Hootontown History

William Carver & Matilda (Jackson) Hooton

William Carver Hooton was a pioneeer settler of Hootontown, Missouri.
(Photo courtesy of Bill Hooton, great-grandson of W.C. Hooton)
Hooton researchers please email Valerie Hooton.

None of these Stone Countians have been identified. They are gathered at what looks to be the mouth of a cave which seems to be the source of a spring. Bill Hooton thinks that at least some of the people must be Hooton family members. If you recognize any of the people, or if you know where the cave is located, please contact Valerie Hooton.

(News clipping courtesy of Bill Hooton)

(News clipping courtesy of Bill Hooton)


(First family of Hootonville)

This charming photo from the collection of Bill Hooton offers us a glimpse of a what must have been a refreshing treat for a pioneer family. Pictured from left: Rebecca Hooton; William Carver Hooton; the two little boys’ names are unknown; little girl-Louise Cochran (granddaughter of Rebecca & Benjamin); Benjamin Hooton (husband of Rebecca, & son of Wiliam);and an unknown friend of the family stands on the far right.
Benjamin Hooton was 13 years old when his father, William was a soldier in the Civil War.  Benjamin told a family member that they were forced to hide in a cave to avoid Bushwhackers, and that his three year old sister died in his arms while they were hiding. Bill Hooton is the grandson of Benjamin and Rebecca.


James W. Hooton was born December 1867 in Stone County. He was married to Emma R. Jackson, born September 8, 1873 the daughter of Gilbert and Dicie Coker Jackson. Both James and Emma are buried in Jamesville Cemetery, Stone County Missouri. Their children were Lula, William, Charles, Thomas, and twins Elva and Edith.  The name of the elderly lady standing is not known.  James was the son of Benjamin Hooton, who along with William Carver Hooton founded  Hootontown. It is believed by family members that Benjamin and William were cousins. (Photo courtesy of Bill Hooton)


*Note by Jo Dunne: This photo was sent to me by Bill Hooton, great-grandson of William Carver Hooton, one of the first settlers of Hootontown. Bill believes the town was first called Hootonville. Though it is sometimes spelled Hooten, the original spelling was Hooton. My great-grandaunt Emmie Jackson was married to Jim Hooton, son of Benjamin Hooton.  William Carver Hooton and Benjamin were cousins.

This wonderful collection of photos belongs to Bill Hooton, great-grandson of William Carver Hooton, founder of Hootontown, Missouri. William Carver and his cousin, Benjamin Hooton were pioneer settlers of Stone County. We are very grateful to Bill Hooton for sharing these treasured photographs with us. Hooton researchers may email Valerie Hooton (linked above).


20 Responses to “Hootontown History”

  1. al rippee February 5, 2011 at 3:28 pm #

    i really enjoyed reading about hottentown

    • earthmonster February 5, 2011 at 3:53 pm #

      Thanks Al, it is interesting stuff. I’ll keep digging up stuff about the James River area. I might even drop a barber shop story in.

  2. Randa Soles September 8, 2011 at 8:25 pm #

    That was pretty nice…my husband and I have lived in Hootentown, for almost 10 years and have never seen any history. Thank you so much for sharing.

  3. Angela Bartley-Norgard February 17, 2012 at 6:00 pm #

    This is awesome. My grandmother’s name was Thelma Hooten, daughter of Felix and Ida. I’ve recently started researching my family history, so to stumble onto this website is such a blessing. I’d love to take a trip to Hootontown with my dad someday and see where her family came from.

    • Carrie October 10, 2014 at 11:02 am #

      Its really kind of crazy how my mothers family looks like some of these people. I was always told my GPA Paul Hooton was from hootontown missouri. I am also related to Felix.

    • Marty Hooton January 2, 2015 at 10:14 pm #

      Felix & Ida are my Great Grandpa & Grandma. My Grandpa was LLoyd Hooton their son and your grandma’s brother. I remember Thelma when I has a little boy. I hope you reply back soon. Would like to here more about our family tree.

