George S. Escott

History and Directory of Springfield
and North Springfield


CHAPTER III

Organization Of Greene County And Selection Of County Seat Military Organizations And Expeditions Against The Osages.

As we have seen by the preceding chapter, when the first pioneers came to Southwest Missouri, this section of the State was all under the jurisdiction of Wayne county, which was one of the original counties into which the State was divided at the time of its admission into the Union; but, on the 23d day of January, 1829, Crawford County was organized, and its county seat was located on Little Piney, not far from the present site of Arlington, on the St. Louis and San Francisco railway. The early settlers in this vicinity were subject to the commands of the officers of Crawford county until the 2nd day of January, 1833, when, by act of the Legislature in session at St. Louis, which was at that time the capital of the State, Greene county was duly established. Its limits extended to the present line of Kansas on the west, and southward to the line of Arkansas. Its eastern boundary was about the Gasconade River, and it extended north to the Osage fork. Concerning its name, we insert the following patriotic extract from the speech of Col. Boyd, quoted from in a preceding chapter:

"It was called 'Greene,' in honor of Gen. Nathaniel Greene, of the Revolution, a son of Rhode Island. Reared in the smallest and most clanish of commonwealths, he never had a thought that was not as deep, and as high, and as broad as the Republic. The spot where he is buried is unknown. No imposing shaft stands out in bold relief to catch the patriot's eye and invite him to prayer, or to drop a tear over a nation's hero. No tablet, rich in design and elaborate in finish, spreads itself out to commemorate the heroism and fame of departed greatness. Not even a rude headboard marks the spot where General Nathaniel Greene rests. But Missouri remembered him, and raised to him a monument, and immortalized him by giving his name to the fairest freest garden of her dominions, 'Southwest Missouri.' It was then named and called Greene; and let her protestations go out today, that G-r-e-e-n-e must, and shall be, the only correct way in spelling the name of our county, in remembrance of his Revolutionary campaign in the Carolinas, against Cornwallis at Eutaw Springs, Guilford Courthouse, Camden, Hobkirk's Hill and Ninety-Six, These were blazoned on the banners of the conquering legions, whose prowess a Greene has made the theme of song and story; and forever hereafter may we all patriotically remember the last finishing letter in the word Green-e, and keep it so pure that at the coming of the second Centennial of our country, another picture may be penciled and filed away in the archives of a nation one hundred millions strong, and the spelling of the word Greene then will be, as it was in 1776 and 1876, in honor of the comrade of Washington, Lafayette, Lee, Marion and Sumpter."

[43]

On the 11th day of March, 1833, the first session of the County Court was held at the residence of J. P. Campbell, who bad previously been appointed as County Clerk. Among the acts of this Court we find the organization of townships, appointment of justices of the peace, and establishing of voting precincts. Also the appointment of commissioners for the location of a number county roads, which were no doubt sadly needed, the only public road through the county previous to this, being the State road running from Boonville, on thc Missouri river, to Fayetteville, Arkansas. Abraham Bledsoe was granted a license to keep a ferry across the Osage river, on this road, and letters of administration were granted to Joseph Weaver and John A. Langles, on the estate of John Marshall, deceased.

Richard C. Martin was, on the second day of the session, appointed County Assessor, Achilles J. Burnett Collector, and Junius T. Campbell Treasurer, all for one year; also Samuel Scroggins County Surveyor. James Caulfield was appointed administrator on the estate of John Fitch, deceased, and John, Jndia and Finny Brantlet, minors, were bound out to Kindred Rose, Larkin Payne and Joseph Price.

On the third day of the session A. J. Burnett resigned the office of Collector, and the vacancy was filled by the appointment of Larkin Payne, and elections were appointed in the various townships for the selection of constables.

[44]

On the fourth day, the Court adjourned to the 10th day of June. For this first session the Judges of the County Court were allowed $1.75 per day, and the Sheriff $1.50.

The townships organized, and the Justices of the Peace appointed at this session of the County Court, were as follows:

Spring River:

(No appointment.)

Jackson:

William H. Duncan.

Osage:

Christopher Eluore and John Ripaton.

