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SALINE COUNTY, MISSOURI

History & Early Settlers


Excerpts from HISTORY of SALINE COUNTY, MISSOURI, Missouri Historical Company, St. Louis, 1881

In the year 1807 a company of traders with head quarters at St. Louis, sent Captain George Sibley, of St. Charles, to establish a trading post within the present boundaries of Saline county. The site chosen, after a careful survey of the country was where the town of Arrow Rock now stands. . . Sibley had with him a clerk, an interpreter, one or two assistants, and his family . . . Upon the breaking out of the war of 1812 he returned to St. Charles or to St. Louis, and it is believed never after came to the county. Sibley's house stood on the bluff, some say upon the present site of High street, and others say a mile north of the town . . . The first settling of Saline county was by settlements. Eligible locations were discovered, and half a dozen or more families, usually from the same district in Kentucky or Tennessee, would congregate together. pp142-144

The pioneers of the Big Bottom, and of Saline county generally, were people mostly from the states of Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana, and Virginia, and accustomed to frontier life from youth. For the most part they were hunting people, and did not care much about acquiring extensive tracts of land, or raising large crops, or becoming farmers with no other avocation. The raised just as much corn as they thought would serve for the use of their families in furnishing bread and mush, and enough vegetables to give variety to their dinners of game. They raised almost everything they ate; they manufactured almost everything they wore. Their smoke-houses were always well supplied with meats of various kinds, and honey of the finest flavor, and after the first year or two there was always plenty of meal in the chest, and butter and milk in the cellar. Very little coffee and sugar were used; and teas was almost unknown. The family that had coffee once a week--Sunday morning for breakfast--were considered 'high livers" . . . 

Their dress comported well with their style of living and their circumstances. The male portion were clad chiefly in buckskin. A hunting-shirt was generally worn, made of this material, as were the pantaloons or "leggings." An inner shirt was worn, sometimes of linsey, or flannel, or even cotton, but more commonly of nettle linen. A 'coonskin cap, with the tail hanging down the back, and a pair of moccasins, completed the apparel . . . 

The women at first prepared a linen from the bark of nettles, which grew abundantly in the bottoms and on the islands in early days. The fibers were prepared similarly to the way in which flax is treated. The nettles were cut, spread out upon the ground, rotted by the fall and winter rains, and the next spring "broken," "scutched," hatcheled, spun and woven. It answered very well in the place of flax. This, mixed with cotton, furnished the material out of which their wearing apparel was chiefly made. After a time every family raised a small patch of cotton, which the women picked, ginned by hand, carded, and spun. They went barefoot in the summer, and in the fall and winter wore on their feet either moccasins or shoes made of home-tanned leather. pp153-154 


SETTLEMENT on COX'S BOTTOM - Above the "Arrow Rock," as it was then spoken of, and opposite from Cooper's fort, in Howard county, on the north side of the river was, in the early part of the present century, a considerable expanse of fine bottom land, covered with a heavy growth of timber and abounding in game which was called Cox's bottom. p144
 
Early Settlers of Cox's Bottom (and their year of arrival if mentioned) pp144-149

 
Isaac Clark
and family - 1816
(from Tennessee)
William Clark
and family - 1816
(from Tennessee)
William Collector
and family - 1816
(from Tennessee)
Frank Cooper
1813
(cousin of Wm. Cooper)
William Cooper
1813
(cousin of Frank Cooper)
Jesse Cox
1810
(native of Madison Co. KY)
Mr. Ekel
1820
(from Cocke Co. TN)
Patsy Gregg
1811
(daughter of Wm)
William Gregg 
1811
(son-in-law of Jesse Cox)
Fred Hartgrove
John Hartgrove
Mr. Hill
and his wife - 1820
(from Cocke Co. TN)
Jesse McMahan
(son of William? - c1815)
Abraham Nave
and family - 1816
(from Tennessee)
Henry Nave
and family - 1816
(from Tennessee)
Henry Nave (Neff)
(brother of Isaac Nave/Neff)
Isaac Nave (Neff)
(brother of Henry Nave/Neff)
Jacob Nave
and family - 1816
(from Tennessee)
Jacob Nave (Neff)
Mr. Neal
1820
(from Cocke Co. TN
Abraham Neff
1820
(from Cocke Co. TN)
Isaac Neff
1820
(from Cocke Co. TN)
James Sappington
Daniel Thornton
and family - 1816
(a native of SC he came
to Saline Co. from TN - his
wife was a sister of Henry
and Isaac Nave/Neff)
John Thornton
and family - 1816
(from Tennessee)
 

