Montgomery County Historical Society Montgomery County Historical Society
Dedicated to preserving and perpetuating the rich local history of the Montgomery County, Missouri area.

Membership Dues - Payment Time! PLEASE!

Most annual members renew at the April dinner meeting, which was of course cancelled this year. The Society would be greately appreciative if members would send a check by mail, enclosed with the application form for renewal.  New members are very much welcome as our principal source of income is dues and donations. See About Us for details.


Missouri's State Song

Harry Truman, while President, was quoted about The Missouri Waltz: “I don’t give a damn about it - - - it’s as bad as The Star Spangled Banner as far as music is concerned.” Truman undoubtedly had in mind that a waltz, in this context, is considered by many to be a poor substitute for a rousing march. After the lyrics had been re-written, it was made Missouri’s state song by act of the General Assembly in 1949. The Missouri Waltz has a lyric quality and popular appeal that has been recorded commercially by perhaps 75 individual singers and musical groups. Despite his disclaimer, Truman was seen and heard playing it on the piano during his presidency and it has remained a favorite by Marching Mizzou. But the tune has had a convoluted history.
Lee Edgar “Jelly” Settle of New Franklin, Howard County, Missouri, was not only an accomplished pianist, he loved playing anywhere, anytime for any event. In the early part of the twentieth century he had the opportunity to travel all over the midwest playing wherever asked. Money was secondary to having an opportunity to perform. Whether the melody was Settle’s composition, or whether, as was common before radio and television, it was a tune handed from ear to ear by local performers, Settle was often heard playing the melody. Settle called the piece The Graveyard Waltz, with no known lyrics.
J. B. Settle, Lee Edgar’s brother, was publisher and editor of The New Franklin News in the early 1900s. He wrote that John Valentine Eppel and his band from Iowa were in Moberly, Missouri, for performances and Eppel heard Lee Edgar playing The Graveyard Waltz at the Merchant’s Hotel there. Lee Edgar and Eppel were acquaintances, perhaps even friends, and Eppel asked Lee Edgar to play the piece for his band. Lee Edgar, of course, obliged.
In 1912, one thousand copies of the tune were issued as sheet music by Frederick Knight Logan, of Oskaloosa, Iowa. It is uncertain how the piece was titled. Logan was a music composer, arranger, director and overall factotum who arranged the melody into the stylized form of the day. In 1914, the Foster Publishing Company of Chicago bought the rights to the tune, with royalty payments to Logan and Eppel. The cover of the sheet music published by the Foster Company bore what has been called “one of the oddest composer credits in pop music.” It read, “Arranged by Frederick Knight Logan” in the largest print, and “from an original melody procured by John Valentine Eppel” in smaller letters. The original lyrics were written about 1916 by James Royce Shannon. The music was variably titled The Missouri Waltz and Hush-a-by My Baby.
The source of the melody is vague and controversial. Many attribute it to a folk tune heard by Edgar Lee in his performing travels. A few say Eppel first heard the melody while performing in Iowa. But the facts remain that “Missouri” has always been in the title or sub-title since it was first published by Foster; “Missouri” has always been in the lyrics; and neither Logan nor Eppel claimed to have written it.    
Edgar Lee had published two other compositions with very little commercial success, although his XL Rag was favorably reviewed by Trebor Tichenor, a noted rag time aficionado. Settle’s family believes that his lack of commercial success with his other compositions and relative disregard for being paid for his art kept Edgar Lee from trying to market his Graveyard Waltz and explained his seeming unconcern that others profited from it. There are many tunes not “composed” as the term is commonly understood, and The Missouri Waltz is undoubtedly one of them. Lee Edgar Settle of New Franklin, Missouri, deserves much more credit for formalizing and popularizing the melody as The Missouri Waltz than he is sometimes given, even in Missouri.
Home page articles are archived under "Misc. Articles" in County History.                       Return to Top of Page

Capt. John G. B. Kendrick

John G. B. Kendrick was born to James O’Burke Kendrick and Harriet Elizabeth Belt Kendrick June 17,1826 in the Lexington area of Kentucky. His father was a major in the American Army under General Harrison in the War of 1812. After the death of his mother in 1828, he was brought with his father to Palmyra, Marion County, Missouri. His father died in 1840. In early manhood he became a stage coach driver in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri and Nebraska. In 1845 he drove a route from St. Charles, Missouri, to Fulton along the Boones Lick Road. On February 22, 1847 he married Odille Evaline Jones and in 1849 they moved into the Jones homeplace Kendrick land location 1878 Atlasthree miles north of Rhineland on land entered from the United States government in 1819. It is said the U.S. Patent for the land was No. 1 in Montgomery County. The map to the right is from the 1878 Atlas Township 45 & 46 North.
Odille Jones was a daughter of Lewis and Delinda Hayes Jones. Lewis Jones served in the U. S. Army as a scout and spy during the Indian War (War of 1812) and Delinda Jones was a granddaughter of Daniel Boone. Lewis and Delinda Jones built the homestead where John and Odille Kendrick spent their entire married lives.
John and Odille Kendrick were the parents of six children, all born on the home place: Laura B. (1849-1933), Cordelia Myra (1851-1940), Lewis J. (1853-1926), Cora (Mrs. G. W. Quick) (1854-1943), Augusta G. (1856-1906) and Byron G. (1858-1863). Laura and Delia lived and died in the house where they were born.
John Kendrick enlisted in the 9th Cavalry Regiment, Missouri State Militia in January, 1862 and served for two years.  For details about Missouri military units in the Civil War click here.  He was a bugler, rank listed as musician. He was commissioned July 26, 1964 captain in the Provisional Enrolled Militia of Montgomery County. Discharged from that duty in October, he was commissioned a captain in Company F of the Enrolled Missouri Militia and served until December, 1864. Click here for a Clothing Roster (including signatures) for the Civil War soldiers.

After military service he farmed. His wife, Odille, died February 16, 1898 and was buried in the Jones - Kendricks Cemetery near their home. They also gave part of their land for the Kendrick School, which was held for more than 50 years, closing after the 1936-37 school term.
Captain Kendrick was obviously avidly anti-slavery and anti-secessionist. He enlisted in military service at age 35, having 6 young children at home. After serving a two year enlistment he again signed up for further service in his home area. He died October 27, 1914, survived by four of his children, and was buried beside his wife. 
Home page articles are archived under "Misc. Articles" in County History.                       Return to Top of Page

Online References

Older researchers (like your webmaster) remember sticking our heads into a microfilm box and serially scanning through reference material for hours, days and weeks for a mere tidbit of information. Today, many resources are available online with search capabilities that allow task completion in seconds. Many are even free!  See Online References for some sources we have found to be of value; including digitized books, maps and documents. Links to helpful websites are listed.
If you are aware of other useful sites, please send an email to and they will be added to the list. Thank you for taking the time to help your fellow researchers!                                                                            

July 7
Genealogy Society Welcomes Visitors
The library and museum buildings are open to the public on Tuesday mornings until Noon, March thru November, weather permitting. Genealogy Society members are available ...

July 14
Genealogy Society Welcomes Visitors
The library and museum buildings are open to the public on Tuesday mornings until Noon, March thru November, weather permitting. Genealogy Society members are available ...

July 14
Genealogy Society Monthly Meeting
Monthly meeting of Genealogy Society members.

July 21
Genealogy Society Welcomes Visitors
The library and museum buildings are open to the public on Tuesday mornings until Noon, March thru November, weather permitting. Genealogy Society members are available ...

July 25
MCHS Board Meeting
The MCHS Board meets monthly on the fourth Saturday at the Society's Office.