Daviess County, Missouri Genealogy Trails

History

Daviess County was organized from a part of Ray, by legislative act approved December 29, 1836, and was named in honor of Colonel Joseph H. Daviess, of Kentucky, who fell in the Battle of Tippecanoe, in 1811. In 1837 the commissioners appointed to locate a permanent seat of justice selected the land now a part of the site of Gallatin, which was laid out in town lots and named in honor of Albert Gallatin, the noted Swiss financier, who was Secretary of the Treasury of the United States from 1801 to 1813. The first circuit court was held in July, 1837, at the cabin of E. B. Creekmore, at present site of Gallatin, Judge Austin A. King presiding; J. B. Turner, clerk, and William Bourman, sheriff.
A county in the northwestern part of the State, bounded on the north by Harrison, east by Grundy and Livingston, south by Caldwell, and west by DeKalb and Gentry Counties.
The French fur traders were the first white men to visit the territory now Daviess County. They ascended the Grand River, and for many years after 1815 made annual trips for the purpose of acquiring the peltries of the Indians. There was no permanent settlement made in the country, which was included in the limits of Ray County, until 1831, when a number of families from other sections of Missouri, mostly native of Kentucky and Tennessee, settled in the central, the northeastern and the southeastern parts of the county.
The Stokes, Stone, Duval, Pemiston and Creekmore families settled in the central part; the Netherton and Aubrey families in the northeast, and the Splawns, Taylors, Smiths, Traspers, W[M]oods, McDows, Weldons, and McHaneys in the southeastern portion.

The following few years a large number of other families ale homes for themselves in the Grand River basin, and in 1836 several hundred Mormon families greatly increased the population. The Mormons built numerous cabins in different parts of the county and laid out a town on the eastern bluffs of Grand River, about three miles above the present site of Gallatin, which they called Diamond. It soon became a deserted town, and little now remains to designate its one time activity; even no trace of the grave of "Old Father Adam" is in evidence.

The following named persons enlisted in the Spanish-American War:
Major Charles Morton, Paul E. Gillihan, Bert Conover, Charles Owens, George Townsend, Halleck Buzard, Claude Foley and Edward Perkins, all of whom are now in the Philippine Islands, William Redmon and W. L. Rucker having returned from Manila.

Survivors of the Civil War living in the county are:
Major S. P. Cox, Lieutenant Benton Miller, Captain E. West, Captain N. B. Brown, of Gallatin, and Colonel W. S. Brown, of Jameston.

[Encyclopedia of the History of Missouri Edited by Howard L. Conard, Vol. II, 1901 pages 234 - 236 - C. Horton -2009]

 

Daviess County.—A county in the northwestern part of the State, bounded on the north by Harrison, east by Grundy and Livingston, south by Caldwell, and west by DeKalb and Gentry Counties; area, 357,000 acres. The surface of the county is gently undulating, and is about evenly divided between prairie and timber lands. Grand River is the principal water course. It enters the county at the western border about six miles south of the Harrison County line, and flows in a southeasterly direction to the southeastern corner. Big River, Cypress Creek, and Hickory and Sampson Creeks are its chief tributaries from the north. From the southwest it receives the waters of Grindstone Creek, while Honey Creek, flowing east through the southern part of the county, is its chief feeder from that section. There are numerous small streams throughout the county, tributaries or sub-tributaries of Grand River. Numerous springs abound throughout the county.

The soil is generally a rich, dark, sandy loam, mixed with a vegetable mold. The bottom lands along Grand River and other streams, which are considerable in area, are as rich as any lands in the State. About 85 per cent of the land is under cultivation, the remainder being still in timber, consisting chiefly of oaks of different varieties, white and black walnut, elm, hickory, maple, cottonwood, hackberry, locust, sycamore, etc. There is abundance of limestone and sandstone in the county. No minerals have been discovered, though some geologists claim that deep-lying strata of coal are indicated.

The most profitable productions of the county are stock, poultry, dairy products and fruit. The average yield per acre of the cereals is: Corn, 30 bushels; wheat, 15 bushels, and oats, 25 bushels. Timothy, clover, bluegrass and the native grasses grow well. The fruit acreage is: Apples, 2,500 acres: peaches and cherries, 200 acres, and small fruits 200 acres.

