Click here to view schedule of activities that occurred on Thurs, Fri & Sat, April 23-25, 2009

Chantz Cravens took a lot of beautiful pictures of the
Cherry Blossom Festival this year.  
To order copies, contact her at

To view the photo gallery of Chantz's pictures click here
Evan Strickland
Marshfield High School sophomore Evan Strickland, left, and Mayor C.R. “Bob” Clark
unfurl the city flag Strickland designed for a contest sponsored by the
Marshfield Cherry Blossom Festival. 
Ted Hillmer & Bertram Hayes-Davis
Ted Hillmer & Bertram Hayes-Davis spoke on Friday of the festival.

Click here to see an article written by Shirley Essary about the interesting things that we learned from both our guests.
Hattie Jefferis & Georganne NixonBy: Shirley Jefferis Essary

Missouri’s First Lady, Georganne Nixon, has family ties to Webster County. Mrs. Nixon’s father, Hubert Wheeler, was Missouri's Education Commissioner from 1945 to 1971. He grew up at Elkland and graduated from high school in Marshfield.

Legend has it that Wheeler started teaching school at Elkland when he was twelve and a half years old. Mrs. Nixon said her father was asked to be the teacher because he was 6’ 2” tall at a young age and a very good student. He was told that when he was 12 ½, he could take over the teaching duties of the female teacher who was the favorite prey of some “rowdy” boys who would tie her up and leave her in the outhouse. Mrs. Nixon said her father was very strong and bigger than the other boys and it was thought he'd have no trouble controlling them. The one-room schoolhouse was located on the Wheeler farm, and named the McNabb School.

Since Wheeler wanted to go to high school and Elkland had none, the School Board agreed to only hold school for half a year each year so he could attend high school classes in Marshfield. When not teaching at Elkland, Wheeler would move to Marshfield and rent a room so that he could get his high school diploma. Wheeler went on to become Superintendent of Schools for several districts and was picked to be the first Missouri State Commissioner of Education. He served in that position for twenty-five years.

At the Cherry Blossom Festival’s First Ladies Breakfast on Friday, Mrs. Nixon visited at length with 85-year-old Hattie Atkinson Jefferis who grew up in the same community as her father. The two shared memories of Mrs. Nixon's father and grandparents as well as the intricacies of their respective family trees. Mrs. Nixon later planted a tree commemorating the people of Marshfield and the Cherry Blossom Festival.
L.D. Keller and the Promenaders of the Ozark Jubilee were among the
2009 inductees for the Missouri Walk of Fame.
In the picture on the left, the promenaders pose with Jubilee host, Red Foley (far left), Gene Autry (center) and Marvin Rainwater (far right with hand on shoulder of  kneeled dancer).   Keller the square group caller can be seen pictured over Rainwater's left shoulder)
In the picture on the right, Promenader dance members accept their star on the Missouri Walk of Fame at the 2009 ceremony at Crossbridge Church.
A BIG Thank you to Li'l Bit of Haven for hosting the Cherry Blossom Festival Kick-off Tea.
The shop has so many very interesting things that we hope to post a few pictures soon of the event.  
The shop is not far off the square down the street from the post-office (on the opposite side of the street).
Li'l Bit of Haven
238 N Clay St
Marshfield, MO 65706
(417) 859-5220

MO First Lady Georganne Nixon plants her Cherry Tree
by the Marshfield Mail Office

Missouri First Lady Georganne Nixon
Photo Credit: George Cleveland
During the breakfast we learned from Mrs. Nixon that her father was from Elkland and worked part of the year as a teacher in Elkland while attending the rest of the year at Marshfield getting his high school education.  Mrs. Nixon proved to be a very gracious speaker and guest, we were honored to have her at the Cherry Blossom Festival.
Laurie Firestone was the White House Social Secretary under the senior Bush's adminstration.  She was the special guest speaker at the Cherry Blossom Breakfast and received her Hubble Medal of Initiative.  Ms. Firstone told several humorous stories of her time in the White House.
Laurie Firestone
The breakfast was held at Southtowne Grill on Hwy A.
The Admiral Claude V. Ricketts Convocation Series
"Memories of WWII Veterans" held at Crossbridge Church

Ricketts Convocation
Virgil Hunt, Todd Parnell, Ralph Manley, Burless Dye, & Dr. Tommy Macdonnell

Drury President Todd Parnell was one of the guest panelists.
We enjoyed hearing about President Parnell's mother and her service as a volunteer with the Red Cross in Germany during WWII.

