Frank H Barrow.

History of Dade County and her people : from the date of the earliest settlements to the present time online

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Online LibraryFrank H BarrowHistory of Dade County and her people : from the date of the earliest settlements to the present time → online text (page 1 of 72)
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From the date of the Earliest Settlements
to the present time

Together with Departments devoted to the Preser-
vation of Personal Reminiscences, Biographies of
Prominent Persons and Families, Business Growth
and Development a History of the Cities, Towns
and Villages of the County, School, Church, Lodge
and Club Statistics, with Personal Notes and
Observations, Etc., Etc. J J t| <I J


Greenfield, Missouri


R. A. Ludwick, Manager
A. J. Young, Editor-in-Chief

November 1, 1917

Dade Co. Mo. Historical Society
207 McPherson Street
Greenfield, Missouri 65661


In presenting to the People of Dade County this vol-
ume, The Pioneer Historical Company has no apologies
to offer. It has labored long and faithful in procuring the
data necessary for this work and is under lasting obliga-
tions to the generous contributors for their unselfish de-
votion to the cause.

In writing a History of Dade County and Its People,
many difficulties have been encountered. More than three
generations of people have lived and died in the county
since her history first began, many of them leaving no
relatives or friends to tell the story of their struggles, at-
tainments or achievements. Many events of prime im-
portance have passed into the vortex of oblivion, leaving
no trace of their happenings and no sponsor for their
repetition. Hopes, aspirations and ambitions have per-
ished with the body and gone to the grave unheralded
and unsung. Yet, out of this vast maelstrom of human
events the writers of this history have been able to gather
much of importance and have printed it in order that
coming generations may know and appreciate the strug-
gles which the pioneer has made in the interest of civiliza-


R. A. Ludwick, Manager.


To the

Aaron D. States, Original Editor in Chief, (Died Dec.
5th, 1916.)

A. J. Young, Editor in Chief. (Successor to Aaron D.
Special Contributors and Advisory Committee:

Hon. Phil S. Griffith, Editor of the Vedette.

Hon. Ben M. Neale, Lawyer.

Capt. Lewis Renfro, Retired Business Man.

Hon. W. R. Bowles, Postmaster and Editor of the
Dade County Advocate.

Hon. Mason Talbutt, Lawyer. '

Judge Frye, Lockwood Merchant and ex-Judge of
County Court.

Hon. Sam McMillen, Postmaster at Lockwood, ex-

Hon. George Wilson, Banker at Everton.

Hon. Sheridan B. Pyle, Merchant at Dadeville.

Hon. Howard Ragsdale, Lawyer, Ash Grove, ex-Rep-

Captain Joseph W. Carmack, Retired Farmer, Dade-

Captain R. J. Shipley, Retired Farmer, Greenfield.

Miss Bessie Frieze, School Teacher, Seybert.

Mrs. Aaron D. States, Supervising Historian, Green-

E. H. Carender, Supt, Public Schools.

W. R, Starr, Greenfield, Mo.

Its History and Its People

PROLOGUE: By A. J. Young.


Western Gate Way to the Ozarks: by A. D. States.
Introduction to Dade County History: by A. D.


Early Indian History: by A. D. States.
Organization of Dade County.
History of Dade County.


First Land Entries.

Early Settlements, by Howard Ragsdale.
The Boone Family, by Howard Ragsdale.
John Crisp.


Reminiscences of J. W. Carmack.

Greenfield and its people in 1867, by Seymour Hoyt.

I'ncle Daniel Wentworth Scott:

Early Discovery of Coal in Dade County.

Samuel J. Weir, Jr.

The Wheeler Family.



Military Affairs :

Civil War Record, by Raleigh J. Shipley.
The Raid of Kinch West, by J. W. Carmack.
The Confederate Veterans of Dade County, by Lewis

Greenfield During the Civil War.
Kincheon West.


The Present Court House.

Appearance of Early Newspapers, by A. D. States.


Church History:

Cumberland Presbyterian Pioneers, by W. E. Shaw.

The South Greenfield Camp-Ground, by W. E. Shaw.

