Henry County Missouri
EARLY SETTLERS IN CLINTON TOWNSHIP - THE FIRST PREACHERS - WINDSOR TOWNSHIP - MUDDY MILLS-EARLY SCHOOLS - DEEPWATER TOWNSHIP ORGANIZED -"THE NORTH CAROLINA COLONY" - THE LORD'S CHURCH - CALHOUN LOCATED - THE NORTHWEST SETTLERS - THE SOUTHWEST SETTLED - THE OSAGE COUNTRY.
In previous chapters we have traced the history and settlement of Henry County prior to the year 1840. We have seen how the early settlers came to the northeastern part of the county and from there down into what is now Clinton township. In Clinton township, which was then partly in Grand River and partly in Springfield township, James Sears and his son Frank, John Nave, William Owen and P. J. Bison, from North Carolina, had come from 1830 to 1840. A man named Johnson had conducted his school as early as the year 1833. As was the custom with the school teachers of that day, he went about from house to house and in that way met all the people of the community as well as the children. It may be that the present relative inefficiency of the country school comes from the fact that the teacher does not go about from house to house, but remains in the district where she is teaching only between Monday morning and Friday evening and sees no one except the children whom she meets at school and the one family at whose home she stays at night.
A Presbyterian named Addison Young was the first preacher in this section of the county. As early as 1831 he preached in the various residences of the early settlers. The Methodists were represented by Abraham Mellice and the Baptists by Thomas Keeny. Prior to 1835, however, there was neither church nor schoolhouse in Grand River town-ship, all the preaching being done and all the school being taught in the residences of the settlers. The first child born in Clinton township was Ermie, a daughter of John Nave, who was born in 1837. Doctor Hobb was the first doctor who resided within the limits of the present township of Clinton.
As was stated above, the first settlers in the county were found in the northeastern part. Here in addition to those mentioned before, came and located in what is now Windsor township Thomas Anderson, who was the first blacksmith in Henry County and who settled near the present town of Windsor. Within the next few years came James Woodward, the Goodins, I. N. Hughes, Colby Stephenson and others who have helped to make the history and the every-day life of the northeastern-most township of Henry County. From Kentucky and Tennessee came the Taylors, the Palmers and the Williamsons, all of whom were found in Henry County at the time of the 1840 census. For these people, Boonville on the Missouri River was postoffice and trading post, where they took everything which they could gather from their pioneer's life to exchange for the necessary merchandise. Colby Stephenson, one of the first justices of the peace for Tebo township, opened up the first school in this part of Henry County. This was in the fall of 1833 in an old deserted cabin on Tebo Creek, which was some two and a half miles south of the present township of Windsor. Abraham Mellice, referred to above as preacher in what is now Clinton township, an old-time Methodist circuit rider, preached in Windsor township as early as 1832.
While many persons went to Boonville for their mail and to trade, there was a postoffice at Muddy Mills, a few miles beyond the present site of Sedalia in Pettis County. The doctor who came to this part of the county prior to 1835 was a Doctor Sappington of Saline County; however, in 1835, Doctor Thurston and Doctor Hogan both settled near Calhoun. Doctor Hogan remained but a short time and left Doctor Thurston as the sole practitioner in the northeastern part of the county. In 1835 appeared the first school house, supplanting the old deserted cabin on Tebo Creek. In this school house during the winter of '35 and '36, was taught a three months' term of school. The teacher, Thomas Irason, conducted a subscription school for which the tuition charged was one dollar per child per month. Some thirty children attended this school; among them were Jim-Tom Barker, Elizabeth Ann Barker, afterwards Mrs. Covington; R. L. Avery, P. G. Avery, Robert Pleasant, Fennel Wade, John Wiley and Robert and Alexander Brummett, who lived about a half mile north of the county line.