Dr. Tommy Macdonnell, who was a survivor of the Normandy Invasion was a member of the panel.  Dr. Tommy also carried the torch for the 1996 Olympics,
click to read more.

Betty C. Hearnes signed books at the "Gov. Warren E. Hearnes Book Signing"

Betty Hearnes

The 50th Anniversary Celebration of Del Massey's Legacy was held at 2:30 PM Saturday, April 25, 2009 at the Del Massey Park.  

Del Massey was a descendant of slavery, and loved by everyone.   He willed his land to the "children of Marshfield" upon his death fifty years ago.  His friends, which included all civic groups in town, pitched in with donations and fully developed the park with pavilion, rest room, playground equipment, etc.   (Unfortunately, it has fallen in sad disrepair).   

Del Massey
Shannon Lanier - (descendant of Thomas Jefferson & Sally Hemings)
was the featured speaker at the Del Massey Celebration.
Click here for Shannon's biographical information.
Shannon Lanier

Chris Truscott (descendant of Thomas & Martha Jefferson) enjoyed tossing
the football at Del Massey park.
Chris Truscott

The Philharmonics participated in the celebration at Del Massey Park.  Philharmonics

4th Annual "Presidential Forum" was held at the Jubiliee Theater on Saturday, April 25 at 7 PM

This was a fascinating chance to hear descendants of American Presidents speak about their famous relative.  Nicholas Inman moderated and the panelists included:

Shannon Lanier from the family of  President Thomas Jefferson
Chris Truscott  from the family of President Thomas Jefferson
Marie Clinton Bruno cousin of President Bill Clinton
George Cleveland, grandson of President Grover Cleveland
Lyon Tyler, grandson of President John Tyler
Bertram Hayes-Davis, great-great grandson of Jefferson Davis
John Truman,  Great-nephew of President Harry S Truman
Richard Gatchell and daughter Emory members of James Monroe family

Pictured here are Bertram Hayes-Davis & Marie Clinton BrunoBertram Hayes-Davis & Marie Clinton Bruno
photo credit: George Cleveland

Barbara Fairchild & her husband Roy Morris ministered at the Cherry Blossom Service on Saturday, April 25, 2009 at the
Cross Roads Evangelical Methodist Church on Hubble Drive
Saturday morning service
Photo credit: George Cleveland

Maggie Peterson, Barbara Fairchild, Roy Morris
Maggie Peterson Mancuso with Barabara Fairchild and her husband Roy Morris.
"Little is much if God is in it..."  We love you Barbara!  
Thanks for being such a blessing!

Link to Barbara Fairchild website
Link to local news story about the WWI memorial
on local news station KSPR

This is a picture of Bob Barker receiving his 2009 Missouri Walk of Fame on Friday, 09/26/2008. Mr. Barker could not make it for the April ceremony this year, so it was arranged to present him with the honor at Drury University, where they celebrated "Bob Barker Day" and the naming of "Bob Barker Blvd."   
Bob Barker
Shirley Essary, Carolyn Yates, Bob Barker & Nicholas W. Inman.

Kim & Jim Lansford
Kim & Jim Lansford performed prior to the 
Hubble Awards Dinner on Friday night, April 24, 2009.  
Kim & Jim are gifted vocalists and musicians.

This presentation is sponsored by the Marshfield Area Community Foundation and is made possible by the Community Foundation of the Ozarks, Mid-America Arts Alliance, Missouri Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
National Endowment For the Arts logo

Photo Gallery: Ken Hechler through the years

This year one of the special people being honored with the "Hubble Medal of Initiative" is WV’s leading public servant, Ken Hechler.  The award will be given on Friday, April 24th, at 7 PM during the Hubble Dinner.  Ken will be on a panel called “Remembering Harry” about the Missouri-born president preceding the Hubble dinner at 4:45 PM.

