Gentry County Missouri
Gentry County Townships
Source: History of Daviess and Gentry Counties Missouri – (Gentry County portion by R. M. McCammon and Mary McCammon Hillman) – Printed by Historical Publishing Company, 1922 – Transcribed by Veneta McKinney
Athens Township, is bounded as follows : Beginning at the northeast corner of section 1, township 63, range 30 ; thence west about seven miles to the east fork of Grand River ; thence following the meanderings of said river to the north line of section 23, township 63, range 31; thence west about two miles to the middle fork of Grand River ; thence down said river to the south line of section 13, township 62, range 31 ; thence east to the Harrison County line; thence north nine miles to the place of beginning. It contains 73.05 square miles.
Some of the early settlers of Athens Township were the following: J. B. Kingsborough, Iri Orton, Alfred Orton, Robert Dubois and William Green, all from Richland County, Ohio. In 1836, two of these parties passed through this section, seeking a location, and had selected a mill-site near the town of Gentryville. Being pleased with this western country, they returned to Ohio, where they remained until the spring of 1838, when they again left their homes in the East, in company with Dubois, Green and Kingsborough above mentioned. Orton and Kingsborough came thru on horseback to Peoria, Illinois, where they were rejoined by the others, who had traveled by water. Here they purchased an outfit, coming the balance of the way by land, in a two-horse wagon. The men were all young and single, except Dubois, who was married, but left his family in Ohio. They reached the neighborhood of Gentryville, on the evening of June 12, 1838, stopping with William Martin, one of the earliest pioneers of the county. Here they sojourned during the summer, rented a few acres of ground from Martin and planted it in corn. They afterwards located in Athens Township, one and one half miles north of Albany, or where the town of Athens was located -Kingsborough opening a farm.
Michael Maltsberger came from Tennessee, before the county was organized, and located three miles southeast of Albany, where he continued to reside until his removal to Texas. Maltsberger was commissioned by the Governor one of the first county court justices, and was one of the three persons elected to that position at the election of 1846, the first election held in the county. It was at his suggestion that the county seat was called Athens, for the town of Athens, in McMinn County, Tennessee.
George K. and Benjamin Gulp came from Kentucky in the spring of 1835, and located on and near Jacob Miller's place, two miles west of Albany. They came to Clay County, Mo., where they remained about one year, and came from that county to Gentry, bringing all their worldly goods on a horse.
Kelse and David Culp came about the same time, settling also near Albany.
Levi Baldock, another Kentuckian, settled one mile south of Albany, Daniel Saunders, from North Carolina, located two miles south of Albany, at Sandsville which was named after him. The county court of Gentry County met for the first time in his cabin, and organized in May, 1846. Daniel Saunders was the first postmaster in the county, being appointed to that position about the year 1838. James, Simon and Stephen Leverich, from Virginia, were among the early settlers, stopping in the neighborhood of Sandsville.
Henry P. Miller was also from Virginia, and opened a farm adjoining the townsite of Albany.
George Smith said when he and his brother came to Gentry County, the Indians were here in large numbers, for two or three years, and that wild game was in great abundance in every portion of the county. He killed a large deer on the spot where the courthouse now stands.
John Q. Smith, from Kentucky, located about one mile northeast of the town. Andrew J, Bulla, from Virginia, settled two miles northeast, and Thomas Peery, also a Virginian, three miles northeast of Albany.
Samuel McKillen, from Scotland, Gideon Wright, from Clay County, James B. Hunter, from New York and Ohio, Benjamin and Joseph Twedell from Illinois, and Charles Rund from Austria, all located in the township at an early day, and near the town of Athens, as it was then called.
Allen Meek, from Clay County, and at one time a soldier in the United States Regular Army, was an early settler. Daniel Spainhower came from Casey County, Kentucky, in 1884, settling about five miles northeast of Albany, on what was known as the Hardin farm, where he remained until 1852, when he moved onto a farm ten miles north of Albany, where he continued to reside until 1874, when he came to Albany.
Caleb S. Canaday emigrated from Casey County, Ky., in 1828 to Illinois to Morgan and Montgomery Counties, thence to Gentry County, Athens Township, in 1844, locating six miles northeast of Albany, where he lived until 1872, when he became a resident of Albany. He was probate judge of the county in 1872.
Elisha Cameron came among the earliest. He was a prominent and influential citizen of the county, and filled numerous positions of honor and trust, among which were the offices of commissioner of the seat of justice, county commissioner and sheriff.
