First Honorary Member Dr. M. C. Amyx
Dr. Mathew Clay Amyx, member of an outstanding pioneer family of Ozark County, was named the first honorary member of the White River Valley Historical Society in recognition for the work he has done for the newly organized society. The award was made at the Society's Summer meeting at Forsyth.
Dr. Amyx contributed the first historical marker to be erected by the Society when he provided funds for the Rockbridge Mill marker and for the dedication of the marker. Placed at Rockbridge Mill at the Rainbow Game and Trout Ranch, the marker was dedicated October 29, 1961.
Known to his friends as "M.C. or Clay," Dr. Amyx was born in the Zanoni community in 1896. His father, Sidney F. Amyx, long prominent in the political life of the county, and his mother, Edgie Patterson Amyx, were both members of Ozark County pioneer families. Dr. Amyx's maternal great grandfather, John Patter son, a Union soldier, was wounded at the Battle of Wilson's Creek and died shortly after wards. He is buried in the National Cemetery in Springfield. His great grandmother, Amanda Patterson (Little), operated the family mill near Rockbridge during the war years. His maternal grandparents, Clay and Frances Young Patterson, were life-long residents of the county. Prominent in the early settlement of the county were his paternal great grandparents, Preston and Eliza Ballard Amyx, as were his paternal grandparents, Matthew Kim and Martha Davis Amyx.
Dr. Amyx graduated from the former Kansas City Western Dental College, now part of the University of Kansas City, with a degree in dentistry and established his practice in West Plains where he has made his home since 1926. He married India Sims, a native of Ozark County, and they have two children, Mrs. Launa Eise man of Jefferson City, and Orin who manages the Amyx Manufacturing Company in West Plains, which Dr. Amyx founded in 1947. Before this, Dr. Amyx had owned and operated the West Plains Manufacturing Co., Inc., from 1928 to 1946.
Dr. Amyx has a long record of service in public and civic affairs. He was mayor of West Plains from 1946 to 1952 and he has been honored by having a street named for him there. He was a member of the Missouri State Dental Board for 5 years, in the 1930's; he served for 11 years on the West Plains Board of Education and he is a member of the board of directors of the Missouri State Chamber of Commerce at the present time and is a member of the West Plains Chamber of Commerce. Dr. Amyx says, "I have been a member of the Christian Church board for as long as I can remember."
Shortly after his birth, Dr. Amyx moved with his family to Rockbridge where he lived until he was 12 years old. He has always loved the beautiful valley of Spring Creek where Rockbridge stands, and in 1954 he and his brother, Lile, bought the old pioneer mill building and the entire village where they established the Rainbow Trout and Game Ranch.