Alten, I.J. Stewat, J.J. Allen, J.W. Skurlock, J. Abbott, R.J. Lockwood, T.E. Tutt, E. Overall, J.H. Walton, D.E. Barley, J.A. Elmore, W.H. Elmore, L. Johnson, J.M. Russell, J.H. Mourning, W.E. Shelton, W.F. Slavens, E. Baker, A.J. Elsberry, S.J. Bowles and M.H. Burgess.

Hawk Point is and has always been first and foremost, a farming community, existing in large part as a trading center for the agricultural society surrounding it. Farming obviously has changed greatly in the century and a quarter since settlers began to migrate to the area.

For one thing, early day farming was on a smaller scale but was more diversified. Farmers on the one hand operated more of an independent unit in terms of the commodities they needed to buy but were more interdependent in terms of each other. That is, before the days of one man and many machines as the farm producers, neighbors would have to pitch in to help with butchering and harvest.

The typical cash and feed farm was perhaps of 40 to 100 acres in size and produced corn, wheat, oats and hay as crops and possibly some tobacco for home use. Hogs, chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, milk cows and beef cattle made up the livestock roll and the produce from these, principally chickens, eggs, cream and butter, were used in a barter fashion to obtain other goods at the stores in town.

In the early days, these would have been Himmels, Tomeks and the Enterprise. When farmers said their dairy and poultry products set their table, that is what they meant.

Farm diet was heavy on pork and poultry and during the warm seasons the fresh green vegetables from the garden. During the winter, farmer's wives would raid the fruit cellar for the goods that they had canned.

Hog Butchering day meant work from sun-up to dusk and usually involved some neighbors. The results would be ham, sausage, lard, head cheese and crackling, all done in one winter's day.

Most Farmers of the day made their own soap, commonly called grandma's lye soap. Meat was kept in the smokehouse and some produce was buried under the snow or dirt to preserve the fresh taste.



If ever Hawk Point could have been described as a boom town, it must have been from 1904 until about 1909 when much of the original town proper sprang up on the north side of the new Burlington railroad tracks.

Previously, the Hawk Point Community had been scattered about the prairie. The post office, what stores there were, the churches --- these all were in the country, in rural settings.

But like a magnet, the railroad attracted business and residents. The Enterprise was built in 1904 on its present site. Tomek's store went up the same year on the opposite side of Main Street and up the block.

William Elliot opened his lumber yard and hardware store on the present Dulin-Harrell site shortly after the town began to grow.

William Martinek came from Olney in 1904 to start a machine shop that has remained in that family to this day.

The railroad depot was built in 1904. Hotels soon followed to accommodate the business traffic the hustle and bustle of the little town had stimulated. One hotel was on the east side of Main Street in the middle of the block. This hotel was originally the Jones. The date of its construction is not certain, but a picture taken in 1904 shows it wasn't yet built at that time. Tullie and Dullie Jones ran it for five months and then it was sold to William Hammond.

He operated it until about 1923 when he sold it to the Catholic Church which used it as a priests home.

The hotel had eight rooms upstairs, a large living room, dining room and kitchen. Rates were 1$ per night and 50 cents per meal, or 8$ a week for room and board.

Hawk Point soon after its initial build up added an industrial employer, the Blue Oak Handle Co. The factory was established in about 1906 on land now occupied by Bob McCarty's trailer court. The company also had a barn where Gola Gordon now lives.

The plant, which employed about 15 men most of the time, made handles for all kinds of hand tools. It had hickory and oak stored all over the yard and a pond for steam to run the machines.

The manager was Guy Meeks. Some of the employees were Doug Smith, the Sparks brothers, Pen Shelker, Clarence McMahan, Joe Myrick, Clyde and Bill Cannon. The factory closed down sometime between 1910 and 1912.

A large square two-story building was erected near the depot during the early days of Hawk Point's existence. It first was the home of J. B. Gallagher, owner of the Hawk Point Transcript. Mr. Gallagher used the lower level as the newspaper office.

Later the building became the Joe Burgess Hotel, from 1922 to 1928. The hotel had eight rooms and served meals. It was a handy stop for drummers getting off the train. The building, then the residence of Felix Steiger, was destroyed by fire in 1941.

A bank was soon started in the new town. The Baptist and Christian Churches moved from their rural location into town in 1904. The Catholic Church would follow later.

John Kliever, who came to Hawk Point to work on the railroad, stayed to start a blacksmith shop just west of the lumber yard. It was the same site that his son Eddie would occupy as a blacksmith for many years until his death in 1956.

Dr. Foreman came from Warrenton to set up practice in 1904 or 1905. His office was in a room that is now part of Clayton Duffs house. Houses, of course, were going up all over the town site.

