Mormon Troubles in Missouri

Missouri Historical Review
July, 1910 Vol. IV. No. 4; pages 238-250
by Heman C. Smith

The Latter Day Saints began settling in and around Independence, Missouri, in 1831. Their customs, and their religious and political attitude were not in harmony with the feelings and prejudices of their neighbors. This resulted in bitterness and opposition which in time led to friction and conflict. The Missourians deciding that the Saints were not desirable citizens determined to rid themselves of their presence by taking the law in their own hands and excluding them by force.

A mass meeting was held in Independence in April, 1833, to consult upon a plan to remove or destroy this people. This meeting was attended by about three hundred men, and the company in consequence of drinking too freely broke up in a row among themselves. The animosity still continued however and on July 18, 1833, the following document was put in circulation:

“We the undersigned, citizens of Jackson county, believing that an important crisis is at hand as regards our civil society, in consequence of a pretended religious sect of people that have settled and are still settling in our county, styling themselves Mormons, and intending as we do to rid our society “peaceably if we can, forcibly if we must,” and believing as we do that the arm of the civil law does not afford us a guarantee or at least a sufficient one against the evils which are now inflicted upon us, and seem to be increasing by the said religious sect, deem it expedient, and of the highest importance, to form ourselves into a company for the better and easier accomplishment of our purpose, a purpose which we deem it almost superfluous to say, is justified as well by the law of nature, as by the law of self-preservation.

“It is more than two years since the first of these fanatics or knaves (for one or the other they undoubtedly are) made their first appearance among us, and pretending as they did and now do to hold personal communication and converse face to face with the most High God, to receive communications and relevations direct from heaven; to heal the sick by laying on hands; and, in short, to perform all the wonder-working miracles wrought by the inspired apostles and prophets of old.

”We believed them deluded fanatics or weak and designing knaves, and that they and their pretensions would soon pass away; but in this we were deceived. The arts of a few designing leaders amongst them have thus far succeeded in holding them together as a society, and since the arrival of the first of them they have been daily increasing in numbers, and if they had been respectable citizens in society, and thus deluded they would have been entitled to our pity rather than to our contempt and hatred; but from their appearance, from their manners, and from their conduct, since their coming among us, we have every reason to fear that with but a few exceptions, they were of the very dregs of that society from which they came; lazy, idle, and vicious. This we conceive is not idle assertion, but a fact susceptible of proof, for with these few exceptions above named they brought into our country little or no property with them, and left less behind them, and we infer that those only yoked themselves to the Mormon car who had nothing earthly or heavenly to lose by the change; and we fear that if some of the leaders amongst them had paid the forfeit due to crime, instead of being chosen embassadors of the most high, they would have been inmates of solitary cells. But their conduct here stamps their characters in their true colors. More than a year since it was ascertained that they had been tampering with our slaves and endeavoring to sow dissensions and raise seditions amongst them. Of this their Mormon leaders were informed and they said they would deal with any of their members who should again in like case offend. But how specious are appearances. In a late number of the Star, published in Independence by the leaders of the sect, there is an article inciting free negroes and mulattoes from other states to become Mormons, and remove and settle among us. This exhibits them in still more odious colors. It manifests a desire on the part of their society to inflict on our society an injury that they know would be to us insupportable, and one of the surest means of driving us from the county, for it would require none of the supernatural gifts that they pretend to, to see that the introduction of such a caste amongst us would corrupt our blacks and instigate them to bloodshed.

They openly blaspheme the most High God and cast contempt on his holy religion by pretending to receive revelations direct from heaven, by pretending to speak unknown tongues by direct inspiration, and by diverse pretenses derogatory of God and religion, and to the utter subversion of human reason.

They declare openly that their God hath given them this county of land, and that sooner or later they must and will have the possession of our lands for an inheritance, and in fine they have conducted themselves on many other occasions in such a manner that we belive it a duty we owe ourselves, to our wives and children, to the cause of public morals, to remove them from among us, as we are not prepared to give up our pleasant places and goodly possessions to them, or to receive into the bosom of our families as fit companions for our wives and daughters the degraded and corrupted free negroes and mulattoes that are now invited to settle among us.

Under such a state of things even our beautiful county would cease to be a desirable residence ,and our situation intolerable! We, therefore, agree, that after timely warning and receiving an adequate compensation for what little property they can not take with them, they refuse to leave us in peace, as they found us, we agree to use such means as may be sufficient to remove them, and to that end we each pledge to each other our bodily powers, our lives, fortunes, and sacred honors.

We will meet at the court house at the town of Independence, on Saturday next, the 20th inst., to consult ulterior movements.” (1)

This was signed by several hundred names among whom were the following: Lewis Franklin, Jailer; Samuel C. Owens. County Clerk; Russell Hicks, Deputy Clerk; R. W. Cummins. Indian Agent; Jones H. Flourney, Post Master; S. D. Lucas, Colonel and Judge of the Court; Henry Childs, Attorney at law; N. K. Olmstead, M. D.; John Smith, J. P.; Samuel Weston, J. P.; William Brown, Constable; Abner F. Staples, Captain; Thomas Pitcher, Deputy Constable; Moses G. Wilson. Thomas Wilson, merchants.

It is impossible to ascertain at this late date just the proportion of truth and falsehood of which this document is composed, but one part of it is easily weighed when compared with the article published in the Evening and Morning Star to which reference is made in the foregoing document. The article as copied from the Star reads as follows:

“To prevent any misunderstanding among the churches abroad, respecting free people of color, who may think of coming to the western boundaries of Missouri, as members of the church, we quote the following clauses from the laws of Missouri:

Section 4. Be it further enacted, that hereafter no free negro or mullato, other than a citizen of some one of the United States, shall come into or settle in this State under any pretext whatever; and upon complaint made to any justice of the peace that such person is in his county, contrary to the provisions of this section, if it shall appear that such person is a free negro or mulatto, and that he hath come into this state after the passage of this act, and such person shall not produce a certificate, attested by the seal of some court of record in some one of the United States, evidencing that he is a citizen of such State, the justice shall command him forthwith to depart from this state; and in case such negro or mulatto shall not depart from the State within thirty days after being commanded so to do as aforesaid, any justice of the peace, upon complaint thereof to him made, may cause such person to be brought before him and may commit him to the common goal of the county in which he may be found, until the next term of the Circuit Court to be held in such County. And the said court shall cause such person to be brought before them and examine into the cause of commitment; and if it shall appear that such person came into the State contrary to the provisions of this act, and continued therein after being commanded to depart as aforesaid, such court may sentence such person to receive ten lashes on his or her bare back, and order him to depart from the State; and if he or she shall not depart, the same proceedings shall be had and punishment inflicted, as often as may be necessary, until such person shall depart the State.

Section 5. Be it further enacted, that if any person shall, after the taking effect of this act, bring into this state any free negro or mulatto, not having in his possession a certificate of citizenship as required by this act (he or she) shall forfeit and pay, for every person so brought, the sum of five hundred dollars, to be recovered by action of debt in the name of the State, to the use of the University, in any court having competent jurisdiction; in which action the defendant may be held to bail of right and without affidavit; and it shall be the duty of the Attorney General or Circuit Attorney of the district in which any person so offending may be found, immediately upon  information given of such offenses, to commence and prosecute an action as aforesaid.”

Slaves are real estate in this and other States, and wisdom would dictate great care among the branches of the Church of Christ, on this subject. So long as we have no special rule in the church, as to people of color, let prudence guide; and while they, as well as we, are in the hands of a merciful God we say, shun every appearance of evil.

While on the subject of law it may not be amiss to quote some of the Constitution of Missouri. It shows a liberality of opinion of the great men of the West, and will vie with that of any other State. It is good; it is just, and it is the citizens right.

4. That all men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences, that no man can be compelled to erect, support, or attend any place of worship, or to maintain any minister of the gospel or teacher of religion; that no human authority can control or interfere with the rights of conscience; that no person can ever be hurt, molested, or restrained in his religious professions or sentiments, if he do not disturb others in their religious worship.

  1. That no person, on account of his religious opinions can be rendered ineligible to any office of trust or profit under this State; that no preference can ever be given by law to any sect or mode of worship; and that no religious corporation can ever be established in this State.” (2)

This mob, for they can be considered in no other light, met as per declaration in this signed document, Saturday, July 20. 1833, and sent a committee consisting of Robert Johnson, James Campbell, Moses Wilson, Joel F. Childs, Richard Bristoe, Abner F. Staples Gan Johnson, Lewis Franklin, Russell Hicks, S. D. Lucas, Thomas Wilson, James M. Hunter, and Richard Simpson, to Edward Partridge, A. S. Gilbert, John Carroll. Isaac Morley, John Whitmer and William W. Phelps leading members of the church demanding the immediate suspension of the Evening and Morning Star and that the people of the church should forthwith remove from the country. The representatives of the church asked for three months in which to consider. This was denied. They then asked for ten days and were informed they could have but fifteen minutes. Not receiving the demanded pledge in the specified time the mob proceeded to raze to the ground the printing office and the dwelling of W. W. Phelps. Mrs. Phelps with her children, including a sick infant, were thrown into the street. The press was broken, the type pied, etc. The mob then proceeded to demolish the storehouse and destroy the goods of Gilbert, Whitney and Company. Upon Mr. Gilbert assuring them that the goods should be packed by the 23rd inst. they ceased the destruction of property and proceeded to do personal violence. They took Edward Partridge, Bishop of the church, and a Mr. Charles Allen and stripped and tarred and feathered them in the presence of the crowd before the courthouse. In a petition for redress subsequently addressed to Governor Daniel Dunklin the Saints stated their case in the following language:

“Now, therefore, for ourselves, as members of the church we declare, with the exception of poverty, which has not yet become a crime, by the laws of the land, that the crimes charged against us (so far as we are acquainted) contained in the documents above written, and those in the proceedings of the mob, as published in the Western Monitor of August 2, are not true. In relation to inviting free people of color to emigrate to this section of country, and other matters relative to our society, see the 109th, 10th and 11th pages of the Evening and Morning Star, and the Extra accompanying the same, dated July 16, which are annexed to this petition. Our situation is a critical one; we are located upon the western limits of the state, and of the United States — where desperadoes can commit outrages, and even murder, and escape, in a few minutes, beyond the reach of process; where the most abandoned of all classes from almost every State may too often pass to the Mexican states or to the more remote regions of the Rocky Mountain to escape the grasp of justice; where numerous tribes of Indians, located by the General government amid the corrupting influence of midday mobs might massacre our defenseless women and children with impunity.

Influenced by the precepts of our beloved Saviour, when we have been smitten on the one cheek we have turned the other also; when we have been sued at the law and our coat been taken, we have given them our cloak also; when they have compelled us to go with them a mile we have gone with them twain. We have bourne the above outrages without murmuring, but we can not patiently bear them any longer; according to the laws of God and man we have bourne enough. Believing with all honorable men, that whenever that fatal hour shall arrive that the poorest citizen’s property, person, or rights and privileges, shall be trampled upon by a lawless mob with impunity, that moment a dagger is plunged into the heart of the constitution, and the Union must tremble! Assuring ourselves that no republican will suffer the liberty of the press, the freedom of speech, and the liberty of conscience to be silenced by a mob, without raising a helping hand, to save his country from disgrace, we solicit assistance to obtain our rights, holding ourselves amenable to the laws of our country whenever we transgress them.

Knowing as we do that the threats of this mob, in most cases have been put into execution; and knowing also, that every officer, civil and military, with a few exceptions, has pledged his life and honor to force us from the county, dead or alive; and believing that civil process can not be served without the aid of the Executive; and not wishing to have the blood of our defenseless women and children to stain the land which has been once stained by the blood of our fathers to purchase our liberty, we appeal to the Governor for aid; asking him by express proclamation or otherwise to raise a sufficient number of troops, who with us may be empowered to defend our rights, that we may sue for damages in the loss of property — for abuse, for defamation, as to ourselves, and if advisable try for treason against the government; that the law of the land may not be defied or nullified, but peace restored to our country. And we will every pray.” (3)

The mob assembled again on the 23rd when under duress William W. Phelps, Oliver Cowdery, William E. McClellan, Edward Partridge, Lyman Wight, Simeon Carter, Peter Whitmer, John Whitmer, and Harvey Whitlock signed an agreement to leave the county with their families before the first day of January 1834, and to use their influence to induce all their brethren to remove as soon as possible one-half before the first of January, and the other half by the first day of April, 1834.