Again, as was the case of the old-time teachers, Mr. Irason boarded around and got acquainted with all of the people in the neighborhood. Hall and Fletcher's store on Tebo Creek was established early in 1835, the same year that Field's store was started in the Goff settlement, and supplied the people of the northeastern part of the township. In the same year a horse mill was started in this section of the county. In 1839 R. F. Taylor, who afterwards founded the city of Windsor, located on section 5. The year 1835 also witnessed the first settlement on Deepwater Creek by a man named Morris. He was later followed by Mr. Shelton, b y the Greggs in 1837 and by William McCown and William Tyree in the year 1839. In 1840 John Schmedding, who lived with Henry Walbert and his sister Elizabeth, married Elizabeth Walbert, the ceremony being performed by the Reverend Asa Jones. This was the first wedding in the southeastern quarter of Henry County, then called Grand River township. This house was in the present boundary of Deepwater township, which was formed in the year 1840. Deepwater township was organized in July, 1840, and its boundaries were defined by the following order of the County Court:
"Ordered that an additional township be taken off of Grand River township to be called Deepwater as follows: Beginning at the county line of Van Buren County (now Cass) on the divide between Grand River and Deepwater, thence down said divide in a northeasterly direction to the range line between 25 and 26 (in August following it was changed to range line between 26 and 27), thence south to the county line, thence west to the southwest comer of Rives County, thence to the beginning."
As originally organized, it will be seen that this township comprised all of the present townships of Deepwater, Walker and Bear Creek, a part of White Oak, a part of Davis, a part of Clinton and a part of Fairview. A little later the line was changed, leaving out the portions of Clinton and Fairview townships. Again, there was a little variation in an order dated the second of May, 1842.
It has been recited in an earlier chapter that in May, 1834, the Lafayette County Court had changed the name of Tebo township, which comprised all of Johnson and Henry Counties, and half of St. Clair, into the name of Springfield township. In 1835 the first County Court, which met at Henry Avery's house, changed the name back to Tebof establish-ing the northeastern quarter of the township as Tebo township and the southeastern quarter as Springfield township. At Alfred Askin's house, in 1832, was held the first election.
The history of this part of the county is very much the same as the history of other newly-settled Missouri country. In 1839, however, came a group of people from North Carolina. They were called "The North Carolina Colony." They formerly came from Maryland, coming In wagons the whole distance, crossing from Kentucky into Illinois in the latter part of 1839, finally reaching the vicinity of the Sardis Baptist Church on the second day of November. Among these were the Walls, John C. Stone, Mason Fewell, William Howerton, Mrs. Sarah Lindsey and her sons; of these Richard Wall settled in Big Creek township, John C. Stone in Deepwater, William Howerton and Mason Fewell in Tebo and Mrs. Lindsey and her sons in Fields Creek. These people have left their mark upon the entire history of Henry County, coming with enough wealth to enable them to have the confidence which some of the earlier settlers did not have. They secured a large acreage of land and laid the foundations for some of. the large farms and estates now existing in Henry County.
The Sardis Baptist Church was organized on the fourteenth of May, 1839. In an old log school house on Tebo Creek they held their worship. To read the names of the charter members of this church is to name the highest type of pioneers who came to Henry County. Henry Avery, John W. Williams, John Brummett, Benjamin G. Parker, Valentine Bell, Susan Hudson and Nancy Williams were among those early pioneers who helped to found and support this probably beat known of Henry County country churches. In 1839 Rev. Henry Avery and Rev. James Fewell were joint Pastors. In 1856 a frame church building costing $600 and in use more than fifty years was built.
