WHEN THEY CAME AND FROM WHERE THEY CAME
From 1830 to 1840
There are some who have placed the arrival of John Nave, William and Isaac Swiftes, Sears and Owens in the year 1831, but it has been impossible to ascertain this as a positive fact. They undoubtedly came, at least Sears, Nave and Owens, in the winter of 1831-2, or very early in the spring of the latter year. Joseph Fields settled on section 10. John F. Sharp, section 23; Peter Huntsmen, section 19, and Joel Milton on section 17. This was what was called the Fields' Settlement and all in Fields Creek Township, the township being named after Mr. Joseph Fields, the first sheriff of Henry County. Jonathan T. Berry settled on section 8, Windsor Township, this year. Esau Prewitt, of Kentucky, settled on section 5, Clinton Township, and Daniel Chitwood, a son-in-law of Prewitt, settled near by the same year. All the settlers of this year and the years preceding, and it might be said the year following, still found Boonville their nearest and best trading point. Among the troubles of those early days which the traveler found generally the most annoying was high water in the streams they had to cross Whenever a heavy rain was experienced. When George W. and Pleasant Walker came to Henry County they were eleven days coming from Lexington, on the Missouri River, to section 16 in Fields Creek Township. For four days they lay on the banks of Davis Creek before they could cross at the ford, and when they reached Blackwater Creek, in Johnson County, they had to swim their cattle across. They had five teams, and felt somewhat anxious as to the result, but they crossed in safety.
The first two log cabins put up with glass windows were built by Avery and Nixon, the latter a resident of Johnson County, just over the Henry County line, and this same Francis Nixon helped Henry Avery in the early fall of 1831, split the first ten-feet rails ever laid in the county. There were then, in 1832, three settlements, known as such, in Henry County, then called Lafayette County. They were the Fields Settlement, the Avery Settlement, and the settlement in and around where Windsor now stands. This latter was spread over a good deal of country, and represented the Arbuckles, Kimsey, Palmer, the Prices and McWilliams. Here and there were scattered many other settlers. Honey Creek and Big Creek each had a few settlers. What is now Leesville Township is said to have had one or two families within its border as early as 1832, but there is nothing reliable before 1834, although the compiler of this work will make another effort to ascertain its correctness, and if so, it will be given in the township history of Leesville. William Hatfield and David Ross settled on section 21, Tebo Township, Barber Price, or William B. Price, who was appointed constable of Tebo Township in May 1834, settled on section 24, Valentine Bell on section 21 John Buchanan, and Lemuel and Alfred Compton on section 15. These were all in Tebo Township. John Hail settled on section 9, Windsor Township.
The First Marriage
Undoubtedly the first marriage in Henry County was that of a couple whose names are unknown. They were married by Squire Henry Avery, on the night of the 15th of May 1832. They came from some place away down near Springfield, and had ridden their ponies four days in search of a justice or minister who could marry them. They had come across some friendly Indians, who directed them to Squire Avery's, describing him as a "heap big white man, plenty law." After four days' travel they at last reached Mr. Avery's place just after night, were married and left at once, uncommonly happy. What the Squire charged for the price of such happiness was not stated.
As has been before stated, wolves were plenty in those days, and Drury Palmer met them once on his way to the mill that he did not soon forget. He was not hurt nor did he lose anything except his sleep, but for two nights he lost all that, and as he had to keep traveling he thought it was pretty tough. With his horse loaded with corn and lie leading it on foot, when night came he heard their howling all about him. He camped and gathered his big pile of brush around him and a supply inside the circle, and instead of going to sleep he had to play fireman all night and work lively at that. He pushed on in the morning in hope of getting out of their reach the next night, but he did not. He was mad enough to kill the pack, but he was too prudent to give them a taste of blood, even if it was a half dozen of their own number. At Boonville he just slept about eighteen hours to average up and prepare for another siege, but he got through his return trip without trouble. He said, on his return, that he never did want to shoot so bad in all his life, and if he had not the horse with him he would have climbed a tree and shot all night. He always did hate a wolf after that, he said, but it is rather doubtful if he had any love for them before. Several of the neighbors or settlers in Windsor and Tebo lost hogs and pigs from these animals, and Mr. Robert Avery reports that his father lost a three-year-old steer, not a mile from their house, in the winter of 1831-2. But if the wolves troubled them occasionally the settlers generally got even, for a good many wolves succumbed to the unerring aim of their rifles, and their skins made everything even in the long run. In fact, the wolves soon found out they were getting the worst of it and concluded to leave for a, to them, healthier clime.
