Saturday, February 1, 2020

A complete breakdown of the chapters in The Buck Starts Here: Harry S. Truman and the City of Lamar

Following is a chapter-by-chapter breakdown of what is included in my book The Buck Starts Here: Harry S. Truman and the City of Lamar.

Introduction- Jim Allen, retired Thorco official, announces intention of bringing President Reagan to Lamar for the Truman Centennial in 1984.

Chapter One- Two newcomers arrive in Lamar who make their marks on the city's history- lawyer Lee Chiswell, who becomes prosecuting attorney at age 24, and Wyatt Earp, who becomes the city's first marshal.

Chapter Two- Lee Chiswell buys the Barton County Progress newspaper to support Democrats and attack Republicans and renames it the Lamar Democrat. John and Martha Truman arrive in Lamar and their first child is stillborn.

Chapter Three- John Truman's mule and horse trading business struggles. The Trumans have another baby and name it Harry S Truman. Trumans leave Lamar in 1885.

Chapter Four- Lee Chiswell makes a name for himself both in politics and as a newspaperman until tragedy strikes.

Chapter Five- Arthur Aull's history. Aull buys the Lamar Democrat.

Chapter Six- Harry Truman's car breaks down on his way to Joplin and he stops in Lamar in 1924 the the first time he has been there since the family left 39 years earlier. Truman enters politics. Wyatt Earp's relatives buy the house where Truman was born. Truman runs for Senate in 1934 and campaigns in Lamar.

Chapter Seven- Truman's benefactor Tom Pendergast's corrupt political machine is brought down. Truman faces stiff competition for re-election in 1940. Arthur Aull turns against Truman.

Chapter Eight- Richard Chancellor, the second man drafted into the army from Lamar becomes the first one inducted when number one flunks his physical. Arthur Aull tells the Joplin Rotary Club the U. S. is headed for war and predicts a time when the U. S. will become the police force for the world. Aull becomes famous when a nationally syndicated columnist begins reprinting his warts-and-all coverage of the scandals of Lamar.

Chapter Nine- Richard Chancellor finds romance. Madeline Aull VanHafften returns to help her ailing father run the Democrat. Truman gains national attention when his Senate Committee uncovers waste and corruption in the war buildup. A woman beats Arthur Aull over the head with a baseball bat, hospitalizing him when he writes about her.

Chapter 10- Chancellor joins the Army Air Force. His plane crashes over the Mediterranean and he saves two crew members.

Chapter 11- Chancellor and his men avoid Nazi U-boats as they await rescue in the Mediterranean.

Chapter 12- Sheldon teen Gerald Gilkey visits the Lamar square in his canary yellow 1924 Model T and is asked by the police to go home. H. C. and Pearl Chancellor watch as their son Richard is honored for his bravery. Gerald Gilkey and Betty Medlin fall in love and secretly get married- until their secret is revealed to their parents on page three of the Joplin Globe.

Chapter 13- Truman becomes the vice presidential nominee. Two Republicans drinking coffee at the Travelers Hotel come up with the idea of having Truman accept the vice presidential nomination in Lamar. Roosevelt approves the idea.

Chapter 14- A Lamar youth dies fighting for his country in France. H. C. Chancellor learns Richard is missing in action.

Chapter 15- Three men rob a Jasper filing station/cafe. While making their escape, they are confronted near Lamar by Barton County Sheriff Roy Patterson and his son and kill them. A look back at the first time a Barton County Sheriff and his son were killed in 1919 and the vigilante justice that was given to their killer.

Chapter 16- Lamar plans for the Truman visit.

Chapter 17- Lamar and Joplin feud over Truman visit. Ione Williams waits to hear word of Richard Chancellor's fate. Betty Gilkey moves to Kansas City and helps with the war effort. Gerald Gilkey is stationed at an isolated post in the Aleutians.

Chapter 18- The Joplin Globe rips Lamar. Truman arrives at the Conner Hotel and gives a press conference. Truman visits the soldiers at Camp Crowder in Neosho.

Chapter 19- Crowds arrive in Lamar for Truman's return. H. C. Chancellor prepares the Travelers Hotel. Margaret Truman is not too thrilled with Lamar. Lamar is not too thrilled with Margaret Truman.

Chapter 20- H. C. Chancellor and Pearl learn Richard is being held in a German POW camp. Pickpockets and con artists arrive in Lamar for Truman Day. Truman's mother visits Lamar for the final time. The national media arrives. A professional tries to help Truman give his first major speech. Truman delivers the speech. Another Lamar boy dies in the war.

Chapter 21- Life in a POW camp for Richard Chancellor, Republican vice presidential candidate Gov. John Bricker of Ohio campaigns in Lamar, Barton County votes for Dewey-Bricker over Roosevelt-Truman, Truman becomes vice president

Chapter 22- Truman is sworn in as vice president. As the Allied Forces advance, the Germans move Chancellor and other prisoners, exposing them to Allied air raids.

Chapter 23- Life Magazine publishes a notorious photo featuring Truman and 20-year-old actress Lauren Bacall and in the same magazine profiles Arthur Aull. Bud Moore, later head of the Lamar Fair for years, updates Aull on the war in Europe.