In 1835 James Nash located the present town of Calhoun. It had no growth, however, until the following year, when commissioners were appointed to find the county seat for Rives County. Mr. Nash therefore procured the services of one John S. Lingle to plat the town which he had founded and which he named in honor of South Carolina's great statesman, John C. Calhoun. To add, as it were, a finishing touch to his work, he donated two acres of ground for a public square. Of this two acres, one acre was properly set aside as a public park, the other consumed by the wide streets which surround the park and which add to the usefulness and convenience of the present square in the town of Calhoun. The question of location of the county seat might have been more serious had Calhoun been nearer the center of the county, for more than four hundred of the settlers of Henry County lived north of Grand River. As it was, when the commissioners determined upon Clinton, there was no determined effort on the part of Calhoun to take it away. As soon as the town of Calhoun was platted, the settlers who had settled around Goff's began to move. James Fields, who had a store at Goff's, put up the first house at Calhoun. In the winter of 1836-37, John and William Goff opened up a grocery store, while James Fields and Hall and Fletcher opened up general stores in the town of Calhoun. In the following summer came the McCormick's Dry Goods Store. By the fall of 1837, Calhoun was the leading business town in Henry County.
The plat of the town covered forty acres, as laid out by Mr. Nash. The first lot sold of which there is any account was bought for eighteen dollars on the eleventh day of May, 1837. In June James W. Fields bought two lots for which he paid $25.00. In 1837 James Fields was appointed postmaster of the first postoffice in the county, which had been at Goff's from 1835 to 1837 with William Goff as postmaster. He moved the post-office to Calhoun the same year a postoffice was established at Clinton.
Asa Hendrick of Brown County, Kentucky, came to the northwestern part of Henry County in the spring of 1837. His nearest neighbor, named Smith, a pioneer like Hendrick, lived in Cass County. John Scroggs and Joshua Page, the latter a minister of the Christian Church, came in the fall of 1837. In 1838 an old log school house was erected in which the above named Rev. Joshua Page taught the first school. At the home of Asa Hendrick was established the first voting precinct in the township. The first voting precinct in what is now Big Creek township was at the home of Thomas Kimsey. He was a descendant of Littleberry Kimsey, who came in 1830 at the same time Abner Martin and his two sons came. Henry Lotspiect came in 1835. William Fox, William Bidwell, John Swift and the Andersons were also among the early settlers.
It is said that the first white man who came into what is now Walker township was a man by the name of Greenup, who settled in Walker township in the year 1835. His nearest neighbor was two miles away, his next to the nearest neighbor was five miles away. Dr. Amasa Jones, a prominent preacher, who had been connected with the Harmony Mission in Bates County for more than a dozen years, is said to have come by Greenup's place and to have offered to buy it. Jones was followed the next year by a preacher at Harmony Mission named John H. Austin. Mr. James Gates also settled in this township. Mr. M. Gregg and Robert Gregg came to Walker township in 1839; George Cowen and Joe Harness about the same year. In 1840 Doctor Jones organized the first church in the township, two years later building of adobe brick the first church in the western part of Henry County. This was probably the first building to be used exclusively for church purposes built within the limits of the present County of Henry. Hitherto a building had served the joint purpose of school and church. This one was used solely for church purposes. John H. Austin, mentioned above, was the first justice of the peace and the first constable of the township.
The first settlement in what is now Osage township was in 1835, Alexander Bowles, Captain Royster and Whit Mulholland coming that year. In the next two years came George Bowles, William Stewart, David White, John Johnson and Reuben Good. Other early settlers were James Smith, Montgomery Wright, Overton Parks and George Thornton. The first ferry across Grand River was kept by John T. Thornton, who settled in Osage township, a few miles below Brownington. The ferry was run at the place since known as Thornton's ferry. The second ferry was run by David White, at the crossing of Grand River near Brownington. Albert Denning and Jane McNew seem to be the earliest settlers of what is now Fairview township, they coming in 1839 and being followed by other members of the Dunning family during the next two or three years. The Tays, Guttridges, Kings, Brownings and others settled in what is now Bear Creek township early in 1838.
