Friday, June 24, 2011


Jonathan David enjoyed working his fathers land that had now become his.  He and his brothers and sisters had staked out plots of land to call their own leaving a large amount of land for all of them to use for future cattle or farming.  Houses were built around the land and as the children married they moved their families onto Petry Park Ranch.

The siblings all got along very well and disputes were few and far between.  There was an issue that bothered Jonathan David though.  Each month one of the brothers or sisters would have to make a trip to Kansas City to purchase goods for the entire family.  This was becoming a slow project that always found one of the small farms without it's leader for a month or so while they were making the trek to Kansas City.  Jonathan David had an idea to solve the problem.

On the east end of the property there had developed a road of sorts as people traveling from southern Missouri to Kansas City where they would pick up one of the three trails that headed out west.  Often these travelers would stop by Jonathan's place offering to buy goods from him that would last them until they reached the city.  Jonathan decided it was time to grow the ranch into something more.

It was in early March when the whole family gathered at Jonathan David's house overlooking Petry Creek.  Jonathan laid out his idea.  They needed to bring someone else onto the property and set up a store where the road crossed onto the Petry land.  The store would be easy access to all of the family for goods as well as making money from the travelers heading to Kansas City.  All of the siblings agreed that this would be a great idea if they could find someone they could trust.

Jonathan mailed off an ad to be placed in the Kansas City, Chicago and St. Louis newspapers.  the ad was looking for a self starter to move onto an acre of land that would be free and run a general store that would be built on the edge of the land.  Several responses came back but one caught Jonathan David's eye.  It was a store owner in Chicago who was wanting to expand his trade further west.  He was wanting to send his nephew out to the Petry land to begin a second store.  He had already developed contacts where he could purchase goods and would be willing to take some of the food grown and butchered by the Petry's to sell to the travelers passing through the Petry land.

Jonathan brought the idea of giving this Mr. Clancy an acre at the edge of the land to work his way through life.  It was a no brainer.  They all agreed and set about building a store on the road that summer.  It turned out to be a fairly large store with plenty of room to grow.  They also built a nice four room house back of the house for the new member to live.  All was set for the October arrival of one Mr. Ed Clancy, nephew to Robert Clancy of Chicago fame.

Clancy wasted no time getting the store stocked with goods from his uncles contacts and filling the store with goods from the Petry's as well.  This would give some extra income to the Petrys, income that would be welcome indeed.  Clancy turned out to be an overly honest man.  He went out of his way to be sure that everything was on the up and up.  People coming down the road soo began to look forward to stopping at Clancy's Grocery.  Word of mouth had spread along the trail heading to Kansas City that Clancy's was a place where you could get all kinds of goods and at a fair price, something that was rare along the trails leading out west.

Clancy's Corner General Store
 Meanwhile the Petry families continued to grow.  The main house had become Jonathan david's house and would stay in that branch of the family.   As the next generation of Petrys grew older more of the land was divided and more houses were built in the valley.  Jonathan himself built houses for his children on his land that followed Petry Creek through the valley.  His eldest son Robert Would be the one to take over the main house and so after he married, he stayed with his mother and father raising his family there.

At the age of sixty three, Jonathan David passed on.  Robert took the responsibility of taking care of his mother as well as his family.  The valley was started to fill up with not only Petry's but other names as well as the daughters married and took their husbands names.  There were the Jackson's, Gills' and McFarland's along with Smith's, Jone's and Garland's.  The valley was starting to look like a widely spread out town.  While the houses were far apart they were getting closer to each other so that you could see other houses from your own front porch.

Robert Petry in Petry Creek

As the elder generation passed on still another generation was growing up and preparing for life.  Robert Petry had sired four sons and five daughters.  Sadly his wife died while giving birth to their youngest son.  The whole of the family came up to the main house to give their respects to Becky.  She was laid to rest on top of the hill behind the main house.  The cemetery was starting to grow large and after Becky's death, Robert had his eldest son, Eric, build a fence around the graves to set it off as sacred land.  Robert was sixty one when he passed and was laid next to his beloved Becky in the Petry Cemetery.  Eric and his wife lived in the main house and began to start a family of their own.  All over the valley new families were being started but they stayed far away from Clancy's store.  It was still a good six mile ride into Clancy's from the main house.

Eric Petry and his wife Sonya proved to be very hard workers.  The main farm was growing and income was rising.  They bought the first automobile ever owned by a Petry.  They didn't drive it much because they had to go to Jefferson City to get fuel for it.  By the time they returned from Jefferson City they had little more than a half of tank of gas left in the car.  That was gas that would be needed to get to Jefferson City to get more gas.  The car didn't seem to be working out very well.

