WRITINGS FROM O.L.CAYTON
ON THE SUBJECT OF FILLMORE, MO
WITH EDITORIAL COMMENTS FROM MARTHA SHORES SCHUMAN
The following information was taken from some information from a man named O.L. Cayton, who lived in Fillmore in the early 1900’s. He was born in 1872 to Francis (1842) & Amanda Dunlap Cayton. Some of you that are close to my age might remember his sister living in Fillmore. She was Ida Cayton-Brand-Downey and lived one block west of the town well on the north side of the street. Ida Downey was the mother of Clarence Brand. Mr. Cayton was a bookkeeper in Round Prairie Bank in 1900. He later moved to Tacoma, Washington. I believe he worked in the Pierce County Assessor’s Office in Tacoma. It was listed in the Fillmore School Board Minutes on January 15, 1896 that O.L. Cayton was a teacher there and was paid $25.00 per month. There was a total of three teachers listed along with a janitor, who was paid $6.00 a month.
In the 1930’s O.L. Cayton done some work on the history of Fillmore due to his roots in Fillmore. A lot of what he wrote was sent to James Barnes and some of what he sent I have obtained copies of. Some question facts of what he wrote, but I have been trying to find information to help substantiate his writing as much as possible. Any comment are appreciated!
He stated: “Apparently the oldest residence is the one known 60 years before his writing (1930’s) as the Peter Wycoff (better known as “Peter Cuff) building. It is located on the North Side of Main Street, one block west of the Public Well, on Lot 21 of “Original Town of Fillmore”. It was built for a Stage Depot, Hotel or Rooming House. There were several buildings north of this house. The last of these were removed by Dr. G.H. Hodgins in the 80’s. This house was of frame construction with brick and mortar between the studding and was built of black walnut lumber.” This house appears to be the one that Ida Downey lived in and was demolished before Forest Elifrits built his house at that location.
“This house was built before 1856 and was occupied by Ira Peters and his wife and two daughters. He moved with his family to Oregon, MO and had a store there for years.”
I have done some research on Mr. Peters and he did move to Oregon and had a store there. His wife’s maiden name was Owsley. Mr. Cayton wrote that the home was owned by Ida Downey in the 1930’s and her mother was a playmate of the Peters’ girls.
In one of the buildings on the above listed property, a baby was born to a slave girl.
“A “Negro Bill of Sale” acknowledged by Wm. Florence, a Justice of the Peace in 1857 clinches this as a historical fact. An excerpt is as follows: “A baby was born to a slave girl in 1857, she was 18 years old. This was in one of the buildings on this place. The birth of this baby rocked Fillmore’s Society to the very bottom. So fierce was the feeling over this baby that the owner of it and her mother sold them for $800.00 and they were taken to Plattsburg, MO. The slave girl was not owned by Peters, but worked for them. She had worked in a number of homes and had a Negro consort, but the dirty white was apparent in the complexion of the baby.” I have not found anything on the Negro Bill of Sale, but did find that there was a Wm. Florence that was a justice of the peace. I believe that was he that Florence Street was named for as he owned ground in that area at one time.
“Across the street from this home were the stage sheds, horse barns and a blacksmith shop.”
“Strip the exterior finish from the James Barnes home (large two story west of the above mentioned building) and you will find “School House No. 2”. I wonder if that could be found if checked today?
“Mrs. Peters, above mentioned, was the leader of a band of women that “stole” the liquor intended to be sold at a large barbecue in Fillmore”.
You can find on the Newark Platt below where Lot No. 21 was.
I have underlined my comments and the rest comes from writings of Mr. Cayton.