Mooney:

(No appointment.)

Campbell:

Andrew Taylor, Richard C. Martin and Larkin Payne.

White River:

Samuel Garner.

Oliver:

Thomas B. Arnett.

The first warrant issued by the Court was to Martin H. Brame, for table and box, $5.00.

At the second session of the County Court, Chesley Cannefax, John Sturdivant, John Fulbright, Barton Warren and Andrew Taylor, were appointed Captains of Patrols, to look after slaves, and a State tax of $15 was levied on E. W. Wallis, "for the privilege of exercising the business and trade of a grocery in Greene county."

During this session, the resignations of Junius T. Campbell, as Treasurer, and of Larkin Payne, as Collector, were accepted. John Fulbright being appointed to the former office, and John D. Shannon, who was also Sheriff, to the latter.

On the 5th lay of August, an election was held for Congressman from this district, and Campbell township, which then covered as much territory as is now contained in the whole of Greene county, cast only 103 votes.

Sugar Creek was added in June to the list of townships, and Creek in December. During the first three sessions of the County Court, Samuel Martin was the Presiding Justice, but was succeeded, in December, by James Dollison. At the December term, A. J. Burnett's "grocery" license was fixed at $20 per annum to the State, and half that amount to the county. John Fulbright resigned the office of Treasurer and D. D. Berry being appointed his successor, gave bond in the sum of $2,000.

The expenses of the county for the first year were $363.32, and the receipts, from taxes and licenses only, $299.31, leaving a deficit of $64.01

[45]

At the first session of the County Court, in 1834, the Clerk was ordered to procure, for the use of the county, standard weights and measures, and a county seal, of brass, with an "effigy of the elk."

On the 4th day of August, 1834, the first general election was held in the county, with the following result, as far as Greene County was concerned:

State Senator--Joseph Weaver.
Representative--John D. Shannon.
County Justices--James Dollison, Alexander Younger, Benjamin Chapman.
Sheriff--Benjamin U. Goodrich.
Coroner--John Robards.

At this election, Campbell Township, containing the town of Springfield, cast 185 votes, and the whole county, which was nearly all of Southwest Missouri, only about 500 votes. On the night of the election, Mr. Goodrich, the Sheriff-elect, died, and Chesley Cannefax was afterward appointed in his place.

In the autumn of 1834, the first post-office was established at Springfield, and J. T. Campbell appointed postmaster.

In Mr. Ingram's "Chronology of Greene County," recently published in the Patriot-Advertiser, to which we are indebted for many of the facts furnished in this chapter, we find the following list of the businessmen of Springfield, about this time:

D. D. Berry, Henry Fulbright, and Cannefax & Ingram, who sold dry goods and groceries; John W. Ball and James Carter, who were the blacksmiths, and S. S. Ingram, who made coffins, bedsteads chairs, cotton-wheels, etc.

From Mr. Miller's writings, before quoted, we learn that Mr. Ball was the first blacksmith who opened a shop here, and the following quotations from the same will give a good idea of the infant town about that time:

"In 1833 a one mile round race track was established in the southeast part of town, then prairie; the west edge of it extended about where Mrs. Oven's present residence now is, and running about four hundred yards east, and the race stables stood a little southeast of the C. P. Church. It was established by Mr. J. P. Campbell, who, after a few years, joined the Presbyterian Church, was baptized, and the race course was broke up. I believe Mrs. Owen is the only one of Mr. Campbell's children now about Springfield, who was born here.

[46]

"The first meeting-house, or church for worship, was built of oak logs in 1833, at a spring in the woods about half a mile north of Capt. Geo. Jones' present residence, and was occupied by the Methodists and Cumberland Presbyterians. I believe the first marriage ceremony ever performed in the neighborhood of Springfield was that of Lawson Fulbright, who married David Roper's daughter in 1831, who lived four miles northeast. The next, in the same year, was Junius Rountree, who married Joseph Miller's daughter. Martha, at the place where Squire Beiderlinden now lives. She was the mother of the wives of Geo. Beal, Newt. Williams, Joe Winfield and ________McCall.