The first one in town probably was built by Charles Owens where John Martinek lives now. Joe Tomek Sr. built the house where Clifford Colbert now lives in about 1904.

Other early-day Hawk Point houses still standing are Dan McCarty's, Ida Colbert's, Florence Begeman's, Perry Allen's and Mrs. Piepers.

Another Business was one started by Rudolph Holt, who came to Hawk Point from Moscow Mills, probably in 1904. He was a tinner by trade, who reputedly could make about anything out of tin. His business was where the stone building is now on Main Street.

Mr. Holt, who had a stroke that twisted his mouth and face, put the tin on a house built by a Mr. Lansche in 1904. The house had no nails and still stands.

Two other businessmen who arrived in Hawk Point during this period were Louis Himmel and Charles Broz.

Mr. Himmel had the reputation of being the buyer and seller of just about any kind of merchandise, including animal skins and farm products.

He also had a flair for persuasive advertisement, as evidence by this newspaper ad: "There is a right corset for medium, stout, short, tall women. Each corset is guaranteed not to rust, break or tear."

Mr. Himmel was a small man who had a hump on his back from an accident.

Mr. Broz, a native of Czechosloavakia, bought a harness business from Herman Werges in about 1910. He had learned his trade in the old country. The first location was built north of Tomek's store, but five years later. he moved to a building just south of Tomek's where he branded out into the sale of shoes. Later, he sold Goodyear tires. 

Mr. Broz and his wife ran the store until his death in 1959. An early-day general store was Tappmeyer's which opened in 1907 where the funeral chapel is now. It was not in business very long.

An early figure in Hawk Point, important in commerce and farming, was W. B. Howell, who operated a 300-acre farm at the western edge of the present town site.

He was married to Kate Nichols and they had 10 children. His first wife was the daughter of Alexander Kennedy, A Hawk Point pioneer. She died shortly after their marriage in 1880.

The Silex Index of 1902 praised Mr. Howell as being a "Self-made man, starting in life with comparatively nothing. He has by industry, enterprise and thrift accumulated around and about him a competency that not only insures the comforts for his family but commands the confidence and admiration of his friends." The paper described Mr. Howell as Democrat, and a member of the Christian Church who is known by neighbors as "Charitable and upright".

Another early Hawk Point settler, one who still lives there was Ed Fredde, who has a good memory for some of the flavor of living during that time.

He recalls that in about 1909, a big picnic was held at John Knizel's. A Walton boy with a couple girls in a buggy was stopped in the middle of the road when two of the Upson boys ran into them with their surrey. The two were going to fight Walton, so a race ensued, with Mr. Fredde in hot pursuit behind the two horse drawn vehicles. When they all got into town the marshal, Silas Davis, wanted to know what was going on, so everyone pretended it was just a little game.

Meanwhile, the town continued to build. The elevator was erected in 1907, to stand until 1976 when it was razed to make way for new facilities.

Other businesses during the first several years of Hawk Point's existence included: Harris on Dunard's butcher shop, Joe Burgess's rooming house, Mrs. Shannon's hat shop, Tobe Barley's horse sales and Joe Brown's shoe cobbling shop in the old Shell Building.

Another business was started a little later in 1914 by William Fasse who ran a threshing machine in the summer and sawmill in the winter. He started when he bought a house from George Middlekamp, one now owned by Ida Colbert. Mr. Fasse ran the business until 1937.

The town was becoming fairly populated, Joe Tomek can recall quite a number of Hawk Point and area residents from the period of 1904-06.



Within three years of Hawk Point's precipitous growth starting in 1904, it became apparent to the town leaders that some legal status was needed for the community.

Consequently, In February 1907, W. L. Duncan, H. H. Eversmeyer, T. W. Kelly and 40 other taxpayers petitioned the county for incorporation as a town, submitting a legal description of the area to be so designated

Generally, It followed the Burlington Railroad tracks on the south, the west boundary of the Beverly Upson property on the east, and the Troy-Truxton road on the north, except the boundary took an irregular route on the northwest to take in the Charles Owens property and on the southwest to take in the Joseph Nichols land.

The Charter was granted on March 11, 1907 and Hawk Point officially was a town.

The first chairman of the board of trustees -- he was considered to be the mayor -- was Joseph Diggs. Other original trustees were Flavius A. Walton, Charles Klustermeyer, William Westmake, Mr. Eversmeyer and John Kliever.

The clerk was James McLellan, the marshal, collector and street commissioner, Sam Daugherty, and the treasurer George Middlekamp.

One of the first acts of the new government was the crackdown on suspicious and disorderly houses, those of ill fame and gambling. The Marshal visited such establishments and presumably made some arrests, inasmuch as it is recorded that T. W. Tappmeyer and Joe Tomek Sr. went bond.

