TEBO, SHAWNEE AND FIELDS CREEK TOWNSHIPS
This township is historic. It once composed all of Johnson and Henry Counties and took in half of St. Clair, but in May, 1834, it was turned into Springfield Township by the Lafayette County Court, and it remained Springfield until May 5th, 1835, when the first county court, sitting at Henry Avery's, changed it back to Tebo and gave it a boundary which covered one-fourth of the present county of Henry. It was one of the four original townships, of which Rives, now Henry, was composed. The first settler was Henry Avery, July 10th, 1831, settling on section 10. It is hardly necessary to follow in detail the rise, progress and the settlement of the township. Being one of the original four, much of its history will be found in the pages of the old settlers, and in the official part of Henry County history.
There were the Barkers, Wades,
Averys, Palmer, Nash, Fields, Wileys, Askins and a few others, who gave to Tebo
a solid advance in prosperity, and led the van of civilization in Henry County.
It is one of the largest townships in the county as now formed, covering an
area of nearly seven miles square, one section in the northeast corner being
taken off and placed in Windsor Township. This gave it forty-eight sections of
land, or 30,720 acres.
The first election ever held in the county was in this township, in August, 1832, at Alfred Askins' house. The second was at Avery's. The third was at the house of Colby S. Stevenson, at the August election, 1836.
Addison Young was the first preacher, but both Henry Avery and Colby S. Stevenson were ministers. The first school was taught by Mr. Stevenson, a private one, in the southeast portion of the township in an old log hut. In 1835 a log school house was erected, and the school was largely attended for those days. The house was built in section 16 on the farm owned now by Dr. John Bronaugh, and was first taught by Benjamin L. Durrett.
The scholars who attended the first school were, I T. Barker, Eliza Ann Barker (now Mrs. Covington), R. L. Avery, William L. Avery, P. G. Avery, Robert Wade, Pleasant Wade, Fennel Wade, John Wiley, Robert Brummet and Alexander Brummet, the last two children of John Brummet, who lived in Johnson County, about half a mile from the county line. They came about five miles. There were other scholars to the number of thirty in all, and one dollar per scholar was charged for their tuition.
North Carolina Colony
There was little to mar the serenity of the people in those early days. Settlers came in slowly and staked their claims, ready to purchase when the land came into market, which it did in 1838. The largest arrival, and which created a small ripple of excitement, was the North Carolina Colony. They came from Rockingham County, North Carolina, and some were formerly Marylanders. The colony halted at Sardis Church, and from there they scattered, but mostly settling in Henry County. The arrivals were Richard Wall and family, Mason C. Fewell and family, Benjamin Wall and family, Dr. R. Z R. Wall and family, William Howerton and family, John C. Stone and family, A. Potts and family, Isaac Monday and family, Mrs. Sarah Lindsay and family.
Of these Benjamin and Dr. R. Z. R. Wall, went over the line and settled in Johnson County. Isaac Monday made Jackson County his home a few weeks later. Richard Wall settled in Big Creek Township, A. Potts in Walker, John C. Stone in Deepwater, William Howerton and Mason C. Fewell, remaining in Tebo, Mrs. Sarah Lindsay and her sons, in Fields Creek. This colony arrived in the vicinity of the Sardis Baptist Church, November 22, 1839, and by spring were all located as above. This colony has left its mark in the early history of the county. They came with some means and were able to take up a good deal of land and they did so, the descendants of the Walls and the Lindsays owning thousands of acres at this day of some of the richest of Henry County land. They came in wagons the whole distance, and crossed from Kentucky into Illinois September 20, 1839, and were then two months and two days reaching the Sardis Camping ground.
In 1850, Tebo Township then still one-fourth of the county, had 1,164 in population, and in 1860 boasted of the number of 2,407. In 1870 this had still increased, although partly curtailed, 3,308, including the town of Calhoun, its capital city. In 1873, its present boundary was defined and the population in 1880 was 1,725, which also included the town of Calhoun. The district was No. 2, and the township called "Tebo," and its boundaries were given as follows:
"Composed of all of congressional township No. 43, of range No. 25, and sections Nos. 31 to 36, inclusive, in congressional township No.44, of range No.25, and sections Nos. 6,7, 18, 19, 30 and 31, in township No. 43, of range No. 24."
This as stated is its present boundary, and its area is given above. The township has been a progressive one and has, agriculturally speaking, held its own.
