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Daviess County History

The following was abstracted from "A History of Northwest Missouri, Vol. 1" by Williams. Chapter XX- Daviess County by M. F. Stipes, Jamesport. Copies of this chapter were sent to me by Peter Castro. This chapter on Daviess appears to have been written before 1920 and wasn't very "PC".

1830- January- First permanent settler, John Splawn. His cabin was located near the spot where now stands the Rock Island Depot at Gallatin.

March- First deaths were those of two children of Stephan Roberts;

August 25- First sermon in the county is preached under a tree by Rev. James McMahon

1831- Robert P. Peniston builds first gristmill in the county;

Black Hawk war;

The town of Millport is settled;

Date unknown- With the coming of the early settlers to Daviess County, was an influx of persons and families by no means desirable. These were the Mormons, or Latter Day Saints. (This history did not speak favorably of the Mormons, in fact quite the opposite as you can see.- Lori)

1832- January 8- First child born in the county, Elizabeth Tarwater

1833- First settler in Benton Township (Benjamin Sampson)

1834-First settler in Jamesport Township (Thomas N. Auberry)

1835- First Post Office established at Millport

1836- Daviess County created by an act of the General Assembly of Missouri; Name was taken from Joseph Hamilton Daviess, an eminent but eccentric lawyer

1837- April 7- First mercantile license issued to John A. Williams for a grocery;

April 29-First election held;

First school taught by Il. W. Enyart in Benton Township, a term of three months taught in the summer;

July-First Circuit Court held on the fourth Monday;

Gallatin, the county seat and oldest town in the county is founded.

Jacob Stollings built the first house in Gallatin, which was later used as a hotel.

1837-1838- Land sectionized.

1838-January 13- First deed recorded (Francis C. Case and wife Mary to Elisha Groves);

July 4- Sermon by Sidney Rigdon leads to clash between the Mormons & the Gentiles (as the history called them);

September 3-First County Court session held at Gallatin;

October- Hostilities break out; Stores in Gallatin plundered and buildings there, including all the county records, were burned. Millport also burned by the Mormons. At the time it contained ten dwellings, three stores, a blacksmith shop and a gristmill. The Mormons were expelled;

1839- Sectioned land offered for sale;

1840- First marriage in Jamesport Township (Richard Hill and Ann Gillilan)

1841- First bridge built across Big Muddy, by Adam Black

1841- March- First jail completed;

1843- First courthouse completed, constructed of wood;

1844- There were ten townships: Gallatin, Harrison, Jefferson, Benton, Hickory, North, Madison, Sugar Creek, Jackson and Grand River;

A great flood occurred on the Grand River;

1845- Matthew Patton laid out a town near the center of Benton Township. The new settlement was called Pattonsburg;

1851- First Railroad survey made through the county;

1853- First public schools with William Isaacs as county superintendent;

1855- March- First attorneys admitted to the bar in the county (Theodore Peniston, George W. Poage and G. W. Keene);

First store in Jamesport (opened by John and Isaac Faulkner);

1856- Jamesport is laid out. It was named in honor of James Gillilan, on who's land it was founded, it's sponsors overlooking the meaning of the term "port".

1858- May 1-Gallatin incorporated as a town;

1860- November 1- First applicant for a saloon license rejected (no others had been rejected to this point);

1867- December 17- The vaults of the county treasurer were blown open and robbed by a gang lead by John Reno, of Indiana;

1871- August 17- First telegraph line into Gallatin;

Railroad depot erected at Elm Flat, nearly two miles south of Pattonsburg. As there was no immediate prospect of the town growing to the depot, the better expedient of moving the town was adopted. Piece by piece it went, name and all, but for some years the post office was still known as Elm Flat. First house built in the present Pattonsburg by Thomas Fields. The first postmaster was E. D. Powell;

The years of the Town of Jameson, in Grand River Township, date from June 1871. The land on which the town stands was then owned by Henry Briggs and was his farm residence, built in 1868, was the first building on the site;

1873- Jamesport incorporated;

1881- Robbery of an east bound Rock Island Passenger train at Winston. Conductor William Westfall is shot twice in the breast. Frank McMillan, a resident of the county and present on the platform when it arrived, was shot through his brain and fell while the robbers jumped from the train, mounted horses and fled. Frank James was indicted for McMillan's death in 1882, brought to Gallatin and in the fall of 1883 a most sensational trail ensued. After deliberating for three and one half hours, the jury returned a verdict of not guilty;

1886- July 23- John Smith was the first recorded hanging. He was hanged for the murder of William C. Gladson, which occurred on December 29, 1885;

1909- July- An even greater flood than the 1844 flood occurs;

1910- August 17- Alonzo Dugger, a former postmaster at Coffeyburg, was shot and killed;

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Lori Beckett Pownall / Newport News, VA

This page was created on March 20, 1999.
This page was last updated March 21, 1999.
This page Copyright 1999 by Lori Beckett Pownall.