Special Presentation Brings Fairfield Alive

A large crowd gathered in the River Room on the lower level of Warsaw’s historic Community Building to hear history and old folklore of Fairfield, Missouri. The town is now covered by Truman Lake, south of Warsaw on Highway 83. 
Fairfield once was a thriving town of over 300 people with a bustle factory, grain mill setting on the banks of the Pomme de Terre River. Like many rural towns, the numbers declined, and lifestyles changed. In the early part of the 20th century, the population reported 33 people in the city limits with farmers living in the vicinity raising cattle and growing crops on good black dirt that eventually went under water for the 55,000-acre Truman Lake.
The Benton County Historical Society hosted the event with Ed Scott, former Fairfield resident, telling stories of the years growing up there and reminiscing about the way of life and the people who made Fairfield a small river town with an interesting heritage. His parents ran a small general store that would today be considered a convenience store with gas, bread, and milk. He told of tire allocations during the war where people put their name on a list as the store received only one tire per month.
Ed’s parents, Carlos and Hazel Scott later owned the fishing camp and cabins that were in the former grain mill near the site of the wooden, covered bridge that spanned the river. Carlos Scott was very active in the Headwaters Association promoting the lakes in this area. That group played a major role during the development of the Kaysinger Dam project in the 1960’s which later became known as the Truman Dam.
Ed told stories of the one room school, the cemetery that eventually moved to Shawnee Cemetery following the purchase of land by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Marcine Wooldridge was there with many pictures and provided a “fact check” resource for some of Ed’s stories. Some of the families represented were Martin, Stull, Simpson, Franks, Holley, Jackson, Harper/Scott, Breshears/Alexander and Compton. 
Many former residents of the Warsaw area made the trip to hear stories about Fairfield and the river. The former town is now covered with 30 feet of water at the bottom of Mockingbird Hill.