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For more information, contact:

Greene County
Historical Society
P.O. Box 3466 GS
Springfield, MO 65808

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This site was last
updated on
March 6, 2004

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Franklin Township....

Franklin Township was formed between 1872 and 1876. Its present boundaries include all of the Sections of T30N and R21W plus Sections 13-36 comprising the south twelve Sections of T31N and R21W. It is bounded by Polk County on the north, Jackson Township on the east, Campbell Township on the south, and Robberson Township on the west. Within the township boundaries are the head waters of the Sac, South Dry Sac, and Little Sac Rivers, the latter of which has been dammed to form Fellows Lake, one of Springfield's water sources.

Early settlers of Franklin Township include: James K. Alsup and Daniel Johnson, Samuel Scroggins, 1831; John Headlee, Benjamin Johnson, and James Dryden, 1832; Larkin DeWitt, Robert Ross, Thomas Whitlock, 1832. Early mills were a sawmill operated by Dysart & Headlee on the Sac River in 1848 and a steam grist mill in 1858. The first cemetery in the township was at Mt. Comfort Cumberland Presbyterian Church, which was organized in 1834.

Early settlements and communities include: Abbott, settled by the Scroggins family; Fruitland (formerly New Hope); Hickory Barren, a popular overnight stop for travelers between Springfield and Buffalo; and Hunts Mill.


Crystal Cave

The second oldest commercial cave in Missouri is to be found in the Franklin Township. Located just off Hwy. 65 on Hwy. H, Crystal Cave was opened in 1893 by Alfred Mann. Previous owners were William A. Wallace and William Jenkins. The Mann family was originally from Brighton, England, and lived in Springfield before acquiring the cave property. Alfred Mann died in 1925, leaving behind his three spinster daughters, Margaret (Maggie), Ada, and Agnes. The three sisters operated the cave during their lifetime, the last of the trio passing away in 1969. The cave property passed to Estle Funkhouser upon the death of Ada Mann. She operated the cave for thirteen years when her health no longer permitted her to continue. The present owners and operators of the cave are Loyd and Edith Richardson, Edith being a sister to Estel Funkhouser.

Return to the list of Greene County's townships.

 

   
   

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