The settlements in 1833 improved slowly. There were fewer immigrants arrived apparently than in the preceding year. There were no colonies, but several families arrived, forming new settlements in other parts of the county.
In the arrivals of 1832 should have been mentioned Abner Martin and his two sons, George W. and Baker Martin, George Bounds and Littleberry Kimsey, who all came that year and settled in Big Creek Township. To the same township came Thomas Swipe and the Haines family. The latter came in 1831, George W. Lake being appointed guardian of Christopher M. Haines in 1831. Robert Allen, the first elected sheriff of the county, came early in this year. William Goff, one of the first county judges, came in 1833, and at his house the first circuit court was held, and the second or August term of the county court, in the year 1835. He settled on fractional section 1. Mr. John and E. Goff, and other members of the family, now live on the old place, and near by. Mr. John Goff has a very retentive memory, and gave the writer much of the early history of the county and section where he lives. They live in Deer Creek Township, on section 7. John Legg came in 1833, as did Colby S. Stevenson, who settled in Tebo Township. James Fields came the same year, and he opened a store at Goff's in the spring of 1835. William Reynolds was among the arrivals of 1833.
The Parks settlement was started in 1833, being known as such from the fact that a large family of them came, nearly all from Lincoln County, Kentucky, and they all had families. Mr. John Parks, the father of William Parks, and others, settled on section 5, in township 40, range 24, or what is now Leesville Township, and his cabin was not far from the banks of Grand River. The family were scattered over the surrounding sections, being found on sections 5, 4, 3, 35, 34, 33, 27, and the Park family still owns from a half to three-quarters of all these sections, and others of the family are yet to be found in adjoining lots. Peyton Parks who platted the town of Clinton, and was its first commissioner, settled on section 23, Tebo Township, and this was the home of Judge James Parks, probate judge. B. D. Parks settled in Leesville Township, on section 33.
When Tebo Township was made by the county court of Lafayette County in 1832 it entirely disposed of Davis Township, organized in 1830, so far as related to Johnson, Henry and St. Clair Counties. Tebo Township, as before stated, from May 1832, included the counties of Johnson, Henry and St. Clair north of the Osage River. At the May term 1834, John Brummet, Cyrus P. Arbuckle and Joseph Dixon were appointed judges of the August election of that year. The two last named were residents of this county, the former of Johnson. At the same session of the Lafayette County Court a new township called Springfield Township was organized. The order reads as follows:
"Ordered, That the following bounds shall include a new township, to be called Springfield:
"Beginning where the new base line crosses the Lafayette and Saline County line; thence west along and with said line to the range line between ranges 26 and 27; thence south to the southern line of Lafayette County (the Osage River); thence east with said line to Saline County line; thence north to the place of beginning."
"Ordered, That Joseph Montgomery, Philip Cecil and James Anderson be appointed judges of election in Springfield Township for two years, the election to be held at the house of James Anderson."
According to this boundary all east of the range line between ranges 26 and 27 was Springfield Township, and west was Tebo. T his was the division of the county when it was organized. Shawnee, Field Creek, Clinton and Fairview and the townships east all being Springfield. The election was held at Anderson's house, and Fielding A. Pinnell was the clerk of the election. He made or rather carried the returns to Lexington, and received $6.20 for the job. James McWilliams got $4.00 for taking the returns from Tebo Township.
It was at the August term of the Lafayette County Court 1834, that William B. Price was appointed constable of Tebo Township. James McWilliams, then constable, and William Simpson went on his bond as sureties. The bond was for $800.
This was the last act of the Lafayette County Court in reference to this county. The following winter, on December 13, 1834, this territory, now Henry County, was declared an independent municipal division of the state, under the name of Rives County. The organization of the county was the commencement of something more definite in regard to her future.
