Napoleon Beatty

Napoleon Beatty

St Louis National Historical Company 1883, History of Howard and Cooper County, Missouri Written And Compiled From The Most Authentic Official And Private Sources, Nixon Jones Printing Company, St. Louis, Missouri (Reprinted 1973; The Printery, Clinton, MO.)

"At an early day, Napoleon Beatty, quite an original character, lived eighteen miles west of Boonville, in Cooper county, on what was called Shave Tail creek. In that vicinity a store was located, the predominating articles of trade being tobacco and whiskey, the latter the matutinual drink of the old pioneer. Beatty was noted for his 'bonhommie, and was not only recognized fiddler of the neighborhood where he resided, but was intensely fond of and well posted in all the rural games and sports of that day. During his early manhood he was

"In wrestling nimble, 
in running swift: 
In shooting steady, 
in swimming strong. 
Well made to strike, 
to leap, to throw or lift, 
And all the sports that shepherds are among."

His fiddle was his inseparable companion, and when spending an evening with friends, he had the happy faculty of discoursing to them the most delightful music, always accompanying his instrument with a unique and improvised song, which was replete with wise and startling hits and felicitous innuendoes, touching the vulnerability of some one or more of his entranced and rustic auditors.

Beatty was the sole editor and proprietor of the 'Shave Tail Courier,' which appeared at regular intervals, in , manuscript form. The happenings, the sayings and the doings of the neighborhood were faithfully gathered and garnered by this original chronicler, who read aloud his paper to his admirers, in his own inimitable style. If there occurred a dance in the locality, a record of it was made in the Courier. If a quilting party or a shooting match came off, the particulars were found in a recherche manner in the Courier. The bride was the special theme for highest eulogism, and the wedded pair elicited the warmest wishes for their future happiness. In fact, the Courier, like the good mirror, reflected not only the redoubtable editor's views of matters and things, but reflected as well, on popular subjects, the will of the people."

Thanks to Judith Weeks Ancell (Lineage 112)
Last update: July 02, 1999