Genealogytrails Harrison County, Missouri
Brief History of Harrison County
by Miss. Ada L. Wrightman

By Miss Ada L. Wightman, Bethany
The area of Harrison County is 730 square miles; acreage, 468,000. Is traversed by the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad. Bethany is the county seat. The cities, towns and incorporated villages are : Akron, Andover, Bethany, Blue Ridge, Bythedale, Brooklyn, Cainsville, Eagleville. Oilman City, Hatfield, Martinsville, Melbourne, Mount Moriah, New Hampton, Pawnee and Ridgeway.   The chief rivers and streams are Big Creek, East and West Fork, Muddy, Panther, Polecat, Sugar, Trail and White Oak creeks. Harrison County joins Iowa on the north and is the fourth county east from the Missouri River. In the eastern part of the county, between Grand River and Big Creek, is a large and nearly level prairie. The western part of the county is more broken and rolling. The surface soil is mostly a good black loam, from one to five feet deep, and is well adapted for raising corn, oats, rye, wheat, clover, timothy, blue grass, potatoes and nearly all kinds of garden products. Corn is considered the main crop. With favorable seasons and good cultivation, corn frequently yields 100 bushels to the acre ; fifty bushels is considered an average crop. Blue grass is well adapted to the soil and has spread over almost all the county.
Early Settlers
Among those coming to the county as early as 1840 were Asaph M. Butler, John R. Maize, Thomas Taylor, John Foster, David and William A. Travis and Thomas Flint, the latter a minister in the Christian Church. He was appointed circuit clerk upon the organization of the county, and died in office the next year. In 1841 John W. Brown, Thomas Tucker, C. L. Jennings, E. M. Jennings, William R. Allen and others settled near where Bethany now is. At that time there were no white settlers north of them except a few at Fort Des JMoines, where there was an Indian town and a fort. Before the organization of the county John W. Brown was elected justice of the peace. After the organization of the county he was both circuit and county clerk for twenty years.
Philip Harris, who settled southwest of Bethany, erected a mill on Big Creek in 1841. In the fall of 1842 the mill froze, and remained in that condition until spring. It is stated that the winter of 1842-43 was the coldest and most severe ever known by the whites in the county, Edward Hunt and Joseph Hunt built a dam across Big Creek near the south line of the county in 1843, and put up a small corn mill. Noah Snell later built a mill on Big Creek where Brooklyn now stands, and it did a good business for thirty years. Dr. E. B. Bush built a mill a few miles above Snell's, and was kept up for about twenty-five years. Arthur Charlton erected a mill a few miles north of Bethany at an early day. Peter Cain built a mill on Grand River, a few miles east of Cainsville, which did a good business for years. C. L. and E. M. Jennings started the first steam mill at Bethany in 1851.
At the time of the first settling of the county there were a great many wolves, coons, squirrels, panthers, deer, turkeys and prairie chickens. There were a few elk. It is reported that David Travis was one of the best hunters of the early settlers, and he occasionally killed an elk. Hickory and hazel nuts were plentiful, and bees were found in nearly every hollow tree.
A few years after the first settling of the county, the principal market place was Liberty, in Clay County, but about the year 1843 St. Joseph was laid off and began to attract attention as a trading point. Up to that time the place had been merely aii Indian trading post, conducted by Joseph Robidoux. As it was about twenty-five miles nearer than Liberty, the early settlers commenced making roads in that direction. There were no postoffices or post roads in the county at that time, and what few letters were written had to be sent to Cravensville, a small postoffice in Daviess County, five miles north of Gallatin.
Harrison County was organized February 14, 1845, and was named in honor of Hon. Albert G. Harrison, of Callaway County, a representative in Congress from the state from 1834 to 1839, dying in the latter year. Before the organization of Harrison County it had been included in Daviess County. After the organization Edward Smith, of De Kalb County, John Gibson and Ebenezer Wood, of Gentry County, were appointed commissioners to select a site for the county seat. After spending some time viewing the county they selected the place where Bethany now is for the county seat. At the May term, 1845, of the County Court these commissioners were allowed $2 a day each for nine days ' services. These were the first warrants issued by the County Court. At this term John S. Allen was appointed county seat commissioner to have the brush cleared off and some lots laid off around the courthouse square. John Plaster, county surveyor of Gentry County, was engaged to lay off the town. He laid over fifteen blocks, being five blocks east and west, and three blocks north and south, the courthouse square being in the center. The plat of the first survey of Dallas (Bethany) was reported to the County Court at the June term, 1845, approved and adopted, and the county seat commissioner was directed to sell lots. The town was first called Dallas, but the settlers did not like that name, and at the November term of court, 1845, the county officers took a vote upon a new name, and the name was accordingly changed to Bethany.
The first election for county officers was held the first Monday in August, 1846. There were a number of candidates. Lorenzo Dow Thompson was elected to represent the county in the Legislature, Thomas Dunkerson, S. C. Allen and Elkanah Grover were elected County Court justices ; John W. Brown, circuit and county clerk ; Henry Fuller, sheriff, and David Buck, treasurer.
The first officers of the County Court were Samuel Edmiston, presiding judge, and Asaph M. Butler and Lewis Charlton. Thomas Flint was chosen clerk of the Circuit and County courts at the organization of the county, and John W, Brown sheriff.
Courthouse and Jail
At the June term, 1845, of the County Court an order was made appointing John S. Allen commissioner to contract for the building of a courthouse. It was a frame structure 24x20 and 14 feet high. Elkannah Grover erected the building for $194. At the August term, 1856, the court ordered $8,000 appropriated for a new courthouse. William G. Lewis was appointed commissioner to let contract and superintend erection. The contract was awarded to Asbury Allen and Allen S. Meek, who agreed to construct the building for $9,732. The building was completed in 1856. It was a brick structure two stories high. At the time of its completion it was considered one of the most commodious temples of justice in Northwest Missouri. Charles J. Blackburn purchased the old courthouse for $500.40. It remained standing until 1881. The brick courthouse was destroyed by fire Januarv' 7, 1874. It was thought the fire was the work of an incendiary. All the land books, court records, probate records and most of the county records were saved. The tax books were destroyed. At the February term, 1874, of the County Court an order was made appropriating $9,000 for the building of a new courthouse. The citizens of Bethany increased this amount to $12,672. Charles J. Blackburn, commissioner, prepared the plans for the new building. Benton Edwards and Isaac Hays, of Macon Cit}^ IMissouri, were awarded the contract and work began in May, 1874. The house was completed and received November 15, 1874. It is 80 feet long, 45 feet wide, two stories high, and is in use at the present time.
