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CRAWFORD MIRABILE MILL - THE LOVELY RIDGE SCHOOL

Narrator: Mrs. Emma Eckelberry Alden, 71, of Kidder, Missouri

Mrs. Alden is the daughter of Valentine Eckelberry and Mary Jane Cornelius. This couple came from Muskingam County Ohio sixty eight (68) years ago (1866) attracted by the talk of Missouri land in this community. They went to the Mirabile community and rented there for thirteen (13) years. In 1879 they came up into the Lovely Ridge neighborhood and bought their farm there.

In her Mirabile youth, she recalls three doctors, Dr. Oakley Brown who came to Mirabile Township about the time her father did and Dr. Klepper, both of whom had their offices at home. Then there was Dr. Wm. Crawford who besides being a doctor there since before the Civil War was a store keeper and a miller. He bought the mill and the store from the pioneer Marquam. The Eckelberrys always carried their grist to Crawford, no matter where they lived and paid one-sixth of the grist for toll. He also ran a carding mill, where folks could have wool carded if they did not use home-cards; he had a saw mill where much of the lumber in that part was prepared. He was the man who kept a lantern swinging in front of his mill to guide prospective night customers to his various business enterprises. This mill stood for 100 years, being razed 1933.

Mrs. Alden began her education in the Mirabile one-room school and finished it over in Lovely Ridge. She knew all about the school house history there. There was for the few earlier settlers a small building located near the Esteb farm hence called the Esteb School. She of course did not go to this but her husband C.C. Alden did. Then a larger one was needed when the land became more settled. Some one bought the house and moved it to Kidder where it now serves as a good little home - first door west of the Kidder Public School. The new school was built a mile east of the old site. It was burnt one night 1878 when Mr. McAtee the teacher piled hot ashes in ash barrel too near its front. The third was built on the same site and faced east instead of south. It is still used.

Interview taken August 3, 1934.

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All photos are copyright KingsCross Farm, 1997 & 1998
All written material other than reference material copyright KingsCross Farm 1998