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

Compiled by Arthur Paul Moser


Greene County

[1]

Upon the admission of Missouri into the Union, the territory now comprising Greene County--at least by far the greater portion, the possible exception being a strip along the northern part--was in what was known as Wayne County, one of the original counties of Missouri Territory organized in 1818. January 23, 1829, Crawford County was formed out of Wayne, and the present limits of Greene were embraced therein. Four years later, on January 2, 1833, Greene County was created by special act of the legislature. The limits extended to the western and southern boundaries of the state, to the Gasconade River to the east, and to the Osage Fork on the north. The following is the act of the legislature organizing the county and describing its metes and bounds:

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Missouri (as follows):

1. All that part of the territory lying south of the township line between Townships thirty-four and thirty-five, extending in a direct line due west from the point where the said township line crosses the main Niangua River, to the western boundary of the state, and south and west of the county of Crawford, which is not included in the limits of any other county, and which was attached to the said county of Crawford, by joint resolution of the General Assembly, of the State of Missouri, approved on the eighteenth day of January, eighteen hundred and thirty-one, be and the same is hereby organized into a separate and distinct county to be called and known by the name of Greene County, in honor of Nathaniel Greene, of the Revolution.

2. The qualified voters residing in the limits of the said county shall meet at the place at present appointed by law for holding elections, on the first Monday of February next, for the purpose of choosing three fit and proper persons to compose the county court of said county, and one fit and proper person to act as sheriff, and the persons so selected shall be commissioned by the Governor, and shall hold their office until the next general election for those offices, and until their successors are duly appointed and qualified.

3. The county court, when organized as aforesaid, shall have power to designate the place of holding the county and circuit courts within and for said county of Greene, until otherwise provided by law.

4. The county court of the said county of Greene shall be holden on the second Mondays of March, June, September and December.

5. The election proposed to be holden under the provisions of the second section of this act, shall be governed and conducted in all respects by laws relating to general elections, except that returns thereof, instead of being made to the clerk of the county court, shall be made directly to the Governor, who shall issue commissions accordingly. January 2, 1833.

[2]

(See "Territorial Laws of Missouri", otherwise Laws passed between 1824 and 1836, Vol. 2, 1842, p. 306, chap. 235.)

The territory originally embraced within the county of Greene, by the foregoing act, comprised what is now all of the counties of McDonald, Newton, Jasper, Barton, Dade, Lawrence, Barry, Stone, Christian, Greene and Webster, and the greater portion of the counties of Taney, Dallas, Polk and Cedar, and parts of Laclede, Vernon and Wright and Douglas, while a large portion of the territory to the north and northwest was "attached" for some time, "for civil and military purposes"...

The first subdivision of the county after its organization seemed to have been when Rives (now Henry) County was organized December 13, 1834, and the next upon the creation of Barry, January 5, 1835. It now became necessary to readjust the boundaries of Greene County, and this was done by an act of the legislature, approved March 20, 1835, wherein they were declared to be established as follows:

Greene:--Beginning where the line dividing townships 26 and 27 crosses the line dividing ranges 17 and 18: thence west with said eastern boundary of Barry County; thence along said line to the southeast corner thereof; thence south to the beginning.

The following were the first boundaries of the first townships of Greene County, as established by the county court March 11, and 12, 1833:

Spring River Township:--All that portion of territory lying and being in Green(e) County, and included in the following boundaries: beginning on the west boundary line of the State of Missouri, west of Vivion's Creek; thence east on the dividing ridge between the waters of Vivion's Creek and Oliver's Creek, so as to include the settlements on Vivion's Creek; thence north on the dividing ridge between the waters of the Osage and Grand River; thence west on the same dividing ridge, to the boundary line of the State of Missouri; thence south to the beginning. Elections were to be held at Samuel Bogart's wherever that was.

Jackson Township:--Beginning at the north boundary line of Greene County, as now established, running with the dividing ridge between the North Fork of the Sac River and the Pomme de Terre River, without limit, or so far as to include the convenient settlers; the south boundary running so as to include all the settlements on both sides of the Sac River. Elections to be held at Ezekile M. Campbell's.

[3]

Osage Township:--Beginning at the mouth of the Little Niangua River, running so as to include the place where William Montgomery now lives; thence to the mouth of the Little Pomme de Terre River; thence down the Osage to the beginning. Elections were to be held at William Brinegar's ferry, on the Pomme de Terre.

Mooney Township:--Beginning at the Pomme de Terre River, where the Niangua trace crosses; thence taking the waters of the Pomme de Terre to the mouth of the Little Pomme de Terre; thence up the Little Pomme de Terre to the dividing ridge between it and Sac River; thence along the Jackson Township line to Sac River; thence taking the waters of the Sac River up to include John Ross; thence up the Dry Fork of Sac River to the beginning. Elections to be held at John Mooney's. Judges of election, James Smithson, Aaron Ruyle, and John West.

Campbell Township:--Beginning at the mouth of Finley, running thence, to include the settlers on Finley, to the eastern boundary of Greene County; thence with said line to the Niangua River; thence with said river to the Niangua trace; thence with said trace to the Mooney Township line; thence with said line to John Ross', on Sac River; thence to the widow Leeper's; thence to the Parr Springs; thence to the point where the road leading (to) Washington Clay's crosses said creek; thence in a direct line to the mouth of the Finley to the beginning.

White River Township:--Beginning at the mouth of Finely, on James' fork of White River; thence down said James' fork so as to include all the settlers on both sides thereof, to the mouth of said James' fork; thence due south to the State line; thence with said line to the county line; thence with said line to Campbell Township; thence with said line to the beginning. Elections to be held at Folch's old place, on the north side of White River. Edward Mooney, John N. Glover, ----Newson, judges.

