Franklin County, Missouri Genealogy Trails
Source: Goodspeed's Franklin County History, 1888, Goodspeed Publishing Co
Transcribed by: Barb Z. © 2009
Ancient Inhabitants - The first inhabitants of Franklin County were the mound Builders, but it is only by the exercise of the imaginative faculty that the county can ever be re-peopled by that most interesting and mysterious race, whose existence was as much of an unsolvable problem to the Indians as to us. The relics of the Mound Builders are found everywhere throughout the county, and, though they have left no other records of their lives than the round mounds of earth and their simple implements of stone, yet these relics seem to indicate that that particular portion of the Mound Builders' race that inhabited this immediate section of country ranked higher in the civilization of their day than their surrounding neighbors. This is indicated by the higher degree of skill evinced in the manufacture of the stone implements which they used than is shown by similar implements found in other portions of Missouri. It is a matter of regret that investigations have not been made, as their result might throw light upon this subject, one of the most absorbing interest to the antiquarian and ethnologist of the present day. The Indians were the successors of the Mound Builders, as the white man is now of the Indian, and as one of their many remarkable natural features and curiosities in the county, an ancient relic may be mentioned. It is an old burying ground on the farm of Samuel T. Adams, on a bluff of the Missouri River. It was quite distinct when the country was first settled. None of the graves were more than four and a half feet long, and all were lined with rock, set up on edge. According to an Indian tradition it was a burying ground belonging to a race preceding the Indians in the occupancy of this country. A few of the graves were opened by the early settlers, but nothing was found except small portions of a few of the bones, the rest of the skeletons having crumbled away. In some instances there are found in the mounds flint, copper and chalcedony arrow and spear heads, besides many ornaments.
First Settlers.—It is generally conceded that Kincaid Caldwell was the first American settler in Franklin County. He located in Section 6, Township 44, Range 1 west, in 1803, and it is probable that later in the same year he was joined by a few other families. Although Ambrose Boles was probably not the next American settler, yet he appears to be the next the year of whose arrival is known, he having settled in this county in 1804.
William M. Fullerton and John Ridenhour must have come in also about the same time, as the latter at least, as may be seen above, had made a selection of one of the grants, which was confirmed to his widow and children. Ridenhour Creek was named for him. It is believed that he was the only white settler killed in the county by the Indians, one of whom shot him while he was watering his horse at a spring not far from Labaddie, and near the line of the present St. Louis, Kansas City & Colorado Railroad.
John Mordecai, Philip Bell, Henry Steele, John Decker and Thomas Henry, the latter of whom was the first surveyor of the county, were among the early settlers in the same neighborhood with Mr. Boles. Mosias Maupin came to St. Louis County in 1804, just too late to avail himself of the "grants," and to Franklin County in 1806; he was the father of a large family: George (now of Callaway County), James M. (now of Cole County), Thomas, William, Lewis, Daniel and John. After Mosias Maupin's death, his widow married Benjamin Brown, and by him had seven children, named: James, Silas, Irvin, Nancy, Hannah, Ellen and Lucy. John Maupin, son of Mosias, was killed by the explosion of a powder mill, and Benjamin Brown came very near losing his life by the same accident.
John Maupin's children were John, Amos, Wilkinson, Daniel and two daughters, one of whom married James Heatherly, and the other William McDonald. Benjamin Heatherly came from Kentucky to Franklin County in 1806 or 1807. His children were James, Osias and Leonard besides other sons, and his daughters became Mrs. Amos Maupin, Mrs. James Orchard and Mrs. James Snelson. Amos Richardson came from Kentucky in 1806; his sons were Benjamin and Clayton, and his daughters became Mrs. Richard Phillips and Mrs. William Hammack.
About the same time there came into the county three brothers, also from Kentucky: James, Enoch and William Greenstreet. James' children were Clayton, Irvin, Jefferson, John and Mary, the latter of whom married a Mr. Clark. The names of Enoch's children were not ascertained. William's were Polly, Delilah (who married a Mr. Thompson), one who married Zachariah Smith, another girl, and two sons named James and Joseph.
