History of Greene County, Missouri

R. I. Holcombe, Editing Historian

Chapter 1
Pioneer History

Part 2
First Settlement of Springfield — The Rountrees — Uncle Joe's Journey — Other Early Settlers and Settlements — Some Odd Characters — Pioneer Life — Character of the Old Settlers — List of Pioneers of Campbell Township, in 1833

Andrew Bass left Tennessee in the fall of 1829 for Missouri, arriving in Greene county toward the close of the year. His first location was half a mile west of where Strafford now stands, but on the departure of the Indians, the following year, he removed to Jackson township. Alpheus Huff came from Franklin county, Missouri, in 1830, and settled within a mile of Mr. Bass, and Alexander Chadwick came from Tennessee in the fall of 1831, after which there were no other arrivals in that part of the county for several years.

On the south side of the James, Edward Thompson, from Tennessee, settled in 1830. Mrs. Page and her family, who were of French descent, came also about the same time, and remained for several years on what is known as the Galbreath place, in the same neighborhood. In the same year, Thos. Finney and wife and Samuel Weaver came, and lived for about a year, just below the present Boonville street bridge, where G. N. Shelton afterward had a tan-yard. Mr. Weaver was a son-in-law of Wm. Fulbright, but his wife had recently died, leaving an infant son named Marion, who was afterwards a merchant in Lawrence county.

Joseph Miller settled at the spring, a short distance southwest of the city, after which he sold out to Maj. Joseph Weaver, and removed to Sac river, thirty miles northwest of the city. Mr. Weaver came in March, 1830, from Marshall county, Tennessee, and first settled at the Delaware town, where he purchased and improved a farm upon which he lived until his removal to the above named point. On this farm he remained three or four years before removing to the place known as the Weaver grove, two-and-a-half miles west of town. After one or two other removals, he died in September, 1852, on the farm three miles northwest of the city.

In 1831, Daniel B. Miller, a brother of Joseph, settled at what is still known as the Miller spring in the northwest part of the city, and which furnishes power in the form of steam for the Springfield woolen mills. Here he made a field which was afterward used as the Federal burying ground. Mr. Miller remained in Springfield until his death, which occurred in January, 1839. [142]

Samuel Lasley, who came with Mr. Miller, settled on Little Sac, where the Bolivar road now crosses; and Spencer O'Neil, before mentioned, who had been absent from the country during the general abandonment of homes before the Delawares left the country, returned about this time, and settled in the southwestern part of the county.

Next came Joseph Rountree and family, from Maury county, Tennessee, reaching here in January, 1831. They had started in November, 1830, and their journey was a hard one. One of the very deepest snows that ever fell in this part of the State was encountered on their journey. This snow reached the extraordinary depth of 18 inches on a level, and remained on the ground some weeks.

As a sample of what went to make up an emigrant's trip to Greene county in early days, extracts from the diary of Mr. Rountree are here given, taken literally front his old memorandum book, with its quaint chirography, now brown with age, but fairly legible, its rude grammar, but plain, expressive phraseology. This old book is now a treasured heirloom in the possession of Mr. Wm. Rountree, a grandson of the original owner, and who has kindly furnished it for the use of this history. The route from Springfield to the Mississippi river in 1830 was not as easily traveled as that now in use in these days of palace cars and lightning express trains. The following are the extracts referred to, beginning where Mr. R. records his arrival an the east bank of the Mississippi, at Green's Ferry:

Thursday, December 23d, 1830.—A cloudy day. The ice was very thick in the river; we went to Kaskaskia; the ice nearly quit in the river in the evening; at night it rained and froze over. Our expense was 37—c.

Friday, 24th.—A wet morning. We prepared for crossing the river after breakfast; we had removed our family to Peter Robert Derousse's, at the lower ferry, on Sunday last,— a very respectable gentleman with a peaceable family; we found the ice so thick and wide on the other side that we could not land, and had to go down the river more than a mile, where we got a landing, and it took until about an hour in the night before I got my wagon and family over; we had to make five trips; we went about three miles and camped, and had a merry night. Expense, $5.