Oliver Township:--All that portion of territory lying south of Spring River and west of White River Township, and not included in any other township.

At the June term, 1833, the township of Sugar Creek was created, with the following as its metes and bounds:--

Beginning on the south boundary of Missouri, where Brown's lane crosses the Missouri line; thence north with Brown's lane to the dividing ridge between the waters of Friend's River and Col. Oliver's fork, thence east to the Elkhorn Spring; still east to the "Peddler's Cabin," on Flat Creek; thence southeast to Roaring River, and to the Missouri line.

[4]

In the following December, Elk Creek Township was organized. (No boundaries were given.)

1. Spelled Sock, in nearly every instance, in the first records, as it was pronounced in early days.

2. Pomme de Terre--literally earth apple, or potato, is spelled in the first records Pomada Tarr, sometimes "Pumley Tarr." (--History of Greene Co., 1883, Holcombe, p. 156, 157, 158, 160, 161, 162.)

Fairbanks & Tuck (1915) seem to take exception to some of the township boundaries in the original Greene County.

However, they point out: "The vast territory, the lack of maps and the conflicting and selfish interests of the different communities affected, rendered the task of the division an onerous one, indeed, and it is a monument to the patience and ability of those first three judges that they were able to do as well as they did."

Every one of the townships listed above covers more ground than any one county today (1915). Some equal any two or more counties now included in the original limits of Greene. Very few of them bear the names now held by townships in this county, but may be found here and there in widely separated counties of Southwest Missouri. (--Fairbanks & Tuck, Past and Present of Greene County, 1915, Vol. 1, pp. 125, 127.)

What is now known as Southwest Missouri, substantially Greene County, as organized in 1833, was formerly known as the Osage Country, being the home of the Indian tribe for which it was named. After the war of 1812, the Kickapoos made villages on the Pomme de Terre River, and near the present site of Springfield, leaving their name in that of Kickapoo Prairie south of that place. The history of the region is peculiarly interesting as that of one of the most important purely American settlements made in the State. (--Encyclopedia of the History of Mo., 1901, Conard, Vol. 3, p. 106.)


1910 Census Population:

Abbot --
Alsup 11
Ash Grove 1, 075
Battlefield 28
Bethesda --
Bois D'Arc 210
Brookline 210
Buckley 105
Cave Springs 78
Clair 11
Cody 11
Daniel --
De Mund --
Dorchester --
Elwood --
Ebenezer 36
Expansion 6
Fair Grove 315
Gates 5
Galloway 262
Glidewell --
Hackney 21
Harold 26
Hays --
Heady 16
Hickory Barren 30
Ingram 22
Lon 8
Luck --
Mascot 6
Mentor 10
Mumford 21
Needmore 11
Mund --
Nogo 16
Nichols 210
Nathalia --
Place 3 (perhaps this should be Palace)
Palmetto 11
Pearl 12
Phenix 250
Plano 11
Provision --
Republic 884
Ritter --
River Park --
Sacville 21
Strafford 262
Turner Station 26
Walnut Grove 525
Willard 157
Wilson Creek 10
Springfield 38,000

1970 Census Population:

Ash Grove 932
Fair Grove 460
Republic 2,415
Strafford 486
Walnut Grove 459
Willard 945

Springfield 118,950
(This chart courtesy of Roy Blunt, County Clerk, Greene Co.)

Greene County Census 1970:
County--152,929
City--120,096

(NOTE: Many of these places were mills or the post-offices were in stores, blacksmith shops, etc.--Moser)


Add Post Offices to Greene County:

POST OFFICE / POSTMASTER / APPOINTED / DISCONTINUED
Pickerel Creek / Stephen Batson / 10 May 1854 / 12 December 1855
Pickerel Creek Post Office / W. B. Winsted / 15 June 1869 / 9 May 1871
Martin Post Office / George Murrell / 22 January 1861 / -----------------
----------------------- / Jno. Crittendon / 22 June 1865 / ---------------------
----------------------- / Ansel Stratton / 15 January 1866 / -----------------
----------------------- /James W. Gray / 20 December 1866 / ----------------
----------------------- / Issac Bradley / 29 December 1868 /        22 January 1869

Geographic Site Location:

Pickerel (Application for post-office)

Southwest 1/4 Southwest 1/4 Section 10, Twp. 28 N, Ra. 24 W, on route no. 14129 from Springfield to Neosho.

Little York post-office 6 miles east.

Chesapeake post-office 8 miles southwest.

Nearest Creek is Pickerel Creek. (signed): W. B. Winsted, 4 June 1869. Attest: John Potter, postmaster, Little York, Missouri.

Martin

Southwest 1/4 Section 15, Twp. 30 N, Ra. 20 W.

Local name - Bass's Mill

Nearest office on route no. 10603 is Fair Grove, 5 miles northwest. Nearest office on same route on other side is Marshfield, 13 miles east. (signed): John Crittenden, postmaster, 23 October 1865.

(--Sources: C. E. Boulson, P. O. Box 3, Marshfield, Missouri, 65706, from National Archives Microcopy 841, roll 71.)

Martin

Section 15 Highway 125 runs through this area which is approximately 2-1/2 miles southeast of Bassville.

Pickerel

Section 10 Highway TT runs on north side of this section, which is approximately 2-1/2 miles east of Highway P. (--Gen. Highway Map of Greene Co., issued by The State Highway Department, 8-1-65.)


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