Lifetimes of Memories: Voices of Barry County

Volume 18

Narrators Include: Jim Bower, Mabel (Taylor) Hilburn, and Don Myers
Jim Bower Jim was interviewed in the spring and summer of 2009. Born into longtime Barry County families, Jim is the personification of growing up in small-town America. Although his father died when Jim was very young, his mother owned and operated Robbie's Café on Main Street that provided very well for the family. Jim relates stories of the wonderful locals who took an interest in a small boy and made a difference in his life. Jim was also blessed with strong family ties that helped him along. At a very young age, he met the love of his life, Mona Watson. They married and have continued to live a wonderful life into retirement. Jim remembers life as a Cassville Wildcat, U.S. Army paratrooper, employee of Gas Service Company, and avid quail hunter.
Jim Bower
Mabel Hilburn Mrs. Hilburn comes from a large family of nine children. Mabel
was raised during the Depression and was instilled with the value of
being conservative and making do. She learned at an early age what it
meant to work. She helped her mother cook, clean and sew for the family.
In addition, she picked strawberries and wild grapes, and learned
to can in half-gallon jars. She married Herman Hilburn at age 17 and
they raised five children, and were blessed with many grandchildren
and great-grandchildren. Mabel began her teaching career at Hailey
School during World War II, and subsequently taught at Wheaton
and Jenkins. Her interviews took place in the summer of 2008.
Mabel (Taylor) Hilburn
Don Myers A natural story teller, Don shares memories of his active and varied life. Born the middle child to Bud and Irene Myers, he began life in Wyoming, moved to Clifty, Arkansas, and then to Barry County in the spring of 1945. The family farm produced milk to sell when the "milkman" from PET picked it up; they also raised pigs, and even sheep. Don attended nearby Cross Hollows School and has fond memories of that one-room rural school. Following his high school graduation he worked for a surveyor, helped drill wells, and owned and operated Myers' Garage, before becoming a Missouri State Highway Patrolman. He relates many interesting situations and events during that time. His interviews were conducted in the summer of 2009.
Don Myers