1835 to 1840
It was the opening of an era which was to bring her prosperity and progress, and to place her well toward the front among the municipal divisions or counties of the state, and the year 1834 brought her quite an influx of population to meet her new position as an independent division. The Cecils settled on section 35, in Springfield Township, as now bounded. They came in the spring of 1834. James Gladden and Henry D. Lewis on section 36, Tebo Township, in 1834. Benjamin L. Dunn came in 1834. William Brickley came the same year and located on section 29, Windsor Township, John Woodward on section 1, and William Perry on section 2, Windsor Township. Thomas B. Wallace and Benjamin F. Wallace came in 1835, in the fall, and opened a general store one mile north of Clinton, on section 35, Fields' Creek Township. Asaph W. Bates came a year later. James Anderson, Thomas Keeney, and Whit Mulholland settled in Bethlehem Township in 1836, and Maj. S. M. Peeler in 1837. John W. Jones, Bird D. Parks, Irwin Sisk, Andrew Sisk, Laban Pigg, section 32. Logan Palmer and John A. Pigg made Leesville Township their home in 1835 and 1836. M. Beedy on section 1, and Wheedon Majors, on section 12, Windsor Township, came also in 1836. W. R. Taylor and John Taylor located on sections 15 and 16, same township, in 1838. Asa Hendricks, John Scroggs and Rev. Joshua Page, of the Christian Church, made the choice of Bogard Township as their homes in 1837. Howell Lewis, in 1836, settled on section 9, Deer Creek Township. G. W. Squires and Nathan Arbuckle in 1836, and D. H. Pigg and James A. Tutt in 1838, the latter in Springfield Township and the former in Tebo. Richard Wall, of North Carolina, settled in Big Creek in 1839, and Mason C. Fewell on section 7, Tebo Township, from the same state, A. Potts in Walker Township, the same year, while John C. Stone located his ranch on the sparkling surface of Deepwater before the year 1840,
"The year of promised relief."
A Slight Retrospect
The first county court was held at Henry Avery's, on section 10, Tebo Township, on the 4th and 5th days of May 1835. The next term of the county court was held at the cabin of William Goff, on fractional section 1, in the northeast corner of Deer Creek Township. The first circuit court was held at William Goff's in September 1835, and Charles H. Allen, judge, was present, on the 23rd day of September. Both of the cabins in which the county and circuit courts were held, the Avery and Goff cabins, are still standing, and the present courthouse is not a standing monument of either beauty or enterprise in comparison with the above relics of a more primitive age.
Thomas and Charles Waters opened the first store in Henry County, about 200 yards from Mr. Avery's house, in 1835. Steve Clark, so called, a wide-awake merchant of Boonville, came down, and with a Mr. Bogg started another store, and these two were the pioneers. Not long, however, the first courthouse having been forsaken and another established at Goff, James Field opened out at the latter place, and soon after Hall & Ketcham started at the crossing or ford of Tebo Creek. This store was known as "the store down on the creek." The Wallaces coming in the fall of 1835, did not open their store until 1836, and while in 1840 nine stores were to be found in Henry County, in January 1842 there was but one left, solitary and alone, in the whole county, and that was at Clinton and owned by the Wallace Bros. Hard times and the credit system broke them all up.
The county up to the year 1840 and later was about 356 Democratic majority, but the Whigs always managed to secure one or two of the county offices, and it is stated they held sheriffs for ten years in succession. The county seat was located at Clinton in the fall of 1836, and soon after became, in fact as well as his name, the seat of justice for Rives County. Calhoun had made a desperate effort to secure the much-coveted prize. A square had been donated, etc., but it availed nothing. The struggle ended with the location.
Trials and Tribulations, Cabins and Comforts, Pioneer Life
The life of the settler from 1830 to 1840, which might be said to cover the period of pioneer life, in a great measure, was not a bed of roses, but seasons of privations and hardships; yet all was borne uncomplainingly and with unflinching courage. Up to 1835 it had been a part of the territory of Lafayette County, and while a part of and under its civil jurisdiction many settlers had preempted and staked their claims, but the land was not surveyed until the winters of 1836-7-8 and and was not open to entry until 1839. Therefore, in the exchange of property, the pioneer could only sell his claim, and this was often done, for many were of a roving disposition or would become dissatisfied, and were ready either to go to other untried fields or return to their eastern homes.
Their Homes and Clothing
The settlers were united together like a band of brothers. Danger and privation had drawn them to each other, and there was little need of law or lawyers in those days. They were neighbors in every sense of the word, and a spirit of justice and right ruled them.
