Crow's Nest Homes 21-30

21.       Lot 17. Anglebrake home
            In 1866 the farmers of Howell’s Prairie needed badly the services of a blacksmith. As an inducement to a good mechanic to come and settle in the area, John C. Castlio and F. B. Castlio, brothers, (36) promised to lay out a town and to call it Mechanicsville. A Mr. Ives was attracted by the offer made to him and subsequently became the first blacksmith in the village which was named Mechanicsville. After two or three years Mr. Ives turned over his shop on lot 17 and his anvil to Mr. Albert Swartzscope, who was succeeded by Mr. Anglebrake and Mr. Keiser.
            On January 15, 1869, Mr. Theodore Diehr sold the northwest half of lot 17 and the southeast part of lot 18 to Mr. William Anglebrake, a blacksmith and wagon-maker who came from Pennsylvania to St. Charles County in 1834. On December 12, 1906, Mr. Anglebrake and his daughter, Elizabeth Schweitzer, sold this property to Mary Keturah Castlio (22, 48) where she lived with her brother, William M. Castlio, until August 31, 1915.
            William M. Castlio, the first lawyer on Howell’s Prairie, attended the school taught by his great-uncle Lewis Howell, studied law under Mr. McDearmon of St. Charles, and was admitted to the bar in 1880. He was a man of great ability and gained much prestige locally as a lawyer.
Mr. and Mrs. Filmore (Bud) Montgomery and their son Garvin lived here from August 31, 1915, until May 22, 1925, when Mrs. Montgomery, after the death of her husband, sold the place to Mr. and Mrs. William Zeyen, and she and Garvin and his wife moved to California.
            I have been told that after Mr. Zeyen bought this place, he finished tearing down the old blacksmith shop which in later years had been used as a barn. In 1940, Mr. William Zeyen and his wife, Eula Chaney Zeyen, moved from this home to Weldon Spring.

22.       Lot 18. Residence of John C. Castlio
            My mother said that a little blue house stood on this site when she was a child and rode through the woods for the doctor. When John C. Castlio (36) and his wife, Elizabeth Stone Castlio, moved from the farm (48), they bought this place, remodeled it, and lived here the rest of their lives. I have been unable to find when Great-uncle John bought this lot, but among the papers pertaining to the settlement of the F. B. Castlio estate was a small slip of paper stating that John C. Castlio was asking for a deed to his land in Mechanicsville which about May 29, 1867, F. B. Castlio had sold to Benjamin Semmerman; Benjamin Semmerman had sold to G. B. Bishop; G. B. Bishop had sold to John C. Castlio. It isn’t surprising that Dr. Mitchell Castlio laughingly said that on Howell’s Prairie land was traded as horses were elsewhere.
            I know that Great-uncle John Castlio was living in Mechanicsville when his daughter Keturah (one day older than my mother) was a little girl, for I have heard my mother say that even though she and Keturah were the same age and Mother had walked two miles to school, Keturah would wait at her gate while Mother ran around in the rain looking for a board to put across a little drain in front of the Castlio home. When a suitable board had been found and placed to suit Keturah, she would step across and accompany Mother and her sisters the short distance to school.
            On August 2, 1893, J. C. Castlio and his wife deeded all their real estate in Mechanicsville, consisting of lots 18 and 20 and a triangular piece of land, to their daughter, Mary Keturah Castlio, who on August 8, 1893 sold the same to James F. Stewart. On September 4, 1911, James F. Stewart sold the property to his son, C. F. Stewart, who retained possession of it until October 30, 1928, when he sold it to Mr. Elroy Schweitzer, the owner in 1940.

23.       Lots 3 and 4, owned by the following:
F. B. Castlio to Matthew Henricks—August 2, 1867
Matthew Henricks to Sarah Goodson—V. J. Willot (settlement of estate V. J. Willot) to R. E. Gamble—July 13, 1880
R. E. Gamble to Eliza and Norman Castlio—November, 1881
Eliza Castlio to Theodore Bruere—December 10, 1897
Theodore Bruere to Christopher Wagner—December 27, 1897
Marie Wagner (widow) to Thomas Wright—December 14, 1906
Thomas Wright to George Stevenson—December 3, 1907
George Stevenson to Madge Castlio—October 2, 1908
Madge Castlio to E. P. Silvey—December 18, 1914
Silvey estate to Morris, Claude, and Karl Muschany, July 31, 1923

Mrs. Dana Thomas, the oldest daughter of Eliza and Norman Castlio, said that there was a one-room lean-to on these lots when her parents bought them and that her father built four new rooms, two rooms in front with a hall between and two rooms above. The three Muschany brothers owned this property in 1940.

