J. Mett Shippee's description of the Renner site from page 37 of his
1967 report published in the Missouri Archaeological Society Research
Series Number 5:
The Renner village (23PL1), now completed surrounded by the town of Riverside,
has been studied by amateurs and professional archaeologists for 45 years.
Considerable excavation has been done there prior to 1955 by the U. S
National Museum, the University of Missouri (Unpublished notes, etc. -
- J. M. Shippee 1954), and the Kansas City Archaeological Society (Roedl
and Howard 1957). About one-half of the site remains and will be available
for excavation by competent institutions until the owners who reside on
the tract sell the valuable land for business development.
The Renner village is one of a number of prehistoric Indian sites that
are located near the junction of Line Creek and the Missouri River. There
is some evidence of Paleo-Indian and other lithic complexes in the neighborhood,
but the most notable remains are those of the Renner Hopewell and a Middle
Mississippi village site which has been largely destroyed by the construction
The pottery fragments recovered from the Renner site are most exclusively
Hopewellian. Middle Mississippi sherds do occur, but are rare as are the
other diagnostic artifacts and remains of that culture. No Black Sand
sherds have been recovered, and the early rimsherds of the Middle Woodland
culture are in a definite minority when compared to the crosshatched and
rocker decorated ones. Study of the village material tends to advance
the thought that the site was occupied later than at Shields [another
Middle Woodland Period site along the Missouri River in Clay County] and
that it too continued to be occupied until succeeding developments eventually
culminated in the Late Woodland complex which is indicated by certain
potsherds and the small notched arrow points. Some of the pottery vessels
have forms that do not seem to be in the pattern of the usual Hopewell
types. In a few specimens the older decorations will be found on a vessel
that in its form surely is a later innovation. Throughout all these changes,
the tempering material continues to be grit and the sherds are of a hardness
of three or harder. This is typical of the Hopewell pottery from all sites
in this area.
Projectile points are noticeably different from those of the Shields site.
The broad corner notched types and the contracting stem types are both
rare. Small ground stone celts are quite numerous in the village refuse.
Three-quarter grooved axes are rare and their association with other artifacts
is not established.
Excerpted from the obituary of J. Mett Shippee in the The Sun
from 27 March 1985, page 6
J. Mett Shippee, who spent more than 70 years of life researching Indian
cultures to become the leading archaeologist in this area for several
decades, is dead at the age of 89 on March 26, 1985.
Mr. Shippee, a millwright, became an amateur archaeology in 1915, at
the age of 19. He opened the Kansas City area to national attention on
Archaeologists from the Smithsonian Institute came to Kansas City in
1937 to look into the enormous wealth of Indian material that lay in every
direction from the confluence of the Kansas and Missouri rivers. They
not only found a treasure of artifacts but they found Mr. Shippee.
The Northlander guided them in their search and excelled in the field
so well that he went on become one of them. For the next 40 years, he
was to work the length of the Missouri River Valley from Illinois to the
Northwest for the [Smithsonian] Institute and the University of Missouri.
A World War I Navy veteran, Mr. Shippee credited oneof his finest moments
with a ceremony in 1983 in whic Park College presented him an honorary
doctorate degree in science. He had nevered received a college degree
but had earned his way with his collegues in archaeology through his years
in the field, his discoveries and contributions to archaeology.
Mr. Shippee arrived in Kasnas City in 1907 at teh age of 11. He was born
March 6, 1896, in Greenleaf, Kansas. Kansas City depended on Mr. Shippee
for much of the work that brought the Hopewell Museum (no longer maintained
by the county) and Indian archaeological digging site to Line Creek Park.
Mr. Shippee had discovered a significant number of artifacts at the site
during the 1930s. Bulldozers ripped through the site to install sewer
lines and some of the site was salvaged, some lost, and a portion eventually