Earlier in this narrative mention is made of the Parks settlement in the eastern part of Henry County, now in Leesville township. Following the Parks family came Labon Rigg and others. Benjamin Putnam, Pattison Gordon, John Williams and Reuben Parks arrived in 1835. Chesley and Thomas Jones, Joseph Potter, John Anderson, J. P. Turner, Joseph Wyparks, David Logan, William Witherspoon and Jesse Bunch were others among the settlers who came prior to the year 1838. One of the most remarkabls characters in the early history of the county was Rev. Daniel Briggs, who settled in what is now Leesville township, in the year 1838 and who was afterwards the organizer of the Tebo
Church. The Tebo Baptist Church was built in 1841. In addition to Daniel Briggs and his wife other original members of this church were William Butler, John Anderson, Mary Putnam, Robert Briggs and Zachariah Fewell.
As pointed out earlier in this history, the early settlers established their homes along the banks of the streams. Tebo and Barker Creeks were among the first settled. Phillip Cecil from Virginia, Bennett Harralson and Cyrus Robinson came to Henry County in 1830; William A. Gray and the Bantes in 1836.
The first election in the township was held at the house of Abraham Bante. The Trollingers and the Guyes came in 1837 and 1838, as did the Fewells and William Chandler.
The first school in this section of the county was taught by W. A. Gray in the winter of 1838 and 1839 and was like other schools of its time a subscription school.
The first teacher was Miss Lucy McCord, who taught two or three terms of school beginning in the year 1837.
In what is now Deer Creek township some settlers were found as early as 1833. Howell Lewis settled in 1836; William Goff, named many times heretofore, was the first settler and the first postmaster; his sons, John and Ephraim Goff, came with him. C. C. Bernau, a county judge for a number of years, settled a few years later, as did the Wileys and John S. Lingle, the father of the Lingle brothers, long connected with Henry County affairs. It will be recalled that John S. Lingle laid out the
town of Calhoun.
FROM 1840 TO 1850
THE GROWTH OF THE COUNTY - ST. CLAIR - OTHER COUNTIES - TOWNSHIP OF CEDAR - THE FIRST DRAM SHOPS - THE ASSESSED VALUATION - THE FIRST BRIDGE
From 1840 the growth of Henry County has been steady and marked by no particular incidents which were not common to the history of many other parts of our State. The names of the early pioneers recorded in the previous chapters of this volume can be as late as the date of the present writing found among the citizenry of the county. It has not been the intention of the author to try to list all of those who came during the period prior to 1840 any more than it is his intention to try to enumerate everyone who has played an important part since that date. He has cited these as being types of men and women and their names are given more to connect the history of the county than to single them out for special preferment. From now on it is the writer's pur-pose to chronicle the events which may be of interest to those of the present day. It will be more a running narrative than a philosophical treatise on the causes and effects of matters connected with Henry County history.
In 1840 a new township was created along the southern boundary line of Rives County. Up to that time it will be remembered that St. Clair County was under the civil and military jurisdiction of the County of Rives as was the territory south of St. Clair County. This was entirely too far for its government to be satisfactory, so at the February term of the County Court, in 1840, a new township was organized to be called Cedar township, the boundaries of which were to be as follows:
"Bounded on the south by the County of Newton; east by Polk; west by Bates and north by the south boundary of township 37 of ranges 27 and 28."
Dade and Jasper Counties were organized in 1841, Cedar township in 1843 and Lawrence in 1845, so it seems that the new township of Cedar was curtailed as soon as it was organized. It must be remembered that this region was under the civil and military jurisdiction of Rives County. In August, 1840, an election was held for constable. Stephen R. Wright was elected. He brought the returns of that election to the Rives County Court, traveled 150 miles, paid his own expenses, was away from home a week and received five dollars for his services and expenses. The following year St. Clair County was organized out of that territory lying immediately south and Rives County had no more distinct authority over this newly-organized township of Cedar. In the year 1840 the judges of the County Court began the practice of allowing themselves two dollars per day for each day's attendance at the court. Prior to this the amount which each one had been allowed was $1.50. The census of 1840 was taken by the sheriff, who was paid $97.50, or $1.50 a day .for sixty-five days, to record it. How many people were in the county at the time is not made a matter of record in the county. Elsewhere in this volume will be found a copy of the act of the Missouri Legislature which changed the name of Rives County to Henry County. At the same session of the Legislature the name of Van Buren County was changed to Cass and St. Clair County was organized as a separate county.
