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Elmer, Missouri - Early History
The White Family by Eutopia White Bailey
(Reprinted from Elmer Centennial, 1987)
Grandfather William D. White lived with his family on a small farm on the edge of Bucklin, Missouri. He gave a small plot of land he owned on which the City of Marceline was started. For many years that first building was saved. Grandfather had a few slaves, but freed them when the Civil War started and joined the Northern Army. He fought the entire four years, taking part in most of the historical battles. The family has his letters, precious papers and more.
My dad, Ralph White, was the youngest of seven children. He was a “Watch Tinker” and “Gun Smith” in Bucklin, but came to Elmer two or three days each week to work. On his first trip to Elmer, he went to the post office for a stamp, and there behind the counter was my mother Ada Banning. It was love at first sight. Dad said to himself “that dark-haired, black-eyed girl is going to be my wife”. Mama said, “I’m going to marry that man.” So dad went in everyday to buy a stamp. They married and lived in Elmer; Mama was a seamstress and served for almost every woman in Elmer. Dad opened a jewelry and notions store with caskets in the back room.
I’ll never forget the big fire that raged down main street one night. Mama and Dad rushed down to take what they could out of the store. I was seven years old and stayed at home to take care of brother Bussie (age 3) and Lillian (age one). I was panic stricken.
Mom and Dad lived in Elmer until they were 80 and then moved to Centralia, Missouri, where Lillian and I lived. I had married Edgar Bailey, who passed away in 1982. We raised three children; Lilburn Ed, Bill Bailey and Lora Doone.
Bussie was killed at the railroad crossing when in his 20’s and left his wife, Arveta, and two daughters. Kathryn was born when Mama and Dad were each 42 years old and she was the joy of their lives. She married Murrel Stull, who died in 1982. They have a son Jerry and a daughter Jacqueline.
We have grandchildren and great-grandchildren so will carry on our family. Dad White died at age 91 and Mama at age 92. We returned them to Elmer, their first home. They, my brother Bussie, Edgar and our baby son as well as many members of our family are in the Elmer cemetery.