Among others, were Robert Carter, Walter Savage, William Childers, Peter Vesser, Jink Vesser, Jesse Martin, James Marrs, Jesse Gay, William G. Williams, who was the first representative from the County of Gentry in the legislature, and was probate judge of the county, Henry P. Milier, Miles Orton, George Brown, John Brown, John W. Canaday, James L. Canaday, George W. Birch, Samuel Trvin, Charles W. Claggett, Mason Ciaggett, Thomas E. Peery, William A. Peery, John j.' Hundley, Jacob Newman, James Thompson, Nathaniel Thompson, John Handy, Edward McCart, William McCart, George C. Needles, William Steel, Joseph Siddons, James B. Hunter, Eli P. Hardin, David O'Brien, Christopher Bartley, William Rice, David Prunty, Zachariah Spriggs, William Ward, Jr., Henry Ward, John Fox, Josiah Fox, William Fox, Charles F. Rund, William Brooks, John Riley, William Grants, Willis B. Sampson, Warren Leftwich, Hiram Warner and William Glendenning.
- Beginning at the northwest corner of section two ; thence east eight miles to the east fork of Grand River ; then following the meanderings of the river to the south line of section 35, township 64, range 31 ; thence west to the southwest corner of section 35, township 64, range 32 ; thence north six miles to the place of beginning, containing 44 square miles.
Early settlers in this township were John Ross and his son, John who came from Nova Scotia about the year 1841 or 1842 and settled west of the Middle Fork of Grand River.
William Glendenning came from Ohio, about the year 1841, and settled west of the Middle Fork on the bank of the str3am. The Rosses and William Glendenning were doubtless the first white men to locate permanently in Bogle Township.
Alexander Newman emigrated from Tennessee about the year 1842, and located between the East and Middle Forks of Grand River. At the time of his death he was a citizen of St. Joseph, Mo.
William Allen came to Gentry County prior to 1844, and located on the west side of the East Fork of Grand River, where he continued to live until 1850, when he went to Oregon, A man by the name of Harris located about the same time, and in the same neighborhood. He left the country several years afterwards.
Thomas Martin came to the county about the year 1874, and settled what was called the Jack Ray farm, between the East and Middle Forks. Martin went to Oregon in 1863.
Jesse Martin, brother of Thomas Martin, located in Bogle Township prior to 1884, and settled in the same locality where his brother Thomas had lived. Jesse went to California in 1849.
James Dean came from Callaway County, Missouri, in an early day, first locating in Athens Township, where he remained until 1847, when he enlisted as a soldier for the Mexican War. He returned from the war in 1848, and settled between the East and Middle Forks of Grand River, in Bogle Township.
Alexander Guynn emigrated from Ohio prior to the year 1844, and located in the same locality.
Harris Green came from South Missouri in 1846 or 1847 and settled in the same neighborhood, where he died.
L. L. L. Shockley, from Gasconade County, Missouri, came in 1842,and settled on section 27, township 64, range 31.
William and Thomas David, coming from Gasconade County, Mo., settled about three-quarters of a mile south of Mr. Shockley's farm. They finally moved to Iowa, near Red Oak Junction. James Murphey, and Decatur Murphey, his brother, came from Illinois about the year 1846 and settled west of the Middle Fork of Grand River. Frederick Summa located in the same neighborhood about 1846. Reuben Cox came from Gasconade County, Missouri, and settled in Bogle Township at an early day. He moved to the mountains in 1862 or 1863. A man by the name of Ingles and his son Coleman, also opened a farm between the Middle and East Forks of the Grand River.
Then came John Lawrence from Ohio, in 1850, and improved a place west of the Middle Fork. William A. Snyder, from Indiana, came also in 1855, taking a claim in the same locality. Snyder is still living, but Lawrence is dead. John Patton was one of the settlers of this township in 1850.
James Long and Reuben Long took a claim in the northwestern part of Bogle Township.
Uriah Wells, Jonothan Bogue and Grayble all located in the west part of the township.
Wright Stevens built the first grist mill (horse power) on Bear Creek in the northwestern part of the township. It was a primitive structure, and rested upon four to eight forks, eight or ten feet above the ground. It had a pair of burrs made of lost rock, and turned out from three to five bushels per day. A son of Wright Stevens, who was about 16 years of age, committed suicide prior to 1850 by hanging, committing the deed with green bark, which he used instead of rope. About 1858, on the same farm, a man by the name of Timmons was waylaid, shot and killed by Milligan and Kestler. At a still later period, and on an adjoining farm, Enwhistle killed Fightner.
Thomas Napier, familiarly known as "Father Napier," settled near the Worth County line, in the northwest part of the township. He came prior to 1850, and he is said to have been familiar with the Old and New Testament scriptures that he could quote from memory almost any passage contained in either of them.
Joshua Cox and Reuben Cox were among the early settlers, locating in the eastern part of the township. Benjamin Dawson became a resident of the township about 1850. He was from Kentucky.
Luman Yates, son-in-law of Thomas Martin, settled near Martin, and later went to California. Beverly Mahoney came from Indiana prior to 1850, and settled in Bogle Township. Dr. Jabez Hunt, from Ohio, located near Union Grove postoffice. He died in the winter of 1881, in Gentryville. Noah and Alexander Hise, from Ohio, settled in this township prior to 1850.