The first jail was built in 1874, upon the northwest corner of the square. The contract was let in 1861 for a new jail costing $8,000, but owing to troubles occasioned by the war the work was retarded and not completed until 1864. In 1875 the jail, which is now used, was improved by the addition of strong iron cells, put in by W. T. Cooper, at a cost of $2,400.
First Probate Court
The first Probate Court of Harrison County was established November 7, 1853, with Hon. William G. Lewis as judge. Prior to that time all probate business was disposed of in the County Court. i\lr. Lewis served as probate judge until 1857.
Circuit Court
Hon. Austin A. King, judge of the fifth judicial circuit of Missouri, on April 23, 1846, at Bethany, organized and held the first Circuit Court in Harrison County. The following officials were present : George W. Dunn, circuit attorney ; John W. Brown, sheriff, and John S. Allen, deputy clerk. Judge King held court in Harrison County from 1846 until the fall of 1848. He was elected governor of Missouri in 1848, and in 1864 was elected representative in the United States Congress. The successor of Judge King was George W. Dunn of Ray County, who held court for the first time in Harrison County in March, 1849. Following Judge Dunn came James McFerran of Daviess County. He entered the army as colonel in 1862. Hon. Jonas J. Clark, of Chillicothe, was the fourth judge, from 1863 until 1871. Samuel A. Richardson, of Gallatin, was elected to the judgeship in 1872 and discharged the duties until 1880. John C. Howell of Bethany was the successor of Judge Richardson. He died before the expiration of his official term in 1882. Charles H. S. Goodman, of Albany, was appointed to fill the unexpired term of Judge Howell, and at the ensuing election was chosen to the position by the voice of the people. Paris C. Stepp, of Trenton, was elected circuit judge of the third judicial district at the November election, 1892, and served until 1904, when George W. Wanamaker, of Bethany, was elected, and re-elected at the 1910 election. Mr, Wanamaker read law in Canada, graduated from the University of Michigan, and began the practice of his profession in 1876 at Kirksville, Missouri. He came to Bethany in 1878, and for some time was senior member of the law firm of Wanamaker & Barlow.
The present officers of the court are : Hon. George W. Wanamaker, circuit judge ; C. J. Carter, circuit clerk ; Garland Wilson, prosecuting attorney; A. C. Flint, sheriff; Adah Taft, stenographer.
Harrison County Bar
At the time of the organization of Harrison County there were no resident lawyers. At the first term of the Circuit Court Philip L. Edwards, Charles E. Bowman, George W. Poage and Moses Simonds were licensed to practice as counselors and attorneys at law and solicitors in chancery, and at the March term, 1847, Philip L. Edwards, Volney E. Bragg and Thomas L. Frame were formally admitted to the bar of Harrison County. Of the above attorneys but little is known.
Among other early practitioners were John R. Moreledge, H. P. Edminston, John H. Phillebaum, Orrin Lee Abbott, Thomas J. Brady, William F. Miller, John Wyatt, George W. Elwell, T. D. Neal, James Mc-Collum, Andrew Fawcett, J. Frank Ward, Oscar Butler, S. W. Leslie, G. W. Cooper, J. W. Vandivert, Samuel W. Vandivert, W. S. McCray, A. R, Brown, J. W. Boyle. The bar from 1888 to the present : D. J. Heaston ("deceased), D. S. Alvord (deceased), William C. Heaston, F. R. Ramer (deceased), Joseph F. Bryant, Sr., John M. Sallee (deceased), William H. Skinner (deceased), G. W. Wanamaker, A. F. Woodruff (now of Colorado), James C. Wilson, George AV. Barlow, Ezra H. Frisby, Gen. B. M. Prentiss, Prof. J. R. Kirk, Gilbert Barlow, J. Q. Brown, J. F. Bryant, Jr., A. S. Gumming, S. P. Davisson, Frank M. Frisby, W. H. Leazenby, B. P. Sigler, Edgar Skinner, Garland Wilson, Dockery Wilson, Randall Wilson, C. S. Winslow, Earle G. Spragg, Rufus Hopkins, A. L. Hughes, Oscar W. Curry, A. L. Clabaugh, Roscoe E. Kavanaugh, M. F. Oxford, Forest D. Lawhead, B. W. Hurst, W. E. Land, 0. N. Gibson, W. C. Humphrey, L. R. Kautz. ,
Military History
The military history of Harrison County begins in 1843, at which time an order was received requiring the citizens to organize into companies, the same to be called upon whenever needed. Two of these militia companies were organized in Harrison County, with Charles L. Jennings, colonel, and S. C. Allen, major. There was no necessity for their services, as the Indians were peaceably disposed and no other enemies were near to disturb.
In the Bethany Watchman of January 11, 1872, an old settler gives the following account of the "Killyan War":
"Charles Killyan was a citizen of this territory, residing in the northern part of the county. He came to Harris' mill in the spring of 1844 with a sack of corn. While at the mill the creek raised so that it could not be forded, and as it was likely to remain so for several days he set out north to ' head the stream. ' After passing into Iowa he crossed the creek and went east, intending to come down the 'divide' between it and Grand river to his home. When near his home he found he was on the east side of Grand river, which was too full to be forded. His failure to return home alarmed his family and they sent to the mill in order to learn the cause of his prolonged absence. He had been to the mill, had started home, but not making his appearance or being heard from, the rumor at once gained credence that the redskins had captured him. In this extremity an appeal was made to the gallant Colonel Jennings, who, with his company of brave militiamen, started forth to rescue the unfortunate Killyan and punish the treacherous savages. About forty men responded to his call and at the head of these intrepid troopers the gallant Colonel marched northward on the 'divide' in search of the missing neighbor. In the afternoon of the second day's campaign they discovered in the distance a company of Indians, who were assisting the unfortunate Killyan to find his way home. But the Colonel and his comrades knew not that they were friendly redskins. Perhaps they were only an advance guard or they might be coming up in that manner as a decoy squad to draw the militia into ambush. But the Colonel was not to be so easily decoyed. Halting and hastily forming his brigade into line of battle, he revived the drooping courage of his soldiers by bravely shouting: ' Let the enemy come ; we are ready for them, by thunder ! ' Still the savages continued to approach. At this juncture some of the men awoke to the fact that they were not fit for military duty and gently fell back, while along the whole line signs of wavering began to appear. Then was heard the stentorian tones of the officer in command as he shouted, ' By thunder, keep in line there ! ' The effect of which was to inspire the men with renewed courage. Seeing the line of battle the Indians ran up a white flag. Embassadors were sent out to meet them. Mutual and satisfactory explanations were made, the war was over, and 'Johnny came marching home again.' The militia were dismissed and returned to peaceful pursuits without the loss of a single scalp."
