A Directory of Towns, Villages, and Hamlets
Past and Present
of Bates County, Missouri
Compiled by Arthur Paul Moser
Aaron (Mingo Township)
It is on the R. F. D., from Adrian and Altona. (--The State of Missouri, in 1904, Walter Williams, p. 329.)
It is located at Section 20, Township 42 N, Range 29 W, on Highway F, north of 18. (--General Highway Map of Bates County, issued by the Missouri State Highway Department, 4-1-70. Unless otherwise noted, all map descriptions are from this map.)
It receives mail from Adrian.
Adrian (Deer Creek Township)
Adrian is located on the west half of the southwest quarter of Section 33, Township 42 N, Range 31 W. J. L. Pace and S. B. Lashbrooke laid the town out July 6, 1880. S. P. Cox erected the first house--business house, in July, 1880. Thomas Heath, a blacksmith, was the original owner of the land upon which the town is located. (--History of Bates County, 1883, Goodspeed, p. 822.)
It is 5 miles south of Archie, (Cass County). (--The State of Missouri, in 1904, Walter Williams, p. 329.)
It is located as Sections 33 & 34, Township 42 N, and Sections 3 & 4, Township 41 N, all in Range 31 W, on Highways 18 & 71.
Altona (Grand River Township)
The village of Altona was laid out in January, 1860, by William Crawford, who was the proprietor of the town site. It occupies the northeast quarter and the northwest quarter of Sections 33 & 34. A man by the name of Scoggin erected the first business house in the town. About the year 1868, Harrison & Shoube erected a saw and grist-mill in the town. After being operated some time, the mill was taken down and moved to Cass County. (--History of Bates County, 1883, Goodspeed, p. 828.)
It was laid out by William Crawford, 1860. It had 1 public school, 1 Masonic Hall, 1 flouring mill and 3 stores. The population was about 200, (1874). (--Campbell's Gazetteer of Missouri, 1874, p. 57.)
It is located at Sections 33 & 34, Township 42 N, Range 30 W, at the junction of Highways 18 & Z. Mail by Adrian.
Amoret (Homer Township)
It is 3 1/2 miles north of Worland. (--The State of Missouri, in 1904, Walter Williams, p. 329.)
It is located at Sections 20, 21, 28 & 29, Township 40 N, Range 33 W, on Highways 52 & Y.
Amsterdam (West Point Township)
It is located at Sections 20 & 21, Township 41 N, Range 33 W, on Highway & north of J.
Athol (Lone Oak Township)
It was approximately 5 miles north of Rich Hill, on the Missouri Pacific Rail Road. (--Map of Missouri, 1925, Rand, McNally & Co.)
It was located at Section 7, Township 39 N, Range 31 W, on an unmarked road west of 71.
Ballard (Spruce Township)
Ballard is located at Sections 8 & 9, Township 41 N, Range 29 W, at the junction of Highways BB & 18.
It receives its mail from Butler.
Burdett (East Boone Township)
The town was surveyed and located in September, 1870, by Daniel Cothrien and Oliver B. Heath. It is on Section 20, Township 42 N, Range 32 W. The first house was erected by Tumbleson & Short, for a business house, soon after the town was laid out...The first postmaster was F. M. Tumbleson...The first mill was erected in Burdett in 1870 by A. D. Basore. It was destroyed by fire, and in 1874 another mill (saw & grist) was erected by Lewis Adams. In 1881 this mill was moved to Archie, (Cass County). (--History of Bates County, 1883, Goodspeed, p. 805.)
Burdett was laid out by the Hon. S. S. Burdett, September 27, 1870. It had 1 public school, 1 saw mill and 5 stores. , 1874, p. 57.(--Campbell's Gazetteer of Missouri, 1874, p. 57.)
It was approximately 5 miles northwest of Adrian, on R. F. D. from that point. (--The State of Missouri, in 1904, Walter Williams, p. 329.)
It was on Highway FF, north of 18.
Butler (Mount Pleasant Township)
It is located near the geographical center of the county...and occupies the west half of the northwest quarter of Section 23, and the northeast quarter of Section 22, and the north half of the southeast quarter of Section 22, Township 40 N, Range 31 W...
The old town of Butler was originally laid out in 1854, but was not made the county seat until 1856. The legislature passed an act approved March 1, 1851, which was as follows:
"If three-fifths of the qualified voters of Bates County shall petition the county court of said county for a removal of the county seat of said county from Papinsville to any other point in said county, it shall be the duty of said court to make an order for such removal, according to such petition, etc."
In accordance with the provisions of the above act, after the organization of Vernon County, which occurred in 1855, the county seat of Bates County was changed to Butler. The commissioners appointed by the legislature to select the new seat of justice were W. S. Sutherland and Achilles Easley...John C. Kennett was the original settler of the town-site, coming in 18--. His log cabin was located in lots 1, 2, 3, block 1, Montgomery's First Addition, where Evan's livery stable now stands (1883). (--History of Bates County, 1883, Goodspeed, pp. 855, 856.)
