Wilson Township was organized
in 1859 along with Pond Creek and Clay upon the formation of Christian
County. It is named for James Wilson, the early settler who came
to Greene County and settled along the creek named for him, Wilson
Creek. He was called a "squaw man" as he lived among the
Delaware Indians. Its present boundaries include all of the north
30 sections of T28N and R22W. It is bordered by Christian County
on the south, Brookline Township on the west, Campbell Township
on the north, and Clay Township on the east. A considerable portion
of the Kickapoo Prairie is located within this township. Wilson
Creek, James River, and their tributaries are the main water features
of the township, with the latter making a horseshoe bend in the
southeast corner of the township. The town of Battlefield is the
principal municipality of the township.
The earliest settlers
in Wilson Township include the already mentioned James Wilson, Albert
G. Patterson, John and Nathaniel Patton, and David Wallace. Those
coming early, before the Indian removal, had to pay rent as the
land was subject to the claim of the Delaware Indians. Others coming
later included John Briscoe in 1831, and his sons-in-law, Jacob
and Andrew Roller.
Battlefield is named
after the Civil War Battle of Wilson's Creek that was fought nearby
on August 10, 1861. The town is located on the Missouri Pacific
Railroad that came through in 1905. It was platted by the father
of Verna Stewart McDaniel on land he owned. It was to have been
called Stewart, but due to another town with that name, it took
its name from the nearby battleground. Wilson Creek veterans came
to their reunions by train, getting off the train at Battlefield
and traveling to the battleground by rented rigs.
to the list of Greene County's townships.