History of the Cumberland Presbyterian church,
Mabel Robinson.

William Ramsey Bennington.

Ebeneezer Presbyterian Church, by A. D. States.

Greenfield Christian Church, by A. D. States.

First Presbyterian Church, Lockwood, by J. B. Lind-

The Presbyterian Church at Everton, by W. R. Rus-

First Methodist Church, Lockwood, by A. D. States.

Arcola Methodist Church, by A. D. States.

The Cumberland Presbyterian Church, by A. D.

The Christian Church at Everton, by W. D. Brown.

First Methodist Episcopal Church at Greenfield, A.

D. States.
The Church of Christ at Arcola.


History of German Settlement in Dade County, by
Fred Frye.


The Bade County Farmers' Mutual Fire Insurance

Three Mysterious Murders.


Railroad Matters.


Greenfield G. A. R. Post.
John M. Stemmons Camp, U. C. V.
Odd Fellowship in Greenfield.

History of Garrett Lodge No. 359 A. F. and A. M. at
Arcola, Mo.


The Telephone in Dade County by A. D. States.


History of the Ladies' Magazine Club of Greenfield.
The Kensington Club of Greenfield, by Mrs. W. B. Mc-


The New Century Club of Greenfield, by Harriet Jopes.
The Magazine Club of Lockwood by Mrs. A. C. Duvall.
The Merry Makers' Club of Lock wood, by Myrtle

The Wednesday Afternoon Club of Lockwood by Mrs.

Lou Grubert.

The All Sew Club of Lockwood by Mrs. W. M. Hoel.
The Country Woman's Club of Dade County.
The Home Makers' Club of Greenfield.


Greenfield, "The Gate City of the Grotto" by A. J.


South Greenfield.



The Town of Corry.



Dade County Bridges by A. D. States.

Bade County Court House.

Dade County Jail.

Dade County Poor Farm.

County Officers, Members of the County Court.

Circuit Court Judges.

County Court Clerks.

Circuit Court Clerks.

Sheriffs of Dade County.

Prosecuting Attorneys of Dade County since 1872.

Collectors of the Revenue.

County Treasurers.

Recorders of Deeds.

Judges of the Probate Court.



Judicial History by A. D. States.


General Resources and Statistics of Dade County.

Population Statistics.

Surplus Shipments.

Public School Statistics.

Rate of Taxation.

Assessed Valuation.


Purely Pastorial.

A Dade County Autumn by A. D. States.

From An Old Timer.

Of Interest to Stockmen.

Its History and Its People


For a number of years it has been the desire of the
leading citizens of Dade County that a history should be
written giving to the world an accurate estimate of the
lives and the achievements of this municipality from its
earliest existence down to the present time, faithfully re-
cording the struggles and sacrifices of the pioneers to-
gether with their reward. A task of this kind requires
diligent research, accurate detail and faithful record.

Early in the year 1916 Hon. Aaron D. States, a prom-
inent citizen of the county and a man in every way quali-
fied for this great undertaking entered enthusiastically into
the field but was stricken by the grim reaper before the
harvest was gathered. Much of the material prepared by
him was in a crude form and for a time the enterprize was
jeopardized by the untimely death of Mr. States, but his
labor was not in vain. After a few months, those having
undertaken the financial burden of the enterprise came to
me with the material and data gathered by Mr. States and




insisted that I complete the work. It was with reluctance
that I did so, and it is only by reason of the very generous
efforts of those who have so kindly contributed articles
that this work is at all possible.

MUCH of the history of Dade County slumbers in the
tomb of the maker. In many instances only a partial rec-
ord was preserved and Father Time has gathered to him-
self in the silence of death not only the history but also the

No spirit of self aggrandizement prompts the effort
necessary to the collation of this great work. Proper credit
will be given to all those who have contributed to its suc-

I realize the fact that of necessity, this history will be
incomplete. Many important circumstances will escape
the pen of the historian and many events fraught with
human interest will be missed. It may be left to the his-
torian of the future to write in greater detail of the facts
and circumstances which have contributed to make Dade
County the peer among the counties of the Ozark region,
but it is to be hoped that when he shall pass along this
road he will find here and there a footprint in the im-
mortal sand which will guide him safely to his journey's

In presenting this volume to the people of Dade
County it is the cherished wish of the editor that they will
find in its pages many precious pearls of great price and
memories of days which have long since passed into the
valley of yesterday, thereby insuring its welcome into
every Dade County home.