J. J. Patton came from Indiana in 1856. Philip Hinote, who was also an Indianian, located in Bogle Township in 1850. Henry Ross emigrated from Ohio in the Spring of 1855. William Hough took up his line of march westward from North Carolina at a very early day.
The Protestant Episcopal organization built a house of worship in 1881. The constituent members were Wisley Lawrence and family, John J. Swank, Andrew Henderson and family, William Stebbins and family.
The Missionary Baptist, United Brethren and the Christian denominations, each hold services in the different school houses of the township.
Probably the first school in Bogle Township, was taught by a man named Brison ; the school house was a log cabin, located in district number six, and was erected in 1855. The teacher was from Tennessee, and taught what was called a loud school, where each pupil studies his or her lessons aloud.
The pioneer grist mill of Bogle Township was a horse mill, built prior to 1850, by John Armstrong, and located on Linn Creek. The mill was standing in 1855, but since that time both mill and owner have passed away.
William Jackson and brother built the next grist and saw mill and sold the same to Martin Mervin, who moved the machinery onto the land owned by John J. Patton.
- Commencing at the northwest corner of the northeast quarter of section three, township 63, range 33; thence east to the West Fork of Grand River; then down said river to the south line of section 13, township 62, range 31; thence west to the Nodaway County line; thence north to place of beginning, containing 76 square miles.
Early settlers in Cooper Township were : John Hussey, William R. James, James House, James H. Saunders, Dr. T, C. Hussey, Benjamin Floyd, John J. Stansbury, Green B. Cooper, William Hall, James House, Silas Houston, John N. Ross, Thomas W. Wilson, John J. Gish, Charles B. Newhall, Ephriam Shisler, Isreal Shisler, Thomas Irons, John Cooper, L, E. Shadduck, Lewis Christian, James Rouse, John T. Daniel, James R. Farriss, John H. Kay, J. L. Edster, Fred Cogdill, James Stockton, Sidney Wilson, George Wilson, William Harkrider, Enoch Liggett, L N. Malson, Robert Webber, Elijah Hathaway, Sylvanus Hathaway, Wilson J. Wheeler, L N. Morris, J. W. Boner, William McCurry, Anderson Redding, Joshua Cranor, Henry Cobb, Reuben Perkins, B. Steves, T. C. Hussey, H. H. Hussey.
- Howard Township is bounded as follows: Beginning at the northeast corner of section one, township 64, range 30 ; thence west six miles to the East Fork of Grand River; thence down said river to the south line of section 36, township 64, range 31 ; thence east seven miles to the west line of Harrison County; thence north six miles to the place of beginning, 39 square miles.
Samuel and Asa Howard, after whom Howard Township takes its name, came about 1840 from Ohio, and located near the southwest corner of the township, near the East Fork of Grand River. Samuel went to Iowa.
William Bently, Sr., from West Virginia, but came from Illinois here, in 1838, and settled in the southwest corner of the township. He was sheriff of the county whence he came to Illinois, and ran for that office here, but was defeated. He served as one of the justices of the peace of Howard Township in an early day. He was a soldier in the Mexican War, and was in some of the most sanguinary battles of that struggle, being present at the Battle of Monterey and at the capture of the City of Mexico. He returned to Gentry County after the Mexican War, and in 1850 went to California, where he died.
David Rhudy emigrated from Tazewell County, Virginia, about the year 1842, and located on Muddy Creek, in the northwest part of the township. He moved away and has been dead for many years.
John Finley came from Tennessee in 1838, settling in Daviess County, Missouri. He was in the Mormon War of that year, and located in Gentry County, on Muddy Creek, in 1841 or 1842. Inseparably associated with the name of John Finley is that of Sicamac, the name of a horse prized very highly by him.
William Smith settled in Daviess County, Missouri, prior to 1838, and was in the Mormon difficulties at Far West. He located in Howard Township in 1844, and afterwards moved to Worth County, where he died. He was a native of Tennessee.
James and Nathaniel Blakely came from Tennessee to Daviess County, Missouri, in 1844. These men were exceedingly fond of frontier life, spending the greater portion of their time in hunting game, wild honey, and in fishing. Jesse Blakely, another brother, who came in 1845, was killed in New Mexico.
Old man Blakely and his wife were also early settlers of Gentry County. They were taken sick on the same day, and died about the same time, and were buried in the same coffin.
Charles Roe came in 1840, remained two or three years, and went to Iowa.
Edward Nance arrived in 1842, and was about the first blacksmith to ply his trade in Howard Township. John Handy, a native of Kentucky, but from Illinois to Gentry County, pitched his tent near Muddy Creek, on the 16th section. He afterwards moved to Athens Township, and upon the organization of the county, moved to the town of Athens, now Albany, and kept the first tavern that was ever opened to the public in the town.
