246 – A Missouri Farm

In March 1872, just a few years after they moved to Missouri, Patrick and Ellen Gallagher bought a farm east of Lamar in Barton County, Missouri.

Pat and Ellen Gallagher paid $400 for a 40-acre farm and an additional 8-acre parcel, buying from George and Kate Gilbert and James and Lizzie Neal. The Gilberts and Neals were in-laws, both in the real estate business in Barton County.

How in the world did Pat and Ellen Gallagher accumulate $400? We know from later years that Patrick and Ellen were savers, and quite frugal. Somehow, they had saved $400 from mining and railroad work in the preceding years.

The Gallagher farm was five miles east of Lamar, Missouri. There was a farmhouse in the southeast corner of the farm. It was home for Patrick, 45, and Ellen, 39, and their children, Hannah, age 12 and Michael, age 9.

Two more land parcels

In 1879 the Gallaghers bought an adjacent 20-acre tract for $50, and in 1883 another 20-acre tract for $200. These tracts were at the north edge of their 40 acres.

Now they had an 80-acre farm and also held 8 acres two miles west.

Barton County Plat Map – 1886
Gallagher farm today – on left side of road

They probably grew corn, as it was the main cash crop of the area. Some portion of the farm probably grew pasture grass, which was put up as hay for animal feed. They probably kept a cow or two.

Shocking Corn – Thomas Hart Benton – 1945 – Minnesota Museum of American Art

Pat and Ellen raised and sold mules.

Gallagher family history – Kathleen Gallagher Teply

If Hannah and Michael attended school, it was at Harmony School No. 8, located just a quarter-mile north and quarter-mile west of their farmhouse.

Barton County is Home

There would be no more coal mine work. No more railroad work. Patrick and Ellen would live on their Barton County farm the rest of their lives, another 30 or 40 years.

Nibbles Extra Credit – From White Barn to White House

Patrick Gallagher wasn’t the only mule trader in Barton County. John Truman bought and sold mules at his White Barn near the Missouri Pacific depot in Lamar.

It’s likely that Pat Gallagher and John Truman did some mule trading.

John Truman and his wife Martha lived just across the tracks from the White Barn. At that home, on May 8, 1884, Martha Truman gave birth to a son, Harry S. Truman.

As we know, Harry Truman became the 33rd President of the United States. He’s the only president born in Missouri.

For Truman’s Inaugural Parade in 1949, it was fitting that the Lamar, Missouri parade entry was a wagon drawn by a hitch of Missouri mules.



2 thoughts on “246 – A Missouri Farm

  1. BrendaTeply November 9, 2022 / 11:32 am

    Phew! I am so happy to hear that the Gallagher’s finally escaped those terrible coal mines. Any profession had to be better than that—even raising mules.


    • Mark Jarvis November 9, 2022 / 4:45 pm

      Couldn’t agree more. And I am really amazed that they could pull it off. Kudos to Patrick and Ellen.


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