The pioneer would erect his cabin upon his claim, and the neighbors would come for miles around to help him and give him a fair start in the world. They gave him a warm welcome, the right hand of fellowship was extended and the new settler felt at home at once. The latch string hung on the outside, and what the cabin held was at the command of the traveler or neighbor. Corn was their principal article of food and the wild game furnished the meat for their families. A cow was generally secured, and the pioneer was then happy as well as rich. Store goods were not often seen or worn. Dressed deer skins served for men's clothing and moccasins for their feet. The pioneer's wife, without whom a pioneer's life would have been a wretched failure, done the making and spun and wove the home-made cotton for herself and daughters. Eight yards were sufficient and a dress would last a year or two. Sometimes ginghams and calico were purchased, but it was only the rich that could indulge in such costly goods in which to array their wives and daughters. An extra quality and a brighter color of homespun was the general Sunday meeting dress of the women of that day, and when the men wanted to put on style they purchased an article of cloth called Kentucky jeans. But durability and not style was the forte of the old pioneer, and the dress of deer skin and the coon skin cap was really the rage for solid wear. The cabin, with either a puncheon or earthen floor, and wooden chairs and a table, was regulation style. The fireplace took up nearly one end of the cabin, and the chimneys were made of sticks and the very best of Henry County mud. Now and then a cup of coffee, sweetened with honey, the product of a lucky find in the shape of a bee tree, a juicy venison steak or a piece of turkey, and corn bread made of mashed corn pounded in a mortar or ground in a hand mill, composed the steady week day and Sunday diet of the old pioneer.
From this section, and from the north and east part of the county, Muddy Mills was the leading post office for the people, and they had to travel from thirty to forty-five miles to reach there, and Boonville, some sixty to seventy-five miles distant, was their principal trading point up to 1836. At this time there were only four stores in the county - one owned by Water Bros. and one by Clark & Boggs, both in section 10, Tebo Township, established in the spring of 1835; and the others in the fall of the same year, and were owned by Hall & Ketcham and James Fields. These stores soon became quite important business houses. The people had depended up to this time on the Missouri River towns, but these stores filled what might be termed many an aching void. They could show up pretty lively for variety, but did not carry heavy stocks, for it was not necessary. They seldom invested a thousand in silks or broadcloths, but confined themselves to staple articles which met the demand of the early settlers. Their stocks consisted of salt, tea, tobacco, cotton, yarns, iron for horseshoes, nails, etc., powder, lead, shot, and steel points, for plows. Added to these and considered staple articles, there was kept a moderate supply of calico, ginghams, domestic cotton, Kentucky jeans, boots and shoes, etc., with a fair article of corn whisky. This latter was also considered a staple article, and was of a kind not too weak to be insipid, or so strong as to make you fighting drunk, but of that mild, exhilarating quality that made a man feel just comfortable on taking "a good square drink." There was nothing in these lines of goods to make people extravagant.
These country stores were strongly built, and the logs of which they were composed hewed flat on the inside. The goods were placed in the most convenient places to get at. Boxes were utilized as counters, and while there was but little display in those good old times, little was desired. If the goods they wanted were there, it didn't make much difference to the people whether they were on shelves, or even had shelves. The ladies in those days went a good deal more on sense than style, and did not go shopping to show off a "gift-edge make-up," or chat with a perfumed clerk, with an oreide watch and a plated chain. Just imagine Tom Wallace behind Cock & Breneison's counter, or practicing a dancing step down one of the side aisles, or in Allison's dry goods emporium with a bevy of Henry County beauties!
The Indians also did a good deal of trading. They still hunted through the country, were peaceable, drew a government annuity, and received powder and lead from the government as a part of their annual payment. Before stores had become a part of the progressive civilization of Henry County many of the old pioneers procured powder and lead of the Indians. They had become quite expert traders and would take the settlers' supply of skins and pay in many other necessaries they had received from the government. The red man would carry these skins and furs to the river towns and there sell them. It was thus that many settlers who could not go away from home, or had not a load to take sufficient to warrant such a long trip, were supplied by trading with the friendly Indians. These Indians were peaceable enough, but they needed watching, for they had no scruples whatever in appropriating to their own use any little thing that might be lying around loose. The settlers were, however, aware of this slight eccentricity of the character of their dusky neighbors or visitors, and were careful to keep articles needing only light transportation out of their way.
This powder and lead business was a necessity, for upon his trusty rifle the old pioneer depended entirely for his meat and to a large extent for his clothing and that of his boys; therefore, when he could not go after his supply, he was glad to get it of the friendly Indians.
