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Leeper, Missouri facts for kids

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Leeper
Country United States
State Missouri
County Wayne
Elevation
489 ft (149 m)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
GNIS feature ID 750680

Leeper is an unincorporated community in southwestern Wayne County, Missouri, United States. It is located about seven miles (11 km) south of Piedmont at the intersection of Route 34 and Route 49. Its post office has closed and mail now comes from Piedmont.

History

Leeper is named after Union Captain W.T. Leeper. In 1871, W.T. Leeper "convinced" the Iron Mountain Railroad to run through his property, even though they had to cut through two mountains. In 1872 Clarkson Sawmill had moved to Leeper and set up shop. This immediately caused the rise of Leeper as a "boom-town". Leeper was not actually founded until 1874, by W.T.'s son Sid. By 1881, Leeper was a bona fide town with a post office, although then it was called Leeper Station. Leeper had one hotel and four stores. Leeper's hotel, Ozark Hotel, in the early part of the 20th century was considered one of Wayne County's most elaborate resorts.

One of Leepers’ more famous residents is Jessie Beard Rickly. She was born in Leeper in 1895 and in her teens persuaded her parents to allow her to move to St. Louis to study art. Her artwork is still shown today and continues to go up in value.

Although he is not from Leeper, this next story probably involves one of the most famous people to ever come to Leeper. George Sisler, aka Gorgeous George, was a baseball player for the St. Louis Browns. George held the MLB record for most single hits in a season from 1920–2004. One year Sisler came to Leeper to visit his friend Herman Radke and do some quail hunting. It was common for Radke to load the hunters up in his Ford truck and drive down the railroad tracks. One evening, while waiting for the train to pass, Radke, Dr. Owens, Sisler and Paul Simmons all waited in the station. Dr. Owens found a deck of playing cards and the men began to gamble on a little poker. A short time into their game, three men barged in wearing masks. Two of the men were armed. The three masked men began to rob the poker players of money, jewelry, anything of value. Paul Simmons pleaded with the masked men to let him keep his wedding ring and they obliged. Sisler, on the other hand, turned his around and hid it. Leeper being a small town, Dr. Owens, noticed one of the coats on the masked men. After the masked men left, Dr. Owens alerted authorities and the three men were apprehended. But during the court trial, which Sisler had to travel back for twice, the Judge determined that due to the men's gambling, no matter how small, the robbers were innocent and set free.

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