Without waiting for the fulfillment of this pledge the mob in October, 1833, again commenced perpetrating acts of personal violence and destruction of property. This resulted in a clash at arms near the Blue River west of Independence, about sundown November 4, 1833. Hugh L. Brazelle and Thomas Linville of the mob were left dead on the ground. Several were wounded on each side, one a Mr. Barber of the church party, died the next day.

These events naturally intensified the feeling of hostility and the weeks that followed were filled with deeds of horror resulting in the banishment of the Saints who took refuge in adjoining counties, principally in Clay. Efforts were made by the Saints to be re-instated or re-imbursed. Appeals were made to the Governor and to the courts but no substantial results were realized. Lilburn W. Boggs was at this time Lieut. Governor of Missouri; and for a time the Saints reposed confidence in him and looked to him for protection, but finally became convinced that he was aiding and abetting their enemies under color of using his influence to call out the militia which was composed largely of their persecutors. From the militia they received no relief but on the contrary it was used to render their sufferings more intolerable.

To follow the history of this people through the incidents of Clay, Caldwell, Daviess and adjoining counties would take too much space for the limits of this article. Passing on to 1838 at which time, the main body of the church was in Caldwell county, and had established the town of Far West we note another scene of hostility confronted the church and conflicting accusations of crime, and lawlessness filled upper Missouri with anxiety. Conflict seemed inevitable. L.W. Boggs having in the meantime been elected Governor arrayed himself with the anti-church faction, and gave orders to treat the, Mormons as public enemies. It was at this time he issued his famous exterminating order to General John B. Clark, which reads as follows:

“Headquarters Militia, City of Jefferson, Oct. 27, 1838.

Sir: — Since the order of the morning to you, directing you to cause four hundred mounted men to be raised within your division, I have received by Amos Rees, Esq., and Wiley E. Williams, Esq., one of my aids information of the most appalling character which changes the whole face of things, and places the Mormons in the attitude of open and avowed defiance of the laws, and of having made open war upon the people of this State. Your orders are therefore, to hasten your operations and endeavor to reach Richmond, in Ray county, with all possible speed. The Mormons must be treated as enemies and must be exterminated or driven from the State if necessary, for the public good. Their outrages are beyond all description. If you can increase your force you are authorized to do so, to any extent you may think necessary. I have just issued orders to Major-General Wallock, of Marion County, to raise five hundred men, and to march them to the northern part of Daviess, and there to unite with you. Doniphan, of Clay, who has been ordered with five hundred to proceed to the same point, for the purpose of intercepting the retreat of the Mormons to the north. They have been directed to communicate with you by express; you can also communicate with them if you find it necessary. Instead, therefore, of proceeding, as at first directed, to reinstate the citizens of Daviess in their homes, you will proceed immediately to Richmond, and there operate against the Mormons. Brigadier General Parks of Ray, has been ordered to have four hundred men of his brigade in readiness to join you at Richmond. The whole force Will be placed under your command. (4)

1854, from manuscript history of Joseph Smith written by himself.

L.W. BOGGS,
Governor and Commander in Chief.

To General Clark.

General A. W. Doniphan states that orders to the same effect were issued to General D. R. Atchison, who was in command of the militia in the vicinity of Far West, but he revolted and withdrew from the military force, declaring that he would be HO party to the enforcement of such inhuman commands. This left General Samuel D. Lucas in command until the arrival of General Clark. Far West prepared for defense and war was eminent. On October 30, 1838, inspired by the exterminating order of the Governor a detachment of men under the command of Captains Nehemiah Comstock, William 0. Jennings and William Gee fell upon a defenseless settlement of the Saints at Haun ‘s Mills and murdered in cold blood the entire settlement of men, women and children very few escaping. On the same day the troops approached Far West and encamped one mile from the town.

The next day General Lucas induced several of the leading men to come into his camp for the purpose of consultation, but when they arrived they were made prisoners of war without an attempt at consultation. These were Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, Parley P. Pratt, Lyman Wight, and George W. Robinson. The next day Hyrum Smith and Amasa Lyman were added to the number of prisoners. Though these men with the exception of Colonel Wight were not military men a courtmartial was called and all sentenced to be shot. Lucas issued the following urder to carry the decree into effect:

“Brigadier-General Doniphan; Sir: You will take Joseph Smith and other prisoners into the public square of Far West, and shoot them at nine o ‘clock tomorrow morning.

“SAMUEL D. LUCAS,
“Major-General Commanding.”

And he received the following reply:

To Samuel D. Lucas, Major-General Commanding:

“It is cold-blooded murder. I will not obey your order. My brigade shall march for Liberty tomorrow morning, at eight o’clock; and if you execute those men, I will hold you responsible before an earthly tribunal, so help me God!

A. W. DONIPHAN,
Brigadier-General

This so disconcerted General Lucas that the sentence was not executed. The prisoners were kept by the militia for some time then turned over to the civil courts. After being imprisoned for several months under one pretext or another they were permitted to escape with the connivance of the officers, and no effort made to apprehend them on charges then pending.

The Saints at Far West were disarmed, their property confiscated, and they were banished from the State.

On May 6, 1842, ex-Governor Boggs was assaulted by an unknown would-be assassin in his home at Independence, Missouri, and severely wounded. Mr. Orrin P. Rockwell, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints being in the town, suspicion at once attached to him. It was also suspected that Joseph Smith had sent him there for the purpose.

Based upon the affidavit of L. W. Boggs, Governor Thomas Reynolds made requisition on Governor Garlin, of Illinois, for the surrender of Joseph Smith charged with being accessor before the act. Several attempts were made to get possession of the person of Joseph Smith both by kidnapping and by civil process, all proving abortive. Joseph Smith finally went to Springfield, Illinois, and surrendered. The examination came on in December term of court before the Honorable Nathaniel Pope, after an extended examination the court handed down his decision in the following language:

“The decision of the court is that the prisoner be discharged ; and I wish it entered upon the records in such a way that Mr. Smith be no more troubled about this matter.” (6)

O.P. Rockwell was arrested in Independence, and probably had a preliminary examination, and was held awaiting the action of the Grand Jury. He escaped jail and was again apprehended. The evidence was doubtless presented to the Grand Jury and it failed to find sufficient evidence to indict him for assaulting ex-Governor Boggs, for on the third day of the August term of Circuit Court, 1843, Judge John H. Ryland presiding, the Grand Jury returned the following:

“A true bill State of Missouri against Orrin P. Rockwell, “Indictment, escaping from jail.” Court Record E, p. 166. This case came on for trial the same day. Defendant plead not guilty. Court appointed Honorable A. W. Doniphan to defend prisoner; case continued. Ibid p. 170.

Case called again sixth day of same term, defendant filed petition for change of venue, setting forth that an impartial trial can not be obtained in this circuit on account of prejudice of people.

It was ordered by the court that the case be sent to the County of Clay, 5th Judicial District, and the sheriff was ordered to deliver the body of the defendant to the sheriff or jailor of Clay county on Monday, August 21, 1843. Ibid 196-8.

William Patterson, John McCoy, Thomas Reynolds Ammon E. Crenshaw and R. C. Kennedy were each put under bonds of two hundred dollars to appear at Liberty, Missouri, on the first day of the August term of the 5th Judicial District to testify in this cause in behalf of the state. The records at Liberty disclose the following:

August 31, 1843, the case was called and Orin P. Rockwell by order of the court remanded back to the custody of the sheriff or jailer of Jackson county. Record Book G, No. 4, p. 228.

On November 24, a special term of Circuit Court was ordered to convene on December 11th for the purpose of trying this case. Ibid page 236.

The same page of the record shows that court convened as per order, the Honorable Austin A. King, presiding.

The prisoner plead not guilty in the manner and form charged, a jury was impaneled consisting of Samuel Rungo, Thomas McChives,Johnson Williams, Thomas Gardner, Fielding Buchanan, Richard Neely, James Burnaugh, Richard Brizeford, J. A. Futglin J. E. Whitsell, J. I. Atkins and Benjamin Gragg. After careful investigation the jury returned a verdict of “guilty”, and assessed the punishment at “Five minutes confinement in the County Jail.” Then the august Judge, the Honorable Austin A. King, Judge of the 5th Judicial Circuit, announced the dread sentence assessed by the jury, and so far as the records disclose the curtain fell. The presumption is that he served his sentence.

This is all there is of the often repeated story, reviewed by Mr. William M. Boggs in January number of Historical Review. When it is considered that all the machinery of the courts was in the hands of enemies of the church this whole affair about 0. P. Rockwell attempting to murder ex-Governor Boggs and Joseph Smith being accessory before the fact, partakes of the nature of a huge joke.

HEMAN C. SMITH.

————————————

  1. Evening and Morning Star, Kirkland, Ohio, December, 1833, pp. 227-228.
  2. Evening and Morning Star, Independence, Missouri, July* 1833, pp. 218-219.
  3. Evening and Morning Star, Kirkland, Ohio, December, 1833, p.
  4. Milinial Star, Liverpool, England, Vol. 16, p. 446, July 16,
  5. History of Caldwell and Livingston counties, p. 137.
  6. Times and Seasons, Nauvoo, Illinois, Jan. 2,1843, Vol. 4, p. 60.

Rules of the Road

Times change and roads change. The time for nothing but a winding path was over. As this demand for better roads or advanced “paths” continued, there was a need for restrictions and guidelines. A few of the first regulations were:

Times change and roads change. The time for nothing but a winding path was over. As this demand for better roads or advanced “paths” continued, there was a need for restrictions and guidelines. A few of the first regulations were:

(1) roads couldn‘t be less than 20 feet, nor more than 40 feet in width; (2) roads had to be cleared of trees and tree limbs which would hinder the horsemen and carriages; (3) no stump could exceed eight inches in height; (4) wet grounds and small streams had to be raised high enough or bridged in a way horsemen and carriages could cross over them safely; (5) there had to be a sign at every cross-roads or fork. The sign was to have a fingerboard directing the way and the distance to the next noticeable place in the road.

As the need for roads continued, men were needed to build them. In 1850, a history book stated all able-bodied men between the ages of 16 and 45 who’d resided in the state 60 days and in the district one month were subject to work on the roads, and when called by the road overseer were obliged to pay $1 for each day he might attend, or $2 for each day he should attend and fail to work in earnest. The law also provided for making out new roads and altering old ones for the formation of road districts.

By 1913, the Painter Good Roads Law provided for the state to maintain the roads between all county seat towns. The newly created highway department was to have general supervision over laying out this state system of roads. It also created a county highway to lay out a state road from the county seat to connect a s lad liar state road from the adjoining county sea ts In the end, Missouri was to be marked off, checkerboard style, into a system of state roads. The state was to appropriate out of the state motor car fund $15 each year to pay for the dragging of roads between the county seats.

Mormon War Disrupts Hardin Mill on Honey Creek

Remains of one of Daviess County’s early grain mills is still evident today (May, 2005) to those walking along Honey Creek, located mostly south of Gallatin. Rock debris forming a dam, wooden planks for a water run, and the remains of a log “road” to the dam site are evidence of the Hardin Mill, a business that scarcely got started before the interruption of the Mormon War.

Remains of one of Daviess County’s early grain mills is still evident today (May, 2005) to those walking along Honey Creek, located mostly south of Gallatin. Rock debris forming a dam, wooden planks for a water run, and the remains of a log “road” to the dam site are evidence of the Hardin Mill, a business that scarcely got started before the interruption of the Mormon War.

In Gallatin township of Ray County in 1830 the family of Christopher Stone moved to what later became Monroe Township of Daviess County. Christopher and his wife were about 65 years old at that time and had four sons, James, Hardin, Robert and William. They had John Stokes and John Edwards as sons-in-law. Jane Stone may have also been a daughter. She married Wesley Perman in 1840.