November 1, 1917.



Chapter 1


Aaron D. States.

A beautiful stretch of prairie country extends from
the Kansas State line eastward. It remains prairie until
it reaches the foot hills of the Ozarks at a point near the
center line of Dade County where it merges into uplands
that are covered with timber, interspersed by running
brooks, fed by living springs. The outlines form a beau-
tiful countour of natures arrangement, so much so, that
tourists as well as native citizens, find in the picture rare
beauty and considerable nature wonderment.

At the point where the level prairie land unites with
the upland and the little hills, there is a richness in the
scenery. Off to the east and the south as well as north,
master hills show their verdant peaks while the rich valleys
give evidence of the thrift of the husbandmen. Streams of
pure water course these valleys and they are fed by living
springs, that are found on both hillside and lowland.

The western gateway has a history that will never be
recorded because of the fact in the remote past the pioneer
cared but little save for the felling of the forest along the
streams, and the breaking of the virgin soil and the build-
ing of his cabin. The cabin was always found near some
friendly spring. The public highway was then unknown.
Neighborhood roads supplied the need of primitive travel
and many of this nature of roads are remembered by the
elders of the present day a few of them still exist and to
some extent they are used, yet to the public highway, a
prominent factor in the up-building of the country much
attention is given, the main avenues for public travel. The
neighborhood roads began to disappear some twenty years
ago taking with them much of the rich pioneer history.


Tradition is faulty at times and, therefore, not alto-
gether dependable. The old roadways that wind here and
there, are easily traced by the marks in the woodland and
on the hillside, that the wheels of the past have made.
These old ruts and marks of primal history tell a tale of
the days when the fathers used to go many miles to mill
or to their post office or the store that used to furnish their
needed supplies.

It would indeed be a difficult matter to learn who first
discovered the western gateway to the Ozarks. Tradition
says a company of men who were exploring the south-
eastern part of the Kansas territory in the first of the 30 's
stole across the line into Missouri territory and traveled
as far eastward as the foothills. Another tradition tells us
that back in the twenties, there came a few men of a dar-
ing spirit out into the wilderness of grasses and trees,
among the Indians and all manner of wild animals known
to this section and traveled as far westward as the junction
of the level upland at a point somewhere near the center
of the county and another tradition says some of these
men of a more daring nature crossed the line into the wilds
of Kansas where there was an abundance of buffalo, deer
and other wild game. A search for the names of these
men proved futile.

It is evident that this portion of the Ozarks was
known to others long before these two supposed companies
of men saw this country. One strong evidence of this fact
is the old Fort, supposed to have been built by the Span-
ish many years before. It seems that these Spanish ex-
plorers and hunters of mineral wealth, built this fortifi-
cation in order to protect themselves against Indian attack
and to also give them a place to smelt their ores. Until
recent years ashes and charred coal could be found at the
lower end of the enclosure near the spring, that showed
clearly that a vast amount of fuel had been used for some
purpose. The banks of this enclosure are about extinct,
the ashes and charred coals are all gone, nothing of
any consequence yet remaining but the old spring and it
will not talk in the language of the historian. Had the


builders of this old fortification been so thoughtful as to
chisel on the stone or brass the year they inhabited this
portion of the Ozarks the whole country would extend it's
thanks but alas there is no record. This old fortification
is out on Son's Creek about seven miles northwest of Green-