In 1878 the following article was printed in the Clinton Advocate and will prove of interest:
The Old Settlers of Tebo
CLINTON, Missouri, May 5, 1878
North of the village of Calhoun in this, Henry County, there is an area of country that is at once beautiful to the eye. It is undulating prairie, interspersed with timber along the many branches of the Tebo. The soil is rich and productive for grain raising, pasturage, all kinds of grasses, fruits and vegetables, is unsurpassed in this western country, and is one of the most delightful regions for the abode of man. This section was settled some forty odd years ago, by rather a remarkable class of men, of a lively temperament, richly endowed with mental and personal advantages; kind and hospitable, anticipating all the wants of a visitor or stranger, the old settlers of this section were far above the average of pioneers. All were well to do and independent, but none of them very rich. There were, some ten or fifteen years ago, Judge Berry, Major Wall, William Wall, Dr. James Wall, William Fewell, M. C. Fewell, Drury Palmer, R. Allen, Judge Avery, J. C. Vanhoy, Green Avery, Elijah Wiley, Daniel Hastings, Mark Finks, Dr. Thornton and A. Askins, who have all "gone to that bourne from whence no traveler returns." `Who can fill their places? There are left behind, Peyton Parks, A. C. Legg, Seymour Stone, Colonel G. W. Squires, John Littlepage, William Bricker, Jeff Bronaugh, and others, who, in the course of nature, must soon follow. Can their places be supplied? We see all around us our good citizens falling one, by one, like leaves in autumn. In the district referred to there are many buildings, fruit and shade trees and shrubs, that were built and planted by the hands of those that have passed away They stand as monuments of taste and industry to the early Settlers. The poet said:
Alone I walked the ocean strand,
A pretty shell was in my hand:
I stopped and wrote in the sand
My name, the day, the year.
Onward from the beach I passed,
A lingering look behind I cast,
I saw the waves come rolling high and fast,
They washed my lines away.
An Old Subscriber
This list is worthy of record, and the township speaks, in its great development, of the character of its early settlers.
One other thing to be added to this are its schools. Tebo Township has seven district schools, and the houses are of a neat and substantial character. There is but one township which has a larger number, Windsor, which has eight. The township is growing steadily, both in population and wealth, and will always stand among the leading townships of the county in its stock and cereal productions and in the moral, intellectual and enterprising character of her prosperous citizens.
Hickory Grove Church
The Hickory Grove M. E. Church was organized August 16, 1874, by the Rev. John A. Murphy, whose earnest endeavor and active work became a success. The original members were: Theressa J. Anderson, Andrew J. Bailey, John Wilson, Mary S. Bailey, Martha Crabtree, Mary A. Dickey, William G. Dickey, Harriet Wilson, Rev. Robert H. Lee, Susan Lee, Brunetta Lee, John Noble, Elizabeth Noble, Lou Wilson, Narcissa A. Wilson, John Wiley, Cynthia Wiley, William Coppage and wife, John W. Coppage, Leonora A. Coppage, L. J. Coppage and John W. Wilson class leader.
The church has increased in influence and also steadily increased in membership, which now numbers eighty. The Rev. John A. Murphy, Who was so instrumental in its organization, took charge of the infant congregation. He was followed in the order named by the following earnest workers in the cause of the church, viz: Rev. B. Margison, Rev. Thomas Wallace, Rev. Wilber L. King, Rev. J. P. Cobb, Rev. J. J. Hill, Rev. J. J. Keller, Rev. William S. Woodward, Rev. Wilber L. King with Rev. N. M. Dowdy as assistant, and at present the Rev. John Y. Busby and Rev. A. L. Huston.
They have built themselves a neat frame church, plainly but comfortably finished, at a cost of $600. As before remarked, the church is prospering, and in connection therewith they have a flourishing Sunday School numbering some fifty pupils. It is under the superintendency of Alma Houts, who has given his earnest supervision to the good work.
The Sardis-Bethlehem Old School Baptist Church were united May 19, 1866, but the old "Sardis Baptist Church" of Tebo Township is one of the old landmarks of Christianity, like the early settlers the pioneer of churches of Henry County.
The early settlers of that township were its first members, and they were of that good old stock who labored with both hands and hearts, and the dawn of civilization was lighted on its way by the Christian example and fortitude of as noble a band of pioneers as ever blazed the path of progress for generations to follow.
The Sardis Baptist Church was organized on May 4, 1839, and an old log school house on Tebo Creek was their first place of worship, and in all respects it was a primitive one, but looks had little to do with those who came together to worship the name of the Lord.
Nature itself, its prairies and the woodlands, the shaded rills and rippling brooks all told of the great Jehovah who reigned on high, and man could find a place to worship if his heart was in the work. In the summer the trees of the forest shaded many an assembly who had gathered together to commune in the spirit and hear the word of God.
Among the original members of this church were the following familiar names of the old pioneers of Tebo, viz: Elder Henry Avery, John W. Williams, John Brummet, Benjamin G. Parker, Valentine Bell, and sisters Susan Hudson and Nancy Williams. Mrs. Williams is the only one of this band of worshippers at this date and is the widow of Major John W. Williams whose name is mentioned above. There are at present forty-three members belonging to the church. In 1839 Rev. Henry Avery and Rev. James Fewell were joint pastors and they were followed by Rev. William C. Garrett, Rev. James Warder, Rev. C. M. Reed, and Rev. J. E. Goodson, present pastor. In 1856 a frame church was built at a cost of $600 and is still in use. The church has steadily grown with the growth of the neighborhood and stands now as a landmark of olden times and a link connected with the generation of today.
