Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Rock House

I heard my father-in-law say that the rock house was large enough to drive a team and wagon into. It is a huge round stone, like a bowling ball, perched on top of a hill. It is approximately 60 feet in length and about 25 feet high with a small “lookout” cave on top which has no connection to the cave below.

Several of the RUSH ancestors have carved their names on the formation and their signatures can be clearly seen. It is rumored to have been the home of one Jim HENRY, an Osage Indian who lived in the area outside of present-day Tuscumbia, MO from whom the township was named for. He is said to have painted his handprint on the side of the rock to indicate his home ownership. When we visited the site, I saw a carved out hand indentation about waist high inside of the mouth of the bottom cave.

In 1846, Louis WINTERS emigrated from Prussia to Butler County, Pennsylvania. Then around 1865, he and his family moved to Miller County, MO. They lived in the cave for a time while they built their new home. Perhaps this is where the legend comes from that the WINTERS are part Indian, for David has found no evidence of an Native American bloodline in his research.

The rock formation is on private land, about one-half mile east of Hwy 17, so one has to have permission of the landowners to visit the site. (Township 41N, Range 13W, Section 18.)

More to Read:
1.) Home of Indian Jim Henry Illustration. "Osage Indians" Judge Jenkins's History of Miller County, Missouri Through The Civil War. By Clyde Lee Jenkins. Tuscumbia, MO; 1971. Part 1, Ch. 10. Repository: Miller County, MO. Historical Society Museum website., Tuscumbia, MO.
2.) Place Names Of Six South Central Counties of Missouri. Frank Weber. M.A. thesis., University of Missouri-Columbia, 1938. Repository: State Historical Society of Mo.
3.) Louis Winters' Findagrave Memorial #83755007

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