Hardin is reported to have been the first resident of Monroe Township and the first service by the Rev. Ellington was at Hardin’s cabin in 1833. Hardin married Judith Mann in the spring of 1832. James married Elizabeth McHaney in 1829 and William married Elizabeth McCrary in 1841. Johnathan Stone’s son Wiley was the first child born in Monroe Township. Wiley’s daughter, N.S. married Gab Cox.

Most of the Stone family built cabins “settled” near the fork of Honey Creek. Stokes north of Honey Creek and Edwards north of Mill Port.
The Stone family lived off the land for seven years before purchasing any. Hardin was the first to buy Gout land in the area when in February 1838, he purchased 160 acres in the south half of Section 8/58/27. I believe he started a mill that year on Marrowbone Creek at the northwest corner of that land. William purchased 40 acres west of the Mill location in April of 1839.

Late in 1837 to October 1838, 23 Mormon families reported to have moved into what was called the
Honey Creek settlement scattered around the Hardin Stone cabin. One of those settlers was Jabez Durfee who had worked on the Arthur Mill in Clay County and may have helped Hardin construct his mill during the summer of 1838. If so, this Mill would have been the first water mill constructed in Daviess County since the mill on Grindstone was believed to have been built in 1839.

After the Mormons departed in late 1838 there may have been less need for a mill at this location; however, court records note the Hardin Stone Mill in 1842 and 1851, but the location was confused. We don’t know if the mill was just for sawing logs or was a general purpose mill or much else about it. In the 1850 Census, Christopher Stone was living with his son William and the record shows him as 85 years old, born in South Carolina about 1765. Christopher’s son James was reported to have moved to Awbrey Grove at the time that Thomas Awbrey moved there in 1834.Current records show no person with the last name Stone are in our local yellow book. William Stone and wife are buried in the McCrary Cemetery and Jonathan’s family are with markers in the Lile Cemetery.

Apple Orchard Records Reveals Ag History

In the early years of Daviess County, many orchards were developed. This is a detailed record of one orchard once located a mile west of Civil Bend. Learning about it offers some understanding of local ag history. The records were kept by Edward Smith from 1890 through 1905.

In the early years of Daviess County, many orchards were developed. This is a detailed record of one orchard once located a mile west of Civil Bend. Learning about it offers some understanding of local ag history. The records were kept by Edward Smith from 1890 through 1905.

Edward Smith was born in Indiana in 1846 and came to Daviess County at age 11. His father, Daniel, came to the area in 1857 with his seven sons. Edward, at age 16, joined the Union army in Company C 33rd Regt. E.M.M. in July 1862 and also served in Company A 4th Prov. Mo. Militia and Company H 43 Regt. Mo. Vols. Inft. from which he was discharged June 20, 1865. Edward married Sara Bristow from Gallatin. Her father died in the war serving the Union. The last of their eight children, Alton, died in 1979.

Edward farmed part of his father’s land and by 1985 he owned 220 acres just west of Civil Bend. Ed also loaned money to family and neighbors during his orchard years, and these records also survived in family records. His records end when he turned the land over to two daughters.

By 1906 Ed had sold 2400 bushels of peaches and had sales each year after 1895 except for 1899, 1902 and 1904 — years of crop failure. By 1906 Smith had sold 9,045 bushels of apples, including the big apple crop year of 1904 with a yield of 4,000 bushels when prices averaged 25 cents a bushel (obviously, many others also had bumper apple crops for sale). In 1901 and 1903 Smith got 80 cents for a bushel of apples.

In 1890 Smith planted 375 Ben Davis apple trees, and 550 more the next year plus 50 Jonathan trees. The trees cost about 7 cents each and were purchased in Gallatin from Alexander and Howell. Fifteen trees were replaced in 1894 of the Ben Davis type. The peaches were probably Conover Free Stones and were started from seed. The number of peach trees was unreported, but the apple orchard must have had about 975 trees. Edward planted corn between the trees until 1895 when he seeded the orchard to clover and then to bluegrass in 1900.

Smith’s recorded sales for 15 years was $5,200 in corn, hay, peaches and apples. His recorded cost was $973.60. Cost of picking labor and baskets must have been about 5 cents per bushel. The price of peaches ran from 71 cents per bushel in 1897 to $1.25 per bushel in 1905.

Written by David Stark, Gallatin, published in the Gallatin North Missourian on March 29, 1995

First Settlers Found a Hunter’s Delight

The following reveals life as known to settlers who first entered into this region, before Daviess County was organized out of Ray County. Pioneers who came to stay in the old Ray District, landed on the east bank of Crooked River in August, 1815. The land was beautiful but unpolished by the hand of Englishmen. The Indians, however just, were not desirous of being made perfect, so peace was throughout this new land. The first came by land in Virginia wagons with not-so-white canvas, drawn by a spike team (three horses). The driver was seated on the rear left horse. The hunting life of these families in the first few years is the focus of this writing.

The following reveals life as known to settlers who first entered into this region, before Daviess County was organized out of Ray County. Pioneers who came to stay in the old Ray District, landed on the east bank of Crooked River in August, 1815. The land was beautiful but unpolished by the hand of Englishmen. The Indians, however just, were not desirous of being made perfect, so peace was throughout this new land. The first came by land in Virginia wagons with not-so-white canvas, drawn by a spike team (three horses). The driver was seated on the rear left horse. The hunting life of these families in the first few years is the focus of this writing.

The wagons held a few tools and many children. The first hunt was for a good place to build a cabin. The only livestock was horses, but they needed an enclosure for safety during the night. They were staked out or turned out during the day to find their own feed. A nearby meadow was nice for this purpose. A near prairie was nice for hunting trips, and a grove of fine trees for logs, firewood and fences was the result of the first hunt.

The early history book of Howard and Chariton counties contains the following: "When the settlers first came to this country, wild game of all kinds were very abundant and so tame as not to be easily frightened at the approach of white men. This game furnished the settlers with all their meat and, in fact, with all the provisions they used, for most of the time they had little else but meat. There were large numbers of animals and, to use the expression of an old settler, ‘…they could be killed as easily as sheep are now killed in our pasture.’

"The settlers spent most of their time in hunting and fishing, as it was no use to plant crops to be destroyed by wild game. Small game such as squirrels, rabbits, and partridges swarmed around the homes of the frontiersmen in such numbers that when they did attempt to raise a crop of any kind, in order to save a part of it they were forced to kill them in large numbers. The only use of corn, of which they planted very little, was to make bread, and bread made of corn was the only kind they ever had."

Ray District settlers called their place the Buffalo Settlement, since it was frequented by herds of that animal with at least 60 in each herd. This place is near Hardin in Carroll County.

The hunters’ clothes were deerskin breeches, shirts and moccasins. Their heads were topped by coonskin caps. The wife had leather aprons over a flax or nettle dress. Venison hams were cured for winter use. Wild hogs were in the woods for pork and oil. Fish were taken by night gigging; scalps of wolves and foxes were collected to pay taxes. Furs, deerskins, beeswax and honey were saved for barter or for "land office money" in case the hunter wanted to own his land, which wasn’t often.

A land office was set up opposite Boonville in Cooper County’s bottom in 1818. General Thomas A. Smith and Charle Carroll started sales on Nov. 18, 1818. Doe skins and beeswax were good for payment.

Ray County history lists the animals as follows: "The panther, bear, jackal, lynx, wildcat, catamount, wolf and fox" were all considered destructive; "myriads of wild turkeys" ate up the "little corn fields. The streams are full of fish. Bixon browsed on the prairie, and elk and deer were abroad in the forest."

The lynx cat included the bobcat (Lynx rufus) and the larger, fierce wildcat (Lynx Lynx). The jackal referred to was probably the pack hunter coyote (Canis Latrans) and the gray wolf (Canis Lupus) was the wolf. Foxes included the gray (Tree Fox) and the smaller Kit Fox. The bear was the black (Ursus Americanus). The catamount was the mountain lion (Felis concolor). The panther must be the Texas jaguar called a jaguarundy or black (dark gray) leopard, a night hunter and very much an avoider of man. The elk was the Wapiti or white rump (Cervus elaphus).

In the winter of 1837-38, Gallatin’s great hunter was perhaps William C. Atkinson, who supplied Jacob Stollings and his boarding house ranch. Stolling paid 10 cents for chicken turkeys and 25 cents for grown ones. Atkinson supplied 180 turkeys and venison and fish. He reports a count of 366 deer taken during his life in Daviess County (1837-1882).

Atkinson reported kiling 62 wildcats and 16 wolves, paying his and his neighbor’s taxes with his trusty rifle. He lived at a place called "The Rocks" on Splawn’s Ridge. He took 300 moccasins from one den on the bluffs, of the large and small varieties. The big ones had 15 to 20 rattles. He described them as big spotted with yellow bellies. He also reported that he killed one panther and found as many as 52 bee trees in one fall. He recorded maple sugar sold at $1,600. He said he lost track of his total on turkey.

John Aubrey is reported to have taken the last black bear in Daviess County, using a horse and club.

Written by David Stark, Gallatin; published Oct. 20, 1993, in the Gallatin North Missourian. Further information on pp 155 and 627 in the 1882 Daviess County History book.

The Long Lost Mills of Daviess County

Much of the time spent by early county court judges was in ordering and approving early roads. These trails ran from historic place to historic place in nearly a direct line. Many of these locations were mills. The records, however, do not describe the power source for some of the mills, nor the work done at the mill such as sawing, milling, grinding, carding, grain separating or cleaning, etc. The exact site of some of the places has been lost. The descriptions given, if any, are not clear in current terminology. The following is a list of 22 mills in Daviess County, about which little more is known.

Much of the time spent by early county court judges was in ordering and approving early roads. These trails ran from historic place to historic place in nearly a direct line. Many of these locations were mills. The records, however, do not describe the power source for some of the mills, nor the work done at the mill such as sawing, milling, grinding, carding, grain separating or cleaning, etc. The exact site of some of the places has been lost. The descriptions given, if any, are not clear in current terminology. The following is a list of 22 mills in Daviess County, about which little more is known.

  1. Taylor McCully Mill 1839: This mill was construced by Jacob Groomer before 1840. The last reference was in 1860 when it was owned by Mary McCully. The first county trail northwest of Gallatin went to this site. This may be the first water-powered mill built in Daviess County. It was located in the west half of the southwest quater of Section 15 (T60N-R29W) and sold to Taylor McCully in August, 1839.
  2. Matthew Patton Mill 1841: This mill was first noted on May 10, 1841, when Charles Yates requested a Dram Shop license there. In June 1841 a road to the place was requested and approved by the court in December. The last reference found was in May 1847 when it was called the Sevier Mill. It was on North Big Creek, at the location of old town Pattonsburg.
  3. Lewis Watson Mill 1841: This mill was on North Big Creek just north of "Dry Deer Lick" at the southeast quarter of Section 16 (T61N-R28W). It was sold to Jonathon Watson in 1849 and last referenced in 1859.
  4. Cypress Creek Mill 1841: Location is not known. This mill may have also been called the Wlirte’s Mill when last noted in 1844.
  5. Harris Mill 1842: The only reference seems to place it in the northeast part of Daviess County.
  6. Hardin Stone Mill 1842: The mill was south of Gallatin on Marrow Bone Creek near the trail to Richmond. (See Mill #11)
  7. Jeremiah Lenhart Horse Mill 1842: This mill was reported in other records, in Monroe Township.
  8. Haptonstall’s Mill 1847: This mill was first called Haptins Falls Mill, near a place later called Alta Vista. It was also called the Smith Mill, Happenstall Mill, and the JMeremiah Lenhart Mill in 1858 and 1859. It has been reported to have been built by Vincent Smith in 1845 and burned in November, 1860. It was probably located on Lazy Creek in Section 19 (T59N-R29W) near an old road to Maysville.
  9. Gay’s Mill 1847: This mill was once reported on Mill Seat Branch in the northwest part of Daviess County.
  10. Barnett Dilley Mill 1851: The mill was on Sampson Creek near the trail from old Pattonsburg to Gentryville. It may have been built by William Patton in 1850 and was also called Cooper’s Mill in 1854 and Taylor’s Mill in 1856.
  11. Hardin Stone Mill 1851: This mill was reported once on Honey Creek south of Gallatin in December 1851. The exact location may be mistaken.
  12. Shriver’s Mill 1853: The mill is reported on Grand River and site is now known as "Mill Dam." It may have been constructed by Samuel Crews and was sold to Andrew Shriver in May, 1854. It was mapped as the Daviess County Milling Company in 1876; it was first called the Shriver and Scott’s Mill in July, 1854.
  13. Jackson Township Mill 1854
  14. Netherton and Isaac’s Steam Mill 1856: This mill was reported on the west of the southeast corner of Section 12 (T61N-R26W) and near John and Harry Netherton’s land in 1859 and 1860.
  15. Craig’s Mill 1857: This may have been built by Uriah Craig on Dog Creek near Pool Ford (Surface Ford) on the trail from Gallatin to Mirabile.
  16. Liarley’s Mill 1857: This may have first been called Dave Brown’s Fish Trap in 1856 but known as Youtsey’s Mill on the Grand River in 1857. In 1865 the mill was on the trail from Salem to the Old Union Meeting Houts. May have been owned by Solomon "Lierley" who came to Lincoln Township in Daviess County from Illinois in 1856.
  17. Weldon’s Saw Mill 1857: Once reported near Haw Branch Ford, south of Honey Creek.
  18. Thornton S. Talbot Mill 1858: This mill was on the old bed of the Grand River where the trail from "Greasey" to Breckenridge crossed. The last reference was made in 1860.
  19. Steven’s Mill 1859: This mill was reported in 1859 on South Big Creek near Grand River.
  20. C.E. Morton Steam Saw Mill 1859: Reportedly located near Honey Creek south of Gallatin in 1859 and shown on the William Lewis land Section 4 (T58N-R27W) on the 1876 plat.
  21. Hill’s Steam Mill 1860: Reportedly at Aubrey Grove
  22. Weldon’s Mill 1862: Located on an old bed of the Grand River at Hobb’s Ferry in 1862. It was at Weldon’s Ford in 1863 and in 1864 Benedict Weldon was assessed for a $300 steam mill (no location given).