During the early days of the Civil War, in 1861, many of the buildings in Butler were destroyed by fire. Among them were the Christian Church together with all the business houses around the square. This act of incendiarism was perpetrated by a squad of cavalry sent from Kansas for that purpose, by the order of Colonel James Montgomery. The courthouse was also burned at the same time. Nearly all the residences were abandoned during the war, and the majority of these, in fact, almost all were burned at different times before and after the occupancy of the town by the military. The reason given for destroying the town was to prevent Southern sympathizers from harboring rebels.
The town of Butler was incorporated June 19, 1872...Butler was incorporated as a city of the fourth class April 7, 1879. (--History of Bates County, 1883, Goodspeed, pp. 858, 859.)
Butler was burned during the Civil War, but in 1866, the officers of the county returned to the site with the records and two small houses were built, one for a court house and one for a clerk's office...It has a handsome court house, 2 public schools, 4 churches, 2 flouring mills and 1 woolen factory, 7 dry goods stores, 6 grocery stores, 3 drug, 2 hardware stores, 3 harness, 2 jewelry, 2 furniture, 3 tin and stove stores, 4 wagon shops and 2 newspapers, (1874). (--Campbell's Gazetteer of Missouri, 1874, p. 57.)
It is located at the junction of Highways H, 71 & 52.
Samuel Dobbins located in the north part of the township prior to 1843...M. A. Morris was the blacksmith in the township. His shop was located on Section 24. (--History of Bates County, 1883, Goodspeed, p. 809.)
Coleville (Deer Creek Township)
Coleville was laid out the 29th of April, 1839, on the southwest quarter of the northeast quarter and the southeast quarter of the northeast quarter, and the north half of the northeast quarter of Section 25, Township 42 N, Range 31 W, by Silas Gilmore and Samuel Cole. It was a small place, containing a business house and a post-office, (1883). (--History of Bates County, 1883, Goodspeed, p. 823.)
(There is an unmarked road running east from Highway 71 north of Adrian to Highway Z, north of Altona, which runs near the former site of Coleville.)
It was south of Highway AA.
Cove City (Mingo Township)
H. D. Brooks was appointed the first postmaster in 1870. James Shaw succeeded him and is the present (1883) postmaster. James Shaw is the blacksmith and is the only business man in town. (--History of Bates County, 1883, Goodspeed, p. 851.)
A possible location was at Section 22, Township 41 N, Range 29 W, west of BB. (--New Atlas of Missouri, 1874, Map #25, in connection with General Highway Map of Bates Co.)
Crescent Hill (once known as Union Town)
Crescent Hill is located on Section 21, Township 42 N, Range 31 W. The original proprietors of the town site were William T. W. Elmore and John M. Rogers, who had the town surveyed in 1858. Crescent Hill was first called Union Town...W. T. Elmore was the first postmaster in the town in 1857...The post-office was discontinued in 1880...The first store was opened by Squire Hughes and David Hughes in 1858. The first blacksmith was a Mr. Brown, from Henry County. Before he came the settlers had to go to William Tyree, in Henry County, to get their plows sharpened. It took an ox team two days to make a trip...
The first post-office was established at the instance of Wyatt Sanford, postmaster at Butler, and John S. Phelps, then a representative in Congress. William T. Elmore was postmaster. The first carrier that brought the mail to the office was Harry Younger, the father of the somewhat celebrated Younger Brothers, now living a retired life in a State institution in Minnesota. Crescent Hill revived some what after the Civil War, but being missed by the railroad, its business has gone to Adrian, and its site is (1883) being converted into farms. (--History of Bates County, 1883, Goodspeed, p. 821.)
Crescent Hill is still on the map, but receives its mail from Adrian. It is located at Sections 21 & 22, Township 41 N, Range 31 W, at the junction of Highways 71 & AA.
It was in the southwest corner of Shawnee Township. (--Map of Missouri, 1925, Rand, McNally & Co.)
A possible location was Section 36, Township 41 N, Range 30 W, approximately halfway between Highway BB & VV, south of D.
Jacob Lutsenhiser was the pioneer miller of the township; his mill stood on Straight Branch and ground only corn. This was a water mill and was erected about the year 1841. Oliver Drake began to build a mill on the same site in 1854, but, dying before it was completed, it was never operated. The mill was located in the southeast quarter of northeast quarter of Section 22. (--History of Bates County, 1883, Goodspeed, p. 816.)
(The General Highway Map of Bates County shows a small stream at the above map co-ordinates, Section 22, Township 40, Range 29 W. Highway BB crosses a stream at about the above location.)
Oliver Drake came to the township in the fall of 1844, from Licking County, Ohio, and located on Section 22. He died in February, 1854. He held the position of postmaster on Section 22, the office being called Spruce Post-Office. This position he held for about five years. G. W. Ludwig succeeded Drake, as postmaster. The office was discontinued during the Civil War, re-established after the War, and finally discontinued entirely in 1866. (--History of Bates County, 1883, Goodspeed, p. 814.)