A calaboose was authorized in 1907 as a cost of $100 but there is no record any was ever built.

in 1908, George Prewitt became a trustee in place of Mr. Klostermeyer.

The Municipal election that year was presided over by Gabnee Brown, Joe Nichols and Louis Himmel as judges and M. J. Elliot as clerk.

The high votes were received by Joe Diggs, 36; W. L. Duncan, 34; George Presley, 28; and Joe Tomek, 26.

Guy Meeks was disqualified because he had not been a resident long enough. The new marshal was Silas Davis.

Also listed as marshals in 1909 (there may have been considerable turnover in this office) was Omer Lester and Joseph Burgess.

Through about 1921, the Hawk Point trustees, as members of the town board were known: Louis Himmel, A. W. Howell, William Elliot, Mr. Meeks, J.T. Remey, S. M. Davis, George Gibson, W. W. Downing, Harrison Dunard, C. A. Harper, J. C. Giles, John Peterson, Logan Armstrong, J. C. Welch, S. H. Young, R. G. Logan, and F. L. Eversmeyer.

Mayors included Flavius Walton, George Burgess, John Reed, W.F. Guinn and W. H. Hammond.

Marshals were William Cunningham, Sam Daugherty, Everett Burgess, T. D. Hammond, S. L. McMahan, J. H. Monroe, John Witt, Joseph J. Crouch and Joe Brown.

Louis Himmel was listed as town clerk in about 1912.

Action taken by the early town boards toward civic improvement related mostly to streets and sidewalks.

In 1909, the board voted to put sidewalks on Main Street and the next year took the action to bring that about by awarding a contract to build walks either of concrete or granite.

The board also ordered the wooden sidewalks to the depot repaired.

As for streets, the town board decreed that every able bodied man was supposed to work on the graveled thoroughfares three days a year or pay 3$.

in 1910, the board voted to buy 215 loads of gravel for the street improvement.

That same year, the board initiated action that would be much father reaching and in fact would set a pattern that remains to the present.

The board voted to dig a well west of Martinek's machine shop, the long-time sit of the town well and later where the well was put down when a municipal water system was established.

Streets and public accommodations continued to be a town board concern. In 1912, the board ordered construction of a hitching rack north of the millinery store. And in 1915, it voted to work on streets, paying a man and a team 3.50 for 10 hours work.

In 1918, the town government was confronted with a crisis that wasn't confined to small towns, nor was it peculiar to that day.

A worldwide influenza epidemic was raging that year and Hawk Point was not untouched by it.

On Oct. 25, 1918, Mayor Burgess proclaimed Oct. 28 as cleanup day with everything to be cleaned and disinfected with powdered lime, borax, or carbolic acid.

Nor was flu the only scourge that year. A smallpox epidemic led the board, after consultation with Dr. Smith and Dr. John Butler, to appoint a health board consisting of Dr. Butler, Joe Tomek and Harrison Dunard.

Mr. Dunard was to be paid 20 cents each for yellow cloth used to quarantine homes during the siege of the illness.

An epidemic of LaGrippe also is recalled by some.

During the 1920's, many of the same men who earlier served in elected and appointed positions in town government were still on the scene.

George Burgess continued as mayor for a time. Others were F. L. Eversmeyer, William Duncan Jr., Harrison Dunard and Harry Thurman.

Some new men who came to the board of trustees were Charles Broz, Floyd Upson, Joe Powell, William Wing, S. M. Hammett, John R. Crouch, William Giles and H. H. Eversmeyer.

Mr. Himmel was town clerk during this period, as were W. H. Duncan, Mr. Broz, and O. F. Barley.

A new name as marshal was William Earnest.

The town board of that era made big decisions and small. For instance, in 1923, the body ordered everyone to clean outside toilets, typical cleanup ordered annually.

The board was still hiring street work at 30 cents an hour and bought nearly 500 loads of gravel from John Colbert's at 10 cents a load.

The zealousness of youth and the caution of their elders was evidenced in a March 1925 incident. The sophomore class at the school wrote the board asking that a health officer be appointed to inspect milk and test cows and watch for spoiled food. It was signed by Reba Young, Russell Butler and Frances Martinek. 

The board postponed any action.

An example of major action by the board, one that would have lasting significance for Hawk Point, was that which led to a town referendum on March 10, 1926. The people voted to allow East Missouri Power Co. to bring electricity into the town. The age of the kerosene lamp and stove heated flat iron was coming to an end in Hawk Point.

The final period of government under the village form, 1932-59, found many men serving on the board of trustees and in other capacities.

Some such as W. O. Giles, Harrison Dunard, W. F. Guinn, John Peterson and William Wing had served before.