This is one of the old settled towns in the county, in fact was located about the time Clinton was, and was the latter's rival for the county seat. When Henry, or Rives, County was organized then came the county seat question and as there were no houses or cabins either at Clinton or Calhoun, it seemed to the Tebo and Springfield Township settlers that they had a chance for the prize, as Goff's was soon after the county seat. It was more than likely that Calhoun would have secured the prize, as at that time about 415 of the settlers lived north of Grand River, but for one fatal effect, it was too far from the center of Rives County, as organized by the general assembly. Even Benjamin and Thomas Wallace wanted it at their store, about a mile north of the present location, but the commissioners having found the center stake they located it as near to it as possible.
Located in 1835
James Nash located the present town of Calhoun in 1835, but there was nothing really done until the next year, when the county commission began to look around for a location for the county seat of Rives. Mr. James Nash then stepped forward and secured the services of John S. Lingle to lay out his town, named it after South Carolina's great statesman, John C. Calhoun, and finished up by donating two acres for a public square. This was received by the town of Calhoun, and the square was promptly laid out enclosing about one acre and wide streets on each side of it, and thus it stands to this day. The location not being central enough to secure the seat of justice, the Calhounites made no further effort after the location was made. They had not progressed so far as their later neighbor, in trying to make a county for themselves. No, Calhoun is not Windsor.
However, as soon as Calhoun Was laid out the rush from Goff's, the then county seat, took place at once. James Fields, who had a store at Goff's, and one of the first in the county, moved to Calhoun and put up the first house within its classic limits. Hall and Gletcher, William and John Goff all got there and established business in the winter of 1836-7.. Fields, Hall and Fletcher opened each a general store, and the Goffs a grocery. Then in the Summer came Mr. McCormick, who opened a dry goods and grocery store. These Were the first buildings erected. James Fields built his cabin just under the hill in the Tebo bottoms, north of town. The Goffs remained at their old home, coming to town to do business. The fall of 1837 and the following winter brought others, and although it was not the county seat, it did a good deal more business.
The town plat covered forty acres, as laid out by Mr. Nash. There were never any particular sales of lots. James Gladden owned several and Henry D. Lewis the same. The first lot sold that there is any account of was purchased by Benjamin L. Durrett, who taught the first school in the new school house in 1835, and he bought it of H. D. Lewis for $18 cash, May 11, 1837; it was lot fourteen. Then on June 12, 1837, James W. Fields bought lots three and ten, for which he paid James Gladden $25 cash in hand. The record of other sales could be given, but these were the first of record.
The first tavern license was granted to John Taylor, who paid $20 license, November, 1845, and the first saloon to Matthew Arbuckle, in February, 1846. The first postoffice in the county was at Goff's, from 1835 to 1837, when William Goff gave it up, and James Fields was appointed postmaster and the office moved to Calhoun. The Clinton postoffice was established the same time.
The first election at the town of Calhoun was in 1844, the county court ordering the August election of that year to be held then.
Dr. W. Thornton was the first physician, settling in the county in 1835, and at Calhoun soon after it was laid out.
The fall of 1837 the citizens secured a teacher for the winter in the person of Miss Lucy McCord, who taught two or three terms.
Calhoun has had a few additions, Mr. Squires laying out two, but it won't need any more at present.
It was not until 1857 that Calhoun was made into a separate school district, when by order of the county court in June of that year it was So designated, and the incorporators were W. S. Holland, D. H. Pigg, I. R. Dupree, James A. Tutt, G. W. Smith, E. R. Givens and Thomas Sallee, and the town was organized for school purposes, the incorporators meeting June 6, 1857, for that purpose. In 1861 the district was enlarged by adding the east half of section 6 to its boundary.
While there had been preaching at the houses of the settlers, there was no stated preacher at Calhoun for a number of years.
The civil war then coming on, Calhoun felt its effects, and like other towns took years to recover from that blow.
In 1866 she took a start and began to show signs of a waking up, the country around being rich, and the farmers recovering also from the shock of the civil War, began to trade at the old place. New business houses went up and those already there were filled with goods, and by 1870 very much of the old time trade had been regained and the future wore a promising outlook.
Incorporation of Calhoun
The town having become ambitious, her citizens concluded that its incorporation would be a good step toward achieving future greatness, and they presented their wishes to the county court of Henry County February 10, 1870. Upon the reception of their petition the following order was placed of record:
"Whereas, A petition was this day presented to the court signed by sundry citizens of the town of Calhoun, in the county of Henry, praying to have the said town incorporated and setting forth the metes and bounds thereof, and it appearing to the satisfaction of the court that two-thirds of the taxable inhabitants of said town have signed said petition, and also that the prayer in said petition is reasonable, it is therefore ordered by the court that the inhabitants of said town of Calhoun be declared to be incorporated within the metes and bounds as set forth in said petition, to wit:
Beginning at the southwest quarter of the northwest quarter of the southeast quarter of section No. 36, township 43, of range 25, running north 320 rods; thence east 320 rods; thence south 320 rods; thence west to the place of beginning, and to be known and styled by the name and style of the "Inhabitants of the Town of Calhoun." And the court doth hereby appoint Tower Thomasson, Joseph Hairrell, J. W. Minish, William Gutridge and F. J. Agnew as a board of trustees for said town, according to the statutes in such cases made and provided.
