Milestones in Missouri History
Professor-Statesman Ignace Hainer
1820 - 1898
America, so it has been said, is the land of the free and the home of the brave.
Ignace Hainer was a member of the Hungarian nobility. He served as an adjutant general, a journalist, a lawyer and member of the cabinet of Premier Batthyani and of Gov. Louis Kossuth during the 1848-49 Hungarian War for Independence, when the Hungarians sought reforms, to include freedom of the press and freedom for the surfs. During the war, Batthyani was murdered by the Austrians, with the aid of Russian troops, and Hainer was for five months imprisoned by the Austrians, prior to being welcomed to America in 1854.
In 1856, Ignace Hainer was appointed a professor of modern languages at University of Missouri. Five years later, at the beginning of the Civil War, he reportedly was removed from his post by Confederate Governor Clayborne Fox Jackson, due to his firm opposition to slavery. Professor Hainer and his family thus voluntarily removed themselves from the State of Missouri to the State of Iowa (Decatur County), where he taught school, farmed, and served as U. S. Postmaster and as a member of the United States Grand Jury.
Professor Hainer’s son, Eugene, was in 1896 elected to the U. S. Congress from Nebraska.
Professor Hainer’s son, Julius, a graduate of Cornell University Law School (Class of 1885), was appointed a professor of medical jurisprudence at St. Louis College of Physicians and Surgeons. He previously taught mathematics, physics and chemistry at Iowa State College.
Professor Ignace Hainer’s son, Bayard T. Hainer, was (in 1898) appointed to the United States Supreme Court, then as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Oklahoma Territory by President William McKinley.
When Oklahoma became a state, Justice Hainer was appointed chief counsel to the Federal Trade Commission and general counsel for the Stockyards Administration of the U.S Department of Agriculture during the Coolidge and Harding Administrations).
Bayard T. Hainer is the author of A Treatise on the Modern Law of Municipal Securities (1898, reprinted in 2010 by Cornell University School of Law)
Professor Ignace Hainer’s daughters include Ada Hainer Blaise. His great great grandsons include journalist-social critic Thomas Mitchell Blaise Shepherd, Joplin, Missouri native son.
Club Woman Rebekah Blair Hughes
Descendant of Confederate Governor
Claiborne Fox Jackson
Rebekah Blair Hughes was born on November 8, 1917 in Carthage, Missouri. She was the daughter of Rebekah Harris Blair and of Clay Cowgirl Blair Sr., one of the original members of the Joplin Rotary Club and a publisher and co-owner of the Joplin Globe. When she was a small child, she moved with her parents to Joplin.
She attended Joplin public schools, graduating from Joplin High School in 1935. She spent her freshman and sophomore years at Wellesley College and Monticello College and was graduated from the School of Journalism at the University of Missouri at Columbia in 1939, where she became affiliated with Kappa Kappa Gamma social sorority. Following her graduation, she was hired as a journalist by the Joplin Globe. She also worked as a journalist for the Green Bay [Wisconsin] Press-Gazette.
She married FBI agent Fred G. Hughes on January 2, 1945. Following their marriage, Mr. Hughes acquired a position with the Joplin Globe Publishing Company, which he eventually headed as president and chairman until it was sold to a syndicate.
Mrs. Hughes served as president of the Century Club and Women of Rotary. She also served as a member of the board of directors and secretary of the Joplin Public Library for 20 years.
She died Friday, January 9, 2004 at her home in Joplin. A memorial service was held for her at First Presbyterian Church. Burial was at Park Cemetery in Carthage.
NOTE: Rebekah Blair Hughes was a direct descendant of Missouri Judge David Harris and of Missouri Confederate [Pro-Slavery] Governor Clayborne Fox Jackson.
Her husband, Fred, and her two brothers, Judge Clay Cowgirl Blair Jr. and Judge Charles David Blair, preceded her in death. Her cousin, Charles Allen Blair, Joplin Globe advertising executive and the father of Jean Gregg Blair Bowerman, also preceded her in death.
Her survivors included two daughters: Sally Hughes Knowles and Mary Jane Hughes Nelson; four grandchildren: Gregory Hughes Taylor, Matthew Sharp Taylor, Ty Nelson and Blair McKay Murray. Five nephews: Clay Cowgill Blair III, Peter Blair (son of Carolyn Ball Blair and stepson of Cowgill Blair Jr.), Allen Blair of Kansas City; Episcopal church lay reader and gay and lesbian advocate Timothy Blair of Los Angeles, and postal administrator Dan Blair of Washington, D.C.
Rebekah Blair Hughes is survived by one niece, Ann Blair Dalby of Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan.
1878 ~ 1958
Educator ~Publisher ~ Author ~ Analyst ~ Social Critic
President ~ Joplin Council of Churches Youth Council 1955-56
Consultant ~ Ozark Gateway Regional Planning Commission
Founder- Director ~ Shepherd-Montessori Institute
The Shepherd-Widmark Center for Sane Living
Author: The Investor’s Handbook on Mexico
Sportsman ~ TV Producer ~ Lifeguard
1937 – 2002
real estate developer & artist
1873 – 1950
Producer-Director of Charity Musical Revues
Fundraiser for Various Medical Foundations
Victim of Medical Malpractice at St. John’s
Clara Olive Snyder Shepherd was born February 16, 1906 in Piqua, Ohio. She was the daughter of Mabel Mitchell Snyder and John Abbott Benham Snyder, who moved to the Joplin area in 1909 from Piqua, Ohio. Her father established and operated the Galena Harrow Factory at Galena, Kansas in 1909, and the J.A. Snyder Transportation Company at Joplin in 1914, an interstate bus line serving Southwest Missouri and Northwest Arkansas. He was also one of the founding members of the Joplin Rotary Club and the Joplin Chamber of Commerce.
Mrs. Shepherd’s mother, a native of Wellsville, New York, was an early-day member of the Century Club.
Mrs. Shepherd attended Joplin public schools, graduating from Joplin High School in 1924. She attended National Park Seminary in Forest Glen, Maryland, graduating in 1926, and the University of Kansas, where she was affiliated with Pi Beta Phi sorority.
She married Dudley E. Blaise at First Presbyterian Church on December 26, 1934. Mr. Blaise was a mining engineer connected with the Admiralty Zinc Company of Picher, which his father E. F. Blaise headed as president.
Following the sale of Admiralty in 1936, the Blaises moved to Guanajuato, Gto., Mexico, where Mr. Blaise served as president of El Cedro Silver Mining Company, a company jointly owned by Clara Olive and Dudley, by Dudley’s father E. F. Blaise, by Dudley’s stepfather R. C. Canterbury, by Joplin mining engineer Bill Stewart and by a Mr. Young, a British mining engineer, a company later liquidated following a lengthy strike by mine workers.
Following a divorce from Mr. Blaise in 1949 on grounds of having deserted her and their two sons ten years before, she married Charles M. Shepherd, director and treasurer of the Empire District Electric Company of Joplin. Mr. Shepherd died of an apparent suicide during a business trip to New York in 1955.
Prior to her marriage to Mr. Shepherd, Clara Olive work as a civilian office employee at Fort Crowder (during World War II), as a pass inspector at Spencer Chemical Co., in Pittsburgh, Kansas, as an evening shift PBX board operator at Empire District Electric Co.
Following World War II, Clara Olive also worked as an office manager and medical assistant for Dr. Sam Grantham. She produced and directed civic-sponsored musical revues throughout the USA from 1946 to 1949. Following her December 1949 marriage to Mr. Shepherd, she served in various leadership capacities for the American Cancer Society, the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the American Arthritis Foundation, and served as a member of the board of directors and executive secretary of the Jasper County Heart Association. She served as president of the Tri-State Writers Guild. Following Mr. Shepherd’s death in 1955, she sold pianos and Hammond organs for Jenkins Music Company. She was also a piano and organ teacher.
Clara Olive Shepherd served a president of St. Margaret’s Guild and as a sponsor of the Young Peoples’ Service League of St. Philip’s Episcopal Church. She was also a member of First Presbyterian Church.
She was a great granddaughter of Charles Merriman, Ashtabula, Ohio. Her father was a nephew of Abbott L. Johnson, founder of the Warner Gear Company of Muncie, Indiana, and a first cousin of Ray Prescott Johnson, founder of the Borg-Warner Corporation. Her mother was a cousin of Helen Mitchell Frampton Black, whose father-in-law, Van Lear Black Sr., owned the Baltimore Sun newspaper enterprises and Fidelity and Deposit Company of Maryland.
Clara Olive Snyder Shepherd died in 1976 at Hillcrest Medical Center in Tulsa, following a knee operation that left her unable to ever walk again. Graveside services were held at Mount Hope Cemetery in Webb City, conducted by Parker Mortuary. She was survived by two sons, John Snyder Blaise Shepherd (who eventually died homeless of a seizure disorder) and Thomas Mitchell Blaise Shepherd, and by her cousin Mrs. Barry (Margaret Johnson) Goldwater, Phoenix, Arizona.
Clara Oive Shepherd was a victim of gross medical malpractice during orthopedic surgery she underwent at St. John’s Hospital in 1962, which left her without a hip. Because a group of well-connected Joplin physicians and lawyers failed to adequately protect her interests, Mrs. Shepherd encumbered additional medical complications, and unable to return to work, resultantly lost her home. Although Ms. Shepherd sought damages of $25,000, she was awarded a mere $400 in an out-of-court settlement arranged by attorneys without her approval. Spencer, Scott & Dwyer was general counsel for St. John’s Medical Center. Edward Farmer, Lloyd Roberts and Jack Fleischaker represented Mrs. Shepherd. The surgeon who operated on Mrs. Shepherd was a Dr. Garrett Pipkin of Kansas City, recommended by Dr. Scorse of Joplin. Dr. Scorse reportedly met Pipkin while the two of them were patients in a psychiatric sanitarium. Dr. Scorse’s son served as a Joplin police officer. Roberts’ son served as a city prosecutor. Fleischaker’s son also served as a city prosecutor. Scott’s son also served as a city prosecutor.
Prior to undergoing hip surgery in 1962, Clara Olive was associated with Myron McIntosh as a real estate agent.
1936 - 2006
Joseph “Joe” Newman, Joplin industrial leader, died on September 20, 2006 at National Health Care Center in Joplin. Born April 26, 1936, in Enid, Oklahoma, he moved to Joplin in 1949, where his father, Sol Newman Jr. was general manager of Newman’s Department Store, founded over 100 years ago by Sol Newman Sr. and his brothers. He attended Joplin High School, graduating as valedictorian in 1954, and then attended Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, graduating with high honors in 1958. He continued his education at The Wharton School of Finance in Philadelphia, graduating with high honors and an MBA. He married Sara Van Fleet, daughter of Joplin lawyer Herbert Van Fleet, in June 1958. Joe was preceded in death by his father, Sol Jr.; his mother, Helen ; and his youngest sister, Helen Jean Soll. A sister, Judy Newman Marks, survives. Other family survivors include wife, Sarah; sons, Michael Newman, Dr. Joseph A. Newman, and a daughter, Leigh Frogge, and their spouses. Joe and Sara have 10 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. . . complete story
NOTE: Dr. Joseph A. Newman was named a co-defendant in a lawsuit in which he was charged with negligence of a female patient that died while in his care at St. John’s Hospital, for which the surviving family members of the deceased were reportedly awarded $8 million, an amount later reduced to $4 million by an appellate court ruling. The legal proceedings took place in Springfield, Missouri.
Rancher Suzanne Childress Sharp
& Partner Raymon Sharp
Childress Royalty Company
Big Star Oil & Gas
Raymon Dereed Sharp was born Oct. 10, 1926 on a ranch near Quay, New Mexico. He graduated from Joplin High School with the class of 1944. Raymon attended University of Houston. He served with the airborne European theater during World War II.
Suzanne Childress, daughter of rancher Paul Childress, married Raymon Deweed Sharp in 1950. Suzanne and Ray resided at and managed the Childress Fox Farm and Ranch from the onset of their marriage. Suzanne, her dad, and Raymon were also principals in the operation of the Childress Royalty Co., founded by Suzanne’s father, and Acme Properties, Inc. Suzanne and Ray were married 36 years at the time of her death in 1986.
Ray also operated a Ryder Truck Rental franchise in the Joplin area for several years. He also co-founded Big Star Oil & Gas Company of Midland, Texas.
