Possibly same as Buckeye Cemetery, Rocky Creek Cemetery & Reed Cemetery

(See update below)

DESLET COMMUNITY - A post-office in Bowdan Township since 1899.  Because of the remoteness, the name Desolate was selected, but through some error the name was spelled Deslet. (--Place Names.)  It was in the eastern part of the county, 15 miles northeast of Shawnee. (--The State of Missouri, in 1904, p. 517.)

 Located at Section 13, Township 29 N, Range 1 W, on an unmarked road running north from Banker Cave.  

Banker - A small settlement near Deslet and the Reynolds County line. (--Place Names.)


Update March 25, 2014:

The name of Deslet is said to be a mistake of what the citizens of the community wanted.  Which was to be named, Desolate.  In reference to the desolated or remoteness of the location.  Deslet was the name provided by the US Postal Service, which was probably by clerical error.  Deslet was designated as a post office from 1896 – 1955.  Several postmasters were appointed in the area, but the longest serving and final postmaster was Albert Phillips (1880-1951).  He owned a small general store and within the store it was said that he also maintained a post office.  His store was located near the junction of modern State Highway 106 and Shannon County Road 551 (then known as the Carr Creek Road).  The store and post office offered material and supplies to the residents in the local area since the nearest large town (Ellington in Reynolds County) was about 10 miles distance toward the east.  But there were also residences and farms down into the Carr Creek Valley. 


Albert’s father, William George Phillips (1845-1923), homesteaded the land of what is today (2014) the Homeport Inn, a bread and breakfast resort.  The Homeport Inn is currently owned and run by Larry and Sheri Smith and is located a little less than 3 miles south of where Albert Phillips had his land and store.  After William Phillips’ death, his son, Christian Luther Phillips (1890-1971) inherited this property where the Homeport Inn is located and also ran a small store there (37.16204ºN x -91.12144ºW).  This store was located just next to modern state highway HH and across from Missouri Department of Conservation Road #25.  If it was operated in conjunction with his brother’s Albert’s store or as an addition, is not known.  But it appears that Christian’s store offered material and also provided postal service.  Probably just an extension to his brother’s store and post office.  With two general stores in the area being owned and operated by two related Phillips family members is where the confusion of Deslet’s location becomes.  I have always assumed that Deslet was located along highway 106 where Albert Phillips had his store (and this was also near a church and a historic school – Upper Carr Creek School).  But, adding to the confusion, the 1925 and later topographical maps produced by the US Geological Survey, show Deslet’s location at the MDC road #25 junction and highway HH in today’s world.  A later Missouri Department of Transportation map would pin a Deslet location name near the school house location on Shannon County Road 549 (historical called the Lower Carr Creek school, aka Rosewood school.  Rosewood school and Christian Phillips’ store were about ¼-mile from each other).  Even a modern map (2007) by the National Geographic Society pins Deslet at the intersection of HH and MDC road 25.  I believe that the younger Christian Phillips’ store outlasted his brother’s, Albert Phillips, store and therefore became the new reference for the center of the community and the dot was put on the map for the location of Deslet.  Further, the Lower Carr Creek school would outlast the Upper Carr Creek school near Albert Phillips’ land.


But in reality, Deslet was an unincorporated community which appeared to be comprised of most of the homes and farms immediately south of Missouri State Highway 106 down the Carr Creek Valley and a little to the north of highway 106.  A lineal zone following the area surrounding Carr Creek approximately 4 miles in length comprising all or parts of Sections 7, 12, 13, 18, 24, 25 all in TS29N, R2W, Bowlan Township, in eastern Shannon County, Missouri.  The name of Deslet was used for anyone in the area who needed to provide a location of where they lived.  Why the residents didn’t name their community, Carr Creek or Carr Creek Valley is unclear.  But it is likely that store goods and mail was transported from the Albert Phillips’ store to the Christian Phillips’ store as a convenience to the homes and farms farther south, down the Carr Creek Valley.  While this may all seem silly now-a-days, remember that years ago roads were all dirt and at many times during bad weather, impassable.  Also most people either walked or rode on horseback, so a twenty-mile round-trip to a store in Ellington or a thirty-five mile round-trip to Eminence could take an entire day or perhaps two.  Even an additional mile or two for access to a store or post office could add hours to your day.  It would also be a challenge to haul your purchases back home without using a wagon.  So a local or semi-local store and post office would become a blessing for the community.  The closer, the better for all the residences in the area.


There were enough people living in the area into the early parts of the 20th century that the community of Deslet supported two small historic schools.  One was located just north of highway 106 across from the Albert Phillips’ homeplace and another just north of the Homeport Inn (Lower Carr Creek school, aka Rosewood.  The school building is now a home and owned by the family of Howard Turner.  It is on north side of modern Shannon County Road 549 located at 37.17081ºN x -91.11723ºW)  There are also three large cemeteries in the Deslet community.  These are the Phillips Cemetery (at 37.16341ºN x -91.12060ºW), the Massie/Neeley Cemetery (at 37.17789ºN x -91.10773ºW) and the Rumberg Cemetery (at 37.19437ºN x -91.11093ºW).  Some older death certificates lists Carr Creek Cemetery and Deslet as a place of burial.  These should be in one of the three cemeteries in this community.  Of special note is the Phillips Cemetery.  It is located near the Homeport Inn and on land homesteaded and lived on as a century farm by Phillips’ offspring, yet there are no Phillips family members buried there.  Larry Smith tells that his grandfather, Christian Phillips, just felt sorry for people and allowed anyone to be buried there that wanted to be.  There is also a small church located near the junction of Highway 106 and Shannon County 551 near the Albert Phillips’ store.  Historically it was known as the Carr Creek Methodist Church and today it is known as the Believer’s Chapel Church (at 37.19410ºN x -91.10418ºW), a non-denominational church.  A community of two stores, a post office, a church, two schools, several cemeteries, farms, and people.  What else could you have needed years ago?  The community of Deslet.


Banker Cave is about 200 feet from the dirt road over some rocky/grassy land, but if you take it slow?  There is a concrete walkway in the cave for a ways. 


-Randy Long

16 March 2014




Bland, Roy    Aug. 19, 1931 - Sep. 19, 1931.    Son of Virgil Bland & Clara Bunch. Born & died Bowlan Twp Shannon Co MO. Burial Sep. 20, 1931. Informant Eli Bland, Star Route, Ellington MO.


Sanders, Louis    Jul. 10, 1909 - Jun. 12, 1910.     Son of Louis Sanders & Sarah Legg. Cause of death 'scalded with hot water.' MO Death Cert.#18872. Informant Frank Legg, Winona. Burial at Buckeye Jun. 13, 1910. (It is a guess that this is the cemetery where Louis is buried.)



Return to Shannon County Cemeteries Index



© 2003 - 2014 by Shannon County Coordinators or individual contributors as shown. No portion of this site is to be considered public domain and is not to be reproduced for any purpose without express written consent of the owner of the material.