Fuenfhausen is an architectural and cultural historian specializing in
Missouri’s Southern history. Currently,
he is working on his thesis
Little Cabins: The Slave
Quarter Architecture of Individual Plantation Environments in Missouri’s
Little Dixie for a Master of Arts degree in History/Historic
Preservation from Southeast Missouri State University.
has received several academic awards during his career.
In 1997, Gary’s paper was nominated for the Graduate Council of
Excellence in Research Award. A
year later, Fuenfhausen received the top honor and monetary award for his
graduate paper at the Sixth Annual Southeast Missouri State University
Student Research Conference. Gary’s
other related academic accomplishments include a script written about
Missouri’s Little Dixie for an independent film and he is a member of
Sigma Pi Kappa, an honor society that recognizes scholarship in historic
whose hometown is Liberty, Clay County, received his undergraduate degrees, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and History, from
William Jewell College. Since
his graduation from college in 1984, Mr. Fuenfhausen has worked for years
in administration and education in the field of historic preservation.
Positions previously held by him include the Executive Director of
the Historic Kansas City Foundation, Kansas City, Missouri, and
Curator/Director of the Andrew County Historical Society and Museum in
Andrew County, Missouri.
is currently living in Prairie Lick, Missouri, in rural Cooper County,
where he is restoring a 1907 Queen Anne styled home historically named
“Harbor Farm”. Gary
continues his research on the Little Dixie region and hopes one-day to
publish a book on its important plantation culture and architecture.
has already written one book on the area.
The book, A GUIDE TO HISTORIC CLAY COUNTY, MISSOURI:
Architectural Resources and Other
Historic Sites of the Civil War, is
a unique look at the Civil War in Clay County, in Western Missouri.
In this historic survey, the author Gary Gene Fuenfhausen guides
readers to Clay County’s many significant Civil War sites.
book reviews 41 historic Clay County structures – public, private,
unrestored, restored, and a few demolished – built before or during the
Civil War. Most of Clay
County’s important antebellum houses and other buildings are discussed
in this book, such as William Jewell’s 1850’s “Jewell Hall” and
the stately Greek Revival mansions Woodneath and Lightburne Hall.
Other equally important places include the Adkins House built in c.
1859 by Kentucky planter and slave owner Darwin Atkins, and the two Routt
houses built by the fiery Southern sympathizer Colonel Henry L. Routt.
In this 2nd printing of this important book, Fuenfhausen
includes 38 new photos with the 6 already contained in his original 1996
edition. In addition to the history and photos of Clay County’s
Civil War era buildings, their are 8 narratives with photos on other Civil
War related sites.
also in Fuenfhausen’s book is a chapter on the “Exploits of John C.
Calhoun "Coon" Thornton, a Clay County Confederate Officer.”
John C. C. Coon Thornton was sent by the Confederate Army as a
recruiting officer in North Western Missouri.
Never before the publishing of this book has so much information
been available on this important person and the events that took place
because of his mission.
book, A GUIDE TO HISTORIC CLAY COUNTY, MISSOURI: Architectural
Resources and Other Historic
Sites of the Civil War,
is now available in its 2nd printing for only $12.00, plus
$3.00 for shipping and handling. For sales and other information, please
contact: Little Dixie Publications, 13338 Prairie Lick Rd., Boonville,
Missouri 65233 or by phone:
660-882-9578, or contact Gary Gene Fuenfhausen by e-mail: Garyfuenfh@aol.com
Professionally, he has worked 5+ years in Historic Preservation. Over the last decade, he has held various positions in Museum/Preservation Management. Some of these jobs include Director- Historic Kansas City Foundation, Curator- Andrew County Historical Society and Museum, and Assistant Museum Curator- (Historic)Shoal Creek, city of Kansas City, Missouri.
Currently, he is a
Grad Student completing his M.A. in History/Historic Preservation. He has
completed his class work and is writing a thesis about Missouri's Little
Dixie. Little Dixie is a region that is roughly 17 counties, out of
Missouri's 114 counties, located along or near the Missouri River. In
1860, over 52% Missouri's slave population was located in Little Dixie as
was the majority of the State's slave owners and plantations.
Below are some examples of his photos and descriptions of architecture from the time:
is the beautiful Greek Revival mansion, Prairie Park, in Saline County,
Missouri. Prairie Park was the "big house" home for newlyweds
William Breathitt and Mary Mildred-Breathitt Sappington. The house was the
focal point of a 2,300-acre hemp and livestock plantation and was built
between 1844 and 1849. Mary Mildred-Breathitt, who married William in
September 1844, was the daughter of Kentucky Governor John Breathitt. The
Sappington employed overseers to manage their large estate
and 38 slaves. The majority of
the slaves lived in a typical slave quarters village not far from the
house. In the mansion's yard were additional quarters where house servants
lived. Today, the house and slave quarters are the only original buildings
from the antebellum period.
says: “I hope that I can take all of the pictures and files that I have
Photo Credits: Gary Gene Fuenfhausen
of interest Created by Gary Fuenfhausen
This article is by Robert L. Hall - raised in and currently living outside Memphis, TN., writes crime mysteries and tales of a youth with adventures in horsemanship. His books are Mid-South based. Mr. Hall also is a contributing writer for the on-line journal, When Falls the Coliseum , a self-described “Journal of American Culture (or the lack thereof)”at www.wfthecoliseum.com.
A trained musician with a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Memphis and Master of Music degree from Florida State University, he is staff pianist at Trinity Baptist Church in West Memphis and has taught music courses at three institutions of higher learning.
© 2001 Robert
L. Hall, All Rights Reserved