According to the report of the Bureau of Labor Statistics for 1899, during the year 1898, the surplus products shipped from the county were: Cattle, 13,371 head; hogs, 63.305 head: sheep, 4,516 head; horses and mules, 1,672 head; wheat, 2,532 bushels; corn, 1.336 bushels; hay. 39,400 pounds: flour, 271,968 pounds; cornmeal, 2,006 pounds; timothy seed 18,000 pounds; lumber, 113.300 pounds; logs, 96,000 feet; walnut logs, 24,000 feet; piling and posts, 6,000 feet cordwood, 408 cords; cooperage, 2 cars; brick, 10,250; wool, 42,070 pounds; poultry, 746,342 pounds; eggs, 1,086,560; butter, 206,766 pounds; cheese, 78,107 pounds; tallow, 11,251 pounds; hides and pelts, 73,810 pounds; fresh fruit, 955 pounds; dried fruit, 2,630 pounds; vegetables, 2,740 pounds. Other articles exported are tobacco, dressed meats, fish, game, lard, honey, molasses, canned goods, nursery stock, furs and feathers.

The French fur traders were the first white men to visit the territory now Daviess County. They ascended the Grand River, and for many years after 1815 made annual trips for the purpose of acquiring the peltries of the Indians.

There was no permanent settlement made in the country, which was included in the limits of Ray County, until 1831, when a number of families from other sections of Missouri, mostly native of Kentucky and Tennessee, settled in the central, the northeastern and the southeastern parts of the county. The Stokes, Stone, Duval, Pemiston and Creekmore families settled in the central part; the Netherton and Aubrey families in the northeast, and the Spawns’, Taylors’, Smiths’, Traspers’, Woods’, McDows’, Weldons’ and McHaneys’ in the southeastern portion.

The following few years a large number of other families made homes for themselves in the Grand River basin, and in 1836 several hundred Mormon families, who were driven from Jackson and Clay Counties, greatly increased the population. The Mormons, or the "Saints," as they called themselves, built numerous cabins in different parts of the county, and laid out a town on the eastern bluffs of Grand River, about three miles above the present site of Gallatin, which they called Diamond. They declared that at that place they had discovered the grave of "Old Father Adam," and they determined to make the place one of their sanctified cities. Diamond, at the height of its glory, contained a population of about 500. It was, next to the city of Far West, in Caldwell County, the chief stronghold of the Mormons in northwestern Missouri. The town of Diamond was surrendered to the forces of General A. W. Doniphan when the authorities directed that the Mormons be driven from the State, and soon became a deserted town, and little now remains to designate its one time activity; even no trace of the grave of "Old Father Adam" is in evidence. (For Mormon troubles see "Mormonism.")

Daviess County was organized from a part of Ray, by legislative act approved December 29, 1836, and was named in honor of Colonel Joseph H. Daviess, of Kentucky, who fell in the battle of Tippecanoe, in 1811. In 1837 the commissioners appointed to locate a permanent seat of justice selected the land now a part of the site of Gallatin, which was laid out in town lots and named in honor of Albert Gallatin, the noted Swiss financier, who was Secretary of the Treasury of the United States from 1801 to 1813. The first circuit court was held in July, 1837, at the cabin of E. B. Creekmore, at the present site of Gallatin, Judge Austin A. King presiding; J. B. Turner, clerk, and' William Bourman, sheriff. A grand jury was impaneled and the members held their deliberations in a hazel-bush thicket, near Creekmore's cabin. One indictment was returned, and the jury was discharged. When the war against the Mormons was made, before the forces of General Doniphan reached Daviess County, the "Saints" burned the town of Gallatin. In 1840 a brick courthouse was built, and is still in use.

Daviess County furnished for the Union Army in the Civil War, from first to last, over 900 men, who belonged to the following organizations: The first military organization in the county was composed of three companies organized by Major Samuel P. and Joseph H. McGee and Captain William H. Folinsbee, and was known as the Missouri Home Guards, Six Months Militia, or Cox's Battalion. This organization was formed in July, 1861, and remained in service until January, 1862.
In February of the same year Colonel James McFerran, then a lawyer and judge of the circuit court began the organization of the Missouri State Militia Volunteers. Three companies of this regiment were raised in Daviess County; namely, Company A, Joseph H. McGee, captain; Company B, William H, Folinsbee, captain; Company C, John Ballinger, captain. The regiment was mustered into service February 2, 1862, for three years, or during the war. This, with ten other regiments in the State were first intended as State organizations, and were not to be ordered beyond State lines, but were later, by act of Congress, placed on an equality with regular United States volunteers, and were given bounties and received pensions the same as United States volunteer soldiers.

