Search billions of records on Ancestry.com

Pettis County, Missouri


1919 HUGHESVILLE Township by Mark McGruder


On petition of citizens of the County Court, that body on August 14 1878, created Hughesville township as it now stands, out of Longwood and Houstonia townships, taking from Longwood township sections 5, 6, 7, 8, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 and 33, and from Houstonia township sections 1, 2, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, and from 20 to 36, inclusive as the sections are now numbered in Hughesville township. This township, as it now stands organized, contains forth sections or 25,600 acres of land. It is bounded on the north by Houstonia and Longwood townships, on the east by Longwood township, on the south by Cedar and Dresden townships and on the west by Houstonia and Blackwater townships. The Lexington Branch of the Missouri Pacific railroad runs northwest, a little west of the center, through the township.

The township is drained by Heath's Creek and branches leading into it in the northern part and by branches leading into Muddy Creek, which runs through Cedar township. The land is high, Rolling prairie and is second to none in Pettis County. Price of land in this township range from $100-$150 per acre, with very little for sale at any price. Any crop that can be raised in Missouri can be raised on these lands. The farmers are thrifty, having beautiful, well-kept homes with lands well fenced. They raise stock of all kinds successfully. There is little broken lands in Hughesville township, except along the banks of Heath's Creek, and there is little timber in the township.

Hughesville township takes it name from the principal town in its borders. The town of Hughesville was named in honor of one of its influential citizens-Reece Hughes- who laid out the town while this township was yet a part of Houstonia township. IT is with difficulty that we obtain the names of the early settlers of this township, because of its alliance with Houstonia and Longwood township, prior to August 14 1878, when it was created a separate township by order of the Pettis County Court, and while the names of many of them might in a measure, constitute a repetition ,we will endeavor to give some of them: George W Crawford, a native of Pennsylvania, came in 1868 and settled on a farm west of Hughesville. R P Crume of Kentucky came in 1857. Dr. J N Ferguson, a native of Kentucky, came in the spring of 1874 and located on a farm just east of the town of Hughesville. He was one of the useful men of the township and is still living in the city of Sedalia, having retired from the practice of medicine. William Fowler, a native of Scotland, came to Hughesville in 1880 and erected the first blacksmith shop in the town. Later he moved to the farm, just north of the village of Hughesville, where he still resides. Monterville McGruder, a native of Winchester, Frederick County Virginia came to Hughesville from Austin Texas, and located in Hughesville in November 1878 and built a shoe shop there the next year. Claus Heins a native of Hanover, Germany, came to Hughesville in 1873 and still lives in that village. James B Mockbee came with his father, Col. Mockbee, from Harrisonville, MO in the early days. The father has long since passed to his reward but James B Mockbee is living and is the commissary at the Industrial Home for Girls at Chillicothe MO. Wallace Harrison came from Georgetown in 1874. Another Early settler was William Lowry. Another and one of the largest land owners in the county ,was Major William Gentry . Thomas J. Hughes came in 1876. Mrs. Lottie M Hutchinson came to this township in an early day. Jonathan Janney came to the township in 1837. Wesley McClure came in 1851 to Georgetown and later moved to Hughesville Township. He was a native of Knox County ,Kentucky. John McCurdy, a native of Ireland, was an early arrival, and J D Mitchell a native of Cooper county Missouri came in 1865. M D Scott, born in Pettis County June 12 1843. He settled, early in life, in this township. Harrison Sickler, farmer and coal miner, of Pennsylvania, came in 1877. Henry C. Smith, a native of Clark County Ohio located just north of Hughesville in 1868. Ray and Will Bealer came from Kentucky in the early days.

The First Church of Pettis, cone of the oldest in the county, if not in fact the oldest, was an old brick church, located east of Hughesville near the present Hughesville Cemetery . It was called "Old Brick Church" and "First Church of Pettis." High Point, was another of the early day churches of this same vicinity.

The Hughesville Christian Church is the oldest in the township, having been built in 1884. For a number of years this building was used by both the Christian and Presbyterian denominations, who worshiped in harmony for a long time. The "Old Brick Church" (Presbyterian) falling into disuse, the Presbyterians built a building of their own. Rev. Wimberly is the present minister. This church has a large Sunday School.

The Hughesville Presbyterian Church is the second church built in Hughesville. This congregation was unfortunate with their church building. They went out and built one of the most modern buildings to be found anywhere in the country. When the building was to be dedicated on Sunday a cyclone at Hughesville destroyed most of the town, leveled the church building to the ground the Saturday before. A new building was built in a short time afterwards and is still used by this congregation. Rev. J E Wiley is the present minister. Church has a well attended Sunday school. In connection with this church it is well to mention such men as Gordon, Boude, Bagby, and Simrall as ministers.

The Baptist Church at Hughesville was the next church built in the year 1898. This church building was built by Rev. Ford, who was a carpenter and who actually constructed the building with the help of a neighbor boy, Carl Miller, then just learning the carpenter's trade. The writer remembers having often passed this building in course of its construction in the long, hot summer days, long ago, and seen Rev. Ford and his assistant laboring incessantly in the summer sun, that the Baptists in this locality might have a house of worship. After completion of this church, Rev. Ford ministered to it for some time and then moved to Oklahoma. Rev. Dinwiddie is the present minister.

The Methodist Church, South, organized in 1907, was the last church building erected in Hughesville. It is a beautiful building and possibly the best and most up to date in Hughesville. This congregation has a large membership and a well kept church. Their building is located in the northern part of the town.

The Hughesville Cemetery is on the site of the "Old Brick Church," once called First Church of Pettis, a mile North and three miles east of Hughesville. This cemetery is not denominational, being used by all sects living in Hughesville and township surrounding.

The schools in this township are as good as any others in Pettis County. The township works under the State statute authorizing consolidated districts. This district is Consolidated District No. 2, composed of the following old districts; High Point, Hughesville, Prairie Valley and McCubbin. This district has an excellent high school and an imposing building located just north of Hughesville and just west of the William Fowler farm. It has a good enrollment this year and Prof. C F Schorman is teaching. High Point has an enrollment this year of 12 and Iva Swope is teaching the school. Hughesville has an enrollment of 29 and Josephine May is the teacher. McCubbin has 15 pupils and Blanche Lowrey is teaching. Oak Point enrolled 31 and Lean B Taylor is the teacher. Mitchell School is the only one in the township outside of the consolidated district. This school is in the southwestern part of the district, but not a part of it.

[Transcribed by Laura Paxton.]