The second war in which the militia were called upon to participate was against the Mormons, under Brigham Young, in the spring of 1846. A large number of the Mormons had stopped for a season in Decatur County, Iowa, near where Leon now stands. The people of North Missouri, remembering the former troubles with the Mormons, were excited and alarmed. Gathering his soldiers together, Colonel Jennings planned an extensive campaign, and marched boldlj^ against the enemy. After a two days' march the army came in sight of the Mormon camp. The Mormons were alarmed, as they had been forced to flee from the states, and had no desire to meet armed men. They hoisted a white flag in token of peace, whereupon the colonel advanced and inquired for their leader, Brigham Young. Colonel Jennings then explained that the company were Missouri militia and feared the Mormons were going to invade their state. Brigham stated they had been driven from their homes, were starting west, and, running short of provisions, had stopped to raise a crop, after which they would proceed on their journey. A treaty was entered into under the terms of which the Mormons were not to come into Missouri or disturb its people or property, and while they observed these conditions the militia were to give them no trouble. So ended the second campaign.
Several persons from Harrison County served in the war with Mexico, but there was no organized effort made to raise troops in the county.
The people of Harrison County partook largely of the excitement in 1861. Mass meetings were held in different parts of the county, Home Guards raised and, on July 13, 1861, various organizations met and formed a regiment and elected officers. The regiment organized by electing Henry 0. Nevill, colonel ; George Burris, Sr., lieutenant colonel, and W. P. Robinson, major. Several other companies of Home Guards were organized during the summer, the majority of the members of which subsequently went to the front in the different regiments, doing valiant service for the Union cause.
The Twenty-third Regiment was made up from the counties of Harrison, Grundy, Livingston, Linn, Putnam, Mercer, Daviess and CarrolL
All of Companies D and E, Twenty-third Regiment, Volunteer Infantry, were raised in Plarrison County, Company D was mustered September 22, 1861, with the following officers: W. P. Robinson, captain; John A. Fischer, first lieutenant ; L. Cornwall, second lieutenant. W. P. Robinson was promoted to colonel June 7, 1862, and succeeded as captain by John W. Moore, of Eagleville, who served until the expiration of the term of service September, 1864. Company E was officered as follows: A. Montgomery, captain; W. R. Simms, first lieutenant; George A. Brown, second lieutenant. A large portion of Company G was raised in Harrison County ; also portions of Companies H and I.
Company F, Second Missouri Cavalry, Merril's Horse, was recruited in the summer of 1861 as the Harrison County Cavalry Company and had the following officers: Eli Hannahs, captain; Elijah Hubbard, first lieutenant; William F. Foster, second lieutenant. In December, 1861, the company was reorganized at St. Louis. Elijah Hubbard commanded the company from the summer of 1863 until mustered out September 19, 1865. This company performed gallant services during the first two years of the war and with the regiment participated in a number of battles and skirmishes.
Other companies organized were A, Thirty-fifth Missouri Infantry; E, Forty-third Infantry, made up wholly of Harrison County men; H, Twelfth Cavalry, Missouri Volunteers.
The Missouri state militia was raised in the spring of 1862. Company E, Third Cavalry, Missouri State Militia, was organized April, 1862. Company G, Sixth Cavalry, Missouri State Militia, was organized in the spring of 1862.
Eleven companies were organized in July, 1862, and formed into what was known as the Fifty-seventh Regiment Enrolled Militia. This regiment was organized for home protection, was called out upon three occasions and in all performed about two months' service.
Tuesday, May 10, was a day long to be remembered in the history of Bethany, for that was the day during the Spanish-American war when Company D, Fourth Regiment, Missouri National Guards, started for the Missouri troops' rendezvous at Jefferson Barracks, St. Louis. The officers of Company D were Frank Slinger, captain; Herschel Stark and Ralph J. Ramer, lieutenants. From St. Louis the company was camped at Falls Church, Virginia, then at Middleton, Pennsylvania, where they remained for several months. Though seeing no real service, Company D proved to be a brave company and left an honorable record.
A state militia was organized at Bethany January 29, 1914, with a membership of sixty, and the following officers: Randall Wilson, captain ; Maurice Frisby and Will P. Bryant, lieutenants.
The first presidential contest in which the citizens of Harrison County participated was the election of 1848. The vote of the county was as follows: Zachary Taylor (whig), 63; Lewis Cass (democrat), 144. In 1864 the vote of the county was as follows : Lincoln, 992 ; McClellan, 208.
Harrison County has always been a republican county. At the election of 1912 two democratic county officers were elected. The vote for President was : Taft, 2,081 ; Wilson, 1,985 ; Roosevelt, 965.
The honor of establishing the first newspaper in Harrison County belongs to Edwin R. Martin and Samuel Allen, who in 1859 came from Memphis, Mo., and started the Bethany Star, an independent local sheet, the first number of which made its appearance August 4, 1859. Martin and Allen were practical printers. The paper was a six-column folio, William A. Templeman purchased the Star in 1861, and changed the name to the Weekly Union. The circulation at this time was about six hundred. In 1863 Henry Howe purchased the office and changed the name to the Weekly Union of States. The next year Mr. Howe's sons, Ed and James Howe, took charge of the office, and continued the publication until 1865. Ed Howe is the well-known editor, writer, lecturer and traveler, now of Atchison, Kansas. Thomas D. Neal then purchased the office and established the North Missouri Tribune. He continued the publication until 1872, at which time it was purchased by William T. Foster, and was regularly issued until 1875, when John H. Phillebaum purchased the office. Mr. Foster now lives in Washington, D. C, and is well known over the country as a weather prognosticator. Mr. Phillebaum changed the name of the paper to Harrison County Herald, and published it until 1876, when the office was purchased by Al. S. Hickman and James P. Berry. The publication was soon suspended for want of proper financial support.
In 1868 the Harrison County Press, a weekly independent sheet, was established by a stock company, with Col. W. P. Robinson as editor. Mr. Robinson was succeeded by Paul Conner, who failed to make the paper financially remunerative. D. J. Heaston purchased the paper in 1870 and changed the name to the Bethany Watchman. In 1873 the office was purchased by a stock company and moved to Grant City.