Saturday, 25th.—We started early; proceeded to Ste. Genevieve town; Mr. Beard had to get a skein mended; my family stayed with a very friendly French family, Bovie by name; in the evening we went on eight miles and camped at Mr. Bell's. Expense, $1.62—. [143]

Sunday, 26th — A cloudy cold day. We traveled, on and about 2 o'clock Mr. Beard's hind axletree broke at Mr. Moreare's; we proceeded about four miles further; we traveled 14 miles and camped at Mr. Barrington's. Expense, 62—c.

Monday, 27th — I went to Mr. Donaldson's, found them well, and our wagon waited for Mr. Beard's, and then went on; camped at Mr. Baker's; traveled nine miles today. Expense, $2.56—.

Tuesday, 28th — This day was clear and cold. We traveled on very well; found that the fore bolster of Mr. Beard's wagon was broken; we came through Mine à Burton and got a new bolster; encamped at Mr. Tucker's; it began to snow before day. Expense, 62—c.

Wednesday, 29th— This day was snowy, rainy and freezing; we started and broke the tongue out of Mr. Beard's wagon; made a new tongue, traveled seven miles, and encamped at Mr. Compton's. Expense, $1.

Thursday, 30th— Started on and it was snowing and freezing; last night it snowed; we had got only one mile this day until Mr. Beard's wagon turned over in a branch and got the most of my goods wet; we had to take up camp and dry our things; it continued snowing. Expense, 62—c.

Friday, 31stThis day we packed up our wagon and started about 12; traveled 7 miles. Expense, $1.06—.

Saturday, January 1831— A clear cold morning; it moderated a little; we proceeded and crossed the Cotway,4 Huzza, and Dry creeks; traveled about 13 miles and encamped on the ridge between Dry creek and the Merrimac. Expense, $2.75.

Sunday, 2d.— Cloudy; we started early; it rained very hard this day and thundered; we crossed the Merrimac traveled 16 miles; encamped at Massey's Iron works.5 Expense, 56— c.

Monday, 3d— Last night it rained, sleeted and froze all night; this morning it began to snow; we continued in a cabin that we had took up in; it snowed all nightt. Expense, 62—c.

Tuesday, 4th— A cold day; snow very deep; continued at the cabin all day. Expense $1.19.

Wednesday, 5th —A clear, cold day; Mr. Beard took his load about four miles to Mr. St. Clair's, and we deposited it there and returned to the cabin. Expense, 662/3c.

Thursday, 6th —Clear and cold; Mr. Beard took his departure for home; we continued in the cabin; in the evening Sidney [Ingram] and me went to look us out a place for to make a camp near St. Clair's; we concluded on a place, returned in the evening, and broght home Junius and Lucius, who had went to another cabin on the Dry fork of the Merrimac the day before. Expense, $5. [144]

4 Mr. R. means the Fourche à Courtois.
5 Established in 1829 by Samuel Massey; now Meramec Iron Works, in the eastern part of Phelps county.

Friday, 7th.— We began to prepare for making our camps, but in the evening Joseph Phillabare (Philabert) came on and we concluded to go on with him; so we left the cabin, came on to St. Clair's, and stayed all night. Expense, 62—c.

Saturday, 8th —- We started about 10 o'clock and proceeded up the bad hill with some difficulty; the day was cloudy and cold, the snow was deep and it snowed some more, but we traveled 18 miles. Expense, 18—c.

Sunday, 9th—Quite cold ; traveled 17 miles. Expense, $1.43.

Monday, 10th — Cloudy and cold; we proceeded and crossed Rubidoo (Robidoux); traveled 15 miles. Expense, 37—c.

Tuesday, 11th — This morning it was very snowy; we discovered that Mr. Phillabare had one of the skeins of his wagon to get mended, so we stayed in camp till nearly 12, and then traveled about 12 miles and encamped at Stark's. Expense, 81—c.

Wednesday, 12th- Cloudy and cold ; we traveled on slowly on account of the snow; crossed the Osage fork of the Gasconade, and traveled 14 miles. Expense, 18—c.

Thursday, 13th —A cold day, but we traveled on pretty well; passed Eastwood and traveled 18 miles. Expense, 37—c.