This seemed to give new life and the citizens went to work to build up a town.
The great industry of Calhoun is her pottery business. The clay is of fine quality for earthen ware and she ships an immense quantity annually. She has now six potteries in full blast, and jugs of all sizes, crocks, also, and milk pans, and in fact every description of earthen ware is manufactured here and shipped by the car loads.
In 1874 a union church was erected costing, including furniture and all complete, not far from $1,500. The Methodist, Baptist and Presbyterian were the three denomination which took part in its construction. This is yet the only church building in the town.
The school house is a neat frame building and very well furnished.
It has a two-story brick hotel, which is one of the best buildings in the town, and quite a fine number of new brick business houses have been erected since the great fire of 1877.
The Great Fire
The "Great Fire," so-called, which took place on Monday night, December 3rd, 1877, was a sad blow to her enterprising business men, who suffered by the calamity, and to the whole town.
It was discovered about fifteen minutes before eleven o'clock, by James Hahn from his residence. Alarm was given, and citizens rushed to the scene. The fire was then burning briskly in the southeast corner of the Grange store, where it is supposed to have originated. The buildings being old and dry as tinder wood, were consumed very rapidly rendering the stocks of merchandise contained in them almost a total loss. The entire block was consumed, consisting of four buildings, in which business was done by Henry Slack on north corner, the Grange store next, then J. O. Edmonson and James Finks on the south corner of the block.
Mr. Slack's loss was about $1,000; $50 in merchandise and books saved. No insurance. Building belonged to Mrs. S. P. Harper, not insured.
Grange Store, owned principally by Judge Wood, R. Z. Fewell, Max McCann, and Drury M. Palmer. Estimated loss, $4,000. Insured for $3,000; occupied Masonic Hall building, which was a total loss; no insurance.
J. O. Edmonson occupied his own building; insured for $1,000; his stock was quite large, on which he had $1,000 insurance. He saved part of his stock, but probably lost from $4,000 to $5,000.
Col. Jim Finks lost nearly his entire drug stock-loss about $2,000. Insurance expired a few days before. The building belonged to John Gutridge. Not insured.
This conflagration obliterated the principal business block of the town.
A Prominent Site
Calhoun is very handsomely located between the branches of the Tebo Creeks. West Tebo rising on one side and Tebo Creek on the other, and though riot exactly in the forks of these streams, is between them, and they almost touch the town limits on both sides. On the east side there is a stretch of bottom land, nearly a quarter of a mile wide, but on the west she lies on the bluffs overlooking the stream, perhaps a quarter of a mile away. She lies on the top of this divide, the land sloping both ways to the streams on each side of her. From her eyrie, thus perched upon a hill, she has a splendid view to the north of her; but all around, except that one point of the compass, she is barred from an extensive view by the heavily wooded banks of the streams just mentioned, they coming together about two and a half miles south of the town, and about one mile between the streams. It is high and healthy and very pleasant places for residences are found all over the city. The principal business is done around the square, with a few business houses on the first block leading from the square to the depot. The potteries are on that street, or some three of them, and one near the station. The principal hotel is also on this street, between the square and the depot.
Calhoun has been growing of late, and the last two years has shown more solid advancement than for any previous five years. It has some very good brick blocks, and her potteries draw a large trade. Her population in 1880 was 492, and at this time will not vary much from 600.
1837, James W. Fields; 1846, Matthew Arbuckle; 1856, John A. Bushnell; 1858, James A. Tutt; 1861, Edwin Taylor; 1862, Isaac W. Minis; 1869, Samuel Jennings; 1872, R. A. Michael; 1875, Joseph Ryan; 1877, N. H. Tillman; 1879, Charles E. Gunn, present postmaster.
The silver cornet band of Calhoun is one of its institutions, and the band is noted for rendering excellent music, and is called upon from far and near when good music is wanted. It was first organized in 1869, and is an honor to Calhoun and the county.
