Scout's hand-made bench that was gift to city is stolen

Wednesday, July 9, 2003
Have you seen this bench? If you have information about its wherabouts, call (870) 423-3343.

BERRYVILLE ---- Mayor Tim McKinney told the city council last Tuesday that an Eagle Scout's project has apparently been stolen from Saunders Heights, and is seeking help from the public in locating it.

The mayor told the council that the cedar bench that Jadon Mallotte had handmade for the spot as part of his Eagle Scout program vanished.

"It was a real nice bench, but it was stolen almost immediately" after it was installed, McKinney said. It was installed April 13 and stolen sometime between April 20 and June 27.

Berryville police searched the mountain area, but could not locate it.

"It's got to be somewhere like someone's house, yard or porch." said police officer Jimmy Capps.

Capps hopes someone will recognize the unusual-looking bench, which has a rich, red cedar top and tree limbs for feet. Anyone with information about the bench is asked to contact the police department at (870) 423-3343.

In other business Tuesday, the council gave approval for a documentary film company to use the pioneer Memorial Park behind the square to film the documentary on July 19 and 20.

Ingrid Albers of the White River Valley Historical Society said the filming would be brief, ending at 5 p.m. each day.

The group decided to ask Berryville for permission because of the old log cabin-jail that still stands in the park.

She said the group had been unable to find suitable locations in Branson, because there is "so little left" there of historic buildings.

The group's literature states that the documentary, "Fire of the Mountain," promises to be "a fascinating documentary, consisting of documentable evidence and court records; interviews with descendants of both The Bold Knobbers and the anti-Bald Knobbers, which were active during the late 1880s in Taney and Stone counties in Missouri.

The Bald Knobbers were a southern Missouri vigilante group that operated in the Ozarks after the Civil War.

The production will be directed by Damon Blalock, a graduate student in film at the University of Oklahoma.

The group said Berryville was chosen as a location because of the number of period buildings still standing. Vonda Wilson Sheets, of Yesteryear Hollow, wrote that Berryville "still has a public square, an active historical society and enough older buildings in decent shape that fit with what we have to do." She said there were no "special places" left in Taney and Stone counties that are reasonably easy to get or to use.

The Bald Knobbers, nick-named for the bald knobs on which they met, began in Taney County as a reaction to "the ineffective" county government and court system and general lawlessness that prevailed in the Ozarks in the post-Reconstruction era after the war.

The project is a volunteer endeavor. Cast members and crew have been drawn from Taney County. The literature said local citizens are welcome as extras, particularly if they have period clothing. Interested individuals can contact Sheets at (417) 230-16188 or Ingrid Albers at (417) 336-0699.

The project was approved unanimously by the council.

During the meeting, the council also:

  • Was informed by Mayor McKinney that the fireworks stands that were erected for the Fourth of July holiday were allowed to continue operating, even though they were now selling within the city since the city annexed the area west of McDonald's. He said they were essentially grandfathered in, and unless they miss a year, there isn't anything the city can do about. Fireworks discharging is illegal in Berryville city limits, but the fireworks booths have been just outside city limits until the recent annexation that goes all the way past Maverick Supply to the west.

  • Mayor McKinney told the council that the city would spend much of this year's road money improving alleys around the public square. Work in recent years has left city streets in pretty good shape, McKinney said.

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