June 1982 Collage
A PIONEER'S RECOLLECTIONS
I moved with my parents to South East Missouri in 1815, We crossed the river at Green's Ferry, thirteen mile north of Cape Girardeau. The first place of note on our western journey was the town of Jackson in Cape Girardeau County. Jackson was then an insignificant little village of log cabins. I suppose it maintained about 150 inhabitants. The next object of interest was Major Bollinger's mill, eight mile west on a little river called Whitewater. Here we met the veritable Major. He was a low heavy set North Carolina Dutchman, spoke broken English; had a large mouth, dark skin and sharp black eyes, but he had little education, but a good supply of sound sense. I do not remember how long he had been in the county, but he came in what was called Spanish times. He owned quite a large amount of good land, granted by that Government. He was a man of great influence and held high office. He built a mill (now known as Burford's) a short time before I came to this county. It was said that he cut the cane off the site for the mill; located on the bank of the river; pitched his tent about one quarter of a mile West, near a large spring; he built a dam across. the spring, constructed a large wheel with cogs and attached a spring pole and then added a pestle to the springy end, under which was a mortar, into which he put his corn, turned the water onto the wheel and set the machine beating out meal, with which he fed his hands.
The mill was built out of small poles, crib fashions, the spaces filled with rock. The mill house was also built of small poles. People went to this mill for a distance of thirty miles and over.
At that time men wore clothing made with dressed deer skins, the seams withed and fringed with the same, Indian style. During the summer they wore moccasins and tow linen.
Major Bollinger was worth about $40,000 at the time of his death. -- W.W. Norman
MISSOURI CASHBOOK, Thursday, March 26, 1885 (This was originally published in the BLOOMFIELD VINDICATOR and was reprinted in the MISSOURI CASHBOOK.)