J. O. Edmondson, general store
J. W. Gutridge, general store
J. W. Keyser, general store
Charles E. Gunn, general store
John R. Pigg, general store
C. Harryman, groceries
M. C. Fewell, groceries
Dennis Maher, groceries
H. Slack, groceries
J. Keyser, groceries
Max McCann, drugs and medicines
W. H. Gutridge, drugs and medicines
Colbow & Lewis, hardware
McIntyre & Butler, hardware and furniture
Edmondson & George, hardware, saddlery and groceries
Kinsinger & Gunn, grain dealers
McNeece Bros., grain dealers
Aurand & Delany, lumber merchants
H. Slack, coal dealer
Kinsinger & Goodrich, Calhoun steam flouring mills
Mrs. Bettie Palmer, millinery
H. S. Thomas, music store
Mrs. M. Harper, dress making
Mrs. Snell, dress making
J. W. Morris, photographer
Haines & Askins, stock dealers
D. H. Pigg, saw mill
Mrs. Holcomb, boarding
Calhoun House, W. F. Doty, prop'r.
Isaac W. Minis, barber shop
Adam Schramm, barber shop
James Trinnear, shoe shop
T. J. Harryman, meat market
Joseph Cease, bakery
Hill & Sons, blacksmithing
O. Reeves, blacksmithing
C. A. Hill, wagon maker
Morgan & Laughlin, brick yard
R. W. Hendrix, brick yard
John Medberry, livery and sale stable
John Huffman, broom factory
N. Snell, carpenter and builder
James W. Burke, saloon
Reeves & Kirkpatrick, pottery
Amelia Rabine, pottery
Dawson & Son, pottery
G. A. Jegglin, pottery
Damron & Miller, pottery
Underwood & Son, pottery
R. Trevey, physician
J. W. Gray, physician
John H. Bronaugh, physician
G. W. Holcomb, physician
Charles Harryman, physician
J. W. Thomas, veterinary surgeon
T. O. Williams, attorney
is the north central township of the county, and steps to the front as the handsomest body of land in Henry County. It is one vast beautiful prairie, fringed here and there with lines of timber that relieves the eye and gives zest, when passed, to another and still another wide expanse of gently undulating prairie as beautiful to the sight, and as picturesque in appearance as the fondest artist of nature could wish. Spotted here and there over this magnificent landscape, lies well cultivated fields, luxuriant homes and handsome dwellings, which at once stamp upon the passing stranger the fact that the residents of these beautiful lands are an intelligent and energetic people who, knowing that labor and wealth go hand in hand, put their head and hands to intelligent work, and then assume the comforts and pleasures that wealth brings them with a generous, but not lavished manner.
Shawnee Township is bounded on the north by Johnson County, on the east by Tebo Township, on the south by Fields Creek, and on the west by Big Creek Township. It is seven miles in extent, north and south, and six in width, having forty-two sections of land, being all of congressional township No.43, of range 26, and one mile on its north border of congressional township 44 of the same range. It is one of the largest townships in the county, and has an area of 26,880 acres of land. Honey Creek rises in the northern and western part of the township, Cottonwood in the center, and Fields Creek in the south and the headwaters of Little Tebo in the southeast. All these streams rise within its border but assume no size of any moment until they pass beyond its limits. These streams and their numerous small heads show innumerable small and never failing springs of crystal water, and this is what gives it the character not only as one of the best cereal raising townships in the county but it is also unsurpassed for stock.
The people of the township have coined wealth from these high, rolling and well drained prairies, and the gently sloping woodlands on the banks of the creeks.
Shawnee, or the present township of that name, was one of the early settled portions of the county. Ezekiel Blevins first settled in the township in 1831, and Preston R. Blevins was born in the township the following year. He is now a resident of Davis, or Blevins, Township,and a prominent citizen of the county. George W. and Pleasant Walker settled on the Blevins place in 1833, having first settled on section 16, Fields Creek Township in 1832, and bought out Ezekiel Blevins the next year.
Much of the early history of this town ship is embodied in that of the old settlers in the first few chapters of this history. The Walkers were believed to be the wealthiest settlers that had come to the county in those pioneer times. On section 4 of this township was where Littleberry Kimsey located the first water mill in Henry County. Samuel Cox, of Virginia, settled on section 24 in 1832. Alfred Kimsey, from Tennessee, came in 1833; Benjamin Barker, another old settler, staked his claim in 1832, and around these old pioneers clustered others; but all have left the stamp of their energy and enterprise upon their descendants, and so "Old Shawnee" stands out as a "beautiful monument" of an enterprising and moral people.
While under the jurisdiction of Lafayette County, Shawnee Township was first known as Tebo and Davis Townships, being divided on range line 26. This was in 1830, and wholly in Tebo Township, Lafayette County, in 1832. It remained Tebo until May, 1834, when it was called Springfield Township, the line being on its west border.
In the spring of 1835 Rives County, now Henry, having organized, the county court made four townships, and the dividing line between Big Creek and Tebo, the names given the two northern townships, was again range line 26, and Shawnee was once more divided half and half, one part being in Big Creek and the other Tebo. It came into existence in 1873, being one of the group made under the provision of the new township organization law.