John Plaster came from Indiana at an early day, lived in Miller and Athens, and moved to Howard Township about 1850. He filled various offices in the county, among which was that of surveyor, assessor and justice of the peace.
Madison Marrs, formerly from Virginia, but came from Illinois to this county, in 1840, and located on Panther Creek. This creek takes its name from the fact of a panther being killed upon its banks by some hunters who were passing through the country several years before the permanent settlement of Gentry County.
Elijah Vincent, John and Samuel Carter, together with big and little John and Richard Glendenning, came to the township in the fall of 1841, and settled on the south bank of Panther Creek, three-quarters of a mile north of the line of Athens Township. From these two families and their relations sprang the M. E. Church of Gentry County. They were great friends of Methodism, being prominent and active members of that church, their homes being headquarters for the entertainment of the ministers of that church.
The first camp meeting that was held in Gentry County was on the farm of the Carters, above named, which took place about the year 1842 or 1843. It began on Thursday and continued over Sunday. There were about 200 persons in attendance, coming from Daviess, DeKalb, Nodaway, Gentry and other counties, and they came generally in ox wagons and were well supplied with provisions, which they cooked and ate upon the ground. Among the ministers officiating upon that occasion were Isaac Bums and Noah Richardson, both of whom were devoted and earnest servants of God. It was an occasion characterized by a manifestation of genuine Christian piety.
Sampson Caster settled near the Rosses in an early day, where he continued to reside until his death, which occurred in the winter of 1881. He was from Pennsylvania. Iri Hewlett came from Ohio about 1846.
Lace Carter, was also among the early pioneers to Howard Township. He was said to have excelled as a bee hunter; he was also fond of hunting and trapping wild game. After remaining here a few years, he left for Iowa, where he continued to live until his death, which occurred many years ago ; being inseparably connected with his two most faithful companions - his gun and his dog.
John C. Williams, Thomas Williams, Evan D. Williams, William H. Williams and James Williams were also among the early settlers of the township.
George W. Needels came from Ohio prior to 1845, and located in this township. He was one of the county judges of Gentry County in 1864 and '66. He was a farmer and also the proprietor of the American Freeman, an anti-monoply, anti-secret-society weekly newspaper.
David Gulp and Thomas Cook, William Stevenson and George Smith were also early settlers.
Hugh Ross was, perhaps, the pioneer school teacher of the township. Peter Wilson emigrated from Old Virginia, near Richmond, and located south of Muddy Creek, in the north part of the township, on the Rhudy farm. He was an active member of the M. E. Church, South.
Giles and Henry Parman emigrated from Tennessee and settled in Howard Township quite early. Henry Parman went to California shortly after the gold excitement of 1850, where he died.
John Hunger, who was also from Tennessee, came in 1842, and was the first blacksmith in Howard Township. A man by the name of Hixon and his brother-in-law, Saylee, came to the township prior to 1850 Hixon afterwards killed Saylee, which was one of the earliest murders in Gentry County. Charles McNeece came from Clay County, Missouri, formerly from Tennessee, settled east of a town known as Elenora.
Solomon Yates, Abram Yates, Henry Sourds, Aaron Allen and Samuel Colvin, were also early settlers of the township.
About 1841, a family named Robinson, consisting of two or three brothers and as many sisters, came from Clay County, Missouria, and located near Muddy Creek, or in the forks of Muddy Creek. Potter Harrington, from Clay County, who resided near the Robinsons, went to visit them one afternoon, remaining till dark before attempting to return home. In the meantime a heavy shower of rain had fallen, and the creek had risen rapidly. Harrington mounted his horse, being somewhat intoxicated, it is said, and started for home. He rode into the creek; his horse came out upon the opposite shore, riderless. Harrington was drowned ; his body, however, was never afterwards indentified. Some boys who were fishing in the creek the following spring discovered the bones of a human skeleton ; this skeleton was supposed to be the remains of Potter Harrington. The bones were collected and carefully interred on the banks of the stream, near the place where they were found. Harrington drowning at night, or being last seen at night, when he left Robinson's cabin - the Robinsons being a rough, drinking indecent, and immoral people, were arrested, charged with the murder of Harrington, and taken before 'Squire Tip Brown, of Gentryville, but for want of sufficient testimony, authorizing the justice to hold them for trial till the succeeding term of the circuit court, they were discharged.
As early, perhaps, as 1855, a brick church edifice was erected by George W. Needels and others near the former's residence and called Needel's Church. The denomination known as the Methodist Episcopal worshipped there for many years. Among the early members of this church were George W. Needels, Sr., and wife, George W. Needels, Jr., and wife, Thomas Needels and wife and Barrett Needels, who was a preacher. The old brick church was taken down, and near it was erected a frame building.
