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Full text of "The History of Buchanan County, Missouri : containing a history of the county, its cities, towns, etc., biographical sketches of its citizens, Buchanan County in the late war, general and local statisics, portraits of early settlers and prominent men, history of Missouri, map of Buchanan County, etc., etc"

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Cornell University 

The original of tiiis book is in 
the Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 

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Joseph Robidoux 















V\Oa V ■ 

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1881, by 


in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington, D. C. 


St. Joseph Steam Prihtikg Company, Printers, Binders, Etc, 



F=* L./\ T T E 


After months of unceasing toil, we have completed the history of 
Buchanan County. The result proves that we did not overestimate the 
importance and difficulty of the task. The importance and difficulty 
of the work result from the same cause, viz : The almost total lack in 
many instances of reliable data. This difficulty, however, has in a meas- 
ure been overcome by a systematic canvass of the county, whereby we 
have been enabled to gather together, glean and compile into compre- 
hensible and permanent form, what, until now, has floated about in the 
changing mists of tradition ; the reader will readily realize how difficult 
has been this task, and how important that the work is done at this com- 
paratively early date. . The first settlers who acted so important a part 
in the history of the county, and who heretofore have been the sole cus- 
todians of much material essential for such a work as this, are rapidly 
disappearing from among us, and those who remain become less and less 
reliable as year by year the memory of early times grows indistinct. 
The importance ol the work is enhanced by the fact, that Buchanan 
county is one of the chief agricultural counties of the State, and further, 
by the fact, that it contains in point of population the third city in the 
State. In order to devote that attention to the various interests of the 
county which its importance demanded, we supposed it would be neces- 
sary to make a book of from eight to nine hundred pages. The publica- 
tion of such a book for a patronage limited to a single county was a 
hazardous undertaking, viewed from a business standpoint. Much solic- 


itude was felt on this account during the first stages of the enterprise 
but what misgivings we may have felt, have been dispelled by the gen- 
erous patronage afforded by the people of the county. We have been 
so far encouraged by the patronage vouchsafed, that the work has been 
extended to beyond what was originally intended, and instead of a book 
of from eight to nine hundred pages as promised in our prospectus, the 
book approximates eleven hundred pages. Our solicitude for the success 
of the enterprise in a business sense was natural, but it has not been our 
sole solicitude ; we have likewise intensely desired to make the work 
reliable, full and attractive, and thereby to merit the public favor, which 
the people of.the county have extended to us. In presenting the work 
to our many hundred readers, we have the satisfaction of knowing that 
they will. appreciate merit when found, and of further believing that 
errors will be criticised with the understanding that book-making, like 
all other kinds of labor, has its peculiar vicissitudes. 

The publishers avail themselves of this opportunity to thank all who 
have aided in the preparation of this book ; whatever of merit the his- 
tory of Buchanan County may contain is due, in a large measure, to their 

To each and all of our patrons we come with the satisfaction of 
knowing that we bring what we guaranteed, and in the belief that should 
any of them not appreciate the work, the time will come when their 
children will. 






Brief Historical Sketch . 



Name — Extent — Surface — Rivers — 
Timber — Climate — Prairies — Soils — 
Population by Counties 14 



Classification of Rocks — Quarternary 
Formation — Tertiary — Cretaceous — 
Carboniferous — Devonian — Silurian 
— Azoic — Economic Geology — Coal 
— li-on — Lead — Copper- Zinc— Build- 
ing Stone — Marble — Gypsum — Lime 
Paints— Springs— Water Puwer ... 20 


Title to Missouri Lands — Right of 
Discovery — Title of France and Spain 
— Cession to the United States — Ter- 
ritorial Changes — Treaties with In- 
dians — First Settlement — Ste. Gene- 
vieve and New Bourbon — St. Louis — 
When Incorporated — Potosi — St. 
Charles — Portage Des Sioux — New 
Madrid — St. Francois County — Perry 
— Mississippi — Loutre Island — 
" Boone's Lick " — Cole Sans Dessein 
— Howard County- Some First Things 
— Counties — When Organized ... 26 



Organization 1812 — Council— House 
of Representatives — Wm. Clark First 
Territorial Governor — Edward Hemp- 
stead First Delegate — Spanish Grants 
— First General Assembly — Proceed- 
ings — Second Assembly — Proceedings 
— Population of Territory— Vote of 
Territory — Rufus Easton — Absent 
members — Third Assembly — Proceed- 
ings — Application for Admission . . 32 


Application of Missouri to be Admit- 
ted into the Union — Agitation of the 
Slaver) Question — " Missouri Compro- 

mise" — Constitutional Convention of 
1820 — Constitution Presented to Con- 
gress — Further Resistance to Admis- 
sion — Mr. Clay and his Committee 
Make Report — Second Compromise — 
Missouri Admitted . *. 35 



First Election for Governor and Other 
State Officers — Senators and Represen- 
tatives to General Assembly*— Sheriffs 
and Coroiiers — United States Senators 
— Representatives in Congress — Su- 
preme Court Judges — Counties Organ- 
ized — Capital Moved to St. Charles — 
Official Record of Territorial and 
State Officers '. . 40 



Black Hawk War — Mormon Difficul- 
ties — Florida War — Mexican War . 46 



Fort Sumpter Fired Upon — Call fot 
7S,ooo Men — Gov. Jackson . Refuses 
to Furnish a Man — U. S. Arsenal at 
Mo , Seized — Proclamation of Gov. 
Jackson — General Order No 7— Leg- 
islature Convenes — Camp Jackson 
Organized — Sterling Price Appointed 
Major General — Frost's Letter to 
Lyon — Lyon's Letter to Frost — Sur- 
render of Camp Jackson — Proclama- 
tion of Gen. Harney — Conference Be- 
tween Price and Harney — Harney 
Superceded by Lyon — Second Confer- 
ence — Governor Jackson Burns the 
Bridges Behind Him — Proclamation 
of Gov. Jackson — Gen. Blair Takes 
Possession of Jefferson City — Trocla- 
mation of Lyon — Lyon at Springfield 
— State Offices Declared Vacant — 
Gen. Fremont Assumes Command— r 
Proclamation of Lieut. Gov. Rey- 
nolds — Proclamation of Jeff. Thomp- 
son and Gov. Jackson — Death of Gen. 
Lyon — Succeeded by Sturgis — Pro- 
clamation of M'CuUough and Gamble 
— Martial Law Declared — Second 
Proclamation of Jeff. Thompson — 
President Modifies Fremont's Order — 



Fremont Relieved by Hunter — Pro- 
clamation of Price — Hunter's Order 
of Assessment — Hunter Declares 
Martial LSw — Order Relating to 
Newspaper^ — Halleck Succeeds Hun- 
ter— Halleck's Order 8t— Similar Or- 
der by Halleck — Boone Cbanty 
Standard Confiscated — Execution of 
Prisoners at Macon and Palmyra — 
Gen. Ewing's Order No. ii — Gen. 
Rosecrans Takes Command — Massa- 
cre at Centralia — Death of Bill An- 
derson — Gen. Dodge Succeeds Gen. 
Rosecrans— List of Battles . ... 51 


Missouri as an Agricultural State — 
The Different Crops — Live Stock — 
Horses and Mules — Milch Cows — 
Oxen and Other Cattle — Sheep— ;Hogs 
— Comparisons — Missouri Adapted to 
Live Stock — Cotton — Broom Corn 
and Other Products — Fruits — Berries 
—Grapes — Railroads — First Neigh of 
the "Iron Horse" In Missouri — 
Names of Railroads — Manufactures — 
Great Bridge at St. Louis 60 




Public School System —Public School 
System of Missouri — Lincoln Insti- 
tute—Officers of Public School Sys- 
tem—Certificates of Teachers— Uni- 
versity of Missouri — Schools — Col- 
leges — Institutions of Learning — Lo- 
cation — Libraries — Newspapers and 
Periodicals— No. of School Children 
— Amount Expended — Value of 
Grounds and Buildings — "The Press" 66 



Baptist Church— Its History — Congre- 
gational — When Founded — Its His- 
tory — Christian Church — Its History 
— Cumberland Presbyterian Church — 
Its History— Methodist Episcopal 
Church — Its H istory — Presbyterian 
Church — Its History — Protestant 
Episcopal Church — Its History — 
United Presbyterian Church — Its His- 
tory — Unitarian Church-Its History — 
Roman Catholic Church— Its History 73 






The County, Its Location and Name — 
Plan and Scope of This Work ... 79 



Location — Boundary — Civil and Con- 
gressional Townships — Surface — Riv- 
ers — Lakes — Timber — Its Importance 
to Early Settlers — Climate- Rainfall— 
Health— Soil— Prairie— Waste Land. 87 



The Platte Country — Correspondence 
in Reference Thereto — Meeting at 
Liberty, Missouri— Its Object — Memo- 
rial — Efforts of Benton and Linn — 
■ Treaty with the lowas, Sacs and Fox 
Indians 104 



Importance of First Settlements — 
When Settlements First Commenced— 
Settlement of Platte Township — Jack- 
son Township— Crawford— Blooming- 
ton— Centi-e — Rush — Agency — Ma- 
rion — Wayne — Lake — Washington . 112 




Tne Pioneers' Peculiarities — Conven- 
iences and Inconveniences — The His- 
torical Log Cabin — Agricultural Im- 
plements — Household Furniture — 
Pioneer Corn-bread — Hand Mills and 
Hominy Blocks — Going to Mill — 
Trading Points — Bee Trees— Shooting 
Matches and Quiltings 141 



Legislative Act Organizing Buchanan 
and Platte Counties — Appointment of 
Commissioners to Locate County Seat • 
— Organization of the County — First 
Court — County and Township System 
— Government Surveys — Organiza- 
tion of Townships — Boundaries of 
Same Established — Proceedings of 
First Court — Election Precincts — 
Roads — Ferries . . • 152 






First Court House— Further Extracts 
from County Court Records — Early 
Papers On File — Circuit Court Docket 



— First Cases-^Bills of Indictment — 
Chancery "Court Docket 179 



Second Court House ordered to be 
Built at Sparta— Six Thousand Dol- 
lars to be Appropriated Therefor — 
Agitation of the Countjf Seat Ques- 
tion — Legislative Enactment — Vote 
upon the Question — County Seat Fi- 
nally Changed — Commissioner Hinks- 
ton's Report 188 


The Interest Taken by Buclianan 
County in the Mexican War — Compa- 
nies Organized — General James W. 
Denver — Captain Jesse B. Moran — 
Doniphas's Expedition — Oregon Bat- 
talion — Officers — Service and Return 197 










Andrew S. Hughes— Wm. B. Al- 
mond — Theodore L. Wheaton — Peter 
H. Burnett — Henry M. Voiies — James 
K . Gardenhire — David R. Atchison — 
Willard P. Hall — Solomon L. Leon- 
ard-Bela M. Hughes-Silas Woodson - 
Robert M. Stewart— J. M. Bassett— 
Benjamin F. Loan- A.W. Doniphan— 
Names of Other Attorneys who Came 
at a More Recent Date 229 






Review of the Progress of Agricultu- 
ral Enterprise- Fairs and Expositions - 
State Fish Hatchery 284 


Of Old Settlers of the Platte Purchase 
at St. Joseph, Missouri, September, 
1874, and Set)tember, 1875 — Bishop 
Marvin's Letter— Addresses — Names 
of Old Settlers 304 





Second Court House — New Court - 
House — Ceremonies at Laying Comer 
Stone — Address of Col. John Doni- 
ptan 334 


-. . . . 344 







DeKalb — Rushville — Winthrop — 
Agency — Halleck — Wallace — Ar- 
noldsville — Frazer — Eveline — Lake 
Station — Easton — Saxton's Station — 
Schools — Churches — Secret Orders, 
Etc 370 




HOW Ancient jCities were Founded 
and Built — The Considerations Deter- 
mining their Location — How Modern 
Cities are Built, and the Considera- 
tions Determining their Location — 
American Cities, how Located and 
how Built— Western Cities— The Im- 
, portance of Transportation Facilities 
— The People who Determine the Lo- 
cation, and Why — " Motion Follows 
the Line of Least Resistance." . . . 





The Fur Companies— The First Set- 
tlement of Blacksnake Hills — Robi- 
doux' Portrait — His Lithograph — Bio- 
graphical Sketch — Locates at Chicago 
— Then at the Bluffs— Then at Roy's 
Branch and Blacksnake Hills — 1834- 
1 836 — Robidoux' Home — Employes 
— Servant — Ferry — From 1837 to 
1840 — Rival Towns — Mission of 
Three Gentlemen — Wolves .... 






FROM 1840 TO 1843— 

Arrival of Settlers — Smal Beginning 
Four Thousand Dollar Burglary — 
Audubon — Laying Off the Town — 
Declaration of Proprietor — Certifica;te 
— Acknowledgement — Reservation of 
Lots — Streets — Additions — First Con - 

veyance 400 


Postmasters of St. Joseph — Business 
Men of 1845 — Professional Men — 
Prices Current — Fourth of July Cele- 
bration — Letters — Meeting of Physi- 
cians — Interesting Incidents, Etc . . 413 

CITY OFFICERS— 1845 TO 1881- 













Hannibal & St. Joseph, Railroad — St. 
Joseph & Western Railroad — The 
Kansas City, St. Jjseph & Council 
Bluffs Railroad — St. Louis & St. 
Joseph Railroad — Missouri Pacific 
Railway — St. Joseph & Des Moines 
Railroad 569 



Board of Trade — Its Officers and Mem- 
bers—Wholesale Trade — Sewerage — 
Street Railways— Gas Works— Water 
Works^St. Joseph Clearing House- 
Union Stock Yards — Live Stock- 
Packing House— Ice —Opera House 
— City Hall— Chamber of Commerce 
— Custom House and Postoffice — 
Glucose Works — Star Pieserving 
Works— Produce Packing — Military 
— Telephone— Telegraph Statistics- 
Express Companies — Postoffice — In- 
ternal Revenue-Grain-City Finances. $88 



Medical Colleges — Banks and Bank- 
ers — Insurance Companies — Real 
Estate Associations — Hotels — Manu- 
facturing Interests — Mills and Manu- 
factories—Wholesale Houses. . . . 616 


Horace Greeley — Lincoln — Seward- 
Seward's Speech — Grant — Sherman — 
Hayes— Park and Boulevard— New 
Ulm Park— Cemeteries — Death of ._^ 
Joseph Rubidoux — Pony Express — /-^\ 
Homes of St. Joseph— Tom Farris . , 637 


History of the Bridge — Description — 
Celebration in Honor of Its Comple- 
tion—Railroad Traffic Over It— Foot 
and Wagon Traffic — Union Depot — 
Description — Its Necessity — Import ■ 
ance to St. Joseph 647 

Its Origin, Growth and Subsequent 
Importance . . . . ' 657 


dry OF St. Joseph and Washington 

Township 659 

Marion Township 955 

Tremont Township 966 

Agency Township 975 

Center Township 984 

Wayne Township 999 

Lake Township 1008 

Rush Township 1009 

Bloomington Township ... .... 1020 

Crawford Township 1042 

Jackson Township 1056 

Platte Township 1065 

Addenda 1073 


Joseph Robidoux Frontispiece. 

Israel Landis 681 

R T. Davis 745 

A. N. Schuster 809 

W. R. Penick 850 

W. C. Toole 917 

C W. Campbell 937 

S. L. Leonard • . . .1000' 

History of Missouri, 



The purchase of the vast territory west of the Mississippi River, by 
the United States, extending through Oregon to the Pacific coast and 
south to the dominions of Mexico, constitutes the most important event 
that ever occurred in the history of the nation. 

It gave to our republic additional room for that expansion and stu- 
pendous growth, to which it has since attained, in all that makes it 
strong and enduring, and forms the seat of an empire, from which will 
radiate an influence for good unequaled in the annals of time. In 1763, 
one hundred and eighteen years ago, the irrtmense region of country, 
known at that time as Louisiana, was ceded to Spain by France. By a 
secret article, in the treaty of St. Ildefonso, concluded in 1800, Spain 
ceded it back to France. Napoleon, at that time, coveted the island of 
St. Domingo, not only because of the value of its products, but more 
especially because its location in the Gulf of Mexico would, in a military 
point of view, afford him a fine field, whence he could the more effec- 
tively guard his newly acquired possessions. Hence he desired this 
cession by Spain should be kept a profound secret until he succeeded in 
reducing St. Domingo to submission. In this undertaking, however, 
his hopes were blasted, and so great was his disappointment that he 
apparently became indifferent to the advantages to be derived to France 
from his purchase of Louisiana. 

In 1803' he sent out Laussat as prefect of the colony, who gave the 

people of Louisiana the first intimation that they had had, that they had 

once more become the subjects of France. This was the occasion of 

gjeat rejoicing among the inhabitants, who were Frenchmen in their 

•^origin, habits, manners and customs. 


Mr. Jefferson, then President of the United States, on being in- 
formed of the retrocession, immediately dispatched Instructions to 
Robert Livingston, the American Minister at Paris, to make known to 
Napoleon that the occupancy of New Orleans, by his government, 
would not only endanger the friendly relations existing between the two 
nations, but, perhaps, oblige the United States to make common cause 
with England, his bitterest and most dreaded enemy, as the possession 
of the city by France would give her command of the Mississippi, which 
was the only outlet for the produce of the Western States, and give her 
also control of the Gulf of Mexico, so necessary to the protection of 
American commerce. Mr. Jefferson was so fully impressed with the 
idea that the occupancy of New Orleans, by France, would bring about 
a conflict of interests between the two nations, which would finally cul- 
minate in an open rupture, that he urged Mr. Livingston, to not only 
insist upon the free navigation of the Mississippi, but to negotiate for 
the purchase of the city and the surrounding country. 

The question of this negotiation was of so grave a character to the 
United States that the President appointed Mr. Monroe, with full power, 
to act in conjunction with Mr. Livingston. Ever equal to all emergen- 
cies, and prompt in the cabinet, as well as in the field. Napoleon "came to 
the conclusion that, as he could not well defend his occupancy of New 
Orleans, he would dispose of it, on the best terms possible. Before, 
however, taking final action in the matter, he summoned two of his min- 
isters, and addressed them as follows : 

" I am fully sensible of the value of Louisiana, and it was my wish 
to repair the error of the French diplomatists who abandoned it in 1763. 
I have scarcely recovered it before I run the risk of losing it ; but if I 
am obliged to give it up, it shall hereafter cost more to those who force 
me to part with it, than to those to whom I shall yield it. The English 
have despoiled France of all her northern possessions in America, and 
now they covet those of the South. I am determined that they shall not 
have the Mississippi. Although Louisiana is but a trifle compared to 
their vast possessions in other parts of the globe, yet, judging from the 
vexation they have manifested on seeing it return to the power of 
France, I am certain that their first object will be to gain possession of 
it. They will probably commence the war in that quarter. They have 
twenty vessels in the- Gulf of Mexico, and our affairs in St. Domingo are 
daily getting worse since the death of LeClerc. The conquest of Lou- 
isiana might be easily made, and I have not a moment to lose in getting 
it out of their reach. I am not sure but that they have already begun an 
attack upon it. Such a measure would be in accordance with their 
habits ; and in their place I should not wait. I am inclined, in order to 
deprive them of all prospect of ever possessing it, to ce^^e it to the 
United States. Indeed, I can hardly say that I cede it, for I do not yet 


possess it ; and if I wait but a short time my enemies may leave rtie 
Tiothing but an empty title to grant to the republic I wish to conciliate. 
1 consider the whole colony as lost, and I believe that in the hands of 
this rising power it will be more useful to the political and even com- 
mercial interests of France than if I should attempt to retain it. Let 
me have both your opinions on the subject." 

One of his ministers approved of the contemplated cession, but the 
other opposed it. The matter was long and earnestly discussed by them, 
before the conference was ended. The next day Napoleon sent for the 
-minister who had agreed with him, and said to him : " The season for 
■deliberation is over. I have determined to renounce Louisiana. I shall 
give up not only New Orleafts, but the whole colony, without reserva- 
tion. That I do not undervalue Louisiana, I have sufficiently proved, as 
the object of my first treaty with Spain was to recover it. But though I 
regret parting with it, I am convinced it would be folly to persist in try- 
ing to keep it. I commission you, therefore, to negotiate this affair with 
the envoys of the United States. Do not wait the arrival of Mr. Monroe, 
Tjut go this very day and confer with Mr. Livingston. Remember, 
however, that I need ample funds for carrying on the war, and I do 
not wish to commence it by levying new taxes. For the last century 
France and Spain have incurred great expense in the improvement 
■of Louisiana, for which her trade has never indemnified them. Large 
sums have been advanced to different companies, which have never been 
returned to the treasury. It is fair that I should require repayment for 
these. Were I to regulate my demands by the importance of this terri- 
tory to the United States, they would be unbounded ; but, being obliged 
to part with it, I shall be moderate in my terms. Still, remember, I 
must have fifty millions of francs, and I will not consent to take 
less. I would rather make some desperate effort to Jireserve this fine 

That day the negotiations commenced. Mr. Monroe reached Paris 
on the 1 2th of April, and the two representatives of the United States, 
after holding a private interview, announced that they were ready to 
treat for the entire territory. Om the 30th of April, 1803, eighteen days 
afterward, the treaty was signed, and on the 21st of October, of the same 
year. Congress ratified the treaty. The United States were to pay 
$ii,250,cxx), and her citizens to be compensated for some illegal captures 
to the amount of $3,750,000, making in the aggregate the sum of 
$15,000,000, while it was agreed that the vessels and merchandise of 
France and Spain should be admitted into all the ports of Louisiana fre^ 
■of duty for twelve years. Bonaparte stipulated in favor of Louisiana, 
that it should be, as soon as possible, incorporated into the Union, and 
that its inhabitants should enjoy the same rights, privileges and immuni- 
ties as other citizens of the United States, and the clause giving to them 


these benefits, was drawn up by Bonaparte, who presented it to the 
plenipotentiaries with these words : " Make it known to the people of 
Louisiana, that we regret to part with them ; that we have stipulated for 
all the advantages they could desire ; and that France, in giving them 
up, has insured to them the greatest of all. They could never have pros- 
pered under any European government as they will when they become 
independent. But while they enjoy the privileges of liberty let them 
remember that they are French, and preserve for their mother country 
that affection which a common origin inspires." 

Complete satisfaction was given to both parties in the terms 
of the treaty. Mr. Livingston said : " I consider that from this 
day the United States takes rank with the first powers of Europe, and 
now she has entirely escaped from the power of England," and Bonaparte 
expressed a similar sentiment when he said : " By this cession of terri- 
tory I have secured the power of the United States, and given to 
England a maritime rival, who, at some future time, will humble her 
pride." These were prophetic words, for within a few years afterward 
the British met with a signal defeat, on the plains of the very territory 
of which the great Corsican had been speaking. 

From 1800, the date of the cession made by Spain, to 1803, when it 
was purchased by the United States, no change had been made by the 
French authorities in the jurisprudence of the Upper and Lower Louis- 
iana, and during this period the Spanish laws remained in full force as 
the laws of the entire province ; a fact which is of interest 'to those who 
would understand the legal history and some of the present laws of 

On December 20th, 1803, Gens. Wilkinson and Claiborne, who were 
jointly commissioned to take possession of the territory for the United 
States, arrived in the city of New Orleans at the head of the American 
forces. Laussat, who had taken possession but twenty days previously 
as the prefect of the colony, gave up his command, and the star-spangled 
banner supplanted the tri-colored flag of France. The agent of France, 
to take possession of Upper Louisiana from the Spanish authorities, was 
Amos Stoddard, captain of artillery in the United States service. He 
was placed in possession of St. Louis on the 9th of March, 1804, by 
Charles Dehault Delassus, the Spanish commandant, and on the follow- 
ing day he transferred it to the United States. The authority of the 
United States in Missouri dates from this day. 

From that moment the interests of the people of the Mississippi 
Valley became identified. They were troubled no more with the uncer- 
tainties of free navigation. The great river, along whose banks they 
had planted their towns and villages, now afforded them a safe and easy 
outlet to the markets of the world. Under the protecting aegis of a 
government, republican in form, and having free access to an almost 


boundless domain, embracing in its broad area the diversified climates of 
the globe, and possessing a soil unsurpassed for fertility, beauty of 
scenery and wealth of minerals, they had every incentive to push on 
their enterprises and build up the land wherein their lot had been cast. 

In the purchase of Louisiana, it was known that a great empire had 
been secured as a heritage to the people of our country, for all time to 
come, but of its grandeur, its possibilities, its inexhaustible resources 
and the important relations it would sustain to the nation and the world, 
were never dreamed of by even Mr. Jefferson and his adroit and accom- 
plished diplomatists. 

The most ardent imagination never conceived of the progress, 
which would mark the history of the " Great West.'' The adventurous 
pioneer, who fifty years ago pitched his tent upon its broad prairies, or 
threaded the dark labyrinths of its lonely forests, little thought that a 
mighty tide of physical and intellectual strength would so rapidly flow 
on in his footsteps, to populate, build up and enrich the domain which 
he had conquered. 

Year after year, civilization has advanced further and further, until 
at length the mountains, the plains, the hills and the valleys, and even 
the rocks and the caverns, resound with the noise and din of busy 

" I beheld the westward marches 
Of the unknown crowded nations. 
All the land was full of people. 
Restless, struggling, toiling, striving, 
Speaking many tongues, yet feeling 
But one heartbeat in their bosoms. 
In the woodland rang their axes, 
Smoked their towns in all the valleys ; 
Over all the lakes and rivers 
Rushed their great canoes of thunder." 

In 1804 Congress, by an act, passed in April of the same year, 
divided Louisiana into two parts, the " Territory of Orleans," and the 
" District of Louisiana," known as "Upper Louisiana." This district 
included all that portion of the old province, north of "Hope Encamp- 
ment," on the Lower Mississippi, and embraced the present State of 
Missouri, and all the western region of country to the Pacific Ocean, and 
all below the forty-ninth degree of north latitude not claimed by Spain. 

As "a matter of convenience, on March 26th, 1804, Missouri was 
placed within the jurisdiction of the government of the Territory of 
Indiana, and its government put in motion by Gen. William H. Harrison, 
then governor of Indiana. In this he was assisted by Judges Griffin, 
Vanderberg and Davis, who established in St. Louis what were called 
Courts of Common Pleas. The District of Louisiana was regularly 
organized into the Territory of Louisiana by Congress, March 3d, 1805, 


and President Jefferson appointed Gen. James Wilkinson governor, and 
Frederick Bates secretary. The Legislature of the Territory was formed 
by Governor Wilkinson and Judges R. J. Meigs and John B. C. Lucas.. 
In 1807 Governor Wilkinson was succeeded by Captain Meriwether 
Lewis, who had become famous by reason of his having made the expe- 
dition with Clark. Governor Lewis committed suicide in 1809, and 
President Madison appointed Gen. Benjamin Howard, of Lexington,. 
Kentucky, to fill his place. Gen. Howard resigned October 25, 1810, to- 
enter the war of 18 13, and died in St. Louis, in 18 14. Captain William 
Clark, of Lewis and Clark's expedition, was appointed governor in 18 10, 
to succeed Gen. Howard, and remained in. office until the admission of 
the State into the Union. 

The portions of Missouri which were settled, for the purpose of local 
government, were divided into four districts. Cape Girardeau was the 
first, and embraced the territory between Tywappity Bottom and Apple 
Creek. Ste. Genevieve, the second, embraced the territory from Apple 
Creek to the Meramec River. St. Louis, the third, embraced the terri- 
tory between the Meramec and Missouri Rivers. St. Charles, the fourth,, 
included the settled territory between the Missouri and Mississippi 
Rivers. The total population of these districts at that time was 8,670,. 
including slaves. The population of the district of Louisiana, when 
ceded to the United States, was 10,120. 




The name Missouri, is derived from the Indian tongue and signifies 


Missouri is bounded on the north by Iowa (from which it is separated 
for about thirty miles on the northeast by the DesMoines River), and on 
the east by the Mississippi River, which divides it from Illinois, Ken- 
tucky and Tennessee, and on the west by the Indian Territory, and by 
the states of Kansas and Nebraska. The state lies (with the exception 
of a small projection between the St. Francis and the Mississippi Rivers, 
which extends to 36°), between 36° 30' and 40° 36' north latitude, and 
between 12° 2' and 18° 51' west longitude from Washington. 


The extreme width of the state east and west is about 348 miles ; 
its width on its northern boundary, measured from its northwest corner 
along the Iowa line to its intersection with the DesMoines River, is about 
210 miles; its width on its southern boundary is about 288 miles. Its 
average width is about 235 miles. 

The length of the state north and south, not including the narrow 
strip between the St. Francis and Mississippi Rivers, is about 282 miles. 
It is about 450 miles from its extreme northwest corner to its southeast 
corner, and from the northeast corner to the southwest corner it is about 
230 miles. These limits embrace an ar«a of 65,350 square miles, or 
41,824,000 acres, being nearly as large as England, and the states of 
Vermont and New Hampshire. 


North of the Missouri the state is level or undulating, while the por- 
tion south of that river (the larger portion of the state) exhibits a greater 
variety of surface. In the southeastern part is an extensive marsh, 
reaching beyond the state into Arkansas. The remainder of this portion, 
between the Mississippi^ and Osage Rivers, is rolling and gradually rising 
into a hilly and mountainous district, forniing the outskirts of the Ozark 

Beyond the Osage River, at some distance, commences a vast 
expanse of prairie land, which stretches away towards the Rocky Mount- 
ains. The ridges forming the Ozark chain extend in a northeast and 
southwest direction, separating the waters that flow northeast into the 
Missouri from those that flow southeast into the Mississippi River. 


No state in the Union enjoys better facilities for navigation than 
Missouri. By means of the Mississippi River, which stretches along her 
entire eastern boundary, she can hold commercial intercourse with the 
most northern territory and state in the Union ; with the whole valley of 
the Ohio ; with many of the Atlantic States, and with the Gulf of Mexico. 

"Ay, gather Europe's royal rivers all — 
The snow-swelled Neva, with an Empire's weight 
On her broad breast, she yet may overwhelm ; 
Dark Danube, hurrying, as by foe pursued. 
Through shaggy forests and by palace walls, 
To hide its terrors in a sea of gloom ; 
The castled Rhine, whose vine-crowned waters flow, 
The fount of fable and the source of song ; 
The rushing Rhone, in whose cerulean depths 
The loving sky seems wedded with the wave ; 
The yellow Tiber, chok'd with Roman spoils, 
A dying miser shrinking 'neath his gold ; 
The Seine, where fashion glasses the fairest forms ; 
And Thames that bears the riches of the world ; 


Gather their waters in one ocean mass, 

Our Mississippi rolling pfoudly on. 

Would sweep them from its path, or swallow up, 

Like Aaron's rod, these streams 6f fame and song." 

By the Missouri River she can extend her commerce to the Rocky 
Mountains, and receive in return the products which will come in the 
course of time, by its multitude of tributaries. 

The Missouri River coasts the northwest line of the state for about 
250 miles, following its windings, and then flows through the state, a lit- 
tle south of east, to its junction with the Mississippi. The Missouri 
River receives a number of tributaries within the limits of the state, the 
principal of which are the Nodaway, Platte, Loutre and Chariton from 
the north, and the Blue, Sniabar, Grand, Osage and Gasconade from the 
south. The principal tributaries of the Mississippi within the state are 
the Salt River, north, and the Meramec River, south, of the Missouri. 

The St. Francis and White Rivers, with their branches, drain the 
southeastern part of the state and pass into Arkansas. The Osage is 
navigable for steamboats for more than 275 miles. There are a vast 
number of smaller streams, such as creeks, branches and rivers, which 
water the state in all directions. 


Not more towering, in their sublimity were the cedars of ancient 
Lebanon, nor more precious in their utility were the almug trees of 
Ophir, than the native forests of Missouri. The river bottoms are cov- 
ered with a luxuriant growth of oak, ash, elm, hickory, cottonwood, linn, 
white and black walnut, and in fact all the varieties found in the Atlantic 
and Eastern States. In the more barren districts- may be seen the white 
and pin oak, and in many places a dense growth of pine. The crab 
apple, pawpaw and persimmon are abundant, as also the hazel and pecan. 


The climate of Missouri is, in general, pleasant and salubrious. 
Like that of North America, it is changeable and subject to sudden and 
sometimes extreme changes pf heat and cold ; but it is decidedly milder, 
taking the whole year through, than that of the same latitudes east of 
the mountains. While the summers are not more oppressive than 'they 
are in the corresponding latitudes on and near the Atlantic Coast, the 
v/inters are shorter, and very much milder, except during the morrth of 
February, and it has many days of pleasant sunshine. 


Missouri is a prairie state, especially that portion of it north and 
northwest of the Missouri Ri.'er. These prairies, along the water 
courses, abound with the thickest and most luxurious belts of timber, 


while the "rolling" prairies occupy the higher portions of the country, 
the descent generally to the forest or bottom lands being over stony 
declivities. Many of these prairies, however, exhibit a graceful, waving 
surface, swelling and sinking with an easy slope and a full, rounded out- 
line, equally avoiding the unmeaning, horizontal surface and the inter- 
ruption of abrupt or angular elevations. 

These prairies often embrace extensive tracts of land, and in one or 
two instances they cover an area of fifty thousand acres. During the 
Spring and summer they are carpeted with a velvet of green and gaily . 
bedecked with flowers of various forms and hues, making a most fasci- 
nating panorama of ever changing color and loveliness. To fully appre- 
ciate their great beauty and magnitude they must be seen. 


The soil of Missouri is good, and of great agricultural capabilities, 
but the most fertile portions of the state are the river bottoms, which 
are a rich alluvium, mixed in many cases with sand, the producing qual- 
ities of which are not excelled by the prolific valley of the famous Nile. 

South of the Missouri River there is a greater variety of soil, but 
much of it is fertile, and even in the mountains and mineral districts 
there are rich valleys, and about the sources of the White, Eleven 
Points, Current and Big Black Rivers the soil, though unproductive, fur- 
nishes a valuable growth of yellow pine. 

The marshy lands in the southeastern part of the state will, by a 
system of drainage, be one of the most fertile districts in the state. 

POPULATION BY COUNTIES IN 1870, 1 876, i88o. 

Adair . . . . 
Andrew . . . . 
Atchison . . . 
Aadrain . . , 
Barry .... 
Barton , . . 


Benton . . . 
Bollinger . . 
Boone .... 
Buchanan . . 
Butler .... 
Caldwell . . 
Callaway . . . 
Camden . . . 
Cape Girardeau , 
Carroll . . . , 
Carter .... 


































35, '09 





6,01 1 











17 891 


17 445' 










Cedai .... 
Chariton , , . 
Christian . . 
Clark .... 
Clinton . , . 
Cole .... 
Cooper . . . 
Crawford . . 
Dade .... 
Dallas . . . 
Daviess . . . 
DeKalb . . . 
Dent . . . 
Douglas . . . 
Dunkin . . . 
Franklin . . . 
Gasconade . . 
Gentry .... 
Greene . . . 
Grundy . . . 
Harrison . . . 
Henry .... 
Hickory. . . . 


Howard . . . 
Howell . . . 


Jackson . . 
Jasper .... 
Jefferson . . . 
Johnson . . . 
Knox .... 
Laclede . . . 
Lafayette. . . 
L,awrence . . 
Lewis .... 
Lincoln . . . 


Livingston . . 
McDonald . . 
Macon. . . , 
Madison . . . 
Maries .... 
Marion .... 
Mercer. . . . 
Miller. . . . 
Mississippi . . 
Moniteau. . , 
Monroe . . . 
Montgomery . 
Morgan . . . 
New Madrid . 
Newton . . . 






























































































































































16,875 ' 



Nodaway. I4,75i 23,196 29,560 

Oregon 3,287 4,469 5,791 

Osage 10,793 11,200 11,824 

Ozark 3,363 4,579 5,618 

Pemiscot 2,059 2,573 4.299 

Perry 9,877 11,189 11 895 

Pettis i8,';o6 23,167 27,285 

Phelps 10506 9,919 12,565 

Pike 23,076 22,828 26,716 

Platte 17,352 15,948 17,372 

Polk 14,445 '3.467 15.745 

Pulaski 4,714 6,157 7,250 

Putnam 11,217 12,641 13,556 

Ralls 10,510 9,997 11,838 

Randolph 15908 '9,173 22751 

Ray 18,700 18,394 20,196 

Reynolds » 3,756 4,716 5,722 

Ripley 3.175 3,913 5.377 

St. Charles 21,304 21,821 23,060 

St. Clair 6,742 11,242 14,126 

St. Francois 9,742 11,621 13,822 

Ste. Genevieve 8 384 9,409 10,309 

St. Louis* 351,189 . . . 31,888 

Saline 21,672 27,087 29,912 

Schuyler 8,820 9, 881 10470 

Scotland 10,670 12,030 12,507 

Scott 7,317 7,312 8,587 

Shannon 2,339 3,236 3,44i 

Shelby 10,119 13,243 14,024 

Stoddard 8,535 10,888 13,432 

Stone 3,253 3,544 4,405 

Sullivan ",907 14,039 '6.569 

Taney 4,407 6,124 5,^05 

Texas 9,6i8 10,287 12,207 

Vernon 11,247 14.4'3 '9 370 

Warren 9,673 10,321 10,806 

Washington 11,719 13,100 12,895 

Wayne •••... 6,068 7,006 9,097 

Webster 10,434 10,684 12,175 

Worth 5,004 7,164 8,208 

Wright 5,684 6,124 9,733 

City of St. Louis .... ... 350,522 

1,721,295 1,547.030 2,168,804 

Males 1,127424 

Females 1,041,380 

Native ;,',957>564 

Foreign 211,240 

White 2,023 568 

Coloredf 145,236 

*St. Louis city and county separated in 1877. Population for 1876 not given. 
■^Including 92 Chinese, 2 half Chinese, and 96 Indians and half-breeds. 




The stratified rocks of Missouri, as classified and treated of by Prof 
G. C. Swallow, belong to the following divisions: I. Quaternary ; II. Ter- 
tiary ; III. Cretaceous ; IV. Carboniferous ; V. Devonian ; VI. Silurian ; 
VII. Azoic. 

The Quaternary formations are the most recent and the most val- 
uable to man ; valuable, because they can be more readily utilized. 

The Quaternary formation in Missouri, embraces the Alluvium, 30 
feet thick; Bottom Prairie, 30 feet thick; Bluff, 200 feet thick; and Drift, 
155 feet thick. The latest deposits are those which constitute the Allu- 
vium, and includes the soils, pebbles and sand, clays, vegetable mold, 
bog, iron ore, marls, etc. 

The Alluvium deposits cover an area, within the limits of Missouri, 
of more than four million acres of land, which are not surpassed for fer- 
tility by any region of country on the globe. 

The Bluff Prairie formation is confined to the lowlands, which are 
washed by the two great rivers which course our eastern and western 
boundaries, and while it is only about half as extensive as the Alluvial, 
it is equally as rich and productive." 

" The Bluff formation," says Professor Swallow, " rests upon the 
ridges and river bluffs, and descends along their slopes to the lowest 
valleys, the formation capping all the bluffs of the Missouri from Fort 
Union to its mouth, and those of the Mississippi from Dubuque to the 
mouth of the Ohio. It forms the upper stratum beneath the soil of all 
the high lands, both timber and prairies, of all the counties north of the 
Osage and Missouri, and also St. Louis, and the Mississippi counties on 
the south. 

Its greatest development is in the counties on the Missouri River, 
from the Iowa line to Boonville. In some localities it is 200 feet thick. 
At St. Joseph it is 140 ; at Boonville 100 ; and at St. Louis, in St. 
George's quarry, and the Big Mound, it is about 50 feet ; while its greatest 
observed thickness in Marion County was only 30 feet." 

The Drift formation is that which lies beneath the Bluff formation, 
having, as Prof Swallow informs us, three distinct deposits, to wit : 
"Altered Drift, which are strata of sand and pebbles, seen in the banks 
of the Missouri, in the northwestern portion of the state. 


The Boulder formation is a heterogenous stratum of sand, gravel 
and boulder, and water-worn fragments of the older rocks. 

Boulder Clay is a bed of bluish or brown sandy clay, through which 
pebbles are scattered in greater or less abundance. It some localities in 
northern Missouri, this formation assumes a pure white, pipe-clay color." 

The Tertiary formation is made up of clays, shales, iron ores, sand- 
stone, and sands, scattered along the bluffs, and edges of the bottoms, 
reaching from Commerce, Scott County, to Stoddard, and south to the 
Chalk Bluffs in Arkansas. 

The Cretaceous formation lies beneath the Tertiary, and is composed 
of variegated sandstone, bluish-brown sandy slate, whitish-brown im- 
pure sandstone, fine white clay mingled with spotted flint, purple, red 
and blue clays, all being in the aggregate, 158 feet in thickness. There 
are no fossils in these rocks, and nothing by which their age may be 

The Carboniferous system includes the Upper Carboniferous or coal- 
measures, and the Lower Carboniferous or Mountain Limestone. The 
coal-measures are made up of numerous strata of sandstones, limestones, 
shales, clays, marls, spathic iron ores and coals. 

The Carboniferous formation,- including coal-measures and the beds 
of iron, embrace an area in Missouri of 27,000 square miles. The varie- 
ties of coal found in the state are the common bituminous and cannel 
coals, and they exist in quantities inexhaustible. The fact that these 
coal measures are full of fossils, which are always confined to the coal 
measures, enables the geologist to point them out, and the coal beds con- 
tained in them. 

The rocks of the Lower Carboniferous formation are varied in color, 
and are quarried in many different parts of the state, being extensively 
utilized for building and other purposes. 

Among the Lower Carboniferous rocks is found the Upper Archi- 
medes Limestone, 200 feet ; Ferruginous Sandstone, 195 feet ; Middle 
Archimedes, 50 feet ; St. Louis Limestone, 250 feet ; Oolitic Limestone, 
25 feet ; Lower Archimedes Limestone, 350 feet ; and Encrinital Lime- 
stone, 500 feet. These limestones generally contain fossils. 

The Ferruginous Limestone is soft when quarHed, but becomes hard 
and durable after exposure. It contains large quantities of iron, and is 
found skirting the eastern coal measures from the mouth of the Des 
Moines to McDonald County. 

The St. Louis Limestone is of various hues and tints, and very hard. 
It is found in Clark, Lewis and St. Louis Counties. 

The Lower Archimedes Limestone includes partly the lead-bearing 
rocks of Southwest Missouri. 

The Encrinital Limestone is the most. extensive of the divisions of 
Carboniferous Limestone, and is made up of brown, buff, gray and white* 


In these strata are found the remains of corals and mollusks. This 
formation extends from Marion County to Greene County. The Devo- 
nian system contains : Chemung Group, Hamilton Group, Onondaga 
Limestone and Oriskany Sandstone. The rocks of the Devonian system 
are found in Marion, Ralls, Pike, Callaway, Saline and Ste. Genevieve 

The Chemung Group has three formations, Chouteau Limestone, 85 
feet ; Vermicular Sandstone and shales, 75 feet ; Lithographic Limestone, 
125 feet. 

The Chouteau Limestone is in two divisions, when fully developed, 
and when first quarried is soft. It is not only good for building purposes 
but makes an excellent cement. 

The Vermicular Sandstone and shales are usually buff or yellowish 
brown, perforated with pores. 

The Lithographic Limestone is a pure, fine, compact, evenly-textured 
limestone. Its color varies from light drab to buff and blue. It is called 
^'pot-metal," because under the hammer it gives a sharp, ringing sound. 
It has but few fossils. 

The Hamilton Group is made up of some forty feet of blue shales, 
and 170 feet of Crystalline limestone. 

Onondaga Limestone is usually a coarse, gray or buff crystalline, 
thick-bedded and cherry limestone. No formation in Missouri presents 
such variable and widely different lithological characters as the Onondaga. 
The Oriskany Sandstone is a light gray limestone. 
Of the Upper Silurian series there are the following formations : 
Lower Helderburg, 350 feet ; Niagara Group, 200 feet; Cape Girardeau 
Limestone, 60 feet. 

The Lower Helderburg is made up of buff, gray and reddish cherry 
and argillaceous limestone. 

Niagara Group. The upper part of this group consists of red, yel- 
low and ash-colored shales, with compact limestones, variegated with 
bands and nodules of chert. 

The Cape Girardeau Limestone, on the Mississippi River near Cape 
Girardeau, is a compact, bluish-gray, brittle limestone, with smooth frac- 
tures in layers from two to six inches in thickness, with argillaceous 
partings. These strata contain a great many fossils. 

The Lower Silurian has the following ten formations, to wit : Hudson 
River Group, 220 feet ; Trenton Limestone, 360 feet ; Black River and 
Bird's Eye Limestone, 175 feet ; first Magnesian Limestone, 200 feet; Sac- 
charoidal Sandstone, 125 feet; second Magnesian Limestone,- 250 feet ; 
second Sandstone, 115 feet; third Magnesian Limestone, 350 feet; third 
Sandstone, 60 feet ; fourth Magnesian Limestone, 350 feet. ' 

Hudson River Group. There are three formations whi-ch Professor 
Swallow refers to in this group. These formation are found in the bluff 


above and below Louisiana, on the Grassy, a few miles northwest of 
Louisiana, and in Ralls, Pike, Cape Girardeau and Ste. Genevieve 

Trenton Limestone. The upper part of this formation is made up of 
thick beds of hard, compact, bluish-gray and drab limestone, variegated 
with irregular cavities, filled with greenish materials. 

The beds are exposed between Hannibal and New London, north of 
Salt River, and near Glencoe, St. Lo«is County, and are 75 feet thick. 

Black River and Bird's Eye Limestone is the same color as the Tren- 
ton Limestone. 

The first Magnesian Limestone cap the picturesque bluffs of the Osage 
in Benton and neighboring counties. 

The Saccharoidal Sandstone has a wide range in the state. In a 
bluff about two miles from Warsaw, is a very striking change of thickness 
of this formation. 

Second Magnesian Limestone, in lithological character, is like the first. 
The second Sandstone, usually of yellowish-brown, sometimes becomes 
a pure white, fine-grained, soft, sandstone, as on Cedar Creek, in Wash- 
ington and Franklin Counties. 

The third Magnesian Limestone is exposed in the high and pictur- 
esque bluffs of the Niangua, in the neighborhood of Bry's Spring. 

The third Sandstone is white and has a formation in moving water. 

The fourth Magnesian Limestone is seen on the Niangua and Osage 

The Azoic rocks lie below the Silurian and form a series of silicious 
and other slates, which contain no remains of organic life. 


Coal. — Missouri is particularly rich in minerals. Indeed, no state in 
the Union surpasses her in this respect. In some unknown age of the 
past — long before the existence of man, nature, by a wise process, made 
a bountiful provision for the time, when in the order of things it should 
be necessary for civilized man to take possession of these broad, rich 
prairies. As an equivalent for lack of forests she quietly stored away 
beneath the soil those wonderful carboniferous treasures for the use of 

Geological surveys have developed the fact that the coal deposits in 
the state are almost unnumbered, embracing all varieties of the best bit- 
uminous coal. The southeast boundary of the state has been ascertained 
to be one continuous coal field, stretching from the mouth of the Des 
Moines River, through Clark, Lewis, Scotland, Adair, Macon, Shelby, 
Monroe, Audrain, Callaway, Boone, Cooper, Pettis, Benton, Henry, St. 
Clair, Bates, Vernon, Cedar, Dade, Barton and Jasper, into the Indian 
Territory, and the counties on the northwest of this line contain more or 


less coal. Coal rocks exist in Ralls, Montgomery, Warren, St. Charles, 
Moniteau, Cole, Morgan, Crawford and Lincoln, and during the past few 
years all along the lines of all the railroads in North Missouri, and along 
the western end of the Missouri Pacific, and on the Missouri River 
between Kansas City and Sioux City, has systematic mining opened up 
hundreds of mines in different localities. The area of our coal beds on the 
line of the southwestern boundary of the state alone embrace more than 
26,000 square miles of regular coal measures. This will give of workable 
coal, if the average be one foot, 26,800,000,000 tons. The estimates frorn 
the developments already made in the different portions of the state 
will give 134,000,000,000 tons. 

The economical value of this coal to the state, its influence in 
domestic life, in navigation, commerce and manufactures, is beyond the 
imagination of man to conceive. Suffice it to say, that in the possession 
of her developed and undeveloped coal mines, Missouri has a motive 
power which in its influence for good in the civilization of man is more 
than the gold of -California. 

Iron. — Prominent among the minerals which increase the power and 
prosperity of a nation is iron. Of this ore Missouri has an inexhaustible 
quantity, and, like her coal fields, it has been developed in many portions 
of the state, and of thie best and purest quality. It is found in great 
abundance in the counties of Cooper, St. Clair, Green, Henry, Franklin, 
Benton, Dallas, Camden, Stone, Madison, Iron, Washington, Perry.i St. 
Francois, Reynolds, Stoddard, Scott, Dent, and others. The greatest 
deposit of iron is found in the Iron Mountain, which is two hundred feet 
high, and covers an area of five hundred acres, and produces a metal 
which is shown by analysis to contain from 65 to. 69 per cent, of metallic 

The ore of Shepherd Mountain contains from 64 to 67 per cent, of 
metallic iron. The ore of Pilot Knob contains from 53 to 60 per cent. 

Rich beds of iron are also found at the Big Bogy Mountain, and at 
Russell Mountain. This ore has in its nude state a variety of colors, 
from the red, dark red, black, brown, to a light bluish gray. The red 
ores are found in 21 or more counties of the state, and are of great com- 
mercial value. The brown hematite iron ores extend over a greater 
range of country than all the others combined ; embracing about 100 
counties, and have been ascertained to exist in these in large quantities. 

Lead. — Long before any permanent settlements were made in Mis- 
souri by the whites, lead was mined within the limits of the state, at 
two or three points on the Mississippi. At this time more than five hun- 
dred mines are opened, and many of them are being successfully worked. 
These deposits of lead cover an area, so far as developed, of more than 
7,000 square miles. Mines have been opened in Jefferson, Washington,. 
St. Francois, Madison, Wayne, Carter, Reynolds, Crawford, Ste. Gene- 


■ ■/ . 

vieve, Perry, Cole, Cape Girardeau, Camden, Morgan and some other 

Copper and Zinc. — Several varieties of copper ore are found in Mis- 
souri. The copper mines of Shannon, Madison, and franklin Counties 
have been known for years, and some of these have been successfully 
worked and are now yielding good results. 

Deposits of copper have been discovered in Dent, (Crawford, Benton, 
Maries, Green, Lawrence, Dade, Taney, Dallas, Phelps, Reynolds and 
Wright Counties. 

Zinc is abundant in nearly all the lead m-ines in the southwestern 
part of the state, and since the completion of the A. & P. R. R. a market 
has been furnished for this ore, which will be converted into valuable 

Building Stone and Mard/e.— There is no scarcity of good building 
stone in Missouri. Limestone, sandstone and granite exist in .all shades 
of buff, blue, red and brown, and are of great beauty as building material. 

There are many marble beds in the state, some of which furnish 
very beautiful and excellent marble. It is found in Marion, Cooper, St. 
Louis and other counties. 

One of the most desirable of the Missouri marbles is in the third 
Magnesian Lirhestone, on the Niangua. It is fine grained, crystalline, 
silico-magnesian limestone, light drab, slightly tinged with peach blos- 
som, and clouded by deep flesh-colored shades. In ornamental archi- 
tecture it is rarely surpassed. 

Gypsum and Lime. — Though no extensive beds of gypsum have been 
discovered in Missouri, there are vast beds of the pure white crystalline 
variety on the line of the Kansas Pacific Railroad, on Kansas River, and 
on Gypsum Creek. It exists also in several other localities accessible 
by both rail and boat. 

All of the limestone formations in the state^irom the coal measures 
to the fourth Magnesian, have more or less strata of very nearly pure 
carbonate of pure lime. 

Clays and Paints. — Clays are found in nearly all parts of the state 
suitable for making bricks. Potters' clay and fire clay are worked in 
many localities. 

There are several beds of purple shades in the coal measures which 
possess the properties requisite for paints used in outside work. Yellow 
and red ochres are found in considerable quantities oh the Missouri 
River. Some of these paints have been thoroughly tested and found 
fire-proof and durable. 


No State is, perhaps, better supplied with cold springs of pure water 
than. Missouri. Out of the bottoms, there is scarcely a section of land 


but has one or more perennial springs of good water. Even where there 
are no springs good water can be obtained by digging from twenty to 
forty feet. Salt springs are abundant in the central part of the state, 
and discharge their brine in Cooper, Saline, Howard and adjoining coun- 
ties. Considerable salt was made in Cooper and Howard counties at an 
early day. 

Sulphur springs are also numerous throughout the state. The Cho- 
teau Springs in Cooper, the Monagaw Springs in St. Clair, the Elk 
Springs in Pike, and the Cheltenham Springs in St. Louis County, have 
acquired considerable reputation as salubrious waters, and have become 
popular places of resort. Many other counties have good sulphur 

Among the Chalybeate springs the Sweet Springs on the Black- 
water, and the Chalybeate Spring in the University campus are, perhaps, 
the most popular of the kind in the State. There are, however, other 
springs impregnated with some of the salts of iron. 

Petroleum springs are found in Carroll, Ray, Randolph, Cass, Lafay- 
ette, Bates, Vernon and other counties. The variety called lubricating 
oil is the more common. 

The water power of the State is excellent. Large springs are par- 
ticularly abundant on the Meramec, Gasconade, Bourbeuse, Osage, Nian- 
gua, Spring, White, Sugar and other streams. Besides these, there are 
hundreds of springs sufficiently large to drive mills and factories, and the 
day is not far distant when these crystal fountains will be utilized, and a 
thousand saws will buzz to their dashing music. 



The title to the soil of Missouri was, of course, primarily vested in 
the original occupants who inhabited the country prior to its discovery 
by the whites. But the Indians, being savages, possessed but few rights 


that civilized nations considered themselves bound to respect, so when 
they found this country in the possession of such a people, they claimed 
it in the name of the King of France by the right of discovery. It 
remained under the jurisdiction of France until 1763. 

Prior to the year 1763 the entire continent of North America was 
divided between France, England, Spain and Russia. France held all 
that portion that now constitutes our national domain west of the Mis- 
sissippi River, except Texas and the territory which we have obtained 
from Mexico and Russia. The vast region, while under the jurisdiction 
of France, was known as the "Province of Louisiana," and embraced the 
present State of Missouri. At the close of the " Old French War," in 
1763, France gave up her share of the continent, and Spain came into 
the possession of the territory west of the Mississippi River, while Great 
Britain retained Canada and the regions northward, having obtained 
that territory by conquest in the war with France. For thirty-seven 
years the territory now embraced within the limits of Missouri, remained 
as a part of the possession of Spain, and then went back to France by 
the treaty of St. Ildefonso, October ist, 1800. On the 30th of April, 
1803, France ceded it to the United States in consideration of receiving 
$11,250,000 and the liquidation of certain claims held by citizens of the 
United States against France, which amounted to the further sum of 
$3,750,00, making a total of $15,000,000. It will thus be seen that France 
has twice, and Spain once, held sovereignty over the territory embracing 
Missouri, but the financial needs of Napoleon afforded our government 
an opportunity to add another empire to its domain. 

On the 31st of October, 1803, an act of Congress was approved, 
authorizing the President to take possession of the newly acquired ter- 
ritory, and provided for it a temporary government, and another act, 
approved March 26th, 1804, authorized the division of the "Louisiana 
Purchase," as it was then called, into two separate territories. All 
that portion south of the 33d parallel of north latitude was called the 
" Territory of Orleans," and that north of the said parallel was known as 
the " District of Louisiana," and was placed under the jurisdiction of 
what was then known as " Indiana Territory." 

By virtue of an act of Congress, approved March 3, 1805, the " Dis- 
trict of Louisiana" was organizeid as the " Territory of Louisiana," with 
a territorial government of its own, which went into operation July 4th, 
of the same year, and it so remained untii 18 12. In this year the 
" Territory of Orleans " became the State of Louisiana, and the " Terri- 
tory of Louisiana " was organized as the " Territory of Missouri." 

This change took place under an act of Congress, approved June 
4th, 1812. In 1819 a portion of this territory was organized as "Arkan- 
sas Territory," and in 18 12 the State of Missouri was admitted, being a 
part of the former " Territory of Missouri," 


In 1836 the " Platte Purchase," then being a part of the Indian Ter- 
ritory, and now composing the counties of Atchison, Andrew, Buchanan, 
Holt, Nodaway, and Platte, was made by treaty with the Indians, and 
added to the state. It will be seen then that the soil of Missouri be- 

First — To France with other territory. 

Second— In 1768, with other territory it was ceded to Spain. 

Third— October 1st, 1800, it was ceded with other territory from 
Spain back to France. 

Fourth— April 30th, 1803, it was ceded with other territory, by 
France to the United States. 

Fifth — October 31, 1803, a temporary government was authorized 
by Congress for the newly acquired territory. 

Sixth — October i, 1804, it was included in the "District of Louis- 
iana," and placed under the territorial government of Indiana. 

Seventh— July 4, 1805, it was included as a part of the "Territory 
of Louisiana," then organized with a separate territorial government. 

Eighth — June 4, 18 12, it was embraced in what was then made the 
" Territory of Missouri." 

Ninth — August 10, 1821, it was admitted into the Union as a state. 

Tenth — In 1836 the " Platte Purchase" was made, adding more ter- 
ritory to the state. 

The cession by France, April 30, 1803, vested the title in the United 
States, subject to the claims of the Indians, which it was very justly the 
policy of the government to recognize. Before the government of the 
United States could vest clear title to the soil in the grantee it was 
necessary to extinguish the Indian title by purchase. This was done 
accordingly by treaties made with the Indians at different times. 


The name of the first white man who set foot on the territory now 
embraced in the State of Missouri is not known, nor is it known at what 
precise period the first settlements were made. It is, however, gener- 
ally agreed that they were made at Ste. Genevieve and New Bourbon, 
tradition fixing the date of these settlements in the autumn of 1735- 
These towns were settled by the French from Kaskaskia and St. Philip 
in Illinois. 

St. Louis was founded by Pierre Laclede Liguest, on the 15th of 
February, 1764. He was a native of France, and was one of the members 
of the company of Laclede, Liguest, Antoino Maxant & Co., to whom 
a royal charter had been granted, confirming the privilege of an exclu- 
sive trade with the Indians of the Missouri as far north as St, Peter's 


While in search of a trading post he ascended the Mississippi as far 
as the mouth of the Missouri, and finally returned to the present town site 
of St. Louis. After the village had been laid off he named it St. Louis, 
in honor of Louis XV, of France. 

The colony thrived rapidly by accessions from Kaska^kia and other 
towns on the east side of the Mississippi, and its trade was largely in- 
-creased by many of the Indian tribes, who removed a portion of their 
paltry trade from the same towns to St. Louis. It was incorporated as 
a town on the 9th day of November, 1809, by the court of Common 
Pleas of the district of St. Louis; the town trustees being Auguste Chou- 
teau, Edward Hempstead, Jean F. Cabanne, Wm. C. Carr and Wm. 
Christy, and incorporated as a city December 9, 1822. The selection 
of the town site on which St. Louis stands was highly judicious, the spot 
not only being healthful and having the advantages of water transpor- 
tation unsurpassed, but surrounded by a beautiful region of country, rich 
in soil and mineral resources. St. Louis has grown to be the fifth city 
in population in the Union, and is to-day, the great centre of internal 
commerce of the Missouri, the Mississippi and their tributaries, and, 
with its railroad facilities, it is destined to be the greatest inland city of 
the American continent. 

The next settlement was made at Potosi, in Washington County, 
in 1765, by Francis Breton, who, while chasing a bear, discovered the 
mine near the present town of Potosi, where he afterward located. 

One of the most prominent pioneers who settled at Potosi, was 
Moses Austin, of Virginia, who, in 1773, received by grant from the 
Spanish government, a league of land now known as the "Austin Sur- 
vey." The grant was made on the condition that Mr. Austin would 
establish a lead mine at Potosi and work it. He built a palatial resi- 
dence, for that day, on the brow of the hill in the little village, which 
was, for many years, known as "Durham Hall." At this point the first 
shot-tower and sheet-lead manufactory were erected. 

Five years after the founding of St. Louis the first settlement made 
in Northern Missouri was made at or near St. Charles, in St. Charles 
County, in 1769. The name given to it, and which it retained till 1784, 
was Les Petites Cotes, signifying Little Hills. The town site was located 
by Blanchette, a Frenchman, surnamed LeChasseur, who built the first 
fort in the town and established there a military post. 

Soon after the establishment of the military post at St. Charles, the 
old French village of Portage des Sioux was located on the Mississipi, 
just below the mouth of the Illinois river, and at about the same time a 
Kickapoo village was commenced at Clear Weather Lake. The present 
.town site of New Madrid, in New Madrid County, was settled in 1781, 
by French Canadians, it then being occupied by Delaware Indians. The 
place now known as Big River Mills, St. Francois County, was settled in 


1796, Andrew Baker, John Alley, Francis Starater and John Andrews each 
locating claims. The following year a settlement was made in the same 
county, just below the the present town of Farmington, by the Rev. Wm. 
Murphy, a Baptist minister from East Tennessee. In 1796, settlements 
were made in Perry County by emigrants from Kentucky and Pennsyl- 
vania ; the latter locating in the rich bottom lands of Bois Brule, the 
former generally settling in the "Barrens," and along the waters of Saline 

Bird's Point, in Mississippi County, opposite Cairo, 111., was settled 
August 6, 1800, by John Johnson, by virtue of a land grant from the com- 
mandant under the Spanish Government. Norfolk and Charleston, in 
the same county, were settled respectively in 1800 and 1801. Warren 
county was settled in 1801. Loutre Island, below the present tt>wn of 
Herman, in the Missouri River, was settled by a few American families 
ixi 1807. This little company of pioneers suffered greatly from the floods, 
as well as from the incursions of thieving and blood-thirsty Indians, and 
many incidents of a thrilling character could be related of trials and 
struggles had we the time and space. 

In 1807 Nathan and Daniel Boone, sons of the great hunter and pio- 
neer, in company with three others, went from St. Louis to " Boone's 
Lick," in Howard County, where they manufactured salt, and formed the 
nucleus of a small settlement. 

Cote Sans Dessein, now called Bakersville, on the Missouri River, in 
Callaway County, was settled by the French in 1801. This little town 
was considered at that time as the " Far West " of the new world. During 
the war of i8i2, at this place many hard-fought battles occurred between 
the whites and Indians, wherein woman's fortitude and courage greatly 
assisted in the defense of the settlement. 

In i8iO a colony of Kentuckians, numbering one hundred and fifty 
families, immigrated to Howard County, and settled in the Missouri River 
bottom, near the present town of Franklin. 

Such, in brief, is the history of some of the early settlements of Mis- 
souri, covering a period of more than half a century. 

These settlements were made on the water courses ; usually along 
the banks of the two great streams, whose navigation afforded them 
transportation for their marketable commodities and communication 
with the civilized portion of the country. 

They not only encountered the gloomy forests, settling as they did, 
by the river's brink, but the hostile incursion of savage Indians, by whom 
they were for many years surrounded. 

The expedients of these brave men who first broke ground in the 
territory have been succeeded by the permanent and tasteful improve- 
ments of their descendants. Upon the spots where they toiled, dared 
and died, are seen the comfortable farm, the beautiful village and thrifty 



city. Churches and school houses greet the eye on every hand ; rail- 
roads diverge in every direction, and indeed, all the appliances of a higher 
civilization are profusely strewn over the smiling surface of the state. 

Culture's hand 
Has scattered verdure o'er the land ; 
And smiles and fragrance rule s 2rene, 
Where barren wild usurped the scene. 


The first marriage that took place in Missouri was April 20, 1766, in 
St. Louis. 

The first baptism was performed in May, 1776, in St. Louis. 

The first house of worship (Catholic), was erected in 1775, at St. 

The first ferry established in 1805, on the Mississippi River, at St. 

The first newspaper established in St. Louis (Missouri Gazette) in 

The first postoffice was established in 1804, in St. Louis — Rufus 
Easton, postmaster. 

The first Protestant church erected at Ste. Genevieve, in 1806 — 

The first bank established, (Bank of St. Louis), in 18 14. 

The first market house opened in 181 1, in St. Louis. 

The first steamboat on the Upper Mississippi was the General Pike, 
Capt. Jacob Reid ; landed at St. Louis, 18 17. 

The first board of trustees for public schools appointed in 18 17, St. 

The first college built, (St. Louis College), in 1817. 

The first steamboat that came up the Missouri River as high as 
Franklin was the Independence, in 1819; Capt. Nelson, master. 

The first court house erected in 1823, in St. Louis. 

The first cholera appeared in St. Louis in 1832. 

The first railroad convention held in St. Louis, April 20, 1836. 

The first telegraph lines reached East St. Louis, December 20, 1847. 

The first great fire occurred in St. Louis, 1849. 




Congress organized Missouri as a territory July 4, 18 12, with a Gov- 
ernor and General Assembly, The Governor, Legislative Council and 
House of Representatives exercised the legislative power of the terri- 
tory, the Governor's vetoing power being absolute. 

The Legislative Council was composed of nine members, whose 
tenure of office lasted five years. Eighteen citizens were nominated by 
the House of Representatives to the President of the United States, 
from whom he selected, with the approval of the Senate, nine Council- 
lors to compose the Legislative Council. 

The House of Representatives consisted of members chosen every 
two years by the people, the basis of representation being one member 
for every five hundred white males. The first House of Representatives 
consisted of thirteen members, and, by act of Congress, the whole num- 
ber of Representatives could not exceed twenty-five. 

The judicial power of the territory was vested in the Superior and 
Inferior Courts, and in the Justices of the Peace ; the Superior Court 
having three judges, whose term of office continued four years, having 
original and appellate jurisdiction in civil and criminal cases. 

The Territory could send one delegate to Congress. Governor 
Clark issued a proclamation, October ist, 1812, required by Congress, 
reorganizing the districts of St. Charles, St. Louis, Ste. Genevieve, Cape 
Girardeau and New Madrid into five counties, and fixed the second Mon- 
day in November following for the election of a delegate to Congress, 
and the members of the Territorial House of Representatives. 

William Clark, of the expedition of Lewis and Clark, was the first 
Territorial Governor, appointed by the President, who began his duties 
in 1813. 

Edward Hempstead, Rufus Easton, Samuel Hammond and Matthew 
Lyon were candidates in November for delegates to Congress. 

Edward Hempstead was elected, being the first Territorial Delegate 
to Cdngress from Missouri. He served one term, declining a second, 
and was instrumental in having Congress to pass the act of June 13, 1812, 
which he introduced, confirming the title to lands which were claimed 


by the people by virtue of Spanish grants. The same act confirmed to 
the people "for the support of schools," the title to village lots, out-lots or 
common field-lots, which were held and enjoyed by them at the time of 
the cession of 1803. 

Under the act of June 4, i8i2, the first General Assembly held its 
session in the house of Joseph Robidoux, on the 7th of December, 18 12. 
The names of the members of the House were : 

St. Charles.— John Pitman and Robert Spencer. 

St. Louis. — David Music, Bernard G. Farrar, William C. Carr and 
Richard Clark. 

Ste. Genevieve. — George Bullet, Richard S. Thomas and Isaac 

Cape Girardeau. — George F. Bollinger and Spencer Byrd. 

New Madrid. — John Shrader and Samuel Phillips. 

John B. C. Lucas, one of the Territorial Judges, administered the oath 
of office. William C. Carr was elected Speaker and Andrew Scott, Clerk. 

The House of Representatives proceeded to nominate eighteen per- 
sons from whom the President of the United States, with the Senate, was 
to select nine for the Council. From this number the President chose 
the following : 

St. Charles. — James Flaugherty and Benjamin Emmons. 

St. Louis. — August Choteau, Sr. and Samuel Hammond. 

Ste. Genevieve. — John Scott and James Maxwell. 

Cape Girardeau. — William Neely and Joseph Cavenor. 

New Madrid. ^ — Joseph Hunter. 

The Legislative Council, thus chosen by the President and Senate, 
was announced by Frederick Bates, Secretary and Acting-Governor of 
the Territory, by proclamation, June 3, 1813, and fixing the first Monday 
in July following as the time for the meeting of the Legislature. 

In the meantime the duties of the executive office were assumed by 
William Clark. The Legislature accordingly met as required by the 
Acting-Governor's proclamation, in July, but its proceedings were never 
officially published. Consequently but little is known in reference to 
the workings of the first Territorial Legislature of Missouri. 

From the imperfect account, published in the Missouri Gazette, of 
that day, a paper which liad been in existence since 1808, it is found 
that laws were passed regulating and establishing weights and measures ; 
creating the office of sheriff; providing the manner for taking the census ; 
permanently fixing the seats of justice, and an act to compensate its 
own members. At this session laws were also passed defining crimes 
and penalties ; laws in reference to forcible entry and detainer ; estab- 
lishing Courts of Common Pleas ; incorporating the Bank of St. Louis 
and organizing a part of Ste. Genevieve County into the county of 


The next session of the Legislature convened In St. Louis, Decem- 
ber 6, 1813. George Bullet, of Ste. Genevieve county, was Speaker elect, 
Andrew Scott, clerk, and William Sullivan, doorkeeper. Since the 
adjournment of the former Legislature several vacancies had occurred, and- 
new members had been elected to fill their places. Among these was 
Israel McGready, from the county of Washington. 

The president of the legislative council was Samuel Hammond. No 
journal of the council was officially published, but the proceedings of the, 
House are found in the Gazette. 

At this session of the Legislature many wise and useful laws were 
passed, having reference to the temporal as well as the moral and spirit- 
ual welfare of the people. Laws were enacted for the suppression of 
vice and immoraiity on the Sabbath day ; for the improvement of pub- 
lic roads and highways ; creating the offices of auditor, treasurer and 
county surveyor ; regulating the fiscal affairs of the Territory and fixing 
the boundary lines of New Madrid, Cape Girardeau, Washington and St. 
Charles Counties. The Legislature adjourned on the 19th of January, 
1 8 14, sine die. 

The population of the territory as shown by the United States 
census in i8io, was 20,845. The census taken by the Legislature in 1814 
gave the territory a population of 25,000. This enumeration shows the 
county of St. Louis contained the greatest number of inhabitants, and 
the new county of Arkansas the least — the latter having 827, and the 
former 3,149. 

The candidates for delegate to Congress were Rufus Easton, Samuel 
Hammond, Alexander McNair and Thomas F. Riddick. Rufus Easton 
and Samuel Hammond had been candidates at the preceding election. 
In all the counties, excepting Arkansas, the votes aggregated 2,599, of 
which number Mr. Easton received 965, Mr. Hammond 746, Mr. NcNair 
853, and Mr. Riddick (who had withdrawn previously to the election) 35. 
Mr. Easton was elected. 

The census of 1814, showing a large increase in the population of the 
territory, an apportionment was rnade increasing the number of repre- 
sentatives in the territorial Legislature to twenty-two. The General 
Assembly began its session in St. Louis, December 5, 1814. There were 
present on the first day twenty Representatives. James Caldwell of Ste. 
Genevieve county was elected speaker, and Andrew Scott, who had been- 
clerk of the>preceding assembly, was chosen clerk. The president of the 
council was William Neely, of Cape Girardeau County. 

It appears that James Maxwell, the absent member of the council, 
and Seth Emmons, member elect of the House of Representatives, were 
dead. The county of Lawrence was organized at this session, from the 
western part of New Madrid County, and the corporate powers of St. 
Louis were enlarged. In 18 15 the territorial Legislature again began its 


session. Only a partial report of its proceedings are given in the 
Gazette. The county of Howard was then organized from St. Louis and 
St. Charles Counties, and included all that part of the state lying north 
of the Osage and south of the dividing ridge between the Mississippi and 
Missouri Rivers. 

The next session of the territorial Legislature commenced its ses- 
sion in December, i8i6. During the sitting of this Legislature many 
important acts were passed. It was ttien that the " Bank of Missouri " 
was chartered and went into operation. In the fall of 1817 the " Bank of 
St. Louis" and the "Bank of Missouri" were issuing bills. An act was 
passed chartering lottery companies, chartering the academy at Potosi, 
and incorporating a board of trustees for superintending the schools in 
the town of St. Louis. Laws were also passed to encourage the " killing 
of wolves, panthers and wild-cats." 

The territorial Legislature met again in December, i8i8, and 
among other things, organized the counties of Pike, Cooper, Jefferson, 
Franklin, Wayne, Lincoln, Madison,. Montgomery, and three counties in 
the southern part of Arkansas. It 18 19 the Territory of Arkansas was 
formed into a separate government of its own. 

The people of the Territory of Missouri had been, for some time, 
anxious that their territory should assume the duties and responsibilities 
of a sovereign state. Since 1812, the date of the organization of the 
territory, the population had rapidly increased, many counties had been 
established, its commerce had grown into importance, its agricultural 
and mineral resources were being developed, and believing that its 
admission into the Union as a state would give fresh impetus to all these 
interests and hasten its settlement, the territorial Legislature of 1818-19 
accordingly made application to Congress for the passage of an act 
authorizing the people of Missouri to organize a state government. 



With the application of the territorial Legislature of Missouri for 
her admission into the Union commenced the real agitation of the 
slavery question in the United States. 


Not only was our National Legislature the theatre of angry discus- 
sions, but everywhere throughout the length and bfeadth of the Repub- 
lic the "Missouri Question " was the all-absorbing theme. The political 
skies threatened, 

" In forked flashes, a commanding tempest," 

Which was liable, to burst upon the nation at any moment. Through 
such a crisis our country seemed destined to pass. The question as to 
the admission of Missouri was to be the beginning of this crisis, which 
distracted the public counsels of the nation for more than forty years 

Missouri asked to be admitted into the great family of states. 
" Lower Louisiana," her twin sister territory, had knocked at the door of 
the Union eight years previously, and was admitted, as stipulated by 
Napoleon, to all the rights, privileges and immunities of a state, and in 
accordance with the stipulations of the same treaty, Missouri now sought 
to be clothed with the same rights, privileges and immunities. 

As what is known in the history of the United States as the "Mis- 
souri Compromise," of 1820, takes rank among the most prominent 
measures that had up to that day engaged the attention of our National 
Legislature, we shall enter somewhat into its details, being connected as 
they are with the annals of the state. 

February 15th, i8ic). — After the House had resolved itself into a 
committee of the whole on the bill to authorize the admission of Mis- 
souri into the Union, and after the question of her admission had been 
discussed for some time, Mr. Tallmadge, of New York, moved to amend 
the bill by adding to it the following proviso : 

"■And Provided, That the further introduction of slavery or involun- 
tary servitude be prohibited, except for the punishment of crime, whereof 
the party shall have been duly convicted, and that all children born 
within the said state, after the admission thereof into the Union, shall 
be free at the age of twenty-five years." 

As might have been expected, this proviso precipitated the angry 
discussion which lasted for nearly three years, finally culminating in the 
Missouri Compromise. All phases of the slavery question were presented, 
not only in its moral and social aspects, but as a great constitutional 
question, affecting Missouri and the admission of future states. The pro- 
viso, when submitted to a vote, was .adopted — 79 to 67, and so reported 
to the House. 

Hon John Scott, who was at that time a delegate from the Territory 
of Missouri, was not permitted to vote, but as such delegate, he had the 
privilege of participating in the debates which followed. On the i6th 
day of February the proviso was taken up and discussed. After several 
speeches had been made, among them one by Mr. Scott and one by the 


author of the proviso, Mr. Tallmadge, the amendment or proviso was 
divided into two parts, and voted upon. The first part of it, which 
included all to the word "convicted," was adopted — 87 to 76. The 
remaining part was then voted upon, and also adopted, by 82 to 78. By 
a vote of 97 to 56 the bill was ordered to be engrossed for a third reading. 

The Senate Committee, to whom the bill was referred, reported the 
same to the Senate on the lOth of February, when that body voted first 
upon a motion to strike out of the proviso all after the word "convicted," 
which was carried by a vote of 32 to 7. It then voted to strike out the 
first entire clause, which prevailed — 22 to 16, thereby defeating the 

The House declined to concur in the action of the Senate, and the 
bill was again returned to that body, which in turn refused to recede from 
its position. The bill was lost, and Congress adjourned. This was most 
unfortunate for the country. The people having been wrought up to 
fever heat over the agitation of the question in the national councils, 
now became intensely excited. The press added fuel to the flame, and 
the progress of events seemed rapidly tending to the downfall of our 

A'long interval of nine months was to ensue before the meeting of 
Congress. That body indicated by its Vote upon the "Missouri ques- 
tion" that the two great sections of the country were politically divided 
upon the subject of slavery. The restrictive clause, which it was sought 
to impose upon Missouri as a condition of her admission, would in all 
probability be one of the conditions of the admission of the Territory of 
Arkansas. The public mind was in a state of great doubt and uncer- 
tainty up to the meeting of Congress, which took place on the 6th of 
December, 1819. The memorial of the Legislative Council and House 
of Representatives of the Missouri Territory, praying for admission into 
the Union, was presented to the Senate by Mr. Smith, of South Carolina, , 
It was referred to the Judiciary Committee. 

Some three weeks having passed without any action thereon by the 
Senate, the bill was taken up and discussed by the House until the 19th 
of February, when the bill from the Senate for the admission of Maine 
was considered. The bill for the admission of Maine included the "Mis- 
souri question " by an amendment, which reads as follows : 

''And be it further enacted. That in all territory ceded by France to 
the United States, under the name of Louisiana, which lies north of 
thirty-six degrees and thirty minutes, north latitude, (excepting such 
part thereof as is) included within the limits of the state, contemplated 
by this act, slavery and involuntary servitude, otherwise than in the 
punishment of crimes, whereof the party shall have been convicted, shall 
be and is hereby forever prohibited : Provided always, That any person 
escaping into the same, from whom labor or service is lawfully claimed. 


in any state or territory of the United States, such fugitive may be law- 
fully reclaimed and conveyed to the person claiming his or her labor or 
service as aforesaid." 

The Senate adopted this amendment, which formed the basis of the 
" Missouri Compromise," modified afterward by striking out the words, 
" excepting only such part thereof" 

The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 24 to 20. On the 2d day of 
March the House took up the bill and amendments for consideration, 
and by a vote of 134 to 42 concurred in the Senate amendment, and the 
bill, being passed by the two Houses, constituted section 8, of " An Act 
to authorize the people of the Missouri Territory to form a Constitution 
and State Government, and for the admission of such state into the 
Union on an equal footing with the original states, and to prohibit 
slavery in certain territory." 

This act was approved March 6, 1820. Missouri then contained fif- 
teen organized counties. By act of Congress the people of said state 
were authorized to hold an election on the first Monday, and two suc- 
ceeding days thereafter in May, 1820, to select representatives to a state 
convention. This convention met in St. Louis on the 12th of June, fol- 
lowing the election in May, and concluded its labors on the 19th of July, 
1820. David Barton was its president, and Wm. G. Pettis, secretary. 
There were forty-one members of this convention, men of ability and 
statesmanship, as the admirable constitution which they framed amply 
testifies. Their names and the counties represented by them are as 
-follows : 

Cape Girardeau. — Stephen Byrd, James Evans, Richard S. Thomas, ■ 
Alexander Buckner and Joseph McFerron. 

Cooper.— ^o\i&rt P. Clark, Robert Wallace, Wm. Lillard. 

Franklin. — John G. Heath. 

Howard. — Nicholas S. Burkhart, Duff Green, John Ray, Jonathan 
S. Findley, Benj. H. Reeves. 

Jefferson. — Daniel Hammond. 

Lincoln. — Malcolm Henry. 

Montgomery. — Jonathan Ramsey, James Talbott. 

Madison. — Nathaniel Cook. 

New Madrid. — Robert S. Dawson, Christopher G. Houts. 

Pike. — Stephen Cleaver. 

St. Charles. — Benjamin Emmons, Nathan Boone, Hiram H. Baber. 

Ste. Genevieve. — John D. Cook, Henry Dodge, John Scott, R. T. Brown. 

5^. Louis. — David Barton, Edward Bates, Alexander McNair, Wm. 
Rector, John C. Sullivan, Pierre Choteau, Jr., Bernard Pratte, Thomas 
F. Riddick. 

Washington^o\m Rice Jones, Samuel Perry, John Hutchings. 

Wayne. — Elijah Bettis. 


On the 13th of November, 1820, Congress met again, and on the 6th 
of the same month Mr. Scott, the delegate from Missouri, presented to 
the House the constitution as framed by the convention. The same 
was referred to a select committee, who made thereon a favorable report, 
The admission of the state, however, was resisted, because it was 
claimed that its constitution sanctioned slavery, and authorized thq 
Legislature to pass laws preventing free negroes and mulattoes froni 
settling in the state. The report of the committee to whom was referred 
the Constitution of Missouri was accompanied by a preamble and reso- 
lutions, offered by Mr. Lowndes, of South Carolina. The preamble and 
resolutions were stricken out. 

The application of the state for admission shared the same fate in 
the Senate. The question was referred to a select committee, who, on 
the 29th of November, reported in favor of admitting the state. The 
debate which followed continued for two weeks, and finally Mr. Eaton, 
of Tennessee, offered an amendment to the resolution, as follows : 

" Provided, That nothing herein contained shall be so construed as 
to give the assent of Congress to any provision in the Constitution of 
Missouri, if any such there be, which contravenes that clause in the 
Constitution of the United States which declares that the citizens of 
each state shall be entitled to all the privileges and immunities of citi-. 
zens in the several states." 

The resolution, as amended, was adopted. The resolution and pro-- 
viso were again taken up and discussed at great length, when the com-- 
mittee agreed to report the resolution to the House. 

The question on agreeing to the amendment, as reported from the 
committee of the whole, was lost in the House. A similar resolution 
afterward passed the Senate, but was again rejected in the House. Then 
it was that the great statesman and pure patriot, Henry Clay, of Ken-, 
tucky, feeling that the hour had come when angry discussion should 
cease : 

"With grave 

Aspect he rose, and in his rising seem'd 

A pillar of state ; deep on his front engraven 

Deliberation sat and public care ; 

And princely counsel in his face yet shone 

Majestic" * » * * • 

proposed that the question of Missouri's admission be referred to a com-, 
mittee consisting of twenty-three persons, (a number equal to the number 
of states then composing the Union,) to be appointed to act in conjunction 
with a committee of the Senate to consider and report whether Missouri 
should be admitted, etc. 

The motion prevailed, the committee was appointed and Mr. Clay 
made its chairman. The Senate selected seven of its members to act 


with the committee of twenty-three, and the 26th of February the fol- 
lowing report was made by that committee: 

"Resolved, by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United 
States of America in Congress assembled : That Missouri shall be 
admitted into the Union, on an equal footing with the original states, in 
all respects whatever, upon the fundamental condition that the fourth 
clause, of the twenty-sixth section of the third article of the Constitu- 
tion submitted on the part of said state to Congress, shall never be con- 
strued to authorize the passage of any law, and that no law shall be 
passed in conformity thereto, by which any citizen of either of the states 
in this Union shall be excluded from the enjoyment of any of the privi- 
leges and immunities to which such citizen is entitled, under the Con- 
stitution of the United States ; Provided, That the Legislature of said 
state, by a solemn public act, shall declare the assent of the said state 
to the said fundamental condition, and shall transmit to the President 
of the United States, on or before the fourth Monday in November next, 
an authentic copy of the said act ; upon the receipt whereof, the Presi- 
dent, by proclamation, shall announce the fact ; whereupon, and without 
any further proceeding on the part of Congress, the admission of the 
said state into the Union shall be considered complete." 

This resolution, after a brief debate, was adopted in the House, and 
passed the Senate on the 28th of February, 1821. 

At a special session of the Legistature held in St. Charles, in June 
following, a solemn public act was adopted, giving its assent to the con- 
ditions of admission, as expressed in the resolution of Mr. Clay. August 
lOth, 1821, President Monroe announced by proclamation the admission 
of Missouri into the Union to be complete. 




By the Constitution adopted by the Convention on the 19th of July, 
i^20, the General Assembly was required to meet in St. Louis on the 
third Monday in September of that year, and an election was ordered to 


be held on the 28th of August, for the election of a Governor and other 
state officers, Senators and Representatives to the General Assembly, 
Sheriffs and Coroners, United States Senators and Representatives in 

It will be seen that Missouri had not as yet been admitted as a 
State, but in anticipation of that event and according to the provisions 
of the constitution the election was held, and the General Assemby con^ 

William Clark (who had been Governor of the territory) and Alex- 
ander McNair were candidates for Governor. McNair received 6,576 
votes, Clark 2,556, total vote of the state 9,132. There were three can- 
didates for Lieutenant Governor, to wit : William H. Ashley, Nathaniel 
Cook and Henry Elliot. Ashley received 3,907 votes, Cook 3,212, Elliot 
931. A Representative was to be elected for the residue of the Six- 
teenth Congress and one" for the Seventeenth. John Scott, who was at 
the time territorial delegate, was elected to both Congresses without 

The General Assembly elected in August met on the 19th Septem- 
ber, 1820,, and organized by electing James Caldwell, of Ste. Genevieve, 
Speaker, and John McArthur, Clerk ; William H. Ashley, Lieutenant 
Governor, President of the Senate ; Silas Bent, President pro tern. 

Matthias McKirk, John D. Cook and John R. Jones were appointed 
Supreme Judges, each to hold office until sixty-five years of age. 

Joshua Barton was appointed Secretary of State ; Peter Didier, State 
Treasurer; Edward Bates, Attorney General, and William Christie, 
Auditor of Public Accounts. 

David Barton and Thomas H. Benton were elected by the General 
Assembly to the United States Senate. 

At this session of the Legislature the counties of Boone, Callaway, 
Chariton, Cole, Gasconade, Lillard, Percy, Ralls, Ray and Saline were 

We should like to give in detail the meetings and proceedings of 
the different Legislatures which followed, the elections for Governors 
and other state officers, the elections for Congressmen and United 
States Senators, but for want of space we can only present in a condensed 
form the official record of the territorial and state officers. 


: Governors. — Frederick Bates, Secretary and Acting-Governor, 
1812-13; William Clark, 1813-20. 


Governors. — Alexander McNair, 1820-24; Frederick Bates, 1824-25 ; 
Abraham J. Williams vice Bates, 1825 ; John Miller vice Bates, 1826-28;- 


John Miller, 1828-32; Daniel Dunklin, 1832-36, resigned, appointed Sur- 
veyor General United States; Lilburn W. Boggs vice Dunklin, 1836; 
Lilburn W. Boggs, 1836-40; Thomas Reynolds, 1840, died 1844; M. M. 
Marmaduke vice Reynolds — ^John C. Edwards, 1844-48 ; Austin A. King, 
1848-52; Sterling Price, 1852-56; Trusten Polk, 1856-57, resigned; 
Hancock Jackson vice Polk, 1857; Robert M. Stewart vice Polk, 1857-60 ; 
C. F. Jackson, i860, office vacated by ordinance ; Hamilton R. Gamble 
vice Jackson, Governor Gamble died 1864; Williard P. Hall, 1864, vice 
Gamble; Thomas C. Fletcher, 1864-68; Joseph W. McClurg, 1868-70; 

B. Gratz Brown, 1870-72; Silas Woodson, 1872-74; Charles H. Hardin, 
1874-76; John S. Phelps, 1876-80; Thomas T. Crittenden, 1880, and is 
now Governor. 

Lieutenant-Governors. — William H.Ashley, 1820-24; Benjamin A. 
Reeves, 1824-28; Daniel Dunklin, 1828-32; Lilburn W. Boggs, 1832-36 
Franklin Cannon, 1836-40; M. M. Marmaduke, 1840-44; James Young, 
1844-48-60; Thomas C. Reynolds, 1860-61; Williard P. Hall, 1861-64 
George Smith, 1864-68; Edward O. Stanard, 1868-70; Joseph J. Gravely, 
1870-72; Charles P. Johnson, 1872-74; Norman J. Colman, 1874-76 
Henry C. Brockmeyer, 1876-80; Robert Campbell, 1880, and is the pres- 
ent incumbent. 

Secretaries of State. — Joshua Barton, 1820-21 ; William G. Pettis, 
1821-24; Hamilton R. Gamble, 1824-26; Spencer Pettis, 1826-28; P. H. 
McBride, 1829-30; John C. Edwards, 1830, term expired 1835, re-ap- 
pointed 1837, resigned 1837; Peter G. Glover, 1837-39; James L. Miner, 
1839-45; F. H. Martin, 1845-49; Ephraim B. Ewing, 1849-52; John M. 
Richardson, 1852-56; Benjamin F. Massey, 1856-60, re-elected i860, for 
four years; Mordecai Oliver, 1861-64; Francis Rodman, 1864-68, re- 
elected 1868, for two years; Eugene F. Weigel, 1870-72, re-elected 1872, 
for two years; Michael K. McGrath, 1874, and is the present incumbent. 

State Treasurers. — Peter Didier, 1820-21 ; Nathaniel Simonds, 1821- 
28 ; James Earickson, 1829-33 ; John Walker, 1833-38 ; Abraham McClel- 
lan, 1838-43; Peter G. Glover, 1843-51 ; A. W. Morrison, 1851-60; Geo. 

C. Bingham, 1862-64; William Bishop, 1864-68; William Q. Dallmeyer, 
1868-70; Samuel Hays, 1872; Harvey W. Salmon, 1872-74; Joseph W. 
Mercer, 1874-76; Elijah Gates, 1876-80; Phillip E. Chappel, 1880, and 
present incumbent. 

Attorneys General. — Edward Bates, 1820-21 ; Rufus Easton, 1821-26; 
Robert W. Wells, 1826-36; William B. Napton, 1836-39; S. M. Bay, 
1839-45; B- F- Stringfellow, 1845-49; William A. Roberts, 1849-51; 
James B. Gardenhire, 1851-56; Ephraim W. Ewing, 1856-59; James P. 
Knott, 1859-61; Aikman Welsh, 1861-64; Thomas T. Crittenden, 1864; 
Robert F. Wingate, 1864-68; Horace P. Johnson, 1868-70; A. J. Baker, 
1870-72; Henry Clay Ewing, 1872-74; John A. Hockaday, 1874-76; 
Jackson L. Smith, 1876-80; Mclntire, 1880, and present incumbent. 


Auditors of Public Accounts. — William Christie, 1820-21 ; William 
V. Rector, 1821-23; Elias Barcroft, 1823-33; Henry Shurlds, 1833-35; 
Peter G. Glover, 1835-37; Hiram H. Baber, 1837-45 ; William Monroe, 
1845; J. R. McDermon, 1845-48; George W. Miller, 1848-49; Wilson 
Brown, 1849-52; William H. Buffington, 1852-60; William S. Moseley, 
1860-64; Alonzo Thompson, 1864-68; Daniel M. Draper, 1868-72; Geo. 
B. Clark, 1872-74; Thomas Holladay, 1874-80; John Walker, 1880, and 
present incumbent. 

Judges of Supreme Court. — Matthias McKirk, 1822-41 ; John D. 
Cooke, 1822-23; John R. Jones, 1822-2^4.; Rufus Pettibone, 1823-25; 
George Tompkins, 1824-45 ; Robert Walsh, 1825-37; John C. Edwards, 
1837-39; William Scott, appointed 1841 till meeting of General Assem- 
bly, in place of M. McKirk resigned, re-appointed 1843 ; P. H. McBride, 
1845 ; William B. Napton, 1849-52; John F. Ryland, 1849-51 ; John H. 
Birch, 1849-51 ; William Scott, John F. Ryland and Hamilton R. Gamble 
elected by the people 185 1 for six years ; Gamble resigned 1854; Abiel 
Leonard elected to fill vacancy of Gamble ; William B. Napton (vacated 
by failure to file oath), William Scott and John C. Richardson (resigned), 
elected August, 1857, for six years; E. B. Ewing, 1859, to fill Richard- 
son's resignation ; Barton Bates appointed 1862 ; W. V. N. Bay appointed 
1862; John D. S. Dryden, appointed 1862; Barton Bates, 1863-65 ; W. 
V. N. Bay, elected 1863 ; John D. S. Dryden, elected 1863 ; David Wag- 
ner, appointed 1865 ; Wallace L. Lovelace, appointed 1865 ; Nathaniel 
Holmes, appointed 1865; Thomas J. C. Fagg, appointed 1866; James 
Baker, appointed 1868; David Wagner, elected 1868-70; Philemon 
Bliss, 1868-70; Warren Currier, 1868-71 ; Washington Adams, appointed 
1 87 1 to fill Currier's place, who resigned-^ Ephraim B. Ewing, elected 
1872; Thomas A. Sherwood, elected 1872; W. B. Napton, appointed 
1873, in place of Ewing, deceased; Edward A. Seins, appointed 1874, in 
place of Adams, resigned; Warwick Hough, elected 1874; William B. 
Napton, elected 1874-80; John E. Henry, 1876-86; Robert Ray suc- 
ceeded William B. Napton in 1880; Elijah H. Norton, appomted in 
1876— elected in 1878. 

United States Senators. — T. H. Benton, 1820-50; D. Barton, 1820- 
30; Alex. Buckner, 1830-33; L. F. Linn, 1833-43; D. R. Atchison, 
1843-55; H. S. Geyer, 1851-57; Jas. M.Green, 1857-61; T. Polk, 1857- 
63 ; Waldo P. Johnson, 1861 ; Robt. Wilson, 1861 ; B. Gratz Brown, 1863, 
for unexpired term of Johnson; J. B. Henderson, 1863-69; Chas. D- 
Drake, 1867-70; Carl Schurz, 1869-75; D. F. Jewett, 1870, in place pf 
Drake, resigned; F.'P. Blair, 1871-77; L. V. Bogy, 1873; F. M. Cock- 
rell, 1875-81 ; re-elected 1881 ; Geo. C. Vest, 1879. 

Representatives to Congress. — Jno. Scott, 1820-26: Ed. Bates, 1826- 
28; Spencer Pettis, 1828-31 ; Wm. H. Ashley, 1831-36; John Bull, 1832- 
34; Albert G. Harrison, 1834-39; J"o. Miller, 1836-43; John Jameson, 


1839-44, re-elected 1846 for two years; Jno. C. Edwards, 1840-42; Jas. 
M. Hughes, 1842-44; Jas. H. Relfe, 1842-46; Jas. B. Bowlin, 1842-50; 
Gustavus M. Boner, 1842-44; Sterling Price, 1844-46; Wm. McDaniel, 
1846; Leonard H. Sims, 1844-46; John S. Phelps, 1844-60; Jas. S. Green, 
1846-50, re-elected 1856, resigned; Willard P. Hall, 1846-53; Wm. V. 
N. Bay, 1848-61; John F. Darby, 1850-53; Gilchrist Porter, 1850-57; 
John G. Miller, 1850-56 ; Alfred W. Lamb, 1852-54; Thos. H. Benton, 
1852-54; Mordecai Oliver, 1852-57; Jas. J. Lindley, 1852-56; Samuel 
Caruthers; 1852-58; Thomas P. Akers, 1855, to fill unexpired term of J. 
G. Miller; Francis P., Blair, Jr., 1856, re-elected i860, resigned; Thomas 
L. Anderson, 1856-1860; James Craig, 1856-60; Samuel H. Woodson, 
1856-60; John B. Clark, Sr,, 1857-61 ; J. Richard Barrett, i860; John W. 
Noel, 1858-63; James S. Rollins, 1860-64; Elijah H. Norton, 1860-63; 
John W. Reid, 1860-61; William A. Hall, 1862-64; Thomas L. Price, 
1862, in place of Reid, expelled; Henry T. Blow, 1862-66; Sempronius 
T. Boyd, elected in 1862, and again in 1868, for two years; Joseph W. 
McClurg, 1862-66; Austin A. King, 1862-64; Benjamin F. Loan, 1862-69; 
John G. Scott, 1863, in place of Noel, deceased; John Hogan, 1864-66; 
Thomas F. Noel, 1864-67; John R. Kelsoe, 1864-66; Robt. T. Van 
Horn, 1864-71 ; John F. Benjamin, 1864-71 ;> George W. Anderson, 
1864-69; William A. Pile, 1866-68; C. A. Newcomb, 1866-68; Joseph E. 
Gravely, 1866-68; James R. McCormack, 1866-73 ; John H. Stover, 1867, 
in place of McClurg, resigned; Erastus Wells, 1868-82; G. A. Finklin- 
burg, 1868-71; Samuel S. Burdett, 1868-71; Joel F. Asper, 1868-70; 
David P. Dyer, 1868-70; Harrison E. Havens, 1870-75 ; Isaac C. Parker, 
1870-75 ; James G. Blair, 1870-72 ; Andrew King, 1870-72 ; Edwin O. 
Stannard, 1872-74; William H. Stone, 1872-78; Robert A. Hatcher, 
elected 1872; Richard P. Bland, 1872; Thomas Crittenden, 1872-74; Ira 
B. Hyde, 1873-74; John B. Clark, 1872-78; John M. Glover, 1872 ; Aylett 
H. Buckner, 1872; Edward C. Kerr, 1874-78; Charles H. Morgan, 1874; 
John F. Phelps, 1874; B. J. Franklin, 1874; David Rea, 1874; Rezin A. 
DeBoet, 1874; Anthony Ittner, 1876; Nathaniel Cole, 1876; Robert A. 
Hatcher, 1876-78; R. P. Bland, 1876-78; A. H. Buckner, 1876-78 ; J. B. 
Clark, Jr., 1876-78; T. T. Crittenden, 1876-78; B. J. Franklin, 1876-78; 
Jno. M. Glover, 1876-78; Robert A. Hatcher, 1876-78; Chas. H. Morgan, 
1876-78; L. S. Metcalfe, 1876-78; H. M. Pollard, 1876-78; David Rea, 
1876-78; S. L. Sawyer, 1878-80; N. Ford, 1878-82; G. E. Rothwell, 
1878-82; John B. Clark, Jr., 1878-82; W. H. Hatch, 1878-82; A. H. 
Buckner, 1878-82; M. L. Clardy, 1878-82; R. G. Frost, 1878-82; L. H. 
Davis, 1878-82; R. P. Bland, 1878-82; J. R. Waddill, 1878-80; T. Allen, 
1880-82; R. Hazeltine, 1880-82; T. M. Rice, 1880-82; R. T. Van Horn, 



Adair January 29, 1841 

Andrew January 29, 1841 

Atchison January 14, 1845 

Audrain December 17, 1836 

Barry January 5, 1835 

Barton December 12, 1835 

Bates January 29, 1841 

Benton January 3, 1835 

Bollinger March i, 185 1 

Boone November 16, 1820 

Buchanan February 10, 1839 

Butler February 27, 1849 

Caldwell December 26, 1836 

Callaway November 25, 1820 

Camden January 29, 1841 

Cape Girardeau October i, i8i2 

Carroll January 3, 1833 

Carter March 10, 1859 

Cass September 14, 1835 

Cedar February 14 184S 

Chariton November 16, 1820 

Christian March 8, 1 860 

Clark December 15, 1818 

Clay , January 2, 1822 

Clinton January 15, 1833 

Cole November 16, 1820 

Cooper . December 17, 1818 

Crawford January 23, 1829 

Dade January 29, 1841 

Dallas December 10, 1844 

Daviess December 29, 1836 

DeKalb February 25, 1845 

Dent February 10, 1851 

Douglas October 19, 1857 

Dunklin 'February 14, 1845 

Franklin December 11, 1818 

Gasconade November 25, 1820 

Gentry February 12, 1841 

Greene January 2, 1833 

Grundy January 2, 1843 

Harrison February 14, 1845 

Henry December 13, 1834 

Hickory February 14, 1845 

Holt February 15, 1841 

Howard January 23, 1816 

Howell March 2, 1857 

Iron February 17, 1857 

Jackson December 15, 1826 

Jasper January 29, 1841 

Jefferson December 8, 1818 

Johnson December 13, 1834 

Knox February 14, 

Laclede February 24, 

Lafayette November 16, 

Lawrence February 25, 

Lewis January 2, 

Lincoln December 14, 

Linn January 7, 

Livingston January 6, 

McDonald March 3, 

Macon January 6, 

Madison December 14, 

Maries March 2, 

Marion December 23, 

Mercer February 14, 

Miller February 6, 

Mississippi February 14, 

Moniteau February 14, 

Monroe January 6, 

Montgomery December 14, 

Morgan , January 5, 

New Madrid October i, 

Newton December 31, 

Nudaway February 14, 

Oregon February 14, 

Osage January 29, 

Ozark January 29, 

Pemiscot . February 19, 

Perry November 16, 

Pettis January 26, 

Phelps November 13, 

Pike December 14, 

Platte December 31, 

Polk March 13, 

Pulaski December 15, 

Putnam February 28, 

Ralls November 16, 

Randolph January 22, 

Ray November 16, 

Reynolds February 25, 

Ripley January 5, 

St. Charles October i, 

St. Clair January 29, 

St. Francois December 19, 

Ste. Genevieve October i, 

St. Louis October i, 

Saline . . .... November 25, 

Schuyler February 14, 

Scotland January 29, 

Scott December 28, 

■ Shannon January 29, 

Shelby January :i. 



Stoddard January 2, 1835 

Stone rebruary 10, 185 1 

Sullivan February 16, 1845 

Taney January 16,1837 

Texas February 14, 1835 

Vernon February 17, 1851 

Warren January 5, 1833 

Washington August 21, 1813 

Wayne December 11, 1818 

Webster March 3, 1855 

Worth February 8, 1861 

Wright January 29, 1841 




On the 14th day of May, 1832, a bloody engagement took place 
between the regular forces of the United States, and a part of the Sacs, 
Foxes and Winnebago Indians, commanded by Black Hawk and 
Keokuk, near Dixon's Ferry, in Illinois. 

The Governor (John Miller) of Missouri, fearing these savages would 
invade the soil of his state, ordered Major-General Richard Gentry to 
raise one thousand volunteers for the defense of the frontier. Five com- 
panies were at once raised in Boone County, and in Callaway, Mont- 
gomery, St. Charles, Lincoln, Pike, Marion, Ralls, Clay and Monroe 
other companies were raised. 

Two of these companies, commanded respectively by Captain John 
Jaimison, of Callaway, and Captain David M. Hickman, of Boone County, 
were mustered into service in July for thirty days, and put uiider com- 
mand of Major Thomas W. Conyers. 

This detachment, accompanied by General Gentry, arrived at Fort 
Pike on the iSth of July, 1832. Finding that the Indians had not crossed 
the Mississippi into Missouri, General Gentry returned to Columbia, 
leaving the fort in charge of Major Conyers. Thirty days having expired, 
the command under Major Conyers was relieved by two other com- 
panies under Captains Sinclair Kirtley, of Boone, and Patrick Ewing, 
of Callaway. This detachment was marched to Fort Pike by Col. Austin 
A. King, who conducted the two companies under Major Conyers home. 
Major Conyers was left in charge of the fort, where he remained until 
September following, at which time the Indian troubles, so far as Mis- 
souri was concerned, having all subsided, the frontier forces were mus- 
tered out of service. 

Black Hawk continued the war in Iowa and Illinois, and was finally 
defeated and captured in 1833. 



In 1832, Joseph Smith, the leader of the Mormons, and the chosen 
prophet and apostle, as he claimed, of the Most High, came with many 
followers to Jackson County, Missouri, where they located and entered 
several thousand acres of land. 

The object of his coming so far west — upon the very outskirts of 
civilization at that time — was to more securely establish his church, 
and the more effectively to instruct his followers in its peculiar tenets 
and practices. 

Upon the present town site of Independence the Mormons located 
their "Zion" and gave it the name of "The New Jerusalem." They pub- 
lished here the Evening Star, and made themselves generally obnox- 
ious to the Gentiles, who were then in the minority, by their denunciatory 
articles through their paper, their clannishness and their polygamous 

Dreading the demoralizing influence of a paper which seemed to be 
inspired only with hatred and malice toward them, the Gentiles threw 
the press and type into the Missouri river, tarred and feathered one of 
their bishops, and otherwise gave the Mormons and their leaders to 
understand that they must conduct themselves in an entirely different 
manner if they wished to be let alone. 

After the destruction of their paper and press, they became furiously 
incensed, and sought many opportunities for retaliation. Matters con- 
tinued in an uncertain condition until the 31st of October, 1833, when a 
deadly conflict occurred near Westport, in which two Gentiles and one 
Mormon were killed. 

On the 2d of November following the Mormons were overpowered, 
and compelled to lay down their arms and agree to leave the country 
with their families by January 1st, on the condition that the owner 
would be paid for his printing press. 

Leaving Jackson County, they crossed the Missouri and located in 
Clay, Carroll, Caldwell and .other counties, and selected in Caldwell 
County a town site, which they called "Far West," and where they 
entered more land for their future homes. 

Through the influence of their missionaries, who were exerting 
themselves in the East and in different portions of Europe, converts had 
constantly flocked to their standard, and "Far West" and other Mormon 
settlements rapidly prospered. 