Deer Creek Township
Joseph J. McCraw of Halifax County, Virginia, married Sarah Hendricks, of Kentucky...In 1839 J. J. McCraw and his sons came to what is now Deer Creek Township, and raised a crop, but did not move the family till the spring of 1849. (--History of Bates County, 1883, Goodspeed, p. 818.)
Allen Ingle moved to Section 1. He lived in the northeast corner of the township, and built the first mill (water mill) grist and saw mill, on Grand River, that was erected in the township. This mill was erected about the year 1850. It was many years afterwards converted into a steam flouring mill. (--History of Bates County, 1883, Goodspeed, p. 820.)
Drexel is in the extreme northwest corner of the county, the greater portion being in Cass County; the Cass County population being 558, while the Bates County population is 93, as of 4-1-70.
It is located at Section 6, Township 42 N, Range 33 W, on Highways 18 & A.
Elkhart Township before the Civil War of 1861 was very thinly settled. Jesse Lovelace and Vinson Martin were among the first to settle in Elkhart Township...The first mill (saw mill) erected in the township was put up by Merritt Zinn & Company about the year 1870. (--History of Bates County, 1883, Goodspeed, pp. 824, 826.)
Elkhart was in Elkhart Township, approximately 8 miles east of Amsterdam. (--Map of Missouri, 1925, Rand, McNally & Co.)
A possible location was near an unmarked road between Highways C & FF, in Township 41 N, Range 32 W, Section unknown.
Feely (Lone Oak Township)
It was southwest of Butler, and north of Athol. (--Map of Missouri, 1925, Rand, McNally & Co.)
A possible location was Section 6, Township 39 N, Range 31 W, on an unmarked road leading north from Athol.
Foster (New Home Township)
Foster is 5 miles east of Worland. (--The State of Missouri, in 1904, Walter Williams, p. 329.)
It is located at Sections 13 & 14, Township 39 N, Range 33 W, at the junction of Highways U & DD.
It came into existence in 1821, under the auspices of the American Board of Home Missions, and continued its labors among the Osage Indians until they were removed west by the Government, in 1837. The mission was then broken up, and the missionaries separated, some returning to their former homes in the East, others locating in Henry County, and others remaining in Bates. The old mission buildings...were bought by the Government in 1838, which paid therefor the sum of $8,000. There remains at this time (1883) nothing to denote the spot on which the buildings once stood, or the locality of the mission except a few trees of the old apple orchard which were planted by the missionary hands soon after their settlement, nor is there remaining anything to indicate that at this point was located, for the space of seven years, the first county seat of Bates County.
Captain William Waldo opened the first store at Harmony Mission, in 1838. He brought his goods overland from Lexington, Missouri, in wagons drawn by ox teams, a distance of 150 miles. Hubbard & Loring brought the first stock of goods to Harmony Mission after the place became the county seat in 1841.
Freeman Burrows was the first postmaster after the town became the seat of justice...The first post-office, although located at Harmony Mission, was called Batesville. In 1848, the county seat was located at Papinsville, and in the course of a few years the old town of Harmony Mission was numbered with the things of the past. (--History of Bates County, 1883, Goodspeed, pp. 925, 926.)
It was near the present site of Papinsville, possibly in Sections 8 & 9, Township 39 N, Range 30 W. (--New Atlas of Missouri, 1874, Map #25, in connection with the General Highway Map of Bates County.)
About the year 1820, a delegate from the Osage Indians being in Washington on business wtih the government, expressed a desire to have missionaries sent to his people, who were occupying the southwestern part of what is now known as Bates County. The American Board of commissioners for Foreign Missions, determined to comply with his request, and in 1821, a party was made up for this purpose. They left Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and, after a long and arduous journey they reached Rapid De Kaw, three miles below Papinsville, having been six months on the way. They found at the Indian village at what is now known as Papinsville, some French and half-breed traders, but it is not known when they first located there. These Frenchmen and half-breeds were not permanent settlers. They were doubtless from St. Louis and were buying furs and peltries from the Indians...
As soon as possible schools were established for the Indian children...The mission was kept up til 1837, when the Indians having been removed Westward there was no further use for it, and accordingly it was disbanded. (--History of Bates County, 1883, Goodspeed, pp. 796, 797, 798, 799.)
About the year 1870 a saw mill was erected by John A. Lefker on the Marais des Cynge at what is now known as Hawkins Ford, lot 2, Section 5, Township 39, Range 33 W. In 1875 a grist mill was added by the same person, along the Kansas border. (--History of Bates County, 1883, Goodspeed, p. 842.)
It was north of Worland.