Ken Hechler
Ken Hechler pictured with President Harry S Truman
Click here for Ken Hechler bio
Ken Hechler & his 2009 Hubble Medal of Initiative
George Cleveland
Heritage Day, August 2005, Tamworth, NH Grover Cleveland, impersonated by his grandson, George Cleveland Photo courtesy of Cook Memorial Library.

George Cleveland
George Cleveland shown here speaking at the WWI Memorial held on Saturday at City Hall.
David DeJonge and John Truman are shown on the left in the background.
2009 Cherry Blossom Award Winner
Heather Berry

Heather Berry is the associate editor for Rural Missouri. Before joining the award-winning magazine staff as a writer and photographer in 1989, she was part of Governor John Ashcroft’s communication’s team for five years.
    When she’s not traveling around the state, Heather serves on the institute planning committee for the Cooperative Communicators Association, a national group of co-op communicators comprised of writers, photographers and editors across the United States, Canada and England.
    Heather and her husband, Rick, live on a small farm in Callaway County with their three dogs — two sable-and-white shelties, Cody and Kingsley, and one young, rowdy black lab mix, Nicholas, who chews on everything in sight.

Heather BerryHeather Berry is shown here accepting her award.

Baby Keet was kidnapped from his home in Springfield in 1917.  
At 1 PM on Thursday, April 23, come to Crossbridge Church
to hear more about this fascinating story that made the news in New York.
NY Times article, June 7, 1917
NY Times article, June 10, 1917
NY Times article, June 11, 1917

NY Times article, June 12, 1917
Copies of the book were presented to local librarians in Webster County.
Baby Keets book presentation
Marshfield's citywide garage sale was held the same weekend as the
Cherry Blossom Festival.
City Wide Garage Sale - April 24 - 25, 2009
Click to learn more about the city-wide clean-up scheduled
for select dates in May.

Harold Bengsch, Green County Commissioner 1st District
and author of "Just A Country Boy" came and shared about
his boyhood on a Christian County farm.

Harold Bengsch
Lynne Jackson was one of our special guests this weekend.
She is the descendant of Dred & Harriet Scott.  Lynne is also president and founder of The Dred Scott Heritage Foundation and is working towards getting the funds to erect a statue to commemorate the courageous efforts of Dred & Harriet Scott.
Bertram Hayes-Davis & Lynne Jackson
Pictured here are Lynne Jackson & John Truman.

For more information contact:
The Dred Scott Heritage Foundation
"Let the healing begin."

Neva did a fabulous job organizing both the Del Massey
and the WWI Memorial Dedication.
Neva & Bill Schroder

Visit the following Marshfield site to see another of Neva's passions
Presidential Relatives
Back Row:  Chris Truscott (Thomas Jefferson), John Truman (Harry S Truman), Bertram Hayes-Davis (Jefferson Davis and Rutherford B. Hayes), George Cleveland (Grover Cleveland), Richard Gatchell (James Monroe), Shannon Lanier (Thomas Jefferson), Jill Campbell (James K. Polk), Neita Campbell (James K. Polk).
Front row: Susan Tyler (John Tyler), Lyon Tyler (John Tyler) and Emory Gatchell (James Monroe) on April 25, 2009 at the "after glow party" at the home of Vicki Shalloup. 
This years Missouri Walk of Fame Honorees are:

1) Bob Barker- T.V. Host
2) David Rice Atchison-President for a Day
3) Betty Garrett- Actress
4) L.D. Keller's Promenaders- Square Dancers
5) Frank Buckles - Last WW I Veteran
6) The Jordanaires- Gospel Music and professional backup group
Dan Essary Installing Stars
Dan Essary is shown here hard at work installing last years stars
March 18, 2009 on the Missouri Walk of Fame.
2009 Walk of Fame
Jefferson Davis' great-great grandson, Bertram Hayes-Davis, attended the 2009 festival
and spoke at several Cherry Blossom events.
Mr. Hayes-Davis also was able to talk about his famous relative at
Marshfield High School.
Bertram Hayes-Davis