Others were W. F. Martinek, Charles Prior, Richard Henebry, Robert Gililland, O. F. Drunert, Allie Allen, Al Claggett, Oscar Beck, O. F. Barley, Emmett Hoffmann, Felix Steiger, Martin Leek, Leland Witt, A. L. Todd, Gola Gordon, William Howdeshell, Frank Mashek, Ed Martinek, W. L. Brown, Robert Shilharvey, Francis Zalabak, Dwight Casner, Donald Thompson and Lowell Cope.

Mayors were Logan Armstrong, Richard Brown, W. H. Duncan, George Presley, Joe Tomek Jr., Lee Brown, Gus Frank, George Colbert, Londo Luelf, Walter Crouch and Harold Leek.

Marshals included W. F. Nicklin, Felix Steiger, Cecil Cope, and Arch Taylor, as well as some familiar names from earlier days -- Everett Thurstin, Sandford McMahan, T. D. Hammonds and Allie Allen.

Charles Broz, Frank Fasse and Donald Thompson were town clerks.

The town board during that period did not have much money to work with, the 1933 budget, for instance, was $837.32. In 1945, It had grown to $2,052.86.

To help pad out the thread bare treasury, the board applied to WPA money for streets and sold water, in 1936, for 5 cents for 50 gallons.

The town marshal also had to double in brass as street commissioner, water commissioner, tax collector and burier of dead dogs.

In 1946 just 20 years after East Missouri Power Co. was allowed to bring electricity to Hawk Point, the board contracted with the successor power company, Missouri Edison, to furnish electricity for 10 years.

In May 1948, the city bought more land for the cemetery from O. F. Drunert and in the same year outlawed fireworks, their sale and use.

Street work continued to be in the fore front. The first oil and chips were applied in 1943 before the streets were blacktopped in the 1950s. It was in 1973 that a good grade of asphalt was put on some of the main thoroughfares.

In 1952, the town put a tax on cars by requiring purchase of city licenses, and voted to put up 10 stop signs.

A sort of throwback to an earlier time seems indicated in the 1952 ordinance that prohibited hogs in the city from April to October.

Hawk Point made a major change in town government in 1959-60 when the town became a fourth class city under the statutes of the state.

This meant that alderman would be elected from wards and the mayor would be elected at large by the voters. Previously, the mayor was elected by the trustees from among their number.

More profound changes also began to take place after 1960. For one thing, the town started having money to spend for the first time, thanks to such innovations as gasoline tax rebates and later Revenue Sharing.

Modern facilities were added, first a municipal water system. In a community where before the mid 1950's a bathroom and running water were luxuries indeed, the cistern and the out house became the exception and ultimately virtually non-existent.

The water project came in 1960-61. Daniel Fowler was the first water commissioner of the new system. Gola Gordon took it over in 1967 when he retired at the age of 80. Bill Doll Jr. Succeeded him.

Next, a sewer system, with a lagoon for disposal, was added and Al Blacksher was appointed commissioner. Trash pickup service became available and natural gas lines were installed also.

Harold Leek was mayor during a great deal of the town's evolution into one with most of the modern conveniences. Other mayors after the changeover to fourth class city government were Daniel Martinek, Don Davis, David Hart, Emmett Hoffmann and Craig Amann.

Aldermen have included Julius Erbe, Joe Doll, Lawrence Kuda, Arthur Ray Schaper, Charles Tochtrop, Darylne Colbert, John Schieffer, Oliver Steiger, Fred Hasekamp, and Donald Thompson, Bill Todd and John Howdeshell.

Hawk Point has had law enforcement sporadically over much of its history, but of recent years has kept a marshal on the payroll most of the time.

Among them were Roger Laughlin, Earl Amann, Bob Hilton and Ira Thornhill.



Because a handful of Central European immigrants staked out their futures in the rolling, timbered country northwest of Troy in 1848, Hawk Point has never been your typical Anglo-Saxon-German Midwestern farming town. Rather it has a different style and flavor.

Possibly no more that half a dozen Bohemian families were the original pioneers, but more came during the 1850s and 60s -- people with names like Knizel, Shramek, Martinek, Kallash, Kuda and Shilharvey.

The region these first-generation Americans chose later became the location for the village of Mashek which at one time had a church, a store, a post office, a blacksmith shop and a community hall.

Now only the Catholic cemetery remains to remind the present generation of life there long ago. But the picturesque countryside north of Highway 47 still is known as the Bohemian settlement; some descendants of the early residents still live there and the Old World quaintness has not been totally lost. 

The real Old World , the settlers' native land of Bohemia, has a history dating to the establishment known as a kingdom under the Holy Roman Empire about 1,000 years ago. The Czechs inhabiting Bohemia enjoyed relative freedom for about 350 years until the Kingdom was absorbed by the Austrian-Hungarian Empire of the Hapsburgs. Bohemia is part of what now is the nation of Czechoslovakia.

