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

Compiled by Arthur Paul Moser

Nodaway County


Nodaway County is a county in the northwestern part of the State, bounded on the north by the Iowa line; south by Andrew and Holt Counties; east by Worth and Gentry Counties and west by Atchison and Holt Counties. It takes its name from the Nodaway River, which runs through the county north and south, and whose Indian meaning is "tranquil."...

The first settlers were mostly from Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia where forests abounded and prairies were unknown, and they were prompted to locate in the wooded belts, not only by the house building material which they afforded and the protection from the winter blasts which they gave, but by an erroneous idea, which it took nearly a generation to dissipate, that prairie land was not good for farming...

It is one of the counties erected out of the Platte Purchase...

In February, 1841, when the act creating Holt County was passed, it was given the name of Nodaway County, but a subsequent act was passed at the same session and the name was changed to Holt, and the name Nodaway was reserved for the present county, whose organization was perfected four years later in 1845... (--Ency: of the Hist. of Mo., 1901, Conard, Vol. 4, pp. 585,586.)

Platte Purchase

What is known now as the Platte Purchase was then occupied by several Indian tribes and up to 1836, when it was by treaty ceded to Missouri. The principal tribes found here were the Crees, Gros Ventres, Iowas, Ottoes, Pawnees, Pottawatomies, Sauks and Shawnees. Parts of tribes of these Indians continued here as late as 1856...

The "Platte Purchase" comprised the six counties organized as follows: Platte County, December 31, 1838; Buchanan County, February 10, 1839; Andrew County, January 29, 1841; Holt County, February 15, 1841; Atchison and Nodaway Counties, February 14, 1845. (These dates have been verified by the Secretary of State office.)

The legislative act creating Nodaway County reads as follows: (Here the metes and bounds are set forth but they are too lengthy to record here. They may be found, however, on page 58.)

On the 15th of February, 1841, the same General Assembly passed a supplemental act, amendatory to the act referred to above, changing the name of Nodaway County, which it had just created to Holt...

Soon after the act of the Legislature organizing Nodaway as a separate county of Missouri (February 14, 1845), the few settlers living within the confines of the county began to set in motion a form of county government. Maryville was selected as the county seat... (--Past and Present of Nodaway Co., 1910, B.F. Bowen & Co., Vol. 1, pp. 27, 58, 59, 68, & 69.)


Greene Township

Greene Township is on the west side of the county, bordering on Atchison County and is bounded on the north by Lincoln and Nodaway Townships; on the east by Polk and Nodaway Townships and on the south by Monroe. The county court defined its bounds at their June 14, 1860 term as follows: (See p. 258 of Past and Present of Nodaway Co., Vol. 1, 1910.)

It seems well established that the first settlement in Greene Township was effected in 1841 by William Bowman, who located three miles south of where Dawson's Mill was later erected on the west side of the Nodaway River. He took a claim and opened a farm there... Bowman only remained two seasons, however, and sold to James Roberts and joined the emigrant train for faraway Oregon... (--p. 259.)

Hopkins Township

Forty sections of Nodaway County land lying on the north line of the county and state and the second tier of townships from the east line of this county constitutes what is known as Hopkins Civil Township. On its west is Atchison Township, on the south Union Township, and on the east is Independence Township...

It is generally conceded that William Broyles was the first person to effect settlement in what is now known as Hopkins Township. He settled on the east side of the Mowery branch in White Oak Grove. (-- 261, 264.)

Hughes Township

Hughes Township is situated in the southwestern corner of Nodaway County, and comprises about sixty-two sections of land. It is bounded on the west by the Nodaway River, dividing this county from Holt Co.; on the north by Monroe and Polk Townships; on the east by White Cloud Township and on the south by Andrew County line. Hughes was one of the original sub-divisions of Nodaway County, and covered a much larger scope of county than it does now...

The first man to invade the wilds of Hughes Township, as now known, as well as the first in all Nodaway County, was Isaac Hogan. He was a native of Tennessee, and pitched his tent near what has for many years been styled Brown's Spring, just south of the village of Graham... Near that tenting spot, Mr. Hogan built his log cabin... For some time Mr. Hogan was perhaps the only white man living north of the Platte River in the Platte Purchase... (--. 43, 267, 268.)


Grant Township

Grant Township created from parts of White Cloud and Washington Townships is bounded on the north by Polk and Johnson ?Townships, on the east by Jefferson and Washington Townships, on the south by the Andrew County line, and on its west by White Cloud Townships ... This was one of the later civil townships formed in the county. It contains about forty-seven sections of land...

Sometime prior to 1850, Frank Conlin settled in the Narrows, a mile and a half east of where Barnard now stands. Another early settler was Isaac Broderick, of Tennessee, who located three and a half miles west of Barnard... (--. 254, 255.)

Independence Township

Independence Township contains sixty-three square miles; it is bounded on the north by Iowa and Worth County, Mo.; on the east by Worth County; on the south by Jackson Township, and on the west by Union and Hopkins Townships... in 1863 some lands on the east part of this township were taken off and attached to Worth County...

