Like Shifting Sands – J. P. Moore’s “This Strange Town–Liberal, Missouri”

Checking with the copyright catalogue, I find copyright was made in 1963 by J. P. Moore but was never renewed, which means the book has entered the public domain. The author is long since deceased.

1880 – 1910


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Like Shifting Sands

[pages 91-92]

The movement of population and buildings from Liberal to Pedro when that rival town was founded as Denison, and then the return to Liberal after Pedro had spent its vigor of newness, and after old prejudices had lost their fire, was like sands shifting with the whim of the winds. The people actively involved in these mass migrations are now all, long since, gone to their final rewards; but some of the buildings may yet be identified.

The Pedro Christian church was moved to the west end of Maple street in Liberal and remodeled into a dwelling house. It is at the extreme end of the street on the south side. The S. J. Bowen store and post office building was moved to Yale street, one block and a half east of Main, on the south side, and remodeled into a residence. The house, third north from the Liberal Lumber Company yard, on the west side of Main street, is another. The Pedro hotel was razed for the lumber, as were several other business buildings.

The old business section of Pedro is all gone. As to the residential district, very little building has been done there in the past sixty years or longer. More old ones have been torn down than there have been new ones built. Some have been destroyed by fire. Some of those remaining have been kept in good repair, while others have been neglected to deteriorate with the elements, erosion and the lapse of time. Most of the houses in west Liberal (once Pedro) are occupied. But the people living there now, we fancy have little notion or concern of the hopes and dreams of the founders that the town would grow, and one day dominate Liberal. Nor does this writer imagine they are the least concerned about the intense rivalry that once raged between the two towns.

The great controversy is now only history and, perhaps, no one would care to see it revived.

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