Elmer, Missouri - Early History
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Mercyville Memories, by Eutopis Bailey
(reprinted from Elmer Centennial, 1987)
Mercyville, that little town north of Biddle, later called Elmer. Population was probably one hundred. When I was little, we lived in the third house from the I & St. L depot. We young ones watched with awe as the train came puffing on its one track and turned around on the Y heading west ready to leave the next morning at 5:00 am. The little white building across from the Y was a church. Gene’s grandfather was the minister. They had no organ or piano, so some of the McDavitt boys led the singing using the mysterious Tuning Fork. The four McDavitt boys sang many specials. Once, the one with the tuning fork said rather crossly, “Sound you an A, Basil.”
We kids went to school in Elmer. We had to cross Sand Creek over the bridge that had big cracks between the boards. We dared each other to give us the courage to cross. During the spring rains, the water rose almost to the boards. One of the Dads helped us across. At “low tide” we played in the creek. Naomi Drake fell into a deep hole and went under twice before one of the older boys pulled her out. Summer was a real vacation for us kids. We rode down trees along the creek and rode a pony bareback across the hills with no fear. Around noon and supper time, we could hear the Mothers “Yoo Hoo” ringing out to call us home.