Hudson City (Hudson Township)
The little town of Hudson was located April 10, 1867, by Judge Charles I. Robards...The town site occupied the east half of Lot 5, northeast quarter and east half of Lot 6, and northeast quarter and east half of the west half of Lot 5, and the northeast quarter of Section 3, Township 39 N, Range 29 W. The first building in the place was erected by Smith Brothers of Clinton in Henry County...The first blacksmith was Alexander Gordon. Joel Pratt was the first postmaster and was succeeded by James E. Matthews...The town was nearly depopulated when Appleton City sprung up...The first school in the townshp was taught by Cynthia Tousley, a sister of Judge Charles I. Robards. This was in 1843, and was taught at the residence of Richard Stratton, near the present (1883) town of Hudson. (--History of Bates County, 1883, Goodspeed, pp. 839, 840.)
Hudson was located at Section 2, Township 29 N, Range 29 W, on Highway 52, W and BB.
Hume (Howard Township)
Hume is 7 1/2 miles west of Sprague. (--The State of Missouri, in 1904, Walter Williams, p. 329.)
It is located at Sections 17, 18, 7 & 8, Township 38 N, Range 33 W, on Highway A, west of V.
This town was laid out August 1, 1880, by Noah Little and surveyed by Edmond L. Butts. The town is located in the southeast quarter of the southwest quarter of Section 8, Township 38 N, Range 33 W. In April, 1882, S. L. Standish laid out an addition on the north consisting of the south half of the northeast quarter of the southwest quarter of Section 8, Township 38 N, Range 33 W. The railroad runs between the original town and Standish's addition. The town has a public square 200x200 yards.
D. H. Hill built the first business house and had the first stock of goods, having moved them from Walnut Post-office in Walnut Township. Messrs. Messenger, Fisher and Kell erected a grist mill in the fall of 1882. (--History of Bates County, 1883, Goodspeed, pp. 830, 831.)
It is in the southwest corner of the county. (--Map of Missouri, 1925, Rand, McNally & Co.)
Johnstown (Spruce Township)
The first store in Johnstown was kept by Dan and Jim Johnson, in 1845. They were followed by Dick McClure and John Harbert and son. John Hull was the first blacksmith. Harmony Mission, West Point, Harrisonville and Clinton were the nearest of other towns. The first post-office was in 1848 or 1849. Before that they went to Deepwater, in Henry County, for their mail. (--History of Bates County, 1883, Goodspeed, p. 945.)
It is located at Section 36, Township 40 N, Range 29 W, on Highways D & OO. Mail through Montrose, Henry County.
There is a Johnstown in Jasper County, (part of Joplin).
Keith (Osage Township)
It was in Osage Township, between Hume and Rich Hill. (--Map of Missouri, 1925, Rand, McNally & Co.)
A possible location was near the highway junction of Highways A & U, in Section unknown, Township 38 N, Range 32 W.
There is a Keithtown in Miller County.
It is located at Section 5, Township 41 N, Range 32 W, on Highway 18, east of Merwin. Mail through Adrian.
Lahai (Hudson Township)
About the year 1837 a post-office was established, called Lahai, in Hudson Township, but after being kept up for about four years was discontinued in 1842. John W. Brown was the first postmaster succeeded by Clark Wix. (--History of Bates County, 1883, Goodspeed, p. 840.)
Lone Oak Post Office (Pleasant Gap Township)
Near the western line of the township, and located in the southeast part of Section 18, was a post-office called Lone Oak. A small trading-post was established there as early as 1854. The place was christened Stump Town, and has ever since rejoiced in that euphonius name. W. B. Young was the father of the village, opening the first business house in 1854...Young was the sole editor of the Stump Town Clipper, which appeared at irregular intervals in manuscript form. The happenings, the sayings and the doings of the neighborhood were all faithfully gathered and garnered by this original chronicler...
David Laskey was postmaster and merchant; John Starr was blacksmith. D. P. lee and J. D. Donohue were physicians. (--History of Bates County, 1883, Goodspeed, pp. 850, 851.)
It was near Highway N, near Double Branch and South Double Branch, possibly Section 7, Township 39 N, Range 30 W, on Highway N. (--New Atlas of Missouri, 1874, Map #25, in conjunction with General Highway Map of Bates County.
Maysburg (Mingo Township, now spelled Mayesburg)
Mayes and Carlton built the first house in 1878, and were the first merchants. L. O. Carlton was the first postmaster; D. R. Gordon the first blacksmith and Dr. M. Duttler the first physician. (--History of Bates County, 1883, Goodspeed, p. 851.)
It is in the northeast section of the county, west of Urich, (Henry County). (--The State of Missouri, in 1904, Walter Williams, p. 329.)
It is located at Sections 25, 26, Township 42 N, Range 29 W, on Highway MM, east of BB. Mail through Urich.
Marvel Post-Office (Walnut Township)
It was located in Section 2; it was originally in Section 1. Jamison D. Dickey was the first postmaster, receiving the appointment in 1846...Joseph Kincaid and D. Park opened a small stock of goods at Marvel Post-office in about 1868, at James Campbell's residence.