Ray married Libby M. Harpole of Midland, Texas in 1991, where he resided up until his passing on January 11, 2011. He was survived by Libby, his partner of 20 years, and by several children, to include Paris Sharp, Frank Sharp, Newt Sharp, Mary Starr Schaffer, Sarah Sharp and Anne Sharp; and several grandchildren and great grandchildren. His mom, Effie Greer Sharp, died in 2001.
Emery Carlyn Childress
Ray and Suzanne Childress Sharp were survived by Suzanne’s first cousin Emery Carlyn ‘Carl’ Childress Jr. Carl was orphaned during his early childhood and reared by his grandmother Minnie Childress, and his nanny Jessie Russell. He spent his summers at the Childress Ranch. Carl attended Columbia Elementary School in Joplin. At the age of eleven, he was enrolled at Kemper Military Academy, from where he graduated in 1956, then enlisted in the Army, where he was trained as a cook. Following his discharge, he briefly worked as a chef at Briarbrook Country Club in Joplin. He and his wife now reside in Italy, Europe. One of his sons, Emery III, operates a restaurant in Nevada.
Roy London was Pitt’s acting coach.
Brad’s ticket to stardom was playing the part of a cowboy gigolo hitchhiker
in blockbuster film Thelma and Louise, after which he was characterized
as “one of the sexiest men in America” by People Magazine.
Brad, who is the domestic partner of actress Angelina Jolie and the father of six,
has been characterized as one of the richest men in America by Forbes
magazine. Brad’s Estimated Net Worth: $200 Million +
Brad’s mom is the former Etta Jane Hillhouse of Joplin:
Joplin High School Class of 1958. Brad’s grandfather is the late
Hal Hillhouse, operator of Commercial Feed & Seed Co. of Joplin
In 1856, former celebrated Hungarian general, lawyer, journalist and statesman Ignace Hainer was appointed a professor of modern languages at University of Missouri, a post he held for about five years until the beginning of the Civil War when he was relieved of his post by the Confederate pro-slavery governor of Missouri merely because of his outspoken opposition to slavery. Considered one of the foremost Latin scholars in America, Professor Hainer was also fluent in French and German, as well as in numerous Hungarian dialects and in English. One of his students was Stephen B. Elkins, who later became a U.S. Senator from West Virginia.
Mr. Hainer was born in 1818 in Csepreg, Sopron, Hungary. His father, Ignace Hainer Sr. , of German ancestry, was also born in Hungary April 7, 1784. His mother was the former Catharina Madarasz. He was a cousin of Hungarian patriot and painter Viktor Madarasz. He married Etelka Barthos, daughter of Lajos Barthos and Elizabeth Szilagyi.
Mr. Hainer received a liberal education was admitted to the bar, licensed to practice in all the courts of Hungary. He had distinguished himself as a general, lawyer, journalist and cabinet secretary to Hungarian Patriot Lajos Kossuth and Premier Lajos Batthyani, during the 1848 Hungarian fight for independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Among the reforms Batthyány and Hainer achieved in Hungary were freedom of the press and freedom for the serfs. However, during a later invasion by the Austrians, aided by the Russians, Batthyány was killed and Hainer was imprisoned for five months.
Unable to live under the oppressive and tyrannical rule of the Austrians, Mr. Hainer and other Hungarians who had fought for the democratization of Hungary left Hungary and settled in the Hungarian reserve known as “New Buda” in Decatur County, Iowa, informally known a “the Hungarian government in exile.” In New Buda, Mr. Hainer farmed, served as county treasurer, taught school, and was appointed to the Decatur County Grand Jury.
Professor Ignace Hainer’s son, Dr. Julius Caesar Hainer, held M. S. and M. D. degrees. He was a professor of mathematics, chemistry and physics at Iowa State College. He graduated from Colgate University Law School in 1885 and was admitted to the bar in St. Louis, where he was appointed a professor of medical jurisprudence at St. Louis College of Physicians and Surgeons and at St. Louis College of Law.
Professor Ignace Hainer’s son, Eugene Jerome Hainer, also was graduated from Iowa State College with a degree in law. After establishing a law practice in Nebraska, he was elected to the Congress of the United States in 1896, serving two terms..
A third son, Bayard Taylor Hainer, who was graduated from the law department of Michigan State University and who began his law practice in the State of Kansas, after settling in Oklahoma Territory was appointed Associate Supreme Court justice of Oklahoma Territory by President McKinley in 1898. Hainer also served as chief counsel for the Federal Trade Commission from 1925 to 1933 (during the Coolidge and Harding administrations). He also served as general counsel for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Bayard T. Hainer is the author of A Treatise on the Modern Law of Municipal Securities, republished by Cornell University Press in 2009 (800 pp.) A 2010 shortened edition is 572 pp. Both editions available from Amazon.com/books
Professor Hainer and his wife, Etelka Barthos Hainer, reared four sons and five daughters. Those children not already mentioned included a son, Victor Madarasz Hainer, and daughters Ada Hainer Blaise, Laura Hainer Radnich, Hermoine Hainer, Norma Hainer Birch and Vesta Hainer Chase.
Professor Hainer’s grandson, Eugene Frank Blaise, was an independent oil producer and headed as president the controversially historic Farmer’s National Bank of Tulsa. Blaise was also associated in the oil business with Charles J. Wrightsman and Harry F. Sinclair (Chaser Oil Company).
More on the Ignace Hainer family here.
The Olden Days
Joplin Globe History
Over the years, the Joplin Globe recorded history.
The Globe reported the chartering of the Joplin Rotary Club in 1916 and the chartering of the Joplin Chamber of Commerce in 1917. The Globe announced that local membership in the Ku Klux Klan, which included Joplin’s most prominent citizens, had reached approximately 1,500 by 1921, and that the Klan stood for 100% Americanism.
The Globe announced in 1923 that the Ku Klux Klan presented an American flag to the Joplin High School ROTC and $10,086 in cash to C.S. Bankard, chairman of the Freeman Memorial Hospital building fund, at a banquet held in the Connor Hotel.
C. S. Bankard was a building contractor and the father of Isabel Bankard Kinmonth Blakeney. He was the father-in-law of Jean Shelton and the great grandfather of Frank Shelton Kinmonth.
The Globe reported the death of J.A. Snyder, founder-owner of the J.A. Snyder Transportation Company, Southwest Missouri’s first inter-urban bus line, in 1931, while a patient at Freeman Hospital; the death of Mr. Snyder’s mother, Olive Merriman Snyder, a resident of Muncie, Indiana, a week later at Freeman Hospital.
The Globe reported the marriage of Clara Olive Snyder to Dudley E. Blaise, formerly of Tulsa, on December 26, 1934. Miss Snyder is the daughter of Mabel Mitchell Snyder and John Abbott Snyder. The groom is the son of E. F. Blaise of Tulsa and Greek Miller Canterbury of Chicago.
The Joplin Globe reported the sale of the Admiralty Zinc Company in July 1936. E. F. Blaise was president of the company at the time of the sale. The Mary M Mining Company and Eagle Picher Company were the buyers, for an amount disclosed as “upwards of $100,000.00. The Stotesbury, Drexel and Biddle families of Philadelphia were listed as controlling stockholders of the Admiralty Zinc Co. E. F. Blaise was a nephew of former Oklahoma Territory Supreme Court Justice Bayard T. Hainer, who also served as chief counsel for the Federal Trade Commission.
The Globe reported that a divorce was granted to Clara Olive Snyder Blaise from D. E. Blaise in November 1949. Mr. Blaise was reportedly residing in LaPaz, Bolivia, where he was employed as a mining engineer for the Patino Tin Mining Company at an annual salary of $25,000. He was residing with a Miss Alice LeRoi Jordan, an alumna of University of Southern California school of social work, who had sired a son, Stephen, by Mr. Blaise, born in December 1940. Mrs. Clara Olive Snyder Blaise, who was not awarded alimony or child support, was represented by Jasper County attorney John W. Scott.
A Bolivian attorney, Jose Rivera, later obtained a $240 monthly child support award for Clara Olive, an award that was immediately reduced to $80 monthly. After returning to Mexico City to live, where he was president of Drilmex, S.A., Mr. Blaise discontinued making the child support payments to Clara Olive in 1956. He was several years later ordered by a Tulsa probate court to pay the remaining balance of child support still owed from an inheritance he received from his father E. F. Blaise, who died in October 1959.
The Globe reported the marriage of Clara Olive Snyder Blaise to Charles Maynard Shepherd in December 1949 at First Presbyterian Church. Rev. Otto Seymour officiated. The bride was attended by her mother, Mabel Mitchell Snyder, and her two sons, Tom and John Blaise, who afterwards assumed the sir name of Shepherd. The best man was Hugh Clark.
The following year, 1950, the Globe reported the death of George N. Spiva, founder of the General Explosives Company, later purchased by Dupont. The Spiva family also contributed to the Freeman Hospital building fund. Mr. Spiva’s first wife, the former Bessie Tamblin of Galena, by whom he sired one son, George A. Spiva, died in 1926. He was survived by his second wife, Zella, and by his son George and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
The Globe also reported on the 1950 unsolved murder of Miss Gwendolyn Creekmore, a Joplin school teacher and neighbor of the Fred Hughes family; the murder of the Mosler family and the arrest and conviction of hitchhiker Bill Cook; the indictment of Joplin veterinarian Dr. Guy Meredith on a morals charge and his resultant suicide the following day. Dr. Meredith left behind a wife and daughter.
The Globe reported Roderick C. Meredith, son of Joplin Stockyards accountant Carl Meredith, to be the official Golden Globes champion for 1950. Meredith, a graduate of Joplin High School, was later appointed dean of Ambassador College in Pasadena, California, founded by media evangelist Herbert Armstrong and his son Garner Ted Armstrong. Rod Meredith later formed the Worldwide Living Church of God (headquartered in North Carolina) and launched his own TV show Tomorrow’s World, featuring himself and evangelist Richard Ames – married to Rod’s younger sister Kathryn Meredith (pianist).
In 1955, the Globe reported that Tom Shepherd, citizenship chairman of a Joplin Council of Churches protestant youth organization, the United Christian Youth Movement, had also been appointed chairman of Youth Week, and that he had invited all of Joplin’s Negro ministers and youth to an interdenominational protestant youth rally at he First Presbyterian Church in Joplin. Other officers in the UCYM included Larry Pigg, president, Donna Kitts, Beverly Bass, Judy Baum and Ronnie Powell.
The 1955 Joplin Youth Week Rally, in cooperation with National Youth Week, was the first time in Joplin’s history that Negro members of the community had been invited to participate in a religious service at First Presbyterian Church. Prior to that time, the only Negro invited into the church by the Church Elders and Dr. Rev. Otto Seymour was Joe, the janitor, who was paid to clean the church.
The Globe reported the self-inflicted fatal gunshot wound of Joplin CPA Robert Scott at Shoal Creek during the spring of 1955. Scott was affiliated with Baird, Kurtz and Dobson. He was a brother of Joplin attorney John W. Scott of the law firm Spencer, Scott and Dwyer.
The Globe later (1979) reported the self-inflicted fatal gunshot wound of Circuit Court Judge Cowgill Blair Jr. Judge Blair was previously associated with John W. Scott and Haywood Scott, father of John W. Scott and Robert Scott. Judge Blair was also previously employed as a trust officer of First National Bank of Joplin.
The Globe also reported the mysterious death (presumed suicide) of Joplin tax and insurance consultant Charles M. Shepherd, former Empire District Electric Company director and treasurer, whose body was recovered from the East River in New York on May 31 of that year [following a meeting with Federal government officials in Washington]. Shepherd, a native of England and of New York City, was survived by his wife Clara Olive Shepherd and two stepsons John and Tom Shepherd. The Shepherd residence was located at 816 Richmond Road.
The Globe announced the appointment of Tom Shepherd as president of the Joplin Council of the UCYM in September 1955. Other officers appointed included Ronald Powell, vice president, Beverly Bass, secretary, and Judy Baum treasurer. Anna Jean Cummins was appointed citizenship chair.
Mrs. Charles (Clara Olive) Shepherd, who was affiliated with the University of Kansas Alpha Chapter of Pi Beta Phi during her college days, entertained members of the Pi Beta Phi Joplin Alumnae Association at her home at 816 Richmond Road. Guests included Mrs. Cowgill (Carolyn) Blair Jr, Mrs. Vincent (Becky) Taylor, Mrs. William R. Voelker, Mrs. Hal Patterson, Mrs. Ralph Baird and Mrs. Tom Clark.