These "unknown" mills are in addition to the more widely known mills, such as the David Groom Mill, the Butler-Lewis Mill, and the Robert Peniston Horse Mill. There were also three steam saw mills shown on the 1876 plat pages not included in the list above. Since there were no new mills found in the records up through 1865, research on this topic ceased with 1865.

Researched by David Stark, Gallatin; first published in the Gallatin North Missourian on March 7, 1990

Daviess County’s “Temporary” Courthouse

In March 1838, the county judges of Daviess County ordered the building of a new jail ($400) and a courthouse ($6,000). The judges were John Freeman, Vincent Smith and Joshiah Moran. Judge Moran had replaced William Morgan on the court on Aug. 7, 1837. The bids for the buildings were to be taken May 25, 1838. A “temporary” courthouse — largely unnoticed and forgotten in county history — was opened in Gallatin on July 17, 1839, and was first put in use on Aug. 24, 1839. This first “temporary” courthouse was in use from Aug. 24, 1839, to Sept. 5, 1842.

In March 1838, the county judges of Daviess County ordered the building of a new jail ($400) and a courthouse ($6,000). The judges were John Freeman, Vincent Smith and Joshiah Moran. Judge Moran had replaced William Morgan on the court on Aug. 7, 1837. The bids for the buildings were to be taken May 25, 1838. A “temporary” courthouse — largely unnoticed and forgotten in county history — was opened in Gallatin on July 17, 1839, and was first put in use on Aug. 24, 1839. This first “temporary” courthouse was in use from Aug. 24, 1839, to Sept. 5, 1842.

The selection of Gallatin as the “seat of justice” for Daviess County had been made in November, 1837. Gallatin then included all of the northwest quarter of Section 20 (T59W-R27N). Gallatin lots were authorized to be sold starting Jan. 8, 1838, for $12 each with one or two years credit allowed. That would have been $96 per square block.

Gallatin was just beginning. On March 26, 1838, the county court issued the first busienss license for Gallatin which was for Jacob Stallings to sell wine and liquors in his Dram shop.

On June 5, 1838, the court ordered a general election to be held in Gallatin on Aug. 6, 1838. White male taxed freeholders would be allowed to vote, which was the normal Missouri state law.

On June 18, 1838, the court met at John Freeman’s residence to replace John A. Williams as county treasurer since Williams had resigned. Elisha B. Creekmore wAs selected to take that office.

After the election, the new county judges took office on Aug. 24, 1838. They were James Wilson and Adam Black with Merisether Green presiding. In September, the court sold a grocery license to Stallings for Gallatin.

On Thursday and Friday, Oct. 18-19, 1838, the Stallings’ businesses were looted and burned. The county treasury and Creekmore records were taken by force. Stallings soon reopened for business, renewed his liquor license in December and Patrick Lynch was sold a Galaltin merchandise license to run for six months.

In December, 1838, the county court met at Elisha Creekmore’s cabin since there were no houses in Gallatin. Tobias Miller got a dram shop license for Gallatin in January, 1839.

The contract at the courthouse that went to Tom Awbrey and Robert and William Peniston was rescinded March 6, 1839. In April, M.T. Green got a grocery license for Gallatin.

On June 4, 1839, the court ordered John B. Comer to have the jail done by Christmas. William Morgan, county collector, reported collections of $126.45 of $460.30 assessed, and he got $27.50 for his work. By July, Adam Clendenen also had a legal dram shop in Gallatin. In August, William Livcy got a dram shop license.

In December 1839, Treasurer Creekmore was replaced (because of bad record keeping) by Adam Clendenen. The court paid a $50 bill for a Franklin stove that was purchased for the temporary courthouse. New plans for the courthouse constuction were made, and the cost estimate was increased to $8,000.

Charles Blakely was deputy sheriff and Jesse Blakely was appointed as the 1840 assessor. John Comer was given another year to complete the jail and advanced $200 at 2% interest. Morgan had resigned as sheriff in September and was replaced by Pinkerton, who was succeeded by Marshell K. Howell on Jan. 10, 1840.

In February 1840 Daniel Smoot got a dram shop license for Gallatin. In March 1840, Richard Grant’s petition to move the seat of justice from Gallatin to Cravensville was rejected for lack of support. The court ordered that the new courthouse be placed under contract in May, 1840, and was to be completed in two years. The court ordered that the general election be held at Gallatin’s temporary courthouse with polls open for two days.

The county paid $631.75 to Clay County for jail services and in December 1840, the county paid the ferry fee for 47 Missouri State Militia to cross and recross the Grand River on O.W. Smith’s Ferry. The expense was paid for the militia to parade in Gallatin.

The jail (located on Lot 1 and 2 along North Main Street today) was accepted by Daviess County on March 3, 1841, at a cost of $600; $12.75 was paid for jail bedding.

In March, 1842, the court met at the temporary courthouse in Gallatin and ordered that the temporary courthouse and all other unsold lots in Galaltin be sold at auction. The people who had paid for the temporary courthosue were to be repaid after one year. Isaac Lawson got a new dram shop license for Gallatin.

In April and May, 1842, the court noted that the walls of the new courthouse were higher than was contracted. Two additional windows were added to the east side of the courthosue for $40. Blankets for the jail were purchased for $10.13 and O.B. Richardson was given a dram shop license for Gallatin.

In June 1842, the court met at the temporary courthouse and orderd (June 7, 1842) that a public well be constructed near the new courthouse. In August a $17 lightning rod was ordered to be put on the new courthosue by the builder, Joseph S. Nelson. The new courthouse was completed and first placed into use on Sept. 5, 1842. A payment was made to Nelson at that time of $4,914.19. In December, 1842, $40 was paid to Robert Lawson for courthouse furniture. Nelson was not given final payment for his work until Nov. 15, 1845.

Written by David Stark, Gallatin, for the Gallatin North Missourian printed March 14, 1990.

Stalling’s Ford the Site of First River Bridge

One of the very earliest trails approved by the Daviess County judges was the Gallatin-to-Utica road which ran along the south and west side of the Grand River. There are reports that an old trail used by Indians ran northwest from Utica along the river highlands and crossed over the river to the bluffs at Lock Springs. The Gallatin-to-Utica trail was approved in May, 1838.

One of the very earliest trails approved by the Daviess County judges was the Gallatin-to-Utica road which ran along the south and west side of the Grand River. There are reports that an old trail used by Indians ran northwest from Utica along the river highlands and crossed over the river to the bluffs at Lock Springs. The Gallatin-to-Utica trail was approved in May, 1838.

The road from Gallatin to Chillicothe ran along the flood plain north and east of the wide Grand River bottom. As the smaller streams put their flow into the Grand, the places to cross over the bottom prairie got wetter and wider. This wet prairie was over 5 miles wide at some places.

Early federal maps show that the land south of Osborn Lake was not suitable for sale. Swamp land and inundated land ran for 5-1/2 miles to the east and 1-1/2 miles to the south. This big “pool” received the waters of Grand River, the flow of water from Big Muddy Creek, Clear Creek, Lick Fork Creek and other branches.

Water from Big Muddy created a large island in the center of Grand River’s old channel two miles west of present Lock Springs, MO. This area was full of fish, waterbirds, and other water animals — surely enough meat and skins for all residents’ needs for 100 years.

Jacob Stallings was a Gallatin businessman (1838-46) when a trail was made to cross Grand River above the bottom prairie. His last business was the Mansion House Inn and Tavern (licensed June, 1843); G.M. Peck joined in this business in July 1844, and Henry Whittington joined them in 1845 and then took over the business with Jonathan E. Mann in 1846-47.

Stallings obtained a ferry license for the place called the Orr Ford (noted in the county records from March 18, 1845) on Feb. 10, 1848. In October 1845 the county approved a trail from Richmond to the Orr Ford to Trenton. That road was to be 60 feet wide, then the widest trail in Daviess County.

On Aug. 7, 1848, Judge John A. Tuggle and Tobias Miller ordered Dr. John Cravens, John P. Lutz, John Mann and George W. Moore to work with James McFerran to select the “most suitable point for the erection of a bridge across the west fork of Grand River” to draft a plan “for the bridge” and “estiamte the cost.” In September 1848, the county approved a “road” from Stallings Ferry to the Edward L. Ellis residence at the Harrison County line. On Jan. 1, 1849, McFerran was made commissioner to let a contract for the bridge, “Trestle Plan A,” near the Stallings Ferry.

The bridge contract was to state that “the mudsills” (wooden beams on the river bottom) are to be firmly secured in the bed of the river, by large rocks placed upon them and the banks of the river, particularly the west bank, must be well riprapped with rock at least two feet in depth, extending from the top of the bank to low water mark, and running up and down the river, for a space of at least 30 feet, to prevent the banks from washing. The timber used to be of the best quality, white oak, burr oak, walnut, or locust may be used, but none other, in constructing the bridge.

“The contract (for the bridge) to be let to the lowest bidder, by public outcry, in front of the courthouse door. Notice of letting to be published in the Grand River Chronicle for four weeks, and written notice to be set up in each municipal township of the county. The price to be paid is not to exceed $2,000.”

Andrew Shriver was awarded the contract on June 4, 1849, and he received $650 advance payment from the Internal Improvement Fund (ITF) on that day. Lutz, Moore and McFerran were paid $5 each for their work from the same fund.

On Sept. 3, 1849, the court reported that the road from Stallings Ferry to Harrison County was to be “cut out” and “opened 30 feet wide.” In February 1850, Shriver received a progress payment of $400 and on June 4, 1850, he received $275 from the ITF. The court approved an extension for a completion date of Aug. 1, 1851.

The bridge was completed by this date at Stallings Ferry (southeast corner of Section 6, T58N-R26W). The west end of the bridge would have been on land owned today by Jack and Mildred Young. Mr. Young states that there is no noticeable evidence of the bridge or of the Talbot Mill that was constructed there in 1858.

This was the first bridge across the Grand River in Daviess County. It was also the first bridge to wash away. By August, 1853, a second Grand River bridge was being planned for Adkinson Ford.