Chapter 24- President Roosevelt dies and Harry Truman becomes president. Lamar residents mourn Roosevelt's death. Truman learns of the existence of an atomic bomb. Martha Ellen Truman reacts as her son becomes president. A VE Day ceremony is held in Lamar. Richard Chancellor is freed. Chancellor and Ione Williams reunite and get married.

Chapter 25- A service is held at Memorial Hall honoring 53 Barton County residents who died in the war. Life Magazine provides more publicity for Lamar. Everett Earp sees a chance to make money off the Truman birthplace.

Chapter 26- The killers of Sheriff Patterson and his son are captured and fears of a second lynching grow.

Chapter 27- Truman announces that an atomic bomb has been dropped on Hiroshima. Arthur Aull's health continues to deteriorate. VJ Day celebrated in Lamar.

Chapter 28- Gerald Gilkey returns and reunites with Betty after three years apart. The court cases of the killers of Sheriff Patterson and his son are detailed. Madeleine Aull VanHafften takes the reins of the Lamar Democrat. A brawl breaks out on the Nevada High School football field after a Lamar football player is critically injured in the Silver Tiger game. Teenager Marvin VanGilder takes his first newspaper job with the Democrat's competitor, the Lamar Republican.

Chapter 29- Everett Earp's stories about his family's connection to the Trumans begin to evolve into tall tales. Truman finds himself an underdog to Tom Dewey in the 1948 election. Truman brings his Whistle Stop Tour to Neosho, but not Lamar. Truman is elected president.

Chapter 30- Arthur Aull dies. The city of Lamar says goodbye. Madeleine covers the story of her father's death. Two of the men who killed Sheriff Patterson and his son escape from the Missouri State Penitentiary.

Chapter 31- Claude "Brother" Adams, his brother Billee Bob Adams, Ed Knell of Carthage and a team of Lamar mules prepare to represent Lamar in the presidential inauguration parade.

Chapter 32- Madeleine and the Lamar Democrat struggle. The Lamar Republican sells to D. Wayne Rowland who changes its name to the Lamar Journal and stresses a more positive brand of journalism with less scandal. Gerald Gilkey moves to Lamar. Richard Chancellor struggles to find his place as he adjusts to civilian life.

Chapter 33- Marvin VanGilder becomes a music teacher after working his way through college as a reporter. Truman is threatened with impeachment after he fires Douglas MacArthur. Madeleine defends Truman. D. Wayne Rowland's Lamar Journal continues to put pressure on the struggling Lamar Democrat.

Chapter 34- Arthur Aull's widow, Luanna, convinces son-in-law Stan White, a veteran advertising manager to come to Lamar to run the Democrat's business operation. The Journal gains the upper hand after it hires moonlighting teacher Marvin VanGilder. VanGilder enlists Harry Truman's support in creating the Barton County Historical Society and writes The Story of Barton County, with plans to publish the book in 1955 during the Barton County Centennial celebration. The Democrat buys the Lamar Journal and shuts it down, derailing VanGilder's plans for The Story of Barton County. As he leaves Lamar for an academic career, D. Wayne Rowland advises Marvin VanGilder to go in the opposite direction and quit teaching to become a full-time journalist.

Chapter 35- Everett Earp dies. The United Auto Workers buys the Truman Birthplace from the Earp family with plans of restoring it and giving it to the State of Missouri as a shrine honoring Truman. A dedication ceremony is scheduled with Truman accepting an invitation to return. Stan White talks Gerald Gilkey into running for City Council. Richard Chancellor takes an executive position with Lawn Boy.

Chapter 36- No Sunday matinee at the Plaza Theater as Truman comes to town. Truman drives to Lamar for the dedication and thoroughly enjoys himself. Lamar High School Student Council President Donald Braker speaks to thousands as he presents Truman with a plaque that will be placed in the room where Truman was born. The United Auto Workers provide a dinner honoring Truman. Truman leaves Lamar for the final time.

Chapter 37- Not wanting to go into competition with his in-laws, Gilkey prepares to buy a car dealership in Abilene, Kansas and leave Lamar. Things are worked out and Gilkey buys a Lamar dealership starting Gilkey Chevrolet. VanGilder interviews Truman and artist Thomas Hart Benton at a day honoring Benton in Neosho. Truman judges a mule show with a Lamar winner. Gilkey runs for mayor. With the Truman Birthplace running into management problems, Chancellor's suggestion of Jim Finley as the man who take over the operation is followed.

Chapter 38- After 72 years of ownership, the Aull family sells the Lamar Democrat to Missouri Secretary of State Jim Kirkpatrick. Harry Truman dies at age 88.

Chapter 39- The Democrat covers the death of Truman. Gilkey speaks at a memorial ceremony for Truman at the birthplace. Marvin VanGilder speaks for Lamar and Southwest Missouri with a stirring tribute to Truman.

Chapter 40- Madeleine struggling after selling the newspaper she loved dies at age 77. The birth of Truman is recalled during the Truman Pageant. The historic Travelers Hotel is torn down to make room for a bank. Marvin VanGilder's The Story of Barton County is published. Gerald Gilkey steps down as mayor in 2001 after 36 years, the longest serving mayor in Missouri history. After Gilkey's death, Mayor Keith Divine and city officials unveil a portrait of Gilkey that will always maintain a prominent place at City Hall. Current Mayor Kent Harris reflects on Truman's lasting legacy for the City of Lamar.

For anyone who is interested, I will send a free 12-chapter PDF preview of the book.

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