The first store opened in the township was by a man named Jewell, in Section 1, before the war of 1861. The present (1883) postmaster at Marvel Post-office has a small stock of goods and groceries.
James McDaniel also sold goods before the Civil War, at a little place called Louisville, in Section 5, at the mouth of Mine Creek. McDaniel started the town of Louisville and named it after Louisville, Kentucky. The town ceased to exist after the War. (--History of Bates County, 1883, Goodspeed, p. 958.)
It was located at Section 2, Township 39 N, Range 33 W, on Highway V, east of Marais Des Cynges River. (--New Atlas of Missouri, 1874, Map #25, in connection with General Highway Map of Bates County.)
Merwin (West Boone Township)
Merwin is located at Section 32, Township 42 N, Range 33 W, at the junction of 18 & Y. Mail through Amsterdam.
The first mill was erected at Settle Ford by Nicholas Poage. (--History of Bates County, 1883, Goodspeed, p. 851.)
A possible location was at Section 33, Township 39 N, Range 31 W. (--Map of Western States, 1911, Rand, McNally & Co.)
It was on Miami Creek, southwest of Butler, on the Missouri Pacific Railroad. (--Map of Missouri, 1925, Rand, McNally & Co.)
Mulberry Post-Office (Homer Township)
About the year 1867 or 1868 the Government established, at the house of Robert Leech, what has since been known as Mulberry Post-office, Robert Leech being the first postmaster. (--History of Bates County, 1883, Goodspeed, p. 843.)
It was located at Section 10, Township 40 N, Range 33 W, on an unmarked county road, the second one north of Amoret, east of Y.
There is a Mulberry in Barton County.
New Home Township
A man called Haymaker erected a grist and saw mill on the Marais Des Cynges about the year 1870, in Section 6. The mill washed away in 1880, and nothing of it is left to mark the spot where it stood. There is now (1883) no grist mill in the township.
John Littleford now (1883) runs a saw mill, and also Samuel Frickes and ____ Bell have a small mill. (--History of Bates County, 1883, Goodspeed, p. 892.)
A possible location is at Section 29, Township 39 N, Range 32 W, on Highway U, east and south of Foster.
New Home Townsite (New Home Township)
New Home was laid out about the year 1869, on the southwest quarter of Section 20, Township 39 N, Range 32 W. Colonel Samuel F. Hawkins was the original prorietor of the townsite, and built the first house in the town December, 1870, for a residence. Col. Hawkins had improved a farm in Section 29, in 1858, the improvements of which were burned during the Civil War. After the War he erected the house above mentioned, on the site of New Home. His wife before moving into the building told her husband that they would call their place of residence our "New Home", and from this the town took its name--New Home.
It was located at Section 20, Township 39 N, Range 32 W, on Highway U, and south of Foster.
Ovid was in Lone Oak Township, north of Rich Hill, south of Athol. (--Map of Missouri, 1925, Rand, McNally & Co.)
It was located at Township 39 N, Section unknown, Range 31 W.
Papinville (or Papinsville, Prairie Township)
It was laid out in April, 1847, and was located on the southeast quarter of Section 16, Township 38 N, Range 30 W, and was named after Melicourt Papin, a Frenchman, and an Indian Trader.
The original proprietor of the town site, was George Pierce; he "squatted" there about the year 1844, and followed agricultural pursuits. Dr. Samuel Hogan was the pioneer physician of the town...He came from Cooper County, Missouri, and died about 1850. The first drug store in the town was opened by Dr. Zachariah Anderson, who located in Papinville in 1844, and died there in 1868...He was a native of Tennessee.
Benjamin Richardson operated the first mill in 1853...The mill remained intact until the breaking out of the War of 1861, when it was destroyed by fire...The postmasters before the Civil War were Dr. Z. Anderson, J. L. Richardson, and John Richardson...The county seat was again changed in 1856, to Butler. Papinville during the years 1852, 1854 and 1855 was the center of much business.
The town is located on the east bank of the Marais Des Cynges, about three miles above its junction with the Osage. The river at the town is perhaps two hundred feet in width from bank to bank when the water is very high, but in normal times the water is very low--scarcely entitling the stream to be dignified with the name of a creek.
In the spring of 1844, the little steamer, "Maid of the Osage" ascended the river to Harmony Mission, three miles above Papinville, in command of Captain William Waldo...His starting point was Jefferson City, his destination Harmony Mission. After the "Maid of the Osage" returned to Jefferson City, other boats ascended the river, some of them making two or three trips during the spring.
The U. S. Mail landed at Papinville in 1856...The town of Osceola, the county seat of St. Clair County, on the Osage, is now (1883) about the head of navigation. (--History of Bates County, 1883, Goodspeed, pp. 929, 930, 931.)
It is located at Section 16, Township 38 N, Range 30 W, at the south end of Highway N.