Details of the original Bohemian migration of Lincoln County are sparse, but among the first families were those of Joseph Shelker, John Sedlack and William Norton. Most of the early settlers came by way of St.Louis or Chicago. There followed in 1850 the Frank Martinek family and then many others, among them the Ignatious Knizels with 12 children in 1867. One listing of early Mashek residents included William Martinek, John Mashek, Joseph Shilharvey, Frank Tumpoch, Frank Havlik, John Stanek, John Kallash, William Wing, Albert Shramek, Peter Kuda, Frank Jisha, Frank Baker, William Kowazek and Frank Shelker. Many descendants of these men still live in the Hawk Point vicinity.

The land they settled was not rich and there was not an abundance of tillable soil, but it was well wooded and watered and was efficient for the needs of the new Americans. And maybe it reminded them of home.

In any case, these hard-working, fun-loving, frugal and tightly knit people built their lives together, prospering no the soil, and in some cases as merchants.

Getting started, however, had its problems. For instance, William Norton had to leave his family in Bohemia while he worked in St. Louis to raise enough money to send for them. Even after establishing his home in Lincoln County, he continued to work in the city, coming home only twice a year to bring his pay.

During the Civil War, the Nortons' home was virtually torn apart by renegades searching for money. They didn't find any because the family savings had been well hidden by Mrs. Norton in a wagon wheel hub in a cave and covered by twigs and leaves.

Almost without exception the Bohemians were and are devout Roman Catholics and the history of the group in Lincoln County is virtually inseparable from that of St. Mary's Parish in Hawk Point and its forerunner church in Mashek.

It is a tribute to the important place religion had in the lives of the early Bohemian settlers that the first public building in Mashek was at the church.

At first the villagers met in each other's homes to read prayer books and recite the Rosary, but in 182 with logs donated by the various citizens, a church was built.

The building served the people for many years, until it was replaced by a new church in 1886. The old church was dismantled, moved and reassembled as a community hall which became the entertainment center of the village. No one ever has accused the Bohemians of being backward about having a good time, so the community hall was well used for parties and dances.

A village brass band enlivened things for Mashek dwellers and if William Kowazek was right, there was no trouble recruiting members. All Bohemians, he maintained, are musicians and dancers.

One of the regular events as a community picnic with pies, cakes, soda, beer and fish.

Hawk Point residents of later years found that things had not changed a great deal. The annual St. Mary's picnic on Main Street and the church ground traditionally was on of the more interesting events of the year and St. Mary's Hall was the scene of frequent dances and parties.

Besides the church and the recreation hall, the village of Maskek consisted of Joe Kallash's blacksmith shop, John Mashek's store and the post office in the store. Also, there was a distillery nearby at Cottonwood spring that supposedly produced excellent whiskey from the spring water.

When it came time to name the town, there was some little disagreement among the two reputed leaders, John Mashek and John Norton. Each wanted the village to bear his last name. But Mr. Mashek won out because the post office was located in his store.

Before Mr. Mashek established his store, dwellers of the area were forced either to walk two miles to the east to Howell's store in Pleasant Grove or to Linn's mill, five miles to the south. If Mr. Norton and Mr. Mashek had a mild disagreement over the naming of the town, the completion of the new frame church created a full-blown uproar that left bitterness for many years to come.

The issue was seemingly the simple one of whether to dedicate the new building. The was opposed by some who remembering the old country feared strict control by the bishops. The pro-dedication side won out and ruled that those who had opposed it would be barred from burial in the church cemetery. Thus another cemetery was established on the opposite side of the road from the church for the descendants and members of their families. Priests would not conduct graveside rites there.

There was a happier side to the controversial dedication day. It also was the day Frank Martinek and Barbara Mashek were married.

In Mashek and later in Hawk Point, many of the Bohemian people made outstanding contributions to community, church and business life.

Two individuals, however, come in for special attention, partly because of their lifetimes spanned the entire Bohemian history of the area. Both immigrated as children from Bohemia and lived long enough to have reached in to the memory of many not-so-old Hawk Pointers today.

The first is Frank Knizel, one of the Ignatious Knizel's brood that came to Missouri from the Old Country in 1867. Frank had been born seven ears earlier in Prague, now the capital of Czechoslovakia. 

In retailing, in banking, in community and religious affairs Mr. Knizel established himself as a leader. He also has the reputed distinction of being on the first train to travel between Hawk Point and St. Louis.

For eight years in the early days of Hawk Point, Mr. Knizel was a partner with Joe Tomek in the mercantile business. He also was a major figure in Hawk Point's first bank from 1906 until 1924 when it was absorbed by the present peoples bank. He then became director of the successor bank.