The Cumberland Presbyterians built a house of worship on John Wayman's land. It was built prior to 1860. Wayman and family, Archibald Ross, James Castor and wife, Mayhew Harris and wife, Robert Reddy and wife, and Wiley and wife were among the organizing members. Rev. John Wayman was the first pastor. The building is still standing. The Christian M. E. Church and M. E. Church, South, not having any houses of worship of their own, hold services either in other houses or in the different township school houses.
- The boundaries of Jackson Township are: Beginning at the northeast corner of section 24, township 62, range 32, thence west eight and a half miles; thence south nine miles; thence east eight and a half miles ; thence north nine miles to place of beginning. There are 76.5 square miles in the township.
Among the early settlers of Jackson Township were J. J. Taylor and his brother, G. P. Taylor, from Scott County, Illinois; the latter came in 1855 and the former in 1856, and located about three miles northeast of King City. Ithra Todd settled four miles east of town, prior to 1856.
William Ring, Allison, Elijah Hull and Manlove Cranor were all residents of the township at an early day.
Porter Hardin, Rufus Brown, Love Millen, John G. Millen, Oscar Griswold, Samuel Millen, Harvey White and Thomas Payne were all in the township prior to 1860, and located near the present site of King City.
William Currel, from the southern part of Missouri, came also prior to 1855, but left soon after. Levi Wood located west of the town, was from Boone County, Missouri, but afterwards removed to Worth County.
R. M. Brown came with his father. E. K. Wood, settled about four miles northwest. Andrew Tomlinson came at a later date from Indiana.
David Cranor, William and Moses Cranor were among the early settlers.
Tiney Helton, from Kentucky, settled in the northwest corner of the township in 1840. He was a man of decided characteristics, and was exceedingly fond of frontier life. He spent much of his time in the woods and on the banks of the neighboring streams in search of bees, honey and wild game. His cabin stood near Wild Cat Branch, where he lived a number of years, finally going to Arkansas and locating among the Ozark Mountains. It is said by those who know him, that wild cats and coons were among his favorite meats. His cabin was without a floor, other than the ground. His pigs and lambs were raised in the cabin, where they shared with his family about the same fare.
Harrison Ballard, Israel Cook, Edwin Winchester, Daniel Raridan, Thomas Stegall, Adam Combs, Lewis Russell, Coleman Fugate and William Cogdill, all came before 1845.
- Huggins Township is bounded as follows: Beginning at the West Fork of Grand River, where the same crosses the south line of section 32, township 64, range 32 ; thence down said river to the southwest corner of section 36, township 63, range 32; thence following the meanderings of said river to where the same intersects the Middle Fork of Grand River; thence up the Middle Fork to the north line of section 21, township 63, range 31; thence east to the East Fork of Grand River; thence up said river to the south line of section 35, township 64, range 31 ; thence west to the place of beginning. Containing 37 square miles.
The pioneers who first settled Huggins Township, or that territory now known as Huggins Township (it being once a part of Athens Township) located near, or in the timber on the banks of the streams. Grand River, eighty five years ago contained a much larger volume of water than it does now. Its native timber belts were larger, darker, and more dense, abounding in a variety of game, and its waters teemed with fish, all of which constituted incentives that were not easily resisted by the old settler.
One of the first to locate in this township was Samuel Collins, who came from Indiana about the year 1842, and settled on the southwest side of the township, near the West Fork of Grand River. He was one of the three county judges, the first that the county had in 1845, his associates being Michael Moltsberger and William Steele. They were commissioned as judges by the governor of the state. Prior to the Kansas and Nebraska troubles. Judge Collins moved to Buchanan County and built a brick residence within a few miles of St. Joseph. He finally about the time of the breaking out of the civil war moved to Kansas. He is said to have been a rough, overbearing man, and constantly at war with his neighbors. He was killed in a difficulty in Kansas.
Frank Alexander came from Ohio prior to 1884, and settled near the West Fork of Grand River. He built the first stream saw and grist mill erected in Huggins Township.
Peter Vesser came from Tennessee in a very early day, as did John and George Brown, and settled in the Forks of Grand River; they were Indian traders, and possessed but little refinement, either in dress or manners. John Brown died here and George moved to Texas.
Lemuel Lyle came from Kentucky prior to 1844, and located between the East and Middle Forks of Grand River.
Strother Ball came from Clay County, Missouri, to Gentry County, and located near the Middle Fork of Grand River, in 1844. He was a native of Kentucky ; went to Texas where he died. He was a minister of the Hard Shell Baptist denomination.
Wright Stephens from Kentucky, settled near the forks of Grand River. He erected a saw mill in Worth County, in which he lost one of his arms. He went to Texas before the war.
Hiram Warner, from Kentucky, came in 1845, and located in the forks of Grand River. Mr. Warner was a minister of the Christian church and lived and died an exemplary Christian life.
