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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Paul Henning


Paul Henning (1911-2005 ) = Radio, TV, Film Writer & Producer. Paul was the youngest of ten children, born September 16 on a farm. His artist father decided he didn't care for farming so he moved his family to Independence, MO. Among other jobs, Paul worked in Brown's Drugstore in Independence's town square same as former US President Harry S. Truman and attended the Kansas City School of Law in 1932 The following year, he began his career as a staff member at the radio station KMBC (now KMBZ, f. 1921) in Kansas City.
Paul married Ruth Margaret Barth in January of 1939. Three children were born to this union -- Carol Alice, Linda Kay, and Paul Anthony.
Ruth's grandparent's, Willis and Martha Burris owned a small country hotel in the late 1920s near a railroad station in Eldon, MO. They had five girls and Ruth's mother was the oldest. Ruth said her mother would send her on a train down from Kansas City to visit her grandparents during the summer. This inspired Paul to create three top-rated television sitcom series and their spin-offs in the 1960s; The Beverly Hillbillies (1962); Petticoat Junction (1963); and Green Acres (1965).
Paul was an idea generator and he used that gift many times in his career. Once, his boss at the radio station in Kansas City said he had good ideas and he wanted him to write a program which launched Paul's writing career. Later, when Paul was writing for  the George & Gracie Burns radio show in Hollywood, CA., Mr. Burns fought to get him a deferment from the WWII draft, because he thought it was important to give people something to laugh about in troubled times.
Paul retired in 1975 to spend more time with his family which by this time included grandsons, Alex and Jesse. 
 
More to Read:
1. Eldon. . . A Look Back: 1882 to 1982.
2. "The Ozarks Then & Now" by Russell Hively. The Ozarks Mountaineer, Nov/Dec 2012, p. 31. (This issue was the last one of the Ozark Mountaineer magazine.)
 
 
Places to Visit in Mo:
1. Independence, MO. Town Square Marker
2. Main Street and Maple Street by the Rock Island tracks, Eldon, MO.
3. Miller County Historical Society Museum, Tuscumbia, MO.
4. Ruth & Paul Henning Conservation Area, Branson, MO
5. Ruth & Paul Henning State Forest. Hwy. 76, Branson
6. Ralph Foster Museum, College of the Ozarks, Point Lookout (The Beverly Hillbillies truck is here)

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