History of Bates County, Missouri

This book is submitted in the belief that it will be found a readable book. Many historic incidents not mentioned in the general story will be found in detail in the biographies of men and women, now living, who witnessed the incidents they relate; many events are faithfully related by sons and daughters of parents who lived and passed through history-making epochs in this county. An earnest and sincere attempt has been made to present all subjects honestly and fairly, to give the early history of the county more fully, more comprehensively than has ever been attempted in the past. This is not a book of dry statistics or tabulations, designed to show the present status of the county as to wealth or its progress in diversified industry. It is not an advertisement, colored to suit the wishes of any line of business or any class of our citizens. It is a faithful effort to give permanency to the really valuable and supreme historic facts of the settlement and progress of Bates county. In the biographies of the county's leading families will be found a wealth of historic incident well worth preserving for future generations.

The author has done his best to get the truth and to so write it that the reader may find it a pleasure and not a burden to read it. Mooted statements have been discussed without prejudice. Writers of history and the early records have been treated fairly and frankly. To the author, the wide range of his reading has been intensely interesting and his investigations have been as thorough as possible. Conclusions are stated respectfully and without criticism of the old, and in some instances, long-accepted authorities, with which the author could not agree. It has been a laborious task, but he will be satisfied if the reader enjoys the pages of this volume by the fire-side as much as the author has the writing of them.

Table of Contents

CHAPTER I.
INTRODUCTORY... PAGES 33-38

CHAPTER II.
EXPLORATION AND SETTLEMENT... PAGES 39-49

CHAPTER III.
HARMONY MISSION... PAGES 50-73

CHAPTER IV.
THE GRAND OSAGE INDIANS... PAGES 74-84

CHAPTER V.
MARCHIONESS DEGNINON OF THE OSAGE... PAGES 85-103

CHAPTER VI.
TOPOGRAPHY... PAGES 104-106

CHAPTER VII.
SOILS... PAGES 107-119

CHAPTER VIII.
RESOURCES OF BATES COUNTY... 120-130

CHAPTER IX.
COUNTY ORGANIZATION... PAGES 131-134

CHAPTER X.
THE BORDER WARFARE... PAGES 135-186

CHAPTER XI.
RAILROADS... PAGES 187-200

CHAPTER XII.
PUBLIC SCHOOLS OF BATES COUNTY... PAGES 201-218

CHAPTER XIII.
THE PRESS... PAGES 219-226

CHAPTER XIV.
FINANCE AND BANKING... PAGES 227-234

CHAPTER XV.
THE BENCH AND BAR... PAGES 235-239

CHAPTER XVI.
CHURCHES... PAGES 240-245

CHAPTER XVII.
BUTLER... PAGES 246-252

CHAPTER XVIII.
RICH HILL... PAGES 253-260

CHAPTER XIX.
TOWNSHIPS, TOWNS AND VILLAGES... PAGES 261-269

CHAPTER XX.
TOWNSHIPS. TOWNS AND VILLAGES CONTINUED... PAGES 270-277

CHAPTER XXI.
TOWNSHIPS, TOWNS AND VILLAGES CONTINUED... 278-286

CHAPTER XXII.
THE MARAIS DES CYGNES AND OSAGE RIVERS AND VALLEYS... PAGES 287-293

CHAPTER XXIII.
THE BIG DRAINAGE DITCH... PAGES 294-297

CHAPTER XXIV.
THE GRASSHOPPER PLAGUE... PAGES 298-301

CHAPTER XXV.
REMINISCENCES... PAGES 302-332

CHAPTER XXVI.
BIOGRAPHICAL.

 

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The story of the beginning, development and progress of a community is always interesting; and it appeals specially to the posterity and successors of those who have gone before. Every modern community has had its "early days" of trials, struggles and successes, as well as its days of progress and achievements. Hence the story of a community like Bates county is an intensely interesting one to those who now live within her borders. The purpose of this book is to present her story as fully and completely as historical data and the recollections and memories of people now living can do it. It is a regrettable fact that much of historical worth has perished with the death of leading actors in the early days of the county; and that much of the preserved data is meager in detail, uncertain in value, and much confused by the early writers.

Much of the history peculiar to Bates county in the very beginnings of our story is so shrouded in uncertainty, and upon authority so indefinite and obscure, that it becomes difficult to separate authentic history from legend and tradition. The wonderful era of the French and Spanish fur traders, antedating the coming of the American to our soil more than an hundred years ago, can never be adequately presented by the conscientious historian; for the voyageurs kept no records and left none. All that can be said of them is what may be gleaned from the data left by their employers, and even that is limited and confusing. When we come to what may be properly called the "Pioneer days" the story becomes easier and safer, as some records and folk lore have come down to us upon which we may rely.