The Bethany Republican was established by Thomas D. Neal, May 22, 1873. He continued as editor until the winter of 1875, when he sold out to Walter J. Wightman, who changed the name to the Harrison County Republican. Mr. Wightman had previously published a paper, the Harrison County Eagle, at Eagleville, moving an office to that town in 1874 from Garden Grove, Iowa. Later a co-partnership was effected with Mr. Neal, who subsequently purchased the entire interest, and ran the paper until 1881, when Frank H. Ramer became proprietor and editor. In 1887 Mr. Ramer disposed of the office to a stock company. The Bethany Clipper, which W. J. Wightman conducted in Bethany from January, 1883, to December 12, 1887, was consolidated with the Bethany Republican, and Mr. AVightman was made business manager and editor, which position he held until his death, December 3, 1903. Mr. Wightman had established and published the Eagleville Clipper in 1877 and the Blythedale Clipper in 1880. Since 1887 Nelson Church, Col. W. P. Robinson, Millard F. Stookey, S. G. McDowell, Alex Reid and W. H. Crouch have been on the editorial staff.
The first number of the Bethany Broad-Ax, the democratic organ of the county, appeared March 8, 1877, edited by D. J. Heaston and B. F. Meyer. In 1881 ]\Ir. Heaston purchased the latter 's interest and continued the publication alone about one year. He then sold a half interest to W. L. Robertson, now of the Gallatin Democrat. J. H. Cover purchased the paper in January, 1884, being in charge until 1893, when he sold out to John and Will Templeman. Since then the paper has been owned by W. S. Van Cleve, D. S. De Motte, and Dudley Reid. At present the editor and owner is S. B. Stroek.
The Eagleville Enterprise was established in 1880 by J. Frank Ward, and was continued two years.
The Cainsville Signal was started at Cainsville in 1885 by C. A. Brannoii, and existed about a year.
The Cainsville News was established by J. H. Rockwell, of Iowa, in April, 1885. S. P. Davisson bought the office in 1887, and later sold to J. D. McDaniel, who is now in charge.
In 1882 M. A. Thorne established the Ridgeway Blade, which existed two years.
The Ridgeway Free Press, by C. C. Bartruff, was started in 1884, and continued until 1886.
The Ridgeway Journal, established by J. F. Jaqua, was afterwards purch'ased by his brother, C. M. Jaqua, who is now editor of the Warrensburg Standard-Herald. Mr. Jaqua sold to Frank Dougherty; Mr. Dougherty to F. M. Spragg and sons, and Messrs. Spragg to Harry Jones, who is now in charge.
One of the first editors of the Oilman City Guide was J. Bowen. The paper is now edited by Albert L. Pratt.
The New Hampton Herald was established by James Graves, who also edited a paper at Eagleville. It is now published by B. W. Lanning.
The Bethany Clipper was established October 14, 1905, and is owned and managed by W. Sam and Ada L. Wightman.
There are at present in Harrison County seven newspapers, all weeklies. The Bethany Democrat and Bethany Republican are in politics what their names suggest. The Bethany Clipper is progressive; the New Hampton Herald, Oilman City Guide, Ridgeway Journal, and Cainsville News are independent in politics.
Not often is it recorded that a monument is erected to the memory of a printer. But Harrison County paid this tribute to her veteran printer, Edwin R. Martin, who died in 1889. Mr. Martin had written a book of poems entitled, "Pansy "Wreath and Quiet HLours." After his death his close friend and co-worker, W. J. Wightman, had these poems published in book form and from the sale of the books realized the sum of $250, which purchased a substantial and beautiful monument, now marking the last resting place of Edwin R. Martin in Miriam
Cemetery, Bethany.
Col. D. J. Heaston, who at different times was connected with the newspapers of the countj^, took a special interest in keeping copies of each paper published, and up to the time of his death had complete files of all the newspapers published in the county, including the Bethany 'Star, the first paper. The fifty volumes were purchased of the estate by W. Sam and Ada L. Wightman, of the Bethany Clipper. From these volumes has been gathered most of the material for this chapter on Harrison County.
Vote for County Seat Removal
As early as 1860 the question of removal of county seat from Bethany began to be discussed. No definite action was taken until 1870, when a petition, signed by a large number of citizens in the northern part of the county, was presented to the County Court, praying that the proposition for removal be presented to the County Court, and proposition for removal be submitted to a direct vote of the people. The court, at the October term, 1870, ordered the election at the general election on November 8 of that year. Failing to obtain the necessary two-thirds majority the friends of removal were compelled to acknowledge their defeat.
The destruction by fire of the courthovise in 1873 served to revive the controversy and in 1874 measures were taken against the building of a new house. Subscriptions to the amount of $8,000 were raised to help defray the necessary public building, providing the removal was effected. A site for a county seat was decided upon, the Town of Lorraine. The citizens of Bethany raised by subscriptions $10,000 and redoubled their diligence to secure the rebuilding of the courthouse. The election was held November 3, 1870, with a majority in favor of removal, but not the required two-thirds.
A third attempt was made at the general election of 1880, at which time Lorraine was again a competitor. The vote that year stood as follows : For removal, 1,310 ; against removal, 2,347.
At the November election, 1892, the question again came up, this time for removal to Ridgeway. The result was 1,480 for removal, 2,472 against.
Again at the election in 1912 the question came up for removal to Ridgeway. The result was, 2,304 for removal, 2,708 against.
Coal Mines
Prospecting for coal started at Cainsville about four years ago by the Grand River Coal & Coke Co. They began sinking the shaft and raising coal in July, 1910. The entire expense of the shaft and all the apparatus was more than $225,000. Last December they hoisted a little more than eighteen thousand tons and have gone as high as nine hundred tons in a day. The capacity of the mine when fully operated up to its full capacity is 1,500 tons per day and that is what they are striving to reach. About 230 men are employed at the mine. They are paid every two weeks and receive from $5,000 to $7,000 each pay day. The coal company owns the electric light plant and lights the streets of Cainsville. Cainsville coal is remarkably free from iron and sulphur. The Cainsville coal mine is said by the mine inspector to be the best equipped mine in the state.
A mine is also in operation at Melbourne, owned by Lee Bussell and Alva Chambers. About thirty-five men are employed there.
The pioneers of Harrison County early took an interest in education and schools were established as soon as the settlements were made, though in the early development there were many obstacles in the way. Harrison County schools now will compare favorably with those in any part of the state.