The school of those days and the early preachers are chronicled in the early settlement or pioneer history. At this time Shawnee Township has five public schools, all in a flourishing condition. The first post office in the township was Shawnee, established about 1860. This was nearly three miles west of the present village of Shawnee Mound. The postmaster was William Gillespie, and the post office was kept at his house. He continued postmaster during the war.
After the late civil war the postoffice called Shawnee was removed to its present location and called "Shawnee Mound." Its first postmaster was Frank Crook. He was followed by D. B. Lambert, and the latter succeeded by Edward Reynolds, the present postmaster.
Shawnee Mound is not a city. It would not under any circumstances be taken for Kansas City, or even Clinton, the "Model Town," but notwithstanding it has one general store, the firm being Walls & Reynolds; one hardware store, Moore & Elliott, proprietors, and one blacksmith shop, by S. H. Elliott. This constitutes its business interests. Two physicians are located here, Dr. B. B. Barr and Dr. J. W. Bronaugh, and their circuit extends over a good portion of Johnson County and Tebo and Big Creek Townships, as well as Shawnee. They hold a central position, and being eminent in their profession they have an extended practice.
Cumberland Presbyterian Church
The Cumberland Presbyterian Church of Shawnee Mound, was organized in September, of the year 1869. Quite a number gathered to secure this Organization, and its first members were, Mary Moore, James Kimsey, Mary J. Guion, Elizabeth Ann and Jane Sharp, Ida Snyder, Mary Wade, F. W. Crooks, Ellen Thrasher, George M. Casey, P. W. Moore, Arminta Kissell, L. Friland and Emeline Hinton. It was long after the Organization of the church that active steps were taken to secure the erection of a church edifice, and in 1871, they had succeeded in building a very substantial place of worship, frame, at a cost of $1,900. The church has steadily grown in membership and influence, and is in a favorable position for future growth and earnest work in the cause it advocates. The present membership numbers sixty-five, and the following have been active pastors of the church since organized, viz: Rev. Benjamin F. Thomas, Rev. Finice King, Rev. Y. W. Whitsit, Rev. J. C. Littrel and Rev. J. H. Houx.
The Sabbath School is in a flourishing condition and now has on its roll 106 scholars. The superintendent is Mr. Jacob Wolff.
One of the schools of the township is located here, and with these conveniences and the rich country around Shawnee Mound may yet become a city of the fourth class.
Huntingdale may be thus designated, perhaps being in reality the largest village in the township. Like Shawnee Mound it is not an extensive City, but it is an enterprising little village of perhaps at this time, one hundred inhabitants. It was first made a voting precinct November 11, 1865, when it was so designated by the county court, the polls being removed from Kimseyville. It was then a portion of Big Creek Township, or rather was within the limits of that township. It is rather pleasantly located on the prairies, with a sweeping view north, south arid east, while on the west the belt of timber which lines Cottonwood Branch breaks into view in that direction. The first house built in what is now Huntingdale, was by Aaron Kahn, in the year 1855, and he also located his store there, and was its first merchant. The first physician was Dr. Royston.
Its first postmaster Benjamin Quarles, now the efficient county clerk of the county. Then followed in the order named: William Swindle, George Royston, David Urie, and V. J. Moore, the present postmaster.
Mr. V. J. Moore is the merchant of the village and keeps a stock of general merchandise which means every kind of business but a drug store.
Mr. E. W. Drake has the last named business in charge and keeps a full supply of drugs and medicines.
A. Bahing, blacksmith shop
William Cheesman, wagon manufacturer
Joseph Winkler, saw mill
S. G. Ingram and J. F. Crew, carpenters
The medical profession is represented by Drs. E. C. and W. P. Royston, old, able and extensive practitioners.
Mt. Zion Baptist Church
The organization of this church was effected in 1855 and was the first church at Huntingdale. The members who formed the church were James Potts, William Molton, Granville Cross, F. C. Brown, Isaac Anderson, James Ross, Lemuel Page, Aaron, John and Reuben Morgan, James William and Henry Page. The church has been a successful one and has grown steadily with the growth of the town and county. It has now a membership of eighty-two, and can well be said to be in a flourishing condition.
Its pastors have been the following
in the order named : Revs. William White, James Teas, Adams, William Oden,
James Woods, Kilpatrick, O. Tompkins, Thomas Briggs, A. M. Cockrell, John
Denton, and the present pastor is the Rev. Samuel Victors.
M. E. Church, South
This church was organized in 1869 by a few devoted spirits, who felt anxious for a church organization of their own. The first members were D. McIntyre and wife, Eliza Royston and John Huston and wife. The organization soon attracted others and the church has grown and prospered and has at this time a membership of forty, with earnest attending congregations. The meetings are held in the Union Church.
The pastors who have officiated are, first the Rev. J. B. Woodridge, Rev. William Pitts, Rev. Murphy, Rev. M. Margison, Rev. William King, Rev. Peter Cobb, Rev's Busby and Houston.