In the year 1840, on the third day of May, Preston Wise presented to the County Court a petition for dramshop license, which he secured by paying a tax of $15.00 to the State and $22.50 to the county, together with an ad valorem tax. This was the first establishment of this kind in the county. More than seventy-five years was to elapse before the last saloon passed out of existence. The license above named, granted to Preston Wise, was for a saloon in Clinton. At the same time Mathew Arbuckle and Sabine Jones received licenses for dramshops in Henry County. The one which was granted to Mathew Arbuckle was for an establishment in Calhoun. No restrictions were placed upon Sabine Jones as to where he should open up his establishment. From time to time, applications were received by the County Court and were granted to all those who applied for them.
The first assessed valuation in Henry County was placed on record in 1842. The total was $197,000.00. Five hundred and five polls were also listed. In 1845 the valuation had nearly doubled, it having reached the sum of $351,000.00. In 1842 the first school township was organized in the county. Of this Mr. William Akens was the school commissioner. This organization was in congressional township 43, range 26. In the election of 1841 there were two candidates for the office of sheriff and collector which was then a combined office. William R. Owen and P. J. Buster were the candidates. Buster received the certificate of election and Owen immediately filed a contest which was decided in his favor; the costs of the suit amounting to $161.43, were paid by Owen, who immediately filed a bill against the county for its payment. This the County Court refused to allow. Owen immediately proceeded to mandamus the court. The suit was decided in his favor and the costs of the first con-test for office ever instituted in Henry County was therefore paid by the county.
It is interesting to know the price of land in the town of Clinton at about this time. The price of lots which had hitherto been as low as $5.00 each, had now raised to $9.00 apiece, while A. C. Marvin paid $15.00 for ten acres of land in the southwest part of town.
On July 4, 1916, there was unveiled in Calhoun a monument to William Bayliss, the Revolutionary soldier who died in this county on the eighteenth of June, 1843. William Bayliss was from Kentucky and had been a lieutenant in the Revolutionary Army in 1776. He was after-wards a soldier in the war of 1812.
The first bridge of any size built in Henry County was started in the fall of 1845 and completed in May, 1846. Fifteen hundred dollars had been appropriated for its building, but the total cost was $1,470-one of the few instances where public buildings have come within the original appropriations. This bridge was on the road between Clinton and Harmony Mission in Bates County, over Grand River, at a place called Big Ripple.
For the fiscal year ending May, 1847, the record of the receipts and disbursements show that the county had fallen in debt $47.66.
FROM 1840 TO 1860
SETTLEMENTS IN DEEPWATER TOWNSHIP - NEAR CALHOUN - EARLY CHURCH ORGANIZATIONS - NEW TOWNSHIPS-
INCORPORATION OF CLINTON WINDSOR SETTLED - GERMANTOWN - MONTROSE-OSAGE TOWNSHIP - LEESVILLE - COALESBURG.
While it has been repeatedly stated that it is not the purpose of this part of the History to be a biographical account, yet the author has in preceding chapters suggested a few of the names of men and women who came among the early settlers. Prior to this chapter, he has discussed the arrival of many who came earlier than 1840. In that year, Deepwater township was organized. In 1841, Alexander Gregg was appointed justice of the peace. In the following year, a number of settlers had moved to the township; it was more than ten years later, however, before Doctor Stewart built the first house in Germantown and the first store there was opened in the year 1857 by Jacob Goldsmith. Mr. Goldsmith used for his store-room a little frame building which Doctor Stewart had put up for his office. This was the beginning of the town of Germantown. In 1850 a postoffice called Deepwater, was opened at John C. Stone's, some three miles east of Germantown. In 1855, John H. Austin took it to his cabin, where he held it until 1860, when James Gates moved it to his home, two miles farther north. Two years later, it was returned to the widow of John H. Austin, where it remained until 1864 when it was removed to Germantown, although the name of the postoffice was never changed. As stated elsewhere, William Tyree was the first man to settle in the open prairie; here, in this part of the county, he raised his family.
