Howell County Communities in 1905
The following sketches of Olden, Brandsville and Pomona were included in the Oct. 12, 1905 edition of the West Plains Weekly Journal.
Olden - The largest fruit company which is incorporated as the Olden Fruit Farm Company, is the principal owner of real estate and transacts a large portion of business in this town. The Olden Fruit Farm company is known all over the United States, and also in some foreign countries. Their enormous shipments of peaches in a good fruit year taxes the capacity of the railroad company to take care of it properly. The accompanying cut made from a photograph, will give you an idea of the immensity of their business. In addition to the fruit industry there are many fertile farms lying near the town, and some of the best tax payers in the county get their mail at this point. Mr. W.J. Orr, of West Plains, the attorney for the Olden Fruit Company, says that many new improvements are being made by the company and more are contemplated in the near future.
Brandsville - Situated near the eastern corner of the county, on the Frisco railroad, and about eleven miles from West Plains, is the unassuming little town of Brandsville. As its name indicates was named after a man named Brand, who is the principal owner of large tracts of land in and about town, also a large fruit producing manufactory. This land lying about the town is known as one of the best in this section for growing grapes. This luscious fruit grows extra well in this part of Missouri. One of the residents of Brandsville has made as high as eight hundred gallons of wine from his vineyards in one year. Several large companies are engaged in developing fruit farms, as peaches do also exceedingly well here. Brandsville has an excellent school and the attendance is greatly increased over last year. A short time ago a large number of Swiss visited Brandsville with a view to locating as a colony and expressed themselves as well pleased and will undoubtedly locate permanently, as they found land in that vicinity much more reasonable in price that they had expected.
Pomona - The largest town between West Plains and Willow Springs is Pomona. This, like Olden is a great fruit center, but there is no large company there like the one at Olden, the orchards being owned by different parties. There is a good trade with the merchants and lately there has been established a newspaper, the Pomona Sentinel. Real Estate in the vicinity has changed hands considerably during the past year, and land is becoming more valuable. People, it seems are just beginning realize that land thereabouts is just what fruit trees need to bring the fruit to perfection. The past season was an excellent one for berries, the shippers at this point having considerable trouble in getting help enough to handle them properly.