      • Angie Marcum December 12, 2016 at 10:19 pm #

        Hey Marty

        If you need any help with the Hooton history I can help you with that. You can find me on Facebook as Aj Marcum I am the great granddaughter of Felix Hooton and Ida Melton.

  4. David Diggs February 29, 2012 at 9:55 am #

    I attended Baptist Bible college in Springfield, Mo back in 1974 & 1975. We used to go out into the woods and try to locate a cave we could explore…!!! This was our adventure on the weekends. I have been in that cave in the above picture several times…but we never found the end. We named it “Bat Cave” because it had several thousand bats dwelling deep inside the cave. There is a small stream running out of the cave so you are walking and crawling in water most of the way. Our exploration ended at a place we called “The Doorway”. Deep back inside the cave we came across what looked to be a doorway cut into the rock. It was square like the door of a house. What lies beyond this “doorway” is still a mystery. I shined my light through the doorway and could not see a ceiling or a wall. I remember thinking this must be a very large room. Anxious to enter with our carbide lamps and flashlights we started to proceed through the doorway but was met by thousand of screaming bats as if they were protecting something in that room or even beyond. The sounds and bats hitting us and crawling over us forced us to retreat. We returned many times and attempted to make it through the doorway several times throughout the year but the screaming bats forced us back out. We were very afraid of being bitten by a bat and having to take rabies shots because of it so the psychological fears kept us from pressing on past the bats to explore more of the cave. Perhaps someone has been brave enough to venture past the doorway and find what the bats seem to have guarding over the last 30 years. I’d still like to know what is behind the doorway…!!! Maybe I’ll go back and find the cave again and try once more to solve the mystery. It certainly was “Hoot” exploring “Bat Cave”…near Hootentown, MO

  5. Brent Hooton July 30, 2012 at 7:26 pm #

    Benjamin W. Hooton (1831-1924) and William Carver Hooton (1833-1917) were cousins, but “half” cousins – They had the same grandfather (Thomas Hooton), but different grandmothers (Susannah Green and Orender Bush). 🙂

  6. Edward & Evelyn Love September 4, 2012 at 3:05 am #

    On Sept10,2012 my Wife & I will be living right around the corner & up on Raven Road & are very Happy to be New Neighbors to Everyone . We are The Loves-see you soon @ the James

  7. caverchick September 18, 2012 at 3:23 am #

    I do believe the cave in the picture is what is now called Hootentown cave….several friends of mine have been mapping this cave. I could be wrong but the entrance looks the same to me.

    • Staff Writer September 18, 2012 at 3:34 am #

      Are you taking any photos?

      • Jennifer April 8, 2016 at 10:41 pm #

        I have many pictures of this cave, its on the edge of my grandparents property.

  8. Gary Wood January 12, 2015 at 8:10 pm #

    I really love the picture’s . My Great great grand parents are William Carver Hooton and Matilda Jackson. And Benjamin Hooton and Rebecca Carver are my great great great grand parents. I never had those pictures before. Now I do. Thank you so much for this page.

  9. kara emick September 27, 2015 at 2:28 am #

    My grandma’s maidon name is patty Hooton Patricia is here real name here dad is Paul Hooton and here mom is Margaret Ruth Hooton (Clark is her maidon name)
    This is my family

  10. kara emick September 27, 2015 at 2:33 am #

    My grandma is a Hooton her dad is Paul Hooton and her mom is margaret Hooton (Clark) papa Paul’s mom is Ida wow

  11. Ang January 2, 2016 at 4:59 pm #

    I stumbled upon an old cemetery with several headstones belonging to the Hooton family. Very interesting.

  12. Jennifer April 8, 2016 at 10:24 pm #

    I grew up in Hootentown and know Bill Hooten.

  13. angie marcum June 7, 2016 at 8:13 pm #

    To my hooton relatives
    My name is angie marcum (williams) I am the great granddaughter of Felix and Ida hooton. My grandparents was Paul hooton sr. And Margaret Clark. My mother is Ida Williams (hooton). Some of you may know me, some I may want to know.

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