Parkerville (Boone Township)
Parkerville was one of the oldest towns in the county. It was laid out in June, 1857, by Wiley Parker, after whom it was named on Section 28, Township 42 N, Range 32 W. John Frazier was the proprietor of a grocery store at an early day. John T. Peck was one of the pioneers of the town.
Wilson & Feely were there soon after the town was laid out, selling goods. Dr. Thomas F. Atherton was the first physician; W. H. Atherton was the first blacksmith. The town was destroyed during the war of 1861. A corn field now (1883) marks the spot where it stood. (--History of Bates County, 1883, Goodspeed, p. 805.)
Highway FF runs on the north and east side of this section.
There is a Parkville in Platte County.
Passaic is north of Butler, in Section 28 & 33, Township 41 N, Range 31 W, on Highways D, F, & 71.
Peru is located at Sections 2 & 12, Township 39 N, Range 31 W, on an unmarked county road west of Highway N, south of Highway 52. Mail through Butler.
Pleasant Gap Township
The first post-office in the eastern part of the county was established in 1840, near where Pleasant Gap Village now (1883) is. An old man from Kentucky, named Anderson Cockrell, was the postmaster. A mail route was established from Boonville through Clinton and Pleasant Gap to Balltown.
A man named Beaver established the first blacksmith shop one-quarter of a mile north of where Pleasant Gap now (1883) stands. Previous to that the settlers went to William Tyree, who had a shop on Deepwater just over the Henry County line. (--History of Bates County, 1883, Goodspeed, pp. 919, 920.)
Pleasant Gap Village (Pleasant Gap Township)
The first store at Pleasant Gap was kept by a man named Joseph Smith. The exact date is not known, but was about 1850. Abner Bryant, the son-in-law of Smith, assisted him in his store. Bryant was killed at the battle of Lone Jack. (--History of Bates County, 1883, Goodspeed, p. 921.)
It is located at Sections 11 & 12, Township 39 N, Range 30 W, on Highway O, south of Highway 52. Mail through Butler.
Pleasant Ridge is located at Section 33, Township 40 N, and Section 5, Township 39 N, Range 29 W, on Highway 52, west of BB.
There is a Pleasant Ridge in Barry County; mail through Verona.
Prairie City (Prairie Township)
Prarie (sic) City was laid out May 2, 1858, by Joshua N. Durand, on Sections 12 & 13, in Township 38 N, Range 30 W. There has been a post-office there for a number of years, (1883); the first and present (1883) postmaster being John Durand, the son of Joshua. John Durand was the proprietor of the single business house at that point. (--History of Bates County, 1883, Goodspeed, p. 931.)
It is locatd on Highway O, south of Highway B. Mail through Rockville.
Among the original settlers, outside of Harmony Mission (q.v.), was John B. Chorette, a Frenchman. It is not known at what precise period he settled in the township, but it is known that he erected a water mill on the Marais Des Cynges, about two miles above Harmony Mission, in 1833 or 1834. He continued to operate the same for several years, when he sold to John M. Parks, another pioneer. The mill was destroyed during the Civil War, while it was the property of Parks. This was doubtless the first mill of any kind, excepting the missionary mill, that was erected in the county. Parks was a native of Pennsylvania. (--History of Bates County, 1883, Goodspeed, p. 924.)
Rich Hill (Osage Township)
The city of Rich Hill was laid out for the Rich Hill Town Company, a corporation composed of business men, mostly citizens of Bates County, by B. B. Singleton, Esq., Civil Engineer of the Lexington & Southern Railroad, in June, 1880...The town when first laid out occupied the northeast and northwest quarter of Section 8, Township 38 N, Range 31 W. Since that time a total of 14 additions have been taken within the corporate limits.
It was organized as a village on May 10, 1880...February 25, 1881, Rich Hill was organized as a city of the fourth class. (--History of Bates County, 1883, Goodspeed, pp. 896, 898.)
It is located on Highways A, B & 71.
Rockville (Rockville Township)
The town of Rockville was laid out July 29, 1868, by William L. Hardesty, and is situated on the northwest quarter of Section 14, Township 39 N, Range 29 W...Nicholas Johannes erected the first business house in the town...Rockville was incorporated in May, 1878. It had three churches and some mills. There were three run of stone, two for wheat and one for corn. (--History of Bates County, 1883, Goodspeed, pp. 935, 936.)
Highway B runs at the northeast edge of Rockville.
One of the first to settle within the present (1883) limits of Rockville Township was Robert Belcher, a native of Virginia. In 1818, he removed to Clarke County, Kentucky; thence to Madison County, in that State. In 1825, he emigrated to Boone County, Missouri; in 1838 he came to Bates County.
In 1856, there was not a church edifice or school house in the present (1883) limits of Rockville Township. (--History of Bates County, 1883, Goodspeed, p. 934.)
Reavely was north of Rich Hill. (--The State of Missouri, in 1904, Walter Williams, p. 329.)