There is but little question but what the upper Lime-
stone and Son's creek country were the first places of
resort for the Indian and also for the first white people.
The Indians left traces of their habitation in the way of
arrows, stone hammers, arrow points and other Indian
chattels, that points clearly that they were the first here
and of consequence, were the first to enter the Ozarks from
the east and north and pass out through the western gate-
way. Many Indian relics were found in the upper Lime-
stone and the upper Son's Creek country. In the entire
western gateway in Dade County is one of special interest
to the nature lover, the Sac river hill, the Limestone and
Son's Creek and the fertile valleys form a scene that is
truly splendid. This gateway north and south and about
the center, was settled about the same year. Settlers were
attracted to this section by the mild climate, the richness
of the soil and the abundance of water supply. They came
from Tennessee, Kentucky and a few from Virginia. This
was nearly 83 years ago. Here they found nature gardens
at every turn and many of these gardens afforded food
stuff for their cabin. Flowers were here in abundance in
their richest beauty and they are still here. The fire pink,
the wild rose, the primitive verbena, the first trumpet vine
and the first violet, found their home near this gateway
Mid they have been standing vigil all these years, welcom-
ing the worthy to admission into a country that is becom-
ing one of the richest in the middle west. All manner of
nut bearing trees grow along the friendly streams, and
they gave succor and aid to the early fathers. They were
many wild fruits such as wild grapes almost as large and
sweet as the concord of today, luscious persimmons and
toothsome blackhaws. In those early days it was no
trouble to make the product of both field and garden pay.


There was no drought and there was precious little culti-
vation needed because of the richness of the soil and the
absence of weeds. It is said weeds were not known for a
long time after the first settlements were established.
Weed seed was brought to this section by the birds and
the pressure of high winds. In this particular there is a
vast difference, the weed industry seems to be chief where
greatest care is not observed.

Spring and Autumn months especially the months of
April, May, June and October, are kin to the valleys of
Arno throughout the western gateway. Almost any year
the plow can be seen going in the field in the months of
December and January and many of the early gardens are
made the latter days of January and the first of February.
Some years nearly all the spring plowing is done in the
winter months. Many years the pasture remains clean
and profitable the entire year with the exception when
there is a coat of sleet on the ground. Cattle and sheep
have been known to feed from the pasture fields the entire
winter months; the climate as a rule, is mild and health-
ful, the mercury seldom goes below the zero mark and
most winters it remains at least to forty degrees above.
Some winters the mercury registers as high as 60 to 70
degrees several days at a period. Most years the early
spring crops are planted the latter days of February and
the first days in March. Sometimes there is a cold wave
period that strikes this country in early winter and re-
mains until the dawning of spring this is a rare section.

The mild climate enables the stock man to care for
his herd with but little extra expense in winter, over the
summer months when pasture is at its best. The dairy-
men find this country an ideal place to carry on his voca-
tion. This is a real natural dairy country, and the busi-
ness has been neglected to a great extent. The never fail-
ing water and the abundance of the grasses linked with
mild climate and the proximity to market, makes this
country an ideal country for such culture. There is not
much need of expensive dairy barns or sheds, yet, many
who are now engaged in the business find it profitable to


protect their herds from storm and sleet though these
barns are not put into actual use save a very few months
in the year. Many herd owners use well covered sheds
with openings for the stock. These sheds prove to be
good herd protectors and they are practically inexpensive
when compared with the results they obtain; they are the
best paying improvements that can be made on any dairy
or stock farm, for it is a well known fact that chilly days
and damp cold seasons are not very conductive to the
growth and development of any nature of stock. Some
day Bade County will be one of the banner dairy counties
in the middle west.

Over in Barton county, north of Lamar there is a
point that is called the Ozark divide. At this point a part
of the water runs north into the streams that find their
outlet in the Osage river and a part flows south into what
is known as Muddy, thence into Spring River. This divide
is noticeable to the naked eye and many points in Barton
and places in Dade County. The first little hillocks of
the Ozark range are to be seen in western Barton County
and these little hills and rolling prairie are very promi-
nent until they reach half way across Dade County, then
merge into real hills where the upland and the valleys
give protection to the soil tiller, where there are many
prosperous, happy homes. There are many of these
homes at the western gateway; some of them are really
ideal country homes. Throughout the Lockwood and
Arcola districts there are many of these homes. There
are a number of ideal farms in these districts and the
number does not diminish as travel is made eastward
through the entire county, to the Green County line.