Over the years the land around Clancy's General Store was beginning to be developed.  The first to purchase land from the Petry's was a doctor who had come driving down the old trail and had stopped in Clancy's for a visit and some coffee.  Clancy had added a restaurant onto the store when he had married a girl that was traveling with her family on the trail.  The family had stayed for a week in one of Clancy's rooms and during that time Ed and Florence and fell in love.  They married and her family had moved on westward.  The last Florence had heard from her family they were in Oregon somewhere.  It was her idea to build the restaurant and after it being a success, Clancy was now in the process of building a small hotel.  He knew that once the hotel was built it would be very inviting for people to stop by and get some rest and a bath.

Doc bought a plot of land next to the hotel from Clancy and they proceeded to build a doctors office.  The Petry's and their off shoots who lived in the valley were thrilled to have a doc close by.  Little by little people would come driving or riding past Clancy's and be taken by the beauty of the land.  More and more people were putting enough cash together to buy a little land from Clancy or the Petry's and build small houses close to the grocery store and restaurant.  Clancy could see that that it was fast becoming a small town.  Clancy would never see the town actually take shape though.  Two years after Florence had died of a high fever, Ed Clancy died in his sleep at the age of ninety one.  The petry's would bury Florence and Ed in the Petry Cemetery, the only non-Petry's buried in the sacred spot.

The little group of houses and the Petry Valley survived the dust bowl of the thirties.  The Valley seemed to be protected from the tragedy the rest of the mid-west was suffering under.  One of the Jackson Boys took over Clancy's general store keeping the name of Clancy on the storefront.  Things were changing fast and it was becoming obvious that they would have to form a town with a mayor and city council before long.  When Eric and Sonya Petry had passed at the ages of sixty eight and sixty two they had not bore any sons.  There were three daughtersand Helen, the oldest had her eye on a man that lived in town, as it was now being called.

His name was Bob Flanders and after courting for a year they married with Helen taking the name of Flanders.  It was her place, she felt, to move into the main Petry house.  This was one of the worst times the Petry family had ever had.  A Petry should live in that house was the argument against Helen moving into her parents place.  Helen thought otherwise.  The main house had been in her family since the beginning and it was her right to keep it in her family.  Lucky for Helen her sisters agreed and so there wasn't much that the rest of the Petry Valley could do about it.  The old Petry house became the Flanders house.  It had been built onto four separate times since it was originally built and now was by far the largest house in all the valley.  The land on the hill that led down to Petry Creek was also very rich and so the house was home to the richest of all in Petry Valley.

Main House at time of Bob and Helen Flanders occupied it
During this time a bar had been built.  The bar brought in painted ladies who built their own house next to the bar.  That, of course, brought in a preacher who built a church to keep the painted ladies business as low as possible.  No matter how hard the Reverend Cooley tried though, the house was busy day and night almost non-stop.

Then it finally happened.  A fight broke out in the bar over one of the girls.  It spilled out into the street and soon someone lay dead in the middle of the main street.  It was a man by the name of Sinclair and his kin folk were not happy about his death.  Soon a small war broke out between the Sinclairs and the Guins.  Each death prompting a rebuttal shooting.  The town was in chaos as the two families were kept apart as best as possible by the other members of the area.  The town had grown to over one hundred and sixty families, about three hundred people.  It was long past time to have a police force and a government put into place.

And so it was that the town all gathered in the church to try to set up a township.  A council of twenty were chosen to write up a charter.  Ten of the twenty were members of the Petry family from the valley.  The other ten were folks who lived in the town area.  They would decide on a police force and how a council and mayor would be chosen.  The first business that needed to be taken care of though was a name for the town.  After names like Winding Creek, and Great Valley along with Kansas City Trail among a host of other obnoxious names, three came to stand out.  The three names that were left to be chosen from were Petry, Flanders and Clancy.  The twenty comittemen decided that they would hold the very first election of the town and that the election would be to name the town.

It was on September second that the election was held with three town names on the ballot.  It would be a close and controversial decision.  People from the Flanders family courted votes and tried to even buy votes.  The Petry clan was no better but larger in number.  They took to bribes and such to try to get people to vote for Petry, Missouri.  The Clancy followers were just plain folk who lived in the town proper.  They had known Clancy and what an honest man he was.  Their plea was to name the town after Clancy as a gesture to the town being clean and honest just as Clancy had been.  When September second arrived everyone over the age of twenty one came to the church to vote then went home to await the final count that would be announced the next day.

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