Secession Convention remembered

Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Meet the Jacksons Several local community members participated in a living history re-enactment held on the square in Cassville on Oct. 29. City officials and area business leaders portrayed legislators during the event, which offered a dramatic interpretation of the second meeting of the Secession Convention, which was held at the Barry County Courthouse in 1861. Pictured above, are Eugene and Lynette Dilbeck, who portrayed Gov. Claiborn Fox and Elizabeth Jackson. Democrat Photo/Lindsay Reed

On Saturday, area residents had the opportunity to watch a living history re-enactment of the second meeting of the Secession Convention, which was originally held at the Barry County Courthouse in Cassville in 1861. The event celebrated the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.

The event offered a dramatic interpretation of the legislative session overseen by Claiborne Fox Jackson, who served as Missouri's 15th governor and the state's governor-in-exile when a portion of the Missouri General Assembly passed the ordinance of secession on Oct. 28, 1961.

Eugene Dilbeck, Cassville city administrator, portrayed Jackson, and Dilbeck's wife, Lynette, portrayed Jackson's wife, Elizabeth, during the event.

After the couple arrived at the courthouse in a horse drawn carriage, Dilbeck gave a short address on the lawn of the historic building. He stated that during their journey to Barry County, his wife remarked on the beauty of the Ozarks in autumn.

Dilbeck also made an impromptu nod to the newly crowned World Champion St. Louis Cardinals baseball team when he said that he and his wife both noticed "an abundance of happy cardinals in the area."

Dilbeck invited all of the re-enactors who took part in the event and the spectators gathered on the square for the re-enactment to join legislators inside the "new" Barry County Courthouse for the Secession Convention.

"We appreciate having a place to conduct the business that is before us today," said Dilbeck. "I would like to remind everyone to not spit on the floor and instead to use the spittoons."

In addition to the dramatic interpretation of the legislative session, the event offered short skits, the reading of several historical documents and letters and musical entertainment by the Back Porch Players from Nixa.

Other local citizens who took part in the re-enactment included: Mike Bennett, Marty Jenkins, Emory Melton, Ted Roller, Herb Primrose, Jim Craig, Steve Cottrell, Bill Hill, Frank Washburn, Steve Weldon, Sam Gaskill, Stan Holle, Skip Smith, Jim LeCompte, Landon Fletcher, Melvin Lacey, Brent Paschall, Jack Nickols, Chip Kammerlohr.

Pard Lowe, Jim Fohn, Tom Thomas, Roger Smith, Wayne Dyer, Doug Moody, Gary Morris, Jim Ridenour, Harold Henson, Daniel Keith, Dave Lewis, Buddy Hart, Christy Haydon, Becky Paschall, Cherry Warren, Mary Fenske, Glenn Scott III, Charlie Lauderdale, Mark Moller, Edgar Schreiner, Tracy Holle, David Sater and Travis Hilburn.

A pie contest was held in conjunction with the re-enactment.

"We had 17 entries in the pie contest," said Cherry Bailey, who organized the contest. "It took the judges quite a while to declare the winner."

An apple pie baked by Jean Garrison, of Monett, was selected as the best overall pie. She received a $50 savings bond from First State Bank.

Other winners included: Mike Kenney, of Cassville, coconut, best cream pie; Janyse Shockley, of Washburn, best fruit pie; and Joyce Cusick, of Cassville, fudge pecan, best pie, other division.

The event also offered a fashion show, food concessions and vendors who sold a variety of historical re-enactment items.

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