M. E. Church
The Huntingdale M. E. Church was located in the town in the year 1871, and started out with a fair number to effect its organization. The members were J. R. McMillon, L. Cook; M. A. Waugh, William Paul, D. F. Leek, E. Barnum, D. King, P. Gilbert, W. J. McFarland, A. C. Comer, Rev. J. S. Nelson, Rev. Henry A. Tolan. The church has grown and prospered, and has increased its membership in the twelve years past to 160 members. It has and is doing an important work, and its influence is widespread and constantly increasing.
The clergymen who have officiated as pastors are the following: Rev's W. H. Van Winkle, Samuel Jones, John H. Gillespie, E. A. Porter, H. H. Dunlavy, A. L. Walker and G. A. Deitrich. This denomination also worships in the Union Church.
I. O. O. F.
Carrsville Lodge No. 281, was organized at Carrsville June 7, 1873, with the following charter members: J. S. Barnhill, H. C. Ragland, L. A. Wisley, Luther Cook, J. D. Dean and T. J. Carr. It remained at Carrsville until 1877, when it was removed to Huntingdale. They own a good frame hall over Moore's store and it is handsomely furnished. Its present officers are: F. M. Anderson, N. G.; Labe Walker, V. G.; E. D. Webb, Secretary. It has a membership of fifty.
This about finishes the history of the township, and below will be found its boundary and number, as entered of record:
NO. 3 - Shawnee
"Composed of all of Congressional Township No. 43 of range No. 26, and sections Nos. 31 to 36, inclusive, in Congressional Township No. 44 of range 26."
When the enterprise of its citizens is added to its magnificent domain, its wealth of fertile soil, the value of its blooded stock and annual increase of its cereal productions, it is easy to see that Shawnee Township will hold her advanced position against all comers.
Fields Creek Township - Its Metes and Bounds
The boundary of this township is easily defined, it being officially given as being "composed of Congressional Township No. 42 of range No. 26."
When Rives County, now Henry, was first organized it was divided into four townships, and the territory now comprising Fields Creek was divided in the center on range line 26, one-half being in Grand River and the other half in Springfield Township. It remained thus until 1860, when it became a part of and was included in Grand River Township, as it was that year organized and boundaries defined. It was a part of that township until the great change of townships in 1873 under the new township law, when it first came into being and was known as "Fields Creek" Township, with its boundaries as above given. Grand River Township, which up to that time and from the date of the organization of the county had been one of the municipal divisions of the same, was blotted from the map and its northern portion or most of it given to this township.
Area 21,000 Acres
While so far as the township of Fields Creek was a new township, and is at this time but ten years of age, the township was one of the earliest settled portions of the county. It is six miles wide from east to west, and five and a half from north to south, taking in on its northern border a portion of the fractional township, which is a trifle less than half a mile wide and running from east to west across the county. It has an area of 21,000 acres, mostly prairie land, which will equal in productive quality any other portion of Henry County. The township is pretty well supplied with timber, a fine forest lining the banks of Fields Creek and Town Creek. Still in the matter of fuel it is well supplied, for its coal veins which underlie its surface will probably not be exhausted for ages to come. The prairies are of a rich and mellow soil, not rolling, but undulating sufficient for drainage purposes, and slope from the divide near the center of the township toward the creeks above mentioned, which traverse, from north to south, the eastern and western sides of the township. Fields Creek was first named "Lake Creek," after one of its first settlers, George W. Lake, and is still the name found on the map of the government survey. But the citizens got to calling it Fields Creek, after Mr. Joseph Fields, the first settler who located on its banks in section 10. The stream enters the township near the center from the north, running southwest for nearly three miles, then south, passing into Clinton Township, and empties into Grand River. It has several small branches that waters the southern and northwestern portions of the township, Town Creek takes its name from Clinton. This stream rises in the northeastern part of Fields Creek Township, and its three branches unite and run nearly due south, passing near Clinton and emptying into Fields Creek about one-fourth mile from Grand River. In speaking of going to Clinton the people always called it going to "Town," and the name was thus given the stream. The township itself, like the creek of the same name, was named after Sheriff Fields.
Mr. Joseph Fields was one of its first settlers, and came early in the year 1832. He was afterwards the first sheriff of the county, receiving his commission from Governor Dunklin, and was dated August 4, 1835. Mr. Fields in the following March, [836, was killed by his horse falling on him. While going from Clinton to his home, his horse stepped into quite a deep hole, which threw it and Mr. Fields, the horse being on top. He was found completely paralyzed, and died from his injuries. The year 1831, George W. Lake came and drove his stake on Section 20. He was the first settler in the township, and a prominent citizen of the county for many years. Then there was William and Isaac Swift, men of energy who settled, the former on section 33, and the latter on section 17. They were soon followed by Joel Milton, on the same section, and Peter Huntsman, on section 19. John F. Sharp settled on section 23, and was afterwards county judge and county seat commissioner. These pioneers all came from Virginia. In 1834, Nathan A. Fields, brother of Joseph, settled on section 31. He was appointed deputy sheriff by his brother, and his appointment was approved by Judge Charles H. Allen, of the Sixth Judicial Circuit, on September 23, 1835, and he was acting sheriff from the death of his brother until the August election in 1836, when Robert Allen succeeded as the first elected Sheriff of Henry County.
