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  Courthouse Courthouse Greene County Historical Society    
  Courthouse Courthouse  
Located in the Missouri Ozarks  

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


Taylor Township....

Taylor Township was organized in April 1850 and named in honor of General and President, Zachary Taylor. It comprises all of the 36 sections of T29N and R20W. It is one of the five townships that have six long sections, making them somewhat larger in area than the others. It is bordered by Webster County on the east, Jackson Township on the north, Campbell Township on the west, and Washington Township on the south. A good portion of the James River flows diagonally across the southeast corner of the township from northeast to southwest with Sawyer Creek forming a tributary. The first settlement in Taylor Township occurred along the James. Pearson Creek has its origin in Section 5 at the Powell spring, also known as the Pearson spring, Named after Jerry Pearson who operated a mill on the creek. Caves and springs are abundant along Pearson's Creek.

Early settlers in Taylor Township include: Josiah F. Danforth, 1832; William S. Dillard, 1837; John H. Price, 1836.

Turners is the only community within the township. Other communities no longer in existence include: Walnut Forest, Crabtree, Layman's Switch, Nogo, Clair, and Mulroy.

Josiah Danforth

Josiah Danforth was born in Maryville, Blount County, Tennessee, August 23, 1800. He was married to Letitia Prather. He came to Taylor Township in 1832 from Gasconade County and purchased 1300 acres of land from Jerry Pearson. He served in the State Legislature from 1844 to 1848 and organized the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in his neighborhood. He died in 1849 at Las Vegas, New Mexico, enroute to the California gold rush. The Danforth family was forced to leave Greene County during the Civil War, fleeing to VIcksburg, Mississippi. The house was occupied by Union troops and the dirt under the kitchen floor used to bury war dead. A daughter, Mary Roane, married a son of John Polk Campbell, John M. Campbell, and were occupants of the Danforth House. A daughter of Mary's second marriage married Jei Okino and lived on the Danforth farm on which they operated a dairy, Okino Farm Dairy. The house is still occupied by fourth and fifth generation descendants.

Construction on the Danforth House, which is one of Greene County's oldest existing homes, began in 1847. It is fashioned after Mrs. Danforth's family home in Knoxville, Tennessee, a Georgian style brick. The red brick was made by slaves of the Danforth family out of native clay with the walls of the house 18" thick. Danforth died before the house was completed and was finished by a St. Louis builder.

Pearson's Mill

One of the first mills in Southwest Missouri was operated by Jerry Pearson who settled along the James sometime after 1828 while the Delaware Indians were in possession of the land. The mill ground corn and it is said that the Fulbrights, Rountrees, and Campbells brought their grain from Springfield to have it ground. It is estimated that the mill capacity was not more than 50 bushels of corn a day. The small capacity made it necessary for those coming to the mill to spend the night for their turn the next day.

The Cyclone of 1880

The famous cyclone of 1880 was especially severe in Taylor Township, occurring on Sunday, April 18, 1880.

Return to the list of Greene County's townships.


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