The Town of Brashear
More details to come
from "A Book of Adair County History"
Brashear was laid out in 1872 but its history reaches back prior to that date for several years. A mile and a half northeast of Brashear there once stood a prosperous little village called Paulville, or Paultown. this place was lid out by Walker Paul some time before the Civil War, probably about 1855. Settlers had been coming into this part of the country ever since 1842, the year when William G. Brashear settled in the area. According to tradition he was the first white man to settle in this vicinity.
That Paul thought his town would become an important place was evident from his plan in laying it out. In the center was an open square which was so located as to be on the crown of a beautiful knoll. Around the square the business houses were to be built and from it the town would grow. Soon after the town was laid out, a few store buildings were erected on the west and north sides of the square. The town became a popular trading point for the people in Salt River region. There was a grist mill in the village, but it was burned during the Civil War to keep Confederate recruits in that section, it is said, from getting supplies from the mill.
After the war the prospects for this little village brightened and it came to have a population of about two hundred people. However, in 1872 the Quincy, Missouri & Pacific Railroad (later called the O. K.) was completed from Quincy to Kirksville and in that year the town of Brashear was laid out by Richard M. Brashear, son of William G. Brashear. As soon as the railroad announced that a depot was to be built at Brashear, the people of Paulville realized that the end of their village was imminent and most of them prepared to move to the new town.
The railroad did not begin to stop the trains at Brashear until after the depot was finished in 1873. By that time several new buildings had been built and some of the Paulville residents had moved to Brashear. Also several business buildings had been moved. The town remained under the administration of Salt River Township until May, 1877. At that time J. N. McCreary and twenty-three others filed a petition with the county court, which was granted, asking for incorporation and the establishment of a local government called a village.
The public school of Brashear is an
outgrowth of a country school known as the White School. This was
conducted in a schoolhouse built in 1957 a short distance from what is now
Brashear. The White School was continued until a school was established at
Brashear in 1873-1874. The building erected in Brashear was a one-room
affair, and was used until about 1890 when a two-room frame building was erected
at a cost of $4,000. The Brashear school has shown considerable progress
since the erection of the present building.
Brashear Square -1908
The Easley Ludden Opera House on the west side of the square had picture shows, the old silent movies, once or twice a week. Juanita Easley Rogers played the piano and was very alert in following the action on the screen. The opera house was also used for school plays, local entertainment, visiting medicine shows, stock companies, and other gatherings. In the early 1920's Chautauquas, heal in the summer time, continued for several years. It was necessary for the community to guarantee a certain amount of money in order to obtain these programs. They were presented in large tents, and lasted five or six days. The business men of Brashear, who sponsored the Chautauquas, obtained the names of forty or fifty men who promised to make up any deficit between receipts and the amount agreed the Chautauqua company was to receive. The business men then sold season tickets to try to raise the necessary funds.
This building on the northwest corner of the square in Brashear housed the Farmers and Merchants Bank, 1914-1927. In 1976, when this photo was taken, it was being readied for us by a building supply firm.
Brashear Bible Church - 1908
At one time Brashear had four
churches. Brashear Methodist Church South was organized at Paulville in
1848. In 1871 a church building was erected and in May, 1880, the building was
moved to Brashear. This congregation ceased to exist in the middle 1920's and
the building was taken over by the Assembly of God. In 1928 the building was
partly destroyed by a tornado and was never used again. The old church bell was
given to the United Brethren Church where it was mounted: thus the same bell has
called the people in this community to worship for over one hundred years.
The Christian Church was established in Brashear in 1890; however, in the
twenties the congregation dwindled and the building was sold and torn down.
More to come here .... ran out of time to type....