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Elmer, Missouri - Early History
Herb Perry Remembers
(reprinted from Elmer Centennial, 1987)
My grandparents, Lewis and Elvira Perry, lived across the street from the Bucks in a house with 80 acres going out of town toward the Chariton River. Their home at one time had been the town feed mill. My grandfather was in the harness and leather goods business. He also had the Shell Station and bulk truck. I lived in Elmer approximately 55 years ago and went to the old stone school.
The Santa Fe was busy in those days and Elmer had a large depot. My father Herb “Big Hop” Perry was the telegrapher. My grandmother’s sister, Ora Bonifield, and daughter Clara lived in the little telephone company house on the hill and ran the switchboard from their living room.
Once a week, a man came through town and showed movies outdoors on the creek side of the post office. We sat on planks on concrete blocks. Admission was a dime. Baseball was a big sport. The ball diamond complete with wire backstop and bleachers was located in our pasture. Large crowds attended the games.
I remember Swanson & Murry’s Dry Goods & Drug Store (with soda fountain), Big Dolly’s Café, Mocks Store, Sam Parker’s Barber Shop, good fishing in the Chariton and hunting in the creek bottoms. My family and sister Leah’s family still own the old homestead and 100 acres once owned by George Perry.
I have many fond memories of Elmer and we still try to meet there and visit the cemetery once or twice a year.