Rosier (West Boone Township)
Rosier was a small place, located in September, 1881, at which time Bryant Brothers & McDaniel opened a store, general merchandise. L. R. Robinson opened a drug store about the same time. Sharples was the blacksmith in 1883. R. S. Bennett was the physician. H. White operated a grist mill at Rosier, and ran it about a year. This is the only grist mill that was erected in the township. (--History of Bates County, 1883, Goodspeed, p. 807.)
Rucker was east of Worland on the (now abandoned) Missouri Pacific Railroad, which ran between Pleasanton, Kansas, and Monteith Junction, south of Butler. (--Map of Western States, 1911, Rand, McNally & Co.)
There is a Rucker in Boone County.
Elisha Evans, a native of Virginia, married Mary Ann Estes, of Kentucky. Dates of births and marriages unknown. Emigrated to Saline County, Missouri, thence to Lafayette County, where their son John was born. Eventually then went to what is now Bates County...Mr. Evans, with his family, emigrated to what is now Bates, (then included in Jackson County), in 1832 or 1833, and took up a claim in what is now Section 11, Shawnee Township. Their neighbors were few and far between...The nearest town was Independence. There were three little cabins at Pleasant Hill (old town), in one of which a man named Wright was selling goods. They had no mail, so there was no trouble in getting to the post-office...
There were no schools for ten years. John Evans went for a short term to a school at Pleasant Hill, and then to one near Lone Jack...The first school was taught in the township in 1842 in a small log cabin that was located near Elk Fork Creek. Nothing is known about the teacher.
The first apple orchard that was set out in the township was planted by Elisha Evans on his old home place. Mr. Evans raised the first wheat that was grown in the township, and possibly the first crop in the county outside of the Harmony Mission Settlement.
The first minister of the gospel was Dr. Amasa Jones, one of the missionaries who came with others from the East in 1821, and settled with them at Harmony Mission. He was a Presbyterian. Services were held in the school house above mentioned. No church edifice has ever been erected in the township (as of 1883). (--History of Bates County, 1883, Goodspeed, pp. 938, 939, 940, 941.)
Sprague (Howard Township)
Sprague was laid out in the fall of 1880, on the south half of the northwest quarter of Section 9, Township 38 N, Range 32 W, by A. Blaker, of Pleasanton, Kansas, and was surveyed by Edwin Butts. The first house in the town was moved from New Home, by Charles Wilson, who was a farmer, residing in Howard Township. He purchased the building from Fisher & Thomas of New Home, and after taking it to Sprague, he occupied it as a residence and store...The town had no public square, but two of its main streets were 100 feet wide...The town was incorporated in August, 1880...There was but one church (1883). It was owned by the Christians. The Baptists, however, contributed largely toward erecting it. It was a frame building and cost about $1,500. (--History of Bates County, 1883, Goodspeed, p. 830.)
Sprague is 6 miles west of Rich Hill. (--The State of Missouri, in 1904, Walter Williams, p. 329.)
It is located on Highway JJ, south of A. Mail through Rich Hill.
The pioneer who preceded all others to Spruce Township was James Stewart, who came as early as 1832, and located where Johnstown is now situated, in the southeast portion of the township. (--History of Bates County, 1883, Goodspeed, p. 943.)
Spruce (Spruce Township)
Spruce is in the eastern part of the county, on R. F. D. from Montrose, (Henry County). (--The State of Missouri, in 1904, Walter Williams, p. 329.)
It is located at Section 16, Township 40 N, Range 29 W, on Highway H, west of the Henry County line. Mail through Butler.
"Spy Mound" (Homer Township)
This elevation of land occupies nearly one hundred and sixty acres of Section 17. Its summit reaches an altitude of about one hundred feet, from which can be seen the City of Butler, Pleasant Gap, and other points, ranging at a distance of twelve to twenty miles. The surface of the mound is covered with limestone rock, and from its side gushes a small, perennial stream of water.
Northwest of the mound, three-quarters of a mile, is a region of country which is noted in the history of Kansas, not only because John Brown, of Harper's Ferry notoriety, once lived there, but because it is in the immediate vicinity of what was known as the "Hamilton Massacre", which occurred a few years before the Civil War of 1861.
"Spy Mound", during the residence of John Brown in the neighborhood, was a kind of watch-tower to which he and his friends often went, in the days of border ruffianism, to watch the coming of the foe. (--History of Bates County, 1883, Goodspeed, p. 844.)
For a fuller description of "Spy Mound", it is suggested that pages 844 and 845 of History of Bates County be read.
See Lone Oak Post-Office.
Reuben Harrell and his wife (whose maiden name was Rachel Wolfe) emigrated from Kentucky to Pettis County, Missouri, in 1833 and moved to what is now Summitt Township, in Bates County, in 1842...
