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The Story of Mountain Missouri
and Henry Jr. and Mary Ann Scott Schell:


On Oct 17, 1835 Henry Schell and Elizabeth Yoachum were married and then established a trading post at the foot of a mountain, known today as Shell Knob, MO. After their marriage, they settled on Big Sugar Creek. A spot that became the Village of Mountain, Missouri. Mountain was about ten miles northwest from Pea Ridge, Arkansas. It was located on the north side of the creek near the foot of a high mountain from where the post office derived it's name.

Henry Schell was killed July 11, 1863 by bushwhackers in McDonald Co., MO, and was buried in his own yard by family and a neighbor woman. When Elizabeth died, she was buried in the Old Antioch Cemetery, up on the hill from the banks of Big Sugar in McDonald County.

The first ten years or so after Henry and Elizabeth were married they lived in the Shell Knob area in Barry County. They came to the Mountain Township area of McDonald County, MO 1845. In 1846 they hauled pine lumber from the War Eagle Mill in Benton County, AR, which was about 16 miles east of Rogers. They took this pine and build a structure of 18 X 24, which was later added on to, and what became then the Schell Mill Store and Post Office. The land that housed the mill was later known as the mill 40. It was located a few feet from where Otter Creek joins Big Sugar Creek. The mill closed in 1863 when Henry died and at that time the land was divided among the children.




This is all that remains of the Schell Mill, the rest of it has been removed by water and weather elements.


    

David Funk came by this mill photo from his maternal Great Grandmother Effie Frances Moore Dent. She got them from her mother Melinda Caroline Schell who was the wife of Thomas H. Moore. Melinda was a daughter of Henry and Mary (Scott) Schell, Jr. and Henry was a son of the above mentioned Henry and Elizabeth (Yoachum) Schell, Sr.

The Frisco Railroad came through the region in 1881 and was less than 20 miles away. When mail for that part of McDonald County was dropped off at Seligman, it was delivered by horsback to Mountain's residents. The first stop out of Seligman was Mayflower, where there was a Post Office in the hands of John VanZandt. From there John went to Scharder's Store on Trent's Creek, and from there to Mountain.

If Big Sugar was out of it's banks, crossing was made by row boat or by swimming a horse. This is the way a Doctor could have reached his patients when the river was up. Besides the Post Office, there was a water powered Grist Mill, a Blacksmith's Shop, and a General Store, all of which were owned by Henry Schell Jr. He also had a good spring on his place where he operated a distillery. He used three large copper kettles for this operation.

The official name of the Village was Mountain, but the trading post was known as Schell Mill. It was a busy trading point from the post Civil War years, up through the turn of the century. Mountain is not shown on Missouri's maps today, and hasnt been shown since the beginning of the 20th century. Before the good roads and Automobiles released people from their stationary existence, Schell's Mill drew trade from a wide area in Southwest McDonald County, Missouri and from Benton County, Arkansas along the Arkansas-Missouri state line.

When folks living in the hills ran short of bread-stuff they filled a toesack with corn, placed it on the back of a horse or mule, got up behind it and headed through the hills for Schell's Mill. The miller took a toll of the meal to pay for the grinding and the customer took the balance home for cornbread.

Henry Schell Jr. learned the millright trade from his father, Henry Schell Sr. who owned a water mill three miles up Sugar Creek at the state line before the Civil War. Henry Jr. built a dam across the creek at Mountain that backed up water for a millpond. High water washed out the first dam but the Mill was salvaged. He then built another dam a short distance below the first one with lumber and logs. Water released through the flume spun the big stone burs with a hum and roar that could be heard throughout the little village. The millpond was a fisherman's paradise and many people came to just fish for perch, trout, and eels.

In addition to the industries operated at Mountain, he also owned the Store and Mill at Cyclone, Missouri, a little further down the creek. He owned 400 acres of land at Mountain where he grew corn to fatten hundreds of hogs, some days as many as 500 hogs would be rooting around the mill or wallowing and sleeping in the shade, hundreds of others would be running on the free range in the hills. It was said of Henry, that he never had any idea how many hogs he owned or how many people owed him money. He was a sharp businessman and had a knack for making money with which he was very liberal, nobody was turned away that asked for help.

It was quite a treat for a youngster who visited the general store at Mountain with all it's fragrant and strange smells of brought-on merchandise, Hoarhound, peppermint, and gumdrop candy at 10 cents a pound, Arbuckle coffee in the bean for 15 cents a pound, or a #25 ham for $1.25. The Mill, store and Blacksmith Shop supplied about all the population's needs that couldn'd be raised on the farm. Tobacco was sold by hand, and gingham, and calico was sold by the yard.

Some time in the 1880's, the Schells built a new home with pine lumber. It was quite a mansion for the time and location. The house is occupied as a home today after alterations and remodeling. It was a two-story house with a one-story north wing which was the family kitchen and dining room. Mary Ann (better know as Polly) and the help, served bountiful meals to the family and frequent guests, often customers that happened to be in the store at dinner time. A novelty at the Schell home was a Dulcimer, a musical instrument played by tapping the string with a wooden mallet.

In the years around the turn of the century, 4th of July picnics were held in many communities. It was the big event of the year and people looked forward to the celebrations. Some were held at Mountain, and the Baptist Church grounds which are now Jacket, Missouri. When it came around the 4th of July, families began arriving early in wagons, hacks, and buggies. Young ladies dressed in their finery, smelling loudly of new gingham and calico, it was and ideal time to catch a beau. Young men that came no doubt were urged on by the same motives except, some came to get drunk and settle old grudges. Fights were numerous in spite of the more sober minded that tried to keep order.

All that is left of the original village of Mountain is the former Schell residence, some rock walls and part of one stone burr that ground the grain, the stone burrs said to have been imported from France, have been chipped and carried away by souvenir hunters until only a small section of one burr remains. Henry Schell Jr. and Mary Ann Scott Schell are both buried at Antioch Cemetery, near Jacket, Missouri in McDonald County.





Directions to Mountain, Missouri:

Look for our New Billboard! Junction of KK Highway and West Mountain Road / SEKK73.



View Larger Map


Coming From Missouri -

2.5 miles south of JCT 90 HWY & KK HWY


Coming From Arkansas -

Follow I-540 N/US-71, North to exit 88
Take exit 88 for AR-72 toward Bentonville/Pea Ridge 0.3 mi
Turn right onto AR-72 E 6.2 mi
Turn left onto Weston St 1.0 mi
Turn left onto Pickens Rd 256 ft
Take the 1st right onto AR-265 N/Hayden Rd Entering Missouri 3.3 mi
Continue onto Missouri KK 3.7 mi