Clara Olive Shepherd, a founding sponsor of the Young Peoples Service League at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, of which her two sons, John and Tom are founding members and officers, entertained the League with a chili supper at her home. Guests included Arthur Kingsbury, Clark Wallace, Breck Caldwell, Dean Tuggle, Neal Tuggle, Bill Curl, Norman Curl, Lynn Newcomb, Vicki Butterfield, Sally Burress, Anne Friedheim and Judy Legg.
Clara Olive Shepherd was elected president of St. Margaret’s Guild at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church. She was also appointed as a sponsor of the Young Peoples Service League, of which her two sons, John and Tom, were officers. Other sponsors included Esther Newcomb, Virginia Friedheim, Charlotte Paddock, Mrs. Curl and Mrs. Marks
Clara Olive Shepherd hosted a tea for members of SPQR, honorary high school Latin club during the fall of 1953 at her home, 816 Richmond road. Her two sons, John and Tom Shepherd, were members of SPQR. Guests included Latin teacher Bess Buckeridge and Neville Sue Graham, Ann Webb, Robert Kiddoo, Lonny Vinyard and others.
In August 1955, Clara Olive Shepherd hosted a dinner party at her home in honor of Lynn Newcomb, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Floyd T. Newcomb, and Lynn’s female summer houseguest visiting from Jefferson City. Guests included Miss Barbara Brown, Mr. Terry Mills and Mr. Sam Hillhouse.
In January 1956, Sam Hillhouse amd Tom Shepherd, reportedly attended a Dave Brubeck Concert at University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.
In 1956, the Globe reported the selection of Clara Olive Shepherd to be residential chairman of the Joplin Cancer Crusade. Movie actor Robert Cummings – then star of the Bob Cummings Television Show – returned to his hometown of Joplin from Hollywood to help promote the Joplin Cancer Crusade and to dedicate the new Joplin Civil Defense Center. Citizens of Joplin welcomed Cummings and his family, to include his then wife Mary and son Robert Jr., with a Bob Cummings Day celebration that included a parade down Main Street. Cummings established the Annual Bob Cummings Award to bestowed on a Joplin High School promising actor. JHS senior Duane Hunt was the recipient of the first award.
Ann Nathan, daughter of Joplin schoolteacher Ruby Garrison Nathan was a later recipient of the award. Ann later founded the Ann Steele Theatrical Agency in New York City. Her son is Christopher Jones, a/k/a Christopher Steele, Broadway actor, ballet dancer and Hollywood film voiceover and scriptwriter.
Joe and Margie Cresap and Clara Olive Shepherd entertained Bob and Mary (his third wife) Cummings and childhood friends of the actor with a cocktail party at the Cresap home in May 1956. However, Bob Cummings wife Mary was a no-show. Cummings and his wife reportedly had had a ‘little spat’ prior to the party.
Actor Robert Charles Cummings was (from 1931` to 1933) married to Emma Myers (Gaines), daughter of Bill Myers, Carthage and Joplin industrialist, who founded the Joplin Cement Co. and also served as mayor of Joplin. Cummings’ father was an early-day Joplin physician; his mother was a minister of the Science of Mind Congregation in Hollywood, California.
During a childhood birthday party hosted by Clara Olive Snyder, Sam Grantham reportedly threw sandwiches at Cummings and called him “a big sissy.”
Years later, the Globe reported that Cummings sued the owner of the Bob Cummings Motel in Joplin for “using” his good name. Still later the Globe reported that Cummings had defrauded Ma Bell by using a sophisticated electronic decoding device. After his Japanese-American wife divorced him, he remarried to a Hollywood grocery cashier, whom he later divorced because she refused to permit him to consummate the marriage.
The Globe reported the 1956 arrest of Bucky Jeans, Joseph R. (Bob) Thornhill and Bill Thurston for stealing hubcaps. Jeans and Thornhill had recently graduated from Western Military Academy. Thurston had attended Culver Military Academy for two years, prior to returning to school at Joplin High School. He afterwards underwent ‘treatment’ at the Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kansas.
The Globe reported, the following day, the subsequent arrest of Terry Lee Mills and Carl Childress (a recent graduate of Kemper Military Academy) for the copycat crime of stealing hubcaps from the Claude E. Jardon family. Mr. Jardon was the owner of Jardon-Brelsford Motor Co. Mills had been selected to be a member of the National Honor Society at Joplin High School, from where he had graduated only two months before. Childress, the nephew of Paul Childress (Childress Royalty Co.), had recently graduated from Kemper Military Academy.
Terry Lee Mills, one of those arrested by Jopin police in July 1956, was later appointed trustee of a Tulsa Presbyterian church. He is advertised as a specialist in estate management for a top-drawer brokerage house, with offices in Tulsa, Oklahoma. They make their money the old fashioned way, so it is said.
The Joplin Globe reported that Mrs. William R. (Mary) Thurston had been accused by attorneys for W.R. Grace & Company of fraudulently concealing property at the time Thurston Chemical Company was purchased by Grace. Mr. Thurston later formed a partnership with Joplin realtor J. Connor Wise for the purchase of the Frisco Building at 601 Main Street. The building has since been sold and developed into a cooperative apartment house.
After moving to Tulsa, where Mary and William R. Thurston established Thurston National Life Insurance Co., they purchased, and then later sold, the Sinclair Building in downtown Tulsa. Harry Sinclair, C. J. Wrightsman and E. F. Gene Blaise were founders and partners of Chaser Oil Company, pioneer forerunner of Sinclair Oil Co., to later become a part of ARCO, which was eventually purchased by BP – British Petroleum Corporation – third largest conglomerate in the world as of 2010.
The Globe reported that Tandy Craig hosted a slumber party at her home.
The Globe reported the death of Mabel Mitchell Snyder, widow of John Abbott Snyder, in September 1962. She died at St. John’s hospital following a stroke she suffered after falling out of a nursing home bed and hitting her head on the floor. The nursing home was owned by F.C. Wallower.
Frank C. Wallower’s farm property, east of Range Line Road, was later purchased by city fathers for the purpose of establishing Missouri Southern College, later known as Missouri Southern State University.
Mr. and Mrs. Charles A. Blair and their daughter Miss Jean Gregg Blair invited Tom Shepherd for dinner at the Blair home on East Fifteenth Street while Tom’s mother and brother were in New York City attending the funeral of Tom’s stepfather.
Mr. and Mrs. Albert Newman invited Tom and John Shepherd and Miss Eleanor Post to the Newman home on East Fifteenth Street for a luncheon in honor of their daughter Elsa Newman’s fourteenth birthday – Valentine’s Day.
Dr. and Mrs. Winfred Post hosted a small Valentine’s Day party for their daughter Eleanor and Miss Elsa Newman, Mr. Tom Shepherd and Mr. John Shepherd at the Post home on East Fifteenth Street.
Virgil E. Jeans Jr. has been charged with soliciting – with attempting to engage a troubled and disinterested male school classmate and neighbor in an outdoor lewd act in the yard of Mr. and Mrs. Roy Coyne. Roy Coyne is a prominent Joplin attorney and neighbor.
Tom Shepherd hosted a December 31, 1955 New Years Eve Open House at 816 Richmond Road. Guests included Miss Eleanor Post, Miss Vicki Butterfield, Miss Barbara Brown, Miss Barbara Jones, Miss Suzanne Bogner, Miss Penny Million, Malcolm Robertson, Gary Vincent Taylor, Bob Richart, George Fisher and a few others.
The Globe reported that Miss Jean Gregg Blair, daughter of Betty Belle and Charles A. Blair, attended a party in Kansas in honor of Barry M. Goldwater Jr., who is a cousin of Tom Shepherd of Joplin.
The Joplin Globe reported the arrest of Roy Barsh Sr., owner of the Joplin City Market, for stealing a car.
The Globe reported that the Joplin Elks Club was raided and a number of slot machines confiscated by the Joplin Police Department.
The Globe published a photograph of attorneys Ross Roberts, Malcolm Robertson, Jim DaNeen and Jon Dermott dressed as women for Secretaries Day; and the Globe reported that homosexuality was rampant among a group of Jasper County male deputy sheriffs.
The Jasper County Sheriff’s office, the Gay & Lesbian Center offices and several law offices were all housed in the Miner’s Bank Building.
The Globe reported the arrest and prosecution (by Judge Stewart Tatum) of a Mr. Jarvis, a Joplin gentleman, for sharing his home at a Joplin hotel with a lady
The Globe reported that Democratic Congressman Robert Young accused Republican Jack L. Williams, executive director of Ozark Gateway Regional Planning Commission, of conflict of interest regarding a U.S. Corps of Engineers project on property adjacent to land owned by Williams, which land would stand to significantly increase in value were the project approved. Williams was the brother of Mrs. Paul D. Terry, First Presbyterian Church Sunday school superintendent.
The Globe reported the arrest of Thomas Connor Nolan II, a graduate of Kemper Military Academy, a former partner of insurance broker Richard N. Craig and president of the Connor-Nolan family-owned Security National Bank & Trust Co. for embezzlement; and the arrest of Nolan’s cousin, Mr. Wittich, for selling contraband (Wittich’s father Porter Wittich was a writer for the Joplin Globe). Thomas Connor Nolan II’s father, Ralph L. Nolan, was also relieved of his position as a member of the board of directors of Security National Bank & Trust Co.
Thomas Connor Nolan II was eventually convicted and sentenced, by Judge Watson, uncle of Charles Tudor, the bank’s board of directors, to six months in the Missouri State Penitentiary. Nolan’s wife, Virginia La Rue Nolan, daughter of a Columbus, Kansas banker, soon after divorced him. Their son, Thomas Connor Nolan IV was, in later years, appointed as a director of a Christian Evangelical organization based in Tulsa.
Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Nolan have been charged with defaming the name of a Joplin woman whose husband died of a suicide in 1955. They have also been charged with supplying alcoholic beverages to teenagers.
Jacqueline Scott, wife of attorney John W. Scott and daughter of Mrs. Albert Junge has been charged with disorderly conduct and with making criminal threats on the life of a teenage boy at the Twin Hills Country Club bar.
Judy Crispell, 14-year-old daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Lawrence Crispell, has been cited for using inappropriate and vulgar language while a guest at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church. She referred to Mrs. Floyd T. Newcomb, mother of Molly and Lynn Newcomb, as an “ole bag.” She also claimed she was taking smoking lessons from Suzanne Miller, a college student and daughter of Joplin dentist Thomas Miller.
Margaret (Dee) Foulke and Caroline Cresap were cited with inappropriate conduct by chaperones Leon Kassab and Jim Austin during an Episcopal Church youth outing at Branson Missouri during the spring of 1956 and were returned to the home of their parents, Mr. and Mrs. Emerson Foulke and Mr. and Mrs. Jack Cresap. Miss Foulke was then a freshman at University of Missouri, majoring in psychology. Miss Cresap had recently graduat4ed from Joplin High School.
The Globe reported the arrest of former city prosecutor Robert Richart on a prescription drug (Demerol) duplication irregularity, the dismissal of the charge on a technicality, and Richart’s subsequent selection for the position of president of the Missouri Bar Association. While attending Joplin High School, Bob Richart was president of Phi Alpha Omega social fraternity.
The Globe reported (in 1993) that Republican Missouri Attorney General William L. Webster, son of Senator Richard M. Webster, pleaded guilty to embezzlement charges and was sentenced to two years in prison. It seems that Webster’s reelection campaign received unusually large contributions from law firms making claims against a little-known $30 million workers’ compensation fund, which Webster had defended by appointing private lawyers as special assistant state attorneys general. Lawyers that contributed to Webster reportedly obtained substantially larger settlements for their clients than those lawyers who did not contribute.
The Globe reported the murder of musician Johnny Kemm at Shoal Creek by a man he had allegedly met in a bar. Kemm, husband of pianist Elizabeth Kemm and father of three sons, was a First Presbyterian Church organist, who had formerly been employed as an organist by the Missouri State Hospital for the Criminally Insane at Springfield, and who frequently performed as an organist in Joplin nightclubs.