Jonas R. Gray taught the first school in Bethany in 1846. The building was erected for school and church purposes and stood until some times in the '50s. William Fleming also taught in the same building. William G. Lewis was identified Math the educational interests of the town as a teacher, also F. ]\I. Goodpasture, Mr. Clendening, L. T. Morris, Doctor Skinner and others. In 1871 W. H. Hillman took the contract for the building of a $6,500 building. Mrs. S. C. German, who now resides in Bethany, was one of the teachers in the school at that time. John R. Kirk, president of the Kirksville Normal School and past state superintendent of schools, was principal of the Bethany school in 1876-77. In 1885 he was employed as superintendent, going from Bethany to Kansas City about twenty-four years ago.
The building erected in 1871 was improved and enlarged many times but became inadequate and in 1912 was torn down and a $40,000 building erected. The new building has three stories. On the main floor are eight class rooms; on the second floor are the assembly hall, with large stage, five recitation 'rooms, two laboratories, library and superintendent's office. The basement consists of gymnasium, manual training room, domestic science room, girls' playroom, boiler room, etc. The building is equipped with modern ventilating system, plumbing, and sanitary drinking fountains. The extreme size of the building is 140x82 feet. Outside walls of the basement are of dark red vitrified brick with stone trimmings ; of the first and second story walls, medium red vitrified brick, with stone caps and sills, all laid in red mortar. Bethany also has one ward school building, the Webster, in the west part of town, a splendid new two-story brick building.
Miss Nelle Sutton is at present the efficient county superintendent of schools.
There are now in Harrison County 141 school districts, 135 rural schools and 9 independent districts. In the nine independent districts of the county there are eight high schools. Three are first class—Bethany, Cainsville and Ridgeway; one second class. Oilman City; four third class—Blythedale, Eagleville, IMount Moriah and New Hampton. This is a splendid record and means that every high school in Harrison County is doing work approved l)y the State Department of Education and the State University. In all probability Oilman City school will be put on the first class list this year and no doubt New Hampton will be raised to second class.
Bethany has sixteen teachers, ten grade and six high school, and has a teachers' training course doing approved work. Cainsville has twelve teachers, nine grade and five high school ; Ridgeway, nine teachers, five grade and four high school ; Oilman City, seven teachers, four grade and three high school ; New Hampton, five teachers, three grade and two high school ; Blythedale, four teachers, three grade and one high school; Mount Moriah, four teachers, three grade and one high school ; Eagleville, three teachers, two grade and one high school.
Great interest is being taken in consolidation. Two propositions have been voted upon, one in Blythedale and one in Butler Township. Both failed to carry, but there is a strong sentiment for school improvement and consolidation is coming sure. Eagleville, Martinsville and Mount Moriah will vote upon this question in the near future.
Four approved rural schools—Banner, Downey, Murphy, Ross—have been working hard on the grading of rural schools. The majority are well graded and are doing uniform work, based upon the state course of study.
Of the 195 teachers in the county, 6 are university graduates; 36 are normal school graduates; 5 have life state certificates; 6 have five-year state certificates; 142 are teaching on county certificates. Fifty are graduates of four-year high schools; 30 are graduates of two-year high schools and 40 have done from one to one and a half years' high school work, leaving only 22 who have done no high school work.
The population of Harrison Countv since 1850 has been as follows: 1850, 2,447; 1860, 10,626 ; 1870, 14,635'; 1880, 20,304; 1890, 21,033; 1900, 24,398 ; 1910, 20,466.
The County Poor Farm
At the December term of the County Court, 1866, John W. Brown, who had been appointed to purchase land for a poor farm, presented a deed for a tr£y3t of land south of Ridgeway. Two years later the necessary buildings were erected and a comfortable home provided for the poor and indigent classes of the county. In 1892 a new home was built on land purchased by the county west of Bethany. It is a brick structure, costing $10,250; in size, 46x90 feet, 31/2 stories high, and is heated by steam. In 1913 the County Court purchased thirty additional acres, paying $65 per acre. The farm now consists of 180 acres. Lewis D. Smith is the superintendent.
The early settlers of the county were in the main a moral and Godfearing people. The first church organization was in 1841, when Elder A. B. Hardin organized a Baptist society and the same year the Christian Church was organized at Bethany by Elder John S. Allen. Elder Allen held the first meetings at Harris' Mill. Later the services were held at the residences of the members. Their first church was destroyed by fire in 1849. In 1856 a brick church, costing $3,500, was built and in 1827 a larger building, costing $7,000. This was torn down and in its place stands a modern structure. There are now twenty-two Christian Church organizations in the county.
The first Methodist society was organized at Bethany in the early '50s, though the history of Methodism in the county dates from the first settlement of the county by white men, as traveling ministers held services many years before the church was organized. The first church building, costing $4,000, was erected in 1870. The building still stands and was used for several years as an armory. The present church building was erected in 1896. Bethany Church entertained the session of the annual conference in 1897. There are now about .twentyfive Methodist organizations in the county.
Through the efforts of the Rev. Robert Speer the first Presbyterian Church was organized at Bethany in 1865. The courthouse was used by the congregation until 1868, when a brick church costing $2,000 was erected. This was torn down about twenty years ago and a new frame building erected, which has since been improved and enlarged. There are at the present time five Presbyterian churches in the county. Two young men, Walter Bradley and Elbert Hefner, from the Bethany Presbyterian Church, have entered the ministry and are now pastors of good churches in Missouri.
There are seventeen Baptist churches in the county, all of which have houses of worship, but not more than one-third have regular preaching services. The churches are scattered over the county, more thickly in the northern part. Among the early preachers at Cainsville, where the Baptists of the county first organized, were Elders John and James Woodward and Elder W. T. Goodell. The Rev. J. H. Burrows entered the ministry soon after his conversion, February 14, 1867 ; was ordained July 3 of the same year, and has been preaching at Cainsville more thgji thirty years. The present pastor, the Rev. W. A. Boyd, receives a larger salary each month now than the Reverend Burrows did for a year. The Reverend Burrows led in the building of the following churches : Eagleville, Mount Pleasant No. 2, Pleasant Valley, Cainsville, and also bought the Blythedale church from the Presbyterians and organized the church. Mr. Burrows continues to be active and has earned the reputation of being one of the ablest and most successful Baptist ministers in Northwest Missouri. The church at Cainsville dedicated in 1914 a new $20,000 church. The Rev. V. M. Harper, now of Mount Moriah, is another pioneer Baptist minister and has been preaching thirty-six years.