In the northeastern part of the county, there was also a scene of settlement activity. As was also stated in another chapter, the town of Calhoun was laid out by Mr. Nash, in 1835. The first tavern license was granted in November, 1845, to John Taylor, who paid twenty dollars for the privilege. Mathew Arbuckle, in February, 1846, received a license to open a saloon in Calhoun; in August, 1844, was held the first election in the town of Calhoun.
Among the early organizations of Henry County, was the organization of the Bear Creek Methodist Episcopal Church. South. It is not to try to recall the names of the original members; suffice it to mention the fact that in 1855, they built Bear Creek Church, a frame structure which cost at the time, $700; the first pastor was Rev. McDaniel and the first presiding elder, Rev. Jamison. In Leesville township, the Tebo Baptist Church, organized in 1841, also erected a building in the year 1855, at a cost of some $600; this congregation, however, had pre-viously erected a log building in the year of their organization; the first pastor was Daniel Briggs. Mount Olivet Church, of Springfield township, was organized in 1844; the Rev. William A. Gray, who had taught school several years, but who had been ordained a minister in 1843, secured the organization and building of a local church. Rev. P. C. Colwell, of Johnson County, helped to complete the organization, but the Rev. William A. Gray was installed the first pastor. For a number of years, the church also served as a school house. In 1852, however, another church was erected, it being displaced in 1874 by a modern church building.
The years between 1850 and 1860 marked a steady growth all over the county. Two new townships were organized, Bogard being organ-ized in 1857 and Osage in 1858. The settlers in the town of Clinton thought it worth while to incorporate and consequently, in the year 1858, the following petition for incorporation was filed with the County Court:
"Whereas, a petition was presented to the court siged by sundry citizens of the town of Clinton in this county, praying to have said town incorporated, and setting forth the metes and bounds thereof, and it appearing to the satisfaction of the court that two-thirds of the taxable inhabitants of said town have signed said petition, and, also, that the prayer of said petition is reasonable. It is therefore ordered by the court that the said town of Clinton be declared to be incorporated within the following metes and bounds as set forth in said petition, towit: The southeast quarter of section number three, and that part of the west half of the southwest quarter of section two, lying south of Franklin street, contained in Davis1 Addition to said town, all in township number forty-one (41) of range number 26, and to be known, styled by the name of the 'Town of Clinton"; and the court do hereby appoint George H. Warth, William H. Schroeder, William H. Cock, Jerald G. Donnan and Andrew M. Tutt, a board of trustees for said town, according to the statute in such cases made and provided."
February 6, 1858."
Twenty-three years after Clinton was first settled, or in the year 1860, it had a population of 500.
In 1855, R. F. Taylor, who had located in Henry County in 1839 and who had purchased the ground upon which the city of Windsor now stands, platted the town which was first called Belmont. An attempt was soon made to change the name of Belmont to Spring Grove; upon taking the matter up with the postal authorities, it was found that there was not only another Belmont in the State of Missouri, but also another Spring Grove. It was then that Robert D. Means urged the name of Windsor. Two years before the town was platted, the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, was organized. The old school house erected about a half mile west of the present town site of the city of Windsor, was used as the first building. In this church, the first pastor, Rev. J. M. Kelley preached. He was succeeded in turn by Rev. Joseph Wood and Rev. Bond. The first postmaster of Windsor was Jefferson Means, serving only three months, some three years before the town was laid out. It must be remembered that the postoffice was not called Windsor at this time. In fact, in the year 1862, Mrs. Egbert King took the postoffice over into Pettis County, some two miles from Belmont, as the town was called.