Friday, 14th — Last night it snowed very hard; we encamped at the Indian Grave branch; the snow increased in depth four or five inches; we traveled with a good deal of difficulty; we passed Tygart's; traveled 20 miles. Expense, 50 cents.

Saturday, 15th — It continues to snow; the day is most intolerably cold; we proceeded on our way, and after traveling six or eight miles we met Joseph H. Miller and Lemuel Blanton coming to meet us. Great joy! We went on to Robert Patterson's, twelve miles, and got lodging for the night in his house, the first night's lodging in a house since we left the cabin at Massey's Iron Works. Expense, $1.25.

Sunday, 16th —Today was extremely cold; snowed a little; we proceeded and got to Joseph H. Miller's between sunset and dark; found the people about the Prairie all well and glad to see us all arrive safe; traveled 23 miles.

Father Joseph Rountree was born in North Carolina in 1782. He emigrated to Tennessee in 1819, and to Greene county in 1831. He died December 25, 1874. Not long after coming here, he was elected justice of the peace, which position he filled for several years, and in 1856 was chosen one of the judges of the county court. This office he filled acceptably until the war threw everything into confusion. In 1865, the venerable old man was assaulted most wantonly by a brutal soldier, and after a struggle he was shot through the shoulder with a revolver bullet, after which the soldier made two or three unsuccessful attempts to shoot him through the head, but the weapon missed fire, and assistance coming at that moment, the brute was prevented from completing his murderous intentions. The soldier was promptly arrested, tried, and convicted by a court martial, and sentenced to ten years' confinement in the penitentiary. Mr. Rountree suffered acutely for a long time from this wound, but finally recovered and lived several years. When he came to this State he brought with him a family of seven sons and two daughters, who have filled honorable places in society.

In company with Mr. Rountree on his journey from Tennessee was Sidney S. Ingram, who settled in Springfield, on East Walnut street, just north of which he erected a cabinet and wagon shop. Mr. Ingram remained in the city a number of years, and afterward removed to a farm about one-and-a-half miles southwest of town, after which be removed to the place on the James, where, in company with F. C. Howard, he erected a saw and grist mill. There he remained until his death, which occurred about the year 1847. Mr. Ingram will hereafter be mentioned in an official capacity.

Somewhere about the year 1832 Randolph Britt came from near Bowling Green, Kentucky, and settled five miles southeast of Springfield, and Edmund Vaughn is said to have settled ten miles east before the Delawares left the country. A Mr. Bufford, who settled in Jackson township, came in at an early day. Kindred Rose located on the farm he owned so long, a mile or so southwest of Springfield, in the year 1831.

Andrew Taylor, from West Tennessee, settled in 1831, one-and-a- half miles southeast, on the prairie just east of the Phelps place, and D. D. Berry, his brother-in-law, just south of him, where he put up a little log store, bringing his goods from Tennessee. Mr. Taylor soon moved back to Tennessee, and after a village began to be shaped at Springfield, Mr. Berry removed his store to town.

In the fall of 1831, Peter Epperson and family came from Tennessee and settled on a place adjoining Mr. Rountree's, having sent an over-seer with about twenty slaves, in the spring, to erect a house, open up a farm, and make necessary preparations to receive them.

Radford Cannefax and his family, including two grown sons, Benjamin and Chesley, and a daughter, who afterwards became the wife of S. S. Ingram, arrived in 1831, and settled four miles southwest of Springfield, on the farm afterward owned by Chesley. They were originally from Campbell county, Virginia, where, in 1809, the elder Cannefax was compelled, in self-defense, to kill a man by the name of Pitts. Cannefax surrendered himself to the authorities, was tried and acquitted. He soon afterward removed to Kentucky, where he remained until his removal to this place, as before stated. [146]

In the same year, Finis Shannon, brother-in-law of Joseph Miller, settled just below the Uncle Joe Rountree place, on Wilson creek, where he soon died and was buried. He was the first white person ever buried in the neighborhood, the plank for his coffin being sawed from a green walnut log by Joseph Miller and a negro man, with a whip-saw, and the coffin was made by Junius Rountree and Sidney Ingram.

