A Directory of Towns, Villages, and Hamlets
Past and Present
of Cass County, Missouri

Compiled by Arthur Paul Moser


Cass County

[I]

By act of the General Assembly approved the 16th day of November, 1820, Lillard County was organized so as to include Cass County (laws, 1804-1824, page 646, section 1). By an act of the General Assembly approved February 16, 1825, Jackson County was organized so as to include the present Cass County. A provision in this act left Cass County "to be attached to and form a part of Lafayette County for civil and military purposes" (laws of Missouri, 1825, page 242, section 30). This act also provided "the laws relating to Lillard County should apply to the new county of Lafayette. By section 47, Revised Statutes of 1835, page 140, Van Buren County was organized out of Jackson County and included the present county of Cass. Section 43, R. S. 1845, page 284, and act of 1840-1 page 46 changed the boundary lines of the county.

About this time Martin Van Buren, after whom our county was named, displeased his former political adherents. So by the act of the General Assembly, approved February 19, 1849, at page 30, section 1, the name of our county was changed from Van Buren to Cass. What a change from address to Martin Van Buren. Act 1841, page 331. The name Cass County coming from Lewis Cass, then Senator from Michigan.

By an act of the Missouri General Assembly approved February 17, 1851, at page 188, the boundary lines of Cass County were changed by the cutting off of Bates County on the south. By the act of said legislative body of the State, approved February 22, 1855, at pages 11 and 12, some changes in the south line of Cass County were made. This was necessitated by the organization of Vernon County formerly enacted, having been by the Supreme Court of the State declared unconstitutional. (See State ex. rel. & c. vs. Scott, 17 Mo. page 521.) R. S. 1855, page 473, section 51, established the boundary lines of Cass County, Missouri as they are to this day, viz: (The boundaries are too lengthy to record here, but may be found in History of Cass Co., Glenn, 1917, p. 103.)

When Van Buren County was organized the General Assembly in the act of organization, provided that David Waldo, of Lafayette County, Samuel Hink and William Brown of Jackson County, be appointed as commissioners to select the permanent seat of justice, and directed the same be selected near the geographical center of the county, not exceeding five miles from the center thereof.

(There is some question as to the members of the commission.) Be that as it may be the seat of justice was located at the present site of Harrisonville... (--Hist. of Cass Co., 1917, Allen Glenn, pp. 102, 103, 104.)

[II]

The county seat of Van Buren (the former name of Cass) is not yet located, and the conflicting interests of the settlements on the main Grand River water and on the timbered land of Big Creek...may for some time delay the location of the seat of justice; but when a spot for the county seat is selected, it is in contemplation to call it "Democrat." There is at present but one store in Van Buren (1837) and this is situated on a high point of prairie, adjoining a grove of timber, on one of the numerous branches of Big Creek... Wetmore's Gazetteer of the State of Missouri, 1837, (Someone has pencilled "Pleasant Hill" in the margin adjacent to this entry.)

[III]

Austin Township

Among the earliest settlers in Austin Township were Major John M. Clark, who located about three miles east of Austin, prior to 1839, on the waters of Sugar Creek... p. 119.

Big Creek Township

Among the very earliest settlers to seek a home in Cass County (Big Creek Township) were Henry Burris, who was one of the county judges of the county court from 1837 to 1844...129.

Camp Branch Township

Among the earliest settlers of this township was Frederick Bouse, from Pennsylvania. He came about the year 1833, and opened a farm upon Camp Branch... p. 134.

Coldwater Township

The original settler in Coldwater Township was John Parsons who came as early as 1830 or 1831, and took a claim in Section 2. p. 131.

Dayton Township

From the best information that could be obtained...it is supposed that Isaac Blazer was the first white man to locate in this township. He was a Pennsylvanian by birth but emigrated from Ohio to Cass County, where he arrived about the year 1837, taking a claim one mile southeast of the town of Dayton...p. 144.

Dolan Township

Among the pioneers of Dolan Township was James Dolan, the man for whom the township was named. He was a native of Washington County, Virginia, from whence he emigrated in 1840, arriving in Cass County, Missouri in the spring of that year, and settling on Pony Creek, one mile west of Freeman, in Dolan Township...149.

Everett Township

Everett Township is one of the southern townships of the county, and borders upon the line between the counties of Cass and Bates...One of the first emigrants to what is now known as Everett Township, was Jesse Sims...He settled in Cass County in 1843... p. 163.

[IV]

Grand River Township

Martin Burriss...was born in St. Charles County, Missouri, in 1812, and came to Cass County in the spring of 1834. He located on what was called Peck's Creek, named after Andrew J. Peck...p. 167.

Index Township

Sandford Payne was one of the first settlers in Cass County. He came in 1837 and opened a farm where later the town of Index stood... p.201.

Mount Pleasant Township

Among the early settlers of Mount Pleasant Township was Jacob Kenney, from Tennessee. He located in Jackson County near the county line, and purchased land in Cass County, in Mount Pleasant Township onto which he moved prior to 1843...p.208.

Peculiar Township

Robert A. Brown...born in Roane County, East Tennessee...came to Cass County or to Van Buren...in 1842. p. 216.

Pleasant Hill Township

According to the most authentic statements made...Pleasant Hill Township was the home of the first white man who wended his way into Van Buren, now Cass County. His name was David Creek, originally from Indiana, but from Jackson County to Cass. He came to Pleasant Hill Township, as now erected, in the spring of 1828, and settled on Section 6, Township 46 N, Range 30 West. p. 225.

Polk Township

It is quite difficult...to determine exactly who were the first white men to locate in Polk Township, and just exactly when they came...Enough, however, is known of the early history of the township, to warrant the statement that three families bearing respectively the names of Worden, Butler and Riddle, came about the same time from Jackson County, Missouri, to Cass, or what was then Van Buren County, in the winter of 1830 or the spring of 1831...pp. 255, 256.

[V]

Raymore Township

During the many long years that intervened between the date of the first settlements of the county and the breaking out of the Civil War in 1861, there had been but three permanent residents within the limits of what is now known as Raymore Township. These men were N. E. Harrelson, George J. Yost and Joseph Gilmore...pp. 263, 264.

Sherman Township

The pioneer who first built his cabin in Sherman Township was a native of Patrick County, Virginia, where he was born in 1800. The name of the first resident was A. W. Smith, who came to Cass County in January, 1836, and located on Walnut Creek, in Section 36, Township 44 N, Range 29 W...p. 261.

Union Township

One of the earliest settlers of this township was Abel Massey, from Tennessee. He came prior to 1838 and located three miles west of the village of West Union...p.271.

West Dolan Township

West Dolan Township was formerly a part of Dolan Township. The latter being divided in 18--...One of the earliest settlers in West Dolan Township died in California, in 1881. This was Charles Hamilton, an Irishman, who entered land in the northeastern corner of the township...p. 149.

West Peculiar Township

James A. Burney settled in West Peculiar Township in 1840, coming from Cooper County, Missouri... p. 222. (--History of Cass County, 1883, St. Joseph Steam Printing Co., printers binders, etc.)


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