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Arrow Rock: the Story of a Missouri Village © 2005

Dedicated to Ruth Wilson Banks Perry and the author's grandchildren

The following material is excerpted with permission.
From Chapter 3, A Stop on the Santa Fe Trail: In June 1821, Becknell (William Becknell) placed a notice in the Missouri Intelligencer, outlining a plan to organize a company of men to go westward for the purpose of trading. The notice assured readers, "No man shall receive more than another for his services, unless he furnishes more." All interested persons were to sign up by August 4, and a meeting would then take place at the home of Ezekiel Williams. On September 1, Becknell and several other men on horseback left with packhorses loaded with goods and crossed the River "near the Arrow Rock ferry." The group stopped at the spring up the hill from the Arrow Rock crossing, which would become a watering stop for caravans headed to Santa Fe, and camped for the night six miles from the ferry. The route he took was to become known as the Santa Fe Trail, and Becknell became known as the "Father of the Santa Fe Trail."
Arrow Rock: the Story of a Missouri Village is available in the Arrow Rock State Historic Site Museum, several stores in Arrow Rock, and from Barnes and Noble. If you prefer, you may order the book from the University of Missouri Press.

Dad's Highchair

The pickup was loaded with a washer and dryer, table, hutch, and bedroom set. My paternal aunt had died and we nieces and nephew were dividing her belongings. My husband is a genius at packing, but when he tied on the old wash-tub, a child's rocker, and a baby's highchair, we looked like Okies on our way to California during the Dust Bowl for sure.

We were in Oklahoma, but headed to Missouri where each piece has been lovingly placed into use, especially the highchair, which had been touted as my dad's chair as long as I could recall. However, he was the baby of his family, so I was sure that his older sisters had also used the chair.

The highchair matched our other old oak furniture, so after my husband refinished it, it had a place in the dining room. Each grandchild was posed for a photo in great granddad's highchair, but when Caleb, grandchild number five, nearly tipped it over, I debated about ever using it again.

I was giving that some thought as I cleaned the dining room after the family gathering. Generally, I clean the chair facing it, but this time I was leaning over the back,seeing the tray like an occupant would, when a realization washed over me. I marveled at how I had never once given this a thought before. I called an older cousin in case she remembered the chair. I looked through all the early photos of me -- all taken outside, of course; those were the days of black and white film and no flash attachments. I recalled that my parents and I lived with my paternal grandfather until I was three. And I remembered that when my twin siblings were born when I was five, they had brand-new matching highchairs.

Standing behind the chair, scraping cracker crumbs from the edges, I knew!! Yes, the chair was Dad's, but this chair had been mine, too!!

Authorene Wilson Phillips -- Reprinted from Treasures, © 2003 | To the BOOK STORE

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