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Caldwell County
1876 Atlas History
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WPA Interviews

Chronological Events





Narrator: Bert Goodman, 67, Hamilton, Missouri

Mr. Goodman is the son of old Wm. Goodman who kept the Western Hotel on the west side of North Main during the sixties. Having spent his life in Hamilton he has known almost every Merchant in town during that time.

You used to enter a meat market or meat shop or butcher shop, as many said, to see on either side whole steers or hogs hanging on stout hooks. They were dressed and aging to eat. Men would go in and pick out the cut of meat they wanted from the large stock (no telephoning for meat sight unseen those days). There were no groceries sold in meat shops.

Usually two men worked in a shop, so busy at times that several customers were waiting. Meat was cheap and many had it three times a day. Ten cents bought sufficient round steak for an average family, fifteen cents paid for porter house.

Butchers bought their own cattle and slaughtered them in their own slaughter-houses at the edge of town. These places were very unpleasant to smell.

Some early butchers were: Claypool and Rymal, Claypool was a familiar name in the early years here. He ran the Claypool Hotel (the old Davis House) and was a good butcher. His partner was George Rymal - a Canadian by birth who came to Kingston 1861 as a carpenter and married Miss McClelland (Joe McClelland's aunt). The Civil War drove him to Canada. After the war they returned to Caldwell County. He became a farmer, a butcher, a carpenter, by turns in Hamilton. In the eighties he was a partner in a meat shop with James Collins who married Bert Goodman's sister. Collin's meat shop was on the site of the present First Bank and Trust Company in the old Manning brick. His father, Michael Collins lived in the sixties on the old "Prouty" farm just east of town.

Another partner of Collins was C.C. Greene who came to Hamilton first in 1868 with his brother-in-law A.G. Howard and bought a farm south of town but he soon went into the meat business about where the McLean Hotel stands. His partner then was Sain who later was also a partner of Collins. Jacob Prough and sons John and Dory had a meat shop where Bennett's Produce store stands and later went on the north side. Lievan had two or three shops till after a fire in the eighties when he quit. Mallory and sons were here in the early eighties in the old Oasis shop, first door east of the Hamilton House. John Minger, who kept a grocery and a restaurant, seems to have been the first grocer to try to sell meats. He tried it awhile about 1879 but it was not a success.

Interviewed January 1933.

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