By Kelly Warman-Stallings
The Ghost Towns of Central Missouri
In 1868, after the Civil War had wrought chaos to Missouri and restoration of the land was in process, James Skinner, Sr. came into the county. Skinner, a well-known Englishman, born near London England, settled in the Flatwoods area and was largely responsible for the beginning of the community. He was a large landowner in Equality Township where Flatwoods was located.
Soon after Skinner's arrival in the county, he acquired and purchased 80 acres of farmland from his father-in-law, William A. Folsom. Seeing there was no school nearby, the Englishman donated some land and built one for the children of the community. The school was erected in the early 1870s and named for Skinner. By 1930/31, Skinner School was known as District No. 29 and the school teacher was Mildred Waltersheide, who was living in Eldon. Not long afterwards, when Eldon consolidated the surrounding areas, Flatwoods' little school was discontinued and the community children were transported to the Eldon schools.
Flatwoods was located a few miles northwest of Tuscumbia on the old "Hall Store Road" which led to the Osage River. Around the turn of the century, this "Hall Store Road" was considered a major roadway between Eldon and the Osage River, close to Tuscumbia. The road was located south of today's Highway 52 and has been gone for many years now. The old road received its name from Hall's Store that was located in the Flatwoods area after the turn of the century. The store has been gone for quite some time now. A post office called Flatwood was in operation from 1890-1891 and I am sure it was housed somewhere in this community.
In 1900, Jim Skinner moved to Eldon and sold his land (578 acres) to Fred and Mary Neubauer. The land did not stay in the Neubauer family for long when in 1903, they sold out to Daniel Heafey of Warren County, Iowa. The land still remains in the Heafey family today.