In the latter part of 1831, Samuel Painter came in from Montgomery county, Illinois, where he had lived about five years. He was formerly from Lincoln county, Tennessee, to which place he removed in 1813, when his son Jacob, who still lives in Springfield, was but two veers old. Mr. Painter and his family, consisting of his wife and three sons—John, Jacob and Elisha— remained a few months in Springfield, after which they removed to the beautiful prairie in the north part of the county, where they remained about one year, near Ebenezer. Mr. Painter sold out to Thomas Wilson, and then removed to what was called the "Mill Bottom," on the James, the place first settled by Mr. Ingle, and afterward by a man named Seigler. Jacob, at the same time, removed to the place known as the "Brashear's Cave" farm, four miles southeast of Springfield. About the time of the laying out of the town they both returned to Springfield, where the old gentleman remained until his death, which occurred in 1836. Jacob still lives in the Third ward, and is, without doubt, the oldest white settler in the city. In 1845, he purchased, for ten dollars, the ground on Olive street where his present house and shop stand, and where he has ever since resided. Col. S. H. Boyd thus refers to him, in his historical essay, delivered at the meeting of pioneers, July 4th, 1876:

"He was a professional gunsmith, and has turned out thousands of fire-arms, and he gained quite a celebrity for his pistol pattern, known as "Jake's best." Californians, in 1849, '50, and '51, bought them in preference to any other. Jake married the daughter of William Freeman, a Soldier of the Revolution, who died in 1836, and was buried on the Gardner farm, two miles east from Springfield. Jake remembers well the house of John P. Campbell, the only one, where now is our city, in 1831. William Fulbright, Benjamin Cannefax, Joseph Rountree and Joseph Miller were the nearest residents to where now is Springfield., Jake, in those far-gone days, was accustomed to church-going, to hear the Rev. Thomas Potter, an uncle of Col. Thomas Potter, a leading, man and politician of Greene county. The county was full of game and the water-courses filled with fish. Jake was champion then, but he always played fair and, practiced no deceit, even upon the finest game and fish. Jake never told a falsehood, and he says honey was used as a lubricator for wagons, it being so plenty then. He has continually resided here since 1831, except for a few days, when he went into the country to his brother's. Some claim that he is not now the oldest settler; that he lost that right when he left, as he left in a hurry. The story is that Henry Fulbright, son of William Fulbright, came from St. Louis, and brought the cholera with him, in 1835; and that when Jake left, he left for good. But it subsided, and Jake returned. Knowing the demoralization effect cholera has upon a Tennesseean, the court decided that Jake's domicile was not abandoned, and that he is entitled to carry the knife. Jacob Painter has filled well his part—always the quiet, fearless advocate of right, he never had an enemy, political or personal. Such is the oldest living settler of Springfield." [147-148]

Some time in 1831, James K. Alsop, Samuel Scroggins and Daniel Johnson settled on the Little Sac, and were followed, in 1832, by John Headlee, and two brothers-in-law, Benjamin Johnson and James Dryden.

In the same year came Thomas P. Whitlock, the father of W. P. Whitlock. He arrived in June, from Hardeman county, Tennessee, and settled in what is now Franklin township, in the north part of the county. He brought with him a wife and one son. Zachariah Simms, Benjamin Johnson, Henry Morrison, David and John Roper, Drury Upshaw, and Larkin Dewitt, all settled about the same time in that part of the county.

John Briscoe, with his sons-in-law, Jacob and Andrew Roller, arrived from Tennessee in 1831 or 1882, and settled in the south part of the county.

In 1832, Bennett Robberson, the father of Dr. E. T. Robberson, who is one of the oldest and most highly respected citizens of Springfield, came from Tennessee and settled near Mr. Rountree's, about two miles southwest of Springfield, and about a year afterward his mother (the grandmother of the doctor) came with her sons William, Allen, John, Edwin, Russell and Rufus, who all settled in the north part of the county, on the prairie which still bears their name. She also had three daughters, who married, respectively, Rev. David Ross, father of Dr. Ross, Thomas Stokes and Richard Say. [148]

John G. Lock settled on Flat creek in 1832. He was what is now known as a sport— i.e., a gamester—and the owner of race-horses, which he often matched for large wagers. He was, nevertheless, a good and genial man, who had many warm friends among the pioneers. Mr. Lock terminated his life in an affray with one of his cousins, John Short, by whom he was fatally stabbed in the abdomen. Short also received wounds in this affray, from which he never recovered.

