Chapter 3 - After the War / Moving Forward
Sarcoxie’s commerce and population stagnated following the Civil War but soon Sarcoxie began to rebound from the effects of the war. Many entrepreneurs opened dry good businesses, millineries, grocery stores, barber shops, blacksmiths and restaurants appeared in frame buildings around the dusty square. It was believed at one point that Sarcoxie might become the county seat due to its growth in population. However, that was not to be. Instead Carthage became the county seat.
Fires were a common hazard that threatened the frame structures around the square. In the early 1900s with no fire department and only primitive resources available to fight the devastating fires, many of these frame structures were consumed. Frame structures on the west, north and south side of the square burned. By 1918, newly constructed brick buildings encircled the square. Most of the buildings still remain today.
In the late 1890s, Sarcoxie was a cow town of some importance, providing Texas’ cowboys a “stopping point” as they moved their herds through the area on the way to Sedalia or Kansas City. The daily stage coach carried passengers between Sarcoxie, Rolla and Springfield; thus, connecting the area to other parts of the state. The Atlantic and Pacific Railroad initiated rail service between Sarcoxie and Pierce City in 1872. Budding entrepreneurs took advantage of this rail service. In the future, train service became an important means of transporting both passengers and the agricultural products that became so important to the areas growth.
An active newspaper has been published in Sarcoxie since 1877. The Sarcoxie Democrat, published by Sebastian Armstrong and later Gilbert Schooling, was the first paper published. The Vindicator was published in 1882 by J.M. Rice. Bernard Finn arrived in town at the request of Mrs. Armstrong and printed the first copy of theSarcoxie Record in 1901. Finn published the paper until 1945. Since that time, Sarcoxie has maintained at least 1 newspaper and at one point 3 papers. The Sarcoxie Recordcontinues to publish a weekly paper with a circulation of over 400.
As Sarcoxie’s population and commercial markets increased, the need for financial institutions became apparent. In 1868, local businessmen and farmers had to depend on Gilbert Schooling, local business man to keep their money in his safe. However, this proved to be risky when after a few years his safe was broken into and the contents stolen. A.A. and C.J. Case executed the first official bank statement for the Bank of Sarcoxie, August 25, 1883. The bank became the First National Bank of Sarcoxie in 1900, located on the northeast corner of the square. Henry B. Boyd began as its bookkeeper in 1892 and later became president until 1933. The State Bank of Sarcoxie was organized by J.W. Perry in 1900. Theodore Sabert became one of the officers in 1901. This bank was located at the southwest corner of the square where it remained until 1939.