Jonas and Kodey’s Contract


Kodey Springate and Jonas Chang
Divided Houses Project Contract
February 11, 2017
Project Site:

Mission Statement

– The goal of this project is to make the cultural, political, and economic aspects of Territory of McDonald secessionist movement, a little known part of Missouri history, accessible in a user-friendly site. Because there are few resources, particularly accessible resources, available concerning this movement we would like to consolidate these sources in a publicly oriented and accessible site. In this way, the site would be available for anyone to use, but still provide resources useful for other researchers.
– Our research will cover the rising tourist industry in the Ozarks during the mid-twentieth century and how the U.S. highway system was integral to this. We will also explore the various state policies concerning that affected the tourist flow in McDonald County, ranging from state-funded parks and changes in the federal highway system during the fifties, that created tensions within McDonald County. Following this, we will look into what caused the omission of major towns in McDonald County from being included in the state-sponsored tourist brochure, “Vacationland,” the McDonald reaction to this, and the breakdown of communication between the state and county governments that led to the secessionist movement within McDonald county. The role of local and outside support, including the encouragement from Jasper County, Missouri and the State of Arkansas, in lending legitimacy to the concerns of McDonald Countians will be analyzed as well as the seriousness of the Territory of McDonald Provisional Government to follow through with its various plans of secession. Finally, we will explore the methods of reconciliation that occurred between McDonald County and the State of Missouri and analyze whether or not this extreme form of civil discourse was necessary, effective, and achieved legitimacy in the eyes of the State of Missouri.
– The structure of our site will be this: there will be a homepage that will include a picture of some of the secessionists, a brief summary of the site, a timeline of events, a map to help visitors quickly understand where McDonald County is located, and the content of the site. The picture will run along the top of the site, edged on the bottom of the picture will be links to the other pages. The map may be done through StorymapJS and will be placed underneath the brief summary of the site. The timeline will either be placed beneath this or to its side. The other pages will include The Decade Before, The Family Vacationland Crisis, Secession, and Reconciliation. Each page will include text information and photographs. The Decade Before will explore the rising tourist industry in the region and how it became a central part of the county’s economy. It will also discuss the difficulties the county had with federal and state policies that limited funding and removed Noel, the center of the tourist industry within the county, from a federal highway and instead placed it on a state highway. The Family Vacationland Crisis page will explore the immediate cause of the secessionist movement, which was the exclusion of important McDonald County towns from the state tourist brochure. The reasons for this and the reaction of McDonald Countians will be included. The Secession page will guide the site visitor through the formation of the Provisional Government, the implementation of travel visas, the correspondences between the Territory of McDonald and its neighbors, and the Battle of Noel. The final page, Reconciliations, will discuss the dissolvement of the Territory of McDonald and the county’s return to Missouri. It will also explore the swelling of the tourist industry in the county throughout the following decade, hopefully leading the visitor to wonder what the true intentions of the secessionist movement was truly secession. Each page may also include videos of oral history, though a separate page may contain the oral histories of the movement. This is of course dependent on whether or not the researchers will be able to record oral histories and receive permission to make them public.
– General elements will include newspaper articles and photographs from the time period under study. We may also include videos or transcripts from news shows as well, depending on whether or not recordings or transcripts from the time period have been preserved. Tentatively, we hope to include oral histories acquired by us from people who lived through the secessionist movement, which will either have their own page or be dispersed throughout the website where relevant.

Tools We Plan to Use

– We plan to use a WordPress theme that will display pages and subpages at the top of the page.
– We will include a timeline on the main page and will do so using TimelineJS. The same will be done using an interactive map through StorymapJS.
– We do not yet know if a graphic or video editing tool will need to be used due to needing to do so is conditional on whether or not we are able to use oral histories or need to edit images for use on the website.

Schedule of Milestones
February 17- Kodey will have scheduled a meeting with Janet Romine by this point.

March 3- Jonas will have done substantial research regarding the role of tourism and the interstate system in the region at this point and will begin constructing the The Decade Before page.