"The first school-house was built of small logs, in 1831, just about where Dabney Dade's residence stands, and the teacher was old uncle Joe Rountree; the pupils were Henry Fulbright and some of his younger brothers, the Rountree boys, John Miller, J. J. Weaver and his two older sisters, Louisiana, late wife of Col. C. A. Haden, and Jane, mother of Joe Farner and a few others. The schoolhouse had a good dirt floor and one log cut out for it window, no door or shutter. Here they learned to spell read, write and cipher in " Pike's" arithmetic on three-legged benches. Then the next place of learning was built on the ground where the Christian Church now stands, of logs and had a loose plank floor, a door-shutter, and a stick and mud chimney and then they thought they had nearly reached the top round on the ladder of civilization."

In the month of June, 1835, as we have before noticed, these pioneer settlements were visited with cholera, the infection supposed to have been brought here in goods brought by Henry Fulbright, from St. Louis, about this time. The first case was that of James Carter, who was taken with the disease at 9 a.m. and died at 2 p.m. of the same day. Cowden Martin, a son of Judge Martin, came to town that day, was attacked and died the same night. J. P. Campbell lost two colored men in one night, and Moses. Foren and probably one or two others whose names we did not learn, died of the same terrible disease. We are also informed that Solomon Cotner, John Ingram and Mrs. Martin Ingram were attacked, but the "steam doctors" saved them. In about a week or ten days the scourge passed away.

[47]

About this time several new counties were organized in Southwest Missouri, and Greene county was very much reduced in size; in fact it seems as though they came near cutting it about as close as the Indian cut off his dog's tail, when he cut it off just back of the animal's ears.

In the "Session Acts of 1835 " we find the boundaries of Barry county, cutting off one whole tier of townships from what is now included in Greene county and although there seems to have been a correction in 1838 and the line was removed to its present position, in 1840 it is again declared the same as in 1835. This was probably a mistake, and was again corrected the first opportunity. The east line remained unchanged for a number of years just including one half of the present county of Webster, and the southern boundary, which was established in 1837, at the time Taney was organized, one township further south than it now extends remained unchanged till the organization of Christian county about the year 1860, when Greene was reduced to its present dimensions.

On the 18th of July, a special session of the County Court was held, for the purpose of receiving and adopting a plan for laying out the town of Springfield. A plan submitted by J. P. Campbell was approved, and Daniel B. Miller appointed a commissioner to sell lots; but owing to the uncertainty with reference to the western boundary, and on account of the county extending so much farther east, it was for some time quite doubtful whether the county seat would remain here, Or be removed to some point farther east and although the question had been once regularly decided by commissioners appointed for that purpose, it still continued to be agitated until 1836, when a petition was circulated by the friends of Josiah F. Danforth, to have it removed to a site which he offered, on his farm eight miles east of town. John W. Hancock, who was that year elected to the Legislature, promised to work for whichever party got the most signatures to its paper and as Mr. Campbell's friends, in this part of the county, were successful in getting the most names to their remonstrance, the county seat remained unchanged.

[48]

When Springfield was accepted as the county seat of Greene County, none of the lands were owned in fee simple by the persons who claimed and occupied them. All were alike: "squatters." Those who had come here as early as 1833, had a pre-emption claim to one hundred and sixty acres each, under an act of Congress passed June 19th, 1834.This act required as conditions precedent, that the claimant should have cultivated the land claimed, in 1833, and been in actual possession of it at the time of the passage of the act.

We are again indebted to Mr. Miller for the following:

"Springfield was laid off into lots by Mr. J. P. Campbell, in 1835, the northeast corner being on the hill northeast of R. J. McElhaney's, running south and west, forming a fifty acre tract, which was donated by Mr. Campbell to the county, and, under a law regulating such cases in Missouri, the proceeds of the sale of lots went for the erection of the necessary public buildings for the county.

"In forming the public square and laying off the four main streets, Mr. C. laid it out just like Columbia, Maury county, Tennessee, where he was born and raised, the four streets centering to the public square, which is unusual in most towns. Columbia and Nashville were about the only towns he had ever seen, and when settlers and 'new comers' would come along they would frequently say, 'Why, Mr. Campbell! What made you lay it off this way? He would answer, Well, that's the way they made em where I came from; so after considering the matter over, it was found too late to change it for the streets to come in at the corners, and thus it remained.

