History of Pleasant Gap Township, Bates County, Missouri
From: History of Bates County, Missouri
By: W. O. Atkeson
Historical Publishing Company
Topeka - Cleveland 1918

Pleasant Gap Township.

The topography of Pleasant Gap township is broken, mostly what is called locally, high prairie; but it is good agricultural land. It is watered principally by Double Branches and Willow creeks. Some timber is along the creeks.

History has written that those who settled in this township prior to 1839 were: the Osbornes, a large family from Illinois; two families of Requas in the southwest; Daniel Francis and two sons in law, Arthur and Constable; and Abram Towner, these latter being refugees from Mormon settlements in Jackson county, Missouri. Two families named Harris and Collins lived near the center of the township, Jimmy Ridge, the Walker family, and a family named Beatty. William Harvey came in 1842 from Texas and left for California in 1849. William Hagan located two miles north of the village of Pleasant Gap and went to California in '49. His brother who came at the same time, and at one time county surveyor, left for California in 1852. Joseph. Wix located, where his son now lives, in 1843. James Cockrell came some time prior to 1843, also James Cockrell, Jr. and also Larkin Cockrell and James, Jr. All went to California in '49. Henry Beaver came from Kentucky and went with the others, William Deweese and his sons, Jesse, Evan and Eliph, came from Illinois in 1844. Evan was killed in the battle of Lone Jack.

For further mention of Joseph Wix see chapter on Biographies. Among other old settlers entitled to mention were: Dr. John H. and R. W. McNeil from New York, Peter Trimble, Horace Milton, Cornelius Nafus, S. S. Burch, George M. Requa, John Dillon, W. H. Pitts, J. M. Rogers, William Campbell, Jesse Rinehart, W. B. Young, John Haskins, Philip Standford, James Coe, W. L. Campbell, and John Sisson. The old settlers were generally from Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee.

The first postoffice in the east part of the county was established in 1840, near where Pleasant Gap village now is and an old man named Anderson Cockrell was the first postmaster. A mail route was established from Boonville, Clinton, Pleasant Gap to Balitown, on the Little Osage river near where Horton now is.

The first store in Pleasant Gap village was opened by Joseph Smith about 1850. It became, quite a business center before the war, and when the county was reorganized after the war Pleasant Gap was the temporary seat of government until it was finally moved to Butler. Pleasant Gap continued to be a good business point for many years and is still a community center.

Stumptown, formerly called Lone Oak Postoffice, was established in 1854 in the central western part of the township near the confluence of the north and south branches of Double Branches creek. W. B. Young was the father of this village and opened the first business house in 1854. History records that he carried a stock of general merchandise, the predominating articles, however, being tobacco and whiskey; the latter being almost universally used as the matutinal drink of the old pioneer. Young was noted for his bonhomie and was the recognized fiddler of that vicinity. In addition to being the life of every rural gathering, day or night, he was the sole editor and proprietor of the "Stumptown Clipper," which appeared at regular intervals in manuscript form. The happenings, the doings, the sayings of the neighborhood were all faithfully gathered by this original chronicler, who read his "Clipper" aloud to his own admirers in his own inimitable style. So the historian has set it down, and it is to be regretted that nothing further is known of the "Clipper." It seems it had no circulation except vive voce, and no files were ever put up or preserved, so it is lost to the world.


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