Jacob Stallings reportedly left the county in May, 1852. The first bridge built here was guaranteed for four years and the builder was bonded. In 1854 Mr. Shriver had a mill at “Mill Dam” outside Gallatin, so he didn’t appear to suffer financially when the bridge washed away.

Andrew Shriver was born near Dayton, OH, in 1815 and married Nancy Ann Ellis Caldwell in 1836 in Tippecanoe County, IN. He served as sheriff in Daviess County, MO, from 1862-66 and resided here over 30 years. He left Missouri in 1881 to live at his son’s ranch near Lytton Springs, CA, until his death in 1904.

Written by David Stark, Gallatin, for publication in the Gallatin North Missourian

First River Bridge also Scene of a Killing

Jacob Stallings got into the ferry business in 1848 at the old Orr Ford on Grand River (SE 1/4, Sec. 6, T58N-R26W). This site was a crossroads for travelers from Richmond, Bethany, Trenton, Gallatin and Greasy as well as connections from the Utica road over the Grand River to the Chillicothe road. Daviess County’s first bridge over the Grand River was placed at this location in late 1851, but it soon washed away.

Jacob Stallings got into the ferry business in 1848 at the old Orr Ford on Grand River (SE 1/4, Sec. 6, T58N-R26W). This site was a crossroads for travelers from Richmond, Bethany, Trenton, Gallatin and Greasy as well as connections from the Utica road over the Grand River to the Chillicothe road. Daviess County’s first bridge over the Grand River was placed at this location in late 1851, but it soon washed away.

In 1854-55 Judge Thornton S. Talbot and wife, Julia, purchased land 200 yards south of the crossing on the west side of the old river bed. The Thorntons and John T. Dougherty established a grinding and saw mill at the place about 1855.

After the bridge failure, Jacob S. Rogers Jr., operated the Stallings Ford Ferry (1852-59). Jacob (Nath) Snyder lived and worked with his family at the mill. Snyder’s house was provided by the mill owners. Within a mile (west) the Packwood family resided. In the spring of 1856 trouble was starting between Larkin Packwood and the mill owners.

Mr. Packwood claimed that the mill owners had lost his corn and sacks at the mill and would not replace them. Larkin was reported as saying that Talbot and Dougherty had “stole his hogs and corn” and he was going to “kill them as a parcel of dogs.” However, this doesn’t sound anything like what later took place at the mill. Larkin was also reported to have said, “he would have satisfaction by fair or by foul means.”

About mid-morning on March 9, 1856, Larkin went to the mill to Jacob Snyder’s house to return borrowed coffee to Mrs. Snyder. At the mill (within 100 yards) were the Snyders, Judge Talbot (with a double-barrel shotgun), John Dougherty (with a heavy 3-foot stick), Jim Talbot (with some kind of small bore gun), Richard Hale and Andrew Arnold.

Mr. Snyder saw trouble coming, so he called his wife out of the cabin, leaving Larkin there by himself. Mr. Dougherty took it upon himself to run Larkin off and give him a beating. Dougherty went into the house with his stick and soon came out behind Packwood on the run. Dougherty was right behind Larkin and hitting him with the stick.

Dougherty pursued Packwood north to the edge of the woods, about 50 yards, where Larkin turned around and struck Dougherty once with a knife. Packwood kept on running and did not offer to repeat the stroke of his knife. As he was stabbed, Dougherty hollered “Oh, Lord!” and threw the club after Packwood. Two or more guns were fired from the mill at Packwood running away.

Jim Talbot, on horseback, pursued Larkin up by the lake (Packwood Lake) and shot at Larkin who was dodging behind the forest trees. Andrew Arnold went for the doctor to help Dougherty but Dougherty died of his wound in about an hour.

Dr. Dewey treated Packwood that evening and stated that Larkin was bleeding freely and spitting up blood from a gunshot wound in his side. Larkin had been shot through one lung but recovered. Dr. Dewey reported that Larkin had 11 severe bruises on his back and shoulders.

The Packwood family living on Packwood Bluff prepared for “mob justice.” A spy, sent by the family, returend to the mob indicating that if Larkin was taken from the bluff, someone other than a Packwood was going to get hurt.

The sheriff was Meriwether T. Green. He held Larkin at the old pit jail in Gallatin. Larkin was tried in April, 1857, in Caldwell County (change of venue) and found guilty of the murder of John Dougherty in the first degree.

The ruling was overturned in favor of Packwood in January, 1858, by the Supreme Court at Jefferson City. The higher court ruled that Larkin had neither used any language nor did any act or in any way whatever — actively or passively — so conducted himself as to provoke a difficulty and had acted in self-defense in using the knife.

Packwood was discharged and moved to Ray County to reside there. The Talbots operated the mill for another 10 years and sold the place to Richard Hale.

Packwood Lake and Packwood Bluff are near the old ferry and mill location in the northwest corner of Harrison Township. Remains of the Packwood residence may still be found on the bluff overlooking Grand River.

In 1856 a new bridge was built northeast of Gallatin. This reduced the activity past the old Orr Ford (Stallings Ford) location. Packwood Lake is nearly gone now, but no evidence of the mill or the crossing of the old river bed can be found.

Written by David Stark, Gallatin, taken from the 1882 Daviess County History Book, for publication in the Gallatin North Missourian

The Last Pioneer Killed by Indians in NW Missouri

The first permanent settlers in Daviess County came to stay around 1830. This followed the last important Indian battle in Northwest Missouri, which occurred in July, 1818, when six Osage ndians (without guns) were shot and killed near Orrick. History records no Indian difficulties in Daviess County. But if you journey down river and back in time to 1810, you’ll discover an historic pioneer Indian problem in Northwest Missouri: the Boone’s Lick Country War.

The first permanent settlers in Daviess County came to stay around 1830. This followed the last important Indian battle in Northwest Missouri, which occurred in July, 1818, when six Osage ndians (without guns) were shot and killed near Orrick. History records no Indian difficulties in Daviess County. But if you journey down river and back in time to 1810, you’ll discover an historic pioneer Indian problem in Northwest Missouri: the Boone’s Lick Country War.

The best summary of this “war” of 1810-14 is told by the Rev. J.M. Peck in his memoirs, written in 1819. Remember that the Territory of Missouri north of the Missouri River was called St. Charles County or district until 1812; Howard County was formed in 1816 (Ray County or district, from which later came Daviess County, was formed in 1821 just as Missouri became a state).

Howard District was nearly 22,000 square miles and included a part of Iowa and all the west side of the Osage River in south Missouri. The district extended westward to the mouth of the Kansas River at the present Kansas City.

The Missouri River area west of the present Jefferson City was called Boone’s Lick Country. There were no pioneers who came to stay until Lt. Col. Benjamin Cooper Sr. and his family moved upriver in early 1808. Territory Gov. Merriwether Lewis ordered them to move back to Loutre Island, about 4 miles below the entrance of the Gasconade River. They stayed there until spring 1810.

Indian troubles started near the Loutre River settlement in July, 1810. A small band of Potawatomie Indians took some horses and supplies from there and were followed by six settlers to Boone’s Lick (8 miles northwest of New Franklin, S4-T49-R17) in the present day Boone County. The settlers recovered some of the property.

The night before starting the return trip, however, the settlers were raided. William T. Cole was killed as were two other settlers and four Indians. Cole’s brother, Stephen, was wounded.

This small battle seems to have resulted in a military response into the area west of Cedar Creek in 1810 and 1811. Gen. Henry S. Dodge, then major of the battalion, was in command of the soldiers and Col. Cooper led the backwoodsmen. Other principal officers were Capt. Sarshall Cooper, William Head, Stephen Cole, Capt. John Thompson from St. Louis, Capt Daughterty of Caope Girardeau, and Capt. Edward Hempstead. Major Dodge also had Delaware and Shawnee Indians in his battalion, a force of mounted troops.

Col. Cooper headed Cooper’s Fort, built on the bottom prairie where he tried to settle in 1808. Fort McLane was built on the bluff a mile west of where new Franklin was later constructed. Kincaid’s Fort was put near the river about a mile and a half up from the Old Franklin site. Head’s Fort was put near Moniteau Creek at the end of the old trace from St. Charles.

Cole’s Fort was made on the south side of the Missouri River, about a mile below the present Boonville. William Cole’s widow and children settled there soon after the murder of her husband.

It is told that in the spring of 1812, tribes from Lake Michigan including Sauk, Fox, Kickapoo and Potawatomie were supplied and encouraged by the British Limie Torie Government to aid its war against American citizens. The war began to get hot in the Boone County area in 1812. Some battle casualties were:

— Jonathan Todd and Thomas Smith of Fr. McLane, killed with several Indians near Thrall’s Prairie

— two Indians, killed by James Cole and James Davis, while trying to keep settlers from returning safely to Cole’s Fort

— William Campbell killed by Quapaw Indians 5 miles northwest of Boonville in July 1812; his companion, Adam McCoul, escaped to warn settlement forces. Col. Cooper and Major Dodge led 500 frontiersmen and regular soldiers in pursuit and 180 Quapaws surrendered near the Missouri River and were taken to St. Louis as prisoners of war

— Braxton Cooper Jr., killed in September, 1813, by Indians 2 miles northwest of New Franklin while cutting logs to build a cabin

— Joseph Still of Fort McLane, killed on the Chariton River in October, 1813, but no circumstances were known except that it was probably the work of Indians

— William McLane, killed near Moniteau Creek in October 1813, after being pursued from the Fayette area by a band of Indians estimated at 150 in number

— Capt. Sarshall Cooper, killed April 14, 1814, by a gunshot through a hole in his cabin wall; this murder may have been done by Frenchmen whom the captain had stoppped from supplying whiskey, powder and shot to Indians

Others killed in the area of Boone’s Lick by Indians were Sgt. Samuel McMahan of Fort Cooper, William Gregg of Fort Cooper, John Smith and James (John) Busby, both probably of Fort Cooper.

The last death mentioned in this was a black man namd Joe who belonged to Samuel Brown of Fort McLane. Joe was killed 3/4-mile east of the present Estill in Boone County. Thus, the last reported pioneer settler killed in Northwest Missouri was during the Boone’s Lick Country War in 1814. This was approximately 16 years before the start of the settlement of Daviess County and 7 years before the old Ray County district was formed.

Written by David Stark, Gallatin, for the Gallatin North Missourian published Sept. 29, 1993.

“Fort Gallatin” Defends Against the Indians

Daviess Countians today don’t often think of this area as being among the Old West areas threatened by Indian attack. History records, however, state that a fort was once built east of Gallatin for that very reason. Settlers here in 1832 constructed a blockhouse and palisade fort where the families could be protected in case of attack.

Daviess Countians today don’t often think of this area as being among the Old West areas threatened by Indian attack. History records, however, state that a fort was once built east of Gallatin for that very reason. Settlers here in 1832 constructed a blockhouse and palisade fort where the families could be protected in case of attack.

According to an account written by David L. Kost (a state representative from Daviess County in the 1870s), the fort was located on land once owned by the late John Merritt. It is almost directly east of Gallatin on high ground, overlooking a big bend in the Grand River (land farmed today by Tim Osborn). Kost writes the following:

“In the year 1832 occurred the Black Hawk War, having its chief field of operations in Illinois but extending its baleful influence through the entire northern part of our state. Black Hawk organized a strong band of Sacs, Fox, and Winnebagoes and asserted his determination to drive white settlers from the frontier.

“At first he was successful in battle, but at last was disastrously defeated and captured. Our county shared the general excitement. A blockhouse and palisade fort (walls made of upright logs) was built on the John Merritt farm to which settlers might repair in case of alarm; Theodore Peniston and a dozen more of the young men joined the volunteers who were scouring the countryside to prevent an invasion of Indians from Iowa.”

As far as this segment of history goes, there is no mention that the fort ever had to be used. No one recalls seeing the fort or ever uncovering any traces of the days when Daviess County was a bona fide frontier, complete with Red men on the warpath.

Researched by David Stark, for publication in the Gallatin North Missourian

Millport — Site of First Election in Daviess County

John Splawn’s house was used in the first county election, according to the writings of Rep. David L. Kost, a state representative from Daviess County in the 1870s. The beginnings of Millport marked many firsts for Daviess County.