As there was no horse mill in the county until that year; it was something of a job to go to a mill. The trip was made and it generally counted two ways. Not only did he go to mill, but he managed to lay in some supplies - a little tea, perhaps, coffee, a little flour to make biscuits for company, a little saleratus, for baking powder was not known, an iron wedge, a chain, and last, though not least, a jug to meet the spirit of any joyful occasion that might arise or as a medicinal dose to benefit a deranged system. To effect these purchases the old pioneer loaded his ox wagon, and with a little honey, a few venison hams, some deer, mink and coon skins, and "sich kind of truck," started in the fall for his winter supplies. Boonville, and sometimes even Glasgow, was their point of destination. His purchases were soon made and the jug was sure to be filled. The historian, however, will mention right here that the latter article was not used for intoxicating purposes. The old pioneer was the advance guard of civilization, but he left it to a later, and by some called a more cultured era, to introduce whisky as a beverage and to furnish to this higher type of civilization the "common drunkard." A few years later these trips paid a little something beside expenses. The merchants made their wholesale purchases at these towns, or if at St. Louis, they were shipped by river to these points before starting on land navigation, and the settler would haul these goods back at the rate of sixty to seventy-five cents per hundred pounds, thus loading both ways and paying them something for the trip.
Settlers flowed in, and the year 1834 found many newcomers. Those who first staked their claims in 1831 and 1832 felt as though they lived in a populous country. The miles which had been between cabins had become reduced, so that once in awhile neighbors would be within a mile, or even a half a mile of each other, and "raising bees" became common, and were greatly enjoyed. A new comer would cut the logs for his cabin, haul them to the ground ready to put up, and then announce a "raising bee." The neighbors came from miles around, and the way that cabin went up into a square shape, capped with weightpoles, was a "caution to slow coaches." And they sang at their work:
"Our cabins are made of logs of wood,
The floors are made of puncheon,
The roof is held by weighted poles,
And then we 'hang off' for luncheon."
This would be followed by a swig from the little brown jug, kept especially for the occasion, and then with a hearty shake of the hand and a "wish you well," the neighbors left the new comer to put the finishing touches to his cabin. And this was a "raising bee" of ye olden times.
The early settlers of Henry County were mostly from Kentucky and Tennessee, and not a few came from North Carolina and Virginia. These old pioneers knew literally nothing of the value of the beautiful and rich, rolling prairies which lay at their feet, but one and all "took to the woods," and the first settlements of Henry County were made near or on the banks of the streams. Wood and water were a necessity, and they built their cabins near to these useful articles; still the timbered land was their choice, and the prairies were little used except for grazing purposes. Of course this did not last long. It began to get into the heads of the old pioneer that if grass could grow as luxuriant as it did, why not corn? There was another impression, also, that gave the prairies a drawback, and that was, the settler, not knowing the nature of the soil, had an impression that the sod was so stiff that the prairies could not be broken. However, a trial and a corn crop on a small piece of prairie land soon opened the eyes of the settlers, and that which they thought to be a barren waste was a veritable garden of Eden, under the inspiring efforts of the plow and hoe. There were no less than three sixteenth sections which were prairies, that the settlers asked to have changed for other school lands, giving as their reasons that they were all prairie, and no account, and the county court consented to have the change made, and it was made. They wanted school lands that were of some value. But the experiment was tried, as above stated, with small patches of corn, and it was not long before the worthless and despised prairie, with its rich and productive soil, stood upon an equal footing with its timbered neighbor, and then took another start and led. The prairies are now the cultivated fields; the timbered are held for wood lands. But the clearing of the wood land or the breaking of the prairies were no idle pastimes. Years of toil, of hardship and privations was the lot of the early pioneer; but for the toil of the then present he expected, and did reap, in almost all cases, an abundant future. Still the old pioneer believed in labor. It was not only necessary to provide for the present and future, but it gave strength to the muscles and health to the entire system. Labor to them, therefore, was not only a necessity, but really a pleasure, for:
"There is not a man, from the sceptered king,
To the peasant that delves the soil,
That knows half the joys existence can bring
That does not partake of its toil."
In one respect the early settler had a few advantages not possessed by the poor mortals of today, or even by those of a generation back. While they endured the privations with which they were encompassed with heroic fortitude and a patience which exalted them, these old-time heroes and heroines could get the necessaries of life at a good deal less cost than their favored children and grandchildren of this day: and not only that, but there was any quantity of land lying around loose at government price, $1.25 per acre, and excellent swamp land, all but the swamp, at twenty-five cents per acre-twelve months' time and county warrants taken at par - anxious to be tickled with a hoe, that it might laugh with a harvest. The financial crash of 1837 had completely demoralized values, property shrank to such amazing smallness that many people were in doubt as to whether they possessed anything except their lives and their families. The wildcat banks rapidly climbed the golden stairs, and their assets went glimmering. The necessaries of life were cheap, and those who suffered most in those days were of the class called wealthy, excepting perhaps the managers of the wildcat banks above spoken of. The farmer and mechanic here in the West had little to complain of. Their wants were few and supplies cheap; if corn was at a low figure, tea, coffee, sugar and whisky were also cheap. The business depression brought on by the financial collapse referred to continued for several years, and still hovered over the land as late as 1842. In 1839 and 1840 prices of goods still ruled very low, and the prospect of an early rise seemed far from encouraging.