In 1837 they commenced the erection of a magnificent temple, but 
never finished it. As their settlements increased in numbers they 
became bolder in their practices and deeds of lawlessness. 

During the surnmer of 1838 two of their leaders settled in the town 
of DeWitt, on the Missouri River, having purchased the land from an 


Illinois merchant. DeWitt was in Carroll County, and a good point 
from which to forward goods and immigrants to their town — Far West. 

Upon its being ascertained that these parties were Mormon leaders, 
the Crentiles called a public meeting, which was addressed by some of 
the prominent citizens of the county. Nothing, however, was done at 
this meeting, but at a subsequent meeting, which was held a few days 
afterward, a committee of citizens was appointed to notify Colonel 
Hinkle (one of the Mormon leaders at DeWitt), what they intended to do. 

Col. Hinkle, upon being notified by this committee, became indig- 
nant, and threatened extermination to all who should attempt to molest 
him or the Saints. 

In anticipation of trouble, and believing that the Gentiles would 
attempt to force them from DeWitt, Mormon recruits flocked to the town 
from every direction, and pitched their tents in and around the town in 
great numbers. 

The Gentiles, nothing daunted, planned an attack upon this encamp- 
ment, to take place on the 2 1st day of September, 1838, and, accordingly,, 
one hundred and fifty men^ bivouacked near the town on that day. A 
conflict ensued, but nothing serious occurred. 

The Mormons evacuated their works and fled to some log houses, 
where they could the more successfully resist the Gentiles, who had in 
the meantime returned to their camp to await reinforcements. Troops 
from Howard, Ray and other counties came to their assistance, and 
increased their number to five hundred men. 

Congreve Jackson was chosen Brigadier General ; Ebenezer Price, 
Colonel ; Singleton Vaughn, Lieutenant Colonel, and Sarchel Woods, 
Major. After some days of discipline, this brigade prepared for an 
assault, but before the attack was commenced Judge James Earickson 
and William F. Dunnica, influential citizens of Howard County, asked 
permission of General Jackson to let them try and adjust the difficulties 
without any bloodshed. 

It was finally agreed that Judge Earickson should propose to the 
Mormons that, if they would pay for all the cattle they had killed 
belonging to the citizens, and load their wagons during the night and be 
ready to move by ten o'clock next morning, and make no further attempt 
to settle in Howard County, the citizens would purchase at first cost their 
lots in DeWitt and one or two adjoining tracts of land. 

Col. Hinkle, the leader of the Mormons, at first refused all attempts 
to settle the difficulties in this way, but finally agreed to the proposition. 

In accordance therewith, the Mormons, without further delay, loaded 
up their wagons for the town of Far West, in Caldwell County. Whether 
the terms of the agreement were ever carried out on the part of the cit- 
izens, is not known. 


The Mormons had doubtless suffered much and in many ways — the 
result of their own acts-^but their trials and sufferings were not at aii: 

In 1838 the discord between the citizens and Mormons became so 
great that Governor Boggs issued a proclamation ordering Major General 
David R. Atchison to call the militia of his division to enforce the laws. 
He called out a part of the First Brigade of the Missouri state militia, 
under command of General A. W. Doniphan, who proceeded to the seat 
of war. General John B. Clark, of Howard County, was placed in com- 
mand of the militia. 

The Mormon forces numbered about 1,000 men, and were led by G. 
W. Hinkle. The first engagement occurred at Crooked River, where 
one Mormon was killed. The principal fight took place at Haughn's 
Mills, where eighteen Mormons were killed and the balance captured, 
some of them being killed after they had surrendered. Only one militia- 
man was wounded. 

In the month of October, 1838, Joe Smith surrendered the town of 
Far West to General Doniphan, agreeing to his conditions, viz : That 
they should deliver up their arms, surrender their prominent leaders for 
trial, and the remainder of the Mormons should, with their families, 
leave the State. Indictments were found against a number of these 
leaders, including Joe Smith, who, while being taken to Boone County 
for trial, made his escape, and was afterward, in 1844, killed at Carthage, 
Illinois, with his brother Hyrum. 


In September, 1837, the Secretary of War issued a requisition on 
Governor Boggs, of Missouri, for six hundred volunteers, for service in 
Florida against the Seminole Indians, with whom the Creek nation had 
made common cause under Osceola. 

The first regiment was chiefly raised in Boone County by Colonel 
Richard Gentry, of which he was elected Colonel ; John W. Price, of 
Howard County, Lieutenant Colonel ; Harrison H. Hughes, also of 
Howard, Major. Four companies of the Second regiment were raised 
and attached to the First. Two of these companies were composed of 
Delaware and Osage Indians. 

October 6, 1837, Colonel Gentry's regiment left Columbia for the 
seat of war, stopping on the way at Jefferson barracks, where they were 
mustered into service. 

Arriving at Jackson barracks. New Orleans, they were from thence 
transported in brigs across the Gulf to Tampa Bay, Florida. General 
Zachary Taylor, who then commanded in Florida, ordered Colonel 
Gentry to march to Okee-cho-bee Lake, one hundred and thirty-five 
miles inland by the route traveled. Having reached the Kissimmee 


River, seventy miles distant, a bloody battle ensued in which Colonel 
Gentry was killed. The Missourians,. though losing their gallant leader, 
continued the fight until the Indians were totally routed, leaving many 
of their dead and wounded on the field. There being no further service 
required of the Missourians, they returned to their homes in 1838. 


Soon after Mexico declared war dgairist the United States, on the 
8th and 9th of May, 1846, the battles of Palo Alto and Resaca de la 
Palma were fought. Great excitement prevailed throughout the country. 
In none of her sister states however, did the fires of patriotism burn 
more intensely than in Missouri. Not waiting for the call for volunteers, 
the "St. Louis Legion" hastened to the field of conflict. The Legion 
was commanded by Colonel A. R. Easton. During the month of May, 
1846, Governor Edwards, of Missouri, called for voluoteers to join the 
"Army of the West," an expedition to the Santa Fe — under command 
of General Stephen W. Kearny. 

Fort Leavenworth was the appointed rendezvous for the volunteers; 
By the i8th of June, the full complement of companies to compose the 
First Regiment had arrived from Jackson, Lafayette, Clay, Saline, Frank- 
lin, Cole, Howard and Callaway Counties. Of this regiment A. W. Don- 
iphan was made Colonel ; C. F. Ruff, Lieutenant-Colonel, and William 
Gilpin, Major. The battalion of light artillery from St. Louis, was com- 
manded by Captains R. A. Weightman and A. W. Fischer, with Major 
M. L. Clark as field officer; battalions of infantry from Platte and Cole 
Counties, commanded by Captains Murphy and W. Z. Augney, respect- 
ively, and the " Laclede Rangers," from St. Louis, by Captain Thomas B. 
Hudson, aggregating, all told, from Missouri, 1,658 men. In the summer 
of 1846 Hon. Sterling Price resigned his seat in Congress, and raised one 
mounted regiment, one mounted extra battalion, and one extra battalion 
of Mormon infantry to reinforce the "Army of the West." Mr. Price was 
made Colonel, and D. D. Mitchell, Lieutenant-Colonel. 

In August, 1847, Governor Edwards made another requisition for one 
thousand men, to consist of infantry. The regiment was raised at once. 
John Dougherty, of Clay County, was chosen Colonel, but before the regi- 
ment marched the President countermanded the order. 

A company of mounted volunteers was raised in Ralls County, com- 
manded by Captain Wm. T. Lalfland. Conspicuous among the engage- 
ments in which the Missouri volunteers participated in Mexico were 
the battles of Brazito, Sacramento, Canada, El Embudo, Taos and Santa 
Cruz de Resales. The forces from Missouri were mustered out in 1848, 
.and will ever be remembered in the history of the Mexican war, for 

"A thousand glorious actions that might claim 
Triumphant l-iurels, and immortal fame." 





"Lastly stood war — 
With visage grim, stern looks, and blackly hued, 
****** * 

Ah ! why will kings forget that they are men ? 
And men that they are brethren ? Why delight 
In human sacrifice ? Why burst the ties 
Of nature, that should knit their souls together 
In one bond of amity and love ?" 

Fort Sumter wss fired upon April 12, i86r. On April iSth, President 
Lincoln issued a proclamation, calling for 75,000 men, from the militia 
of the several states, to suppress combinations in the Southern States 
therein named. Simultaneously therewith the secretary of war sent a 
telegram to all the governors of the, states, excepting those mentioned 
in the proclamation, requesting them to detail a certain number of 
militia to serve for three months, Missouri's quota being four regiments. 

In response to this telegram Gov. Jackson sent the following answer: 

Executive Department of Missouri, 
Jefferson City; April 17, 1861. 
To the Hon. Simon Cameron, 

Secretary of War, Washington, D. C, : 

Sir: Your dispatch of the iSth ihst., making a call on Missouri 

for four regiments of men for immediate service, has been received. 

There can .be, I apprehend, no doubt but these men are intended to form 

a part of the President's army, to make war upon the people of the 


seceded states. Your requisition, in my judgment, is illegal, unconsti- 
tutional, and cannot be complied with. Not one man will the State of 
Missouri furnish to carry on such an unholy war. 


Governor of Missouri. 

April 21, 1861. U. S. Arsenal at Liberty was seized by order of 
Governor Jackson. 

April 22, 1861. Governor Jackson issued a proclamation convening- 
the Legislature of Missouri in May following, in extra session, to take 
into consideration the momentuous issues, which were presented, and 
the attitude to be assumed by the state in the impending struggle. 

On the 22nd of April, 1861, the Adjutant-General of Missouri issued 
the following military order : 

Headquarters Adjutant-General's Office, Mo., 
Jefferson City, April 22, 1861. 
{General Order No. 7.) 

I. To attain a greater degree of efficiency and perfection in organi- 
zation and discipline, the commanding officers of the several military 
districts in this state, having four or more legally organized companies 
therein, whose armories are within fifteen miles of each other, will assem- 
ble their respective commands at some place to be by them severally 
designated, on the 3rd of May, and to go into an encampment for a 
_period of six days as provided by law. Captains of companies not organ- 
ized into battalions, will report the strength of their companies immedi- 
ately to these headquarters, and await further orders. 

II. The quartermaster-general will procure and issue to quarter- 
masters of districts, for these commands not now provided for, all nec- 
essary tents and camp equipage, to enable the commanding officers 
thereof to carry the foregoing orders into effect. 

III. The Light Battery now attached to the Southwest Battalion, 
and one company of mounted riflemen, including all officers and soldiers 
belonging to the First District, will proceed forthwith to St. Louis and 
report to Gen. D. M. Frost for duty. The remaining companies of said 
battalion will be disbanded for the purpose of assisting in the organiza- 
tion of companies upon that frontier. The details in the execution of 
the foregoing are intrusted to Lieutenant-Colonel John S. Bowen, com- 
manding the battalion. 

IV. The strength, organization and equipment of the several com- 
panies in the districts will be reported at once to these headquarters, 
and district inspectors will furnish all information which may be servic- 
able in ascertaining the condition of state forces. 

By order of the Governor. 


Adjutant-General of Missouri. 

May 2, 1861. The Legislature convened in extra session. Many 
acts were passed among which was one to authorize the Governor to 
purchase or lease David Ballantine's foundry, at Boonville, for the man- 
ufacture of arms and munitions of war ; to authorize the governor to 


appoint one major-general ; to authorize the governor, when in his opinion 
the security and welfare of the state required it, to take possession 
of the railroad and telegraph lines of the state ; to provide for the organ- 
ization, government and support of the military forces ; to borrow one 
million of dollars to arm and equip the militia of the state to repel 
invasion and protect the lives and property of the people. An act was 
also passed creating a "Military Fund," to consist of all the money then 
in the treasury or that might thereafter be received from the one-tenth 
of one per cent, on the hundred dollars, levied by act of November, 1857, 
to complete certain railroads ; also the proceeds of a tax of fifteen cents 
on the hundred dollars of the assessed value of the taxable property of 
the several counties in the state, and the proceeds of the two mill tax, 
which had been theretofore appropriated for educational purposes. 

May 3, 1861. "Camp Jackson" was organized. 

May 10, 1861. Sterling Price appointed major-general of state 

May 10, 1861. General Frost, commanding "Camp Jackson," 
addressed General N. Lyon, as follows : 

Headquarters Camp Jackson, Missouri Militia, 

May 10, 1 861. 

Capt. N. Lyon, Commanding United States Troops in and about St. 

Louis Arsenal: 

Sir : — I am constantly in receipt of information that you contenj- 
plate an attack upon my camp, whilst I understand that you are impressed 
with the idea that an attack upon the arsenal and United States troops 
is intended on the part of the Militia of Missouri. I am greatly at a 
loss to -know what could justify you in attacking citizens of the United 
States, who are in lawful performance of their duties, devolving upon 
them under the constitution in organizing and instructing the militia of 
the state in obedience to her laws, and, therefore, have been disposed to 
doubt the correctness of the information I have received. 

I would be glad to know from you personally whether there is any 
truth in the statements that are constantly pouring into my ears. So 
far as regards any hostility being intended toward the United States, 
or its property or representatives by any portion of my command, or, as 
far as I can learn, (and I think I am fully informed,) of any other part of 
the state forces, I can positively say that the idea has never been enter- 
tained. On the contrary, prior to your taking cotnmand of the arsenal, 
I proffered to Mayor Bell, then in command of the very few troops con- 
stituting its guard, the services of myself and all my command, and, if 
necessary, the whole power of the state, to protect the United States 
in the full possession of all her property. Upon General Harney taking 
command of this department, I made the some proffer of services to him, 
and authorized his Adjutant General, Captain Williams, to communicate 
the fact that such had been done to the War Department. I have had 
no occasion since to change any of the views I entertained at the time, 
neither of my own volition nor through the orders of my constitutional 


I trust that after this explicit statement that we may be able, by 
fully understanding each other, to keep far from our borders the misfor- 
tunes which so unhappily affect our common country. 

This communication will be handed you by Colonel Bowen, my 
Chief of Staff, who will be able to explain anything not fully set forth in 
the foregoing. 

I am, sir, very respectfully your obedient servant, 


Commanding Catnp Jackson, M. V. M. 

May lO, 1 86 1. General Lyon sent the following to General Frost : 

Headquarters United States Troops, 
St. Louis, Mo., May lo, 1861. 

General D. M. Frost, Commanding Camp Jackson : 

Sir : — Your command is regarded as evidently hostile toward the 
Government of the United States. 

It is, for the most part, made up of those Secessionists who have 
openly avowed their hostility to the general government, and have been 
plotting at the seizure of its property and the overthrow of its authority. 
You are openly in communication with the so-called Southern Confed- 
eracy, which is now at war with the United States, and you are receiv- 
ing at your camp, from the said Confederacy and under its flag, large 
supplies of the material of war, most of which is known to be the prop- 
erty of the United States. These extraordinary preparations plainly 
indicate none other than the well-known purpose of the Governor of this 
state, under whose orders you are acting, and whose communication' to 
the Legislature has just been responded to by that body in the most 
unparalleled legislation, having in direct view hostilities to the general 
government and co-operation with its enemies. 

In view of these considerations, and of your failure to disperse in 
obedience to the proclamation of the President, and of the imminent 
necessities of state policy and warfare, and the obligations imposed upon 
me by instructions from Washington, it is my duty to demand, and I do 
hereby demand of you an immediate surrender of your command, with 
no other conditions than that all persons surrendering under this com- 
mand shall be humanely and kindly treated. Believing myself prepared 
to enforce this demand, one-half hour's time before doing so will be 
allowed for your compliance therewith. 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

Capt. 2d Infantry, Commanding Troops. 

May 10, 1861. Camp Jackson surrendered and prisoners all released 
excepting Capt. Emmet McDonald, who refused to subscribe the parole. 

May 12, 1861. Brigadier General Wm. S. Harney issued a procla- 
mation to the people of Missouri, saying, "he would carefully abstain 
from the exercise of any unnecessary powers," and only use "the military 
force stationed in this district in the last resort to preserve peace." 

May 14, 1861. General Harney issued a second proclamation. 


May 21, 1861. General Harney held a conference with General 
Sterling Price, of the Missouri State Guards. 

May 31, 1861. General Harney superseded by General Lyon. 

June II, 1861. A second conference was held between the national 
and state authorities in St. Louis, which resulted in nothing. 

June II, 1861. Governor Jackson left St. Louis for Jefferson City, 
burning the railroad bridges behind him, and cutting telegraph wires. 

June 12, 1861. Governor Jackson issued a proclamation calling 
into active service 50,000 militia, "to repel invasion, protect life, prop- 
erty, etc." 

June 15, 1861. Colonel F. P. Blair took possession of the state capi- 
tal. Governor Jackson, General Price and other officers having left on 
the 13th of June for Boonville. 

June 17, 1861. Battle of Boonville took place between the forces of 
General Lyon and Colonel John S. Marmaduke. 

June 18, 1861. General Lyon issued a proclamation to the people 
of Missouri. 

July 5, 1861. Battle at Carthage between the forces of General 
Sigel and Governor Jackson. 

July 6, 1861. General Lyon reached Springfield. 

July 22, 1861. State convention met and declared the offices of 
Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of State vacated. 

July 26, 1861. General John C. Fremont assumed command of the 
'W^pstern Department, with headquarters in St. Louis. 

July 31, 1 86 1. Lieutenant Governor Thomas C. Reynolds issued a 
proclamation at New Madrid. 

August I, 1861. General Jeff. Thompson issued a proclamation at 

August 2, 1861. Battle of Dug Springs, between Captain Steele's 
forces and General Rains. 

August 5, 1861. Governor Jackson issued a proclamation at New 

August 5, 1861. Battle of Athens. 

August ID, 1861. Battle of Wilson's Creek, between the forces 
under General Lyon and General McCulloch. In this engagemeet Gen- 
eral Lyon was killed. General Sturgis succeeded General Lyon. 

August 12, 1861. McCulloch issued a proclamation, and soon left 

August 20, 1861. General Price issued a proclamation. 

August 24, 1861. Governor Gamble issued a proclamation calling 
for 32,000 men for six months, to protect the property and lives of the 
citizens of the state. 

August 30, 1 86 1. General Fremont declared martial law, and 
declared that the slaves of all persons who should thereafter take an 
active part with the enemies of the Government should be free. 


September 2, 1861. General Jeff. Thompson issued a proclamation 
in response to Fremont's proclamation. 

September 7, 1861. Battle at Drywood Creek. 

September 11, 1861. President Lincoln modified the clause in Gen- 
eral Fremont's declaration of martial law, in reference to the confiscation 
of property and liberation of slaves. 

September 12, 1861. General Price begins the attack at Springfield 
on Colonel Mulligan's forces. 

September 20, 1861. Colonel Mulligan with 2,640 men surrendered. 

October 25, 1861. Second battle at Springfield. 

November 2, 1861. General Fremont succeeded by General David 

November 7, 1861. General Grant attacked Belmont. 

November 9, 1861. General Hunter succeeded by General Halleck, 
who took command on the 19th of same month, with headquarters in St. 

November 27, 1861. General Price issued proclamation calling for 
50,000 men, at Neosho, Missouri. 

December 12, 1861. General Hunter issued his order of assessment 
-upon certain wealthy citizens in St. Louis, for feeding and clothing Union 

December 23-25, 1861. Declared martial law in St. Louis and the 
country adjacent, and covering all the railroad lines. 

March 6, 1862. Battle at Pea Ridge, between the forces under Ge»- 
erals Curtis and Van Dorn. 

January 8, 1862. Provost Marshal Farrar, of St. Louis, issued the 
following order in reference to newspapers : 

Office of the Provost Marshal, 
General Department of Missouri, 
St. Louis, January 8, 1862. 
{General Order No. 10.) 

It is hereby ordered that from and after this date the publishers of 
newspapers in the State of Missouri, (St. Louis city papers excepted), 
furnish to this office, immediately upon publication, one copy of each 
issue, for inspection. A failure to comply with this order will render the 
newspaper liable to suppression. 

Local Provost Marshals will furnish the proprietors with copies of 
this order, and attend to its immediate enforcement. 

Provost Marshal General. 

January 26, 1862. General Halleck issued order (No. 18) which fpr- 
badc, among other things, the display of Secession flags in the hands of 
women or on carriages, in the vicinity of the military prison in McDow- 
ell's College, the carriages to be confiscated and the offending women to 
be arrested. 


February 4, 1862. General Halleck issued another order similar to 
Order No. 18, to railway companies, and to the professors and directors 
■of the State University at Columbia, forbidding the funds of the institu- 
tion to be used "to teach treason or to instruct traitors." 

February 20, 1862. Special Order No. 120 convened a military com- 
mission, which sat in Columbia, March following, and tried Edmund J. 
Ellis, of Columbia, editor and proprietor of the Boone County Standard, 
for the publication of information for the benefit of the enemy, and 
encouraging resistance to the United States Government. Ellis was 
found guilty, was banished during the war from Missouri, and his print- 
ing materials confiscated and sold. 

April, 1862. General Halleck left for Corinth, Mississippi, leaving 
■General Schofield in command, 

June, 1862. Battle at Cherry Grove between the forces under 
•Colonel Joseph C. Porter and Colonel H. S. Lipscomb. 

June, 1862. Battle at Pierce's Mill between the forces under Major 
John Y. Clopper and Colonel Porter. 

July 22, 1862. Battle at Florida. 

July 28, 1862. Battle at Moore's Mill. 

August 6, 1862. Battle near Kirksville. 

August II, 1862. Battle at Independence. 

August 16, 1862. Battle at Lone Jack. 

September 13, 1862. Battle at Newtonia. 

September 25, 1862. Ten Confederate prisoners were executed at 
Macon by order of General Merrill. 

October 18, 1862. Ten Confederate prisoners executed at Palmyra 
ty order of General McNeill. 

January 8, 1863. Battle at Springfield between the foces of General 
Marmaduke and General E. B. Brown. 

April 36, 1863. Battle at Cape Girardeau. 

August — , 1863. General Jeff. Thompson captured at Pocahontas, 
Arkansas, with his staff 

August 25, 1863. General Thomas Ewing issued his celebrated 
Order No. ii, at Kansas City, Missouri, which is as follows: 

Headquarters District of the Border, 
Kansas City, Mo., August 25, 1863. 

(" General Order No. 11.") 
First. — All persons living in Cass, Jackson and Bates Counties, Mis- 
souri, and in that part of Vernon included in this district, except those 
living within one mile of the limits of Independence, Hickman's Mills, 
Pleasant Hill and Harrisonville, and except those in fhat part of Kaw 
Township, Jackson County, north of Brush Creek and west of the Big 
Blue, embracing Kansas City and Westport, are hereby ordered to remove 
from their present places of residence within fifteen days from the date 


Those who, within that time, establish their loyalty to the satisfac- 
tion of the commanding officer of the military station nearest their 
present places of residence, will receive from him certificates stating the 
fact of their loyalty, and the names of the witnesses by whom it can be 
shown. All who receive such certificate will be permitted to remove to 
any military station in this district, or to any part of the State of Kansas, 
except the counties on the eastern borders of the state. All others shall 
remove out of this district. Officers commanding companies and detach- 
ments serving in the counties named, will see that this paragraph is 
promptly obeyed. 

Second. — All grain and hay in the field, or under shelter, in the dis- 
trict from which the inhabitants are required to remove, within reach of 
military stations, after the 9th day of September next, will be taken to 
such stations and turned over to the proper officer there, and report of 
the amount so turned over made to district headquarters, specifying the 
names of aU loyal owners and the amount of such produce taken from 
them. All grain and hay found in such district after the 9th day of Sep- 
tember next, not convenient to such stations, will be destroyed. 

Third. — The provisions of General Order No. 10, from these head- 
quarters, will at once be vigorously executed by officers commanding in 
the parts of the district, and at stations not subject to the operations of 
paragraph First of this Order — and especially in the towns of Independ- 
ence, Westport and Kansas City. 

Fourth — Paragraph 3, General Order No. 10, is revoked as to all who 
have borne arms against the government in the district since August 20, 

By order of Brigadier-General Ewing. 

H. HANNAHS, Adjutant. 

October 12-13, 1863. Battle of Arrow Creek. 

January, 1864. General Rosecrans takes command of the depart- 

September, 1864. Battle at Pilot Knob, Harrison and Little Mor- 
ceau River. 

September 27, 1864. Massacre at Centralia, by Captain William 

October 5, 1864. Battle at Prince's Ford and James Gordon's farm. 

October 15, 1864. Battle at Glasgow. 

October 20, 1864. Battle at Little Blue Creek. 

October 27, 1864. Capt. Anderson killed. 

December — •, 1864. General Rosecrans relieved, and General 
Dodge appointed to succeed him. 

Nothing occurred specially, of a military character, in the state, 
after December, 1864. We have, in the main, given the facts as they 
occurred, without comment or entering into details. Many of the 
minor incidents and skirmishes of the war have been omitted because 
of our limited space. 

It is utterly impossible, at this date, to give the names and dates of 
all the battles fought in Missouri during the civil war. It will be found. 


however, that the list given below, which has been arranged for conven- 
ience, contains the prominent battles and skirmishes which took place 
within the State : 

Potosi, May 14, i86i. 
Booneville, June 17, 1861. 
Carthage, July 5, 1861. 
Monroe Station, July 10, 1861. 
Overton's Run, July 17, i86t. 
Dug Spring, August 2, 1861. 
Wilson's Creek, August 9, 1861. 
Athens, August 5, 1861. 
Moreton, August 20, 1861. 
Bennett's Mills, September — , 1861. 
Drywood Creek, September 7, 1861. 
Norfolk, September 10, 1861. 
Lexington, September 12-20, 1861. 
Blue Mills Landing, September 17, 1861. 
Glasgow Mistake, September 20, 1861. 
Osceola, September 25, 1861, 
Shanghai, October 13, 1861. 
Lebanon, October 13, 1861. 
Linn Creek, October 15, 1861. 
Big River Bridge, October 15, 1861. 
Fredericktown, October 21, 1861. 
Springfield, October 25, 1861. 
Belmont, November 7, 1861. 
Piketon, November 8, 1861. 
Little Blue, November 10, 186 1. 
Clark's Station, November 11, 1861. 
Zion Church, December 28, i86i. 
, Silver Creek, January 15, 1862. 
New Madrid, February 28, 1862. 
Pea Ridge, March 6, 1862. 
Neosho, April 22, 1862. 
Rose Hill, July 10, 1862. 
Chariton River, July 30, 1862. 
Cherry Grove, June — , 1862. 
Pierce's Mill, June — , 1862. 
Florida, July 22, 1862. 
Moore's Mill, July 28, 1862. 
Kirksville, August 6, 1862. 
Compton's Ferry, August 8, 1862. 
Yellow Creek, August 13, 1862. 


Independence, August ii, 1862. 
Lone Jack, August 16, 1862. 
Newtonia, September 13, 1862. 
Springfield, January 8, 1863. 
Cape Girardeau, April 29, 1863. 
Arrow Rock, October 12 and 13, 1863. 
Pilot Knob, September — , 1864. 
Harrison, September — , 1864 
Moreau River, October 7, 1864. 
Prince's Ford, October S, 1864. 
Glasgow, October 15, 1864. 
Little Blue Creek, October 20, 1864. 
Albany, October 27, 1864. 
Near Rocheport, September 23, 1864. 
Centralia, September 27, 1864. 




Agriculture is the greatest among all the arts of man, as it is the 
first in supplying his necessities. It favors and strengthens population ; 
it creates and maintains manufactures ; gives employment to navigation, 
and furnishes materials to commerce. It animates every species of indus- 
try, and opens to nations the safest channels of wealth. It is the strong- 
est bond of well-regulated society, the surest basis of internal peace, and 
the natural associate of correct morals. Among all the occupations and 
professions of life there is none more honorable, none more independent 
and none more conducive to health and happiness. 

"In ancient times the sacred plow employ'd 
The kings, and awful fathers of mankind ; 
And some, with whom compared, your insect tribes 
Are but the beings of a summer's day, 
Have held the scale of empire, ruled the storm 
Of mighty war with unwearied hand, 
Disdaining little delicacies, seized 
The pljw and greatly independent lived." 


As an agricultural region, Missouri is not surpassed by any state in 
the Union. It is indeed the farmer's kingdom, where he always reaps 
an abundant harvest. The soil, in many portions of the state, has an 
open, flexible structure, quickly absorbs the most excessive rains, and 
retains moisture with great tenacity. This being the case it is not so 
easily affected by drouth. The prairies are covered with sweet, luxuri- 
ant grass, equally good for grazing and hay ; grass not surpassed by the 
Kentucky blue grass — the best of clover and timothy in growing and 
fattening cattle. This grass is now as full of life-giving nutriment as it 
was when cropped by the buffalo, the elk, the antelope and the deer, 
and costs the herdsman nothing. 

No state or territory has a more complete or rapid system of nat- 
ural drainage, or a more abundant supply of pure, fresh water, than 
Missouri. Both man and beast may slake their thirst from a thousand 
perennial fountains, which gush in limpid streams from the hillsides and 
wend their way through verdant valleys and along smiling prairies, 
varying in size as they onward flow, from the diminutive brooklet to the 
giant river. 

Here nature has generously bestowed her attractions of climate, 
soil and scenery to please and gratify man while earning his bread in 
the sweat of his brow. Being thus munificiently endowed, Missouri 
offers superior inducements to the farmer, and bids him enter her broad 
domain and avail himself of her varied resources. 

We present here a table showing the product of each principal crop 
in Missouri for 1878. 

Indian Corn 93,062,000 bushels 

Wheat 20,196 000 " 

Rye , 732.°°° " 

Oats 19,584,000 " 

Buckwheat 46,400 " 

Potatoes 5.415.000 " 

Tobacco 23,023,000 pounds 

Hay 1 ,620,000 tons 

There were 3,522,000 acres in corn; wheat, 1,836,000; rye, 48,800 ; 
oats, 640,000 ; buckwheat, 2,900 ; potatoes, 72,200 ; tobacco, 29,900 ; hay; 
850,000. Value of each crop: corn, $24,196,224; wheat, $13,531,320; 
rye, $300,120; oats, $3,325,120 ; buckwheat, $24,128 ; potatoes, $2,057,- 
700; tobacco, $1,151,150; hay, $10,416,600. 

Average cash value of crops per acre, $7.69 ; average yield of corn 
per acre, 26 bushels ; wheat, 1 1 bushels. 

Next in importance to the corn crop in value is the live stock. The 
following table shows the number of horses, mules and milch cows in 
the different states for 1879 : 




Maine 81,700 

New Hampshire 57, 100 

Vermont 77 400 

Massachusetts 131,000 

Rhode Island 16,200 

Connecticut ■■•.... 53 500 

New York 898,000 

New Jersey 114,500 

Pennsylvania 614 500 

Delaware 19,900 

Maryland 108,600 

Virginia 208.700 

North Carolina 144,200 

South Carolina S9,6oo 

Georgia 119.200 

Florida 22,400 

Alabama 112,800 

Mississippi 97 200 

Louisiana 79, S'^^ 

Texas 618,000 

Arkansas 180,500 

Tennessee 329 700 

West Virginia 122,200 

Kentucky 386,900 

Ohio • • • 772,7iJo 

Michigan 333,800 

Indiana 688,800 

Illinois 1,100,000 

Wisconsin 384 400 

Minnesota 247,300 

Iowa 770,7°° 

Misiouri 627,300 

Kansas 265,000 

Nebraska 157,200 

California 173,000 

Oregon 109,700 

Nevada, Colorado, and Territories 250,000 

It will be seen from the above table that Missouri is the fifth state 
in the number of horses ; fifth in number of milch cows, and the lead- 
ing state in number of mules, having 11,700 more than Texas, which 
produces the next largest number. Of oxen and cattle Missouri pro- 
duced in 1879, 1,632,000, which was more than any other state pro- 
duced excepting Texas, which had 4,800,000. In 1879, Missouri raised 
2,817,600 hogs, which was more than any other state produced excepting 
Iowa. The number of sheep was 1,296,400. The number of hogs packed 
in 1879 t)y the different states is as follows : 



. . . 


. . . 


. . . 


. . . 


. . . 


. . . 



























1 10,900 










237 200 





61 200 





















423 600 


Ohio 932.878 

Indiana 622,321 

Illinois 3 214,896 

Iowa 569,763 


Missouri 965 839 

Wisconsin 472 108 

Kentucky 212,412 


Average weight per head for each state : 


Ohio 210.47 Missouri 213.32 

Indiana 193.80 Wisconsin 220 81 

Illinois .' 22571 Kentucky 210. 11 

Iowa 211.98 

From the above, it will be seen that Missouri annually packs more 
hogs than any other state, except Illinois, and that she ranks third in 
the average weight. 

We see no reason why Missouri should not be the foremost stock- 
raising state of the Union. In addition to the enormous yield of corn 
and oats upon which the stock is largely dependent, the climate is well 
adapted to their growth and health. Water is not only inexhaustible, 
but everywhere convenient. The ranges for stock are boundless, afford- 
ing for nine months of the year, excellent pasturage of nutritious wild 
grasses, which grow in great luxuriance upon her thousand prairies. 

Cotton is grown successfully in many counties of the southeastern 
portions of the state, especially in Stoddard, Scott, Pemiscott, Butler, 
New Madrid, Lawrence and Mississippi. 

Sweet potatoes are produced in abundance and are not only sure 
but profitable. 

Broom corn, sorghum, castor beans, white beans, peas and hops, 
thrive well, and all kinds of garden vegetables are produced in great 
abundance and are found in the markets during all seasons of the year. 
Fruits of every variety, including the apple, pear, peach, cherries, apricots 
and nectarines are cultivated with great success, as are also the straw- 
berry, gooseberry, currant, raspberry and blackberry. 

The grape has not been produced with that success that was at first 
anticipated, yet the yield of wine for the year 1879 was nearly half a 
million gallons. Grapes do well in Kansas, and we see no reason why 
they should not be as surely and profitably grown in a similar climate 
and soil in Missouri, and particularly in many of the counties north and 
east of the Missouri River. 


Twenty-nine years ago the neigh of the "iron horse" was heard for 
the first time within the broad domain of Missouri. His coming pres- 
aged the dawn of a brighter and grander era in the history of the state. 
Her fertile prairies and more prolific valleys would soon be of easy access 
to the oncoming tide of immigration, and the ores and minerals of her 
hills and mountains would be developed and utilized in her manufactur- 
ing and industrial enterprises. 

Additional facilities would be opened to the marts of trade and 
commerce; transportation from the interior of the state would be secured; 


a fresh impetus would be given to the growth of her towns and cities,, 
and new hopes and inspirations would be imparted to all her people. 

Since 1852, the initial period of railroad building in Missouri, between 
four and five thousand miles of track have been laid ; additional roads- 
are now being constructed and many others in contemplation. The 
state is already supplied with railroads which thread her surface in all 
directions, bringing her remotest districts into close connection with St. 
Louis, that great centre of western railroads and inland commerce. 
These roads have a capital stock aggregating more than one hundred 
millions of dollars, and a funded debt of about the same amount. 

The lines of railroads which are operated in the state are the fol- 
lowing : 

Missouri Pacific — chartered May loth, 1850 ; the St. Louis, Iron 
Mountain & Southern Railroad, which is a consolidation of the Arkansas 
Branch ; the Cairo, Arkansas & Texas Railroad ; the Cairo Sc Fulton ' 
Railroad; the St. Louis, Kansas City & Northern Railway; the St. 
Louis & San Francisco Railway ; the Chicago, Alton & St. Louis Rail- 
road ; the Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad ; the Missouri, Kansas & 
Texas Railroad ; the Illinois, Missouri & Texas Railroad ; the Kansas^ 
City, St. Joseph & Council Bluffs Railroad ; the Keokuk & Kansas City 
Railway Company ; the St. Louis, Salem & Little Rock Railroad Com- 
pany ; the Missouri & Western ; the St. Louis, Keokuk & Northwestern ; 
the St. Louis, Hannibal & Keokuk Railroad ; the Missouri, Iowa & 
Nebraska Railway ; the Quincy, Missouri & Pacific Railroad ; the Chi- 
cago, Rock Island & Pacific Railway ; the Burlington & Southwestern 
Railroad ; the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad and the St.. 
Joseph & Des Moines. 


The natural resources of Missouri especially fit her for a great man^ 
ufacturing state. She is rich in soil ; rich in all the elements which sup- 
ply the furnace, the machine shop and the planing mill ; rich in the mul- 
titude and variety of her gigantic forests ; rich in her marble, stone and 
granite quarries ; rich in her mines of iron, coal, lead and zinc ; rich in 
strong arms and willing hands to apply the force ; rich in water power 
and river navigation ; and rich in her numerous and well built railroads,, 
whose numberless engines thunder along their multiplied trackways. 

Missouri contains over fourteen thousand manufacturing establish- 
ments, 1,965 of which are using steam and give employment to 80,00a 
hands. The capital employed is about $100,000,000, the material annu- 
ally used and worked up amounts to over $150,000,000 and the value of 
the products put upon the markets $250,000,000, while the wages paid 
are more than $40,000,000. 


The leading manufacturing counties of the state are St. Louis, Jack- 
son, Buchanan, St. Charles, Marion, Franklin, Green, Lafayette, Platte, 
Cape Girardeau and Boone. Three-fourths, however, of the manufactur- 
ing is done in St. Louis, which is now about the second manufacturing 
city of the Union. Flouring mills produce annually about $38,194,000; 
carpentering, $18,763,000; meat-packing, $16,769,000; tobacco, $12,496,- 
000; iron and castings, $12,000,000; liquors, $11,245,000; clothing, 
10,022,000; lumber, $8,652,000; bagging and bags, $6,914,000, and many 
other smaller industries in proportion. 


Of the many public improvements whichdo honor to the state and 
reflect great credit upon the genius of their projectors, we have space 
■ only to mention the great bridge at St. Louis. 

This truly wonderful structure is built of tubular steel, the total 
length of which, with its approaches, is 6,277 feet, at a cost of nearly 
$8,000,000. The bridge spans the Mississippi from the Illinois to the 
Missouri shore, and has separate railroad tracks, roadways and foot 
paths. In durability, architectural beauty and practical utility, there is, 
perhaps, no similar piece of workmanship that opproximates it. 

The structure of Darius upon the Bosphorus ; of Xerxes upon the 
Hellespont ; of Caesar upon the Rhine ; and Trajan upon the Dainube, 
famous in ancient history, were built for military purposes, that over 
them might pass invading armies with their munitions of war, to destroy 
commerce, to lay in waste the provinces, and to slaughter the people. 

But the erection of this was for a higher and nobler purpose. Over 
it are coming the trade and merchandise of the opulent East, and thence 
are passing the untold riches of the West. Over it are crowding legions 
of men, armed not with the weapons of war, but the implements of 
peace and industry ; men who are skilled in all the arts of agriculture, 
of manufacture and of mining ; men who will hasten the day when St. 
Louis shall rank in population and importance second to no city on the 
continent, and when Missouri shall proudly fill the measure of greatness,, 
to which she is naturally so justly entitled. 





The first constitution of Missouri provided that " one school or more 
shall be established in each township, as soon as practicable and neces- 
sary, where the poor shall be taught gratis.'' 

It will be seen that even at that early day (1820), the framers of 
the constitution made provision for at least a primary education for the 
poorest and the humblest, taking it for granted that those who were 
able would avail themselves of educational advantages which were not 

The establishment of the public school system in its essential feat- 
ures was not perfected until 1839, during the administration of Governor 
Boggs, and since that period the system has slowly grown into favor, 
not only in Missouri, but throughout the United States. The idea of a 
free or public school for all classes was not at first a popular one, espe- 
cially among those who had. the means to patronize private institutions 
of learning. In upholding and maintaining public schools, the oppo- 
nents of the system felt that they were not only compromising their 
own standing among their more wealthy neighbors, but that they were 
to some extent bringing opprobrium upon their children. Entertaining 
such prejudices they naturally thought that the training received in pub- 
lic schools could not be otherwise than defective, hence many years of 
probation passed before the popular mind was prepared to appreciate 
the benefits and blessings which spring from these institutions. 

Every year only adds to their popularity, and commends them the 
more earnestly to the fostering care of our State and National Legisla- 
tures, and to the esteem and favor of all classes of our people. 

We can hardly conceive of two grander and more potent promoters 
of civilization than the free school and the free press. They would 
indeed seem to constitute all that was necessary to the attainment of 
the happiness and intellectual growth of the republic, and all that was 
necessary to broaden, to liberalize, and to instruct. 


" Tis education forms the common mind; 


For not>Ie youth there is nothing so meet 
As learning is, to know the good from ill ; 
To know the tongues, and perfectly indite, 
And of the laws to have a perfect skill, 
Things to reform as right and justice will, 
For honor is ordained for no cause 
But to see right maintained by the laws. 

All the states of the Union have in practical operation the public 
school system, governed in the main by similar laws, and riot differing 
materially in the manner and methods by which they are taught, but 
none have a wiser, a more liberal and comprehensive machinery of 
instruction than Missouri. Her school laws since 1839 have undergone 
many changes, and always for the better, keeping pace with the most 
enlightened and advanced theories of the most experienced educators 
of the land. But not until 1875, when the new constitution was adopted, 
did the present admirable systern of public instruction go into effect. 

Provisions were made not only for white, but for children of African 
descent, and are a part of the organic law, not subject to the caprices 
of unfriendly legislatures, or the whims of political parties. The Lincoln 
Institute, located at Jefferson City, for the education of colored teachers, 
receives an annual appropriation from the General Assembly. 

For the support of the public schools, in addition to the annual 
income derived from the public school fund, which is set apart by law, 
not less than twenty-five per cent, of the state revenue,' exclusive of the 
interest and sinking fund, is annually applied to this purpose. 

The officers having in charge the public school interests are the. 
State Board of Education, the State Superintendent, County Superin- 
tendent, County Clerk and Treasurer, Board of Directors, City and 
Town School Board and teacher. The State Board of Education is 
composed of the State Superintendent, the Governor, Secretary of State 
and the Attorney General, the executive officer of this board being the 
State Superintendent, who is chosen by the people every four years. His 
duties are numerous. He renders decisions concerning the local appli- 
cation of school law; keeps a record of all the school funds and annually 
distributes the same to the counties ; supervises the work of county 
school officers ; delivers lectures ; visits schools ; distributes educational 
information ; grants certificates of higher qualifications and makes an 
annual report to the General Assembly of the condition of the schools. 

The County Superintendents are also elected by the people for two 
years. Their work is to examine teachers, to distribute blanks and 
make reports. County clerks receive estimates from the local directors 
and extend them upon the tax-books." In addition to this they keep the 
general records of the county and township school funds, and return an 


annual report of the financial condition of the schools of their county to 
the State Superintendent. School taxes are gathered with other taxes 
by the county collector. The custodian of the school funds belonging to 
the schools of the counties is the county treasurer, except in counties 
adopting the township organization, in which case the township trustee 
discharges these duties. 

Districts organized under the special law for cities and towns are 
governed by a board of six directors, two of whom are selected annually 
on the second Saturday in September, and hold their office for three 

One director is elected to serve for three years in each school dis- 
trict at the annual meeting. These directors may levy a tax not exceed- 
ing forty per cent, on the one hundred dollars valuation, provided such 
annual rates for school purposes may be increased in districts formed of 
cities and towns, to an amount not to exceed one dollar on the hundred 
dollars valuation ; and in other districts to an amount not to exceed 
sixty-five cents on the one hundred dollars valuation, on the condition 
that a majority of the voters who are tax payers, voting at an election 
held to decide the question, vote for said increase. For the purpose of 
erecting public buildings in school districts, the rates of taxation thus 
limited, may be increased when the rate of such increase and the pur- 
pose for which it is intended shall have been submitted to a vote of the 
people, and two-thirds of the qualified voters of such school district vot- 
ing at such election shall vote therefor. 

Local directors may direct the management of the school in respect 
to the choice of teachers and other details, but in the discharge of all 
important business such as the erection of a school house or the exten- 
sion of a term of school beyond the constitutional peribd, they simply 
execute the will of the people. The clerk of this board may be a 
director. He keeps a record of the names of ail the children and youth 
in the district between the ages of five and twenty-one ; records all busi- 
ness proceedings of the district, and reports to the annual meeting, to 
the County Clerk and County Superintendents. 

Teachers must hold a certificate from the State Superintendent or 
County Commissioner of the county where they teach. State certificates 
are granted upon personal written examinations in the common branches, 
together with the natural sciences and higher mathematics. The holder 
of such certificate may teach in any of the public schools of the state 
without further examination. Certificates granted by County Commis- 
sioners are of two classes, with two grades in each class. Those issued 
for a longer term than one year belong to the first class, and are suscep- 
tible of two grades, differing both as to length of time and attainments. 
Those issued for ohe year may represent two grades, marked by qualifi- 
cation alone. The township school fund arises from a grant of land by 


the general government, consisting of section sixteen in each Congres- 
sional township. The annual income of the township, fund is appropri- 
ated to the various townships, according to their respective proprietary 
claims. The support from the permanent funds is supplemented by 
direct taxation laid upon the taxable property of each district. The 
greatest limit of taxation for the current expenses is one per cent.; the 
tax permitted for school house building cannot exceed the same amount. 

Among the institutions of learning, and ranking, perhaps, the first 
in importance, is the State University, located at Columbia, Boone 
County. When the state was admitted into the Union, Congress granted 
to it one entire township of land (46,080 acres) for the support of a 
" Seminary of Learning." The lands secured for this purpose are among 
the best and most valuable in the state. These lands were put upon, 
the market in 1832 and brought $75,000, which amount was invested in the 
.stock of the old Bank of the State of Missouri, where it remained and 
increased by accumulation to the sum of $100,000. In 1839, by an act 
•of the General Assembly, .five commissioners were appointed to select a 
site for the State University, the site to contain at least fifty acres of 
land in a compact form, within two miles of the county seat, of Cole, 
Cooper, Howard, Boone, Callaway or Saline. Bids were let among the 
counties named, and the county of Boone having subscribed the sum of 
$117,921, some $18,000 more than any other county, the State Univer- 
sity was located in that county, and on the 4th of July, 1840, the corner- 
stone was laid with imposing ceremonies. 

The present annual income of the university is nearly $65,000. 
There are still unsold about 200,000 acres of land from the grant of 
1862. The donations to the institutions connected therewith amount to 
nearly $400,000. This university, with its different departments, is 
•opened to both male and female, and both sexes enjoy alike its 
rights and privileges. Among the professional schools, which form a 
part of the university, are the Normal, or College of Instruction in 
Teaching ; the Agricultural and Mechanical College ; the School of 
Mines and Metallurgy ; the College of Law ; the Medical College, and 
Department of Analytical and Applied Chemistry. Other departments 
are contemplated and will be added as necessity requires. 

The following will show the names and locations of the schools and 
institutions of Ihe state as reported by the Commissioner of Education 
in J 875. 


Christian University Canton. 

:St. Vincent's College Cape Girardeau. 

University of Missouri Columbia. 

Central College.. Fayette, 


Westminster College Fulton. 

Lewis College . . . . Glasgow. 

Pritchett School Institute Glasgow.. 

Lincoln College. . ; Greenwood. 

Hannibal College Hannibal. 

Woodland College Independence.- 

Thayer College Kidder. 

LaGrartge College LaGrange. 

William Jewell College Liberty. 

Baptist College Louisiana.. 

St. Joseph College St. Josoph. 

College of Christian Brothers St. Louis. 

St. Louis University St. Louis. 

Washington University St. Louis. 

Drury College Springfield. 

Central Wesleyan College : . . . . Warrenton. 


St. Joseph Female Seminary St. Joseph.^ 

Christian College Columbia.' 

Stephens' College Columbia. 

Howard College .."... Fayette: 

Independence Female College Independence. 

Central Female College Lexington., 

Clay Seminary Liberty. 

Ingleside Female College Palmyra. 

Linden Wood College for Young Ladies St. Charles. 

Mary Institute (Washington University) St. Louis. 

St. Louis Seminary St. Louis.' 

Ursuline Academy St. Louis. 


Arcadia College Arcadia. 

St. Vincent's Academy Cape Girardeau. 

Chillicothe Academy Chillicothe, 

Grand River College Edinburgh. 

Marionville College Institute Marionville. 

Palmyra Seminary Palmyra. 

St. Paul's College Palmyra. 

Van Rensselaer Academy ... . Rensselaer. 

Shelby High School Shelbyville. 

Stewartsville Male and Female Seminary Stewartsville; 


Mo. Agricultural and Mechanical College (University of Mo.). Columbia. 

Schools of Mines and Metallurgy (Universy of Missouri) Rolla. 

Polytechnic Institute (Washington University) St. Louis. 



St. Vincent's College (Theological Department) Cape Girardeau. 

Westminster College (Theological School) • . Fulton. 

Vardeman School of Theology (William Jewell College) . ." Liberty. 

Concordia College St. Louis: 


Law School of the University of Missouri Columbia. 

Law School of the Washington University St. Louis. 


Medical College, University of Missouri Columbia 

College of Physicians and Surgeons , St. Joseph 

Kansas City College of Physicians and Surgeons Kansas City 

Hospital Medical College St. Joseph 

Missouri Medical College St. Louis 

Northwestern Medical College St. Joseph 

St. Louis Medical College St. Louis 

Homeopathic Medical College of Missouri St. Louis 

Mo. School of Midwifery and Diseases of Women and Children, St. Louis 

Missouri Central College St. Louis 

St. Louis College of Pharmacy St. Louis 



St. Vincent's College Cape Girardeau. . . . 5,500 

Southeast Missouri State Normal School Cape Girardeau. . 1,225 

University of Missouri Columbia lo.ood 

Athenian Society Columbia ......'. 1,200 

Union Literary Society Columbia 1,200 

Law College Columbia 1,000 

Westminster College Fulton 5,000 

Lewis College Glasgow 3,ooo 

Mercantile Library Hannibal 2,219 

Library Association Independence 1,100 

Fruitland Normal Institute Jackson 1,000 

State Library Jefferson City 1 3,000 

Fetterman's Circulating Library Kansas City 1,300 

Law Library. Kansas City. 3,ooo 

Whittemore's Circulating Library Kansas City 1,000 

North Missouri State Normal School Kirksville 1,050 

William Jewell College Liberty 4,000 

St. Paul's College Palmyra 2,000 

Missouri Schools of Mines and Metallurgy. . .Rolla 2,478 

St. Charles Catholic Library St. Charles 1,716 

Carl Fuelling's Library St. Joseph 6,000 

Law Library St. Joseph 2,000 

Public School Library ,, St. Joseph.. 2,500 


Woolworth & Colt's Circulating Library St. Joseph 4,000 

Academy of Science St. Louis 2,744 

Academy of Visitation St. Louis 4,000 

College of the Christian Brothers St. Louis 22,000 

Deutsche Institute St. Louis 1,000 

German Evang. Lutheran, Concordia College . . St. Louis 4,800 

Law Library Association - - ... St. Louis 8,000 

Missouri Medical College St. Louis 1,000 

Mrs. Cuthbert's Seminary (Young Ladies) .- . . St. Louis 1,500 

Odd Fellows Library St. Louis 4,000 

Public School Library St. Louis 40,097 

.St. Louis Medical College St. Louis 1,100 

St. Louis Mercantile Library St. Louis . . . , 45,000 

St. Louis Seminary St. Louis 2,000 

St. Louis Turn Verein St. Louis 2,000 

.St. Louis University St. Louis 17,000 

St. Louis University Libraries St Louis 8,000 

Ursuline Academy St. Louis 2,000 

Washington University St. Louis 4,5oo 

St. Louis Law School St. Louis 3,000 

Young Men's Sodality St. Louis 1,327 

Library Association : Sedalia i ,500 

Public School Library Sedalia 1,015 

Drury College Springfield 2,000 

IN 1880. 
Newspapers and periodicals 48 1 


State Asylum for Deaf and Dumb Fulton. 

St. Bridget's Institution for Deaf and Dumb St. Louis. 

Institution for the Education of the Blind St. Louis. 

State Asylum for Insane Fulton. 

State Asylum for the Imsame. , _ St. Joseph. 


Normal Institute ..:......:.; Bolivar. 

Southeast Missouri State Normal School Cape Girardeau. 

Normal School (University of Missouri)'. '.■ ...... .Columbia. 

Fruit'land Normal Institute. . . . ; Jackson. 

Lincoln Institute (for colored). . ... Jefferson City. 

City Normal School St. Louis. 

Missouri State Normal School Wai;rensburg. 

IN 1878. 

Estimated value of school property $1,321,399 

Total receipts for public schools. . 4,207,617 

Total expenditures.^ ^.,406, 139 



Male teachers, 6,239 > average monthly pay $36.36 

Female teachers, S,o6o; average monthly pay 2i.og 


The fact that Missouri supports and maintains four hundred and 
seventy-one newspapers and periodicals shows that her inhabitants are 
not only a reading and reflecting people, but that they appreciate " The 
Press," and its wonderful influence as an educator. The poet has well " 
said : 

But mightiest of the mighty means, 
On which the arm of progress leans, 
Man's noblest mission to advance. 
His woes assuage, his weal enhance, 
His rights enforce, his wrongs redrei^s — 
Mightiest of mighty is the Press. 



The first representatives of religious thought and training who pene- 
trated the Missouri and Mississippi Valleys were Pere Marquette, La Salle, 
and others of Catholic persuasion, who performed missionary labor among 
the Indians. A century afterward came the Protestants. At that early 

"A church in every grove that spread 
Its living root above their heads," 

constituted for a time, their only house of worship, and yet to them 

" No temple built with hands could vie 
In glory with its majesty." 

In the course of time the seeds of Protestantism were scattered along 
the shores of the two great rivers which form the eastern and western 
boundaries of the state, and still a little later they were sown upon her 
hillsides and broad prairies, where they have since bloomed and blos- 
somed as the rose. 




The earliest anti-Catholic religious denomination of which there is 
any record, was organized in Cape Girardeau County in 1806, through 
the efforts of Rev. David Green, a Baptist, and a native of Virginia. In 
1816 the first association' of Missouri Baptists was formed, which was 
composed of seven churches, all of which were located in the southeast- 
ern' part' of the state. Iir 1817 a second association of churches was 
formed,' called' the Missoxiri Association, the name being afterwards 
changed to'St. Eouis Associatio>n. 1834 a general convention of all the 
churches of this dfenomination' was held in Howard County, for the pur- 
pose of effecting a central organization, at which time was commenced 
what is now Known as the " General Association of Missouri Baptists." 

To this body is committed the state mission work, denominational 
education, foreign missions and the circulation of religious literature. 
The Baptist Church has under its control a number of schools and col- 
leges, the most important of which is William Jewell College, located at 
Liberty, Clay County. As shown by the annual report for 1875, there 
were in Missouri at that date, sixty-one associations, one thousand four 
hundred churches, eight hundred and twenty-four ministers and eighty- 
rrine -thousand six hundred and fifty church members. 


The Congregatfonalists inaugurated their missionary labors in the 
state in 1 8 14. Rev. Samuel J. Mills, of Torringford, Connecticut, and 
Rev. Daniel Smith, of Bennington, Vermont, were sent west by the Mas- 
sachusetts Congregational Home Missionary Society during that year, 
and in November, 18 14, they preached the first regular Protestant ser- 
mons in St. Louis. Rev. Salmon Giddings, sent out under the auspices 
of the Connecticut Congregational Missionary Society, organized the 
first Protestant church in the city, consisting often members, constituted 
Presbyterian. The churches organized by Mr. Giddings were all Presby- 
terian in their order. 

No exclusively Congregational church was founded until 1852, when 
the First Trinitarian Congregational Church of St. Louis was organized. 
The next church of this denomination was organized at Hannibal, in 
1S59. Then followed a Welsh church in New Cambria, in 1864, and 
after the close of the war fifteen churches of the same order were formed 
in- different parts of the state. In 1866 Pilgrim Church, St. Louis was 
organized. The General Conference of Churches of Missouri was formed 
in 1865; which was changed in 1868 to General Association. In 1866 
Hannibal, Kidder and St. Louis District Associations were formed, and 
following these were the Kansas City and Springfield District Associa- 


tions. This denomination in 1875 had 70 churches, 41 ministers, 3,363 
church members, and had also several schools and colleges and one 
-monthly newspaper. 


The earliest churches of this denomination were organized in Cal- 
laway, Boone and Howard Counties, some time previously to 1829. The 
first church was formed in St. Louis in 1836, by Elder R. B. Fife. The 
first state Sunday school convention of the Christian Church was held 
in Mexico, in 1876. Besides a number of private institutions this 
■denomination has three state institutions, all of which have an able corps 
of professors and have a good attendance of pupils. It has one religious 
paper published in St Louis, The Christian, which is a weekly publica- 
tion and well patronized. The membership of this church now numbers 
nearly one hundred thousand in the state and is increasing rapidly. It 
Ihas more tlian five hundred organized churches, the greater portion of 
nvliich are north of the Missouri River. 


In the spring of 1820 the first Presbytery of this denomination west 
of the Mississippi, was organized in Pike County. This Presbytery 
included all the territory of Missouri, Western Illinois and Arkansas, 
and numbered only four ministers, two of whom resided at the time in 
Missouri. There are now in the state twelve Presbyteries, three Synods, 
nearly three hundred ministers and over twenty thousand members. 
The Board of Missions is located at St. Louis. They have a number of 
High Schools and two monthly papers published at St. Louis. 


In i8c36, Rev. John Travis, a young Methodist minister, was sent out 
to the Western Conference, which then embraced the Mississippi Valley, 
from Green County, Tennessee. During that year Mr. Travis organized 
a number of small churches. At the close of his conference year he 
reported the result of his labors to the Western Conference, which was 
held at Chillicothe, Ohio, in 1807, and showed an aggregate of one hun- 
dred and six members and two circuits, one called Missouri and the 
other Meramec. In 1808 two circuits had been formed, and at each suc- 
ceeding year the number of circuits and members constantly increased, 
until 1812, when what was called the Western Conference was divided 
into the Ohio and Tennessee Conferences, Missouri falling into the Ten- 
nessee Conference. In 1816 there was another division when the Mis- 
souri Annual Conference was formed. In 18 10 there were four traveling 


preachers, and in 1820 fifteen traveling preachers, with over two thousand 
members. In 1836 the territory of the Missouri Conference was again 
divided when the Missouri Conference included only the state. In 1840 
there were seventy-two traveling preachers, 177 local ministers and 13,992 
church members. Between 1840 and 1850 the church was divided by the 
organization of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. In 1850 the 
membershiji of the M. E. Church was over 25,000, and during the succeed- 
ing ten years the church prospered rapidly. In 1875 the M. E. Church 
reported 274 church edifices and 34,156 members ; the M. E. Church 
South reported 443 church edifices and 49,588 members. This denom- 
ination has under its control several schools and colleges and two weekly 


The Presbyterian church dates the beginning of their missionary 
efforts in the state as far back as 18 14, but the first Presbyterian Church 
was not organized until 18 16, at Bellevue settlement, eight miles from 
St. Louis. The next churches were formed in 1816 and 1817, at Bon- 
homme. Pike County. The first Presbyterian Church was organized in 
St. Louis in 18 17, by Rev. Salmon Gidding. The first Presbytery was 
organized 1817, by the Synod of Tennessee, with four ministers and four 
churches. The first Presbyterian house of worship (which was the first 
Protestant) was commenced in 1819 and completed in 1826. In 1820 a 
mission was formed among the Osage Indians. In 183 1, the Presbytery 
was divided into three : Missouri, St. Louis and St. Charles. These 
were erected with a synod, comprising eighteen ministers and twenty- 
three churches. 

The church was divided in 1838, throughout the United States. In 
i860 the rolls of the Old and New School Synods together showed 109 
ministers and 146 churches. In 1866 the Old School Synod was divided 
on political questions springing out of the war — a part forming the Old 
School or Independent Synod of Missouri, who are connected with the 
General Assembly South. In 1870 the Old and New School Presbyterians 
united, since which time this Synod has steadily increased until it now 
numbers more than 12,000 members, with more than 220 churches and 
150 ministers. 

This Synod is composed of six Presbyteries and has under its con- 
trol one or two institutions of learning and one or two newspapers. 
That part of the original Synod which withdrew from the General 
Assembly remained an independent body until 1874, when it united with 
the Southern Presbyterian Church. The Synod in 1875 numbered 80 
ministers, 140 churches and 9,000 members. It has under its control 
several male and female institutions of a high order. The St. Louis 
Presbyterian, weekly paper, is the recognized organ of the Synod. 



The missionary enterprises of this church began in the state in 
1818, when a parish was organized in the city of St. Louis. In 1828 an 
agent of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society visited the city, 
who reported the condition of things so favorably that Rev. Thomas 
Horrell was sent out as a missionary, and in 1825 he began his labors in 
St. Louis. A church edifice was completed in 1830. In 1836 there were 
five clergymen of this denomination in Missouri, who had organized 
congregations in Booneville, Fayette, St. Charles, Hannibal and other 
places. In 1840, the clergy and laity met in convention, a diocese was 
formed, a constitution and canons adopted, and in 1844 a Bishop was 
chosen, he being the Rev. Cicero S. Hawks. 

Through the efforts of Bishop Kemper, Kemper College was founded 
near St. Louis, but was afterward given up on account of pecuniary 
troubles. In 1847, the Clark Mission began and in 1849 the Orphans 
Home, a charitable institution was founded. In 1865, St. Luke's Hospital 
was established. In 1875, there were in the city of St. Louis, twelve 
parishes and missions and twelve clergymen. This denomination has 
several schools and colleges and one newspaper. 


This denomination is made up of the members of the Associate and 
Associate Reformed churches of the Northern states, which two bodies 
united in 1858, taking the name of United Presbyterian Church of North 
America. Its members were generally bitterly opposed to the institu- 
tion of slavery. The first congregation was organized at Warrensburg, 
Johnson County, in 1867. It rapidly increased in numbers and had, in 
1875, ten ministers and five hundred members. 


This church was formed in 1834, by Rev. W. G. Eliot, in St. Louis. 
The churches are i&vi in number throughout the state, the membership 
being probably less than 30x3, all told. It has a mission house and freie 
school, for poor children, supported by donations. 


The earliest written record of the Catholic Church in Missouri 
shows that Father Watrin performed ministerial services in Ste. Gene- 
vieve in 1760, and in St. Louis in 1766. In 1770 Father Meurin erected 
.a small log church in St. Louis. In i8i8 there were in the state four 
tchapels, and for Upper Louisiana, seven priests. A college and semin- 


ary were opened in Perry County about this period for the education of 
the young, being the first college west of the Mississippi river. In 1824 
a college was opened in St. Louis, which is now known as the St. Louis 
University. In 1826, Father Rosatti was appointed Bishop of St. Louis, 
and, through his instrumentality, the Sisters of Charity, Sisters of St. 
Joseph and of the Visitation were founded, besides other benevolent 
and charitable institutions. In 1834 he completed the present Cathedral 
Church. Churches were built in different portions of the state. In 1847 
St. Louis was created an arch-diocese, with Bishop Kenrick, Arch- 

In Kansas City there are five parish churches,, a hospital, a convent 
and several parish schools. In 1868 the northwestern portion of the 
state was erected into a separate diocese, with its seat at St. Joseph, and 
Right-Reverend John J. Hogan appointed Bishop. There were, in 1875, 
in the city of St. Louis, 34 churches, 27 schools, 5 hospitals, 3 colleges, 
7 orphan asylums and 3 female protectorates. There were also 105 
priests, 7 male and 13 female orders, and 20 conferences of St Vincent 
de Paul, numbering 1,100 members. In the diocese, outside of St. Louis, 
there is a college, a male protectorate, 9 convents, about 120 priests, 150 
churches and 30 stations. In the diocese of St. Joseph there were, in 
1875,21 priests, 29 churches, 24 stations, i college, i monastery, 5 con- 
vents and 14 parish schools. 


Instruction preparatory to ministerial work is given ia connection! 
with collegiate study, or in special theological courses, at : 

Central College, (M. E. South) Fayette 

Central Wesleyan College (M. E. Church) Warrenton 

Christian University (Christian) Canton 

Concordia College Seminary (Evangelical Lutheran) St. Louis 

Lewis College (M. E. Church) Glasgow 

St. Vincent's College (Roman Catholic) Cape Girardeau 

Vardeman School of Theology (Baptist) Liberty 

The last is connected with William Jewell College 

History of Buchanan County 




Over two score years have passed since the first white settlement 
was made within the bounds of that territory now known as Buchanan 
County, Missouri. 

A little more than half a century since, the uncivilized aborigines 
roamed the prairies wild and free, unfettered by the restraint of com- 
mon or statutory law, and uncircumscribed by township boundaries and 
county lines. The transformation which has taken place in the physiog- 
nomy of the country alone is beyond the comprehension of the finite 
mind ; luxuriant groves where there was the wide stretching prairie ; 
cultivated fields where was the primeval forest ; orchards, vineyards and 
gardens where waved the tall prairie grass. So marked has been the 
change in the physiognomy of the country that there has been a decided ' 
change in the climatology. The elements themselves seem to have 
taken notice of the great change and have governed themselves accord- 
ingly. While the annual rainfall and the mean annual temperature 
remain the same in quantity, they are now entirely different in quality, 
and although imperceptible and independent of man's will, they have 
nevertheless come under the same civilizing power which has changed 
the wilderness into a fruitful land. 

• The great change which has taken place in the development of the 
material resources of the country is more noticeable, as man can more 
readily discern the changes which take place by detail in his own cLr- 


cumscribed field of activity than he can those grand revolutions in the 
boundless domain of nature. The changes which have occurred in 
social, intellectual and moral conditions are still more marked, mind 
being more swift to act on mind than on matter. 

These changes can best be estimated by the institution of a brief 
contrast : 

Then the material resources of the country consisted simply in the 
streams of water which quenched the thirst of the aborigine, wherein 
was found the fish which he ate, and upon which floated his frail canoe ; 
the forest where he procured his fuel, material for the construction of his 
rude weapons, and which sheltered the game which afforded him a 
meagre and uncertain sustenance. Such were the material resources 
made available to the owner of the soil. The social condition of the 
people was scarcely more advanced than is that of certain orders of the 
lower animals, whose social attainments are comprehended in the ability 
to unite for mutual offense or defense. In intellect and morals, there 
was a people somewhat above the brute, but on the lowest round of 
the ladder. 

Now the material resources of the country include in their number 
the soil, with every useful and ornamental product known to the temper- 
ate zone ; the forest with every species of manufacture, useful and orna- 
mental, known to the civilized world. The water in the streams, and 
the currents of air above us, are alike trained to do man's bidding, while 
from the depths of the earth beneath our feet is brought forth the hidden 
wealth, which was hoarded by the turmoil of ages. A city with its tens 
of thousands of people, a country with its thousands of inhabitants, 
while in city and country the lofty spires of churches and school houses 
are evidences of the social, moral and intellectual conditions. 

All this change in material things has been brought about by the 
incoming of a new people from the far off East and South, and that, too, 
within the space of half a century. History furnishes no parallel to 
the rapid development of this western country ; it has been a chain 
whose links were ever recurring surprises, and among the astonshed, there 
are none more so, than those whose thro"bbing brains have planned, and 
whose busy hands have executed the work. 

Almost a century ago, a friend of America, although an Englishman, 
in language almost prophetic, wrote : 

" Westward the course of empire takes its way, 
The four first acts already past, 
The fifth shall close the drama of the day; 
Time's noblest offering is the last." 

The settlement of the new world, alluded to by the. writer, has, as a* 
whole, fully mejt the conditions of that prophecy, but not till the past 
half a century, did the onward march of empire culminate in the settle- 


■ment of Northwest Missouri. With the exception of a few mining towns 
in the gold regions of California and the silver districts of Colorado, 
nothing has been like it before, and it will not be exceeded in time to 

This has not been an accident. All kinds of material development 
follow recognized and well-established laws, and in nothing does this 
fact more reveal itself than in the settlement of a country. 

Whoever has made it his business to study the " Great Northwest,'.' 
as it has unfolded itself in history during the last quarter of a century, 
has doubtless met with ever returning wonders. The story of its 
unparalleled growth, and' almost phenomenal development, has so often 
been repeated that it has become a common place platitude ; but a careful 
study of the country will suggest questions, which have thus far not been 
answered, and cannot be. Why, for instance, have some sections filled 
iup so rapidly, and certain cities spring up as if by magic, while others 
seemingly no less favored by nature, are still in the first stages of devel- 
opment ? These question cannot in all cases be answered ; but whoever 
ihas studied the matter carefully cannot fail to have discovered a law of 
growth, which is as unvarying as any law of nature. 

The two leading factors in the problem of municipal growth are 
location and character of first settlers. The location of Buchanan 
County was most favorable, and what is true of Buchanan County is true 
of the whole state. Almost surrounded, as it is, by two of the most 
renowned water-courses of the world, one will readily see that it pos- 
sessed advantages enjoyed by no other state in the Union. These con- 
ditions, so favorable to the past and future development of the country, 
are beautifully illustrated by an ingenious little poem entitled "Two 
Ancient Misses," written by a gentleman who has won a widespread 
reputation at the bar. We here quote it, as it well illustrates our point, 
and is of sufficient merit to be preserved : 


I know two ancient misses 

Who ever onward go, 
From a cold and rigid northern clime, 
Through a land of wheat, and corn and wine, 
To the southern sea where the fig and the lime 

And the golden orange? grow. 

In graceful curves they wind about, 
Upon their long and lonely route, 

Among the beauteous-hills; 
They never cease their onward step, 
Though day and night they're dripping wet, 
And oft with the sleet and snow beset, 

And sometimes with the chills. 


The one is a romping, dark brunette, 
As fickle and gay as any coquette ; 
She glides along by the western plains, 
And changes her bed every time it rains ; 
Witching as any dark-eyed houri. 
This romping, wild brunette, Missouri. 

The other is placid, mild and fair, 
With a gentle, sylph-like, quiet air, 
And a voice as sweet as a soft guitar ; 
She moves along the meadows and parks 
Where naiads play ./Eolian harps — 
Nor ever go by fits and starts — 
No fickle coquette of the city, 
But gentle, constant Mississippi. 

I love the wild and dark brunette 

Because she is a gay coquette ; 

Her, too, I love, of quiet air. 

Because she's gentle, true and fair; 

The land of my birth, on the east and the west, 

Embraced by these is doubly blest — 

'Tis hard to tell which I love best. 

In entering upon the work before us, we have not underestimated 
the difificulty and importance of the task. The chief difficulty lies in 
the fact that the events to be treated, while they have to do' with the 
past, are so intimately interwoven with the present that they are 
properly a part of it. The writer of history, as a general thing, deals, 
wholly with the affairs of past generations, and his aim is to pause when 
he arrives at that realm bounded by the memory of men now livings 
The whole field of our investigation lies this side of that boundary line,, 
as there are many who) will doubtless peruse this work who' from the . 
first have witnessed and taken part in the events we shall attempt to 

While there are a few who came to Buchanan County as early as 1836,. 
its permanent settlement did not properly begin until 1837-8. Assum- 
ing 1837, to be the beginning of the history proper, there have 
elapsed but forty-four years, and many who came at that time, or shortly 
afterward, still live in our midst. And such, while they have grown 
prematurely old in body by reason of the hardships and privations inci- 
dent upon a life of more than ordinary activity and trial have not grown 
old in spirit. Each one of siich knows the history of the county, and be it 
said, with due reverence for their hoary heads and bended forms, each 
one knows the history better than anyone else. Such readers are very 
uncharitable critics ; and a work of this kind, absolutely accurate in all 
its details and particulars, were it within the scope of human possibility 
to make such a work, would undoubtedly be pronounced by many well- 
meaning and honest person.?, faulty and untrustworthy.. This results. 


from the fact that forty-three years, though act. a long period In the his- 
tory of the world, is a long time m the life of an individual. Events. 
occurring at that length of time in the past, we think we know perfectly 
well, when the fact is we kn»w them very imperfectly. This is proved 
and illustrated by the reluctancy and hesitation manifested invariably by 
old settlers, when called upon, to give the details of some early transac- 
tion ; the old settler usually hesiiates before giving a date, and after- 
having finally settled down upon the year and the month, when a certain 
event occurred, will probably hunt you. up^ in less than a day, and 
request the privilege of correcting the date. In the meantime, you have 
found another old settler, who was aru eye witness of the act in question,, 
and the date he will give you does not correspond with the first date,, 
nor the corrected date as given by the fixst old settler. There are some 
marked exceptions, but as a rule the memory of the old settler is not 
trustworthy ; his ideas of the geaeral outlines are usually comparatively 
correct, but no one who has the grace to put the proper estimate upon 
his mental faculties when impaired by age and weakened by the many- 
infirmities of years will trust it to the arbitrament of questions of parti- 
culars and details. 

The stranger who comes into the county with none of the informa- 
tion which those possess who have resided here for years, works at a great 
disadvantage in many respects. He does not at first know whom to- 
interview, or where to find the custodians of important records. How- 
ever, he • possesses one great advantage which more than makes up for 
this : he enters upon his work with an unbiased mind ; he has no friends, 
to reward, and no enemies to punish ; his mind is not preoccupied and 
prejudged by reports which may have incidentally come into his posses- 
sion while transacting the ordinary affairs of business ; and when in addi-- 
tion to this, he is a person whose business it is to collect statements and 
weigh facts of history, he is much better qualified for the task, and to dis- 
criminate between statements, seemingly of equal weight, than those- 
who either immediately o.r remotely are interested parties and whose 
regular employment lies in other fields of industry. This is true, even 
though the former be a total stranger and the latter have become familiar 
with men and things by many years of intercourse and acquaintanceship. 
He is best judge and best juror who is totally unacquainted with both 
plaintiff and defendant, and he is best qualified to arbitrate between con- 
flicting facts of history who. comes to the task without, that bias which is. 
the price one must pay for acquaintanceship and familiarity. The best, 
history of France was written by an Englishman, and the most authentic 
account of American institutions was written by a Frenchman, and it. 
remained for an American to write the. only authentic history of the. 
Dutch Republic. 


The American people are much given to reading, but the character 
of the matter read is such, that, with regard to a large proportion of them, 
it may truthfully be said that "truth is stranger than fiction." Espe- 
cially is this the case in respect to those facts of local history belonging 
to their own immediate county and neighborhood. This is, perhaps, not 
so much the fault of the people as a neglect on the part of the book pub- 
lishers. Books, as a rule, are made to sell, and in order that a book may 
have a large sale its matter must be of such a general character as to be 
applicable to general rather than special conditions — to the nation and 
state rather than to county and township. Thus it is that no histories 
heretofore published pertain to matters relating to county and neighbor- 
hood affairs, for such books, in order to have a sale over a large section 
of country, must necessarily be very voluminous and contain much matter 
of no interest to the reader. After having given a synopsis of the history 
of the state, which is as brief as could well be, we shall then enter upon 
the history of the county. The physical features of the county and its geol- 
ogy, will first engage our attention ; then the Platte Purchase and treaty 
with the lowas. Sacs and Fox Indians ; then the act under which the 
counties of Platte and Buchanan were organized ; the location of first 
county seat ; then we shall gLve something of the history of the Platte 
country, and the incidents which led to its annexation to the state ; 
then speak of the first settlers, treating of them as accurately, definitely 
and fully as warranted by the facts at our disposal, giving the date 
when each one came to the county, from what state . or country, and 
where now located, if still living. Pioneer times will then be described, . 
and incidents related showing the trials and triumphs of the pioneer 
settler. Then county organization, courts and first records, removal of 
county seat, the early bench and bar, Mexican war, Oregon expedition, 
California emigrants, old settlers' reunions, etc. A history of St. Joseph 
from date of earliest settlement, its growth and prosperity, manufac- 
tures, newspapers, schools, churches, railroads, public buildings, enter- 
prises, citizens, etc. We shall give a biographical directory, the value 
of which will increase with years, and conclude with a chapter of facts 
and miscellaneous matter. 

The compiler of a history of a county has a task which may seem to 
be comparatively easy, and the facts which come within the legiti- 
mate scope of the work may appear commonplace when compared with 
national' events ; the narration of the peaceful events attending the con- 
quests of industry as 

'■ Westward the course of empire takes its way " 

may seem tame when compared with accounts of battles and sieges. 
Nevertheless, the faithful gathering, and the truthful narration of facts 
bearing upon the early settlement of this county, and the dangers, hard- 


ships and privations encountered by the early pioneers, engaged in 
advancing the standards of civilization is a work of no small magnitude^ 
and the facts thus narrated are such as may challenge the admiration 
and arouse the sympathy of the reader, though they have nothing to do 
with the feats of arms. 


It has been intimated by one that there is nothing in a name, but a 
name sometimes means a great deal. In this case it indicates, in a 
measure, the character of the people who settled the county, and have 
given to it its distinctive characteristics. Names are sometimes given 
to towns and countries by accident ; sometimes they originate in the 
childish caprice of some one individual, whose dictate, by reason of 
some real or imaginary superiority, is law. However, in this instance 
the county and its chief city did not receive a name by accident ; neither 
did they originate in the vagaries of one man, but the christening took 
place after mature deliberation and by general consent. 

During the period when the "Platte Purchase" was made, and divided 
into counties, the man after whom the county was named, had, at that 
time, not only distinguished himself in the council chambers of the 
nation, as one of the leaders of the two great parties which were then 
struggling for the mastery, but had won a more extensive and enduring^ 
fame in a foreign field. 

The Russian government had, theretofore, refused all intercourse of 
a commercial character with the United States. The effort had been 
repeatedly made on the part of our government, through its foreign min- 
isters, but all attempts had been futile, until James Buchanan was. 
appointed Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to St.. 

By his adroitness and talents, the commercial intercourse and 
friendly relations between the two nations were successfully and perma- 
nently established. His services in that behalf were so signally merito- 
rious that he grew in favor and popularity with his countrymen, until in 
1856, he was elected President of the United States, by one of the largest 
popular majorities ever received by any man for that place. At the 
time, therefore, of Mr. Buchanan's rising fame, when his name was being 
mentioned with admiration by all, the small area of territory now known 
as Buchanan County was then christened. Whether or not the policy of 
naming counties after illustrious politicians and famous generals be a 
good one, it has, nevertheless, been followed to a greater or less extent 
in the various states throughout the Union, and in none more so than in 
Missouri, as is illustrated by the following named counties : Atchison, 
Barton, Bates, Benton, Clay, Clark, Clinton, Dallas, Lewis, Pike, Polk, 


Taney, Randolph, Washington, Webster and many others, but in no 
case was the selection of a nanie more appropriate than that of Buchanan 

A brief sketch of the man whose name the county bears, will be in 
place here : 

He was born in Franklin County, Pennsylvania, April 13, 1791. His 
father was an Irishman, who had eight years before emigrated from 
Donegal, and was a farmer. James Buchanan completed his education 
at Dickinson College, Carlisle, graduating in 1809. Studied law and 
was admitted to the bar in 18 12, and located at Lancaster, Pennsylvania. 
In 1812 he joined a party of volunteers who, under command of Judge 
Shippen, marched to the defense of Baltimore, against the British. In 
1 8 14 he was elected to the State Legislature, and was re-elected the fol- 
lowing year, and in 1820 became a Member of Congress. While in Con- 
gress he uttered grave warnings against alliances with Mexico and the 
South American Republics. In 1828 he supported General Jackson for 
President, and was at the same time re-elected to Congress. During 
the following year he succeeded Daniel Webster as the head of the 
Judiciary Committee, and in that capacity he conducted the trial and 
impeachment of Judge Peck, He retired from Congress in 1831, and in 
1832 was appointed Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary 
to St. Petersburg. His mission was marked by the treaty of commerce 
between the United States and Russia. Returning home, he was elected 
to the United States Senate, and retained his seat till 1845. In the 
struggle between Calhoun and Jackson, he strongly defended Jackson. 
He advocated the independence of Texas, and also her annexation. He 
supported the establishment of an independent treasury. In 1845 was 
Secretary of State under President Polk, and during President Pierce's 
administration was Minister at Great Britain. He was the originator of 
the Ostend Conference, and one of its three members. In that confer- 
ence he advocated the seizure of Cuba. 

Was elected President of the United States in 1856, and thereafter 
led a retired life, until his death, which occurred in 1868. 

Thus much have we deemed proper to be said with regard to the 
person for whom the county was named. So much every boy or girl, 
whose home is within the bounds of the county, should know, and less 
than that certainly would be unsatisfactory to one, whose mind has ever 
been led to the investigation of the county's history. 




Buchanan County Is situated near the northwestern portion of the 
■state. Its latitude is 39° 47' north, and longitude 94° 55' west. It is 
Tiear the same parallel of Philadelphia, Columbus, Indianapolis, Spring- 
iield, Denver and San Francisco. It is about the same meridian as Lake 
Itasca and Galveston. 

It is bounded on the north by Andrew County, east by DeKalb and 
Clinton, south by Platte, and west by the Missouri River, and contains 
272,329 acres, or about four hundred- square miles. Missouri is divided 
into one hundred and fourteen counties, Buchanan being the smallest 
in area, excepting Clark, Clay, Clinton, Cole, DeKalb, Dunklin, Grundy, 
Hickory, Mississippi, Moniteau, New Madrid, Platte, Schuyler, Scott, 
Warren and Worth. Texas is the largest county, containing 700,000 
acres, and Dunklin is the smallest, having an area of 1 10,799 acres. 

Buchanan County is at an altitude of about one thousand feet above 
the level of the sea, and Is about four hundred feet above Chicago and 
nearly six hundred feet above St. Louis. The highest point in the county 
is Reservoir Hill 310 feet, two apd a half miles north of St. Joseph. 

The county is divided Into twelve civil townships, three full con- 
gressional townships, and nine fractional congressional townships. The 
•civil townships are as follows: Platte, Jackson, Crawford, Bloomington, 
Rush, Wayne, Center, Agency, Tremont, Marion, Washington and Lake, 
Lake being the smallest. 


The land in the county, away from the streams, is generally an 
■undulating prairie, and has altogether a diversity of country seldom 
found in so small a space. At a varying distance from the larger 
streams rise irregular lines of bluffs, 'or hills, sometimes wooded, and 
sometimes, previous to improvement, covered with a luxuriant growth 
of prairie grass, having between them water bottom lands of surprising 
beauty and unsurpassed fertility, ' These hills are generally a gentle 


slope, easily ascended and descended by wagons, and sinking into mere 
benches, moderately lifted above the surface of the valley ; again, some- 
times they rise to a height of over two hundred feet above the bed of 
the Missouri River. From side to side, between these hills, the streams 
meander with banks varied by hill, meadow, and forest. Rising to the 
higher points the eye often commands views of exquisite loveliness, 
embracing the silvery course of river or creek, the waving foliage of 
trees, the changing outlines of hills and the undulating surface of flower- 
decked prairie, with cultivated farms, with farm houses from the log hut 
of the first settler to the brick or painted houses and barns of the more 
advanced cultivator of the soil, and the palatial mansions of the wealthy 

The county has less land unfitted for cultivation by reason of 
sloughs and marshes than any of the neighboring counties. There is 
probably not a section of country of like extent in the state which pos- 
sesses a better distributed drainage system than Buchanan Count}^ 
There is proportionately such a small area of waste and swamp lands,, 
and the facilities for drainage are so admirable, that waste lands arising 
from this cause are too insignificant to be worthy of particular mention. 

The country presented to the first settler an easy task in subduing 
the wild land. Its natural prairies were fields almost ready for the 
planting of the crop, and its rich black soil seemed to be awaiting the 
opportunity of paying rewards as a tribute to the labor of the hus- 
bandman. The farms of Buchanan County are generally large, level, 
unbroken by impassable sloughs, without stumps or other obstructions, 
and furnish the best of conditions favorable to the use of reaping 
machines, mowers, corn planters, and other kinds of labor-saving 

The Missouri River bottoms are bounded by an irregular line of 
bluffs, varying in altitude from one to three hundred feet in height. 
North of St. Joseph they reach an elevation of one hundred and forty- 
five feet, and southward some of these attain an elevation of from two to- 
three hundred feet above the level of the river. 


Buchanan County is so well supplied with living streams of water,, 
and they are so well distributed over the county, that the people of the 
county could not possibly make an improvement upon the arrangement 
if they were allowed the privilege and endowed with the power to make 
a readjustment of the system of rivers and creeks. Some of these streams, 
have fine mill-sites, and by reason of the water power thus made so 
accessible, the early settler was spared many of the hardships and incon- 
veniences experienced by the pioneers of other sections. 


The Missouri River is the largest stream, and forms the western 
boundary of the county, Wide, level bottoms border the Missouri, a 
great portion of which are still covered with native forests. 

The Blacksnake, Contrary, Lost, and other small streams flow west, 
into the Missouri. The Platte River runs from north to south, nearly 
through the central portion of the county, and receives the One Hun- 
dred and Two River, Bee Creek, and other small streams on the west, 
and the Third Fork of Platte, Castile and Maiden Creeks on the east. 
These streams are clear, and of course never-failing. Springs are abun- 
dant and good, and pure water can be obtained in any part of the county. 


Besides the many rivers, creeks and springs which supply the best 
■of living water for both man and beast, convenient to almost every 
•quarter-section of land in the county, there are a number of beautiful 
lakes in the townships bordering on the Missouri River. The principal 
of these is Contrary Lake, five miles southwest of St. Joseph. It is semi- 
circular in shape, six miles in length, half a mile in width, and abounding 
in perch, black bass and other kinds of excellent fish. It is a great place 
of resort for the anglers and sportsmen of St. Joseph and surrounding 
country. Upon the shore of this lake have been erected two or three 
hotels for the accommodation of those who frequent it during the sport- 
ing seasons of the year. These hotels are pleasantly located, and are 
supplied with all the comforts and conveniences usually found at such 

Sugar Lake contains also an abundance of fish. Horseshoe, Muskrat, 
Lost, Singleton, Prairie and Marks' Lakes are all in the county near the 
Missouri. These lakes are prized not only on account of the fish with 
which they teem, but also because of the geese and ducks which gather 
there by tens of thousands during the fall. The fish from these lakes 
supply the St. Joseph market. 


"Majestic woods of ev'ry vigorous green, 
Stage above stage high waving o'er the hilli, 
Or to the far horizon wide diffused, 
A boundless deep immensity of shade." 

The circumstance which more than any other favored the early and 
rapid settlement of Buchanan County was the abundance of timber. 
The presence of timber aided materially in bringing about an early set- 
tlement and it aided in two ways : first, the county had to depend on 
immigration from the older settled states of the Union for its popula- 
tion, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee. These states 


were originally almost entirely covered with dense forests, and farms 
were made by clearing off certain portions of the tinnber. Almost every 
farm there, after it became thoroughly improved, still retained a certain 
tract of timber, commonly known as " the woods." The woods is gen- 
erally regarded as the most important part of the farm, and the average 
farmer regarded it as indis{)ensable when he imimigrated West. 

The great objection to the country was the scarcity of timber as 
compared to the Eastern States, and he did not suppose that it would 
be possible to open up a farm on the bleak prairie. To live in a region 
devoid of the familiar sight of timber seemed unendurable, and the aver- 
age Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky emigrant could not endure the idea of 
founding a home far away from the familiar sight of forest trees. Then 
again the idea entertained by the early emigrants that timber was a 
necessity, was not simply theoretical and ethical. The early settler had 
to have a house to live in, fuel for cooking and heating purposes, and 
fences to enclose his claim. At that time there were no railroads 
whereby lumber could be transported from the pineries ; no coal mines 
had yet been opened or discovered. Timber was an absolutie necessity,, 
without which personal existence as well as material improvement was 
an impossibility. No wonder that a gentleman from the East, who in 
early times came to the prairie region of Missouri on a prospecting 
tour with a view of permanent location, returned home in disgi^t and 
embodied his views of the country in the following rhyme : 

" Ob, lonesome, windy, grassy place. 

Where bufialo and snakes prevail ; 
The first with dreadful looking face, 

The last with dreadful sounding tail ! 
I'd rather live on camel hump, 

And be a Yankee Doodle beggar, 
Than where I never see a stump. 

And shake to death with fever 'n 'ager." 

As before remarked, there are two reasons why the first settlers- 
refused to locate at a distance from the timber, and why the timbered 
regions bordering upon the rivers became densely populated while the 
more fertile and more easily cultivated prairies remained for many years 
unclaimed. The pioneers were in the main the descendants of those 
hardy backwoodsmen who conquered the dense forests of the South and 
East. When farms were opened up in those countries a large belt of 
timber was invariably reserved from which the farmer could draw his 
supply of logs for lumber and fence rails, and fuel for heating and cook- 
ing purposes. Even at the present day a farm without its patch of 
timber is exceedingly rare in those countries. Having from their youth 
up been accustomed to timber, the emigranj: from these timbered regions 
. of the East would have ever felt lonesome and solitary deprived of the 


familiar sight of the tall forest trees and shut off from the familiar sound 
of the wind passing through the branches of the venerable oaks. Then 
again, timber was an actual necessity to the early settler. In this day 
of railroads, herd laws, cheap lumber and cheap fuel, it is easy enough 
to open a farm and build up a comfortable home away out on the prairie, 
far from the sight of timber. But not so under the circumstances sur- 
rounding the first settlers. There was no way of shipping lumber from 
the markets of the East, coal mines were unknown, and before a parcel 
of land could be cultivated it was necessary to fence it. In order to 
settle the prairie countries it was necessary to have railroads, and in 
order to have railroads it was necessary that at least a portion of the 
country should be settled. Hence the most important resource in the 
development of this western country was the belts of timber which 
skirted the streams ; and the settlers who first hewed %)ut homes in the 
timber, while at present not the most enterprising and progressive, were 
nevertheless an essential factor in the solution of the problem. 

Much of this primeval forest has been removed ; part of it was eco- 
nomically manufactured into lumber, which entered into the construction 
of the early dwelling houses, many of which still remain ; much of it was 
ruthlessly and reckless-ly destroyed. From the fact that attention was 
early given to the culture of artificial groves,- Buchanan County now has 
probably about as much timber as formerly, and the state much more. 

Among the most abundant of all trees originally found was the black 
walnut, so highly prized in all countries for manufacturing purposes. 
Timber of this kind was very plentiful and of good quality originally, but 
the high prices paid for this kind of timber presented itself as a tempta- 
tion to destroy it, which the people, frequently in straightened circum- 
stances, could not resist. Red, white and black oak are still very 
plentiful, although they have for many years been extensively used as 
fuel. Crab apple, elm, maple, ash, Cottonwood and wild cherry are also 
found. Some of the best timber in the state is to be found in this county. 

A line of timber follows the course of all the streams. Detached 
groves, both natural and artificial, are found at many places throughout 
the county, which are not only ornamental, in that they vary the monot- 
ony of the prairie, but likewise very useful; in that they have a very 
important bearing on the climate. It is a fact fully demonstrated by the 
best of authority that climate varies with the surface of a country. 


The climate is what is generally termed a healthful one, subject, how- 
ever, to the sudden change ^om heat to cold. The winters, however, 
are as a general thing uniform, although there seems to have been some 


modifications in the climate du|ing the past few years, resulting, doubt- 
less, from the changes which have taken place in the physiognomy of the 

The average yearly rainfall and melted snow, for twenty-five years,, 
has been 36.62 inches. The average rainfall and melted snow, for each 
month respectively, for this period, has been as follows: January, 1.68 
inches; February, 1.67; March, 2.10; April, 3.49; May, 4,39 ; June, 4.75 ; 
July, 4.69; August, 4.66; September, 3.30; October, 2.33; November, 
1.69; December, 1.89 inches. The rain and melted snow for winter, 5.25 
inches; spring, 9.25 ; summer, 14.10; autumn, 7.32 inches. 

The following article, from the pen of William I. Heddens, M. D., 
Professor of the Theory and Practice of Medicine in the College of Phy- 
sicians and Surgeons, in St. Joseph, Missouri, was published in a recent 
issue of the St. Jd^eph Gazette, and is applicable to the whole of North- 
west Missouri : 

"Almost the whole of the Platte Purchase is healthy and singularly 
free from consumption, asthma, bronchitis, laryngitis, and the diseases 
most dreaded by the inhabitants of the Eastern states. It is seldom that 
typhoid or other fever prevails, and it is unusual that epidemics of any 
kind' exist. The climate is dry and pure. The few localities that are 
by nature unhealthy, can almost all of them be made healthy by a little 
foresight. The malarial fevers, so common in the Western and Southern 
states, are almost certain to be confined to the river bottoms, and are 
of a much milder character than those originating further south and 
west. There is scarcely any rheumatism in this climate, and what few 
cases there are, are mild in comparison with low and moist localities. 
In fact, as to climate, and to all climatic, teluric and other influences ; in 
regard to pure and cold water, free from mineral and other poisons ; 
drainage, wholesome vegetable and animal products, cereals and fruits, 
no country can boast of superiority in all that pertains to a man's health, 
strength and longevity, over the famous ' Platte Purchase.' 

"As 'wild' grasses are subdued, and 'tame' ones take their places — 
as the prairies are changed into wheat fields and corn fields, and swamps 
are drained, shade trees planted in some places and forests thinned in 
others — when roads are opened and dwellings modernized as is rapidly 
being done, it will then be the healthiest improved country, as it is now 
the healthiest by nature, of all the Western States. A climate that is 
never too cold in winter nor too hot in summer for health ; where neither 
drought nor wet seasons exist, but enough variety of temperature of 
seasons, combined with its altitude and latitude and healthy atmos- 
phere to produce the highest and best types of the lower animals, as well 
as man, my prediction is that the human beings who will in the near 
future dwell here, will be both physically atfd mentally superior to those 
born and reared in either a colder or warmer climate. They will be. 


freer from all zymotic and other diseases which render feeble both mind 
and body in other climates. The child born here should grow to 
healthy, vigorous maturity, with great nerve force, energy and perse- 
verance, without any sickness except of an accidental nature, and ought 
to be ashamed to die before the age of 75 years." 


There is a variety of soil, as well as surface in the county. Portions 
along the Missouri River, in particular, are somewhat broken and uneven, 
but the soil is productive and peculiarly well adapted for the growth of 
grasses. Along the river bottoms the soil is very deep and rich, owing 
to the heavy accretions, and there corn especially is raised with success. 
As a rule, the soil of the county is better adapted to the growth of grass 
and the cultivation of corn than to the production of the other cereals. 


" Lo ! they stretch 
In airy undulations, far away. 
As if an ocean in its gentlest swell 
Stood still, with all its rounded billows fixed 
And motionless forever. Motionless ? 
No, they ape all unchained again. The clouds 
Sweep over with their shadows, and beneath, 
The surface rolls and fluctuates to the eye ; 
Dark hollows seem to glide along and chase 
The sunny ridges. Breezes of the South ! 
Who toss the golden and the flame-like flowers, _ 
And pass the prairie hawk, that, poised on high, 
Flaps his broad wings, yet moves not — ye have played 
Among the palms of Mexico and vines 
Of Texas, and have crisped the limpid brooks 
That from the fountains of Sonora glide 
Into the calm Pacific — have ye fanned 
A nobler or a luvelier scene than this ? 
Man hath no part in all this glorious work ; 
The hand that built the firmament hath heaved 
And smoothed these verdant swells, and sown their hopes 
With herbage, planted them with island groves, 
And hedged them round with forests. Fitting floor 
For this magnificent temple of the sky — 
With flowers whose glory and whose multitude 
Rival the constellations ! The great heavens 
Seem to stoop down upon the scene in love — 
A nearer vault, and a tenderer hue 
Than that which bends above the eastern hills " 

About one-half of the county is prairie and mostly of a very excel- 
lent quality. Prairies, however, are not found in this county of so 
great extent as in most counties of the State and there are none 


in which the soil is of an inferior character. On nearly all of 
the divides between the rivers and running streams, are found 
large tracts of beautiful, rolling prairie lands, well drained, easily 
cultivated, highly productive and conveniently located to water, timber, 
mills and markets. The character of the soil in these prairies is such 
that good crops are raised even during the very wet and very dry sea- 
sons. The soil is light and porous, so that ten hours of bright sunshine 
will dry the roads after a heavy rain and fit the plowed fields to be cul- 
tivated. The same peculiarity of soil which enable crops to withstand 
much moisture and thrive during a very wet season, also enables them 
to endure prolonged drouths — the soil, being very porous, is capable of 
absorbing a large amount of water during the rainy season, and when 
the drouth sets in, the forces of nature bring back to the surface the sur- 
plus moisture from the subterraneous storehouses with as much ease as 
the Water in the first place was absorbed. This is not the case with that 
quality of soil commonly known as hard-pan ; the subsoil not being 
porous, only a small quantity of water is absorbed, after which it gathers 
on the surface in pools, and is then carried away by the process of evapo- 
ration ; drouth sets in, and as soon" as the moisture is exhausted from the 
surface soil, plants wither and die. 

There is comparatively but little waste land from marshes in the 
county, and many years will not pass till these sloughs, by a proper sys- 
tem of drainage, will be converted into corn fields. 





Having spoken of the area, surface, soil, prairie and timber of 
Buchanan County, we shall now proceed to speak of the different geo- 
logical formations of rocks, coal, mineral, etc. In order to present the 
geology of the county in an intelligent manner we shall here give the 
greater portion of Professor G. C. Broadhead's report, submitted in 1872,. 
beginning with 


Superficial Deposits — The alluvium is best developed on the Mis- 
souri bottoms. 

Bottom Prairie — The washings on flat grounds at St. Joseph expose 
about twenty feet of dark clay. Similar clays are seen on Platte River. 

The "bluff" or "loess" is Wtfll exposed on the Missouri bluffs near 
St.. Joseph, where it rises in steep and often gently sloping peaks, cov- 
ered mostly with grass. It is generally a fine, comminuted brown ash- 
clay, and where a few feet from the surface, exposed by washings, is- 
always perpendicularly jointed. In King Hill, below St. Joseph, it has 
at the lower part eight feet of finely comminuted brown sand resting on 
two feet of white calcareous concretions. • The fossils found were Heli- 
cina occulta, Succinia and Helix. The drift occurs immediately beneath 
the bluff, but I observed no good exposure of it in the county. Boulders 
of granite and quartzite were occasionally found. 
1 • 


The rocks in this county belong to the Upper Coal Series, and 
include a total thickness of about 470 feet, from a bluff limestone, equiv- 
alent to No. 160, Gen. Sec, to No. 108 or Plattsburgh limestone, inclus- 
ive, of which there are 125 feet of limestone, eleven feet bituminous 
shales, the remainder consisting of sandstone, sandy and argillaceous 
shales. The prevailing dip of rocks is a very little north of west. 

On the headwaters of Sugar and Contrary Creeks Mr. Ulffers 
observed the following section, which include some of the highest rocks. 
se-en in this county : 


No. I — 15 feet light bufTlimestone shales.. 
No. 2 — 17 feet argillaceous'', shales. 
No. 3 — 16 feet cherty limestone. 
No. 4 — 2 feet argillaceous shales. 
No. 5 — I J feet bituminous shales. 
No. 6 — I foot hard blue limestone. 
No. 7 — 14 feet argillaceous shales. 
No. 8 — 4 feet light buff, compact linnestone. 
No. 9 — 7 feet argillaceous shales. 
No. ID — 2 feet buff, shaly limestone. 
No. II — 36 feet red and blue argillaceous shales. 
No. 12 — 6 inches shaly bituminous coal. 
No. 13 — 18 feet argillaceous and sandy shales. 
No. 14 — 5 fsct sandstone and sandy shales. 

No. 160 was observed in bluffs back front the river, in the southwest: 
corner of the county. It occurs as a buff limestone, with 35 feet slope 
below, to No. 150. In the same vicinity No. 152 occurs as a dark gray lime- 
stone, containing a thin stratum of fine-grained, very dark green, fibrous 
Argillaceous Carbonate of lime, with probably some carbonate of iron,, 
the fibres nearly perpendicular to the horizontal surface, and interlock- 
ing, forming what is called " Tutcu Mergel," or "cone in cone." No. 150 
occurs near the hilltops on the Missouri Bluffs, in. the northern part of 
the county, that occupies that horizon on the Missouri Bluffs as far as 
the south county line ; its greatest observed thickness was 23 feet at 
Rushville. It is a buff brown near the top, with P'roductus, Roger si,. 
Chonetes, Smithii, Syringapora, Fusulina cylindrica, Atliyris, subtilita; 
below it is very irregularly bedded and contains chert, especially in the 
upper portion. The beds of limestone are not often over 6 inches to i 
foot in thickness, and are separated by buff clay> Beatty's quarry, near 
St. Joseph,- exhibits most of the beds of No. 150. 
No. I — 23 inches limestone. 
No. 2 — 28 inches limestone. 

No. 3 — 18 inches concretionary limestone and buff shales. 
No. 4 — 5 inches concretionary limestone. 
No. 5 — I foot nodular limestone, chert and brown shales. 
No. 6 — 2 inches limestone. 
No. 7 — 3 inches limestone. 
No. 8 — 6 inches limestone. 

No. 9 — 6 inches brown shales and limestone nodules. 
No. 19 — 2 feet limestone; contains some dark chert concretions in; 
upper part. 

No. II — 4 inches shales and limestone nodules.. 
No. 12 — 5 inches shales. 
No. 13 — 2 feet limestone. 


Total thickness of beds exposed here was about 14^ feet. The rock 
as used for making lime, and curbing and macadamizing, in St. Joseph. 

Bituminous shale is found in apifabout 10 feet below the limestone. 
The lower beds of limestone abound in fossils, mainly Orthis corbonaria; 
also contains Rotsia pimctulifiera, Rynchonella Osogensis, Athyris sub- 
Mlita, Productus splendens, Sc/nzodus. The upper beds abound in Fusu- 
■lina cylindrica and Athyris subtilita; also contain Hemipronetes crassus, 
^Orthis carbonaria, Spirifer {Martinid) planoconvexus, and Crinoid stems. 

Section on King Hill, below St. Joseph,' is as follows : 

No. I — 72 feet bluff formation, finely comminuted marly clays.. 

No. 2 — 8 feet sand. 

No. 3 — 2 feet white, calcareous, concretionary bed — bluff. 

No. 4 — 7 fs^t irregularly -bedded limestone; abound in Fusilnia^ 
-cylindrica, also contains Athyris, Rotzia, Orthis carbonaria; cherty, 
No. 150. 

No. 5 — 19 feet slope. 

No. 6 — S feet shales. 

No. 7 — 7 feet deep brown limestone (No. 143), upper two feet shaly, 
light drab ; below is ferruginous, and contains but (&\\ fossils. 

No. 8 — 35 feet slope ; tumbled sandstone, at lower part containing 
plants — Lepidastrobus, etc. 

No. 9^8 feet shales, bottom 2 feet green, with i^ feet red just above. 

No. 10 — ^7 feet ferruginous limestone, upper 2 feet shelly, with iron- 
oxide crust (No. 137.) 

No. II — 48 feet slope, mostly shales; in lower shales are some iron- 
stone concretions. 

No. 12 — Outcrop of shaly limestone, abounding in fossils. 

No. 13 — 5 feet shaly slope. 

No. 14 — 10 feet red and green clay shales ; at bottom we find 4 feet 
of ochrey green clay, with occasional thin bands of yellow ochre concre- 
tions and streaks of ochre. 

No. 15 — 4 feet limestone. 

No. 16 — 30 feet shales. 

A buff limestone, equivalent to No. 145, was observed on King Hill. 

No. 137 is seen on Platte River bluffs, two miles south of the Han- 
nibal & St. Joseph railroad, cropping out ten feet in thickness. On the 
Missouri bluffs there are shales 60 to 75 feet in thickness, with some- 
times a thin seanj of coal. Near the upper end of Sugar Creek Lake 
we have : 

No. I — Lop slope. 

No. 2 — 18 feet of limestone, fracture buff and drab, weathering, 
brown ; contains occasional lenticular beds of concretionary deep-blue 
■chert; has brown shaly partings and contains Athyris subtilita Sp. 
Jineatus, Sp. camcratus, Rotzia, etc. 


TSfo. 3 — JJ feet shaly slope ; shales near the lower part. 

No 4 — Outcrop of coal. 

No. 5 — 40 feet slope to railroad. 

Three miles above Rushville we have 

No. I — Limestone. No. 150. 

No. 2 — 95 feet slope. 

No. 3 — 4 feet even-bedded, shelly, dark ash colored limestone 
(128), at about 15 feet above the grade of railroad and forming a fine 

Approaching St. Joseph from the south we find the last named lime- 
stone quarried near the hill, and also northwest on King Hill, and in 
the next succeeding hill it is seen 30 feet above the bottoms, with 30 
feet of shales lying below it. 

Section 31, 2 J miles below St. Joseph, is as follows. 

No. I — 72 feet bluff clay ; contains some round calcareous concre- 

No. 2 — 6 feet sandy shale. 

