First there was Darrtown, then Stringtown, and now Oakwood. Its first settlers were William and Sarah (Brown) Darr, from Kentucky. They came when Hannibal had only seven families. William Darr bought a large tract of land, and his two-room log cabin is the center of the house standing back of the old Washington School at the corner of Market Street and Singleton Avenue. The house has been added to and stuccoed and may last another 100 years. At the present time Oakwood is a thriving town.
Oakwood has a new school that is modern in every way, homes, churches, stores, filling stations, and Long’s Rest Home for the Aged. This building was formerly the old Stockyards Hotel. In the early days all stock shipped from the West to Chicago, after being on the railroad a certain number of hours, was unloaded, fed, watered, and allowed to rest.
The new Western Printing and Lithographing Co. has a large building at the Junction of Highways 61 and 36.
The former country home of Congressman William Hatch is also a part of Oakwood. The lovely old house and land were given to the State of Missouri by his daughter, Miss Sallie, to be used as an experiment station. Colonel Hatch raised thoroughbred horses and Jersey cattle. His wife, Mrs. Thetis (Hawkins) Hatch, presented a picture in her landau, which was drawn by a pair of big white mules and driven by Mr. Viley on the high seat in front.
Strawberry Hill was part of the Hatch farm and was so named because wild strawberries grew in abundance.
About 1900 one of the largest grocery stores received a call on the telephone, saying, “Do you have any mouse traps and how much are they?” The proprietor answered, “Yes, we have mouse traps, two for five cents.” ‘‘Well, send me two as quick as you can and put them on the books,~~ answered the voice. The delivery boy, Dick, was dispatched at once with the two mouse traps—a distance of four blocks. As Dick knocked on the door, a voice said, “Come in quick.” Opening the door, Dick saw the lady standing on a chair with skirts held high. She ordered Dick to set one trap by the closet and one here and bait them both. That was the service rendered by a “Stringtown” grocery man for five cents and on the books.