by Marcia Napier, Grain Valley Historical Society
Last week’s article included the names of several old roads in Jackson County, specifically in the Grain Valley area. Because I’ve lived in Grain Valley for nearly three quarters of a century, I know how most of these roads got their name. I’m so old, I even remember many of the families for whom the roads were named!
Some roads in the newer subdivisions are still being named for family members; some of those individuals have never lived in our community. In fifty or a hundred years will anyone wonder who they were? Will they even care?
While I remember Bob Majors, several of the Nebgen brothers, Cleve and Shelton Fristoe, Levi Potts, Elmer Duncan, Lee Seymour and a few others, I ponder over how roads like Hardsaw, Howell, Sweeney, Rust and James Rollo Drive got their names.
What does one do to have a road, a park, a stadium, a building, a school, or even a room named in their honor? And how have others, who made a significant contribution to our town, been left out?
In the past, I have given a brief history of some of the roads, the football stadium and Matthews Elementary School, but over the next few weeks I hope to learn more history about the people behind other names we see in our community. If you know any history behind the name of any of our streets or roads, I hope you will pass it along to the Grain Valley Historical Society. I’ll let you know what I find out!
This week, I’ll tell you about Major Road, 2 ½ miles south of town. Although the road now goes straight West from Buckner Tarsney to Cook Road, the original dirt road wound through the countryside, taking a much less direct route toward the Blue Springs Tarsney Road, now State Highway 7. I would also note that it is called “Major”, but the family name was Majors.
Luther Majors came to Grain Valley from Kentucky, via Cass County, in 1872 and remained until his death on April 30, 1938. He and his wife Eva raised three children; Cora, Robert and Jennie. While I could find no record of any schooling, they would most likely have completed some elementary years at Stony Point.
Cora and Jennie married and moved away; Cora to Oklahoma and Jennie to California. Robert, however, remained single and worked the family farm until his death in 1964 at age 86. At the time of his death, Bob had only one living relative, a nephew, Richard Vernon Vosburgh. I will need to do further research to discover what happened to the land.
Photo credit: Grain Valley Historical Society