There are two Catholic organizations in the county, near Andover and Gilman City, and services are held regularly at several other towns. There are also organizations of the South Methodist, United Brethren and Christian Union, in Harrison County.
There are in the county ten organizations of the I. 0. 0. F., at Melbourne, Gilman City, Mount Moriah, Cainsville, Ridgeway, Blythedale, Bethany, New Plampton, Martinsville and Hatfield. The only encampment in the county is at Bethany. Robert D. Rogers, aged 84 years, is the oldest Odd Fellow in the county, being initiated in 1864.
Masonic lodges are organized at Cainsville, Hatfield, Eagleville, Gilman City, Bethany, and Ridgeway. There are also Knights Templar and Royal Arch Chapters at Bethany. Free Masonry was introduced into Bethany at an early day. Bethany lodge, No. 97, was organized May 7, 1853. J. P. Devers was the first worshipful master.
Knights of Pythias lodges are organized at New Hampton, Cainsville, Eagleville, Ridgeway and Bethany. Herman Roleke, grand exchequer for several years, resides in Bethany. On December 30, 1913, the Knights at Bethany dedicated a fine Pythian hall, costing $10,000. There are also several insurance orders with large memberships.
The G. A. R. is represented in the county. T. D. Neal Post was organized at Bethany in 1883. For the past three years the old soldiers have gathered at Bethany each fall and held a reunion, large numbers of old veterans from all over the state being in attendance.
In the Sporting World
Mount Moriah, in Harrison County, is the home of Charlie "Babe" Adams, the well-known baseball player. It was in the national ball game on October 16, 1909, that Adams was pitching for Pittsburg against Detroit, the game resulting in favor of Pittsburg by a score of 8 to 0. It was one of the greatest efforts in the history of baseball and the twirler from Harrison County received honor galore.
Capt. C. R. (Chuck) Wilson lives in Bethany and is a son of Judge J. C. Wilson. He was captain of the Missouri University football team that in the annual game played November, 1913, in Columbia, Missouri, defeated Kansas 3 to 0.
The Flood of 1909
The worst flood in the history of Harrison County occurred in July, 1909. Nearly twelve inches of rain fell from Sunday, July 5, to Friday, July 9. Over six inches of rain fell on the night of the 5th and morning of the 6th. The two Big Creeks were higher than was ever known. Many families in the bottoms were compelled to leave their homes. Twenty steel bridges and many other bridges were destroyed and many houses and barns swept away. For over two weeks the City of Bethany was without electric lights, as water stood two feet in the dynamo room of the boiler room at the power house and the pump for the waterworks was ten feet under water. The county was without trains or mail for several days. Great damage was done to property and growing crops.
Old Settlers' Meeting
At Eagleville each year is held the old settlers' meeting. The meetings are informal and the object is for the old settlers to get together and renew old acquaintances rather than to have a regular program. The association was founded at a time and under circumstances when men and women felt keenly the bond of human sympathy. It is generally understood that forty years' residence in the county constitutes one an old settler, so this association can be perpetuated, providing the people continue to take an interest in it. The secretary of the association, O. W. Curry, gives the following report of the organization of the Old Settlers' Association:
On July 4, 1863, there was assembled at Eagleville a large crowd of people to celebrate the Fourth and if possible learn news from the siege of Vicksburg. This assembly was made up of the fathers, mothers, wives, sweethearts and children of soldiers who were at that time engaged in the great conflict between the North and the South. News was very scarce, the mail coming only once a week, and each man who came from any distance was eagerly sought after and questioned as to what he knew, if anything, of those at the front. It was a sad crowd that awaited on the Fourth of July the return of a carrier sent on horseback to Gallatin to bring news from the front. The news was sure to sadden the hearts of many, and yet they waited, firmly bound together by the common tie of sympathy and grief. It was under these circumstances and among the early pioneers of this county, who had not only shared the hardships of pioneer life together but who has sent their sons to the front to fight and, if need be, to die for the cause that they believed right, that the first old settlers' meeting was held in Harrison county. In a speech made at that meeting by Dr. James L. Downing it was stated that Vicksburg would fall in the next few days, if it had not already fallen, and it was there agreed that each year thereafter the Old Settlers would meet to celebrate that occasion.
For many years these meetings were held on the fourth day of July, but in the year 1908 it was decided to change the date of the meetings to the second Tuesday in September of each year. There are always a few who attended the first meeting of the Old Settlers present at these meetings. The records of their meetings call to mind many men who have been prominent in the affairs of the county.
Foreign Missionary
The only missionary to the foreign field sent out from Harrison County is Ben R. Barber, formerly of Eagleville. After graduating at Northwestern University, Evanston, Mr. Barber went to India and for several years was stationed at Calcutta as secretary for the Y. M. C. A. He is in this country at the present, but expects to return to India.
The Interstate Trail
The leading automobile trail through Harrison County is the Interstate via Des Moines, Kansas City and St. Joseph, a route of 250 miles. The Inter-state Trail Association was organized in Lamoni, Iowa, in March, 1911. The trail passes through Eagleville, Bethany and New Hampton.
Rural Routes
The first rural free delivery routes in the county were established in 1902. There are now in the county thirty-one routes as follows: Bethany, 7 ; Blythedale, 3 ; Cainsville, 2 ; Eagleville, 3 ; Oilman City, 3; Hatfield, 2; Martinsville, 2; New Hampton, 2; Ridgeway, 5; Mount Moriah, 1; Melbourne, 1.
The Chautauqua Movement
The Chautauqua movement is very popular in Harrison County. For eight years a successful assembly has been held in Roleke Park at Bethany. During the past year chautauquas were held in many other towns of the county.
The Heilbron Sanatorium
At Bethany is the Heilbron Sanatorium, in charge of Dr. J. A. Kintner, the noted German hydropathist. It is charming in its natural location, artistic in architecture and landscape gardening, perfect in its water supply. The sanatorium is well equipped, having every modern convenience. One of the charming features is the constant flow of water from a natural artesian well. The wonderful merits of the water flowing from these springs has been known for twenty-five years, yet the great medical qualities they possess were proved only after the Bethany Improvement Company had expended large sums in developing the flow. The sanatorium consists of over fifty rooms.
Commercial Clubs
New Hampton has the largest commercial club in the county, a recent contest giving it a memberships of 578. Ridgeway, Eagleville and Bethany also have organizations. Under the auspices of the club at Eagleville is held each fall a corn show, which is largely attended and has proved of great benefit to the farmers of the county. Ezra H. Frisby is president of the Bethany Commercial Club.