The early fathers seemed to like the wooded district
of Dado County better than they did the prairie district.
Hero is where they built their first cabins, their first
church, their first school house and their first village.
This was on account of the water supply and the head of
timber to build their cabin and otherwise improve their
farms. Forty years ago land in the Lockwood district
sold as low as two dollars and fifty cents the acre. It


was then a wilderness of grass and remained so until the
advent of the Memphis Railroad about the first of the
80 's. These same tracts could not be bought now for
much less than $100 the acre, and many of them would
demand a much higher price. The building of the Mem-
phis Railroad, up to the time of its building, was the
greatest event in the history of the county. Soon after
the completion of this railroad the western half of Dade
County was a real mecca for the home seeker, resulting
in the turning of the wilderness into a veritable garden.
Too much credit cannot be given George H. Nettleton and
J. E. Lockwood, promoters and builders of this railroad,
for the good that has resulted from the building and com-
pleton of this splendid highway of steel. It has been
the savior of central south Missouri.

Conditions at the western gateway of the Ozarks
remain pretty much the same until the Greene County
line is reached on the east. The heretofore waste lands
are now coining into use, especially the hill lands, Avhich,
heretofore, were covered with grasses, thickets and briars.
These hill lands are being cleared and the soil is being
brought into use in the raising of grasses, thus adding to
the material worth of the county in the way of land pro-
tection. This section seems to be the home for all the
grasses, the clover, blue grass and timothy thrive in
almost every section. Blue grass and clover seem to
spring simultaneously by the roadside, the newly cleared
hillside and in waste places this is especially true of
the clover. This aid of nature assists materially in mak-
ing the country {he ideal country for dairy herds and the
raising of young cattle. Pasturage is abundant from
early spring until the extreme dry weather which usually
conies the latter days of July and the month of August.
Then when the early fall season begins the grasses begin
to take on new life and long before frost the fields are
covered with the rich crop of splendid feed that often lasts
throughout the winter months especially during the open
days of the winter.

Hill lands that sold for $5 the acre a few years ago
bring from $25 to $30 the acre and many of the upland


farms demand as high as $75 the acre. Some of the
valley land bring $125 to $140 the acre it might be well
to state not many of the valley land farms are changing
ownership because of the fact there is no better land in
any country in the way of productiveness or in the raising
of diversified crops. The farms that contain part valley
and part upland are considered the best. These farms are
giving the best record. The pioneers thus believed, for
many of them entered land that had a touch of real rustic
nature as well as plenty of bottom land which they cul-
tivated. This is one great reason Dade County as a whole
was slow in converting its hill land into helpmates. It
has been lately proven that much of the upland is about
as rich as the bottom land along the various streams.


Introduction to Dade County History


Aaron D. States.

I live neither in the north or the south, the east or the
west my country is Missouri, the center State. I possess
a very small portion of Missouri, yet it is my adopted
asylum it is my country. Why do I like it, listen!"

It is south Missouri where the Ozarks play with the
gossamere clouds and the mellow sunbeams, that dance
over meadow, woodland and tangled wildwood and play
hide-go-seek amid labyrinth and dell. Where the purest
crystal water flows in classic rivers and streams and from
never ceasing nature wells and springs, that give health
and life. Where talkative, babling brooklets quench the
thirst of the herds, on its mission to the ' father of waters,'
passing through bewitching nature gardens, tickling the
rootlets of herb and fern, then spreading into a broader
and deeper current to gladden the hearts of the husband-
men. Where the golden sunlight warms the earth the
quickest after the snows and the sleets. Where the earth
responds to every honest touch of the soil tiller and as-
sures him plenty with some to spare.

Not so very far from thriving cities, near the track-
age of the endless steel rail with the master city of the
middle west hard by. Near a modern village of schools
and churches and where everybody is hailed as brother,
and, should I forget to extend the day benediction in pass-
ing it would be sufficient cause to create a desire in the af-
flicted to learn, ''What on earth has happened?" In a
country where the countryman and the townsman sit in
the same pew, attend the same social functions, whose

Online LibraryFrank H BarrowHistory of Dade County and her people : from the date of the earliest settlements to the present time → online text (page 1 of 72)