"When it came to naming the town, a consultation was held by Mr. Campbell, D. B. Miller, of Miller's Spring, and a few other citizens; and, as the spring was under the hill, and the field on the hill they concluded to call it Springfield.

There may have been some inaccuracies about laying off the first lots * * * * but in those days people were not very particular or exacting about a little ground. "The lot where J. L. Holland's residence now stands, was sold for an old, broken-down, black horse, and was considered well sold."

[49]

The original public square only contained one and one-half acres, but, by action of the County Court, on the 7th day of August of the same year it was enlarged to two acres.

About the first of September 1835, the U. S. Land Office was opened here, Joel H. Haden being the first Register, and Robert T. Brown the first Receiver. The latter seems to have been a "carpet bagger," according to the later usage of that term, as he never removed his family to this place, and, after holding the office two or three years, returned to Ste. Genevieve. Mr. Haden removed his family here, a year or two after his appointment, and became a permanent and highly respected citizen of the new county.

In August 1836, Mr. D. B. Miller was ordered to employ a competent surveyor, to survey the town tract and file the plat and field-notes of the same. He was further ordered to offer town lots for sale, so soon as surveyed, by advertising in the Missouri Argus, published at St. Louis, and in the Boonslick Democrat; also by setting up handbills at the county seats of Greene, Pulaski, Barry and Polk county.

At a later session of the Court, lots were set apart for public purposes, and not offered for sale. On the 9th of November, of the same year, Mr. Miller made a settlement with the County Court, showing that up to the first day of November, sales had been made to the amount of $649.88. He was allowed $131.51 for expenses incurred in the sales, and ordered to pay balance into the county treasury.

A public jail having been built by temporary donations by citizens of the county, the Treasurer was ordered to refund the amounts so donated, out of the funds received from the sale of lots. Sidney S. Ingram was appointed Superintendent of the Erection of County Buildings, and ordered to submit to the County Court a plan of a court-house.

On the 28th of November, a second sale of lots was ordered, to be made on the fourth Monday in January next following, and an order was made for the erection of a court-house, in the center of the public square, at a cost of $3,250. The building was to be a two-story brick, 34 by 40 feet. Fifty-one warrants were issued this year and the total expenses of the county were $829.96 the receipts into the treasury were only $557.43 , showing a deficit of $272.52 . Add to this a deficit of $87.50 for the preceding year, and we find the total indebtedness, at the close of the year 1836, to be $360.02 . Thus we see that there was a deficiency of funds to run the machinery of the county, every year except 1834, when a county tax double the State tax was assessed, and the county had money enough to pay all of its warrants, pay up the deficiency of 1833, and have $160.62 on hand. This was, however, before there was much money expended for public improvements.

[50]

On the 9th of February, 1827, one hundred dollars was appropriated from the Road and Canal Fund, for the erection of a bridge across the "town branch," north of the public square at Springfield, and D.B. Miller appointed to superintend its building. During this year appropriations were made for the erection of several bridges in the county, but a petition of sundry inhabitants of the county, praying for an appropriation for "clearing out" the public square, was rejected by the Court, it probably being considered a useless waste of public funds, as the trees had all been cut off for wood, and the stumps would rot out in due time.

For many years, the old court-house was used for public worship. In it, old Father Haden used to counsel holiness and all the Christian virtues, long before the more pretentious places of worship, of the present day, were erected.

In 1836, camp-meetings, political meetings and debates, dancing, hunting and picnicking, were the chief amusements for the people. The managers of the dances, it is asserted, used to count the puncheons in the floor, and then charge admission in proportion to the size of the party that could be accommodated. Red bandanna handkerchiefs were the height of fashion, among the gentlemen of those days, and, if a young gentleman chanced to pull out a white handkerchief, a titter would run around the room, accompanied by whispers of, "Look! He's got his sister's handkerchief."

