It is the mid 1880s. A group of Missourians has met on a treeless hill to do something about lawlessness. Their leader, a giant of a man, would later write that his group will be part of a “war between civilization and barbarism.” They called themselves the Bald Knobbers. The group met that night on a hill called “Big Bald” or “Snapp Bald” because it had no trees at the top. You could away with a lot of things in Taney County in those days. By the 1880s the county hadn’t sent anyone to the state prison for twenty years. This bothered people like Captain Nathaniel Kinney, a former Civil War officer, Springfield saloon keeper, and an upstanding Taney County citizen.
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