Samuel and William Hutton, two brothers, came from Kentucky in 1806. Samuel's family consisted of six children: William, Jacob, Samuel, Thomas, Eliza and Elizabeth. The names of William's children were not ascertained. Returning to the Maupin family, a very prolific one, Thomas, William, Daniel and Lewis, it will be remembered, were sons of Mosias, the original settler. The children of Thomas Maupin were Boyd, Irvin, Jacob, Lindsey, Enoch, Mary and Nancy; of William: John, Elisha, Amos, Sarah and Ellen; and of Lewis: James, Lewis, Mrs. Kourtjohame, Mrs. John Patton and another daughter. Daniel Maupin's children were Sarah, John, Wyatt, Margaret, Elvira and James. Michael Shookman was another old settler; his sons were George and Nicholas.
Michael and Thomas Eowark also came in at an early day, and lived on Berger Creek. Philip Bell and John Bell, brothers, came from Virginia in 1808; the former settled near Labaddie, and the other near South Point. Philip's children were John K., Andrew, Philip, Elizabeth and Sarah, and John's were William, Mordecai, Ninian, John, David, Daniel, James and Elizabeth. Jacob Cole settled near South Point in 1808; his family consisted of his wife and four children—two daughters, Lydia, and another, who became Mrs. Pine, and two sons, James and Jasper.
James Snelson came from Tennessee in 1810, a single man, but was soon afterward married.
Nathan Richardson came into the county in 1806; his family consisted of his wife and ten children.
Wilson Hiatt came about 1812, as also his nephews, John and Thomas.
Sutton Farrar and his three brothers, Richard, Perrin and Robert, were also early settlers.
Malcolm Wheeler settled nearly south of the Meramec; his family consisted of his wife, two sons, William L. and Henry, and two daughters, Mrs. Benjamin Beazley and Mrs. Isaac Evans.
Jesse McDonald and his two brothers came from Kentucky in 1808.
Ute Music came into the county in 1808; he had two brothers, one, Uri, who lived in St. Louis County, the other, Uel, who lived in Gasconade County.
Hartly Sappington was one of the early settlers, coming into the county in 1806, and settling about two and a half miles up the Missouri River from the present site of Washington. He built the first horse mill west of St. Louis.
Leonard Heatherly arrived in the vicinity of Miller's Landing in 1808, and upon his arrival found there the following persons: John Cantley, William Clark, John Nichols, William Laughlin, John and Charles Phillips, Joshua Massey and William Dodds, all of whom had made considerable improvements, and the indications were that some of these settlers had been there several years.
James Pritchett settled near Boles, at a very early day, probably about 1808, as also did Michael Crowe, father of M. L. G. Crowe.
Michael Crowe had not been in the county long before he met with an accident in hauling logs, about the 1st of March, 1818, which, in a few days, terminated his life. While lying on his bed, between the day of the accident and that of his death, he made his will, which was probated in St. Louis County, Franklin County not yet having been organized. In this connection, attention may be called to the singular will of Pres. G. Eule, one of the early merchants of both Newport and Union. He recorded his reason for making his will as being the injustice of civil law in the disposition of property. Then this "item," followed:
I request that my body be buried in a plain and decent manner, hereby desiring and most earnestly requesting my friends not to mourn or grieve after me, knowing as they must, by a moment's reflection, that it is in conformity to the law of nature that my body ceases to move, to the end that some other more important machinery may be put in motion, and all the parts of nature's works more completely harmonize; and I most specially request that no funeral oration be pronounced over my remains, deeming it to be an idle, foolish and heathenish practice.