[51]

D. D. Berry often opened his house to those social reunions. On one of these occasions, we are informed, he invited nearly everybody in town to a dance, but for some reason, or perhaps by accident, left out one man named Shockley, who had recently moved to town. He was angry at being thus slighted, and determined to let people know it. He had a fine horse and a dog, which he valued very highly. He strung to the horse and dog as many bells, tin-pans, and other noise-making instruments, as he could devise, and tied the dog to the saddle of his horse, with a strong rope. When all was ready, and the dancers in the midst of their amusement, Shockley mounted his horse, and, adding to the jingling of bells and the howling of the dog, his own voice in yelling and screaming, he rode around Mr. Berry's house, to the consternation and amazement of the company. Everybody, of' course, rushed out too see what on earth was the matter. Satisfied with the effect there, he left the house, and, at full speed, made the circle of the town. It is said that every man, woman, and child, of Springfield, was out of doors that night, and the more superstitious, no doubt, thought that a certain individual with horns, hoofs and tail, who was then supposed to live in the sulphurous regions, had paid a visit to the town. Shockley's poor dog paid for the sport with his life, and the horse and his rider came near meeting the same fate. While passing a tree, at break-neck speed, the dog took one side and the horse the other. The dog was instantly killed, and the horse and his rider were overthrown, but, as it happened, not seriously injured. With this event, Shockley passes out of sight probably removes to some neighborhood of more congenial spirits and is never heard of again in Springfield.

The sports and amusements of the young folks, in the early days of Springfield, were sometimes of a rather dangerous, and even tragic character. In 1835 and 1836 it became a custom among the youngsters, to "make niggers" of such strangers as they could manage. This was done by blacking their faces with burnt cork or other blacking, and, when their object was accomplished, their shouts of laughter would "raise the town." To illustrate how this was done we give two or three instances which were vouched for by one, who always took part in such sprees. Two men, named L_____ and B_____, who were brothers-in-law, were in the habit of coming to town to get their grog, and nearly always made a two or three days "drunk" of it, when they came. On one occasion they were induced to separate for the night, and each one slept with one of the town boys. In the night, while sleeping off the effect of their potations, both of their faces were thoroughly blacked with burnt cork, and in the morning they were well prepared, in complexion, to appear as "Brudder Bones" or "Banjo Sam," but the looking-glasses were carefully kept out of sight, and both of the men were unconscious of the joke that had been perpetrated upon them. It was arranged to bring them to McElhany's "grocery," to take a morning dram, and this being done, all hands were invited up to drink, and promptly accepted the invitation. B_____ was surprised to see a black man come up to drink with them, and told L______ that he "was not in the habit of drinking with niggers." L_______, hearing this speech from a man whom he considered a negro, at once pitched in, and a first class muss was at once inaugurated, each thinking he was punishing a "d______d impudent nigger."

[52]

On another occasion, after this joke of blacking faces had been run for a number of months, a strapping big fellow came into town, with his loaded rifle on his shoulder, and announced that he had come expressly to have his face blacked by these Springfield boys. He looked dangerous, but it would not do to allow him to escape, after thus daring the venture. So a council was held and a program arranged. One of the boys "cousined in" with the stranger, and soon got on intimate terms with him. After introducing him around, and getting him to drink a few times, it was suggested that a shave would improve his appearance, and he was induced to submit to the operation. In the meantime one of the number, who acted as barber for the occasion, was prepared with a cup of diluted printer's ink, which he used as lather, and after pretending to shave him, he was sent to the glass to see how he liked it. A glance was sufficient. With a short, quick scream of rage, the victim sprang for his gun. Another of their number had quietly taken that, during the shaving operation, and emptied the priming from the pan and spiked the tube with a wire; but, as most of the boys were not aware that the gun had been rendered unserviceable, it is said there was some "tall running," about that time. The stranger chased them for some time, trying every few yards to fire his gun, but finally becoming convinced that it had been spiked, he stopped and burst into tears of rage and disappointment. After promising to behave himself, and go quietly home, he was taken around to. Mr. Painter's shop and the rifle was soon put in good order, when its owner departed southward, swearing he would never set foot in the accursed town again, so long as he lived. It is said he kept his word, and was never afterward seen in Springfield. At least it is certain he never dared that set of boys again to "try him on a spell.''