In the spring of 1832, Humphrey Warren located in the prairie three and one-half miles from town, which is about the main and extreme head branch of Wilson creek, where James Massey afterward lived and died. Mr. Massey was the father of William Massey, Mrs. McAdams and Mrs. "Buck" Rountree.

Thomas Horn, also in 1832, settled on the branch below the Beiderlinden place. James Dollison came from Tennessee about this time and settled near where the cotton mills now stand, but soon afterward removed to a farm three and one-half miles south of town. Mr. D. was for several years one of the judges of the county court.

Among the early settlers of Walnut Grove and vicinity, all of whom, probably, came before 1833, were Allen Williams, Michael Walsh, William Mallory, Joseph Moss, Mr. Sloan (the father of Dr. Sloan of Walnut Grove), and Hugh Leeper, from which the large prairie in the northwest part of the county took its name.

In the "Historical Atlas of Greene County," appears this sketch of the Boone family, and its connection with the early history of Greene county:

"The western part of the county was explored at an early day by Nathan Boone. He was the youngest son of Daniel Boone, was a captain in the United States service, and was one of the first white men who traversed Southwest Missouri. He was pleased with the appearance of the west part of this county, and selected some land in the neighborhood of Ash Grove, and sent out his son to take out preemption rights. Several of the Boone family have since lived in the county. Nathan Boone located in the heart of Ash Grove—a large grove of timber composed principally of walnut and ash, and receiving its name from the predominance of the latter. James, John, Benjamin and Howard were his sons. His sons-in-law were William Caulfield and Alfred Horseman, who also settled in the grove. Nathan Boone at one time owned several hundred acres of land. James Boone, his oldest son, is said to be the oldest American white male child born in Missouri, west of St. Louis county. He was born in St. Charles county in 1800. His two daughters, Mrs. Frazier and Mrs. Horseman, and his grandson, James W., besides some other grandsons and grand-daughters, still live near Ash Grove." [148]

Quoting again from Mr. John H. Miller, that gentleman says:

"In the year 1831, Dr. James H. Slavens, then a young preacher from Warren county, and who married Joseph Rountree's oldest daughter, Amanda, in 1832, was the first Methodist that ever preached in this county. I will here mention old man Sol. Cotner as being one of the early settlers, who, with Jacob Painter, could kill more game, and they were considered the most expert hunters in the country, and long after wild game had disappeared, they could find and kill deer almost in sight of town, when no one else could. Old man James Carter put up and run the first blacksmith shop, which stood not far from the northeast corner of the present public square. Mr. Carter died of cholera in 1835, as also two of Mr. Campbell's negroes—old Davy and Jim—and were buried just under the hill a little way above the present bridge. At the Miller spring is a disappeared graveyard of six or seven persons of the Miller family. It is some eighty or one hundred yards east of the spring, may be a little southeast, now covered over with houses and fences. I am very sure they have never been taken up. The graves were near the foot of a solitary large black oak tree that then stood there, which was surrounded by a thick growth of young oak sapplings or bushes. They were buried there in 1831, '32, '33, '34, '35 and '36.

In 1832, a Mr. Eads settled at the Schultz spring, one mile and a half southwest. Afterwards, Maj. Blackwell, father-in-law of Junius Campbell, lived there, and at that place Mr. C. was married. The writer was at that wedding, in 1833. Samuel Teas, another son-in- law of Maj. Blackwell, settled at the spring one mile south of town. He afterward put up a store at Sarcoxie, in Jasper county.

Now, in rambling further, with your permission, I will lead you fifteen or twenty miles northwest—into the noted Ash Grove and Walnut Grove neighborhoods—where, in by-gone days, lived the old stock of the Boones and others. Major Nathan Boone, of old United States army notoriety, whom I well remember, and his three honorable sons, James, John and Howard, have all long ago bid adieu to time, except, probably, John; and of the Boone daughters, much might be said as to their amiability and respectability. They were the belles of the county at that date—say forty-four years ago—several of whom have long since passed, away. One is, if living, the wife of Col. F. T. Frazier, who is another highly respected old citizen. [Now (1883) deceased.]