William J. Canaday, Sr., originally from Kentucky, but came from Illinois to Gentry County, in 1845 and located between the forks of the river.
Lewis David, from South Missouri, came in 1845, and settled on Caleb S. Canaday's farm, where he died.
Thomas and Calvin David, who were also from South Missouri, settled on the Middle Fork of Grand River.
George O. Carlock came in 1842, from Tennessee, and settled west of the Middle Fork of Grand River. He died in 1881, at the age of 83 years. His son, Henry Carlock, who settled with his father, at the same date, was a soldier in the Union army and died at Jefferson City, in 1862.
In 1842, Uriah Wells came from Indiana and settled west of the Middle Fork of Grand River. He afterwards went to Iowa, where he died.
Jonathan Bogue was also an early settler, from Indiana, settled west of the East Fork of Grand River.
William Cox, from South Missouri, came in 1845, and settled west of the Middle Fork of Grand River. He went to Oregon before the Civil War.
Meredith Shockley was also from South Missouri, and settled west of the Middle Fork, where he died. He was a Methodist preacher.
John Huggins, after whom the township received its name, came from Ohio, about the year 1845, and settled west of the Middle Fork, at Hugginsville, which also took its name from John Huggins, where was afterwards established a post office. In 1868 and '70 he was one of the county judges of Gentry County. John Armstrong, son-in-law of Huggins, located about the same time near Hugginsville.
William and Elisha Poole came from Ohio, at an early day.
Elisha and Isaac Enochs, from Ohio, located also near Hugginsville.
Frederick Watson, a native of Scotland, but from Ohio to Gentry County, was one of the earliest settlers, locating west of the Middle Fork of Grand River.
James Hall, from one of the Eastern States, settled near Grand River, where he died.
James McGuire came from Kentucky in 1842 or 1843, with his father, both settling on the West Fork of Grand River. His father went to Oregon.
In 1845 William Rhoades came from Clay County, Missouri, and settled on the Middle Fork of Grand River, in the bottom.
Andy Mackey located between the Middle and East Forks.
Valentine Waltrip settled here at an early day.
Among the earliest settlers was Solomon Graybill, from South Missouri.
Morris B. Huggins, John Armstrong, Francis H. Alexander, Cornelius Enochs, David Buckridge, James F. Hall, Samuel Gunter and Wilson T. Canaday, were all among the earliest settlers of Huggins Township.
A church was built in Huggins Township as early at 1848. It was a brick edifice, and the land was donated by William J. Canaday, as was also the cemetery, which is one of the oldest in the county, and is the last resting place of many of the old pioneers and their wives. The first minister to officiate within its walls was Hiram Warner, who continued to fill its pulpit for nineteen consecutive years. As above stated, he was from Kentucky, and an Elder in the Christian Church. Among the persons organizing this church were William J. Canaday and wife, George Brown and wife, Uriah Wells and wife, Henry Carlock and wife, George O. Carlock and wife, Edwin Miller and wife, and Constance and wife. Jasper H. Coffey succeeded Warner. Rev. Ripley and wife, each of whom proclaimed the glad tidings of salvation, also labored irregularly for some years in this church. Barton W. Wadkins is the minister in charge at the present time. The brick church (Christian) was wrecked by storm in 1883. A frame building soon took its place and the work of this church has been continued.
The Capel, located at Hugginsville, was erected about 1854, by the M. E. Church society. Meredith Shockley and Herald Johnson were among its earliest ministers. John Huggins and wife, William Poole and wife, Robert Morris and wife, John Ross, Sr., Mrs. John Armstrong, and others, assisted at its organization.
- Miller Township is bounded as follows: Beginning at the northeast corner of section 24, township 62, range 30 ; thence west 12 miles; thence south nine miles; thence east 12 miles; thence north nine miles to place of beginning, containing 108 square miles.