SETTLEMENT of the "BIG BOTTOM" - In the fall of 1815, James Wilhite and Wm. Hayes came from West Tennessee to Cooper's Fort with wagons containg their families and all their household goods . . . During the winter of 1815-6 he [Wilhite] and Hayes crossed the riber and explored the country on this side to find homes for themselves. In October, 1816, they moved over with their families and settled near the lower extremity of the "Big Bottom." In the fall of 1817, Jacob Ish came into the settlement. The new colony had now a population of near three hundred. There had been a large immigration from Indiana and Kentucky the previous summer . . . pp149-150
 
Early Settlers of the Big Bottom (and their year of arrival if mentioned) pp149-152

 
Mr. Clark
1817
(mill owner)
Duff Green
1818
William Hayes
and family - 1816
Jacob Ish
and wife - 1817
(from TN)
William Job
1818
William Kincheloe
1817
Peter Lausson
1817
Charles Lucas
1817
Mrs. Smith
1818
Robert Stone
1818
George Tennille
1817
James Wilhite
and family - 1816
 

SETTLEMENT OF EDMONDSON'S BOTTOM - The first settler in this locality was he for whom it was afterward named -- Richard Edmondson . . . Like the other bottoms, Edmonson's contained plenty of rush and peavine pasturage, and afforded fine range for stock, both summer and winter. Cattle and hogs 'boarded themselves' during the winter, and came out looking fat and thrifty in the spring. The soil was exceptionally productive, and furnished corn, beans, potatoes, etc., in abundance, and of good quality. At quite an early day, flat-boats and keel-boats took cargoes of produce, as well as other commodities, from the settlement -- bacon, corn, potatoes, furs, peltries, etc., -- down the river to St. Charles, St. Louis, Herculaneum, and other points on the Mississippi below. pp 156-158
 
Early Settlers of Edmondson's Bottom (and their year of arrival if mentioned) pp156-158

 
Coger Brown
1818
Henry Brown
1818
James Brown
1818
James Burlison
1818
Richard Cummings
1817
(from TN)
Uriah Davis
1818
(from KY)
Rice Downey
1818
Samuel Duckworth
1820
Richard Edmondson
prior to 1816
(native of Madison Co. KY)
Abel Garrett
1816
(Loudon County, VA)
Jonathan Harris
1819
(with sons Timothy & Wm.
from KY)
Adam Hopper
1817
(from VA)
William Hopper
1817
(from VA)
Isaiah Huff
1818
William Ish
1820
James Kuykendall
1820
William McDaniel
1818
(from TN)
Thomas Rogers
1817
(from TN)
Mr. Rucker
1817
Daniel Stout
1817
Daniel Tillman
1817
(from VA)
Thomas Tillman
1817
(from VA)
James Wells
1818
Mrs. Wheeler
1819
(widow of Thomas with sons
Samuel, William and Alfred
from KY)
James Wilkinson
1818
William J. Wolfskill
1818
(from Madison Co KY)
John Young
1817
(from VA)
George Yount
1817
 

SETTLEMENT OF THE MIAMI BOTTOM - In 1815 the Miami bottom was occupied by a band of Indians of the Miami tribe, some of whom, after their overwhelming defeat by "Mad" Anthony Wayne, in Ohio, in 1791, had come west to grow up with the country. Their fort and village stood immediately on the bank of the river at the foot of the bluffs, near where the Marshall and Brunswick road crosses the discharge. From this tribe of Indians the rich bottom on the Missouri in the northern part of the county and the thriving town of Miami take their names. The bottom is fully the equal in fertility and general excellence, except in extent, to that of the same name in the state of Ohio. . . Prior to the year 1817 no permanent settlement was made on the Miami bottom . . . John Ferrill, and his son Henry, had trapped . . but no actual settlement was made until the year named, when John Cook and family settled about one and a half miles northeast of Miami . . . pp 158-163
 
