We drove to Missouri to take a look at what had been just a speck on the map – the town that shares Roger’s surname.
It turned out to be a microcosm of Great Plains rural life.
Pre-WW2 Stotesbury was a beautiful, thriving town. But, when the local coal mines closed in the 50s, the people left, the school closed, the houses were burnt down, the trees grew up and the sidewalks disappeared. Ironically, the trains from Wisconsin that cut through the town today carry coal South.
Despite what it says on the sign above, only seven people live there now in just two houses and a trailer. We spoke to three of the four adults.
Marvin told us that the town is called Stotesbury because ‘a man called Stotesbury got off a train and came to live here for a bit’.
This is likely to relate to E T Stotesbury – the millionaire investment banker and railroad investor. But it’s surely unlikely he actually lived in the town.
You can read about him here on Wikipedia.