And near the Boones was another old and honorable citizen—Dr. Constantine Perkins, who lived there a long and useful life as a physician. I have forgotten when he died, but it was a long time ago. You will find the names of Dr. Perkins and the Boones on the books of the first Masonic lodge in Springfield. [In 1849 or 1850 Dr. Perkins removed to California, and died there about the year 1860.— Compiler.] [150]

Not far away we find the traces of other old-timers of respectability, among whom were the Caulfields, Kelleys, Whittenburgs, Looneys, Tatums, Wilsons, Murrays, Robinsons, Wadlows, and further south we come to mention that noted family the Leepers, of " Leeper's prairie," and the Reynolds, Yeakleys , Lindseys—all remember; that is, the old ones, forty-eight years ago, who, together with the above named, with others, helped to brave the storms and bear the hardships of the then western wilderness country, and I am now proud to class them prominently among the distinguished adopted sons of Greene county.

In 1831 a strange, odd and remarkable individual, in the person of an old and somewhat demented white man, appeared among us, named Jesse Bayles. He had some English education, but lived a wilderness life among the wild beasts and Indians, seemed half crazy, dressed very scant and odd, wore an old white wool hat tucked up at the sides, and written thereon, in large red letters, "DEATH." He carried a long butcher knife and a tomahawk and seemed dangerous to look at, but was harmless and even lively. I was with him considerably. He was fifty or sixty years old. He said no harm should befall me; that he intended to keep the panthers, wolves and Indians from "ahold" of me. In a year or two he disappeared. He either died or followed the Indians."

Col. Gilmore, in his sketches in the Springfield Patriot, in 1867, says of Bayles:

Jesse Range Bayles was, like Wilson, a resident among the Indians here, when Mr. Campbell came. Poor Jesse was an educated man, but his mind was disordered. He was a quiet, inoffensive person, constantly wandering around the country, dividing his time pretty equally between hunting for lead mines and hunting a wife, but it is said that he never found either. Some wicked boys caught Jesse at one time, and saturated his clothes with turpentine and set him on fire. He was shockingly burned. He wore what was then called a "bee gum" and is now called a "stove pipe" hat, and he told his disaster by placarding his hat in large letters, "Death, Hell and Destruction!" and pointing all he met to the inscription. He remained here when his friends, the Delawares, left, and died about 1835." [151]

Mr. Miller thus mentions another remarkable old settler:

"About the same time another extraordinary and remarkable old man, then over sixty years of age, came 'round amongst the few settlers. His name was Robert Alexander; originally from North Carolina; came West, alone, in 1825; lived several years with the Miami Indians, at the mouth of Swan, on White river (at present, Forsyth, Taney county). He was well educated, had been a fine looking man and had been in high life, but ardent spirits had "got away," with him, as it is getting the best of some of our American statesmen at this date. This old man, Alexander, came within a few votes of being elected Governor of the State of North Carolina in 1824, but, by domestic and political trouble, disappointment and defeat, he came West and lived a roving, reckless and dissipated life. He was a man of fine sense, always had good horses, would gamble with cards and race horses and drink whisky. Finally, in 1835, he found his way to William C. Campbell's, in Polk county, and, drunk, undertook to swim Sac river on horseback, and was drowned just below Orleans, and that was the last of poor old Bob Alexander.

Mr. Miller also mentions Christopher McElhannon, Randolph Lanham and Billy Warren, living north of Springfield, and a number or other families living in the northwest part of the county, but it is believed they did not come before 1833, and are consequently out of the range of this chapter.

Some time in the year 1832, Wm. Ross, originally from South Carolina, but more recently from North Missouri, settled in the north part of the county.

