by Bob McEowen
population 410, is not unlike many otherwise unremarkable small towns
that somehow produce remarkable people. In military history there are
few greater than Gen. John J. Black Jack Pershing, who grew
Visitors to this north-central Missouri town, located along Highway
36, can tour Pershings
boyhood home, visit a museum housed in a one-room schoolhouse where
the war hero taught before entering the military and pay homage at a
local veterans memorial.
You dont have to be a military history buff to enjoy Laclede and
the surrounding area, though. Just west of town stands Locust Creek
Covered Bridge, near where Pershing swam as a boy.
bridge, built in 1868 and recently restored, is the longest of four
bridges in Missouri. Also nearby is Pershing
State Park, which features hiking trails, fishing lakes, prairies,
marshland and an upland forest.
Pershing began his military career in the cavalry fighting American
Indians and earned his nickname commanding black soldiers in the Battle
of San Juan Hill during the Spanish-American War. He served in the Phillipines
and battled revolutionary Pancho Villa in Mexico. After leading American
forces in Europe during World War I Pershing was named General of the
Armies of the United States, one rank above five-star general. In 1932
he won the Pulitzer Prize for history.
For more information about area attractions call the
General John J. Pershing Boyhood Home State Historic Site at (660)