M. L. G. Crowe, son of Michael Crowe, above mentioned, although not the first child born in the county, was yet among the first, being born August 12, 1818; he has filled several of the county offices; he was elected justice of the peace in 1848, assessor in 1852, county judge in 1858, and county clerk in 1859, serving in this latter capacity eleven years; he is still living in Union, hale and hearty. Adam Zumwalt arrived in the same year with Michael Crowe, 1808. Judge Reed, father of B. F. Reed settled on Ridenhour Creek in 1814. Joseph C. Brown cani3 from Virginia in 1815, and through his influence Henry Brown, Russell Brown and Burrill Adams came from the same State in 1817. James North, who built the first watermill in the county, came in 1818, and was drowned in the creek near his mill in 1823; he was the father of Flavius J. North. Dr. Peter Kincaid, a Scotchman, and a very prominent physician and surgeon, who had served under Napoleon Bonaparte, settled on the Missouri River in 1818, and in 1837 laid off St. Alban's, which was washed away by the great flood of 1844. Achilles Jeffries came from Warren County, N. C, in 1819. Charles and Cuthbert Williamson, Zachariah Hale and Ambrose Hanson also came about the same time. David Cole and John Adams made loca-
tions iii the Labaddie bottom the year before. Bracket Barnes, Andrew Coleman (father of Judge Anderson J. Coleman), James Bibb, Thomas Wood, John D. Perkins, G. F. Barnes, John Barnes, Louis Munn and Dr. John H. Thompson were all early settlers. Robert Brock was the first teacher in the community near Labaddie and Boles. Robert Frazier, otherwise called the "Wild Irishman," was likewise an early settler; he was a noted Indian fighter, and had accompanied Lewis and Clarke in their tour of exploration in 1803 and 1804.
The following old settlers located in or about 1819 in Lyon Township: Robert Green street, Absalom Greenstreet, James Greenstreet, William and James Hammack, Robert and William Larimore, Enoch Greenstreet, and Richard Richardson.
Prairie Township was occupied about 1820 by American settlers, among them the following: Thomas Boyd, John King, William and Jesse Woodcock, Plato Cole, Richard Pierce, William 0. Bailey, William Peak, Jeremiah Hamilton, John Wall, John Jones, John White, Patrick Napier, William Thornhill, John and Berry Romaine, Lemuel Boyd, Isaiah Moore and William Murphy.
Central Township, originally named Galena, had as early inhabitants the following persons: Ephraim Jamison, William Osborne, Hubbard Jamison, Jesse Pritchett, Louis Regen, Samuel W. Short, George Fryer, John Hinton, Joseph Funk, Charles Welch and John Thompson.
Boone Township was early inhabited by the following persons: Ira and Eli Valentine, Mathew Blackwell, Mathew Blankenship, John Nance, Allen Vinyard, William Vinyard, Benjamin Richardson, Aaron Richardson, Daniel Richardson, John Brown and Francis Conway.
Other Early Settlers
- In this connection it may be stated that, in point of fact, the first white men who came into this county were French hunters and traders who gave names to many of the streams which are evidently French. A few of these early French hunters secured valuable land grants. Daniel Boone and some of his companions lived for a few years in the southwest part of the county, but in 1803 he moved on to Warren County, in which county one of the highest elevations is known as Boone's Knoll, as in Franklin County there is Boone Township.
John Julius is one of the oldest residents of the county, though not one of the oldest settlers, having come into the county in 1856, direct from Germany. Previous to leaving his native country he served as a soldier in her army, and while thus serving he had a remarkable altercation with young Prince William, the late venerable Emperor William of Prussia. The Prince was Julius' superior officer, and one day, while in camp, kept molesting Julius, punching him with his sword, most probably in a spirit of mischief, but much to Julius' annoyance and discomfort. At last Julius warned the young Prince that he must either desist or take a slapping, and, as good as his word, the next prod from the Prince's sword brought Julius to his feet, and he struck out, slapped the Prince with his bare hand, and laid him flat upon the ground. For this breach of discipline, if it may to be termed, Julius was summoned before a kind of a court-martial, where, in the presence of Prince William, he stated the facts, substantially as above narrated, the truth of the statement being admitted by the Prince, and, after a few words of admonition, both culprit and Prince were set at liberty.
Franklin County, Missouri Genealogy Trails
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