No. 3 — 5 feet limestone, upper part shelly, ferruginous, lower, 3 feet 
thick, even bed ; can be quarried in 2-feet layers. 

No. 4 — S3 feet slope. 

No. 5 — 5 feet shales. 

No. 6 — 5 feet shales, good red ochre at bottom. 

No. 7 — 4 feet even bed of limestone. 

One section, one-half mile below junction of Hannibal and St. Joseph 
Railroad, is as follows : 

No. I— Bluff. 

No. 2 — 4 feet green shales ; paint bed. 

No. 3 — 4 feet green and yellow ochery shales. 

No. 4 — 33 inches limestone, upper part gray ; the middle abounds 
in Fusulina .; lower part deep brown ; middle is fine grained. 

No. 5 — 17 feet sandy, ochrey shales. 

No. 6 — 15 feet slope to railroad. 

One-quarter mile below the last we find : 

No. I — Outcrop of shady limestone, with Allorisvia, Heiniprmiites. 

No. 2 — 15 feet slope. 

No. 3 — Red and green shales. 

No. 4 — 4 feet limestone, 128 ; very good bijilding rock. 

No. 5 — 30 feet shales, to level of railroad grade. 

Ascending King Hill, at 63 feet above No. 128, is found 7 feet of 
thick-bedded gray and brownish limestone, with but few fossils. Its 
upper part is shelly and brownish ochery, but affords a good, strong and 
durable building rock. It has been extensively used in buildings at St. 
Joseph. We found overlying it, tumbled masses of buff and brown soft 
sandstone, and hard green sandstone, containing remains of plant-leaves 


and the stem of a tree, probably a Lepidostrobus. Intermingled with' 
this overlying mass was some deep red clay, apparently very suitable 
for paint ; sixteen feet still higher is found seven feet of ferruginous 
limestone, and 24 feet above the last are seen outcrops of No. 150. All 
these layers have been extensively quarried for various purposes of 
building in St. Joseph. The last named is quarried in the hills north of 
St. Joseph for lime and for paving. 

One and a-half miles along the bluff above St. Joseph our section is 

No. I — Slope. 

No. 2 — 10 feet gray limestone, slightly ferruginous, in one solid bed ;; 
breaks in small angular fragments. (No. 137.) 

No. 3 — 92 feet slope to railroad, 35 degrees for half way, then 30' 
degrees ; the lower 40 feet seems to be principally sand shales. 

No 2 corresponds to No. 143 ; in its manner of weathering resembles- 
No. 78. Three miles above St. Joseph it is 90 feet. (No. 128.) 

At bridge on Platte River, rocks^ were observed which I refer to those 
from 126 to 121, of which the following is a correct section : 

Section 4. 

No. 2 — 6 inches even-bedded, dark-gray limestone. 

No. 3 — 6 feet brownish-buff, sandy limestone,, so-me of it silicious^ 
and with sandy, shaly partings, thin bedded. 

No. 4 — 2^ feet green shales. 

No. 5 — 10 inches limestone, mottled drab and brown. 

No. 6 — I foot grayish drab and brown, irregularly bedded, coarser 
than No. S ; irregularly wavy-cracked. 

No. 7 — 2 feet gray limestone. 

No. 8 — 3 feet ashy-blue ferruginous limestone ; weathers brown. 

No. 9 — 3 feet ashy-blue limestone ; weathers buff; contains Spv 

From 126 to 113, the rocks are generally covered with debris, and 
include about 100 feet. In southeast of township 55, range 34, No. 112 
was observed, 12 feet in thickness, consisting of thick beds of coarse,, 
colored, semi-crystalline limestone. The lowest rock was observed on 
Platte River, in the eastern part of the county ; it is a blue limestone,, 
equivalent to the Plattsburgh series ; 12 feet of it was observed.. 


Coal. — Opposite Sugar Creek Lake, coal crops out about 30 feet 
above the level of the railroad. Limestone, No. 150, is in bluff 77 feet 
above. The same bed of coal is seen a mile below Hall's Statian, on 
Mr. Hinman's land. Section here is Section 19: 

No I — 104 feet slope from hill-top. 


No. 2—5 feet drift. 

No. 3 — 3 feet blue, sandy shales. 

No. 3^ — 3 feet coarse, shaly, ferruginous sandstone. 

No. 4 — I inch shaly coal. 

No. 5 — 8 inches deep-blue, shaly clay, with thin laminae of coal ; 
contains ferns. 

No. 6 — 6 inches coal 

No. 7 — Fire clay. 

No. 8—67 feet to foot of hill. 

Opposite Hall's Station the coal has been opened at several places; 
•one on railroad land, worked by Jacob Gross, appears thus : 

3 feet rough-bedded, yellow sandstone; 8 inches sandy clay; i| 
inches shale and thin laminae of coal; 2^ inches of coal; ij inches blue 
clay; 6 inches good coal ; i^ inches blue clay; 3 inches good coal ; fire- 

An analysis of specimens of this coal from Niagara, Andrew County, 
•gives — 

Water 8.94 

Volatile 34.75 

F. carbon , ... .45.38 

Ash iO'93 

Color of ash light red brown. 

Section No. 30. 

No. I — 93 feet, 40 to 45 degrees slope. 

No. 2 — limestone outcrop. 

No. 3 — 52 feet to bottom of coal ; some red ochre clay appears on 
slope 8 feet above coal. 

On South Fork of Sugar Creek, near the south county line. Section 

No. I — 3 feet olive shales, with streaks of coal. 

No. 2 — 7 inches bituminous coal. 

No. 3 — 26 feet shales ; concretionary bed in lower part, with remains 
of striated plants. 

No. 4 — 15 to 20 feet slope. 

No. 5 — outcrop of ferruginous limestone ; fracture dark bluish, ash 
shelly and rough breakings. 

In the northeast of the southwest of Section i, T. 55, R. 26, six 
inches of shaly coal and shales. 

Four inches of bituminous coal was observed in Section 23, T. 45, 
R. 36, and in Section 32, coal is also said to have been found on the 
headwaters of Bee Creek, a few miles southwest of Sparta. These beds 
are thin and poor and not worth working. 

The annexed is the section of boring at St. Joseph. 

No. I — 21 feet soil, boulders and sandy clay. 


No. 2 — 74 feet blue clay. 

No. 3 — 21 feet sandstone. 

No. 4 — 4 feet limestone. 

No. 5 — 2 feet soapstone. 

No. 6 — 2 feet slate. 

No. 7 — I 5-6 feet coal. 

No. 8 — 6 feet black slate. 

No. 9 — 7 feet limestone. 

No. lo — 5 feet slate. 

No. II — 6 feet limestone. 

No. 12 — 2 feet slate. 

No. 13 — 4^ feet limestone. 

No. 14 — 5^ feet slate. 

No. 15 — I foot limestone. 

No. 16 — 6 feet slate. 

No. 17 — 8 feet slate. 

No. 1 8 — 4^ feet limestone. 

No. 19 — 3 feet soapstone. 

No. 20 — 2j feet gray sandstone, 

No. 21 — 2^ feet soapstone. 

No. 22 — 4 5-6 feet gray limestone. 

No. 23 — 24 feet slate. 

No. 24 — 2 feet limestone. 

No. 25 — 10 feet limestone. 

No. 26 — 5j feet slate. 

No. 27 — ij feet coal. 

No. 28—8 feet slate. 

No. 29 — 4 feet limestone. 

No. 30 — 20 feet shale. 

No. 31 — 6 feet limestone. 

No. 32 — 20 feet slate. 

No. 33 — 25 feet limestone. 

No. 34 — 15 feet limestone. 

No. 35 — 10 inches coal. 

No. 36 — 3 4-5 feet soapstone. 

No. 41 — 2^ feet coal. 

No. 42 — 9 feet limestone. 

No. 43 — 4 feet limestone. 

No. 44 — 3 feet limestone. 

No. 45 — 2^ feet slate. 

No. 46 — 2^ feet limestone. 

No. 47 — 15 feet blue clay. 

Total depth, 402.3 feet. 


From careful comparisons I find, from reports made- by St. Joseph; 
Bridge Company, that the bottom of the "bore" still lacks about 44O' 
feet of reaching the "Lexington coal," which would be the first coal of 
any considerable thickness that would be reached. Other valuable coal' 
beds would lie still lower. These remarks concerning coal beds can be 
applied, with but slight variation, to localities in the adjoining counties, 
of Platte, Clinton, DeKalb, and southern parts of Gentry County. 

In each of these counties thin surface outcrops are seen, but they 

are not valuable. 


The annual rainfall in the basin, drained by the river at St. Joseph,, 
averages 19^ inches, while that of the basin below is 36 inches, thus 
showing that three-fourths of the water flowing out of the Missouri 
River, at its mouth, passes St. Joseph ; at an ordinary spring flood, 170," 

000 cubic feet pass in a second, with a mean velocity of 26-10 miles- per 
hour. The fall in the low water channel, for seven miles below the city, 
is 82-100 of a foot per mile. At low water the channel opposite the 
city is from 400 to 500 yards wide, and 15 to 30 feet deep. The differ- 
ence of high and low water is 23 feet. 

At the greatest, the narrowest channel opposite the city will be- 
1,420 feet wide. Rock is found-at an average of 43 feet below low water, 
and at no point deeper than 48 feet. 

The bed of the river is fine sand on top, with layers of stiff, hard' 
clay, and coarse sand near the bed-rock ; resting on the bed-rock was 
found a 2 to 5 feet bed, consisting of medium sized and thoroughly- 
water-worn boulders mixed with coarse sand ; the boulders composed of 
red and gray granite, quartz, gneiss, trap, conglomei^te,. agate,, withi 
some fine quartz specimens containing gold. 

The excavations were made to a depth of about 40 feet below the- 
bed of the river, including the upper 30 feet of coarse and fine sand, then 5 
feet stiff, blue clay, and lastly a deposit of gravel and boulders, through 
which flows a stream of clear, pure water, entirely different from, that of 
the river. 'While ice at the surface was two feet thick, and the mercury 
below zero, the water from this spring had a uniform. of 54 

The bed-rock is said to be a smooth, hard, whitish-gray limestone.. 

1 have no doubt of its being equivalent to limestone No. 121 of General; 




Buchanan County being a portion of the territory originally included 
in the "Platte Purchase," a history, showing how, when, and through 
whom the same was accomplished, will doubtless be of great interest to 
the citizens of the county. 

In January, 1835, the Hon. L. F. Linn, then a United States Senator 

from the State of Missouri, addressed H. Ellsworth, Esq., the following 

letter : 

Washington, January 23, 1835. 

Sir : It has long been desired by the people of Missouri to have 
annexed to the state that portion of territory lying between her western 
boundary and the great river, Missouri, for the purpose of preventing 
the location of an annoying Indian population, and for the purpose of 
having points on the river to receive their supplies and ship their pro- 
ductions, within a moderate distance from the homes of those inhabit- 
ants residing along that line of the frontier. 

The location of the Pottawatamies, by the treaty of Chicago, on this 
territory, interposes a barrier to the attainment of these objects, so 
important to the welfare and tranquility of the inhabitants of the north- 
ern and western counties. Will you be so good as to furnish me your 
opinion as to the propriety of ratifying that treaty, and the danger of 
collision between the two races, from placing the Indians between the 
white population and the river Missouri. 

Very respectfully, 
H. Ellsworth, Esq. L. F. LINN. 

The following is the answer of Mr. Ellsworth : 

Washington, January 27, 1835. 
Sir : Yours of the 23d imstant, requesting my opinion as to the 
propriety of ratifying the Chicago treaty, and the danger of collision 
that will probably arise from placing the Indians between the white 
population and the river Missouri, at the northwest section of the state, 
was received this morning. In reply, I hasten to observe that the small 
strip of land lying between the Missouri River and the State of Missouri, 
is, compared with the country lying north of the state line, an unfavor- 
able location for the Indian tribes. 


In the fall of 1833 I held a council with the loways and the little 
band of Sacs and Foxes living on this strip, who complained of the great 
difficulty attending their present situation, on account of the contiguity 
and encroachments of white men in the state, and all the chiefs desired 
me to make a treaty for their removal to land lying north of the state 
line. Not being authorized to make this treaty, I did not attempt it, 
but have recommended the subject to the favorable consideration of the 

r have understood that the Pottawatamies are willing to receive 
other land, in equal amount, for that lying south of the north line of Mis- 
souri extended. If this can be done I have no doubt it would be advan- 
tageous to all the parties concerned. The government would realize 
the value of land, but more especially the Pottawatamies would have an 
excellent location, one far less likely to be interrupted by the encroach- 
ment of white neighbors. The State of Missouri might hereafter be 
accommodated with a good natural boundary, several excellent water 
privileges, and additional landings on the navigable waters of Missouri 
for one hundred and forty miles. The ratification of the Chicago treaty 
will prevent the future disposal of this narrow strip to Missouri. Hence 
I conceive it highly important that the Pottawatamies should make an 
exchange of part of the lands embraced within the original treaty. It 
may be proper to state that, from the concurrent testimony of all per- 
sons residing on the Missouri, as well as from a personal view from the 
opposite side of the river, the location of the Pottawatamies north of 
the land in question, will give them a rich and fertile tract, equal to that 
of any tribe already migrated. 

It ought to be noticed that the general expectation that the Chicago 
treaty would be modified, has emboldened many squatters to enter upon 
the lands in question, in hopes of fixing their future residence. I have, 
therefore, no hesitation in giving an opinion as to the expediency of 
altering the Chicago treaty, so as to confine the Pottawatamies north of 
the little strip now wanted by the State of Missouri. 

Having given this opinion, permit me to say that I believe it prac- 
ticable, with little expense or delay, to remove the Indians now on this 
strip of land, and to extinguish any remaining right in the red men for 
hunting or other privileges, and this removal and extinguishment I 
would respectfully recommend before the state jurisdiction is extended 
to the waters of the Missouri. 

Yours most respectfully, 

Hon. L. F. Linn, Senator. 

At the same time the Hon. L. F. Linn wrote to Maj. John Dough- 
erty, Indian Agent, for information concerning the geography and topo- 
graphy of the country embraced in the "Platte Purchase," and in three 
days thereafter, received the following answer : 

Washington, January 26, 1835. 
Sir : Your communication of the 23d instant, containing certain 
queries touching the slip of land lying between the western boundary 
line of the State of Missouri and the Missouri River has been received. 


I assure you it will afford me great pleasure to furnish the answers 
called for, and in the order in which you have proposed the questions. 

1st. The length of the strip of land referred to is, on its east line, 
one hundred miles long ; the west line, following the meanders of the 
Missouri River, is about one hundred and fifty miles in length, to a point 
on said river due west from the northwest corner of the state, the aver- 
age breadth being about fifteen miles. 

2d. I feel no hesitation in stating (and this without the fear of 
contradiction) that the location of Indians upon this territory would be 
attended with the most ruinous effects ; it would alike be injurious to 
the Indians and whites ; take, for example, the loways, who now reside 
upon the upper end of this strip — they are a poor, drunken, miserable 
set of beings, dwindling away to nothing, quarreling among themselves, 
killing each other, and in constant broils with their white neighbors. 
Those evils would be greatly increased were the Indians located all the 
way down this strip of land, between the white settlements and the 
Missouri River to the mouth of the Kansas River, where it becomes nar- 
row, and the white population more dense. 

3d. The inconvenience to our citizens would be incalculable, if 
those along the western line of the state were compelled to transport 
their productions to the mouth of the Kansas River for shipment ; some 
of them residing within eight or ten miles of steamboats passing every 
day, would be obliged to haul everything for market over a new country 
one hundred miles. 

4th. There is a great deficiency of water power and springs in the 
northern counties of the State of Missouri, whilst the strip of land you 
have reference to abounds with numerous flush running springs and 
creeks, with great falls, well calculated for mills or other water works. 

5th. The country north of the State of Missouri, reaching from the 
Mississippi to the Missouri River, and extending north between four and 
five hundred miles, is well timbered, interspered with fine rich prairies, 
and abounds with numerous large, bold running streams, coming in from 
the high lands between these two great rivers ; in short, the whole 
country is well adapted to agricultural purposes, with a fine climate, and 
exceedingly healthy. 

In reply to your 6th question, I deem it sufficient to refer to the 
answer under the second query. The peace and tranquility of both 
whites and Indians require that this long strip of land should be attached 
to the State of Missouri ; and I cannot suppose that any gentleman as 
well acquairited with its locality as I am, would entertain a different 
opinion, or dissent from the views herein expressed. 

With great respect, I have the honor to be 
Your obedient servant, 

Hon. L. F. LiNN, Senate, U. S. Indian Agent. 

As early as 1834-5, two years before the removal of the Indians, the 
narrow strip of land between the western boundary of the state and the 
Missouri River began to be settled by white men. So numerous were 
these settlers that the United States Government sent a military force 
from Fort Leavenworth to remove them. What proportion of these 


daring frontiersmen had located in the territory of what is now Buchanan 
County we cannot determine, but the number must have been consider- 
able, as will be seen from the following letter from Hon. L. F. Linn, to 
Hon. John Forsyth, Secretary of State : 

SAiNt Genevieve, August 10, 1835. 
Sir: I take the liberty of enclosing you a copy (perhaps imperfect, 
from having mislaid the original,) of a letter dated May 14, to the Sec- 
retary of War, on a subject of much interest to the people of this State. 
To this communication no answer has been received. May I tax your 
kindness by asking that you will read the letter, and give the subject 
your friendly attention in any way you may deem advisable. I feel that 
there is a propriety in endeavoring to obtain your assistance, knowing 
the state you so long represented in Congress, with such distinguished 
credit, has been greatly annoyed by an Indian population. I hear an 
order has come from the War Department to remove the families who 
have settled on the Indian lands lying between our western boundary 
and the Missouri River, by military force. 

You know the independent and daring character of our frontier 
population, and knowing, you will easily believe that this step is not to 
be accomplished without violence and much distress, as the families are 
two or three hundred in number. The accompanying diagram will at a 
_ glance show you what we want, and at the same time the utter useless- 
ness of this portion of country for Indian purposes. 

The long absence of Governor Cass, and multiplicity of business 
since his return, may have caused, him to lose sight of my letter. His 
order has caused much sensation in the northern part of the state, and 
for the present ought to be suspended. 

Yours truly, 

L. F. LINN. 
Hon. John Forsyth, 

Secretary of State. 

In the summer of 1835 there was held a regimental militia muster 
at Dale's farm, three miles from the town of Liberty, in Clay County. 
After the morning parade, and during the recess for dinner, a mass 
meeting of the citizens present was addressed, among others, by Gen- 
eral Andrew S. Hughes, who came to Clay from Montgomery County, 
Kentucky, in 1828, and who soon afterward was appointed Indian agent 
by President John Quincy Adams. At this meeting he proposed the 
acquisition of the Platte country, and the measure met with such hearty 
approval that a committee was at once appointed to make an effort to 
accomplish it. The committee was composed of William T. Wood, now 
judge of the Lexington Circuit ; David R. Atchison, ex-United States 
Senator ; A. W. Doniphan, a distinguished lawyer and hero of the Mex- 
ican war ; Peter H- Burnett, afterward one of the supreme judges of Cal- 
ifornia, and Edward M. Samuel, afterward president of the Commercial 
Bank in St. Louis — all of them at that time residents of Clay County. 


Subsequently an able memorial to Congress was drafted by Judge 
Wood, embracing the facts and considerations in behalf of the measure, 
which, after being signed by the committee, was forwarded to the Sen- 
ators and Representatives at Washington from Missouri. 

Following the prayer of this memorial, in 1836, a bill was' introduced 
in Congress by Thomas H. Benton, and zealously supportediby his col- 
league. Senator Linn, which provided for the extension of the then 
existing boundary of the state, so as to include the triangle between the 
existing line and the Missouri River, then a part of the Indian Territory, 
now comprising the counties of Atchison, Andrew, Buchanan, Holt, Nod- 
away and Platte. The difficulties encountered were three fold: i. To 
make still larger a state which was already one of the largest in the 
Union. 2. To remove Indians from a possession which had just been 
assigned to them in perpetuity. 3. To alter the Missouri Compromise 
line in relation to slave- territory, and thereby convert free soil into slave 
soil. Notwithstanding these difficulties, the two first mentioned serious 
and the last formidable, the act was passed and the treaties negotiated, 
and in 1837 the Indians removed west of the Missouri River, thus adding 
to the state a large body of the richest land in the world. 

During the fall of 1835, after the meeting held at the regimental 
muster above referred to. General Andrew S. Hughes wrote to Hon. L. 
F. Linn in reference to a treaty with the loways and Sacs of his agency. 
His letter is as follows : > 

lowAY Sub-agency, September 3, 1835. 

Sir : I have written a hasty scrawl to you. It might be well to pub- 
lish your letter to show to the people what you were doing. I send this 
to St. Genevieve, not exactly knowing where to find you. I give you 
liberty to do just as yoi\ may think proper with my letter. 

All letters addressed to me, I wish directed to the " Elm Grove Post- 
office, Clay County, Missouri." This is most convenient to me. When I 
hear from you I will write again. I desire to see you before you go on 

A treaty can be made with the loways of my agency and Sacs, with- 
out expense to the Government, or any other unnecessary pomp and 
parade, as has heretofore been the case. Colonel Dodge could make 
treaty with the Indians as a part of his official duty. They are near his 
post, and I should have no objections to render any assistance that might 
be asked of me. 

Believe me, your sincere friend, 


To Hon. Lewis F. Linn. 

The treaty which was negotiated with the Sac and Fox Indians, 
whereby Missouri extended her western boundary line, is as follows : 



made and concluded at Fort Leavenworth, on the Missouri River, between 
William Clark, Superintendent of Indian Affairs, on the part of the 
United States, of the one part, and the undersigned chiefs, warriors: and 
counsellors of the loway tribe, and the band of Sacs and Foxes of the 
Missouri (residing west of the State of Missouri) in behalf of their 
respective tribes, of the other part. 

Article i. By the first article of the treaty of Prairie du Chien, 
held the 15th of July, 1830, with the confederated tribes of the Sacs and 
Foxes, loways, Omahaws, Missourias, Ottoes and Sioux, the country 
ceded to the United States by that treaty, is to be "assigned and allotted, 
under the President of the United States, to the tribes living thereon, or 
to such other tribes as the President may locate thereon for hunting and 
and other purpose." And whereas, it is further represented to us, the 
chiefs, warriors and counsellors of the loways and Sacs and Fox band 
aforesaid to be desirable that the lands lying between the State of Mis- 
souri and the Missouri River should be attached to and become a part of 
the said state, and the Indian title thereto should be extinguished ; but 
that, notwithstanding, as these lands compose a part of the country 
embraced by the provision of said first article of the treaty aforesaid, the 
stipulations thereof will be strictly observed, until the assent of the 
Indians interested is given to the proposed measure. 

Now we, the chiefs, warriors and counsellors of the loways and Mis- 
souri band of Sacs and Foxes, fully understanding the subject, and well 
satisfied from the local position of the lands in question, that they can 
never be nriade available for Indian purposes, and that an attempt to 
place an Indian population on them must inevitably lead to collision 
with the citizens of the United States, and further believing that the exten- 
sion of the state fine in the direction indicated, would have a happy effect,, 
by presenting a natural boundary between the whites and the Indians; 
and willing, moreover, to give the United States a renewed evidence of 
our attachment and friendship, do hereby, for ourselves and on behalf of 
our respective tribes (having full power and authority to this effect) for- 
ever cede, relinquish and quit claim to the United States", all our rights 
title and interest, of whatever nature, in and to the land lying between 
the State of Missouri and the Missouri River, and do freely and fully 
exonerate the United States from any guarantee, condition or limitation,, 
expressed or implied, under the treaty of Prairie du Chien aforesaid or 
otherwise, as to the entire and absolute disposition of the said lands ; 
fully authorizing the United States to do with the same whatever shall 
seem expedient or necessary. 

As a proof of the continued friendship and liberality of the United 
States towards the loways and band of Sacs and Foxes of the Mis- 
sourias, and as an evidence of the same entertained for the good will 
manifested by said tribes to the citizens and Government of the United 
States, as evinced in the preceding cession or relinquishment, the under- 
signed, William Clark, agrees, on behalf of the United States, to pay as 
a present to the said loways and band of Sacs and Foxes $7,500 m 
money, the receipt of which they hereby acknowledge. 

Article 2. As the said tribes of loways, and Sacs and Foxes, have 
applied for a small piece of land south of the Missouri for a permanent 


home, on which they can settle, and request the assistance of the Gov- 
ernment of the United States to place them on the land, in a situation 
at least equal to that they now enjoy on the lands ceded by them. 
Therefore, I, William Clark, Superintendent of Indian Affairs, do further 
agree on behalf of the United States, to assign to the loway tribes and 
Missouri band of Sacs and Foxes, the small strip of land on the south 
side of the Missouri River, lying between the Kickapoo northern boun- 
dary line and the Grand Nemaha River, and extending from the Mis- 
souri back and westwardly with the said Kickapoo line and the Grand 
Nemaha, making four hundred sections, to be divided between the said 
loways, and Missouri band of Sacs and Foxes, the lower half to the 
Sacs and Foxes, the upper half to the loways. 

Article 3. The loways and Missouri band of Sacs and Foxes, 
further agree that they will move and settle on the lands assigned them 
in the above article as soon as arrangements can be made, and the 
undersigned William Clark, in behalf of the United States, agrees that, 
as soon as the above tribes have selected a site for their villages, and 
places for their fields, and moved to them, to erect for the loways five 
comfortable houses ; to enclose and break up for them two hundred acres 
of ground ; to furnish them with a farmer, blacksmith, schoolmaster and 
interpreter, as long as the President of the United States deems proper; 
to furnish them with such agricultural implements as may be necessary, 
for five years ; to furnish them with rations for one year, commencing 
at the time of their arrival at their new home ; to furnish them with one 
ferry boat ; to furnish them with one hundred cows and calves, and five 
bulls, and one hundred stock hogs, when they require them ; to furnish 
them with a mill, and assist in removing them, to the extent of five 
hundred dollars. 

And to erect for the Sacs and Foxes, three comfortable houses; 
to enclose and break up for them two hundred acres of land ; to furnish 
them with a farmer, blacksmith, schoolmaster, and interpreter, as long 
as the President of the United States shall deem proper ; to furnish them 
with such agricultural implements as may be necessary, for five years ; 
to furnish them with rations for one year, commencing at the time of 
their arrival at their new home ; to furnish them with one ferry boat ; 
to furnish them with one hundred cows and calves, and five bulls ; one 
hundred stock hogs, when they require them ; to furnish them with a 
mill, and to assist in removing them to the extent of four hundred dollars. 

Article 4. This treaty shall be obligatory on the tribes, parties 
hereto, from and after the date hereof, and on the United States, from 
and after its ratification by the Government thereof 

Done, and signed and sealed at Fort Leavenworth, on the Missouri, 
this seventeenth day of September, eighteen hundred and thirty-six, and 
of the Independence of the United States the sixty-first. 

Superintendent Indian Affairs. 


MO-HOS-CA (or White Cloud), NE - WAN - THAW - CHU' ( Hair 
NAU-CHE-NING (or No Heart), Shedder), 

WA-CHE-MO-NE (or the Orator), MAN-HAW-KA (Bunch of Arrows), 
NE-0-MO-NE (or Raining Cloud), CHA-TAU-THE-NE (Big Bull) 



MAN-0-MO-NE (or Pumpkin), CHA-TEA-THAU (Buffalo Bull), 
CON-GU (or Plumb), CHA - TA - HA - RA-WA- RE (For- 

WAU-THAW-CA-BE-CHU(one eign Buffalo), 
that eats rats). 


CA-HA-QUA (Red Fox), 
PE-SHAW-CA (Bear), 
PE-CAU-MA (Deer), 
NE-SQUI-IN-A (Deer), 
NE-SAW-AU-QUA (Bear), 
SUQUIL-LA (Deer), 

WA-PA-SE (Swan), 
CAN-C A-CAR-MACK (Rock Bass), 
SEA-SA-HO (Sturgeon), 

Headed Eagle), 

(Bald Headed Eagle). 







Every nation does not possess an authentic account of its origin, 
neither do all communities have the correct data whereby it is possible 
to accurately predicate the condition of their first beginnings. Never- 
theless, to be intensely interested in such things is characteristic of the 
race, and it is particularly the province of the historian to, deal with 
first causes. Should these facts, as is often the case, be lost in the myth- 
ical tradition of the past, the chronicler invades the realm of the ideal 
and compels his imagination to paint the missing picture. The patriotic 
Roman was not content till he had found the "First Settlers," and then 
he was satisfied, although they were found in the very undesirable com- 
pany of a wolf, and located on a drift, which the receding waters of the 
Tiber had permitted them to pre-empt. 

One of the advantages pertaining to a residence in a new country 
and one seldom appreciated, is the fact that we can go back to the first 
beginnings. We are thus enabled, not only to trace results to their 
causes, but also to grasp the facts which have contributed to form and 
mold these causes. We observe that a state or county has attained a 
certain position, and we at once try to trace out the reasons for this 
position in its early settlement and surroundings, in the class of men 
by whom it was peopled, and in the many chances and changes which 
have wrought out results in all the recorded deeds of mankind. In the 
history of Buchanan County we may trace its early settlers to their 
homes in the Eastern States and in the countries of the Old World. 
We may follow the course of the hardy woodman of the "Buckeye" or 
the "Hoosier" state, or from Kentucky and Virginia on his way west to 
"grow up with the country," trusting only to his strong arm and his wil- 
ling heart to work out his ambition of a home for himself and wife and a 
competence for his children. Again, we will see that others have been 
animated with the imptilse to "move on," after making themselves a part 
of the community, and have sought the newer parts of the extreme 
West, where civilization had not penetrated, or returned to their native 
soil. We shall find much of that distinctive New England character 


which has contributed so many men and women to other portions of our 
state and the west ; also we shall find many an industrious native of 
Germany or the British Isles, and a few of the industrious and econom- 
ical French — all of whom have contributed to modify types of men 
already existing here. 

Those who have noted the career of the descendants of these 
brave, strong men, in subduing the wilds and overcoming the obstacles 
and withstanding the hardships of this country in early times, can but 
admit they are worthy sons of illustrious sires. 

The "Platte Purchase" was, until 1837, forbidden ground, and meas- 
ures were taken by the government to prevent settlement, consequently 
the settlement of the county properly began when it was thrown open 
and immigration was invited and encouraged. 

From this time the population increased rapidly, and the develop- 
ment of the material resources of the county was so speedy as to be 
almost unprecedented. In treating of the settlement of the cgunty 
during this period, we shall strive to be somewhat analytical in our 
style, as by this course we hope to be able to give a more accurate and 
lucid account than could otherwise be done ; to this end we shall sub- 
divide the county into districts, and speak of the first"settlements in each, 
and so continue until the distinctive neighborhoods grew together, and 
practically constituted one settlement — Buchanan County. 

Those who are any way familiar with the early settlement of 
Buchanan County, or in fact any of the Missouri counties, are aware that 
the first improvements were made along the various streams of water, 
not on the banks of these streams, as a general thing, but in or near the 
tirnber which grew in their vicinity. 

We fully realize that the task of tracing out these first settlements 
so as to accurately and fully give a history of each individual making 
them, is a difficult one ; in proportion as the reader understands the 
magnitude and difficulty of the work, to that extent will we have his 
sympathy and forbearance. The data upon which we found our sup- 
posed facts consist mainly of notes taken by our agents, who have visited 
every part of the county, and if the narrative should, in some particulars, 
seem to the reader to be incorrect, we wish to remind him that the par- 
ticular fact which he may question is founded on the statement of some 
one individual who resides in the immediate neighborhood, and, in all 
probability, substantiated by the best evidence obtainable. Such persons 
should remember that they are as liable to be mistaken as their neigh- 
bors, and that in the little circumscribed realm of their own neighbor- 
hood, even as in the boundless realm of the universe, " truth is stranger 
than fiction." 

We have stated elsewhere in this history, that as early as 1834-5 the 
adventurous pioneer had pitched his tent within the borders of the 


Platte country. Its timber, its water courses, its salubrious climate and 
prolific soil constituted attractions which were to him irrisistible, and 
believing that this land, " flowing with milk and honey," would soon be 
given over to the possession of the white man, he accordingly braved 
the opposition of the Indian, and incursions of the military forces at 
Fort Leavenworth, by moving in and effecting, if nothing more, a tem- 
porary settlement. 

As soon, however, as the treaty was made, and in fact before the 
red man had taken up his line of march to other hunting grounds, 
towards the setting sun, the tide of anxious, restless emigration, like the 
ancient Scythians who poured into Hungary, soon overspread the Platte 
Purchase, bringing with them weapons of peace and industry, wherewith 
to conquer its wildernesses and waste places. 

The early emigrants who came to Buchanan County, erected their 
rude cabins in what were afterwards known as Platte, Jackson, Crawford, 
Bloomington and Centre townships, this portion of the county not only 
lying more contiguous to Clinton County, which had been settled for 
years, but it posessed an abundance of timber, which was to the old 
settler, one of the economic and indispensable surroundings of his new 
home. I 


We shall here begin the history of the early settlements, as to loca- 
tion, with what is now known as Platte Township. 

The most authentic accounts all point to Judge Weston J. Everett, 
of Clay County, but originally from Tennessee, as being the first perma- 
nent settler. He had visited the Platte country. in the fall of 1836, with 
the view of selecting a location for his future home. Having found the 
country all that he desired, he returned in February, 1837, and made a 
settlement on section 13, township 55, range 34, which had been occu- 
pied a short time by Absalom Enyard, of Clay 'County, Missouri. Mr. 
Enyard had already put up a small hut on the land, but having done so 
before the country was open for settlement, he was dispossessed and 
driven out by United States forces. His fence surrounding his premises 
was burned by the military, but his cabin was such an insignificant struc- 
ture, that it was left standing. This was purchased by Judge Everett, 
and was for a time his home. At the time of his arrival a fierce snow- 
storm was prevailing over this portion of the country, and the snow con- 
tinued to fall until it exceeded a depth of six inches. 

Judge Everett has been one of the prominent citizens of this portion 
of the county, filling various offices, from that of road overseer, to Judge 
of the County Court. He now resides on the farrn where he first located, 


Absalom Munkers, a brother-in-law of Judge Everett, and a native 
of Tennessee, came to the same neighborhood where Judge Everett 
settled, in February, 1837, and located on section 18, township 55, range 
33. They left Clay County together, but Mr. Munkers falling in com- 
pany with a family in Clinton County, was detained on the road for about 
a week. Mr. Munkers, not being so fortunate as Judge Everett, had to 
build his own cabin in the woods. It is claimed that the wagons of these 
two gentlemen were the first to make tracks on the soil of Platte Town- 
ship. Mr. Munkers still lives, at an advanced age, on the land which he 
first pre-*empted. His son David was the first white child born in the 
township, the date of his birth being April, 1837. 

Jackson Erickson was also a native of Tennessee, but came to 
Buchanan County from Ray County, Missouri, in 1837, and located on 
section 7, township 55, range 33. 

James Williams. came also late in the year 1837, and located where 
Judge John Rohan now resides, on section 18. Mr. Williams removed 
to California, and died there. 

Old "Uncle Jack Huntsucker," as he was familiarly called, came from 
Tennessee, and settled on Castile Creek in 1837. 

Peter Bledsoe came also in 1837, and settled in the northern part of 
the township. He is still living. 

William Cobb was one of the early settlers, from Tennessee, and 
located on section 11, where he still lives. 

Jesse Fletcher began to improve a farm in the northwestern part of 
the township in 1837, but moved to the Grand River country, in Caldwell 
County, and diet! there. 

John Fletcher, a son of Jesse Fletcher, came with his brother-in- 
law, Asa Rockhold, in March or April, 1837. Mr. Fletcher settled the 
place where the widow of Richard Deacon now lives, and Rockhold 
where Mrs. Head now lives. 

John Tobin, from Kentucky, was the only settler between the Fletcher 
and Rockhold places and Matney's Mill. He arrived in 1838, and located 
on the hill half a mile east of the mill. 

John Dryden settled the same year, about one mile north of the 
Platte County line. 

Thompson Burnham made a settlement in the southeast corner of 
the township in 1837. 

Charles Kennaird came in 1838. 

Morris Pile came in 1838, and settled on section 13, township 55, 
range 34, and is still living there. 

James Anderson came also about this time. 

Dr. Samuel Trower, from Kentucky, arrived in 1838, settled on sec- 
tion 12, township 55, range 34, and was the first physician to practice 


medicine in Platte Township. He practiced his profession for many years, 
and died in Kansas. 

Nelson Witt came early in the spring of 1838, and located where his 
son, Jackson Witt, now lives. He was also from Kentucky, and is now 
dead. He was the first Justice of the Peace (1839) in Platte Township, 
and was at one time County Judge. 

Daniel Clark came in 1838, and his children now reside in the vicin- 
ity where he settled. 

John Berryhill settled in the forks of Maiden Creek in the early part 
of 1838. . 

James Courtney bought the place which Jackson Erickson originally 
settled, on the latter's death, and lived in the township till his death, 
which occurred in 1876, at the age of seventy-seven years, the oldest 
man in the township when he died. 

James Fidler came into the township in 1838, and that year raised a 
crop on the place where the widow of his son James, now lives. He was 
from Tennessee and died on the place he settled. 

John G. Elliott, who now resides in Platte Township, says that his 
father, John Elliott, came from Kentucky in 1833 or '34, and settled in 
the Platte Purchase, next to the Clinton County line. The country was, 
of course, at that date, in the possession of the Indians, and the white 
settlers were soon driven off by the soldiers. Mr. Elliott moved over 
the line into Clinton County, but still continued to carry on the farm in 
Platte Township. 

John Commins, the father of Eli Commins, was also one of the early 
settlers of the township, and is said to have lived in Buchanan County 
several years before the Indians were removed. 

The first 'mill built in the township was Platte River, or, as it is 
now generally called, Matney's Mill. It was commenced in 1838 by 
Harrison Whitson, an old settler, and was completed at the Platte Town- 
ship end of the dam, exactly opposite to its present site in Jackson 
Township. Mr. Whitson operated it till 1843, when John Bretz, after- 
wards County Judge, became its owner. It remained in his hands till 
February 28th, 1845, when it was destroyed by fire. It was immediately 
rebuilt, across the river just opposite to its present site, in Jackson 

Judge John Rohan, who was at one time a member of the County 
Court, was the only merchant who sold goods in Platte Township. His 
store was on his farm. He commenced business here after the war and 
removed his goods about 1876. 

The first school-house in the township stood on the Rockhold place, 
less than a quarter of a mile from the house of Asa Rockhold, on a little 
branch that flows into Castile Creek. It was known as the Rockhold 
school-house, and the first school was taught by a man named Jackman. 


There are now five good school buildings in Platte Township. 

The first meeting house in the township was built by the Calvanistic 
Baptists, on land belonging to Judge Nelson Witt, and within a 
hundred yards of his dwelling. It was known as the "Witt Meeting 
House." It was a large structure, built of hewn logs, with eight corners, 
and held a considerable number of people. The first minister who 
preached in this church, and in Platte Township, was John Evans, a Cal- 
vanistic Baptist from Kentucky. 

The Missionary Baptist subsequently erected a frame meeting house, 
called "flebron," which was standing in 1876, not used, however, for 
church purposes. 

Another house of worship was erected in the northern part of the 
township, called "Jones' Chapel," which was burned down during the 

Rev. Wm. Bledsoe, of the Hardshell Baptist denomination, a 
pioneer and Christian gentleman, ministered with the earliest expound- 
ers of the Word in these regions. 

Henry Wetmore was the first and last postmaster in the township. 
The office was continued for about two years. 

The first bridge at Platte River, connecting Platte and Jackson 
Townships, was erected about 1854. Calvert and Hodges were the con- 
tractors at $3,700. W. C. Maddox built the approaches at $1,050. 

The second bridge in the township was built in 1870. C. Baker & 
Co., contractors, at $7,500, all complete. It broke down in 1878, and 
was rebuilt in a more substantial manner. 


Among the early settlers of this township was Pleasant Yates, who 
came in the spring of 1837, and settled in the vicinity of where he now 
lives. At the time of his arrival there were no white settlers within a dis- 
tance of seven miles. 

Isaac Farris settled in the northern part of the township in 1837. 
He was a native of Lincoln County, Kentucky, removed to Indiana, and 
emigrated from that state to Missouri. He came directly to the Platte 
Purchase, and in the fall of the year settled on section 6, township 55, 
range 34. 

The father of Isaac Farris, (Johnson Farris,) had previously been one 
of the pioneers of Kentucky, and is said to have built the first house 
erected in Warrensburg in that state. 

The father of George W. Ray, who is now one of the leading resi- 
dents of the township, settled about half way between Matney's Mill and 


Several families- by the name of Holland made settlements at an 
early period to the south of Matney's Mill, and their descendants formed 
a considerable part of the early population fn that Locality. 

Levi Jackson, from Kentucky, located on Platte River, above 
Matney's mill, and was one of the early settlers of the township. 

Judge Blevins was one of the pioneers. He came in 1837 or 1838, 
and settled on the river bluff, south of Matney's mill. 

John Johnson came from North Carolina in 1838. 

Robert Prather came the same year from Kentucky, and is now 
living in Atchison County, Kansas. 

Phillip Walker came about the same time, and is now living near 
the site of Old Sparta, at the advanced age of over eighty years. 

Robert Wilson, of Ohio, came also at the same time with the above, 
and died in 1865. 

There is but one church building within the limits of Jackson Town- 
ship. This is located about one and three-quarters miles north by east 
of Arnoldsville. It is styled Mount Pleasant Church, and is the property 
of the Missionary Baptists, by whom it was built some thirty-five or 
thirty-six years ago. The structure is a time-worn and weather-stained 
frame building, of contracted proportions ; the rude, unpretending style, 
proper to the day and generation when it was built. The surroundings 
are in harmony with the general aspect of this primitive edifice, which- 
doubtless in the day of its erection was something of which that then 
sparsely settled neighborhoood had some cause to be proud. 

Between the heavy body of timber to the southward of the road 
and the building, on a slight elevation to the northward, is a graveyard, 
thickly studded with mounds, in which many of the "rude forefathers of 
the hamlet sleep." Some of them are surrounded by fences, and dis- 
tinguished with monuments suggestive of a cultured taste, and more 
modern period of construction. Others again are of an exceedingly 
primitive character, while the general mass of unmarked graves have 
little to distinguish them from the fenceless and uncaredfor space which 
they seem to occupy, with little if any regard to order of arrangement. 

The first to preach in this antique church was Rev. Mathias Cline, 
who came to that vicinity about the year 1844 or '45. Rev. Delany 
Woods is the present minister in charge. 

John Ray came from North Carolina in 1838, settling first, between 
Arnoldsville and Matney's Mill. He died in 1857. 

G. W. Ray, his son, is the present merchant of Arnoldsville. 

In the same year came Christopher Cunningham (since dead) and 
his two sons, William and John, who now live in Kansas. 

Benjamin McCrary settled in the township in 1838, and died soon 
after the war. 


Charles Grable, a prominent citizen of the township, now living one 
mile from Arnoldsville, came to the township in 1840. 

Anthony Grable, his brother (now dead), who came with him, sold 
goods in Arnoldsville with John Chesnut for a period of two years, soon 
after the close of the war. 

Eli Arnold came at an early day, and died since the war. 

Platte River Mills, also called Matney's Mills, was one of the earliest 
settled neighborhoods of the township. 

The postoffice at this period, called " Platte River," was established 
in 1848, and John Bretz appointed postmaster. This was the first post-, 
office established in Jackson Township. Bretz was succeeded in the 
office by Wm. Matney, the present owner of the mills. 

Joel Grable started a general store in 185 1, and sold goods about 
one year. 

In August, 1852, Wm. M. Matney opened, in partnership with E. 
Cody, a stock of goods. They continued in business together till April 
1853, when Matney bought out his partner, and continued to sell goods 
till 1854, when he sold out to Isaac Brooks. 

In 1857, Brooks moved his goods to Plattsburg. Wm. M. Matney 
opened another store at the mills, and did business till 1861, when he 
closed out. There was no store kept at the mills during the period of 
the civil war, and the postoffice, as above stated, was moved across the 
the river into Platte Township, one mile north of the mills to the house 
of Henry Weltner, with whom it remained until after the close of the 
war, when it was moved back to its original and present site in Jackson 

The present postmaster of Platte River, is O. D. Grable, son of 
Joel Grable, an old citizen of the township, and the merchant in whose 
store the postoffice is now kept. 

William M. Matney became the sole proprietor of what is now 
known as Matney's Mill in April, 1857. This mill is located in Jackson 
Township, on Platte River, just opposite to the point in Platte Town- 
ship, where it was first erected in J838. 

In August, 1867, the mill was consumed by fire. Mr. Matney rebuilt 
a frame building, 46x66 feet, three stories above basement. The base- 
ment wall is stone, twenty feet high, containing more than seven hundred 
perch. The mill contains two run of burrs, four and four and a half 
feet' in diameter. There is an addition to the main building two stories 
high. First story is used for saw mill, and contains one circular saw ; 
the second story contains two double custom roll carding machines, all 
driven by four Leffel turbine wheels, which cost about $2, coo. The mill 
is now in successful operation, except during very high or low water. 



William Fowler, (deceased), settled in Crawford Township, 1837. 

William Harrington, (deceased), 1837. 

Edward Davidson, from Illinois, (deceased), 1837. 

Caleb Bailey, (deceased), 1837. 

William Guinn, from Illinois in 1837, went to California in 1846. 

William Lockhart, from Illinois, (deceased), 1837. 

Bartlett Curl, from Kentucky in 1837, living in Oregon. 

James B. O'Toole, from Illinois, (deceased), 1837. 

Harvey Jones, from North Carolina, (deceased), 1837. 

O. M. Spencer, from Kentucky in 1837, living in Kansas. 

Widdy Henderson, (deceased). 

James Curl, (deceased). 

William Payne, (deceased). 

Guian Brown, (deceased). 

Turpin Thomas, (deceased). 

Matt Ferrell, (deceased). 

Judge Thomas A. Brown, living ; present County Judge. Judge 
Brown came to Crawford Township in 1838, from Tennessee. 

H. W. Baker came in 1837, from Virginia ; living. 

John Hickman came in 1837, from St. Louis; living. 

Levi J. Judah came in 1839, from Indiana; living. 

Columbus H. Roundtree came in 1837, from Kentucky; living. 

John, James and Cornelius McGuire, (deceased). 

Captain William Fowler located here in 1837, from Delaware, on the 
quarter section of land now occupied by the town of Wallace. He had 
the honor of being the first Circuit and County Clerks of Buchanan 
County, having been appointed to those positions in 1839. H!e died in 
St. Joseph, in November, 1880, at the advanced age of eighty-two years. 

Dr. Silas McDonald came from Kentucky in the spring of 1838, and 
located in Crawford Township. He was the first physician in the county. 
Now a resident of St. Joseph. 

Major Sandford Feland came to this township in 1839, purchased a 
claim east of the town of Wallace, where he has continued to reside ever 
since. His apple orchard, one of the finest in the state, contains five 
thousand trees. Major Feland states when he came to his present home 
the bark wigwaras, which had just been vacated by the Sac Indians, were 
still standing on the banks of Bee Creek. The Major is a native of Ken- 
tucky, and was an officer in the Kentucky militia. 

Guilford Moultrie, who built the first log Court House at Sparta, was 
a resident of Crawford Township, and died at his home some years 
before the war, one mile east of Wallace. 


The oldest business center in Crawford Township was known as 
West Point. It was a single store, kept by Joel Pennick, on a farm now 
owned by Milton Murphy, one and a half miles west of the present town 
•of Halleck. Mr. Pennick came to the township with his family in 1838, 
and afterwards removed to St. Joseph. Here was kept one among the 
first postoffices established in the county. 

Henry Fansher ran the first blacksmith shop in the township. This 
was on the present site of Faucett's rriiill. , 

The first camp meeting in Crawford Township was held by the 
Presbyterians, on Sparta camp ground, in the southwest part of the 
township, in 1848. Rev. Jesse Allen was the first Presbyterian minister. 
It is generally conceded that the first mill erected in the township was 
Clowser's mill, a water power built by Jones, and operated by John 
Clowser. The site of this mill was two and a half miles east of Halleck. 
Daniel Clowser destroyed and rebuilt the mill in 1849. In the great 
freshet of 1858 this was entirely swept aw;ay. 

The first steam mill erected in the township was by Dr. Silas 
McDonald, now of St. Joseph. 

Edward Davidson also built a steam mill, which was destroyed by 
fire in 1868. 

Brown & McClanahan built, in 1856-7, a steam saw mill north of 
Halleck. In 1861, Daniel Clowser bought it from Brown & McClanahan 
and coriyerted it into a grist mill and carding machine. The latter 
feature has ceased to exist. Ip, 1865 this was sold to Faucett & Ferril, 
who enlarged it and made it one of the best flouring mills in the country. 
It operates five run of burrs and has capacity for making one hundred 
barrels of flour per day and night.. The present owners are Faucett, 
Robinson & Baker. Faucp,tt's flour is widely and favorably known 
throughoiit the Miissouri valley. 

Nathan Turner ,l:)uilt. a mill in the fall Of 1838, and when he had a 
head of water w;ould start, tjie mill and go to clearing ground. Mr. 
Turner says that his neighbor, Sneed, had a dog, which was good to 
hunt "coons." One day, \vhen his miU was running (he being in the 
new ground at work) he heard Sneed's dog barking, and. thinking he had 
faund a "coon" in the mi.ll, <juit his work and went to him. To his aston- 
ishment he saw the dog was barking, not at the supposed "coon," but at 
the grist as it came out. The grist came out at irregular intervals and 
in li^mps, and when it appeared the dog would snatch and eat it, and 
then watch and bark and wait for the next batch. 

The first school ;in the township was kept by Francis Ferguson, on 
the southwest corner of section sixteen, in 1839. This was a log school 
hou^e with puncheon floor ; one log cut out for a window, and paper 
pasted over it punctured with pin-holes, to admit the light. 


For teaching, she charged fifty cents per pupil, for a term of six 
months. Money, however, being very scarce in those days, she took 
what her patrons could give her. ' Mr. Gurl paid her for teaching his 
children, in flannel, cloth, stockings and two small pigs. ' The house in 
which she taught was erected by Dr. McDonald, Wash Taylor, James 
Curl, Singleton Asher, Robert Taylor, J. J. Pennick and others. It was 
sixteen feet square; the chimney was six feet in width and made of 
sticks and dirt, A paddle hung at the door, marked on one side "out,'' 
and on the other side "in," which was turned by the pupils as they came 
in or went out during, school hours. 


Among the earliest settlers of what is now Bloomington Township, 
was Hiram Roberts. He came to the vicinity of DeKalb in 1836, a year 
before the county was opened for settlement. 

As soon as it was known that squatters had invaded the county, 
United States troops from Fort Leavenworth were sent to dispossess 
them. Perhaps, the only man who escaped the vigilance of the military, 
was Hiram Roberts, who happened to be overlooked, from the secluded 
location he then occupied. 

He lived many years after in DeKalb ; was a Justice of the Peace ; 
kept the hotel of the town for several years, and was a popular and 
highly respected citizen. Hie died in DeKalb, April 25, i88r, at the 
ripe age of seventy-nine years. Five days after, his wife of nearly equal 
age with himself, was buried. The inscription on their monument in 
the cemetery at DeKalb reads as follows : 

"Hirairi Roberts, born December 6, 1801 ; died April 25, 1881, aged 
79 years, 4 months and 19 days, Rachael Rdberts, born March 18, 1802 ; 
died April 27, 1881, aged 79 years, i month and 9 days." , 

Isom Gardner, Arnos Horn, a native of Lafayette County,' Missouri, 
John Underwood, Holland Jones, Thomas Hickman, William Hickman, 
and William Ballow, Matt Geer, Hardin Hamilton, Mrs. Sally Davife, 
(now deceased) F. D. Davis, her son, Thomas Hill, Major F. D. Bowen, 
(died 1867) Stephen Field, who built the first mill in the township, 
James Hamilton, and Isaac Van Hoosier, who died 1879, were all here 
in 1837. 

The Gartens (Zachariah, who died in 1852) with his sons Uriah and 
John, have lived in Nodaway County since 1842. William lives' jii* 
south of DeKalb and Stephen, now the oldest original settler of the 
town, came to Bloomington Township in 1839. Lewis Garten came to 
the township also ih 1839, now lives in California. In 1841, Major 
Francis Drake Bowen, a native of Fairfax County, Virginia, settled near 
DeKalb. He bought from James Linville, a claim which he afterwards 


entered, about two miles from DeKalb. He then went to Kentucky, 
where he taught a school five months, returning the same year to 
Bloomington Township, and their resided until his death, which occurred 
November 13, 1867, aged seventy-three years. His estate included some 
of the finest farms in the county, which descended to his two nephews, 
Peter and William A. Bowen. Major Bowen was at one time an officer 
in the war of 1812. He was a man of stately presence, and of superior 
scholastic attainments. He was never married. John Bowen, a brother 
of the Major, came from Virginia in 1832, with his wife and three sons : 
William A. Bowen, now, 1881, is Commissioner of Public Instruction in 
Platte County, Missouri ; Lovell, who was killed in the battle of Pea 
Ridge, fighting for the Southern cause, and Peter O. Bowen, now living 
in DeKalb. John Bowen died July 5, 1862, at the age of seventy-one 
years. His wife died in July, 1879. Francis Drake Davis, a cousin of 
Major F. D. Bowen, and now a wealthy citizen of the township, located 
here in 1837, coming from Fairfax County, Virginia. He now resides in 
the township, in the seventy-ninth year of his age. His mother, Mrs. 
Sally Davis, soon after came out with another son, John, who died on 
his way to California, in 1849. About twelve years after, Thomas Davis, 
a third son, came to Bloomington Township. Mrs. Davis died at the 
residence of her son, F. D. Davis, at the advanced age of one hundred 
years, having been born in Virginia, in December, 1773. Thomas Davis 
died in 1880, at the age of eighty years. Both this family and the 
Bowens were lineal descendants of Sir Francis Drake. Mrs. Davis had 
two daughters, Mrs. Bryant and Mrs. Peoples, both dead. The former 
died in Bloomington Township, and the latter in Lexington, Missouri. 

Michael Gabbarci, at one time a representative farmer, settled his 
present home on Contrary Creek, two and-a-half miles east of DeKalb, 
in 1838. He died in December, 1878, aged seventy-nine years. His 
widow survives. Benjamin Yocum, a farnier froni Kentucky, settled in 
this township in February, 1839, where he still resides. 

In 1839, Captain Richard Murphy, of Weston, Platte County, opened 
a saloon in Bloomington, which was attended by George W. Belt, pres- 
ent Recorder in St. Joseph! The sign read " Kaughphy House," and 
because of the originality of the orthography, it attracted universal 

Captain Belt has since that date filled many important offices in 
Platte County ; was successively Sheriff, Circuit Clerk, etc. 

The first to open a store within the limits of the town was the firm 
or O. H. P. Lucas & Tht)rnburg. During the same year Sandy Cun- 
ningham became a member of this firm. They continued in business 
for about three years. The store of Lucas & Co., in 1840, was robbed 
of $500, by James Mitchel, who kept a saloon in the place. Mitchel 
was arrested but one of the important witnesses failing to appear at the 


trial, he was discharged, and soon left the county on account of his 

Governor Robert M. Stewart immigrated to Bloomington Township 
in 1839, from New York, where he entered a claim and continued to 
reside until the breaking out of the Mexican war. He was a lawyer by 
profession and boarded a portion of the time while in DeKalb, with Joel 
Hedgpeth,. Justice of the Peace. In 1845 he moved to St; Joseph, where 
he continued to reside until his death. Governor Stewart will be 
noticed at greater length further on, in chapter entitled "Bench and 

James Ellison was also an early settler in the township, and died 
some years after the war. He was long a prominent pioneer, as was also 
Judge Curl, who at one time represented Carroll County,. Missouri, in the 

William Moore, a son-in-law of James Ellison, came in 1839. He 
was Deputy Sheriff and Constable for several years. He died in 1847- 

Captain William Moore,- who lives near DeKalb, at an advanced 
age, came to the township at an early day, and was long regarded as a 
representative citizen. 

David Brown came in 1839, and located where. his widow now resides, 
below DeKalb. He was an enterprising farmer, and a native of Ten- 

William Clasby immigrated from Calloway County, Missouri, to 
Buchanan County in 1838, and settled on a farm just west of DeKalb. 
He died some years before the war. Some of his descendants still live 
in the county. 

Benjamin Sampson and his brother, John, came- to Bloomihgton 
Township in 1838. Sampson's Mill is now owned by Henry, a son of John 

Abraham and William Womack settled here in 1838, on the farm 
now owned by Thomas Hill and Ennis Burns, in 1840. 

William Fountaine and Rice McCubbin were also early settlers. Rice 
McCubbin now resides in Kansas. Fountaine died before the war. His 
widow still survives, and is the wife of P. R. King. 

The first store within the limits of the township was opened by Hol- 
land Jones and Joel Hedgpeth, on the quarter section now owned and 
occupied by J. H. Piles, and adjoining on the east, in [837. It was, as 
may be supposed, a small affair, at that early day. The second store was 
kept by James G. Finch. 

John Dairs, a native of Virginia, was the first man to distill whisky 
in the township, prior to 1843. He died on his way to California, and his 
remains were brought back and buried in DeKalb. 

Archibald Stewart is believed to have been the first preacher to 
exercise his calling in the township. He preached his first sermon under 


a buckeye tree, on Sugar Creek, three miles south of DeKalb, thus liter- 
ally bearing testimony to the truth of the lines : 

' The groves were God's first temples." 

This was in 1839. His church was called the New Light, now the Chris- 
tian Church. 

The first building erected and used in the township exclusively for 
church purposes was a log house, near the above mentioned tree, on 
Sugar Creek. It was built in 1839, by the Hard-Shell Baptists. This 
has long since disappeared. 

The first camp-meeting held in the township was in 1842, near the 

Cite of Valley Chapel school house. The second was held in 1847, a half 
mile below Martin's old mill. 

The last camp meeting was held in 1855, near the same spot. 

The first mill was built in Bloomington Township, in 1838, by 
Stephen Field, who came in 1837. It was a horse mill, three miles from 
DeKalb, and took all night to grind two bushels of meal. The second 
mill erected in the township was a water power, owned by General John 
T. Martin, who afterwards converted it into a steam mill. It was located 
on Sugar Creek and has long since disappeared. 

In 1865-66 J. H. and B. Sampson erected a flouring mill on Contrary 
Creek, two miles northeast of DeKalb. It turned two runs of burrs ; 
attached to this was a small saw mill. J. H. Sampson, Sr., 'also owns 
and operates a steam saw millone and a half miles northeast of DeKalb. 

The first marriage in Bloomington Township occurred July, 1839. 
The parties were -James Bryant and Rosa Davis, a daughter of Mrs. Sally 
Davis, who died, as before stated, in 1873. The ceremony was per- 
formed by Hiram Roberts, Esq. It was a runaway match. 

Judge Cornelius Roberts, brother of Hiram Roberts, Esq., settled 
in Bloomington Township at a very early day, in 1837, and still resides 
within three miles of DeKalb. Judge Roberts was fourteen years on 
the county bench, twice by appointment and twice by election, and was 
legislated out of office by the adoption of the Drake constitution. lie is 
the second person who received the contract for keeping the county 
poor, his bid being the lowest. 

Major Thomas Christopher, formerly a prominent citizen of Bloom- 
ington Township, now resides in St. Joseph. 

Judge J. P. Pettigrew, now operating Sampson's mill, near DeKalb, 
came from Mercer County, Pennsylvania, and settled in the southwest 
corner of the county in 1839. He first worked at the carpenter's trade 
twelve years, and then, with John T. Martin, operated a ^rist mill on 
Sugar Creek. He was elected captain of militia in 1840, was justice of 
the peace of the township, holding the position for twelve years, was 


appointed county judge in 1864, and elected probate judge in 1870. He 
was at one time postmaster of DeKalb. 

P. R. King, another old citizen of this township, came, in 1840, from 
Montgomery County, Missouri. He worked at the tailor business in 
1848, when he put up a saw and carding machine which was run by 
horse and ox power. He was afterwards a merchant in DeKalb, Atch- 
ison, Kansas, and some years after the war returned again to DeKalb, 
where he now resides. 


Among the first settlers of Centre Township was Richard Hill, who, 
in the fall of 1837, settled in the immediate vicinity of the subsequent 
town of Sparta. By act of the General Assembly of Missouri, his 
house was designated as the place where the first courts of the county 
should be held, until otherwise ordered by the county court. The county 
court was held at his residence, until after April, 1841. At their July term, 
1840, the county court made the following order for Mr. Hill's benefit : 

"Ordered, that Richard Hill be allowed sixteen dollars out of any 
money in the county treasury, appropriated for county expenditures, for 
room furnished the county court, including this term of the court." 

At the same term we also find the following : 

" Ordered, that the house of Richard Hill be the place of holding 
elections in Centre Township." 

Robert Duncan settled east of Sparta in 1839. 

William Hunter settled east of Sparta in 1839. 

Andrew J. Hunter located in the same neighborhood in 1839. 

John Richeycame to Centre Township also in 1839, ^nd was shortly 
after his coming made a justice of the peace. Mr. Richey was 
appointed allotting justice, by the county court, in 1840, of Noble Town- 
ship, which included a portion of Centre Township at that date. 

About the same time (1839) came James Donovan, of Augusta, Ken- 
tucky, John Hill, Samuel Hill and Joseph Hill, and settled near the 
town of Sparta. 

Captain William Fowler moved to Sparta from Crawford Township, 
after the location there of the county seat, and afterwards removed with 
county seat again to St. Joseph. 

General B. F. Loan, Governor W. P. Hall, General James B. Gar- 
denhire. Judge Henry M. Vories, J-udge Wm. B. Almond and General J. 
M. Bassett (whom we have mentioned elsewhere in this history) located 
in Sparta, between 1840 and 1845, and came to St. Joseph, after the 
removal of the county seat, in 1846. 

Among the early settlers in this township were : Jesse Reames, 
Zachariah Waller, Elijah W. Smith, Lucas Dawson, John Croy. 


Along the line of bluffs in the western part of the township, John 
Martin settled in 1837, seven miles south of St. Joseph. When he first 
came to that locality his log house was the first south of Robidoux's, in 
following the line of the bluffs. 

Thomas Moore made a settlement in 1837, one mile south of Mar- 

Wm. Farris settled in the southeast part of the township in 1840, on 
the farm where his son, N. B. Farris now lives. He came from Indiana. 

George Raney came to the township from Indiana. 

H. G. Gordan settled in the township in 1842. 1 

James Woodward and Robert Donnell, now a banker, of New York, 
came at an early day. 

Evan Jordan located in the southern part of the township. 

Ransom Ridge was an early settler. 

Martin Hiroch is an old settler, living in the same neighborhood 
with Moore. 

Coates settled in 1840, the place where George Hirsch now resides. 

Joseph Mathers and his brother-in-law, Oman Miller, were the first 
settlers to improve section 35, who settled there in 1842.. 

On section 23, a man named Spratt had a farm at an early, day, and 
a man by the name of Pell a wagon shop. 

Samuel McCauley, one of the leading men of the township, settled 
here in 1840, improving section 34. He was from Lancaster County, 

The Ganns are also early settlers of the township. 

William C. Connett, father of William C, Squire S. and Horace F. 
Connett, settled' here in March, 1839, where the residence of the sons 
now is. He came from Lexington, Kentucky. The Connetts have been 
engaged in pork packing since 1850. Steam was brought into requisi- 
tion in their establishment in 1870 ; the works have been enlarged from 
that date and a large business is now carried on. 

John Copeland settled on section 22 in 1840. Mr. Copeland died in 


The Gazette, in noticing his death, says : 

"On last Saturday morning, December 13, i873. at 9 o'clock, at 
Agency, departed this life, Mr. John Copeland, at the wonderful age of 
one hundred and five years. A life begun before the American revolu- 
tion and extending over a century, the most important and eventful in 
the world's history, is something so remarkable as to arrest our atten- 
tion. John Copeland was born in North Car^jlina, in 1768. In 1829 he 
moved from the place of his birth, then at the age of sixty years, to Ten- 
nessee, where he lived till i84P. In 1840 he moved to Missouri, and 
settled" at Old Sparta, in Buchanan County, then the county-seat. For 
the last thirty years he has made his home in this county. 

" Mr. Copeland, as would be inferred, had a remarkable constitution. 
For three-quarters of a century he was a man of splendid physical powers; 


and, indeed, remained in excellent health, in possession of all his facul- 
ties, mental and physical— except only his eye-sight — till the day of his: 
death. He complained of no pain, and fell from no' disease. His was lit- 
erally a death from old age. 

"In 1868, in the hundredth yean of his age, Mr. Copeland professed 
religion, and united with the Baptist Church at Sparta, and was baptized 
by Elder J. W. Waller, of Agency, since which time he has been a 
devoted Christian. Mr. Copeland had ten children, and his descendants 
are very numerous. His sons have been among the best known of the 
citizens of the Northwest for a quarter of a century. Mr. Abner Cope- 
land, one of the most respected and useful citizens of this county, is a 
son of the deceased patriarch, and watched with deep affection the clos- 
ing years of his father's life. 

" Mr. Copeland's remains were followed to the grave by a numerous 
concourse of friends, and the last sad rites were touchingly and affection- 
ately performed by those among whom his long life had closed in peace 
and hope." 

The old county-seat of Buchanan County— Sparta — stood on the 
present farm of Samuel McCauley. The county-seat was located there 
in 1840, and six years afterward removed to St. Joseph. It was only a 
small town when at the zenith of its prosperity, and after the removal of 
the seat of justice, it died a natural death, and the site has since been 
abandoned. The plat of the town was recorded in December, 1840, and 
the place was doubtless intended by those interested in it to become a 
populous and important town. Its streets were named Harrison, Main, 
Walnut, Cherry, Cedar, Chesnut, Market, Vine, Olive, Prune and Hazel, 
and ataple provision made for its prosperous growth. 

Sparta had a brief existence, a short life of six years, during which 
time it was the county-seat of Buchanan County. 

Judge Robert Duncan was also an early settler, locating in Sparta 
after the location of the county-seat. He built in the town a hotel, a 
frame building, which is now occupied by Samuel McCauley. Judge 
Duncan was one of the county judges of Buchanan County, and removed 
to St. Joseph, where he died in 185- 

The old' Sparta graveyard was started in 1842, and the first person 
to be buried in it was a man named Whittle. Whittle was an overbear- 
ing, vindictive ruffian, and was a terror to the commuaity where he 
lived. He was killed in 1842 by one Gillett, a peaceable and quiet 

Gillett happened to come into Sparta one day, riding a good horse, 
when Whittle, who was sitting in front of a dry-goods store, got up, 
went to Gillett's horse, cut off" his tail and threw it in Gillett's face. 
Gillett borrowed a pistol from one of the citizens and shot Whittle, who 
fell in the street, while pursuing Gillett, after he had been shot. 
The demise of Whittle was the occasion of great rejoicing among his 
acquaintances. Gillett left the country and was never seen afterward. 



Among the early settlers of Rush Township, now living, is William 
Allison, who came and located in the township before the county was 
surveyed, in 1837. 

John H. Allison came in 1837. 

James Canter also located here in 1837. 

John Seips came in 1839. 

Eli Seips in 1839. 

Mitchell Owen in 1839. 

In the same year John Utt and Black Hawk Smith, an officer in the 
Black Hawk war, settled in the bottom opposite to Doniphan, Kansas. 
Colonel Wells immigrated at an early dfty to this township and died a 
few years since at the advanced age of eighty years. Colonel Wells; 
raised a company and served in the Confederate arnrky during the war. 

Henry Hays and Sylvester Hays settled here in 1839, also Morris 
Baker and James Carpenter, who sold his farm to Burgess Elliott about 
the year 1841. 

The first settler on the quarter section including the town site of 
the town of RushviMe, was John Flannery, wha came in 1839. He after- 
wards sold out to Perman Hudson and James Leachman, who laid out the 
town of Rushville, in 1847. The first man who distilled whiskey in Rush 
Township was Anthony Graves. This was in 1839. His distillery was 
near the present site of Rushville. He is now living in Norway 
County, at the age of eighty years. 

The first mill in the township was put up by Flannery & Son. It 
was a log house on the waters of Lost Creek, which supplied the power 
for one small run of burrs. This was in 1840. This has long been num- 
t bered with the things of the past. 

About the same period (1840) Sylvester Hays, commonly known as 
" Boss Hays,'' before Rushville was laid out; arid when Flannery & Son 
had their mill, also operated a small corn mill and distillery. 

The first sermon preached in Rush Township was by Rev. J. R. 
Lowe, a Hard-Shell Baptist, in 1843. 

In the same year the first marriage was performed in the township 
by the same minister. The contracting parties were James D. Buntin 
and Ursula Flannery, daughter of John Flannery, above referred to. 
The groom has long since been dead, but the bride still lives in the 
neighborhood of Rushville. 

James Leachman was the first postmaster, in 185 1, of the township, 
his office being known as Leachman's postoffice. He was succeeded by 
William Green, who in turn was succeeded by Alexander McPherson, 
who served till 1854, when James R. Dickson received the appointment. 
Mr. Dickson has been a prominent merchant of Rushville. He is one of 


the old citizens. In 1855 Esquire Elijah Watson, from Kentucky, suc- 
ceeded Mr. Dickson as postmaster. He has held the office uninterrupt- 
edly ever since. 

Rush Township has been, at different tim^s, the seat of some excel- 
lent flouring mills. 

In 1868-69, M. H. and S. F Floyd put up a spacious and well- 
appointed mill ; a strong frame on stone foundations ; two runs of burrs 
and superior machinery. It burnt down in 1873. A. Fenton and James 
H. Canter own at present the steam flouring mill, built in 1875 by 
Esquire McFarland. It is furnished with two runs of burrs. The mill 
is leased by J. H. Rankin, who now (1881) operates it. 


About the first settlements in what is now known as Agency Town- 
ship were James Gilmore and his brother Robert, who located here in 
1837. They were natives of East Tennessee, and settled first in Clay 
County, Missouri. Robert Gilmore, when coming to Buchanan County, 
located on section 29, township $6, range 34. He was the father of 
James J. Gilmore, now living at Agency, and brother of James Gilmore, 
who lived in the Platte country, as blacksmith for the Iowa and Sac 
Indians, long before it was settled by the whites. James Gilmore com- 
pleted what was known as Dixon's Mill, two and a half miles above ■ 
Agency, on the Platte River. Of this mill scarcely a vestige now 
remains. Its builder, Mr. Dixon, was from Maryland. James Gilmore 
■died in Oregon ; was the father of James J. Gilmore, who is now a prom- 
inent farmer of the township. 

James J. Reynolds came from Clay County in 1838, and settled near 
the Agency. 

Samuel Poteete settled the farm where James J. Gilmore now lives. 
He was originally from Tennessee, and located here in 1837. 

Wm. McDowell, from Clay County, came in the spring of 1837, and 
lived near Agency till his death, which occurred in 1874. 

Jacob Reese, a native of North Carolina, reached the county about 
the year 18-38, and settled on Pigeon Creek. The farm which Mr. 
Reese occupies is the oldest farm in the county, being opened up ten or 
twelve years before the settlement of the county by the whites. 

Benjamin Moore, from Virginia, settled on Pigeon Creek. 

Littleberry Estes settled on Pigeon Creek. 

Moore was the first postmaster in that part of the county and kept 
the post oifice, which was called Walnut Hill. 

John McGanhey came from Indiana, in the summer of 1839, and 
iocated one and a half miles south of Agency. 

Bright Martin first settled the farm of M. W. Farris, on section 31. 


John Lamb settled on the Platte, just north of the Jackson County 
line, in 1839. He died en route to California. 

The first mill on Platte River, in Buchanan County, was Dickson's 
Mill, which stood two and a half miles above Agency. It was built by 
Benjamin and James Dickson, and James Gilmore, and was constructed 
in 1838. 

Richard Fulton was one of the early settlers.- 

The location on which the town of Agency now stands was from the 
earliest settlement of the county known as Agency Ford. In 1838 or 
'39, Robert Gilmore established a ferry, which he operated till the year 
1865, when William B. Smith, the founder of the town, purchased a large 
flat boat, which he hauled from the Missouri River at St. Joseph, by 
means of ox-teams, and established his ferry across the Platte at Agency. 
The building of a wagon bridge across the river at this point in 1868, 
ended the necessity for a ferry, which was then discontinued. There is 
at present an iron wagon bridge at this point, built on the abutments 
of the old bridge which had been condemned. A few hundred yards 
above this is the bridge across the Platte, of what is now a branch of the 
Wabash, St. Louis and Pacific Railroad, built in 1869. 

At this time (1881), a substantial wagon bridge is being constructed 
across Pigeon Creek, half a mile north of the town of Agency, on the old 
State road. David Yates, a prominent merchant of the town, was 
drowned here in 1879. 

The town of Agency was founded in 1865 by William B. Smith, and 
during the following year his father, Hugh Smith, sold his farm, on which 
was the town site of the original town of Sparta, and established himself 
also here. 

The town, after being laid out by Mr. Smith, continued to grow 
until 1869, when the completion of the branch of the Wabash, St. Louis 
and Pacific Railroad, gave a new impetus to business of all kinds. In 
1864, Smith Bros., completed the building of a mill at Agency. In 1868 
and '69, R. R. , Boone became the sole proprietor. In 1878, he sold a half 
interest to his son-in-law, E, M. Yates. Since that,:date several 
improvements have, been added to the mill, which now has a grinding 
capacity of three hundred bushels of wheat per day, producing an excel- 
lent quality of, flour. 

V. C. Cooley's mill is located on Platte River, three miles southeast 
of Agency. It has three runs of burrs, is supplied with Anderson's 
steam heater, and has a capacity for grinding six thousand pounds of 
flour daily. 

One of the first sermons preached within the limits of the township 
was delivered by Bishop Marvin, in a log cabin called the "Wood" 
school house. 

One of the earliest postmasters of Agency was Benjamin Moore.' 


J. B. HoUingsworth, a justice of the peace of the attached part of 
Centre Township, by the erection of Agency Township, became the fir-st 
justice of the peace of the new township. W. H. Ritchie was the first 
constable, and Susan M. Holland was commissioned the first notary 

General Andrew S. Hughes, of whom we have spoken elsewhere, was. 
Indian Agent, stationed at Agency Ford for several years. 


Marion Township, from the fact that the tierritory embraced within 
its limits occupied the northeastern part of the county, was not so rap- 
idly or thickly settled as the southern portion. 

The first settlers generally occupied that portion of the county 
lying contiguous to the line of Clinton County. ■ 

Calvin James was one of the earliest settlers of Marion Township. 
He came from some one of the older settled counties of Missouri, and 
located near the town of Easton in 1837, and still resides in the town- 

Benjamin Cornelius, from Clay, came in 1837 and settled on section 
15, township 57, range 34. When' he located here his nearest neighbor 
was four miles distant. 

Peter Boyer, the father of Jacob and Henry Bbyer, who lived on 
Third Fork, settled the place now owned by Isaac Gibson. Mr. Boyer 
was from Pennsylvania. 

James Blakely settled on Section 22, township 57, range 34, and 
came to the county from Kentucky, in 1838. 

Thomas McGowan came in 1838 and settled south of Mr. Blakely. 

Jesse Clark arrived in 1838, originally from Tennessee, but came 
from Clay County to Buchanan. 

Barnes Clark came the same year, being also from Tennessee, and 
at the time of his location here from Clay. The Clarks are still living 
in the township. 

The Markers, from Ohio, settled about a mile and a half west of the 
Third Fork, at an early' date. 

Caleb Hasenmejjer, who was also from Ohio, was among the early 
German settlers in the township, coming about the same tirhe that the 
Markers came. 

John LedgerwOod came from Clay County in 1839, and made a set- 
tlement on the east side of Platte River. 

Nichola.^ Roberts located in the township in the spring of 1838, on 
land now o^V^ned by E. V. Kelly. 

James Roberts settled here also in 1838, on the place now occupied 
by Monroe McCorkle. They were from Clay County. 


James McCorkle, from Clay County, settled in the forks of Platte 
and Third Fork, in the spring of 1838, oa land now owned by Jesse A. 

George Rapp was also an early settler. 

Dougherty was the first settler of the school section (16) of 

township 57, range 34. He left the country soon afterward. 

Joseph Kessler, who lives in the vicinity of Easton, was one of the 
first German settlers. 

Among others who came at an early day, we have the names of John 
Wunderlich ; Wolfgang Beck; John Slaybaugh, from Pennsylvania ; 
David Davis, from Ohio ; Dr. John Minor, from Kentucky ; John Davis, 
brother of David, from Ohio ; Isaac Gibson, from Missouri ; Isaac Voo- 
"hies ; William P. Shortridge, from Kentucky ; Augustus Wiley and 
James Wiley. 


Peter Price was one of the earliest settlers in Wayne Township. He 
came in 1837, and located where Thomas , Leisure now lives. 

James M. Hawley, from Indiana, settled here in 1839.. 

Stephen Hawley, also from Indiana, came in 1839. 

Isaac Lower, from Tennessee, came in 1837. 

William Jones settled where his sons, Leyi arid prank Jones, now 

William Dunning settled in the township in 1839, ten miles south of 
St. Joseph. He was born in Guilford, North Carolina, in 1794; served 
through the war of 1812; married in Tennessee in -1821, and moved to 
Bloomington, Indiana, wherejhe filled several important offices, among 
which was that of Associate justice for the period of eight years. He 
was appointed Judge of the County Court of Buchanan County in 1842, 
and continued thereafter to fill the position by election for fourteen 
years. He resigned in 1*862, and died in 1879, at the advanced age of 
eighty years, 

Daniel Devorss, a native of Ohio, but who came to Missouri from 
Indiana, was an early settler of the township. 

Henson Devorss became a resident of the northeast corner of the 
township in 1846, and for three years previously had lived in Washing- 
ton Township. 


Lalce is the smallest township in the county. The early settlers 

were mostly from Bartholomew County, Indiana. 

William McHammer came to this township in the spring of 1841, 
Henry Sibert, father of the wife of Isaac L. Peck, arrived in the fall 

®f i;84i. 


■ Nathaniel Wilson, father of John Wilson, came the same year. 

William McGalliard came in 1841. 

James McKinney in 1841. 

John McGalliard in 1841. 

James McGalliard in 1841. 

Thomas McGalliard in 1841. 

James Wilson in 1841. 

Eli Gabbert in 1841. 

The above named settlers cam'e from Indiana, Bartholomew County. 

In 1844 the township was flooded, and also in 1881/ the population 
having to move to the bluffs. 

James L. Peck, one of the prominent citizens of the township, is a 
native of New York, and has been a resident of the township since 1851. 


The Rock House Prairie, in the southern part of this township, was 
so named from the following circumstances : While the Indians still 
occupied the county, the route traveled between Clay County and the 
Indian Agency, near Agency Ford, after crossing the Platte River, led 
across the prairie. On a rocky point of ground, near the residence of 
Ransom Ridge, the Indians had erected a huge pile of stones, shaped as 
much as possible in the form of a house. This ^\'as known as the Rock 
House. It stood directly on the road traveled from Agency Ford to 
Liberty, Clay County, and attracted the attention of ever)- white man 
who traversed that region, and from this fact, at an early date, the 
prairie came to be called the Rock House Prairie. 

One of the first settlers of Tremont Township was Ishmael Davis, 
from Kentucky, but a native of Maryland, who in the spring of 1837 
settled on the edge of R.ock House Prairie. His son, R. T. Davis, now 
a resident of St. Joseph, born here in April, 1837, is said to have been 
the first white child born in the county! Ambrose D. McDaniel came from 
Kentucky in 1837, and also settled on the Rock House Prairie. He was 
killed at his home, in the township, during the war of the rebellion. 
George Jeffers, a native of Tennessee, came from Clay County to 
Buchanan in 1838, and located on section 34, township 56, range 34. 
He pre-empted his claim, broke twenty acres, planted with corn, fenced 
it, and moved in with his family the February of the following year. He 
pre-empted the place now owned by his son, James M. Jeffers. 

James Gibson, in 1838, settled on the east side of Platte, about a mile 
from Dixon's Mill. He died there. 

Harold Miller came with Gibson and settled in the same neighbor- 
hood with him, joining him on the east; He was from Virginia. 

Robert Irwin, in 1838, settled about a mile -northeast of Dixon's 
Mill. He was born in Tennessee, but came to this county from Clay. 


He was a prominent citizen of the county, and a member, at one time, 
of the County Court. He emigrated to Oregon and died there in 1876. 

Sarrluel D. Gilmore, the son of Jame3 Gilmore, who lived in the 
Platte Purchase long before its settlement by the whites, as a black- 
smith to the Sac and Fox Indians, opened up a farm on the east side of 
Platte River, half a mile above Dixorl's Mill. 

Samuel D. Gilmore was appointed, by the Governor, the first sheriff 
of Buchanan County. He emigrated to Oregon and is still living there. 

Stephen Bedford settled on Maiden Creek, in the east part of the 
township. He was from Kentucky, but had lived in Clinton County 
before coming to Buchanan. 

Daniel McCreay, a Tennesseean; settled on the waters of the Maiden,, 
in 1838. 

Joabs Schultz, who was also from Tenrieisse, arrived in the spring of 
1838, and settled on the east side of Platte River, near Dixon's Mill. He 
was one of the first justices of the peace elected in this part of the 
county. He served a number of years in that office, and is still living on 
the tract where he originally settled. 

Henry Jones came, to Buchanan frohi Clay, early in the settlement 
of the county and located on section 27, township 56, range 34. He 
died in 1848, being murdered by a man named Gibson. ' 

Creed Herring is now one of the oldest settlers of the township. He 
is a native of Shelby County, Kentucky, and settled where he now lives 
in the fall of 1843. 

Edward M. Trotter, now residing near Frazer, cartie to the township 
in 1841. - 

M. D. Finch settled on the Rock House Prairie in 1842, and has since 
lived in the vicinity of where he settled. 

Wilson P. Mudgett and P. P. Mudgettj settled on Rock House Prai- 
rie in 1839. Wilson P. was the first postmaster of the settlement. He 
is dead. P. P. is now living in Iowa. 


Joseph Rbbidoux was the first white man to locate within the lim- 
its of what is now known as Washington Township, and indeed, within 
the territory of the Platte country. His name is so inseparably associ- 
ated with the history of St. Joseph, from its foundation to 1868, the date 
of his death, that we shall speak of him only in connection with what 
' we shall say of the city ; giving then a brief biographical sketch of the 
Robidoux family, and such other facts and reminiscences concerning 
Mr. Robidoux as we have at our disposa;!. 

In speaking of the settlement of Washington Township, we shall 
confine ourselves to a reference only to the settlements made outside of 


the city of St. Joseph, preferring for convenience sake to treat of the 
pioneers of the city in the history of the city proper. 

Among the early settlers of this township was John H. Whitehead, 
who originally came from Virginia to Clay County, Missouri, and thence 
to Buchanan County, in 1837, locating two miles southeast of St. Joseph. 

William Whitehead came at the same time, and located with his 
brother John H. Whitehead above referred to. 

Henry W. Hanson emigrated from Kentucky in 1837, and settled ort 
the edge of the bluffs, about a mile south of St. Joseph. He was one of 
the judges of the first election held in the township. 

James Cochran settled at an early day in the southwest part of the 
township, in the bottom near Contrary Creek. 

Frederick Waymire was also an early settler and located near Con- 
trary Creek. He was appointed overseer of district number six, Wash- 
ington Township, in 1.841. He took the contract and built the first court 
house in the county, at Sparta, and was paid out of moneys arising from 
the sale of lots in that whilom seat of justice. , 

Waymire & Gilmore operated a mill in 1840, on Contrary Creek. 

James H. Whitehead was a citizen of Washington Township, and, as 
early as 1840, was an inspector of tobacco in Robidoux's warehouse, at 
the Blacksnake Hills.. 

William Pough, a Kentuckian, came from Clinton County in 1837, 
and made a settlement on the southeast quarter of section 33, township 
57, range 35. 

Claiborne F. Palmer arrived from Ray County in 1838, and settled 
at the foot of the bluffs south of St. Joseph. "He was in 1840 appointed 
one of the alloting justices of the township. 

A. C. Hyde is one of the old residents. He came from Kentucky 
in 1840, and located where he now lives, on section 32, township 57, 
range 35. ^ 

Thomas, John and Elisha Sollers were among the earliest pioneers, 
and settled north of St. Joseph. 

James Highly was an old settler. 

Stephen Parker made a settlement about two miles nertheast of St. 
Joseph, and Isaac and Michael Miller located on lands adjoining Parker. 

James G. Karnes came from Monroe County, West Virginia, in the 
fall of 1839, and settled north of St. Joseph, on section 34, township $8, 
range 35. Shortly afterward he moved to the place where his family 
still reside. , , 

Alexander Fudge, from. Covington, Virginia, arrived from Clay 
County in the spring of 1839, and located on section 34, township 58, 
range 35, where he lived till his death, in January, 1875. 

Sa.bert Sollers settled in the fall of 1839, on section 27 of the same 
Congressional township. 


Leroy Kaufman, in 1839, settled the place now owned by Wallace 

Benjamin Williams was one of the early settlers north of St. Josephs 
as was also Jacob Groshon. 

Logan James and Edward Maxwell made settlements in the town- 
ship in 1837, where they now reside, near the north line of the coxinty. 
Logan split twenty-five hundred rails in 1838 for the first cow he bought 
after coming here. 

On the One Hundred and Two River, Isaac Waymire, at an early 
day, owned a mill and bridge, which occupied the present site of Corby's 

John H. Cox was an early settler on the same stream, below the 

The McCorkles located between the One Hundred and Two and 
Platte Rivers, but that vicinity was then sparsely settled. 

David Ewing lived near Saxton Station, and was, in 1840, a road 

William Sally and a man named Keaton were early settlers. 

Joseph Davis located north of St. Joseph. 

George Coughern was one of the allotting justices of the township 
in 1840. 

Michael Bailew. and F. B. Kercheval were old settlers. 

Michael ' Rodgers and John C. Mansfield came early. 

Simeon Kemper came out in 1839, from Kentucky, but did not bring 
his family till 1840. He located on section 9, township 57, range 35. 
Mr. Kemper resides in St. Joseph at the advanced age of 82 years. 

Frederick W. Smith, in 1838, settled on section 8, township 59, 
range 35, where he now lives, his land, as well as that of Kemper, being 
now within the corporate limits of St. Joseph. Mr. Smith was the first 
postmaster at St. Joseph after the town was laid out. 

Dr. Daniel G. Keedy was the second physician to locate in Buchanan 
County. He settled in the bottom below the city, west of the round 
house. Joseph P. Grubb, at one time Judge of the Circuit Court in this 
district ; Col.' J. H. R. Cundiff, formerly one of the editors of the Gazette, 
and S. W. Campbell, at present a banker in Kansas, married daughters 
of Dr. Keedy. 

Dr. Keedy^was a prominent and successful physician. His widow 
is still living. 

General Bela M. Hughes, now of Denver, Colorado, settled just 
north of where Col. James N. Burnes now lives, and just below the fair 

Robert L Boyd settled just below King Hill, on the bluffs. His 
widow is still living. 


Wm. T. Harris located on section 9, township 57, range 35, just 
outside the city limits. 

Joseph Gladden settled north of St. Joseph, in 1837. 

John R. Carter was another old settler, who located near the State 
Asylum. He is dead. 

Colonel Samuel C. Hall located on the northeast quarter of section 
8, township 57, range 35, and was the first justice of the peace in St. 

Richard Gilmore, who is still living, settled near the northeastern 
limits of St. Joseph, in 1838. 

John B. Hundley is an old settler of the township, who resides in 
St. Joseph. 

William P. Richardson, also located at an early day near the city 
limits. His daughter married General W. P. Hall, of St. Joseph. 

Isadore Pouline was an early settler, and clerked for many years for 
Joseph Robidoux. He sold his claim to W. K. Richardson. 

The township contains a considerable German settlen^ent. 

Nicholas Ozenberger was the first German settler. He came from 
Wayne County, Ohio, in 1847, and located where he now lives, in the 
northeastern part of the township, between the One Hundred and Two 
River and the Platte. 

The singular name of the One Hundred and Two was given to that 
streani, according to common belief, by the men employed in making 
the United States survey, from the fact that it is just 102 miles in length. 


Having spoken of the old settlers somewhat at length, we shall con- 
clude this chapter with an additional list of the names of men who came 
to the county between 1837 and 1840. This list, of course, will embrace 
the names of many who have died or moved away, yet if we are not mis- 
taken it will be read and examined with interest by not only the citizens 
who constitute the present population of the county, but with far more 
interest by future generations : 

Anthony, J. A. Argyle, A, A. Anno, William. 

Asher, Singleton. Ancierson, Joshua. Allison, H. P. 

Allen, Wright. Agee, James. Agee, Samuel. 

Austin, Thos. H. Briton, John. Beckett, Benjamin. 

Sevens, Walter^ Beauchamp, E. A. Baker, Morris, 

Brown, David. Brown, Alexander. Burgess, C. M. 

Bonham, Joel.' Bond, John. Becraft, Wm. 

Burns, Jeremiah. Blankenship, Geo. W. Beck, James. 

Britton, George. Burgess, Stephen. Belliew, M. B 

Boyd, Robert. Bohanan, John. Buford, Thomas. 



Brown, Elisha. 
Brinton, Thomas. 
Brooks, George. 
Butler, John. 
Castle, Ozro. 
Cogdale, Wm. 
Chilton, Robert. 
Chapman, Wm. 
Dunn, James. 
Ditimore, George. 
JDavidson, E. M. 
Emory, James M. 
Edgar, J. A. 
Eanickson, John. 
Falkner, James., Henry. 
Flannery, Wm. 
Gillem, Mitchel. 
Gabbert, Jefferson. 
Gilmore, Jas. G. 
Hardin, Robert. 
Holman, Jas. R. 
Hall, Joseph. 
Harris, Betsey. 
Hickman, Thomas 
Horton, Thomas. 
Hurness, Lewis. 
Jenkins, Joseph. 
Jeffers, George. 
Jones, Ilarvey. 
Kinney, George. 
Kessler, Sebastian. 
Linville, Byram. 
Lewis, Luke. 
Madden, Gabriel. 
McGuire, A. 
Meville, Nicholas. 
Modrel, John. 
Moss, Henry. 
Michael, Michael. 
Owens, Nicholas. 
Pierce, James C. 
Parmer, C. F. 
Potter, Abraham. 

Barnett, Jesse. 
Bonner, John W. 
Bragg, Wm. 
Cameron, James. 
Clarby, Wm. H. 
Carpenter, Whipple. 
Conner, Phebe. 
Coyl, Simeon. 
Dixon, James. 
Dillon, L. H. 
Deppen, Isaac. 
Eager John. 
Ellison, John. 
Elliott, Willis. 
Fulks, Henry. 
Fulton, James. 
Fields, Wm. 
Gaver, James. 
Gilmore, Robert. 
Gibson, Isaac. 
HoUaday, Joseph. 
Hunter, A. J. 
Hancock, Richard. 
Henderson, Guilford. 
Hainlino, Jeremiah, 
Hurst, Daniel. 
Haines, Isaac. 
Jackson, Samuel. 
Jones, Edward. 
Jones, Ambrose. 
Kirk, Peter. 
Lilly, David R. 
Lower, Henry. 
McDaniel, Wm. 
Morris, John. 
Monroe, Wm. 
Miller, Harrold. 
Marc, Joseph. 
Millett, Nimrod. 
Norris, John. 
Owen, W. M. 
Price, B. F. 
Powell, Chas. 
Pearson, Allen. 

Bohart, Jacob. 
Bridgman, J. W. 
Bell, John. 

Cunningham, Christo'er. 
Camages, Geo. W. 
Clark, Wm. J. 
Cleek, Jacob. 
Dodge Edwin. 
Davis, Mathew. 
Davis, John S. 
Ellington, John. 
Edgar, J. 
England, Aaron. 
Fuller, Miles. 
Fletcher, Charles. 
Foster, A. J. 
Fielding, Sanford. 
Gaston, Zachariah. 
Gilliam, E. 
Hughart, Joseph. 
Harrington, Wm. 
Holman, Daniel. 
Hill, Samuel. 
Hadley, Samuel. 
Hays, Hugh. 
Hooper, Parker A. 
Johnson, Samuel. 
Jones, David. 
Jacob, Nicholas. 
Knapp, Alfred. 
Kirkman, Thomas. 
Lemon, Mary. 
Loveland, Robert. 
Mans, Geo. W. 
Mulkey, Daniel. 
Montray, Gilford. 
Magill, Samuel. 
Moore, Wm. 
McCubbin, John C. 
Neubry, Alexander. 
O'Neil, j6hnson. 
Price, Nathan. 
Patterson, Green. 
Reynolds, Wm. W. 



Roy, Lewis E. 
Rector, Jas. M. 
Reynolds, Hugh. 
Smith, Anderson. 
Sampson, John. 
Shea, Dudley. 
Scott, James. 
Thompson, James. 
Thomas, Wm. 
Whisman, John W. 
Wallace, Mike. 
Williams, Henry. 
Wilcox, Edward. 
Young, Wm. 

Rhover, Upton. 
Robinett, Stephen. 
Smith, Hiram. 
Swaney, Robert. 
Singleton, Samuel. 
Shultz, Joab. 
Sarber, Abraham. 
Tucker, Benjamin. 
Townsend, John. 
Wilson, Aaron. 
Webb, Rufus. 
Wrinkler, David. 
Wade, Wm. 
Zumwalt, C. P. 

Russell, Andrew. 
Ross, John. 
Strode, John S. 
Snyder, Edwin. 
Stanley, Joseph. 
Sipes, John. 
Taylor, Geo. W. 
Tavrance, Lloyd. 
Utt, Henry. 
Walker, Joseph. 
Woods, Alexander. 
Wonderline, Joseph. 
Willett, Nimrod. • 




In the heart of the grand old forest, 

A thousand miles to the West, 
Where a stream gushed out from the hillside, 

They halted at last for rest. 
And the silence of ages listened 

To the ax-stroke loud and clear. 
Divining a kingly presence 

In the tread of the pioneer. 

He formed of the prostrate beeches 

A home that was strong and good ; 
The roof was of reeds from the streamlet, 

The chimney he built of wood, 
And there by the winter fireside, 

While the flame up the chimney roared. 
He spoke of the good time coming, 

When plenty should crown their board — 

When the forest should fade like a vision. 

And over the hillside and plain 
The orchard would spring in its beauty, 

And the fields of golden grain. 
And to-night he sits by the fireside 

In a mansion quaint and old. 
With his children's children around him. 

Having reaped a thousand-fold. 

During the decade which comprehends the first ten years of its his- 
tory, the settlement of Buchanan County was in its earliest stage of 
pioneer life. All that can be known of this period must be drawn chiefly 
from tradition. 

In those days the people took no care to preserve history — they 
were too busily engaged in making it. Historically speaking, those 
were the most important years of the county, for it was then the founda- 
tion and corner-stones of all the county's history and prosperity were 
laid. Yet this period was not remarkable for stirring events. It was 
however, a time of self reliance and brave persevering toil ; of privations 


cheerfully endured through faith in a good time coming. The experi- 
ence of one settler was just about the same as that of others. They 
were ^Imost invariably poor, they faced the same hardships and stood 
generally on an equal footing. • 

All the experience of the early pioneer of this county goes far to 
confirm the theory that, after all, happiness is pretty evenly balanced in 
this world. They had their privations and hardships, but they had also 
their own peculiar joys. If they were poor they were free from the bur- 
den of pride and vanity; free, also, from the anxiety and care that 
always attend the possession of wealth. Other people's eyes cost them 
nothing. If they had few neighbors, they were on the best of terms 
with those they had. Envy, jealousy and strife had not crept in. A 
common interest and a common sympathy bound them together with 
the strongest ties. They were a little world to themselves, and the good 
feeling that prevailed was all the stronger because they were so far 
removed from the great world of the East. 

Among these pioneers there was realized such a community of 
interest that there existed a community of feeling. There were no 
castes, except an aristocracy of benevolence, and no nobility, except a 
nobility of generosity. They were bound together with such a strong 
bond of sympathy, inspired by the consciousness of common hardship, 
that they were practically communists. 

Neighbors did not even wait for an invitation or request to help one 
another. Was a settler's cabin burned or blown down ? No sooner was 
the fact known throughout the neighborhood than the settlers assembled 
to assist the unfortunate one to rebuild his home. They came with as 
little hesitation, and with as much alacrity as though they were all mem- 
bers of the same family, and bound together by ties of blood. One man's 
interest was every other man's interest also. Now this general state of 
feeling among the pioneers was by no means peculiar to this county, 
although it was strongly illustrated here. It prevailed generally through- 
out the West during the time of the early settlement. The very nature 
of things taught the settlers the necessity of dwelling together in this 
spirit. It was their only protection. They had come far away from the 
well established reign of law, and entered a new country, where the civil 
authority was still feeble and totally unable to afford protection and 
redress grievances. Here the settlers lived some little time before there 
was an officer of the law in the county. Each man's protection was in 
the good will and friendship of those about him, and the thing any man 
might well dread was the ill will of the community. It was more terri- 
ble than the law. It was no uncommon thing in the early times for 
hardened men, who had no fear of jails or penitentiaries, to stand in 
great fear of the indignation of a pioneer community. Such were some 
of the characteristics of Buchanan County. 



The first buildings in the county were not just like the log cabins 
that immediately succeeded them. The latter required some help and 
a good deal of labor to build. The very first buildings constructed were 
a cross between " hoop cabins " and Indian bark huts. As soon as 
•enough men could be got together for a " cabin raising " then log cabins 
were in style. Many a pioneer can remember the happiest time of his 
life as that when he lived in one of these homely but comfortable old cabins. 

A window with sash and glass was a rarity, and was an evidence of 
wealth and aristocracy which but few could support. They were often 
made with greased paper put over the window, which admitted a little 
light, but more often there was nothing whatever over it, or the cracks 
between the logs, without either chinking or daubing, were the depend- 
ence for light and air. The doors were fastened with old-fashioned 
wooden latches, and for a friend, or neighbor, or traveler, the string 
always hung out, for the~ pioneers of the West were hospitable, and 
entertained visitors to the best of their ability. It is noticeable with 
what affection the pioneers speak of their old log cabins. It may be 
doubted whether palaces ever sheltered happier hearts than those 
homely cabins. The following is a good description of these old land- 
marks, but few of which now remain : 

" These were of round logs, notched together at the corners, ribbed 
with poles, and covered with boards split from a tree. A puncheon 
floor was then laid down, a hole cut in the end and a stick chimney run 
up. A clapboard door is made, a window is opened by cutting out a hole 
in the side or end two feet square, and finished without glass or trans- 
parency. The house is then " chinked " and " daubed " with mud. The 
cabin is now ready to go into. The household and kitchen furniture is 
adjusted, and life on the frontier is begun in earnest. 

" The one-legged bedstead, now a piece of furniture of the past, 
was made by cutting a stick the proper length, boring holes at one end 
one a half inches in diameter, at right angles, and the same sized holes 
corresponding with those in the logs of the cabin the length and breadth 
desired for the bed, in which are inserted poles. 

" Upon these poles, clapboards are laid, or lind bark is interwoven 
consecutively from pole to pole. Upon this primitive structure the bed 
is laid. The convenience of a cook stove was not thought of, but instead 
the cooking was done by the faithful housewife in pots, kettles and skil- 
lets, on and about the big fire-place, and very frequently over and around, 
too, the distended pedal extremities of the legal sovereign of the 
household, while the latter were indulging in the luxuries of a cob pipe, 
and discussing the probable results of a contemplated elk hunt up and 
about the Platte and One Hundred and Two. 



These log cabins were really not so bad after all. 
The people of to-day, familiarized with "Charter Oak" cookin 
stoves and ranges, would be ill at home were they compelled to prepare 
a meal with no other conveniences than those provided in a pioneer 
cabin. Rude fire-places were built in chimneys composed of mud and 
sticks, or at best, undressed stone. These fire-places served for heating 
and cooking purposes ; also for ventilation. Around the cheerful blaze 
of this fire the meal was prepared, and these meals were not so bad after 
all. As elsewhere remarked, they were not such as would tempt the 
epicure, but such as afforded the most healthful nourishment for a race of 
people who were driven to the exposure and hardships which were their 
lot. We hear of few dyspeptics in those days. Another advantage of 
these cooking arrangements was that the stove pipe never fell down and 
the pioneer was spared being subjected to the most trying of ordeals, 
and one probably more productive of profanity than any other. 

Before the country became supplied with mills which were of easy 
access, and even in some instances afterward, hominy-blocks were used. 
These exist now only in the memory of the oldest settlers, but as relics 
of the "long ago," a description of them will not be uninteresting: 

A tree of suitable size, say from eighteen inches to two feet in diam- 
eter, was selected in the forest and felled to the ground. If a cross-cut 
saw happened to be convenient, the tree was "butted" — that is, the kerf 
end was sawed off so that it would stand steady when ready for use. If 
there were no cross-cut saw in the neighborhood, strong arms and sharp 
axes were ready to do the work. Then the proper length, from four to 
five feet, was measured off, and sawed or cut square. When this was 
done the block was raised on end and the work of cutting out a hollo.w 
in one of the ends was commenced. This was generally done with a 
common chopping axe. Sometimes a smaller one was used. When the 
cavity was judged to be large enough, a fire was built in it and carefully 
watched till the ragged edges were burned away. When completed, the 
hominy-block somewhat resembled a druggist's mortar. Than a pestle, 
or something to crush the corn, was necessary. This was usually made 
from a suitably sized piece of timber with an iron wedge attached, the 
large end down. This completed the machinery, and the block was 
ready for use. Sometimes one hominy-block accommodated an entire 
neighborhood and was the means of staying the hunger of many mouths. 
In giving the bill of fare above we should have added meat, for of 
this they had plenty. Deer would be seen daily trooping over the 
prairie in droves of from twelve to twenty, and sometimes as many as 
fifty would be seen grazing Elk were also found, and wild 
turkeys and prairie chickens without number. Bears were not unknown. 
Music of the natural order was not wanting, and every night the pioneers 
were lulled to rest by the screeching of panthers and the howling of 


wolves. When the dogs ventured too far out from the cabins at night, 
they would be driven back by the wolves chasing them up to the very 
cabin doors. Trapping wolves became quite a profitable business after 
the state began to pay a bounty for wolf scalps. 

All the streams of water also abounded in fish, and a good supply of 
these could be procured by the expense of a little time and labor. 
Those who years ago improved the fishing advantages of the country 
never tire telling of the dainty meals which the streams afforded. 
Sometimes large parties would get together, and having been provided 
with cooking utensils and facilities for camping out, would go off some 
some distance and spend weeks together. No danger then of being 
ordered off a man's premises or arrested for trespass. One of the pecu- 
liar circumstances that surrounded the early life of the pioneers was a 
strange loneliness. The ' solitude seemed almost to oppress them. 
Months would pass during which they would scarcely see a human face 
outside their own families. 

On occasions of special interest, such as elections, holiday cel- 
ebrations, or camp-meetings, it was nothing unusual for a few settlers 
who lived in the immediate neighborhood of the meeting to entertain 
scores of those who had come from a distance. 

Rough and rude though the surroundings may have been, the 
pioneers were none the less honest, sincere, hospitable and kind in 
their relations. It is true, as a rule, and of universal application, that 
there is a greater degree of real humanity among the pioneers of any 
country than there is when the country becomes old and rich. If there 
is an absence of refinement, that absence is more than compensated in 
the presence of generous hearts and truthful lives. They are bold, 
industrious, and enterprising. Generally speaking, they are earnest 
thinkers, and possessed of a diversified fund of useful practical infor- 
mation. As a rule they do not arrive at a conclusion by means of a 
course of rational reasoning, but, nevertheless, have a queer way of get- 
ting at the facts. They hate cowards and shams of every kind, and 
above all things falsehoods and deception, and cultivate an integrity 
which seldom permits them to prostitute themselves to a narrow policy 
of imposture. Such were the characteristics of the men and women 
who pioneered the way to the country of the Sac and Fox Indians. 
Many of them yet remain, and although some of them are among the 
wealthy and most substantial of the people of the county, they have not 
forgotten their old time hospitality and free and easy ways. In con- 
trasting the present social affairs with pioneer times, one has well said : 

"Then, if a house was to be raised, every man 'turned out,' and often 
the women too, and'while the men piled up the logs that fashioned the 
primitive dwelling-place, the women prepared the dinner. Sometimes 
it was cooked by big log fires near the site where the cabin was build- 


ing; in other cases it was prepared at the nearest cabin, and at the 
proper hour was carried to where the men were at work. If one man in 
the neighborhood killed a beef, a pig or a deer, every other family in the 
neighborhood was sure to receive a piece. 

