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Bates County

Deer Creek Township 



Deer Creek is the middle township of the northern tier of townships. The township is almost square, excepting a small portion of the northeast corner, which is cut off by Grand River. It is bounded as follows : Beginning in section 12, township 42, range 30; thence westward in a northwesterly direction, following the meanderings of Grand River to a point in section 2, where it enters Bates County from Cass; thence west four and a half miles to the northwest corner of section 6; thence south about five and a third miles to the southwest corner of section 31; thence east six miles to the southeast corner of section 36; thence north about five miles to the place of beginning.


The township includes a very large proportion of prairie, much of which is high and rolling. Timber abounds on all the streams. Water facilities are fair. A creek called Mormon Fork enters the township at section 30, and flows in a northeasterly direction, crossing sections 20, 16, 10 and a portion of section 11, and unites with Grand River. In the south and southeastern part of the township are to be found the tributaries of Deer Creek, and in the southwestern part flow the waters of Mill Sap Creek. In sections 10 and 11 are located Crescent Lake and a smaller lake, which cover, perhaps, a half section of land. The northeast corner of the township, including the northern boundary of section 12 and a portion of the northern boundary of section 1 1 and section 2 are watered by Grand Riveh


has ben discovered in many places in the township. The Adrian Coal Company, which was organized in November, 1882, is now at work in the immediate vicinity of Adrian. The company proposes to continue its labor until good workable coal is found. The company is composed of Lewis F. Page, J. Scudder, F. B. Hamilton, John Taggart, Walter Woods, John Shepard, J. C. Crisman, Charles Concklin, F. W. Huston and George Brundige.


Joseph J. McCraw, of Halifax County, Virginia, married Sarah Hendricks, of Kentucky; moved to Jackson County, Missouri, in 1830. His oldest son, William, was in the party that drove the Mormons from Jackson County in 1833, and Mr. McCraw helped destroy the Mormon printing press in Independence. In 1839 J. J. McCraw and his sons came to what is now Deer^Creek Township, Bates County, and raised a crop, but did not move the family till the spring of 1849.

There were then eight children only, three of whom are now living. John S. lives at the old homestead just west of the railroad near old Crescent Hill. Susanna lives with her brother, John S. Eveline ; is now Mrs. Peter Cunningham, of Kansas.

In March, 1840, Lem White, living on White Oak, in Henry County, stole a girl from her parents and took her on a horse behind him, and accompanied by another young couple for attendants similarly mouHted, came to Bhuford Haynes', in Deer Creek Township, to get married. Haynes went to Miami Creek for Squire Bunch, and as he went along invited J. S. McCraw to the wedding. Haynes took a gallon jug^— whisky was on sale among the settlers—and when they returned he and the squire were both drunk. After a time the squire staggered to his feet, supported himself by a chair back, and swaying from side to side, called out : " If anybody wants to get married let them come on." The young couple stood up, the squire muttered over some form of words, pronounced them husband and wife and the ceremony was complete.

The only families in Deer Creek Township in 1840 other than the McCraws were Richard Barker, Moses Barker, Matt Hill, William Mitchell, Bhuford Haynes, Stephen and Alfred Haynes, Brown C. Seagraves and Adams. The brothers, S. and H. Haynes, were bachelors, the sons . of a wealthy planter in Virginia. Their father had given each of them, a negro and the four were keeping bachelor's hall. J. S. McCraw called on them, and in the course of conversation one of the Haynes' remarked: "I would ask you tO dinner, but we've got nothing in the world to eat, sir, but a coon."

The McCraws never had trouble with the Indians except in 1840 they tied up and flogged some of them' for setting the prairie grass on fire where it reached and destroyed some hogs for them. In 1842 they built the house where John S. now lives. He is the only man in Bates County that can boast of living in the same house for forty years. The McCraws liked to hunt. John S. says he has killed five deer in one day. A party of five, including himself, once conamenced on Mound Branch, a little soutlwest of Butler and spent two days in hunting; following the branch to its head and killing seventeen deer.

Their congressional township was organized into a school district in 1843. A. H. Urie taught the first school in 1844, wages $20 per month ; there were about fifteen pupils. Their school district included a little territory north of Grand River, in which lived one family named Ingle and after that stream became the line between two counties the law required that in such cases the whole number of children must be reported in each county. So their treasury was well supplied.

Joseph J. McCraw died August 14, 1843. Mrs. McCraw lived till August 27, 1861.

In 1848 John S. married Julia H. Jackson, from Tennessee. They have four children. McCraw thinks the circumstances by which the settlers were surrounded were such as to develop the kindliest feelings towards each other, and to keep down pride and vanity. That all were sociable, friendly and hospitable, yet there would sometimes little differences arise, and relates the following instance :

R. B. Nicholas, of Deer Creek, was a horse dealer. His wife and daughter belonged to the Methodist Church and the preacher often put up at his house. Nicholas once bought a horse from him and gave his note for it. When the note became due payment was demanded whereupon Nicholas remarked, " You have pretty nearly eaten up that horse," and produced an account in which a charge was entered for each meal the reverend had eaten in his house. The clergyman objected to allowing the account and brought suit before C. Seagraves, Esq., but recovered only about $80.

