Blue Grass Blade vs. Hough Pt. 1 : A Reckless Assault Upon the Truth

Of Liberal, Missouri and individuals involved, there would of course be attempts to discredit the characters and beliefs of the Freethoughters, and how better to do so than with stories of their renunciation of Freethought upon experiencing Christian conversion. And I’m certain that such conversions did happen for whatever reason. Or were perhaps assumed to […]

“This Strange Town – Liberal Missouri” Name Index

J. P. Moore’s This Strange Town – Liberal Missouri, A History of the Early Years, 1880 to 1910 has no index. Thinking at least a name index might be helpful, I have prepared one. George H. Walser is mentioned on virtually every page of the book so I’ve not counted him in the index. Rather […]

Rosa Fields’ School Report on Liberal, Missouri

Liberal’s paper, “Enterprise”, published a number of essays on Liberal which were written by school students. A now defunct page on Liberal gave the following essay, by Rosa Fields, as published in December 1895. The first schoolhouse was built in Liberal in 1884. A 2 year high school was begun in Liberal in 1897, the […]

Emma Viola Noyes Harmon


Emma, daughter of James Allen Noyes and Caroline Atwell, was born Dec 15 1860 in Wakeshma, Kalamazoo, Michigan. On June 9 1878 in Anna, Union, Illinois, Emma married Orrin Ellie Harmon who would one day write a slim book on the history of the freethought town of Liberal, Missouri, where her family settled and where […]

Baldwin v. Walser–Trouble at the Bank

There was trouble in Liberal. George W. Baldwin brought charges of libel against Walser for Walser distributing this in January of 1889: ” ‘ To all whom this may concern : ‘”Notice is hereby given that the copartnership heretofore existing by and between G. W. Baldwin, G. H. Walser, J. G. Pitgen, J. A. Noyes, […]

Index of Names for The Story of Liberal Missouri

I’ve compiled an idex of names that appear in Orrin Harmon’s The Story of Liberal Missouri: Early Settlements John M. Minor Marsh Minor William H. Curless Tom Stark A. Delissa W. A. DeLissa J. M. Wilson E. A. Wilson John Rhines William I. Stacy C. M. Cameron J. M. Coles Charles Brown John and Marion […]

“Founding of Liberal, Missouri”, article from Sikeston Herald, 1938

Founding of Liberal, Missouri Sikeston (Missouri) Herald, December 1, 1938. Liberal, Missouri, called by the Christians “the Godless town of Infidelity,” was incorporated fifty-seven years ago it was founded as a town for free-thinkers—but churches and saloons were banned. The founder of this unique community experiment, George H. Walser, was born in Indiana in 1834. […]

Article on Liberal by the Workers of the Writers Program of the Work Projects Administration, 1941

Back when writers were considered as being worthwhile individuals, I guess, and given jobs in which they got to write, or compile, whatever. * * * * * MISSOURI A Guide to the “Show Me” State Compiled by Workers of the Writers Program of the Work Projects Administration in the State of Missouri Copyright 1941 […]


In August of 1882, James Allen Noyes and wife Caroline Atwell, set out from their home in Anna, Union, Illinois for their new home in Liberal, Barton, Missouri, a town founded by George H. Walser in 1880 and intended for freethinkers, “no priest, preachers, saloon, God, or Hell” welcome. With Caroline and James would have […]

Original Plat of Liberal, Missouri

The original plat of Liberal, Missouri, printed in the 1980 Centennial “Liberal News”. This image is courtesy of Nancy Benton. Right click “view image” to see full size. Liberal as it is today. View Larger Map