John Splawn’s house was used in the first county election, according to the writings of Rep. David L. Kost, a state representative from Daviess County in the 1870s. The beginnings of Millport marked many firsts for Daviess County.

In 1831 Robert P. Penniston, Sr., his wife, Nancy, and their family settled on 80 timbered acres in Union Township on Splawn Ridge (S 1/2 of NW 1/4 Sec. 23). Their neighbors joyfully assisted in raising a cabin for them, which was the custom of the times. These neighbors probably included John and Mulberry Splawn, Thomas Edwards, Thomas Awbery, Leven Brookshear, William Runnels, William Morgan, John Tarwater and others who had preceded them to this area.

John Splawn’s house was used in the first county election; John was on the first county jury and refused the job as first county assessor. William Morgan was to have been one of the first county judges but apparently lost his commission from the governor, and later lost his job as sheriff when he lost some important prisoners.

During the next seven years Robert Penniston’s farm was to become the location of the first town in the county. Robert built a horse mill on his west 40 acres in 1832 and around this mill was developed the Millport community. For several years this was the only place to get freshly ground grain and meal north of Richmond.

Millport was on a well-traveled north/south trail on Splawn Ridge, four miles north of the James Hunter ferry at the mouth of Honey Creek on Grand River. There were two fords to the west on the Grand, Smith ford southwest and Atkinson ford to the northwest.

Millport was laid out as a town in 1836, the same year of the forming of the Daviess County government. By the spring of 1837, the town of Millport had 10 dwelling houses, post office, the mill, six stores and a school.

The second meeting of the county court was at the Millport school. This school was in the dwelling house of Ira Norris, Mr. Norris being the teacher. Students would come from as far as 15 miles away to attend school there.

The court meeting decided to issue grocery licenses for $10 each and merchants licenses at $15 each. Mr. John A. Williams got the first grocery license for his store in Millport.

Mr. Williams later was made the first county treasurer and collected the first county tax levy of $164 in 1837. Forty-nine dollars and 16 cents became delinquent. Mr. Williams became the county’s first state representative, elected in 1838 and again in 1842.

Jesse Adamson got the second grocery license for his store at Millport. Three merchantes licenses were issued. The first was to T.W. Jacobs of Millport and the second to Worthington and McKinney Store in Millport.

Next to Ira Norris’ house was the Compton and Morin Store. Josiah Morin of Millport was the area’s first election judge and later became this area’s first state senator. The sixth store was believed to be a blacksmith shop of Milford Deneoko.

Perpared by David Stark

One of Gallatin’s Old Guard — John Ballinger

Capt. John Ballinger came to Daviess COunty in 1845 at the age of 13 and distinguished himself in Gallatin with his neighbors Jim McFerran, Sam Cox, Joe McGee, Bill Folmsbee, Benton Miller, Bob Grantham, Bill Gillilan and others of our grand old guard.

Capt. John Ballinger came to Daviess COunty in 1845 at the age of 13 and distinguished himself in Gallatin with his neighbors Jim McFerran, Sam Cox, Joe McGee, Bill Folmsbee, Benton Miller, Bob Grantham, Bill Gillilan and others of our grand old guard.

Ballinger was born at Fulton in 1833, was educated back at the old Ballinger home in Kentucky, and spent most of his life in public service at Gallatin, MO. He was named after his grandfather, Colonel John Ballinger, who commanded U.S. forces at Baton Rouge, LA, in the War of 1812. Colonel Ballinger died in 1815 as a result of that effort.

John’s father was Gabriel Louis Ballinger, who “was so fearless and daring that he organized and led a band of adventurous traders from Kentucky to Santa Fe in 1825 to trade for mules. Gabe married Josephine Jennings in Kentucky the next year and moved to Fulton. Gabe reportedly commanded the Callaway County Cavalry in the successful campaign against hostile Indians in 1830. He was clerk of the court for years at Williamsburg, KY, and helped Henry Clay in his presidential campaign of 1844. Gabe then moved to Daviess County where he farmed, made speeches, and preached the gospel. Gabe died in California while looking for gold in 1851 at age 51.

Gabe’s son, John, was no less adventurous. Capt. John recruited and commanded Company G, 1st Missouri State Mounted Cavalry of Volunteers from March 1862 to July 1864 for the Union. As sheriff of Daviess County, John Ballinger went to Indiana to capture the chief of the John Reno Gang and brought him back to Gallatin without use of a warrant.

In addition to John’s businesses in Gallatin, he as a leader in Republican politics, Masonic Lodge work, and in the Christian Church as a leading elder from 1871. He became Sunday school assistant superintenent in 1873 and superintendent in 1879.

John was elected to Gallatin’s first city council in May, 1858. In mid 1861, Abe Lincoln appointed John Ballinger postmaster. He served there two years and again from April 1873 to August 1881. Ballinger was postmaster when the James Gang reportedly tried for a money shipment that got to the post office the morning after the Winston train robbery. It came in late on the other train. John quartered Dick Liddil, the main witness at the Frank James trial.

When John first came to Daviess County, he settled at the “Cold Springs” farm in Jackson Township. He married Miss Mary Buckols. They had two children, Mrs. Ollie Keever and Mrs. Hattie Rowan. The first child, Ethil, was born about 1865 and Hattie about 1871.

John died at Hattie’s home in Garden City, KS, on Sunday, Aug. 23, 1914, at the age of 81.

Henry Clay McDougal reported that John was known to him for nearly 50 years. He reported that John was noble, manly and yet genial and gentle. He said John was also courteous and generous. Mr. McDougal states, “His lofty patriotism, high courage, sound judgment and superb citizenship challenge public and private admiration, yet the crowning glory of this long life was his splendid loyalty to family and friends, church and neighbors, cause and country.”

Written by David Stark, Gallatin

What Was Gallatin’s Oldest Business?

D.H. Davis Drug Store continues as the oldest firm in continuous business operation at the time of this writing. But it is hardly Gallatin’s first-ever business. Within what is the present-day city limits, Elisha B. Creekmore settled before 1833. He ran a boarding house where settlers could buy a meal, ask questions, and camp in the yard. The place was described as a double one-story cabin (two rooms) and was the last cabin on the old trail leading northwest to nowhere.

D.H. Davis Drug Store continues as the oldest firm in continuous business operation at the time of this writing. But it is hardly Gallatin’s first-ever business. Within what is the present-day city limits, Elisha B. Creekmore settled before 1833. He ran a boarding house where settlers could buy a meal, ask questions, and camp in the yard. The place was described as a double one-story cabin (two rooms) and was the last cabin on the old trail leading northwest to nowhere.

The oldest maps available show the trail going north along the east side of Creekmore’s field. His cabin was center to that east side. The cabin and half of the field were in Section 29. There is evidence of a dwelling that can still be determined when examining the surface of the ground today, some 160 years later.

The old map showed the cabin in an area of timber with a prairie to the northwest. The trail ran out into the prairie and through Section 20 where Gallatin was later started. The trail ended at Indian Branch, about where Route MM underpass’ Highway 6. If you want to locate the cabin more carefully, it was in the E 1/2 of the SE 1/4 of the NE 1/4 of Section 29, T59, R27.

The 1833 map showed Warren Davis’ cabin a little over a mile to the west. To the southeast were the cabins of Covington, Awbrey and Stokes. Maberry Splawn’s cabin was shown to be several miles south just east of Narrowbone Creek.

Maberry’s north cabin has been reported to have bee the first cabin built in Daviess County. It is mapped on property now owned by John Wood. However, Mr. Weldon and Mr. Best were probably the first settlers in the county.

Some settlers probably moved into vacated Indian cabins. For example, there were four cabins with cleared fields in Awbrey Grove before Thomas moved there in about 1834. This may not coincide with the popular perception of uncivilized Indians, but President Jefferson funded Indian farming for over 30 years. Most Indan tribes raised crops before that. Surely, Indians knew how to build cabins.

In the 1876 D.L. Kost history, Elisha’s “chimney” showed some remains at that time. I have found remains, also.

Daniel Duvall was the first purchaser of land from the government in 1838. I would guess that Creekmore and Covington moved to another spot that year or before.

Elisha Creekmore became the second county treasurer when John Williams resigned in June, 1838. Adam Clendenen replaced Creekmore as treasurer in December, 1839. Old plat maps show no farmsteads at the Creekmore site from 1876 to present. Elisha purchased a lot in Gallatin south of Jack Barton’s house in January, 1838, and may have had a cabin there when county funds and tax records were taken by Capt. Patton in October, 1838. The county court later agreed that the loss was not the result of Mr. Creekmore’s failing when witnesses were brought forward.

Written by David Stark for the Gallatin North Missourian, Dec. 1, 1993.

A List of “Firsts” as the County Organized

Daviess County, MO, organized on Nov. 29, 1836, when a legislative bill introduced by Rep. Alexander Doniphan was passed by both the Missouri Senate and the Missouri House and signed by Gov. Boggs on Dec. 29th. The county was named after Col. Joseph H. Daviess who fell at the Indian battle of Tippecanoe. Under the provisions of the legislation, a commission was appointed to select the county seat. This commission decided upon the name of Gallatin for the Daviess County seat on Sept. 13, 1837, and the town was platted in December of that same year (although a report of the commission was not recorded until Sept. 3, 1839 by mere matter of neglect).

Daviess county at first extended from the Caldwell County line to Iowa; in February, 1845, Harrison County was formed on the north and Daviess County was reduced to its present limits. The area was once claimed by Spain, twice by France, and at different times it constituted a part of St. Chatrles, Howard, and Ray counties. The current townships were formed after several reorganizations; the last reorganization was in 1870.

Daviess County, MO, organized on Nov. 29, 1836, when a legislative bill introduced by Rep. Alexander Doniphan was passed by both the Missouri Senate and the Missouri House and signed by Gov. Boggs on Dec. 29th. The county was named after Col. Joseph H. Daviess who fell at the Indian battle of Tippecanoe. Under the provisions of the legislation, a commission was appointed to select the county seat. This commission decided upon the name of Gallatin for the Daviess County seat on Sept. 13, 1837, and the town was platted in December of that same year (although a report of the commission was not recorded until Sept. 3, 1839 by mere matter of neglect).

Daviess county at first extended from the Caldwell County line to Iowa; in February, 1845, Harrison County was formed on the north and Daviess County was reduced to its present limits. The area was once claimed by Spain, twice by France, and at different times it constituted a part of St. Chatrles, Howard, and Ray counties. The current townships were formed after several reorganizations; the last reorganization was in 1870.

On April 7, 1837, the first term of the county court was held at the house of Philip Covington. Covington and Elisha B. Creekmore settled here in 1831 where the south edge of the Gallatin city limits now exist. The county judges were J.W. Freeman and V.T. Smith. Their commissions were signed Jan. 27, 1837, by Gov. Lilburn W. Boggs and Secretary of State Henry Shurles.

Judge Smith, having previously been sworn into office by the clerk of the Clinton County Court, administered the oath to his colleagues. The first county court was inaugurated with James B. Turner present as clerk.

The first act of this court was to form the county into three townships. They were Honey Creek (the area south of Honey Creek), Grand River (north and east of Honey Creek), and Grindstone (north and west of Honey Creek).

Their next act was to order election of a justice of the peace and constables with the election to be held on April 29, 1837. Voting places and election judges were also named as part of that action.

The first acting assessor was selected to be Marshall K. Howell. He built a house on what is now East Grand Street in Gallatin. Daniel Duvall was also an early resdent within the present city limits. Also mentioned as having buildings in this area at this time were J.S. Stalligns, John Wright, Benjamin Rowell, Joseph McGee, O.H. McGee, and F.H. Buckhols.

The first circuit court (Fifth Judicial District) was held in July 1837, under an arbor made in front of the house of Elisha B. Creekmore. This wa a double, one-story log house located near the old graveyard. This location was used until August term of 1839, at which time court was held in downtown Gallatin. Mr. Creekmore boarded the officers of the court, juries and most of the parties and witnesses.

The first indictment was returned against James Handly for assault with the intent to kill. Judge Austin A. King was on the bench. Circuit Attorney was Thomas C. Burch; J.B. Turner was clerk and William Bowman, sheriff. This indictment was deliberated by an 18-man grand jury. They took about an hour to decide in the midst of a nearby dense hazel thicket.