Miller Township was the first settled in the county, that is to say, the first emigrants coming to the county located in Miller Township, and near what are now known as Greenwell Ford and Gentryville. It is the southeast township of the county, the line of Daviess County forming its eastern boundary. Daviess County was organized in 1836. Settlements, however, had been made in that county several years prior to that date. Because of its contiguity to Daviess County, which had been settled from twelve to fifteen years, Miller Township received the first emigration coming westward. The Grand River, with its affluents, affording ample water-power for mill sites, and the abundant supply of timber which fringed these streams, as well as the fertility of the soil, constituted attractions such as were sought after by the pioneers, coming from the well watered and well timbered districts of the Eastern and Southern States. In 1832 Isaac Miller and his brother, Tobias, came from Garrett County, Kentucky, to Clay County, where they remained for two years. During the fall of that year and the succeeding fall, 1832-33, he came to Gentry County in company with a number of young men in search of game and wild honey. His immediate companions in the fall of 1833 were his brother, Moses Miller, David Henderson, Lewis Arnold and William Arnold, all from Kentucky. There were three wagons in the company, containing from three to five men each, besides the wagon under the control of Mr. Miller and his party. They crossed Grand River near what was afterwards known as Patton's Ford, and after remaining in the vicinity of what is now Gentryville and Greenwell Ford for several weeks, they returned to Clay County, taking with them an abundance of honey. Having, during his sojourn in Clay County, made the acquaintance of William Martin and John Roberts, both of whom were from Tennessee, they concluded to come together to Gentry County, and accordingly in the winter of 1834, in February, they arrived at Greenwell Ford. They built a cabin on the north side of the river, about forty steps from the bank, north of the ford. At that time the locality had not been named, nor had a ford or crossing place been established. When Mr. Miller and his companions reached the end of their journey they found a large band of Fox and Sac Indians, who had been camping there that winter. They soon erected their cabin and prepared to raise a small crop of corn in the spring of 1834, putting in fifteen acres. At that time there were no mills or trading posts nearer than Clay County, where they were compelled to go for their supplies, at long intervals, a distance of about seventy miles. After spending the winter and summer in their cabin, Martin, Roberts and Tobias Miller, each took a claim. Martin located three-fourths of a mile east of the ford, on what was not inaptly called then "Poverty Point," from the fact that the location was poor, sandy and barren. Here Martin died many years ago.
John Roberts, of whom we have spoken in the history of Albany, lived a short time near Greenwell Ford, and then moved on to the town site of Albany, from which place he went to Illinois.
Tobias Miller, settled southeast of the ford, on the east side of the river. After two or three years he removed to Daviess County, Mo., and died there, about the year 1857. Isaac Miller then became and continued the solitary occupant of the old cabin near the ford, until he located on the northwest quarter of section 23, township 62, range 31, two miles south of Greenwell Ford, where he lived until 1881, when he sold to his son. While living at Greenwell Ford, Mr. Miller observed a large bald-headed eagle, which had built her nest in a dead sycamore tree near his cabin. The top of the tree had been broken off by the wind, leaving about 70 feet of the trunk standing. Upon this stump the proud bird had built her nest, where for two or three succeeding summers she raised her brood.
This region of country was the hunter's paradise, and it was annually visited for several years after its settlement by the whites, by the Indians of the Platte Purchase, who always returned to their homes with a winters' supply of elk and deer.
In the fall of 1835, Mr. Miller, while standing upon the brow of an upland prairie, saw on the plains below 127 deer in a single herd. Such were visions which not unfrequently delighted the eyes and gladdened the hearts of the brave pioneers who pitched their tents upon the banks of the Grand River.
In 1835, the year following the first settlements made in the county, emigration began to come quite rapidly. During that year, among those who settled in Miller Township were John Gulp, from Tennessee; Milton Foster, from Kentucky ; a German by the name of Taughlemyer, who afterwards removed to Platte County; Benjamin Gulp, from Tennessee; Elisha Cameron, from Tennessee, and a number of others, principally from Kentucky and Tennessee, all locating within a few miles of Gentryville.
Nancy J. Miller, daughter of Isaac Miller, was the first white child born in the county, the date of her birth being October, 1839. When grown to womanhood she married W. P. Garten.
Among the earliest settlers of this township was Judge Jacob Jones, who came from Muskingum County, Ohio, in 1839, arriving here on the 1st day of February, of that year. He came by land, through the newly settled states of Indiana and Illinois, crossing the Mississippi River at Quincy. He purchased from John McCully, his claim, located five miles east of Gentryville and one mile from the Daviess County line, subject to a survey. McCully was a Kentuckian and had lived on his claim about two years, and then moved to Daviess County, Mo. Judge Jones continued to reside upon this farm, where he made substantial improvements, until 1865, when he located at Albany, the county seat. He was one of the prominent citizens of the county and was one of the county judges in 1862 and in 1866.
Jesse Green, from Kentucky, located near the center of the township, prior to 1839. Shortly after the discovery of gold in California, he, in company with a number of others from Gentry County, went to that state, where he afterwards died.
Clayton T. Robinson, also a Kentuckian, located in the northwest part of the township prior to 1839. Charles Gay, from Ohio, came to the county prior to 1839 and settled at or near Gentryville, and was one of the men who built at Gentryville in 1840 the first water mill that was ever erected in the county, the place being called at that time Gay's Mill. This primitive structure was built of logs, about 24 feet square, and was operated with one pair of stones and had an upright saw. These stones were made in the county by Joshua Potter out of what is called "Nigger Head," or lost rock. This mill was washed away by the freshet of 1844, and was rebuilt in 1844 and 1845, constructed in the second instance of logs, but had two runs of stones. It was washed away in 1851, and again rebuilt.
