Missouri is a state where every foot seems to have some busy history. Lamar for instance in the southwest corner of the state.
In the Missouri-Kansas Border War (1854-1859) lawless bands ranged the county in the Civil War terror and disorder characterized the region. Quantrill and his guerrilla band raided and burned Lamar, occupied by Union troops in 1862. The town was again burned by raiders in 1864, as were other communities in the region, such as Milford. Lamar is known as the birthplace of President Harry Truman and for local lawman Wyatt Earp. Both Virgil and Wyatt lived there for a time. Wyatt Earp's first job was as the city's local constable in the 1870's.
Wyatt Earp's first wife is buried in Howell Cemetery (also known as Owen), just 6 miles north of Lamar. After his wife Urilla Sutherland Earp and unborn child died in late 1870, he set off into the west perhaps seeking to obliterate the pain of his loss in the danger and wildness of those regions. Some suggest he stole a horse to get away.
In that same cemetery are my family members: Roy and Velma Terry, Carol Priest Fortey, Donald Fortey, Melvin Priest, and Lou Priest. On my last visit there, I walked to Mrs. Earp's grave and said hello to whatever gentle spirit and memory may linger there where the green grass moves. I wondered if this larger than life but very human character of the old west had stood where I was standing when he said his last goodbyes.
Perhaps, when the days are softly winding down and gentle breezes blow, they all gather round and have a nice visit telling stories and remembering days long gone. Perhaps.