March 10- Jonas will have scheduled visits to the McDonald County Historical Society, the MSU Special Collections, and the Springfield Branch of the Missouri State Historical Society to do archival research over the following week. He will also have done substantial work on the homepage of the website.
Kodey will have called and scheduled a visit to the Missouri State Archives in Jefferson City.

March 13-17- Jonas will do the research listed above and begin further fleshing out the pages of the website.
Kodey will go to Jefferson City to check out the Missouri State Archives

March 24- Jonas and Kodey will have pursued further research as it is required and continue working to finish the website.

March 31- Have first draft of website ready to go

April 7-23- Continually collaborate to work on website.

April 24- Final draft of website will be finished.

How I Created the Timeline

Creating this timeline proved more time consuming than I had anticipated. It probably should not have taken as long to make as it did, but I found that I had some trouble finding the exact dates for events of the movement that I wanted to be exact. I’ll have to be sure to keep an eye out for these dates as I continue researching the movement to update the timeline. I also did not have access to some images that I want to include and will have to be sure to look out for photographs from the movement as I visit archives over spring break. All in all though, I am happy with how the timeline turned out and hope that it turns out even better in the future. It may also be moved to the front page of the website, but that is something that Kodey and I will discuss at a later date.

McDonald Territory Story Map

For this week’s assignment, I worked on the story map while Jonas worked on the time line. Here is a link to the story map on our site:

McDonald Story Map

Story Map JS was not to difficult to use. I watched an 8 minute tutorial and was using it just fine afterwards. The pictures I used were from a book I found in Truman’s Special Collections and from newspaper microfilms from the 1960s. I tried to go in as linear of a story progression as I could. I mentioned the rerouting of highway 71, which angered many of Noel’s residents before the vacation land map was even released. I then had the story progress from Jefferson City releasing the map without Noel, to Noel as they seceded and formed their own militia, to the potential deals with Arkansas and the Cherokee tribe, to Jefferson City as the State Congress rejected the secessionist movement.

Updated Contract

Madison & Eben Contract Draft (updated)


The goal of our project is to create a physical portrayal of the Latter Day Saint secession from the United States Government. Although this part of history is well known to most Utah residents, it is new or unfamiliar to others in the United States. We hope to create a user friendly and aesthetically pleasing website to educate general public on the secessionist movement of the LDS.
We will outline their path and the altercations they had with non-Mormons- peaceful and violent. Once they got to Utah, at that time part of Mexico, they believed they were free of U.S. control and Brigham Young (Joseph Smith’s controversial successor) established a theocracy in the territory. But after the Mexican-American War, the US gained the Utah Territory, and Mormons were subject once again to US jurisdiction. They were denied statehood for 50 years due to their polygamous practices, the third president of the LDS church (John Taylor) even stating “God is greater than the United States, and when the Government conflicts with heaven, we will be ranged under the banner of heaven against the Government. The United States says we cannot marry more than one wife. God says different”. The fourth president (Wilford Woodruff), however, ended polygamy in the faith after claiming to receive a revelation from God, and Utah gained statehood six years later. Therefore, our project will emphasize the pioneer movement of the Latter Day Saints and how they seceded from the United States Government.
Our project will include real photos and journal entries from the pioneers fleeing the persecution of the East and early settlements of pioneers in Utah. Our website will include a timeline of the Mormon secessionism from the United States Government as well as a map for the viewers to follow exactly when and where the Mormon settlers settled or came into conflict with the US government or other US citizens.


March 1: Visit to Southern Utah University Archives

March 13: Visit to Mountain Meadows Massacre

March 27: We will publish a rough start of our website

April 24: Final website published

-Timeline Tool
-Mapping Tool (possibly MyMaps)
-Photoshop CS
-SUU Archives

Madison will create the timeline from the start of LDS religion to the arrival in Utah. She will emphasis the major events that led to secession.

Eben will create the map for website visitors to view the progression of LDS pioneers from Illinois to Utah. Each important stop they made on the way will have a marker and information, as well as any relevant imagery.

We will each be responsible for finding at least 5 primary resources to contribute to our final website. Together, we will visit the Southern Utah University archives to research subject for our final project. We will also meet every Monday after our class to work on our project together.