There was (in 1883) no church building in the township used exclusively as such. The different denominations held their meetings in the school houses, with which the township was well supplied. (--History of Bates County, 1883, Goodspeed, pp. 949, 951.)
Tiger is located at Section 17, Township 39 N, Range 33 W, near the west edge of the county, on Highway U, west of Foster. Mail through Hume.
Vinton (West Point Township)
This town was laid out about the year 1867, in the eastern part of the township. A man by the name of Swink made the first improvements--a horse mill for grinding corn and run by steam. Swink sold to William Morris in 1872, and the mill was finally moved to Sugar Creek in Kansas. The next business was carried on by A. J. Christler. Felix Cox built the next business house; J. P. Willis the next. The first postmaster was A. J. Christler. In 1883 the postmaster was David Martin, who also owned and operated the only store, groceries, etc. (--History of Bates County, 1883, Goodspeed, p. 976.)
A possible location was at Section 24, Township 41 N, Range 33 W, west of Burdett. (--New Atlas of Missouri, 1874, Map # 25, in connection wtih General Highway Map of Bates County.)
Virginia Post-Office (now known as Virginia)
The above point of trade first commenced with a post-office, July 4, 1871. The postmaster was Thomas H. Stauer, and the office was kept one-half mile east of the present (1883) one. In October, 1874, Mr. James O'Rear established the first store where Virginia now is, and was postmaster...Virginia was settled by a number of families from Virginia. (--History of Bates County, 1883, Goodspeed, pp. 809, 810.)
It is located at Sections 17 & 18, Township 40 N, Range 32 W, at the junction of Highways V & K. Mail through Butler.
One of the earliest settlers of Walnut Township was Hon. John McHenry who had the honor of being the first representative in the general assembly from Bates County. He was a native of Wayne County, Kentucky, where he was born in 1797. He emigrated to Missouri in 1840 and was elected to the legislature in 1842.
There was no school or school house until about 1845, when the congressional township now forming Walnut, was organized into a school district. There were about twenty-five pupils in the district...People went to Little Osage for their mail. The first post-office in Walnut Township was established at Marvel, (q.v.). J. D. Dickey was the first postmaster. Mark West was the contractor for carrying the mail. The mail route was from Harrisonville, by West Point and Marvel, to Papinville. (--History of Bates County, 1883, Goodspeed, p. 956.)
Walnut (Walnut Township)
Walnut was located at Section 21, Township 39 N, Range 33 W, on Highway V, southwest of Foster. (--New Atlas of Missouri, 1874, Map # 25, in connection with General Highway Map of Bates County.)
Walnut Post-office was located in the southeast corner of Section 16. Doolittle & Morse (John Doolittle and C. Y. Morse) were the original proprietors of the town about 1872. C. Y. Morse operated a store (general assortment). Morse was the first and is the present (1883) postmaster. Berry kept a drug store in the place about 1879. Lee Peak sold dry goods there also in 1878. The town had two blacksmiths, A. H. Loyd and John Craig. Dr. Splawn was the physician...The saw mill in the township was owned by Overdear & Dickey. (--History of Bates County, 1883, Goodspeed, p. 958.)
West Point was one of the oldest towns in the county...It was located near the Kansas line, as early as 1850, the land upon which the town was founded having been entered by Thomas Barnett and Sidney Adams in 1843...The land forming the townsite is in the northwest quarter of Section 8, Township 41 N, Range 33 W. (There is a cemetery there now. The townsite may be reached by going south from Merwin, on Highway Y, to the first unmarked road. This road goes west or to the right, making a circle past the old townsite, and then comes back to Y.)
West Point was located on the main Texas cattle trail, and before the border trouble with Kansas, enjoyed a good trade from that state. West Point also had a weekly newspaper, the West Point Banner, Democratic in politics. Thomas H. Stearns, who then (1858) resided at Butler, was the editor. Stearns died after the close of the Civil War. His press, type, and everything belonging to the office was destroyed, in the fall of 1861, by a company of men from Kansas, commanded by Gen. James H. Lane.
West Point contained several stores, blacksmith shops and a mill, which was the first mill in the township. This mill was propelled by ox power, the oxen being placed abreast and made to walk on an inclined plane. It was called a "tread mill". Wyatt Sanford was the postmaster about the year 1836...In addition to the above mentioned business houses, West Point had four hotels, and sixteen business houses all told.
West Point was subjected to the torch during the Civil War, and scarcely one store was left to tell that the town ever existed. Since the war a small business and post-office was kept there by different parties. Mr. Burns was the postmaster in 1883. He also was the business man. Dr. L. G. Hayes was the physician and druggist. H. H. Tipton was the blacksmith. (--History of Bates County, 1883, Goodspeed, pp. 960, 961, 962.)
It was located at Section 8, Township 41 N, Range 33 W, on Highway 18, south of Merwin.
Worland is located at Section 7, Township 39 N, Range 33 W, at the north end of Highway U. Mail through Hume.
Bates County Table of Contents
Local History Home