History of Randolph County, Missouri
History is a record of human events, the personal element ever being present. Men perform their allotted work upon this earth and then depart. Others follow to take up the work left unfinished by those who have preceded them. It was ordained by an omnipotent and omniscient Providence that it should be the task of His creatures here below to go forth into, subdue, and people the waste places of the earth, the forests, and the plains; to change the wide spaces of land into fertile areas so as to provide sustenance for mankind. The vanguard were the pioneers, men and women, accustomed to simple methods of living, inured to hardships, bred to a life which required that they wrest a livelihood from the soil, and imbued with the spirit of generations of pioneers. They accomplished their self-imposed task and subdued the lands of what is now known as Randolph county. They paved the pathway for others who followed to resume the task of making a happy and prosperous community. Their work was well and faithfully done and this volume of Randolph county history might fittingly be dedicated to the memory of those brave men and women.
Lest we forget, lest the children of today and of the tomorrows know not the deeds of their progenitors, this history has been written and published — affording an authentic and readable record for all time to come, the story of the settlement and upbuilding of Randolph county.
History has been and is now being made. The great task of founding and creating an important sub-division of the great commonwealth of Missouri has been accomplished. The future will bring forth still greater development. That this is possible is due to the bravery and hardihood of that noble race who have preceded the present generation and who lie sleeping peacefully beneath the sod they loved so well.
The following pages present a history of Randolph county, based upon personal narratives, research, compilation, and official records. Inasmuch as history in the aggregate is a record of the composite achievements of all the people in a community during a course of many years, it is necessary to present much personal history in a work of this kind.
True history is based upon personal achievement. True history, then, in its wider sense is but biography. The biographical department of this history of Randolph county, therefore, is important, as presenting a record of the leading families of Randolph county and recording the personal achievements of the men and women who have made Randolph county what it is today. In the publishing of this important department which is destined for the enlightenment of the present and future generations as to the best information available, concerning their forbears, and no effort has been spared to insure accuracy without exaggeration.
In the preparation of this work it has been the aim of the writer to present the salient facts and the important events bearing upon the story of the settlement and early development of the county. Many events, of a seemingly remote character, had an influence in shaping the destiny and moulding the future of Randolph county, and it is hoped that the present and future generations may derive some benefit from the effort that has been put forth here in the way of a modest contribution to the annals of this splendid county.
Table of Contents
Early explorations and settlements... 74-84
Louisiana purchase... 85-92
Admission and organization of state... 93-101
Early conditions... 102-106
Early settlements in the boonslick country... 107-109
Characteristics and customs of pioneers... 110-114
Pioneer settlers of randolph county.... 115-120
Organization of randolph county... 121-127
Early wars... 128-134
Physical features and natural resources... 135-137
Township organization... 138-145
Townships, continued... 155-168
Townships, continued. moberly... 169-191
Townships, continued. huntsville and salt spring township... 193-203
Medical profession... 204-206
Bench and bar of randolph county... 207-212
Early churches... 213-214
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This work will be essentially a history of Randolph County. But the history of no state, nor part of a state, of this Union would be complete if all earlier historic events are omitted.
The first European visitors to North America were Northmen about the year 1000 A.D., under the leadership of Leif Ericsson, son of Eric the Red, an adventurous navigator and explorer. The place where he and his companions landed, and later spent one or more winters cannot be determined. They called the region Vineland because of the abundance of wild grapes. This point may have been somewhere along the North Atlantic coast from Labrador to Massachusetts or Rhode Island. But, however interesting it may be to us to know that the North- men (Danes and Norwegians), visited our shores at this earlier date, still their discovery led to nothing. No attempt was made by the Northmen to colonize the country, and in course of time their descendants, less adventurous, had lost all remembrance of any tradition or record of that far off shore. If any legend survived, it had become a mere fable, impotent to inspire action and obtain results.