During these early years, the Creekmore house was pointed out to strangers as a place to get meals and conduct other business.

The March 1838 term is of some interest. It appears that the court officials, witnesses and other people present indicted themselves for betting at cards, probably at the Creekmore house. They charged themselves, 43 in all, pleaded guilty, and paid a $5 fine. If all paid, the $215 total would have exceeded the 1837 tax levy.

Taken from the writings of Rep. David Kost in 1870, researched by David Stark for publication in the Gallatin North Missourian in January, 1983. Also from the Gallatin Democrat in September, 1936.

Converting Trails into Daviess County Roads

County judges in the early days of Daviess County spent much time ordering and approving roads in the county. These would be called trails today since they were only 30-foot wide paths or muddy wagon tracks across open ground. At intersections, “finger board” signs would indicate what places travelers would next encounter.

County judges in the early days of Daviess County spent much time ordering and approving roads in the county. These would be called trails today since they were only 30-foot wide paths or muddy wagon tracks across open ground. At intersections, “finger board” signs would indicate what places travelers would next encounter.

The process of declaring a county road started when householders or “freeholders” petitioned the court to establish a trail. These were free white males who owned real estate and desired road improvements. These trails did not include any construction work or earth moving until after the Civil War.

Freeholders made the propositions. The county court then acted, based upon argumetns placed before the court at monthly meetings. The official trail was called a county road or a state road if it ran across county lines. There were natural trails and unofficial trails in this county, and trails formed by Ray County officials before 1836.

The process of official road approval changed little from 1836 through 1865. The new trail started with a freeholder’s petition. There did not seem to be a limit to the number of signatures required to make such a petition, and all were considered. Sometimes 30 or more people were mentioned; sometimes, only one.

If the court did not reject the petition at its introduction, it could be continued for later consideration. In most instances, the petition resulted in a court order for these citizens (white males) to “view and lay out” the proposed road and report back to the court.

The road was not to be laid out through anyone’s “enclosure,” meaning lot, yard or fenced pasture. This was not much of a problem since there were almost no fences. If the “viewers” found the trail to be on good ground and of use, and value to the county, they described the exact route and recommended approval.

Upon approval, the court ordered the route “staked and blazed.” Stakes were put down in the praire grass and trees were blazed (bark cut away) to mark the new trail. When this was done the trail was officially opened and a road overseer appointed.

Everyone was paid by the county for their work by an allotting justice named by the court. Pay went to the viewers, overseers, surveyors, chain men and to those who did the clearing of brush and trees. Fords were not improved or road drainage work performed at county expense.

If damage to someone’s land was claimed, the court had the loss assessed and, upon approval, paid the landowner. In later years, if a landowner was a local resident, “consent” was considered for crossing his land. Each new county court would select road overseers and name them for each section of all county trails.

After about 1860 road districts were established and road overseers named for each district. The route for the roads was to get from important place to place on good ground. The established trails were also subject to petitions for changes and could be closed if unneeded.

It was a continuous process for the judges. Many landowners wanted trails moved from their fields when fencing became more popular. The land ownership lines were mostly on Congressional township lines. These borders were described as section, quarter section township, and range, etc.

Municipal townships such as Honey Creek Township and Grand River Township were often divided by rivers and streams.

As more consideration was given to putting roads on section lines, the roads went either east, west, north or south. A traveler could be requried to go three or more times the distance to get from place to place. The roads also crossed streams at difficult places and passed over poorer ground.

Roads would pass directly over springs, up steep hills, across a stream several times, and along steep slopes. County expenses on roads then greatly increased.

Written by David Stark, published in the Gallatin North Missourian.

Our Pioneer Settlers That Came to Stay

In selecting who to list as pioneer settlers the following conditions were considered. The county was settled three times — as part of Ray County in the 1830s; as an extended area to the Iowa line after 1836; and by the Mormons in 1838. In 1845 the settlers in the North were included in a new county.

In selecting who to list as pioneer settlers the following conditions were considered. The county was settled three times — as part of Ray County in the 1830s; as an extended area to the Iowa line after 1836; and by the Mormons in 1838. In 1845 the settlers in the North were included in a new county.

Included in this listing are those showing on the 1840 census that were also listed on the 1850 census. This results in basically those returning in 1839 and 1840, along with new settlers during those years. This also includes Mormon families that stayed after 1838. I added those, mostly men who had died or left in search of gold, etc., but left a wife in the county. Other data included was shown on the 1850 records for the head of the family. There were many children who were early settlers but are not listed and this also excludes the helpers, slaves, and employees. The place of birth is listed for the family head in 1850 where known.

Early settlers who stayed to 1850

Note: The occupation of each settler listed here is ‘farmer’, unless otherwise indicated.

William and Nancy Allen, 31, from Va.

William and Mary Allen, 43, from England

John Anderson, 63, from Va., single

Elijah Armstrong, 57, N.C., wife Margaret

Joseph W. Atkinson, 33, from N.C., single

Henry and Margaret Ballinger, 37, from N.C.

John and Amanda Baxter, 30, from Ky.

John and Recca Byrd, 40, from Tenn.

John and Susan Blakely, 45, from Va.

Thomas and Patience Blakely, 47, from Va.

Jesse and Polly Blakely, 23, from Tenn.

Pleasant and Nancy Blakely, 42, from Ky.

Green and Miriam Bowers, 75, from N.C.

James and Abigail Bowman, from Va.

John Breeden, 26, single, from Ind.

Joseph and Elizabeth Breeden, 39, from Tenn.

William and Mary Breeden, 35, from Tenn.

Joseph and Frances Breeden, 69, from Va.

Joseph and Margaret Breeden, 30, from Ky.

James and Elizabeth Bristow, 57, from Va., blacksmith

Ephraim and Catharine Bristow, 30, from Ky., blacksmith

James and Eliza Brown, 45, from Va.

John and Nancy Brown, 38, Va.

John and Hannah Brown, 55, Ky.

James Brown, 43, Ky, single

John and Polly Brown, 48, Tenn

Samuel and Sarah Brown, 41, Va.

Joshua and Sarah Brown, 42, N.C.

William and Sarah Brown, 73, Pa.

Moses and Elizabeth Brown, 31, N.C.

Moses and Eliza Brown, 20, Ind.

Jacob and Sarah Brown, 41, N.C.

Hadley and Ann Brown, 38, N.C.

Jeremiah and Saloma Burns, 47, Ky.

John Cain, 68, Va., single

George and Polly Cain, 39, Ky.

Jeremiah and Milly Campbell, 49, Tenn.

Joseph and Mary Caraway, 38, Va.

David and Mary Chapman, 35, Va.

James and Ala Koger, 58, Ga.

James Collison, 36, Va., single

John and Mary Comer, 64, N.C.

John and Ann Comer, 36, Ohio.

Wiley and Kisine Cope, 60, N.C.

John and Lurena Cope, 43, Ky.

Philip and Louisa Covington, 46, N.C.

Andrew and Mary Cowan, 43, Ky.

William and Lucy Cox, 47, Ky.

John and Hannah Craven, 65, Va.

John and Rubama Craven, 53, Va.

Elisha and Margaret Creekmore, 47, N.C.

Henry and Anne Creekmore, 43, N.C.

James and Nancy Creson, 33, Mo.

George and Hanna Curl, 33, Ohio

Josiah and Mary Davis, 48, Ky.

Nathaniel and Jane Davis, 42, Ohio

Lewis and Emily Dodd, 62, Va.

Milford and Matilda Doneoho, 45, Ky.

Peter and Mary Dowell, 61, N.C.

Peter and Hester Dowell, 23, N.C.

Ahira and Calarina Durgan, 45, Vt., carpenter

Daniel Duvall, 59, N.C., single, carpenter

John and Rhoda Edwards, 61, N.C.

John and Phebe Ellis, 36, Va.

Philip and Polly Ellis, 34, Va.

Owen and Elizabeth Ellis, 67, Va.

Thomas and Sarah Emerson, 58, Md.

John and Lydia England, 65, N.C.

Hezekiah and Polly Engart, 60, Va.

Hugh Farry, 57, Ireland, assessor

Ebenezer and Elizabeth Fields, 34, Ky.

Elijah and Maryann Foley, 53, Va.

Naomah Foster, 35, Ohio, single

Solomon and Polly Frazer, 43, Ky.

Elijah and Elizabeth Frost, 48, Tenn.

John and Abigale Gardner, 52, Va.

George and Elizabeth Garrison, 38, N.C.

Andrew and Mary Gay, 40, Va.

Thomas and Elener Gilreath, 35, N.C.

John and Mary Gillilan, 68, Va.

Alexander and Agnes Gillilan, 42, Va.

John and Nancy Gillilan, 36, Va.

James and Susan Githens, 40, Ky., blacksmith

John and Nancy Githens, 70, Pa.

Merrit and Nancy Givens, 32, Mo.

William and Lavenia Grant, 35, Tenn.

Richard Grant, 61, Tenn, single

Carroll and Jan Grant, 31, Tenn.

John and Mary Grant, 42, Tenn.

James and Mary Gray, 40, Mo.

Merriwether and Abigale Green, 41, Va.

Isaac and Elizabeth Groomer, 55, Va.

John Hamilton, 90, pensioner from Revolutionary War

Thomas and Mary Hamilton, 38, Tenn.

Matthew and Catharine Harbard, 34, Ohio

Jeremiah and Elizabeth Harman, 41, Tenn.

Jacob and Mary Harper, 47, Va.

James and Armilda Hart, 41, Pa.

Samuel and Barbary Hershbarger, 54, Va.

Milton and Polly Higgins, 43, Tenn.

Matilda Higgins, 39, Ky., single

Richard and Anne Hill, 35, Va.

Balser and Lucinda Hines, 41, Tenn.

Otho and Margaret Holland, 38, Ohio

Thomas and Elizabeth Holliday, 29, N.C.

John and Phebe Hopkins, 54, Va.

James and Rebecca Hughes, 25, Ohio

John and Margaret Jobe, County J.P.

Andrew and Sarah Jobe, 31, Ky.

John and Mary Johnson, 64, Va.

James and Sarah Johnson, 32, Ohio

James and Tamsey Johnson, 55, Va.

Gabriel and Jane Keene, 30, Ky.

Obed and Matilda Keller, 49, Va.

Edgar and Nancy Kelso, 42, N.J.

Thomas and Anne Kemp, 65, Md.

Thomas and Catharine Kemp, 39, Md.

John and Elmer Kemp, 40 Md.

John and Susan Kerr, 42, Va., physician

Hiram and Margaret Leach, 39, Tenn.

Henry and Perthena Lee, 54, N.C.

Lewis and Nancy Linville, 47, Tenn.

Andrew and Elizabeth Lockridge, 37, Va.

Hudson and Rodilla Loe, 64, Md.

Thomas and Mary Lukehart, 38, Ohio

Ezra Mann, 38, Pa., single

John and Frances Marshall, 66, Ky.

Manuel and Genetta Martin, 45, Ky.

Fountain and Viney Maupin, 38, Ky.

Solomon and Sarah McBrayer, 37, N.C.

John and Sarah McClung, 45, Va.

Eleazer and Matilda McClue, 44, Ohio

Margaret McCrary, 56, Nc., wife of John who died here

John and Lucinda McCrary, 34, N.C.

Lewis and Mary McGarven, 32, Ind.

James and Sarah McGaugh, 36, Tenn.

Robert and Elizabeth McGaugh, 73, Va.

Charles McGee, 65, N.J., single, cooper

Joseph and Malinda McGee, 31, N.J., taylor

Andrew and Mary McHaney, 66, Va.

Taylor and Polly McCully, 48, Ky.

John and Mary McCully, 41, Ky.

Tobias and Catharine Miller, 43, Ky.

James and Sarah Miller, 40, Ky.

David and Mary Miller, 27, Ky.

William Miller, 57, Ireland, single, stone mason

James and Mary Miller, 27, Ohio

Henry and Martha Mills, 45, N.C.

John and Mary Mullican, 47, S.C.