The County Seat
Bethany, the county seat, is situated not far from the center of the county. The population is 2,500, a progressive and prosperous people. The town has paved streets, splendid stores, three banks, fine opera house, fire department, new hose house, new power house, excellent system of waterworks and electric lights, with day and night service, a splendid mill, canning factory, broom factory, a $40,000 central school building, and a splendid ward school. There are three newspapers in Bethany. William Roleke has been mayor of the city since 1908,
Farmers Mutual Fire Insurance Company
Harrison County has the Farmers Mutual Fire Insurance Company, the largest financial concern in the county. There is in force at the present time $3,482,624.00 in insurance. W. C. Baldwin is president; John L. Cole, vice president; Edgar Skinner, secretary and treasurer. Frank P. Burris was the first president and served until his death about three years ago.
Prominent Pioneers
Gen. B. M. Prentiss, one of the chief actors in the War of the Republic, was born in Virginia in 1819 and died in Bethany, Missouri, February 8, 1901. At the commencement of the Mexican war he was appointed adjutant of the First Illinois Infantry, which was raised at Quincy and in which regiment he served during the entire war. In April, 1861, in response to the call of President Lincoln for 75,000 troops, General Prentiss immediately organized a company, of which he was elected captain. Three days later he was commissioned colonel of the Tenth Illinois Infantry and ordered to Cairo, which was the rendezvous for most of the western troops. He was placed in command just five days subsequent to being commissioned colonel. From there he was ordered by General Fremont to Jefferson City to take command of all North and Central Missouri. Subsequently, being ordered upon the field by General Halleck, he proceeded to Pittsburg Landing, where he arrived April 1 and there organized and took command of the Sixth Division. On the morning of the sixth his command was attacked by the enemy, against whom he gallantly contended the entire day in what is known as the "hornet's" nest. As his force was outnumbered by that of the enemy, he was overcome at nightfall and captured. He was held a prisoner six months, during which time he was confined at Talladega, Selma, Madison and Libby prisons. After an exchange of prisoners had been effected, he visited Washington and was granted a leave of thirty days, but before the expiration of that time was ordered to sit on the court martial in the case of Gen. Fitzhugh Porter. After the close of this trial he was ordered to report to General Grant at Milliken's Bend, by whom he was assigned to the command of the Eastern division of Arkansas, with headquarters at Helena. Upon July 4, 1863, he commanded the Union forces in the battle of Helena, gaining a decided victory over the enemy, whose forces more than four times outnumbered his. Previous to this battle, for his brave and gallant service at the battle of Shiloh, he was promoted to the major generalship, but a year after the battle of Helena he deemed it his duty to resign, after which he returned to his family. He located in Harrison County in 1881 and served two terms as postmaster at Bethany.
Daniel S. Alvord, who died at his home in Bethany, October 10, 1900, was the son of a Baptist minister. At the age of twenty he decided to adopt the profession of law and was admitted to the bar in Carthage, Illinois, in 1858. During the war he served in Company E, 146th Illinois Infantry. He came to Missouri in 1865, first locating at Chillicothe, then in Bethany. He was prosecuting attorney from 1867 until 1877. Mr. Alvord was a member of the G. A. R. and I. 0. 0. F. He was one of the county's ablest legal practitioners and was an entertaining and public spirited citizen.
Col. David J. Heaston died at liis home in Bethany July 21, 1902. He was born in Charapaign County, Ohio, May 22, 1835. In 1858 he was admitted to the bar and licensed to practice law in the Circuit Court at Winchester, Indiana. He came to Bethany, Harrison County, in 1859. He was elected judge of the Probate Court of Harrison County in 1861. He was a clear, terse, and energetic writer and at different times contributed to the newspapers of the county. In 1862 when the enrolled militia of the county was organized, in response to the call of the Government, he was elected captain of the first company organized and when the enrolled militia of the county was formed in the Fiftyseventh Regiment, Eastern Missouri Militia, he was commissioned colonel of the same. He was always an earnest and zealous supporter of the democratic party. In 1878 Colonel Heaston was elected to the state senate by a large majority in the Fourth District. He was well known throughout the state as a Mason. He was a member of the Christian Church.
Tobias B. Sherer, who died April 19, 1908, was one of the early school teachers of the county. He came to Bethany in 1857 and established the first drug store in this section of the country. He served as school commissioner for two terms and was once postmaster at Bethany. He was a member of the G. A. B. and a prominent Mason.
Joseph Webb died near Mount Moriah December 4, 1913, in his ninety-fourth year. He had been a resident of Harrison County more than fifty-seven years. At the age of fourteen he rode horseback from Wayne County, Pennsylvania, to Missouri. He was a prominent Mason and was at one time one of the largest land owners in the county.
J. M. Hughes was one of the well-known citizens of Ridgeway. He died in California August 24, 1910, while in that state for his health. He was in his seventy-ninth year.
One of the first school teachers of the county was A. W. Allen, who came to the county in 1841. He taught the first district school in the county. He served as county judge during the Civil war and was a member of the Legislature in 1885. He helped to organize the first Christian Church in the county. He was past ninety years of age at the time of his death.
James P. Hamilton, a pioneer merchant, died at his home in Bethany July 5, 1911. He came to Bethany in 1859 and in 1860 engaged in the hardware business. He was a prominent member of the I. 0. 0. F. lodge and of the Christian Church.
John Hitchcock, the veteran auctioneer, died at his home in Pawnee, January 13, 1912. For nearly fifty years he acted as public auctioneer for the people within a radius of fifty miles of his home. Mr. Hitchcock was a lifelong democrat.
Judge Italus M. Curry was born in Indiana in 1842. He came to Eagleville in 1875 and lived there until his death, June 14, 1813. He was a member of the County Court of Harrison County for four years and left a clean record. He was a member of the G. A. R.
John Taggart, born in Ireland in 1828, died at his home near Bethany, August 23, 1913, in his eighty-sixth year. He was a democrat of the Jeffersonian school. Next to the family Bible, he esteemed and venerated the democratic platform. He was elected state senator in 1886 and reelected for another term of four years, was a member of the Methodist Church and had been an Odd Fellow for more than sixty years.
David Goucher died August 31, 1909, in his eighty-first year. He lived on a farm near Bethany. He served as county judge for four terms, was an Odd Fellow for over fifty years, and was a member of the Methodist Church and of the G. A. R.