Mr. Nathan A. Fields is now the oldest living settler of the township, and bears his years well.
The first school house built in the township was in the fall of 1835, and was a joint effort of the neighbors. The school was a subscription school, and was situated on section 16. The next school of note was in 1854, when a school building for its use was erected on section 19, and used both for a church and school.
In the Spring of 1836, Thomas B. and Benjamin F. Wallace came to the township, arid settled on section 35, about one mile north of Clinton, but before the county seat was laid out. They built themselves a log store room and opened the first store in Fields Creek Township, and probably the last also. They remained there until the county seat was located, when they removed to Clinton. At the time they started there were four other stores in the county. Fields Creek, being near the county seat, which is just over her border on the south, remains an agricultural township.
The same year, 1836, a saw mill was built on Fields Creek by Thomas Swift and son, and was on the south line of section 20, where the creek crosses that line. It was used quite a number of years. There was quite a number of settlers came in during the years from 1837 to 1840, and quite a large quantity of land preempted. A Mr. Brown, who settled in the township in 1835, sold his claim to Mr. Swift in 1837. Mr. Swift's wife was the Sister of Chief Justice Taney, of the United States Supreme Court.
In 1839, quite a large colony from Rockingham County, North Carolina, arrived in Henry County, and camped on Section 3, in Tebo Township, near where the Sardis Church and school house in that township now stands. The names and destination of this colony will be found in the records here given of Tebo Township. From that point they scattered. Mrs. Sarah Lindsay, of Fields Creek Township, was one of this colony, and she had her family with her. Mrs. Lindsay settled on section 10. They came in wagons across Kentucky and Illinois, via St. Louis, and arrived at their camping ground, as above stated, September 20, 1839. Mrs. Lindsay and sons on selecting the homes on section 10, prepared arrangements for the preempting and entering of a large quantity of the fertile prairies of Fields Creek Township, and her sons attended to it. They succeeded admirably in securing a large body of valuable land. These farms lie in sections 8, 9, 10 and fractional section 3, with small tracts in other sections.
Churches and Schools
The Methodists in the neighborhood of the Fields Settlement united together and put up a church in the year 1857. It was not an expensive structure, but cost in the neighborhood of $600. It was called the Methodist-Episcopal Church South. It was located on section 10, and the original members Were James Lindsay and wile, James Lotspeich, wife and children, Mrs. F. Adamson, Rev. Durant and wife, and a few others whose names were forgotten.
The first minister was the Rev. Durant, and he was followed in 1858 by Rev. J. Headly. The latter was succeeded by Rev. Henry Webster in 1859 and by the Rev. J. C. Thompson in 1860. At the close of the latter's ministration, or, rather the following year, owing to the effect of the civil war, church matters were brought to a stand and preaching suspended. It was not again organized until 1865, when the Rev. Warren Pitts was called to the pastorate and remained an earnest worker for three years.
A call was then made in 1868 on the Rev. J. B. H. Woodbridge who accepted the charge and held it until 1873. He was followed by the Rev. Murphy in 1873, and the latter by Rev. Marvanson in 1875, whose services were retained only one year. The church had grown smaller, many of its first members had passed to a happier home, others had removed and the church finally closed up at the end of the last mentioned year. The building still stands, but only a wreck, for it is sadly out of repair. Its resurrection is not expected. Its membership never exceeded twenty.
The old school house on section 16, which was erected in 1835, is not now in existence, but others have taken its place. There are quite a number now living in the township who received the rudiments of their education at the old log school house, and it has a firm and cherished hold in their memories. There are now four schools in Fields Creek Township, as reported by the superintendent, and they are all well attended with an average of six months schooling a year. The teachers the present year are especially able, and the progress of the pupils is rapid. The rising youths are intent on culture and have had the good taste to form literary and debating societies. The Young American Club hold their meetings at the school house in school district No.1, a really fine building, and an honor to the county as well as the district. The president of this Society in 1870 was Jesse Sharp, and A. C. Comer was the secretary. E. M. Morton, who taught the school that winter, was the editor. The debating club at the Comer School still exists, or rather it is generally organized each winter. The winter of 1882-83 finds it promptly "on deck," and its meetings are not only spirited but show no small talent for oratory among its debators.
The Evening Star literary society is another which is well advanced and if regularly conducted will show steady improvement. As there are quite a number of talented members connected with this Society they should see to it that it shall not be surpassed by any, either at home or abroad.
Taking it altogether Fields Creek Township, in the richness of its soil, in wealth according to population, and in the brightness of its future prospects, will compare favorably with its sister township, for all of which her citizens have cause to be proud. The population of the township in 1880 was 852.