Alexander McKenzie came from Pulaski county, Kentucky, and settled about the year 1830, on a farm three and a half miles southwest of Springfield, where he remained until 1832, when he sold out to Mr. Wm. Townsend, the father of A. M., Thomas B., and William M. A. Townsend. The oldest son, W. G. Townsend, removed about the year 1850 to Cassville, Barry county. The oldest daughter, Nancy, was married to Benjamin Cannefax, and lived three and a half miles southwest of town; the second, Lizzie A., became the wife of Wm. Britt who was the son of Randolph Britt, before mentioned; the third, Lucetta A., married Rev. Matthew Barnes, and lived three miles east of town; the fourth, Mary, was the wife of Chesley Cannefax, who will heretfter be mentioned in the official records of the county; and the youngest daughter, Drucilla, was first married to Meredith Carter, who lived near the Wilson Creek battle ground, and afterward to Jas. Kelley, with whom she removed to St. Clair county, Missouri. Mr. A. M. Townsend states that his father and mother, Wm. and Mary Townsend, came from Logan county, Kentucky, when he was but ten years old. He says that where Springfield now stands, was a fine forest of red-oak timber, with but a small clearing around the residence of John P. Campbell, which was a small log cabin, and at that time the only house in what is now the business part of Springfield. He speaks in glowing terms of the happy times "when this old town was new." [152]

To hear these old settlers describe it, one would almost think they were describing the Canaan of the Israelites. If it did not flow so freely with milk, it seemed to be made up by the abundance of honey. They all agree that if a person lacked sweetness, all he had to do was to cast his eye upward toward the heavens, and he would see that industrious little insect, the honey-bee, heavily laden with his sweet store, flying homeward to his storehouse, which was generally a hole in the side of some lofty oak. These bee-trees were so plentiful, and so easily found at that time, that a person had no difficulty in finding one, whenever he set out to look for it.

They also tell us wonderful stories of the productiveness of the soil, which would then produce abundant crops with little or no attention after breaking the new turf and planting the seed. Venison and other game was plentiful, and although these hardy pioneers were deprived of nearly everything which people of to-day consider the necessaries of life, and surrounded by the wilderness filled with Indians and wild beasts, they lived a comparatively happy life.

Of pioneer life, in Greene county, Mr. Miller says:

"The settlers in those days were driven by necessity to use their inventive wits. Doors were made of clap-boards, floors of mother earth, bedsteads with one leg were fastened to the walls in the corners of the houses, and wagon grease was made of honey, which was only twenty-five cents a gallon, or about one cent a pound in the comb. When they were able to afford good puncheon floors, and two bed-steads, it seemed quite like civilization.

Bread was scarce, and what little crops were made, were liberally divided, so that all could have a little bread. Very few hogs, and pork hard to get, but wild game was plenty, and with the faithful dog and flint-lock rifle, every one had plenty. The meal was made by pounding the corn in a stump mortar, the coarsest for hominy and the finest for bread, and very dark at that. Men worked then at fifty cents per day, and I say this to put a correct idea and feeling into men who now-a-days think it is a disgrace to work at that price. Honest labor at even twenty-five cents per day, where a man can't do better, is far more profitable and honorable than idleness.

In those days neighbors were few and far between, but everybody was friendly and willing to divide the last mouthful. The first grist of corn was ground on a little wing-dam mill that old John Marshall had on James, near the month of Finley, although Jerry Pearson had a little rattle-trap of a mill some nearer, but it was hardly competent to grind for his own use." [153]

Prior to mill building, corn had to be beaten in wooden-mortar with a pestle, and these were used to some extent for a long time in preference to the little "one-horse " mills of the new country. The hand-pestle was a small wooden one, similar in shape to the pestle used by a druggist in compounding and pulverizing medicines; but the sweep-pestle was fastened to a spring-pole, after the manner of a well-sweep. The mortars were made by boring or burning holes, conical in shape, in the top of a stump, or section of a large tree, and were made about a foot wide at the top and eighteen inches deep. Bread made from this meal was called "pound cake," and Mrs. Campbell used to tell her friends that for a number of years after coming to Springfield she had scarcely anything to eat but "pound cake."