"We were all on an equality. Aristocratic feelings were unknown 
and would not have been tolerated. What one had we all had, and that 
was the happiest period of my life. But to-day, if you lean against a 
neighbor's shade tree he will charge you for it. If you are poor and fall 
sick, you may lie and suffer almost unnoticed and unattended, and prob- 
ably go to the poor-house ; and just as like as not the man who would 
report you to the authorities as a subject of county care would charge 
the county for making the report." 

Of the old settlers, some are still living in the county, in the enjoy- 
ment of the fortunes they founded in early times, "having reaped an 
hundred-fold." Others have passed away, and many of them will not 
long survive. Several of them have gone to the Far West, and are still 
playing the part of pioneers. But wherever they may be, and whatever 
fate may betide them, it is but truth to say that they were excellent men, 
as a class, and have left a deep and enduring impression upon the county 
and the state. "They builded better than they knew." They were, of 
course, men of activity and energy, or they would never have decided to 
face the trials of pioneer life. They were almost invariably poor, but the 
lessons taught them in the early days were of such a character that few 
of them have remained so. They made their mistakes in business pur- 
suits like other men. Scarcely one of them but allowed golden oppor- 
tunities, for pecuniary profit at least, to pass by unheeded. What are 
now some of the choicest farms in Buchanan County were not taken up 
by the pioneers, who preferred land of very much less value. They have 
seen many of their prophecies fulfilled, and others come to naught. 
Whether they have attained the success they desired their own hearts 
■can tell. 

To one looking over the situation then, from the standpoint now, it 
•certainly does r)ot seem very cheering, and yet, from the testimony of 
some old pioneers, it was a most enjoyable time, and we of the present 
live in degenerate days. 

At that time it certainly would have been much more difficult for 
those old settlers to understand how it could be possible that thirty-five 
years hence the citizens at the present age of the county's progress would 
be complaining of hard times and destitution, and that they themselves, 
perhaps, would be among that number, than it iS now for us to appreciate 
how they could feel so cheerful and contented with their meagre means 
and humble lot of hardships and deprivations during those early, pioneer 


The secret was, doubtless, that they lived within their means, how- 
ever limited, not coveting more of luxury and comfort than their income 
would afford, and the natural result was prosperity and contentment, 
with always room for one more stranger at the fireside, and a cordial 
welcome to a place at their table for even the most hungry guest. 

Humanity with all its ills, is, nevertheless, fortunately characterized 
with remarkable flexibility, which enables it to accommodate itself to 
circumstances. After all, the secret of happiness lies in one's ability to 
accommodate himself to his surroundings. 

It is sometimes remarked that there were no places for public enter- 
tainment till later years. The fact is there were many such places, in 
fact every cabin was a place of entertainment, and these hotels were 
sometimes crowded to their utmost capacity. On such occasions, when 
bedtime came the first family would take the back part of the cabin and 
so continue filling up by families until the limit was reached. The 
young men slept in the wagons outside. In the morning those nearest 
the door arose first and went outside to dress. Meals were served on the 
end of a wagon, and consisted of cornbread, buttermilk and fat pork, 
and occasionally coffee, to take away the morning chill. On Sundays, 
for a change, they had bread made of wheat "tramped out" on the ground 
by horses, cleaned with a sheet and pounded by hand. This was the 
best, the most fastidious, they could obtain, and this only one day in 
seven. Not a moment of time was lost. It was necessary that they 
should raise enough sod corn to take them through the coming winter, 
and also get as much breaking done as possible. They brought with- 
them enough corn to give the horses an occasional feed, in order to keep 
them able for hard work, but in the main they had to live on prairie 
grass. The cattle got nothing else than grass. 


An interesting comparison might be drawn between the conveni- 
ences which now make the life of a farmer a comparatively easy one, and 
the almost total lack of such conveniences in early days. A brief 
description of the accommodations possessed by the first tillers of this 
soil will be now given. 

Let the children of such illustrious sires draw their own compari- 
sons, and may the results of these comparisons silence the voice of com- 
plaint which so often is heard in the land. 

The only plows they had at first were what they styled " bull plows." 
The mould-boards were generally of wood, but in some cases they were 
half wood and half iron. The hian who had one of the latter description 
was looked upon as something of an aristocrat. But these old " bull 
plows" did good service and they must be awarded the honor of first stir- 


ring the soil of Buchanan County as well as that of all the first class coun- 
ties of this state. 

The amount of money which some farmers annually invest in agri- 
cultural implements would have kept the pioneer farmer in farming uten- 
sils during a whole lifetime. The pioneer farmer invested little money 
in such things, because he had little money to spare, and then again 
because the expensive machinery now used wauld not have been at all 
adapted to the requirements of pioneer farming. The "bull plow" was 
probably better adapted to the fields abounding in stumps and roots 
than would the modern sulky plow have been, and the old-fashioned 
wheat cradle did better execution than would a modern harvester under 
like circumstances. The prairies were seldom settled till after the 
pioneer period, and that portion of the country which was the hardest to 
put under cultivation, and the most difficult to cultivate after it was 
improved, first was cultivated ; it is well for the country that such was 
the case, for the present generation, familiarized as it is with farming 
machinery of such complicated pattern, would scarcely undertake the 
clearing off of dense forests and cultivating the ground with the kind of 
implements their fathers used, and which they would have to use for 
some kinds of work. 


Notwithstanding the fact that some of the early settlers were energetic 
mill-wrights, who employed all their energy, and. what means they pos- 
sessed, in erecting mills at a few of the many favorable mill-sites which 
abound in the county, yet going to mill in those days, when there were 
no roads, no bridges, no ferry-boats, and scarcely any conveniences for 
traveling, was no small task, where so many rivers and treacherous 
streams were to be crossed, and such a trip was often attended with 
great danger to the traveler when these streams were swollen beyond 
their banks. But even under these circumstances some of the more 
adventurous and ingenious ones, in case of emergency, found the ways 
and means by which to cross the swollen streams, and succeed in mak- 
ing the trip. At other times, again, all attempts failed them, and they 
were compelled to remain at home until the waters subsided, and depend 
on the generosity of their fortunate neighbors. 

Some stories are related with regard to the danger, perils and hard- 
ships of forced travels to mills, and for provisions,' which remind one of 
forced marches in military campaigns, and when we hear of the heroic 
and daring conduct of the hardy pioneer in procuring bread for his 
loved ones, we think that here were heroes more valiant than any of the 
renowned soldiers of ancient or modern times. 

During the first two years, and perhaps not until some time after- 
ward, there was not a public highway established and worked on which 


they could travel; and as the settlers were generally far apart, and mills 
and trading points were at great distances, going from place to place 
was. not only very tedious, but attended sometimes with great danger. 
Not a railroad had yet entered the state, and there was scarcely a thought 
in the minds of the people here of such a thing ever reaching the wild 
West ; and, if thought of, people had no conception of what a revolution 
a railroad and telegraph through the county, would cause in its pro- 
gress. Then there was less than 5,000 miles of railroad in the United 
States, and not a mile of track laid this side of the Ohio, while now 
there are over 100,000 miles of railroad, extending their trunks and 
branches in every direction over our laud. 

Supplies in those days came to this western country entirely by 
river and wagon transportation. Mail was carried to and fro in the 
same way, and telegraph dispatches were transmitted by the memory 
and lips of emigrants coming in, or strangers passing through. 

In early days, going to mill was always tedious. For some little 
time there was no mill for the purpose of grinding corn and wheat nearer 
than Smith's Fork, in Clay County. In 1838 a mill was erected on Dil- 
lon's Creek, ten miles north of St. Joseph. This was the first mill erected 
in the county outside of Blacksnake Hills. The first run of burrs was 
put in in 1839. There was no elevator at that time, so after the wheat 
was ground it was carried to the upper story of the mill and fed by 
hand through a spout leading to a bolt on the burr floor. People came 
from far and near, attracted by the reports of the completion of the mill, 
with their grists, so that for days before it was ready for work, the creek 
bottom was dotted over with hungry and patient men, waiting until it 
was ready to do their work, so that they might return with their meal 
and flour to supply their families and those of their neighbors, thus 
enduring the hardships of camp life, in those early days, in order that 
they might be able to secure the simple necessaries of life, devoid of all 


The sports and means of recreation were not so numerous and 
■varied among the early settlers as at present, but they were more enjoy- 
able and invigorating than now. 

Hunters now a days would be only too glad to be able to find and 
«njoy their favorable opportunity for hunting and fishing, and even 
travel many miles, counting it rare pleasure to spend a few weeks on 
the water courses and wild prairies in hunt and chase and fishing frolics, 
where not half so good hunting and fishing sport are furnished as was in 
this vicinity twenty-five and forty years ago. There were a good many 
-excellent hunters here at an early day, who enjoyed the sport as well as 
any can at the present time. 


Wild animals of almost every species known in the wilds of the 
west were found in great abundance. The prairies, and woods, and 
streams, and various bodies of water, were all thickly inhabited before 
the white man came and for some time afterward. Although the Indians 
slew many of them, yet the natural law prevailed here as well as else- 
where. "Wild man Jind wild beast thrive together." 

Serpents were to be found in such large numbers, and of such 
immense size, that so?n.e stories told by the early settlers would be 
incredible were it not for the large array of concurrent testimony which 
is to be had from the most authentic sources. Deer, turkeys, ducks, 
geese, squirrels and various other kinds of choice game were plentiful 
and to be had at the expense of killing only. The fur animals were 
abundant ; such as the otter, beaver, mink, muskrat, raccoon, panther, 
fox, wolf, wild-cat and bear. 

An old resident of the county told us, that in 1843, while he was 
traveling a distance of six miles, he saw as many as thirty-three deer, 
in herds of from six to ten. 


Another source of profitable recreation among the old settlers was 
that of hunting bees. The forests along the water courses were espec- 
ially prolific of bee-trees. They were found in great numbers on the 
Platte, One Hundred and Two and Grand Rivers. Many of the early 
settlers, during the late summer, would go into camp for days at a time, 
for" the purpose of hunting and securing the honey of the wild bees, 
which was not only extremely rich, and found in great abundance, but 
always commanded a good price in the home market. 

The Indians have ever regarded the honey-bee as the forerunner of 
the white man, while it is a conceded fact that the quail always follows 
the footprints of civilization. 

The following passage is found in the " Report of the Exploring 
Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, in the year 1842, by Captain John 
C. Fremont," page 69 : 

" Here on the summit, where the stillness was absolute ; unbroken 
by any sound, and the solitude complete, we thought ourselves beyond 
the regions of animated life ; but while we were sitting on the rocks, a 
solitary bee came winging his flight from the eastern valley, and lit on 
the knee of one of the men. We pleased ourselves with the idea that 
he was the first of his species to cross the mountain barrier, a solitary 
pioneer to foretell the advance of civilization." 

Gregg, in his " Commerce of the Prairies," page 178, Vol. i, says : 
" The honey-bee appears to have emigrated exclusively from the East, 
as its march has been observed westward. The bee, among Western 


pioneers, is the proverbial precursor of the Anglo-American population > 
In fact, the aborigines of the frontier have generally corroborated this 
statement, for they used to say that they knew the white man was not 
far behind when the bees appeared among them." 

There were other recreations, such as shooting matches and quilting 
parties, which obtained in those days, and which were enjoyed to the 
fullest extent. The quilting parties were especially pleasant and agree- 
able to those who attended. The established rule in those days at these 
quilting parties was, to pay either one dollar in money or split one 
hundred rails during the course of the day. The men would generally 
split the rails and the women would remain in the house and do the 
quilting. After the day's work was done the night would be passed in 

"All the swains that there abide, 
With jigs and rural dance resort." 

When daylight came the music and the dancing would cease, and the 
gallant young men would escort the ladies to their respective home.s. 



In 1837, after the Platte Purchase was made, the territory now 
included in Buchanan County was by act of the General Assembly, 
attached to Clinton County, for civil and judicial purposes. That por- 
tion of the act referring to Buchanan County is as follows : 

"All that portion of territory included within the following bounda- 
ries, to wit : beginning at the southwest corner of Clinton County, thence ^^ 
due west to the middle of the main channel of the Missouri River, thence 
up the main channel of the same to where the northern boundary line of 
the State of Missouri intersects the same, thence along said line to the 
present northwest corner of the state, thence south to the beginning, be 
and the same is hereby attached to the county of Clinton, for civil and 
judicial purposes." 

The following is the act of the General Assembly of Missouri (1838) 
under which Platte and Buchanan Counties were organized, and their 
boundaries defiried. 


"An Act to organize the Counties of Platte and Buchanan, to define the 

boundaries of the same. 

Be it enacted by the General A sseinbly of the State of Missouri, as 
follows : 

Section i. The territory west of Clay and Clinton Counties, 
included in the following boundaries, shall compose a new county, to be 
called Platte : Beginning at the southwest corner of Clay County and 
running north with the western boundary of said counties a sufficient 
distance, to a corner hereafter to be established by survey; and thence 
due west to the Missouri River ; thence down the middle of the main 
channel of said river to the beginning, so as to include in said county of 
Platte, four hundred square miles. 

Sec. 2. ' The territory west of Clinton County, included in the fol- 
lowing boundaries, shall compose a new county to be called Buchanan, 
in honor of the Hon. James Buchanan of Pennsylvania : Beginning at 
the northeast corner of Platte County, as hereinafter established, agree- 
ably to the provisions of this act ; and thence north along the Clinton 


County or old State line, a sufficient distance, to a corner to be hereafter 
established by survey ; and thence west to the Missouri River ; and 
thence down the middle of the main channel of said river to the 
•northwest corner of Platte County, when established as aforesaid ; and 
thence east to the beginning, so as to contain four hundred square miles. 

Sec. 3. The Governor is authorized and required to appoint and 
commission three persons, resident in each of said counties, as justices 
of the County Court thereof, and one person in each of said counties as 
sheriff of the same, who, when commissioned, shall have full power and 
authority to act as such in their respective offices, under the existing 
laws, until the next general election, in 1840, and until their successors 
are duly commissioned and qualified. 

Sec. 4. Until the permanent seat for justice of said counties be 
established, the several courts for said counties shall (unless the respect- 
ive County Courts shall otherwise direct,) be held as follows : for the 
county of Platte [at] Falls of Platte, and for the county of Buchanan 
at Richard Hill's. 

Sec. 5. The regular terms of the County Courts, in each of the 
counties aforesaid, shall be held on the first Mondays of February, May, 
August and November, in each year ; but the courts may meet at their 
discretion, after the time of their stated terms, giving due notice thereof 

Sec. 6. The Circuit Courts, in said counties, shall be held as fol- 
lows : In the county of Platte on the third Monday in April, August 
and December ; and in the county of Buchanan on the second Mondays 
in April, August and December. 

Sec. 7. Said counties shall compose a part of the First Judicial 
District, and of the Fifth Judicial Circuit. 

Sec. 8. The Circuit and County Courts of said counties, or the jndge 
or judges thereof, in vacation, shall have power to appoint their respec- 
tive clerks, who shall hold their offices until the next general election 
in 1840, and until their successors are duly qualified. 

Sec. 9. Said counties shall belong to and compose a part of the 
Twelfth Senatorial District. 

Sec. 10. Immediately after the passage of this act the Governor 
[is] authorized and required to appoint some suitable person as sur- 
veyor, to ascertain, survey and establish the boundaries of said counties 
of Platte and Buchanan, agreeably to the provisions of this act. 

Sec. II. Said surveyor shall, within thirty days of his appoint- 
ment, or as soon thereafter as practicable, after being duly sworn and 
qualified to execute the duties required by this act, proceed to dis- 
charge the same, and make report thereof to the '.respective County 
Courts of Platte and Buchanan, and likewise to the Governor of this 

Sec. 12. Said surveyor shall be allowed the sum of six dollars per 
day, as compensation in full for his services, including all expenses for 
chain carrying, marking, &c., &c.;. to be paid by the said counties of 
Platte and Buchanan, in equal proportions, upon the reception of his 
report as aforesaid. • 

Sec. 13. The following persons are hereby appointed commission- 
ers to select the seat of justice in said counties : For the county of 
Platte, Samuel Hadley, of Clay County; Samuel D. Lucas, of Jackson 
County, and John M. Morehead, for Ray County. For the county of 



Buchanan, Peter B. Fulkerson and Armstrong McClintock, of Clinton 
County, and Leonard Brassfield, of Clay County; and said commission- 
ers are hereby vested with all the powers granted by an act entitled 
" An act to provide for organizing counties hereinafter established," 
approved December, 1836. 

Sec. 14. The County Courts of said counties are empowered to 
supply any vacancy that may occur among the Commissioners hereby 
appointed ; and said Commissioners for the counties of Platte and 
Buchanan shall meet for the purpose of discharging their duties, at such 
time and place as the County Courts shall direct. 

Sec. 15. The said counties of Platte and Buchanan shall each elect 
one Representative to the General Assembly of the State of Missouri on 
the first Monday in August, in the year 1840. 

Sec. 16. The County Court for Platte County shall hold^the first term 
of their court on the second Monday in March next, at which time they 
shall appoint some suitable person as assessor for said county, who shall 
hold his office until the next general election for county offices, and until 
his Successor is duly elected and qualified. 

This act to be in force from and after its passage. 

Approved December 31, 1838. ' 

State of Missouri, City of Jefferson, 
Office of Secretary of State. 

I, James L. Minor, Secretary of State of the State of Missouri, do 
hereby certify that by the provisions of an act entitled "An act to organ- 
ize the counties of Platte and Buchanan and define the boundaries of the 
same," approved December 31, 1839, Peter P. Fulkerson and Armstrong 
McClintock, of Clinton County, and Leonard Brassfield, of Clay County, 
were appointed Commissioners to select the seat of justice of the said 
county of Buchanan. 

Witness my hand and seal of office, this 13th day of March A D. 


Secretary of State. . 
Leonard Brassfield, Esq. 

(Postage on the above letter was i8| cents.) 

A copy of the above appointment was sent to each of the three Com- 
missioners, and in pursuance thereof they severally went before one of 
the Judges of the Buchanan County Court, and subscribed an oath for 
the performance of their respective duties. The oath taken by Mr. Brass- 
field, and endorsed upon the order of appointment, is as follows : 

" Personally appeared before me, William Harrington, one of the 
Judges of the Buchanan County Court, the within named Leonard Brass- 
field, and took^an oath to discharge the. duties of Commissioner, without 
favor, partiality or prejudice. 

"Given under my hand, this 26th day of May, 1840. 


Territory of Ne-at-a-wah attached to Buchanan in 1839, for military and civil purposes 
Repealed in 1845. 


The following is the report of the Commissioners : 

" We, the undersigned Commissioners appointed by the act of 
Assembly entitled An Act to organize the counties of Platte and 
Buchanan, and define the boundaries thereof, approved the 31st of 
December, 1838, after having been first duly sworn, proceeded to view the 
territory and situation of the same, to take into consideration as well 
the weight of the population of the said County of Buchanan, as the 
interest of the same, have selected for their seat of justice the southest 
quarter of section 2T, township 56, range 35. 

Nevertheless it is the wish of the Commissioners that if under the 
provisions of the several acts of Congress, granting to the counties a pre- 
emption to one quarter section for seats of justice, approved May 26, 
1824, and the several acts of Congress granting pre-emptions to actual 
settlers on public lands, will permit the division of a qu9.rter, we would 
prefer taking the east half of the southwest quarter of section 21, town- 
ship 56, range 35, instead of the east half of the southeast quarter of sec- 
tion 21, township 56, range 35. 

In testimony whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names, and 
affixed our seals, this 28th day of May, 1840. 


On the reverse side of this report is the following : 

Whereas, It has been the custom of parents to name their child- 
ren, we have thought proper to call the town by the name of the town 
of Benton.* 

Endorsed : 

Commissioners' report of the location of the seat of justice received 
at August Term of Buchanan County Court, 1840, and ordered to be filed. 

A ttpst ' 

WM. FOWLER, Clerk. 


The Governor of the state, as authorized by act of the General Assem- 
bly, commissioned Samuel Johnson, William Harrington and William 
Curl, County Court Justices, and appointed Samuel M. Gilmore Sheriff. 

Two of the justices (Samuel Johnson and William Harrington, con- 
stituting a quorum) met at the house of Richard Hill, on the first Monday 
in April, 1839, a"d organized as a court, causing proclamation of the 
same to be made. 

Samuel Johnson, one of its members, was appointed President of the 
court and William Fowler, clerk. Being thus organized, the court pro- 
ceeded to the discharge of the public business. 

* County Court nimed the county seat Sparta at August Te m, in 184:). 


After granting a license to Edward Dodge, to vend groceries in the 
county, the question of naming and defining the boundary lines of the 
townships was then taken up, but before noticing the orders of the court 
in reference thereto, we deem it proper to give some explanations of the 
county and township system and government surveys, as so much 
depends in business and civil transactions upon county limits and county 


With regard to the origin of dividing individual states into county 
and township organizations, which, in an important measure, should 
have the power and opportunity of transacting their own business and 
governing themselves, under the approval of, and subject to, the state 
and general government, of which they both form a part, we quote from 
Elijah M. Haines, who is considered good authority on the subject. 

In his " Laws of Illinois, Relative to Town.ship Organizations," he 
says : " The county system originated with Virginia, whose early set- 
tlers soon became large landed proprietors, aristocratic in feeling, living 
apart, in almost baronial magnificence, on their own estates, and owning 
the laboring part of the population. Thus the materials for a town were 
not at hand, the voters being thinly distributed over a great area. 

" The county organization, where a few influential men managed 
the whole, business of the community, retaining their places almost at 
their pleasure, scarcely responsible at all, except in name, and permit- 
ted to conduct the county concerns as their ideas or wishes rnight direct, 
was moreover consonant with their recollections or traditions of the 
judicial and social dignities of the landed aristocracy of England, in 
descent from whom the Virginia gentlemen felt so much pride. In 1834. 
eight counties were organized in Virginia, and the system, extending 
throughout the state, spread into all the Southern States, and some of 
the Northern States ; unless we except the nearly similar division into 
'districts' in South Carolina, and that into 'parishes' in Louisiana, from 
the French laws. 

" Illinois, which, with its vast additional territory, became a county 
of Virginia, on its conquest by General George Rogers Clark, retained 
the county organization, which was formerly extended oyer the state by 
the constitution of 1818, and continued in exclusive use until the consti- 
tution of 1848. 

" Under this system, as in other states adopting it, most local busi- 
ness' was transacted by those commissioners in each county who consti- 
tuted a county court, with quarterly sessions. 

" During the period ending with the constitution of 1847, a large 
portion of the state had become filled up with a population of New Eng- 


land birth or character, dally growing more and more compact and dis- 
satisfied with the comparatively arbitrary and inefficient county system. 
It was maintained by the people that the heavy populated districts 
would always control the election of the commis'sioners to the disadvan- 
tage of the more thinly populated sections— in short, that under that 
system • equal and exact justice ' to all parts of the county could not be 

" The township system had its origin in Massachusetts, and dates 
back to 1635. 

" The first legal enactment concerning this- system provided that, 
whereas, ' particular townships have many things which concern only 
themselves, and the ordering of their own affairs, and disposing of 
business in their own town,' therefore, ' the freemen of every township, 
or a majority part of them, shall only have power to dispose of their 
own lands and woods, with all the appurtenances of said town, to grant 
lots, and to make such orders as may concern the well-ordering of their 
own towns, not repugnant to the laws and orders established by the 
general court.' 

" They might also (says Mr. Haines) impose fines of not more than 
twenty shillings, and ' choose their own particular officers, as constables, 
surveyors for the highways and the like.' 

" Evidently this enactment relieved the general court of a mass of 
municipal details, without any danger to the power of that body in con- 
trolling general measures of public policy. 

" Probably, also, a demand from the freemen of the towns was felt 
for the control of their own home concerns. 

"The New England colonies were first governed by a 'general 
court' or legislature composed of a governor and a small council, which 
court consisted of the most influential inhabitants, and possessed and 
exercised both legislative and judicial powers, which were limited only 
by the wisdom of the holders. 

"They made laws, ordered their execution by officers, tried and 
decided civil and criminal causes, enacted all manner of municipal regu- 
lations, and, in fact, did all the public business of the colony. , 

Similar provisions for the incorporation of towns were made- in the 
first constitution of Connecticut, adopted in 1639, and the plan of town- 
ship organization, as experience proved its remarkable economy, 
efficiency and adaptation to the requirements of a free and intelligent 
people, became universal throughout new England, and went westward 
with the immigrants from New England into New York, Ohio and other 
western states. 

Thus we find that the valuable system of county, township and 
town organizations had been thoroughly tried and proven long before 
there was need of adopting it in Missouri, or any of the broad region 


west of the Misissippi River. But as the new country began to be opened, 
and as eastern people began to move westward across the mighty river, 
and form thick settlements along its western bank, the territory and 
state, and county and township organizations soon followed in quick 
succession, and those different systems became more or less improved, 
according as deemed necessary by the experience and judgment and 
demands of the people, until the/ have arrived at the present stage of 
advancement and efficiency. In the settlement of the Territory of Mis- 
souri, the Legislature began by organizing counties on the Mississippi 
River. As each new county was formed it was made to include under 
legal jurisdiction all the country bordering west of it, and required to 
grant to the accidental settlers electoral privileges, and an equal share 
m the county government, with those who properly lived in the geo- 
graphical limits of the county. 

The counties first organized along the eastern borders of the state, 
were given for a short time jurisdiction over the lands and settlements 
adjoining each on the west, until these localities became sufficiently 
settled to support organizations of their own. 


No person can intelligently understand the history of a country 
without at the same time knowing its geography, and in order that a 
clear and correct idea of the geography of Buchanan County may be 
obtained from the language always used in defining different localities 
and pieces of land, we insert herewith the plan of Government surveys 
as given in Mr. E. A. Hickman's Property Map of Jackson County, Mis- 
souri : Previous to the formation of our present Govern mejit, the 
eastern portion of North America consisted of a number of British 
colonies, the territory of which was granted in large tracts to British 
noblemen. By treaty of 1783, these grants were acknowledged as valid 
by the colonies. After the Revolutionary war, when these colonies were 
acknowledged " Independent States," all public domain within their 
boundaries was acknowledged to be the property of the colony within 
the bounds of which said domain was situated. 

Virginia claimed all the northwest territory including what is now 
known as Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois. 
After a meeting of the Representatives of the various states to form a 
Union, Virginia ceded the northwest territory to the United States 
Government. This took place in 1784; then all this northwest territory 
became Government land. It comprised all south of the lakes and east 
of the Mississippi River and north and west of the states having definite 
boundary lines. This territory had been known as New France, and 
had been ceded by France to England in 1763. In the year 1803, 


Napoleon Bonaparte sold to the United -States all territory west of the 
'Mississippi River and north of Mexico, extending to the Rocky 

While the public domain was the property of the colonies it was dis- 
posed of as follows : Each individual caused the tract he desired to 
purchase to be surveyed and platted. A copy of the survey was then 
filed with the Register of Lands, when, by paying into the state or 
colonial treasury an agreed price, the purchaser received a patent for 
the land. This method of disposing of public lands made lawsuits num- 
erous, owing to different surveys often including the same ground. To 
avoid these difficulties and effect a general measurement of the terri- 
tories, the United States adopted the present mode, or system, of land 
surveys, a description of which we give as follows : 

In an unsurveyed region a point of marked and changeless topo- 
graphical features is selected as an initial point. The .exact latitude and 
longitude of this point is ascertained by astronomical observation, and 
■a. suitable monument of iron or stone to perpetuate the position. 
Through this point a true north and south line is run, which is called a 
Principal Meridian. This principal meridian may be extended north 
and south any desired distance. Along this line are placed at distances 
of one-half mile from each other, posts of wood or stone, or mounds of 
earth. These posts are said to establish the line, and are called section 
and quarter-section posts. Principal meridians are numbered in the 
order in which they are established. Through the same initial point 
from which the principal meridian was surveyed, another line is now 
run and established by mile and half-mile posts as before, in a true east 
and west direction. This line is called the Base Line, and like the prin- 
<;ipal meridian, may be extended indefinitely in either direction. These 
lines -form the basis of the survey of the country into townships and 
ranges. Township lines extend east and west parallel with the base 
line, at distances of six miles from the base line and from each other, 
dividing the country into strips six miles wide, which strips are called 
townships. Range lines run north and south parallel to the principal 
meridian, dividing the country into strips six miles wide, which strips 
are called ranges. Township strips are numbered from the base line 
and range strips are numbered from the principal meridian. Townships 
lying north of the base line are " townships north," those on the south 
are "townships south." The strip lying next the base line is township 
■one, the next one to that, township two, and so on. The range strips 
are numbered in the same manner, counting from the principal meridian 
•east or west, as the case may be. 

The township and range lines thus divide the county into six-mile 
squares. Each of these squares is called a Congressional township. All 
north and south lines north of the equator approach each other as they 



extend north, finally meeting at the north pole ; therefore north and 
south lines are not literally parallel. The east and west boundary lines- 
of any range being six miles apart in the latitude of Missouri or Kansas, 
would, in thirty miles, approach each other 2.9 chains, or 190 feet. If, 
therefore, the width of the range when started from the base line is made 
exactly six miles, it would be 2.9 chains too narrow at the distance of 
thirty miles, or five townships north. To correct the width of ranges 
and keep them to the proper width, the range lines are not surveyed 
in a continuous straight line, like the principal meridian, entirely across- 
the st^te, but only across a limited number of townships, usually five„ 
where the width of the range is corrected by beginning a new line on the 
side of the range most distant from the principal meridian, at such a 
point as will make the range its correct width. All range lines are cor- 
rected in the same manner. The last and west township line on which 
these corrections are made are called correction lines or standard paral- 
lels. The surveys of the State of Missouri were made from the fifth 
principal meridian, which runs through the state, and its ranges are 
numbered from it. The State of Kansas is surveyed and numbered from 
the sixth. Congressional townships are divided into thirty-six square 
miles, called sections, and are known by numbers, according to their 
position. The following diagram shows the order of numbers and the: 
sections in a Congressional township : 












-27 — 





Sections are divided into quarters, eighths and sixteenths, and are 
described by their position in the section. The full section contains 
640 acres, the quarter 160, the eighth 80 and the sixteenth 40. In the fol- 



lowing diagram of a section the position designated by a is known as 
the northwest quarter ; / is the northeast quarter of the northeast quar- 
ter ; ^ would be the south half of the southeast quarter, and would con- 
tain 80 acres. 

Sec. post. 

J^ Sec. post. 

Sec. post. 

y^ Sec. post. 




rdo acres 







Sec. post. 

^ Sec. post. 

Sec. post. 

3i^ Sec. post. 

Congressional townships, as we have seen, are six miles squares of 
land, made by the township and range lines, while civil or municipal 
townships are civil divisions, made for purposes of government, the one 
having no reference to the other, though similar in name. On the county 
map we. see both kinds of townships — the congressional usually desig- 
nated by numbers and in squares ; the municipal or civil township by 
name and in various forms. 

By the measuremements thus made by the Government,, the courses- 
and distances are defined between any two points. St. Louis is in town- 
ship 44 north, range 8 east, and Independence is in township 49 north,, 
range 32 west ; how far, then, are Kanas City and St. Louis apart on a 
direct line .' St. Louis is forty townships east — 240 miles — and five 
townships south — thirty miles ; the base and perpendicular of a right- 
angled triangle, the hypothenuse being the required distance. 


The "township," as the term is used in common phraseology, in 
many instances, is widely distinguished from that of "town," though 
many persons persi-st in confounding the two. " In the United States,, 
many of the states are divided into townshps of five, six, seven, or per- 
haps ten miles square, and the inhabitants of such township are vested 
with certain powers for regulating their own affairs, such as repairing 
roads and providing for the poor. The township is subordinate to the 
county." A "town" is simply a collection of houses, either large or 
small, and opposed to "country." 

The most important features connected, with this system of township 
surveys should be thoroughly understood by every intelligent farmer and 


business man ; still there are some poirtts connected with the under- 
standing of it, which need close and careful attention. The law which 
established this system required that the north and south lines should 
correspond exactly with the meridian passing through that point ; also, 
that each township should be six miles square. To do this would be an 
utter impossibility, since the figure of the earth causes the meridians to 
converge toward the pole, making the north line of each township shorter 
than the south line of the same township. To obviate the errors which 
are, on this account, constantly occurring, correction lines are estab- 
lished. They are parallels bounding a line of townships on the north, 
when lying north of the principal base ; on the south line of townships 
when lying south of the principal base, from which the surveys, as they 
are continued, are laid out anew ; the range lines again starting at cor- 
rect distances from the principal meridian. In Michigan these correc- 
tion lines are repeated at the end of every tenth township, but in Oregon 
they have been repeated with evefy fifth township. The instructions to 
the surveyors have been that each range of townships should be made as 
much over six miles in width on each base and correction line as it will 
fall short of the same width where it closes on to the next correction line 
north; and it is further provided that in all cases, where the exterior lines 
■of the townships shall exceed, or shall not extend six miles, the excess 
■or deficiency shall be specially noted, and added to or deducted from the 
western or northern sections or half sections in such township, according 
as the error may be in running the lines from east to west, or from south 
to north. In order to throw the excess of deficiencies on the north and 
on the west sides of the township, it is necessary to survey the section 
lines from south to north, on a true meridian, leaving the result in the 
north line of the township to be governed by the convexity of the earth, 
and the <;€>nvergency of the meridians. 

Navigable rivers, lakes and islands are " meandered " or surveyed by 
the compass and chain along the banks. "The instruments employed 
on these surveys, besides the solar compass, are a surveying chain thirty- 
three feet long, of fifty links, and another of smaller wire, as a standard 
to be used for correcting the former as often at least as every other day, 
also eleven tally pins, made of steel, telescope, targets, tape measure and 
tools for marking the lines upon trees or stones. In surveying through 
woods, trees intercepted by the line are marked with two chips or notches, 
one on each side ; these are called sight or line trees. Sometimes other 
trees in the vicinity are blazed on two sides quartering toward the line ; 
but if some distance from the line the two blazes should be near together 
on the side facing the line. These are found to be permanent marks, not 
only recognizable for many years, but carrying with them their own age 
by the rings of growth around the blaze, which may at any subsequent 
time be cut out and counted as years; and the same are recognized in 


courts of law as evidence of the date of the survey. They cannot be 
obliterated by cutting down the trees or otherwise, without le^iving evi- 
■dence of the act. Corners are marked upon trees if found at the right 
•spots, or else upon posts set in the ground, and sometimes a monurnent 
of stones is used for a township corner, and a single stone for section 
■corner; mounds of earth are made^ where there are no stones nor timber. 
At the corners the four adjacent sections are designated by distinct 
marks cut into a tree, one in each section. These trees, facing the 
-corner, are plainly marked with the letters B. T. (bearing tree) cut into 
the wood. Notches cut upon the corner posts or trees indicate the num- 
ber of miles to the outlines of the township, or if on the boundaries of the 
township, to the township corners." 

Recurring now to the County Court, we shall here insert, from its 
•"Order Book" the following extracts, defining the boundaries of the dif- 
ferent townships : 

"Ordered by the court, that Platte Township shall be bounded as 
follows, to wit : Commencing on the old State boundary line, where Cas- 
tile Creek crosses the same ; thence due west to the Platte River, so as 
to include all the territory lying south of that line, between the old State 
boundary and Platte River, down to the north line of Platte County.'' 

At a subsequent term, May 7th, 1839, the County Court extended 
the boundary lines of Platte Township as follows : 

"Ordered by the court, that the north boundary line of Platte Town- 
■ship be extended north one mile ; thence due west to Platte River ; 
thence down Platte River to the county line." 

"Treraont Township shall be bounded on the south by Platte Town- 
ship ; east by the old State, boundary ; north by the Third Fork of Platte 
River, and west by Platte River." 

"Marion Township shall be bounded on the south by the Third Fork 
■of Platte ; west by the Hundred and Two ; east by the old State bound- 
ary, and north by the north line of the state." 

On Tuesday, April 2nd, 1839, the court convened, pursuant to 
adjournment, and continued the laying out of townships, beginning with 
Bloomington : 

"The court further orders that Bloomington Township shall be 
bounded as follows, to wit : Beginning at the mouth of Contrary Creek ; 
thence up said creek to Benjamin Sampson's, so as to include said Samp- 
son ; thence south to the Platte County line ; thence west with the said 
line to the Missouri River; thence up the Missouri River to the place of 

"Ordered by the court, that Crawford Township be bounded as fol- 
lows, to wit:: On the north by Jefferson Township; west by Blooming- 
ton Township ; south by the north boundary of Platte County, and east 
by Bee Creek, as far north as Dodge's mill ; thence by a line running 


due north from Dodge's mill, until it strikes the north boundarjr of Jef- 
ferson Township." 

" Ordered by the court, that Washington Township be bounded as 
follows, to wit : Beginning in the main channel of the Missouri River, at 
the northwest corner of Buchanan County proper ; thence east with said 
line to the main channel of Creek One Hundred and Two; thence with the 
meanders of said creek to the mouth thereof; thence down Platte River 
in the' main channel thereof, to the mouth of the Third Fork of saij 
Platte River; thence westwardly to Dr. Hubble's ; thence due west tO' 
the middle of the main channel of the Missouri River ; thence up said 
river to the beginning." 

There were established by the County Court, at their first term, 
four other townships, bearing respectively the names of Lewis, Noble,. 
Jefferson and Nodaway. Atchison Township was formed two years 

These, however, have no distinctive existenice now. The county 
was originally divided into nine large townships, called Platte, Marion, 
Lewis, Jefferson, Nodaway, Bloomington, Washington, Crawford and 

Following up the varied history of the townships, we find on the 7th 
day of June, 1842, Buchanan County was divided into eight municipal 
townships, to be called aijd designated by the names of Bloomington, 
Crawford, Platte, Tremont, Marion, Washington, Wayne and Centre,, 
and were bounded and described as follows : 

Bloomington Township to embrace Congressional township 55,. 
in range 36, and the territory west to the Missouri River. 

Crawford Township to embrace Congressional township 55, in 
range 35. 

Platte Township to embrace Congressional township 55, in range 
34, and the territory east to the old State boundary! 

TremOnt Township to embrace Congressional township 56^ in range 
34, and the territory east to the old State boundary. 

Marion Township to embrace Congressional township' 57, in range 
34, and the territory east to the old State boundary. 

Washington Township to embrace Congressional township 57, in 
range 35, and the territory west to the Missouri River. 

Wayne Township to embrace Congressional toiwnship 56, in range 36. 

Centre Township to embrace Congressional township 56, in range 3?. 

Agency Township was formed in 1876, and is bounded as follows: 
All that portion of Congressional township 56, range 34, west of Platte 
River, beginning at Platte River, on township line between 56 and 57 ; 
tjience west to the northwest corner of section 6,, township 56, range 34; 
thence south to the southwest corner of section 31,, township 56,, range 


34; thence east to Platte River, including all that part of said township 
that was at the time attached to Washington and Centre. Townships. 

Rush Township was formed in August, 1842, and embraces all that 
portion of Bloomington Township west of the range line, dividing 
ranges 36 and 37, and south of the township line dividing townships 55 
and 56 to the Missouri River. ^ 

In August, 1842, the boundary lines of Crawford Township were 
extended east to the range line dividing towns thirty-four and thirty- 
five, said range line being made the dividing line between Crawford 
and Jackson Townships. 

On the 27th of June, 1842, the court changed the boundaries of 
Marlon and Washington Townships, by attaching all of Marion Town- 
ship west of One Hundred and Two and Platte Rivers, to Washington 
Township, and locating the line dividing said townships on the west 
bank of the Platte River, where the township line, dividing towns fifty- 
six and fifty-seven intersects the same ; thence up Platte River to the 
mouth of the One Hundred and Two ; thence up the One Hundred and 
Two to the line dividing the counties of Buchanan and Andrew, and 
attaching all the territory north of Washington Township and south of 
the county line dividing the counties of Buchanan and Andrew, and 
attaching also, all the territory north of Marion Township and south of 
the county line to Marion Township. 


"Ordered by the court that an election be held in the several town- 
ships in this county, for the election of two Justices of the Peace for each 
township, and one Constable ; the election to be held on Saturday, the 
27th day of this month, and at the following places, to wit : In Platte 
Township, at the house of John Henry, and that John Henry, James B. 
Glenn, and Richard Chaney, Sr., be appointed judges thereof" 

"In Tremont Township, at Donnell's store, and that George Jeffers, 
John S. Johnson, and John Benton be appointed judges thereof 

" In the Township of Marion, at the house of Benjamin Cornelius, 
and that Benjamin Cornelius, James Watters and Anderson B. Gregory 
be appointed judges thereof 

"In Bloomington Township, at the town of Bloomington, and that 
David May, Abraham Womach and James L. Mulkey, be appointed 
judges thereof 

" In Crawford Township, at West Point, and that Nathan T. Frakes, 
George W. Taylor and Henry Hensby be appointed judges thereof 

" In Noble Township, at the house of Pleasant Yates, and that Ben- 
jamin McCrary, Elisha Smith and Millford Gilmore be appointed judges 
thereof . 


"In Lewis Township, at the house of William Stephenson, and that 
Thomas Crowley, William Thorp and Isaac Massa be appointed judges, 

In Nodaway Township, at Elliott's store, and that James Officer, 
Robert Elliott and Francis Wrightman be appointed judges thereof. 

" In Jefferson Township at Jamestown, and that George S. Nelson,. 
Theophilis McGruder and John Shannon be appointed judges thereof." 

They recommended also that a poll be opened in the townships for 
one County Court Justice, Richard Roberts, Esq., having either resigned 
or refused to act. 

William W. Reynolds was appointed County Assessor ; his term of 
ofifiice to expire at the end of the year 1839. 


On the 7th of May, 1839, the County Court at its second term, held 
at the house of Joseph Robidoux, at Blacksnake Hills, began the work 
of laying out roads. Many applications upoa the part of the citizens 
residing in different portions of the county, had in the meantime (since 
the adjournment), been filed with the clerk, praying an order for the 
establishment of roads. These were taken up by the court and acted 
upon as follows : , 

"On application of Frederick Waymire, the court appoints Richard 
Hill, William Cogdil and Claybourne F. Parmer to view, mark 'and locate 
a road from S. H. Bell and F. Waymire's mill site, on Contrary Creek, 
thence the nearest and best way to Pennick's store or West Point, who 
shall make report at the next term of this court." 

"On application of Frederick Waymire, the court appoints H. W. 
Planson, Samuel C. Hall and John H. Whitehead, to view, mark and 
locate a road from S. H. Bell and F. Waymire's mill site, on Contrary 
Creek ; thence the nearest and best way to Robidoux's, on the Missouri 
River, and that they make report at the next term of this court." 

"On application of James Gilmore, the court appoints Robert Irvin, 
Robert Gilmore and James Davis, to view, mark, and locate a road from 
Joseph Jenkin's, at the line of Clinton County, crossing Platte at Gil- 
more and Dixon's Mill, thence the nsarest and best route to Robidoux's 
on the Missouri, and make report at the next term of this court." 

"On application of Jamss Gilmore, the court appoints William Poe, 
Jarvis McCorkle and George Jeffers, to view, mark and locate from Joel 
Burnam's, at the Clinton County line, to Gilmore and Dixon's Mill, 
thence intersecting a road about to be established, leading from Jenkin's 
to Robidoux's, and make report at the next term of this court." 

" On application of Robert Elliott, the court appoints William 
Clemens, Joel Estes and Ezekiel W. Smith to view, mark and locate a 


road from Gilmore's mill, on Platte River, to the rapids of Nodaway, by 
way of Elliott's store, and make report to this court at the next term." 

These were the first roads made by authority of law in the county 
of Buchanan. 



Whoever will take the trouble' of examining the map of Buchanan 
County will see that the country is traversed by a number of large 
streams, which even at this day cannot be crossed during a greater por- 
tion of the year without the medium of bridges or some other appliance. 
The difficulty of crossing the streams was even greater in earlier days 
than now, as it is a fact that there were at that time jnore freshets, and 
a higher stage of water in the streams than now. While the Indians 
were occupying the territory now embraced in the limits of the county, 
one or two persons were permitted by government to locate within the 
county and operate a ferry; especially was this the case at Agency Ford. 

At a later day, however, after the county was organized, these ferries 
were under the direct control of the County Court, who, in consideration 
of an annual fee, licensed certain persons to operate them. The County 
Court, moreover, upon issuing said license, prescribed the rate of toll to 
be charged, and in other respects looked after their management. 

Public policy dictated that the supervision of the ferries should be 
rigid, for by their mismanagement commerce and travel would be mate- 
rially interfered with, and in some cases entirely interrupted. 

The first person regularly licensed as a ferryman was Julius C. Robi- 
doux, who was authorized to maintain a ferry across the Missouri River 
at Blacksnake Hills, on the 7th day of May, 1839. 

The record is as follows: "Ordered by the Court, that Julius C. 
Robidoux be licensed to keep a ferry on the Missouri River, in the 
county of Buchanan, at Robidoux's Landing, for the term of one year 
from this date, and that he pay a -tax therefor the sum of four dollars for 
state purposes, and four dollars for county purposes, and fix the rates of 
ferriage as follows : 

For each four-wheeled carriage drawn by four horses, oxen or 

other animals $150 

For each two-horse carriage drawn by two horses, or oxen or 

other animals i . 00 

For each one-horse carriage drawn by one horse, mule or ass .... 50 

For each man and horse, or mule 25 

For each footman 12^ 

For each led horse, mule or ass 12^ 

For each head of cattle 10 

For each head of hogs or sheep 3 

During the following December, John Ellington was licensed to keep 
a ferry. The following was the order of the Court : Ordered that John 


Ellington be licensed to keep a ferry on the Nodaway River, at the Pot- 
awattamie crossing, for t?ie term of one year from this date, and that he 
pay a tax therefor of two dollars and fifty cents for state purposes, and 
the same amount for county purposes, and that he be allowed to charge 
the following rates of ferriage, to wit : 

Loaded w'agon and team $ i . oo 

Empty do So ' 

Two-horse wagon and team 75 

Empty do 37^ 

Man and horse I2| 

Footmaji ■ ■ ■ 6^ 

Single horse , 6| 

Cattle per head 5 

Sheep or hogs per head 3 

There were other ferries licensed in various parts of the county 
which were of great service to the settlers and emigrants passing through, 
and at the same time they were a source of some little revenue to the 
county, and repaid the owners of them liberal rewards for the labor of 
operating them and the capital invested. 



The original real estate records are still in existence. The 'book in 
■which they are recorded contains 478 pages, and although its leaves 
"have become yellowed and soiled by time, it is in a good state of pre- 
servation. Here are found, promiscuously recorded, mortgages, bills of 
sale, chattel mortgages, powers of attorney, indentures of apprentice- 
ship, warranty deeds, etc. The character of the penmanship and the 
■orthography are generally good. Bills of sale, mortgages and deeds, 
were in early times usually drawn up by justices of the peace, who, while 
they were men of good judgment, of unimpeachable integrity, were fre- 
■quently unlearned and unlettered, as nearly all the early records tes- 
tify, yet the early records of Buchanan County are generally an 
exception to this rule. The fact must not be lost sight of, however, that 
the early officials of the newly organized counties in this western coun- 
try, were hardy backwoodsmen, whose continual struggle for a livelihood 
precluded the possibility of devoting any time to self culture. 

In reproducing some of these first records it is not with a view to 
ridicule those brave, busy pioneers of justice, but to satisfy a curiosity to 
behold what is novel and ancient. 

The first record is that of the order of the appointment of Circuit 
Court and County Court Clerks, which is as follows : 

""To all who shall see these presents — Greeting: 

"Know ye that reposing especial trust and confidence in the integ- 
rity and abilities of Edwin Toole, I do hereby appoint him Clerk of the 
Circuit Court for the County of Buchanan in the State of Missouri, and 
■do authorize and empower him to discharge the duties of said office with 
all the powers, privileges and emoluments to the same of right apper- 
taining until the general election in the year 1840; and until his suc- 
cessor is elected and qualified. 

"Given under my hand as Judge of the fifth Judicial Circuit, in the 
State of Missouri, the i6th day of February, 1839. 


State of Missouri, set. : 

I, Edwin Toole, do hereby swear that I will support the constitution 
of the United States, and of the State of Missouri, and that I will faith- 


fully discharge the duties of Clerk of the Circuit Court for Buchanan 
County, during my continuance in office. 

The above oath of office taken and subscribed before me, the 
undersigned, this first day of March, 1839. 


Judge, etc. 
The above commission was filed 8th of March, 1839. 


To all \yho shall see these presents greeting: 

Know ye that reposing especial trust and. confidence in the integ^ 
rity and abilities of William Fowler, we, Samuel Johnson and William 
Harrington, Justices of the County Court of Buchanan County and 
State of Missouri, do hereby appoint him, the said William Fowler, clerk 
of the County Court of Buchanan, in the aforesaid state, and do author- 
ize and erripower him to discharge the duties of said office according to 
law. And to have and to hold said office, with all the power, privileges 
and emoluments to the same of right appertaining, until the general 
election in the year 1840, and until his successor is elected and qualified. 
Given under our hands as Justices of the County Court of Buchanan 
County, in the State of Missouri, the 1st day of April, 1839. 

County of Buchanan, 

I, William Fowler, do hereby swear that I will support the Consti- 
tution of the United States and of the State of Missouri, and that I 
will faithfully discharge the duties of Clerk of the County Court of 
Buchanan County during my continuance in office. 


The above oath of office taken and subscribed in open court this 1st 
April, 1839. 


The above filed for record ist April, 1839. 

EDWIN TOOLE, Recorder. 

The above mentioned were the first clerks of the Circuit and County 
Courts of Buchanan County, and in obedience to the custom of that day, 
were appointed by the judges of said courts. 

S. M. Gillmore was the first appointed sheriff of the county, and 
Peter H. Burnett, afterward Governor of California, first prosecuting 

At the general election, held on the first Monday in August, 1840, 
William Fowler received 979 votes for the office of Circuit Clerk. There 
being no other person voted for, he was declared duly elected to the 
office of Circuit Clerk for the term of six years. 

At the same election Samuel M. Gilmore was elected sheriff to 
serve two years. 


The following is the bond filed by the latter officer : 
Know all men by these presents : 

That we, Samuel M. Gilmore as principal, and James Gilmore and 
Frederick Waymire as security, acknowledge ourselves to owe and be 
indebted to the State of Missouri, in the sum of seven thousand dollars, 
well and truly to be paid, we bind ourselves, our heirs, executors, 
administrators and assigns firmly by these presents. 

Witness our hands and seals this 2Sth day of August, 1840. 

The condition of the above obligation is sueh, that if the above bound 
Samuel M. Gilmore shall faithfully perform all the duties of sheriff of 
Buchanan County, in the State of Missouri aforesaid, according to law, 
for the term of two years, and until his successor is elected and qualified, 
and pay over all moneys that may come into his hands, by virtue of his 
office, to those entitled, and all things faithfully do and perform, touching 
the duties of the office of sheriff aforesaid, then this obligation to be null 
and void, otherwise to remain in full force and virtue. 

Signed and sealed this day and date above written. 




Witness : EDWIN ToOLE. 

I, Edwin Toole, Clerk of the Circuit Court in and for the County of 
of Buchanan, and State of Missouri, do certify that I approve the penalty 
and security of the within bond. 

This 25th day of August, A. D. 1840. 


Note. — In the body of the above bond the following words are 
interlined, to wit : for the term of two years and until his successor is 
elected and qualified. And in the approval of the clerk a part of the 
second line is erased, and the words "of Buchanan and" visibly written. 

The above bond was delivered for record August 24, 1840. 


The first record after the appointment of Edwin Toole as Circuit 
Clerk and the appointment of William Fowler, Clerk of the County 
Court, is the following : 


This indenture, made the I4tb March, 1839, between Joseph Wages 
and Zachariah Moreland, both of the County of Buchanan and State of 
Missouri. Whereas, the said Zachariah Moreland has this day stayed 
two judgments, one for two months and one for four months, for said 
Joseph Wages, which said judgments were lately obtained by J. & J. 
Long, before E. Toole, J. P., for the sum of $77. igcts; and the said 
Joseph Wages, being desirous to secure and save the said Moreland 
against all responsibility in a certain recognizance in which said More- 


land bound himself in relation to said judgments, Therefore, this 
indenture witnesseth that the said Joseph Wages, as well for and in 
consideration of securing the said Moreland from the payment of the 
said judgments aforesaid, as the sum of one dollar to him, the said 
Wages, in hand paid, by the said Zachariah Moreland, at and before the 
sealing and delivery hereof, the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, 
hath granted, bargained, and sold, released and confirmed unto the said, 
Zachariah Moreland, one bay horse, two milch cows, seven head of sheep, 
to have and to hold the above mentioned property, to him the said, 
Zachariah Moreland and his assigns, forever. Provided always, never- 
theless, that if the said Joseph Wages shall and truly pay said judgments 
above mentioned, or cause them to be paid, then this deed of mortgage 
shall cease, determine and become absolutely null and void, anything 
herein contracted, to the contrary notwithstanding. 

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and seal, the day 
and date above written. 

Teste : Edwin Toole. 

The above filed for record 5th April, 1839. 

EDWIN TOOLE, Recorder. 


Know all men by these presents : 

That I, Lewis Gresham of the County of Buchanan and State of Mis- 
souri, in consideration of the natural love and affection which I have and 
bear unto my two beloved daughters, Margaret and Louisa Perlina, and 
also for divers other good causes, and considerations in the said 
Lewis Gresham hereunto moving, have given, granted and confirmed, 
and by these presents, do give, grant, and confirm unto the said Margaret 
and Louisa Perlina, all and singular, a certain negro girl slave, named 
Elizabeth, between fourteen and fifteen years of age. Also three cows 
and calves ; fifteen head of sheep, twenty head of hogs, and one bed and 
furniture, to have, hold and enjoy all and singular, the said negro girl 
slave, and the said goods, chattels, and personal estate, aforesaid, unto 
the said Margaret and Louisa Perlina, their executors administrators, 
and assigns forever. 

And I, the said Lewis Gresham, all and singular, the said negro girl 
slave, and the said goods and chattels, personal estate and other the 
premises to the said Margaret' and Louisa Perlina, their executors, 
administrators and assigns, against the said Lewis Gresham, my execu- 
tors and administrators, and all and every other person and persons 
whatsoever, shall and will warrant and forever defend by these presents, 
of all and singular, which said negro girl slave, with the aforesaid goods, 
chattels, personal estate, and other the premises, I, the said Lewis 
Gresham, have put the said Margaret and Louisa Perlina in full posses- 
sion, by delivering to them the said negro girl, named Elizabeth, as a 
slave forever, at the time of sealing and delivering of these presents, in 
the name of the whole premises hereby granted. 


In witness whereof, I, the said Lewis Gresham, have hereunto set 
my hand and seal, this 25th day of June, in the year of our Lord, one 
thousand eight hundred and thirty-nine. 


Signed and sealed in the presence of William Fowler. 



County of Buchanan, 

Be it remembered, that on this 25th day of June, A. D. 1839, Lewis 
Gresham, the grantor named in the foregoing deed of gift, personally 
appeared before me, the undersigned Clerk of the County Court, within 
and fo'r the county aforesaid, and acknowledging the signing and sealing 
of the same to be his act and deed, for the purposes therein mentioned. 

Given under my hand, the day and year above written. 


The next instrument recorded is a will, the first will on record 
which is as follows : . 

I, William Monroe, of the County of Buchanan, and State of Mis- 
souri, do make and publish this, my last will and testament, in manner 
and following, that is to say : 

First — It is my will that my funeral expenses and all my just debts 
be fully paid. 

Second — It is my will and I do hereby give to my eldest son, 
Thomas Monroe, 'the sum of four hundred dollars, and to his heirs and 
assigns forever, to be paid to him or to his heirs and assigns by my 
executor on the ist day of May next, as his full, complete and entire 
portion of my estate forever. 

Third — I give to my second son, Daniel Monroe, the' sum of four 
hundred dollars, and to his heirs and assigns forever, to be paid to him 
or to his heirs and assigns by my executor on the first day of May next, 
as his full, complete and entire portion of my estate forever. 

Fourth — I give to my oldest daughter, Eleanor Douglass, the sum 
of two hundred dollars, and to her heirs and assigns forever, to be paid 
to her or her heirs by my executor on the ist day of May next, as her 
complete and entire portion of my estate forever. 

Fifth — I give to my second daughter, Susan Burris, the sum of four 
hundred dollars, and to her heirs and assigns forever, to be paid to her 
or to her heirs and assigns by my executor on the ist day of May next, 
as her complete and entire portion of my estate forever. 

Sixth — I give to my third daughter, Frances Reynolds, the note I 
hold against her husband (Reuben R. Reynolds), for the amount of sev- 
enty-seven dollars and thirty-six cents, principal and interest, up to this 
date. Said note was due August the ist, 1838, and is dated and bears 
ten per cent, interest from the above date August ist, 1838, to have and 
to hold to her heirs and assigns forever as and for her complete and 
entire portion of my estate forever. 

Seventh — I give to the heirs of my fourth daughter, Elizabeth 
Kuaur, the sum of four hundred dollars, to be paid to them or to their 
lawful guardian, by my executor on the ist day of May next, as their 
complete and entire portion of my estate forever. 


Eighth — I give to my fifth daughter, Nancy Thorp, the sum of four 
hundred dollars, and to her heirs and assigns forever, to be paid to her 
or to her heirs by my executor on the 1st of May next, as her complete 
and entire portion of my estate forever. 

Ninth — I give, devise and bequeath to my third son, Samuel Mon- 
roe, my two servant boys, namely, Sam and John, to have and to hold 
to his heirs and assigns forever. Also I give to the said Samuel Monroe, 
the farm on which I now live, situate in the attached part of Buchanan 
County, and State of Missouri, and known as the northwest quarter of 
section No. 10, township No. 57, range No. 35, to have and to hold the 
said farm, together with all the appurtenance thereunto belonging 
(either as a pre-emption right, or as certified and patented to me from 
Government), to his heirs and assigns forever. 

Tenth — I give to my fourth son, Peter Monroe, my two servants, 
namely Emma and Mary Ann, to have and to hold, and to his heirs and 
assigns forever. 

Eleventh — After the above distribution is fully made, it is my will 
and I do hereby devise and bequeath the entire balance of my estate, 
either personal or real, to my two sons, Samuel Monroe and Peter Mon- 
roe, to their entire use and equal enjoyment, and. to their heirs and 
assigns forever. 

Twelfth — And, lastly, I hereby constitute and appoint my said son 
Samuel Monroe to be the executor to this my last will and testament, 
revoking and annulling all former wills by me made, and ratifying and 
confirming this, and no other to be my last will and testament. 

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 
twenty-first day of July, A. D. one thousand, eight hundred and forty. 


Signed, published and delared by the above named William Mon- 
roe as and for his last will and testament in presence of us who, at his 
request, have signed as witnesses to the same. 


The above will was filed for record October 3, 1840. 

Witness : WILLIAM FOWLER, Recorder. 

Cupid, the God of Love, whose universal sway over the hearts and 
affections of mankind has been commensurate with the history of our 
race, early manifested his presence among the pioneers of Buchanan 
County, as will be seen from the following verbatim copies of a few of 
the earlier marriages ; 

Feb. 14, 1839. United James Nichols and Francis Smith in bonds 
of matrimony. 

March 12, 1839. United David Granf and America Gilliam in bonds, 
of matrimony. 

March 19, 1839. United Solomon Shelton and Judith Nichols in 
the bonds of matrimony. 

March 21. United Henry and Vienna Halman in the bonds of 



County OF. Buchanan. ^'^^^ 

I do hereby certify that the bonds of matrimony between Noel Hen- 
derson and Caroline Arnold, both of the county and state aforesaid, 
were solemnized by me on the 17th of January, 1839. 

A licensed minister of the Gospel. 



Buchanan County, f ^^' 

I do hereby certify that on the 7th day of March, A. D. 1839, I 
united together in the rites of matrimony, as husband and wife, Mr. 
Abel Herrington and Miss Rebecca C. Gilmore. 

Given under my hand this 15th day of April, A. D. 1839. 

Ordained Minister of the Gospel. 

County of Buchanan, j ^^' 

I do hereby certify that on the 20th day of March, A. D. 1839, I 
'united together in the rites of matrimony, as husband and wife, Mr. Page 
Stanley and Miss Catharine Williams. 

Given under my hand this 7th day of May, A. D. 1839. 

Ordained Minister of the Gospel. 

I hereby certify that I solemnized the bonds of matrimony, on the 
31st day of March, 1839, between Samuel Walkup and Louisa Round-, all of Buchanan County, State of Missouri. 

Given under my hand, April 13, 1839. 


JBuchanan County, 

I do hereby certify that on the 23d day of May, A. D. 1839, 1 joined 
together, by the rites of matrimony, Mr. Ransom H. Trusty and Miss 
Mary Ann Muzinzo. 

Given under my hand this 1st day of .June, 1839. 


April 7, 1839. 

This day solemnized a marriage between Jesse Blivens and Rosa 
Toner, both of the County of Buchanan, and State of Missouri. 


Buchanan County, Mo. : 

I, Mathias Cline, do certify, that the bonds of matrimony between 
Daniel Vestil and Mary Jane Snelling were solemnized by me, both then 


of the County of Platte, thought to be, but since the survey, of the county- 
of Buchanan, on the 7th of March, 1839. 

MATHIAS CLINE, Justice of the Peace. 

County of Buchanan. ) 

This is to certify, that on the 15th day of May, 1839, in the presence- 
of Henry Noland and Joel Parker, I did join together in matrimony;. 
William Kitcher and Angeline Yates, both of Buchanan County. 

Given under my hand, this 22nd day of May, 1839. 


County of Buchanan, f 

I, Zachariah Linville, a preacher of the Gospel, do certify, that om 
the 2ist day of August, 1839, I united in marriage, John Allison to Dicy 
Trapp, both of lawful age. 

Given under my hand, this 17th of November, 1839. 


To the Clerk of Buchanan County, Mo. : 

This is to certify, that on the 17th Nov., 1839, in the presence of 
John Riggin and others, I joined together in wedlock, Mr. John W^ 
" Woods and Miss Joanna Stokes, both of Buchanan County, Mo. 
Given under my hand, this 27th Nov. 1839. 

Ordained Minister of the Gospel in M. E. church. 

The marriages above mentioned occurred forty-two years ago. The 
contracting parties, if still living, would be more than three-score years 
of age. 

In those primitive days, among the early settlers, marriages, we are 
persuaded, were the result of love. There was not only a union of hands, 
but a union of hearts. The pioneer maiden made the faithful wife, and 
the sturdy backwoodsman the fond and trusted husband. 

During 1839, there were recorded forty-one marriages, and in 1880- 
there were four hundred and three. 




Notwithstanding the fact, that a large number, probably a majority^ 
of the people in every county, have very little practical experience in 
the courts, and although they have the legal capacity to sue and be 
sued,- never improve their opportunities, and never appear in court,, 
unless it be on compulsion as witnesses or jurors ; yet, as the one great 
conservator of peace, and as the final abiter in case of individual or 
neighborhood disputes, the court is distinguished above and apart from' 
all and every other institution of the land, and not only the proceedings 
of the court, but the place of holding court, is a matter of interest to 
the average reader. 

Not only so, but in many counties the court house was the first,, 
and usually the only public building in the county. 

The first court houses were not very elaborate buildings, to be sure,, 
but they are enshrined in memories that the present never can know. 

Their uses were general, rather than special, and so constaxitly were 
they in use, day and night when the court was in session, and when it 
was not in session, for judicial, educational, religious and social pur- 
poses, that the doors of the old court houses like the gates of gospell 
grace, stood open night and day, and the small amount invested in those 
old hewn-logs, and rough benches, returned a much better rate of inter- 
est on the investment, than do those stately piles of brick or granite > 
which have taken their places. 

The memorable court house of early times was a house adapted to- 
a variety of purposes, and had a career of great usefulness. 

School was taught, the gospel preached and justice dispensed within 
its substantial walls. Then it served frequently as a resting place for 
weary travelers, and indeed its doors always swung on easy hinges. 

On the fourth day of January, 1841, the County Court of Buchanan 
County (Stephen Jones being at the time President of said court) made 
an order relative to the building of a court house at Sparta. 

The court had held its sessions at Richard Hill's, near Rock House 
Prairie, and at the house of Joseph Rpbidoux, since April, 1839. The 


accommodations of these places were meagre, and the expense to the 
county had been considerable. The following is the order of the court 
in reference thereto : 

"Ordered by the court, that a building be erected on the lot No. i, 
■'in block No. 17, in the town of Sparta, to be used as a court house and 
'clerk's office, until other and more suitable public buildings can be pro- 
vided, of the following description, to wit: to consist of two rooms, one 
'eighteen feet by twenty ; the other eighteen feet by sixteen, with a par- 
tition wall between ; the wall to be fifteen feet high, nine feet between 
the first and second floors. The walls to be of logs, hewn to the thick- 
ness of six inches, and to face twelve inches ; two good substantial 
"floors, the joints and sleepers not to exceed two feet apart ; the floors to 
ibe of inch and a quarter oak or ash. Plank well seasoned and laid square 
joints. A good and substantial roof of eighteen-inch shingles, and sheet-, 
ing to be of good quality. Two twelve-light windows in each room 
below, glass ten by twelve, and a six-light window in each gable, and glass 
the same size ; a batten door in each of the lower rooms and a partition 
door of the same kind, all to be made of durable timber. The cracks to- 
be pointed with lime mortar; the building to be underpinned with rock,, 
eight inches above the level of the ground. The large room to be com- 
pleted by the third Monday in March next, and the other by the third 
Monday in July next. The whole to be done in a good and workman- 
like manner. And it is further ordered that John Sampson be appointed 
to superintend the erection of said building." 

The contractor of this rude structure was Guilford Moultray, who 
obligated himself, in accordance with the order of the court, to finish 
the building in July following. The plan of the building was furnished 
by George W. Nixon and William Fowler, who received therefor the 
sum of ten dollars. It was a large house, the largest perhaps in the 
county, when it was built. In it were located the several county offices., 
and there met that august assemblage known as the Circuit Court, 
\where the vocal, and not unfrequently muscular, pioneer attorneys had' 
full scope for the employment of their varied powers, both physical and 
intellectual. The old Sparta bar was one of which the attorneys of 
Buchanan County may well be proud. They were, indeed, without a 
single exception, able men ; men who not only stood at the head of 
4heir profession in after years, but many of them attained honorable 
-positions in the State and National Legislatures. 

If the old settlers are to be believed, the old log court house at 
:^parta often rang on the pioneer Sabbath with a more stirring eloquence 
than enlivens the pulpits of the present time. Many of the earliest 
ministers have officiated within its walls, and if those old walls could ■ 
speak, they would doubtless tell rriariy a strange tale of pioneer religion 
]that is now lost forever. 


To that old court house, ministers came of different faiths, but all 
eager to expound the simple truths of a sublime and beautiful religion, 
and point out for comparison the thorny path of duty and the primrose 
way of dalliance. Often have those old walls given back the echoes of 
those who sang the songs of Zion, and many an erring wanderer has. 
had his heart moved to repentance thereby more strongly than ever by 
the strains of homely eloquence. 

With Monday morning the old building changed in character, and 
men went thither seeking not the mercy of God, but the justice of man. 
The scales were held with an even hand. Those who presided knew 
every ma,n in the county, and they dealt out substantial justice, and the 
broad principles of natural equity prevailed. 

Children came here to school, and sat at the foot of teachers who 
knew little more than themselves ; but, however humble the teacher's 
acquirements he was hailed as a wise man and a benefactor, and his les- 
sons were heeded with attention. The old people of the settlement 
went there to discuss their own affairs, and learn from visiting attorneys 
the news from the grgat world, so far away to the southward and east- 

In addition to the orderly assemblies which formally gathered there, 
other meetings no less notable occurred' It was a sort of a forum whither 
all classes of people went for the purpose of loafing and gossiping, and 
telling and hearing some new thing. 

As a general thing, the first court house, after having served the 
purpose of its erection, and having served that purpose well, was torn 
down and conveyed to the rear of some remote lot, and thereafter was 
made to serve the purpose of an obscure cow stable on some dark alley. 
The old court house at Sparta, however, after having accomplished its 
mission, was used for a much higher and nobler purpose, having been 
converted into a granary — a receptacle for that which ultimately sustains 
the physical wants of both man and beast. 

There is little of the poetic and romantic in the make-up of Western 
society, and the old court house, after the removal of the county-seat, 
ceased to be regarded with reverence and awe. It was then looked upon 
as only the aggregation of so many oak or hickory logs, and the practi- 
cal eye of the modern citizen could see nothing in it but the aforesaid 
logs, and in his estimate of its value nothing but calculation relative to 
the number of bushels of wheat or corn which these reconstructed logs 
would contain, were the only conditions bearing on those estimates. 

In a new country, where every energy of the people is necessarily 
employed in the practical work of earning a living, and the always urgent 
and ever present question of bread and butter is up for solution, people 
cannot be expected to devote- much time to the poetic and ideal. It 
therefore follows that nothing was retained as a useless relic which could 


be turned to some utility; but it is a shame that the people of modern' 
times have such little reverence for the relics of former days. After these 
houses ceased to be available for business purposes they should have 
been preserved, to have at least witnessed the semi-centennial of the 
country's history. It is sad that in their hurry to grow rich, so few have 
care even for the work of their own hands. How many of the early 
settlers have preserved their first habitations ? The sight of that humble 
cabin would be a source of much consolation in old age, as it reminded 
the owner of the trials and triumphs of other times, and its presence 
would go far toward reconciling the coming generation with their lot 
when comparing its lowly appearance with the modern residence, whose 
extensive apartments are beginning to be too unpretentious for the enter- 
prising sport of the irrepressible "Young Americans." 

Further extracts from the " Order Book " of the County Court : 

Wednesday Morning, July 3d, 1839. 
Court met pursuant to adjournment. Present as on yesterday. 
Samuel M. Gilmore, Collector, makes the following settlement with 
the court : 

Dr. to tax collected on merchants' license for state purposes. . . .$10.00 

Ad valorem 2.50 

To tax on grocers' license for state purposes 27.50 

Ad valorem 2.77^ 

To tax on auction license for state purposes lo.oo 

To tax on ferry, do 4.00 


To tax on merchants for county purposes $10.00 

To tax on grocers, " " .... 25.00 

To tax on auctioneers, " " 5.00 

To tax on ferry, " " 4.00' 


" The court orders that for the purpose of defraying the expenses of 
Buchanan County for the year 1839, the sum of one fourth of one per 
cent., upon the assessed value of all property made taxable by law for 
state purposes, shall be levied, and a tax on all licenses made taxable by 
law for state purposes, equal to the state tax on the same. 

From the proceedings of the February term of 1840, we make the 
following extract : 

"Matthew M. Hughes, who was appointed by the Governor Sur- 
veyor, to ascertain, survey and establish the boundaries of the counties 
of Platte and Buchanan, agreeably to the provisions of an act entitled 
"An act to organize the counties of Platte and Buchanan, and to define 
the boundaries of the same, approved December 31st, 1838," comes now 


into court and makes his report, together with a plot or map of the 
county of Buchanan, which report is as follows, to wit : 

"To the Hon. County Court of Buchanan County, State of Missouri : 
I received from his Excellency, Lilburn W. Boggs, Governor of the State 
of Missouri, a commission, authorizing me to define and establish the 
boundaries of Platte and Buchanan Counties, agreeable to an act of the 
Legislature of said state, approved December 31, 1838, by which said acts 
I am required to report to your honorable body the boundaries of your 
county as established by me. I commenced on the northwest corner of 
Platte County, in the centre of the main channel of the Missouri River, 
and ran up the same, with its various meanders, forty-two miles and 
fifty-two chains, which constitutes the western boundary of your county ; 
thence I run a due east course, marking each fore and aft tree with a 
blaze and two chops, and trees on each side in the way pointing to the 
line of fourteen miles and twenty-seven chains to a stake in the old State 
line, or the line of Clinton County, which constitutes your northern 
boundary ; then south twenty miles and fifty-two chains along said line 
to the northeast corner of Platte County, which constitutes your eastern 
boundary ; thence west along the line of Platte County twenty-seven 
miles and forty chains to the beginning,-which constitutes your southern 
boundary, containg four hundred square miles. I have also furnished 
you with a plot or map, representing Buchanan County. All of which 
is submitted and reported to your honorable body. Jan. 8, 1840. 


The county_of Buchanan paid Mr. Hughes for his services in sur- 
veying the county the sum of ninety-four dollars. 

The first license authorizing the sale of intoxicating drinks to a 
dram-shop keeper was issued by the County Court at its May term in 
1841, the order for the same being as follows : 

"Ordered by the Court, that Barr & Custer be licensed to keep a 
dram-shop in the town of Sparta, for six months, ending the seventh day 
of December, 1 841 ; and that they pay a tax therefor of fifteen dollars for 
• state purposes, and the same amount for county purposes." 


Among the early papers on file in the County Clerk's office, we find 
the following : 

The Hon. The County Court of Buchanan County at their October Ses- 
sion, 1,840. 

Your petitioner, the undersigned, would present to your Honors, 
that he is by the act of an overruling Providence, rendered unable to 
make a living by his own exertions ; the rheumatism by long continu- 
ance, having distorted his limbs, and deprived him of their ordinary use. 


He therefore prays your Honorable body, to take his 'case under consid- 
eration, and make such provision for him, in his afflictions as the circum- 
stances of his case require.* 

Witness : mark. 

George Weaver. 

"The Honorable the County Court of Buchanan County we the 
undersigned citizens of y^^c/^z'i' township beg leave to represent to your 
Honorable body the emprapriety of attaching said township to the town- 
ship of Washington as we ar ?ieber able to hold an elections there/orre 
will eier pray. 

G. W. Taylor, Prior Singleton, 

William Bell, thomas Walker, 

William Chestnut, Christian Emnick, 

Benjamin Essmon, James D. Nonss, 

George Shanks, Tho.mas Deroviss, 

William Rector, Thomas madox, 

Enoch Devorss, John M. Dyer, 

Joseph H. Thomas, Solomon Dills, 

Arnot Groomes, Hensori Devoss." 

Simon Davis, 

I hereby certify that the within account was allowed at the July 
term of the Buchanan Court, and ordered to be certified to Buchanan 
County Court for payment, which is certified August 7th, 1840. 

The County of Buchanan, Dr., 

To Joseph Robidoux. 
To the use of a room for the accommodation of the County Court 

of said County for two days, at and during their May session, 

£839, at two dollars per day $4.00 

Do. do. during the July session of said Court, for three days at two 

dollars per day 6.00 

Do. do. during the August session of said Court, for two days, at 

two dollars per day 4.00 

Do. do. during the October session, for two days 4.OO 

Do. do. at and during the November session, one day 2.00 

For furnishing said Court with a room and fuel for two days, at 

three dollars per day 6.00 

Total . . $30.00 

Dec. II, 1839. 

One among the most ancient orders of the County Court, and one 
that will be read with some degree of curiosity by the present inhabi- 
tants, is the following : 

* Mr. FuUs was allowed $15 for three monihs 


Ex-parte : 

On this day, Stephen Groves, a free negro man, about thirty-one 
years of age ; about five feet seven inches high ; of a light black color ; 
a common laborer, applies to this court for a license to reside within 
this State, and having produced a certificate of citizenship from the 
State of Indiana, and having also produced satisfactory evidence of his 
good character and behavior, and entered into bond wnh security to the 
acceptance of the Court, as required by the statute in such cases made 
and provided, it is is ordered by the court here, that the said Stephen 
Groves be and he is hereby licensed to reside within the State, as long; 
as he shall be of good behavior, and no longer. 


Circuit Court, July Term, 1839. 


County of Buchanan '' ^' 

Be it remembered, at a Circuit Court, begun and held at the house 
of Joseph Robidoux, at the Blacksnake Hills, in the county of Buchanan^ 
and within the Fifth Judicial Circuit, in the State of Missouri, it being- 
the place designated for holding court in said county, on Monday, the 
15th day of July, 1839, it being the third Monday in said month, before 
the Hon. Austin A. King, Judge of said Circuit, commissioned and 
assigned to hold the said court in said county. Samuel M. Gilmore, 
high sheriff in and for said county, returned into open court, a State writ 
of venire facias, issued from the court, and to him directed, for a grand 
jury, executed on Reuben R. Reynolds, John Henry, William Bledsoe, 
Elijah Martin, Abil Evans, George S. Nelson, Ezekiel W. Smith, Job 
McNamara, Daniel Ferrell, Hugh Copeland, Hiram Rodgers, Jesse R. 
Barnett, Ezra Rose, Lloyd Beall, Hugh Glenn, John Martin, and James 
Curl — all of whom appeared being good and lawful men of said county. 

Reuben R. Reynolds was then appointed foreman, who, together 
with his fellow jurors, was duly sworn, as a grand inquest for the State 
of Missouri, and for the body of the county of Buchanan, and after 
receiving their charge from the court, retired to consider of their pre- 

This grand jury cost the county of Buchanan fifty-six dollars and 
seventy cents, as is shown by the following : 

Reuben R. Reynolds, foreman, 2 days distance from ct h, 18 miles 

John Henry do 

William Bledsoe do 

Elijah Martin do 

Abil Evans . . do 

George T. Nelson do 

Ezekiel W. Smith do 

Job McNamara .... do 

Hugh Copeland . . . . do 

Daniel Ferrel do 

Hiram Rogers . . do 

18 miles. 





















do . 



do . 

. 3.20 


do . 

■ 3.20 


do . 

■ 350 


Jesse B. Barnett 2 days 12 miles. .$3.20 

Ezra Rose do 20 do . , 4.00 

Lloyd Beall do 10 do 3.00 

Hugh Glenn do . . . . 10 do 3.00 

James Curl do .15 do 3.50 

John Martin do 10 do 3.00 



The first case on the docket was : 

Andrew S. Hughes ] 

vs. > Petition in Debt 

Ishmael Davis. ) 

And now at this day comes the said plaintiff, and moves the court 
for leave to dismiss this cause. It is therefore ordered that the same be 
and is hereby dismissed, and also that the said defendant recover his 
cost by him in this behalf expended, and that he have execution therefor. 

George Smith ^ 

vs. y Appeal. 

W. W. Gitt. j 

The defendant files his motion to dismiss this case, and the motion 
is overruled. Therefore it is ordered that this cause be continued until 
next term of court. 

Assault and Battery, 

Henry Fisher 
Larkin Thompson and 
Moses Thompson. 

And now at this day comes the plaintiff, and moves the court for 
leave to dismiss his cause. It is therefore ordered that the same be and 
is hereby dismissed, and also that the said defeadants recover their costs 
by them, in this behalf expended, and that they have execution therefor. 


Grand jury returned into court the following bills of indictment all 
endorsed "true bills" and signed by Reuben R. Reynolds their foreman, 
to wit : The State of Missouri vs. Theophilus Magruder, for betting at a 
game of chance by means of a pack of cards ; same vs. James Herring 
for same offense ; same vs. Peter P. Fulkerson ; same' vs. Washington W. 
Gitt; same vs. Samuel Moss; same vs. William Yates ; same vs. Elijah 
Bunton ; same vs. Thomas Simpson ; same vs. James Duncan ; same vs. 
Emsley Rose ; same vs. Elijah Smith, Jr. ; same vs. James Wood ; same 
vs. James Peebly; same vs. Elisha Gladden ; same vs. Sampson L. Stans- 
berry ; same vs. Sabert SoUars ; same vs. Samuel Hall ; saipe vs. Wil- 
liam Harvey; same vs. John H. Whitehead; same vs. Jesse Roberts; 
same vs. Elijah Gladden ; same vs. Andrew Smith ; same vs. Reuben 
Gage ; all for betting. Same vs. George Tracy .and Henry Spates, for 


selling as grocers without license ; same vs. George Tracy and Henry 
Spates, for keeping gaming house ; same vs. John Snyder, for keeping 
gambling device ; same vs. Francis Robidoux, for selling goods without 
a license ; same vs. Sampson L. Stanberry, for keeping gaming house; 
and there being no other business for the grand jury they are discharged. 
And it is ordered that said grand jurors be allowed the sum of one dol- 
lar per diem allowance, for attendance, and also five cents per mile for 
necessary travel to and from court, and that their said accounts be cer- 
tified to the County Court of Buchanan County. 

Extracts from the first docket of the Chancery Court, July term 

The State of Missouri, Buchanan County to wit : At a Circuit Court 
begun and held, at this court house, in and for the county aforesaid, on 
the first Monday in July 1841, before the honorable David R. Atchison^ 
Judge of the 12th Judicial Circuit, in the State of Missouri. Among 
others, were the following proceedings to wit : 

Delila Vaughn ] 

vs. >- Petition For Divorce. 

James Vaughn. ) 

This day appeared, the said complainant by her solicitor, and the 
said defendant, though solemnly called, came not, but makes default, and 
it appearing to the court, that said complainant, is a person of good con- 
duct, and that she is the innocent and injured person, as a party to this 
suit", and it further appearing to the court, that said defendant has 
offered such indignities to the person of said complainant, as renders her 
condition as his wife intolerable, and that she has suffered from him such 
cruel treatment as to endanger her life, it is therefore ordered, adjudged, 
and decreed by the court now here, that said Delila Vaughn be divorced 
from the bonds of matrimony heretofore contracted, with her said hus- 
band, James Vaughn, unless the said defendant shall appear at the next 
term of this court, and show cause, why this decree should not be made 

Ordered that court adjourn until court in course. 




The court house and jail erected at Sparta were designed merely as 
temporary structures, and after having subserved the interests of the 
county until there had been a large increase both in the revenue and 
population of the same, the County Court on the 9th of November, 1842, 
made the following order in reference to a more permanent building : 

"It is ordered by the Court, that a court house be built in the town 
of Sparta, the seat of justice of Buchanan County, at such place and 
within such time as shall hereafter be designated by this Court, and the 
sum of six thousand dollars be and the same is hereby appropriated for 
the erection of said building, to be paid out of the fund arising from the 
sale of lots in the said town of Sparta, and for want of a sufficient amount 
of that fund to pay the same, the balance to be paid out of any money in 
the county treasury of said county not otherwise appropriated." 

This court house, for which the county had made such a liberal allow- 
ance, was never erected, for about this time began the agitation of the 
question of changing tlie location of the county-seat. Sparta was destined 
to have a successful rival in the new town which was then struggling into 
existence at Blacksnake Hills, and this rivalry manifested itself in a spir- 
ited manner for several succeeding years. 


Soon after the laying out of St. Joseph in 1843, the first pronounced 
effort was made to move the county-seat from Sparta to St. Joseph. 

The latter, although not in the center of the county, was the center 
of the trading interests, and most of the transactions which became sub- 
jects of judicial investigation were connected in some way generally with 
its citizens. During the year 1843, a petition was presented to the County 
Court, signed by more than three-fifths of the taxable inhabitants of the 
county, asking for the removal of the county-seat. In accordance with 
the prayer of that petition, three commissioners, viz.: Winslow Turner, 
James Hull and James Kuykendall, were appointed by the Justices of 
the County Court to select a site for the county-seat, and on the 4th of 
July, 1843, made their report, which is as follows : 


County of Buchanan. ( 

To the Honorable David R. Atchison, Judge of the Circuit Court of said 
county : 

The undersigned, on the 2ist day of February, 1843, having been 
appointed commissioners by the worshipful justices of the County Court 
of said county to select a site whereon to locate the seat of justice of said 
county, and having received a certificate thereof, together with a notice 
of the time and place appointed by said justices, for the assembling 
of said commissioners, in due form of law, would ask leave to submit 
the following report of their proceedings : 

The undersigned, deem it not amiss, to inform the court that on the 
20th day of February, in the year aforesaid, a petition was presented to 
the County Court of said county, praying a removal of the seat of justice 
thereof, to a designated place, that is to say, in the language of the peti- 
tion, "on the southwest quarter of section No. 8, of township No. 57, 
in range No. 35, the same being on the Missouri River at the Blacksnake 
Hills." The said petition, as appears from the record of the County 
Court of said county, was subscribed by nine hundred and fifty-six 
"taxable inhabitants of said county, as ascertained by the tax list made 
and returned last preceding the presenting of the said petition, being 
ninety-eight over and above three-fifths of the taxable inhabitants of 
said county, the whole number of taxable inhabitants of said county, 
as appears from the said record, being fourteen hundred and thirty. 

The number and respectability of the petitioners induced the under- 
signed to discharge the duties devolving upon them, under their com- 
mission with the strictest attention to the interest of the count)*, and 
the wishes of the petitioners. A part of the commissioners, after having 
taken an oath before Samuel C. Hall, a justice of the peace of said 
county, for the faithful performance of their duty, as commissioners, 
assembled at the Blacksnake Hills on the 3d day of April, 1843, and 
adjourned from time to time until the 24th day of April, 1843, and then 
proceeded to examine and select the most suitable place in said county, 
within the limit prescribed by law, whereon to erect the public buildings. 

After an examination made with the strictest attention to the inter- 
est of the county, and the wishes of the petitioners, as above mentioned, 
the undersigned would respectfully report, that they have selected the 
southwest quarter of section No. 8, of township No. 57, in range No. 35, 
the same being on the Missouri River, at the Blacksnake Hills, as the 
imost suitable place, in said county, within the limits prescribed by law, 
under their commission, whereon to erect the public buildings. 

The undersigned will not pretend to say, how far they have been 
influenced, in the selection they have made, by the designation of the 
petitioners. They will, however, take occasion to remark, that the 
united judgment of niAe hundred and fifty-six taxable inhabitants of the 
county, could not be dismissed without consideration. 

But aside from the fact the place selected is the same as designated 
by the petitioners, the undersigned have no hesitation in saying that 
they are, unanimous in the opinion that the place selected is far the most 
suitable in the limit prescribed to them whereon to erect the public 
■ buildings. The reasons for their opinion are too numerous to mention, 
and ^yere they few it would perhaps be out of the way to express them here, 


The undersigned deem it proper to state to the court that the quar- 
ter section of land selected, is public land of the United States, and, con- 
sequently, the only evidence of title they can offer to the court is a 
reference to an act of the Congress of the United States, entitled " An 
Act granting to the counties or parishes of each State or Territory of 
the United States, in which the public lands are situated, the right of 
pre-emption to quarter sections of land for seats of justice, within the 
same," approved May 26th, 1824, and also a reference to the fact that 
the quarter section has been selected in the manner above mentioned, 
as a seat of justice, prior to the sale of the adjoining lands in said county. 
The undersigned deem it also proper to state to the court that a pre- 
emption right is claimed upon the quarter section selected by one 
Joseph Robidoux, and from the best information they can obtain, he has 
probably complied with the requirements of the pre-emption law. 

It is not the province of the undersigned to decide whether the 
selection made by them is a sufficient fixing of the seat of justice in said 
county, as will give the county a pre-emption right under the act of 
Congress above referred to. Nor is it their province to decide whether 
a county pre-emption can be located upon the pre-emption of an indi- 
vidual. The decision of these questions devolve upon the court, to 
which, with the foregoing report, they are respectfully submitted. 

JAMES HULL, >• Commissioners. 


Endorsed. Filed July 4, 1843. 


Following this report of the commissioners is the order of the 
Buchanan County Court, appointing a day for an election to be held, to 
determine upon the selection as made by the commissioners. The order 
is as follows : 

County of Buchanan. f 

In the Buchanan County Court, July 4, 1843. 

On this day the report of a quorunj of the commissioners appointed 
at the February term, 1843, of this court, to select a site on which to 
locate the seat of justice of Buchanan County, having been certified to 
the County Court by the Circuit Court, at the last session thereof, it is 
thereupon ordered that an election be held, on the 5th day of August 
next,- in each township in this county, at the same places in said town- 
ships at which general elections are held for civil officers, to determine 
upon the selection made by said commissioners,'that is to say upon the 
southwest quarter of section No. 8 of township No. 57, in range No. 35, 
the same being on the Missouri River at the Blacksnake Hills. 

A true copy of the order. 

Attest: WILLIAM FOWLER, Clerk. 

On the reverse side of the order, the sheriff, G. W. Taylor, made 
his return of the posting up of notices in the .different townships as 


required by the order. At the election that followed 9, majority voted 
for the removal of the county seat to Blacksnake Hills, but the measure 
failed because the claim of the county to the quarter section on which 
St. Joseph stood, and on which the location of the county seat was 
made, was not sustained by the court. 

In the fall of 1844 a majority of all the voters in the county petitioned 
the Legislature on the subject, and that body passed an act in March 
1845, under which succeeding elections were held for the i-emoval of the 
county seat. That act is as follows : 


To authorize the people of Buchanan County to remove their Seat of 


Be it enacted by the General A ssembly of the State of Missouri, 
as follows : 

Section l. That Henry B. Mays, of the County of Platte, William 
Hurton, of the County of Clinton, and Joseph B. Nichol, of the County 
of Andrew, be and they are hereby appointed commissioners to select, 
at or near the town of St. Joseph, in the county of Buchanan, a site for 
the permanent seat of justice for Buchanan County; should vacancies . 
occur among said commissioners, the County Court of Buchanan County 
shall fill the same by appointing some competent disinterested person or 
persons, non-residents of Buchanan -County. It shall be the duty of each 
commissioner, before entering upon his duties, to take an oath or make 
affidavit before some judge or justice of the peace of Buchanan County, 
that he will faithfully discharge the duties of such commissioner. 

Sec. 2. 1 It shall be the diity of the commissioners to assemble in 
the town of Saint Joseph on the first Monday of April next ; or if they 
should fail to assemble on that day, then as soon thereafter as practica- 
ble, and they may hold an adjourned meeting. 

Sec. 3. Any two of said commissioners shall be competent to do 

Sec. 4. Said commissioners shall receive such donation in land, 
money, or subscriptions as shall be tendered to them, and when a suit- 
able site for public buildings shall have been tendered them, and they 
shall have obtained all the money and subscriptions practicable, without 
unreasonable delay they shall report, the title {)apers together with the 
subscription papers, to the Judge of the Circuit Court of Buchanan 
County, whether said Circuit Court be in session or not, and such Judge 
shall examine the same, and if he approve the validity thereof, he shall 
certify his decision thereon to the County Court of Buchanan County. 
But if he disapprove their validity he shall return the same to the com- 
missioners with his reasons for their invalidity, whose duty it shall be 
to correct the error, or to proceed anew as at first, and to make another 
report to the Judge, whose duty it shall be to examine and certify as 
before, and so proceed till the title shall be approved. 

Sec. 5. When the Judge shall certify his approval of the title papers 
to, the County Court, it shall be the duty of the County Court without 
delay, to fix on some day not more than sixty nor less than forty days 


distant, for an election by the people between the present site and the 
site proposed by the commissioners for the seat of justice. 

Sec. 6. The sheriff of Buchanan County shall cause notice to be set 
up in three of the most public places in each township in the county at 
least thirty days before the day appointed for the election, describing 
the site selected, the quantity of land donated, and the amount of money 
subscribed, and notifying the inhabitants of the time, place and import 
of the election, and make return thereof to the County Court, at least 
ten days before said election, for which said County Court shall pay to 
said sheriff, out of the county treasury, such compensation, as they shall 
deem right and reasonable, and if the sheriff fail to perform the duty 
enjoined by this section, he shall be fined fifty dollars, to be recovered 
by indictment. 

Sec. 7. If the election be contested, the same shall be tried by the 
County Court and determined without unnecessary delay, and if adjudged 
illegal, the County Court shall cause a second election to be held in like 
manner as the first election, giving like notice, and if necessary, a third 
and fourth election till one shall be adjudged legal. 

Sec. '8. All free white males, taxable inhabitants, over the age of 
twenty-one years, resident of the county at the time of the election, shall 
be elligible to vote, and the election shall be held at the same places and 
in a manner similar to elections for civil officers. 

Sec. 9. ■ If a majority of all the legal votes of the county, as in the 
next preceding section specified, be given for Sparta, the title and sub- 
scription papers shall be of no effect, the former shall be returned to the 
persons executing'the same, and the. latter destroyed, and no further pro- 
ceedings shall be had under this act. Should there not be a majority for 
either place, the County Court shall cause a second and third election, 
if necessary to be held, until there shall be a majority for one place or 
the other ; but should there be a majority for the proposed site, the same 
shall be the permanent seat of justice for Buchanan County, and the title 
to the real estate donated and the subscriptions and money shall vest in 
said county, and such proceedings not inconsistent with the provisions 
of this act, shall be had both in reference to Sparta and the holders of 
lots therein, and in reference to the new seat of justice, as in the case of 
the removal of the seat of justice as required by "An act provided for the 
removal of seats of justice," approved February 6th, 1835, provided that 
should lots be relinquished to the county in Sparta, as in said last men- 
tioned act specified, the county shall refund the money originally paid, 
with ten per cent, interest, in case it should not have lots to sell at the 
new seat of justice. 

Sec. 10. If the Commissioners cannot procure lands to the amount 
of fifty acres, on which to locate the seat of justice, they are hereby 
autho'rized to locate on any less quantity. 

Sec. 1 1 . The County Court shall allow to the Commissioners reason- 
able compensation for their services out of the county treasury. 

This act to take effect from and after its passage. 

Speaker of the House of Representatives. 
President of the Senate. 

Approved March 24, 1845. JOHN C. EDWARDS. 

History of buchanan county. 193 

Office of Secretary of State, 
City of Jefferson. 

I. James L. Minor, Secretary of State, of the State of Missouri, do 
liereby certify that the foregoing is truly copied from the original bill, on 
file in this office, of " An Act to authorize the people of Buchanan County 
to remove their seat of justice," approved March 24, 1845. 

Witness my hand and the seal of said office, this 25th day of Marchy 
A. D., 1845. 

Secretary of State. 

The commissioners, Henry B. Mayo, William B. Huston and Joseph 
13. Nichol, appointed by the Legislature under the above act, met in St. 
Joseph, on the 24th of May, 1845, for the transaction of business. They 
^elected block 48 as the site for the county buildings. This block was 
■donated to the county by Joseph Robidoux, for that purpose. Mr Robi- 
•doux also donated ten lots ; F. W. Smith, one block ; John Patee, three 
■acres of land; Elias F. Wells, two lots ; Samuel C. Hall, twenty acres of 
land. Besides this the citizens of St. Joseph subscribed about $1,000 
in money. The commissioners made their report to the Circuit Judge, 
•and the County Court ordered the election to take place oft the 24th of 
December, 1845, in order that the people of the county might vote upon 
the question as to the removal of the county seat. 

The act of the Legislature which we have given in full above, pro- 
vided that the owners of lots in Sparta should be refunded their purchase 
money, with ten per cent, interest, if there were no lots for sale at the 
new seat of justice, if, however, there were lots for sale at the new 
seat of justice, then a credit for the amount of the purchase money 
in buying these lots should be given. By the operation of law, in case 
of the removal of the county seat, the county's liability to the lot holders 
in Sparta would be $2,185.00. All the lots that had been sold in Sparta 
up to that date amounted to $6,054.00. A number of lots had been for- 
feited by the purchasers, these of course were not to be paid for by the 
county. The forfeited lots had been sold for $1,461.00, which amount 
being subtracted from the entire sale, left $4,593.00. On these lots^ 
before forfeiture, the purchasers paid $965.00 which was a clear gain to 
the county ; this amount being also deducted from the whole amount, 
feft $3,628.00. There remained at that time an unpaid amount on lots 
sold of $1,443.00, which was also to be deducted, leaving as a demand 
against the county $2,185.00. 

The land which had been donated, it was thought, would pay two or 
three times the amount of the claim against the county. 

In case of the removal of the seat of justice, the lot owners in 
.Sparta would be entitled to buy to the amount of the purchase money 
paid, and the remainder of the property would belong to the county, and 
sold for the erection of the public buildings. 


The election was held on the 24th of December, as advertised hy 
order of the County Court, and in casting up the result it was ascertained 
that 541 votes had been polled for Sparta, and 1,037 for St. Joseph. 

The people however, were destined to meet with another disappoint- 
ment. After the returns were made to the County Court, that body 
decided that a decision of the question had not been made, the court 
holding that it required a majority of all the free white male inhabitants 
taxable, over the age of twenty-one years, to determine the question 
and that they did not think there was such a majority for St. Joseph. 
The County Court accordingly ordered another election, to take place on 
\he 28th of February, 1846. In the meantime, the people who were 
favorable to Sparta, and those favorable to St. Joseph as the county seat 
worked like heroes for their respective towns. An address was published 
by the citizens of St. Joseph to the people of Buchanan County, setting; 
forth the advantages to be derived from having the county seat at St.. 
Joseph. This was answered by an address from the citizens of Sparta,, 
claiming superior advantages from having the county seat to remain 
where it had already been located. 

On the 28th of February, 1846, the final election was held, and the 
St. Joseph Gazette in speaking of that matter says : 

" We are happy to be able this week to record' the fact, that the 
county seat question has been settled. Notwithstanding the inclemency 
of the weather, the claims of St. Joseph were triumphantly vindicated on 
Saturday last, by the PEOPLE of the county. The vote stood 1164 fof 
St. Joseph and 455 for Sparta, which shows an increase for the former 
and a decrease for the latter since the last election. The County Court,, 
who had cognizance of the returns, on Tuesday decided that the vote for 
St. Joseph was sufficient; which fiat fixed the seat of justice amongst us,, 
and determined things to be arranged as the people have al'w.ays wished'.. 

After having attained the end for which we have so long been striv- 
ing ; after having triumphed upon the purest principles, with every pos- 
sible difficulty in the way; after having accomplished all by exertions 
which the best motives prompted, we are in the midst of exultation, of 
joy and of pride ; willing to forgive and forget all the harsh conduct with 
which we have met. We are willing to regard this matter as past ; we 
are willing to admit that our opposers were honest in their views, thougji 
in some cases, it is extremely difficult to do so, and we hope they will 
admit the same as to us. 

This removal will give fresh impetus to our already floudshing 
town ; it will concentrate the business of the county ; increase the 
demand, and enlarge the market, for produce ; furnish employment for 
the mechanic, and render the transaction of every kind of business con- 
venient. We congratulate the friends of St. Joseph upon our success ; 
we congratulate the people of the county upon the attainment of their 


object, and we hope to see the public buildings erected without unneces- 
sary delay ; to see the county business transacted at the county seat, 
and to see no more impediments thrown in the way of the acknowledged 
wish of the people of Buchanan County." 

Below we give the official vote of the county on the removal of the 
county seat : 

Sparta. St. Joseph. 

Centre 1 57 24 

Bloomington 71 143 

Platte 56 , 19 

Crawford. ... ... 71 i 

Tremont 28 53 

Washington , . 9 733 

Rush 3 76 

Jackson 59 2 


Marion 86 

Wayne i 27 

455 1,164 

Majority for St. Joseph 709 

Thus ended a struggle which had lasted for nearly three years — a 
struggle the results of which were fraught with great interest to the town 
of St. Joseph. 

It will be seen by the following account, that the item alone of cal- 
culating the interest to the lot owners in the town of Sparta, after the 
removal of the county-seat, cost considerable. The account is presented 
by Commissioner Hinkston : 

Buchanan County — Dr. 

To Harlow Hinkston, Com., September 3, 1846. 

To calculating interest to lot holders in Sparta.. .. $12.00 

To acknowledging 24 deeds in Sparta, 25 cents each 6.00 

To acknowledging 3 deeds at Clerk's office i ■ 5° 

To attending sale one day 2.00 

To stationery 25 


Commissioner Hinkston presented also an account of the sale of lots 
in St. Joseph, after the removal of the county-seat, as follows : 

To the Honorable body, the County Court of Buchanan County, Missouri : 

The undersigned. Commissioner of the seat of justice of Buchanan 
County, makes the following report relative to the sales of lots in the 


town of St. Joseph, the county-seat of the county aforesaid,- to wit: on 
the 1 8th of May, 1846: 

To amount of sale — total $1,370.50 

One-fourth of amount due in six months from day of sale. . . . 342.62^ 

One-half of the balance due in twelve months, being 5 '3 -931 

The remaining half due in eighteen months, being 5 '3 -931' 

Of which I have taken bonds for their respective payments. 






Having reached a period in the history of Buchanan County, — 1846, 
the date of the breaking out of the Mexican war, we cannot refrain 
from making a brief reference to the part the county took in that event- 
ful and memorable struggle. 

The county being then almost upon the very borders of civiliza- 
tion, the news concerning events happening at a remote distance from 
it, was carried by stage routes, post-riders, and steamboats, and of 
course the people of the county did not hear of the war with Mexico 
until after the occurrence of two or three sanguinary battles, between 
that nation and the United States, and even after hearing of the declara- 
tion of war, upon the part of Mexico, they were not inclined to give it 
full credence, as will be seen by the following from the St. Joseph 
Gazette of May, 1 846 : 



"We learn from a gentleman from Independence, that news was 
received in that place of a declaration of war, against the United States 
by Mexico. The news appears a little improbable, but from the conduct 
of Mexico lately, we would not be surprised if such were the case." 

On the 22d of May following, the vague rumors of war had been 
confirmed, and the same paper in its issue of that date, said : 

" In our paper, this week, will be found all the war news that we 
have received, which we publish to the exclusion of other matter, deem- 
ing that at this particular crisis, nothing so much interests our readers 
as the situation of our army on the Rio Grande, and the feeling with 
which the announcement of actual hostilities has been received in vari- 
ous parts of the Union. We are now looking with painful anxiety for 
later intelligence from the seat of war ; we say painful, for notwithstand- 
ing the greai confidence we have in the bravery and patriotism of our 
army, both officer and soldier, the fact cannot be disguised by the most 
earnest desire for the contrary, that Point Isabel, and General Taylor's 


camp were, at latest advices, in a precarious situation. We do hope, 
however, that long ere this time, the battle has been fought and won hy 
our army — it must, it cannot but be so. 

"That Mexicans can come into our country, upon our soil, and 
either hold in duress, or vanquish our army, we cannot, we will not 
believe. We hope our next intelligence will be that General Taylor has 
driven back the invading foe, and that ere long we shall hear of our 
army on the other side of the Rio Grande, bearing itself as is 
becoming in the present emergency. Doubtless a military expedition 
will soon be ordered against New Mexico and California, and our Gov- 
ernment will not fail to take possession of these countries immediately. 

"The request has been made, and the order will soon be issued, for 
the formation of volunteer companies in Missouri for the service. We 
think that Buchanan is entitled to two or three companies, and we hope 
to see our citizens move in this matter. The companies will be one 
hundred strong and select their own officers.'' 

During the month of May, Governor Edwards of Missouri called for 
volunteers to join the "Army of the West," in an expedition to Santa 
Fe, under command of General Stephen W. Kearney. 

Soon the war-spirit had infused itself into every nook and corner of 
the Union, and the people of Buchanan County became so thoroughly 
embued with this spirit, that a company was at once organized for service. 

On the 29th of May, 1846, there was a battalion muster in St. 
Joseph. After the exercises were over, the commanding officer. Brig. 
General Jesse B. Thompson, made a call for volunteers for the contem- 
plated Santa Fe expedition under General Kearney. Between fifty and 
sixty brave men stepped forward and 'enrolled themselves, to fight the 
battles of their country. These men immediately elected officers, and 
dispatched a messenger to the Governor, requesting to be received for 
this expedition. 

We regret, owing to the meagre information we have that we are 
unable to furnish the names of the officers and the names of the men 
forming this company. 

During the month of June following. General James W. Denver 
came to St. Joseph, (having notified the people, through the Gazette, of 
the time when he would arrive,) for the purpose also of raising a com- 
pany for the Santa" Fe expedition. 

This he did on the day of his. coming, and soon afterward, took up 
the line of march from Fort Leavenworth, the place of rendezvous, for 
Mexico by the way of New Orleans. His regiment was taken from the 
counties composing the "Platte Purchase." The first company organized 
in the county, repaired also to Fort Leavenworth, and was placed under 
the command of Capt. Jesse B. Moran, whose company accompanied 
that gallant officer, Gen. A. W. Doniphan, to New Mexico, participating 


in all the engagements of the campaign, beginning with the fight at 
Brazito and closing with the battle at the pass of Sacramento. At the 
battle of Sacramento, Colonel Doniphan, with his volunteers numbering 
924 men and six pieces of artillery, met and fought 4,000 Mexicans under 
General Heredia, who was posted with ten pieces of artillery. The 
Mexicans were defeated with a loss of 300 killed and 40 prisoners, and 
all their artillery and baggage taken. The American loss was one killed 
and eight wounded. 

The New York Post of July, 1847, in comparing Colonel Doniphan's 
expedition with that made by Xenophon in olden times, says : 

" The Greeks were lead from near Babylon, through Armina to the 
Black Sea, thence to Crysopolis, three thousand four hundred and sixty- 
five English miles. It was accomplished in fifteen months, and a large 
part of it through a mountainous and an unknown hostile country, the 
Greeks losing everything except their lives and arms. 