Mr. Knizel was the dispenser of justice in Hawk Point for many tears, serving as justice of the peace from 1918 until the 1930s.

His name was considered almost synonymous with St. Mary's Catholic Parish. in 1935, the Catholic director described him as the lay apostle of the church.

In about 1880, Frank Knizel was married to Mary Martinek, daufhter of Mr. and Mrs. Wenceslaus Martinek. Their six children were Frank Jr., John, Mrs. John Peterson, Mrs. Frank Zalabak, Mrs. William Martinek, and Mrs. Joe Folta. Mr. Knizel died January 8,1940.

William Kowazek unquestionably was Hawk Point's last Civil War veteran when he died in 1948 at 101 years and 14 days after his birth in Bohemia/

William came to this country as an infant, was reared in Lincoln County and ran away from home in 1864 at 16 to join the Army and fight in the Civil War.

Fight he did, for when he returned home he carried the scars of bullet wounds in the stomach and right foot. He always said you could tell by the scars which way he was going when he was shot.

It was Mr. Kowazek who made the observation that Bohemians are especially gifted in music and helped prove it by becoming part of the Masheks brass band.

Mr. Kowazek was married in 1871 to Mary Norton in Millwood by Father Cleary. They had 12 children: Benjamin, Felix, Andrew, William, Mary, Edena Hammett, Veronica, Frances Fines, Minnie Earnest, Annie Elton, Gertrude and Leona Langenecker.


The years after Hawk Point's initial growth very well may have been the town's best, in terms of business health and a zesty community life.

A glimpse of how the village was put together, what the concerns were, who the major movers were is seen in the town board minutes of the period and from other sources.

In 1912, for instance, the town government decreed there would be a street fair with such attractions as a doll rack, can rack, rubber goods, shooting gallery, ocean wave, hot popcorn and lemonade stand. The meaning of some of those terms are lost in the later generations.

In April 1913, notice was issued that no more livestock would be allowed to run loose in the city limits.

A 1914 minute entry had a pugnacious tone. The marshal was instructed to tell C. A. Harper and everyone else to stop hitching their horses infront of the post office. "There is getting to be a filthy mess," the board observed. Why Mr. Harper was singled out for this warning when obviously others were guilty as well, is not clear.

A 1915 census showed 47 males and 43 females of school age in Hawk Point. Three years later, the total school age population in town had dropped to 80. The nose count was made to determine how much money from out-of-state insurance companies doing business in Missouri should go to Hawk Point.

The town board's get-tough policy continued in 1916 with the adoption of such edicts as prohibiting bike riding on sidewalks and ball playing in the street. Also not allowed would be the racing of horses in a careless manner, under pain of fines ranging from $5 to $50.

Another curious action by the board was to hire a watchman to keep  people from climbing into cars of other people/\.

Even the least significant item did not escape the town board minutes. In 1917, it is recorded that Joe Brown was paid 50 cents for burying a dog.

Timber wolves that year also were reported to be killing farm animals. Of more serious consequence in 1917 was the permanent injury suffered by Glenn Gallagher in a fall from a large apple tree.

The minutes of the town board and other sources reveal some of the town leaders served in many roles over a period of time.

Two of these most versatile were the aforementioned Mr. Harper and William Guinn.

C. A. Harper was a school teacher, a notary public and an insurance agent for the Springfield Insurance Co., and also found time to operate the Model Grocery store in 1915 and before.

Even more diversified was Mr. Guinn. He operated the Olney Realty Co. in Hawk Point in 1914, sold insurance and was a notary public, was an optometrist, specializing in the repair of frames and lenses. He did legal work, was a justice of the peace and in 1916, he was given a license to operate a public hall.

Other public officials of the period from Hawk Point were Frank Knizel, a Lincoln County judge of the second district, Amos Rinaman, who was elected Lincoln County clerk in 1918, and C. S. Eames, a judge of some description.

Early notes also give an indication of the business community in Hawk Point. For instance, G. G. English moved to Hawk Point in 1915 and started a jewelry store.

The same year, Mr. J. J. Deveraux and Ruby Howell ran a millinery shop. Joe Brown, a deaf man, operated a shoe store over the Enterprise and also ran a grocery store in the old Shell Building that was tore down in 1976.

Joe Tomek sold Baldwin pianos in 1918. His store at that time was called the Hawk Point Bargain Store.

in 1919 a new type of business made its appearance in Hawk Point. Riley Thompson was given a license for a picture show in the Paramount Theater Building.

The following year, In June, George Burgess, also was granted a license to operate a picture show.

Business licenses issued during this period of Hawk Point's history give some indication of the brisk activity the village enjoyed.