The settlement of Independence Township dates back to 1845... it was effected by Samuel Russell, who emigrated from Indiana, remained a few years in Andrew County, Mo., then came to Nodaway. He took a claim on what is now known as Section 16, Township 65 N, Range 33 W. He built a log house a quarter of a mile east of the Platte River... He sold out in 1847 to Elisha Brown and went with others to Oregon... (--. 268, 277.)

Jackson Township

Jackson Township is the central township, north and south, on the eastern line of Nodaway County, bounded on the north by Union and Independence Townships; east by Worth and Gentry Counties, Mo., south by Jefferson Township and on the west by Polk Township. It was named in honor of the seventh President of the United States, Andrew Jackson...

Beyond doubt, David Spooneware and Moses Stringley were about the first white men to effect a settlement here. Spooneware located in 1844, in the grove two miles north and a little to the east of the site of Sweet Home. There he took a claim and opened up a farm on the northwest quarter of Section 8, Township 64 N, Range 33 W.

Moses Stringley was born in Virginia, September 4, 1810. Later he moved to Indiana an in 1844 he removed to Missouri, locating in Andrew County. In 1946 he settled in Jackson Township, this county. (--. 281, 287.)


Jefferson Township

Jefferson Township is south of Jackson Township, east from Polk and Grant Townships, west of Gentry County and north of Washington Township.

David Rhoades, who was among the earliest settlers in this part of the county, came in 1846 and claimed land in the northeast corner of Section 28, Township 63 N, Range 34 W. Samuel Ross came probably the same year, locating two and a half miles northwest of Old Conception... (--. 282, 287.)

Lincoln Township

Lincoln Township is bounded on the north by the Iowa State line; on the east by Atchison and Nodaway Townships; on the south by Atchison and Nodaway Townships, and on the west by Atchison County, Missouri.

It was a part of Atchison Township... The present limits of Lincoln Township were officially established June 14, 1866...

To Joseph Hutson belongs the honor of being the first white man to settle west of the Nodaway River in the county. He came from Clay County, Kentucky, and purchased a full section of land, Section 32, Township 66 N, Range 32 W. It is situated about two miles west of the present site of Dawson. He erected his cabin in the grove about a fourth of mile east of Mill Creek. The date of his arrival was October 29, 1849, and that night snow fell to the depth of four inches, but fortunately it all disappeared the next day and there was no more until about Christmas... (--.293, 294.)

Monroe Township

Monroe Township is in the extreme southwestern corner of the county... being bounded on the north by Greene Township; on the east by Polk and Hughes Townships; on the south by Holt County, Missouri, and Hughes Township, Nodaway County, and on the west by Atchison County.

Among the first settlers to invade this part of the county was William Benton, who came in 1840 and opened up a farm one and a fourth mile northeast of where Skidmore was later platted. (--. 299.)

Nodaway Township

Nodaway Township is bounded on the north by Atchison and Union Townships, on the east by Union and Polk Townships, on the south by Polk and Greene Townships, and on the west by Greene and Lincoln Townships...

Later a strip two by three miles on the east end of Nodaway was taken off and added to Union Township...


Nodaway Township (cont)

Among the first to make settlement in Nodaway Township was Levi Martin, who came in 1842 and entered the claim on which Burlington Junction is now located...

What was styled the "Ohio Settlement" was effected in 1856 when J.H. Ware, Sr., came from Chillicothe, Ohio, and took a claim near Burlington Junction... (--.303, 304.)

Union Township

Union Township was formed in May, 1856... it is bounded on the north by Atchison, Hopkins and Independence Townships; on the east by INdependence Township; on the south by Nodaway, polk and Jackson Townships, and on the west by Atchison and Nodaway Townships...

The first settlers in Union Township as now known, were William and James Ingele, who arrived... in 1841, settling at White Oak Grove, about two miles below where old Xenia afterwards stood... Others came from time to time. The White Oak Grove settlement thus takes precedence over all others in Union Township... (--. 314, 315.)

Washington Township

Washington Township is bounded on the north by Jefferson Township; on the east by Gentry County; on the south by Andrew County and on the west by White Cloud Township... The township was first organized in 1845, by order of the court and was one of the original subdivisions of the county...

It seems quite probable that the earliest settlement in this township was made in 1840, and was effected by Thomas Gray, who took a claim in the southeast part of White Oak Grove, two miles north of the present town of Guilford...

The first store in the township was owned by Mr. Elliott, and his clerk carried the first mail bag that ever came into the settlement... (--.319, 320.)

White Cloud Township

White Cloud Township is on the south line of Nodaway County, and is centrally located east and west. It is bounded on the north by Polk Township; on the east by Grant Township; on the south by Andrew County, and on the west by Hughes Township...

Hiram Hall was the first settler to locate within this township. It was in 1840 that he settled one and a fourth miles southeast of the present site of Arkoe. He entered a claim and improved a farm several years, but about 1860 sold and moved to Kansas... (--.323, 324.)

Page numbers refer to Past and Present of Nodaway Co., 1910, E.F. Bowen Co., Publishers, Volume 1.

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