Doniphan and the Missourians traveled over six thousand miles in 
twelve months, neither receiving supplies nor money, but living 
exclusively on the country through which they passed, and supplying 
themselves with powder and balls, by capturing them from the enemy, 
and victorious in all the engagements against greatly superior forces, 
numerically. These are the two most remarkable expeditions that have 
ever occurred." 


In the spring of 1847, a requisition was made upon Governor 
Edwards by the Secretary of War for a second battalion to be raised in 
Missouri, the troops to operate against the Indians on the frontier in 
affording safety and protection to traders and emigrants on the routes 
to Santa Fe and Oregon. . The requisition was as follows : 

"I am instructed by the President to request that you will cause to 
be organized in the State of Missouri, with the least practical delay, for 
service on the Indian frontier, and the routes to Santa Fe and Oregon, 
one battalion of volunteers, to consist of one company of artillery, two 
companies of mounted men, and two companies of infantry, in all five 
companies ; to have the same organization, according to arms, as the 
companies heretofore requested. The field and staff of the battalion 
will consist of — 

I Lieutenant Colonel ; i Adjutant, a subaltern in addition to the 
subalterns of the companies ; i Sergeant Major ; i Quartermaster 
Sergeant ; i Principal Musician. 

The battalion will be mustered into service at Fort Leavenworth, 
and will be required to serve during the war with Mexico, unless sooner 
discharged. ' Very respectfully your ob't serv't, 


His Excellency, Secretary of War. 

John C. Edwards, 
Gov, of Missouri, Jefferson City, Mo. 


On the 25th day of June,' 1847, the St. Joseph Gazette says : 

"The Buchanan County company paraded on Monday last, and 
went into an election of officers which resulted in the choice of Robert 
M. Stuart, Captain ; Henry Smith, First Lieutenant ; Howell Thomas, 
Second Lieutenant ; and John Searcy, Third Lieutenant. The company 
is composed of a fine looking set of men and officers, and we learn will 
be mustered into service in a few days. They will go upon the Oregoni 
expedition. Success to the Buchanan County boys." 

This company, soon after the requisition made by Governor Edwards,, 
was mustered into service at Fort Leavenworth, and immediately 
departed for the west. Captain Stuart, while at the Fort, received an, 
attack of paralysis, which incapacitated him from any further active 
duty. The companies forming the battalion were principally made up 
from the counties composing the " Platte Purchase." 

The officers in command were : 

Lieutenant Colonel, L. E. Powell, St. Charles, Missouri. 

Adjutant, Dr. Todd, of St. Joseph, Missouri. 

Sergeant Major, McDowell, of St. Joseph, Missouri. 

Quartermaster, Captain Stuart Van Vliet. 

Commissary of Subsistence, Frank Warmcastle, of Atchison County. 

When leaving Fort Leavenworth, it was intended to follow along in 
the Santa Fe route westward, but the battalion was ordered to pursue 
the Sioux Indians, who had just attacked the Ottoes and carried off 
captive many of their women and children. They prosecuted their 
fruitless pursuit, four hundred miles above the site of the present city of 
Omaha, and returned to where Nebraska City now stands ; built their 
log huts, and went into winter quarters. Upon their return from the 
mountains, and the Dakotah Territory, previously to going into winter 
quarters, they lost a number of their horses, in consequence of the 
scarcity of provender, and the extreme cold weather, and snow storms 
which prevailed in that latitude. One of the command was waylaid and 
killed by an Indian near Omaha. After faithfully performing the 
mission upon which they were sent, doing service over a vast region of 
country between the Missouri- River and the Rocky Mountains, and after 
erecting Fort Raney, the battalion returned home, and the men were 
mustered out late in the fall of 1848. 

General James Craig, now of St. Joseph, commanded a company in 
the battalion, composed of volunteers from Holt and Atchison counties. 



"The plague of gold strikes far and near — 

And deep and strong it enters ; 
Our thoughts grow blank, our words grow strange, 

We cheer the pale gold-diggers. 
Each soul is worth so much on change. 

And maiked like sheep, with figures " 

No doubt the desire for gold has been a mainspring of all progress 
and enterprise in the county from the beginning till the present time, 
and will so continue till remote ages. Generally, however, this desire 
has been manifested in the usual avenues of thrift, industry and enter- 
prise. On one occasion it passed the bounds of reason and assumed the 
character of a mania. 

The gold mania first broke out in the fall of 1848, when stories began 
to be first spread abroad of the wonderful richness of the placer mines of 
California. The excitement grew daily, feeding on the marvelous reports 
that came from the Pacific Slope, and nothing was talked of but the 
achievements of gold diggers. 

In the St. Joseph Gazette of October 27, 1848, we find the following: 

"An immense bed of gold, one hundred miles in extent, has been 
discovered in California, on American Fork and Feather Rivers, tribu- 
taries of the Sacramento and Monterey. Mr. Colton, the Alcade of 
Monterey, states that the gold is found in the sands in grains resembling 
squirrel shot flattened out. Some grains weigh one ounce each. It is got 
by washing out the sand in any vessel, from a tea saucer to a warming-pan. 
A single person can gather an ounce or two a day ; some even a hun- 
dred dollars worth. Two thousand whites, and as many Indians are on 
the grounds. All the American settlements are deserted, and farming 
nearly suspended. The women only remain in the settlements. Sailors 
and captains desert the ships, to go to the gold region, and laborers 
refuse ten dollars a day to work on the farms. Mr. Colton says ; ' One 
man, who resides next door to me, gathered five hundred dollars worth 
in six days. He has one lump which weighs over one ounce. A trough, 
such as you feed pigs in, will bring in the gold region fifty dollars. Put 
a piece of sheet iron, punched with holes on it, and it will bring a hundred. 
My friend, J. R., paid sixteen dollars for a little basket, and his com- 


panion gave twenty dollars for a teapot, all to wash out gold in.' More 
than twenty-eight thousand dollars worth, had been collected. Gover- 
nor Mason and his aid had gone to the district, which is five days jour- 
ney from Monterey. 

"The sailors have gone for gold from the ships, and the soldiers 
from their camps,, for the same purpose. The last vessel that left the 
coast was obliged to ship an entire new crew, and pay each fifty dol- 
lars per month. No one can be hired to dig gold, short of sixteen to 
twenty dollars a day. Every man prefers to work on his own hook ; he 
may make less than the wages offered, but he has a chance of making 
much more. There flour is worth thirty-two dollars per barrel ; fifteen 
pounds of Boston crackers in tin boxes, ten dollars a box ; a cotton 
shirt, ten dollars; boards, five hundred dollars per one hundred feet. A 
carpenter can get one hundred dollars per day. Mr. L. paid for a com- 
mon cradle trough, twelve feet by three wide, to wash gold earth in, one 
hundred and fifty dollars ; less than a day's work to make it.'' 

Day after day, and month after month, were the papers filled with 
just such glowing accounts from California. 

Instead of dying out, the fever mounted higher and higher. It was 
too late to cross the plains, but thousands of people throughout the state 
began their preparations for starting the following spring, and among the 
number were many in Buchanan County. The one great subject of dis- 
cussion about the firesides and in the log cabins that winter, was the 
gold of California. It is said that at one time the majority of the able- 
bodied men of the county were unsettled in mind and were considering 
the project of starting to California. Even the most thoughtful and 
sober-minded found it difficult to resist the infection. 

Wonderful sights were seen when this great emigration passed 
through — sights that may never be again seen in the county, perhaps. 
Some of the wagons were drawn by cows ;• other gold-hunters went on 
foot and hauled their worldly goods in hand-carts. The gold-hunters 
generally had left the moralities of life behind them, and were infested 
with a spirit of disorder and demoralization. The settlers breathed 
easier when they had passed. 

Early in the spring of 1849 the rush began. It must have been a 
scene to beggar all description. There was one continuous line of 
wagons from east to west as far as the eye could reach, moving steadily 
westward, and, like a cyclone, drawing into its course on the right and 
left many of those along its pathway. The gold-hunters from Buchanan 
County crowded eagerly into the gaps in the wagon-trains, bidding fare- 
well to their nearest and dearest friends, and many of them never to be 
seen again on earth. Sadder farewells were never spoken. Many of 
the gold-hunters left their quiet, peaceful homes only to find in the " Far 
West" utter disappointment and death. Very, very few of them ever 


gained anytMng, and the great majority lost everything, including even 
^' their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor." The persons who 
really gained by the gold excitement were those who remained on their 
farms and sold their produce to the gold-crazy emigrants. The rush 
continued until about the first of June, 1850, when the great tide began 
to abate, although belated-gold-hunters kept passing through for some 
time. But the excitement began to die away, and those citizens who 
had judgment enough to resist the contagion now settled down in quiet 
to pursue the even tenor of their way. 

As a starting point St, Joseph offered advantages which no other 
place possessed, to the emigrant and adventurer, leaving the confines of 
civilization for Oregon and California. The advantages were set forth in 
the St. Joseph Gazette, bearing date of February 9, 1849. The editor of 
that paper among other things said: "St Joseph contains a population 
of 1,800. Nineteen stores are now in successful operation, with an 
aggregate stock of goods for the year 1848, of from $250,000 to $300,000. 
Three new large stores will be opened during the present season, which 
will increase the stock for the year 1849, to $350,000 to $400,000. In 
addition to the above there are in town two flouring mills, two steam 
saw mills, nine blacksmith shops', four wagon shops, two extensive sheet 
iron ware manufactories, two large saddleries and harness making estab- 
lishments, etc. Therefore, not an article wanted by an emigrant, from 
his team and wagon down to his camp kettle and frying pan, but which 
•may be had of the best material and quality in the town of St. Joseph. 
The annexed table will show that most of the articles demanded by the 
•emigrant can be procured in St. Joseph from ten to thirty per cent, less 
than they can be obtained at Independence. 

St. Joseph Prices. Independence Prices. 

Wagons $65.oo@95.oo Wagons $100.00 

Oxen, per yoke . . 30.OO@40.OO Oxen, per yoke... 40.00 

Mules 30.00@60.00 Mules 60.00 

Flour, per cwt ... . i • 50@ 1.75 Flour, per cwt .. . 2.00 

Coffee, per Bb . . . . . o6@ . 08 Coffee, per ft .08 

Sugar, per ft 05@ .06 Sugar, per ft .08 

Mackinaw plank .. . 7.OO@14.OO Mackinaw plank. . . I0.00@i6.00 

"There are two good, substantial ferries across the Missouri River 
■at this place, and it is in contemplation to have a steam ferry boat early 
in the spring." 

Under date of March 30, 1849, the Gazette says : 

"Scarcely a day passes that does not bring a large number of 
■emigrants to this place bound to California. There are now in St. 
Joseph and surrounding country upwards of five hundred emigrants 
awaiting the appearance of grass, before taking up their line of march." 



In its issue of April 6th, we find the following : 

" For California — ^The steamer ' Consignee ' arrived at St. Joseph ore 
Saturday evening last, with over two hundred and fifty persons on 
board for California. They form one company, commanded by Captain 
W. J. Arkrim. They are well armed, and provided with suitable cloth- 
ing, implements, &c., and go out for the express purpose of making for- 
tunes in gold, or by speculation. The company brought with them 
some seventy wagons, between eighty and ninety head of mules, and 
nearly one hundred tons of merchandise, clothing, gold digging and 
washing implements. This is the largest, best organized and most 
complete company that has reached St. Joseph." 

The arrival of each succeeding company of emigrants, whether by 
land or water, is thereafter noticed, and the names of the parties com- 
posing these companies, are all given. For instance : 

" The Washington California Mining and Trading Association is 
the name of a company from Washington County, New York, which 
arrived here on Saturday last. They are encamped on the side of the 
hill north of St. Joseph, and are all in good health and spirits. The fol- 
lowing gentlemen compose the company: Samuel McDonal, A. F. 
Bliss, D. T. Harshaw, J. H. Tilford, D. M. Hall, Wm. Owen, H. S. Cran- 
dall, J. Robertson, Wm. Harrison, J. Cowafi, R. Gourlay, James Hill, 
James H. Newton, A. McNaughton, Andrew Telford." 


This company was from Pittsburg and was composed of several 
hundred men. The company remained in camp at St. Joseph for some little 
time. Of course the departure of so many men from their homes to the 
distant gold fields of California, was quite an event, and it often happened, 
that the friends and neighbors of those who were to embark met en masse 
and expressed their regrets and good wishes in a public address. We 
present a portion of the speech of Col. S. W. Black, of Pittsburg, Penn'a, 
to the above named company, on the eve of their departure from that 
city to show the pleasant custom of those days : 

"'My Friends: I have but a few words to say to you at parting. 
What I do say will come from the heart. I trust that whatever of good 
and truth I may deliver may reach your hearts. Before you return you 
will have seen no little of the world. What you see will be so much 
learned beyond what you now know. Hence, at the very outgoing of 
your enterprise, you have a good object in view. Some persons complain 
of these expeditions as being sordid and unworthy. To go and dig for 
gold — say they — is not meritorious but culpable. I, for one, do not 
think so. All the world is a gold digger — rather, indeed, a gold scratcher. 
And it often happens that in scratching too greedily, we bring away the 
skin of one another's faces — betimes the flesh of one another's bones. 


"The farmer in the field, the mechanic in the shop, the merchant in 
the store, and the lawyer in his pursuit, chose their daily business for 
gold. Even the preacher does not work unpaid. This is all right, and 
according to the purpose of our creation. Our Father has planted gold 
in the earth for the benefit of his children. To make it by merit is noble 
and deserving of praise. To accumulate it with proper motives is meri- 
torious. To lose it is mean and condemned of God. * * ■■■ 
You are starting upon a long and perilous journey. Allow me, then, to 
make a few suggestions, which may not in the end be worthless. You 
leave without a flag. Make a banner for yourselves and cling to it. 
Inscribe upon its folds 'Fraternity' and 'Friendship.' Let the same 
devotion inspire you that actuates the soldier for the standard of his 
country. In all things be one. A perfect unity of interest and affection 
will make you prosperous and invincible. Organize yourselves into com- 
panies — elect judicious and skillful officers — men of intelligence and 
nerve. When you give them the power of direction always sustain them 
in its lawful exercise. Discipline is essential to your safety and success. 
Each day start early on your marches ; you will then escape the injuri- 
ous effect of exposure to the sun, and find yourselves early in camp. It 
is probable you will encounter danger. To meet it successfully you must 
be accustomed to act together. Americans vanquished Mexicans and 
Indians by a union of discipline with courage. 

"I know that your messes have ardent spirits among their stores. 
These may be useful or pernicious in proportion to the judgment with 
which they are used. In the life in which you are acting you will find 
occasional necessity for the use of stimulants. They are serviceable only 
when the system is prostrated by disease or exposure. 

"A kind hearted friend has just requested me to say that if there are 
any of the expedition without Bibles, he will be happy now to furnish 
them. It does not become me, perhaps, to speak of a subject so grave 
and serious, yet I can say that this, the 'Book of Books,' is the best com- 
panion you can take with you ; it is a neverrfailing reliance. 

"In the center of- our city, or around the circle of our continent; 
among the busy scenes of active life, or on the prairie, where the pilgrim 
sees no mark but the foot-prints of wild beast or the savage — it is a per- 
petual adaptation to every exigency of man's career. 

"To-day I saw in a paper the declaration of one of you, that 'in 
all his wanderings he would carry his Bible in the bottom of his trunk." 
Let me suggest an improvement. Deposit it on the top, that every 
tinie the trunk is opened it may remind you that you have not looked 
into it that day for wisdom and counsel. You are surrounded by a 
thousand anxious beating hearts, every one of which swell with aspiration 
for your success and safe return. The general prayer is, and will be, ' that 
no evil will befall you nor any plague come near your dwelling.' Come 


back enriched, and make your riches a blessing to the destitute at home. 
The hour of grief hangs h-eavy in the hearts of many. Let them have 
no other cause of sorrow than this separation. Your incoming will be a 
day of bright and thrilling' joy. The tear that stands still in the eye, or 
follows its fellows across the feverish and scalded cheek, will be replaced 
with diamonds. The red autumn of present sadness will pass away, and 
in due season the glorious summer will succeed, bringing its golden 

On the 7th day of May, 1849, the St. Joseph Mining Company, the 
fii-st regularly organized company of men, left St. Joseph for California. 
Many persons, doubtless, left prior to that day, and many subsequent to 
that time. This company was composed of some of the most worthy 
citizens of the place, as the following list shows : Samuel Johnson, A. 
D. McDonald, Joel Ryan, John Lewis, James Andrews, John Somerfield, 
James Somerfield, B. D. Ellett, Edward Bunall, J. W. Jones, Thomas 
Fausett, Michael Cameron, Samuel Wilson, Francis Brubaker, John F. 
McDowell, T. F. Warner, D..H. Moss, M. F. Moss, and James Cirkwood. 
This company went with pack mules, and determined to make the trip 
through in seventy days. 

Many letters were received from these gold seekers shortly after 
their arrival in California. From some of these letters we have made 
the following extracts : (The first from M. F. Moss to Mr. Boyd and 
dated at Sutter's Mills, October 12, 1849.) 

"I have concluded to write you and let you know that all are well 
who started in the pack-mule company, up to date. We arrived in this 
country on the first of August ; had many ups and flowns on the road, 
but lost none of our stock by the Indians. And now a little about Cali- 
fornia and the prospects for making money. Lewis, Love and myself 
bought a small grocery in Sacramento City, for which we paid J 1,800— 
©n a short credit-^three week's time. We kept it a short time, made 
$250 each, and sold it out. Brother David went to the mines, and up to 
this time has made $1,600. ^ I went and worked eight days. The spot 
of ground I had was about large enough to lay down on. The first day 
I made $200 ; the second day $220, and in eight days ; $900. The St. 
Joseph boys are doing well. The most of them are making from half 
an ounce to three ounces per day. David and myself will go into the 
cattle trade or sell groceries. We can buy cattle from $30 to $50 per 
yoke — fat cattle are worth from $75 to $150, and in the mines 75 cents 
per pound. There is an abundance of Spanish cattle here,_but they are 
hard to drive in the mines, it requiring six or eight Spaniards to drive a 
small herd of twenty, and that at a cost of an ounce per day. There is 
an abundance of provision here. If you had the potatoes alone in Cali- 
fornia which will be sold in St. Joseph to-day you might rest contented 
the balance of your days. I have been up the Sacramento River 100 


miles and up Feather River fifty miles, and I have seen but a few spots 
of land worth cultivating^. I have seen a great many of our old friends 
from Upper Missouri, the most of whom are rich and doing well. I saw 
Charley Covaloe and Nigh ; they are both rich. While many men who 
crossed the plains this summer are making money, others are here who 
are not making their salt, and are very much dissatisfied and are going 
home every day. The gold here is very hard to get, and if a person 
makes a fortune by gold digging he must expect to endure a great deal 
of fatigue. Men with families are making fortunes by washing and board- 
ing. Girls are in great demand here ; all they have to do, is to name 
their pile of gold-dust and a husband is at their command immediately." 

The following extract is from a letter written by A. D. McDonald, to 
Henry P. Smith and dated Sacramento City, October 7, 1849: 

" I arrived here from the mines on Bear River about a week since. 
D. L. Williams is going into business in the dry diggings, about sixty 
miles from this place. 'Old man Williams' and myself are going 200 
miles up the Sacramento to mine. We are all partners and carry on 
mining and merchandising, or trading. We have made about $2,000, in 
cash, since we came, which we have invested, and will make thousands 
or lose. Samuel Love, Ryan and Andrews are here and have done well. 
Any person that will work can make money. You recollect Cornwall, 
that stayed at Dawson's — he is here, and is worth, I suppose, a quarter 
of a million. Stratton was burned on a pile or stake by the Indians, a 
short time since. Wm. Nicholson died night before last." 

The following extract is Mr. Johnson's letter, dated at Coloma, 
September 15, 1849: 

" I have lived here about one year ; have been engaged in the mines 
since last spring, and by being prudent and industrious have realized 
something for my trouble. I cannot say when I will return, perhaps in 
two or three years, perhaps never, although I will come as soon as I 
can to see my mother, and prevent her from crossing the Rocky Moun- 
tains, for I think such a trip dangerous and unnecessary. I would advise 
my friends and relations to remain where they are." 


"Farewell, farewell, my native land, 

I leave thee only with a sigh, 
To wander o'er a foreign strand, 

Perchance to live — perchance to die. 
Adieu my friends whom kindred ties 

Unite, though distant we may rove, 
How ardent as time onward flies, 

Fond memory clings to those we love. 


The few admired — the one beloved, . 

Among the living and the dead, 
Whose constancy we sternly proved, 

Ah ! whither are those dear ones fled ? 
Some have we left at happy homes. 

While some, alas ! exist no more, 
And o'er their graves unheeding roams 

Each breeze that sweeps Miami's shore. 

O'er the broad plains far away, 

Beyond the Rocky Mountain crest. 
Our wayward feet awhile shall stray, 

And press the gold-besprinkled West . 
But mid the gaudy scenes of strife, 

Where Gold to Pride enchantment lends, 
We'll ne'er forget that booiv of life — 

Companions dear and faithful friends. 

And in the lapse of coming years. 

Should fortune be not too unkind. 
We'll hope reward for parting tears, 

In smiles from those we left behind. 
We go — ytt hoping to return, 

Friends of our youth to home and you ; 
For these do cause our hearts to yearn. 

E'en when we sigh Adieu — Adieu." 

Cholera made its appearance in St. Joseph about the last of April; 
1849, brought, as supposed, by steamboat from St. Louis, and disappeared 
in June following. Some of the citizens died with this disease, but it was 
mostly prevalent and fatal among the emigrants who were at the time 
encamping in and around the town. During the same summer the chol- 
era spread among the Indian tribes across the river, and many of them 

In order to give some estimate of the number of emigrants that 
crossed at St. Joseph during the California gold excitement, we will give 
the number that crossed the river here to June 15, 1849, two months and 
a half, beginning from April ist : 

The number of wagons that had crossed here at that time was 1,508, 
which wcaild average about four men to the wagon, making 6,032. At 
Duncan's ferry, four miles above St. Joseph, 685 wagons had crossed, and 
at Bontown, Savannah and the ferries as far up as the Bluffs, 2,000. This 
makes the number of wagons 4,193. About 10,000 persons had crossed 
at Independence, making a total of 27,000 persons. There were about 
eight mules or oxen to each wagon, making the number 37,544 of mules 
and oxen. 

At the time of the treaty of Gaudaloupe Hidalgo, the population of 
California did not exceed thirty thousand, while at the time of which we 
are writing, (1850), there were more than one hundred and fifty thousand 



people who had found their way thither, of which number at least one 
hundred thousand were gold-hunters from the states. 

The evil effects of this gold mania upon the moral status of the 
United States are still seen and felt, and among all classes of society. It 
has popularized the worship of Mammon to an alarming extent, and to 
this worship, in a great measure, is attributable the moral declension of 

55^' v'-'^f fflSn ^ % 



Now an important feature of the county, like many other institu- 
tions of equal consequence, had its origin in very small beginnings. 
Pauperism is an evil which has never, to any considerable extent, afflicted 
any portion of our State, still less the wealthy district included within 
the limits of the Platte Purchase. No land, however blessed, has been 
always and uniformly exempt from misfortune which may result in ina- 
bility to afford self-support ; and Buchanan County with her generous 
soil, enterprising and liberal-spirited population, has proven no excep- 
tion to the universal rule. Still, many years of rapid development and 
increasing population rolled onward from the first settling of the county 
before the necessity arose of providing for an indigent class which had 
just begun to appear. 

About the year 1850, the county first began to recognize the necessity 
of such provision, but the number of paupers being extremely limited, 
it was deemed a matter of economy to quarter them on private indi- 
viduals who could thus, for a reasonable compensation, provide for their 
necessities, without reducing the county to the expense of purchasing 
and maintaining an establishment restricted to the special object of their 
use and benefit. 

The first to keep the paupers in the county was E. Richardson, a . 
farmer residing near One Hundred and Two River, not a great way from 
the city limits in a northeast direction. He received as compensation 
from one to five dollars per day per head for boarding and caring for 
them, the county paying the additional expense of clothing- and medical 
bills. He kept the paupers about two years. 

At the suggestion of Judge C. Roberts, who had been appointed to 
a seat on the county bench made vacant by the resignation of Hiram 
Rogers, the court ordered to let the keeping of the paupers to the lowest 
bidder. The contract was bid in by the Judge himself at $80 per head 
per annum, the county providing clothing and paying medical bills. 
Judge Roberts continued to keep the paupers on these terms till March 
4, 1857, when the county purchased from Leroy Bean for the purposes 
of a poor farm, a certain tract of land containing 140 acres, situated 
about two miles southwest of old Sparta, and described in> the deed of 
conveyance as the southwest quarter of the northeast quarter,, and the 


east half of the northeast quarter of section thirty ; and the east half 
of the southeast quarter of section thirty-one, all in township fifty-six, 
range thirty-five. The sum paid by the county for this land" was $3,500. 
John Peter was then appointed to the charge of the county poor who 
were forthwith removed to this farm. His compensation for keeping 
them was $75 or $80 per annum per head. He continued to discharge 
the duties of this position till the year i86r, when Henry Utz was 
appointed his successor. Utz served several years as Superintendent,, 
when he was succeeded by George Peter. In December, 1865, Isham 
Wood was appointed to the charge of the county farm. He continued 
to hold the position till January 20, 1868, when he purchased, for the 
sum of $4,200, this farm from the county, and the paupers were moved 
to the city of St. Joseph. Dr. William Bertram was then appointed 
Superintendent of the Poor, and County Physician. January i, 1871,. 
Dr. A. S. Long was appointed his successor, and continued to discharge 
the duties of the offices till September, 1871. The compensation«received 
by Dr. Long during the period of his continuance in the offices of Super- 
intendent and County Physician was fifty cents per day for eaclvpauper, 
the county providing everything but food. 

On the i6th of August, 1871, the county purchased from Matilda S. 
Hughes and Martin Hughes, her husband, the northeast quarter of sec- 
tion 27, township 58, range 35, for the purpose of a county poor farm. 
The price paid for this valuable property was eleven thousand dollars, 
less than the original cost of the elegant, but then scarcely' completed 
mansion on the premises. The court further expended one thousand 
dollars in the purchase of stock, agricultural implements, grain, etc., etc., 
then on the farm. They also made a further appropriation of one thou- 
sand dollars for completing and painting the building. 

On the 1st of September, 1871, the county poor were moved to this 
farm, of which James Spellman was first appointed Superintendent, 
while Dr. A. S. Long was retained as County Physician. 

Mr. Spellman remained in office till December 31, 1872, when he 
was succeeded by John Shehan who, in turn, served to July 6, 1874. The 
Judges on the county bench then were Fitzgerald, Taylor and Suther- 

Dr. A. S. Long continued to hold the office of County Physician till 
January, .1872, when he was succeed by Dr. Gray, who served till May of 
the same year, when he died. Dr. Samuel Goslee who had, for many 
years, while the poor farm was located near Sparta, filled the position of 
County Physician, was reappointed to succeed Dr. Gray. In the mean- 
time, falling sick, Doctors Geo. C. Catlett and E. A. Donelan discharged,, 
for Dr. Goslee, the duties of the position which, through illness, he was 
incapacitated from exercising. On the death of Dr. Goslee, which 
occurred in June, 1873, Dr. E. A. Donelan received the appointment of 


County Physician. This office, the duties of which he discharged with 
ability, he continued to fill till his election from the city of St. Joseph to 
the State Legislature in the fall of 1877, when he was succeeded by the 
present (1881) incumbent, Dr. J. M. D. France. 

At the period when the present (1881) poor house building was 
•erected it was designed as a place of public entertainment. At that 
-time, the afterwards abandoned Savannah Railroad was being built 
through the farm, and Mr. Hughes confidently expected that a station 
would be put up at his gate. The railroad company, however, conclud- 
ing to locate the depot at Jamestown, a mile beyond, Mr. Hughes' success 
in his prospective enterprise was thus seriously impaired ; and the sub- 
sequent abandonment of the road and removal of the track completely 
destroyed every hope of his ever realizing any remuneration commen- 
surate with the outlay he had expended. This condition of things 
induced his disposal to the county of this beautifully improved spot, at 
the corr\paratively insignificant sum above mentioned. 

In 1873, the State Lunatic Asylum at Fulton being full and unable 
properly to accommodate applicants for admission, the mild and incura- 
ble patients of Buchanan County, to the number of about twenty, were 
sent home. To accommodate these, the County Court caused to be 
.erected on the premises of the poor farm, a frame building at a cost of 
$1,200, These remained there in charge of the County Poor House 
Superintendent till the completion of State Lunatic Asylum No. 2 in 
January, 1874, when they, thirty-five or forty in number, were removed 
to that institution. 

July 20, 1874, Bluford B. Allee, one of the early settlers of the 
county, and a constant resident of Bloomington Township from the year 
1841, was appointed to the charge of the county poor farm, and immed- 
iately entered upon his duties. He was, at that time, in feeble health, 
and accepted with, some reluctance the position. On the 19th of August 
following, he died at the farm, regretted by all who knew him as a good 
citizen and an honest man. William Allee, his son, continued to super- 
intend the farm till the appointment of his successor, William Carson, 
in March, 1875. 

The county insane patients remained in State Lunatic Asylum No. 
.2 till the burning of the same, January 29, 1879, when the mild and incur- 
.able of these to the number of nineteen were sent back to the county 
farm. At that period, the establishment, including both buildings, was 
crowded with paupers, amounting to seventy-five in number ; and the 
absolute necessity of a building specially to accommodate the county 
insane became apparent. 

The County Court, composed of Judges Brown, Roberts and Mcln- 
.tyre, at the advice of the Superintendent, William Carson, and the 
County Physician, Dr. J. M. D. France, concluded to meet the demands 


of a crying necessity and determined on the erection of a county asylum 
for the insane. 

The order for this building was issued in August, 1880, and the sum 
of ten thousand dollars, the amount set forth by the architect, W. A. 
Powell, as necessary and sufficient for the erection of such a structure, was 
granted for that purpose. 

The ten thousand dollars thus appropriated proved, however, 
insufficient for the completion of the building according to the plans 
and specifications of the architect, and work on the same was suspended 
till the following February, when the court made a further appropriation, 
and the structure was, forthwith, finished. In the following March it was 

The style of the building, while inexpensive, is substantial and 
architectural in appearance. It is 40 by 80 feet in extent. The sub- 
structure is a lofty stone basement. Above this rise two successive 
stories of brick, and the whole is crowned with a commodious and well 
ventilated attic. The interior of the building is furnished with every 
necessary appliance of modern convenience that could reasonably be 
looked for in a building of its character and cost. 

Every floor is heated by steam, and water is pumped from a well of 
inexhaustible supply ninety-one feet deep, and seven feet in diameter, 
affording a direct and ample supply to every floor in the building, each 
of which is provided with bath-rooms, water closets, etc. 

The building as it is, is adapted to the accommodation of 150 
patients. There are at present (1881) twenty-one males and nineteen 
females in this asylum. There are five employes connected with the 
institution, two of whom are ladies. 

There has never been a more efficiently or economically managed 
institution in the State than the Buchanan County Lunatic Asylum. 

The original building, which was used for the poor house when the 
farm was first purchased by the county, and above referred to, is a gothic 
frame structure, ermined with beautiful grassy and well shaded grounds. 
The farm, on which it is situated joins the Andrew County line and is 
distant from St. Joseph, in a northeasterly direction, about three miles. 
It is one of the finest quarter sections of land in the county. Generally 
prairie, there is a' small amount of timber within its limits along the 
streams which traverse its surface, affording an excellent and unfailing 
5upply of stock water. Besides the supply thus afforded there are 
.several excellent springs on the farm. Three good wells and four large 
cisterns are found on the premises. When William Carson, the present 
(1881) Superintendent, took possession of the county farm in March, 
1875, the place had the appearance of a long deserted home. About 
one half the farm was in an imperfect state of cultivation. To-day, 
with the exception of about fifty acres in timothy and bluegrass, the entire 


plaf e is in a hi^h state of cultivation, and presents the appearance of ai 
well-kept garden. 

In the spring of i8Si, one hundred and fifty hard maple trees were set. 
out for shade around the new asylum' building, nearly all of which have 
grown well. 

In September, iS/i, when the county poor were moved to this farm,, 
there were, in all, seven males and six: females in the institution ; and 
James Spellman was paid for his services as Superintendent one hundred 
dollars per month. During his period of service from September, 1871,. 
to December 31, 1872, there were, including 136 at different times dis- 
charged, in that i>eriod, 161 inmates. 

During John Shehan's administration from January i, 1873, to July 
6, 1874, the average number per month of paupers was twenty-six. Mr^ 
Shehan's salary was ane hurrdred dollars per month. 

During the administration of Bluford Allee, fromi July, 1874, to 
March, 1875, seven months of which period, as above stated,, was served 
by his son (he having died a month after entering on his charge) the 
average number per month of paupers in the ir^titution was thirty. 
The Superintendent's salary was seventy-five dollars per month. 

March, 1875, William Carson took charge of the poor farm at a 
salary of sixty dollars per month, for one year. The average number of 
paupers per month during that period was thirty-two, the cost per day 
of each, 28 cents, including all expenses. March, 1876, William Carsoni 
was reappointed, at the same salary. The average number of paupers 
per month was, during the year, thirty-five. The cost per day of main- 
taining them, 28 cents. 

In March, 1877, he was again> appointed Superintendent, with the 
same salary. The average number of paupers per month during the 
ensuing year was thirty-sevem The cost of maintaining them^ 29 cents 
per day. This included the cost of keeping up the farm-fencing and 

In the year beginning March, 18.78, the average number of inmates- 
in the asylum per month was forty-three, and the cost of maintaining' 
them, 23 cents. 

From March, 1879, wh«n> Mr. Carson was again reappointed, to the 
close of the year, the average number, per month, of paupers was fifty- 
one. The Superintendent fed them^ during this period, for nine cents a 
day, the other expenses being paid by the county.. In the- month of 
May, 1879, nineteen insane paupers were moved to the County Poor 
Farm and placed in charge of the Superintendent. During the ten suc- 
ceeding months, the average montbly number of this class of paupers 
here was twenty-three. 

From March, 1880, to March, i88r„Wm. Carson still in charge; the 
average number per month of paupers ia the institution was. fifty-one.. 


Expense of feeding, 15 cents per day — all other charges paid by the 

During that same period, the average monthly number of lunatics 
-in the County Asylum was twenty-five. The Superintendent is paid at 
the rate of $2.50 per week for furnishing this class of inmates with every 
-necessary, except clothing. 

During the year 1877, when the expense per head was 29 cents, a 
spacious barn 60 by 60 feet was erected, and a large cistern was also 

In March, 1881, William Carson was again re-elected to the position 
•of Superintendent of the County Poor Farm and County Lunatic Asylum, 
the superior efficiency of his management of these institutions being 
'wniversally conceded. 

Among the most conspicuous of the public buildings for which 
Buchanan County is noted is the spacious and elegant strmcture of the 


This is the only State institution within the limits of the county; 
and its vast proportions and stately elevation, no less than the import- 
ance of its object, render it one of the most notable features of this sec- 
tion of the State. 

The necessity of additional accommodations for the insane had long 
been seriously felt. It was not, however, till the 19th of March, 1872, 
that a bill passed the Legislature appropriating two hundred thousand 
dollars for a " Northwestern or Southwestern Lunatic Asylum." To 
carry into effect the provisions of this act, the following gentlemen were 
appointed a Board 'cif Commissioners: Wm. H. McHenry, of St. Louis ; 
Hon. Zach. J. Mitchell, of Lafayette County ; Joseph K. Rickey, of Cal- 
loway County ; Louis Hax, of St. Joseph ; and William E. Gilmore, of 

In the month of May following, the commissioners, in quest of a 
suitable location for the asylum, visited several points in the western 
«nd northwestern parts of the State. 

On the 24th of the same month, fhey arrived in St. Joseph, and, on 
the following day, selected the present site, about three-fourths of a mile 
■east of the city limits, the superior claims of this location triumphing 
•over the weighty irifluences browght to bear from Kansas City, Liberty^ 
Independence, and other points. 

On the 14th of June, following, the commissioners returned, and the 
-day after, purchased a tract of 120 acres of land, less than one mile east 
of the city limits, with which it communicates directly by Frederick 
avenue. The location is, in every respect, desirable, commanding an 
iexte,nsiv£ and .agreeable prospect, and presenting every -requisite of 


beauty, convenience and health. The price paid for this land was 
twenty-eight thousand, eight hundred dollars. 

At the same meeting, the Board appointed Thomas Walsh, of St. 
Louis, architect and superintendent of the building. The plan, admira- 
ble in many respects, was miserably defective in the important matter 
of stairways, which were narrow, inconvenient and insufficient in number. 

About the middle of September, of the same year, the contract for 
etecting the building was let to M. H. Fitzgibbons, of St. Louis, for one 
hundred and eighty-eight thousand eight hundred and ninety-seven 
dollars, the work to be completed by January ist, 1874. 

This, the original building, afterwards destroyed by fire, fronted west 
with a width of 58 feet, and was 150 feet long. 

The structure was built with north and south wings, each 115^ feet 
long, rendering the entire north and south fronts 284 feet. The entire 
edifice was four stories high with basement. The basement and first 
story were 13 feet high in the clear; the second story, 12-3 ; the third, 
1 1-6 ; and the attic, 1 1 feet. The fourth story, a Mansard, contained 48 
dormer windows. The top of the roof of the main building had an alti- 
tude of 59 feet from the range work. On the front of the main build- 
ing, a clock and bell tower rose to the height of 1 1 5 feet from the ground. 
At the rear of the same section a snioke tower went up 100 feet. The 
walls were faced with stock brick and trimmed with Milwaukee brick. 
The arches were finished with spring, ring and keystone made of War- 
rensburg sandstone. The walls contained over 3,500,000 brick manufac- 
tured on the asylum grounds. The stone for the rubble work came from 
Fieldham's quarries, north of the city, and the cut stone from near 
Amazonia, in Andrew County. 

In the basement was located the domestic department ; and all the 
culinary work, washing, ironing, etc, was done there. The store-rooms and 
engine rooms were also located there, and the entire building was 
heated by steam generated in this department. The rooms for the 
patients and their attendants occupied the wings of the building. In 
the rear of the main structure were the dining-rooms and sleeping apart- 
ments of the domestics. The attic was designed for a large hall or 
recreation room. In the front part of the building were located the 
business offices, departments for the officers, reception rooms, etc. 

The first Board of Managers organized at the asylum March 2, 1874, 
These included A. H. Vories, R. L. McDonald, J. C. Roberts, Dr. E. A. 
Donelan, E. H. Norton, J. C. Evans and Dr. J. Malin. The members of 
the Board are appointed by the Governor, for a term of four years. 
They elect their own officers. A. H. Vories was elected the first Presi- 
dent of the Board, and Dr. J. Malin, Secretary. The Superuitendent is 
elected for four years. The Assistant Physician, Steward and Matron, 
are each elected for one year. Dr. Geo. C. Catlett was first elected 


Superintendent ; Dr. A. P. Busey, Assistant Pliysician ; D. M. McDonald,, 
Steward ; A. M. Saxton, Treasurer. Their respective salaries were as, 
follows: Superintendent, $3,000 per annum; Assistant Physician,, 
$1,200; Steward, $1,500; Treasurer, $500. 

About the ist of September, 1874, the asylum was opened for the 
reception of patients. These, in a few weeks, amounted in number to 
about sixty. The extent of the building was then sufficient to accom- 
modate four times that number. Additions and improvements to tht 
asylum in the form of outbuildings were subsequently made at an 
expense of $20,000. 

About I P. M. of Saturday, January 25, 1879, the asylum was discov- 
ered to be on fire. The day was warm, for the season, and a heavy fall 
of snow was rapidly disappearing in mud and slush, which rendered any- 
thing like rapid approach from the city with means of extinguishing the 
fire a matter of no small difficulty. Attention being absorbed in rescu- 
ing the inmates, by means of the inconviently narrow stair cases, with 
which the asylum was provided, the building which, even with the 
wretched appliances for obtaining water on the ground, might other- 
wise have been saved, was destroyed. 

The Superintendent and Directors had vainly but repeatedly asked 
the Legislature for an appropriation to provide wings to the building 
for the purpose of accommodating additional and much needed stair- 
ways, apprehensive of danger in a possible emergency which did, ulti- 
mately, occur. There was not even a dollar of insurance on the build- 
ing at the time of the fire. At the time of the fire, there were 216 
patients in the asylum. 

About forty of the most violent female patients were forthwith 
removed to the St. Joseph Medical College and kindly cared for under 
the supervision of Miss Dixon, an officer of the institution, and six 
attendant^. The remaining female patients were sent to the Court House 
in charge of Mrs. Calhoun, the worthy matron of the institution. The 
male patients were all taken to the Court House, where they remained 
till their removal, some time after, to a temporary building on the 
asylum ground. 

On the following morning after the fire, Sunday, January 26, 1879, 
a special extraordiary meeting of the Board of Trade was called for the 
purpose of relieving the distress occasioned by the destruction of the 
asylum. The object of the meeting was stated by Mr. Judson, who 
added that more than two hundred insane helpless creatures had been 
thrown upon the community by the late calamity, and that it became 
the duty, of the Board to assist in procuring for them suitable accom- 
modations, and to relieve their immediate necessities, as well as to secure 
a prompt and speedy rebuilding of the edifice by the State for the now 
homeless insane. 


On motion, it was resolved that a committee of three, consisting of 
George Buell, W. F. Studebaker, and W. A. P. McDonald be appointed 
to co-operate with the committee from the asylum Board in securing 
immediate quarters for the large number of insane patients now quar- 
tered in the Court House ; this committee to report to the asylum man- 
agers at 3 P. M. It was further resolved that a committee of three be 
appointed to invite and accompany Hon. John Saunders, Hon. T. J. 
^rowther, member^ of the Legislature from the city of St. Joseph, and 
all the architects, builders and contractors in the city on a visit to the 
ruins of the asylum, there to investigate the measure of loss and damage 
and to examine the standing walls, foundations and damaged materials, 
ar}d to estimate the amount necessary to rebuild or repair the structure. 
F. M. Posegate, A. L. Kerr and Geo. Hauck were appointed on this 

On the afternoon of the same day a meeting of the Asylum Board 
of Directors was held in the Court House. Allen H. Vories, President, 
occupied the chair, with a full Board present : Col. J. H. R. Cundiff, 
ex-Gov. Silas Woodson, Dr. E. A. Donelan, Dr. J. Malin, J. C. Roberts, 
and R. L. McDonald. 

Gov. Woodson then read the following report : 

St. Joseph, January 26, 1879. 

Gentlemen : The' undersigned respectfully report that they have, 
imder the resolution of the Board adopted yesterday, as fully as possi- 
ble in the limited time allowed, investigated the cause of the disastrous 
fire that, on yesterday, destroyed the asylum building. 

It is manifest from the evidence taken by us, and which is herewith 
submitted to you, that the fire, without fault on the part of any one, so 
far as we are able to discover, was caused by heat communicated from 
the boilers used in the engine house to the frame work enclosing the 
coils of pipe used in heating the laundry and drying rooms of the 

From the evidence taken by us, it is shown that the box enclosing 
said coils of pipe was fourteen feet square, and three and a half or four 
feet deep, and was constructed of wood, rendered by use and constant 
heat, inflamable. That the inside of this box took fire, as before stated, 
and as it was closed up entirely, the flame was not visible until the box 
was broken open. 

After the flames had gone so far and the air in it had become so 
heated as to force the smoke through the crevices in it, and that when it 
was broken open, the. fire had attained so strong a hold that it could not 
be stopped with the inadequate facilities at command for the purpose. 


The report was received and adopted. 


The second report was as follows : 

The committee requested to examine into the condition of the walls 
of State Lunatic Asylum No. 2, located east of St. Joseph, by the Board 
«f Managers of said asylum, and a committee appointed by the Board 
of Trade of St. Joseph, have the honor to report that we, the under- 
signed, have made an examination of the walls of said building, and do 
approximate the cost of rebuilding said building in a good and firm con- 
dition, to wit, as follows : 

That said walls can be used to the extent of three-fourths of the 
entire building, and that the sum of seventy-five thousand dollars will 
cover the expense of rebuilding. 


BOETTNER & ECKEL, Architects, 

W. ANGELO POWELL, Architect, 

L. S. STIGERS, Architect, 





At the period of the burning of the asylum, the State Legislature 
was in session. On Tuesday, January 29th, a Legislative committee 
from Jefferson City arrived in St. Joseph, and under escort of commit- 
tees from the Asylum Board and the Board of Trade, headed by Mayor 
Piner, visited the ruins of the asylum building, and made an inspection 
of the same. The Legislative committee then visited the Court House 
where a large number of the lunatics were confined. On the following 
day, they returned to their duties at the State Capital. 

The matter of location in rebuilding the asylum soon became a 
vexed question in the halls of the Legislature, numerous localities 
advancing claims and offering inducements to the building of the same 
in their respective midsts. 

Committees were appointed to visit these different claimants for the 
honor of holding State Lunatic Asylum No. 2, and much valuable time 
was thus wasted and expense incurred, when it was finally decided to 
rebuild the asylum on its original foundations near St. Joseph, as a 
matter of justice and economy. 

Accordingly, in May, 1879, the Legislature appropriated the sum 
of seventy-five thousand dollars to defray the expense of the same. In 
addition to this, the sum of $2,000 had been previously approprated for 
temporary relief 

The lunatics only remained three months in the Court House, 
whither they had been temporarily removed after the fire. They were 
afterwards placed in a temporary building erected on the asylum grounds, 
100 feet from the main structure. The $2,000 appropriation above 
referred to, defrayed the expense of this building, which is now (1881) 

used for the purposes of laundry and carpenter shop. 



The architect of the rebuilt structure was S. V. Shipman, of Chicago ; 
Leman & Olsen, also of Chicago, were the contractors ; L. S. Stigers, of 
St. Joseph, superintended the work, which commenced August 12, 
1879, ^i^d w^as completed March 25, 1880. About April ist, 1880, the 
lunatics were removed to the new building. 

The expense of rebuilding was less than the amount appropriated, 
the work being ably and economically conducted. 

The new structure is not only more spacious, but, in every respect, 
a vast improvement on the original building. Wings 40x60 feet were 
added to the north and south ends of the main edifice. These, each 
accommodate a broad and easy stairway, while a double stair case in the 
centre of the main building leads to the fourth story, with landings on 
each floor. 

In addition to these, there is a fifth stairway in the rear of the build- 
ing. In rebuilding, the Mansard (fourth) story was restored on the 
main or central structure, but left off from the wings. The entire roof 
is covered with the best quality of Vermont slate, and no stone or other 
material not entirely uninjured was allowed to be used in the reconstruc- 
tion of the building. Taught by a severe experience, every precaution 
that science could prompt or caution adopt has been applied to render 
the building absolutely safe from fire. 

About $2,400 was realized from the sale of damaged or scrap iron 
found in the ruins after the fire. 

The enlarged scale of the rebuilt structure affords accommodations 
for twenty-five additional patients. On the re-opening of the asylum 
in April, 1880, one hundred and fifteen lunatics were moved in. The 
present (1881) number is two hundred and eight, one half of whom are 

As may be supposed, there have been, from the period of its organ- 
ization, various changes in the Board of Management. The present, 
(1881) Board include A. H. Vories, Silas Woodson, Arthur Kirkpatrick, 
John Dpniphan, Dr. E. A. Donelan, Dr. J. Malin and R. L. McDonald. 
A. H. Vories is President, Dr. J. Malin Secretary, and A. M. Saxton 

The present officers of the asylum are, Dr. G. C. Catlett, Superin- 
tendent ; Dr. A. P. Busey, Assistant Physician ; L. H. Vories, Steward ; 
Miss Dixon, Matron. 

The Commissioners who had charge of the rebuilding of the asylum 
were A. Kirkpatrick, A. C. Dawes and G. C. Catlett. 



During the early history of the county, the resources were necessa- 
rily meagre from which the revenues were derived. The rate of taxation 
was correspondingly light. 

The first four or five years, the county expenses ranged from $1,500 
to $3,000. The books were not kept in a very systematic manner and it 
is difficult now even, as it was then, to so far understand the system of 
bookkeeping as to be able to determine accurately the exact condition 
of the county finances. This much we do know, that with the very lim- 
ited resources at their command, the persons whose duty it was to man- 
age county affairs kept the machinery in operation and no large debts 
were incurred. 

A complete account of the finances of the county would, of itself, 
make a large book, and the facts necessary for such an authentic history 
are not at hand, even though we might desire to record them. There 
are to be found at various times throughout the county records certain 
facts whereby we are able to furnish only a brief idea of the county's 
financial affairs from the first. 

At the July term of the County Court, 1839, Samuel M. Gilmore, 
Collector, made the following settlement with the court : 


To tax collected on merchants' license for state purposes $10.00 

Ad valorem 2 , 50 

To tax on grocers' license for state purposes 27 . 50 

Ad valorem ...., 2.77J 

To tax on auction license for state purposes 10.00 

To tax on ferry " " 4.00 


To tax on merchant's license for county purposes $10.00 

To tax on grocers' " " 25.00 

To tax on auction " " 5 .00 

To tax on ferry " " 4.00 



At the October term of the court, 1839, the following settlement 
was made : 


To tax on merchant's license for state purposes , $ 95 .00 

Ad valorem 35-07 

To, tax on groce4-s' license for state purposes . . .^ 20.00 

Ad valorem. . .-. 2.88| 

To per cent, on auction sales 5 ■ 3 1 i 


To tax on merchants' license for county purposes $ 95.00 

To tax on grocers' " " 20.00 

Ad valorem 50 


By com. on $157.47, state tax $ 3-^5 

By com. on $ 1 1 5 . 50, county tax 2.31 

At the February term of the court, 1840, the following settlement 
was made : 

To amount collected on merchants' license for state purposes.. .$ 70.00 

Ad valorem , ...... 12.37I 

To amount collected on grocers' license for state purposes 56.50 

Ad valorem 5 . 34jf 


To amount collected on merchants' license for county purposes . . $ 70 

To amount collected on grocers' license 56 

Ad valorem 3 





At the January term, 1841, Mr. Gilmore, the Collector, made the fol- 
lowing settlement for the years 1839 and 1840: 


To amount collected, and with which he stands charged $ 924. 03I 

To amount tax-book for 1839 802 .86 

To amount tax-book for 1840 1,251 .475 


By amount of delinquent tax list for 1839 $ 33.24I 

By amount of George and Harvey Tracy's license 7 . 3/5 


By amount of C. P. Lown's license 6, i8| 

By amount of Gabriel Madden's license 7 ■ So 

By amount of poll tax not collected for 1839 12 . 50 

By com. on tax collected on license 18 .06 

By com. on revenue of 1839 53 00 

By amount of Treasurer's receipts filed .... 1,282.70! 

Balance against Collector $i>557-79| 

At the September term, 1840, Thomas Mills was allowed the sum of 
nine dollars and thirty-six and one-half cents, in full for his services as 
Treasurer of Buchanan County for that year. 

At the May term of the Court, 1842, the following settlement was 
made, showing the amount of moneys accruing to the county of Buchanan 
from the sale of the sixteenth sections or school lands ; the amount of 
three per cent, fund belonging to the county ; the interest accrued on 
the same; the amount of interest in arrear ; from whom due, etc., and 
the receipts and expenditures of the county for the year ending the 2d 
day of May, 1842, as ascertained and made out by the County Court: 

Whole amount arising from the sale of school lands $6,835 3° 

Out of which was paid into the treasury 300.00 

Balance outstanding on bonds $6,535 . 30 

Amount of three per cent, fund belonging to county 810.OG 

Interest on same still due and unpaid 91 ■ 12^ 

The whole amount received into the treasury from the Col- 
lector from May i, 1841, to May 2, 1842, for revenue and 
tax on licenses of all kinds 768 . 00 

The demands paid out of the treasury during the same period : 

Paid County Court Justices for services , $ 148 .oo 

Paid County Clerk for services 77-36 

Paid Sheriff for distributing orders, poll book, etc . .... 60.00 

Paid Circuit Clerk for services 16.25 

Paid Sheriff for services in Circuit Court 57-00 

Paid costs in criminal cases 241 .7^^ 

Paid L. B. Torrance for lever press 30.00 

Paid John W. Bowen for press and table 21 .00 

Paid William W. Reynolds for assessing county 57-00 

Paid Hiram Roberts for benches and repairs made 4- 12^ 

Paid Michael Wallace for set of chairs 7 . 50 

Paid Richard Hill for house rent 21 .00 


Whole amount paid out 741 .01 

Leaving a balance in treasury of 26.99 

Whole amount received arising from the sale of lots in Sparta. 1,628.42! 
Amount paid on account of public buildings 1,627.85 

Excess of receipts over expenditures ... 57| 


Amount of warrants issued in 1880 , ' $72,000.00 

The following are the collections for 1880, to the credit of funds 
hereinafter mentioned : 

State revenue fund $37,023 .74 

State interest fund 29,325.32 

County revenue fund 76,716. 51 

County revenue sinking fund 1,650 66 

Road tax 6,478.71 

Hannibal & St. Joseph R. R 872 . 44 

St. Louis & St. Joseph R. R . . . 1,633.89 

Chicago & Northwestern R. R 8.26 

St. Louis & St. Joseph R. R., judgment tax 22,415.23 

Poor farm tax 308 . 66 

Bridge fund '. 211.56 

Court house fund 206.32 

Washington School tax (1-57-35) 39,007.65 

Special schools in county 1 8,382 . 00 

Special interest fund . 272.47 

Bounty tax .44 

Special sinking fund 272.47 

County tax for city of St. Joseph 846 . 95 

Interest 6,298 .06 


Whole amount of expenditures, 1842 $ 741 .01 

Whole amount of expenditures, 1880 70,000.00 

The following is the assessment of real and personal property in 
Buchanan County (City of St. Joseph and county), commenced August, 
1880, for tax of 1 88 1. 

























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Assessment of real property had on the ist day of Aug., i88q, for 
tax of 1881. 

In City of St. Joseph, valuation of real estate ■. . . .$6,020,550 

In county — outside of city — valuation of land 3,070,650 

And the following towns : 

Winthrop $61,590 

Agency ; 9,240 

Easton ...;.. 9,050 

DeKalb 7,470 

Wallace 2,885 

Jordan 800 

Eveline 640 

Valuation of Buchanan County — real estate $9,182,875 

No. acres of land 25 1,489 

No. of acres of land in town 250 

Average value of land per acre $12.21 

Average value of land, including county and towns 12.58 


In the early days, the people of Buchanan County did not trouble 
themselves much about political matters. They seemed to care more 
about the settlement of the country, and the increase of worldly goods, 
than office. One reason for this doubtless was that the pay was nothing 

The trouble in those days was to get men to take office. Now, 
however, it is difficult to keep dishonest and incompetent men out of 

For several years after the organization of the county, persons were 
elected to office more on account of their qualifications and popularity 
than for political reasons. In those days the office emphatically sought 
the man, and not the man the office. We find in several instances when 
the opposing candidates belonged to the same party, and sometimes 
when the county was entitled to two Representatives to the Legislature, 
a division was made and a Democrat and a Whig were elected. The 
foregoing is true of political parties in the first settlement of all Missouri 
counties, and Buchanan was no exception to the rule, except when party 
issues were raised and partisan lines were drawn. St. Joseph and the 
county were soon regarded by the political leaders of the state as consti- 
tuting a very important point, which was in the near future to exercise 
great political influence. They were the most important city and county 



of the Platte 'Purchase, and, in fact, in Northwestern Missouri. From 
these reasons an effort was made in very early times by the leaders of 
the two dominant political parties, the Whig and the Democratic, to 
gain ascendancy in the county, and with this end in view they used 
their influence to persuade the more talented and ambitious young poli- 
ticians to locate here. 

The following is a synopsis of the vote of the county in 1846 : 


Willard P. Hall (Dem.) .... 
James H. Birch (Ind.) .... 

Jesse B. Thompson 

Robert M. Stewart , 


James B. Gardenbire 

Weston J. Everett 

Daniel G. Keedy . 

Circuit Clerk. 

William Fowler 

William A. McDonald .... 

County Clerk. 

William Fowler 

Jas. S. Goulding 


F. B. Kercbeval 


William Reynolds 

T. J. Ferrell 

James F. Hamilton 


Jonathan Levy 

Wm. Ridenbaugb 

Wiley M. English 

Benjamin Catlett 

L. A. Pearcey 


L. S. Cundifl 


S. Aslier 

E. Dixon 

Samuel Martin 

Hiram Roberts 

J. Shultz 

For the Constitution .... 
Against the Constitution ■ . . 






















1 06 

















































1 103 











Until i860, at the breaking out of the late civil war, Buchanan 
County was reliably Democratic, the majorities being always decisive. 
During the war, and for some years after, while the Drake constitution 
was in force, and until the election of B. Gratz Brown as Governor of 
the state, in 1870, the county was Republican. After the election of 
Mr. Brown, and when the political franchises were again accorded to the 
people, the county became, as usual, Democratic, which is its condition 
politically at this time (1881). 

There is scarcely anything to be found in the county's records from 
which to determine, at this late day, the exact condition of political par- 
ties, but enough is known that the county, since its organization, has 
been, with the exception of during the war period, and a few years 
thereafter. Democratic. 


City of St. Joseph, proper 4,849 

Agency Township. ^ 182 

Bloomington Township ... 303 

Centre Township 242 

Crawford Township 338 

Jackson Township 171 

Lake Township ^ 49 

Marion Township 390 

Platte Township 203 

Rush Township 495 

Tremont Township .... 257 

Wayne Township 210 

Washington Township 695 

Total 8,394 




We here submit a few memorials of the bench and bar of Buchanan 
County and the " Platte Purchase." Every hour diminishes our recol- 
lections of by-gone days; but a few glimpses remairt, and a few short 
years will obliterate every view and vestige of what, in the passing 
pageants oi life, has been so interesting to us all. 

To one of the oldest representative members of the legal fraternity 
are we indebted for the following sketches of the men who were the 
pioneer attorneys of Buchanan County. 


"The first lawyer in the Platte country was General Andrew S. 
Hughes. General Hughes was said to have been a resident lawyer of 
Buchanan- County, from the fact that he was an Indian agent in the 
county up to the annexation of the Platte Purchase to the State. 

He owned a large farm and servants in Clay County, on which his 
wife and only son. General Bela M. Hughes, now of Denver, Colorado, 
resided, and on which he spent a portion' of his time when not engaged 
at Agency. 

I first knew General Hughes in Kentucky. He resided in Nicholas 
County; was a lawyer of some eminence and a brilliant advocate. Early 
as 1824, he represented the Senatorial district composed of the counties 
of Nicholas and Breckenridge in the Legislature of Kentucky. I resided 
at Augusta, Breckenridge County, and first met him when he was can- 
vassing for the Senate. He was appointed an Indian agent under the 
administration of John Q. Adams, in 1826. 

He was one of the most remarkable men, in many respects, of this 
or any other age. Kind of heart, cheerful, mirthful to hilarity, genial in 
manners, indeed geniality itself He possessed an inexhaustible fund of 
brilliant anecdotes, and a wit as keen and merciless as Swift's and a sar- 


casm as blighting as Randolph's. One of the few men. of real genius I 
ever met. The emanations of real genius come from the Creator. Elab- 
oration is man's work and merely art. General Hughes was a man of 
real genius. I think he died in 1843, at Plattsburg, attending court. He 
got wet while crossing the Platte River and caught cold, and died from 
the effects of it, at the age of about 60 years. 


I think the next lawyer that settled in the Platte Purchase was Wil- 
liam B. Almond, who first settled in Platte City, and then removed to 
Sparta, Buchanan County, in 1839. Mr. Almond was a Virginian by 
birth, from Prince Edward County, and a graduate of Hampton Sidney 
College. He and Sterling Price were natives of the same county, and 
graduated at the same institution at about the same time. He was edu- 
cated with some care for a Presbyterian minister, but being of an adven- 
turous disposition, he went with the old fur company of Smith, Sublett 
& Jackson, to their depot in the Rocky Mountains, on the head waters 
of the Yellowstone. With the wages he received, (which wp re high, as 
the trip was dangerous), he returned to Virginia and studied law. He 
then returned to Missouri, and as soon as the Platte country was annexed 
to the state, he settled in Platte County. He had a very good practice 
in Buchanan County for a few years, and in 1844 he formed a partnership 
with Henry M. Vories, late Judge of the Supreme Court, which continued 
until 1849, when Almond went to California, still following his disposi- 
tion for travel and adventure. On his arrival there, through the influ- 
ence of Governor Burnett, of California, he was appointed Judge. He 
remained in California for several years. Having accumulated about 
$20,000 while there, he returned and permanently located in Platte City. 
He was elected Judge of that circuit, comprising the Platte country, in 
1854. He only held the office a short time, resigning to return to Cali- 
fornia, to attend to some pecuniary matters. 

After his second return from California he practiced law in Platte 
City and Leavenworth until his death, which I think occurred in 1861, 
dying suddenly at the breakfast table in Leavenworth, while there 
attending court. 

Almond was a fluent speaker, without approaching or approximat- 
ing eloquence. He was a fair lawyer, and, while not an orator, was an 
honorable and successful advocate. 


Theodore D. Wheaton came to St. Joseph just before or about the 
time Almond came to Sparta. Wheaton was from Connecticut, and was 
raised in the same town and educated at the same institution with Gov- 


ernor Phelps. When he finished his education, he went to Virginia as a. 
schoolmaster, seeking employment. Having taught there acceptably 
for some years he immigrated to Saline County, Missouri, with a colony, 
at the head of whom was Maj. Harney, who was afterward Speaker of 
the General Assembly of Missouri. He taught school in Saline and in 
the interim studied law and then removed to St. Joseph, where he 
remained for several years until he removed to Savanitah. He repre- 
sented the County of Andrew once or twice in the Legislature. As a 
practitioner he displayed the coolness and tact incident to the Yankee 
character. He finally volunteered in the Second Missouri Regiment, 
under Colonel Price and went to Mexico, arriving while I was there. 
He remained in New Mexico and beckme a distinguished member of the 
bar of that territory, as well as a member of the House of Territorial 
Delegates. His success there as here was the result more of tact and 
shrewdness than real talent. 


Peter H. Burnett, of San Francisco, was the first prosecuting 
attorney in the Buchanan County District. He has since been Governor 
of California, and Judge of the Supreme Court of that state. Few men 
. have had a more eventful life than Governor Burnett. He was a native 
of Tennessee. His father emigrated to Missouri when he was small, 
located in Clay County, which was then the extreme western county in 
Missouri. At about seventeen or eighteen years of age, he returned to 
Tennessee and acquired a very good English education, by the kindness 
of his mother's relative (the- Hardamans), a very distinguished family, 
after whom Hardaman County, Tennessee, was named. He partially 
studied law in Tennessee, but engaged in merchandizing as a sort of 
episode in his life. He was not successful and quit merchandising about 
as poor as he was when he began, rfe then returned to Missouri and com- 
menced merchandising in Liberty, when he again failed. In the interim, 
he had read law, carefully, and was really a very excellent lawyer for his 
age. After a few years practice he was appointed Circuit Attorney for 
that district. I brought him his commission from Jefferson City in the 
spring of 1841. He was one of the ablest prosecutors I ever met; the 
most industrious and indefatigable. No defendant ever found the state 
napping while Burnett was prosecutor. Having become largely involved 
by merchandising and seeing no speedy way of paying off his debts by 
the mere practice of law, he determined to go to Oregon. In 1843, with 
a large colony from Missouri, he and his family emigrated to Oregon. 
After many hardships, and some accidents, he arrived in that wild coun- 
try, located his land, and cut and split every rail himself that enclosed a 
quarter section of land that winter, and built a house etc. He engaged 


actively and industriously in farming. In 1846, when the Oregon ques- 
tion was settled between England and America, locating the new line, 
the British Fur Company was compelled to remove further north. 
They employed Burnett to wind up their business. The remuneration 
received enabled him to purchase cattle and go more largely into farm- 

When the gold fever commenced in California in 1848-9, it afforded 
a good market for his cattle, and he at once engaged in business there, 
from which he became wealthy. Out of the first moneys made he paid 
off his old debts, although barred by the statute of limitation. After he 
resigned as judge of the Supreme Court, he accepted the position of 
president of the Pacific Bank, at a salary of five thousand dollars per 
year, being a large stockholder himself in the bank. 

Last year, 1880, having grown feeble from age, and unwilling to 
attend to business any longer, he declined a re-election to the presidency 
of the bank, which was unanimously tendered him. He told them for 
the last year (1880) he had not rendered more than half service to the 
bank and declined to take but half his salary; they, however, passed a 
resolution tendering him all of the salary. He still declined to receive 
more than half Thus they parted. He then retired from business and 
is spending a quiet old age. 

His family of four children are all in prosperous circumstances. In 
California, a few years ago, I met his youngest daughter, a very beautiful 
and accomplished woman, the wife of Chief Justice Wallace of that 
state, and a man of more power and vigoi' of intellect, than any man I 
met in California. 

To sum up Governor Burnett: He was a man of spotless integrity, 
real philanthropy, indomitable energy, and a very high order of intellect. 


Henry M. Vories was a native of Henry County, Kentucky, where 
he received a very common education in the common schools of that 
state. He emigrated to Indiana, where he led a varied life for some 
years, engaged in merchandising at a small village, combining farming 
and trading generally, and especially trading in hogs in the Cincinnati 
market, in which last business he declared to me that he broke three 
times in one week. When, growing tired of these employments, which 
were bootless and abortive, he studied law with Oliver Smith, of Indiana, 
who afterward became a United States Senator, and commenced 
the practice of law in a circuit abounding with good lawyers. Although 
he was only able to make a living, the contact with these men made him 
a sharp, ready practitioner, and a perfect master of the science of plead- 
ing under the old Chitty practice. He emigrated to Sparta, Missouri, 


in 1843 or '44, where he commenced the practice of law, in partnership 
with Wm. B. Almond. I practiced with him in all the courts of North- 
western Missouri. We were often together and often opposed to each 
other. I may safely say he was the most unhandy man as an opponent 
I ever met. His early vocations in life had rendered him perfectly 
familiar with the prejudices, the habits, and the peculiar tastes of com- 
mon people, and therefore in selecting and addressing a jury he was a 
very formidable advocate. He was quick, shrewd, always cool and self- 
reliant. When the testimony of a witness happened to be the reverse 
of what he expected, he never showed any mark or trait of his disap- 
pointment in his face or manners. He remained in St. Joseph until 1855, 
moving there, I think, in 1846. He then removed to San Jose; Cali- 
nia. He remained in California two years, and, although he succeeded 
well in his profession, he preferred St. Joseph as a permanent home. 
After his return, he built a handsome suburban residence in St. Joseph, 
in which he resided until his death, which occurred in 1876. After a 
most successful practice in St. Joseph for some years, he was elected a 
judge of the Supreme Court of the State, which office he held until just 
before his death. Judge Vories was essentially a lawyer. He had a 
lawyer's mind. Some members of the profession are good lawyers theo- 
retically, but never successful practitioners, and others are quite superficial 
as lawyers, but by tact and energy succeed very well. The world rates 
them as good lawyers. Judge Vories was good in theory and in prac- 
tice. He was a thorough lawyer and the most formidable practitioner 
I ever met. He knew little of politics and had but little taste for gen- 
eral literature. 

His convictions, however, were always strong and fearlessly 
expressed. He was a Democrat of the old school and an unflinching 
Union man during the whole war. He lived as nearly up to the golden 
rule as any man I ever knew. 


James B. Gardenhire came to Sparta soon after the county seat was 
located there, from Tennessee. Commenced the practice of law as a 
competitor of Almond, Vories and Hall ; was very modest and seemed 
to lack self-confidence, and was of a sensitive nature. He impressed me 
as having acquired a rather superficial knowledge of the law hastily, but 
had energy and industry, which soon enabled him to overcome these 
deficiencies of his early education. 

I could form no estimate, of his early education. He used good lan- 
guage — pure English — and seemed to have the ordinary literary acquire- 
ments of young men of that age. He was graceful in his manners and 
deportment, which evinced the fact that he had seen good society, but I 


never heard him speak of his early life, his advantages, or want of edu- 
cation. He soon became a good lawyer, and was really an orator, although 
he occasionally failed to come up to what his friends expected. I have 
heard him make as brilliant speeches as any man I have heard in the 
Platte country. Very effective in law arguments before courts, a-nd as 
an advocate very effective before juries. He had considerable taste for 
politics and once represented Buchanan County in the Legislature, and 
was once a candidate for Congress. During his candidacy for Congress I 
heard him make two speeches, remarkable for their brilliancy, and in 
one of these he drew a parallel between Marshal Ney and Col. Benton. 
It was so thrillingly eloquent and pathetic that old men sobbed aloud. 
He became Attorney General of the state, and finally died at the head 
of some bureau in Washington, under Mr. Lincoln's administration. 

Owing to his delicate health, his efforts were not always equal; 
indeed, frequently, dissimilar. When his physique was all right, his 
efforts never disappointed his friends. He was as delicately constructed 
as a sensitive plant, in relation to his honor. 


was the first judge of the new circuit, composed of the Platte Purchase 
and Clinton County. I drafted the bill forming the circuit, which was 
passed during the session of 1840-41. General Atchison was commis- 
sioned in February, 1841, by Governor Reynolds. I brought him his 

General Atchison is so well known in the history of the state and 
nation that much labor is saved in giving a sketch of his life. His Hfe 
forms an important part in the history of the state, and his name will 
live in his land's language. 

General Atchison was born in August, 1807, in Fayette County, 
Kentucky, a few miles from Lexington, at a locality bearing the euphonious 
and poetical appellation of Frogtown. He was a graduate of Transyl- 
vania University, in its palmy days, under President Holly. His father 
afforded him every advantage in acquiring a very liberal education. 
He was a very ripe scholar ; of fine literary taste and very familiar with 
all the English classics. He emigrated to Missouri in the Spring ol 
1830, and located at Liberty. He commenced practicing law at the 
same bar with me, and so continued until he was appointed judge. 
After I removed to Liberty, in 1833, we kept our offices together, although 
never partners, and were very warm personal friends, although politically, 
we were as wide apart as the poles. He was a strong State Rights Dem- 
ocrat, while I was a Whig of the most orthodox school. 

After he was appointed Judge, he removed to Platte City. I prac- 
ticed before him in all his courts during the whole time that he was 



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Judge. I was in the Court House engaged in a case, at Platte City, 
when he received his mail on the bench. I suspended the case in which 
I was engaged for a moment, until he could look at his letters, and I saw 
at once from his face, that there was something very unusual in one of 
them. He is too honest and straight-forward to have any concealments, 
and his face is of the same tell-tale order, suffusing readily under any 
excitement. I proceeded with the case, and when court adjourned for 
dinner, the Judge handed me a letter from Governor Reynolds, tender- 
ing him the U. S. Senatorship, for the unexpired term of Dr. Linn, who 
had died. This tender was made, I know, from subsequent conversations 
with Governor Reynolds, who was from the same county with me from 
Kentucky, without any request from Atchison or his friends. It was a 
spontaneous tender from an intellectual and patriotic Governor, to a 
man who was in every way worthy of the high position of United States 

I know that the Judge hesitated honestly and candidly in his accept- 
ance of the position, and offered reasons which were candid and, to him, 
were forcible. After his having submitted them very fully to me, I said : 
"Judge, fortune does not shower her favors on us very often, and a man 
should not turn his plate bottom upwards when it does happen, but 
should turn the right side up and catch all he can. Your refusal will 
mortify Governor Reynolds, and as you have some political ambition, 
you ought to accept. It is your duty to do it. We have never had any 
Senator from the western half of the State." 

The Judge and I were rooming together at the hotel. I do not know 
that he did or did not, consult any other person on the subject. He 
wrote a very modest letter to the Governor, thanking him and accepting 
the position. 

He served not only acceptably in the Senate for twelve years, but 
served in that august body as its President, and acted as Vice-President 
of the United States, after the death of King. While practicing law in 
Liberty, he was fond of hunting, and very successful as a hunter, fond 
of social life, and indulged in the excitement of politics, so that with a 
portion of the community who do not know what it takes to constitute a 
lawyer, he did not rate so high as he would have done if he had stayed 
in his office, although not professionally employed. He had a clear, 
bright, logical mind ; had studied law well, and kept up with his profes- 
sion by constant reading, when he was not engaged actively out of doors. 

The position he took in any case he sustained with ability, and when 
/he was on the right side he rarely failed of success. I deemed him one 
of the best lawyers, and consulted him more frequently than I did any 
one else. As a judge he was quick, expeditious and industrious ; seemed 
to arrive at his conclusions almost intuitively, and his high sense of jus- 
tice always enabled him to decide equitably. I never knew a judge who 



gave such universal satisfaction, and although his friends were glad ta 
see him elevated to a higher sphere they regretted to see him abandon 
the bench. 

General Atchison went into the Southern army and remained until 
he became dissatisfied, not with the cause, but the rrjanagement of the 
army. He was essentially a State Rights Democrat of the Calhoun 

General Atchison was never married, and since the war has been 
living on his farm in Clinton County, enjoying the privacy of quiet life, 
deriving his enjoyment from the associations of numerous warm personal 
friends and a large library. He has warm patriotism enough to make him 
anxious for the future welfare of his country, and is Cincinnatus enough 
to be satisfied with his herd, his fields and his household gods. 


'Was born in Jefferson County, Virginia, at Harper's Ferry, in 18 — , and' 
is, therefore, sixty years of age. He was educated partly in Balti- 
more, and graduated at Yale College. His education, of course, was 
very thorough and ample, coming from such an institution. The family, 
(his father having died,) removed, shortly after he graduated, to Randolph 
County, Missouri. He studied law, probably with his brother. Judge 
William Hall, Judge of the Circuit Court in Missouri. He was very 
industrious and energetic and devoted his energies, physical and mental, 
to his profession. I am not aware that he ever practiced law before he 
came to Sparta. He was then a very ripe lawyer for his age, and one of 
the best lawyers I ever met. 

System and order and logical arrangement were natural with him. 
His eyes soon became diseased and annoyed him for some years. This, 
I always supposed, came from intense over-study, using his eyes too 
much by lamp or gas light. He succeeded at once. Plain and simple 
in his manners as a child, naturally frank and easy with every one, he 
soon became a favorite, and from his youthful appearance, even a pet 
with his older friends. He succeeded, I think. Governor Burnett, as 
Prosecuting Attorney, and was a very efficient officer. He prevented 
grand juries from presenting anything that could not be sustained and 
prosecuted with great energy those he believed guilty. He was as an^ 
officer very conscientious. In 1844 he was selected by the State Demo- 
cratic Convention as one of the Electors, and I was a candidate for 
Elector on the Whig side. I met him often. He conducted the canvass 
with marked ability for one so young. 

He had the criminal law, and especially the statutes of the State, at 
his finger ends, and could readily refer to them in a.moment's time. During 
this canvas Governor Hall's speeches would greatly astonish those who 


have only known him in the past twenty years. He then, not without suc- 
cess, essayed the higher realms of oratory, and, although he occasionally let 
the eagle loose, he was clear, bright, logical and concise. For the last 
twenty years his style has been but little rriore than conversational, still, 
marked with even more of its original' terseness, vigor and logical con- 
ciseness. He never thinks of indulging in pathos, or poetry or mere dec- 
oration. He gained a very high rank during the canvass, of which I have 
spoken, as a public speaker and as a well informed politician. To this, 
added to his high reputation as a lawyer, he was indebted for his iirst 
nomination'to Congress, over many older and able politicians of his party. 
This was in the spring of 1846, and during the canvas Col. James H. Birch 
(late Judge Birch,) was his opponent as an Independent Democrat. Gov- 
ernor Hall volunteered as a private in the First Regiment of Missouri 
Cavalry. This he was induced to do, because he had been a strong advo- 
cate of the annexation of Texas, and the Mexican War having grown 
out of that annexation, he was taunted as not being willing to incur the con- 
sequences, which his course and that of his friends had brought on the 

He went with us as far as Santa Fe, New Mexico, doing duty as a 
private faithfully. Soon after we arrived in Santa Fe I received a letter 
from my father-in-law. Colonel Thornton, giving a sufficient number of 
the returns to ensure the election of Mr. Hall by a very large majority. 
I showed that letter to Mr. Hall and to General Harney, and General 
Harney at once, as a matter of courtesy, and as he should have done, 
released Governor Hall from all involuntary duty. General Harney hav- 
ing orders to go to New Mexico with a part of the troops, in the dis- 
charge of an order he received from Washington, to devise temporary 
laws for the people of that territory, requested Governor Hall and myself 
to prepare laws for that territory to conform to the conditions of the 
territory, and to be in conformity with the civil institutions of our own 
country. We organized a Legislature consisting of Governor Hall and 
myself, and about six clerks, and the work of legislation was never more 
rapidly performed, each of us frequently dictating to two or three clerks 
at a time. In a few days we were able to present to General Harney a 
code of laws, which he was kind enough to approve, sign, as military 
Governor, and promulgate for the government of the people. It is aston- 
ishing, considering the short time we had been there and our limited 
means of information, that we should have written a code that Congress, 
after the annexation of the territory, re-enacted, and whi^ch after thirty- 
five years I found still in vogue in 1881. Governor Hall determined not 
to return to the states until after he had seen more of the west, so that 
he might be more capable to legislate for its wants. 

Colonel Philip St. George Cook, having been left by General Kear- 
ney, when he started to California, to take command of a battalion of 500 


Mormon soldiers and conduct them to California as soon as they arrived 
and were outfitted, now took up the line of march and Hall accompanied 
Colonel Cbok to the Pacific Ocean, going by the route of the Heyla 
River. He came back with Kearney the next spring to the states. It 
is a fact not generally known that the first gold discovered in California 
was discovered by two of the soldiers under Cook's command at Sutter's 
Mills. Hall returned and took his seat in Congress in the winter of 
1847 and remairifed there till March, 1853, having been elected three 

He made' a very industrious, efficient and popular representative of 
his district and at the end of his third term declined to become a candidate 
for re-election. He remained in private life, devoting himself assidu- 
ously to the study and practice of his profession, and attained as high a 
reputation as a lawyer as any man in the state. 

Iti February, 1861, he was elected to the state convention, which 
convention was called by an act of the General Assembly for the pur- 
pose of ascertaining the position the state should take in reference to the 
secession of the cotton states. He was elected and took his seat as an 
avowed Union man, and after Governor Jackson had abandoned the 
state, that convention proceeded to form a provisional government, and 
proceeded to elect state officers. Hamilton R. Gamble, of St. Louis, 
was elected Governor, and Willard P. Hall, Lieutenant Governor. Gov- 
ernor Gamble died during his term and the office of Governor was filled 
by Mt. Hall. Times were exceedingly exciting, as the war was still rag- 
ing in Missouri, as well as elsewhere, and much trouble and anxiety nec- 
essarily devolved upon the Governor. It is imposible to give any detail 
of his aets while Governor, as any one month of which would more than 
fill this sketch. 

His administration was as satisfactory as it could have been to all 
conservative men. At the expiration of his term of office, he resumed 
the practice of law in St. Joseph, which he has followed ever since. He 
has been employed in all the important cases since his return to the 
practice, and has added greatly to his well earned reputation as a law- 
yer before the war. He has sought no office or position since. On the 
contrary. Governor Hardin told me that he had twice offered him the 
position of Supreme Judge since the death of Judge Vories, but that Mr. 
Hall had declined both times. 


was one of the early immigrants to the Platte country. He had been 
engaged in teaching school at the time of his coming. He was in mod- 
erate circumstances, indeed might be termed poor, but he had pluck and 
perseverance enough' for two. men, but succeeded rather slowly at the 


practice of law. He lived on a small farm two miles from Platte City, 
about twenty acres of which he cleared and cultivated. From these two 
sources he made barely a comfortable subsistence. In 1843, I think, the 
state was entitled to five hundred thousand acres of public land, and 
Solomon L. Leonard was appointed a commissioner to select land for 
the state. The compensation he received for the same enabled him to 
purchase the land on which he resided and on which his wife now resides., 
east of St. Joseph. 

In 1844 or '45, he was appointed judge of that circuit to fill a vacancy 
occasioned by the resignation of Henderson Young, who had been judge 
for about one year after General Atchison's resignation. He continued 
in office until 1852, when he declined being a candidate for re-election. 
In most respects he was a model judge ; commencing court every morn- 
ing early at the very moment to which it was adjourned. Every day he 
got through the docket of that day, if it could be done by dark. 

Lawyers had to work hard, and those who were not fond of hard 
work found fault. I always found him courteous and respectful to all 
members of the bar. The hard work imposed on the bar was not the 
result of any arbitrary feeling on his part, but a determination and an 
honest purpose to subserve the interest of the public properly. It would 
be better for the bar and public if more judges would follow the same 

After he retired from the bench he formed a partnerthip in the prac- 
tice of law with General Bela M. Hughes. It was a very able firm, and 
while it continued it had as much practice as it could attend to. Judge Leon- 
ard's wealth gradually increased, and the property he left made all his 
family rich. The increase of his property and the business consequent 
upon it, induced him to abandon the practice almost entirely. 

During the first year of the war, in 1861, he went south, whether to 
carry his negroes south or to engage in the Southern cause, I do not know. 
He was drowned at Fort Gibson, Indian Territory, in Grand River, in that 

Judge Leonard had as much will-power as any man I ever knew, and 
a large volume of brain power. He was a man of strong prejudices — 
his enemies could hardly do right, and his friends could scarcely do 
wrong. He was aware of these prejudices, and brought his strong will- 
■ power to control them on the bench, which he did successfully. He was 
devoted to his family, and educated his daughters with a great deal of 
care, regardless of expense. Rather impatient by nature, yet he was 
fond of legal and logical discussion, and listened with patience to lawyers 
of any ability. We were warm personal friends, and I deemed him a 
just and able judge. 


was the son of General Andrew S. Hughes, herein mentioned, and born 


in Nicholas County, Kentucky. His mother was a sister to Thomas 
Metcalf, who was a captain in the war of i8i2, a Member of Congress for 
many years, Governor of the State, and then a United States Senator. 

Coming from such a stock on the respective sides, it would naturally 
be supposed that General Hughes would be a man of high order of intel- 
lect. Those whose anticipations were the highest have not been disap- 
pointed. He graduated at Augusta College, Kentucky. 

Immediately after he graduated he went to Wisconsin Territory as 
a private secretary of the Territorial Governor. He was introduced into 
social and political life under favorable auspices. While there he 
improved his learning, much from men and books. Coming to Missouri, 
he commenced the study of law, but having married when he was very 
young, and having six or eight thousand dollars in his own right, he 
thought it would be better to accumulate a fortune rapidly by engaging 
in merchandising and commerce. He located at Weston, Platte County. 
As he knew nothing of business, it did not take him long to lose half of 
his fortune. He sold out, re-engaged in the study, and finally in the 
practice of his profession. 

He succeeded very well from the start ; was elected to the Legisla- 
ture from that county ; and appointed Receiver of Public Moneys at the 
United States Land Office at Plattsburg, Missouri. He remained there 
until General Taylor was elected in 1848, and although his uncle, who was 
then a Whig Senator from Kentucky, and myself and others, who knew 
General Taylor well, assured him he would not be removed, his delicate 
sense of propriety induced him to resign (he being a Democrat), saying 
that he " would not hold an office which, under the custom of parties, 
belonged to some Whig." He removed to St. Joseph, and lived there as 
long as he remained in the State. He formed a partnership, first with 
Solomon L. Leonard, and afterwards with Silas Woodson. Both these • 
partnerships were remunerative. Governor Woodson was appointed 
Judge of that circuit, and General Hughes went to Atchison, Kansas, 
more for the purpose of attending to the varied interests of his cousin, 
Benjamin Holliday, the distinguished pioneer in steamship lines, rail- 
roads, and overland mail. This business required many long and dan- 
gerous voyages to Colorado, Salt Lake, and San Francisco, in connection 
with the Holliday mail route. Selecting Denver as a central position 
for the route, he finally located there, removed his family and made it* 
his permanent home. When his connection with Holliday had term- 
inated, he resumed his profession, and at a bound placed himself at the 
head of the able bar of Colorado, which position he maintains now 
(1881). He is employed in all the important suits arising from railroads, 
mines, telegraphs, and stock operations. He has acquired a fortune by 
his close attention to business, and with'the wonderful sucess with which 
he has met. I have spent six summers in Colorado ; have often heard 


him in courts, and was there when he was nominated by the Democrats 
-of that state for Governor, and during his brilliant canvas. His speeches 
were marked by the caustic wit, sharp repartee, and boundless humor 
that characterized his father, with much more learning and general • 
attainments. He may be deemed an eminent jurist and orator, and I 
know personally of his receiving a letter from one of the most distin- 
guished jurists in New York asking his opinion in relation to his con- 
struction of a very ambiguous statute, saying "that he would rather 
have his opinion than any other lawyer, and that his clients would pay 
him liberally for it." 

His great ability, integrity, and attention to business, assures us 
that he will always retain his business and practice as large as he 


My first acquaintance with Silas Woodson was at Plattsburg, in the 
fall of 1854. I was then attending court and was employed to assist 
Hughes and Leonard and General Loan in the defense of Wm. Langston, 
charged with murder. The case had been pending some time in 
Buchanan County, and finally had been taken to Clinton County; but I 
was only employed in the case at the term at which it was tried. Gov- 
ernor Woodson had recently emigrated from Knox County, Kentucky, 
to St. Joseph, and some of the citizens of St. Joseph had employed him 
to assist in the prosecution of Langston. We had been several days 
engaged in examining the testimony and had closed on both sides. 
While I was writing some instructions at my room. General Loan and 
Judge Leonard came in and told me Mr. Woodson complained of being 
sick, and desired to make the closing argument in the case instead of 
the opening. I told them that I had an invariable rule that I would not 
depart from, that the circuit attorney must make the closing argument 
in every criminal case in which Lwas engaged. In a few minutes after 
they left Mr. Woodson came in, and told me he was not well, and being 
a stranger did not like to address a jury under disadvantageous circum- 
stances. It was a strong appeal to my courtesy and I felt somewhat 
inclined to accede to his request, but I had read the trial of Dr. Baker, 
who was tried and convicted for murder in Kentucky, and a Mr. Wood- 
son had been the prosecuting attorney. It occurred to me me that he 
might possibly be the man. I asked him if he had been prosecuting 
attorney when Dr. Baker was tried. He said he had. I said, " Mr. 
Woodson, 3. prosecutor who was able to meet and gain a victory over 
the most eminent attorneys and advocates in the Union, is able to pros- 
ecute against such lawyers as Langston has, even though he is sick. I 
regret that my dutj'- to my client compels me to be apparently discour- 


teous. You cannot make the closing argument in this case." An hour 
afterward, the instructions had been given by the court, and Mr. Wood- 
son commenced his address, which for ability, brilliancy and pathos I 
have never heard equaled. I regret that I have not language that will 
convey even the faintest idea of this torrent of eloquent invective. 

In i860, he was elected judge of the 12th Judicial Circuit, in which 
position he gave universal satisfaction, and at the expiration of his term,, 
with a most enviable reputation, again resumed the practice of law. 

As a practitioner, he takes rank among the leading lawyers of the 
state, and his professional associates cheerfully concede his eminent 
ability in criminal cases. The vital interests of the largest corporations, 
the equally important rights of the humblest citizen, alike command his 
services, and whether the fee is a fortune or a farthing, he devotes his- 
best abilities and his constant attention to the success of his client. 

In August, 1872, quite unexpectedly to himself, he was nominated 
by the State Democratic Convention as candidate for Governor of Mis- 
souri, and was elected to that office by a large majority, and served for 
two years with distinguished ability. 

No blemish mars the purity of his private life. He is one of the few 
men, who, through a long public career, have never once neglected or 
betrayed any trust reposed in them. His motto is, and his action has 
alwEtys been, to do what right and justice demand, leaving consequences 
to take care of themselves. 

He possesses an earnest nature, great energy and firmness, a clear 
judgment, with comprehensive and analytical mind and a heart full of 
true charity and noble impulses. 


The name of Robert M. Stewart has been familiar not only to the 
people of Buchanan County, but of the State of Missouri, for over forty 
years. In fact it has been completely indentified with the history of the 
state. He was born in Truxton, Courtland County, New York, on the 
1 2th day of March, 181 J. His parents being in limited circumstances, he 
was compelled to depend upon his own exertions for an education, a task 
faithfully performed. From the time he was seventeen until twenty-one 
years of age, he taught school part of each year, devoting the remainder 
of his time to preparing himself for the practice of the law. At the age 
of twenty-one he graduated in the legal profession and was admitted to 
the bar. In the spring of 1837, he removed to Louisville, Kentucky, and 
engaged in the practice of his profession, but suffering from sickness most 
of the summer, he removed to his old home in New York and remained 
during the winter, returning to Louisville again in the spring of 1838. 
During that summer, in addition to the practice of the law, he was 


engaged in the newspaper business with James Birney Marshall. In the 
fall of that year he removed to St. Charles, Missouri, where he remained 
some two years. 

In 1839, Governor Stewart came to Buchanan County, and located at 
what was then known as Bloomington, but is now DeKalb, where he 
entered a claim. Here he continued the practice of his profession, at the 
same time taking an active part in every movement to advance the pros- 
perity of the country, until 1845. He then removed to St. Joseph, and 
was shortly thereafter elected a delegate from the Senatorial District to 
the Convention to amend the State Constitution, over Jesse B. Thomp- 
son, one of the best men in the county. In the proceedings of that body 
his fine talents and excellent judgment gave him a prominent position. 
In 1846, he was elected to the State Senate, again beating Mr. Thomp- 
son, and continued to hold the office until 1857, when he was elected 
Governor of Missouri, to fill a vacancy, occasioned by the selection of 
Governor Trusten Polk to the United States Senate. The duties of the 
latter office he discharged with ability for three years. In 1847, Governor 
Stewart raised a company for the "Oregon Battalion," for service in the 
Mexican war, and was elected as its Captain over the late Colonel Samuel 
Hall. He went with the battalion as far as Fort Kearney, but was com- 
pelled to return on account of ill-health. For some two years thereafter 
he suffered from severe illness, but managed to discharge his duties as 
State Senator. In 1848 he was appointed Register of the Land Office at 
Savannah, but resigned the position in a few weeks, for the purpose of 
engaging in the preliminary survey of the Hannibal and St. Joseph Rail- 
road, a task which he completed at his own expense. 

In 1861, he was elected member of the convention called to consider 
the question of secession, in which body he took strong grounds in favor 
of retaining the state in the Union. His last appearance in political life 
was in 1862, when he announced his name as a candidate for Congress 
in this district, but withdrew from the race shortly after the announce- 

Almost immediately after his election to the Senate, Governor Stew- 
art was appointed chairman of the committee on internal improvements, 
a position he continued to occupy as long as he remained a member of 
that body. He was the first to inaugurate the grand system of public 
improvements which has contributed so much to the prosperity of our 
state, and devoted himself particularly to the railroad interests. It is prin- 
cipally owing to his exertions that the construction of the Hannibal & St. 
Joseph road is due, and he was also the author of the "Omnibus bill," 
under which the railroad system of the state was projected and built up. 
Every measure looking to improvement and the development of the 
resources of Missouri received his hearty support, both while in the Sen- 
ate and in the executive chair. 


Governor Stewart was a man ofa high order of intellect. His pros- 
pects at one time were by no means limited to this state. It was within 
his grasp to have not only made his influence more powerful in Missouri, 
but felt throughout the Union. In a national point of view his unrelent- 
ing hostility to Colonel Thos. H. Benton, effecting his defeat for the 
Senate, and his decided stand against secession when the great contest 
seemed to hinge upon the action of Missouri, were the most important 
passages in his history. 


J. M. Bassett was born in New Haven, Connecticut, February 7, 
1817. He came with his father, when a small boy, to Ohio, and at the 
age often years removed to Springfield, Illinois, where he completed his 
•education. He read law with Governor Cailin, and was admitted to the 
bar by Judge Stephen A. Douglas. Afterward he opened an office in 
■Quincy, Illinois, and after several years of successful practice came to 
Plattsburg, Clinton County, Missouri, in 1844, where he remained two 
years. While here he was elected a delegate to the Constitutional Con- 
vention, and came. to St. Joseph shortly after the labors of that convention 
were closed. 

He soon became one of the leading lawyers of the Platte country. 
He served four years as prosecuting attorney of this judicial district. 
Was elected Mayor of Bt. Joseph in 1855. At the breaking out of the 
Var he espoused the cause of the Union, and did much to rally the loyal 
-sentiment of Northwest Missouri. He was captain of a company of mili- 
tia and was for two years Provost Marshal of this district. 

General Bassett was a ready and powerful writer ; generous, pleas- 
ant, social and charitable. He was a fluent speaker, and strong in argu- 
ment, and his success before juries and judges was proverbial. 

Keen, cool, shrewd and cautious, his speeches in court often veined 
with glowing sarcasm, were not only models of terseness and force, but 
revealed a background of study, reflection and special preparation, 
which stamped him as one of the foremost lawyers of Northwest Mis- 
souri. He seemed to rise with the occasion when the subject in hand 
■demanded intellect and power. Then it was he would pour forth argu- 
-ment, and hurl invective and eloquent appeals to the jury, sweeping 
•everything before him. 

Whenever he devoted his full powers to a case, no client in the 
West had a more safe, competent and successful advocate. General 
Bassett died in 1871. 


I first knew the late General Loan in Platte County. He was born 
in Hardensburg, Breckenridge County, Kentucky, in 1819. He remained 


at the old home in Kentucky until 1838, when he came to Missouri and 
settled in Platte County. He commenced reading law in Platte City 
with Isaac N. Jones, in 1842. After two years spent in close study, he 
obtained a license and located in Buchanan County. He was an active, 
industrious, painstaking and conscientious, attorney. He was a deep 
thinker and a ripe scholar in legal and political lore, and possessed 
great personal honor and integrity, and was admired by not only his 
brother attorneys but no one spoke of him but to praise. 

When the late civil war broke out he took an active part in military 
affairs, and was appointed Brigadier General. In 1862 he was elected to 
a seat in the Thirty-eighth Congress, and served as a member of the 
committees on Pacific railroads, and Freedmen, and Debts of loyal states, 
and other committees. During the Fortieth Congress he was chairman 
of the committee on revolutionary pensions and on that of Freedmen's 
affairs. In 1869 he was appointed visitor to West Point. He was the 
Republican candidate for Congress in 1876, and was defeated by Hon. 
David Rea. These in brief are the salient points of one of the most pop- 
ular, one of the ablest and best known lawyers in the "Platte Purchase." 

General Loan died at his home in St. Joseph on the 30th day of 
March, 1881, at the age of sixty-two years. The St. Joseph bar held a 
meeting on the occasion of his death, the proceedings of which we here 
give : 

" The adjourned meeting of the Bar Association of St. Joseph was 
iheld in the Circuit Court room yesterday afternoon at half-past four. 
•General Craig, as chairman, called the meeting to order, and requested 
the chairman of the committee, appointed to wait upon the family of 
General Loan to ascertain their desire as to the funeral arrangements, to 
report. Mr. Allen H. Vories then informed the meeting that General 
Loan's family had expressed their wish that the bar should take charge 
■of the funeral, which was to take place at two o'clock this afternoon. 
Mr. Vories suggested that the bar should not monopolize the funeral 
arrangements, but should invite a number of citizens to assist in the 

It was moved and seconded that six members of the bar be appointed 
pall bearers, with authority to select four citizens to act with them in the 
•same capacity. 

Messrs. Vories and Vineyard were appointed by the chair to select 
the legal pall bearers, and made choice of the following gentlemen : 
Gov. Woodson, Gen. Craig, Judge Tutt, Gov. Hall, John D. Strong and 
A. H. Vories. 

The committee on- resolutions was then called upon to report and 
did so through Mr. Benj. R. Vineyard, as follows: 

Whereas, We have learned with profound sorrow of the death of 
our friend and professional brother, Hon. B. F. Loan, and 


Whereas, We deem it fitting^ that the living should suitably com- 
memorate the virtues of the dead, therefore 

Resolved, That we, the members of the bar of St. Joseph, bear wit- 
ness that through the crucial test of a long and active practice in a pro- 
fession which, more than any other, tries and makes known to his fellows 
the real character of a maw, Benjamin F. Loan has passed, without an 
imputation of the slightest neglect of a client's interest or of the courte- 
sies and fair dealings due to an opponent ;. that his life is a noble illus- 
tration of the truth that untiring industry and unswerving honesty are 
the essential elements of real success in our own, no less than in the 
other avocations of life ; and we direct the attention of every young man 
who wvuld gain an enviable distinction in the legal profession tO' the 
course and career of the deceased as worthy of the highest emulation. 

Resolved, That our departed brother was true to the interests com- 
mitted to him in all the relations of life ; that he was a. faithful public 
servant, a steadfast friend, a devoted husband, an estimable citizen and 
an honest man. 

Resol'ped, That as a mark of respect to the memory of the deceased, 
we request the Judge to adjourn the Circuit Court of this county, now in 
session, during the day of the funeral, and that the members of this bar 
attend the funeral in a body. 

Resolved, That the secretary of this meeting furnish a copy of these 
resolutions to the press of the city for publication, also a copy thereof to 
the family of the deceased, and also- a copy thereof to Alex. D. Vories, 
by him to be presented to the Judge of the Buchanan Circuit Court, with 
a request that they may, with other proceedings of this meeting, be 
spread in full upon the records of said court. 




H. M. RAMEY, \ Committee. 



W. P. HALL, Jr. 


At a meeting of the directors of the Merchants' Bank, with which 
General Loan had long been identified, held yesterday, the following 
resolutions were adopted r 

Whereas, It has pleased Almighty God, in His divine providence, 
to remove from our midst our valued friend and associate, the Hon. 
Benjamin F. Loan, therefore be it 

Resolved, by the Board of Directors of the Merchants' Bank, that in 
the death of the Hon. Benjamin F. Loan, this board has lost a member 
whose counsels were of the utmost value to the interests of the institu- 
tion, and that we, individually, have lost a friend and associate whose 
death is deeply and sincerely deplored ; and be it further 

Resolved, That we sympathize most sincerely with t-he family and 
relatives of our deceased friend in this hour of their sad bereavement ; 
and be it .further 


Resolved, That these resolutions be spread at length upon the min- 
utes of the board, and that a copy signed by the president be sent to, the 
family of our deceased friend. 

St. Joseph, Mo., March 31, 1881. 

After reading the resolutions Mr, Vineyard said that it seemed 
strange to him to stand among his professional brethren and miss the 
form of General Loan. Only two days ago he was engaged in the active 
duties of bis profession, and now he was no longer among us. Not very 
long ago General Loan had said to him that he would go soon and go 
suddenly, and his foreboding had proved true. He had known the 
deceased since 1866, and had enjoyed his disinterested friendship. Of 
his military and congressional record, he would let others speak, but as 
a lawyer he had found him frank, upright and sincere. General Loan 
never made a promise to a brother lawyer that he did not faithfully keep.. 
His zeal for his clients was unbounded, while he was ever an indefatiga- 
ble worker. To pronounce this eulogy was a sad task, not because the 
subject did not deserve it, but because he was no more. 

The chairman here suggested that the youngest member of the bar 
be selected to present the resolutions to the Circuit Court. The sug- 
gestion was adopted. 

Mr. R. T. Davis then addressed the meeting and recalled his last 
conversation with General Loan. It was the opinion of the deceased 
that young lawyers should stick to their practice and avoid politics. He 
had such a high appreciation of the bar of St. Joseph that he told the 
speaker that nothing could induce him to reside away from this city. 
Free passes to Chicago- and New York, a large income and nothing to 
do would have no temptation to him, compared with the society of his 
friends, if he had to give up the latter to enjoy the former. 

Mr. Allen Vories next addressed the meeting ; General Loan's 
death had not been altogether unexpected by him, but by that death he 
had lost his most confidential friend and he could not reconcile himself 
to his loss. For thirty years a close friendship had existed between 
himself and the deceased. If ever there was an honest man General 
Loan was that man. Ever faithful to his clients he was the soul of honor 
in his dealings with all men. Among the members of this bar he had 
not one enemy. Outside of his professional career he had no enjoyments, 
and was so attached to the members of the St. Joseph bar that he had 
determined to spend all his days among them. Of his proficiency as a 
lawyer it was not necessary to speak. The harder the case the better 
lawyer General Loan proved himself to be. His courtesy to other 
attorneys was remarkable. "By his death," concluded Mr. Vories, "I 
have lost my best friend," 

Mr. Thomas had known General Loan for eleven years, and had 
frequently, as a young man, applied to' him for advice, and had always 


found him gracious and courteous. Wtiether opposed to him or associ- 
ated with him, he always exhibited a courtesy which was extended to 
all the attorneys with whom he cams in contact. His loss will be greatly 
felt. Mr. Thomas endorsed the sentiments of the resolutions. 

Mr. H. K. White said that General Loan had attained the high 
degree of philosophy which enabled him to endure differences of opinion 
without giving up personal regard. In his adherence to the ideas of the 
past upon legal matters, General Loan had many sharp conflicts with the 
rising generation, but from these antagonisms an unkind personal feel- 
ing had never once been developed. 

Mr. John S. Crosby, as a younger member of the bar, paid an earnest 
tribute to the friendliness toward young members of his profession, which 
characterized General Loan. He also referred to the .strong domestic 
affections of the deceased, which he had had occasion to witness. ' Carry- 
ing with him a heavy and constant burden of disease and suffering which 
would have made most men morose, he was always cheerful and good 

Mr. P. V. Wise said that he had so long associated with General 
Loan that he did not consider it inappropriate on his part to make a few 
remarks. The deceased was a man who took for his motto "deeds not 
words.'' He acted justly from a principle of right and not from the hope 
of future reward. He was satisfied to practice the golden rule. Not- 
withstanding the industrious habits of the deceased he enjoyed philo- 
sophical contemplation, and believed that the best of all lives was to so 
live here that when the great change came there would be nothing to 
repent of He fulfilled William Cullen Bryant's noble lines : 

"So live that when ihy summons come to join 
The innumerable caravan which moves 
To that mysterious realm where each shall take 
His chamber in the silent halls of death, 
Thou go not, like the quarry sfave at night. 
Scourged to his dungeon, but sustained and soothed 
By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave. 
Like one that wraps the drapery of his couch 
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams." 

The chairman then said that he first knew General Loan thirty-five 
years ago, when he was struggling to earn his first town lot. In those 
days he had traveled the circuit with him, had observed his course dur- 
ing the war, and had known him intimately as -a Congressman, and he 
had always found him honest. During the days of political corruption 
that followed the war, no man had ever dared to say that General Loan 
had taken a dollar that was not his own. His home life was full of ten- 
der affection, one long honeymoon. It has been said that he was not 
without a presentiment of his approaching end, and on Tuesday called 


at the bank and transferred some bonds from his own name to that of 
his wife. In all the relations of life he, General Craig, had never known 
a better man than Benjamin F. Loan. 

Mr. J. F. Fitt said that he was with the deceased in his last labors, and 
gave .some details of his sudden illness. Mr. Mosman paid a brief tri- 
bute to the worth of General Loan, and the meeting adjourned to meet 
at the funeral to-day at 2 o'clock." 

Among those who attended the first courts in this judicial district 
at Old Sparta and St. Joseph was 


who was born in Mason County, Kentucky, July 9th, 1808. His ances- 
tors on both paternal and maternal lines were of English extraction. 
His father and mother were natives of Virginia, his father being a revo- 
lutionary soldier. His mother was a woman of extraordinary mental 
powers and sparkling wit. He graduated at Augusta College, Kentucky, 
at the early age of eighteen years, with distinction, especially in the 
classics. He studied law in the office of Martin P. Marshall, of Ken- 
tucky. After a period of two years he was licensed to practice law by 
the Supreme Court of Ohio. In March, 1830, he came to Missouri, and 
was licensed to practice by its Supreme Court, at Fayette, in the suc- 
ceeding month. On the 19th of April, 1830, he settled in Lexington, 
Missouri, and began his long, successful and brilliant forensic career. 
At the age of twenty-two, without experience, he was placed in collision 
with Abiel Leonard, Robert W. Wells, Peyton R. Hayden and others, 
gentlemen eminent for ability and legal attainments. 

His maiden speech at the bar was made in 1830, in defense of a man 
indicted for murder. His conduct in this trial was modest, and gave 
evidence of the dawning of that reputation as a criminal lawyer which 
he afterward attained. 