John T. Hunter, a son-in-law of Charles Gay above named, came with Gay from Ohio, settling also at or near Gentryville, and became the partner of Gay in the erection of the water mill above mentioned. In 1851 the mill was sold to J. C. and T. J. Patton and rebuilt in 1853-4. John Graham & Brother bought it in 1863, and was washed away again in 1865. Mr. Hunter afterwards became a citizen of eastern Oregon. Aristippus Brown, from Kentucky, located near Gentryville, prior to 1839, and finally went to California.
Taylor McCully, from Kentucky, settled about four miles east of Gentryville, about the year 1836. He erected the first horse mill worked by lever power in the county, as early as 1837 or '38, at or near the place of his residence. It was afterwards operated by Levi Baldock.
The facilities for obtaining breadstuffs then were very meagre and incomplete. An entire day was doubtless consumed by mills similar to this in grinding form two to five bushels of corn, and it is said that Levi Baldock, the last proprietor of this mill, possessed an old hound that sometimes lapped up the meal as rapidly as the mill ground it, and in the intervals looked up towards the hopper and barked for more. The original settlers of the county generally grated their meal at home, which made very excellent bread, especially when eaten hot, with native honey, of which at that time, the forests along the streams abounded.
George and Wm. Weese located west of Gentryville prior to 1839. Charles Roberson, from Kentucky, settled north of Gentryville in 1839.
John Patton, of Kentucky, settled in the northeast corner of the township prior to 1839. Being smitten with the gold fever, which prevailed so universally in this country in 1849, he went to California. Upon his homeward voyage from California, where he had remained a short time, he died on board of a ship, in the Gulf of Mexico. Byron Linville and James M. Howell, from Tennessee, were also early settlers in this township. William McNatt and Paschal O. Roberson, from Kentucky, the former locating east of Gentryville two miles and the latter north of Gentryville, were also among the pioneers. Charles Pryor and William Newby settled south of Gentryville. John D. Burton, from Kentucky, located on the Taylor McCully farm, at an early day. Caleb Sampson settled one mile southeast of Judge Jones, prior to 1836.
James C. Patton was born in Augusta County, Va., July 24, 1787. In 1809 he emigrated from Virginia to Knox County, Tennessee, where he continued to reside till March, 1819. He then moved to Monroe County, Tennessee, where he lived till the spring of 1841, when he came to Daviess County, Missouri, where he lived till Sept. 14, 1841, when he came to Gentry County, Missouri, settling in Miller Township, not far from Gentryville. He died in 1862, at Albany.
In 1840, E. W. Dunegan, a native of Kentucky, but from Montgomery County, Indiana, to Missouri, located in Miller Township. In June. 1841, Mr. Dunegan commenced a three months' school two miles above Gentryville, on the east side of Grand River. A few days before his school opened, the neighbors of the vicinity, living in a radius of perhaps ten miles, met and erected the school house, which was a log building, 16 feet square, a portion of one of the logs being taken out for a window. There were enrolled 22 pupils in this the pioneer school of Gentry County, the names of 20 of whom are here given: A. J. Ward, A. Ward, Joseph Ward, Daniel Gay, J. S. Ward. James W. Crawford, G. W. Crawford, William Osborn, William Ward, Miriam Foster, Susan Foster, Margaret Foster, Nancy Ready, Ellen Ready, Louisa Smith, Judith Smith, Barbara Smith, Loretta Warren, Sarah Osborn, Sarah A. Ward.
- Wilson Township is bounded as follows: Beginning at the northwest corner of the northeast quarter of section 3, township 64, range 33 ; thence east six and a half miles ; thence south six miles; thence west six and a half miles; thence north to the place of beginning; 39 square miles, 25,000 acres.
One of the first pioneers to pitch his tent within the limits of what is now known as Wilson Township, was Abraham Enyart, He came from Clinton County, Mo., where he had gone from Kentucky, before Clinton County was organized, about the year 1831. He was an elder in the Christian Church, and a physician. As early as 1837 or 1838, he made visits to Gentry County, where at regular intervals he conducted religious services. Finally, in 1840, he settled in the northern part of Wilson Township, about four miles north of Alanthus. He was instrumental in securing the first post office in the township, and named it Alanthus.
In 1842 or 1843, John Bryson from Tennessee, located in the north-east corner of the township. He has filled the position of justice of the peace for a number of years.
Samuel and Captain Bryson were also among the early settlers to this portion of the county.
Thomas Stanley was also one of the pioneers, settling in the north-east part of the township. He left the county many years ago.
Squire Chapman located near Alanthus.
Lemuel Wadkins, who was also an elder of the Christian Church, was among the early settlers.
Two or three families of Wrights, Levi and Riley Osborn, George Smith and one of the Granthams, all came at an early day, as did Leander and Jesse Coffey from Indiana. Jesse Coffey was a physician, residing at Alanthus.
William Richardson settled south of Alanthus.
Enoch Liggett, was also an early settler. In 1856, in 1862 and 1864, he was one of the judges of the county court.
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