William A. Templeman of Bethany died September 11, 1909, aged seventy-four years. He was one of the oldest inhabitants of Bethany and was editor of the Bethany Union and Bethany Democrat. He was born in Virginia and came to Harrison County in 1854.
W. H. Skinner, who on May 13, 1909, was elected department commander of the 0. A. R., died at his home in Bethany February 2, 1914, in his seventieth year. He was elected mayor of Bethany in 1883, judge of the county in 1890, serving two terms; prosecuting attorney 'of the county in 1886. He was a charter member of Lieut. T. D. Neal Post, G. A, R. At the time of his death he was on the staff of department commander, serving as judge advocate. Mr. Skinner is said to have done as much to get old soldiers' pension claims through as any man in the county.
Jacob Noll died at his home in Bethany, August 17, 1910, in his seventy-ninth year. He was born in Germany in 1832. He came to the United States and made his home until 1857 in Illinois, where he followed his trade, stone masonry. He came to Bethany in 1874 and continued in the brick business for a number of years, then engaged in the grocery business. He was a republican, a member of the G. A. R., having served from 1862 until the close of the war in Company A, Twenty-seventh Missouri Volunteer Infantry. He was identified with the Catholic Church.
George L. Phillips died in Bethany, Missouri, July 28, 1912. He came to Harrison County from Essex County, Virginia. At the time of his death he was president of the Bethany Hardware Company, one of the largest hardware stores in North Missouri. He was appointed postmaster of Bethany in 1884. He was at the time of his death the oldest in business of all Bethany citizens.
Tandy Allison Dunn, of Bethany, died at Rochester, Minnesota, December 25, 1912. He was born in Hodgenville, La Rue County, Kentucky, February 14, 1853. Mr. Dunn was very prominent in the Masonic order of the state, being grand treasurer of the grand commandery of Missouri, Knights Templar, 1908-1912 ; grand high priest of Missouri, Royal Arch Masons, 1906-1907, and worthy grand patron of Missouri Order Eastern Star, 1901-1912. He was an earnest worker in the Baptist Church. He was buried at Bethany December 29, the Grand Commandery of Missouri in charge of the services.
Judge William H. Springer was born in Indiana and died in Bethany, May 12, 1913, in his seventieth year. Came to Harrison County in 1857 and lived on a farm in Fox Creek Township. The country at that time was sparsely settled. Young Springer taught school in winter and farmed in the summer. He was more than an average man of his day and time. For eight years he was the presiding judge of the Harrison County Court. He was a member of the G. A. R. and a loyal Methodist.
Henry Cadle was born at Muscatine, Iowa, Christmas Day, 1851, and died at his home in Bethany, Decoration Day, 1913. He was engaged in the lumber business in several other towns before coming to Bethany in 1890. He early took an interest in the Order of Odd Fellows, joining that society when twenty-one years of age. He was elected Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge of Missouri in 1882 ; Deputy Grand INIaster in 1883, and Grand Master in 1884. He was a Past Grand Patriarch of the Encampment and Past Department Commander (Brigadier-General retired) of the Patriarchs Militant. Mr. Cadle became identified with the Society of Sons of the Revolution in Iowa and was instrumental in the organization of the Missouri Society about twenty years ago. He was elected secretary of the Missouri Society at that time and served until his death.
Richard Morris, who was one of the oldest men in the county, died July 13, 1910, aged ninety-seven years, nine months, eleven days. He came to Harrison County in 1854. He was, when a young man, licensed as an exhorter in the Methodist Church. The church at Morris Chapel, near Bethany, was named in his honor. On July 21, 1910, occurred the death of E. L. Hubbard, who was the oldest man in Bethany. He was aged ninety-three years, nine months, eighteen days. He came to Harrison County in 1852 and was the oldest Mason in the state. Other prominent citizens of the county who lived to an old age were : Joseph Bartlett, who died August 1, 1910, aged eighty years; James Barlow, who died April 2, 1907, aged seventy-four years; and Thomas Monson, who died May 3, 1909, in his eighty-eighth year.
The First Things
The first house erected in the county seat was built by William R. Allen in the fall of 1845. It was a hewed-log house, sixteen feet square, built on the block northeast of the public square.
John and Clem Oatman were the first merchants in the county.
The first preachers in the county were A. B. Hardin, Baptist, and John S. Allen, of the Christian Church.
The first regular attorney was William G. Lewis, who came to the county in 1847. He was the chief promoter of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church of Bethany and one of the ruling elders. He died February 18, 1869.
The first hotel in the county was kept by Robert Bullington on the north side of the public square in Bethany. It was a one-story, hewedlog house.
The first dramshop kept in the county was by Dennis Clacy, who, in 1845, obtained license from the County Court to keep a "grocery" at Harris' Mill for six months, paying $10 state tax and $10 county tax.
Joseph Hunt had the first blacksmith shop in the county on Big Creek about the year 1840. He did horseshoeing and mended plows, wagons and implements for many years.
The first foreigner naturalized in Harrison County was William Hall, a native of England, who came to the United States in 1848 and to Missouri in 1851. He renounced his allegiance to his native country and became a citizen of the American Republic at the March term of the Harrison Circuit Court, in 1853.
The first railroad agitation which produced fruitful results began in 1879, at which time a preliminary survey of the Leon, Mount Ayr & Western, a branch of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, was surveyed through Harrison County. The citizens assisted the enterprise by a subscription of $40,000 and granted the right-of-way from Bethany north to the Iowa state line. Work commenced on the road in the summer of 1880 and October 28th of that year the first train of cars ran to Bethany. The line was extended southward to Albany in 1881 and consolidated at that place with a narrow gauge road which had been constructed a short time previous from St. Joseph to Gentry County. The latter was subsequently changed to a standard gauge.
John S. Allen built the first brick business house in Bethany, He engaged in business in 1848 and in 1851 erected a frame building and subsequently put up the brick house.
The first postoffice in the county was established at Bethany in 1845. For several years it went by the name of Bethpage and David Buck was the first postmaster
Harrison County is under local option; there has not been a saloon licensed in the county since 1863.
Land in Harrison County is now selling from $75 to $125 per acre.
Dr. J. L. Downing, who lives at Eagleville, is the oldest physician in the county and has practised medicine in the county for over fifty years.
History of Northwest Missouri by Walter Williams 1915

Back to Index

Copyright © Genealogy Trails All Rights Reserved with Full Rights Reserved for Original Contributor