In 1837, he removed to Liberty, Missouri, which he made his home 
for the succeeding thirty years. There he found, already established in 
the practice of law, those distinguished lawyers, D. R. Atchison, Amos 
Rees and James M. Hughes. His experience at Lexington had been 
preparatory ; at Liberty his reputation attained its zenith. Doniphan 
was young, ambitious, highly cultured, and his mind expanded with 
ease to meet the magnitude of each new occasion. The faculty of ready, 
powerful and tempestuous speech — the flashes of brilliant thought had 
come to him, and the people of the state at once recognized him as an 

In 1836, 1840 and in 1854 he represented Clay County in the Legis- 
lature without opposition. He was a member of the Peace Conference 
of 1861. In 1846, occurred the war with Mexico, and in May, 1846, he 
was elected Colonel of the First regiment Missouri Mounted Volunteers. 


The laurels won by Colonel Doniphan and his men during the Mex- 
ican war are among the brightest that grace the American arms, and 
the memory of them will be as enduring as time itself. 

In the varied circumstaraces of life Colonel Doniphan has exerted a 
great influence. In parliamentary bodies he has done this mainly through 
social impress and personal contact. He is fascinating in conversation, 
and his society is sought wherever he goes. His mind acts with quick- 
ness 'and precision. His temperament is poetic, even romantic, but is 
guarded by fine taste and the most delicate sense of] the ludicrous. His 
mind is so well organized, so nicely balanced, its machinery so happily 
fitted, its stores of information so well digested, and so completely made a 
part of the brain, that its riches, without apparent effort, flow or flash 
forth on all occasions, and it places each subject or object it touches in a 
flood of light. 

Nature has endowed him munificently. He now leads a quiet life 
at Richmond, Missouri, devoting himself entirely to the amusements of 
reading, correspondence and converse with his myriad of friends. 

We have given short biographical sketches of only those members 
■of the bar who came to St. Joseph and the " Platte Purchase " at an early 
day. In addition will be found below a short and incomplete list of 
names of other members of the St. Joseph bar. There have been many 
itinerant lawyers and journeymen counselors, many of whom are doubt- 
,less still living and known to the reader, and others are dead or have 
removed elsewhere, that have practiced a,t the St. Joseph courts. We 
should be glad to give them all, but our limited space will preclude us 
from doing more than merely chronicling their names. 


Amos Rees, Wm. B. Almond, 

Henry M. Vories, Benj. F. Loan, 

Lawrence Archer, Wm. Cannon, 

Jas. B. Gardenhire, W. P. Hall, 

Robert M. Stewart, Andrew Hughes, 
Peter H. Burnett. 


Sol. L. Leonard, Sam'l Ensworth, 

Jonathan M. Bassett, John Wilson, 

Washington Jones, W. Broadus Thompson, 

W. A. Cunningham, B. M. Hughes, 

M. Jeff" Thompson, Thomas P. Conner, 

A. P. Hereford, Thomas Harbine, 

I. B. Hereford, Isaac C. Parker, 



J. J. Wyatt, 

George Baxter, 

John C. C. Thornton, 

A. W. Slayback, 

E. I. Montague, 

T. A. Green, 

G. D. Green, 

H. L. Harrington, 

A. D. Reed, 

Thomas Thoroughman, 

Alex. Davis, 

S. Judson, 

Charles W. Wright, 

Thomas Parish, 

T. W. Collins, 

A. D. May, 
Wm. H. Miller, 
Peter T. Able, 
Murat Masterson, 
John T. Baldwin, 
L. L. Richmond, 
Wm. H. Campbell, 
Wm. Moorp, 
Theodore Wheaton, 
Geo. H. Hall, 

B. O. Diskoll, 
Jas. M. Dunning, 

C. M. Lincbln, 
Bruce Toole, 
W. G. Swan, 
W. C. Smith, 
J.' M. Breaker, 
A. Y. Shields, 
Wm. Loan) 
Philloman Bliss, 
Capt. Lee, 

A. D. Maderia, 
Jos. Terrill, 


Jos. H. Burnett, 
J. Hodges, 
Wm. H. Pagan, 
John Ritchie, 
Fred. Brown, 

L. M. Lawson, 
Bennett Pike, 
Jeff Chandler, 
S. A. Young. 
Jos. Early, 
W. S. Everett, 

E. O. Hill, 
Jas. M. Strong, 
Wm. Henry, 
Andrew Royal, 
W. D. Webb, 

F. VanWaters, 
Tobias Mitchell, 
David Rea, 
Wm. T. Hughes, 
Daniel Sullivan, 
John R. Boyd, 
P. V. Wise, 
Wilson Shannon, 



Frank Ransom, 
F. Babcock, 
Samuel Irvine, 
D. M. Johnson, 
James C. Roberts, 
John Donovan, 
Warren Toole, 
Samuel Word, 
James Shields, 
James Davis, 
Jas. T. Beach, 

C. C. Colt, 
Wm. Bliss, 
Thomas Parker, 
A. W. Terrill, 
James Hunter, 
James Lucas, 
Wm. M. Albin, 
John K. Cravens, 
Jas. A. Owen, • 
John B. Rea, 
John Jones, 
R. Lewis, 




Wra. D. O'Toole, 
Fin. R. Hanna, 
R. H. Lykins, 
Mordicai Oliver, Sr., 
M. Oliver, Jr., 
John D. Strong, 
E. S. Gosney, 
J. C. Heddenberg, 
S. B. Green, 
Enos Crowthers, 

A. Saltzman, 
H. K. White, 
E. H. Fudge, 
O. M. Spencer, 
W. P. Hall, Sr., 
L. E. Carter, 
Vinton Pike, 
James W. Boyd, 
W. D. B. Hotter, 
W. E. Sherwood, 
W. Fitzgerald, 
W. K. James, 
John S. Crosby, 

— Suffler, 

James H. Pratt, 
John M. Stewart, 
Franklin Porter, 

B. R. Vineyard, 
Minor Shortridge, 
A. D. Kirk, 

E. G. Adams, 
W. H. Sherman, 
John Doniphan, 
W. C. Toole, 
W. Hoynes, 
James Sutherland, 
James W. Porch, 

T. E. Battoin, 
S. A. Gilbert, 
W. Gilbert, 
R. P. Giles. 
C. A. Mosman, 

E. C. Zimmerman, 
Henry Martin, 

A. D. Green, 
James Ringo, 
H. E. Barnard, 
Litt R. Lancaster, 
Joseph P. Grubb, 
W. P. Hall, Jr., 


John F. Tyler, 
James F. Pitt, 
Winslow Judson, 
Robert Musser, 
John Ryan, 
James P. Thomas, 
Silas Woodson, 


Allen H. Vories, 
H. M. Ramey, 

F. S. Winn, 
A. D. Vories, 
Thomas F. Ryan, 
L. H. Moss, 

H. Tutt, 

Harrison Branch, 
George Burgess, 
M. A. Reed, 
Benjamin J. Woodson, 
J. L. Sutherland, 
M. R. Singleton, 
George W. Burgess. 



All organized counties and communities, it matters not what may 
be their geographical location or what may be their general moral and 
religious status, have a criminal record. Some of these records are 
replete with deeds of violence and bloodshed, while others are not so bad. 

Buchanan County is no exception to this universal rule, yet from the 
date of its settlement to the present time it has been comparatively 
exempt, not only as to the number of crimes committed in proportion to 
population, but in the degree of atrocity with which they have been per- 
petrated. There are, however, some facts of a criminal character which 
belong to the legitimate history of the county, and are of such import- 
ance that they may be narrated in this work. 

The most noted murder ever committed in the county was that of 


The facts connected therewith are, we presume, all set forth in the con- 
fession of Augustus Otis Jennings, one of the parties to the murder, and 
who was executed near St. Joseph on the second day of September, 
1853. Before, however, giving the confession, we shall here insert the 
letter of Sterling Price, at the time Governor of Mjssouri, written to 
General Bela M. Hughes and others, declining to commute the death 
sentence which had by the courts been passed upon Jennings. 

The following is a copy of the Governor's letter which we take from 
an old number of the Jefferson City Examiner of that date : 

Executive Department, | 

City of Jefferson, Mo., >- 

August 20, 1853. ) 

To Captain Bela M. Hughes, and six hundred other citizens of Buchanan 

Sir : Having received from yourself and many other citizens of 
Buchanan County, very large petitions praying the commutation of the 
sentence of death which was passed upon Augustus Jennings, convicted 
at the last term of tTie Circuit Court of said|pounty, and whose 'day of 
execution is rapidly approaching, I embrace the opportunity thus afforded 
of presenting my conclusions, after having bestowed upon the subject 
that serious consideration which its great importance demands. 


In the exercise of the varied powers with which I have been clothed 
by virtue of the responsible position to which my fellow citizens have 
called me, it is needless for me to say more, than that I have endeavored 
to discharge them with an eye single to the honor of our state, and with 
a proper regard for the supremacy of the law. Among the multiplied 
duties which surround me, there are none which demands greater inves- 
tigation, or more serious thought, than such cases as are presented to 
my consideration, growing out of the enforcement of the criminal code. 
The executive officer who will undertake a disposition of the almost 
numberless cases of this character, which are from time to time pre- 
sented for his action, must necessarily clothe himself with the great 
attribute of mercy. But notwithstanding its claims, there is still another 
attribute- — justice — which cannot be disregarded without a sacrifice of 
the great ends of good government. And here permit me to add that 
my own experience has taught me that nothing is more natural, or 
savors more strongly of true nobility of heart, than exhibitions of true 
sympathy for other's woes ; while on the other hand a few dangers are 
greater than such as grow out of a too liberal disposition to witness the 
violation of law. In this day we too frequently see the gross offender 
escaping the penalty which he has justly incurred. 

Crimes of the deepest dye are being constantly committed, and in 
far too many instances, for the public good, the offender goes unwhipt of 
justice. Is there not, then, great danger, judging from the increasing 
amount of crime throughout our land, that the too frequent interposition 
of executive clemency will have the effect to increase, rather than dimin- 
ish, the number of those who seek to become its subjects .'' Impressed 
with these considerations, and believing that our laws are based upon 
the great principles of human justice, it rarely occurs that executive 
interpositions are attended with happy results. With reference to the 
case of young Jennings, after a strict examination of the evidence, I am 
unable to see one extenuating circumstance — but, on the other hand, the 
whole plan of murder seems to have been conceived in cold blood and 
executed with a love of vengeance which is absolutely astounding and 
revolting. The deliberation of the act, the cruel and tortuous manner 
which was selected of murdering the deceased, surpasses anything in 
the annals of crime. With a due regard, therefore, to all the facts, 
which in this case assumes far more than ordinary consequence, involv- 
ing, as it does, human life itself, my best convictions of duty prompt me 
to decline any interference with the course of justice which has already 
been prescribed by the properly constituted authorities under our law. 

I have the honor to be very respectfully. 

Your obedient servant, 


The following is the confession of Jennings : 

St. Joseph, Mo., September ist, 1853. 
The following is the voluntary confession of Augustus Otis Jennings, 
condemned for the murder of Edward H. Willard, made in the presence 
of several witnesses : H 

I have thought that the ends of justice, the claims' of humanity, and 
the honor of my family require th'is, a frank confession on my part, of 


the part I and others acted in the unfortunate murder of Willard. My 
conscience prompts me to such a course, and although a man in my con- 
dition—condemned to die for a high crime, may not enjoy the public 
confidence, so far as his word is concerned, I am persuaded, corroborated 
as my confession is by the testimony of others, the power of simple truth 
will place me right before the bar of public opinion. 

In the fear of God, with the certain prospect of death before me in 
few days, I make this confession and exposure. 

I became acquainted with Willard, if my memory serves me right, 
in the spring of 1852, some four or five months before his death. I never 
saw his family — his wife, that I know of, nor did he ever see my family. 
They were never acquainted ; and his acquaintance and mine was what 
we might call a street acquaintance — knew each other on the street. We 
also had some little business transaction, as the sequel will develop. 

With Langston, Jones and Anderson, who stand charged with the 
sume offense with myself, I became acquainted at different periods. 
With Langston about twelve months, with Jones and Anderson only a 
few days before Willard's death. Between them and myself, or their 
families and mine, there never has been any particular intimacy. 

Willard professed to be a carpenter by trade, but was doing business 
in St. Joseph as an auctioneer. He was also settling up the business of 
a Mr. Miller, deceased, at least so I understood from him, and as such 
employed me to make arid set a paling round the grave of the deceased 
Miller. For that labor I charged Willard twenty dollars. In addition to 
this I had another account charged on my books against him, of two dol- 
lars and a half — making in all twenty-two dollars and fifty cents. This 
debt was incurred in June, 1852. 

I believed him to be an honorable man, and had no doubt that he 
would pay me for this labor. He promised to pay me as soon as the 
work should be finished. I had to pay the money out of my own pocket 
for the materials. I was poor, and had a family to maintain entirely by 
my own labor, arid consequently needed the pay. I called on him at a 
suitable time and told him my wants, and he promised to pay me soon. 
I called again, and again, and he always told me the sarne thing. I soon 
began to have doubts about his paying me at all. I thought he had 
means and was able, but did not intend to pay what he justly owed me. 
This somewhat soured my feelings, ,and led me into, or to take that part 
I did in the affair that unfortunately ended in his death. For here, per- 
mit me to anticipate the: sequel by remarking that in all that painful affair, 
my only and constant motive was to use some coercive measures to terrify 
Willard and make him pay me what he owed me — not even to lynch, 
much less to kill, but merely to frighten, was my whole object when I 
began the affair. Nor did I, up to the very moment of his death, intend 
doing anything else than frighten him into the payment of his debts. I 
believed him to able, but unwilling to pay. Subsequent developments 
have, however, satisfied me that the poor fellow had not means to pay 
his debts. 

The very first intimation that I had, from any source whatever, that 
Willard was to be lynched till he would pay his debts, was in the office of 
Craig & Jones, on the morning of his death. The first explicit declara- 
tion of an intent to whip Willard was as we went out to the woods, where 
he was whipped to death. If Langston, Anderson and Jones either or 


all of them intended anything more than terrify him, or perhaps whip 
him, they would have told me of it. 

With the cowhide and rope which I purchased, circumstantially as 
related by the witness dn my trial, I intended to frighten Willard, and if 
used at all, only in lynching him. 

Before we started out to the woods Langston told me that Willard 
said that he had forty-five dollars hid out there in the neighborhood of 
the grave yard ; that he had buried it there while I was setting the paling 
around Miller's grave. I asked Willard in Langston's presence if he had, 
and he answered, " I said it." 

I understood from Anderson, on the day of Willard's death, that 
Willard owed him fifteen dollars, borrowed money. Of Langston I 
understood that he went Willard's security for license to auctioneer, per- 
haps forty-five dollars. From Jones I never understood that Willard 
was in his debt at all. 

With this preface, I will go back and detail the transactions of that 
day, that ended in Willard's death. 

Of the sale of Willard's property, and the confusion and scramble 
among his creditors, that took place the day before Willard's death, it is 
not necessary for me to say much, as that is all well known to the pub- 
lic, and, in fact, I know but very little about it. I was there but a few 
moments. The sale was entirely over when I went to the railroad depot. 
Purchasers were then carrying away the property when I came up. 

Of the many threats against Willard, said to have been on that 
occasion, I heard none. I heard Dr. Harding using scurrilous language 
and contemptuous epithets to Willard, and I saw the doctor wring Wil- 
lard's nose. I told the doctor to let him alone ; that he owed me more 
money than he did him, that it was best to let him alone, &c., about as 
detailed by the witnesses on my trial. If Copeland made any threats 
against Willard that day, I did not hear them ; nor did I ever hear him 
make any. Willard seemed to be drunk, and made no reply to Harding, 
nor to anybody, that I heard. 

That night I expected that some division would be made of the result 
of Willard's sale, and being unwell myself, I went to see my partner in 
business, Mr. Beal, to g'et him to go and attend to getting our propor- 
tion of Willard's property, or the money that it brought at the sale. 
Beal was himself unable to go ; he was that evening sunstuck danger- 
ously ill, and he could not go. Then I returned home, and, after spend- 
ing a few minutes, went to the depot to learn what had been done, or 
what was likely to be done. Here I learned that Willard had gone to 
his residence and reported himself sick, and had sent for a physician, 
and that the doctor (Howard) had reported him to be drunk, or that 
Willard's wife had put her head out of the window and stated to persons 
outside that he was drunk, and when drunk he was a fool, and to wait till 
morning, and all things should be right. With this information, satis- 
fied that matters would be satisfactorily arranged in the morning, I 
returned back home. I should suppose it to have been between ten and 
eleven at night, when I returned home. I did not leave my residence 
till after breakfast next morning. 

I did not see, hear from or correspond with Langston, Anderson, 
Jones, one nor all, nor with any body else that night, in reference to 


1 was not apprized of any design or intent to coerce Wiiliard into a 
payment of his debts. I had not then thought of such a thing myself 
I was acting only with the view to secure my own rights. I was not 
very well. I remained at home through the night, and till after breakfast 
the next morning. / 

The next morning, early after breakfast, I saw Langston, Anderson 
and Willard, all three together, going in the direction of McNew's cab- 
inet shop. After they entered McNew's shop I went across the street to 
the shop and met them coming out of the shop. McNew was not in at 
the time. As they came out they saw McNew coming up, and they 
wanted to see McNew. Willard and McNew went into the wareroom 
for a private conversation. They remained ten or fifteen minutes in the 
private room before they came out. During this private conversation, 
Langston and Anderson walked across the square, I do not now recol- 
lect where. I remained in front of the shop till they came out. 

Of the purport of that private conversation, or what Willard wished 

to see McNew for I then had no idea. 


At the time they came out I was walking back and fro before the 
shop door. I was a stranger to McNew — never had spoken to him, and 
was waiting to speak to Willard on my own business. Up to this hour 
there was no concert among us ; at least none that I knew of in refer- 
ence to taking Willard to the woods. 

Some eighteen paces from McNew's shop, as they came out I met 
them, and asked them "where they were going." One of them, (I do 
not know which) .said "they were going up street." I paused about the 
shop door awhile to see where they were going, thinking they were 
going to get something to drink. After they passed all the drinking- 
houses without stopping, I then started after them. They walked slow, 
appeared to be engaged in conversation, and I overtook them about the 
time they entered Craig & Jones' law office. 

Their business in Craig & Jones' office I did not know, nor have I 
since been informed. Nothing that occurred during the subsequent part 
of the day threw any light on that part of their conduct. McNew, 
he understood, went with him from his shop to the law office. 

During the time that Willard was conversing in the back room with 
Craig or Jones, McNew, Langston, Anderson and myself were sitting in 
the office, and there was no remark, as I recollect, made by any of us in 
reference to Willard at all. Langston made some remark about the 
■"jewelry," " if they were ready," or something to that import. Ander- 
son then by the movement of his hands towards his pantaloons pocket, 
which he partly opened, exposed partly to view what I then supposed to 
be a pair of handcuffs. I afterwards learned that they were handcuffs. 
This was the first intimation I had of any intent even to frighten Willard. 
I remarked to Anderson that he had better not show that. He then 
pushed it back into his pocket. I knew that McNew was an officer — as 
such it flashed into my mind, immediately, that they intended to take 
Willard into the bushes and frighten him till he would agree to pay his 
debts, and I thought it was foolish to expose these handcuffs before 
McNew, was my reason for cautioning Anderson not to show them. 

I here formed in my own mind, what I have since found was a very 
imperfect idea of what was intended to be done with Wiiliard. Had I 


been aware of the results I never should have gone into it. Believing- 
it was only to take him out and frighten him, and at furtherest only to 
lynch him, I connived at it. Here my guilt began. Up to this- hour I 
was an innocent man. In conniving at this I lost my innocence. I have 
ruined myself. I have ruined my family. I shall lose my life. Would 
to God I had left the room, left the company, and gone to my business. 

About the time that Anderson exposed his handcuffs, Langston 
called me across the room to him, ajid privately slipped a dime into my 
hand, making no remark whatever. I had an idea that he meant some- 
thing by that act, but was not certain what ; but thought it meant to go 
and treat myself I went out a square or two, meditating on the mean- 
ing of the act of Langston. It had something peculiar and undefinable 
about it. I returned without treating myself They appeared to be 
waiting for my return. And Langston asked if I had the instrument. I 
asked what instrument ? He whispered to me and said, " a cowhide and 
a rope, too." He said he had no more change or he would give it to me. 
I told him I had change enough to buy a rope— pretty nearly as detailed 
by the witness. I then went and bought the rope and the cowhide. 
Whilst gone after the rope and cowhide, or on my return with them, I 
came up the alley to the Copeland House, and went into the side door 
into the billiard room, passed through the bar-room, out at the door, 
and there I saw Finney, the Deputy Constable ; asked him if he had 
seen Copeland within an hour or so. He said he had not. I told him 
Copeland wished to see him down on Main Street. This I told him, to 
get him off in another part of town, that he might not see what was going 
on. Copeland was township Constable. 

On my return to Craig's office they were ready waiting, and they 
came out, and Langston asked, "If I were ready.-'" I answered I was. 
They then stepped out into the middle of the street together, and had a 
short conversation, while I lingered on the sidewalk. Here Willard 
seemed reluctant to go, and said something about going back to the 
Mayor's office. Langston told him that " he had been there once ; that 
the Mayor would do nothing for him." 

McNew was not there when I returned, and I saw him no more till 
after Willard's death. It was during this conversation, in the middle of 
the street, before the law office, Langston, seeing that I hesitated about 
going any further, called me to th'era, and remarked that Wilard had 
forty-five dollars hid out by the grave-yard. Whereupon I asked Willard 
if he had. He answered, " I said it." Langston told Jones, or remarked 
in general, that we ought to have some whisky to carry along, and asked 
Jones "if he could go and get some." Jones answered, "he could," and 
started off down street in the direction of the Copeland House. We 
then started off up street in the direction of the grave-yard, Willard 
walking between Langston and Anderson, while I lingered some ten or 
fifteen paces behind. I did not notice any threatening or menacing 
actions or language upon the part of Langston or Anderson towards 
Willard till after we passed the last house on the road towards the grave- 
yard or the woods, where Willard was whipped. During this time, as 
we walked out to the woods, as I lingered behind, I run over in my mind 
the object of our visit out there, with what might follow, and had some 
misgivings in mind about going any further, but thought that Willard 
needed some chastisement; perhaps he might have the money hid out 


there ; that I had commenced, and that I would at least go out and see 
the sequel. 

When we arrived at the foot of the hill, they stopped in the middle 
of the road till I came up, and Langston remarked to me, "we might as 
well show him the varment" meaning the cowhide. Whereupon I drew 
out the cowhide. Langston took it out of my hand and rather flourished 
it before Willard's face, asking him how he liked the looks of it. Wil- 
lard remarked to me "Jennings that's not for me, is it.''" I answered, I 
hope not ; show us the money, and do the thing that is right and it shall 
not be." 

We then went on to the top of the hill some ' three hundred yards 
and stopped in the middle of the road. Willard seemed to be indiffer- 
ent about going to where he said the money was hid, and here said he had 
none, and wanted to come to town — wanted to go and see old Johnny 
Crooms. Said he could get the money of him, &c. I told him that was 
only a come off, and that Crooms would not let him have the money. 
Other remarks of the same character were made for a few minutes, when 
Langston remarked, "Willard, you have lied long enough — it is time you 
had shed your linsey." With this remark, Langston commenced unbut- 
toning Willard's vest. Unbuttoning his vest, Langston discovered in 
Willard's bosom, or under the waistband of his pantaloons, a butcher knife. 
Langston snatched it out of Willard's clothes and drew it back behind 
him. He did not draw it back in such a way as to lead me to suppose 
that he intended to stick it into Willard. Buit Jones seemed to appre- 
hend something of the kind, for he snatched it out of Langston's hand 
and gave it to me, and told me to keep it and not let Langston have it. 
I did so — put it in my bosom and kept it until after Willard was dead, 
and then put it in his hat and set it near his head, with his coat and 
vest, after we had packed him away from where he had died to the place 
where he was found by the crowd that went out. 

About the time that I took the butcher knife (it was an old one, 
looked like it had been much used about the house ; it was loosely hung 
in his pants, without any scabbard) Langston slapped Willard in the 
face with his open hand. Jones interfered, laid his hand on Langston 
and said, "don't strike him that way, Billy." 

Langston desisted — struck him no more; but pulled off Willard's 
coat and vest and laid them down in the woods. Here Jones came up 
with a man whose name I understood was Matthews. I never saw him 
before nor heard of him, and have never seen him since Willard's death, 
and do not know what become of him. I shall speak more about him 

Jones produced his bottle of whisky and we all took a drink round, 
Willard, Matthews and all. I, however, put the bottle to my mouth but 
could not drink, it was too hot I had been sick, and was then salivated 
and my mouth was quite, sore. 

Langston then took Willard by the arm and led him off into the 
bushes. Willard made no resistance. I picked up Willard's coat and 
vest and carried them with me, and we all,. Anderson, Jones, Matthews 
and myself followed a few steps behind. We went some twenty-five or 
thirty paces into the thicket west of the road, when Langston stopped 
with Willard, and we all clustered around them. Langston then asked 
for the " Jewelry, " and Anderson pulled out the hand-cuffs. Langston 


told Willard to pull off his shirt. I stepped up and said it would answer 
to turn it up. Langston said it would be in the way. Anderson said it 
was not worth while to tear up his shirt. Willard then pulled of his shirt 
and hat and laid them down near where he stood. Anderson then 
stepped up with the hand-cuffs and tried to put them on Willard but 
could not do it right. Langston then took the hand-cuffs from Ander- 
son and put them on Willard himself Here I produced the rope and 
Anderson fastended it to the hand-cuffs and looked around for a suitable 
tree to tie Willard to. A little red-bud sapling stood not far off. Ander- 
son looked at it and said, "I guess this will do," and tied the other end 
of the rope to the tree. Willard now standing up with his hands 
stretched up nearly on a level with the top of his head and a foot or two 
of loose rope to play on from the tree. His suspenders tied round his 
waist to keep up his pants, with his back naked. 

Langston now took the cowhide in his right hand, standing by Wil- 
lard's left side, and gave him ten or twelve or fifteen stripes. I did not 
think the stripes were severe. They left stripes on his flesh but did not 
draw blood. Willard, however, begged, and every time the cowhide hit 
him he hallooed. It seemed to hurt him considerably. 

Anderson then took the cowhide and gave him about as many stripes 
and about as hard, with about the same effect as did Langston. They 
then handed me the cowhide and said, "ain't you going to give him some 
too.'" I took the cowhide, Willard said, "Jennings, you ain't going to 
whip me, too ?" I said, "Willard, I am a poor man, have to work hard 
for my living and you are cheating me out of my just rights ; you ought 
to be whipped ; I owe it to you ; it is just." And with this I gave him 
about as many stripes, about as hard, and with about the same effect as 
bad Langston and Anderson. 

There was no proposition made to Jones to whip him that I now 
recollect of Whether there was or not, Jones did not whip him then, 
or at any time afterwards. Jones did not strike him at all, at least while 
I was present. Jones helped us to take the body of Willard off after he 
was dead, to the place of concealment, but so far as I know did not touch 
him so as to hurt him during the whole day. When Willafd died Jones 
was the worst frightened man I ever saw. 

We now desisted, and Anderson untied him from the tree and we 
all sat down to talk the matter over. We all drank of the whisky. Wil- 
lard drank also. Something was now said about the forty-five dollars 
buried in the grave-yard. He now said he had none, but still wanted to 
go and see old Johnny Crooms — said he could get the money of him, &c., 
and said something about going to see a maa down towards Lexington, 
Mo., that he could get the money of him, &c., with various subterfuges 
to get off. I believe that I now remarked, "that a little more would set 
him right." Anderson and Langston both then tied him up to the tree, 
and I told him, while I held the cowhide in my hands, "Willard, if you 
have any means to pay us, do so., and save yourself all this." He made 
no reply. I then gave him about as many stripes as I had done before. 
This time, however, as he would pass to and fro, so as to avoid the 
stripes, (for it seemed to hurt this time worse than before, though I am 
not conscious that I struck him any harder,) I changed the cowhide from 
my right hand to my left, giving him four or five licks with the right and 
then that many with the left. 


While I was now whipping him Anderson had gone off a few steps 
and cut some switches ; several, I don't know how many ; they were 
three or four feet long. I don't recollect what kind of wood they were, 
and came up with them about the time that I finished. He threw them 
down on the ground, all of them but one, which he retained in his hand. 
Langston now took the cowhide, and picked up the switches, and used 
both, first one and then the other on Willard. This time Langston hurt 
Tiim much worse, and he complained, begged and hallooed louder, 
especially when Langston used the switches. They were heavier and 
hurt worse than the cowhide. 

I now interposed, and told them that Willard had enough ; I was 
satisfied and my sympathies now began to be with him. I persuaded 
Langston to stop, and I went and untied Willard, and we all set down. 
Willard was now bleeding pretty freely. I thought he had enough. My 
feelings were now bad. The sight of his blood hurt my feelings — I 
struck the poor fellow no more after this ; and from that time till his 
death I did all I could to save him. By this time, however, the others, 
Langston and Anderson, seemed to be under vindictive feelings, and 
were evidently under the influence of whisky. 

I now proposed to turn him loose and let him go, stating that he 
would leave the country no doubt, and not appear against any of us for 
whipping him. He said he would go immediately away and never come 

I then asked Willard ''if he really had no money f" He said "he 
had not a cent in the world ! That his wife had given him a dime that 
morning to pay for his letters, and that he had not another cent." Here 
something was said about his wife having money. Some of us asked "if 
she had any .' whether she kept the money } where she kept it .'' what 
had become of the money that his furniture brought the day before," etc. 
He then said that he had some eight hundred dollars hid in Dr. Keedy's 
field. I knew nothing about the field. Some of the others did. They 
seemed to understand it, and we all agreed that it was a come off. 

He then intimated that perhaps his wife might have as much as 
seventy-five, or eighty dollars in the bureau drawer. I then proposed 
that he should send an order to his wife for it. He said his hands were 
so paralyzed that he could not write. I then told him that I would write 
it for him. To this he agreed, and I did write the order myself, and he 
took the pencil and signed his name to it. Jones took the order to Wil- 
lard's wife, and after being gone a suitable length of time he returned 
with no money — said the: woman had no money — that she said she had 
but a few cents, twenty or thirty cents — some small sum, at least. That 
she said she had given her husband a dime that morning, and had only 
that much left. 

What Jones told the woman I know not, but to the best of my 
recollection, the order contained nothing threatening. After Jones 
returned, we upbraided Willard for deceiving us. Langston said 
■"Snatch him up again." Langston and Anderson tied him up again. 
Then Willard begged and entreated for God's sake to whip him no more. 
He said "he had enough!" He begged hard, poor fellow! I now begged 
for the poor fellow ! I felt bad. I did not know what to do. I walked 
off a few steps. They commenced whipping him again. Langston was 
now whipping him, but I thought not so hard as before. But Willard 


complained most bitterly. I started off with an intent to leave entirely, 
when Langston asked me where I was going. I replied " after a drink," 
Willard said, "Jennings, for God's sake, bring me some water ! " Langs- 
ton now handed me the bottle, .and said, "bring also some whisky," I 
came then down to the grocery, as stated by the witness on my trial,, 
and purchased a jug with the privilege of returning it that evening, and 
getting my money back (which I did), and the bottle of whisky, and 
returned immediately, I should not have returned at all but to carry 
the water to Willard, with some desire that I might interfere for him. 
I now began to fear the thing might be pushed too far. I was not 
absent, I should think, more than thirty minutes. 

On my return I found them all setting down on the ground, Willard 
looked bad ; he showed signs of exhaustion ; looked languid. I did not 
ask them but they had evidently been whipping him pretty severely 
while I was absent. I gave Willard some whisky but he did not seem to 
relish it. He drank freely of the water and said it was good. The 
others drank freely of the whisky. I now took Langstoii and Anderson 
to one side and begged them to desist — told them that they had given 
him enough — too much, I poured the water on Willard's head, I 
remained with them twenty or thirty minutes. While I was there they 
did not whip him any more, 

I took the jug to go after more water and Langston handed me the 
the bottle and told me to bring more whisky. I then came down to the 
Farmer's House atjd lingered about there a few minutes, when three 
young men asked me to join them in a game of cards. I consented and 
set down in the bar-room and played cards for perhaps an hour, I was 
at the Farmer's House at least an hour and a half Jones came in about 
this time. I saw him as he came up. He had been down town and was 
returning to the woods. I met him at the door. He had a little tin 
bucket in his hands, and said that he had been after their dinners, I 
previously understood that morning that they had not had their break- 
fast. I requested Jones to take the jug of water and bottle of whisky 
with him, that I did not intend to return any more, Jones said that he 
could not very well take them and the dinner. And he further said that 
he would like to have me go up anyhow, saying, " I think that they have 
given him enough, and if you will go up perhaps we can persuade them 
to quit," And with this view only I went up. When we arrived they 
were all setting down on the ground. I looked at Willard and the poor 
fellow looked horribly bad. He was now badly blooded and I saw that 
they had beaten him desperately while I was gone. He was setting on 
the ground with his head rather resting on his hands, which were sup- 
ported by his knees. I approached him and asked him if he would have 
some whisky. He said nothing, but shook his head. I told him to 
smell of it and held it to his nose. He merely breathed over' it, I 
insisted that he should taste of it and held it to his mouth. He took 
some in his mouth but spit it out again. He did not swallow any of it. 
I again told Langston and Anderson that they had given him enough— 
too much. So said Jones. Langston and Anderson both said they 
intended to give him more. I told them to eat their dinners first, per- 
haps they might feel in a better humor after dinner. In the meantime 
I had given Willard a drink of water. He drank heartily but did not 


seem to relish it — it did not revive him. I poured some of the water 
upon him, and also poured some of the whisky upon his head. 

Langston and Anderson now stepped some ten or twelve paces to 
one side and set down to eat their dinner. They asked me to join them 
in eating dinner. My mouth was too sore to eat the victuals that Jones had 
brought ; it was bread, meat and potatoes. Nor did I feel in the humor to 
eat. I stepped aside with them, however. Jones said that he had eaten 
his dinner at home and could not eat any more. Jones seemed to sym- 
pathize with Willard, and while we stepped aside to eat, Jones remained 
with him, and stood not very far from him, governed by no other motive 
I think, but sympathy. He stood a few feet from him. Langston and 
Anderson had just begun to eat, had eaten but a few mouthfuls, when 
Jones remarked, "Willard is dying !" We'-all sprung to our feet and run 
to him, and by the time that we got to him he had lain down on his back, 
and afterwards breathed not a single breath. His vital powers were all 
exhausted. He had lost much blood, had been some hours in indescrib- 
able physical suffering, and now died as easy as going to sleep. I never 
saw anybody die any easier than he died. 

Here we all stood around the fellow, and it came upon us in an 
instant, with all its terrible reality, that we had murdered him ! 

I believe that I was more self-possessed in this awful crisis than 
either of the others. Jones was the worst frightened man I ever saw in 
my life ! Langston was considerably agitated and alarmed. So was 
Anderson. It was a terrible time. The reader cannot possibly appre- 
ciate our feelings. 

I think that I first broke silence by asking, " Boys, what will you do ?" 
Langston spoke and said, "We will take him off and conceal him, and 
at night we will come and throw him into the Missouri River." Langs- 
ton said, " Let no man reveal this," or words to that effect. I then took 
Willard's shirt, while the rest held him up, and put it on him. I also 
drew up his pantaloons around his waist. They were down around his 
ankles. In putting on his shirt and drawing up his pants I noticed that 
the fellow was awfully whipped. I know nothing about the wounds on 
Willard's head, as spoken of by the surgeons that made the post mortem 
examination. I did not notice them, but I have no doubt but the whip- 
ping was sufficient and did produce his death. 

After putting on his shirt and adjusting his pants, Langston took 
hold of one arm and I the other ; Anderson took hold of one leg and 
Jones the other, and we bore him off some forty or fifty yards into the 
thicket to the place of concealment. I don't now recollect that a word 
was spoken by any of us as we bore him away. We did not drag him 
that I recollect of, though we might have let some part of his body touch 
the ground as we went through the thicket, but I think not. After lay- 
ing him down in the thicket, as he was subsequently found by the crowd 
that went out that afternoon, we all returned to the place of whipping. 
I then took Willard's hat, his vest, coat and boots, and returned with 
them to the dead body, as it lay in the thicket, and laid them all down 
together, not far from his head. I turned round to go back, and then 
remembered that I had Willard's butcher knife in my bosom, and I 
turned about and put the knife in his hat, and then left and went to the 
place of whipping, and found them standing about. Jones, I think, at this 
time was throwing the switches away, and other ways trying to obliterate 


the evidence of the transaction. Some short conversation now took place 
between us, about the best way to act so as to keep the thing concealed. 
We soon agreed in the manner of separately going into town. Jones 
handed me the rope and I subsequently threw it into Blacksnake. I 
don't know who took the cowhide nor the hand-cuffs. Jones took the 
bucket that had the dinner in it. I took the jug ; I don't know who took 
the bottle. Jones now struck off into the bushes by himself Langston,. 
Anderson and I came down the road together to the Farmers' House. 
Here Langston went in, and Anderson and I came on to the grocery,, 
where I had got the jug. Matthews, spoken of before, had not been with 
us from the time the whipping began in the morning ; I did not perceive 
when nor how he left us. I have since understood from my fellow suf- 
ferers that he lay round there in the thicket and saw all that took place, 
and then left for parts unknown. He took no part in the matter what- 
ever, and the only motive that he could have had in being present was a 
curiosity to see what was going on. Of Jones, the motive that took him 
there, I have never been able to comprehend. He seemed to have no 
ill-feeling whatever towards Willard, did not a thing under the heavens 
to hurt him, seemed to sympathize with him, took his part, evidently 
kept Langston from hurting him, and yet took out the first bottle of 
whisky, took the order to Willard's wife, went after the dinner, and 
helped us carry the body to the place of concealment after the man was 
dead, and the only pay he seemed to have received at all, as Willard 
owed him not a cent, was the most terrible fright mortal man, perhaps, 
ever got. 

At the grocery where I got the jug, Anderson and I remained but 
a minute or two, just long enough for me to hand up the jug and get 
back my money, when we went back to the Farmers' House. Here we 
found Langston, and joined him in taking a drink of whisky. Mr. Heed, 
about this time, stepped in, and some of us asked him to take a drink 
with us. He thanked us, and remarked that he was in a hurry; took a 
drink of water only, and started off in the direction that we had just come. 
Langston now stepped out at one door, Anderson and I at the other ; 
we soon fell in together on the street, and came down town. About 
halfway between the Farmers' House and the bridge across Blacksnake 
we met and passed a woman. Just after we passed her Langston 
remarked, " that is Willard's wife." Anderson nor I knew her. I 
turned, however, and looked at her as she walked in the direction that we 
had just come. As soon as we crossed the bridge on Blacksnake we sepa- 
rated. I went down on to Main Street, and Langston and Anderson in 
the direction of their houses, and I saw no more of them till I saw them 
in prison. 

We left Craig's law office in the morning, I should think, between 
eight and nine o'clock. We parted at the bridge across Blacksnake, I 
should think, not later than two o'clock in the afternoon — it was the 27th 
day of July, 1852. I well remember that it was a beautiful, bright, sun- 
shiny day, but rather warm. The whole of the transaction as detailed 
above, in reference to Willard's death, took place just as I have here 
stated, in manner and order of time, with the part that I and others 
took in it, to the best of my recollection. So help me God ! Freely, 
frankly, and honestly made, without reservation or concealment. And 
oh, what a day's work that was ! 


The first place that I stopped at on Main Street was in a black- 
smith's shop. I stepped in and talked a few minutes with a man about 
doing some painting for me. From there I went directly to my own 
residence. My wife was at home by herself, pleasant and kind in feeling; 
knowing nothing about the transactions of the day. She asked me what 
detained me that I was not home to dinner .-' I made some evasive 
reply. She spread dinner on the table for me, and I sat down and eat a 
bite by myself; remained only a few minutes at home, and then went 
round to my shop. I remained a short time in my shop, then took my 
book and went to Estes' tin shop, to have some settlement with him. 
There was some business transactions between us. Estes was not in ; I 
was told that he had just stepped out but would be in in a few minutes. 
I waited till he came in — quite a good while. When he did come in I 
learned of him that the murder of Willard had been found out, that the 
body had been'found, and that a great crowd had gone out there, and 
that he had been and seen the body. He was very much excited, and 
could not talk of anything else but the murder of Willard. Of him I 
received ten dollars, and he said at some other time we would have a 
settlement. I then went back to my shop, put my book in the chest, 
locked it up, made some other little arrangements about the shop, and 
returned home. It was now supper time. I eat a light supper and was 
sitting in the front door of my house, with my wife and family, just at 
dusk, when Jacob Langston, son of the old gentleman, came in at the back 
door, (this was the first time that he ever came to my house), and said 
he wanted to see me. He appeared to be somewhat excited and much 
affected. We stepped aside into the little porch, and he told me of Wil- 
lard's murder, that his body had been found, etc., and that his father had 
been arrested on suspicion of being engaged in the murder, and he 
wanted to know of me, " if I knew whether his father had any hand in 
the matter." I gave him some evasive answer, which, however, did not 
seem to satisfy him. He soon went away, and I then went round to my 
partner, Mr. Beal's. He had recovered from his "sun-stroke," and was 
up. He told me that I was suspicioned of having some hand of Willard's 
murder, and asked me if it were so ! Said he hoped it was not so ! I 
denied it, and somewhat evaded the conversation. I remained at Mr. 
Beal's but a short time, when I returned back to my residence. A few 
steps from my door, young Langston met me,, and seemed much inter- 
ested, and wanted to find out whether his father was concerned in it. 
Let me depart from the thread of my narrative here, just long enough to 
say that young Langston had no part in the murder of Willard whatever. 
I am almost certain that he knew nothing about it. He was entirely 
innocent of the whole matter. 

When young Langston came to my house the second time, he and I 
walked out on Main Street to see what was going on, and to make what 
observations we could. I still held out to young Langston that if his 
father had any hand in it that I was not aware of it, still affecting an 
innocence on my part. We walked down Main Street to Robidoux' 
corner ; paused there awhile, and then went on to the Public Square. 
There were a good many people on the Public Square at the time, and there 
had been more excitement about Willard's murder than I was aware of 
at the time. The people were somewhat scattered and scattering at the 
time. They were collecting and had collected in little groups in differ- 


ent parts of the Square, and were in low, under-toned conversation. 
There was evidently quite an indignant feeling in the public towards the 
perpetrators of the deed. Young Langston and I mixed not with any 
of these little squads of folks, but passed through — made but a short 
walk, and returned. I saw and recognized several persons during this 
walk. Dr. Crane particularly I recollect passing, and spoke to him, and 
I think he returned the salutation, "Good evening," or something like 
that. Young Langston and I soon separated. He went on and I returned 
to my own house, not later than ten at night, I should think, and went 
to bed. My wife in the meantime had heard of the murder of Willard — 
that Langston, Anderson and Jones had been arrested, and that rumor 
and suspicion connected me with them. She was uneasy and mentioned 
it to me. I denied knowing anything about it, and quieted her as best 
I could, and Jhen went to sleep. I was not very stout, being unwell, as 
I have before stated ; had been on my feet all day, and the part I had 
borne in Willard's death was taxing my powers pretty heavily. In my 
mind I was not apprehending any danger. I knew that there would be 
a trial the next day of Langston, Anderson and Jones, and supposed 
that I should be called on as a witness only. I had no dread of being 
apprehended myself Under all these circumstances I slept very quietly 
during the night. 

I remained in doors next morning, with the exception of doing what 
we call "chores," till after breakfast. I then went round to my shop, 
intending to work a little. I made some start at work — brought in a few 
plank ; made some directions in relation to business with one or two 
persons, and began perhaps to use the saw on some of the plank, when 
friends began to come in. One and another and another stepped in. 
The conversation was almost entirely about the murder of Willard. 
There was an intense feeling about it. Several persons told me that sus- 
picion strongly rested on me as being engaged in the affair. Mr. Hoag- 
land, I recollect, told me that I was strongly suspected, and asked me : 
"Jennings, are you guilty or not guilty?" I denied it. Others told me 
the same. At length some person came into the shop and took me out 
to one side and told me that a warrant was out for me, and that I would 
soon be apprehended, and said: "Jennings, the excitement is very high, 
and I would advise you to leave for a few days, till the excitement is 
over, and then return. Others soon advised the same thing. And I 
reflected on the matter — thought perhaps I had better leave for awhile. 
There was no Judge then in this district. I did not know how long I 
might have to be in jail. The public feeling ran very high, and I thought 
best to absent myself at least for a few days. 

I made it convenient to see a few friends with whom I had business, 
obtained a little money, went to a store and purchased a pair of shoes, 
and went round home. There I met my sister, Mrs. Hebron. She had 
heard of all these things, and had come round to see about them. She and 
my wife were both much alarmed, and wept bitterly. I told them not to 
be alarmed ; that all things would come round right. I told them that I 
would withdraw for a few days, till the excitement was over, etc. I put 
on clean linen, and immediately left. I took the road out by the rope- 
walk. At the forks of the road I took the Savannah road ; then again . 
took the Rochester road till out a mile or two ; I left the main road and 
took the prairie, brush, woods and by-paths. Without taxing the patience 


•of the reader with an uninteresting narrative of this adventure, in which 
in fact nothing remarkable or that would be interesting to the public 
occurred. I worted my way into DeKalb County. From Maysville, on 
Friday morning, I wrote back to my brother-in-law, Mr. Hebron. This 
letter was soon at hand, and by it my whereabouts was soon known. On 
Saturday morning I was arrested, some six or seven miles north of Mays- 
ville, by Officers Heed and Finney, and brought back to St. Joseph the 
same day. We arrived in town about sunset. On our arrival in town I 
was put in prison. In prison I found already Langston, Anderson and 
Jones. They had been apprehended and put in prison on Tuesday night, 
and had been brought before Justices Wash and Lewis, and their trial 
before this examing court begun. The next Monday being election, the 
further proceeding in their trial was postponed till Thursday, there being 
three days of election. I now was placed with them for trial, and the trial 
set for Thursday. 

When I was introduced into prison I found Langston, Anderson and 
Jones. They appeared tolerably cheerful — were disappointed at seeing 
me — said they supposed that I was entirely gone, and seemed rather to 
regret that I had been apprehended. 

Thirteen long months have these poor fellows, Langston, Anderson, 
Jones and myself lain in prison together. Always, except when separated 
by the officers for a few hours, or days at furtherest, during my trial, in the 
same room. These thirteen months have been to me an age ! Nor has 
the time dragged less heavily with them. During this wearisome time 
we have lived in peace with one another. There has been no recrimina- 
tion, no censuring each other, no bickering, and but very seldom has the 
matter been spoken of at all. We all understand ourselves — know the 
part each acted in that tragedy, and have generally been silent about it. 
To-morrow I shall separate from them — my companions in guilt — my 
companions in suffering, and from my very soul I pity them ! I pity 
their families ! I wish I could help them ! But I cannot. I bear against 
them no bad feelings in the world. Myself, and myself only, do I blame 
for this that no.w hangs over me — there never has been a hard word 
passed between us in prison. 

I know not what disposition, of course, that the court will make of 
Langston, Anderson and Jones. It would meet my hearty approbation, 
and I wish I knew such were the case, that they might be acquitted and 
restored to their families. Willard is dead — was most inhumanly mur- 
dered ; his family is ruined. I have laid in jail thirteen long months and 
suffered more than a thousand deaths. They, too, have suffered equally 
as much ; our families are all crushed down to rise no more — ruined 
forever. I have to die. The blood of a thousand men would not make 
atonement for Willard's. If the divine claims of "Eye for an eye, tooth 
for tooth," be just, my death ought to satisfy the claims of justice, how- 
ever others may have bore a conspicuous and even leading part in the 
crime. I say then, ifit could be compatible with the claims of the law, and 
the ends of justice could be satisfied without their blood, I would rather 
Langston, Anderson and Jones could be spared. 

Thursday came and we were all four arraigned before the examining 
court — Wash and Lewis presiding. Gen. Gardenhire, assisted by Vories, 
appeared for the State and Hughes, Leonard and Loan appeared for 
Langston and Jones, and Jones for Anderson, and Johnson for me. 


The examination before the court lasted several days. Excitement 
was high, feelings intense, and of course a great many things said all 
round that would not have been said under less exciting circumstances. 
The prosecution was conducted with ability and firmness. And I can 
now reflect back and believe that it was as impartially conducted as it 
could have been done under the circumstances. 

The attorneys for the defense were and are men of talents, profes- 
sional ability and zeal and were true and faithful to their clients. I 
believe that they have done their duty. "At the end of the examination 
we all stood committed to the next term of the Circuit Court, which 
would have come off in September, but their being no judge in this dis- 
trict our trials remained over to the spring term. However, in the 
meantime, the judge was elected and a called term of court held in 
November on our cases. Before the grand jury our cases were brought, 
true bills found and our trials set for spring. 

At the March term, Judge Norton' presiding, our cases came up. 
Langston took a change of venue to Clinton County. Langston stood 
before the Clinton term, but the State was not ready and his case was 
continued till the fall term, and he remanded back to this prison for safe 
keeping. Jones put his trial off till the fall term. Anderson's case \yas 
brought before an adjourned term in June and put over to the fall term, 
and my friends thought my trial had better come off then. My lawyers 
obtained the aid of Judge Wyatt and my friends employed Mr. Wilson of 
Platte City. Craig, assisted by Vories, appeared for the state. A day 
or two was spent in settling the preliminaries of my trial. Nearly a day 
was occupied in empannelling a jury. lilorris and Smith were the only 
men on the jury I knew. To the others I was an entire stranger. The 
jury, I thought, was composed of honorable, intelligent men. My lawyers 
were satisfied with them and so was I. The prosecution also was satis- 
fied. Several days were occupied in the trial. The witnesses were 
numerous and the examination and cross-examination close and rigid. 

During the trial, many questions, purely legal, came up before the 
court that had a bearing on the case. My attorneys took exceptions to 
some of Judge Norton's decisions ; whereupon I afterwards appealed to 
the Supreme Court, which, however, availed me nothing, only the post- 
ponement of the time of execution. 

The testimony on my trial gave as little grounds for animadversion 
on, my part, now that death is before me, I believe, as I could have 

When the witnesses were all examined, the counsel, both for the 
state and for me, made able, learned, eloquent and powerful addresses to 
the jury. Late on Friday evening the jury took the case and retired. 
They were out not exceeding thirty minutes when they returned with a 
verdict of ^^ Guilty of murder in the first degree, as charged in the indict- 
ment!' Saturday I received sentence of the court, and the third day of 
June set for my execution ; while I was remanded back to prison. 

Some of my friends have thought that my feelings, during my trial, 
were not suitable, and did not comport with a correct, taste and a noble 
mind. That I was indifferent, &c. These things, I now presume, were 
so. I was not then able to appreciate my true condition. I had passed 
the most severe ordeal the last eight or ten months that man could pos- 
sibly pass. All earth seemed to be against me. The scorn and con- 


tempt of public sentiment poured in on my crushed soul like the flood- 
tide. My wife and family I knew were ruined. My intimate companions 
in prison were not able to help rhe — all these things threw my whole 
feelings into the defensive — they were bad. Now that the storm has 
somewhat passed over, and I crushed to the very earth — prostrated low, 
humbled to the dust, I can look back and see my own errors ; and oh, 
will the reader spare me the mentioning them ! 

I had not' proper feelings, and consequently did not act myself. I 
was advised that the Supreme Court would order me a new trial, and 
looked forward to the new trial in hope, for the chance of being released. 
Thus held up I did not take the correct view of my true and proper con- 
dition. I had all the time, however, misgivings about the issue — some- 
thing terribly haunted me the whole time. 

In July the Supreme Court set in Jefferson City, and the case came 
up. On hearing the case the court affirmed the decision of the Circuit 
Court and fixed the 2nd day of September (to-morrow) for my execution. 
This decision of the Supreme Court somewhat disappointed me and 
greatly crushed my feelings. No one can realize what my feelings were 
that never had the trial of it. A black cloud now began to gather over 
my horizon and hang over my pathway. Only one ray of hope now pen- 
etrated this dark cloud. That was an appeal to the Governor — to beg 
for executive interference. Here was my last hope. 

My friends went to work ; petitions were drawn up and numerously 
signed by good and worthy citizens in my behalf. Among a host of 
others who generously came to my assistance on this occasion, I must 
mention the name of the Rev. William Prottsman, of Dover, Mo. He 
generously gave me all the assistance that a noble mind could have 
given. In the success of an application for executive interference (the 
petition set forth a desire for a change of punishment to imprisonment 
for life in the penitentiary,) I had hope — desire ; but my hopes were 
not very sanguine. Many friends advised me not to look forward with 
much reliance to that source, particularly the Rev. Mr. Boyakin, whose 
sympathy for me has been worthy of the man and his high calling, and 
whose views and judgment were always right on this matter. He told 
me from the beginning that the Governor would not interfere. The 
petitions were, however, laid at his feet and a condemned man asked the 
poor boon which could have been constitutionally given, to be allowed 
to live his lifetime at hard service in the penitentiary. But to live, after 
I have thought the whole matter dispassionately over, and my mind 
made up to die, and have become almost willing to die, I hardly know 
whether I would now accept the boon if offered. Perhaps I might. 

Anyhow, when the telegraph brought word from my friends at the 
court of Governor Price, that the Governor, after examining my papers, 
said he could "see no reason for the interference of executive clemency," 
that last ray of hope was cut off. 

At first I was disposed to give way to bad feelings towards the 
Governor, and said things about him and others I am now sorry for. A 
paroxysm of disappointed hope, despair and crushed feelings drove me 
nearly to desperation. At this time Christian friends came to my relief. 
They gave good counsel, sympathized with me and prayed for me. 
Among a great many others I will mention Rev. Mr. Vandeventer, and 
Boyakin ; I believe that they have done their whole duty to me. Their 


counsel, attention, visits and sympathy have been well tinned and wise. 
Under God, to them I am indebted for what I think to be a proper frame 
of mind to die in. They have pointed to the Lamb of God. They have 
gone there with me. Honestly I have tried to confess my sins ; I deplore 
them, from my very heart I abhor them. I hope for divine mercy; I 
believe that I shall have it. I shall die a penitent, trusting only on the 
blood of Christ for salvation. And I have in my bosom a consciousness 
that my suit to him has not been in vain. These gentlemen I have 
invited to attend with me to-morrow at my execution, and painful as it 
may be and will be to them, they have consented to be present. 

I wish my amanuensis, who is better acquainted with my motives 
and heart than any man living, who has been with me the last three or 
four days constantly; into whose bosoml have poured the whole secret 
treasury of my own heart, to gather such materials of a biographical 
character as may be furnished him by my wife and brother, concerning 
me, and append it to this, my confession, and to give such assistance as 
may be needed in correcting the proof-sheet of the same for publication. 
And I furthermore wish that he will see that after the expenses of the 
publication of this, my confession, shall be defrayed, if anything is fur- 
ther realized by the sale of the same, that it go to the benefit of my wife. 
I also request of those gentlemen who were present the other evening, 
and heard from my own lips the details of WiUard's murder, and who 
are now present and hear this confession read and acknowledged, to 
assist in carrying out these my wishes on this subject. I trust in them; 
I know they will do so. 

As the last day that I am to live wears away, and I am endeavoring 
to prepare for all the awful realities of to-morrow, I must do myself the 
justice and give my friends the satisfaction to know that I am in peace 
with all mankind! Towards the Governor, and the attorneys who have 
plead against me, and the court, judge, jury and witnesses, one and all, I 
have no ill feelings whatever. My mind is easier on this subject than I 
thought possible for it to be. I have had my enemies and this affair has 
of course made me many, and they have been very virulent in their lan- 
guage and bitter in their feelings against me ; I heartily forgive them. 

To my friends what shall I say .'' I have not language to express my 
wishes. They have been everything that friends could be, said every- 
thing that friends could have said, and have done everything that 
friends could have done. From the first hour of my incarceration in 
prison, I have enjoyed the attention of friends, many, very many! Oh, 
that I could reward them. In the officers I have found sympathizing 
friends. Sheriff Smith has been to me like a brother. While he has 
faithfully performed the duties of his office, he has done everything in 
his power to make my circumstances as comfortable as possible. I 
deeply sympathize with him in his late heavy affliction. I hope he will 
not let his feelings be mortified at that painful duty devolving on him 
to-morrow. I shall have no unkind feelings towards him for it. I 
believe Smith to be a Christian man, and I hope to meet him in heaven. 
Mr. Creal, the jailer, and his family, have brought me under infinite obli- 
gations to them. A man condemned to be hung, perhaps never ha:d the 
kind attention paid to him in jail as Creal and his family have paid to 
me and to my family, my wife in her deep affliction, and at the same 


time he has been faithful as an officer. Creal is a man of unbounded 
sympathy. He is one of the best men in the world. 

My lawyers, Johnson, Wyatt and Wilson, have done all that talents 
and faithfulness could have done for me. They are now suffering in feel- 
ings for me. Adieu, gentlemen. I regret that your affections could not 
have found a worthier object ! I know your feelings, you cannot come 
to see me ; I appreciate them. Adieu ! Adieu ! 

My brother and sister Hebron are prostrated I know in feeling. 
What shall I say to them ! They have my kindest feelings. May God 
bless you. 

My brother, Wesley Jennings, in all this affair, has shown himself to 
be more than an ordinary man for his age, and such I am advised is the 
estimate that the public puts oh his conduct before this community. He 
came to my assistance early in last March, and from that time to the 
present he has been more than a brother to me. He has stuck close to 
me, administered to all my wants ; constantly sympathized with me. 
He has nobly braved the storm of public indignation ; stood up solitary 
and alone for his brother, yet he has, so far as I have heard, acted pru- 
dent. I am happy that he enjoys the public confidence. His noble, 
innocent, manly young heart is now bleeding at every pore. From my 
very soul I pity him. I can only say to him look up my brother ! go on, 
act manly, form no bad habits, keep no evil company, and a bright sun 
will yet light up your pathway. You are worthy of a better brother 
than I am. 

My wife, Nancy, is here with me, and from the day that my hands 
were stained with Willard's blood, to this day, she has been faithful in 
her attention to my wants ; her attachment and love has been as con- 
stant and as true as a magnet. Her troubles have been overwhelming, 
poor, broken-up, without friends, husband in jail, charged with a high 
crime, public contempt sweeping in on' us like a mighty flood. Her 
infant she buried in November, in April she became a mother again. 
Exposed without a home, friendless, from first one boarding-house to 
another, she finally, propelled by the present motives that ever swelled 
a woman's heart, by the permission of the Sheriff and Jailer, she come to 
to the jail, and has been with me constantly, and has said and done 
everything under the heavens that a wife could do, for my welfare ; 
through the hot sun and driving winds, and pelting storms, with a sick 
child at home, and a broken heart, pale, wan, emaciated, trembling 
limbs and a worn down constitution, has that woman gone all over this 
town in my behalf, and when the last only hope remained, woman-like, 
with the crisis, she rose above it, and held me up in her affections, and 
in every part of this town did she canvas with a petition, and begged 
the names of the citizens in my behalf, through the whole storm of pub- 
lic contempt did she, by the majesty of true devotion to her husband,, 
press her way to their affections. Public sentiment can never do her 
justice, she is worthy of a better husband than she has had. Her last 
and only child fell a victim to her devotion to me. Noble woman t 
Three years ago this day (the ist of September), she pledged herself to 
nie ; hand and heart she gave before the marriage altar to me, and most 
faithful has she been to this present hour. 

By an arrangement, and an understanding between my wife and her 
brother, Mr. Oliver Beall, who is now present with me— has lately come 


to see me, and be with me and pay his last tribute of respect — she will 
go home with him to live. He will henceforth become her adviser and 
protector. To him she will look for advice and protection, and I beg of 
her to live so in the future as to merit the esteem of the good ; to give 
her heart to God ; to make Him her friend, and though your troubles 
are overwhelming, He will sustain you. I pray you to forgive me all my 
want of kindness to you. All that I can do is to beg forgiveness for it ; 
I know that your noble heart will and has already forgiven me. Let us 
prepare to meet together in Heaven. Farewell, Nancy! farewell, till we 
meet in a better world than this! 

In Mr. Beall I have the utmost confidence ; he is a prudent, safe 
man, and will be kind to my wife. 


The following is a copy of a note, dictated and written by himself 
an hour and a half before he left the prison for the scaffold : 

Being possessed of nothing more valuable, and being desirous, from 
the numerous acts of kindness and benevolence, of which I have been 
the happy recipient, from the Rev. W. F. Boyakin, I herewith present 
him with my portemonie, in order that he may kindly bear in remem- 
brance the grateful thanks of an unfortunate man, in whose present and 
future welfare he has taken such deep and lively interest. 

And may the God of mercy abundantly reward and bless the con- 
demned man's friend. 

September 2, 1853. 

Immediately after penning the above touching lines, he wrote with 
his own hand the following, to Mrs. Beall, wife of O. E. Beall, brother to 
Mrs. Jennings : 

St. Joseph, Mo., September 2, 1853. 

Dear Sister : In a few hours I shall exclaim, " This is the last of 
earth !" It is painful to be thus rudely torn from dearly cherished 
friends and relations. But it is a blissful consolation to reflect that in a 
few days, or a few short years at most, we shall again be united in that 
happy world, where heart-rending separations are never known — nor 
cannot come. I cannot write any more. Be kind to Nancy. She has 
been a guardian angel to me through all my trials and difficulties. Her 
heart is broken — her spirit is crushed. Oh, Cornelia, comfort and con- 
sole her in her affliction. 

I know your kind heart and generous nature will afford her all the 
consolation in your power. Adieu ! Adieu ! Adieu ! May your kind 
and affectionate husband share a better fate than mine — is the prayer of 
your affectionate brother. 

Mary C. Beall. 

The Rev. W. F. Boyakin was with him in his cell, from eight till 
ten o'clock of the morning of his execution. The prisoner was then left 


for an hour to enjoy a private interview with his brother and brother-in- 
law, his wife having taken leave of him at seven in the morning. At 
■eleven, Rev. Mr. Boyakin returned to his cell, and remained with him till 
they went to the place of execution. 

At nine in the morning, the Robidoux Grays, commanded by Cap- 
tain Hughes, being summoned by Sheriff Smith to keep order and assist 
in the execution of the laws, filed into the prison yard, with martial 
music, in military dress and arms, and took a position in front and round 
the prison. At this time the prisoner was dictating the address that he 
subsequently delivered on the scaffold, and remarked to his amanuensis, 
" martial music excites me^it brings to my mind the Mexican war. I 
wish they would have no more of it." . His wish was immediately com- 
municated to Captain Hughes, and kindly complied with. 

At twelve precisely, the sheriff entered his cell, in the presence of 
his spiritual adviser, with the remark, " Mr. Jennings I have another 
painful duty to perform," and began unfolding some papers. The pris- 
oner anticipated his business, and said : " My death warrant I suppose. 
Save yourself the pain ; you need not read it." But on being informed 
that the law made it obligatory on the sheriff, he consented, and remained 
silent till it was read. After reading it, the sheriff turned to one side 
and wept, and the prisoner said in a calm tone to his spiritual adviser, 
" All life is a shade. This is a dark spot in the shade of life." The car- 
riage now drove to the front door of the jail, the military paraded in 
proper order around it, and, preceded by Sheriff Smith, the prisoner, arm 
in arm with the Rev. Mr. Boyakin, left the jail door and entered the car- 
riage, immediately followed by the Revs. Messrs. Vandeventer and 
Hurst and Drs. Crane and Chambers^all took seats in the same open 
carriage. The immense concourse of people, already assembled round the 
prison yard, now slowly opened a passage way, through which the carriage, 
escorted by the military, passed in slow and solemn silence ; and then, 
in the same funeral-like procession, proceeded to the place of execution, 
some three-quarters of a mile southeast of town. The place of execu- 
tion was out in the open prairie, east of Mr. Patee's farm, in the valley, 
surrounded by a splendid amphitheatre of hills — those picturesque hills 
•of Blacksnake. The scaffold was formed in the centre of the valley, 
with a convenient platform seven or eight feet high, upon which six or 
■eight persons might conveniently stand. A part of this scaffold was so 
•adjusted, trap-door fashion, as to fall at the cutting of a rope. With 
this the prisoner fell about five feet, and then swung, suspended with his 
• feet leveral feet above the ground. 

From the time the prisoner left the jail yard to the place of execu- 
tion, a conversation was kept up between the prisoner and the gentle- 
men with him in the carriage. The conversation was mostly, but not 
entirely, about the dread realities soon to occur. The Mexican war, 


General Scott, his character, military talents, and bravery, were descanted 
on freely by the prisoner. 

The whole tenor of that part of his conversation upon religion ort 
the way, called out but the one sentiment from the prisoner, and that 
was, that he was happy, thought he would die happy, hoped he would 
die easy, &c. 

On approaching the place of execution, as the carriage reached the 
hill in view of the scaffold, an immense multitude, already assembled, 
spread over the surrounding hillsides, presented themselves to view. One 
of the company asked the prisoner, " if this scene had ever been presented 
to his imagination, either asleep or awake .■'" " A thousand times," was 
the reply. " How does the real compare with the imaginary i"" was fur- 
ther asked. " I was not prepared to see so many," was the calm reply. 

On arriving at the scaffold, the carriage halted, and the prisoner,, 
with the gentlemen with him, remained some ten minutes in the car- 
riage, while the military was forming in proper order. Captain Hughes 
then ascended the platform, and gave notice that " he had been sum- 
moned, with his company, to see that the laws were faithfully executed ; 
that he expected order, and was able and determined to enforce it." 

The gentlemen, surgeons, sheriff and prisoner then aiscended the 
platform ; all kneeling, while the Rev. Mr. Vandeventer prayed. The 
prisoner then read in a firm, clear, distinct voice, a statement written 
just before he left his cell, immediately after which he took an affection- 
ate leave of those with him on the platform. During this, every one on 
the platform but the prisoner wept. He begged them not to weep ; said 
he was ready, firm ; should suffer but a few minutes ; would soon be happy, 
&c. The sheriff then adjusted the rope round his neck, and tied his 
arms back, and placed a cap over his head and face. His last remark 
was in answer to Rev. Mr. Boyakin, who asked him " if the rope seemed 
that it worked well, and if he now, on the threshold of eternity, was 
firm in his Christian faith .'" " The rope works easy," he remarked^ 
moving round his head, so as to try it. " I think I shall die easy, and 
I am firm in my trust in Christ." The Rev. Mr. Boyakin then prayed. 
At the close of this prayer the trap-door fell, and the prisoner was sus- 

Contrary to his expectation and desire, the prisoner struggled long 
and died hard — awfully hard. Twenty-five minutes after the trap-door 
fell, the surgeons pronounced him dead, and in a few minutes more his 
body was taken down, coffined, and borne to the graveyard and decently 
buried by the side of his two infant children, mentioned in his confes- 
sion. When it was announced by the surgeons that the prisoner was 
dead, the concourse, which must have numbered some eight thousand 
persons, slowly retired, all oppressed at the awful (ixhi.bition just wit- 


The manly deportment of the prisoner, while going to and at the 
scaffold, and high moral demeanor the whole week preceding, his chaste 
and honorable sentiments, freely expressed to all who visited him, 
created a deep sympathy in his behalf, and satisfied the community that 
he possessed noble traits of character. Dying, as he did, a criminal, yet 
he merited a better fate. 


At the bridge, where the Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad crosses 
Platte River, ten miles east of the city of St. Joseph, occurred one of 
the most appalling calamities ever known in the annals of railroad dis- 

In the fall of 1861, the Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad had been 
so often torn up at different points, along the route between the former 
and latter cities, that for several days the trains had not been passing 
over the entire length of the road. 

Upon a certain day, however, it was known that a passenger train 
from Hannibal would arrive at St. Joseph during the next night, at the 
hour of 1 1 o'clock. 

Late in the evening, before the arrival of the cars, the bridge was: 
saturated with turpentiije, then set on fire, and completdy destroyed. 
Near the hour of midnight, the peculiar rumbling sound, which tells of 
an approaching train, was heard. The night was intensely dark, and' 
the conductor, not dreaming of danger, quickened the speed of the train 
as he neared the city. Onward rushed the cars with their precious bur- 
den of human life. Mothers with slumbering infants in their arms, never 
dreaming of the yawning abyss into which they would so soon plunge ;: 
fathers watching the happy faces of their children ; the beauty of youth, 
the strength of manhood, and the decrepitude of age, all were there,, 
numbering about one hundred and fifty souls. 

As the train came swiftly, thundering along its iron trackway 
towards the chasm of death, a lady remarked to her husband : "Don't 
you think we are all out of danger.?" "Yes," he replied, "our journe}r 
is nearly over." The next moment he lay mangled and dead, and' she 
had barely escaped with life. Ominous words ! His journey of life was 
indeed over. The cars had made the fatal leap. From the abutments 
of the burned bridge down to the bed of the river, a distance of more 
than twenty feet, one car, dashed down upon another, crushing, mang- 
ling, and killing a large number of passengers. 

Of ail that numerous company, but few escaped without receiving 
such severe injuries, as made it impossible for them to assist their fellow- 
sufferers. The night was chilly and cold, and from near eleven to three 
o'clock in the morning, the wounded screamed for aid, and struggled for 


relief. Some attempted to free themselves from their dead companions, 
and from the debris of the crushed cars. Others with broken legs or 
arms, were endeaving to creep from the deep mud and stagnant waters 
of the stream. Here occurred an incident that illustrates with what self- 
possession, fearless men can cooly await approaching death. 

Stephen Cutler, the conductor, was a favorite with all. Without 
being severely injured, he was so firmly caught between the timbers that 
no assistance then available could release him. The locomotive was 
leaning partially over his body, and the supports upon which the 
machinery rested were gradually giving away. It was evident, that in 
a few moments the locomotive would fall completely over and crush 
him. The unfortunate man quickly saw his sad destiny. Taking out 
his watch, he passed it to a friend, to be given to his wife ; then, in hur- 
ried words, he instructed that friend what to say to her. Whilst so 
engaged, the terrific weight fell, and one more brave and intrepid man 
was added to the list of the dead. On the day after the sad event, those 
who wer-e badly wounded were brought to St. Joseph and kindly nursed. 
Nearly all the dead were too much mangled and disfigured to be identi- 
fied. These were placed in coffins and buried by the city. 


On Monday night, June i8th, 1848, between the hours of ten and 
and eleven o'clock, a man by the name of Gibson went to the residence 
of Dr. Jones, at the Rockhouse Prairie, in Buchanan County. While 
there he made use of very offensive and abusive language to the Doctor 
«nd his lady, whereupon he was ordered to leave the premises. Gibson, 
after reaching the porch, refused to go any further. As the Doctor 
(without any weapons) approached him, Gibsori caught him by the col- 
lar of his coat, and inflicted a mortal wound, which terminated in death 
the next evening. 

Dr. McDonald, who now resides in St. Joseph, was immediately 
sent for to administer to the necessities of the suffering and dying man, 
All efforts, however, were unavailing ; the Doctor died the next after- 
noon, and was buried in a neighboring cemetery, his corpse being fol- 
lowed to its last resting place by many friends, who sincerely mourned 
the loss of a kind neighbor, a leading citizen and a thoroughbred phys.- 

The Doctor was a graduate of one of the prominent medical schools 
of Philadelphia ; Was a native of North Carolina, 'and highly respected, 
not only by the people of the county, but by his professional brethren. 
His family now live in Clay County, Missouri. His murderer, Gibson, 
although hotly pursued for days by scores of indignant citizens, finally 
made his escape and has never been heard of 



On the 2nd day of January, 1874, two brothers, Richard and Elijah 
West, while skating on the Missouri River, opposite to St. Joseph, broke 
through the ice and were drowned. 

It is said that Richard might have escaped had he been alone, but 
in a heroic effort to save his brother, whom he greatly loved, they both- 
went down together. Their bodies were recovered the next day and 
taken to the residence of their deeply afflicted parents. What a warning 
to those who carelessly indulge in the amusement of skating ! 


On the 23d of July, 1876, several German families, residents of St. 
Joseph, went to Lake Contrary on a pleasure excursion. On the way 
thither, and for hours after arriying at their place of destination, joy and 
gladness seemed to fill each heart. But how true is the saying, that "in 
the midst of life we are in death." 

Ere the cl'dse of that summer day, the merry voices of five beautiful 
young ladies belonging to that happy company were suddenly and unex- 
pectedly silenced in death. The story of the sad calamity is easily told. 

They went upon the lake for a ride, and shortly after leaving the 
^hore the frail boat, in which they had embarked for pleasure, went down^ 
and they were drowned. Their bodies were recovered and interred in 
^' Mount Mora" in the presence of a large concourse of sorrowing rel- 
latives and friends. Thus ended the young and innocent lives of Rosa 
Munch, Tillie Grobs, Clara Kratle, Sopha Leitz and Tillie Zinnor. 

" How fleeting all beneath the skies; 

How transient every earthly bhss; 
How slender all the fondest ties 

That bind us to a world like this. 
But though Earth's fairest blossoms die, 

And all beneath the skies is vain, 
There is a brighter world on high, 

Beyond the reach of care and pain." 


On, the night of May 28, 1856, occurred one of the most terrible 
calamities ever known in the history of Buchanan County. 

Jacob Friend and family, one daughter excepted, were burned to 
ashes in their dwelling, three-and-a-half miles south of St. Joseph. The 
family consisted of the father, mother and four children. One of the 
children, (the daughter above mentioned), was away fram home at the 
time, and knew nothing of the sad fate of her friends until she was 
informed of the facts the day following. 


Hundreds of people from St. Joseph, and the surrounding country;., 
visited the place of the accident, and so great was the excitrrient, that 
Amos Davis, George Lincoln, John Patton, Henry Ingers and Monroe 
Hoof, five men, residing in the vicinity of the fire, were arrested and 
incarcerated on the charge of arson and mut-der. 

Some difficulty was said to have existed between the family of Friend, 
and the parties arrested. This, with other circumstances, caused their 
apprehension and imprisonment. The parties accused were indicted,, 
tried and acquitted, but there was nothing proved against them showing^ 
that they were guilty of the atrocious act. The burning of Friend and 
his family has ever since remained a mystery, many persons believing' 
that the fire was caused by accident. 


In the month of January, 1859, Wm. A. Newman, of Platte Couiity,. 
had a favorite servant to run away from his home, in Weston, to Law- 
rence, Kansas. Dick being an active, intelligent and skillful carpenter, 
Newman offered a large reward, and in the month of February, 1859, at 
a point fourteen miles above Lawrence, near the Kansas River, two cov- 
ered wagons were captured by a party of eight Missourians, as they 
were passing northward from Lawrence to Nebraska. One of these 
wagons was driven by Dr. John Doy, and the other by his son Charles^ 
a young man of nineteen, and contained besides the Newman slave, 
Dick, thirteen women and children, who were slaves escaping from' 
Jackson County, Missouri, towards freedom. The wagons and their con- 
tents were driven rapidly towards Leavenworth City, which they passed 
at nine P. M. and reached the ferry, at Rialto, at eleven at night. Capt. 
Z. T. Washburn, the ferryman, crossed the party over, and they arrived 
at Weston at one A. M. and were kept under guard. In the morning 
the slaves were re-delivered to their owners and a warrant was issued 
by a justice for the holding of Dr. Doy and his son as criminals, for steal- 
ing the negro man Dick from his owner, in Platte County, and . after an 
examination before two justices, they were held for trial and imprisoned 
in the Platte County jail, at Platte City, and at the March term follow- 
ing, within about three weeks afterwards, they were indicted by the 
grand jury of Platte County and plead not guilty. 

When the news of the arrest of Doy was received at Topeka, the 
Legislature of Kansas, then in session, appropriated one thousand dol- 
lars to pay the Attorney General of the state, A. C. Davis (afterwards 
Colonel of the 12th Kansas volunteers, and who died in July, 1881, in 
New York, where he then resided) and Wilson Shannon, the old Gover- 
nor of Ohio and Minister to Mexico, to defend the Doys, at the court in 
Platte City. General Bassett, the circuit attorney for the 12th Judicial 


Bistrict, being sick, Judge Norton appointed Col. John Doniphan, now 
<}f St. Joseph, to prosecute the indictment. A change of venue to 
Buchanan County was granted the defendants, and on the 25th day of 
March, 1859, they were put on trial at St. Joseph, before the following 
jury : S. S. Allen, Edward Pace, Judge Thomas W. Keys, Thomas P- 
Booth, Sinclair R. Miller, Caswell Goodman, Israel Landis, James 
Highly, Samuel Lockwood, Abner Copeland, Lewis F. Weimer and 
Lawson Rodgers. 

This jury, after being out two days, were discharged, as being unable 
to agree — the principal ground of defense relied upon being that the 
•Doys were not seen in Missouri, and no evidense except, of a circum- 
stantial character, to show the court had any jurisdiction. 

At the request of the defendant's attorneys, the court adjourned until 
the 2ist day of June, 1859, to again try the defendant, Dr. Doy, the State 
having dismissed as to Charles. 

At the appointed time, Governor Shannon and General Davis 
appeared with a number of witnesses and many depositions from Kan- 
sas, and the trial was commenced, and for three days was heard, amid 
an immense crowd, which packed the old court house to repletion. 

The jury were Samuel B. Tolin, George Boyer, Jacob Boyer, H. D. 
Louthen, Merrill Willis, Henson Devoss, George Clark, Henry P. Smith, 
John Modrill, Ortin M. Loomis, William W. Mitchell and James Hill. 

At the close of the evidence. Judge Norton, (now of the Supreme 
Court of Missouri), who had presided with great dignity and fairness, 
instructed the jury as to the law of the case. 

The case was then opened by General Bassett for the state, in a 
speech of masterly power and searching analysis of the evidence. He 
was followed by General Davis in a speech of two hours, and then Gov- 
ernor Shannon, in a speech of three hours. Both of these speeches were 
brilliant, pathetic and logical, and vindicated the judgment of the Kansas 
Legislature in their selection, as both of them were Democrats. 

After supper the Court House was packed to hear the closing of the 
case by Col. Doniphan, which was done in a speech of one hour and a 
half, of singular power of argument and analysis, and when he closed 
there was scar>c«ly a doubt of the guilt of the prisoner, and the effect of 
it was announced in a verdict of guilty within a short time after the 
retirement of the jury. 

The defendant. Dr. Doy, appealed to the Supreme Court, and, pend- 
ing the appeal, he was released from jail by a party of Kansans, headed 
by John Brown who, afterwards, vindicated his faith as a martyr at Har- 
per's Ferry. They crossed from Elwood, on a dark night in skiffs, and 
approached the old jail during a heavy storm, and induced the jailor to 
open the door by presenting one of their number as a supposed horse- 
thief, recently caught in Andrew County, and, once within the jail, they 


captured the jailor, released Dr. Doy, leaving the jail locked and threw 
the key away and returned to Kansas without any pursuit or molesta- 
tion. The statute, under which the indictment was found, is section 27, 
page 576, vol. I, of the statutes of Missouri of 1855, and is as follows: 

Sec. 27. If any person shall entice, decoy, or carry away out of this 
state, any slave belonging to another, with intent to deprive the owner 
thereof of the services of such slave, or with intent to procure or effect 
the freedom of such slave, he shall be adjudged guilty of grand larceny 
and punished by imprisonment in the penitentiary not less than five 

Dr. Doy, soon after his escape, left Lawrence for Rochester, New 
York, where he published a book giving an account of his trial and con- 
vection. His book spoke kindly of the witnesses and attorneys who 
prosecuted him, but bitterly of the ofificers and jury which convicted him. 
It is reported he died in New York some years since. His son Charles 
was hanged in southern Kansas, in the fall of i860, for horse stealing, 
by a vigilance committee, at the command of Judge Lynch. 


One of the earliest and most respected pioneers of Buchanan County 
relates the following incidents : 

"In 1838 I came to the 'Platte Purchase,' and for a short time after 
my arrival resided with my brother, who had located some seven or eight 
miles north of Blacksnake Hills. At that time the country was new and 
wild. The land was unsurveyed, and the squatter erected his cabin 
wherever he pleased, provided he did not put it within a quarter of a 
mile of his nearest neighbor. 

"Disputes about claims were of frequent occurrence, and sometime* 
resulted in violence and bloodshed. But upon the whole, the people, 
though poor, were quite friendly and were ever ready to throw open 
their cabin doors to the passing stranger. One of the early acquaint- 
ances formed by me after I came, was Solomon L. Leonard, who was 
afterwards Judge of this judicial district. This early acquaintance 
ripened into lasting friendship, and Judge Leonard, though differing with 
his friends in politics, could always rely upon them for support in his 
struggles for official position. He was a stern man, but a true friend to 
the upright in life. In the fall of 1862, he was accidentally drowned in 
the Indian Territory. 

The mania for town sites which spread all over the western 
states did not afSict the early settlers of the Platte country, for there 
were' no towns or villages worthy of being called such north of Weston, 
in the Platte Country. 


I was frequently on the present town site of St. Joseph, five years 
before the town was located. In the fall of 1835 I was here attending 
the second court ever held in Buchanan County. The officers of the 
"court were Judge King ; Burnett, Prosecuting Attorney ; Edwin Toole, 
Circuit Clerk, and Samuel M. Gilmore, Sheriff The attorneys in attend- 
ance were Andrew S. Hughes, Alexander W. Doniphan, David R. Atchi- 
son, William Wood, Amos Rees, Prince L. Hudgers, Theodore D. 
Wheaton and Solomon L. Leonard. The court house was a log struc- 
ture, owned by Joseph Robidoux and located on the ground now occu- 
pied by the Occidental Hotel. There was no difficulty in obtaining 
meals, but many persons were compelled to sleep on the bare floor, 
without quilt or blanket, in the log court house above mentioned. An 
incident occurred at this term of court which came very near resulting 
in a serious riot. Under an act of Congress, the sixteenth section of the 
public land was donated for school purposes, and the county courts were 
authorized to sell the land and Control the money. The sheriff had 
advertised some of this land for sale, and there was a general feeling in 
the community that the persons who had settled upon it before the sur- 
vey should be allowed to purchase their homes at one dollar and a quar- 
ter per acre, the amount charged by the government for other lands. 

"The sheriff now announced his purpose to commence the sale. He 
was immediately surrounded by a ring of strong men, and there rang 
out upon the assembled crowd, the cry 'that no one should bid against the 
claimant of the land.' The excited squatter bid one dollar and a quarter 
for his home, now under the sheriff's hammer. The bid was announced 
again and again. For a moment breathless silence reigned on every 
hand, but, to the amazement of all present, some daring fellow stepped 
forward with a weapon of death clutched in his hand, said : "I will give 
one dollar and fifty cents per acre." In an instant the coats flew from 
more than a dozen stalwart shoulders and the indications were unmis- 
takable that some one would be hurt. The opposing bidder now walked 
quietly away, remarking that he ' did not want the land ; that he only 
desired to show these gentlemen that he was not afraid to bid.' 

In the summer of 1838, while passing through a sparsely settled por- 
tion of Buchanan County, I suddenly came upon fifteen or twenty Indi- 
ans. They were either pa.ssing though the country, or had returned to 
their old hunting grounds for the purpose of taking game. Without 
doubt, they were friendly Indians, but the unexpected discovery of such 
a company, far away from any human habitation, created in my mind a 
desire for some other locality just about that time. 

Suspecting my trepidation, one of the redskins dashed after me like 
an arrow, but from some inexplicable cause to me, suddenly stopped and 
retraced his steps. The latter movement met with my decided approval, 


and the Indian now returned to his comrades, with an apparent sardonic 
grin upon his dusky countenance, and pursued the even tenor of his way. 
The first political nieeting I attended in Buchanan County was held 
a few miles north of the Blacksnake Hills. Two candidates for the Leg-' 
islature were present, and at once proceeded to present their claims to 
the assembled voters. They were both Democrats, but one of them had 
conceived the idea of charging his opponent with being a Whig, well- 
knowing that even a suspicion of this kind would defeat his election. 
He supported his charge by the following arguments : First, his oppo- 
nent was from a Whig State ; second, he handed a notice for public 
speaking to a Whig, with the request that he would post it up at the 
place of meeting, and third, the Whigs to a man were giving him their 
support. The speaker here distinctly proclaimed that he did not desire 
Whig support ; that if any Whig voted for him it would be without his 
consent. The other candidate now took the stand, and unequivocally 
denied the charge of being a Whig, but admitted the specifications. 
He said it was true, he was from a Whig State ; that he did hand a 
notice to a Whig, with the request that he would post it up at their place 
of meeting, and, moreover, he thought it altogether probable that the 
Whigs intended to give him their support at the approaching election, 
and he was quite willing they should do so. Here the speaker reminded 
his opponent that there might be satisfactory reasons why one gentle- 
man should be preferred to another for an official position,- independent 
of all political considerations. The man who was willing to receive 
Whig support, and not sufficiently cautious to conceal it, was defeated, 
and the demagogue was triumphant'' 




The progress of agricultural enterprise in the past quarter of a cen- 
tury, evident all over our land, in no section has developed more marked 
advancement than th^t displayed in the condition of Northwest Missouri 

Buchanan County, in common with others of the earlier settled 
portions of the Platte Purchase, enjoyed the advantage of numbering 
among her original settlers men of means, intelligence and enterprise. 
This fact is abundantly evident in the character of some of the earliest 
attempts at improvement to-day extant within her limits. 

Naturally the first settlements were made in the timbered districts 
of the county, and it was not till a very large proportion of this part of 
the same was settled that the pioneers from the older states, many of 
whom had never seen a prairie till their arrival in Mirsouri, began to 
venture settlements in that, in those days, doubtful region of treeless 
expanse. Indeed there are to-day living in the county, on well-improved 
and valuable prairie farms, men who at the period of their first arrival in 
the country, thirty-five or forty years ago, declared the opinion that the 
timberless prairies would never be settled. These now include some of 
the best improved and most desirable sections of the county. 

The cultivation of cleared timber land with the necessary presence 
of stumps, precluded the application of machinery, long after the use of 
the same had become comparatively common in the older settled dis- 
tricts. Slave labor was extensively, indeed, generally, employed, and the 
hoe, an implement almost obsolete in this advanced day, was the indis- 
pensable means of cultivating every crop which required tillage after 
planting. Notwithstanding the comparatively careless character of farm- 
ing which soon succeeded the first efforts of the pioneers, even in that 
early day, the returns from agricultural labor were enormous. The very 
fact of the generous soil so readily responding to the efforts of the hus- 
bandman induced this lack of diligence and laborious care in farming 
which was indeed unnecessary. Men from the older states, who were 
accustomed in. their former homes t6 manuring and preparing for seed 
with the most scrupulous care the soil which they afterwards hoed and 
plowed repeatedly to secure a scanty yield of corn or of some other pro- 


duct, soon learned that prairie sod-corn planted in the simply upturned 
glebe, without any subsequent attention, yielded crops which, in their 
former homes in the older states, would have been regarded as enormous. 

Many of the early settlers of the county, who brought their slaves 
with them, came from districts of Kentucky and Virginia, where 
hemp was a staple product. The first attempt to introduce the culture 
of this crop, which was soon to become the great staple of Buchanan, in 
common with other counties' of the state, proved an unqualified success. 

We state, on the authority of Dr. Silas McDonald, of St. Joseph, that 
he raised in Buchanan County, the first crop of hemp ever produced in 
the Platte Purchase. This was in the year 1840. The seed he procured 
from Clay County, and the yield he afterward sold at the rate of $4 per 
hundred, to Charles A. Perry, of Weston. 

This success soon induced others to the culture of this crop, and, in 
a few years, hemp was recognized as the great staple of the county. It 
so continued until the breaking out of the civil war, when, in default of 
slave labor, the raising of this product was gradually discontinued. 

Other commodities were imported as substitutes, and, in a few years; 
the amount raised in the county of what had for years constituted its 
great staple became so insignificant as to be entirely omitted in com- 
mercial quotations. 

There probably never was a country adapted, by soil and climate, 
to as various a character of products, as much confined, for years, to one 
yield. The culture of hemp seemed to have absorbed almost every other 
agricultural enterprise. 

Nothing raised in the country either before its introduction or since 
its abandonment has paid as well. The average price for years was 
$100 per ton, and the average yield per acre 800 pounds. Aside from 
the remunerative character of the crop, many advantages contributed to 
its popularity. Being invariably cut before it went to seed, it failed, as 
with other crops, to impoverish the soil ; indeed, it was a generally 
admitted fact that from the decomposition of the foliage, old hemp land, 
instead of deteriorating in quality from constant cropping, steadily 
improved, and 1,000 pounds to the acre on such lands was no uncommon 

Another advantage in the raising of hemp was that its culture did 
not in any way interfere with the corn crop. Sowed early in the spring 
before corn planting time, it was not ready for cutting before August, 
when all the corn was " laid by." 

In the palmiest days of hemp raising, but a comparatively small 
amount of wheat was produced in the county. The rich alluvial soil of 
the river bottoms, fathomless in the' depths of its exhaustless fecundity, 
as well as that of the scarcely less productive uplands, was ill adapted, to 
the yielding of wheat, which, at best, commanded no such return as did 


hemp. Indeed, so insignificant was the quantity of wheat raised in the 
county in those days, that a considerable amount of the flour consumed 
was imported. 

In the matter of breaking hemp, 112 pounds was considered a day's 
work. The slave was paid at the rate of one dollar per hundred for all 
he broke over and above this, the standard task. It was not unusual to 
find negroes in those days who broke from 200 to 300 pounds per day, 
and in this way often earning $100 during the course of a winter. 
Besides this there were occasionally found masters who allowed such of 
their slaves as displayed unusual industry, patches of ground, on which 
they raised hemp for their own exclusive and personal benefit. 

This patriarchal character of servitude was the rule rather than the 
exception in Buchanan County. 

C. A. and E. H. Perry, hemp dealers of Weston, had a branch house 
in St. Joseph, and for many years shipped on an average 500 tons of 
hemp from that port. This, of course, was but a small portion of the 
annual yield of the county. It was nothing uncommon to get as high as 
20 tons of hemp from one farmer. 

The extraordinarily remunerative business of hemp-raising induced 
many to purchase farming lands in the county on credit. About the 
period of the breaking out of the civil war, these enterprising citizens 
had, many of them, about succeded in paying for these lands, and were 
beginning to contemplate improvements in the way of building, etc., 
when the distracted condition of the country put a sudden and protracted 
stop to every class and character of improvement. This, in a great 
measure, accounts for the inferior character of farm residences in the 
county, compared with those of Platte and other neighboring counties, 
about the period of the revival of business, after the close of the war. 
The demand for hemp ceased, and the farmers of the county began to 
direct their attention to the culture of other products. Wheat, thoug"h 
an uncertain crop in the county, began to claim attention, and the extra- 
ordinary yield of one season, shortly after the close of the war, and a 
price of some two dollars per bushel, started everybody to raising 
wheat. Experience has demonstrated, however,, the truth that while an 
occasionally excellent crop may be raised, Buchanan is by no means a 
wheat country. Enterprise in the business of farming, in all its various 
expressions has, from time to time, been manifested within the county. 
All the latest appliances of art in the way of machinery for lightening 
and expediting labor, are tested, and rejected or adopted on the basis of 
their respective merits, as soon as presented to the public. 

The spirit of old fogyism on the part of the farming community is 
found to exist only in rare and isolated cases. 

The circumstance of Buchanan, having, for so many years of her 
earlier history, been pre-eminently a hemp county, serves to account, in 


a considerable degree, for the comparatively small interest manifested 
in the raising of cattle. Improvement in the different breeds of live 
stock of all kinds is an enterprise of comparatively recent date among 
the farmers of this county, though a lively interest has, of late years, 
been awakened in this direction. The hog crop especially compares 
favorably with that of most counties of the State. 

The matter of fruit culture as a pursuit of general interest, is also a 
recent step in the march of rural progress, though there have existed, 
from a comparatively recent day, some extensive and valuable orchards 
of apple trees in the county. Noteworthy among these is an orchard of 
several thousand trees, the property of Major Feland, in Crawford 
Township, before referred to. 

There is no corn country in the state superior to the Missouri and 
Platte River bottoms of Buchanan, and, with the exception of wheat, 
small grains of all kinds may be said to yield unfailing crops. 


of recent years, has become a pursuit as remunerative as it is popular, 
and several large and well stocked market gardens exist in the environs 
of the city of St. Joseph. 


has for many years claimed the attention of ajnateurs, as well as of 
specialists. Several vineyards of considerable size are found in the 
county, and wine of a superior quality is manufactured. The indications 
are that the culture of the grape and its manufacture into wine will one 
day become an important industry of the county. 

Buchanan County, in common with other districts of the Great West, 
has had her trying vicissitudes. Her native strength, and the indomit- 
able spirit of perseverance on the part of her people, however, have 
risen superior to each and every calamity; her trials only demonstrating 
the magnitude of her splendid resources. 

In the Gazette of 1845, under head of " The Crops," we find the fol- 
lowing : 

"We were fearful that the crops in the county would be injured by 
the excessive rains that have fallen lately, but are gratified to learn that 
the wheat has suffered no damage, as it is now generally ready for cut- 
ting. The corn and hemp looks very fine and promises an abundant 
yield. The comfort of the people and the immediate prosperity of our 
town depend very much upon the present crop. The farmers lost almost 
everything last year, and the year before, and could not well bear a third 
failure. But the wheat is good and safe, and the corn and hemp promise 


Besides the terrible backset to the entire country from the conse- 
quences of the civil war, Buchanan County suffered her full share of the 
evils of the grasshopper scourge, the desolating effects of which were 
felt, with brief intervals of cessation, from 1866 to 1874. Confident in 
the power of her grand resources, and ever hopeful of better days, her 
people scorned, in the hour of their calamity, to solicit the aid of their 
more fortunate neighbors, and ultimately triumphed proudly over the ills 
upon her poured by malignant fortune. Phcenix-like she has risen from 
the wreck of every calamity, more beautiful and enduring than before, 
and to-day she presents to the world a spectacle of solid growth and 
substantial wealth of which many an older and more fortunate country 
might be justly proud. 

As before intimated, many of the earliest settlers of the county 
were men of intelligence, as well as of a fair share of pecuniary means. 
These early recognized the importance of competitive exhibitions of 
native products in advancing the spirit of enterprise and consequent 
(improvement of all that pertains to excellence in rural or agricultural 

Accordingly, in the Gazette of August 2d, 1854, we find the fol- 
lowing : 

"The Agricultural Fair of Buchanan County will come off on the 
19th, 20th and 21st September next. The committee have sent east for 
about seven hundred dollars worth of gold and silver plate premiums." 

The issue of the same paper, under date of Wednesday, September 
20th, 1854, says : 

" Yesterday was a proud day for our county. It was the first day of 
the first Agricultural Fair ever held in the county. There was a large 
concourse of ladies and gentlemen present. Great, interest was mani- 
fested. The St. Joseph Band was there, and added much to the interest 
of the occasion. Mr. Silas Woodson delivered a very able and eloquent 
address on the subject of agriculture, and, though he had but little time 
for preparation, he did himself and the subject great credit." 

In the Gazette of Wednesday, September 27th, 1854, appears the fol- 
lowing : 


"On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday last, were the days of the 
first Agricultural and Mechanical Fair ever held in Buchanan, or any of 
the counties above in what is known as the Platte Purchase. It was 
attended each day by a large concourse of people from this and the sur- 
rounding counties. The/<2/r — we mean the/«^> sex — were present and 
lent ' enchantment to the view' that was already beautiful ; but the spark- 
ling eyes and smiling faces of the fair ones attracted many to the spot, 
where were to be seen the rich and varied products of our country, who 
otherwise might not have been there, 


The weather was delightful — ^the fair ground in a beautiful grove, 
peculiarly adapted to the purpose — where thronged the great crowd, all 
seeming to manifest much interest in the occasion. The whole scene 
was enlivened by the music of the St. Joseph brass band. 

Everything passed off decently and in order. General satisfaction 
given, and a noble spirit of emulation aroused that will be productive of 
much good. 

Many of the articles exhibited by the ladies on the first day would 
reflect credit upon the best fairs in Kentucky. 

At the close of the exhibition of the first day, Mr. Silas Woodson 
delivered a truly eloquent address on the subject of agriculture. 

The associate editor of the Cycle, being the secretary of the Associ- 
ation, we copy from his paper : 


Best specimen mixed jeans, a beautiful article — premium to Mrs. J. 
P. Bryan, of Buchanan. 

Plaid linsey — premium to same lady, $2. 

White linsey — premium to William Gartin, of Buchanan, $2. 

Woolen Blankets — premium to Mrs. J. P. Bryan, of Buchanan, $5. 

Half hose — premium to same, $1. 

Satinet — premium to N. Buel, of Buchanan, $5. 

Cotton quilt — premium to Mrs. Rosanna Porter, of Buchanan, $10. 
This was a rich quilt evidencing great skill and toil in the manufacture. 

Cotton quilt — certificate to Mrs. Mary A. Mosely. This is a beauti- 
ful article. 

Silk quilt, patchwork — premium to Mrs. E. C. Davis, St. Joseph, $10. 
The design of this quilt was the "American Confederacy," as represented 
in its constellation of stars, the States of the Union. Its pattern was 
after the style of quilted and knotted work. (See Godey for September.) 

Silk quilt, a rich hexagon, exhibiting great skill and beauty in its 
execution, and much admired — certificate to Miss Betty F. Cunningham, 
of Jackson County. 

Worsted patch-work, also a magnificent hexagon, universally 
admired, and pronounced a most elegant specimen of art — premium to 
Mrs. W. L. Irvine, of Buchanan, $10. 

Worsted patch-work quilt, also a rich article — certificate to Miss 
Betty F. Cunningham, of Jackson. 

Worsted bed cover — premium to Mrs. Amanda Kelly, $3. This was 
a delicate and beautiful article. 

Needle-work and embroidery — premium to Mrs. Capt. Jas. Craig, 
$2 ; certificate to Mrs. C. M. Thompson. 

Worsted rug — certificate to Mrs. J. P. Ryan. 


Linen shirt— premium $1, Mrs. M. Britton. 

Shirt by girl under 12 — premium $1, to Miss A. G. Long/ 

Half hose— premium $1, to Mrs. J. P. Bryan; certificate to Mrs. Jen- 

Two pair hose — premium $1 each, by two orphan girls, Sarah and 
Catharine Lewis. 

Best two-horse wagon — premium $5, to J. A. Forest. 

Sofa — premium to D. J. Heaton, $2. 

Set chairs — premium to D. J. Heaton, $2. 

Tin ware — premium $2, to F. B. Kercheval. 

Single harness — premium $2, to Wm. Keer. This specimen of har- 
ness was indeed beautiful. 

Single harness — certificate to L Landis. 

Side saddle — certificate to C. A. Shoultz. No premium offered. 

Single buggy — a magnificent article; premium $5, to A. Dolph. 

Dentistry — certificate to Dr. J. E. Hewlet. 

Fancy sign board — certificate to E. J. Knapp. No premium offered. 

Best two sacks flour — premium $2, to B. F. Northcutt. 

Two sacks flour — certificate to N. Buel. 

Wheat cleaner — premium to James Cargill. 


Shanghai chickens — premium $1, to R. Mosely. 

Brahma Pootra — premium $1, to Mrs. W. L. Irvine. 

Best display poultry — premium $2, to Mrs. W. L. Irvine. 

Sweet potatoes — premium $1, to A-. Dittemore. 

Ham — premium $2, to Mrs. R. Middleton. 

Butter — premium $2, to Mrs. Wm. P. Richardson. 

Peaches, variety — premium $2, to Wm. McGrew. 

Grapes — premium $1, to Wm. McGrew. 

Peaches, best i dozen — premium to Mrs. J. P. Bryan. 

Onions — premium $1, to Judge Morris. 

Melons — premium $1, to H. D. Harding. 


The second day opened as brilliantly as the first, with as fine an 
exhibition of stock as the most sanguine friend of the association could 
have hoped for. The grounds were again filled with a vast concourse of 
people, and graced with the beauty of Buchanan. We were pleased to 
see so many ladies present. It not only showed their good taste, but 
their high appreciation of what constitutes the true wealth and pros- 
perity of their country. 


In view of the whole day's exhibition, we venture tot say that such a 
galaxy of fine stock has never been seen in Missouri above the Boon's 
Lick country. 

We append the premiums as follows ; 


Four years and upwards — premium $io, to W. L. Irvine ; certificate 
to T. H. Irvine. 

Two years and under — premium $6, to J. W. Steel, of Platte. 

One and under two — premium $6, to A. Bowman ; certificate to R. 
C. Mosely. 

Under one year — premium $5, to J. H. Irvine ; certificate to W. L. 

• COWS. 

Four years and upwards — premium $io, to D. Shanks ; certificate to 
J. J. Hart. 

Two years and under three — premium $6, to R. C. Mosely ; certifi- 
cate to same. 

Three years and under four — premium $iO, to G. W. Brackenridge ; 
certificate to J. J. Hart. 

One year and under two — premium, $6, to A. Bowman, of Andrew; 
certificate to W. L. Irvine ; P. Wirthume, white ribbon, for neatness. 

Under one year old — premium $5, to J. J. Hart ; certificate to D. 


Best fat bullock or heifer — premium $io, to W. L. Irvine ; certifi- 
cate, R. C. Mosely. 

Best yoke work steers — premium $io, to R. B. Thomas ; certificate 
to William Litz. 


Best sow — premium $5, to R. Ladd ; certificate to H. D. Morris. 


Best buck — premium $5, to G. W. Brackenridge, of Andrew ; cer- 
tificate to J. T. Doughty. 

Best ewe— premium $5, to G. W. Brackenridge; certificate to J. T. 



Best ewe — premium $5, to B. C. Porter, of Andrew County. 



The third day opened with increased interest. A display of fine 
horses will always attract a crowd, and at an early hour the show grounds- 
were again thronged. 

The exhibition of stock this day surpassed the expectations of the 
most sanguine. There were many beautiful animals on the ground — 
animals hard to duplicate in the state. 

We annex awards : 


Best age stallion for harness — premium $10, to H. D. Harding ; 
certificate to J. W. Martin. 

Stallion, two years old and under — premium to W. Gartin ; certifi- 
cate to Porter and Ardery, St. Joseph. 

Stallion, one year old and under — premium to Isaac Miller. 

Stallion, under one year — premium to J. G. Smith. 

Mare for harness, two years and under three — premium to Milt. 
Murphey ; certificate to James Noland. 

Filley, under one year — premium to Dr. W. G. Burton ; certificate to 
B. C. Porter. 

Best pair carriage horses — premium $10, to Sparks and Talbot, St. 

Finest buggy horse — premium $8, to J. O. Fisher ; certificate to 
Wm. Ardery. * 

Stallion for saddle, four years and upward — premium $10, to J. O. 

Ditto, two years old and under three — premium $6, to O. H. P. 
Craig, of Savannah. 

Ditto, under one — premium $3, to Wm. L. Irvine ; certificate to J.- 
D. Burgess. 

Best brood mare for harness — premium $10, to Isaac Miller. 

Best mare for saddle, over four years — premium $10, to E. N. Hart ^ 
certificate to W. L. Irvine. 

Ditto, two years and under — premium $6, to C. F. Hilterbridal, of 
Andrew ; certificate to J. B. Cox. 

Ditto, under one year — premium to Burgess Elliot ; certificate W-. K. 

Best saddle animal — premium $10, to H. D. Hardin ; certificate to 
S. Hill. 

Best draft stallion, two years old and upwards — premium $10, to 
Porter and Arderny ; certificate to Henry Paschal. 

Ditto, two and under three— premium $8, to O. H. P Craig, of 



Best draft mare, three years old and upwards — premium $10, to R. 
C. Mosely ; certificate to J. E. Burgess. 

Ditto, two and under three — premium $8, to Wm. Ardery. 
Ditto, one and under two — premium $6, to Isaac Miller. 
Ditto, under one — premium $5, to B. C. Porter, of Andrew. 


Four years and upwards — premium $10, to T. H. Irvine ; certificate 
to Edwin N. Hart. 

Under one year — premium $S. to C. Todd. 


Four years and upwards — premium $10, to T. H. Irvine and C. J- 
Hart ; certificate to C. Todd. 

Two years and under — premium $6, to T. H. and W. L. Irvine. 


Two years and upwards — premium $10, to Preston Richardson; 
certificate to James Carson. 

One year and under two — prmium $8 to A. G. Davis. 

Under one year — premium $5 to W. L. Irvine ; certificate to A, 

Finest and i^est broke mules — premium $10 to Maj. Wm. P. Rich- - 
ardson ; certificate to Sparks and Talbott. 

All the premiums were paid at the close of each day, in beautiful 
silver plate. 

Hon. W. P. Hall closed the scenes of the day and the occasion with 
an eloquent and appropriate address. 

