When our country was young, there was much debate about who should pay for “internal improvements” such as roads, canals, ports and even railroads. Some thought these should be paid for by either the States or the Federal Government. Some big jobs were agreed on early, while others were left to “profiteers” who charged tolls and use fees.
A road that became famous is known as the National Road. It came through Missouri. The early Mormons who traveled from Kirtland to Missouri not only followed this road, but some of them stopped at certain places and found work helping to build the road.
One of the towns on this road is called Chillicothe. This means “big town” as called by the Indians. We went there this week. It took us two hours—one way. We met with several members of the Church who attend the branch there.
These towns all make big claims. They like to tell famous people who have lived there. We read about a couple who were serial killers and had quite a racked going. They were caught and convicted and sentenced to death. They were an older couple and both died of natural causes before the sentence could be carried out. They were from Chillicothe.
They claim to be the "glove capital of the world." I guess it has to be somewhere?
This is a really cool town. They have really worked hard to overcome the effects of a super-Walmart. Their downtown is still alive and well. One thing we really enjoyed was that they have painted murals on the side of buildings in the downtown.
One of the murals celebrates the fact that “sliced bread” was first sold here. A man in Iowa invented the slicing machine and a baker used in first in Chillicothe. It is reported that his sales increased 1,000 percent.
Wonder Bread was the first major brand to sell sliced bread. In fact, they got their name out of the pre-introduction ad campaign. They said that the new bread would become a “wonder of the world” and so they adopted the name “Wonder”. We also remember the balloons and that it “built strong bodies 12 ways”. Well, Wonder Bread and Hostess have had some major business problems, but the new company, Hostess Brands, is headquartered here in Kansas City. They make Twinkies!
Along the national road is a town named Marceline, Missouri. It claims to be the hometown of Walt Disney. Actually, the Disney’s only lived there for 4 years before they moved to Kansas City (which also claims to be his home town). It was downtown Marceline that inspired Walt when he set out to design Mainstreet USA at Disneyland.
I think you can see a little of Main Street in these pictures.
We have come a long way as a country. It is really a wonder to drive down these roads in “middle America” and think of all the people who have lived, and loved, and died in these communities.
I wanted to say something about “Sister Trainers”. With the increase of Sister Missionaries there has been a new position created in missions. Experienced and mature Sisters (young sisters, not seniors) are called to help teach and train other sisters. They are not to replace Zone or District leaders, but they go on splits with other sisters, study with them, help them adjust to the mission, and assist them in their role as a missionary. One of our new friends is Sister Ogletree from Provo. She is a Sister Trainer. We are so impressed with all of these Sisters!
I have to say that of all of the small towns we have visited my favorite is Chillicothe. Before we visited this cute little town we heard a lot of Chillicothe jokes. I think it is kind of like Hooper. Everyone makes a little fun of Hooper but the people who live there and the people who visit there find out that it is a great place to live. Same can be said about Chillicothe.
As we drove down the main street we saw beautiful murals painted on the side of buildings. At first, I just thought it was the mural about sliced bread and I thought that was pretty cool. But then as we kept driving we saw many more. Pretty soon I couldn't stand it any more and I made Greg stop and let me take pictures of as many as I could before it got too dark.
They have a little city park across from the beautiful county building. The building to the side had all of the windows painted as if the people were really in the window.
In one picture the man is even opening the window so he can listen to his wife giving piano lessons in the next window.
There was an accountant working in one of the windows. I had to get a picture of that in honor of Greg and his accountant days.
Across from the little park was a very cool mural of a train coming down the track. I was a little sad that there was a car in front of it. The rail line coming through this area really was what kept Chillicothe alive in the late 1800's.
Each mural has some significance to the history of the city and surrounding area.
The photos do not do the murals justice. They are really amazing. When you see them in person they have a 3D effect and it feels like you are really looking at a live scene. We found out that the city commissioned the paintings to keep the downtown alive and a place to visit and to live.
My other favorite little town is Jamesport. We visited Jamesport this week. There are a few Young Adults who live in this cute little town. Jamesport is famous for their Amish population and wares.
We passed a farm that had its corn stalks in the field all tied in bundles. You don't see that everyday.
We also followed a little buggy pulled by a horse. They all have enclosed carriages pulled by their horses. We were lucky and saw two carriages passing each other on the road.
The Amish are famous for their good food and their quilts and their furniture building. I would love to bring some of their furniture home. It is very beautiful and quaint. Years ago we came to this little town when we brought our family out to Missouri and Illinois for a Church History tour. We have had a lot of dejuvu on this mission as we have visited places that we did years ago with our family.
Even though our calling seems to be taking us all over the countryside we have enjoyed seeing the different little towns and learning so much about the area and its history.