Licenses included William Pollock M and E Co., Rolla Logan, Ed Cottle Butcher Shop, F. A. Ordelheide Undertaker, Lee's Drugs, Logan-Fine Stables, Elliot Lumber Co., John S. Davis Grist Mill.

C. A. Terry, Alvin Cregger Grist Mill, Moley Burgess Stable, Alfred Gililland Butcher Shop, C. R. McMahan, Freight hauler, Clint Turnbull, barber and J. H. Monroe and Sons Butcher.

From the number of butcher shops it would appear there never was a shortage of meat in Hawk Point. There also were many listed as stable operators, but most of these merely were freight haulers between the train depot and the stores.

The town board was still in somewhat of a law and order mood s the decade of the 1920s began to wear on.

In 1921, the board ordained that no pig pen shall be in the city limits unless it was kept clean and free of odor. The potential fine was $1 to $100.

The board also voted to ask Mr. Turnbull, a barber, to refrain from shaving people on Sundays.

In April 1926, muzzles were required for all dogs under penalty of $25 fines, And in 1927, the board voted not to allow any drunkenness on the streets.

After the period, the homely little items began to disappear from the town board minutes. The community apparently was beginning to mature. 



Long before Hawk Point became a town, rural churches were sprouting up in the surrounding countryside not only to meet the spiritual needs of the early day citizens of the area, but also to serve as community and social centers.

It was the church that stood as the solid local institution for the little pockets of farm population that dotted Lincoln County west of Troy and this remained true in later years in Hawk Point.

The three churches that serve Hawk Point today -- Community, Baptist and Catholic -- all have roots reaching into the outlying region and dating well before townhood.

Even in the early days there was not a great variety of denominations. Most people were Catholic or some type of Baptist, Christian or Methodist.

The forerunners to all three present own churches date to mid-19th century and it is difficult to determine exactly which is oldest.

From available information, however, the earliest organized congregation of the three seems to be Baptist which started as Cottonwood Church in October 1852 four miles northeast d Hawk Point with 19 charter members.

A year later, the church joined the Salt River Baptist Association and sent as its first messengers W. Brunk, E. Owen and J. H. Bain. It was a few years before the first building was erected. The foundation of that log structure remains near Cottonwood Spring on the farm of the late Charlie Mallan.

The first pastor was W. W. Grant and he was followed by R. S. Duncan and W. D. Grant. Duncan, who lived in Olney for many years, was noted as a powerful preacher as well as a prolific writer and denominational leader.

While the Hawk Point church claims an ancestral kinship to the original Cottonwood Church, there was a break in the continuity when it became a union church made up of Methodists and Christians as well as Baptists.

Methodists and Christians each built their own buildings later and the Cottonwood Church fell into disuse, but on Oct. 2, 1877 a group of interested Baptists met there and organized -- or perhaps reorganized -- as Mt. Gilead Church under Elder M. M. Modisett. Baptists called their pastors "elder" in those days. 

Also listed as a 1877 Baptist pastor was F. M. Birkhead who perhaps was the last one under the old organization.

On Dec. 8 of that year the Mt. Gilead Baptists held their first service, not at Cottonwood as might have been expected, at at Slavens Chapel Wesleyan Methodist Church, The congregation continued to meet at Slavens Chapel once a month until the following June when its new building, built by Albert Upson, was completed about a mile east of Hawk Point. The site is less than a hundred yards southwest of what is now John Dunard's home.

The tie between Mt. Gilead and Cottonwood is further indicated by the sale of the old building to Tom Gibson for $5 in 1883 under the supervision of Mt. Gilead trustee J. C. Capps.

By 1890, the church had 44 members -- its growth from 29 in 11 years was slow but steady -- and was a member of the Cuivre Baptist Association, as is the present church. Messengers that year were T. J. Mourning and Jack Moseley.

With the village of Hawk Point beginning to come alive, the members in 1905 decided to move the church to town and George Hiler was named to supervise. Joseph Sheets and son Rufus dismantled the frame building and moved the lumber to Hawk Point on a wagon drawn by four white mules. The building was reassembled and five years later became Hawk Point Baptist Church.

Pastor during the years of the move was W. N. Maupin who had followed a succession since Mr. Modisett of Mr. Birkhead, W. C. Womble, J. W. Swift, W. D. Grant, S. P. Dawson, P. W. Halley, J. J. Griffin, O. A. Gordon, Mr. Halley and H. B. Rice.

As shown in that listing and in the roster of subsequent pastors, many served two or more tenures. After Mr. Maupin came Mr. Birkhead again, Mr. Rice, J. J. Griffin, Mr. Gordon.

It was the later, O. A. Gordon, who served the longest single pastorate. After preaching at Mt. Gilead in 1896-98, Mr. Gordon, uncle of Gola H, Gordon, present deacon of the church, returned in 1916 and remained until 1940.

