Boone Township was formed
March 13, 1837, but reduced in size in 1872 upon the formation of
the Walnut Grove Township. Its present boundaries include all of
the 36 sections within T30N and R24W. It is bordered by Dade County
and a small portion of Lawrence County on the west, Walnut Grove
Township on the north, Murray Township on the east, and Center Township
on the south. Sections of the Sac River cross the township at the
west edge and Clear Creek on the east edge. The township is named
after Nathan Boone, son of the famed Daniel Boone, who was an early
settler locating in a grove of ash timber.
The Boone family, consisting
of three sons, James, John, and Howard, came to Greene County in
1834. There were 14 children born to Nathan Boone. Nathan and his
brother, Daniel Morgan Boone, had come up the Missouri River in
1806 to what is now Howard County where they discovered a salt spring
and began the production of salt by boiling down the spring water
in huge iron kettles. It came to be known as Boone's Lick. The Boone
brothers had settled in the Spanish territory west of the Mississippi
River. Nathan's variety of livelihoods later included surveying
for the United States government in the new Louisiana Territory.
His surveying brought him to southwest Missouri and he was particularly
attracted to an area that eventually became Boone Township. All
the while he was making his home in St. Charles. A bad financial
deal resulted in the loss of his St. Charles property and prompted
his move to Greene County. His son, Howard, was sent to Boonville
in 1835 to enter the 1200 acre tract for him. In 1837 he built a
double log house that still stands today. Nathan retired from his
military service in 1853 and retired to his Greene County home.
He died in 1856 at the age of 75 and is buried in the family cemetery.
The Nathan Boone homestead
is a designated Greene County Historical site, is on the National
Register of Historic Places, and is in the process of being developed
as a state
Ash Grove is the principle
town in Boone Township. The first settler on the present site of
Ash Grove was Joseph Kimbrough who built the first dwelling and
established a store in 1853. A blacksmith shop was established by
Mr. Hyatt. These two businesses comprised about all there was there
until after the Civil War. The town was incorporated in 1870 but
due to a defective document, it had to be reincorporated a year
In 1870 the Kansas City
and Memphis Railroad, also known as the Springfield & Western
Missouri Railroad, proposed to the Greene County Court the subscription
of $400,000 in stock. It was approved by the County Court but became
involved in controversy before the deal could be concluded. Enough
of the bonds had been sold by 1878 that the laying of track could
begin from Springfield westward. By May of that year the line had
been completed as far as Ash Grove and train service between the
two points begun.
In 1879 the Springfield
& Western Railroad was transferred to the Kansas City, Ft. Scott
& Gulf Railroad Company, assuring the completion of the line
in 1881. Construction then began eastward to Memphis.
With the completion of
the Springfield & Western Railroad to Ash Grove, the town became
the railhead for the surrounding counties. As the railroad bed was
cut, deposits of limestone were uncovered and the Ash Grove Lime
and Portland Cement Company was formed to process lime. The lime
kilns, however, were moved to Galloway in 1935.
The 133 year old Whinery
Mill stands abandoned on the banks of the Sac River. The former
operators of the mill were Charles H. Likens and Louis B. Whinery.
A beam found in the building was inscribed, "Whinery-Likens."
Much of the mill's equipment has been removed decades ago. The mill
is located five miles south of Ash Grove and east of Route E on
the SS Ranch. Plans are underway to restore the mill which predates
the Wommack Mill in Fair Grove by about thirty years.
to the list of Greene County's townships.