24.       Lots 1 and 2, Dr. J. L. Martin Home
F. B. Castlio to Dr. J. L. Martin—December 21, 1867
Dr. Martin to Albert Swartzscope—January, 1871
Albert Swartzscope to Francis Howell by sheriff—March 21, 1874
Mrs. Francis Howell to John Keiser—March 19, 1877
John Keiser to Harriet Darst Hays—March 14, 1878
Harriet D. Hays to Susan Howell—December 29, 1897
Susan Howell to J. R. Portwood—September 24, 1906
J. R. Portwood to May Dell Johnson—September 19, 1908-1940

I assume that the four room house on this lot was built by Dr. Martin after his marriage to Aulana Audrain (1), March 13, 1867. Mrs. John W. Callison told me that she and her husband lived in this house at one time when her grandmother Howell owned it. The Callisons moved out one morning; Mr. and Mrs. Henry Stratman moved in the same day. The next morning the house burned down. Mr. Callison built two rooms on the original foundation.

25.       Lot 19, Tannery and Slaughter House
F. B. Castlio to H. B. Castlio—1879
H. B. Castlio to Christopher Wagner—1879
Mr. Wagner to Francis T. Stewart—February 20, 1880
Francis T. Stewart (a merchant in the village) to James F. Stewart—January 18, 1890

From 1890 until 1940 this property was owned by James Frank Stewart or his heirs. The red brick house on this lot was used first as a slaughter house and tannery.

26.       The home of Dr. and Mrs. Perry
On September 26, 1904, my father sold a twenty-acre tract of land to Mr. John Dixon. On March 16, 1911, Mr. Dixon sold one acre of this tract to Dr. A. A. Perry and his wife who built a five-room house on it. February 27, 1915, Dr. Perry sold this property to Mrs. E. J. Blize and her son Maurice. (12, 13)
            From 1915 until October 15, 1917, when the Howell Post Office was discontinued, Mrs. Blize was postmistress in this house.
            To Miss Julia Watson of Washington, D.C., I am indebted for the following postal information (1871-1917) which she obtained from the United States Post Office Library and National Archives.
The earliest record Miss Watson could find of the Mechanicsville post office was in a volume of “Post Office Records, 1871.” According to this record, Mr. Lewis Howell was the first postmaster, his appointment date being May 20, 1871. Miss Watson said she thought she had been told that the post office, when Mr. Howell was postmaster, was across the street from his house. That would have been in the home of his brother, Col. Francis Howell.
            Mr. Lewis Howell was followed by Mr. Peter Mades whose appointment date was September 1, 1874. Miss Watson did not know where the post office was during the tenure of Mr. Mades; since at this time (1874-1878) Mr. Mades was keeping store in the house on lot 11 (12), 1 think it is permissible to assume that he had the post office in the same building.
            Miss Watson said that Mr. Julius Berg, Jr., whose appointment date was May 27, 1878, and Mr. Julius Berg Sr., whose appointment date was April 18, 1883, had the post office in their store. That would be the building on the unnumbered lot (15) west of lot 10.
            Mrs. Elizabeth Audrain was appointed postmistress on March 22, 1886, and had the office first in the log house on lot 23 (29), opposite the public school, and later in her home on lot 12 (13).
            Mrs. Audrain was succeeded by Mr. R. E. Gamble, whose appointment date was December 15, 1900. During his tenure the post office was in the small house (34) which had been moved to the west side of the blacksmith shop and used for a while by Mr. Silvey as a harness shop. It was also while Mr. Gamble was postmaster that the name Mechanicsville was changed to Howell.
            When Mrs. Blize was appointed postmistress, September 10, 1904, she continued to use for the post office the same building which Mr. Gamble had used until she had the office moved to her home on lot 11 (12). From lot 11 Mrs. Blize moved to the house on lot 12 (13), where she used the front room as office. From here Mrs. Blize moved to the home which she bought from Dr. and Mrs. Perry.
            In her letter of May 31, 1956, Miss Watson gives the following interesting information about the carriers:
            “Several large volumes (another compilation) showed the names of all bidders for a given carrier route. Mr. James M. Zumwalt was listed, the winning bidder among fifteen. I was much surprised that his tenure was very early—1875-1879. Evidentally his son had a contract after an interval of years, and it must be that in said interval, Mr. Alec Callison and Mr. Journey were on the route. Mr. Jim Zumwalt’s schedule was:
“Leave St. Charles Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 7:00 a.m. Arrive at Mechanicsville by 4:00 p.m. Leave Mechanicsville Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, 7:00 a.m. Arrive at St. Charles by 4:00 p.m. Bond required with bid $900.00.”
            “Thus they had three mail-days a week. His bid, $599.00, was accepted March 8, 1875.
“As there was no mention of Mechanicsville carriers in succeeding volumes until mention of Mr. Robert Libla, July 1, 1897; and as Jeannette and I are sure Mr. Sterling Zumwalt was the carrier before and after 1895, we think Mr. Callison followed the elder Zumwalt and that Mr. Journey followed Mr. Callison. Mr. Journey was a much younger man than Mr. Callison. Mr. Journey was in active life for many more years. We fix Mr. Sterling Zumwalt’s service by the fact that he carried an A. R. Huning package for Mama when she, Jeannette, and Ruffner, an infant, were getting ready for a trip east in 1895. He was carrier as I remember, until Mr. Robert Libla, in 1897.
            “The change from St. Charles to Hamburg came, I think, with Mr. Libla; whether he did any carrying from St. Charles I am not sure, but he did carry from Hamburg direct from train for a while, I think. ‘Uncle Hence’ McRoberts followed. He was a colored man who lived nearby. In my notes, I find, ‘From R.R. 1901’ following Henderson McRoberts’ name.
            “After ‘Uncle Hence,’ I recall no other until Mr. Carl Roth, who is remembered by many. I was away, more or less, after 1905. You probably have all the rest.”
            Mr. Headlee Zumwalt, a son of Mr. Sterling Zumwalt, told me that his father carried the mail in a heavy spring wagon with bows that fitted on the sides of the wagon. A waterproof canvas covered the entire vehicle. In extremely blustery weather, the driver protected himself from the wind and rain by placing over the front of his wagon an oilcloth, with an opening through which he could see to drive and slots for his reins.
            When we moved from Spokane, Washington, to Howell in July, 1908, Mrs. Blize was the postmistress in the house on lot 11, and Mr. Carl Roth was the carrier from Hamburg to Howell. After the post office was discontinued, October 15, 1917, and Howell was put on a rural route, Mr. Roth continued to carry the mail until about 1922, when he was succeeded by Mr. Clyde Stumberg, the carrier until 1940.
            Mr. Roth first carried the mail in a buggy, unless, as was sometimes the case, he had to go on horseback because of a heavy snowfall. Later he used the standard rural delivery wagon. Mr. Stumberg made the rounds in an automobile.
            On August 7, 1920, Morris Muschany purchased this property from Mrs. Blize, and here Morris, his wife, Nell Keithly Muschany, and their son Donald Keith lived until Morris sold the place to his brother Karl. In 1940, Karl and his wife, Vera Seib Muschany, moved from here to Chesterfield, Missouri.

