Lifetimes of Memories: Voices of Barry County

Volume 9

Narrators Include: Sue (Hawk) Blythe, Geneva (Mitchell) Girouard,  Jean (Sanders) Melton, Robert and Marjorie (Young) Ryder, George and Opal Fern (Beam) Utter 
Wilma Sue Hawk Blythe hails from a family of long time, active citizens of Barry County. Sue shares tales of her family's ties to the Civil War, gold rush, Pony Express, C & E Railroad, ministry, and music. Mrs. Blythe tells of operating a grocery store with her husband, Larry, and their involvement with building and operating Cassville Bowl. Mr. and Mrs. Blythe, high school sweethearts, recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary, and quite remarkably have lived in the same home all of their married lives.
Sue Blythe
Geneva Mitchell Gilliland Girouard grew up in a large family of nine children. Mrs. Girouard tells of frequent family moves as her father worked in timber.She recalls a simple lifestyle of swimming in the creek, picking berries, rounding up the cattle, shelling corn and helping make feather beds. From dance parties to her father's noodling and milling, Geneva shares stories of the good times that were had when times were simple but demanding. Mrs. Girouard
Geneva Girouard
The youngest of 10 children, Jean Sanders was born on the family farm in Shell Knob, Missouri. Jean shares her memories of early Shell Knob, of being influenced by the numerous teachers and doctors in her family, working to receive her education, and her teaching career. Mrs. Melton tells of her life in the printing and newspaper business, and her community activities with her children. Jean reflects on the many years serving alongside her husband, Emory, during his years as State Senator, as well as her passion for golf, sewing and her faith. Mrs. Melton's interviews were concluded in 2009.
Jean Melton
Born in Pioneer, Missouri, Robert shares tales of that community, growing up on the farm, fishing in the creek, and of his father and grandfather in the mines. Affected by the Depression, the family moved first to Neosho, and then to St. Louis before returning to the Pioneer mines. Drafted in 1944, Robert tells of his military career and overseas duties before returning to Pioneer and meeting Marjorie. Marjorie Young was born and raised in the Stone's Prairie community. Marjorie shares of chores on the farm, learning to cook at an early age, sewing, quilting and accompanying her father on his milk route. Married in 1951, Mr. and Mrs. Ryder raised their children on their farm in Purdy before retiring and moving to Cassville in 2007. The Ryder's interviews were conducted in late 2007.
Robert and Marjorie Ryder
Born in Wheaton, Missouri, George Utter tells of growing up on a farm at a time when horses were used instead of tractors. George shares of the simple pleasures at hand, like homemade ice cream and swimming in the creek. Mr. Utter shares of his long service in the Air Force and his overseas assignments. Opal Fern Beam was born in Greenwood, Arkansas, and moved to Missouri as a child with her widowed mother and siblings. Fern recalls picking berries, peeling tomatoes, and the sorghum mills in Butterfield. George and Fern recall an earlier era of Wheaton when the canning factory, hospital and ice plant were in operation. The Utters were interviewed during the spring of 2006.
George and Opal Utter