In the summer of 1862 this regiment took part in the battles of Panther Creek, Kirksville and Seas Ford, besides having many skirmishes with guerrillas and bushwhackers, then very numerous in Missouri, and the regiment was later engaged in the following named notable battles with Price's army: Jefferson City, California, Boonville, Lexington, Independence, Little Blue and Big Blue, in Missouri, and Mine Creek, Kansas. In this last named battle some 2,700 prisoners were captured, including General Marmaduke, who afterward became Governor of the State, and General Cabell and numerous other officers less noted. This regiment was mustered out of service February 1865, at St. Louis, on account of expiration of service. Two companies were raised in Daviess County for the Forty-third Regiment, United States Volunteer Infantry, to wit, Company F, William F. Flint, captain, and Company H, Marcus Morton, captain. This regiment served until June, 1865, and was mustered out on account of the close of the war. While there were no other companies raised in this county for the regular volunteer service, many enlisted from Daviess County in the Twenty-fifth and Twenty-seventh Infantry Regiments and the Eleventh Cavalry, and some few in the Second Cavalry, known as "Merrill's Horse." The Forty-third Missouri was a one-year organization, and was commanded by Chester Harding, Jr., of St. Louis.

The following companies of the Fourth Provisional Enrolled Missouri Militia were raised in this county: Company A, Joab Woodruff, captain; Company B, James Tuggle, captain; Company M, Napoleon B. Brown, captain; this regiment was commanded by John P. Hale, colonel, and later by J. H. Shanklin, and is pensionable by act of Congress. The following named companies of the Thirty third Enrolled Missouri Militia were raised in this county: Company A, Merritt Givens, captain; Company B, Napoleon B. Brown, captain; Company C, Milton Mann, captain; Company H, J. H. Creighton, captain: Company I, Joab Woodruff, captain. Dr. William S. Brown, now of Jamison, Missouri, was colonel of this regiment. It was raised for home protection, was not paid or clothed by the United States, and is not pensionable. The following named persons enlisted in the Spanish - American War: Major Charles Morton, Fourth United States Cavalry; Paul E. Gillihan, Jackson Williams, Bert Conover, Charles Owens, George Townsend, Halleck Buzzard, Claude Foley and Edward Perkins, all of whom are now in the Philippine Islands, William Redmon and W. L. Rucker having returned from Manila.

There are Grand Army of the Republic posts at the following points in Daviess County: Gallatin, Bancroft, Coffeysburg, Pattonsburg, Winston, Jamesport and Jamison. The survivors of the Civil War who were officers in the service and now live in the county are Major S. P. Cox, Lieutenant Benton Miller, Captain E. West, Captain N. B. Brown, of Gallatin, and Colonel W. S. Brown, of Jameston.

Daviess County is divided into fifteen townships, named, respectively:
Benton,
Colfax,
Grand River,
Harrison,
Jackson,
Jamesport,
Jefferson,
Liberty,
Lincoln,
Marion.
Monroe,
Salem,
Sheridan,
Union,
Washington.

The assessed valuation of real estate and town lots in the county in 1899 was $4,766,284; estimated full value, $14,298,852; assessed value of personal property, including notes, bonds, etc., $2,081,296; estimated full value, $4,162,592; assessed value of merchants and manufacturers, $243,221: estimated full value, $403,368; assessed value of railroads and telegraphs, $1,018,312.17; assessed valuation of banks and bank stock, 63 per cent, $90,623; full value, $143,855. There are 71.36 miles of railroad in the county, the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific, passing from the southwest corner through to the center of the eastern boundary line; the Wabash, from the northwest corner to the southeast corner, and the Omaha, Kansas City & Eastern through the northwestern section.

The number of public schools in the county in 1899 was 5,286. The population of the county in 1900 was 21,325.
[Source: Encyclopedia of the History of Missouri: Edited by Howard Louis Conard; Publ. 1901; Pg. 235; Transcribed by Andrea Stawski Pack.]


 

 

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