Gilbert Barbee was the original principal owner of the Joplin Globe. Harrison C. Rogers was president of the Joplin Globe from 1910 to 1920. Upon his death, John H. Cragin became president. Ross Burns became secretary and general manager. Cowgill Blair Sr. was selected to be business manager and Ray S. Cochran was selected to be managing editor. Elizabeth Rogers Molloy was society editor of the Joplin Globe for many years.
Mary K Molloy, daughter of Elizabeth Rogers Molloy, operated a private kindergarten at the Molloy home in Joplin during the early 1940s. Students enrolled in Mary K’s kindergarten included Sarah Van Fleet and John Snyder Blaise.
Harrison Rogers’ son, H. Lang Rogers, Globe executive editor, issued a phony press card to an old Marine Corps buddy, Verne Kennedy, a retired Marine Corps general, who was never employed by the Joplin Globe. Kennedy bragged that he used the Globe press card that Rogers gave him in order to gain free admission to community events without having to pay, while he was serving as vice president of University of Oklahoma.
Incidentally, Verne Kennedy’s companion, J.D. Cameron, a 25-year-old Army vet who also attended bar for Kennedy at his private faculty parties, was later charged with the attempted murder of three O.U. students, a female graduate student of clinical psychology, a female graduate student of social work and a male undergraduate fine arts student. He appeared at the door of their apartment, drunk, pointing a loaded shotgun at them. Following his release from jail, on the stipulation that he receive outpatient psychiatric treatment, Cameron (about a year later) once again made a threat on the life of one of his previous victims.
Forensic psychiatrist William Clary who practiced psychiatry in Springfield and Joplin for many years and who considered himself to be an expert in diagnosing “dangerous persons” was diagnosed by a relative of one of his former patients as an extremely rude, irresponsible and dangerous quack.
Rev. Father David Craig Patrick, a member of the Board of the Jasper County Mental Health Association, has been charged by a former St. Philips Episcopal Church altar boy with neglect of his duties as a priest, with betrayal of the confidentiality of a parishioner and with encouraging the use of contraband drugs and alcoholic beverages by young people. Patrick is also charged with libel – with heading up an injurious poison-pen letter-writing campaign during the 1960s and 1970s and with refusing to supply the injured party – the former altar boy – with copies of the letters he wrote.
Dr. Richard D. Korns, a dentist and member of the Church vestry, is also charged with neglect of his duties as a vestryman and with betraying the confidentiality of the same former altar boy. Cynthia Schwab is also charged with neglect of her duties as a member of the vestry by failing to listen to and appropriately address and investigate the charges made about Patrick’s behavior. Korns and Schwab are charged with conspiracy to cover up the negligence of Patrick, thereby causing extreme suffering and injury to the reputation of the former altar boy.
The Jasper County Mental Health Association is charged with violation of the privacy of patients and extreme negligence, recklessness and character assassination in the diagnosing of patients, and in the preparation of medical records, as well as failure to provide patients or former patients with copies of their medical records.
The Missouri Department of Mental Health is charged with hiring inept clinical psychologists and psychiatrists, many of whom are psychopaths and grossly deficient in English language skills and therefore personally unqualified to diagnose or treat any patient. Psychiatrists affiliated with the Department of Mental Health are accused of circumventing the law by passing out not-for-sale antidepressant and neuroleptic drug samples to patients in order to avoid the documentation and accountability of writing a prescription and by failing to apprise patients of the dangerous side effects of such drugs, most of which result in permanent and irreversible brain damage.
The United State Government is charged with preparing a false and malicious psychiatric evaluation of a Marine Corps and Coast Guard veteran in order to cover up the fact that the veteran was an ongoing victim of sexual assaults and aggravated battery enabled by the officers in charge, while serving his country as a teenager, and with distributing alcoholic beverages to servicemen on military bases and aboard ship.
Dorothy Thompson Roberts is charged with slandering the reputation of a Joplin church and civic leader – an armed services veteran – who was, during his childhood and adolescence an ongoing victim of sexual battery by her son Ross Thompson Robert.
Ross Thompson Roberts is charged with stalking a teenage couple, while making inappropriate, inflammatory and lewd comments to the couple during a small party at the home of Dr. and Mrs. Winfred Post on Valentine’s Day in 1953, a social event to which Roberts had not been invited, but which he crashed.
Captain Betty Patrick, domestic partner of a St. Philip’s Episcopal Church clergyperson, succeeded Elizabeth Rogers Molloy as society editor and woman’s news editor of the Joplin Globe. Captain Patrick also wrote a short-lived gossip column for the Globe, which included a story about a local so-called “drunk” gentleman caller, who was reportedly doused with a bucket of water by a Mr. Havens from an upstairs window as the gentleman caller stood on Mr. Havens doorstep. Captain Patrick and her domestic partner, who were occasionally seen “cocktailing” with other church members at Twin Hills Bar & Grill on Sunday afternoons, reportedly placed their infant son in an institution for autistic children soon after his birth. He was later placed with foster parents.
Captain Betty Patrick’s domestic partner, she claimed, thoughtfully prepared nightly “hot toddies” for her while she was pregnant with their child. Her domestic partner was characterized by a former altar boy as an alcoholic, as an opportunist, as a social climber, as a parasite and as a malicious gossip, who was more interested in social climbing than as being a surrogate father to the boys and young men that faithfully served him as acolytes and altar boys.
The Joplin Globe reported the death of Joplin civic leader Clara Olive Shepherd, in November 1976 at Hillcrest Medical Center in Tulsa, as a result of secondary surgical procedures, the manner in which the anesthesia was administered to her, during knee replacement surgery at St. Francis Hospital several months before.
Clara Olive was previously victimized by a team of negligent and corrupt surgeons and physicians that operated on her in 1962 at St. John’s Medical Center in Joplin, leaving her with one leg 4 inches shorter than the other. She was also victimized by a team of well-connected corrupt lawyers that attempted to cover up the negligence of her physicians. Prior to the hip surgery at St. John’s in 1962, she had been associated with Myron McIntosh as a real estate broker. Many years before, she had been a medical assistant and office manager for Dr. Sam Grantham, and served as residential chairman of Joplin’s first Cancer Crusade. Clara Olive was survived by her son, Tom Shepherd, with whom she made her home for the last year of her life, and by her son John Snyder Shepherd.
The Globe reported the August 1979 suicide of Judge Cowgill Blair Jr., former trust officer of First National Bank of Joplin and presiding judge of the probate court of Jasper County. Judge Blair was previously associated with attorneys Haywood Scott and John W. Scott. He was survived by his wife, the former Carolyn Ball, and by two sons, Pete and Cowgill Clay Blair III, and a daughter Annie.
Gene Gaines Heads Major Bancorp
Gene Gaines, CEO and president of First Professional Bank of Santa Monica, California ($268 million in assets), has been appointed to the board of directors of First Columbia Bancorp ($610 million in assets). First Professional has branches in Pasadena, Beverly Hills and other locations, as of August 7, 2000.
Prior to the appointment, First Columbia merged with First Professional to become the parent company. First Columbia Bancorp lists Ranch Santa Fe Bank in San Diego County as a subsidiary.
Gene Gaines is the son of Emma Myers Gaines and the late E. F. Gaines (manager of Joplin Cement Company, founded by Emma’s father). Gene is the twin brother of Nancy Gaines Holland (Russell, Kansas). The two are alumni of Joplin High School (Class of 1959) and of University of Kansas (Class of 1963).
Sam Hillhouse CEO of Oklahoma Bank
1938 - 2004
Saml Knox Hillhouse, son of Clara and Hal Hillhouse (Joplin Seed & Feed Company) was serving as chairman and president of Peoples National Bank of Bethany, Oklahoma at the time of his death in 2004. Sam is an alumnus of Columbia Elementary School and Joplin High School (Class of 1956). He served in the United States Air Force.
Sam was survived by his wife, Mireille, whom he met and married while serving with the Air Force in France and one son, Roger Hillhouse, San Antonio. He is also survived by his sister Jane Etta Pitt, Springfield, Missouri and several nieces and nephews, to include film actor Brad Pitt.
Film Actor & Producer Brad Pitt
American award winning film actor and producer William Bradley ‘Brad’ Pitt was born Dec. 18, 1963 in Shawnee, Oklahoma. He is the son of Jane Etta (nee Hillhouse) Pitt, former Joplinite, and of William Alvin Pitt, Shawnee, Oklahoma.
Brad is a grandson of Clara (nee Bell) and Hal Hillhouse of Springfield and Joplin, Missouri
Brad’s parents met while students at Oklahoma Baptist University. His mom Jane has worked as a school guidance counselor and his dad has operated a trucking business in Springfield.
The Pitt family moved from Shawnee to Springfield soon after Brad’s birth. Brad attended Kickapoo High School in Springfield and the University of Missouri, where he majored in journalism. Brad dropped out before graduation and went to Hollywood, where he studied acting with Roy London, while working at a variety of odd jobs to support himself until he landed acting rolls in television sit coms and in blockbuster films, to include Thelma and Louise, Legends of the Fall, Seven Years in Tibet, Fight Club, and The Mexican.
Reared in a Southern Baptist family, Brad he is an independent humanist, supporting human rights for all people. He has made substantial gifts to a variety of charities intended to aid the needy, to include a $1 million gift to St. John’s Hospital of Springfield for the establishment of the Jane Pitt Pediatric Center. Brad and business partner Angelina Jolie made a $500,000 gift to aid Joplin victims of the May 2011 toronado.
Brad was married for several years to Jennifer Anniston (Friends) and is currently living with Angelina Jolie. He and Angelina, who met while doing a film together, have sired three children of their own and adopted three more.
Brad’s own net worth was reported by Forbes magazine to be upwards of $100 million. He and Angelina, whose own net worth reportedly exceeds $120 million, are reportedly building a family mansion – with two swimming pools – in Greece. They reportedly also have a condo in Manhattan and a mansion in Malibu and a mansion in Beverly Hills.
Angelina has openly admitted to having had a romance with another female celebrity. She was previously married to Johnny Miller and Billy Bob Thornton. She claims she would still consider entering into a marriage relationship with another female – with the right female.
Brad, Angelina and Jennifer are all outspoken in supporting the rights of individuals of the same gender to marry and all three have been honored by a variety of organizations for their courage to speak out in behalf of equal rights for all people.
Brad’s mom, Jane Pitt (nee Hillhouse) who was president of Lambda Alpha Lambda sorority during her high school days in Joplin, Missouri, reportedly is still a staunch Southern Baptist. Jane reportedly has been outspoken in her condemnation of same-sex marriage, as a defiance of the Word of God.
Ironically, Brad Pitt was trained as an actor and groomed for stardom by gay icon Roy London, whose own domestic partner was another man. Were it not for London and others like him, it is not likely that Brad Pitt would have ever achieved stardom.
Angelina Jolie’s dad is Jon Voight, whose own acting career mushroomed after he was cast in Midnight Cowboy, based on a novel written by gay author, playwright, actor, teacher and director James Leo Herlihy.
JHS Student Molested by Neighbors
Who Ganged Up on Him After School Hours,
Abducted Him From Doorway of His Home,
Then Assaulted, Battered and Slandered Him.
Victim Now Seeks Millions in Damages
Parents of Boys Who Mocked, Molested, Battered Altar Boy
Cited for Multiple Assaults, Battery & Criminal Negligence
Victim Seeks $50 Million in Punitive Damages
Parents Virginia & Dr. Virgil Jeans Cited for Assaults and
Batteries Committed by Their Son Buck.
Thelma & Cecil Thornhill also Cited for Assaults and
Battery of the Same Teenager.
Teen Leader Tom Shepherd, who apparently was suffering from a form of autism – high functioning autism – now called Asperger’s syndrome – from his early childhood, had undergone years of medical treatment to correct two of several birth defects, to include a cryptorchidism and missing lateral incisors. He underwent an orchiopexy at age eight, then was afterwards fitted with an orthodontic ‘stay plate.’ He also suffered from ongoing torment by other children and teenagers over his birth defects. Ironically, Tom always tested in the superior rage of intellectual ability on professionally-administered tests. He was a gentleman and considered one of the most responsible members of the community.
Following three years with active duty in the Coast Guard – between the ages of 18 and 21 – the years of 1957 to 1960 – Tom Shepherd spent several months in three different marine psychiatric facilities being examined, as a result of having been assaulted and battered by drunk shipmates and civilians and incarcerated by the Shore Patrol, even after he himself had summoned the Shore Patrol because a civilian had committed a crime against him. He was also a victim of ongoing, demoralizing sexual harassment by officers, classmates, shipmates and civilians while serving his country.