27.       The Portwood home
            About 1920 Mr. Charles Portwood and his wife Susan Silvey Portwood, built a frame house on this land which Mrs. Portwood inherited from her parents.

28.       The new Methodist Church on the Marthasville Road
            On September 3, 1910, “J. McWaters and wife for the sum of $75.00 have granted, bargained and sold to T. M. Lay, William Stevenson, John McWaters, J. U. Muschany, and E. P. Silvey, trustees of the Howell Methodist Episcopal Church South, ——- 75/100 of an acre and being the same tract conveyed to the grantors herein by deed from Jessie Silvey and husband August 12, 1910.”
            As soon as the trustees of the Methodist Church had title to this tract of land on the north side of the Marthasville Road, men began hauling gravel from “The Hollow” and construction of the white frame building began.
            I remember quite well when the church was dedicated in the late summer of the next year, the principal address having been given by Mr. Williams of Central College at Lexington, Missouri. Mr. Patterson, a kind, white-haired gentlemen, who had come from St. Louis the first and third Sundays of each month to hold services in the old church, continued his work in the new church, the erection of which was due largely to his influence and encouragement.
            Since the records of this church were destroyed when the parsonage at Defiance burned a number of years ago, I have been unable to get any specific data relative to the church. Mr. Patterson, I believe, was followed by Mr. McBee; other ministers were Mr. William Meyer, Mr. Trotter, Mr. Utter, Mr. Davis, Mr. Hardaway, Mr. Corvey.