Edward and Ellen Murphy, 53, Va.

John and Frances Nelson, 35, Va.

Moses Netherton, 69, Va., single

Moses and Sarah Netherton, 32, Tenn.

James and Nancy Netherton, 42, Tenn.

George and Sarah Noah, 53, Pa.

John and Manerva Owens, 43, Va.

Jonathan and Elizabeth Oxford, 34, N.C.

Henry and Sarah Payne, 55, Va.

Matthew and Magdaline Patton, 55, Tenn.

William and Mary Peniston, 39, Ky., clerk

Robert and Nancy Peniston, 63, Va.

Vincent and Mary Piles, 37, Ohio, carpenter

James and Nancy Perry, 41, Va., cabinet maker

Robert and Anne Peery, 32, Va., mechanic

William and Mary Place, 38, Pa.

William and Nancy Prewitt, 40, Tenn.

Addison and Margaret Price, 38, Va.

John Ragland, 45, single

William and Elizabeth Ramey, 52, Va.

John and Lavesta Roberts, 29, Mo

John Roberts, 50, Tenn., single

Jacob and Elizabeth Rogers, 36, Ky.

William and Polly Roper, 47, N.C.

David and Elizabeth Rowland, 36, Ind.

John Sheets, 29, Va., single

Benjamin and Susana Smith, 44, Tenn.

Anderson and Mahala Smith, 37, Tenn.

Jeremiah and Nancy Smith, 70, N.C.

Obadiah and Martha Smith, 50

Isaac and Judah Smith, 35, Tenn.

Morgan and Mahala Smith, 34, Tenn.

Isaac and Mary Splawn, 71, S.C.

Jonathan and Hannah Splawn, 36, Tenn.

William and Martha Splawn, 48, N.C.

John and Rebecca Splawn, 31, Tenn.

Stephen and Sarah Splawn, 60, Tenn.

Joseph and Susanna Stapleton, 57, Ky.

Jacob and Jency Stollings, 46, Va.

Isaac and Ruanna Solmon, 40, Ohio

Benjamin and Patience Solmon, 39, Del.

Lewis and Martha Tarwater, 37, Tenn.

James and Mary Taylor, 34, Ky., saddler

William and Mary Taylor, 28, Ky.

William Taylor, 36, Ky., single

Elijah and Margaret Trosper, 37, Ky.

Elijah and Obedience Trosper, 72, N.C.

Hugh and Margaret Vallandingham, 61, Va.

Henry and Jane Vanover, 40, N.C.

Benjamin and Rachel Vesser, 38

Benedict and Charity Weldon, 51, Ky.

John and Johnane Whit, 37, Ky.

James and Adnes Wilkins, 44, Ky.

John and Jane Williams, 49, N.C.

John and Nancy Williams 45, Ky.

John and Ellen Williams, 41, Ky.

Robert and Martha Wilson, 44, N.J.

Eli and Susan Wilson, 50, Tenn.

Philip and Elizabeth Wirt, 36, Ky., merchant

Joseph and Susan Woods, 42, Ky.

Gallatin’s First Successful River Bridge Built in 1869

The first successful Grand River Bridge to be constructed in Daviess County was an iron “Smith Patent Truss” bridge, built by C.W. Wheeler in 1869.

The first successful Grand River Bridge to be constructed in Daviess County was an iron “Smith Patent Truss” bridge, built by C.W. Wheeler in 1869.

Wheeler was contracted to build an iron truss bridge across Honey Creek south of Gallatin in late 1868. Bond was set for that bridge at $3,000 on Dec. 22, 1868. This bridge was accepted as complete on March 2, 1869, and the county court made special crossing orders since they doubted its capacity to stand under all loads. The court order included a fine for anyone crossing faster than a walk.

The court made plans on Feb. 5, 1869, to have the same kind of bridge built at Groomer’s Mil and at the Rodger’s Ferry site, one and one-quarter miles northeast of Gallatin. These bridges were to cost $7,500 each. William S. Brown, road commissioner, selected the two Grand River bridge sites. The Dave Groomer Mill Bridge was to be 100 yards below the mill.

Wheeler was awarded the contract for the two bridgs on April 5, 1869, and work was started by May 5, 1869. William C. Gillihan was to borrow money to pay for the bridges, and James S. Davis was to be the collecting agent for Wheeler. The south bridge was first called the Rogers Ferry Bridge (in the county records) in October, 1869. This bridge was completed Dec. 20, 1869, and Wheeler was paid the next day.

Dave Groomer was paid $300 for approaches to the Groomer-Wheeler Bridge in March, 1870.

The county appears to have been very proud of these bridges since additional payments were made for painting each one. Driftwood was cleared when needed, and the piers were boxed with wood to protect them, all at county expense.

Records show that the Groomer-Wheeler Bridge was replaced in 1886; however, the Rogers-Wheeler Bridge (Rogers Ferry Bridge — Old Wagon Bridge) was removed and sold for its iron value after over 100 years of continuous use.

MORE HISTORY OF OLD BRIDGES

Soon after the Stallings-Shriver Bridge washed away (1852) the county court started plans for a new bridge across the Grand River notheast of Gallatin (June 1853). John Comer was appointed as commissioner to plan the bridge. A bridge was proposed at Shriver’s Mill (Mill Dam) but was rejected by the court (May 3, 1854).

The court ordered Mr. Comer to le the contract for a wooden bridge, “Arch Plan” with stone abuttments at Adkinson Ford and for Comer to supervise its construction. Notice of the contract was published in the Bruswicker and Richmond Mirror. The contract was to be awarded o nthe first Monday of July, 1854, but was delayed to the second Monday of August and was “readvertised” in the Missouri Sun.

The contract went to James B Heaton for $7,000. It was to be completed by May 5, 1856. The bridge was described as a “Buckingham Bridge” (covered with a good shingle roof) and was to be at the site one and one-quarter miles northeast of Gallatin. This would cause more busienss to pass near Gallatin. There were to be stone peers on either bank of the Grand River, 160 feet apart. The peers were to be 30 feet high and taper to 5×6-1/2′ at the top. The bridge was ready to be “raised” on May 8, 1855, but other work was not completed on the date contracted because of high water.

The contract was renegotiated by the court on May 8, 1856, and Mr. Heaton was required to add a “protection wall on the east bank.” Two thousand dollars of payments were held for completion of that work and a bond of $4,000 required for surety for construction and service for three years. Also, in May, 1856, a road was approved from the east end of the bridge to Auberry Grove. The bridge must have been done by June, 1856, since Mr. Heaton was paid then $900 for the covered “similar” bridge across the old bed of Honey Creek south of Gallatin.

The Adkinson-Heaton Covered Bridge probably failed by March, 1857 since a ferry license was sold to Caniel Culter on the Gallatin Chillicothe road and George N. Rogers was sold a ferry license at Shriver’s Mill in partnership with Andrew Shriver.

Another bridge across the Grand River was not considered by the court, prior to Feb. 5, 1869. Free ferrys and low water crossings were considered during this 12-year period of time.

After the successful construction of the Smith Patent Truss Bridge in 1869, two other bridges were built by C.W. Wheeler on the Grand River. The one near Gallatin was called the “Roger’s Ferry Bridge.” It is remembered as the “Old Wagon Bridge” which was in use for over 100 years. Evidence of this bridge was still visible more than a century after it’s construction one-quarter mile above the Highway 6 & 13 bridge near Gallatin.

Written by David Stark, Gallatin.

Windmills — The Skyscrapers of Rural America

A hundred years ago an $80 investment in a windmill meant power to operate a water pump. It was a welcome relief for a farmer who otherwise faced this daily manual chore — and free for as long as the wind kept blowing.

A hundred years ago an $80 investment in a windmill meant power to operate a water pump. It was a welcome relief for a farmer who otherwise faced this daily manual chore — and free for as long as the wind kept blowing.

British archeologists have found remains of wind machines along the Iranian border, probably used to grind grain around the time of Christ. German people used windmills 1,000 years later, and Hollanders needed bigger ones to pump their country dry.

Daniel Hallady is the father of the American windmill that we know. A blacksmith in Ellington, CN, Hallady improved the wheel by adding blades to it. The vane was added to keep it facing into the wind, and a governor to keep it from turning too fast in high winds and destroying itself. That was in 1854.

At one time there were at least 131 companies making windmills in America. Batavia and Rockford, IL, were called the windmill capital of the world. Three of the original windmill manufacturers are still in business today: Aermotor of Conway, AR (1883); Dempster Industries of Beatrice, NE (1885); and Heller-Allen Co. of Napoleon, OH (1886). From 1880 to 1940 there were 6.5 million windmills sold in the United States. The end was marked by the Rural Electrification Act passed by Congress in 1935, paving the way for electric water pumps on farms.

You won’t find windmills anymore just anywhere. The Ozark region has a plentiful supply of springs and comparatively few livestock producing areas. By comparison, many farms in Northwest Missouri had two windmills.

Even though windmills look about the same as always, towers have changed. Towers can be either 3- or 4-legged; the 4-legged are most common. There are so few 3-legged towers around that at one time people thought they were antiques and more valuable. Not so. A good car game is to see who can spot the most 3-legged windmill towers as you drive along. It’s fun and time consuming.

If you are old enough and from farm stock, you can probably remember going to sleep to the gentle sounds of the spinning windmill blades, the creaking tower, the rhythm of the working pump rod and the gurgle of water running into a stock tank. If not, then perhaps you can treasure your time whenever you see a windmill silhoutted against the sunset in the Northwest Missouri sky. In either case, it leaves a memory never forgotten.

Reprinted from “Treasure the Times,” a tourism publication by Gallatin Publishing Co. 1988

Bohemian Cemetery Marks Past

The names of the tombstones are straight from the Old Country. Kokesh. Soukup, Stoklasa. Mlika. Karsky. Pelikan. Their gravestones mark the final resting places for a gruop of Bohemian immigrants who established farms in the fertile Thompson River valley, west of Cainsville in neighboring Harrison County.

The names of the tombstones are straight from the Old Country. Kokesh. Soukup, Stoklasa. Mlika. Karsky. Pelikan. Their gravestones mark the final resting places for a gruop of Bohemian immigrants who established farms in the fertile Thompson River valley, west of Cainsville in neighboring Harrison County.

Those Bohemian settlers earned a reputation as a hard-working, yet clannish, ethnic community which retained its own language and customs for generations after moving to America. Though the Bohemians eventually were assimilated into American society, the community’s legacy still is visible in a quiet cemetery on a hillside overlooking the valley where these new immigrants once farmed.

The origins of the Bohemian herritage in Northwest Missouri may be traced by reading the inscriptions — many written in the Bohemian language — on the tombstones in the cemetery, located in a beautiful grove of pine trees. The cemetery dates back to the early years of the Bohemian community which got its start in the mid-1870s.

The Bohemian Cemetery is located just off Route B, about six miles north of the community of Mt. Moriah. Visitors to the cemetery will notice that the grave sites are still well maintained, a tribute to the strong family ties among the descendants of the original settlers.

The Bohemians came to this country from their homeland in western Czechslovokia. Most came to the New World to “escape the unsettledness and continuous wars” in Europe before the turn of the century, according to E.J. Stoklasa, who grew up in the Bohemian community.

“Most came to Cainsville to get away before their sons had to go into the army,” Stoklasa said.

The Bohemians had their own assembly hall southwest of Cainsville. Stoklasa recalls that the assembly building, which operated into the 1920s, was home for all types of community activities ranging from religious meetings for the predominantly Catholic Bohemians to all-night dances.

The Bohemians were primarily small farmers, Greek and Italian immigrants also came to Cainsville to work in the coal mines which operated there until the end of World War I. At one time, Cainsville had its own railroad and boasted a population of about 2,000 persons (about 4 times as many people as today).

Persons interested in the architecture of the early 20th century will enjoy a visit to Cainsville. One of the most interesting features is the Victoian-style Dr. Nally home, now the site of the Stoklasa Funeral Home. Cainsville is located near the intersection of Harrison County Routes N and B, about eight miles north of U.S. Hwy. 136.

Reprinted from “Treasure the Times,” a tourism guide published in 1988.