Cows sold from $5 to $10, and payable, perhaps, in trade at that. Horses brought for the best about $40, but could be bought from about $25 up for a fair animal. Working oxen were from $25 to $30 per yoke, and considered down to almost nothing. Hogs, dressed, sold from $1.25 to $1.50 each, and were not mixed with trichinae either. Garnered wheat brought from 35 to 40 cents a bushel, corn, 50 cents per barrel, delivered, and a good veal calf 75 cents. You could go to the woods and cut down a bee tree, gather the honey, bring it to market and you got 25 cents a gallon for it; it was thought that the bees were well paid for their honey. And such honey, so clear and transparent that even the bee keeper of today with his patent hive and Italian swarms would have had a look of envy covering his face on beholding it. The wild deer came forward and gave up his hams at 25 cents each, and the settler generally clinched the bargain by taking the skin also, and when not cut up into strings or used for patches brought another quarter, cash or trade as demanded. It was a habit in those days for farmers to help each other, and their sons to work in the harvest field or help do the logging to prepare for the seeding of new land. This was a source of wealth to the sons of the early settlers and to those farmers who were unable to purchase a home. They received from 25 to 50 cents per day and their board. That was wealth, the foundation of their future prosperity. It was the first egg laid to hatch them a farm and it was guarded with scrupulous care. Economy was often whittled down to a very fine point before they could be induced to touch that nest egg, the incipient acre of the first farm. Then, again, a day's work meant something besides getting on the shady side of a tree and two hours for nooning. It meant labor in all its length and breadth and thickness from holding a breaking plow behind three yoke of oxen to mauling rails. Right here it may be mentioned that rails were made at from 25 to 40 cents per hundred. Just think of splitting rails at 25 cents per hundred! It is enough to take the breath away from every effeminate counter jumper in the state.
This covers a good deal of what the old pioneer had or received for labor and farm produce.
The citizens soon began to take an interest in home affairs, and going to Boonville or other distant places to have their corn ground, or to put it in a hole burned into a log and pound it, was rather slow work. Consequently, when Richard Wade erected the first horse mill in the county, which he did in 1835, he could not complain of a want of patronage. The mill was situated on section 7, in township 43, of range 25, now called Tebo, and about three miles west of the Avery settlement, and there would be, perhaps, a dozen farmers there at a time waiting to take their turn, and many times, for the purpose of expediting the grinding, would hitch their own animal on the mill and give the owner's animal a rest.
Nearly at the same time, at all events in the same year, William Collins put up another horse mill on the southeast quarter of section 22, township 42, of range 24. This mill received all the custom from the southern and southeastern parts of the county, and some came over from Benton County, being nearer to many of the western and southern settlers. When the crowd got so great as to compel many of them to spend a day and a night before their turn would come, fun would flow in great rivulets. The rifle was the daily companion of the farmer, no matter whether he went out to cut wood, to go to mill, or go to the store. So if a delay occurred at the mill, there would be a shooting match at once; then, perhaps, after night a game of poker by a log fire, and, if time permitted, a short hunt was taken, and the farmer often returned from mill with a few turkeys hung from his saddle-bow, or the carcass of a deer swung across the back of his horse, thus bringing both bread and meat for his family on the same trip.
There was a grist mill put up on Honey Creek in 1838, and was owned by John Dixon. It was located on that stream, on section 10, in Honey Creek Township. This was said to be the first water mill in the county, but Kimsey's mill was erected before. Another mill, called the Huntley Mill, was erected in 1845, on Grand River, and on section 23, and what is now Clinton Township. This was considered a good mill at the time, and doubtless was fully up to the mills of that day. It had a run of burrs for both wheat and corn.
The horse mill soon became an institution. The country stores multiplied, and even the county seat began to take upon itself a habitation and a name. Many went to Wallace's store, others went to town, a few to the courthouse, and now and then a man would announce he was going to Clinton. And the women, too, went and shopped at these stores, for there were pioneer women in those days as well as pioneer men, and they knew something of pioneer life from actual experience.