We speak in high terms of the gallantry and bravery of the soldiers, who, in the Revolution of 1776, fought for liberty and independence, and their times are proudly borne on the pages of history. They merited, as they have received, the plaudits of succeeding generations; but shall not that army of heroes known as the "old pioneers" have their names, as well, emblazoned upon the pages of their country's history? Shall not they, who, through privations, sufferings and sometimes death, made the wilderness blossom like the rose, have their meed of praise? They have followed the path of peace with a diligence that craved no rest until the broad light of the noonday sun shines upon a land secure as the abode of a people cultured, refined, and progressive. This has been the work of the old pioneer; and those of that gallant army of peace who are yet among the living should be honored among the greatest of the land, for their strong hearts, willing hands, and their labor, privations and sufferings, have given a grand and rich heritage to the generation of to-day.

It is from these "old settlers" that very much of the early history of Greene county has been gathered. Months have been given to collecting the facts and the reminiscences which are found in the pages of this work, but to secure them has been a work of incessant toil. One great trouble has been that the memory of the old pioneers has not always been of the best, and a confusion of dates, and facts to verify incidents of the past, has been one of great trouble. History is valuable only as it deals in facts, and these should be more or less substantiated by dates. These are all important and are required, if this shall prove, what it is intended to be, a book of reference from which people and historians of future generations will date their work. This is why, in the compilation of this history, months have been given to the task. Many of the old settlers have already crossed the river of time and now belong to the mysterious beyond; others have removed to far distant lands, so that the source of information is small, and time, troubles and greater research is necessary to make it complete. The "old pioneers," however, of Greene county, have contributed much to make this book a success, and they have done it willingly and cheerfully, and it has been a pleasure to the compilers of this history to listen to the stories of those early years, graphically told. [154]

To be sure, much information has been obtained from other sources, as, for instance, from Mr. George S. Escott's historical sketch in his valuable little volume, published in 1878, the "History of Springfield," being a history, description and directory of the city for that year. To be sure, Mr. E. obtained much of his information from previously published sketches, but he gave us much that was now, and in the foregoing pages his matter has been freely used, and sometimes without credit.

Perhaps the following list of the early settlers of the section of country now comprising the greater portion of Greene county—then called Campbell township—will be found of interest to a sufficient number of the readers of this volume to justify its publication:

Partial list of early settlers in what was then, Campbell township, Greene county, in August, 1833: John Roberts, Peter Apperson, John D. Shannon, James Carter, Joseph Porter, Chas. P. Bullock, Chesley Cannefax, Wm. H. Duncan, E. Brantley, G. Gay, Randolph Britt, J. P. Campbell, Samuel Martin, John Patten Campbell, James Fielding, Daniel Gray, Thomas Caulfield, E. R. Fulbright, G. N. Shelton, Joseph Price, Sr., Radford Cannefax, David Roper, Moses Matthews, Zenas M. Rountree, A. Morris, J. R. Robberson, G. Maberry, A. Stillion, John Buden, James Wilson, Joseph Smith, John Fulbright, Stephen Fisher, Wm. Stacey, Wash. Williams, A. Shaddock, Spencer O'Niel, F. Leeper, Wm. Price, Thos. Horn, Wm. Stout, A. S. Borne, Kindred Rose, Edward Thompson, James R. Smith, Cornelius D. Terrell, Newell Hayden, Larkin Dewitt, J. McKinney, David Johnson, Martin B. Borne, Joseph Weaver, B. W. Cannefax, C. Hottler, J. L. Martin, Wm. Fulbright, Wm. McFarland, J. Woods, Richard C. Martin, John Sturtevant, L. Fulbright, Watson Forbes, John Roberts, Jr., John R. Brock, John Ross, H. C. Morrison, John Slagles, George Shoemaker, Abram Slagles, Jerry Pierson, James McCarroll, John McKay, Elisha Painter, Joseph Rountree, Alexander Younger, D. B. Miller, David Wilson, Junius Rountree, Thomas F. Wright, Samuel Lasley, Gilbert McKay, Littleberry Hendrick, James Cooper, John Roper, Drury Upshaw, James Dollison, James McMahan, James Renfro, John Pennington, William Birdsong, Thomas Stokes, John W. Triplett, A. J. Burnett, R. Harper, S. G. Martin, John Williams, James Price, Jr., Simeon Postion, Thomas Patterson, Robert Patterson, Wm. Ross, R. Ross, Samuel Painter. [155-156]

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