The year 1857 saw the beginning of the town of Germantown. Here John H. Austin bought a lot of about one-half acre in extent for $38. After the village of Germantown was started, the Catholics moved their church from about a mile and a half away on Mr. Schmedding's land, to the present site of the Germantown Church. This old stone church, which still remains, has since that time received many additions and much alterations; it still stands, however, a monument to the work of the men and women who have lived in that community and who have followed the faith of their fathers all through the years.
Prior to 1870, there seemed to be a bright future for Germantown; the coming of the railroad, however, through Montrose, four miles away, made Montrose and not Germantown the center of business, and therefore the populous town in the southwestern part of the county. During these ten years, Tebo township boasted of about one-fourth of the population of the county. In 1850, the number was 1,164; this had more than doubled by 1860.
Another church was organized in the neighborhood of the Fields' settlement in the year 1857. The Methodist Episcopal Church, South, was built at the cost of about $600. The first minister was Rev. Durant; later, Rev. J. Headley, Rev. Henry Webster and Rev. J. C. Thompson, ministered to the congregation. This church was near the well-known Fields' settlement; Joseph Fields was one of the first settlers and afterwards, the first sheriff of the county. His brother, Nathan, settled in Henry County in 1834. On account of this settlement, the creek was called Fields Creek-it had formerly been called Lake Creek. This fact brings out the significance of many of the names of the streams of water; the little stream running through Clinton was called Town Creek, because it ran by the town. The names of Fields Creek and Town Creek stall survive.
The first voting precinct in Big Creek township was at the house of Thomas Kimsey. The Kimsey school house was designated as the voting precinct in 1858. In 1865, the County Court ordered the voting precinct to be changed to Huntingdale, where it has since remained.
Osage township was organized in the year 1858. Judge Hillegas, one of the county judges, settled in this township in 1856. The order of the court organizing Osage township, is as follows:
"Ordered, that a municipal township be established within the following boundaries, towit:
"Beginning at a point on Grand River, where the county line between Benton and Henry intersects said river; thence south to the corner of the county; thence west along the county line dividing Henry and Saint Clair Counties to where the range line between ranges 26 and 27 intersects the county line; thence north along said range line to where it intersects Deepwater Creek; thence east down the main channel of said Deepwater Creek to where it intersects Grand River; thence down the middle of the channel of said river to place of beginning.
"And that the house of George W. Bowles be constituted and declared the voting precinct of said township, and that said township be known and called by the name of Osage township and that the same be certified forthwith."
In 1853, Grand River township petitioned the County Court not to grant a dram shop license in the township; so far as is known, this is the first case where there was any organized attempt to prevent the issuance of dramshop licenses in the county.
The town of Leesville was laid out by A. J. Lee and John French, in the year 1834. French built the first store and Lee, the first residence. Lee occupied the store, however, as the first merchant and became the first postmaster. He called the name of the town, "Tebo," after Tebo township. The second residence in the town was built by Doctor Hill, who was the first physician. The first blacksmith was A. Dempsey. D. B. Reavis had a horsepower sawmill and sawed out the lumber for both his own dwelling and for that of A. J. Lee. Robert Briggs taught the first school, near Tebo Church. In 1857 the name of the post office was changed from Tebo to Leesville, because the name of the town had been so changed. Mr. Lee remained postmaster until 1860, at the time he closed out his business. He was succeeded by William L. Pigg.
A few miles from Leesville, a little village which went by the name of Coale's store, was settled in 1859. The village which grew up around the store was called Coalesburg, after 1880. The post office which had been known as Galbreath, was called Coalesburg after that time; later, the name was changed to Coale, as it still remains, although the postoffice has been discontinued, patrons being served by rural routes out of Clinton. On the 6th of September, 1854, the Bethlehem Baptist Church was organized in the residence of Mr. James Lee. In 1856, the first church was built, Elder Peter Brown serving as its first pastor. In the same year, but two months later, the Surprise Cumberland Presbyterian Church was organized, the Rev. J. H. Houk being the first pastor.
[History of Henry County Missouri by Uel W Lamkin 1919]
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