Testing revealed that although Tom Blaise Shepherd had a superior level of intelligence, he appeared to be autistic and to become confused in dealing certain types of situations involving other people. He had from a young age experienced great difficulty participating in contact sports, as well as most any sport that required the visual tracking of a moving object or target.
Tom was repeatedly molested by male and female neighbors and Sunday school classmates, as well as by their parents, during his youth. He was also molested by his Coast Guard supervisors while serving as a seaman and as a radioman aboard the Cutter Planetree in the South Pacific and aboard the Cutter Triton while conducting search & rescue operations in the Gulf of Mexico. The Cutter Triton’s home poort was Corpus Christi, Texas.
Tom was thus given an honorable psychiatric medical discharge from the Coast Guard for a condition that he attempted to conceal from others throughout his young adult years – yet a condition for which he was taken advantage of by others, to include employers and people he casually met in non-work social situations – both males and females, many of them considerably older than Tom.
Funeral Directors Thelma and Cecil Thornhill and Virginia and Virgil E. Jeans, M.D. were the parents of two of the offenders that repeatedly mocked and molested Tom Shepherd and his brother John Shepherd (who was born with a foot deformity) during their early childhood.
From the time they were young boys, John and Tom Shepherd were the repeated victims of psychological torture and various forms of sexual assault and battery by the sons of some of Joplin, Missouri’s most prominent business and professional people.
Tom Shepherd reports that in 1954, when he was 15 years old, he was abducted, assaulted and battered as he opened the front door of his home at 816 Richmond Road to invite his neighbors Virgil E. Jeans Jr., Bob Thornhill and Jim Dailey inside. Although Shepherd no longer wished to associate with them because they had repeatedly mocked him, sexually defiled him and battered him, his mom was insistent that he open the front door and invite them in on the evening he was assaulted in the doorway of his own home.
“While holding the storm door open to invite the three boys in, I was grabbed around the neck and shoulders, pulled out onto the porch, then pounded in the face and knocked to the snow-covered ground,” says Shepherd, who characterizes the assault as a “depraved, premeditated act.”
Shepherd sustained multiple injuries, including the breaking of his orthodontic stay plate and loss of a connecting tooth, which required orthodontic repairs. When Shepherd’s mother insisted the three boys phone their parents and tell them what they had done, they defiantly and insolently refused. When the parents of the three boys, Virginia and Dr. Virgil E. Jeans, Thelma and Cecil Thornhill, and Anne and Al Dailey, were informed of the crime by the victim Tom Shepherd and by his mother, Clara Olive Shepherd, they were unapologetic. They also made no attempt at restitution.
All of the boys were well aware of the fact that Tom Shepherd had undergone several years of orthodontic work, to include the fitting of a stay plate to support two missing adult incisors. They were also well aware that Tom Shepherd was not inclined towards using his fists to settle disputes. They were also well aware of the fact that Tom was a gentleman, yet they afterwards spread malicious rumors about Shepherd in order to justify their crime – rather multiple crimes – of assault and battery on him, as well as ongoing sexual harassment of him and girls Tom was dating, in an ongoing effort to soil his and his girlfriends’ reputations.
The most troubling factor for Tom – a factor that ate him on the inside up for years – is that Bob Thornhill afterwards made up a lie – a malicious lie – falsely claiming Tom had called his mother a name – in order to justify his violent crime against Tom. Tom had never in his life said or done anything disrespectful towards Bob Thornhill’s mother or towards the mothers of the other boys, although all of them had made disparaging remarks of one kind or another to Tom regarding Tom’s own mom over the years.
Ironically, Bob Thornhill had made a violently obscene gesture at his own mother while her back was turned to him – a scene that Tom had witnessed – prior to Thornhill’s assault on Tom in the doorway of Tom’s home.
“I consider all three of my remorseless assailants and their parents to be depraved, and even today I cannot imagine any decent person being associated with any of them either socially or in business.
“The reason I did not want to associate with them,” explains Shepherd, “was because they had, over the years, repeatedly psychologically and physically tortured both me and my brother. Jeans, Thornhill and Bill Thurston had tried to engage me in masturbation from the time I was eleven years old, at the Jeans home no less. Jeans was the self-appointed sex teacher and leader. They once unbuttoned my Levis and attempted to pull my penis out in a bedroom at the Thurston home in front of Mary Thurston and Nancy Gaines, two young girls. They just couldn’t keep their perverse eyes and their groping hands off me.
“Jeans and Thornhill had trapped me in the Thurston basement areaway, then stepped on my fingers and spit down on me, as I tried to hoist myself out. Thornhill also pushed me backwards off the Jeans family yard 4-foot-high retainer wall the day before I was assaulted in the doorway of my home. I had also been psychologically tortured during an overnight Bon Voyage party for Jeans at the William R. Thurston cabin on Grand Lake in 1952.
“Both Jeans and Thornhill had repeatedly made crude and vulgar references to my mother and other Joplin women. Ironically, I had also witnessed both Jeans and Thornhill make vulgar gestures at Thelma Thornhill when her back was turned to them. I observed Bob Thornhill giving his own mother the finger while her back was turned. Dailey had deliberately hurled a softball into my face prior to the start of a softball game, obviously realizing that I was not paying attention.
“In another incident the previous summer, Jeans and Thornhill had stood by gawking and giggling after Malcolm Robertson molested me by pulling my swim trunks off me from behind while I was swimming at Twin Hills Country Club, then taking them with him, so I would be forced to climb out of the pool stark naked. As I climbed out, all of them, including the lifeguard, stood around gawking and giggling.
“It was obvious. They seemingly couldn’t keep their eyes or their hands off my private parts. I kind of feel like I was a victim of child molestation. The fact is that I WAS a victim of child molestation and it is my firm belief that the parents of the boys that molested me encouraged the molestation. I was their scapegoat of sorts. The fact is that I did not have a dad to coach me or stand behind me, as they did, and I did not perform well in most sports. However, they weren’t much better than I was at any sport. I was also a little slow in ‘catching on.’ However, it seems that the real reason I was resented was because I did not respond to their sexual advances.
Two months prior to being assaulted in the doorway of his home by Thornhill, Jeans and Dailey, Tom Shepherd, who was a sophomore enrollee in the Joplin High School ROTC program, was assaulted during a Veteran’s Day parade by a senior ROTC member, Don Smith. Smith, described as “a punk with a chip on his shoulder,” was a member of Phi Lambda Epsilon fraternity, who was angry because Shepherd, a Phi Lamb pledge, had reported Smith to an ROTC inspecting officer for stealing his ROTC cap only minutes before an inspection. The inspecting officer, another Phi Lamb member, thus returned Shepherd’s cap to him.
A few days later, Smith bullied and humiliated Shepherd while he was in platoon formation during the Veteran’s Day parade, repeatedly screaming vulgar references to Shepherd’s mother with his fists clenched in an assault position in an ATTEMPT to provoke Shepherd into swinging back at him, then saying, “I am calling your mother a bitch and you just stand there with that yellow stripe running down your back.” Smith also threatened Shepherd with bodily harm, to be carried out at the next Phi Lamb meeting, saying, “I’m gonna beat the shit out of you at the next Phi Lamb meeting.” Although Smith’s performance was witnessed by many ROTC cadets, he was never disciplined for his attack on Shepherd.
“Smith was a two-fisted punk, as well as a coward. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have been picking on me. The ROTC cadets that witnessed the melee – most of them members of my platoon – and failed to afterwards come forward in my defense – were as wrong a Smith himself – as they did not wish to stick out their necks in behalf of justice.
Other senior members of Phi Lambda Epsilon fraternity at the time were Pete Blair (the adopted son of Cowgill Blair Jr), George Blackburn and Joseph Newman (valedictorian of the Class of 1954). Prior to the ROTC incident, Shepherd had been repeatedly taunted by another football teammate, Don Gary, a lowlife ‘punk, who grabbed a dollar bill out of Shepherd’s hand in the Junge Stadium locker room. The compounded interest on the dollar bill, which was never returned, now amounts to $1 million, says Shepherd. Gary was gawking and pointing with his finger at Shepherd’s private parts, while Shepherd was trying to get dressed, after showering in the Junge Stadium locker room, following a football practice. Russ Kaminsky and Floyd Belk were acting coaches. Shepherd also has a pending $5 million damage claim against the Joplin Board of Education.
Tom Shepherd also recalls the time he agreed to participate in a wrestling match with Charles “Sonny” Keeter at the Keeter-Shelton home, 930 N. Sergeant Avenue. Bob Martini, whose dad designed the Missouri State Highway Patrol office building on Range Line, organized and refereed the match, although Tom Shepherd was reluctant to participate in the match from the onset. However, within minutes after the match began, Shepherd appropriately pinned Keeter’s shoulders to the ground in accordance with fair rules of wrestling.
After Shepherd released Keeter and started to get up, Keeter lunged at him, ripping Shepherd’s shirt apart and clawing at his chest with his fingernails, drawing blood. Keeter then ran into his house. Minutes later he came back outside, swinging a baseball bat, his drunk stepfather, Frank Shelton, following behind him and coaxing him by yelling, “Hit him, Sonny, hit him.” Keeter thus started running towards Shepherd, swinging his baseball bat at Shepherd. Shepherd repeatedly ducked in order to avoid being battered. However, under Missouri law to even coach someone to commit a battery or to attempt to commit a battery is a crime of assault. Charles Keeter and his stepdad NEVER apologized to me for their violent attack on me.
Ironically, even Buck Jeans himself, who witnessed the melee, expressed to Tom his own disbelief and shock that Frank Shelton, assistant to the president of Empire District Electric Co., of which Tom’s own stepdad was treasurer, coached his own stepson to batter Shepherd with a baseball bat. Thus, Buck Jeans (a/k/a Virgil Jeans Jr.) was indeed a witness to the violence that Frank Shelton had encouraged, as were Susan Keeter and Bob Thornhill.
Tom Shepherd, however, believes that Frank Shelton’s behavior had the ironic effect of encouraging Buck Jeans and Bob Thornhill (who was also present during the wrestling match) to believe that it was OK to batter Tom Shepherd. Had Charles Keeter succeeded in bashing Tom Shepherd in the head with his baseball bat, which he indeed attempted to do, Tom Shepherd could have wound up being a victim of murder. Therefore, says Shepherd, the actions of Frank Shelton AND his stepson Charles Keeter, should be viewed as an attempted murder.
Therefore, Frank Shelton and his stepson Charles Keeter are hereby cited for the attempted murder of Tom Shepherd. It bears repeating: Frank Shelton and Charles Keeter are guilty of attempted murder. They are also guilty of encouraging additional violence against Tom Shepherd, ironically by those who were witnesses, to include Buck Jeans and Bob Thornhill.
“Keeter, like the rest of them, couldn’t keep his eyes and hands off me. He (and his parents) once invited me to spend the night with him at the Shelton home, in the same bed no less. What was so strange was that at the time I was dating his sister, Susan. I only lived two doors away.
“The fact is that only a few days before, my mom had complained to Keeter’s mom, Louise Shelton, that Keeter’s older sister, Susan, had made an insolent remark to an elderly lady passing by the Shelton home on her way to visit my mom and stepdad. I myself witnessed the crude, insensitive remark, as did others. I do believe that the real reason Frank Shelton encouraged Charles to batter me with a baseball bat was because my mom had complained about Susan Keeter’s insolent, low-brow remark. I also believe that the hidden reason Charles Keeter later attempted to undermine my self-esteem in the Twin Hills pool house was because my mom had complained about his older sister’s insolence – insolence that I myself had witnessed.
“Jeans also invited me, with his own parents’ encouragement, for a sleep-over at the Jeans home on Islington Place, up the street. The two of us shared his bed. I think that both Keeter and Thornhill afterwards became insanely jealous of the fact that Jeans had invited me to spend the night with him. In fact, it was right after Keeter invited me to spend the night with him that Jeans invited me. Jeans and Keeter, as well as Bill Thurston, were all ape over me. I was a sleepover guest of the Thurston family on numerous occasion. Bill Thurston enjoyed jacking off when the two of us were together. I went along with it, not realizing at the time that Bill himself was actually homosexually inclined. When he later remarked that his dad told him that “we will eventually grow out of it,” I was sort of confused. Grow out of WHAT? I thought.
