Compiled by Arthur Paul Moser
The territory now comprising Morgan County, before the advent of the White settlers, was occupied by Osage Indians, who, upon ceding this portion of their possessions to the government, retained a right to hunt in the country for a number of years ... Some of the pioneers settled upon land about the year 1820, subsequently acquiring it by entry or purchase from the government. The first entry was made by George McFarland, Sr., February 13, 1824, and was the east half of the Northwest Section 8, Township 44, Range 18 West ... The Indians hunted in bands throughout the country until 1835. They never had any trouble with the settlers, though at times false rumors of raids greatly alarmed the latter. (--Encyclopedia of the History of Mo., 1901, Conrad, Vol. 4, p. 480.)
The county was organized from a part of Cooper, January 5th 1833. The first circuit court -- Honr. David Todd, judge; Thos. G. Davis, clerk; Alfred McCutcheon, sheriff; Robert M. Wells, attorney-general; and James McFarland, foreman of the grand jury; -- was held in June, 1833, at the house of Josiah S. Walton, at Millville, now (1874) scarcely remembered by the oldest inhabitant. It was located where James' Mill stood, and consisted of Mr. Walton's grist-mill and dwelling and Wyan & Galbraith's dry-goods store. The old settlers were surely law-abiding citizens, as no presentments were made nor indictments found at that or the following term.
The first term of the county court, consisting of Zaccheus German, Seth Howard and John B. Fisher, was held in February, 1833, and their first act was to appoint Joseph M. Barnard tax collector. December 23d, 1834, the county seat was established at a place to be selected and called Versailles, and Street Thruston appointed commissioner to receive and have charge of the lots donated to the county. It was located near the center of the county, and was laid off and lots sold in 1835 ...
During 1836 Mining Port sprang up on the Osage River, at the mouth of the Gravois, and promised to become the leading town in the county, but the great flood in 1837 utterly destroyed it. In 1841, Ionia was laid out 6 miles north of Versailles, and unsuccessful efforts were made to remove the county seat to that place, but nothing is now (1874) left to mark its existence. (--Campbell's Gazetteer of Mo., 1874, pp. 389, 390.)
Morgan County was organized by act of the Legislature in 1833. An act of the Legislature in 1868 transferred to Miller County a strip the length of two townships from the southern east side of the county; and in 1881, by another law, the line running diagonally northwest from the northeast corner of Twp. 42, R. 16, to the Southeast corner of Sec. 12, Twp. 44, R. 18, was changed to strike the northeast corner of said Sec. 12 ... The county was divided into six townships by the county court in 1833 ... (--Hist. of Morgan Co., 1889, Goodspeed, p. 410.)
For some years the nearest post-office was six miles north of Tipton, (Moniteau County). (--Ibid: p. 409.)
The county was divided into six townships by the county court in 1833. Since the original formation there has been no change in them except the name of "Willow Creek" to Mill Creek Township.
Richland forms the northwest corner of the county ... It is divided into two voting precincts, contained eight school-houses and Bethlehem Church. Florence village is on Sec. 11.
Haw Creek lies in the central western part of the county ... It contains four congressional townships, in each of which is a voting precinct. Jones Chapel Church and school-house were near the north township line. Three Lutheran Churches and Freedom Church and Stover post-office, a Baptist Church and Union school-house are also in the township.
Buffalo Township is in the southwest corner of the county ... The township is divided into three voting precincts, Brandy Hill, Boyler's and River View. Proctor post-office is also here, and five school-houses.
Moreau Township is north of Osage Township, and forms part of the east and northeast county line ... It is divided into three voting precincts. Versailles, Barnett and Excelsior are in the township. Near the center is Big Rock Church, Masonic Hall and school-house, on Sec. 9; Hopewell Church on Sec. 29; Wesley Church on Sec. 25; Rock Spring Church on Sec. 4; Mt. Zion Church on Sec. 9, and St. Martin's post-office was on Sec. 4.
Mill Creek Township forms the north and part of the east boundary lines of the county ... The township is divided into two precincts. The main line of the Missouri Pacific R. R. passes through the northwest corner on Sec. 10, 11, 14 & 15; on this line is the village of Syracause. The township had two churches and five schools. Akinsville is on Sec. 19 ... There was a saw-mill three miles southeast of Syracuse and ten miles south was a flour-mill.
Osage Township forms the boundary line of the southeast corner of the county ... The township contained two post-offices -- Cape Galena and Gladstone; Hane's Mill, saw and grist; three churches, Catholic, Methodist and Union, and three school-houses. It has three voting precincts. (--State of Mo., Hist. of Morgan Co., 1889, Goodspeed, pp. 410, 411, 412.)
Now refers to 1889.