by Robert H. Forister
"Wayne County Missouri History and My Childhood Memories There" is the fourth in a series of county histories of missouri published by local author-historian, Robert H. Forister. A general history of his native county, the book also melds personal memories of Forister's childhood there in the 1930s and 1940s.
The other three county histories published by Forister include: Stoddard County History; Bloomfield, MissouriHighland in the Swamps; and Complete History of Butler County, all of which are still in print and available for sale.
This latest publication is an 8 ½ by 11 inch soft bound book of 475 pages printed by Benchmark Graphics and Printing, LLC in Jackson, MO. Included are a complete index, seven sections of appendix and 213 charts, photos and maps, many of which are in color, including several hand-made typographic maps which detail relief and political features dating from the 1930s. (See Chapter Headings and Index below.)
In addition to his own memories that lend a personal flair of authenticity to his writing, Forister has spent many years of research on Wayne County history that includes interviews with many elderly Wayne countians.
His ancestors, both maternal and fraternal, came to Wayne County in the 1830s, 1840s and 1850s when the area was a wilderness. He lived on his grandmother Delia Cozorts farm near the village of Kime from 1938 to 1942, walking the same three-mile route to the Center Ridge country school that his parents and grandparents had attended and which was organized in 1887 by his great grandfather David Cozort and his neighbors.
His great grandfather, David Cozort purchased the family farm near Kime in 1885, served as county judge in 1906 and was postmaster and country store proprietor there from 1907 until his death in 1934.
Over the past fifty years plus Forister has researched the histories of most of the families who lived in the eastern half of Wayne County from primary sources including interviews with family elders who generously shared old family photos with him.
Mr. Forister graduated from the eighth grade at Center Ridge School in 1947 at the age of twelve while living with his parents, Otho U. and Nellie (Cozort) Forister. He attended high school in Cape Girardeau and Illmo-Fornfelt (Scott City) and received degrees from the college in Cape and from Missouri University with additional post-grad work there. He and his wife, Joan, both of whom are retired school teachers, have lived in Bloomfield, MO, for the past fifty years.
Wayne County Missouri History and Memories of my Childhood There is a must read for anyone with strong Wayne County ties or who just enjoys a good story. The latter part of the book is a more in-depth focus on the area encompassed by Greenville, Lowndes, Shook, Chaonia and the St. Francis River.
History of Wayne County, MO as well as Foristers other publications are available for sale at Hastings book and music store in Poplar Bluff, the Stars and Stripes Museum in Bloomfield and the office of the Wayne County Journal Banner in Piedmont.
List of Charts
Copyright © 1998,
2003, 2014 Robert H. Forister