“At the time, I didn’t have any internal awareness of what homosexuality actually was. When I went indifferently along with the game of attempting to jack off with Jeans, Thornhill and Thurston, I experienced no actual sexual feelings for other males. I was merely attempting to conform – in order to avoid being humiliated by my neighbors – without having internalized homosexual feelings. My actual sexual feelings were only for females. I was naďve. Ironically, all three of those boys ultimately used me as a scapegoat – probably when they eventually realized that I did not share their actual sexual orientation. It wasn’t until several years later – after I matured and was around other mature males that I became more aware of the situation that had existed – it was like I was the only straight dude amongst a group of semi-gay dudes.
It was when Buck Jeans afterwards – in early 1954 – tried to persuade me to accompany him to the the yard of attorney and neighbor Roy Coyne – then to fondle him, after exposing himself, outside the sunroom window of the Coyne home, that I suddenly realized Buck and I were not at all alike in our sexual orientation. I was neither homosexual, nor was I an exhibitionist. I was a naďve, inexperienced teenager. One can only imagine how the aberrant psychological conditioning, initiated by Buck Jeans, affected me, permanently – to the effect of mentally destabilizing me – confusing me – of setting the stage for a schizophrenic breakdown. The behavior of Bob Thornhill, Jimmy Dailey and Bill Thurston Jr., as well as that of their parents, merely exacerbated the effects.
Bill Thurston Sr. took Bill Jr. and me with him to Oklahoma City in February 1952. The three of us shared a suite at a landmark Oklahoma City hotel. The occasion?
Mr. Thurston had a date with the governor of Oklahoma on February 16, 1952 to discuss the fertilizer business. Mr. Thurston then owned Thurston Chemical Co., a fertilizer industrial giant that he later sold to W. R. Grace & Co. The Thurston family then later founded an insurance company in Tulsa and purchased the historical Sinclair building in downtown Tulsa. My granddad and C. J. Wrightsman and Harry Sinclair were partners and owners of the Chaser Oil Company, early-day Oklahoma enterprise that ultimately became a part of the Sinclair Oil Company.
My own great great uncle, Bayard T. Hainer, had been an Oklahoma Territory Supreme Court Justice. A resident of Oklahoma City, he later served as chief counsel for the Federal Trade Commission, as well as general counsel of the U. S. Department of Agriculture. My own granddad, E. F. “Gene” Blaise, was an Oklahoma oil producer, who had once been president of the Farmer’s National Bank of Tulsa, forerunner of the Bank of Oklahoma. Thus Bill Thurston Sr., who apparently was well aware of my family’s connections, via Gene Gaines Sr., a mutual friend, schmoozed me for reasons Jeans, Thornhill, Dailey and Keeter were not likely aware of, as none of their parents was native to the Joplin metropolitan area.
“Later on, while Jeans and I were alone in early 1954, Jeans tried to engage me in a ‘lewd act’ behind a large evergreen tree in the yard behind Joplin Attorney Roy Coyne’s home. He unbuttoned his fly, pulled out his already semi-erect penis and began stroking himself. He then said, in an obvious attempt to molest me, to undermine my self-esteem as a male, ‘Touch it, it feels neat.’ With those very words Jeans, in effect psychologically molested me, even though I did not respond to his suggestion or reciprocate in any manner.
“I was naturally confused and affronted by Jeans’ suggestion – especially in view of disparaging remarks he had made about other males he claimed were “homosexual.” I just shook my head. He then asked me to open my own fly and pull out my own penis. However, I did not comply. Instead, I went back home, feeling not only demoralized, but highly troubled because of remarks Buck Jeans had previously made about other males engaging in sex play.
“Buck, who was a violinist, told me that his mom, Virginia Jeans, forbade him from playing in the JHS orchestra because she had heard a rumor that the orchestra director, Frank Coulter, whose own dad founded the YMCA, was a homosexual. Ironically, Virginia Jeans had no qualms about Buck joining the Y, where we dudes all swam together naked, then showered together naked.
“Roy Coyne, whose yard Buck Jeans had persuaded me to accompany him to, lived across the street from my own family home. Roy Coyne, which I doubt that Buck was aware of, was also my mother’s attorney. Coyne’s son-in-law, Bill Stewart, had been a business partner of my biological father, Dudley Blaise Sr. years before. He had also served as a member of the board of directors of a mining company in Guanajuato, Mexico that my mom and dad owned – El Cedro Gold and Silver Mining Company.
“What was so bizarre and confusing about Jeans AND Thornhill was that they themselves were forever running to me with stories about other males they claimed were ‘queer’ and expressing their indignation, their contempt and scorn for those males, some of whom they claimed their fathers told them were ‘queers.’ I often wondered how it was that their own fathers were so KNOWLEDGEABLE about ‘queers.’ It seems as though they themselves belonged to a secret queer club or something.
“Of course, it is my opinion that Dr. Virgil Jeans and Virginia Jeans were already very much aware of their son, Buck’s own homosexual inclinations, as well as his exhibitionistic inclinations.
“Buck had previously (a few years before) invited Bob Thornhill and Bill Thurston and me to his home and in the side yard, when he quite openly unzipped the fly of his own jeans, exposing himself to us, while simultaneously prodding us to do the same in order to obtain an erection. During the session, his younger sister, Gingy, joined us, when we began (at Buck’s encouragement) to play a kissing game. Two neighbor girls, Vick and Dana Thomas, witnessed the scene and left, saying they were going to report what they saw to their parents. As they left, Buck mocked them. That was his style.
“Anyone that was not willing to go along with Buck Jeans’ neighborhood sex program (i.e. public exhibitionism) got mocked! Some, like me, afterwards got severely battered, as well as maligned! Buck Jeans appeared to me to be very much conflicted over his own sexual orientation during his early teen years. Yet, he was also disturbingly cunning, sly and sadistic. He was intelligent enough to realize the political power he held, by virtue of his own family’s social position in the community, and how he was influencing others – most of us younger than he. After all, his own dad was a surgeon – and a highly rated surgeon. Ironically, Buck’s mom was domineeringly homophobic – in fact, so domineering that she (according to Buck) forbade Buck from playing in the Joplin High School orchestra as a result of a rumor she had heard that the orchestra director as a ‘homosexual.’ Those facts were then and still are very clear to me.
“Over the years Bucky and Bob made crude jokes in front of my brother and me – jokes that were intended to affront both of us – suggesting that they were smarter and more manly than either of us – and that their mothers were more virtuous. Of course, all four of us knew the truth: Jeans and Thornhill were the most cunning and devious two individuals that ever walked the streets of Joplin. If they’d been so smart they wouldn’t have wound up in jail during the summer of 1956 for stealing hubcaps from other Joplin citizens. If they’d been manly, they wouldn’t have been stealing hubcaps in the first place, nor would they have been bullying me – ganging up on me when the three of us were alone – and attempting to sexually defile me. The fact is that BOTH of them – Buck Jeans and Bob Thornhill – were mama’s boys, apparently highly conflicted – both of them – over their own sexual identity. They thus attempted to drag my brother and me down to their level.
“ Because my brother John and I did not have a father, we were by default dubbed as “mama’s boys,” when in fact virtually all of those males that picked on us were “mama’s boys, as well as daddy’s boys. They were all, in my opinion, latent homosexuals, attempting to displace their own inner sexual conflicts onto my brother and me,” says Tom.
Jeans’ and Thornhill’s later so-called achievements in life had nothing to do with manliness or intelligence, but rather with their well-honed skills in lying, cheating and stealing, Their own conniving parents no doubt covered for them along the way, as did their parents’ legal and business associates. Otherwise, neither one of them would have gotten to first base!
Had my own parents and I filed criminal charges against Jeans and Thornhill at the time they repeatedly assaulted and battered me back in 1954, they would not have even gotten to first base! Nevertheless, I hereby find Jeans, Thornhill AND Jim Dailey (their ally in treachery) guilty of multiple forms of sexual assault and violent battery of me, as well as psychological torture – sufficient to produce a mental breakdown before I had even reached the age of 21.
Following the series of assaults on Shepherd during the winter of 1953 and 1954, Buck Jeans and Bob Thornhill were disenrolled from Joplin High School and enrolled at Western Miliitary Academy. Within two months of their graduation from Western, Buck Jeans and Bob Thornhill were arrested by Joplin police along with Bill Thurston (a former Culver Military Academy student) for stealing hubcaps from other Joplin neighbors. Carl Childress and Terry Mills were arrested a few days later for stealing hubcaps.
“Buck Jeans and Bob Thornhill once suggested that my older brother and I were both born out of wedlock. Jeans later made a really crude remark regarding our mother – a remark that I would not care to repeat on-line – a remark that was intended to offend both of us. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back. It was after Jeans made that remark that that my brother and I decided, once and for all, that we wanted nothing further to do with Jeans. Nevertheless, Jeans and Thornhill would continue to encourage me to socialize with them – then every time the three of us were alone they would commit some form of violent act – a battery – against me.
“I wonder what Buck and his sister Gingy would have done if other parents told their own children not to enroll in any classes Buck or Gingy taught because Buck and Gingy were ‘homosexuals’ and therefore possible child molesters? ? ? I wonder what they would have done if rumors began to fly that Virginia Jeans, their own mom, was a lesbian (and therefore a child molester)?! It was Virginia Jeans that early on persecuted JHS orchestra conductor Frank Coulter for apparently having the same sexual orientation that her own son had! It was like the pot calling the kettle black! Virgil Jeans Jr. was the child molester, as were his own parents, who ironically encouraged his deviant behavior.
“It is hard to forget or forgive when you have been a victim of repeated molestation and violence by your own so-called Christian neighbors, people you thought were your best friends. I just want my assailants, whom I myself consider to be unrepentant sociopaths, to continue to THINK about what they did and the impact it has had, not only on me, but also on my entire family and on the entire community of Joplin.
“Neighbor-referee Bob Martini had even previously stolen a handgrip exerciser from me. He just took it out of my hand and walked home with it. Like the rest of them, Bob Martini was above the law. After all, his dad designed the Missouri Highway Department building on Range Line in Joplin. He stole my hand-grip exerciser! It’s not the price of the hand-gripper, but the depravity of the deed. I am also citing him for previously encouraging the wrestling melee with Charles Keeter, during which I became a victim of criminal battery. He had previously encouraged my brother John to wrestle Bob Thornhill, the younger of the two. When Thornhill was declared the winner, my brother was laughed at, merely because Thornhill was the younger of the two. Martini, like Jeans and Thornhill, was a very cunning and manipulative sadist. The sadism was no doubt a cover for their underlying sado-masochistic homosexual inclinations.
Martini once came over to my backyard dressed only in a black brief swimsuit and persuaded me to put on some swim trunks and take a shower bath with him, when he thence proceeded to demonstrate me how to “feel good” by holding the nozzle of garden hose under his briefs.
For Martini, holding the garden hose nozzle under his own briefs and then squirting water from the nozzle onto his own genitals was a very symbolic pseudo homosexual act. Although shorter than I, Martini was two years older than I. He spent the school year – sequestered away from females – at Western Military School – an all-boys military academy in Alton, Illinois.
“When Martini’s mother, Charlene, years later purchased a mortgage on my mom’s home from the Louis McDonald estate – a mortgage originally contracted between my maternal grandmother and McDonald –on our family home at 412 N. Moffet Ave., a home my grandfather, John Snyder, had purchased from the Landreth family in 1920, and that ultimately became the property of my mom, my mom, who was seriously ill at the time, was pressured into selling her home in order to satisfy Charlene Martini’s demands.
‘Although my mom was indeed making regular interest payments to Charlene, she was unable to pay the principal, a mere $5,000, because she was disabled as a result of surgical medical malpractice at St. John’s Hospital that left her without a hip, and because her attorneys, Farmer, Roberts and Fleischaker, did not fight for her and insist that she be awarded adequate damages of $25,000 against the surgeon and hospital. She was awarded a mere $400.00. The negligent surgeon had five other lawsuits pending against him for medical malpractice!
My grandmother had taken out a mortgage on her home – which was then free and clear – in about 1960 – at my mom’s persuasion – in order to pay off medical bills. Realtor Louis McDonald arranged the mortgage.
