SARCOXIE PUBLIC LIBRARY
Who was V.E. "Wildcat" Lynch?
His grave in Sarcoxie, Missouri, is marked with only a simple stone, but there was nothing simple about Virgil Everett “Wildcat” Lynch.
Born in 1884, V.E. Lynch may well have been the last of the great American trappers, hunters and wilderness guides. Lynch came on the scene just when many of the old-time mountain men were passing on, but he carried on the great tradition of such characters as Jim Bridger, Jeremiah Johnston, Hugh Glass and Jim Colter.
Although he was born and died in Missouri, Lynch spent most of his adult life in the state of Maine where he became a legend, known for his great trapping and hunting skills. An unashamed self-promoter, Lynch understood that his fame could be spread not just around the campfires in the hunting camps, but through the written word. With only a third-grade education to his credit, he acquired a typewriter and began beating out the stories of his hunting and trapping adventures. These tales were eagerly accepted by outdoor hunting magazines of the time, and V. E. Lynch became a modern legend. Though it was done the opposite side of America, Lynch made his reputation in the woods and along the streams, much as Bridger, Johnston, Glass, and Colter had done.
After long years of hunting and trapping in the cold winter snows of New England, Lynch’s health became to fail. In 1944 he returned to Missouri to be near his family at Sarcoxie and in spite of health problems he continued hunting and trapping in the Ozarks until his death in1953. Now, almost a half-century after his death, Lynch’s life and exploits are being remembered once again with the republication of his biography, They Called Him “Wildcat” and with the establishment of a handsome display in his honor at the public library at Sarcoxie, Missouri.
(Printed with Permission of Kay Hively)
What is the David Ford bench?
Dave (as he was known to almost everyone) Ford was a long-time Sarcoxie booster, especially proud of the downtown park and square as well as the businesses here.
During his residency on the square, he at one time or another painted the parking stripes (by hand), mowed behind numerous buildings and was constantly seen with his wheelbarrow and broom, sweeping the curb and sometimes the sidewalks, picking up sticks or leaves in the park.
This bench long sat outside his front door on the west side of the square, and he always welcomed friends, acquaintances, and soon-to-be friends to sit down, have a Mtn. Dew and spend some time chatting.
The bench remains as a symbol of his dedication, friendship and service to the community; and it is in his memory it is placed here.
Recognizing 30 Years of Dedication
Jeannine Wormington was the driving force in getting the library established, managed, and improved over a 30-year period. From the library's early roots, Jeannine volunteered countless hours to ensure our hometown had access to a public library. Although she retired over a decade ago, Jeannine never stopped visiting and supporting the library.
In 2023, a plaque was presented and hung on the front shelf of the library as a reminder and appreciation to Jeannine for her years of dedication to the library. If you see her at the Red Front, be sure to thank her for her efforts in keeping the library open all of these years. We truly wouldn't still be here if not for her!