J. S. McCraw was on the first petit jury that tried the first criminal case in Butler. Two young men named Ferguson and McCombs had had a fight, and McCombs was on trial for it, but was acquitted. After the testimony had been heard. Judge Hicks charged the jury and ordereil the sheriff, Jim Edgar, to take them to some eminence between there and Grand River to make up their verdict. He was also on a jury that tried a murderer named Samuel Nottingham, at Papinville, for murdering his wife. Bryant was prosecuting attorney and Waldo P. Johnson counsel for the defense. He was convicted and hung, being the only man ever legally hung in Bates County. When the jury was brought in to report the verdict, Morgan Suttles stood within reach of the prisoner with a rope concealed under his coat, ready to throw over his head, while others stood ready to draw it, if the verdict had acquitted him.

The first road in Deer Creek Township was from Harrisonville to cutler. It was granted by the legislature upon a petition of the citizens w Cass and Bates Counties. John Moudy was overseer of a road district seven miles square, which contained ninety-three men liable to work a road tax. Twenty-three of them refused to work in order to test the legality of the road. Moudy brought suit before 'Squire Hughes. They took a change of venue to 'Squire Cutherford. In making the transfer, Hughes forgot to add the J. P. to his name, and Moudy was non-suited. R. Dejarnett, counsel for the defendants, told them they would' finally have to pay it, and they did so without waiting for suit to be re-commenced.

John Moudy emigrated to Bates County in 1856, and located west of Crescent Hill. He now lives two and a half miles east of Adrian.

Henry Rogers and John Rogers came from Indiana in 1856, and bought land east of Crescent Hill, in section 22. John is dead. Henry still lives in the township.

John P. Wells came from Pettis County, Missouri, in 1855, and purchased land in section 22. He died in 1876. His wife and four children survive him, and are all residents of the county.

Emanuel Lemon was an old settler, and located in the north part of the township ; L. F. Hiser, in section 10; L. C. Oder, in section 7; Henry Hughes, in section 18 ; Samuel Sligar, in section 21 ; Isaiah Prebbel, in section 21 ; Daniel Goodin and father, in section 30; Jonathan Adams, in section 30 ; Allen Ingle, in section i. Ingle lived in the northeast corner of the township, and built the first mill (water-mill) grist and sawmill, on Grand River, that was erected in the township. This mill was erected about the year 1850. It was many years afterwards converted into a steam flouring mill.

John Murphy came to the township in 1856, and located in the northeast part of the township. He is a son of the Emerald Isle. He is living.

M. C. Hiser, from Tennessee, was an early settler, and died about the year 1878. He opened a farm in the western part of the township, in section 25.

Eli T. Sullins was from Cooper County, Missouri, and took' a claim in section 20. He is dead.

John Blunt was another old settler in Deer Creek Township, and died during the war of 1861. He lived in section 18.

Richard Curry settled in the east part of the township.

James Howerton, who is now the proprietor of the Adrian Hotel, at Adrian, located in section 22, in the winter of 1855. Howerton was a native of West 'Virginia, Montgomery County, and came to Missouri when he was quite young. Howerton is a minister of the Baptist Church.

Oliver Mitchel came from Clay County, Missouri, and located in the eastern part of the township.

W. S. Hughes was born in Franklin County, East Virginia, in 1817, and came to Pettis County, Missouri, in 1837, where he remained until 1854, and then came to Deer Creek Township and settled on section 7.

He then moved to Crescent Hill. He now lives in the new town of Adrian, whittier he moved from Crescent Hill in March, 1882. Mr. Hughes served as justice of the peace in Pettis County for several years, and has been justice of the peace in Deer Creek Township for twelve years. He was postmaster of the town of Crescent Hill for twelve years, and during his residence at Crescent Hill was also school director a portion of the time, and has been a licensed preacher of the Missionary Baptists for twenty-five years.


There are two churches in the township. The Missionary Baptists erected a house of worship in Crescent Hill in 1878—a frame building.

John Moudy and wife, M. C. Hiser and wife, William S. Hughes and wife, Jehu Hiser, John Rogers and wife, W. T. Elmore and wife, Caroline Gooden, John S. McCraw and wife, and Susan Ann McCraw, were the organizing members. The church was organized in 1857, by the Rev. Jeremiah Farmer, of Cass County, Missouri. Rev. J. Howerton is the present minister. Jonas Wilson was the last superintendent of the Sunday school.


The Methodists erected a house of worship in 1882, in the town of Adrian. E. T. Innman, L. C. Williams, Wolfe, Dr. Park, and a few others embraced the original members.

The Cumberland Presbyterians have an organization, but no house of worship.


