The Rise of Arrowrock Missouri & the Demise of Richard F. (Dick) Yeager."Arrow Rock, Crossroads of the Missouri Frontier” A-Book-Review

The Rise of Arrowrock Missouri & the Demise of Richard F. (Dick) Yeager."-Review

My distant cousin Richard “Dick” Yeager/Yager rode with Quantrill. That recent discovery made me very proud. Quantrill and his men are southern heroes. Unfortunately, like so many of Quantrill’s men, Yeager did not survive the War for Southern Independence. He was shot in the head in a raid with George Todd at Arrow Rock, Missouri, on July 20, 1864, though his death may not have been caused by this wound. Enjoy this very rare image of Dick Yeager to left, below.                                                                                 

In May 2007, I made a visit to the town of Arrow Rock to see for myself the place where my cousin was wounded.While visiting the town, I purchased a book entitled: “Arrow Rock, Crossroads of the Missouri Frontier” by Michael Dickey. There are some tantalizing details about Yeager in this book. Mr. Dickey covers the founding and the history of the town. Arrow Rock is situated on the Missouri River and became the overland starting point for the Santa Fe Trail. A ferry operated at Arrow Rock to bring folks over the Missouri River. After 1822, which marked the first trade on the trail, the town and its population increased in wealth and number.

According to the author, many fortunes were made on the Santa Fe Trail. This trail was for commerce between then Mexico and Missouri. Private entrepreneurs started the first trade with Mexico. That commerce soon developed into large companies of freighters traveling along that long trail southwest. They took supplies, which they sold or traded for silver coins or Mexican goods. The trail was 800 miles long, through Indian territory.  The round trip took as long as six months of travel.

Arrow Rock grew in population to thousands of residents.My own research documents that Richard Yeager and his father, Judge James Barnes Yeager, were both involved with Santa Fe freighting. Judge Yeager was born in Washington County, Kentucky. He became a Judge in Jackson County, Missouri. The Yeager family resided near Independence, Missouri.

Richard led freight trains down the trail for his father. After Jennison and his “Jayhawkers” attacked Judge Yeager’s home, Richard joined Quantrill’s band of partisans. Yeager led attacks on the trail and even into the Kansas territory.The book documents important individuals in the Arrow Rock community.

John Sappington Marmaduke became a Confederate general and a Missouri governor. His father, Meredith Miles Marmaduke, also had been a Missouri governor. His uncle, Kentuckian Claiborne Fox Jackson, was the Missouri War governor. His great uncle, John Breathitt, had been a Kentucky governor. They certainly held governorships as a family tradition.  Here is an composite signed image of John Sappington Marmaduke.   

Famous Missouri artist George Caleb Bingham lived for several years in Arrow Rock. He painted “ Order No. 11” as a testament to the outrageous order from General Thomas Ewing of August 1863. This odious decree drove hundreds of southern women and children out of their homes as refugees. This painting was instrumental in stopping Ewing from advancing his political career after the War.

The author states that Arrow Rock started to decline after the War. By 1900 the town had fallen in population and had been damaged by fires. Various groups came forward to try to revive the town. Buildings were restored and much work was done to keep it from becoming a ghost town. Today the population consists of only 79 inhabitants. The town has been restored and is lovely. The town has a playhouse and several stores in operation. It is a tourist attraction with a large campground right next to the town.

Arrow Rock is named for an outcropping of rock that was visible from the river. The location is first mentioned in 1714. The author notes that early settlers believed this outcropping of rock held flint that may have been used as a source for Indian arrowheads.

The book documents that Richard Yeager was shot in the head during a raid on Federal troops at Arrow Rock. George Todd took him in an ambulance to a location about seven miles from the town of Miami, Missouri. He was placed in a safe house with the Flannery family. (My research indicates that the Yanks found Yeager and killed him.)  Jennie Flannery testified to the Yanks that she had nursed Yeager, and she was sent to prison for this offense. Yankees were really good at fighting with rebel females!

This is a well-written book and contains a world of fascinating history.It is published by The Friends of Arrow Rock, Inc., Box 124, Arrow Rock, MO. 65320. The telephone number is (660) 837-3231. The website is www.friendsar.org. The 299 page, soft bound book contains several dozen photographs and illustrations. The ISBN number is 0-9753577-0-0, and the book sells for $20.00

The graves of Richard Yeager and his father have not been located.

There are plans to install a memorial V.A. stone next to his paternal aunt, Mary Ellen Yager Lobb. She is buried with her husband and other family members in the Lobb cemetery near Blue Springs, Missouri.As for me, the rise of the town of Arrow Rock will forever be connected to the demise of cousin Richard Yeager.

© Nancy This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 2007. "Permission should be requested and agreed to before using this copyrighted essay."       


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