[53]

But we mentioned that these sports sometimes led to tragic results, which will be verified by the following instance: One day, in the year 1838, Randolph Britt, with a number of the then citizens of Springfield were in the "grocery," eating, drinking, and talking when some one suggested to J. Renno, to go into the "grocery" and "clean it out." Renno, always ready for such work, "went in," and happening to seize Britt first, a scuffle ensued, in the course of which Renno suddenly cried out, "He's sticking me with a knife!'' and fell. It turned out to be too true--he had been fatally stabbed in the throat by Britt, and died in a very few minutes afterward. Britt, for some time did not seem conscious of the nature of his act and when he did realize it, wept bitterly, often exclaiming he would rather Renno had killed him. Much excitement was caused by the tragedy, and, after a long trial, and a change of venue to Benton county, Britt was convicted of manslaughter, and sentenced to the penitentiary, but was soon after pardoned out.

This case seemed to be the cause of other feuds, which existed for a number of years and were, probably, indirectly, the cause of two or three other men losing their lives. But it was probably the means of putting a stop to such rough practical jokes, as this is the latest one of that character on record.

Judge Charles H. Allen, who was commonly known as "Horse" Allen, was the first judge who ever held court at Springfield. He presided over the Seventh Circuit, which then included all of the State south of the Osage River and west of Phelps County.

[54]

In the time of these early settlements in Southwest Missouri, the militia law required every man over eighteen years of age and under forty-five, to drill regularly three or four times a year, and their officers were elected by the men. This part of the State was in the Seventh Division, and Greene county formed the first brigade, while the second brigade was composed of Polk and some of the adjoining counties on the north and west. The first organization of these counties, under this arrangement, was in the year 1837, and the following were the first officers elected:

Joseph Power--Major-General.
N. R. Smith--Brigadier-Gen. 1st Brigade.
Abner Nall--Brigadier-Gen. 2nd Brigade.

In the summer of 1837, some slight depredations were committed by roving companies of the Senecas, 111 some of the counties to the north and west of here and Maj. L. A. Williams, commonly called Dr. Williams and afterwards well known as a citizen of Springfield for a number of years, who was then living in Polk county, was appointed by the County Court of that county, to take command of a company of militia and march the Indians out of that part of, the State. Captain Williams as he was then called, accomplished the desired object, as far as Polk county was concerned, and, after an absence of about twenty days, the company returned to their homes and were disbanded, but about this time, there was considerable excitement about the Osages gathering, in large numbers, in the vicinity of Sarcoxie, and General Powell called out the whole military force of the Division, and marched to that place. The Indians were marched across the line, and after giving assurances that they would stay on their own side, the soldiers came home after an absence of about fifteen days.

This was known as the Sarcoxie war, but there was little or no trouble, reports of the outbreak being greatly exaggerated. Owing to some irregularities on the part of General Powell, who did not understand military tactics very well, he was soon afterwards court-martialed, and expelled from his position. We are informed that this was done at the instigation of Gen. Smith and others. Smith, however, was not a very well posted military man himself. On one occasion, an old veteran of the regular army was on guard when Gen. Smith attempted to pass the lines, and was accosted with the usual salutation, "who comes here?" He answered, "I'm Gen. Smith from Springfield." The guard commanded him to halt, adding, "I don't care if you're Gen. Smith from hell, you can't pass this line without giving the counter-sign." This afterward became a by-word in the camp and after the boys returned home.

[55]

On the removal of Gen. Powell from this office, a gentleman named Nelson was first elected to the honorable position, and was, succeeded by Judge Yancey.

From the pen of Col. Wm. E. Gilmore, to whose writings we are indebted for some of the items already furnished, we quote the following interesting description of a little expedition against the Osages.

"In the winter of 1836-'37, Judge Yancey, who held the militia rank of colonel was ordered by the Governor of Missouri, to compel the remaining Indians to retire across the State line, and confine themselves to their own territory. This was done to protect the settlers along the border, and prevent a collision between them and the Indians.

