Synopses & Reviews
When the Frisco Railway decided to move its Missouri hub from Pierce City in 1887, Monett began its growth from a sleepy town into one bustling with stores, churches, and hotels, all around the depot. By the early 20th century, Monett was home to a minor-league baseball team, hosted the Monett Chautauqua, and saw presidents campaigning via the rails. A crowd of 10,000 watched local pharmacist and photographer Logan McKee fly a plane during the 1911 Fourth of July celebration. Citizens moved from
horse-drawn buggies to cars, and LeRoy Jeffries, member of a prominent pioneer family, gave up his grocery store for a gas station in 1923. The city was ready for the imprint M. E. Gillioz was to place through his construction company and civic contributions. While the Gillioz Theater is gone, Monett citizens still use the old National Guard armory (now a recreation center) and a bank building, among others. By the time the Frisco left in the mid-1950s, Monett had survived regular flooding of Kelly Creek and several fires that burned important buildings and had embraced its more diverse agricultural and manufacturing economy.
About the Author
Elaine L. Orr's family has been in southwest Missouri since the 1830s, and she is an avid student and writer of its local history. Many Monett citizens contributed photographs, staff at the Monett Times provided photographs and tips for where to find others, and the Jeffries Collection also supplied a number of photographs.