History of Harrison County, Missouri

It is not an easy matter to write the history of such a county as Harrison. Many events had an influence in shaping its destiny. Less than a century ago, the territory comprising this county was a wild, unbroken waste, inhabited by the howling wolf, the fleet-footed deer, the roaming buffalo and the untutored Indian. Then came the white man, and all was changed, and the hum of peaceful industry is heard on every side. Where once the council fire blazed and the wigwams of the redman stood, commercial, industrial and social institutions have developed.

Prior to 1859 there was no newspaper published in the county. The inhabitants prior to that date were not privileged, as are we, to read the weekly chronicles of the events, in their community, and in writing of that time, we passed beyond listening to the statements of the oldest in- habitants and sought information from the most reliable and authentic sources, and in writings of others. In preparing this history much reference is had to articles heretofore written and published by Elder John S. Allen and Col. D.J. Heaston, and much information has been derived from contributors of today, to whom the writer is sincerely grateful.

History is a record of human events, the personal element ever being present, and the history of any community or county is merely a record of those who have contributed to its upbuilding and advancement. The rank and file of the people, each performing his duty at the right time and place, make the history of any locality. This work, therefore, contains personal sketches of many who have been identified with the development of Harrison County.

The men and women whose faith, courage, foresight and industry have made Harrison County what it is today are passing away. Therefore it seems but fitting, while we have yet with us some of these pioneers, or their descendants, that we secure from them and preserve the thrilling and romantic story of their adventures, struggles and achievements in the early days when their hearts beat young and their enthusiasm knew not the limitations imposed by "Father Time." Then, too, there are many among us whose ancestry blazed the pathway to civilization on other borders, and these with the younger generation of Harrison county are moulding the sentiment and shaping the destiny of this splendid county.

It is hoped that this work records a story worthy of being handed down to future generations for their inspiration and guidance in building up the rich and broad foundation laid by their fathers.

 

Table of Contents

CHAPTER I
TOPOGRAPHY 97-100

CHAPTER II
NATURAL RESOURCES 101-104

CHAPTER III
EXPLORATIONS 105-112

CHAPTER IV
LOUISIANA PURCHASE 113-121

CHAPTER V
EARLY SETTLEMENT 122-128

CHAPTER VI
INDIAN HISTORY 129-134

CHAPTER VII
THE MORMON WAR 135-137

CHAPTER VIII INCIDENTS OF EARLY DAYS 138-141 CHAPTER IX
LAND OPENED FOR ENTRY 142-143

CHAPTER X
EARLY DAY CUSTOMS 144-147

CHAPTER XI
PIONEER MILLS 148-150

CHAPTER XII
ORGANIZATION OF COUNTY 151-153

CHAPTER XIII
FIRST OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS 154-159

CHAPTER XIV
TOWNSHIPS, TOWNS AND VILLAGES 160-166

CHAPTER XV
EARLY RECORDS 167-169
CHAPTER XVI
CIRCUIT COURT AND BAR 170-176

CHAPTER XVII
RAILROADS 177-180

CHAPTER XVIII
COUNTY SEAT AND COUNTY BUILDINGS 181-187

CHAPTER XIX
EARLY SCHOOLS 188-191

CHAPTER XX
PIONEER CHURCHES 192-198

CHAPTER XXI
LODGES AND SOCIETIES 199-210

CHAPTER XXII
CIVIL WAR 211-216

CHAPTER XXIII
THE PRESS 217-219

CHAPTER XXIV
QUESTION OF COUNTY SEAT REMOVAL 220-223

CHAPTER XXV LOCAL OPTION ELECTION 224-227

CHAPTER XXVI
SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR AND MEXICAN BORDER TROUBLE 228-236

CHAPTER XXVII
WORLD WAR 237-258

CHAPTER XXVIII
AMERICAN RED CROSS 259-266

CHAPTER XXIX
COUNTY OFFICERS 267-270

CHAPTER XXX
REMINISCENCES 271-276

CHAPTER XXXI
REMINISCENCES CONTINUED 277-280

CHAPTER XXXII
REMINISCENCES CONTINUED 281-284

CHAPTER XXXIII
REMINISCENCES CONTINUED 285-289

CHAPTER XXXIV
REMINISCENCES CONTINUED 290-309

CHAPTER XXXV
BIOGRAPHICAL.

 

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Originally about three-fourths of the land of Harrison County was prairie and one-fourth timber. The timber was generally along the streams of water, and some on hilly tracks roughened and divided by ravines. The kinds native to the soil were principally white oak, black oak, burr oak, hickory, walnut, elm, maple, cottonwood and linn and occasionally were found ash, sycamore, locust, hackberry and buckeye, and in some places were found sugar maple.