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David Appleby's Farm

Homestead established 1834


The Ozark Mountains in July can be hot, humid, and uncomfortable or it can be cold lemonade served in the shade of an old Oak tree.   If you have a choice, take the lemonade.   It is also a time of daydreaming of the days long before our time when other Applebys may have lazed on other July days in the shade of the same tree.


A hundred and ten years old, two-story house still dominates the country-side.  Nearby, an old smokehouse and a circular milk-house linger on.   Across several acres of pasture, lost among the maples and oaks, is the site of the original home of David Appleby and his wife, Catherine Bell.   They settled here, near Springfield, Greene County, Missouri, in the mid-1834.   Only a few stones mark the spot of an old well. Incredibly, one tends to listen for their whispers as the breeze stirs the treetops,  but their voices have been stilled for well over a century, and they sleep in the little cemetery down the road.


It is better to return to the present for another glass of lemonade and a tour of the historic old home, situated on the remaining 100+ acres. Jim and Connie Appleby live there now, with their three sons, Jaime, Justin and Jason.   For a time, Jimís Great-Aunt Emma lived there until her death in 1961.  In the following years, the house was unoccupied, and, as lonely houses do, it began itís decline.  Now, as Jim says, "The house is Conneyís hobby, and she would like to restore it to itís original appearance."  In this, Connie has been busy and quite innovative in the use of woods and antique articles found on the farm, reminders of those Applebys of an earlier era.


Since David Applebyís death in 1867,  the farm has remained in the Appleby family.   A grandson of Davidís, Albert Barnes Appleby,  eventually received ownership and a new home was built about 1878. Albert Appleby was born 15 June 1848, and for many years was a Judge in the Springfield Courts.  In turn,  the Appleby house has passed from Albert to his son, Homer, to Kent, to Jim. The home of Kent and Shirley (Neace) Appleby, Jimís parents, is located on another part of the farm.   Kent is the son of  Homer Appleby and Grace Wilson.


In the shade of an Oak tree on an Ozark summer afternoon in í87, 1987 that is,  the living was easy and very pleasant.

from: Appleby Newsletter

Volume 7    Number 1    April 1988:

original title:  Lemonade In The Shade   

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08 February 2006