John House wandered 10 miles from the river and ended up at this point in 1813. He was a heavy drinker and liked to play the uke a little so he thought it would be novel (you know like not the Stephen King kind) to open up an establishment that engaged both of his interests. It never happened. Instead he got engaged to a woman named Gretta, who was on a trapping expedition from Germany (which was loosely known as Prussia at the time). But Gretta was a hard driving woman, and John eventually headed 10 miles West to escape her. (You see 10 miles was a good distance back then, hard for a wife to find you). When he reached his new spot – 20 miles from the river – he again exclaimed “I will open this damn joint if its the last thing I do!” Sadly, this exclamation was the last thing he ever did as a timber suddenly broke from above and cracked ole John House in the chest. Missouri health care and EMS being what is was in 1817 (yes, 4 years have elapsed) he died on the spot. Ironically, his wife did find him (apparently 10 miles was NOT that far even in 1817) and would go to her death bed thinking John was out trapping furs to provide for her goods. Good for her, tough for John.

Anyhow, I don’t know if the current owner of the 10 Mile House knows of the rich history behind his establishment, however, if he did, he would surely have a place in the games room next to the beer broads to honor House.


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