Writer tackles her hometown history
Local writer and historian Mary Sue Anton has spent the last 10 years working on a book about her hometown in Missouri.
The result: New Madrid: A Mississippi River Town in History and Legend $19, Southeast Missouri State University Press).
Once an important port on the Mississippi River, New Madrid has had a colorful and sometimes harsh history, including being the site of earthquakes in 1811 and 1812, and a severe flood in 1937, Anton said.
One chapter in the book addresses a series of earthquakes that shook the Mississippi River Valley in 1811-12 and rank among the mightiest in North American recorded history," said Anton, 80, who lives in Seabrook.
In many places, subterranean, sand-laden water literally shot into the air, covering the surrounding area with sand," she said.
Anton said the Great Flood of 1937" shook residents, including her family who lived on a farm between the levee and the river, to the core.
When the riverbank started caving, you could hear the clumps of land falling into the river.
As things got worse, we evacuated to the courthouse."
Researching New Madrid's history, which included earthquakes, floods, murder and lynching, was a 10-year adventure, Anton said.
Over the years, my research evolved because of the explosion of information available online and the steady increase of e-mail communication."
She and her husband Arthur, 79, a retired physician, searched through Missouri libraries and courthouse archives.
(Arthur) was a tremendous help through the entire process," she said.
The result is a book that chronicles the events that rocked New Madrid and lives of the every day people who helped shape it including frontier settlers, the men and women who lived through the Louisiana Purchase and the Civil War through letters, newspapers, official records, maps and illustrations, she said.
New Madrid: A Mississippi River Town in History and Legend is available at Barnes & Noble and on the author's Web site at www.marysueanton.com.
Local Advertising by PaperG