Short Historical Sketch of Mecklin
Contributed by Wallace Johnson
Oak Grove, Missouri
Written by: Miss Willie Pallette, Oak Grove, Missouri.
The little spot known as Mecklin has the distinction of having been known, probably by more people from different communities, both far and near. For a greater period of time than any other spot in this part of the country.
Mecklin has history which dates back almost three quarters of a century. The history of this place, under it's present name, began in 1856 when Mr. Dick Steele built the old Seminary building which stood just across the road North and a few steps East from the spot where the Mecklin Church stood so long.
Mr. Steele names the place Mecklin in honor of Professor Mecklin whom he knew in Fayetteville Arkansas and whom he held great esteem. The Seminary Building was a large two story building. Two rooms and a hall below, while the upper room was one large room. The large room was the school room, but the lower rooms were used when needed. For some time one of the lower rooms was used for teaching music -- both vocal and instrumental.
The course of study was the elementary course, with some more advanced subjects such as higher english, advanced arithmetic, algebra, familiar science and astronomy.
School administration at that time was so different from the system of today. There were no public schools supported by taxation in this part of the country. Schools were tuition institutions and only those who could pay the fees attended.
The school of Mecklin drew its support, not only from it's home community, but from Pleasant Prairie, Lexington, Sibley, Blue Springs and from Independence and other places. At one time two students were from Arkansas. A number of students who attended this school are still living.
Among the living are:
Mrs. Rebecca J. Renick
Mrs. Clara Renick
Mrs. Mary J. Renick
Mrs. Tura Axline
Mrs. J.M. Wyatt
Mr. Stephen Worley
Mrs. Lizzie Russell Campbell
Mrs. "Dude" Jesse Trowl
Mr. Erasmus Pallette
Rev. Harvey Gardner
Mrs. Lucy Crump Dalton
Mrs. Orpha Russell Martin
Mr. Arista Hulse
The teacher who helped Mecklin's earliest history were Rev. Robert Renick (familiary known as "Uncle Bob Renick") and Miss Rebecca Dickman. In the fall of 1857, Dr. Samuel Adams became a teach and Mr. Gilliand became a teacher later.
About 1858 the situation was changed somewhat, occasioned by Mr. Steele's selling the school property. This property fell into the hands of Rev. LeRoy Woods who opened school in the fall. He was assisted by his son who was later known as Dr. Linley Woods. Mr. Williams Pattison assisted, also Rev. Woods used the Seminary as a dwelling and conducted his school work in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church building which stood where the Methodish Church at Mecklin stood for years. The school was under Rev. Woods' management until about 1861. From that date until after the Civil War there was no school.
In 1866 the school was reopened by Dr. Murphy and Miss Ella Corthery as teachers and work conducted in the Seminary. This was the last year that the building was used for school purposes.
In the later 60's Mr. Samuel D. Hulse (known as "Uncle Sam Hulse") bought the school property house and lot. The house finally passed into the hands of Mr. Green Hulse who used the timbers in buildings on his farm.
When the tuition school ceased to be, a public school was erected. This building stood until 1896 when it was discarded for a new and better structure, the present school house at Mecklin.
Besides school interests, Mecklin has church interests. Before the place was known as Mecklin, the Cumberland Presbyterians errected a church -- the one referred to above, in which they held services until after the close of the Civil War. The church was then moved to Pleasant Prairie.
Soon after the removal of this building the Methodish Episcopal church was erected on the ground where the Cumberland Presbyterian Church had stood. In 926 it was sold to Charley Steele.
If the walls of these old church buildings could be given tongues and mad to speak, the present generation could listen to many sermons preached from the pulpit, such as Rev. John A Murphy, Rev. Ing, Rev. Frank Exley, Rev. Home Bablet, Andrew, W.F. Baker of the Mehtodist Church.
At one time -- a period of several years, Mecklin had a Post Office. It was on the route from Lexington to Independence. The carrier would travel the distance between these points on horse-back one day and back the next. The Post Office was located in the Old Seminary Building which was no longer used for school purposes. Later the office was moved into the dwelling occupied by Mrs. Douglas and her daughter. Miss Ann Rector was Post Mistress.
For a number of years Mecklin had a General Merchandise Store and the store house was the old Seminary Building. The buliding is now all gone and the school house has been sold and is now the residence of a local family. The old things have passed away and the present looks upon a different scene.