Thus has passed off" the first annual fair of the Buchanan Agricultu-' 
ral Society. It was an epoch in the history of our county, and the dawn 
of a brighter day upon its agricultural, mechanical and manufacturing 
interests. Heaven vouchsafed bright skies and balmy days. The rem- 
iniscences will be pleasant to dwell upon, and we trust all have gone 
home with the full determination to do all they can to promote the inter- 
est of the society and to extend its usefulness. 

There were many articles exhibited for which no premiums had 
been awarded. Among them we noticed a box of superior candles 
manufactured by Messrs. Pinger, Hauk & Co., of St. Joseph. 

Mr. C. A. Shultz exhibited a slendid lady's saddle. 

At the next annual fair there will doubtless be a larger list of pre- 
miums than were offered this time. We anticipate, then, an occasion 
worthy of many of the old states. 


The Platte country is unsurpassed in fertility of soil, and all that con- 
stitutes or contributes to the wealth and happiness of a prosperous 

The officers of the above described, the first fair held in Buchanan 
County, were : General Robert Wilson, President ; William L. Irvine, 
Vice President ; A. M. Saxton, Treasurer ; Wellington A. Cunningham, 

The Robert Wilson above referred to, filled, for a brief period, a con- 
spicuous position in our national affairs during the late civil war. 

March 18, 1861, Waldo P. Johnson, a Breckenridge Democrat, was 
elected U. S. Senator for six years, from March 4, 1861. 

Dec. 10, 1861, Solomon Tutt, of Vermont, offered a^ resolution to the 
U. S. Senate, expelling Mr. Johnson from that body, for sympathy with 
and participation in the rebellion against the government of the United 

On January 20, 1862, Lyman Trumbull, of Illinois, chairman, made a 
report from the committee, in favor of the resolution of expulsion, which 
was adopted — yeas, 35 ; nays, none. 

Dec. 18, 1861, Charles Sumner, of Mass., introduced a resolution 
■expelling Trusten Polk, also a Senator from Missouri, for the same rea- 
sons given in the case of Mr. Johnson. It was referred to' the Judiciary 
Committee, and on January 20, 1862, Lyman Trumbull, of Illinois, chair- 
man, reported in favor of it to the Senate, and it was adopted — yeas, 36; 
nays, none. 

The vacancies thus occurring were filled by Lieutenant-Governor 
Willard P. Hall, in the absence of Governor Gamble, he appointing Rob- 
ert Wilson, of Andrew, and John B. Henderson, of Pike. 

The site of the first fair grounds is now (1881) included within the 
limits of the city, near the northern extremity of Eleventh street. 

Fairs continued to be held here for seven successive years, the last 
occurring in the fall of i860. 

The civil war, of course, put an end to everything of the kind ; and 
no move to revive the institution was inaugurated till two years after its 

July 31, 1867, was organized the 


with the following nine directors ; Robert Wilson, Leonidas M. Lawson, 
Moses G. Fish, ]. R. Willis, Benj. Ullman, Albe M. Saxton, Thos. B. 
Weakly, Washington L. Cundiff, Hugh Lewis. 

The officers of the Association were : General Robert Wilson, Pres- 
ident; Thos. B. Weakly, Vice-President; A. M. Saxton, Treasurer; C. 
B. France, Secretary. 


The preamble of the Articles of Incorporation states that the object 
of the Association is the promotion of agriculture, horticulture and the 
iViechanical arts. Amount of capital stock, $15,000, divided in shares of 
$100 each. 

The $15,000 of stock .was apportioned as follows : 

R. Wilson, 5 shares ■ ■'■ $ 500 

J. R. Willis, 10 shares i.OOO' 

L. M. Lawson, 10 shares ... i,ooc)' 

M. G. Fish & Co., 5 shares 500 

M. M. Claggett, 10 shares 1,000 

Hugh Lewis, 5 shares 500 

A. M. Saxton, 10 shares 1,000 

T. B. Weakly, 10 shares I,00Q 

Ben. Ullman, 5 shares 500 

A. Beattie, 5 shares 500 

C. B. France, 10 shares 1,000- 

Wm. Ridenbaugh, 10 shares •. 

R. L. McDonald, 5 shares 500 

Samuel Ensworth, 10 shares 1,000 

Thos. E. Tootle, 10 shares ... 1,000 

Isaac Curd, 5 shares 500 

G. W. McAlear, 2 shares 200- 

W. L. Cundiff & Co., 8 shares 800 

Milton Tootle, 5 shares 500 

D. M. McDonald, 10 shares 1,000 

The records of the association state that at the meeting held 
August I, 1867, the oath of loyalty was signed by all the directors, whick 
oath was filed in the office of the County Clerk ; and then followed the 
election of the above-mentioned officers. 

At a meeting held August 6, 1867, on motion of L. M. Lawson, it 
was ordered to purchase the twenty-acre lot on Frederick Avenue, 
known as the Old Rope Walk, of Bassett & Ensworth, and accept the 
title as represented by Mr. Ensworth, at four hundred dollars per acre,, 
being eight thousand dollars for the twenty acres. 

The first fair was ordered to commence October 29, 1867, and con- 
tinue four days. 

This fair was largely attended and generally pronounced a success. 
Net receipts, $243.55. I 

At a meeting held March 21, 1868, by resolution, the stock of the ' 
company was increased to the sum of twenty thousand dollars, each 
stockholder taking the proportion as now held in the old stock. 

At a meeting held November, 1867, it was resolved that the next 
annual fair be held on the second Monday of October, 1868, being the 
i2th of October. The net receipts for this year were $2,030.91. 


By resolution passed April ii, 1868, it was determined that the fair 
•should be held on the fourth Monday of September every year. 

In the following year the capital stock was increased to $30,000. 

In the spring of 1870, the association sustained a heavy loss in the 
■death of its honored president, General Wilson. 

At a meeting of the board of directors of the Agricultural and 
Mechanical Association of St. Joseph, held Wednesday, May 18, 1870, 
the following preamble and resolutions were unanimously adopted, viz. : 

Whereas, We have heard with profound regret of the death of 
General Robert Wilson, President of the Saint Joseph Agricultural and 
Mechanical Association, and 

Whereas, We cherish the memory of his distinguished services in 
the cause of agriculture and the mechanical arts in Northwest Missouri ; 
therefore be it 

Resolved — By the Board of Directors of the Saint Joseph Agri- 
cultural and Mechanical Association — 

First — That in the death of General Wilson, the president of the 
association, we have sustained an irreparable loss. 

Second — That we will remember with gratitude his faithfnl and noble 
services in behalf of the association, and the self-sacrificing spirit that 
characterized all his labors in its behalf, fostering, as he did, the institu- 
tion with a zeal, care, and devotion truly paternal. 

Third — That in founding and organizing this association (devoted 
to the noblest purposes of man) as the latest public act of his long and 
useful career, he has placed an appropriate crown upon the column of a 
well-earned and honest fame. 

Fourth — That the papers of this city be requested to publish these 
resolutions, and that they be printed in the annual catalogue of the 
approaching annual fair of the St. Joseph Agricultural and Mechanical 

T. B. WEAKLY, Acting President. 

D. M. McDonald, Secretary. 

At a meeting held December 17, 1870, R. L. McDonald was elected 
President of the Association. He continued to fill this position till the 
final dissolution of the same. 

The Association continued with various fortunes till September, 1871, 
when its last fair was held. At a meeting of the St. Joseph Agricultural 
and Mechanical Association, held pursuant to notice, at the office of the 
Secretary, Monday, January 15, 1872, on motion, it was unanimously 
resolved that the operations of the Association be discontinued. 

The grounds were at that time mortgaged to the Life Association 
of Anierica; and, at the request of the stockholders, they were sold 
under that deed of trust. Thus terminated the fortunes of the second 
Fair Association of Buchanan County. 

In the fall of 1873, it was determined that Buchanan County should 
no longer be without a fair, and, accordingly, measures were set on foot 
for the establishing and organizing of an Exposition. 


The place selected for holding the same was a level plain, directl}^ 
.east of the machine shops of the Kansas City, St. Joseph & Council 
Bluffs Railroad, readily accessible by rail and otherwise from the city. 
These grounds were laid out, inclosed and fitted up in superior stjde, 
with a celerity and dispatch which bespoke the earnestness of those 
interested in the success of the enterprise. Several hundred hands were 
employed at one time on the buildings, which were lofty, spacious and 
tastefully ornamented. The ground plan of the main Exhibition Hal! 
was that of a Latin Cross ; its length three hundred feet. Each arm of 
the cross terminated in an octagonal extension eighty feet in diameter. 
Spacious galleries, approached by easy stairways, extended along each 
side of the nave of the main hall, affording accommodation for the vast 
display of fruits and vegetable products offered for exhibition. 

Power hall filled a space of eighty by two hundred feet. 

The other buildings on the grounds were of corresponding propor- 
tions. No effort was spared to properly advertise the enterprise. Pre- 
mium lists were mailed to every tax-payer in Buchanan County, and 
upwards of fifteen thousand to farmers living in other counties. 

The Missouri Republican of August, 1873, in referring to the 
"approaching St. Joseph Exposition," speaks admiringly of the "beauti- 
ful and permanent buildings on the grounds" and mentions that $25,000 
were offered in premiums. 

Every indication seemed to bespeak a grand and unqualified success 
•iti the enterprise, when an unexpected calamity befel, threatening to 
blast the hopes, so nearly accomplished, of the friends of the Exposition, 

The Morning 'Herald, of Thursday, September, 4, 1873, came out 
with the following statement : 

"Last night, about 9 o'clock, a tornado struck the E.Kposition build- 
ings and resulted in seriously damaging the Art and Power halls. These 
were in an unfinished state and could not withstand the severity of the 
storm. The damage will be repaired and no delay be occasioned to 
this grand enterprise. Every one is in sympathywith the Exposition 
project, and we are assured 'that every citizen will come forward now 
and donate liberally to repair all losses, at whatever cost.' 

The assurance was not unfounded. The people responded liberally 
and the work of reconstruction was immediately inaugurated. Such 
was the determined energy with which the labor of rebuilding was con- 
ducted, that before the 29th of September, the appointed period for the 
opening of the Exposition, the damage, amounting to not less than fif- 
teen thousand dollars, was entirely repaired and everything was in 
readiness for the display. 

The books of the Association show that the sum of eight thousand, 
nine hundred and nine dollars was expended for labor alone in recon- 
structing the ruined buildings, to say nothing of material used. 


The officers of this, the grandest exposition ever held in the state, 
outside of St. Louis, were : Captain George Lyon, President ; I. G. 
Kappner, Treasurer ; E. Fleischer,' Secretary and Gen'l Superintendent. 

The Sunday preceding the opening was a dreary, dismal day, dawn- 
ing with a drizzling rain, which continued until nightfall. On Monday 
following, the 29th September, 1873, the sun rose in a cloudless sky. A 
more beautiful day for the inauguration could not have been desired. 
The internal appearance of the grand hall was superb. In the centre of 
the cross, formed by the intersection of the transept, appeared a circular 
basin, from which rose the graceful spray of a fountain, while far away 
in the octagonal terminus of the south transept a grotto, embowered 
in a minature forest of rare exotic and other flowering plants, which 
loaded the atmosphere with gratefuT perfume, lent a pleasing relief to 
the vast display of wares and fabrics on exhibition. By the middle of 
the afternoon of the first day there were fully ten thousand people on 
the ground. In the matter of patents alone, thirty-three states were 
here represented. The effects of this grand display were long felt in 
the business of the city, and served as an immense advertisement of her 
resources. Interest in the fair continued unabated till its close. The 
Morning Herald stated in its issue on the following day, that on Thurs- 
day, October 2d, the K. C, St. J. & C. B. R. R. carried 33,000 persons to the 
grounds, and expresses the opinion that there must have been fifty thou- 
sand people present. So great was the throng, that by noon the associ- 
ation was compelled to close its gates to the further admission of vehicles. 

No event of this memorable occasion seemed to attract more gen- 
eral interest than the Great Baby Show, which occurred on the last day, 
Saturday, October 4th. There were fifty-seven entries of babies of 
both sexes, and of all ages, from six weeks to twenty months, including 
one colored specimen, of the female sex. 

The judges, on this important occasion, were Governor Giddings, of 
New Mexico ; Hon. B. M. Austin, of Michigan, and Colonel James N. 
Burnes, of St. Joseph. 

The prize, a one hundred dollar buggy, offered as a special premium 
by C. Kessler & Co., of St. Joseph, was awarded to Kitty Nims, aged 
twenty months, daughter of Ruel and Catherine Nims, of Nebraska. 

The utmost harmony and good feeling prevailed to the close of the 
last day. Everybody seiemed to think that the exposition had proved a 
grand success. 

In the enthusiasm of the closing scene, Captain Lyon, the efficient 
popular president of the association, and a man of no small proportions, 
was bodily lifted on the top of a stand and vociferously called on for a 
speech. The captain, in his usual felicitous style, returned thanks 
for the expression of good will, and after a few well-timed remarks, 
retired amid a storm of applause. 


But for the accident of the destruction by wind of the buildings, this 
fair would have been, in every respect, an unqualified success. The 
receipts of the week were over twentj^-eight thousand dollars, but the 
fifteen thousand dollars, necessarily expended in restoring the wrecked 
structures, severely crippled the resources of the association. 

In 1874 a new corporation was formed, they assuming the payment, 
in four annual installments, of a mortgage of $15,000 or $16,000 on the 
buildings. In view of the financial depression consequent upon the 
grasshopper scourge, the association failed to meet its second payment. 

The second exposition opened on Monday, September 7, 1874, and 
closed Saturday evening, September I2th. The officers of the associa-i, 
tion that year were : James N. Burnes, President ; George Hall, Vice 
President ; George Lyon, Superintend'ent and Managing Director ; H. R. 
W. Hartwig, Treasurer ; J. M. Varnum, Secretary ; Captain John A. Dol- 
man, Assistant General Superintendent ; Colonel Elijah Gates, Chief 

The fair this year was largely attended, and its receipts were 
$22,500. A notable feature of this fair was the first old settlers' meet- 
ing, referred to at length under its proper heading. 

In view of the continued visitation of the grasshopper scourge, inter- 
est in the succeeding fairs began to flag, and the attendance, in conse- 
quence, to fall off. 

The officers of the Association in 1875, were: James N. Burnes, 
President ; George Lyon, General Manager ; Wm. M. Wyeth, Vice Pres- 
ident ; H. R. W. Hartwig, Treasurer ; J. T. Imbrie, Secretary. 

The receipts of the exposition, which occurred, about the usual 
period in September, this year, were nearly twenty thousand dollars. 

The second old settlers' meeting occurred during this fair. 

The fourth annual Exposition opened Monday, September 25thi 
1876, and continued till Saturday the 30th. This fair was largely 
attended. The officers of the Association that year were : James N. 
Burnes, President ; Wm. M. Wyeth, Vice President ; Capt. George Lyon, 
General Manager ; J. T. Imbrie, Secretary. 

The fifth and last Exposition of this Association opened Monday, 
September loth, 1877, continuing till Saturday, [5th. 

The officers of the Association during this year were Capt. George 
Lyon, President and General Manager ; Wm. M. Wyeth, Vice President; 
J. T. Imbrie, Secretary. 

In the year 1878 Buchanan County had no fair. It was not in the 
nature of things, however, that this should continue long. 

August 29th, 1879, the 

was incorporated, with a capital stock of $12,000, divided into 1,200 


shares of $10 each. This is commonly known by the name and style of 
Saint Joseph Inter- State Exposition. 

The grounds at the terminus of the Citizen's Street Railway are 
leased by the Association. The locality is well shaded with native tim- 
ber and watered by a stream which traverses its entire length. The 
buildings are good and the Association is said to be in a healthy finan- 
cial condition. 

The incorporators are Samuel Nave, John J. Abell, Edward Kuechle, 
L. G. Hunger, and Dr. J. M. D. France. 

The first ofiScers of this Association were : Samuel Nave, President ; 
H. R. W. Hartwig, Vice President ; Edward J. Kuechle, Treasurer ; J. T. 
Imbrie, Secretary. 

The first fair commenced Monday, September 29th, 1879, and con- 
tinued till Saturday, October 5th, following. It was largely attended 
and generally considered a success, although it rained every day of the 

The second Exposition of this Association, which opened Monday, 
September 6th, 1880, was liberally patronized. It is claimed that on 
Thursday, the 9th inst., there were present on the grounds 24,000 people. 
The officers were the same as those of the previous year. 

The Association have labored to make the enterprise a success. 
Not less than $16,000 worth of improvements having been placed on the 
grounds in the past t\</^o years. The Exposition for 1881 opens Monday, 
September 5th, 1881. Among other liberal inducements the sum of 
$20,000 is offered in premiums. The officers are the same as those of 
the two previous years with the exception of the Secretary. Charles F. 
Ernst succeeds Mr. Imbrie in this latter office. The Board of Directors 
for 188 1 include Samuel M. Nave, H. R. W. Hartwig, A. C. Dawes, F. 
L. Sommer, A. Steinacker, S. I. Smith, B. F. Buzard, J. J. Abell and 
Edward J. Kuechle. 



was organized in 1866, with ten or twelve members. Judge Henry M. 
Vories, who was elected to the Supreme bench of the State in 1872, was 
the first President of the society, and Wm. M. Albin, its first Secre- 
tary. Allen Vories, Esq., was secretary from 1868 to 1875, when, on the 
resignation of Judge H. M. Vories, he was elected to- succeed him, 
and D. M. Reichard was elected Secretary of the Association. The 
society, at one time, had a membership of between sixty and seventy. 

At the St. Louis Fair, in 1869, a diploma was awarded this society 
for the "best and largest collection of all kinds of fruits." 

At the Kansas City Fair of 1871, a diploma was awarded the St. 
Joseph Horticultural Society and Fruit Growers Association "for the 
best display of horticultural products." 




was an institution organized in 1873, with James A. Storm, President, 
and Harry Carter, Secretary. 

Its first meeting, held for the purpose of organizing, occurred during 
the fair on the Exposition grounds. Its first exhibition was held in the 
City Hall, December 8th, 9th and loth of the same year. This was one 
of the most popular and largely attended displays ever offered to the 
public in St. Joseph. 

The organization prospered for five or six consecutive years, when 
interest in its success began to flag and it gradually ceased to exist. 


This institution is located in Washington Township, three miles 
below St. Joseph, at the Brown Spring, on ten acres of land purchased 
by the citizens of St. Joseph and donated by them to the Fish Commis- 
sion of Missouri. In reference thereto, the Fish Commissioners, in their 
report for the year 1881, say: 

"The first meeting of the Board, after Mr. Ewing's appointment, was 
held in St. Joseph the 8th of June, 1880. After examining a number of 
springs in the County of Buchanan, the Commission, all the members 
being present, located the State Fish Hatchery on the loth of June, 1880, 
at the Brown Spring, about three miles south of the southern limits of 
the City of St. Joseph, but upon condition that ten acres of ground, where 
the hatchery was located, should be conveyed in fee simple to the Fish 
Commission, for the use and benefit of the State of Missouri, free of 
charge to the state. The citizens of St. Joseph having been informed of 
the conditional location of the hatchery, as above stated, at once raised, 
by voluntary subscription, the sum of one thousand dollars, in cash, and 
gave it to the chairman to pay for the ten acres of ground required for 
the purpose of the hatchery ; and thereupon Judge Thomas A. Brown 
conveyed said land to the Fish Commission of Missouri on the 19th day 
of July, 1880, said deed being duly executed and acknowledged, was filed 
for record in the Recorder's office of Buchanan County, on the 4th day of 
August, 1880, and is now of record in said office, in book 105, page 5'0. 
On the 2 1st day of August, 1880, the Commission entered into a contract 
with Rufus K. Allen to erect a house for a State Fish Hatchery on said 
ten acres of ground, according to the plans and specifications prepared 
by C. H. Brownell, who had been employed by the Commission as Super- 
intendent of the State Fish Hatchery, it being a part of the agreement 
between the Commission and said Brownell, when he was employed as 
Superintendent, that he was to prepare the plan of said house and supers 
intend its erection, as well as to advise and aid in the construction 
of all the machinery and appliances used in preparing said hatchery for 


actual use. Mr. Browiiell was recommended to the Commission as an 
honest, competent, reliable and experienced man, by several gentlemen 
connected with the fish hatcheries in the State of Michigan. We agreed 
to pay Mr. Brownell tor his sevices $75 per month and his expenses 
ft-om his home in, Michigan to St. Joseph, his employment to commence 
the i6th of August, 1880. The hatchery is a two-story frame building, 
forty feet long and twenty feet wide ; the lower floor contains all the 
hatching troughs and apparatus used in the hatching and taking care of 
the young fry. The upper part of the building is used now, and is and 
was designed as a dwelling for the Superintendent and all employes in 
the hatchery. The house, under the contract with Mr. Allen, above 
referred to, cost $1,219.34. For excavation and building pond, materials 
used in and making troughs, trays, etc., for lead and copper pipes, and 
all work done and materials furnished in completing our hatchery, we 
have already paid out, in addition to the cost of the house, $1,102.13, 
making the actual cost of our hatchery to the State, as it now stands, 
with all necessary fixtures and appliances complete, $2,321.47, to which 
has been added two unpaid bills for fencing and painting, now under 
contract,amounting to the sum of $117, and making the total cost $2,438.47. 

We think we can safely say that we have as perfect and complete a 
fish hatchery as can be found anywhere in the West. The water used 
is of the purest quality found in any limestone country ; it is abundant 
for all the uses of the hatchery, and when the thermometer last winter 
fell to more than 20 deg. below zero, the water that flowed into our 
hatchery, and in which we had at the time about 175,000 California 
salmon fry, never fell below 50 deg. 

It will be necessary next spring to make some carp and other ponds ; 
when this is done no other money will have to be spent in making our 
fish hatchery all that could be desired by its most ardent friends. We 
can then hatch all the eggs and furnish all the young fish fry needed to 
supply every river, lake and pond in the State. It will be apparent 
from what has been said that our hatchery was located and built at too 
late a period to do much last fall. No eggs, such as we wanted, could 
be had, except 200,000 California salmon eggs that were furnished us by 
the United States Fish Commission, we paying the cost of transporta- 
tion, first, from San Francisco to Chicago, $93 ; next, from Chicago to 
St. Joseph, $20. About five per cent, of these eggs were lost before we 
got them to the hatchery ; of the remaining ninety-five per cent, nearly 
all of them produced healthy, splendid young fish. These are still in 
our troughs, but ready for distribution, and will be distributed, under an 
order of the Board, made on the nth inst., as soon as we can perfect our 
arrangements with the railroads for transportation of fish and messen- 
gers, to wit : Lake Contrary, 20,000 ; Platte River, 5,000 ; One Hundred 
and Two River, 5,000. 




Having already noticed at considerable length the earliest settle- 
ments, and the pioneers who first made these settlements, we shall now 
speak of the old settlers' reunions which took place at St. Joseph, Sep- 
tember, 1874-S, under the auspices of the Industrial and Art Exposi- 
tion. That was an occasion redolent of pleasant memories and sacred 
recollections to the gray-haired sires who were then present. Many of 
these old veterans have since passed to the land of shadows : 

" Unblamed through life, lamented in the end." 

A few stiH linger upon the shores of time, as the oldest landmarks 
of those early days, when the Platte country had just passed from the 
dominion of the non-progressive red men into the hands of the whites. 
Brave-hearted old pioneers ! Golden be the evening twilight of their 
lives. We have for them a peculiar reverence, and upon our hearts 
abide their memories imperishable. 

A few tnore years, however, of watching and waiting, and they,, too, 
will have joined 

"The innumerable caravan, that moves 
To that mysterious realm where each shill take 
His chamber in the silent halls of death." 

The following letter, sent by Bishop Marvin to James N. Burnes, 
the president of the old settlers' m2eting of 1874, will be read with 
interest : 

2719 Lucas Avenue, St. Louis, ) 
September 3, 1874. f 
James N. Burnes, Esq. 

Dear Sir and Brother — I have just returned from a tour, and find 
yours of August 27th, inviting me to participate in the reunion of the 
" old settlers " of the Platte Purchase. I regret that I did not know of 
the reunion a month earlier. In that case I could have arranged my 
appointments so as to enable me to be present. As it is, I have an 
engagement in Dent County, which for special reasons it is necessary 
to meet. You may assure your board that no circumstances of a trivial 
character would prevent my acceptance of their invitation. 


For the early settlers of Northwest Missouri I feel a regard that 
amounts to enthusiasm, and increases with time. 

The early years of my ministry were spent in that part of the state. 
In 1842, I passed the present site of St. Joseph, on my way to a field of 
labor quite on the frontier. It embraced all the country west of Noda- 
way River. You will remember at that time there was no St. Joseph. 
In subsequent years, I labored in Clay, Platte and Buchanan Counties. 
I shall never forget the uncalculating, unboundedTiospitality of the "old 
settlers." Many of them were in their first rude cabins, but those cabins 
had the rarest capacity for entertaining both friend and stranger of any 
houses of their size I ever saw. I often saw them crowded, but to the 
best of my recollection I never saw one of them full :, there was always 
room for a fresh comer. I recollect once in the Platte Purchase, I was 
wedging myself into a bed already occupied by five children, when one 
of them waked sufficiently to exclaim "Mamma, Mamma, he's a scrougin' 

You will yourself remember that I was more than once a guest at 
the house of your honored father. Bear with me while I say I can never 
forget the model Christian mother, mistress and hostess, who presided 
over the domestic scene there. 

At that time I knew many men who did not know me, for I was a 
mere youth. I knew they were great as compared with other men I 
knew, but I had a fancy that the great men were in the east. But after 
many years of extended observation I have come to the conclusion that 
I heard as fine a specimen of political speaking in Liberty, in 1844, by 
Colonel Doniphan, as I have ever heard since, and that the country 
would be happy if the balances were everywhere held by hands as intel- 
ligent and firm as those of the pioneer jurist, David R. Atchison. 

Among my own class there was the laborious Redman, the scholarly 
Tutt, the impetuous and saintly Roberts, and many others, now dead. 
Nor can I omit the name of the incorruptible and courageous Roberson. 
Some are still living: Holmes, Perry, Ruble, Jordan, Rush, Spencer, 
Barker and others. 

There was a man, a minister of Christ, a large portion of whose pub- 
lic career belongs to the Platte Purchase, of whom I must say, he was in 
some respects the most remarkable man I ever saw. I refer to W. G. 
Caples. He was another "Agamemnon, King of Men.' He was a first- 
class wit, a man of the finest social feeling, having positive ideas, and a 
a great end to accomplish. That end was the extension of the Kingdom 
of Christ and the salvation of men. In his view, a high standard of pop- 
ular education would contribute to this. He did much for North- 
west Missouri in establishing schools under christian auspices, and 
although they did not survive the war, they did much to elevate public 
sentiment, and have left an influence behind them that must be perma- 

Now I proceed to say that the old citizens of Platte have heard 
as great preaching as any other people on the American continent, and 
from the lips of the man, Caples. I have heard more scholarly men, 
men whose sermons evinced higher cultivation and a better classical 
finish ; but for power of argumentation, for philosophical breadth and 
sweep, for grandeur of conception, for greatness of imagination, for force 
and pungency of popular appeal, for originality, variety and opulence of 


thought, and for pathos, my conviction is, his superior has not appeared 
in the American pulpit. 

I make no doubt that the ministry and church have done more to 
quicken thought and create a thirst for knowledge in the west, than is 
generally understood. Ministers of the Gospel in the new communities, 
being above the average of people in culture, and dealing in truths of a 
character to elevate the mind, and provoke inquiry, have, as an incident 
of their calling, toned up the popular mind, encouraged a taste for read- 
ing and created a demand for schools. Such a man as Caples cannot 
mingle with people without elevating them. 

But pardon me. I had no thought of becoming so garrulous. I am 
getting to be almost an old man, and thoughts of the old times have 
awakened the talking mood in me, until it seems a real hardship and 
self-denial not to be with you at the reunion. It is thirty years since I 
heard Doniphan. How I would like to listen to his utterances on this 
occasion, when old memories will mellow his voice, and since, as I doubt 
not, Christian sentiments will exalt and irradiate his conception. 

Will you have the goodness to present to the "old settlers" m,y 
profound regard, and express to them my deep regret that I cannot 
greet them on this pleasant occasion, for there are many whom I shall 
never see again. 

As ever, 


Bishop Marvin died in 1878. 

The following interesting account of the reunion of 1874, we take 
from the St. Joseph Herald : 


The Old Settlers' meeting was the most interesting feature of the 
day. At least one hundred of the old gray-haired sires and mothers, 
who were among the early settlers of the Platte Purchase, were gathered 
on the reserved seats in front of the grand stand. At half past twelve 
o'clock this meeting was called to order by Col. James N. Burnes, who 
spoke as follows : 

" Ladies and Gentlemen— You will not expect of me an extended 
speech. I am too full to express what I feel. You will allow me to 
nominate for chairman of this meeting the Hon. David R. Atchison. His 
name is the balance of my speech." 

Hon. D. R. Atchison then* took the floor, and thanked the audience 
for the honor conferred upon him. He had once presided over the 
United States Senate, but this was a prouder position than he had ever 
occupied before. He referred in feeling terms to the early settlers of the 
Platte Purchase, the trials and hardships of the people, and their courage 
and endurance under difficulties. 

Hon. George Smith was elected first vice president. Mr. Smith 
returned his thanks for the distinction. He had no speech, but would 011 
a proper occasion address the people of the Platte Purchase. 


Col. Burnes then opened a book containing the names of the old 
•settlers, and moved that they be appointed vice presidents. Carried. 

Col. J. H. R. Cundiff was appointed secretary of the meeting. 
I Gen. Craig then introduced Gen. A. W. Doniphan. Gen. Doniphan 
then came forward and said the sight of the Old Settlers exhilarated him 
like laughing gas. He said that old people like to talk, but he had to 
excuse himself with returning his thanks to the managers of the Expo- 
sition for granting the opportunity to the Old Settlers to have a re-union. 
One of the privileges of an old man was to contrast the present state of 
the country with what it was when the first settlement was made. He 
referred to the railroads, cities, colleges and other evidences of civiliza- 
tion that had sprung up in this country, that was an unknown wilderness 
in the old times. The Missouri of 1874 was an entirely different Mis- 
souri from that of 1830. He referred in feeling terms to those who had 
died since the settlement of the country. 

■ ' He referred to the free and easy hospitalities of the early days. 
Men did not stop to part their hair in the middle, but just gave it a toss, 
back and went about their business. The unbounded hospitality was 
such as the world had never seen before. The ladies were the picture 
-of health, and had strength as well as beauty, and there wasn't a strong 
minded one among them. They had eyes like the doe, and a step like 
the gazelle, and were self-reliant and natural. He referred to the old 
type of men, that some thought had become extinct, but assured the 
audience they still lived. 

His speech was well interspersed with anecdotes, and he kept the 
audience laughing and roaring for full fifteen minutes. He referred to 
the old Missouri settlers who had made homes in Colorado and California, 
and said still they kept up the good old customs. He spoke of the pro- 
gress of the last quarter of a century. Twenty-five years ago there 
was not more than a thousand miles of railroad in America. St. Joseph 
. and Kansas City were the ultimathule of civilization. Now they were 
great railroad centres, teeming with the commerce of half a dozen states 
and territories. The iron horse had passed our borders and gone career- 
ing on his conquering course across numerous territories to the golden 
. gates of the Pacific. It was impossible to conceive what the next hun- 
-dred years had in store for this great country. 

Judge Birch was then loudly called for ; but Gen. Craig introduced 
Senator Bogy, who then came forward, and spoke as follows : 

Ladies and Gentlemen of Northwest Missouri: — For many 
years I have attended meetings of the people in different towns, cities 
and counties of the state, and, indeed, in many of the states of the 
Union, but I can say with the utmost sincerity that I have never before 
taken part in any assemblage of the people which gave me so much true 
and heartfelt pleasure as this one does. When your invitation, sent to 


me by your committee, was received, I was on the eve of disposing of 
my time in a different way from that of being present here to-day, but 
the reading of it at once decided me to forego all other engagements. 
I have come, my friends, to exchange with you greetings of friendship, 
and to talk of the past, and of the men who, a few years ago, were with 
us working and shaping the destiny of our state and devoting their time, 
and energies to its material development. Most of them after well- 
spent lives, have passed from among us, leaving behind them, honored 
names — to be cherished and respected by their descendants. I take it 
that, with few exceptions, I am addressing the children of the old set- 
tlers. Judging from my own recollections, there are but few left of the 
old set. Thornton and Thompson, and Laidlbw. and Rich and Dbugh- 
erty, with whom I was personally acquainted, have paid the great debt 
of nature, and lie now beneath the green sod of the section first made to- 
contribute its share to the support of the civilized man.. Other names 
could be mentioned by persons better acquainted with the individuals of 
this section than I am; but these few are a type of the old settlers,. 
Who does not remember the name of each of these men without a pro- 
found emotion of respect and veneration .'' They were not only intelli- ' 
gent and influential, but in these respective persons was embodied the- 
true character of American citizenship. 

You, my friends, who are their descendants, should not only respect 
their memories, but be proud of their private and public virtues. A 
nation of such men would be the wonder of the world. So much for the 
past. I meet here to-day a few of the old settlers who have been spared' . 
as the connecting link between us and the past. Atchison and Doni- 
phan, Morin and Wood and Birch, and a few others are here yet. TwO' 
of these have national reputations, and would of themselves be sufficient 
to make a nation illustrious. Atchison was for a long time the presid- 
ing officer of the Senate of the United States, when in that body were 
Calhoun and Clay and Webster and Benton and Crittenden and Man<- 
gum and Cass and Houston, and a host of other illustrious charactersi. 
He then acquired a reputation co-extensive with the nation. The name 
of Doniphan will live in history forever. His campaign in and through 
an enemy's country, under the most difficult circumstances, has never 
been surpassed by anything in ancient or modern times. Alexander 
obtained the name of Great because he went from Greece to the Indus, 
and for ages a halo of glory has surrounded his name, not surpassed by 
that of Hannibal or Napoleon ; yet when all the attending circumstances, 
are duly considered, the march headed by your own Doniphan required 
more true courage and bravery, and power of endurance, and patience,, 
and perseverance, and skill and military genius than the expedition 
headed by Alexander the Great. Atchison and Doniphan are yet with 
you — and with the true simplicity of Cincinnatus and the dignity of Cato, 
move in your midst, sharing in your joys and sympathizing with your 
sorrows. May they be spared for many years to come. I am not here 
to-day, my friends, to deliver an eulogy upon the men who first settled 
this section. I have mentioned a few as a type, so as to let their 
descendants know what sort of men they came from, and so that they 
may entertain a feeling of great pride in their ancestors. 

I am myself a descendant of a race of pioneers, different in many 
respects from the one I am speaking of. The first settlers of the valley 


were French, yet they did not come here from France. In the latter 
part of the seventeenth and early part of the eighteenth century, the fur 
trade of the valley of the Mississippi became an object of commercial 
importance, and the Canadians were the first persons who came here, 
and did so as fur traders. Canada was then a colony of France, and 
remained so till the treaty of Paris of 1763. The early Canadian pioneer 
is, therefore, the original settler of this country. They remained, how- 
ever, on the east side of the Mississippi, and settled the towns of Caho- 
kia, Prairie du Pont, Prairie du Rocher, Kaskaskia and Fort Chartiers,. 
and crossed the river only towards the latter part of the eighteenth 

After the treaty of 1763, by which the east side of the river was 
ceded to England, they came over the river in larger numbers, believing 
that it yet belonged to France, although the same treaty had ceded it to 
Spain. I will not detain you with the details, and only mention them 
to explain the different character of emigrants who first settled our state, 
At the time Louisiana was organized, in 1803, by Mr. Jefferson, the popu- 
lation of this country was, I may say, entirely French. Soon after the 
acquisition a large emigration came from Virginia, the great old mother 
of states, and from Kentucky, the first daughter of the glorious old 
mother, and from the old North State of Carolina, and from Tennessee, 
and settled in the counties of New Madrid, Cape Girardeau, Ste. Gene- 
vieve, St. Louis and St. Charles. This emigration continued, not very 
rapidly, till the admission of Missouri as a state, when our population 
was only 56,000. I well remember the excitement about the Boone's 
Lick country, when I was a boy in my native town. Wagons filled with 
women and children, followed by cattle, horses and hogs, were passing 
through the town every day. Many of the little boys in the wagons 
became, in after times, leading men in our state, and no doubt many of 
the innocent little girls became the mothers of other men who also 
became distinguished and played their parts in the drama of life. Boone's 
Lick was settled by a noble lot of men and women. Old Daniel Boone 
himself came to our state and settled here. Boone, Callaway, Howard, 
and Clinton Counties were settled at this period. A few years afterwards 
the tide moved towards the northwest and settled the counties of Clay, 
Ray, Carroll, etc. 

In 1836 a most remarkable, and, under the political condition of the 
country, a most singular event took place. The section of country known 
as the Platte country, being the triangle lying west of the western line 
of our state and the Missouri River, was by acL of Congress added to our 
state. I well remember the newspaper controversy which took place at 
the time in relation to it. Benton and Linn were in the Senate — both 
being Senators of commanding influence — Benton being then considered 
the Ajax of the administration, and Linn, personally, the most popular 
man in the Senate, for he was as lovely as a woman, yet possessing the 
true characteristics of one of the knights of old. Ashbury was in the 
House — a man of high character and large wealth, which he expended 
with princely liberality. Benton and Linn claimed a measure of credit 
for the passage of this law-^which Ashley denied. On the other hand he 
claimed that which they denied. The truth is, that but one was entitled 
to great credit for the passage ot the measure. It required the combina- 
tion of talent and personal popularity and personal influence which they 


had to secure its passage, and to each and to all are we indebted for this 
great measure. 

Thissection of country now embraces the counties of Holt, Atchison, 
Nodaway^ Andrew, Platte and Buchanan, and this beautiful and growing 
city of St. Joseph its metropolis, was founded by an old friend of my boy- 
hood — Joseph Robidoux — who was really the first pioneer of the Platte 

Up to the passage of this law, this was an Indian country, and by 
treaty had beeft set apart forever to the Sioux and Fox tribes of Indians. 
As soon as this most bountiful and rich country was acquired, as already 
mentioned, and opened to settlement, a wave of emigrants immediately 
poured into it, and soon this country, which but a short time before had 
been the home of the Indian and wild beast, was transformed into mag- 
nificent farms, and the home of as fine and noble a race of men as any 
country can boast of In many respects the latter emigrants had the ad- 
vantage of the first, settlers, and certainly greatly the advantage of the 
early Canadians. They left the old country after they or their fathers 
had had time and opportunity to acquire property, and also to obtain 
educations, which was an impossibility with the early settlers. Many of 
them, indeed, were men of wealth and the owners of many stores, and 
also possessing liberal education. Many of the women were highly edu- 
cated and accomplished. I visited the section when a young man, and I 
never shall forget the favorable impression made on me at the time, not 
only by the robust and intelligent men I met, but by as charming, hand- 
some and accomplished ladies, young and old, as I ever met elsewhere. 

I have thus, ladies and gentlemen, in a brief and desultory manner, 
given you a sketch of the early settlers of our country. 

Each generation has, no doubt, its alloted duties; ours is to trans- 
mit to those who are to come after us as the rich legacy we inherited 
from our forefathers^ — and this is not only in the political order, but in 
the social and moral order — and as your fathers left you honored names, 
you should do nothing to tarnish them; nay, you must not, no matter at 
what personal cost, permit any one else to place a blot on the fair fame 
■of the brave men and women from whom you have sprung. And, as you 
inherited high social positions, transmit the same to your children. Do 
this and you, like your fathers, will have discharged the duties of your 
day and generation, to them, to your sons, and to those who are to come 
after you. 

Ladies and gentlemen : Permit me in conclusion to say a few words 
of a personal nature. The people of my state have honored me with the 
highest office in their gift. A seat in the Senate of the United States is 
truly one of the most distinguished and elevated positions which man 
can hold in this or any other country. When elected to this high posi- 
tion I felt the measure of my ambition was full, and the dreams of a long 
life realized. Yet I felt as but few can feel, a sense of gratitude to the 
generation of the present day for selecting in my humble person a 
descendant of the old hunters and settlers of this portion of the New 
World. In the name of my early forefathers, the old hunters of this 
Western World, and with the recollections of their primitive and humble 
virtues fresh in my heart and soul, I return thanks to my generation for 
this, its great act of generosity to one of their descendants. 


General Craig then introduced General B. F. Stringfellow, who spoke 
briefly and to the point. He referred to the fact that he was a citizen of 
Kansas ; he said there was no act in his life of which he was so proud as 
the fact that he was once a member of the firm of Atchison, Stringfellow & 
Go. He here saw the Co. around him in the faces of the old settlers. He 
referred to the brilliant career of Colonel Doniphan, and the acquisition 
of Texas, New Mexico and California, to the early settlements of Kansas 
and the men who were then called border ruffians. They were rightly 
described by a young lady as the last remains of chivalry. He had- only 
to say he was sorry they were whipped. He accepted the situation 
brought about by the new order of things. 

He did not propose to shed any useless tears over the past, but to 
accept the new order of things and make the best of it and the most of 
it. He referred to the prejudice formerly existing against Northern men, 
.and was glad that the old prejudices were worn out, and that the people 
of the Missouri Valley were a homogenous people. His speech abounded 
in anecdotes, and was frequently applauded by the immense audience in 

Uncle Henry Vories was then introduced, and spoke in his pleasant, 
old-fashioned way : 

Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen and Old Settlers of 
Missouri — I decline making anything like a speech on this occasion, 
but I propose relating a few incidents in my life which, doubtless, will be 
personally recollected by not a few old settlers before me. 

I came to Missouri from Indiana in 1844, the memorable year of the 
flood. I started with nothing and arrived here with less, with my family 
.-sick into the bargain. Sonie time before leaving Indiana, on examining 
the map of the Platte country, I placed my finger on the spot, in the 
bend of the Missouri, where St. Joseph was marked down, and where she 
now stands, and said, "That shall be my home." 

I started for the new land of my hopes and arrived at last in Clinton 
'County. There I became sick from the fatigue and labors of the journey 
and could proceed no further. I was without money and almost entirely 
■destitute. An early settler of that country, many of you know him, Mr. 
Bagley, took me and my family into his house, giving us the best quarters 
he possessed, and took care of us while I was sick, his wife waiting upon . 
me as tenderly as my own mother could have done. It was there, while 
lying sick, before having reached my journey's end, that I first saw the 
face of my friend. Judge James H. Birch, now before you. Dr. Essig 
had come to wait on me. I told him that I had no money, and did not 
know when, if ever, I could pay him for his professional services, and that 
■unless he felt able to give his services to me without certainty of ever 
igetting any pay, he had bfetter not spend his time with me. He said he 
•would do the best for me he could. The next morning who should come 
to my bedside but Judge Birch. I was in a very dilapidated condition, 
which he could not help observing as he looked at me, and he said to me : 
"' You are a stranger here, and in straightened circumstances, which I 


fully appreciate; pemit me to loan you some money." my first 
introduction to Judge Birch. 

I finally got into a cabin with my family ; I could throw a dog through 
the cracks of the door. One of my children was sick, and one morning 
a blue-coated boy of the rreighborhood who had become acquainted with 
her, came to see her. That boy now is the Horr. Willard P; Hall. In a 
few days the Hon. James B., Garden-hire called to- see me and I formed 
his acquaintance. 

After a while the time for court to sit came round. I wanted to go,, 
but had no money. I owed a girl, a servant in the house, fifty cents, and 
she wanted to leave, and I was determined not to let her go unpaid. 
One day old Bob Duncan came to me and asked me if I was going to 
court ; I told him no, that my family were sick and I didn't want to leave 
them. I wanted to go, but I had no money ; but I didn't want to tell 
him any more. He suspected the real trouble and said: "Now,.Vories, 
don't you need a little money.' Take this and go to court," and he 
handed me several good sized coins. I did gO' tO' court., 

The first fee I got was a horse, which I sold for $40. The next day 
I took the money and went to Plattsburg to-pay my friend Birch. I met 
Bela Hughes and told him, my mission. He said, "don't look so down- 
hearted." My hat was old and very dilapidated, for a member of the 
legal profession, and Hughes noticed it and said, "Hold your head Up, 
there are good people here, and the man- who rides forty miles to pay a 
debt will succeed." 

Here I met many of these old men and got acquainted with them. 
Afterward I was for a brief moment captivated with the stories about 
California, and made a visit there. But I could not stay. On my return 
I met the question on all sides, " what makes you come back," and I said 
to them, "the men I meet here, when I speak to them, stood about six 
inches closer to me than they do out there;" I said to my partner, in 
California, before leaving there, that if I knew that I could live only two 
years longer, and it would take me eighteen months to get back to Mis- 
souri, I would spend that eighteen months in getting home just to live 
the other six months among the people of Missouri. And now, all I ask 
is, that when it is all over,, my grave may be made among, the graves of 
my old benefactors. 

Gen. Craig then saidc that they had kept the best of the wine to the 
last of the feast, and then, introduced, Judge James H.. Birch, Sr., who 
spoke as follows : 

The venerable and venerated Judge Birch, of Clinton County, was 
the next and last speaker.. 

He commenced by an. illusion tothe kindly reference which.had beea 
made to him by Judge Vories, in respect to a circumstance, occurring 
some thirty years ago, in which he had been so befriended by the speaker 
as to satisfy him that he had come to the right country to find jnen, and 
which had actuated him ever since. The Judge had regarded, it. simply 
as the duty of a lawyer and citizen, who happened tO' have a few dollars 
at the time, toward another lawyer (and a sick one) who was in a strange 
country and was out of money, to divide with- him. Biit as demonstrat.- 


ing exactly the man that Vories was, whether with or without money, 
the Judge went on to say that, when it afterward came to the ear of 
Vories tthat he was strapped for spending money in one of his races for , 
Congress, Vories had opened his pocket book to him, although he had 
been a member of the convention that had nominated another candidate- 
Nor was this all — ^for when he was so chronically bedfast, two or three 
years ago, as to render it probable that he would never again get away 
from home, Vories had sent to him a basket of his " Virginia Seedling," 
and was preparing to send him another of Catawba, when he learned 
that Birch had anticipated him by ordering it from his agent. The 
whole of it was, that whatever risk the speaker had incurred in leaving 
all the money he had (and that borrowed money) with a sick brother 
lawyer and his family, it turned out to be the most encouraging instance 
he had ever met with of "casting his bread upon the waters" — for the 
poor, high-headed creature had never got done with reciprocating it, and 
•never would. Such was Henry M. Vories, now an honored ifustice of the 
Supreme Court — ^then a sick and downcast lawyer, without comforts for 
"his family — and such is but an average type of the "old settlers" of the 
■"Platte Purchase," by whom he found himself surrounded to-day. 

Yes, gentlemen, (continued the speaker,) all the loose talk in the 
world cannot keep it out of history, that the "old settlers" who have 
passed the gate to-day on the " complimentary " of the self-possessed 
and far-seeing president of this great exposition, are of the type, or 
•class of men who, in a'll ages, from the conquest of Julius Caesar, to the 
settlement of California and Colorado, have been the founders of society, 
of counties and of states — and we ask no higher recognition than that 
we did not ingloriously " die out " amongst those we were born with, but 
that we took our chances to build up an equal, if not an improved, 
society amongst those of equal self-reliance with ourselves. 

And here, if anywhere, it is appropriate to remark that -amongst 
those whom you have so encouraged with your good will that their 
names are recorded as successful lawyers and judges and legislators, in 
both houses, (both state and national) there is not one of us who has a 
black mark against another one, whether we remember each other as 
professional or political associates, or rivals. No, gentlemen, (sa-id the 
distinguished speaker, turning to the ten or dozen who were occupying 
with him the speaking stand) no ! and more than that, there is not a 
man amongst you who was not naturally "born and. bred" in the full 
appreciation and recognition of General Jackson's sententious measure 
of unquestioned mediocrity, namely, the desire to detract from the repu- 
tation of your rivals, in the ignoble and mistaken assumption that to 
concede their "cleverness" was much subtracted from their own. In 
this sense, at least, we were all Jackson men, whether agreeing or dis- 
agreeing in other respects, and in that sense we look into the faces .of 


each other to-day, as I saw Harrison and Johnson look into the faces of 
each other, when meeting for the first time during the quarter of a cen- 
tury which had elapsed since the battle of the Thames. Each had dis- 
charged his djity, according to his theory of it ; and the respectful, yet 
stately look of each made an absolute end of the misjudged calumnies 
which the unreflecting friends of each had heaped upon the other during 
the political canvass of 1840. 

Having no time before the horse race, of which he had heard the 
sound of the bugle, to speak of the other noble attributes of the repre- 
sentative men who surrounded him, as he would not scruple to do, even 
in their presence, did time permit him, the speaker took up and amplified 
the allusion which had been made by General Atchison to General 
Hughes, as the inaugurator of the Platte County addition to the State 
of Missouri, by referring to what it had happened to him to know upon 
the subject. Producing from his portmanteau a copy of the Western 
Monitor and Boone's Lick Correspondent, a small newspaper which he 
established and edited at Fayette six and forty years ago, (and which 
was then the westernmost newspaper office in the United States,) he mod- 
estly referred to his connection with it as having given him his first polit- 
ical influence, and that it was therefore that the late General Andrew 
S. Hughes, then the agent of the Indian tribes who had had the Platte 
country assigned to them as their reservation or territory, had addressed 
him a letter on the subject of having it annexed to the State of Missouri,, 
That letter was accompanied by a rude diagram of the country, drawn 
up by the late General Cornelius Gilliam, from his hunting recollections 
of it, and was enclosed to Colonel Benton (our then senior senator) with 
such an additional letter from the speaker as he hoped might help along 
the project ; and in due course of mail he had the satisfaction to receive 
from our then distinguished and subsequently illustrious Senator, a 
reply, which he published in his paper, to the effect that both the Presi- 
dent and the Secretary of War were in favor of adding the then Indian' 
reservation to the State of Missouri, for military considerations con- 
nected with the peace of our original frontier boundary. 

'Such having been the simple and unadorned inauguration of a pro- 
ject which added a Congressional slave district to the State of Missouri, 
it is but justice to add that the measure was finally carried through 
both houses of Congress on the unanimous report of the .House Com- 
mittee on Indian affiairs, of which that life-long emancipationist, Horace 
Everett, of Vermont, was the chairman. May it not be added without, 
offense', that in this case, as in previous and subsequent ones, the great 
Democratic reliance upon the ultimate sense of "Justice and Right" of a 
majority of our countrymen is at least the safest panacea for " the ills we 
feel," instead of "flying to others we know not of.'" and that our recent 
unhappy experience of the opposite theory, where the sections as repr 


sented in congress were too mutually deaf to these appeals of fraternity 
and of reason to avert the ultimate arbitrament of the sword, should be 
referred to in no other spirit, and for no other purpose, than as an 
admonition for the future. 

^ God grant that we may live forever, not only as one people (as we 
must live), but as the fraternal, prosperous and free people we ought to be. 

The renewed notes of the race come, and a whisper from the highly 
courteous executive of the day's programme, that but three minutes 
remain of the time allotted to these ceremonies, will but necessarily 
condense even the condensed remarks to which I had restricted myself 

I have spoken of the " Old Settlers '' and their descendants, who, 
with all others, have so courteously listened to my gleanings — for I have 
but essayed to tread where others left me room — of the men I have 
spoken of as the class who founded society on the basis of right, and 
who so lived to be ready to " lay down the mace," in good conscience 
and peace, at the summons of the Great Maker. So lived Andrew 
Jackson, the frontier " settler " of Tennessee, to whose destiny it fell to so 
improve the opportunities of his time as to reach the most exalted posi- 
tion of the Republic. The bell rings again, and I must again condense. 
If his character in life was a grand one, his character in death was still 
grander — as it may be the fortune of each of us to be — each in the 
sphere to which providence has allotted him. 

For more than a year before he obeyed the final summons, he was 
'■ on guard," (so to speak,) in view of the last enemy he had to vanquish, 
and the reflections it suggested were so accepted and acted upon as to 
turn aside the terrors of the destroyer, or to so improve them as but to 
gild his entrance upon " the life eternal." His last words were : 

" I have finished my destiny upon earth, and it is time this worn out 
body should go to rest, and my spirit to its abode with Christ, my 

Then, turning in the last intenseness and fervor of his mighty soul, 
the Christian patriot prayed : 

"May my enemies find peace; may the liberties of my country 
endure forever ; may I meet you all in Heaven, both white and black." 

I will but reverentially repeat a paraphrase of this, as a parting 
benediction to those who have so often and so variously honored me 
with their ear — and to whom, and to their posterity and mine, I thus 
give over, in common with all others, the future of a common country : 

May our enemies find peace ; may the liberties of our country 
endure forever ; may we all meet in Heaven, both white and black. 

At the close of Judge Birch's speech. Col. Burnes announced that 
the Old Settlers' Meeting was adjourned until the next St. Joseph Expo- 
sition. The band then played Dixie and Yankee Doodle, which were 
received with tremendous applause by the large crowd in attendance. 



This was a shaking of hands across the bloody chasm, that was eminently- 
appropriate to the occasion, and the manner in which this meeting 
<;losed shows that the people of the Missouri Valley are a homogeneous 
people ; one in sympathy, and one in purpose ; united and inseparable. 
The occasion will long be remembered by the old settlers in attendance 
AS one of the happiest reunions in their lives. ' 


The following is a list of the veterans who reported to the secretary, 
at the meeting of September, 1874, and the dates of their settlement in 
the Platte Purchase : 


Mrs. S. L. Leonard, 1837. 

S. S. Connett 1839. 

M. C. Riley 1837. 

Geo. W. ToHn 1839. 

John B. Ritchie 1838. 

Marian Copeland 1838. 

James J. Reynolds 1838. 

James B. OToole 1837. 

Alexander Poe 1841. 

Judge Thos. A. Browne 1838. 

John R. Johnson 1838. 

Jeremiah Burnes 1837. 

F. C. Hughes 

C. W. Davies 1840. 

Calvin F. Burnes 1837. 

James E. Wallace 1838. 

William Gartin 

D. A. Davidson 1837. 

Isaac Lower 

G. M. Patton 1834. 

R. T. Davis 1838. 

Mrs. S. Connett 1837, 

H. T. Connett 1839. 

Geo. G. H. Brand 1835 

Evan Jordan 1840. 

Abner Copeland 1839, 

Dr. Silas McDonald 1838 

Cornelius Day 1838 

Simeon Kemper 1840. 

Col. John Doniphan — 

Calvin James — 

Moses Pyle , 1837. 

William Kirkham 1838 

Jule C. Robidoux 1838 

E. M. Davidson 1837 

Ben. C. Porter 1839. 

Elisha Gladden 1834, 

David C. Munkers 1837 

Husselton Compton 184O, 

Samuel E. Hardy 1838 

Wm. B. Poe 1843 

W. F. Davis 1840, 


Judge John McDaniels, 

Hugh Lewis, 

Geo. N. Castle, 

Robt. Elliot, 

Dr. P. P. Fulkerson, 

Joseph Walker, 

Joshua Bond, 

Elias Hughes, 
Maj. E. S. Castle, 
Upton Roohrer, 
Jeremiah Clark, 
James R. Watts, 
Jonathan M. Cobb, 
A. J. Demens, 




Gen. D. Ri Atchison, 
Judge jas. R. Coffman, 
Maj. James Cochrane, 
Wash. Huffecker, son of ist Col- 
lector of Clinton County, 
Jonathan Robert, 
Abraham Funkhouser, 
Hon. E. W. Turner, 

Judge James H. Birch, 
Ex-Gov. Geo. Smith, 
Rev. J. V. B. Flack, 
S. T. Brooking, 
Daniel P. McKissock, 
Caleb McGill, 
John Whitson, 
Geo. Funkhouser. 

Wm. V. Smith, 
W. R. Tr^ipp. 

Hon. James Foster, 

Capt. John B. Wells, 
Theodore F. Warner, 
Wm. Clay, 
Col. Geo. Gabbert, 
Joseph Todd, 
James Stultz, 
W. W. Williams, 
John S. Woods, 
Ben Yocum, 
Joel Ryan, 
John W. Martin, 
Eli Gabbin, 


Jack Albright, 


Geo. Mclntyre. 


Isaac T. Lewis, 
Maj. J. W. Hardisty, 
W. Cooper, 
Maj. G. W. Hood, 
Felix Blakely, 
Sidney Risk, 
Col. G. W. Belt, 
John McLain, 
Wm. A. Singleton, 
Smith Adams, 
Gen. J. Morin, 
James N. Boydston. 

One cf the most interesting features in connection with the Old 
Settlers meeting was the presentation, by Col. James N. Burnes, of the 
first reunion badge issued by the association, to the widow of the late 
honored Solomon L. Leonard. This badge is of the most elegant white 
silk, and the presentation was accompanied by a few appropriate and 
affecting remarks. The elegant testimonial was gracefully received and 
pinned upon the bosom of Mrs. Leonard. 


We take the following from the St. Joseph Gazette, September 7, 


Yesterday was a grand and proud one for the old settlers of the 
North-west, and a day that will long be remembered. From early 
morning until the noon hour they came pouring into the city from all 
parts of the territory of the Platte purchase, and many came from a long 
distance to once more mix and mingle with the friends of their youth and 
to grasp the hand and exchange salutations with those who with them 
had borne the hardships and privations of pioneer life, subduing the forests, 
• battling with wild beasts and wild men, and above all enduring the pri- 
vations and exposure of hunger and the elements, until they wrought out 
of the wilderness the blessings of the civilization their posterity now 

As they mixed and mingled upon the Exposition grounds, therp 
was many an old eye dimmed with tears, many an aged hand that 
trembled with emotion as the palms of those long separated again crossed 
in friendly greeting in the roll call of memory, unearthed the name and 
merits of those who had fallen by the wayside and passed into the tomb. 
Even we younger ones whose years had not yet passed the three-score 
mark, feel a pain upon our hearts as we cast the backward glance and 
note the multitude of those who began the struggle of life with us but 
are now numbered with the dead. 

How thick are the monuments that rise above their graves; mile 
stones in our journey telling us that of all who begin life two-thirds de- 
part before they reach the forties, and nine-tenths fail to reach the 
seventies ; and as the last tenth of these old folks meet and read the book 
of life from the finish to the preface, how sad and yet how entrancing 
must have been the record ; how full of sadness and yet of joy must their 
hearts have been and how truly must they have realized that in life at 
best the laugh lies close to the fountain of tears, that the brighter the 
rainbow the denser the mist through which the warm sun shines. 

But the old people met. The sun came down upon the unshaded seats 
of the main stand as remorseless as hunger and thirst upon a vagrant> 
and, as the oW fathers and mothers assembled in their places, it was evi- 
dent that they were scarcely prepared for this last trial, which did not 
fall upon their old heads exactly in the shape of a blessing, and before 
the speaking was over there were scores of them who would have been 
ready to register an oath that this identical heated term was the worst 
they ever saw, and that the grand stand had been erected exactly in the 
spot where the sun would shine the hottest and longest in a direct focus. 
At last it was announced that the exercises would begin and Col- 
onel Burnes stated that owing to sickness in his family, it would be 
impossible for Colonel Doniphan to meet with the old people and address 
them according to programme. In his place General David R. Atchison 
was called upon to make the opening address, and replying to the call he 
stepped forward and made one of his characteristic addresses inter- 


spersed with anecdotes and adventures that always gladden the hearts of 
the old and give pleasure and instruction to the young. He spoke of 
those pioneer days, the old people were all so familiar with, and of the 
hardships connected with them, which now appear like a chasm and a 
lure to the young. After the conclusion of General Atchison's remarks. 
Governor George Smith, of Clinton, was announced and said that as 
General Atchison had in his remarks related some incidents connected 
with the early settlements of the western part of the state, which he said 
would show the condition of civilization of the west, he would in a few 
words relate some of his experiences and observations as an old settler, 
which would illustrate in one particular the progress made by and grow- 
ing out of the bold enterprise of these old pioneers. He said that it 
had been his good fortune to have passed the most of his early days on 
the frontier, subjecting him in early days to carrying the product of his 
toil as a farmer by flat-boats to New Orleans for a market. On his re- 
turn from his second flat-boat expedition, he came to St. Louis on the 
4th of March, 1832, the city then having a population of about seven 
hundred persons, thence on horseback, with two boating companions; he 
traveled into the western part of the state ; but an incident of said 
trip would be all he would call in review to illustrate the great progress 
made in the material interest of our great state. Arriving at Arrowrock, 
where we desired crossing, we found a Terry-boat consisting of a plat- 
form on two canoes upon which, by assuring the ferryman that we were 
boatmen, he agreed to risk ourselves and three horses, and we arrived 
safe about dark in the town, consisting of one double log cabin, where a 
religious meeting was being held. We expressed some hesitation as to 
remaining over night, but it being eighteen miles to the nearest house on 
the western trail, we accepted the kind hospitality of the proprietor and 
remained over, there being ample room for the entertainment and the 
weary traveler, as understood by those kind, hospitable pioneers. Now, 
old settlers and friends, let us turn our attention to the picture presenting 
itself to our view of the seven magnificent bridges spanning the waters 
of this magnificent, boisterous river, besides innumerable other facilities 
for crossing its turbid waters. He remarked : Nor is it a matter of 
wonder that such evidences of rapid progress are to be seen when we 
consider the great natural resources of our state. All persons who have 
travelled over the state would bear evidence to the fact that by drawing 
a line from the northeast corner diagonally to the southwest corner and 
taking the country north and west of said line, it would nearly all be 
considered of excellent quality for agricultural products, and St. Joseph 
is in the very heart of the same, whilst much of the land east 
and south of said line was good for farm products, it would be admitted 
on all hands it was unsurpassed in mineral wealth and only waiting for 
labor and capital for development. These were attractions that 


could not escape our intelligent American citizens, consequently we may 
reasonably suppose the young people of the present time may have the 
pleasure to inform the next generation of the great and useful changes 
that have taken place in their day. 

Senator Cockrill followed Governor Smith, whose remarks had been 
listened to with pleasure by all present. He congratulated himself upon 
being a native of the state, although of that portion lying south of the 
river. He rejoiced in its growth, its advancement, its wealth and its 
prosperity ; and he felt that he had an especial right to feel proud of 
standing before these old people. He had been by their aid and the aid 
of their posterity, elevated to a position of worth and trust, where he 
could stand as a pleader for their cause and a defender of their rights 
and liberties. 

Colonel Wm. F. Switzler, editor of the Missouri Statesman, at 
Columbia, was then introduced. He had not expected to make a speech. 
A matter of business, having no connection with the Exposition, or with 
the reunion of the old settlers, called him to St. Joseph, and he made it 
convenient to come at this time, but with no expectation of occupying a 
place on the programme of speakers. Although not an old settler of 
Northwestern Missouri, he nevertheless could claim to be an old settler 
of the state, understanding from personal observation and experience 
much of its early history and the privations and trials of the pioneers of 
our present civilization. He could not boast, like Senator Cockrill, that 
he was a native of Missouri, but nevertheless was not ashamed, even in 
the presence of those who were to the manor born, of announcing with 
pride that he was a son of the mother of Missouri, the grand old Com- 
monwealth of Kentucky. (Applause.) As early as 1826, he came from 
Kentucky to Howard County, Missouri, where he was raised and located, 
and where as a lad, he first met a distinguished gentleman, who now occu- 
pies a seat on the platform — Judge Birch. Missouri was then in the 
sixth year of its history as a state, and did not perhaps contain more 
than fifteen or twenty thousand voters, and the region now embracing 
the happy homes of a vast majority of those present was under the almost 
undisputed dominion of the Indian and buffalo. Since this early period 
in the annals of the state what a wonderful history we have made as a 
member of the Federal Union, as a Nation, as a People. What achieve- 
ments we have made in the arts and sciences, in agriculture and com- 
merce, in education and means of inter-communication, in all the agen- 
cies and industries which distinguished the civilization of our age. 
Very befitting reference had been made by speakers who had preceded 
him to this progress and prosperity. Let it not be forgotten that to 
the noble and self-sacrificing efforts, singular perils and consummate 
wisdom of the heroic men and peerless women now present, and to their 
associates, living and dead, are we indebted for laying broad and deep 


the foundation of our cherished civilization and great prosperity. The 
men and women of a state, especially the pioneers, who lead the van- 
guard of the world's march against ignorance and barbarism, are the 
state, are of more value than all our fields of coal and mines of gold and 
silver, than all our railroads and bridges and halls of sciences and learn- 
ing. Men constitute the state, and those before us to-day form the 
connecting link between our own eventful times and the ignorance of 
bondage in the bulwark of prosperity at home and respectability abroad. 

Colonel Charles Mansur, of Chillicothe, was called to the stand, and 
introduced by General Craig. Colonel Manson then said : 

Ladies : I must, much as I love the old settlers, name you first, 
ladies, old settlers and friends. I feel that I owe the high compliment of 
an invitation to address you, to the too partial -preference of my friends. 
General Craig and Colonel Burnes ; and yet the swelling pulsations of my 
heart tell me this is one of the proudest moments of my life, and I should 
feel recreant to my own spirit if I did not embrace the opportunity thus 

While the locks of my head are yet undamaged by the snows of 
forty winters, you may wonder what I may know that will prove of 
interest to thousands of old settlers here assembled, and while I feel 
doubtful of the honored appellation of old settler, I can only say that if 
I had worn my blue coat and brass buttons I should have felt as if I 
could have divided the honors in that line with my venerable old friend. 
Judge Birch. Permit me to say that Judge Birch, in callingup his struggles 
for Congress, suggests' to my mind that about the earliest political 
struggle that I can remember was in those old Democratic days when the 
only road to political honor was through the Democratic ranks, when two 
of our old and memorable friends, Judge Birch and Judge King, undertook 
to pluck the Democratic goose that laid the Congressional egg in this dis- 
trict, at the same time, and beneath their joint efforts the proud old 
bird was so jaded and wearied that not a Roland but an Oliver stole in 
and captured the coveted prize, and proved to my distinguished friends 
anew the truth of the old adage, that "in union there is strength." I 
well remember the first time I saw our honored president. General Atch- 
ison. It was in March, 1855. I, with a number of Rayites, were 
camped at Platte City Bridge, on the west side of the river, when Gen- 
eral Atchison rode up at a full gallop, and with a Satanic rather than a 
God-like earnestness, proceeded to give us his views of our mission 
as border ruffians, and our diity towards our benighted Yankee brethren, 
sent out by Gospel societies of New England under the protection of 
Sharpe's rifles, to subdue the virgin soil of our sister State of Kansas, 
and, to echo the sentiment of the general, then and there was born and 
begun our late internecinal wan. Although not born on Missouri soil, 
yet the first sentiment of thought I had was of Missouri scenes and 
actors. My parents emigrated to this section in 1837 ; and, reared in 
our sister county of Ray, my memory is flooded with a series of recol- 
lections from say 1845, when only ten years old, up to 1850. How well 
I remember the old school house of my childhood, built by the hardy 
pioneers without the use of nail or window glass, the product alone of 


his own right arm, 'with sturdy axe and broad-axe, a puncheon floor and 
log chimneys daubed with mud. Now view the landscape o'er of our 
North Missouri ; every village, town and hamlet vie with each other in 
rearing palatial structures, structures that compare with those of the 
older and more favored sister states. 

Who, too, does not remember the hospitality, characteristic of 
our well-to-do settlers. The latch-string was ever out, and their gen-, 
uine and sometimes burdensome hospitality puts to shame the article 
of modern times. Old settlers of Ray, Clay, Clinton, Platte and Cald- 
well, do you not remember our old-time camp-meetings, where every well- 
to-do farmer had his log hut or tent, and entertained both man and 
beast of all who would accept .' Those rich and rare old scenes in the 
open square of the camp-ground are gone, alas ! I fear, never to return. 
Do you remember old Father Patten, who would talk so loud that he 
placed his thumbs in each ear to prevent his own voice from deafening 
himself.'' Do you remember the store coats ; how few they were and 
how great a curiosity the appearance of each one and its owner excited ? 
Do you remember the stirring times incident to the mustering in of the 
companies furnished by each county as its quota for the Mexican war, 
the heartrending partings, in many instances, and the joy manifested at • 
their return, and the rich and generous barbecue given to them. 

Do you remember the Mexican saddles brought back by them, and 
the rage of the young men for them, especially for those with the silver 
mountings ; and that of each young lady to possess, as her own individ- 
ual property, with bumble bees, or some other kind, nicely stitched upon the 
seat in golden colors, in an age when our only mode of travel was upon 
horseback ? And now how varied and different the scene. Railroads 
checker North Missouri like a chess board, and in our travels, as the 
darkey said, " we are there before we start," for truly is distance annihi- 
lated and time overcome. 

I remember well in the late summer of 1852, when only a strippling 
grown, of returning from the East, where I had been at school for nearly 
three years, of being on the road for three weeks, and now it is readily 
done in as many days. Then the Pennsylvania Railroad, probably now 
the most wealthy railroad corporation in the world, was not then completed 
from Philadelphia to Pittsburg, but was supplemented by the slow-going 

But time passes and I am warned I must close. How magical the 
changes wrought in our midst. Even far more so than those of the Genii of 
the magic lamp possessed by Aladdin. Northwest Missouri, yea, even your 
own proud city of St. Joseph, have no ancestry to boast of They are 
alike the product of the energy and genius of her own sons and the hon^ 
ored and venerated pioneers who are all around me. Twenty-five years 
ago that man would have been declared insane who prognosticated the 
simple truth of to-day, and the most boundless and vivid imagination 
could not nor did not fortell the half of to-day. Your own proud, but 
turbid and restless river, on my right, has been subdued. Seven bridges, 
monumental of man's power and energy, span its rapid current, and I, 
young as I am, have seen the celebrations over those erected at your own 
city, Kansas City and St. Louis. What shall I say, in conclusion, of St. 
Joseph, proud and Queen City of the Northwest. I have declared she 
had no ancestry to boast of No ; .she has sprung into existence full 


fledged, armed at all points, and equipped for the battle of life, resting 
upon the strong arms of her own sons to carry her on to still greater 
victories than any yet' achieved in the past. Her proud career and com- 
manding station in our state, furnishing as she has. Governors, Supreme 
Judges and other high state officials, and the home of such men as a 
Burnes, a Hall, a Woodson, a Craig and a Vories, reminds me of an 
anecdote of Gen. Jackson's administration. Shawnee was a great Indian 
warrior, the measure of whose fame filled his own nation and was the 
envy of surrounding tribes. He visited the great father, at Washington, 
and while there was asked by Mrs. Jackson, who did not know how sen- 
sitive every Indian warrior was upon the subject of his ancestry, who his 
father was. His face darkened with a cloud, but quickly recovering he 
said, years ago, the Great Spirit, in his wrath was angry at his red chil- 
dren, and in his fury, in the midst of storm and thunderings and light- 
nings, the Great Spirit smote the oldest and proudest oak of the forest, 
and rent it from top to bottom, and as it fell prone upon the earth, from 
out of its heart stepped Shawnee, a full-grown Indian warrior brave. So 
it is with St. Joseph, she sprang into existence full-grown, and her com- 
manding position, as the gateway of the Northwest, will enable her to 
maintain her vantage ground. 

Judge Birch was then introuced, and spoke as follows : 

Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen : — As there can be no 
motive to impugn the sincerity of the declaration that none of you can 
be more disappointed than I have been by the non-attendance of the 
distinguished citizen you came to listen to, who, as the orator of the 
day, would have so generally swept the field, I will waste no time in 
excusing myself for that want of preparation to properly supply his 
place which will soon enough become apparent to you all. I will proceed, 
therefore, at once to the duty which been assigned me, and shall hope to 
discharge it in such a manner as may be at least excusable as the results 
of the reflections of an hour or so instead of a week, or a month, as it 
would have been my dutj'^ and my pleasure to have expended upon a 
task so complimentary and so honorable had it been assigned me in 
time. As the chronologies and other items of precise information which 
should have entered so largely into an address of this character will have 
to be recalled from memory instead of the. more reliable sources with 
which I might have refreshed and better assured myself at home, I can 
but promise to-do the very best I can, and as no man has ever heard me 
premise a speech by excuse of any nature before to-day, it is felt that I 
may the more confidently rely even upon the indulgence of criticism, 
than I could have done had I been set to the task you have assigned me 
and in many respects failed to redeem your reasonable expectation. 
What I deem it appropriate to suggest in advance of anything that I may 
be prompted to bring up before this vast assembly, is to submit to the 
old settlers who thus so candidly and encouragingly honor us with their 
ear, the reverential recognition of an overruling Providence who has so 
loiig guijded and sustained us, and who has in like manner encouraged 
and sustained those who subsequently followed us to a country which is 
here so grandly represented in the all-embracing Exposition of the 
industries, the enterprise, and, in short, the progress and civilization 
which have grown up and gladden the eye and ear almost to the verge 
•of intoxication. All honor to the man and men of St. Joseph who pre- 


sided and have carried to consummation the magnificent Exposition 
which is before us and around us, and who have inaugurated this re-union 
of the old settlers who yet linger around and amdng them. 

And what has brought us all to this pass since the distinguished 
President of this re-union and myself, with the hundred who are before 
us, were men of middle age .'' Those of us who are called " old settlers," 
and who are known accordingly in the programme, and in the badges of 
the day, are of course content that it be written of us as it has been, that 
we so blazed the way to what we see before us and around us as to 
encourage others to follow us up as they have done, and it may perhaps 
be added, without immodesty, that we have been strengthened and 
accredited to have so borne ourselves in the conflict to which our circum- 
stances have committed us, each in his sphere, as to have at least not 
repelled such proper associations and enterprises as have since clustered 
around us, and as are typified before us to day. This little conceded, 
we as unreservedly concede the rest to others, each again in his sphere, 
and point again and again to this wondrous Exposition as the result of 
a progressiv^e and common civilization, the outcome, if we niay say, of 
the germs, which, however rudely planted, had nevertheless to be planted 
before there could be realized the fruition and fruits of to-day. May 
such and similar fruitage be progressive in the heritage of our children, 
and our children's children, who may remain to enjoy them ; or if in the 
untowardness of events, some of them shall feel constrained to go in , 
quest of new associations, and to embark upon newer fields of usefulness 
or of enterprise as their fathers once did, may they carry with them at 
least the sturdy manhood of their fathers, and continue to adorn and to 
benefit society, instead of inflicting a blemish upon it or staining it with 
a wrong. 

What more shall I say in recognition of the distinction which puts 
me in the place of such a man as Alexander W. Doniphan, upon such an 
occasion as the present one ? Firstly, that I shall not be presumptious 
enough to expect to speak as he would have spoken, even by trying to 
say it in a different manner to what he would have said it, but simply to 
substitute as best I may such incidents or experiences as it may occur to 
me will be most indulgently received by the rows and tiers of benches, 
pit, box and gallery full, so rise up and stretch out before me, as 
for the first time in fifty years to render me distrustful as to whether my 
voice can compass the audience which thus honors me with its ear. I 
briefly allude, therefore, to what I have witnessed, and the humbler part 
in which I was permitted to act during a period of many years in our 
state. It may be permissible to premise that when I first looked upon 
the City of St. Louis from the deck of a steamer which was about to 
land me there, during the winter of 1826-27, there was something in 
what seemed to the stately grandeur and the unerring prestige of the 
location which made me feel that the good old uncle, who had long 
resided there as a bachelor surveyor of the public lands, and who had 
invited and inticed me (young as I was) to come to him, buy the office 
of a newspaper establishment, which had been presided over by Thomas 
H. Benton, up to the period of his election to the Senate, and afterwards 
by Gen. Duff. Green, until his transfer to Washington, as the organ of 
what was then known as " the Jackson Party," at least intended great 
things for me, whether I could be brought up to them or not. I soon came 


to believe, however, that although the population of the city at that tihie 
was only about 6,000, it was too large a place for " one of my age," 
months afterward I transferred myself to a village of the interior with a 
small newspaper, then the extreme newspaper west. 

And as I see before me some of these old settlers of Howard County 
whose acquaintance I made when they were commencing life, as I may 
say, at Fayette, it will at least be unpardonable should I not occupy 
the remainder of my time with what they and I then knew and have 
since come to know of the state and the people, of whom we form a part. 
The state was divided into four judicial circuits, the one over which the 
Fayette lawyer traveled extending from Montgomery and Gasconade 
Counties, and all westward on both sides of the river, to the state line 
inclusive. By and by a new circuit was organized in this end of the 
state, and as one of the Governor's military confidants was appointed to 
be Judge of it, but served as his aid-de-camp, the commander-in-chief, 
was courteously and confidently conferred upon me, which is the way I 
came to be Colonel about forty-five years ago. Then we had one mem- 
ber of Congress. Now we have thirteen — but even yet there are not 
half as many who can get to go to Congress as are willing to make the 
sacrifice. Then we had a mail once a week from St. Louis to Fayette in 
a stage, which the passengers had frequently to pry out of the mud and 
otherwise help along at the steep places. And from Fayette to Liberty, 
which was the county-seat of Western civilization of the United States, 
the mail was sent on horseback once a week. 

What next ? By a treaty with the Indians, whose wigwams covered 
the country, perhaps the very spot from which I am thus permitted to 
address this vast assembly, it was agreed that they would be removed, 
by their consent, to the other side of the river, and that that should be 
thereafter the boundary between ourselves, and the red men. The state 
consenting, and Congress consenting, it was not long before the coun- 
try was organized into counties and with representation in the Legis- 
lature, and with David R. Atchison, the President of this reunion, as 
Judge of this new Judicial Circuit. I wish it were so, sir, said the 
speaker, (turning to General Atchison), that we could more fully let you 
loose again from the more rigid conventionalities which but properly 
attach to an occasion of this nature — you and the lawyers who went 
around with you at your courts for the first year or so — ^just to hear you 
tell a few more stories as to the more primitive ways of an old horseback 
life, in contrast with the step by step advances which have brought us 
up not only to our palatial houses in our sojournments, but to our palace 
cars in carrying us there. But I must pause. 

Our politics in those early times were at least none the worse for 
having in them a little more heart than they have since grown to have. 
But let that pass. Other parties had worked into the new names of 
National Republicans under such leaders as Clay and Webster, and 
Democrats under such leaders as Jackson and Van Buren, and later 
still, when the National .Republicans took the name of Whigs, as being 
more appropriate, to include all the outs against all the ins — there 
was war in the great earnestness of nothing — a Presidential election 
which left the country distrustful and embittered as it has come to be. 

The average Whig of that day was a man who, as well as we should 
put it, drank his grog regularly and voted his ticket without scratching. 


unless it was felt that he could in some respect do better, and when the 
Whigs won a big race (which was only about often enough to bring back the 
Democracy to a recollection that even the most powerful party could not 
brook the popular credulity or retribution as has since been done,) — 
when a presidential or state contest was their greatest thought, with it 
was felt that the country was nevertheless just about as safe as if it had 
gone the other way ; and we all (or nearly all) shook hands and drank 
each others health accordingly. As to those Pullman or palace cars to 
which I return, my friend Governor Hall, who is present, remembers how 
I was thrown down and made to go foot in our party- almost a quarter of 
a century ago for advocating that system of internal improvement, out 
of which they have since grown. I don't think Williard was ever any 
better Democrat than I was (and yet am) but he was a better party dis- 
ciplinarian ; and to that, as well as to the patriotic furore which oppor- 
tunely sent him (and a Doniphan) to Mexico, with musket at his shoulder, 
instead of longer continuing to oppose the road to India, as I then 
phrazed the road which carried our children and grand-children to Cal- 
ifornia a few days ago, I believe he himself ascribes his election to 
Congress. Of course I would not thus publicly allude, in his absence, to 
my Congressional campaign with the Governor, when we were both much 
younger men than we now are, were it' not that I feel free to declare thatj 
as a political antagonist, he was as fair as he was unyielding, and that in 
the subsequent history of the railroad which he had opposed as a Congres- 
sional candidate,, he made it all up and more, too, as our Congressman 
elect. Although I am probably a trespasser beyond the line of a proper 
and considerate courtesy, I venture to add a few parting sentences in 
the reliance per chance that they may be worth remembering by the 
younger portion of this patient and listening assembly. 

I see before me old men and old women of all creeds, and what are 
called no creeds, of whom I ask no more, nor they of me, than as Jehu 
asked of Jehonadab, is thine heart right .'' This much conceded, as un- 
der the old dispensation, the forbid him not of Christ, has sufficiently 
sufficed us for this present dispensation, and it is believed, I incur no risk 
in assuming, that the older we grow and the more we reflect, the more 
and more we have of reciprocal charity — the less and less of reciprocal 
bigotry. It but naturally follows such premises as these that "repentance 
toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ" is all we require of each 
other on the score of Christian fellowship. 

In respect to the neighborhood, a social requirement of these old 
settlers, such men (turning to Colonel Switzler) as the old Sachems who 
were looked up to in the early settlement of our old county of Howard 
— if a man was brave to always tell the truth and stand well up to 
it in a fight, his children could marry with the children of neighbor- 
liood aristocracies— and so it is with the present day. But as Keitt sai4 
of the cock of South Carolina, who was loud in a crow but bashful in a fight, 
even the pullets had too much consideration for themselves and their 
po.sterity to run with them. Farewell, old settlers, and if forever fare- 
well, we have the consciences to feel in parting (perhaps for the last 
time) that we have not only been faithful and true to each other, whether 
as friends or adversaries, but that in the public employment which has 
fallen to us, we have faithfully served our country; that we have never 
wronged her, and that in that respect we will be ready to meet the final 
inquiries of the Judge of all the earth. Farewell, old settlers, farewell. 



The history of the important events, which transpired in Buchanan 
County, during the period of the late war, would alone, fill a large book. 

At this late day, when the old ship of state is sailing over the 
smoothest seas of prosperity, and when the deep wounds and gashes 
made by the war are being healed by the flight of time, and the hopes of 
the future, men are disposed to remember that unfortunate episode in 
our national history as a dream ; as a dark story of romance, and are 
unwilling now to recall the facts and incidents connected with it, espec- 
ially those that are replete with crime and bloodshed. 

So believing, we shall only allude briefly to some of the general fea- 
tures of the war, and the part taken therein by Buchanan County. 

The citizens of Buchanan County, being largely from the southern 
and western states, were, prior to i860, intensely patriotic, for it is a 
matter of history, that prior to that time, the southern people were loud 
and enthusiastic in their protestations of loyalty to the constitution and 
flag of the country. 

In the canvass of i860, Bell and Everett received in this county, 
1,287 votes. Douglas, 1,226. Breckenridge, 614, and Linqoln, 452, of 
which number, received by Lincoln, 410 were cast in the city of St. 

Each of these parties claimed, during the canvass, that it was the 
simon pure and only union and patriotic party. The old Whig party, gen- 
ally, voted for Bell and Everett, while a few of them voted for Brecken- 
ridge as the representative of the extension of slavery. The Irish voted 
for Douglas, and the German vote was divided between Douglas and 
Breckenridge, and, anomalous as it may seem, much the larger number 
of Germans in the Platte Purchase voted for the Breckenridge ticket, 
believing that he was the regular nominee of the Democratic party. 

At the election of delegates to the convention held in this Senatorial 
District, Governor Stewart, Governor Hall and Hon. Robert W. Donnell 
were elected by a large majority as union men over the other ticket, 
composed of Smith and Fallis, who were for disunion, on certain con- 

The election of Mr. Lincoln embittered the feelings of many per- 
sons, otherwise loyal men, believing, as they claimed, that the election 


of a sectional president by the votes of the Northern States meant the 
violent abolition of slavery and the speedy dissolution of the Union. 
The course of the New York Tribune, which was then regarded as an 
exponent of Northern sentiment, had prepared most of the slaveholders 
of this county to believe that the Northern Abolitionists desired a sep- 
aration of the slaveholding from the non-slaveholding states. 

There were 2,Oii slaves owned in Buchanan County, which repre- 
sented $1,500,000 in money. The dissolution of the Union meant des- 
truction to this interest, and the large free territory west and the vicinity 
of Iowa and Nebraska, caused much anxiety and nervous apprehension 
for the future, which culminated in county meetings in the spring of 
1 861. At these meetings intemperate action and incendiary resolutions 
were proposed, but the advice of the older and leading citizens was for 
quiet acquiescense in whatever might be the result^of the approaching 
conflict outside of this state. 

In May, 1861, a portion of the citizens of St. Joseph, who had been 
organized into independent companies by M. Jeff. Thompson, of this 
city, and, under command of Captain I. C. C. Thornton, and who had par- 
ticipated in the sacking of Liberty Arsenal, had brought a part of the arms 
and ammunition there procured to this county, and some of the more 
inconsiderate and foolish ones had threatened to drive out the loyal men 
of St. Joseph, and especially those who had voted for Lincoln in i860. 

John L. Bittinger, a prominent free soil man, had been appointed 
postmaster of St. Joseph, and had hung out a huge flag over the post- 
office building when he took possession. Some of the Southern hot- 
spurs believed this flag was a taunt and defiance to Thornton's camp, 
and in May, 1861, a crowd collected on the site of the old postoffice 
building, situated on Second Street, next door to the St. Joseph Hos- 
pital Medical College, and the flag was taken down by General Thomp- 
son, to the great gratification of the mob, and disgust of the frifends of 
Bittinger. The business men generally kept religiously away, and did 
not participate in the transaction. 

Many claimed that Major Bittinger had purposely provoked the 
demonstration in order to have troops sent to St. Joseph, and declared 
they would shed the last drop of their blood to preserve the old flag from 
insult, but not a drop to keep Major Bittinger's flag over the postoffice. 

The result was the sending of troops here during the same month 
to protect the loyal men, and to preserve order, which had become 
necessary from the violent disputes and bitter altercations, constantly 
threatening to end in street fights and general pillage. The first troops 
quartered here were United States Dragoons, which arrived on the 20th 
of May, 1 86 1, and encamped in South St. Joseph, under command of 
Captain Sully, (afterwards a brigadier general in the Federal army) and 
Lieutenant Armstrong. Lieutenant Armstrong resigned some time 



later, and became a general officer in the Rebel service. This company 
of dragoons' broke up Thompson's and Thornton's camp, near the Patee 
House, after which Thompson and Thornton went into the lower coun- 
ties to raise troops, where many of the men composing the old company 
rejoined them, and served with more or less credit during the war as 
soldiers in different Confederate organizations. 

The next Federal troops sent to St. Joseph were the Second Iowa, 
under command of Colonel, afterward General, Custis. They came about 
the first of June, 1861, and remained until August. 

The Sixteenth Illinois, under command of Colonel Smith, arrived in 
St. Joseph in September, and remained until about the sixteenth of the 
same month, when it went down through the counties of Platte and 
Clay, to Blue Mills, where his regiment was engaged in the fight with 
the Rebels under Patton, Saunders, Boyd and others, and met with con- 
siderable loss. 

This regiment afterwards returned to St. Joseph and remained in 
camp with the Fifty-second Illinois, during the winter of 1861 and 1862, 
on Prospect Hill. 

The last of September, 1861, Major Cranor, of Gentry, occupied St. 
Joseph with a battalion of state militia, raised in the counties north of St. 
Joseph. These militiamen were a source of amusement to the citizens, 
as they were raw in military matters ; sans everything but courage — 
rough, ragged and ready. 

During the time which elapsed between the departure of the Second 
Iowa and the arrival of the Sixteenth Illinois, the Confederates, under 
Colonel Patton, Boyd and others, occupied tjie city for several days, and 
levied contributions from some of the citizens, and confiscated contra- 
band of war, which term was made to include everything a needy soldier 
desired. If he belonged to the rebel side, he could see contraband of 
war in nearly all the goods owned by the Union men. If, however, he 
was training under the stars and stripes, he could discover, as by instinct, 
that all desirable articles owned by southern sympathizers, were dan- 
gerous, as aids to the cause. 

In 1861, James Craig, of St. Joseph, was appointed a Brigadier Gen- 
eral by President Lincoln, and put in command of the Department of 
the Platte, on the plains among the Pawnee and Sioux Indians. He 
retained this position several months, when he resigned and returned 
home and was appointed a Brigadier General in the State Militia, by 
Governor Gamble, and was in command of this district in the winter of 
1864 and 1865. In the spring of 1862, Benjamin F. Loan was appointed 
a Brigadier General by Governor Gamble, and placed in Command of 
Northwestern Missouri, with headquarters at St. Joseph. In the fall of that 
year he was put into active service, in an effort to run the "bushwhack- 
ers" from the central part of the state, and finally took command of the 


Jefferson City district, where he remained until after his election to Con- 
gress, when he was relieved by General Brown. 

General Loan was succeeded in the fall of 1862, by General W. P. 
Hall, in command of this military district, which he retained until the 
meeting of the Legislature, when he took his seat as Lieutenant-Governor. 
In February, 1864, General Hall succeeded Governor Gamble, deceased 
as Governor of the State of Missouri. With a short interregnum, Gover- 
nor Hall was succeeded by Col. John F. Williams, of the Ninth Missouri 
State Guard. He was succeeded, in 1863, by Colonel Chester A. Hard- 
ing. About this time, the Eighty-first regiment of enrolled Missouri 
militia was organized, with Col. John Scott as commander, and although 
many surmises were indulged in as to the loyalty of its soldiers. Col. Scptt 
kept good order, and showed a clear record in his coaimand. 

During the most of the years 1862, 1863 and 1864, General John 
M. Bassett was Provost Marshal of this district, and perhaps filled a 
wider field of usefulness than any officer in arms. The jail and the mili- 
tary prisons were filled with Federal and Confederate delinquents, con- 
signed there upon any conceivable charge, from actual treason and mur- 
der, to the most trivial charges of malevolence and fanaticism. 

General Bassett, with a suavity and honesty to be envied, heard 
these cases daily and passed upon them with the stern eye of justice; 
always moistened with the tear of mercy. 

In the spring of 1864, General C. B. Fisk was placed in command of 
the United States forces in this county, and remained until he was suc- 
ceeded by Colonel Harding, late in the fall. In the winter of 1865, 
Colonel John Finger was in command, succeeding General Harding. 
Colonel Finger was of the Forty-fifth Missouri Volunteers, and continued 
in command until May, 1865, when he vacated this post and was placed 
in command of the Second District of Missouri. 

Buchanan County, in 1861, furnished most of the Twenty-fifth Mis- 
sori (Colonel Peabody's regiment), then Major Berry's Battalion of Cav- 
alry, Penick's Fifth Regiment Missouri State Guard, Hall's Fourth Regi- 
ment of Missouri State Guard, and Eleventh Missouri Cavalry. In 1865, 
the Second, Third and Fourth Regiments of Missouri militia, as state 
organizations, organized with W. R. Penick, Cyrus Messemer and Joseph 
Thompson, respectively, as Colonels. These troops did no service and 
were only organized as provisional regiments, to keep quietude in a 
country which was thought would be disturbed by the return of a large 
number of soldiers from both armies. This was a violent presumption, 
as the most orderly citizens were those who saw hard service in the 
army. The true soldier has given no offence to the laws since his return, 
whether his fealty was given to the blue or gray during the contest. 

In the fall of 1864, Colonel Chester Harding, afterward a Brigadier 
General, organized at St. Joseph the Forty-third Regiment of the United 


States Volunteers, from Buchanan and the surrounding counties. During 
1862, Colonel John Severance, afterward State Senator, and Mayor of St. 
Joseph, commanded the Forty-fourth Regiment of Missouri militia, and 
policed the county in the fall of 1862. 

In 1864, General R. C. Bradshaw, a native of Platte County, and an 
original Union man, organized, at St. Joseph, the Forty-fourth United 
States volunteers, many of whom were from this county. This regiment 
had a proud history. Wm. Drumhiller commanded company B, and F. 
G. Hopkins company C. This regiment left St. Joseph in September,. 
1864, for Rolla; thence to Paducah, Kentucky; thence to Nashville, 
Tennessee. They were in the battles of Springfield and Franklin. At 
the latter place Colonel Bradshaw received severe wounds and was left 
on the field for dead, but is now an honored citizen of St. Joseph. Brad- 
shaw's regiment then accompanied the Twenty-third corps, and engaged 
in the battles of Columbia, Clifton and Spanish Fort, in Alabama, and were 
finally mustered out of service at St. Louis, on the 15th of August, 1865,, 
having traveled six thousand two hundred miles from St. Joseph, seven 
hundred and forty-seven on foot and the balance by rail and transport ; 
a greater number of miles perhaps, than any other regiment had traveled 
during; the war, and showing a striking parallel to the First regiment 
of Missouri volunteers, during the Mexican war, under Col. Doniphan. 

One company of the First Kansas was organized in St. Joseph, and 
commanded by Captain Chenowith, of the Free Democrat, of St. Joseph. 

One company of the First Nebraska was organized in St. Joseph, 
cojnmanded by (japtain Bonner. 

Prior to the call of 1864, this county had credited as United States 
volunteers, 1089 men, and those credited afterward must have been as 
many more. Colonel Tracy, of the Kansas service, took a part of his 
command from this county, and many left singly and joined different 
companies and regiments, which swelled the total number in the United 
States volunteer service to more than 2,000. 

Beside the militia organizations mustered into service from this 
county, there were equally as many more who went into the army, mak- 
ing fully four thousand soldiers who did duty for the old flag from 
Buchanan County. 

In July, 1864, the Eighty-seventh Missouri, enrolled militia regi- 
ment, was organized, with Harbine, Colonel. This regiment was put on 
duty under command of J. W. Strong, and rendered local service in this 
county during the years 1864 and 1865. 

In the spring of 1861, there were two companies of Missouri State 
Guards organized under the order of Governor C. F. Jackson, and went 
into camp in South St. Joseph. Colonel John C. C. Thornton, now of 
Montana, commanded one, and M. Jeff. Thompson the other. The appear- 
ance of United States troops here in May scattered these organizations, 


as heretofore stated, and the Mississippi rifles and ammunition which 
had been procured by Thornton's company in the raid on the Liberty 
arsenal, in April, i86i,and which. were secreted in cellars between Third 
and Fourth Streets, in St. Joseph, were removed by Captain John F. 
Landis, in July, 1861, in wagons driven through the Federal camp next 
day by a trusty contraband, (now a citizen of St. Joseph,) and carried to 
the outskirts of the city, where Captain Landis' company met and 
guarded them to Price's army, encamped upon the battle field of Wil- 
son's Creek. 

Landis afterwards participated in the hard-fought battles of Corinth, 
Che^mpion Hills.and Vicksburg, where he surrendered. Being exchanged, 
Captain Landis commanded a battery until the end of the war, and sur- 
rendered with the Army of the Gulf, thus earning a record of which his 
posterity may be proud. He is now an active and honored business 
man of St. Joseph. 

Prior to the war, A. W. Slayback was a lawyer in St. Joseph, and 
after the battle of Lexington was elected colonel of a Missouri cavalry 
regiment, and being transferred to a department of the Confederate 
army, served until the surrender of Kirby Smith, and then, we think, 
accompanied Shelby to Mexico. He is now an honored citizen of St. 

In the summer of 1861, Elijah Gates, (since State Treasurer), organ- 
ized a company of Confederates at Rock House, in this county, and 
joined Governor Jackson. This company did memorable service in the 
battles of Lexington and Elkhorn, and were finally transferred east^ of 
the Mississippi, and were the heroes of the fight at Corinth, where our gal- 
lant Assessor, John S. Tutt, lost a leg. 

Gates was promoted to the position of Brigadier General, and served 
during the war, losing an arm, retiring after the last gun was fired, with 
the reputation of Ney, "the bravest of the brave." 

John R. Boyd, an attorney of St. Joseph, was at Blue Mills and Lex- 
ington, and was killed at Independence in the summer of 1863, leading a 
forlorn hope in an attack upon Colonel Buell's camp. 

At the same time Colonel John T. Hughes was killed. Colonel Gideon 
Thompson, of Platte, was badly wounded. 

A regiment, to join Price at Lexington, was organized from the 
Counties of Buchanan, Nodaway, Atchison and Andrew in August, 1861, 
of which Saunders was Colonel, J. H. R. Cundiff Lieutenant-Colonel, and 
John C. C. Thornton Major. These troops were placed under the com- 
mand of Colonel Green at Lexington, and were the special heroes of that 
fight. Colonel Green, in his report of the battle, attributed the success 
of the assault upon the Union breastworks to the devices of Major Thorn- 
ton's men of this regiment, in moving a bale of hemp in front of each 
man, as he cautiously ascended the hill to attack the entrenchments. 



The bullets did not penetrate the hemp bales and the cannon balls only 
bounced them from the ground, the bales falling back in the same position. 

Sidney Cunningham, another St. Joseph boy, joined John Morgan 
and accompanied him through his entire career, and escaped capture by 
swimming the Ohio River, and now edits a newspaper in Tennessee. 

George Baxter another attorney of St. Joseph, went to Virginia and 
joined Stonewall Jackson ; was at Bull's Run, in the Blackhorse Cavalry, 
and was finally killed in one of the fights in the valley. 

Broaddus Thompson's oldest son was with Price, and afterwards a 
captain in the Mississippi Department, serving until the end of the war, 
and is now an Episcopalian minister in Virginia. 

John Kemper, son of our esteemed fellow citizen, Simeon Kemper, 
was a captain in the Confederate service, and was killed by wounds 
received in battle. 

Reuben Kay, son of James Kay, was in the Confederate service, in 
command of a company, during almost the entire war, and his narrow 
escapes would form a chapter of singular interest. 

Since the war ended, the soldiers of the two armies affiliate with 
true respect and regard, as brave men always respect valor in others. 

From sixteen hundred to two thousand men went into the Confed- 
erate army from Buchanan County. 





In the spring of 1846, tfie contract for building.a brick Court House 
was let for $6,000. The job was undertaken and completed by L. S. 
Stigers and W. J. Taylor, architects and builders. 

This, a two-story building, was in extent, including portico, fifty by 
seventy-four feet, and contained nine rooms. Insignificant as such a 
structure now would appear in the city, in which it formerly stood, in 
that early day, it was, from its elevated position, a prominent land-mark 
in the landscape, as well as an architectural feature, of which the young 
city was in no small degree proud. The site of this building was that of 
the present Court House, though the prominent elevation which it occu- 
pied was, on its destruction in the spring of 1873, reduced some thirty- 
five feet, to nearly the level of Jule street, on which it fronted, as does 
the present spacious and elegant structure to which it has given place. 
The old Court House on the hill served the purposes for which it was 
designed till October, 1871, a period of a quarter of a century from its 
completion, when the building being deemed unsafe, the courts and 
appendant offices moved out, to occupy till the erection of a new and 
suitable building, rooms on Fifth Street, near Felix, formerly used as a 
parsonage, and ante -rooms, of what had been the Roman Catholic 
Church of St. Joseph. They all continued to occupy these premises till 
the summer of 1873, when the Circuit Court, Circuit Clerk's and Sheriff's 
offices were moved to Brady's Hall, on Felix Street, near the corner of 

It may not be improper to add that the site of that dilapidated, 
abandoned, old church and parsonage is now covered by some of 
the most substantial and elegant business blocks in' the city. 

On the removal of the old building, the work of cutting down the 
hill upon which it had stood for twenty-five years, rapidly progressed, and 
on the 25th of August, 1873, the corner-stone of the present stately 
edifice was laid with appropriate ceremonies. This, the largest court 
house, as well as one of the finest appearing public buildings, in the 
state, was not completed till August, 1876. It was, however, in part 
occupied by the courts as early as the month of January of the same 
year, while the unfinished work continued to be pushed to completion. 

The entire cost of the structure was one hundred and seventy-three 
thousand dollars. 


P. F. Meagher was the architect, and John DeClue, of St. Joseph, 
the builder. 

The style of the building is less ornate than massive. The Corin- 
thian porticoes of the three fronts, however, are admirably proportioned, 
and the graceful stone columns crowned with elaborate capitals, contrast 
finely with the otherwise plain and massive character of the building. 
These columns, of which there are four to each portico, cost one 
thousand two hundred dollars each. 

The plan of the building is a Greek or equi-brachial cross. It has a 
frontage of 235 feet on Jule Street, with a depth of 205 feet ; it also 
fronts 235 feet on Fourth, and 235 feet on Fifth Streets. The roof is of 
slate and tin, and the guttering of copper. The basement story, which 
is twelve feet high in the clear, and extends under»the entire building, is 
of rubble masonry faced with ashlar ; the superstructure is of brick 
trimmed with cut stone. The first story, in which most of the public 
offices are located, is eighteen feet high in the clear ; and the second 
story, in which is the Circuit Court room, twenty-five feet. In point of 
convenience, as regards light, ventilation, and arrangement of rooms, it 
is unexcelled in any building. From the first floor to the lantern of the 
dome the height is one hundred and forty-five feet. The only apparent 
defect in the internal design of the building is in the arrangement of 
the double stairway, which is so constructed as to conceal, from the first 
floor, the view of the dome. 

The stair-ways in the building are broad, and the means of egress 
in case of sudden emergency, ample, each of the cardinal points pre- 
senting large double doors. Water closets on the two principal floors, 
and all the appliances of modern convenience proper to first-class pub- 
lic buildings, are found here. There are forty-six spacious rooms on the 
two principal floors besides a corresponding number in the unfinished 
basement' story. 

The dome, which surmounts the centre of the structure, is in classic 
harmony with the general appearance of the building, and renders the 
elevation a prominent land mark in the plain of the surrounding country. 

Near the northeast corner of the Court House, and fronting on Fifth 
Street, is the substantial and not inelegant structure of the County Jail, 
completed in i860. It is coveniently arranged, located on a high and 
healthful spot of ground, and well adapted to the purposes for which it 
was erected. 


The ceremony of laying the corner stone of this magnificent struc- 
ture, was one of the most imposing ever witnessed in the West. The 
occasion was one of such peculiar interest to the people of St. Joseph, 


that we cannot well refrain from giving some of the details of that event 
in this connection. 

As before stated, the ceremony took place in the afternoon of 
August 20, 1873. The St. Joseph Gazette, speaking of that event, says; 

"At 2 o'clock, the procession was formed on Fourth Street, with the 
right resting on Edmond, under the management of Capt. John A. Dol- 
man, Chief Marshal. It was headed by Rosenblatt's brass band, whose 
excellent music pleased the ear of the thousands who were then thronging 
the sidewalks. 

After this came the Knights of Pythias, including both Lomia and 
St. Joseph lodges, their brilliant uniforms glittering in the sunlight. The 
turn out of this order was unusually large, and Capt. B. F. Buzard acted 
as marshal, assisted by J. B. Hinman. After the Knights of Pythias, 
came the St. Joseph Fire Department, the " Young America's," leading 
the van. The Rescue Hook and Ladder Company came next ; then the 
Blue Bird, then the Blacksnake, and finally the new company. 

All were in their best regalia, and in charge of Augustus Saltzman, 
Chief Engineer. 

Humboldt Lodge, I. O. O. F., came next, and was followed by car- 
riages containing the officers of the Supreme, Circuit and County Courts, 
the county officers, the City Council and members of the press. After 
this came the officers of the Grand Lodge, A. F. and A. M. of the State 
of Missouri, Joseph S. Browne, Esq., acting as Worshipful Grand Master. 

The streets were lined with thousands as the procession passed, and 
every one seemed to teel the deepest interest in the occasion. Even the 
bluffs adjoining the ground were lined with men, women and children, 
anxious to observe the commemoration of an event so important in the 
history of St. Joseph. 

On reaching the grounds, the procession had swelled to an immense 
concourse of eager, expectant people. In the dense crowd, however, 
there was not the slightest disturbance, and everything passed off 
quietly and pleasantly. The ceremonies were begun by W. G. M., 
Joseph S. Browne, who, in a few well timed remarks, alluded to the pres- 
ence of members of various orders, and bid them welcome to witness 
the inauguration of an enterprise in which every citizen of St-. Joseph was 
interested. At the conclusion of his remarks, a brief and impressive 
prayer was offered by Rev. John G. Fackler, acting Grand Chaplain, 
and then the work of depositing the various articles contributed com- 
menced. The following is a list of the most important articles : 

Constitution and by-laws of the following grand bodies of tne State 
of Missouri : Grand Commandry of Knights Templar, Grand Council of 
Royal and Select Masters, Grand Royal Arch Chapter, Grand Lodge 
I. O. O. F., Grand Lodge Knights of Pythias. 


Also by-laws and regulations of the following secret societies : St. 
Joseph No. 22 and Lomia Lodge, Knights of Pythias ; Humboldt Lodge 
No. 130, and Eclipse No. 133, I. O. O. F. ; Zeredatha No. 189, and St. 
Joseph No. 78, A. F. and A. M. ; St. Joseph Royal Arch Chapter No. 
14 ; Hugh de Payen's Commandery No. 4, K. T. 