Shannon Lanier, Carol & Bertram Hayes-Davis & Lynne Jackson
Group Photo
The table has Cherry Blossom pictures decorated by Mr. Woods elementary class.
2009 Award Winners

Ken Hechler, Marie Clinton Bruno, Ed Nixon, Chris Truscott, Heather Berry,
Laurie Firestone,  Lyon Tyler, Robert Garst, & Maggie Peterson Mancuso

Tomato Factory Workers in 1942 or 1943
Tomato Canning Workers
Pat O'Farrell, Alfred Graves, Thad Graves, Snooker Creasy, Hester Farr, Becky Dial, Hendrix, Jess Graves, Mrs. Osborne, Lola Beatrice Graves, Lee Petty, Emma Dorbin, Ella Belle, Emma Daniels, Donnie Daniels, & Jessie Graves

Freda's Up Town Cafe

A big thank you to Freda's for hosting the Tomato Canning Factory Reunion Luncheon at 12:30 PM on Saturday, April 25.


Did you know....

"In the 23 years of existence, over 80

dancers were members of the 

Promenaders.  Completing their 

education, careers, marriage, and 

military draft created the turnover."

Find out even more here!

Older American Center
(on Crittenden just off of the square)

Pancake Breakfast
Saturday, April 25 from 7 - 10 AM  
$4 for adults and $2 for children
(12 and under).

Rummage Sale
Friday & Saturday from 8 AM to 2 PM
Ed Nixon, brother of Richard Nixon was one of the 2009 Honorees of the Hubble Medal of Initiative
Click here to see Mr. Nixon's biography.
Ed Nixon & Brothers
The three Nixon brothers - Ed, Dick & Don Nixon
Lyon Tyler & Ed Nixon
Arnold Schnobrich (Ken Hechler's nephew), Lyon Tyler (grandson of President Tyler), & Ed Nixon
One of the Hubble Medal of Initiative award winners this year was Marshfield native Robert Garst.  We were honored to have Mr. and Mrs. Garst and 20 of their Marshfield relatives at the dinner on Friday night.

Following info excerpted from Missouri State Univ Alumni site

Missouri State News
Garst Dining Hall dedication

The dining center that serves students living in Hutchens House and Hammons House residence halls was recently dedicated as the Garst Dining Center in honor of Robert Garst, class of 1941, and his wife, Edith.

Pictured above: Judy Garst-Brown, Robert Garst, 
Edith Garst and Robert Garst, Jr.

David Rice Atchison was from Missouri and was President for a day when President Zachary Taylor refused to be sworn in on a Sunday.  It is said that Atchison slept through most of the day.  
President For a Day - David Rice Atchison
This is a portrait of Atchison painted by another famous Missourian,
George Caleb Bingham.

Sarah Smith speaks of her famous relative, David Rice Atchison
Sarah Smith
David Rice Atchison received a star on the Missouri Walk of Fame.  Quite a few of his descendants were on hand to celebrate with the Cherry Blossom Festival.
David Rice Atchison's descendants with star.
Bob Hubbard with star
Bob Hubbard accepted the Walk of Fame star for the Jordanaires.
Click here for picture of Bob Hubbard with the original Jordanaires 1948-1950
Click here to see the official Jordanaire web-site
Carolyn Yates, Poster Contest Winner Dasha Rhoten & Art Teacher Connie Robberson
Poster Contest Winner

Cherry Pie Contest at the MAC  
Cherry Blossom Pie Contest

and the winner is.....
Pie Contest Winner
Betty Jo Cantrell

Richard and Emory Gatchell were two of the celebrity judges.
Richard & Emory judging pies
Miss Gatchell did her job extremely well.

Cherry the Chicken has been on a new adventure ... click to read about it!