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William Freeman’s headstone in the Martin Cemetery, south of Dora. The Zanoni native, 22, was Ozark County’s first known World War I casualty, and he died not in battle but in Oklahoma seven months after he left his home in the hills. The inscription says, “Sleep on, dear soldier boy, ye are at rest. God called thee home. He thot it best.”
Editor’s note: This Memorial Day tribute is adapted from “Called to the Colors: Ozark County in WWI,” edited by Mary Sparks and published in 2017 by the Ozark County Historium. The book can be purchased for $10 at the Historium (when it reopens following its closing due to pandemic precautions), or...

The Ozark County War Memorial, funded by donations, was erected on the courthouse lawn in 1991.
This week we take time to note, with gratitude and sorrow, those with Ozark County ties whose lives ended while they were serving in the military during wartime. They are the men whose names are engraved on the Ozark County War Memorial on the courthouse lawn – as well as others whose names have...

This 2011 photos show the signs announcing that Skeeter’s Cafe was becoming Deb & Lou’s after Sherry Dotson leased the business to Deb Smith and Lou Garcia, who retired the name Skeeter’s. Still attached above the awning was the leftover sign that had promoted the “New Skeeter’s Cafe” in the early 2000s after a fire in the restaurant’s original building caused owner Sherry to move the business next door into the building that had for decades housed a dry goods store, beginning with Johnson’s Clothing.
Editor’s note: This is the second part of a two-part story sharing the history of the landmark restaurant that has operated on the west side of the Gainesville square since the mid-1940s. From 1946 until 2011, the restaurant was known as Skeeter’s Cafe, named for the late Frank “Skeeter” Stevens,...

Burned remains of 16-year-old Theodosia teen Savannah Leckie were found on her mother, Rebecca Ruud’s off-the-grid farm near Theodosia on Aug. 4, 2017.
The Missouri Supreme Court’s recent suspension of most in-person court proceedings had an impact on most cases filed in Ozark County, causing many trials and hearings to be  rescheduled, including hearings involving open cases in three Ozark County murders that have occurred here since 2017....

The Gainesville Saddle Club will host a rodeo and fun show each month beginning this weekend and continuing through October. The events will be held in the club’s arena, where this new gate topper, a gift from former club president and current treasurer Robin Deck, was recently installed by club member Kevin Meek. It was made by Ken Franks’ machine shop in Ava.
Update: The May 22 rodeo has been rescheduled to May 27, and the May 24 fun show has been rescheduled for May 31.    The Gainesville Saddle Club grounds will be a hoppin’ place this summer and fall with a full lineup of rodeos and fun shows scheduled, beginning Friday, May 22, with a rodeo...
Katelyn Brantingham, daughter of Karen and Dan Brantingham of Noble, was recently recognized as one of two “Outstanding Psychology Graduates” at Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, where online commencement exercises are scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 16. This broadcast event is...
Treasure Fest will be held Sunday, May 17 Theodosia Treasure Gallery owner Jan Chester is resuming her third-Sunday-of-the-month craft shows on May 17. “We need something to do,” Chester said. “We will practice social distancing, and it will be outside.” The festival is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the...
When Steve Bartlett heard a loud noise on the front porch of his Timber Knob home Wednesday night, May 6, he walked to the window, turned on the outside light and found a 300-pound black bear looking back at him through the glass. “I pecked on the glass, and it just looked at me,” said Bartlett, a...

Dot Strickland, shown in this 2017 Hootin an Hollarin file photo with her husband, Lawrence, was the target of a recent “grandma scam” telephone call. Her husband died in October 2018.
The first thing the man on the telephone said when Dot Strickland answered recently was, “Listen! Don’t tell anyone what I’m going to tell you.” Then he said, “This is your grandson Michael, and I’m in jail.” To say Dot was shocked would be a vast understatement. “Michael is a pastor in Atchison,...

This ad for Skeeter’s Cafe in Gainesville High School’s 1970 Bulldogger yearbook shows, from left, owners Skeeter and Faye Stevens with employees Bonnie Luna and Ella Mae Cutshaw Piland.
Editor’s note: This is part one of a two-part story. When Deb Garcia announced recently on her Facebook page that she and her husband, Lou, would not be reopening their cafe on the Gainesville square after closing it during the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown order, many area residents felt their hearts...

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Ozark County Times

504 Third Steet
PO Box 188
Gainesville, MO 65655

Phone: (417) 679-4641
Fax: (417) 679-3423