History of Cooper County, Missouri
I readily undertook to write the history of Cooper County. Until I had begun to gather the material and data, I did not comprehend the work involved, nor the difficulties to be encountered.
One who from afar looks upon a mountain towering high, which he must approach and ascend by a devious, winding way, cannot afford to weaken his courage by vain repining, or dissipate his energies by fretful anticipations. Starting at once upon his journey, he reaches the foot- hills, and to his surprise, the mountain seems not nearly so high. Pursuing his way by a gradual incline up the foot-hills, he leisurely keeps his course around and up the mountain, and arrives at the summit. As he stands there, comfortably wearied, and inhaling the fragrance of the wild flowers, which he has gathered on his way, he looks back over his journey as a summer outing.
Having completed my undertaking, though not to my satisfaction, I look back upon my labor as one of love and pleasure. No literary merit is claimed for this story of Cooper County. It has not been written but merely spoken, and at night, extending often into the small hours of the morning. The Ediphone has been used, and from the records the typist has transcribed the spoken words. This has been at a saving of labor, but doubtless at the expense of diction. It is hoped, however, that it has the merit of being in the parlance of the street and home, and that the average citizen, with even a limited vocabulary, can read and understand, without the frequent use of the lexicon.
History is but a selection of happenings and events. Each individual, every family, house and farm has its history. I have therefore attempted to give only those events which have been of some importance to the county or a particular neighborhood.
Of that which has been prepared, I have been compelled to eliminate much by reason of want of space; and it may be that many things of interest to some will not be found in these pages. Errors have doubtless occurred, by reason of transcribing, typesetting and proof-reading, as it is too much to expect perfection. Again, much of the history that has been written herein has been handed down by word of mouth; and realizing the frailty of human memory, I have attempted to arrive at the truth as best I could.
Especial attention is directed to the biographical sketches which form a large part of this volume. In these sketches will be found much interesting and valuable reading, from which the future historian may well compile a history of Cooper County. It is to be regretted that many others have not availed themselves of this opportunity to perpetuate the history of their families for the benefit of those who come after them. However, this is no fault of the editor, as the pages of this volume have been open to all who cared to respond to the invitations of the solicitors.
I have followed the rule of saying the pleasant things, rather than the evil, because the good can be found with more pleasure to the seeker.
Table of Contents
EARLY SETTLEMENTS... 52-69
PIONEER LIFE... 70-78
TRANSPORTATION AND HIGHWAYS... 79-98
THE WAR OF 1812 AND INDIAN TROUBLES... 99-122
FROM 1815 TO 1819... 123-140
FROM 1819 TO 1821... 141-153
FROM 1821 TO 1834... 154-159
FROM 1834 TO 1847... 160-171
CONTINUATION OF 1834-1847 AND UP TO 1861... 172-184
CIVIL WAR PERIOD... 185-202
INCIDENTS OF THE WAR... 203-213
PERIOD OF READJUSTMENT... 214-217
THE PRESS... 309-314
BANKING AND CURRENCY... 315-322
FLOODS AND STORMS... 323-329
THE WORLD WAR... 330-343
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History is speculative, inferential, and actual; speculative when it records conclusions based on hypothesis founded on facts, far removed; inferential when conclusions are reasonably based on facts; actual, when facts alone are recorded. The historian deals with all three, more or less, in combination one with the other. This chapter is purely speculative. The editor is not an archaeologist, and does not attempt herein to arrive at, or lead the reader to a conclusion. Houck, in his "History of Missouri," claims to have located through investigators something like twenty-eight thousand mounds in the state. These mounds are usually called Indian mounds, and he does not assert that all that existed in the state were discovered by his investigators. He mentions nine in Cooper county. There are doubtless more than ninety and nine, and probably many more leveled with the plow.