“I was – in later years – maligned by offender Malcolm Robertson and others, who called me a liar merely because I – many years later – very truthfully reported their demoralizing sex offenses to their parents and to others. Robertson himself tried to intimidate me through insinuation and innuendo. He asked me, ‘Have you ever done any hard time?’
“The only HARD TIME I ever experienced was when Robertson himself and his macho homo cronies were molesting me – dicking me as it were! There are, of course, many ways of dicking another dude. I never did any time. The fact is that I have never really committed a crime. Following my psychiatric discharge from the Coast Guard, I was hit on by a cop, by a sheriff’s deputy, by an assistant D.A., by a World War II Navy Commander, and by a former JHS jock, four years older than I, who was at the time married and the father of eight or nine children, all of them dudes that other dudes or women considered ‘God’s gift to women.’
“Let’s get real,” says Tom. Virtually all of the dudes I grew up with were fascinated with male homosexuality and engaged in various degrees of mutually consensual superifical homosexual behavior of one form of another. Like I’ve said, I was invited to spend the night with virtually all of my friends, all of whom were members of various school varsity sports teams. Most of us shared the same bed. We dated virtually the same girls.
When all of my old friends had more or less abandoned me – after trashing me and some of the girls I’d dated – Sam Hillhouse phoned me one Saturday morning – our senior year of high school – to come over to his house while his parents and sisters were out of town. When I got there, Ray Wilson and Kenny Wilkins were sitting in an arm chair together, Ray sitting on Wilkin’s lap. They were both ‘out of it’ stoned on something or other. All three of them had worked the late shift at Thriftway Supermarket the evening before.
In my opinion, the reason for the violence meted out against me is PRIMARILY that Bob Thornhill was very self-conscious over his own homosexual inclinations, as well as over the fact that Buck Jeans and Bill Thurston had both repeatedly mocked Thornhill, calling him “Big Bob” – when in fact, during a contest, orchestrated by Jeans, Bob was cited (by the two) as having the smallest penis. Since I was the low man on the totem pole for other reasons – namely the degree of clout each one’s dad had in the community – I was conveniently made the scapegoat AFTER my stepdad had been removed from the board of directors at Empire District. It’s all about money.
All of us dudes joked around, in different wasy, in an attempt to mock conventionalities – especially in the realm of what was considered ‘appropriate gender role modeling,’ primarily because all of us understood that society itself is two-faced on the subject of human sexuality and everything else, for that matter.
The entire worldwide economic system is based on deception and fraud and EVERYONE is well aware of that fact – the primary reason poor people steal – in their own minds they’re merely emulating the behavior of the oil barons and other barons that steal from everyone in order to amass their own fortunes. My own granddad Blaise was closely associated in the oil business with Charles J. Wrightsman, Harry Sinclair, F. Martin Aiken, Josh Cosden and others – many of whom made fortunes, then lost either most or all of their fortunes, in their endless pursuit of the black gold. Cosden himself reportedly died broke. Read The Greatest Gamblers.
Ironically, Buck Jeans’ mom and Bob Thornhill’s dad were, in my opinion, outspokenly homophobic – scared to death that their own sons might embarrass their respective families, based on what Buck Jeans himself told me and on what I observed with my own two eyes and ears – when Cecil Thornhill severely admonished his son Bob (in front of me) for not having a date for some hayride we were both invited to. Cecil was also outraged that we smelled of tobacco, as cigars were passed out to the guests, during the hayride. What was so ironic is that Cecil Thornhill himself smoked cigarettes. Wonderful role model!
Secretly, I do believe that Bob Thornhill had no respect for his mom OR his dad. His own dad had made him so homophobic that he was scared of his own shadow. He repeatedly phoned me and asked to come over to my house or to go somewhere with him when Jeans was either out of town or busy. Yet he would very nervously and self-consciously suggest the two of us stalk, spy on and or annoy female classmates in one way or another.
Thornhill needed male back ups in order to do anything, including the times he and Jeans ganged up on me when the three of us were together – my sophomore year of high school – right after Jeans had attempted to engage me in outdoor sex outside of the sunroom window of the Roy Coyne home and after Thornhill himself had stolen his father’s garaged Buick by having a locksmith come out to the house and make a key to fit it – while his mom and dad were in Jamaica. After the locksmith left, Bob and I went joyriding. He first stopped at Linda Tatum’s home, flashing his headlights on and off – when he remarked she was dating Mark Tendai. He then drove to some other girl’s house – way out in the country – again, a girl who was dating someone else, and again flashed the car headlights on and off. A few yeas before, while Jeans was in Europe, he perusaded me to spy on a slumber party that Gretchen Spooner had hosted at her home.
When Thornhilll needed to make a scrapbook for Mrs. Ramsay’s ninth grade speech class, which we were both enrolled in, he phoned me and asked me for help. He came over to my house and my older brother, John, whom Bob had repeatedly mocked, thus aided us both in preparing a scrapbook, a class assignment. As I said, Bob and I and Buck and I were very tight, good friends until I suddenly – for no fault of my own – became a scapegoat for both of them – after Don Smith threatened and attempted to intimidate me during an ROTC Veteran’s Day parade in November, 1953.
What mainstream society calls heterosexual behavior or straight behavior is merely a class act and everyone knows it’s an act. Heterosexual behavior – manly behavior – is typically characterized by a man’s willingness to demean women-in-general and any man that treats women with common courtesy. Thus, it is people like Bob Thornhill and Jim Dailey and Charlie Perkins that perpetuate violent crimes against women, as well as violent crimes against other males. The underlying cause is their own conflicts over their own sexuality – their self doubts about their own ability to perform in a bedroom with a mature woman.
Charlie Perkins said to me, at a Phi Lamb meeting, “You’re not a real man until you’ve had some ‘nigger pussy’ and we’re gonna get you some.” Don Smith wanted to know if I’d ever had any titty and if I was a virgin. The fact is that I already was, at age 14, more of a man than any of them. I wasn’t about to talk about any of the girls I’d dated – the many girls I’d dated – to include the spin-the-milk-bottle game with Charlie’s sister, when Judy Perkins came to my house and insisted on showing my brother and me how to play the game. She then, of course, dictated that her two younger brothers, Phil and Tommy, alternate playing the role of a female.
Reminds me of another incident in which Father Malcolm, rector of Grace Episcopal Church, Carthage, who was not only a regular boozer, but also a smoker, made a big stink about the fact that some of the members of the West Missouri Diocesan Youth Commision were smoking cigarettes during a convocation at Park College near Kansas City. People like Cecil Thornhill and Rev. Father Malcolm are such ignorant hypocrites. They punish and humiliate others for emulating their own behavior.
“Several other prominent Joplin people to whom I complained retaliated against my mother by making threatening phone calls to her, threatening to have me locked up in a mental institution, and harming her in other ways. Those who maligned my mother and me are the ones who are the liars, as well as the nuts! It is unfortunate indeed that Joplin people cannot feel safe in their own homes, while attending school, while attempting to participate in sports in a lawful manner, or while swimming at Twin Hills Country Club,” says Shepherd.
The 1954 assault by Jeans, Thornhill and Dailey had a direct bearing on the breakup of the marriage of Tom Shepherd’s parents later that same evening, the resignation by his stepfather as treasurer and director of the Empire District Electric Company a month later, and the presumed suicidal death of his stepfather a year later.
On May 31, 1955, the body of Tom Shepherd’s stepfather, Charles Maynard Shepherd, was pulled out of the East River in New York City.
Charles Shepherd had gone to New York a couple weeks before to be interviewed for a position with Con Edison, a major electrical power corporation, following an interview in Washington, D. C. for a then available position as a federal auditor.
During his interview Charles Shepherd reportedly advised U. S. government officials that the president and the former treasurer of Empire had conspired to defraud the IRS out of approximately $250,000 in corporate taxes over the years by misrepresenting costs for the construction of a power dam facility in the Ozarks.
Empire District Electric Co. had formerly been a subsidiary of Cities Services and Shepherd had worked as an accountant for Cities Service in the New York City home office for approximately 30 years, prior to going to work for Empire as an assistant treasurer in 1944. Ed Flick was then treasurer. Following Flick’s death in 1948, Shepherd was appointed treasurer.
Although Shepherd’s death was presumed by many to be a suicide, it was never officially ruled a suicide, and there was conjecture that he possibly was given a new identity by the IRS in exchange for his testimony against Empire District officials, and that someone else’s body was actually retrieved from the East River and buried. The body was placed in a sealed casket, prior to the arrival of Shepherd’s wife, Clara Olive, who flew to New York for the funeral. She never actually saw her husband’s cadaver.
A couple years later, the Joplin Globe reported that the body of a man fitting Charles Maynard Shepherd’s description, with papers identifying him as Charles Maynard, and linking him to Joplin, Missouri, was found in a San Francisco hotel room. When Shepherd’s widow attempted to follow up on the matter, believing the body of Charles Maynard may actually have been the body of Charles Maynard Shepherd, her husband, the matter was dropped by the officials. Clara Olive Shepherd was also supposed to have received a $25,000 payment from the IRS for her husband’s testimony, prior to his death. She never received the money.
Two months prior to Charles Shepherd’s reported death, Robert Scott, a Joplin CPA, had died of what was reported as a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Scott was the brother of John W. Scott, partner in the law firm of Spencer, Scott & Dwyer, which was general counsel for Empire. Scott’s law firm was also general counsel for St. John’s Hospital, where Tom Shepherd’s mother, civic leader Clara Olive Shepherd, was victimized by medical malpractice during orthopedic surgery in 1962 and was resultantly left without a hip.
Offender Virgil Jeans Jr.’s brother-in-law, Fred Laas [who died in 2001], later became a partner in the law firm of Spencer, Scott & Dwyer.
Jeans’ sister is Dr. Virginia Jeans Laas, author of Love and Power in the Nineteenth Century: The Marriage of Violet Blair and other historical books about the Blair family. Offender Bob Thornhill's parents founded and operated the Thornhill-Dillon Mortuary and Funeral Chapel. Dailey, an all-around Joplin High School athlete, won a basketball scholarship to St. Louis University. Offender Malcolm Robertson, a former municipal judge, is a partner in a Joplin law firm. He reportedly is general counsel for the Joplin Board of Education. Jeans has worked as a Ventura, California schoolteacher for many years. Offender Thornhill has enjoyed a career as a commercial airline pilot.
Offender Jim Dailey was affiliated with the Arthur Andersen accounting firm until it went out of business following charges of corruption. Offender Charles Keeter was later elected president of the Joplin Rotary Club and Lt. Governor of the Missouri Rotary Club.
Keeter’s stepfather, Frank Hampton Shelton, should have been placed in a maximum security prison many years ago and kept there, according to Tom. Shelton’s daughter by his first marriage is Jean Shelton Kinmonth, a Cincinnati interior designer. She taught Tom and John Shepherd and others how to swim while she was working as a summer lifeguard at Landreth Park public swimming pool during the 1940s.
Tom Shepherd’s grandfather, John Abbott Snyder, who founded a Missouri-Arkansas bus line, was one of the founding members of the Joplin Rotary Club, the Joplin Chamber of Commerce, and Oak Hill (Twin Hills) Country club. Tom Shepherd, who during high school served as an altar boy and several terms as president of the Young Peoples Service League at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, was also appointed president of the Council of Churches youth organization, the Joplin Council of the United Christian Youth Movement in 1955. He served with the Civil Air Patrol, the United States Marine Corps Reserve and the United States Coast Guard.
Tom Shepherd, who was a Rotary Club sponsored delegate to Missouri Boys State in 1955, is a third cousin of former California Congressman Barry M. Goldwater Jr. He is a great great grandson of Judge Ignace Hainer, Adjutant General during the 1848 Hungarian War of Independence, Hungarian-American lawyer, statesman and University of Missouri professor of modern languages. Tom Shepherd is a great great nephew of Oklahoma Territory Supreme Court Justice Bayard Taylor Hainer, who later served as general counsel for the U. S. Department of Agriculture and as chief counsel for the Federal Trade Commission prior to his death in 1933. He is also a great great nephew of Congressman Eugene Hainer and of Julius C. Hainer, professor of medical jurisprudence at St. Louis College of Physicians and Surgeons (Washington University).