"As Lieutenant Chesley Cannefax was next in rank to Mr. Yancey, he and Henry Fulbright, whose rank we did not learn, but which stood somewhere between Lieutenant-General and 'high private,' accompanied the Colonel on his mission to notify them of the order. They were also attended by a negro named Charley, who had been raised among the Delawares, and was familiar with the dialect of several of the tribes.

"Near the mouth of Flat creek they met the first Indians. There was a considerable party of them, mounted upon ponies, and engaged in a bear hunt. Col. Yancey was in all the splendor of a fine new uniform, with sword, sash, epaulets and plumes. The Indians halted, gazed at the party a few moments in silence, and then raised shrill yell, which was answered from every direction, and rushed by them in full speed, without speaking or paying any attention to the negro Charley, who hailed them.

"The Colonel and his men rode on after them, although they hardly knew how to interpret this strange action on the part of the red-skins. Mr. Cannefax, in speaking of the circumstance afterward, used to say, 'I did not like the sign, and as I closed with the Colonel to see if there was any change in his face, I thought there was; but if we were both scared, neither of us, spoke our thoughts.'

[56]

"At length they reached the camp of the Indians, where, by this time, the whole of them were collected, and had made their savage toilet of beads, feathers and finery, all ready to receive 'the Great Chief of the white men,' as they supposed the Colonel must be.

"The visitors were conducted immediately to the tent of the Chief, who was named Nawpawiter, and through Charley, as an interpreter, informed that personage of the object of their mission. The Indian promised to withdraw his band from Missouri, but said that a large number of women and children were with them, and if it continued as cold as it was then, he must delay until it moderated. This was agreed to, and a written consent given by the Colonel. There were, in this camp, about a hundred men and nearly as many women and children.

"Some forty days were spent in search for other bands, when, coming around to the saw-mill about thirty-five miles southwest of Springfield, they were very much surprised to find all of the scattering bands which had been hunting in this part of the State, collected together.

"As the assemblage had the appearance of a war council, the Colonel and his aids held a consultation as to what they should Col. Yancey and Mr. Fulbright thought best to be gentle with them, and urge them to return peaceably to their reservation, but Mr. Cannefax urged stronger and more impressive action, and finally the counsel of the latter was accepted, and they rode to raise the militia force of the country. In thirty-six hours, over a hundred men, well mounted and armed, were assembled at Ozark on the Finley. The Indians were much more numerous, but were armed mostly with bows and arrows.

"As this force moved forward, the Indians began to retreat toward their reservation. But Col. Yancey pushed rapidly after them and overtook them on the second evening, on the west side of the James River, not far from the mouth of Finley creek.

"The militia were drawn up in line, close to the Indians, and a demand was made of the Chief, that his men should deliver up their arms, as security against hostilities. This he refused, for some time, to submit to, but, finding that he must consent or fight, he finally yielded, and set the example by coming forward and laying his bow and arrows on the ground. His example was followed by most of the warriors, but some of the younger ones refused, and were compelled, with difficulty, to give up their arms.

[57]

"After all of their guns had been rendered unserviceable, by the removal of the flints from the locks, and ramming a naked bullet tight into the barrel of each, they were returned to their owners, and the Indians were then compelled to resume their march towards the setting sun, as they had, no doubt, often been required to do before. The next day or two were bitter cold, and the women and children suffered much, especially while crossing Oliver's Prairie.

"In two or three days more the State line was reached, and after admonishing them not to return again, the militia started homeward. The same day they were overtaken by an Osage Chief, accompanied by a white man named Matthews, who begged them to return to attend a council of their chiefs, which had been called, they said, to consult with the white men. This, Colonel Yancey refused to do, saying that he had no power to treat with them.

"When the party got back to Springfield, they found great excitement here, caused by rumors that an Indian war had been commenced. Exaggerated accounts of what had happened, connected with the fact that this place is so near the line of the Territory, caused the people to fear a sudden attack.

Maj. Berry, who was then the most prominent merchant in this place, came very near packing off his whole stock of goods to some other place for safe keeping. No hostilities followed, however, and Southwest Missouri has had no trouble with Indians since."

[58]


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