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THE FIRST DAYS OF KIDDER

Narrator: Miss Nannie Beaumont of Kidder, Missouri

Miss Nannie Beaumont is a daughter of James Beaumont who came to Kidder October 1860, when nothing was there but the depot and a start on the hotel. Mr. and Mrs. Beaumont and their little daughter Nellie aged nine months stayed in the depot till the hotel was finished. This Hotel was the property of the Kidder Land Company and was kept by A.W. Rice, Mrs. Beaumont's father. This Kidder Land Company (New England Land Company) was a New England corporation and induced a large number of "Yankees" from Massachusetts to settle. George S. Harris was the superintendent of this company and laid out the town, he was a cousin of James Beaumont which explains why the Beaumonts came from Illinois very soon after the town was laid out August 3, 1860. The Rice family was the first family to live in the town. At first, the town seemed a family affair with this Harris-Rice-Beaumont set-up. Mr. Beaumont was station and express agent, Post master in fact about everything. He afterwards ran a general store with Ben Laribee under the firm name - J. Beaumont and Company. The two men never disagreed in their long partnership. They were located on site of the Farmers Bank.

The Rice Hotel or "Kidder House" (where Nellie Beaumont lives as a child) was a well known hostelry of the early sixties. It stood west of the old Kidder Bank. Their nearest house at the start was the Judge P.S. Kenney mansion nearly two miles to the west. It still stands, and is well known to this day as a land mark for travelers.

In time other buildings arose. One of these was the Drug Store kept by Worth. He sold out to Winston Bros. and they to Osborn. Charlie Shaw worked for Osborn and finally bought him out. That Drug Store was mid way in the block. In 1880 occurred the Shaw fire and Mr. Charlie Shaw put up the brick drug store on the well known Shaw Corner. Which he and his brother Frank kept till his death a few years ago.

During the later part of the Civil War the Kidder Hotel changed hands, M.E. Conger being proprietor. An interesting old dance invitation (now in the possession of Mrs. James Kautz) inviting her Mother, Fanny Dodge to attend a cotillion party to be given at the Kidder House January 20, 1863, with three dance managers, all Soldiers; and supper at 10 P.M.

While Kidder was a younger town than Hamilton it soon became a bigger one; but the Kidder Land Company made a sad mistake in placing too high a price on its lots which sent home buyers away to cheaper sites.

Interviewed August 1934.

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