by Marcia Napier, Grain Valley Historical Society
The names of roads can provide an understanding of the local history of any town. That is certainly the case for roads in Grain Valley and the surrounding area. Almost without exception, the older roads were named for the people who had land and a home on the road. Often, country roads lead to the only house, or at least the first house built along the road. City street also took their names from people living along the street. Today, streets in subdivisions are often family names, or share a common theme.
It is my belief that McQuerry Road probably got its name in the late 1890s when Reuben Pond McQuerry, his wife Myrtle Ann (Harding) McQuerry and their family lived on the road about one mile northeast of Grain Valley. McQuerry Road stretches from Buckner Tarsney on the west end to Lefoltz Road on the east end.
Reuben was born on March 9, 1860 in Brandy Springs, Kentucky, and was still living there in 1880 according to the U. S. Census. But he came to this area prior to 1890 when he married Myrtle Ann Harding of Oak Grove, MO. They had thirteen children between 1891 and 1911.
Most of the children remained in Eastern Jackson County. Annie Laura 1892-1975) married Otis Williams. I’ve written about Otis and his family in this column. (Williams brickyard, slaughter house, ice house and grocery store).
James Francis married Kay Herrington. Their son, Reuben Clay “RC” (1930-2017) lived in Buckner and was well known as the “best piano tuner” in Eastern Jackson County.
Ruby Elizabeth (1900-1971) married Elmer Duncan (Duncan Road). They operated the family farm on Duncan Road for many years.
Fred McQuerry (1902-1980) married Mary Withers. One of their daughters, Mary Vivian (1925-2018) married Robert Blackburn. She was in the laundry business for 55 years before her retirement in 2015. Mary owned and operated 40 & 7 Laundry in Blue Springs up until age 90.
Robert Lester (1903-1974) married Mary M. Kelly. Robert owned a barber shop in Grain Valley for many years and “Miss Mary” was a teacher and elementary principal in Grain Valley through much of the 30s, 40s and 50s.
Among the “treasures” left to the Historical Society was a photograph of the old family home. I have reached out on Facebook to try and learn more about the home. While many “old-timers” have visited with me about their recollections, I’m still seeking information about the exact location of the home and its’ fate. If you know anything about the McQuerry, I would love to hear from you!