After six years researching and writing the book on Hezekiah Rasco, finishing the novella Brothers Such As These, and tinkering with a Kindle short called The Oppressor Project, you would think I would be too tired to tackle another writing project so soon. I guess not.
A few weeks after I completed the Kindle short, I found myself longing to dig a big deeper into the History of Arkoe, Missouri, the rural community near where Rasco committed his first murder, and the community in which I presently live. So, I went back through the Rasco research file and pulled out the snippets of information I collected, and put them into a new research notebook. Then I started plotting time to head out to Northwest Missouri State University to access their wonderful newspaper archive on microfiche. I would need only to browse approximately 139 years of daily and weekly newspapers for obscure mentions of the little town. I'm still digging, but this sort of "data archaeology" is what I like to do, so it's not so daunting a task.
Google Books has played a huge part in the initial research, as have the digital archives of the Missouri State Historical Society and the State of Missouri vital records online, and especially the vast amount of information located at the Nodaway County Historical Museum archives here locally. Through those digital sites I have been able to review reference books that would otherwise be unavailable without physically travelling thousands of miles. Several museums around the country have also made their digital collections publicly searchable, which has aided me greatly in following up obscure references and links to the people who played a significant part in the founding and development of this town. Angela Fares, the senior information manager for BNSF, has provided many helpful links and some information about the railroad that once ran through the town.
The book on Arkoe is far from completion at this point, but I hope to make it available in early 2014. You will notice that I have added a new page to the tabs above. The History of Arkoe Missouri will highlight excerpts from the book as it progresses. The Town of Arkoe's Facebook page will also highlight some of the information gathered. I encourage you to visit the page. The final title for the book has yet to be decided.
Thank being said, it's time to get back to mining Arkoe data from the annals of history. I hope you enjoy the other books, and I look forward to bringing you the next one.