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The first American settler on the site of modern Harrisonville was James Lackey in 1830. Other early settlers were Humphrey Hunt, John Blythe and Dr. Joseph Hudspeth. Lackey was considered a "squatter," as he built a cabin and enclosed a small field on the tract of public land taken for county seat purposes.
The site of the town was fixed under an act of the Missouri General
Assembly in 1835, by David Waldo of Lafayette County and Samual Hink and
William Brown, both of Jackson County. In the same year, the first court
met for the county, known as Van Buren County. The Justices James
McClellan and William Savage met in McClellan's residence about three
miles southeast of Peculiar on September 14, 1835. William Lyon was
appointed clerk of the court and county government was organized,
including the establishment of Grand River Township.