Early Settlers of the Miami Bottom (and their year of arrival if mentioned) pp158-163

 
Thomas Clemmons
1817-18
(from KY)
William Clemmons
1817-18
(from KY)
John Cook
and family 1817
(from KY)
Henry Ferrill
1817-18
(from KY)
A.L. Langham
1819
John McMahan
1817-18
(from KY)
William McMahan
1817-18
(from KY)
William Miller
1819
(speculator from VA)
Robert Patrick
1817-18
(from KY)
Samuel Perry
1817-18
(from KY)
Louis Rees
1817-18
William Renick
1819
 

The SALT POND SETTLEMENT - In the fall of 1817, Edward Reavis ascended the Lamine and the Blackwater in a flat-boat, and made the first settlement at the salt springs, two miles east of the present town site of Brownville. His party numbered about fourteen souls . . . pp163-164
 
Early Settlers of Salt Pond (and their year of arrival if mentioned) pp163-164

 
John Mayes
1817-1820
Matthew Mayes
1817-1820
Duke Prigmore, Sr.
1820
Edward Reavis
and family
1817
Isham Reavis
1817-1820
 

HUNT'S SETTLEMENT on BLACKWATER - In the year 1818, Arthur Hunt, from North Carolina, settled the prairie farm near Napton's bridge, on the Blackwater. p164
 
Early Settlers of Hunt's Settlement on Blackwater
(and their year of arrival if mentioned) p164

 
Arthur Hunt
1818
John Hunt
(Arthur's son)
Oliver Hunt
(Arthur's nephew
Charles Lockhart
1819
 

SETTLEMENT IN THE SAPPINGTON NEIGHBORHOOD - The first attempt at settlement in this locality, in Arrow Rock township, it is said, was made by Wm. McMahan, in the year 1811 . . he did not return to his claim then, but joined the other settlers in the Big bottom . . . In 1810, Samuel McMahan and others had located six miles south of Arrow Rock, and built a strong block-house, or fort, called Fort Anderson. The fort took its name from three families: William, Ambrose, and George Anderson, who were Mr. McMahan's nearest neighbors. pp165-167
 
Early Settlers of the Sappington Neighborhood (and their year of arrival if mentioned) pp164-166

 
 
Ambrose Anderson
1810
George Anderson
1810
William Anderson
1810
John Bingham
c1820
Andrew Brownlee
c1820
Asa Finley
1819
Alexander Gilbraith
1819
Nathan Holloway
c1820
David Jones
1810
Bradford Lawless
c1820
Burton Lawless
c1820
Gov. M. M. Marmaduke
c1820
Richard Marshall
1819
Samuel McMahan
1810
Rev. Peyton Nowlin
1819
_____ Reese
c1820
William Reid
1810
Joseph Robinson
c1820
Dr. John Sappington
1819
Mr. Smith
c1820
Sanders Townsend
1819
Judge Beverly Tucker
c1820
Stephen Turley
1810
Joseph Wolfskill
1810
 


SETTLEMENT ON THE PETITE OSAGE BOTTOM - This bottom has a lateral extent of about eighteen miles. It was long ago named by the French, but whether it was called originally by them Petite Osage or Petite Saw, is a matter not definitely settled. It is probable, however, that the original name was Petite (or Little) Osage in contradistinction to the Osage plains proper. At this day the locality is invariably called "Tite Saw" (pronounced Teet Saw) plains. pp166-167
 
Early Settlers on the Petite Osage Bottom (and their year of arrival if mentioned) pp166-167

 
Elijah Arthur
1815-16
George Davis
1816
John Dustin
1815-16
Barry Estes
before 1820
Elisha Evans
1819
(from KY)
John Gregg
1818
John Lincoln
1819
(from KY)
____McDowell
before 1820
Andrew Russell
1819
(from KY)
Anthony Thomas
1818
Notley Thomas
1818
Robert White
1815-16
William White
1815-16
. .
 
Compiled by Melanie Cox, Volunteer Host for Saline County MOGenWeb 7/21/97


 

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