29.       Lot 23. The Chandler place
            This log house, moved here by Fortunatus B. Castlio, was once part of the slave quarters on his farm. (4) This lot was conveyed to Dr. J. N. Castlio by deed from Edwin S. Castlio (4), December 12, 1882, and bequeathed by will to J. Leeman Castlio, who, in April, 1904, sold the lot and log house to Joe Chandler. When Joe made this purchase, the following was stipulated in the deed: “——said Amanda Washington Chandler shall have only a life estate in above described property, the full absolute title at death to vest in said Joe Chandler exclusively, heirs of said Amanda to have no interest in or title thereto.”
            In 1940, when the government agent called upon Joe, even he was moved when the poor old Negro, with tears streaming down his cheeks, knelt beside a chair which he was using for a table on which to sign his option—for the land only, as the house had burned down about 1920.
            One of the most pathetic and eccentric characters of Mechanicsville was Margaret Hedricks, who lived west of Joe Chandler in a two-room house on twenty-five feet of the southwest side of lot 21 conveyed to her by John C. Castlio with the stipulation that Margaret was to have a home there as long as she lived. No one to whom I have talked recently knows whence Margaret came. However, Mrs. E. J. Blize told me that Margaret must have walked to Mechanicsville, for she told Mrs. Blize that on her way to that village, she became tired and thirsty and stopped at a stream for a drink. Nearby were two urchins with a basket containing several small pies, one of which Margaret bought for ten cents. While she was resting on the bank of the stream and enjoying her tasty pie, the boys began to quarrel about the ten cents, each claiming it. One boy protested that the money should be his because his mother had baked the pies. The other strongly maintained that the money should be his since it was his dog that had furnished the meat for the pies.
            Margaret, with her chickens, cats, and loom, lived in her tiny house for many years, weaving rugs and rag carpets, walking through heat and cold, ice and snow to do the washings of families in the village or on the prairie, assisting at many, many butcherings, and lending a hand to families where there was illness.
            I have heard Lucretia Watson (38) laughingly tell about one blustery winter morning when Margaret came to wash for the Watson family. The ground was covered with ice and snow, and as Margaret came into the kitchen, breathless and weary, she exclaimed, “My goodness! I thought I’d never make it here. Every time I took one step forward, I went two backward!” When one of the Watson boys asked her how then she had managed to make the trip from Howell to the farm, she retorted, “Why: I just turned around and walked backwards.”
            Regularly Margaret, in the discards of others, attended services in the Presbyterian Church, always sitting on the back seat and never failing to drop into the collection plate her mite.
            She died at the County Farm in St. Charles, not “straddle of a sausage grinder or over a wash tub” as she vowed her fate would be.

30.       Lots 30 and 31. The Mechanicsville Grade School
            When Lewis Howell, because of his health, was forced to retire as a teacher, Fortunatus B. Castlio furnished lots 30 and 31 on the southeast corner of St. Charles and Howell Streets for a school. Here he erected a white rectangular building where the children of Mechanicsville and vicinity were taught “the three R’s”—often to the “tune of the hickory stick.”
            After the death of F. B. Castlio in 1879, this land was set apart to his daughter, Beulah Irene Castlio, by the commissioners in the partition of her father’s estate.
On April 14, 1883, Beulah Irene Castlio sold for $350.00 these two lots and the school house to J. N. Castlio, F. T. Stewart, and S. J. Dunlap, directors of School District Number 3.
            In 1915 this school was one of the five in the newly organized Consolidated District Number 2.
The teachers from 1881 until 1940 were:
1881 Pauline Stone
1882 Laura Brown
1883 Hortense Castlio
1884-1885 Mary V. Montague
1886 M. T. Orrick
1887 Hortense Castlio
1888 Alice Miller
1889 Celia Johnson
1890 Ella Castlio
1891-1892 B. M. Audrain
1893 Emma Bigelow
1894-1898 J. U. Muschany
1899 Matilda Bierbaum Stevenson
1900 Elsie Snyder
1901-1902 B. M. Audrain
1903 Nellie Burris
1904 Anna Evans
1905 Mrs. Constance Audrain
1906 Clara Wheeler Castlio
1907 Maud Scott
1908 May Dell Johnson
1909 Mina Coshow Baird
1910 Mattie Dutton
1911 Nannie Chaney
1912 Emma Fulkerson
1913 Halie Pitman
1914-1917 Folsom Castlio
1918 Hester Stewart
                        1919-1920 Willie Snyder
                        1921-1923 Elsie Knippenberg
                        1924 Hazel Worley
                        1925 Eugenia Nahm
                        1926 Viola Mades
                        1927-1929 Martha Cunningham
                        1930-1931 William Patton
                        1932 Verna Rottman
                        1933-1935 Fred Hollenbeck
                        1936 Virginia Patton
                        1937-1938 Alverta Geisendorfer
                        1939-1940 Ella River