Board Refuses to Censure Vulgar Librarian
Joplin Mayor Larry Hickey, an alcoholic beverage distributor, and members of the board of directors of the Joplin Public Library, including Rebekah Blair Hughes, have been repeatedly criticized for failing to take proper disciplinary action against head librarian Margaret Hager and board member Dorothy Roberts. Both women are accused of being remiss in the exercise of their official duties and in using inappropriate and vulgar language towards Thomas Mitchell Blaise Shepherd, a gentleman and the author of The Investor’s Handbook on Mexico, when he telephoned them on official business in 1970, regarding the fact that his book, which had been approved by the library board, had not been cataloged and made available to the public, merely because of an admitted petty grudge Miss Hager held against Mr. Shepherd’s mother, stemming from a minor incident that had transpired fifteen years before.
Librarian Margaret Hager had illegally towed away civic leader Clara Olive Shepherd’s car from a library parking area in 1956. Because the parking area, according to the Joplin Police Department, did not have a visibly posted NO PARKING sign, which was hidden behind a large hedge, Miss Hager was determined to be at fault by the Police Department, and required to pay the towing charges out of her own pocket.
“It was merely a case of sour grapes,” says Tom. “Hager, Roberts and other library board members were quite obviously insanely jealous of me because I had demonstrated my capacity for authoring and publishing such a book when I was a mere 31-year-old lad. At the time my own wife was head catalog librarian for the UCSD Biomedical Library at La Jolla, California . . . . I can’t begin to tell you how many times I got shot down because of some long-standing petty grudge another male or female held against my mom . . . My mom was forced to ‘wear the pant’ as it were and since she had no husband to defend her, both males and females took advantage of her, as well as of my older brother and me .”
Dorothy Roberts’ son, Ross T. Roberts, stalked and harassed Tom Shepherd and Miss Elsa Newman, repeatedly demeaning and demoralizing them with offensive, vulgar comments at a Valentine’s Day party at the home of Dr. and Mrs. Winfred Post in 1953. Sex Offender Ross T. Roberts was later appointed a Federal judge by President Ronald Reagan. He reportedly died of Lou Gehrig’s disease in 1988.
Mayor Larry Hickey purchased Clara Olive Shepherd’s home from her in 1957. He and his wife Virginia operated a beer distributorship.
A Treatise on the Modern Law of Municipal Securities by Bayard Taylor Hainer reprinted by Cornell Law School Library in 2010 – a FULL and UNABRIDGED 800 page edition. A shorter edition, published in 2009 is 572 pp. Same price. Originally published by Bowen-Merrill in 1898. Hainer, who was born in Columbia, Missouri in 1860, was graduated from University of Michigan School of Law. He was appointed a United States Supreme Court Justice of Oklahoma Territory by President William McKinley. He was later appointed chief counsel for the Federal Trade Commission during the Coolidge Administration. He died at his home in Oklahoma City in 1933. His father, Ignace Hainer, was a lawyer, journalist, army general and secretary to the Premier of Hungary during the 1848 Hungarian War of Independence, and (after settling in America) was appointed a professor of modern languages at University of Missouri, then as a member of a Decatur Country Iowa grand jury.
Bayard Taylor Hainer’s brother, Dr.Julius Caesar Hainer, was a graduate of the Cornell University Law School (Class of 1885). Dr. Hainer received his formal education in Hungary and at Iowa State College, where he was a professor of physics, mathematics and chemistry. Following post-graduate law studies at Cornell (Class of 1885), Dr. Hainer was appointed a professor of medical jurisprudence at St. Louis College of Physicians and Surgeons (Jefferson Ave. and Gamble Sts) – now a part of Washington University. Julius Caesar Hainer also held an M. D. degree.
Justice Bayard Taylor Hainer’s great great nephew is Thomas Mitchell Blaise Shepherd, author and publisher of The Investor’s Handbook on Mexico.
Allegiances: A Novel, an epic adventure about Union Navy Lt. Jonathan Wade, captain of the sailing schooner yacht America, who flirts with treason in his pursuit of a Confederate French southern actress, set in Virginia in 1861. Written by engineer/yachtsman/playwright Charles Strout Davis Jr., a Princeton graduate and former engineer and director of the Borg-Warner Corporation, which his grandfather, Abbott Livingston Johnson, founded as the Warner Gear Company of Muncie, Indiana. Novelist Davis is a great grandson of Charles Merriman, Ashtabula, Ohio. He is a cousin of Clara Olive Snyder Shepherd, Joplin civic leader. Published in 2001 by Merriman Press, Grosse Pointe.
James Dean: A Biography by John Howlett. Was teen idol-actor James Dean a victim of child molestation? According to biographer Howlett, Dean’s most probable molester was Rev. James de Weerd, a decorated war hero-chaplain who regularly took Dean and other boys swimming at the local YMCA, where boys were required to swim naked. He also introduced Dean to fast cars and motorcycles from the time Dean was about 12 years old. Following Dean’s tragic death at the age of 24, while driving his Porsche Spyder along a California coastal highway on his way to compete in a race, de Weerd reportedly even bragged to others about having had a sexual involvement with Dean during Dean’s adolescent years. Dean’s own reckless, self-destructive behavior typifies the behavior of young men who have been molested during their teen years. Published in 1997.
An Existential Approach to Sane and Sober Living by Tom Blaise Shepherd. An examination of alcoholism and mental illness and of our schizophregenic institutions that send confusing double-bind messages to people. For instance, our society simultaneously encourages and criminalizes alcohol and psychotropic drug use. Shepherd’s solution for sober living is practicing sound nutritional habits, regular physical and mental exercise and transcendental meditation in lieu of psychiatry, twelve-step programs and psychotropic drugs. Published in 1997 by Xandex Press.
An Oklahoma Adventure of Banks and Bankers, an historical piece that includes information about Farmer’s National Bank of Tulsa and E. F. Blaise, president of the bank; and the reorganization of the bank as Exchange National Bank, presided over by Harry F. Sinclair. Written by James M. Smallwood, professor of history at Oklahoma State University. Published in 1979 by University of Oklahoma Press.
Barry Goldwater, a gossipy biography drawn on family papers and interviews with members of Senator Goldwater’s family, including daughter Joanne. The author reveals how Senator Goldwater facilitated an illegal abortion for his 19-year-old daughter by leaving her on a “designated street corner in Washington, D.C. with a Time magazine folded under her arm for identification” to be picked up and driven to a secret abortion clinic. The author also talks about Senator Goldwater’s admitted drunken rages towards his children and grandchildren and the alcoholism of his deaf wife, Peggy, whose Muncie, Indiana family founded Borg-Warner. It was also Peggy’s money that reportedly propped up the failing Goldwater Department Store from the time she married Barry in 1934 until the store was sold to a syndicate. Mention is made of Senator’s later support of gay rights after learning of his own grandson’s sexual orientation. Senator Barry Goldwater’s IQ as recorded on Staunton Military Academy High School records was 103. He graduated in the lower half of his class. Written by Robert Alan Goldberg. Published in 1995 by Yale University Press.
The Conscience of a Conservative. The book was allegedly written by Senator Barry Goldwater. However, it was actually penned by Brent Bozell, editor of the National Review, and brother-in-law of William F. Buckley Jr. Incidentally, Bozell also wrote many of Goldwater’s speeches. Goldwater’s thesis was that welfare should be “the responsibility of families, not government.” He vehemently fought against Medicare, and sought to dismantle Social Security. He later collected a fat retirement government pension for himself and also became a beneficiary of Medicare, prior to his death in 1995, ultimately establishing himself as an American “welfare queen.” Senator Barry Goldwater’s wife, the former Margaret Johnson of Muncie, Indiana, was a second cousin of Joplin’s Clara Olive Snyder Shepherd.
The Greatest Gamblers. A 376-page epic of American oil exploration written by Ruth Sheldon Knowles. Originally published by University of Oklahoma Press in 1959. Includes stories about John D. Rockefeller, Harry Sinclair, Charles Wrightsman and Gene Blaise (misspelled as Blaize, an editing mistake by University of Oklahoma Press). Knowles very briefly relates the story of the founding of the historical Chaser Oil Company and its principal characters, Sinclair, Wrightsman, Blaise and Connelly (taken from The Oil Business As I Saw It: Half a Century With Sinclair written by Bill Connelly himself). Connelly’s book, however, includes more details regarding the organization and ownership of the Chaser Oil Company in 1905, of which Connelly and Sinclair and Wrightsman and Blaise were 50/50 partners. Chaser later became a part of Paraire Gas & Oil Co. In 1908 Blaise became owner/president of the Farmer’s National Bank of Tulsa, prior to its 1910 closure, then reorganization as the Exchange National Bank, which Sinclair headed as president. Exchange was later reorganized as National Bank of Tulsa. Today it is the Bank of Oklahoma.
The Birth of Oklahoma. by Thomas Shepherd. A brief history of the banking and oil industries of Oklahoma, focusing on Farmers National Bank of Tulsa, Columbia National Bank of Oklahoma City and Chaser Oil Company and its principals: H. F. Sinclair, W. L. Connelly, E. F. Blaise and C. J. Wrightsman. Read online
The Oil Business as I Saw It: Half a Century with Sinclair by William Connelly, University of Oklahoma Press. 1954. Author Connelly, Harry Sinclair, Charles J. Wrightsman and E. F. Blaise were partners in an early-day (1905) venture known as the Chaser Oil Company, forerunner of Sinclair Oil Company. Purchase at Amazon.com/books
Tales about Joplin: Short and Tall, a collection of stories about early-day Joplin (a mining center) and Joplinites as told by Evelyn Milligan Jones. Well-done illustrations by Elizabeth (Betty) Nolan, wife of Joplin real estate investment manager Ralph Lauder Nolan and mother of banker Thomas Connor Nolan II. Edited and published in 1962 by Dorothea Bleidung Hoover (Harrigan House). Ms. Hoover was the sister of actor John (Bleidung) Beal.
[Illustrator Betty Nolan’s son, Thomas Connor Nolan II, was in 1967 sentenced to six months in the Missouri State Penitentiary for allegedly having embezzled funds from the family-owned Security National Bank & Trust Co. of Joplin while he was serving as president of the bank. Nolan was later found guilty of forging the approval signature of a bank official on a check he was attempting to cash at a Fort Worth, Texas bank..]
Tales from the Arabian Nights, a new version of four of the world’s great classics, written and beautifully illustrated especially for children. Edited by Lisa Commager, a.k.a Lisa Angier, 1958 Radcliffe graduate and professor of English literature at New York University. Published by Exeter 1984. Lisa Commager, who co-starred in a NYC showcase production of Corner in the Morning with Tom Blaise Shepherd in 1965, is the daughter of Amherst history professor and author Henry Steele Commager.
The Politics of Experience. One of the most brilliant existential polemics ever written about the fraud of psychiatry. Authored by R.D. Laing, Penguin Books 1959.
The Investor’s Handbook on Mexico, a financial-legal guide, explaining the laws and regulations governing foreign ownership of a business enterprise, stocks, bonds, and real estate in Mexico. Also explains the banking system of Mexico. Written by Thomas Mitchell Blaise [Shepherd], a grandson of Joplin bank director and bus line owner John Abbott Snyder. The author’s family established a mining business in Mexico during the 1930s. Published in 1970 by Blaise Publishing Enterprises (Shepherd-Xandex Press), Del Mar, California.
The Visit, a three-act play written by Friedric Duerrenmatt. Was adapted into English by Maurice Valency in about 1958. It is about greed, revenge and corruption. An impoverished teenager, Karla Zachanasian, gives birth to a child whom the father, Serge Miller, denies paternity thereof. She thus leaves the village in disgrace, only to return years later as an arrogant millionairess in order to seek revenge on Serge Miller, a local power figure. She seeks to buy off the local politicians and the judges in exchange for their agreement to put Miller to death. However, just before the scheduled execution, she intervenes, expressing her desire that Miller live and experience the shame of what he did to her, a far worse sentence than death itself. The play was adapted into a 1964 film, starring Ingrid Bergman and Anthony Quinn. The play was published by Sameul French, Inc. and can be purchased from Amazon.com or another book dealer.
Washington, D. C., a novel about a Washington newspaper publisher Blaise Delacroix Sanford and his daughter’s paramour Clay Overbury. Novel focuses on a homosexual scandal. The first of a series of historical novels written by Gore Vidal with the same cast of characters. Mr. Vidal is a grandson of Oklahoma Congressman Thomas Gore and a stepbrother of former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy. Published in 1967 by Little, Brown & Company. Amazon.com/books