Late copies of the Daily^ and Weekly Gazette, Daily and Weekly 
Herald, Daily and Weekly Volksblatt, Daily and Weekly Commercial, 
Weekly Standard, a copy of the Missouri Gazette, Vol. I, No. 3, July 6, 
1808, published at St. Louis ; architect's design of the couft house, the 
names of the officers of the Circuit Court, premium list of the St. Joseph 
Industrial Exposition, a copy of St. Joseph's trade and manufacturers 
list, a copy of the lithograph showing St. Joseph, the bridge, and railroal 


Among the curiosities we may mention the following : 

A German coin, 1738. 

Ring; by A. S. Battles. 

A silvei quarter, 1857, presented by Joseph S Browne. 

A silvei dollar. 

Cards of different business houses. 

Currency of the times. 

Numerous silver dollars, photographs, and a great many other nov- 
elties, which we cannot enumerate. 

After this had been concluded, the principal architect presented the 
working tools to the Grand Master, who distributed them as follows : 
The square to the Deputy Grand Master ; the level to the Sr. Grand 
Warden, and the plumb to the Jr. Grand Warden. The usual questions 
in reference to the practical application of these instruments to archi- 
tecture were properly answered, when the Grand Master said : 

This corner-stone has been tested by the proper instruments of 
■Masonry. I find that the craftsmen have skillfully and faithfully per- 
formed their duty, and I do declare the stone to be well formed, true and 
trusty, and correctly laid according to the rules of our ancient craft. 
Let the elements of consecration now be presented. 

Then came the old emblems of corn, wine and oil. The Deputy 
Grand Master advanced with his vessel of corn, scattering it on the stone 
and saying : 

I scatter this corn as an emblem of plenty. May the blessings of 
bounteous heaven be showered upon us, and upon all like patriotic and 
benevolent undertakings, and inspire the hearts of the people with virtue, 
wisdom and gratitude. 

Then came the Sr. Grand Warden with his vessel of wine, pouring 
it upon the stone and saying : 


I pour this wine as an emblem of joy and gladness. May the great 
Ruler of the universe bless and prosper our National, State and City 
Governments ; preserve the Union of the States, and may it be a bond 
of friendship and brotherly love that shall endure through all time. 

Then came the Jr. Grand Warden with his vessel of oil, pouring it 
on the stone and saying : 

I pour this oil as an emblem of peace. May its blessings abide upon 
us continually, and may the Grand Master of heaven and earth, shelter and 
protect the widow and orphans ; shield and protect them from the trials 
and vicissitudes of the world, and so bestow His mercy upon the be- 
reaved, the afflicted and the sorrowing, that they may know sorrowing 
and trouble no more. 

And then came the final invocation of the Grand Master : 

May the all-bounteous Author of Nature bless the people of this 
place with an abundance of the necessaries of life ; assist in the erection 
and completion of this building ; protect the workmen against every ac- 
cident ; long preserve the structure from decay, and grant to us all a 
supply of the corn of nourishment, the wine of refreshment and the oil 
■of joy. Amen. 

After delivering to the architect the working implements, the cere- 
monies were concluded by the Grand Master, as follows : 

Men and brethren here assembled, be it known unto you that we be 
lawful Masons, true and faithful to the laws of our country, and engaged 
by solemn obligations to erect magnificent buildings, to be serviceable 
to the brethren, and to fear God, the great architect of the universe. 

We have among us, concealed from the eyes of all men, secrets 
which cannot be divulged, and which have never been found out ; but 
these secrets are lawful and honorable, and not repugnant to the laws of 
God or man. 

They were entrusted in peace and honor to the Free Masons of 
ancient times, and having been faithfully transmitted to us, it is our duty 
to convey them, unimpaired, to the latest posterity. Unless our craft 
were good, and our calling honorable, we should not have lasted for so 
many centuries, nor should we have been honored with the patronage of 
:so many illustrious men of all ages, who have ever shown themselves 
ready to promote our interests and defend us from all adversaries. 

We are assembled here to-day in the face of you all to build a house, 
which we pray God may deserve to prosper, by becoming a place of con- 
course for good men, and promoting harmony and brotherly love 
throughout the world, till time shall be no more. 

The following were the officers of the Grand Lodge participating in 
the ceremonies on that occasion: John A. Dolman, Grand Marshal; 
Henry C. Fox, Grand Tyler ; N. W. Sherman and Robert Hutton, Grand 
Stewards ; P. M. H. N. Montague, carrying the great lights, supported 
by W. G. Elliott and J. W. O'Neill, as Grand Stewards; A. B. Frazer, 
Grand Secretary ; Hugh Trevor, Grand Treasurer ; Daniel O'Toole, 
Grand Junior Warden ; J. A. Raynor, Grand Senior Warden ; Rt. Wor- 


shipful D. G. M., Samuel Russell ; George Buell, Past Master, carrying 
book of constitutions ; Solomon Broyles, Grand Pursuivant ; Rev. John 
G. Fackler, Grand Chaplain ; Most Worshipful Grand Master, Joseph S. 
Browne, supported by N. H. Wilmott and C. A. Cunningham, as Grand 
Deacons ; Grand Sword Bearer, C. M. Kingsbury. 

One of the most interesting features of the occasion was the address 
of Colonel John Doniphan, which we here give because of the references 
therein made to the early history and settlement of Louisiana, Missouri, 
the Platte Purchase and Buchanan County : 

Ladies and Gentlemen : We welcome you, on this day, so auspic- 
ious for the future of our county and city. The majestic proportions and 
symmetrical design of the temple of justice we are met to inaugurate, 
demonstrate that our honorable County Court, as well as the public sen- 
timent of our people, are in earnest accord with the progress of the age 
and the advance of our enlightened civilization. Standing in a city of 
thirty thousand inhabitants, just thirty years since the first sale of lots 
in St. Joseph, centrally located between the great lakes and the Gulf of 
Mexico ; in the midst of the great Mississippi Valley ; midway between 
the Alleghenies and the Rockies, and upon the fortieth degree of north 
latitude, along which the great problems of civilization have been solved, 
we may properly indulge in retrospect and prophecy. 

A century since, the vast area, from the Blue Ridge to the Pacific, 
had scarcely been marked by the foot of the white man. The painted 
savage and the shaggy bison were the lords of the soil, now teeming 
with millions of prosperous, happy, and progressive citizens, bearing the 
scales of justice and the cross of Christianity. 

The result of the war of the revolution was the independence of the 
confederated states of America, extending from the Atlantic west to the 
Mississippi River. By treaty, made by Mr. Jefferson, in 1803, with the 
great Napoleon, then First Consul, France ceded us Louisiana, extend- 
ing westwardly to the Sabine River and northwardly to the Arkansas 
and its sources, to the forty-second parallel, then west to the Pacific 
Pcean, and north with its shores to Vancouver, including the states of 
Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Kansas, Nebraska and 
Oregon, besides the vast territories of Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, 
Idaho and Washington. By the annexation of Texas, in 1845, that large 
and magnificent state with her 237,000 square miles, was added to our 
-ejctended possessions, and in the war of 1846, New Mexico, Colorado, 
Utah and California were conquered from our sister Republic of Mexico. 

While the extension of our territory has been so grand and vast, the 
increase of our population has been more marvelous still. Three mil- 
lions in 1774, it is now over forty. We were then a few feeble colonies, 
struggling for recognition ; we are now a mighty empire, able to combat 
any other nation ; our navies are known and respected in all the ports 
of. the world, invulnerable to human missiles and bowing alone to the 
behests of the almighty ruler of the universe ; capable of raising an army 
•of volunteers in thirty days, thrice as large as the contending hosts 
■which settled the fate of Europe in the battle of Sedan, and yet they are 
not the supports and shadows of a throne, but the pillars of democracy ; 
not a standing army, but the citizen soldiery of a republic. 


The increase of wealth, population and power have been exceeded 
in the departments of science and economy; the adaptation of steam to 
the industries of life has increased the producing power more than twenty 
to one. Education is as free as the flag which so proudly waves its azure 
set stars and broad stripes of universal freedom over us to-day. 

But the great revolution of mind and thought which has evolved out 
of the past century ; the birth of religious freedom in faith and worship, 
is the grand climacteric of which statesmen and philosophers, savans and 
bishops ought to be proud. 

The freedom of conscience and worship places America on a higher 
plane of civilization than any nation that has ever existed in the records ' 
of history. In all the conquests of the century, the laws have kept pace 
and added much to the success of our civilization. A democratic or 
republican government is one founded upon a stated constitution and 
settled laws, as distinguished from an absolute government, where the 
will of the ruler constitutes the canons of the law, or even where written 
constitutions are interpreted to suit the will of the monarch. 

In our government, the laws emanate from the people in their sov- 
ereign capacity, and are generally executed and interpreted by wise and 
good men, and so long as the laws are made by good people as sover- 
eigns, and administered by pure, just and prudent men, the future is 
assured. The ancient Grecians raised temples in honor of Themis, the 
Goddess of Justice, and adorned her as the source of law and the embod- 
iment of truth. 

We propose erecting here a temple, where the scales of justice vi'll 
ever be evenly held, and where the oracles of truth will be guarded with 
vestal fidelity. We want the law as a science and study, to be in the 
future as the past — in the front ranks of the learned professions, and her 
practitioners the acknowledged leaders of liberal views and sound mor- 
ality, and bringing to the administration of equity a code of ethics and 
morals beautiful and grand in its comprehensive whole, vast yet sj^*- 
metrical in its ramified details, adorned by the genius and polished' by 
the wisdom of twenty centuries. This building, to be constructed^ by 
our honorable County Court, promises to be such a temple and such a 
shrine, standing in the future as a monument to their wisdom and enter- 
prise, and esteemed by all as worthy of the growing city it will adorn, 
and may it long stand as a bright landmark in the pathway of progress, 
and when the hands which reared it are mouldered into dust, and the 
tongues which to-day shout its triumphs are silent in the grave, may it 
still be known as an altar where justice is tempered with mercy and 
where passion shall never blind judgment or the scales be made to bal- 
ance by the alloy of gold, but where the fountain and stream shall alike 
ever be pure. 

When Missouri was admitted into the Union in 1820, the six counties 
of Platte, Buchanan, Andrew, Holt, Atchison, and Nodaway, and 'known 
then as the Platte country, were a part of the territory, until added to 
the State by an act of Congress passed in 1837. It was occupied by. the 
Pottawattamie Indians, and what is now known as Agency, in this county, 
was the issue house for their annuities. By treaty with the Indians in 
■ 1837, this country was ceded to the State of Missouri, and many moved 
into it, that summer, in anticipation of the early passage of the pre- 
emption act. As soon as the passage of the act of Congress was brought 


west by the slow process of that day, many flocked from the border 
counties in Missouri, and from Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee, and 
other states to this new land of promise, the Pottawattamies were 
removed to Council Bluffs and to the Kansas River, near the present 
City of Lecompton, and the tide of immigration entered this rich region. 
Several of those old pioneers are with us yet. Amongst the first to cast 
their tents here were Captain James B. O'Toole, Judge Tom Brown, 
Edwin Toole, William Fowler, Dr. McDonald and many others. Grounds, 
were plowed and crops tended in 1838, and by fall the county was pretty 
well dotted over with pre-emption claims and patches of broken prairie. 
That fall the Legislature established Platte into a county, and attached 
the district of Buchanan to Clinton County for voting purposes, and 
established County and Circuit Courts, which were held at Robidoux's 
store, and in accordance with that act the first court was held in the old 
log house, occupied as a store room by Joseph Robidoux, standing on 
the present site of the Occidental Hotel, in the present limits of St. 
Joseph. The first court was held here on the iSth day of July, 1839,'by 
Hon. Austin A. King, afterwards Governor of the state ; P. H. Burnett, 
Circuit Attorney, since Governor of California, and now an eminent 
banker in San Francisco. The first Clerk was our old and respected 
friend, Edwin Toole, (may his shadow never grow less.) The only resi- 
dent attorney was General Andrew Hughes, who kept his office and 
library (which last consisted of the Missouri Statutes of 1835 and Pirtle's 
Digest) in the back room -of Robidoux' store. Of all the settlers of 
Buchanan County, none are more worthy of remembrance than General 
Hughes. With a polished manner, liberal education and bright talent, 
he combined caustic wit and a heart gentle as a woman. His fame will 
live with a bright radiance in the memories of all that ever heard him 
at the forum. 

The attorneys at that court, were Wm. T. Wood, who is now an hon- 
ored citizen of Lafayette County ; General A. W. Doniphan, whose 
achievements with the Missouri troops, during the Mexican War, read like 
the weird stories of Arabic fiction, and who still resides in Ray County, 
Missouri; General Wm. B. Almond, afterwards Judge of the District Court, 
in California in 1849, ^^^ Judge of this Circuit in 1851. Almond was a 
man of prolific genius and untiring energy. Launched into the battle of 
life as a poor boy, in Virginia, he soon found himself, with the American 
Fur Company, at the mouth of the Yellowstone, and was back in a few 
years to settle the Platte Purchase. He left for the Pacific Coast on the 
first news of the gold discovery, and returned two or three times, and 
finally passed to the shadowy land in trying to civilize the border ruf- 
fians of Kansas. Besides these, there were at the first court, Amos 
Rees, now of Leavenworth ; John Wilson, of Platte County, and Theo- 
dore Wheaton, of New Mexico, all now full of years, and honored as 
worthy representatives of their day, and to whom much is due for shap- 
ing and controlling the turbulent elements in which all new countries 
abound . , 

The first sheriff was S. M. Gilmore. The first suit was Andrew S. 
Hughes vs. Ishmael Davis, for debt. The first indictment w^s against 
Theophilus Magruder, for the crime of " betting at a game of chance," 
with a pack of playing cards, for which, after several continuances, he 
was, in July, '1840, fined one dollar and costs. Such amusements have 


increased since that period, as other amusements and luxuries of Ufe. 
The first grand jury were : Reuben R. Reynolds, John Henry, Wm. Bled- 
soe, Elijah Martin, Abel Evans, George S. Nelson, Ezekiel W. Smith, 
Job McNemara, Daniel Terrel, Hugh Copeland, Hiram Rogers, Jesse R. 
Barnnett, Ezra Rose, Lloyd Beall, Hugh Glenn, John Martin and James 
Curl. The second court was held at Robidoux' store, on November i8, 
1839, and the roll of attorneys was increased by the admission of Wm. 
» M. Paxton (now a prominent lawyer of Platte County), S. L. Leonard, 
afterwards a judge of this circuit, and John Platte, whose history! am 
unable to give. The first declaration of citizenship was made at this 
term by Godfrey Rental, and the first divorce petition considered was 
the case of Mary Johns vs. Benjamin Johns. The third term of the Cir- 
cuit Court was held at St. Joseph, on the i6th March, 1840. 

The fist term of the County Court was held at the house of Richard 
Hill, on the first day of April, 1839. Present, William Harrington and 
Samuel Johnson, County Court justices. 

The first order appointed William Fowler, County Clerk ; the sec- 
ond order appointed Samuel Johnson, President of said court ; the third 
granted a license to Edward Dodge, for six months, to vend groceries at 
any point in the county. 

The following townships were established and bounded by an order 
•of the court : Platte, Marion, Lewis, Jefferson, Bloomington, Crawford 
and Noble. At the same term, Wm. W. Reynolds was appointed County 
Assessor. * 

On the 2nd day of April, 1839, it was ordered by the County Court 
that the Circuit and County Courts of Buchanan County should thereafter 
be "held at the house of Joseph Robidoux, at the Snake Hills, until oth- 
erwise ordered." The second term of the County Court was held at the 
house of Joseph Robidoux, on the 6th day of May, 1839. At this term a 
license was granted to Julius C. Robidoux to keep a ferry at Robidoux' 
landing, on the Missouri River. 

At the September term, 1839, Wm. Curl was added as a county jus- 
tice. At the April term, 1840, P. P. Fulkerson, Armstrong McClintock 
and Leonard Brassfield, commissioners appointed by an act approved 
December 31, 1838, were required to select a permanent county seat. 
The commissioners appointed by the Legislature having selected a quar- 
ter section of United States land at Sparta, for county purposes, the 
seat of justice was removed there by an order of the County Court, and 
the first term of the Circuit Court convened at Richard Hill's cabin (near 
a big spring) about seven miles south of here, on the 20th day of July, 
1840, with Hon. David R. Atchison as Judge, P. H. Burnett, Circuit 
Attorney, where the court remained until 1846, when it was removed to 
St. Joseph. 

About this time (1839), and within a year or two, there settled in St. 
Joseph many of those merchants whose genius and prudence have made 
her the second city in the state. Among these were Powell & Levy, 
Smith & Donnell, ,Jolin Curd, the Tootles, Joseph Hull, John Corby and 
Saxton and others that I have not been able to get, in connection with 
the other facts, in the two days time I have had to look them up. 

Within a short time after the removal of the county seat to Sparta, 
there came to this county a number of young lawyers, who, like the 
fabled Argonauts, were destined to arise to eminence in the profession 


and honored position in the history of the state. They were General B. 
F. Loan, Governor R. M. Stewart, General James B. Gardenhire, Governor 
Willard P. Hall, Judge Henry M. Vories and General J. M. Bassett. Most 
of them lived a longer or shorter time at old Sparta, where, after three 
years of effort, a log court house, costing three hundred dollars, was built. 
Its present site is as deserted as the prophetic state of Tyre is repre- 
sented to be, and, like its compeers of Bonntown and Jimtown, it has 
yielded to the inevitable. 

Judge Atchison retired from the bench in March, 1844, to fill worth- 
ily a seat in the United States Senate, where he was President of the 
Senate, and by virtue of that office, on General Taylor's death, he was 
Vice President two years. Judge Atchison was succeeded in March, 
1844, by Judge Henson Young, an able and just man, who gave place in 
September, 184S, to Solomon L. Leonard, a hard student, an able man 
and incorruptible judge. In November, 1850, W. B. Almond succeeded 
Judge Leonard by an election. In 185 1, E. H. Norton, afterwards a rep- 
resentative in Congress from this district, was elected and held the posi- 
tion until 1859, when Silas Woodson, our present brilliant Governor, was 
elected, who was succeeded by Colonel William Herren, in January, 
1864, now an honored citizen of Andrew County, and in 1868, I. C. Par- 
ker, our present Congressman, was elected and resigned in 1870, and was 
succeeded by Judge Bennett Pike, a worthy attorney of this city, who 
honored the ermine until last November, when our present esteemed 
officer, Joseph P. Grubb, was elected. 

* * * * « ' * . *■ * * 

I regret that time forbids me to throw incense over the names ot 
Scott, Wilson, Jones, Bela Hughes, Lawrence Archer, Tom Thoroughman, 
Alexander Davis, Alexander Terrell, George Baxter, John Boyd, W. A. 
Cunningham, Colonel Davis, Sidney Tennant, L. M. Lawson and others, 
who are either in the shadowy land, or else far removed from the scenes 
of their youthful defeats and triumphs. 

* * * * * * * * * 

We are honored to-day by the presence of the members of the 
highest tribunal in the state, in the persons of Judges Wagner, Adams, 
Sherwood, Napton and Vories ; men who have won their present high 
positions by long years of toil at the bar ; men alike honored by the 
profession and an honor to it. 

* « ■;:- * -::- * * * * 

To our present County Court, consisting of Judges Smith, Taylor, 
Fitzgerald, Sutherland and Wade, we are indebted for the elegant 
, quarters to be soon furnished to our courts and officers of justice, let 
their names be remembered as deserving well of their country. 

* -;c- ■» * * * * * * 

From the progress we have made in thirty-five years, and the evi- 
dences of permanency around us, with such an active and enterprising 
population, we may be permitted to anticipate a magnificent future for 
our county and city. This building will doubtless stand to serve as a 
seat of justice for a quarter of a million of population ; churches, colleges 
and palaces, will be scattered over miles of the adjacent country, our 
court house and iron bridge still standing as monuments of the giant 
energy of the men of 1873. 



" ^ou raised these hallowed walls; the desert smiled, 
And Paradise was opened in the wild." 

The first settlement of the county and the organization of the first 
churches, were almost contemporaneous. The plow had scarcely begun 
to turn the sod, when the pioneer preachers commenced to labor in the 
new field. In the Western country, as well as in the Orient and the isles 
of the sea, marched the representatives of the Christian religion in the 
front ranks of civilization. Throughout the centuries which compose 
this era, have the Christian missionaries been taught and trained tO' 
accompany the first advance of civilization, and such was their advent 
here. In the rude cabins and huts of the pioneers they proclaimed the 
same gospel that is preached in- the gorgeous palaces, that, under the 
name of churches, decorate the great cities. 

It was the same gospel, but the surroundings made it appear differ- 
ent, in the effect it produced at least. 

The Christian religion had its rise, and the days of its purest prac- 
tice, among an humble, simple-minded people, and it is among similar 
surroundings in modern times that it seems to approach the purity of 
its source. This is best shown in the days of pioneer life. It is true, 
indeed, that in succeeding times the church attains greater wealth and 
practices a wider benevolence. Further it may be admitted that it gains 
a firmer discipline, and wields a more general influence on society, but 
it remains true that in pioneer times, we find a manifestation of Chris- 
tianity that we seek in vain at a later time and under contrasted circum- 
stances. The meek and lowly spirit of the Christian faith — the placing 
of spiritual things above vain pomp and show — appear more earnest 
amid the simple life and toil of a pioneer people than it can when sur-» 
rounded with the splendors of wealth and fashion. But we may take a 
comparison less wide, and instead of contrasting the Christian appear- 
ances of a great city with that of the pioneers, we may compare that of 
forty years ago, here in the West, with that in the present time of mod- 
erately developed wealth and taste for display, and we find much of the 
same result. 

The comparison is perhaps superficial to some extent, and does not 
. fully weigh the elements involved, nor analyze them properly. We sim- 


ply take the broad fact not to decry the present, but to illustrate the 
past. So that looking back to the early religious meetings in the log 
cabins, we may say, " Here was a faith, earnest and simple, like that of 
the early Christians." 

It is not our purpose at this place to give a full. account of the organ- 
ization of all the churches of the county. Such matters of detail will be 
given in connection with the history of the towns. At this place it is 
our purpose to speak of the churches in general and more particularly 
the pioneer churches of the county. , 

One of the first sermons delivered within the limits of Buchanan 
County was by Bishop Marvin, in what is now known as Agency town- 
ship. This was in a log cabin called "Woods school house." Bishop 
Marvin spent the early years of his ministry in Northwest Missouri, and 
labored in Clay, Platte and Buchanan Counties. In a letter, dated "St. 
Louis, September 3rd, 1874, and written to the President of the "Old 
Settlers" meeting, held in St. Joseph, during the same month, (given in 
full in our chapter on "Old Settlers' Reunions") he says : "In 1842,1 
passed the present site of St. Joseph, on my way to a field of labor 
quite on the frontier ; it embraced all the country west of Nodaway 
River. You will remember, at that time, there was no St. Joseph. I 
shall never forget the uncalculating. unbounded hospitality of the "old 
settlers." Many of them were in their first rude cabins, but those cabins 
had the rarest capacity for entertaining both friend and stranger of any 
houses of their size I ever saw. I often saw them crowded, but to the 
best of my recollection I never saw one of them full ; there was always 
room for a fresh comer. I recollect once, in the Platte Purchase,* I 
was wedging myself into a bed occupied by five children, when one of 
them awaked sufficiently to exclaim, " mamma, he's a scrougin' me ! " 

Bishop Marvin's circuit was established in Northwestern Missouri, 
at quite an early day, when the larger portion of it was just beginning 
to be settled. The circuit was a. large one, but the Bishop, being a 
young man and full of zeal, succeeded in making the round of his cir- 
cuit as often as it could possibly be done. Bishop Marvin was a self- 
made mati, in the true meaning of that term, and by his own unaided 
efforts arose from one of the humblest positions in life to the most 
exalted place within the gift of a powerful religious denomination. 

He had no advantages in early life, except the example of an honest, 
industrious father, and the influence and precepts of a pious and most 
exemplary mother. In those early days, there were but few schools in 
Missouri (Warren County), and young Marvin's only instruction in the 
rudiments of an education was received from his mother, who taught 
her own children and those of her neighbors, in a cabin erected for that 
purpose in the yard that surrounded their dwelling. 
*Said to have been in Buchanan County. 


During his pastorate, in one of the St. Louis churches, he delivered 
his famous lectures on Catholicism, which have ever since been accepted 
as a standard defence of the Protestant faith. In 1876, he sailed as one 
of the missionaries of his church to visit the missions in foreign fields. 
During this trip he visited many of the countries of the old world. 

While on his death bed, 1877, he finished the last pages of his last 
and most important work, entitled "To the East by Way of the West," 
giving an account of his voyage around the world, and describing the 
field of labor in heathen lands. This book was his masterpiece, and 
gave him high rank among the most famous descriptive writers. 

Another pioneer minister was W. G. Caples, who also went through 
the " Platte Purchase " bearing the message of the Gospel of Peace. Mr. 
Caples was at one time cennected with the M. E. Church South at St. 
Joseph. He was an earnest, eloquent preacher, and did much for Chris- 
tianity in Northwestern Missouri. In speaking of Mr. Caples, Bishop 
Marvin says : " There was a man, a minister of Christ, a large portion of 
whose public career belo ngs to the ' Platte Purchase,' of whom I must 
say, he was in some respects the most remarkable man I ever saw. I 
refer to W. G. Caples. He was another 'Agamemnon, king of men.' He 
was a first-class wit — a man of the finest social feeling, having positive 
ideas and a great end to accomplish. He did much for Northwest Mis- 
souri in establishing schools under Christian auspices. Now I proceed 
to say, that the old citizens of Platte have heard as great preaching as 
any other people on the American continent, and from the lips of the 
man Caples. I have heard more scholarly men, men whose sermons 
evinced higher cultivation and a better classical finish, but for power of 
argumentation, for philosophical breadth and sweep, for grandeur of 
conceptions, for greatness of imagination, for force and pungency of 
popular appeal, my conviction is, his superior has not appeared in the 
American pulpit." 

Wm. W. Redman was a Presiding Elder in 1840, and preached the 
Gospel through the Platte country. 

Thomas Chandler came in 1844, and was also a Presiding Elder. He 
remained one year, and returned to his native state — Ohio. 

"Mount Moria" was one among the first church edifices constructed 
in the county. It was a rude log house, and was located near Frazer. 
The organization is still in a flourishing condition. Among the early 
expounders of the Word at this church was George W. Rich, John C. 
Davis, John Stone and John Ellis. 

Thomas B. Ruble came in 1840, and after remaining a few years, 
went as a missionary to the Cherokee Nation, where he died. 

In the early history of Buchanan County, religipus services were 
held in log cabins and in the shady grove. It was often the case, when 
cabin services were held, that a portion of the congregation \yould be in 


the house, while the balance of the audience would be seated outside on 
rough benches and stools. The speaker took his stand in the door, so 
that he could be seen and heard by all in attendance. At one of these 
meetings, while the preacher was rnaking the opening prayer on his 
knees in the door, a pet sheep belonging to the family and which was in the 
habit of going in and out of the cabin at pleasure, attempted to go in. 
When he reached the door and saw the movement of the minis- 
ter's hands, he took it as a challenge, and as the sequel shows, was not 
slow in accepting the banter. A slight backward movement on the part 
of the assailant, with a perceptible adjustment of the head and neck^ 
was immediately followed by a furious blow from the only weapon known 
in sheep warfare. Of course there was much more confusion than blood. 
The prayer was concluded without any amen. His majesty, the sheep, 
was hastily dragged to the rear of the building, while the minister with 
his, at least, seeming gravity, and without the slightest allusion to the 
disturbance, proceeded to dispense to his hearers the bread of life. 

Next after the Methodists, and sometimes even before them, may 
always be found the Baptists in all pioneer and mission work. From our 
best information, the Baptists held religious services in the county about 
the same time, and contemporaneous with the Methodists. 

One of the first houses of worship was erected by the Calvanistic 
Baptists in Platte Township, and was known as the ''Witt Meeting 
House," taking its name after Judge Nelson Witt, on whose land the 
house was built. It was quite a large structure and made of hewn logs. 
The first minister who officiated in this church was John Evans. Mr. 
Evans was from Kentucky, and through his instrumentality the first or- 
ganization of that denomination was effected in the county between 1838 
and 1840. 

The Missionary Baptists subsequently erected in the same township 
a frame edifice wbicn was called " Hebron," which is still standing in a 
ruined condition, but is not used for church purposes. 

The Baptists also built a large frame building with two rooms, in 
the old town of Bloomington, in 1858. Rev. Isart Williams is the pres- 
ent pastor. The Hard-shell Baptists had organizations at an early day at 
one or two places in the southern portion of the county in Bloomington 
Township, in 1839. 

The Christians were among the earliest religious denominations to 
proclaim the Word in the Platte Purchase. A church was organized 
three miles south of DeKalb, in Bloomington Township, by Archibald 
Stuart, in 1839, the first sermon being preached by him under a buckeye 
tree on Sugar Creek. His church was known at that time as the " New 
Light," now the Christian Church. 

The Christians also established a church at Crawford Township, 
four miles northwest of Halleck, in 1842, called "Antioch." Elder Duke 


Young, an aged man, preached here among the first. The Elder was 
said to have been entirely a self-made man, but was an earnest, devout 
minister. Like others of his calling at that early day, he always carried 
with him a small copy of the New Testament, covered with old-fashioned 
green and white spotted calico. 

The Presbyterians organized a church in the northern portion of 
the county, called " Walnut Grove," which is still in existence, with a 
membership of thirty. 

The same denomination had a church at Easton, shortly after the 
settlement of the town. The first camp-meeting was held in the year 
1842, near the Valley Chapel school house, in Bloomington Township. 
Other camp-meetings were held in 1847, below Martin's Mill, in the 
same township. The Episcopalians had a Mission Station as early as 
1859, ^t Saxton's Station, and one also about three miles below St. 

During the first ten years of the county's history there were but few 
church buildings erected. Public religious services were generally held 
at private houses, until school houses were built, after which these build- 
ings were used for religious services on Sundays, and are even now used 
in some localities for the same purpose. 



Our State Constitution lays down, as the very foundation of society 
and good government, the following principle : " Schools and the means 
of education shall forever be encouraged in this state. One school, or 
more, shall be established in each township, as soon as practicable and 
necessary, where the poor shall be taught gratis." 

Thus we find, in the fundamental law of Missouri, the plain and 
unequivocal announcement of the principle that every state is bound to 
see that its citizens are educated. It is a voluntary avowal of the fact 
that the happiness, wealth and prosperity of a nation must depend on 
the intelligence and virtue of its people. 

In the act of Congress (1820) authorizing the people of Missouri 
Territory to form a constitution and state government, the sixteenth 
section of each township, or its equivalent, was devoted to 'the purpose 
of supporting schools in each township. 

Twelve salt springs, with six sections or thirty-eight hundred and 
forty acres of land adjoining each, were also granted to the state, and 
those were afterwards devoted by the Legislature to the same object. 

The first act passed by the Legislature of the state on the subject of 
education was on the 17th of January, 1825. This law enacted that each 
Congressional Township should form a school district, to be under the 
control of the County Court in all matters pertaining to schools. It also 
declared that all rents (of school lands) fines, penalties and forfeitures 
accruing under provisions of this act should be set apart and appropri- 
ated exclusively to a school fund, and, in no case, should it be otherwise 

January 26, 1833, the Legislature authorized the Governor to appoint 
three suitable persons, whose duty it should be to prepare a system of 
primary school instruction, as nearly uniform as practicable throughout 
the state, and to make report to the next meeting of the Legislature. 

By act of June 23, 1836, the office of Superintendent of Common 
Schools was first created. Peter G. Glover was the first to fill this office. 
He was required in the month of January of each year, to make distribu- 
tion of the "School Monies" amongst the several counties in which there 
may be any school, based upon the number of white children between 
the ages of six and eighteen years. 


During the session of 1853, a committee composed of Acock, of 
Polk County, Hickman, of Boone and Kelley, of Holt County, by author- 
ity of the Legislature, matured and presented to that body the law in 
force on the statute- book up to the passage of the second State Consti- 
tution and with some modifications substantially the same as exists to- 
day (1881). The first distribution of State School moneys were made 
January, 1842, when only thirteen counties received any portion of the 
fund. These were Benton, Boone, Clark, Cole, Cooper, Greene, Lafay- 
ette, Livingston, Marion, Monroe, Ralls, Saline and Shelby. The 
aggregate amount of this apportionment was $1,999.60. The number 
of children in the report here fails to appear. In 1859, the number of 
children reported was 367,248, and the amount appropriated, $253,401.12. 


To the first school taught in the county we have already referred in 
our notice of Crawford Township. Others of perhaps equal importance 
subsequently existed in distant parts of the county, at times not far dis- 
tant from this period. The most important of these, both from the 
superior grade of its scholarship and the permanency of its success, was 
that established in St. Joseph by Mrs. Israel Landis, in the summer of 
1845, and advertised in the Gazette of that day as St. Joseph Female 
Seminary. Either about this period, or a short time previous to the first 
opening of this school, Mrs. Stone, a Roman Catholic lady, taught, for a 
few months, a small private school within the city limits. 

Mrs. Landis' school prospered with merited success for several suc- 
ceeding years. Though, to all intents and purposes a female institu- 
tion, a few small boys, whose sisters were pupils in the seminary, were 
occasionally received as temporary students in the same. 

The following catalogue of the first pupils will probably be read 
with interest by many of the present citizens of St. Joseph : 

Isabella Boyd, Elizabeth and Tolbert Fairleigh, 

Sarah Jane and Hilray Smallwood Harriet Willis, 

Sophia and Octavia Robidoux, Alfred and James Harding, 

Mary and Emerson Reeve, Mary Elizabeth Taylor. 

Elizabeth and A. Searcey, Mary and Sarah Lydia Flint, 

John Walsh, Susan and William Martin, 

Sarah Catherine Talbot, Minerva Patee, 

Eveline, Caroline, Adeliza Taylor, Sarah Maria and Emma Powell, 

Judith and Hannah Venable, Almira and Bryant Searcey, 

Sarah Catherine Norton, John Martin, 

Melvina Hall, Sarah Jane Hall, 

Mary Frances Smith, Lucy Ann Smith, 

Georgiana Smith, Elizabeth Loan, 


Elizabeth Kercheval, Mary Argyle, 

Martha McDonald, Prudence Funk, 

Mary Elizabeth Kenedy, Sarah Price, 

Eliza Tracy, Mary Anne Richardson, 

Lucretia Pfouts, Nancy Northcut, 

Paulina Northcut, John Kemper, 

John Harris, Cecelia Keedy, 
Cora Keedy. 

On February 9th, 1839, a school law was enacted, under which there 
were two or four inspectors of common schools appointed. One duty of 
these inspectors was to examine teachers. This was probably the first 
step toward our present organized system of public school management. 

Though a long term of years intervened between the period first, 
above referred to and the present time, we find in the days of her earliest 
history a lively sense of the importance of general education engaging 
the minds of the people of Buchanan County. 

The following evidence of the fact will be read with interest by 
many who may yet, perhaps, recollect, if they did not personally take part 
in the convention : 

On the 7th November, 1846, a 


of Buchanan County was held at Crawford Township school house, at 
which the following proceeding were had. 

On motion of Mr. Stratton, Dr. Davis was elected President of the 
Convention, and on motion of Mr. Burbaker, H. F. Hoover was elected' 

The Convention was then called to order by the President, who took 
occasion to introduce the claims of education in some happy introductory 
remarks, together with reading the following preamble and resolutions, 

Whereas, In a republic the people are the source of all political 
power, and from them must emanate those hurtful or beneficent influ- 
ences which will operate either as an aliment in sustaining, or as poison 
in destroying vitality of popular institutions ; and 

Whereas, The entire mass of society in this country are deeply 
interested in reference to the capacity of each member thereof to meet 
the high obligations arising from his social and political relations, it 
being evident that the judgment in reference to these obligations cannot 
be correct while knowledge is deficient and defective ; and 

Whereas, Also it is painfully evident that in a very large portion 
of these states there is a destitution of political and literary intelligence 
disreputable to the government and incompatible with a healthful exer- 
cise of the sacred rights of suffrage ; and 


Whereas, It is also evident and surprising that neither the general 
government nor our own state government have put forth efforts at all ade- 
quate to remove the incubus of ignorance, which not only endangers the 
peace and safety, but retards the prosperity of the country. There is, 
indeed, by the enactments of our state a plentiful array of directions for 
the organization of school districts, the necessary officers with their 
duties fully prescribed, etc., but nothing available placed at their dis- 
posal for the accomplishment of those duties. 

One section out of thirty-six is given for educational purposes — and 
that, with shame let it be said, suffered by the people to be bartered off 
at $1.25 per acre ! ! ! 

We cannot but regard the trifling appropriation of the thirty-sixth 
section, and that badly secured to the cause for which it was intended, 
as manifest proof of the indifference of government to the subject. 

On the part of some of the United States there are splendid excep- 
tions, where education is receiving the fostering care of vigorous govern- 
ments, and consequently, that generous devotion of the people which, as 
the pabulum of individual .happiness and palladium of public liberty, it 
justly demands ; and 

Whereas, If our institutions are the most subservient to human 
happiness, of which the world knows, it is most clearly the duty, as well 
as the highest interest of every individual enjoying these blessings to 
contribute the utmost in his power to perpetuate them unimpaired to 
posterity ; and 

Whereas, Our country is universally regarded as holding not only 
a conspicuous, but a tremendously responsible station, among the 
nations of the earth. Situate so remote from all countries where pos- 
terity can be dreaded, and in possession of immense physical and civil 
advantages, it must be evident to the most superficial observer that if 
the great experiment of self-government can succeed, of all nations 
under the sun we ought and will most likely be the people to make a 
practical demonstration of it. Let Buchanan County remember that the 
eyes of the world are directed to our nation ; that to America is directed 
the last appeal in behalf of the oppressed, ignorant, suffering humanity; 
that America is known to be the only Ararat on which freedom's ark can. 
safely repose. And here let it repose forever, safe in the affections and 
intelligence of the whole people, while our institution of learning — OUR 
COMMON SCHOOLS— like the bow of promise, shall spread from East tc 
West its wide arch, giving us the assurance that the wild waters of 
anarchy and despotism shall not again destroy the earth ; therefore, 

Resolved. That those high, those fond, those longing hopes of Christen- 
dom ought not, may not and must not be disappointed ; in support of 
which, as a part of the American people, and in conjunction with every 
patriotic American, we are ready and willing, as much as in us lies, to 
put on betimes the whole armor of freedom and wield it in behalf of those 
institutions that give life and permanency to our Republic. 

Resolved, That any individual is unable to perform the duties of a 
republican citizen while destitute of that education or discipline of mind 
necessary to understand for himself the nature of our institutions, the 
rudiments and principles of our government. Therefore, that the long 
prevalent and present neglect of common .schools, both by the gov- 
ernment and the people, proclaims loudly an undue appreciation of what 


intimately concerns the vital interests of community, and favors a state 
of things which eminently endangers, not merely the well being, but the 
existence of our free institutions. 

But that with the intellectual and moral training which our common 
schools afford, every individual may acquire the ability to be a useful citi- 
zen, and by joining his wise and harmonious influence with others in 
executing plans for the common weal, he will not only earn the reputa- 
tion of benefactor, but will actually have an agency in embellishing the 
minds of his fellows whose influence, fragrant with all that is good, will 
live after him age after age. 

Resolved, That education, such as ought to be imparted in common 
schools, will enable every one to know and obey the just restraints of 
law, and also must effectually correct the exuberance of democracy, 
chasten and control its tendencies to insubordination, being held by the 
attractions of reason, in its just orbit, around a free constitution, preserved 
alike from the centripetal force of despotism and the centrifugal force of 
anarchy — giving and arming every man with the ability to detect the 
sophistry of the demagogue, and to unite in the selection and establish- 
ment of such authority as shall secure the public tranquility, by rendering 
obedience pleasure and submission choice. 

Resolved, That it is justly the reproach of the general, and of many 
of the state governments, that while with an energy and devotion that 
calls forth the admiration of the world, they have given to a mighty 
nation the boon of freedom, they yet have neglected, or at best imper- 
fectly supplied, the means of general knowledge, by whose power, calm 
and energetic, will give perpetual life and energy to our free govern- 
ment, and that, therefore, public authorities are chargeable with the 
inconsistency of neglecting the materials and order of the foundation, 
in their zeal for the strength and utility of the superstructure. 

Resolved, That the light of learning has long since exposed to mer- 
ited contempt the assumption of "the divine right of kings," and that 
experience amply testifies that self-government, under the guidance of 
general intelligence, is no longer an experiment, but ipso facto, prac- 
tical ; therefore the friends of common schools may most pertinently 
address an appeal, as a motive to our very selfishness — even the first law 
of our being, self preservation. 

Resolved, That the tranquility and perpetuity of this republic is 
rendered secure by the diffusion of knowledge, and that whatever so in- 
timately concerns the best interests of government, cannot be at vari- 
ance with the freedom or rights of a single citizen ; and therefor, having 
provided the end, has a right to so control the means and dictate as to 
their due appropriation for purposes of general education, and to com- 
pel, by law, the attendance of every minor upon common schools. 

Resolved, That education inspires men with a just respect for them- 
selves, and of consequence, a due respect for others, by bringing to view 
the worth and greatness of human nature, while the solemn claims of 
every individual possessing these exalted and dignified faculties to equal 
respect, are established on the very ruins of those pernicious principles 
which have so long and so unjustly divided mankind into classes of the 
abject many and the self-exalted few. 

Resolved, That independent of the important considerations con- 
nected with a discreet exercise of the right of suffrage, education has an 


influence upon individual happiness, furnishing materials for rational, 
profitable, social and public intercourse, as well as subjects for private 
meditation — thus so expand the faculties of the human mind — we mean 
of every mind — that the great bond which connects and embraces the 
several members of society is clearly perceived and duly appreciated. 

Resolved, That in a religious, as well as civil view, the world is 
immensely indebted to the influence of letters, the demonstration of 
which is afforded in the Gospel itself ; the religion of which, against all 
opposition, became the religion of the Roman Empire. Caesar himself 
a christian, would seem to have promised and insured to mankind that 
repose, benevolence and peace which the Gospel proposes and enjoins, 
but, alas ! how different the result of this triumph of the cross. The 
world unfortunately lacked that general knowledge (for the diffusion of 
which we are now striving) and in consequence of which the whole of 
that pride and arrogance which so soon usurped and perverted in the 
name of religion in the place of "peace and good will to men." These 
fetters, strong enough to have held the world in the most degrading 
vassalage, and during long centuries, tumbling even the mightiest mon- 
archs into the dust, were at last broken, and the cruel dominion of 
Egyptian darkness scattered by the light and power of letters, an influ- 
ence which will be found irresitible against oppression, and within reach 
of that which will render it as lasting as Gibraltar's rock. 

Resolved, That the invention of the art of printing may not be 
inaptly styled the true alchemist — and is, indeed, the philosopher's 
stone, by which base materials have been converted into gold ; or, to 
drop the metaphor, it is that which embellishes the mind with brilliant 
thought, by scattering the printed page around our windows thick as the 
leaves of autumn, removes ignorance and supplies the mind with all the 
shining forms of intellectual beauty and excellence, giving symetry and 
order to every sense and faculty, while to the mind is imparted true con- 
fidence for trepidation, wisdom for ignorance, correct taste in manners, 
habits and morals, and a corresponding regard for the hitherto undis- 
covered dignity and elevation of human nature. Thus, therefore, edu- 
cation enhances, not only the interest and pleasure, but the wealth of 
individuals as well as of the nation. 

Resolved, That education is to be regarded not simply as an acqui- 
sition of a treasury of facts, but as a potent influence which pervades 
the whole structure of the mind, governing, strengthening and disciplin- 
ing all its faculties harmoniously, rendering it the crucible in which 
materials are prepared, and the mould to form them into countless vari- 
eties of novel, beautiful forms. 

Resolved, That although the strong arm of government has been 
extended with liberality in support of schools, yet there are several 
classes of citizens that are entitled to the gratitude of the nation for their 
incessant efforts in the noble cause, among whom are the clergy and the 

Resolved, That in consequence of our wide and rapidly extending 
population, the relations and interests of the different sections, of the 
republic have become extensively various and complicated, and that the 
importance of education has increased in corresponding ratio. 

After the reading of the above preamble and resolutions, .Mr. Bur- 
baker addressed the convention in a very interesting speech of about an 


hour's length, commenting upon and enforcing the truths of the resolu- 
tions, showing what education had accomplished in Switzerland, Prussia, 
and the most of the Western States, inferring a miserable deficiency in 
our own State with fifty thousand adults who cannot read and write ; 
closed by moving that the preamble and resolutions be adopted, which, 
being seconded, was unanimously done by the convention. 

Mr. Stratton introduced to the convention the subject of school 
houses, reading and commenting most pertinently upon the following 
preamble and resolutions : 

Whereas, Many of our school houses are among the very worst 
specimens of architecture. The construction of these edifices has 
received such little attention or aid from the more intelligent part of the 
community, and has been left to the care of those who have known or 
thought of no other model but the old building, and who have studied 
their pecuniary interest more attentively than the education of their 
children, I know of nothing among us that brings so great a reproach 
upon our affluence or intelligence as the low, dark, filthy appearance of 
many of our district school houses. There is no part of the means of 
education that makes a stronger demand upon the learned and benevo- 
lent, and none which requires a more thorough reform, than the loca- 
tion, size, structure and fixtures of the buildings in which nineteen citi- 
zens out of twenty receive their first impressions, their first character, 
and the principal part of their education ; therefore 

Resolved, That we recommend to districts inasmuch as the average 
number of children that ought to accompany every qualified teacher in 
this densely populated county should be about seventy, to build their 
school houses not less than thirty by forty feet in size, and that the mid- 
dle of the house be filled with seats instead of the common and bad 
practice of seating scholars around the outside of a schoolroom, that one 
scholar may move without moving all on his seat ; that said houses have 
not less than three windows in each side of the house, and those put so 
high that when scholars are seated their heads will be below the bottom 
window ; also, inasmuch as a child is educated by other teachers than 
books and schoolmasters, that a lovely and delightful piece of ground be 
selected for a school house ; also, that everything around it be comfort- 
able and cheerful ; also, that it be removed from the noise and sight of 
business, and from everything that would endanger the body or divert 
the mind ; also, that your houses be built high, which is of great import- 
ance in every house that is- filled. 

On motion of Mr. Stratton, and a second, they were adopted by the 

Mr. Burbaker then presented to the convention the following in 
reference to the duties of Trustees : 

Whereas, That in our opinion our common school system, imperfect 
as it is, is the best that has ever been adopted in the Western States for 
educating the rising generation, and that a large share of the responsi- 
bility of -carrying that system into successful operation depends upon the 
District Trustee ; therefore. 


Resolved, That we recommend to all Trustees that in our opinion it 
is necessary to pay such wages to good teachers as will not only be an 
adequate compensation, but will afford encouragement to persons of 
talent and energy to engage in the business. 

Resolved, further. That it is the business of the trustees to visit the 
schools in their respective districts often, and to have such school 
under their immediate supervision — not that trustees are to have a voice 
in the daily discipline of the school, but they may know the embarrass- 
ments of district schools in the absence of the necessary apparatus in the 
way of carrying out and executing the views of their teacher for the 
prosperity of the school. 

These resolutions prevailed unanimously with the Convention. 

Mr. Stratton, then at length, in a most clear, forcible and masterly 
manner, set forth the subject of qualified teachers and moved the fol- 
lowing resolution : 

Resolved, That in consideration of the great responsibility resting 
upon the teacher of the common school, it is highly requisite that all 
persons offering themselves as patterns and guardians of youth, possess 
a thorough knowledge of all the branches required to be taught in the 
common school course, and a capability of imparting the same with 
facility to their pupils ; also that they should be able to adopt and main- 
tain a well regulated system of classification, .instruction and discipline. 

This resolution was unanimously adopted. , 

Mr. Beane submitted and enforced a resolution in reference to parents, 
which prevailed. 

Resolved, That in the opinion of the committee, the efficiency of the 
teacher will be materially enhanced by the co-operation of the parent in 
upholding his authority and entire supremacy in all matters of school 
discipline and government, and inculcating into the minds of their 
children a high respect for his person and qualifications. 

Resolved, also, That it is deemed of great advantage to teachers and 
scholars that parents frequently visit and observe the order and regula- 
tion of the school, and, in case of their noticing any ground of complaint 
in the teacher, that they speak to him in private and make a representa- 
tion thereof to the trustees, and by no means to indulge in the presence 
of children in depreciatory remarks, which are calculated to lessen the. 
respect of the children and efficiency of the teacher. 

Resolved, That it is very essential that each scholar be furnished 
with such books as he may need, instead of the frequent practice of 
studying in couples. 

Mr. Burbaker offered the following preamble and resolution, which 
were adopted by the convention : 

The teacher's employment, to be profitable and useful to all parties, 
should be made as honorable and as separate as the physician's, divine's 
or lawyer's, and labor exclusively in his profession, as the physician does 
in his. We would not employ a man who may have had a good education, 
but had given his whole attention to the selling of goods, to be our 
physician, when disease takes hold of us, or to plead our rights before 
judge or jury who had not made the law his study for years ; therefore, 


Resolved, That teaching our district schools should be made a pro- 

Mr. Stratton submitted the subject of county conventions for teach- 
ers, as follows : 

Introductory remarks and resolution. 

How shall teachers become better prepared for their profession > 
How can they be continually improving their minds and their systems 
of instruction.' And how shall every teacher receive the light which 
the more experienced are constantly throwing upon the subject of 
instruction.' We know of no means so common to all, and so favorable, 
as county conventions of teachers. Heretofore there has been but little 
communication between teachers. The improvements which one has 
made have not been made known to others ; the incompetency of teach- 
ers, and the bad efforts of teacher have not been made to elevate and honor 
their profession. Other classes of men have had their conventions — men 
of science, ministers and statesmen, to ensure enlightened and united oper- 
ations, appoint their conventions to redress wrongs, to correct errors, 
and make known the improvements and able suggestions that may be 
discovered or proposed by any of one of the party. 

The wisdom and experience of these conventions not only enlighten 
the people and sit in Judgment upon their errors, but produce through- 
out the whole country similarity of feeling and harmony of efforts for the 
peace of the church, the advancement of science and the prosperity of 
the country. 

Such conventions are absolutely necessary, but are not conventions 
• of teachers equally necessary for the prosperity of our schools .' Does 
not the difficulty and responsible profession of teaching require all the 
light and knowledge that can be obtained on the subject .' Does not the 
incompetency of teachers invite all the aid that can be obtained on this 
subject .' Does not the incompetency of teachers invite all the aid that 
can be furnished from those who are better qualified by experience and 
from other literary men .' 

"Certainly ! " every one will say, " such assistance is highly import- 
ant ; it would afford that necessary aid which teachers now have no 
means of obtaining." 

Yet so great is the apathy of the people that we seldom hear of a 
•teachers' convention. The introduction of a teachers' convention, it 
seems, has but just found its way into Missouri. Hence but a small 
number of our teachers have .been profited by them. But how shall 
teachers improve themselves, if not by such conventions .' 

Works on education have a very limited circulation. Not one 
teacher out of a hundred reads anything on the subject ; nor will they 
read before the living voice exercises their attention. There are but 
few seminaries for educating teachers, and rarely a lecture delivered on 


school-keeping. Teachers are seldom qualified when they enter into the 
profession, and they have neither the assistance of teachers in the vicin- 
ity nor intelligence from abroad, either from books or the speaking lec- 
ture. This should not be so. There are many means which teachers 
may use to prepare themselves for their profession and for improving 
themselves while engaged in their duties ; and we know of none so 
advantageous to teachers, and that is attended with so little expense and 
within reach of all, as frequent county conventions. If these are gener- 
ally announced and faithfully attended, they will not only be highly 
interesting to teachers, but of the greatest benefit to our schools. They 
should be attended not only by teachers, but all the friends of education ; 
each individual should go prepared to contribute to their interest and 
usefulness and with a hearty desire to promote the general cause of edu- 
cation. Each county association should have a correspondence with 
similar associations in adjacent counties, and so throughout the United 
States. By this communication all the improvements or changes which 
have been made may be made known. It should be the object of these 
conventions and communications with other associations to discover the 
origin of the defects in the present system of instruction, to ascertain 
the actual condition of schools through the' United States, who are in 
school, and the number who do not use the means of education. To 
ascertain the true interest which parents are taking in educating their 
children, to convince the people of the necessity of general intelligence 
in a free government, and to make known the duties which every one 
owes to the frcie institutions of his country. The mutual improvement of 
teachers is one of the first objects of these conventions. To render this, 
mutual instructibn each teacher before the convention should describe 
his system of instruction and his form of government. From this inter- 
change of views on the best methods of teaching and governing many 
valuable suggestions will be elicited and many evils and defects dis- 
closed. Individuals should be appointed to deliver lectures before these 
conventions, the object of the lectures being either to illustrate or simplify 
the branches which are taught in our schools, or to make known the best 
methods of instructing. These, with many other advantages, too numer- 
ous to mention, are the happy results of county teachers' conventions. 

Whereas, At the present time men of other professions are associ^ 
ating themselves together for mutual aid and advantage ; therefore. 

Resolved, That it is incumbent upon teachers, for their own protec- 
tion and advancement in the scale of public opinion, and for the benefit 
of those under their charge, to associate themselves together, to hold 
converse with each other as often as practicable, and, in every honorable 
way within their power, to promote good fellowship and brotherly kind- 
ness among themselves, thereby presenting opportunities for interchange 
of sentiments, which must produce the most beneficial results. 


Resolved, That we know of no better way of carrying out the spirit 
of the above preamble and resolution than by teachers frequently asso- 
ciating themselves together, as we do ; therefore earnestly recommend 
that associations be formed in every organized township in our county 
by their teachers. 

Resolved by the convention, That the president appoint a suitable 
person from each township in this county as a committee, whose duty it 
shall be to ascertain the number of township and district schools organ- 
ized, the number and reasons for, of those not organized, with such other 
facts as will show the state of the schools in our county, and repbrt to 
the next county convention. 

Resolved, That a county convention be held at the Crawford town- 
ship school house, on the second Saturday in next April. 

On motion, Messrs. Stratton, Burbaker and Dr. McDonald were 
appointed a committee to conduct the interests of the next convention. 

On motion the convention adjourned. 

H. F. HOOVER, Secretary. 

The committee, in behalf of the present convention, feel that they 
will not discharge their duty without earnestly recommending the repeal 
of Section 13, Article IV, School Laws of Mo. 

Through correspondence with the superintendent of common schools 
it is ascertained the 13th section of the 4th article bears a general inter- 
pretation, and of consequence has a restraining, crippling and mischiev- 
ous force on other provisions of the laws, so as to render them powerless. 
The committee solicit that every one examine the law, and pray the 
Legislature for the repeal of said section immediately. Copies of the 
petition will be found in the hands of the committee. 




While the cause of public instruction was thus engaging the atten- 
tion and arousing vigorous efforts on the part of many representative 
citizens of the new county, the spirit of individual enterprise in the pro- 
fession of teaching did not remain confined to the lady to whose suc- 
cessful efforts we have already referred. 

Prompted by an abiding faith in the then prospective future of St. 
■ Joseph, the Rev. T. S. Reeve, a minister of the New School Presbyterian 
Church, opened in the town, in the fall of 1850, a female seminary. This 
school occupied the basement of the New School Presbyterian Church, 
the first ecclesiastical structure of brick erected in the city, and the sec- 
ond of any kind built within its limits. This building stands on an 
elevation on the northeast corner of Fourth and Francis Streets. 

Professor Reeve subsequently added, for the purpose of accommo- 
dating his early increasing business, two rooms of considerable size, each 


attached to the rear of the church building. His school was emphati- 
cally a female seminary; recognized as such, it was liberally patronized, 
and from the start enjoyed a career of uninterrupted prosperity. The 
institution was chartered by the State Legislature with authority to con- 
fer the usual degrees recognized in our American female colleges. 

At the end of about four years Mr. Reeve determined to withdraw 
from the profession of teaching. He had no successor in the institution 
which he had established and for which he had received a charter. The 
furniture of the school he sold to a recent arrival, E. B. Neely, a teacher 
who, subsequently, as principal of a private, classical and scientific school 
in St. Joseph, and afterwards as superintendent of city and county 
schools of St. Joseph and Buchanan County, achieved an enviable dis- 

The Gazette of August 30th, 1854, contains the announcement that 
the St. Joseph Female High School would open on the first Monday in 
September, in a building on the corner of Fifth and Faraon Streets. 
The teachers of this school, which continued to prosper for a consider- 
ble period after its commencement, were Miss M. A. Lesuer, principal; 
Miss M. A. Lesuer, first assistant, and Miss H. M. Lesuer, second assistant. 

The building still (1881) stands, and is occupied as a residence. It 
was not, however, directly on the corner, another house having since 
been built above it, rendering the building the second southward from 
the corner of Faraon. 

In January, 185 1, Professor Charles C. Byrne, formerly of Nashville, 
Tennessee, and now (1881) a resident of Albany, Missouri, arrived in St. 
Joseph, whither he had come with the expectation of assisting in his 
school the Rev. Mr. Reeve. In consequence of delay in travel, he failed 
to reach St. Joseph in time, and, on his arrival, found that Mr. and Mrs. 
Mills, of Ohio, had been employed in the institution. In the following 
spring Mr. and Mrs. Mills left for California. Among the other teachers 
in St. Joseph, about this period, were Mr. Stuppy and Mr. O'Toole, the 
father-in-law of Hon. I. C. Parker, who once represented a Missouri 
district in "Congress, and is now (1881) United States District Judge in 
Arkansas. Both the above mentioned gentlemen were teaching when Mr. 
Byrne commenced his school. They continued about a year after. About 
three years after the commencement of the latter's school, a gentleman 
from New York by the name of Hart arrived in St. Joseph, and fitted up 
for the purpose of a school the "Old Log Church," the first place of wor- 
ship built in the town and erected by Parson Reeve in the early settlement 
of St. Joseph. This church building was rented him by Israel Landis- 
Mr. Byrne .speaks in the highest terms of approval of this gentleman, 
both personally and professionally, and at the close of the period of his 
brief stay, expressed regret at his departure, which was doubless due to 
his want of success amid the competition that then existed. 


Mrs. Burr and niece also conducted a prosperous school in the city 
about this period. The latter, in January, 1852, was married to Wm. R. 

Mrs. Burr, with other assistants, continued her school for several 
years after this event. 

Among the earliest applications of public funds to the maintenance 
of schools in the county, from the best information at our command, was 
that made to one taught in St. Joseph, by Capt. C. C. Byrne, above 
referred to. The limited amount thus afforded only defrayed a portion 
of the expense of a three months' school. 

Numerous other institutions for the instruction of youth were subse- 
quently started by individual enterprise. A majority of these were mere 
experiments and proved short-lived. 

In the fall of 1854, E. B. Neely, of Virginia, accompanied by R. F. 
Maxwell, arrived in St. Joseph, and started, in the basement and addi- 
tions of the Presbyterian church above referred to, as formerly occupied by 
Parson Reeve's female college, a private school. Mr. Neely, after estab- 
lishing the school, left Mr. Maxwell in charge of the same and went back 
to Virginia. In the meantime a portion of the small public fund above 
referred to was allotted to this institution, and, as a natural consequence, 
swelled immensely the roll of attendance. The furniture of this school 
was the former property of Mr. Reeve, and was purchased from him by 
Mr. Neely, who returned to take charge of the school in the spring of 
1855. Mr. Maxwell soon retired from the profession and the business of 
the school continued to be conducted by Mr. Neely, with distinguished 
ability and a corresponding success, till his retirement, at the close of 
thetivil war, from the active duties of his profession for the purpose of 
assuming the scarcely less onerous task of superintending the public 
schools of St. Joseph. 

To his efforts, more than to the exertions of any other one man, the 
present (1881) splendid condition of the public schools of St. Joseph is 
universally conceded to be due. In the long period during which he also 
filled, together with the superintendence of the above, the position of 
county superintendent of common schools, his marked ability was as fully 
recognized by all interested in the efficiency of the standard of public 
instruction. No fuller recognition of his sterling ability need be men- 
tioned than the fact of his continuous re-election to the office, under all 
the various and opposing changes and modifications of party in power. 
In the election of a city school superintendent the people of St. Joseph 
seem ever to have manifested the good sense to ignore political attributes. 

To go back a little in our history : In the fall of 1855, Professors E. 
C. Davis and Rogers opened a female academy in what is now the Saun- 
ders House. In 1858 Davis retired, leaving the institution in charge of 
Professor Rogers, who conducted the school till the close of the follow- 


ing academic year, when he withdrew to take charge of the Christian 
Female College in Columbia, Mo. 

Rev. A. V. C. Schenk then took charge of the institution, the style of 
which he changed, naming it the St. Joseph Female College. After con- 
ducting the school for a brief period, he sold out to William Cameron, 
at one time Professor of Languages in the Masonic College, at Lexing- 
ton, Mo. 

When he withdrew, the building ceased to be used for school pur- 
poses, and became what is to-day (1881) a hotel, styled the Saunders 

About 1858, A. W. Slayback, a former asssistant of Mr. Neely, 
taught a private school in what was the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, 
a frame building which stood at the corner of Sixth and Edmond Streets. 

The building was afterwards sold to the Jews, who converted it into 
a synagogue. 

This was accidentally destroyed by fire during the civil war. In the 
following year J. P. Caldwell opened a school in the same building. Miss ■ 
India Cowden, now Mrs. E. W. Ray, assisted Professor Caldwell in this 
institution. She afterwards conducted an important school of her own, 
and was subsequently, for several years, principal of the Everett (public) 
School, in the city. 

Among the prominent teachers of other schools immediately before, 
and during the civil war, in St. Joseph, was Miss Sarah Bell (afterwards 
Mrs. Tiernan), a lady of rare literary and. scientific attainments, and 
of marked success as an instructress of youth. Hers was a female 
school exclusively. 

St. Joseph Classical Institute was an institution which existed in St. 
Joseph during the two and a-half years next preceding the close of the 
civil war. It was presided over by C. S. Raffington, teacher of ancient 
and modern languages, assisted by W. A. F. N. Bowen, teacher of mathe- 
matics and natural science. The school was a splendid success, including 
in the period of its existence, a membership of largely over two hundred 
students. It was taught in the Franklin school building, and only sus- 
pended at the close of the war, in consequence of the reorganization of 
the public schools of St. Joseph, when the house was required for the 
purpose of accommodating one of these institutions. For want of suit- 
able buildings in the city, the institute lost its existence. In the follow- 
ing September, the principal accepted the chair of languages in what is 
now the Daughters' College of Platte City. 

St. Joseph Classical Institute will long be remembered by many as 
the early Alma Mater of William B. Smith, whose wonderful powers of 
application and of apprehension achieved for him a reputation which, 
perhaps no other youth in the state ever acquired in a corresponding 
period of time. By the time that this boy, then a mere child, had com- 


pleted his third year in this, the first school he attended, he had read 
eight or nine Latin authors, not superficially, but with critical accuracy. 
At the age of fourteen he was a better classical scholar than a majority 
of the graduates of our Western colleges, and had made respectable ad- 
vancement in mathematics and the natural sciences. In June, 1867, he 
entered the University of Kentucky, where his career was one of con- 
tinued success and of unrivaled brilliancy. In three years he was grad- 
uated with the highest honors ever awarded any graduate. In June, 1871, 
he was advanced to the degree of Master of Arts for proficiency in the 
French, German and Italian languages. He shortly afterwards filled the 
position of Professor of Natural Sciences in the University in which he 
was graduated. He subsequently visited continental Europe, and achieved 
distinction in some of the most noted of the German universities. 

William B. Smith is the son of Jerry Smith, Esqr., a lawyer by pro- 
fession, but, at the period of his death, engaged in farming near Sparta, 
in Buchanan County. He was assassinated on his way home from St. 
Joseph, one evening during the late civil war. 

Rev. James H. Robinson, a minister of the M. E. Church South, 
opened in the Patee House in St. Joseph, in September, 1865, a female 
school. This institution was conducted by him with success up to the 
period of his death, which occurred September 20, 1869, when the school 
was continued by Rev. Dr. Dixon till the first of January, 1869. 

In the fall of the year 1869, Rev. Dr. Charles Martin, a minister of 
the Lutheran Church, arrivgd in St. Joseph, and established, on the cor- 
ner of Fifth and Antoine Streets, the Young Ladies' Institute. The 
school is still (1881) in a prosperous condition, rarely numbering less 
than one hundred pupils. This institution is non-sectarian in character. 


located on the corner of Fourth and Edmond Streets, was established 
November 15, 1864, by Thomas J. Bryant, its present president, and has 
|)een in successful operation ever since. Up to August, 1881, two 
thousand four hundred and forty-three pupils, representing fifteen differ- 
ent states, have been graduated from this school, to say nothing of 
thousands who have attended simply to learn the art of penmanship. 
The institution is in a highly prosperous condition. 


an institution of learning established and presided over by Rev. E. S. 
Dulin, D. D., LL. D., a prominent minister of the Baptist Church, closed 
its fourth year in June, 1881. The building, one of the most spacious 
and elegant in the city, was completed some years ago at a cost of 
$120,000. The. establishment of a school here by Dr. Dulin was hailed 



as a warrant of success which subsequent results amply verified. Sup- 
plied with a numerous and able faculty, as well as the general appliances 
of a first-class ladies' school, this largely attended institution has proven 
a matter of just pride to St. Joseph. 

To return to the matter of our county schools : — 

The records of the office of State Superintendent of Public Schools 
show that the following named persons were the Buchanan County Com- 
missioners of Common Schools (or Superintendents) as indicated, for the 
years given, viz.: 

Clerk and Acting Commissioner. 

Milton H. Walsh, County Clerk and Acting Commissioner. 

Joseph J. Wyatt, County Commissioner. 

Joseph J. Wyatt, 

Wm. C. Toole, " " 

Wm. C. Toole, 

Wm. C. Toole, 

W. M. Albin, 

S. P. Cunningham, " 

J. Van Riley, County 

J. Van Riley, 

Willis M. Sherwood, " 

Willis M. Sherwood, " 

*Edward B. Neely, County Superintendent. 

Edward B. Neely, 

Edward B. Neely, 

Edward B. Neely, 

Edward B. Neely, 

Edward B. Neely, 

Edward B. Neely, 

J. T. Riley, 

J. T. Riley, 

Corydon F. Craig, 

Corydon F. Craig, 
F. S. Wynn filled by appointment of County Court the office of 
County School Commissioner from March, 1877, to April 15, 1877. The 
period of the vacancy occasioned by the resignation of C. F. Craig. 
1877. J. P. Boyle, County Superintendent. 

J. P. Boyle, 

J. P. Boyle, 

J. P. Boyle, 

J. P. Boyle, 







* Appofnted Superintendent by County Court in the spring of 1866 for six months, until first 
general election. He was the first to hold the office of County Superintendent in Buchanan 




School age be- I 
tween 6 and^ 2 
20 years. ] 3 

School age be- 
tween 5 and 
20 years . 

School age be- 
tween 5 and 
21 years. 








r 17 




School age be- 
tween 6 and- 
20 years. 

L 30 

January, 1847 
January, 1848 
January, 1849 

January, 1850 
January, 1 85 1 
January, 1852 
January, 1853 
Febr'y, 1854 
May, 1855 
May, 1856 
.May, 1857 
May, 1858 
May, 1859 
May, i860 
May, 1864 
May, 1865 

March, 1867 

March, 1868 

March, 1870 

March, 187 1 

March, 1872 

March, 1873 

March, 1874 

March, 187S 

March, 1876 

March, 1877 

March, 1878 

March, 1879 

March, 1880 

March, 1881 




$ ;48l 36 


1,367 20 


',367 34 


617 76 


1,481 20 


1,421 40 


t,200 87 


4,191 82 


1,662 50 


3,886 40 


3.977 22 


3.79» 90 


4 533 30 


,4.965 36 


3.212 88 


1,004 41 


6,584 69 

6,921 79 


6,599 ?6 


6.833 55 

« 2,430 

6,622 ^9 


6,372 19 

« 2,340 

7,160 44 


8,293 77 


8,249 86 


7,983 97 

> 2,473 

9,901 19 


9.739 60 


9.903 52 


10,484 34 


The Convent of the Sacred Heart is also a seminary for the instruc- 
tion of young ladies. The building was completed in 1857. 

The reputation of this institution is widely and favorably extended- 
The building, from its lofty and commanding position on Twelfth Street, 
is a land mark to a wide extent of the surrounding country, and is cer- 
tainly one of the most spacious, complete and elegant structures in the 

Its dimensions are 120x60 feet, and consists of three stories and a 
mansard roof with a tower of elegant design, the metallic summit of 
which, reflecting the dazzling sunlight, like a beacon marks the position 
of St. Joseph in a radius of many miles from the city, when no other fea- 
ture of the town is visible. 

The building is, at present, divided into thirty-eight apartments of 
greater or less extent, all models of neatness and perfection of construc- 
tion and arrangement. 

The tin roof of the convent building was blown off and the structure 
otherwise materially damaged by a storm which occurred in July, 1871. 



The restoration of the building by the addition of a slate-mansard 
roof and other repairs, involved an expense of $20,000. 

The value of the convent property, including the parish school 
building on the premises, in which a large number are taught' by four 
teachers, is estimated at $80,000. 

The convent proper is usually occupied by about thirty nuns, inclu- 
ding the Lady Superior. The schools are well attended. 


on an eminence in the northeast part of the city, is a plain and substan- 
tial brick structure, of lofty appearance and considerable extent. The 
Christian Brothers are devoted exclusively to the profession of teaching, 
and are forbidden from aspiring to the priesthood. The school generally 
includes upwards of two hundred students from all parts of the- country, 
many of whom are boarders in the institution. St. Patrick's Parochial 
School is also conducted by the Christian Brothers in a large two-story 
brick building on the corner of Monterey and Eleventh Streets. This 
also is in a prosperous condition and is largely attended. 

The Sisters of Charity, those ministers of mercy, whose deeds of 
benevolence exist whenever the cry of human suffering is heard, have an 
organization in St. Joseph, and a convent, to which is attached a school 
for the education of the poor. This is located on Felix between Seventh 
and Eighth Streets. The German English School of the Immaculate 
Conception is taught in a neat two-story brick building on Tenth below 
Angelique Street. It is conducted by an order of nuns known as the 
Sisters of St. Joseph. Vocal and instrumental music are taught here in 
addition to the German and English languages and the ordinary branches 
of education. 




David R. Atchison, 1839; Henson Young, 1844; Solomon L. Leon- 
ard, 1845; W. B. Almond, 1851; E. H, Norton, 185 1 ; Silas Woodson, 
1859; William Herren, 1864; I. C. Parker, 1868; Bennett Pike, 1870; 
Joseph P. Grubb, 1872 ; W. H. Sherman, 1880. 


1839 — William Harrington, Samuel Johnson, William Curl. 

1840^ — Stephen Jones, Richard Roberts, Upton Rohrer. 

1841-42 — Stephen Jones, Richard Roberts, Thomas A. Brown. 

1843-44— Richard Roberts, Thomas A. Brown, William Dunning. 

1845-46-47-48 — William Dunning, Robert Irwin, Robert Duncan. 

1849 — William Dunning, Robert Irwin, Thornton S. Talbot. 

1850-51-52 — Thornton S. Talbot, William Dunning, Robert Jessee. 

1853 — Aaron Lewis, Nelson Witt, Hiram Rogers. 

1854-55 — Aaron Lewis, Nelson Witt, Cornelius Roberts. 

1855-56— William M. Carter, Nelson Witt, Cornelius Roberts. 

1856-57 — Josiah H. Crane, Cornelius Roberts, John J. PuUins. 

1857-58-59 — ^John J. Pullins, James A. Anthony, Cornelius Roberts. 

1860-61 — James A. Anthony, John J. Pullins, William Dunning. 

1862— P. B. Locke, Cornelius Roberts, Ransom Ridge. 

1863-64 — Cornelius Roberts, Ransom Ridge, Charles Schrieber. 

1865 — Cornelius Roberts, Charles Schreiber, William Ridenbaugh. 

1866 — James B. Pettigrew, Charles Schreiber, J. B. Bell. 

1867-68 — P. Bliss, Jacob Boyer, Charles Schreiber. 

1869-70 — William M. Albin, Charles Schreiber, Jacob Boyer. 

1871 — John Pinger, William B. Gillmore, John Bretz, 

1872 — John Pinger, William B. Gillmore, Benjamin B. Frazer. 

1873 — John Bretz, Michael Fitzgerald, John Taylor. 

1874— M. Fitzgerald, John Taylor, Fred W. Smith, John E. Wade, 
John L. Sutherland. 

1875-76— B. Patton, S. D. Cowan, John E. Wade, John Rohan,'John 


1877-78 — B. Patton, William Roberts ; Roberts resigned and John 
Pryor appointed ; Patrick Mclntyre. 

1879-80— T. A. Brown, P. Mclntyre, John H. Carey. 
1881 — T. A. Brown, P. Mclntyre, L. F. Carpenter. 


Edwin Toole, 1839; Wm. Fowler, 1840; Wm. Ridenbaugh, 1852; 
Wm. C. Toole, 1862;, Frank Hopkins, 1864; Wm. Ridenbaugh, 1870; 
C. C. Colt (appointed) 1873 ; J. H. R. Cundiff, 1874; S. D. Cowan,"i878; 


William Fowler, from 1839 to 1852 ; Milton Walsh, from 1852 to 
1858; I. V. Riley, from 1858 to 1864; Willis M. Sherwood, from 1864 to 
1870; John B. Harder, from 1870 to 1874; John T. Ransom, from 1874 
to December, 1874, to fill vacancy caused by death of Harder; I. V. 
Riley, from January, 1875, to April, 187S ; E. V. Riley, appointed to fill 
vacancy till 1876; E. V. Riley, from 1876 to 1883. 


Edwin Toole, 1839; William Fowler, 1840; George A. Pearcy, 1865; 
Thomas Kelly, 1874; M. Crawford, 1875 ; James A. Millan, 1879. 


Joseph J. Wyatt, from 185 1 to 1859; Henry Tutt, from 1859 to 
1863. . In 1863 the Legislature repealed the law establishing Probate 
Courts, giving the County Courts jurisdiction of all probate matters. In 
1866 the Probate Court was re-established : Philemon Bliss, from 1866 
to 1868; William M. Albin, from 1868 to 1870; James P. Pettigrew, from 
1870 to 1874; Henry Tutt, from 1874 to 1881 Judge Tutt, the present 
incumbent, was a member of the Legislature in 185 1, and had the honor 
of drafting the act establishing the Probate Courts of the state. 


Samuel M. Gilmore, 1839; George W. Taylor, 1843 ; Wm. W. Rey- 
nolds, 1846; Leander T. Ellis, 1850; Joseph B. Smith, 1852 ; Solomon N. 
Sheridan, 1856; James A. Matney, appointed in 1857, served until 
August, 1858; Michael D. Morgan, 1858, resigned in 1862; Robert T 
Maxwell (Coroner), 1862; Samuel Ensworth, 1862; Enos Craig, 1863; 
Ransomc Ridge, 1865; Irvin Fish, 1867; Dr. R. P. Richardson, 1871 ; 
Elijah Gates, 1873; J. L. Spencer, 1877; R. H. Thomas (present incum- 
bent), 1880. 



James A. Anthony, until 1851 ; Jno. Curd, from 185 1 to 1863 ; Geo- 
Lyon, from 1863 to 1871 ; Gustavus H. Koch, 1871 to 1873 ; Jno. Wil- 
liams, 1873 to 1877; James Hull, 1877 to 1881 ; John T. Ransome, 1881 
to 1883. 


Until 1864 the Sheriff was ex-officio Collector of the county; Thomas 
Harbine, 1865; John Finger, 1869; Robert F. Maxwell, :87i ; Tolbert 
Fairleigh, 1873 ; Thomas J. Burgess, 1875 ; M. M. Claggett, 1877 ; R. T. 
Davis (present incumbent), 1879. 


Wm. W. Reynolds, 1839; Hiram Rodgers, 1843 ; Zachariah Garton, 
1845 ; Matthew C. Ferrell, 1846 ; Leander T. Ellis, 1847 ; Henry M. 
Beauchamp, 1851; Henry Smith, 1852; Hiram Roberts, 1853; James A. 
Matney, 1855 ; Wm. Fitton, 1863 ; John B. Harder, 1865 ; J. A. Mathews, 
1867; Joseph Mathers, 1869; Cyrus J. Missemer, 1871; John S. Tutt, 
1873 ; George Garrett, 1875 ; John S. Tutt (present encumbent), 1877. 


Benajah B. Hartwell, 18 — ; David V. Thompson, 18 — ; David R. 
Heaton, 1852 ; W. R. Penick, 1854; J. H. Crane, 1858 ; Robert T. Max- 
well, i860; John A. Dolman, 1862; Thomas Young, 1864; J. T. Berg- 
hoff, 1866 ; C. J. Siemens, 1870 ; Samuel Goslee, 1872 ; Hugh Trevor, 
1874; J. W. Heddens, 1880. 


S. A. Young, 1872 ; he resigned, and J. P. Thomas appointed to fill 
vacancy ; H. M. Rainey, 1874; Willard P. Hall, Jr., 1878 ; O. M. Spencer, 




DeKalb, formerly Bloomington, in Bloomington Township, is located 
on the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad, fourteen miles south of 
St. Joseph, and twelve miles from Atchison, Kansas, and contains a 
population of about four hundred. The town was laid off in 1837, by 
James G. Finch. The lots were surveyed by George Jole, who died in 
1870. Finch left the place between 1839 and 1842, and, after his depart- 
ure, the quarter section of land upon which the town site was located was 
entered by Oliver Norman, who deeded to each settler the lot he occu- 

The town was laid off with a square in the center, for the purpose 
of accommodating the court house of the county, of which it was then 
expected to become the county seat. 

About the year 185 1, owing to the existence of another town in the 
state called Bloomington, the name was changed, with that of the post- 
office, to DeKalb. James G. Finch, above mentioned, opened the first 
store in the place, in 1838. 

The first postmaster was A. J. Cunningham. 

Bluford Allee and his brother-in-law, Daniel Chitwood, settled in 
DeKalb in 1842. They were well known citizens. Chitwood was a cab- 
inetmaker, and at one time a merchant in the town. Both are dead. 
Bluford Allee had charge, at one time, of the present county farm. 

A. C. Craig, a prominent citizen of St. Joseph, and till recently a 
member of the firm of Tootle, Corby & Co., St. Joseph, sold goods in 
DeKalb several years previous to 1858. 

Dr. Samuel Goslee, a native of Kentucky and a graduate of the 
Medical Department of the St. Louis University, practiced with dis- 
tinguished success in DeKalb from 1852 to 1871, when he moved to St. 
Joseph, where he died in 1878. Dr. Goslee was a bright and cultivated 
Mason, and stood high in the order. 


The principal business house of DeKalb (1881) is that of Derge & 
Hagenstein, general merchandise, and dealers in grain, cattle and hogs. 


This firm came to DeKalb in 1858. Albert Derge has been postmaster 
•of the town for ten years past. 

J. S. Harmon and David Dix compose the firm of Harmon & Dix. 
They began business here in March, 1881, and operate a large general 

W. H. Mack keeps a well-appointed drug store. 

J. C. Crook carries on extensively wagon-making, plow manufactur- 
ing, and general blacksmithing, and deals in agricultural implements. 

W. H. Warren is proprietor of the only hotel in the town. 

The brick mill building in DeKalb was erected in 1855, by John F. 
Martin, James Pettigrew, and Thomas Allee. It is provided with two 
runs of burrs, and cost $3,500. Its present owner is Philip Gurner. 

In 1858 a woolen mill was added. It is however, not operated. 

F. M. Bretz and F. D. Hampton each carry on a blacksmith shop. 

Stephen Garten, who has lived in the town since 1839. and F. W. 
West, who is also an old resident, are the saloon keepers. 

W. R. Oliver has been the railroad station agent at this point since 
1872. He, at one time, sold goods here. His father, W. N. Oliver, now 
dead, also sold goods here from 1844 to 1864. W. N. Oliver was born in 
Virginia and came to DeKalb in the fall of 1844. 

The present physicans of the town are Dr. J. N. Martin who has been 
practicing here since 1844 '> Dr. C. H. Martin, his son, who has practiced 
four years, and Dr. Ramsey, who has been here since 1854. 

The present township officers are : Thomas J. Crumpacker, Justice 
of the Peace ; Joseph H. Dixon, Justice of Peace ; Thomas West, Con- 


There is a good public school building in the town, a frame, with 
two rooms, built about ten years ago, at a cost of $1,700. 

There is a Baptist church, a large frame building, erected in 1858, 
and cost $2,500. Rev. Isart Williams is pastor. 

There is an M. E. Church, brick, built also in 1858. The Rev. 
William Barnett is the minister in charge. 

Secret orders of the county are mentioned under the proper head- 
ing, at the conclusion of this chapter. 

DeKalb is one of the best shipping points on the line of the railroad, 
and the best on the branch. The country surrounding DeKalb is well 
watered. North Sugar Creek being the principal stream. No better tim- 
bered region in the county. Walnut grows everewhere, and also the 
different varieties of oak, elm, sugar-tree, linden, ash, hackberry, and in 
fact all kinds of timber indigenious to the latitude. The soil is a deep 
loam, not surpassed in fertility by any section of the county. Farms are 
generally in a good condition and well improved ; fine orchards and 
excellent blue grass pastures. 



The town of Rushville was laid out in 1847, by Perman Hudson and 
James Leachman. It was formerly called Columbus, but in 185 1, the- 
name was changed to Rushville. 


The present mercantile business of Rushville includes William 
Wells and Archibald Cooper, general stores ; Richard W. Jones, dealer 
in drugs and groceries ; William H. Allison, grocery store and the post 

There are three saloons. 

Two butcher shops. 

Three blacksmith shops. 

Two hotels, kept respectively by C. Cooper and J. H. Allison. 

Three physicians — Drs. B. W. Culver, W. S. Morrison and T. H. 

The present officers of the town are : William Prosser, Justice of the 
Peace;- William Buntin, Justice of the Peace; John S. Dyer, Constable. 


There are two good frame school buildings, in which six and eight 
months schools are taught during the year. 

There are in the town two churches. The M. E. Church. South, a 
frame building, 36x50 feet, completed in 1869, at a cost of $2,300; and 
the Christian Church, a frame of the same dimensions, built in 1876, at a 
cost of $2,000. There is besides in the township another house of wor- 
ship, known as "Sugar Creek Church." This (the property of the Chris- 
tians) is a irame building, erected in 1879, ^^ ^ cost of $2,500, on the site 
of the old church, the first built in the township, in 1855. The Baptists 
have also a church membership at Sugar Creek of twenty-two members. 

The country surrounding Rushville is heavily timbered, not more 
than one thousand acres in the township being prairie. 

It presents a striking diversity of surface, rolling upland, often 
abruptly broken, but always fertile, with fair average improvements. 

The river bottom near the town is about three miles wide, and where 
net cleared, is covered with a thick growth of timber of valuable varie- 
ties. There are near the town some of the finest orchards in the county. 
The country is well supplied with water. Excellent building stone 
abounds, and coal is believed to exist there. 


George Million settled the quarter section of land on which the 
town of Winthrop now stands in 1839, and erected thereon the first log 


cabin that was built in the place, and afterwards sold to F. Ruthinger, 
who still resides there. Mr. Million operated the first ferry from Win- 
throp to Atchison, Kansas, before the latter was settled or laid out. 

The laind upon which Winthrop now stands was entered in 1844 by 
Philip Stultz, and sold by him in 1856, to Green Gore. 

In 1857, Green Gore sold to Willis E. Gaylord, of Atchison County, 
Kansas. In i860, on the completion of the railroad from St. Joseph to 
Atchison, W. E. Gaylord sold the quarter section to Senator S. C. 
Pomeroy, of Kansas. At this period a town company was formed by 
S. C. Pomeroy, W. E. Gaylord and others. A great portion of the original 
town site together with a part of the Kansas City Railroad track and 
depot grounds were washed away by the encroachments, of the river, 
and many of the primitive structures which were built at an early day, 
have long since gone into the Missouri with the frail and treacherous 
banks on which they stood. 


Hiram House put up a building and was the first to sell goods in the 
place. He began in i860 and continued until 1869, when he went to 

E. C. Wells opened a store after House left and sold good till 1880, 
when he moved to Forest City, Missouri. In the meantime other parties 
sold goods in Winthrop. 

Hiram House was the first postmaster and also the first justice of 
the peace. By the flood of 1880 the town was nearly depopulated. J. A. 
Baily, now selling goods in the place, commenced in 1865. 

Captain J. G. Morrow, the present postmaster, has also been en- 
gaged in general merchandise for many years. He located just below 
the town in the spring of 1854; he now resides in Atchison, Kansas, but 
does business in Winthrop. He was a part owner in the first ferry 
operated by Million. 

E. Winkler and T. R. Shelly are merchants in general trade. 

Dr. C. T. Burchard keeps a drug store. 

John Meyer is a baker and confectioner. 

There are three hotels, some private boarding houses and six saloons. 

The first lumber yard was started in 1877, by Henry Denton, of 
Atchison, who now continues the same business. 

The first physician to establish himself in the town was Dr. John 
Robbins, who is still here. The other physicians are Drs. Burchard^ 
Seip and Byers. 

The first to locate in the practice of law was M. McDuff, who came 
in i860 and left in 1865. 

The only attorney at present in the town, is T. W. Harl, Esq. 



There is no church building in Winthrop. Religious services are 
held by different denominations in a neat public school building, which 
was built in 1875, at a cost of $700. 


The most prominent features of the town are the large brick pack- 
ing houses, located south of the railroad tracks. 

The larger one was erected in the summer and- fall of 1879, by the 
Fowler Bros., of Chicago, at a cost of about $150,000, This immense 
establishment, when in operation, employed one thousand men. In the 
fall of 1880, the machinery was moved to Kansas City and the building 
was virtually abandoned. 

In the summer of 1880, Smith, Farlow & Co., of Quincy, Illinois, 
erected in the immediate neigeborhood of Fowler Bros.' packing house 
a smaller building, costing about $60,000. 

Both these structures are brick, the former having a capacity for dis- 
posing of 2,500 hogs per day, and the latter a capacity for killing about 

The bridge across the Missouri River, extending between Winthrop 
and Atchison, was completed in 1876, at a cost of about $1,000,000. It 
is built of iron ; is a magnificent structure, and accommodates railroads 
and general travel. 

Another prominent feature of the town is the East Atchison Live 
Stock Exchange and Stock Yards, Colonel D. G. Stockwell, general 
manager. These yards were opened in 1873, and afford facilities for 
keeping one thousand head of cattle and one thousand head of hogs. 
There are at present in the town two railroad depots and one or two 
round houses. 


Where the town of Agency now stands there was formerly a ford, 
•extensively used in the days of the early settlement of the country, called 
Agency Ford. The name originated from the fact that the Platte River 
was forded at this point, in going from the Indian Agency, established 
west of the Platte, to Liberty, Clay County, Missouri, in those days, the 
nearest point of trade. 

It was here that General Andrew S. Hughes lived several years as 
an Indian Agent, before the purchasing of the Platte country. 


The first store in the place was opened by William Jackson in 1866, 
ivho afterwards kept a saloon and a blacksmith shop. 


Two or three years after, T. Weedin opened a general store on a 
small scale. 

Mr. Smith erected a business block, which was destroyed by fire. 
Afterward a two-story brick block was built, including two large business 

E. M. Yates & Co., long a prominent firm in Agency, sold to W. B. 
Smith, the style of the firm now being McCrary & Smith. 

A large general store is kept by Wells & Smith. 

Charles Thompson keeps a grocery and provision store. 

The proprietors of the blacksmith and wagon shops are : J. R. Farris, 
G. W. Henley and Hamilton King. 

Dr. C. R. Woodson and Dr. G. W. Dowell are the physicians of the 

Mrs. Holland, widow of Esquire Holland, deceased, is postmistress. 


There are in the Township of Agency several district schools, 
among which are the Agency, the McGauhey, the Moore and Greenard 
school houses. 

The Cumberland Presbyterian Church was organized in the town in 
1862, by J. J. Gilmore, James M. Campbell and B. P. Holland. This 
building is used by all denominations. 

The M. E. Church South, has a one-fourth interest here in a church 
building. ' 

The country surrounding Agency is essentially a timbered region, 
not more than two hundred acres of the township being prairie. 
Of late, however, much of this timber has disappeared from the ridges 
extending between the northern boundary of the township and Platte 
River. The prevailing character of the ridge timber is oak of different 
varieties. The bottom affords an abundance of fine walnut as well as 
other kinds of valuable timber. 

The principal stream of the township is Pigeon Creek, flowing in an 
easterly direction into Platte River. In certain localities along the banks 
of Platte River, good limestone suitable for building purposes is found, 
and also an abundance of sand and gravel. 


The present harrtlet and post office of Halleck, in Crawford Town- 
ship, was formerly called Birming. The name changed during the civil 
war to its present style, in honor of General Halleck. 

The site of the village was originally known as Fansher's Cross 
Roads. In 1848-49 a saloon was kept here, in which was sold whisky of 
so villainous a character, that some soldiers of the Mexican war, who 


had just returned home, compared it to Taos whisky, proverbial for being^ 
the meanest sold in Mexico. 

A soldier, John McGuire, galloping through the village and yelling 
" Hurrah for Taos!" fixed the nickname by which it has ever since been 
known. McGuire died in California. 

The first postmaster of Birming was Henry Hardin, now dead. 

The first building on the site of what was afterward Birming was a 
saddle shop, and put up by John Baker, previous to 1845. 

John Conan brought the first stock of goods and opened the first 
regular store, in 1849. A few months after he sold to Hiram Rodgers, 
who continued the business for several years. 

The present business men of the town are : 

P. W. Nolan, general merchandise. 

W. D. & J. H. Hampton, general merchandise. 

S. H. Bryant & Co., dealers in drugs, medicines, books and stationery. 

Henry G. Foster and J. M. Street, blacksmiths. 

W. H. Crews, wagon maker. 

Hampton Hotel, kept by J. H. Hampton. 

Physicians are, J. H. C. Robinson and John M. Watson. 

Population, 150. 


One school house in district No. 3, 22x36, with addition of 20x22 
feet, built in 1867. Number of pupils enrolled, 128; average daily 
attendance, 49. Directors, D. W. Clowser, P. W. Nolan and Janies Ferrel. 

There is one church building in the town used by the different 
religious denominations. 

Rev. J. T. Farley is the Baptist minister at Taos and has a member- 
ship of fifty. 


On the Atchison branch of the C.,R. I. & P. R. R., five miles southeast 
of DeKalb, is the most important business point in Crawford township. 

It was laid out in 1872, on the extension of the road to this point. 

William Fowler, of St. Joseph, pre-empted the quarter section of 
land on which Wallace now stands. He sold the land to John Judy and 
Thomas Feland, who composed the town company. 

The first business house put up in the place, was by Thomas Ringo. 
He sold goods here from 1873 to 1879. 

Asher & Gibson succeeded him. They continued the business two 
years, when they sold to Johnson & Bashford, who now conduct the estab- 

Chesnut & Beaver opened a general stock of goods in 1874, in a 
building erected by G. W. Rector, a pioneer of this section, who died 
in 1879. Rector's farm adjoined the town site. 


Chesnut & Beaver were succeeded by Beaver & Rogers. Curtis & 
Jenkins succeeded Beaver & Rogers in 1877, and continued to do busi- 
ness till 1878, when the present firm of Chesnut & Murphy was estab- 
lished in the same stand. 

In 1877, Leny Garten sold goods a few months in the town, and, in 
the spring of 1880, O. P. H. Lucas, the present postmaster of the place, 
opened a family grocery. 

The Wallace Hotel, a small, two-story frame building, ample, how- 
ever, to meet the demands of the place, was built in 1873, by T. C. 
Feland, and occupied by G. C. McLain. In 1876, it was sold to Zack 
Finney, and occupied as a hotel by Mrs. Mary McGinnis till 1880, when 
it was re-occupied by G. C. McLain. 

George Girardin opened a blacksmith shop in 1873 o" the site of the 
town before it was laid out. ' 

The first railroad agent at this point was Jefferson Plank, appointed 
July, 1872, and was succeded by Calvin Hamm in 1876. F. G. Brouch is 
the present agent. 

There were shipped from the Wallace station during the year 1880: 

Walnut lumber 44 cars. 

Flour 83 " 

Cord wood 106 " 

Wheat 31 " 

Apples 40 " 

Hogs 38 " 

Bran 17 " 

Walnut logs 3 " 

Total 362 " 

Showing an increase of six per cent, over the preceding year. The 
business amounted to over $ii,cxx3. 

C. P. Walbridge opened a dry goods store in the town in 1881. 
John Surface, the undertaker of the place, has been there since 1877. 
The town is supplied with two saloons. Population, 167. 


There is on the town quarter a good frame school house, built in 
1876, at a cost of $1,000, and includes three acres of land. 

Of timber there is plenty, consisting of walnut and other varieties. 

The principal water courses of the township are Bee Creek, with its 
tributaries, and William's and Jordan's branches, besides numerous springs 
of pure cold water. 

Limestone for building purposes is found on' the. head branches of 
Lamar Fork of Bee Creek. 


The staple yield of the township in ante bellum days was hemp, 
vast quantities of which were then raised and shipped. Corn, wheat and 
other small grain grow and produce well. Fruits of all kinds pr,oper to 
this latitude are excellent. Horses, mules, cattle and hogs are exten- 
sively raised. 


About the year 1846 or '47, Eli Arnold, a native of Ohio, erected on 
the site of the present village of Arnoldsville, about four miles west of 
the Platte River, a large frame building, which he equipped as a grist 
mill, and for a time operated it by horse power. Finding this means 
too costly to be profitable, he procured from Cincinnati an engine and 
boiler, and substituted steam for horse power. The difficulty of procur- 
ing the necessary water however, proved an obstacle to the complete 
success of the enterprise, and, after remaining idle for some time, the 
machinery was, after the war, sold to W. B. Smith, and moved to Agency. 
The old burrs are still in Cooley's water mill below Agency. The old 
mill building still remains, a gloomy reminder of the early and mistaken 
enterprise of a pioneer, who has long since passed to the land of shadows, 
where grists are not ground and where mistakes never occur. 

Eli Arnold was the first postmaster of the town. The present post- 
master is George W. Ray, the leading merchant of the place. 

The first building erected after the old mill, of which we have spoken, 
on the site of Arnoldsville, was a blacksmith shop, operated by Thomas 
Wilkerson. About the time that Arnold buiit his mill he erected a 
storehouse, which he afterward rented to different parties. 

Isaac Brooks first sold goods there. He was succeeded by the Helm 

Others have sold goods in the place. 

J. Deitz has a grocery store. 

E. Gilbert, William St. John and Webber have wagon making 

and blacksmith shops. 

There is also a boot and shoe shop and seVeral residences. 

Dr. Belmont, established near the present site of the town, was 
among the early physicians. The present and only physician is Dr. J. 
C- Smith, a son of the founder of Agency. 


The first school building erected in Arnoldsville was a brick house. 
In consequence of its dilapidated condition, it was torn down in 1867, 
and a two-story frame put up, the lower story of which accommodates 
the Arnoldsville district school. 

The surrounding country, and especially that along the line of the 
Platte, is more or less hilly and broken, but heavily timbered and very 


The Platte River, which forms the eastern boundary of the town- 
ship , together with its tributaries, afford an abundant supply of water. 



Easton, in Marion ToWnship, is one of the largest towns in the 
county outside of St. Joseph, and is a good business point. It is on the 
Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad, twelve miles east of St. Joseph. 

In 1848, Mr. E. Don McCrary purchased four hundred acres of land 
where now stands the town of Easton. In 1854, Mr. McCrary opened a 
store on his farm, and the same season laid off the town. The second 
store was established in 1855, by Kernes & Lumback. The latter dis- 
posed of his interest to Kernes, George Berry, Isaac Gibson and C. 
Benight, and the business was carried on by this firm till the breaking 
out of the war. 

Dr. I. S. Talbott was the first physician to locate in the place. 


Engaged in general merchandise are McCray Bros., Birt, Boyer & 
Co., Keys & Leftwick, William Tuck. 

H. B. Iba, shoemaker and postmaster. 

Colt Bros. & Co., millers. 

One hotel kept by Jacob Hopper. 


One school house ; frame building. 

One church, Presbyterian; built in 1868. Rev. E. B. Sherwood, 
present pastor. 


Frazer, in Tremont Township, is located on the St. Louis, Kansas 
City & Northern Railway, fifteen miles from St. Joseph. It has a post- 
office and one store. 


commonly called Hall's Station, is on the Kansas City, St. Joseph and 
Council Bluffs Railroad, about half way between St. Joseph and Atchi- 
son, Kansas, in Wayne Township. It contains a depot, store, saloon 
and several residences. 

The surrounding country is flat, heavily timbered, and subject to 
overflow in extreme high water. 


is on the same railroad and in the same township, four miles from St. 
Joseph, and has a glue factory. 



Saxton is located on the Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad, six miles 
east of St. Joseph', in Washington Township. It contains a depot. The 
ground upon which it is situated was donated by Mr. A. M. Saxton, of 
St. Joseph. At this station there is. one store — general merchandise. 



In the township there are several frame school houses, and the church 
■edifices, known as the "Oak Grove" Church and the "Walnut Grove" 
Church, the former being under the control of the Presbyterians, and the 
latter a Union Church. 

For convenience, we will here give a list of the churches in the 
county outside of St. JoSeph : 


DeKalb ; Sparta, half interest in a frame building, house of worship; 
Walnut Grove, fourth interest in a frame building, house of worship; 
Agency, fourth interest in a frame building, house of worship. 


Bethel, Platte River, Agency, Rushville, Franklin. 


DeKalb, Mt. Pleasant, Sugar Creek, Walnut Grove, part interest, 


Oak Grove, Walnut Grove. 


Wa^ington has 14 School Districts. 

Marion has 9 school districts, including one school in Easton. 

Tremont has 5 school districts. 

Centre has 7 school districts. 

Agency has 3 school districts. 

Wayne has 5 school districts. 

Lake has i school district. 

Platte has 6 school districts, including district No. 17. 

Jackson has 4 school districts. 

Crawford has 6 school districts. 

Bloomington has 7 school districts. 

Rush has 7 school districts. 


The following is a list of the secret orders in Buchanan County : 

Under a dispensation of April 28, 1858, granted by Bro. and Rev. 
William N. Irish, Dist. D. G. M., who was present and organized Easton 
Lodge, No. loi, A. F. and A. M., in their hall in the town of Easton, 
Buchanan County, Missouri, by appointing Bros. Daniel Conway, W. M.; 
Hugh, Sen. W.; Absalom Kerns, Jun. W.; Jordan J. PuUins, 
Treas.; John Long, Secy; Silas H. Kerns, Sen. D.; L. D. Dowell, Jun. D.; 
Adam Kerns, Tyler, duly installing them as such. 

On the 28th day of May, 1858, a charter was granted or issued to 
said lodge, and on August nth following, the following named officers 
were duly installed under their charter: Daniel Conway, W. M.; 
Absalom Kerns, Sen. W.; Joab Shultz, Jun. W.; J. J. PuUins, Treas.; 
John Long, Secy; Silas Kerns, Sen. D.; L. D. Dowell, Jun. D.; Adam 
Kerns, Secy and Treas. Daniel Conway, Hugh McClintock and Absa- 
lom Kerns were charter officers. 

The following named have been W. Masters of this lodge : Daniel 
Conway, Absalom Kerns, Isham S. Talbot, John L. Stoneman, W. F. 
Forbis, Joseph Robinson, C. W. Benight, George W. Leftwich, George 
T. Black. 

The following named persons have been secretaries : John Long, 
Elijah McCrary, C. W. Benight, Joseph Evans, Joseph Robinson, Chesley 
Wyatt, W. F. Forbis, James B. Leftwich. 

Present officers : George T. Black, W. M.; George W. Leftwich, 
Sen. W.; Elan Rice, Jun. W.; L S. Talbot, Treas.; C. W. Benight, Secy.; 
Henry McCrary, Sen. D.; Wm. R. Evans, Jun. D.; Wm. M. Vassar, Tiler. 

Number of present membership, 23, as per last Grand Lodge report. 


The spacious building in which Derge & Hagenstein do business is 
owned by the Masonic and Odd Fellow orders. The second floor is 
used by Wellington Lodge No. 22, A. F. and A. M., chartered May 6, 
1852, with W. C. Moore as W. M. ; William Howard, S. W. ; L. R. Ringo, 
J. W. ; A. C. Craig, Sec, and Holland Jones, Treasurer. The lodge is 
in a flourishing condition, having a membership of fifty-nine. 

Ringo Royal Arch Chapter, No. 6, chartered May 22, 1863, also 
meets in this hall. Its charter members were General John T. Martin, 
H. P., Dr. Samuel Goslee, King and Thomas J. Crumpacker, Scribe. 

It also accommodates the DeKalb Lodge No. 191, I. O. O. F., char- 
tered May 28, 1868, with the following officers : F. W,. Lee, N. G. ; 
Ulrich Schneider, V. G. ; W. A. Bowen, Sec, and William Best, Treas. 


Aram Encampment No. 45, I. O. O. F., also meets here, and was 
instituted July 5, 1869, with Ulrich Schneider, C. P. ; W. H. Bowen, H. 
P. ; John Rivett, S. W. ; J. P. Gant, J. W. ; T. J. Crumpacker, Scribe, 
and John C. Moore, Treasurer. Present membership, thirteen. 


Rushville J-odge, No. 238, A. F. and A. M., chartered in 1865, and 
Odd Fellow's Lodge, No. 227, chartered in 1871, are both said to be in a 
flourishing condition. 


Birming Lodge, No. 150, A. F. and A. M., chartered May 22nd, 1858, 
with the following officers : Charles S. Crow, W. M.; William Willis, S. 
W.; Hiram W. Harper, J. W. The present officers (1881) are S. J. Har- 
per, W. M.; Samuel M. Mayes, S. W.; G. P. Clowser, J. W.; A. Turner, 
Treasurer ; John T. Chestnut, Secretary. Present membership, 39. 

Truth Lodge, No. 216, L O. O. -F., chartered September, 18, 1869, 
with the following officers : E. M. Yates, N. G. ; J. F. Call, V. G. ; G, 
W. Murphy, R. Sec. ; T. R. Smith, P. Sec. ; J. M. Cauley, Treasurer ; 
J. W. Mattucks, Chaplain ; H. R. Yates, Warden ; J. H. Combs, Con- 
ductor ; D. Hall, R. S. to N. G. ; D. W. Clowser, L. S. ; W. B. Tullar, 
R. S. Sup. ; R. H. Faucet, L. S. Sup. ; J. Walker, R. S. to V. G. ; R. H. 
Thomas, L. S. to V. G. ; J. R. James, I. G. ; W. E. Curl, O. G. 

Present membership, 24. Own one-third of lodge room. Decem- 
ber 4, 1873, lodge was destroyed by fire; records, cha,rter, &c., burned up; 
was fully insured. 


Agency Lodge, No. 10, A. F. and A. M. This lodge was chartered 
June 2, 1866, by authority of the Grand Lodge of Missouri. John D. 
Vincil, Grand Master. The following officers were installed when the 
lodge was organized : W. B. Smith, W. M.; Isaac Lower, S. W.; J. W. 
Richie, J. W.; M. W. Ferris, Secretary; E. M. Yates, Treasurer. Mem- 
bership at organization, about thirteen. May 25, 1870, lodge hall, records 
and everything was destroyed by fire. Have a membership of twenty- 
eight now, and in a prosperous condition. The highest number at any 
time, was about eighty ; membership reduced by brothers moving away. 
Have rented hall 22x40 feet, with complete outfit. 

Agency Royal Arch Chapter, formerly an important branch of the 
order here, has lost its existence. 

Agency Lodge, No. 241, 1. O. O. F., also holds its session in this hall. 
It was instituted May 20, 1878, by order of C. H. Mansur, presiding 
officer of the Grand Lodge of Missouri. James M. Powell, N. G.; Wra. 
B. Smith, V. G. ; E. M. Yates, Secretary. 




Rowley Lodge, No. 204, A. F. and A. M., was chartered October 19, 
1867, with Cyrus Grable, W. M.; James Wright, S. W.; and J. W. Staf- 
ford, J. W. P. L. Wheeler was the first Secretary. The present officers 
of this lodge are: B. C. Stafford, W.M.; John C.Tays.S. W.; John Hig- 
gins, J. W.; J. W. Wilkerson, Secretary; J. Boyd, Treasurer; Albert 
Freeman, S. D.; Enoch Grable, J. D.; Joseph Grable, Tyler. 

History of St. Joseph. 




The first efforts of mankind to build cities ante-dates history, hence 
nothing very definite concerning the circ