There are two Dunkard organizations at Crescent Hill. The original church was formed at this place about the year 1872, under the lead of David Williams, G. W. McClintock and John Knisley. George Neff and wife, A. Toms and wife, John Fausler and wife, George Fausler and wife, A. Elam were among the organic members.

This church divided in 1879, and now have two organizations in the town. G. W. McClintock is the present minister for the new organization and Frank Peak and Knisley are the preachers for the old body.


Is located on section 21, township 42, range 31. The original proprietors of the town-site were William T. W. Elmore and John M. Rogers, who had the town surveyed in February, 1858. Crescent Hill was first called Union Town. William Hughe.?, and Hugh Mills are the merchants and business men of the town. Mills is the proprietor of the only hotel in the place. About twenty families now reside in the place. G. W. Henderson and David M. Hughes are the physicians. W. T. Elmore was the first postmaster in the town, in the year 1857. He was succeeded by William S. Hughes, who served until the war of 1861, and was re-appointed after the war. The postoffice was discontinued in 1880. William S. Hughes, John Moudy, Willis T. W. Elmore, Arthur Cox, Nancy Rogers, Henry Rogers, James Howerton, E. F. Rogers, William Rogers, Dr. G. W. Henderson, John Bricker, John Adams and G. W. Neff all lived in the town before i86o.

The first house built at this place was by E. T. Rogers. The first store was opened by Squire Hughes and David Hughes in 1858. The first blacksmith was a Mr. Brown, from Henry County. Before he came in the settlers had to go to William Tyree, in Henry County, to get their plows sharpened. It took an ox team two days to make a trip. Dr. Henderson was the first physician. The first post office was established at the instance of Wyatt Sanford, postmaster at Butler, and John S. Phelps, then a representative in congress. William T. Elmore was postmaster. The first carrier that brought mail to the office was Harry Younger, the father of the somewhat celebrated Younger brothers now living a retired life in a state institution in Minnesota. Crescent Hill revived somewhat after the war, but being missed by the railroad, its business has gone to Adrian, and its site is being converted into farms.


was located on the west half of southeast quarter of section 33, township 42, range 31. F. J. Tygard, M. S. Cowles, E. H. Brown, C. C. Bassett, J. L. Pace and S. B. Lashbrooke laid the town out July 6, 1880.

S. P. Cox erected the first house in the town—business house—in July, 1880. Thomas Heath was the original owner of the land upon, which the town is located. Heath was a blacksmith, and now resides about three miles northwest of the town in Elkhart Township. The company paid him $1,400 for his land, which embraced eighty acres, Heath had built a shop and a cabin on the place. He had been living in the town site about one year, when he sold to the town company.

W. S. Mahan built the first house for a dwelling, or rather repaired and fitted up the old log cabin of Heath for a residence. H. Moudy & Bro. (Nelson) erected the next business house.


The Adrian Advertiser was established September 9, 1882, by E. T. Kirkpatrick. It is an eight-column paper and is Democratic in politics.


A two-story frame school house was erected in the town in August, 1882. The building contains four rooms, two above and two below. School opened October i, 1882, with ninety-six enrolled pupils. L. W. Putnam is the principal and Mary Putnam, his wife, is his assistant.

Present school board : C. R. McCory, John Taggart and L. R. Allen.


R. W. Beck, George Peebles, L. R. Hughes, John Howerton, F. W.Huston and E. T. Kirkpatrick. Organized November 15, 1882.


L. R. Allen and J. N. Bricker, justices of the peace ; J. M. Curry, constable.
The town Contains about 350 people.


Moudy & Bros., dry goods and groceries
H. L. Fair, dry goods.
E. E. Gilmore, physician.
W. H. DeArman, groceries. James Howerton, hotel.
B. F. Parks, harness. Morris Keys.
McFarland & Bro., harness.
Cox & Weaver, groceries.
Samuel Farris, saloon.
James P. Knisley, saloon.
E. M. Clark, banker.
A. J. Satterlee, postmaster, drugs
R. L. Tabor, groceries. and groceries.
Donny & Sulden, butchers.
Orren Satterlee, furniture.
W. S. Hughes, restaurant.
E. T. Kirkpatrick, editor of Adrian Advertiser.
Stolp & Broadus, dry goods and groceries.
C. C. Simmons, boot and shoemaker
Taggart & Wood, hardware.
McCory & Shepherd, dry goods
James M. McCraw, blacksmith.and groceries.
V. Vanmisner, wagon maker.
N. C. Quisenbury, livery.
Henry Dore, depot agent.
T. E. Titsworth, livery.
H. M. Hutchinson & Co., millers.
____Devine, blacksmith.
G. W. Chrisman, physician.
John Bricker, druggist.
J. J. Brumbaugh, attorney.


Coleville, was laid out the 29th of April 1859, on the southwest of the northeast quarter and the southeast of the northeast quarter, and the north half of the northeast quarter of section 25, township 42, range 3'i by Silas Gilmore and Samuel Cole. It is a small place, containing, a business house and post office

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