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 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
This page last modified Sunday, 09-Aug-2009 10:46:31 MDT
This site maintained by C.J. Ellis