Arrow Rock Historical Archive
This online historical archive is offered as a free research service by the Friends of Arrow Rock to everyone interested in the rich history of the town of Arrow Rock, Missouri, and its environs. Arrow Rock has been called “the most historic spot in Missouri” for good reason; Saline County was the home of the Missouria Indians, for whom the Missouri River and the state of Missouri are named; Arrow Rock has been the home of three Missouri governors; it was the home of George Caleb Bingham, known as “the Missouri artist”; and it was the home of Dr. John Sappington, known throughout the Missouri and Mississippi River valleys in the mid-1800s as “the quinine doctor.” Arrow Rock was also where “wheels started west” at the beginning of the Santa Fe Trail.
The first of what we hope will be many items in the historical archive is a complete set of high-resolution images of two painstakingly prepared scrapbooks giving the history of the family of Dr. Sappington and of his wife, Jane Breathitt Sappington, the sister of governor John Breathitt of Kentucky. These scrapbooks were prepared in the early 1940s by Kansas City, Missouri resident C. Lester Hall Jr. (7/29/1881–7/19/1946), who was a great-grandson of Dr. and Mrs. John Sappington of Arrow Rock, as explained in the scrapbooks.
The scrapbooks were generously loaned to the Friends of Arrow Rock for copying by Lewis Motter Smith Jr., a great-great-great-grandson of Dr. and Mrs. John Sappington and a great-nephew of C. Lester Hall Jr. Breit Ideas Inc. photographed and prepared the scrapbook images for the archive.
C(rawford). Lester Hall Jr. attended the University of Chicago and had a career as a banker, but he dedicated much of his life to the study of genealogy and family history, particularly the history of his mother’s family, the Sappington family. He was married October 17, 1925 to a widow, Frances Chappel (Smith) Coombs and had one stepson. The eminent Bingham authority E. Maurice Bloch cited C. Lester Hall Jr. as a reference in his 1986 book The Paintings of George Caleb Bingham: A Catalogue Raisonné for the provenance of Bingham’s paintings of Dr. John Sappington, Jane Breathitt Sappington, and Erasmus Darwin Sappington (C. Lester Hall Jr’s. great-grandparents and grandfather).
These two scrapbooks on the genealogy of the Sappington and Breathitt families contain information that is probably not available anywhere else, including many family photos. It is hoped that they will provide a springboard for further research, including hopefully the first full-length biography of Dr. John Sappington.
For now, comments and corrections can’t be made directly onto the pages of the scrapbook in this archive (read-only format). However, readers may send comments, corrections, and questions to the archivist of the Arrow Rock Historical Archive, Dr. Thomas B. Hall III, President of the Friends of Arrow Rock: firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional historical materials (only in digital form) relating to Arrow Rock can be submitted for possible inclusion in the Arrow Rock Historical Archive by contacting the archivist by email.