There followed H. W. Gibson, R. H. McKay, 1943, Homer Arendall, 1947, J. V. Crenshaw, 1952, Herbert Clinton, 1955, B. Earl Lett, 1959, Clinton Taylor, 1960, James R. Hall, 1961, Lynn Richardson, 1963, James E. Huffman, 1967, and Mr. Hall, 1969.

Until recent years, Hawk Point pastors were not full time, serving one or more other churches. As a consequence preaching services were held only on alternate Sundays.

Mr. Taylor in 1959 became the first full-time man on the field when the church went to services every Sunday.

Other landmarks in the church's history have included the beginning of Sunday School in 1903. The addition of new educational space in 1956, the construction of a new church in 1964, the building of the pastorium in 1968 and the addition of an educational building in 1976.

The present site at Main and Walnut was purchased from Molly Thurstin. Leonard Stuck, later to become member and deacon, contracted to  build the 34 by 70 foot brick veneer structure.

The old building at Chestnut and Duncan was sold and later became the home of Don Davis after extensive remodeling.

Ordained deacons from present to past have been James Wood Jr., Alva Krieg, Larry Black, John Howdeshell Sr., David Wolff, Leonard Stuck, Gola Gordon, Walter Wallace,  Gerald Gober, Donald Thompson Sr., George Colbert, Manuel Shaw, William Howdeshell, Ernest Shaw, Floyd Howdeshell, Sam Young, S. M. Hammett, W. P. Rinaman, Charlie Glear, George Hiler, Joseph Diggs and Joe Rinaman.

There are gaps in the records of the Hawk Point Baptist Church as some were lost and others were destroyed by fire,

This is a misfortune experienced also by the Community Church whose records were destroyed when the house of the clerk, Alexander Kennedy, burned in 1896.

Other parallels between the Baptists and the Community Church are noted. They both started about the same time and unlike the Baptist Church, the Hawk Point Christian Church as it was known then, was dismantled and moved to town when Hawk Point started to grow under the impetus of the Burlington Railroad.

Through two men by the names of Armstrong and Hopkins began holding services in homes in about 1845, it was not until 1854 that the Christian Church was organized with 45 members. The congregation took note of this in 1904 and 1954 with anniversary celebrations.

Services in the early years were held at any place available including the Elmore and Cannon schools and brush arbors. The main brush arbor was located on property O. F. Drunert owned in 1904.

Finally in 1874, David Barely and Armstrong Kennedy donated land for a church site and the building was finished two years later.

The pastor at that time was Timothy Ford who had been on the field for a number of years and continued until his death in 1878. Another of the early pastors was D. M. Grandfield who served about the time of the Civil War.

On Nov. 11, 1905, the congregation chose to move the building to Hawk Point and a Mr. Wiggs was given the job. However he encountered problems and the building was dismantled piece by piece and reassembled at the corner of Maple and Duncan Streets on two lots, one donated by the town and the other bought by the church.

The first services there were held on Feb. 10, 1906, at 7 p.m. and the dedication was in April of that year. D. H. Walton was the first to join the church at the new location.

While the Hawk Point Christian Church has often been referred to as a Campbellite Church, it in fact was of the Disciples of Christ denomination.

Early pastors through 1904 were T. A. Abbott, S. J. Copher, Robert S. Morton and William Hobbs.

The church was known for holding protracted meetings lasting two weeks or more in those days. One of note occurred in 1904 under Mr. Copher who had come from Moberly. More than 20 persons were added to the church during that meeting.

Another meeting later had an even more historical impact on the church. This was in 1921 when Brother B. G. Reavis preached "unionism" in a tent and as a result the church became a multi-denominational Community Church embracing not only disciples of Christ but also Methodists, Presbyterians, and Lutherans. Baptists were invited to be part of the union but declined.

Mr. Reavis became first pastor of the Union Church and was followed through 1954 by Dewitt Matsler, O. L. Martin, M. D. Dudley, Hally M. Hale and Miss Ruth Nicklin.

Subsequent pastorswere Guy Carrell, Harold Nebel, Virgil Sweeney, Harold Stanley, Jan L. Mundy, William L. Bass, John M. Graham, William Hass and Herbert Lambert.

Lay leaders serve the Community Church as elders and deacons. Past and present they include Ralph Wolff, George Heimburger, Bill Lawrence, Glen Barley, Bill Duncan, Ben Borgman, Tom Lawrence, Joe Jones, Clarence Jones, Allie Hall, Logan Armstrong, Ray Duncan, Dee Harper, Leslie Harper, O. F. Drunert, Dr. Butler, R. A. Nichols, Charlie Eames, C. A. Haroer



**Other Chapters found in "A Harvest of Memories - Hawk Point Tells it's Story"**










































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