History of Green Township, Nodaway County, Missouri
From: The History of Nodaway County, Missouri
National Historical Company
St. Joseph, Mo.: 1882



On June 14, 1866, appears the following order of court, defining the bounds of Green Township:

Commencing at the northeast corner of section 20, township 65, range 36, thence west on the section line between sections 17 and 20, 18 and 19, township 65, range 36, and sections 13 and 24, 14 and 23, 15 and 22, 16 and 27, 17 and 20, 18 and 19, township 65, range 37, and 13 and 24, 14 and 23, 15 and 22, township 65, range 38, to the northwest corner of section 22, township 65, range 38, thence south on the west line of said county and on section line between sections 21 and 22, 27 and 28, 33 and 34, township 65, range 38, to sections 3 and 4, 9 and 10, 15 and 16, 21 and 22, 27 and 28, 33 and 34, in township 64, range 38, and to the northwest corner of section 3, township 63, range 38, thence east on sections between 3 and to, 2 and 11, 1 and 2, township 63, range 38, and sections 6 and 7, 5 and 8, 4 and 9, 3 and 1o, 2 and 11, 1 and 12, township 63, range 37, and sections 6 and 7, 5 and 8, to the southeast corner of section 5, township 63, range 36, thence north on section line between sections 4 and 5, township 63, range 36, and sections 32 and 33, 28 and 29, 20 and 21, 16 and 17, 8 and 9, 4 and 5, township 64, range 36, and sections 32 and 33, 28 and 29, 20 and 21, to the northeast corner of section 20, township 65, range 36, to the place of beginning.

Subsequently Nodaway Township was taken out of territory originally belonging to Green and Atchison Townships.


Green Township is divided nearly in the center by the Nodaway River, which, for about three miles passing southward from the northern line of the township, forms the boundary line between the townships of Green and Nodoway. The township is well watered by the Nodaway and its various affluents which flow into it on both sides. The land on the east side of the Nodaway rises gently from the valley toward the east, with a slight elevation toward the north. The land on the west side of the Nodaway rises gradually toward the west. In consequence of these physical features the affluents of the Nodaway on the east side, flow southeasterly into the river, and those on the west side flow in a general direction easterly to the river. On the east side of the Nodaway as we pass from north to south, the names of the affluents are Bowman's Branch, Sand Creek, with its branches, and Florida, with its branches. On the west side, as we pass in the same direction, the names of the affluents are Waterloo Branch, Jones' Branch, Huff Branch, Wilson's Branch, Mineral Spring Branch, and Burr Oak Branch.

The first bottom of the Nodaway Valley is about a mile in width on the east side of the river, and on the west side it is wider and sometimes extends back from the river two miles. A few lakes occur along the valley in close proximity to the river. The eastern watershed of the valley lies near the east line of Green township, and the western watershed lies beyond the western boundary of the township, in Atchison County. The whole township is made up of fine valley lands, rather rolling in character, but not subject to the "wash" so common to many portions of Missouri. The western half of the township lying west of the Nodaway River, and portions of the eastern half, possess the rich vegetable mold or alluvium resting upon the Loess or bluff formation, the very best soil in the Missouri Valley. The Nodaway Valley has considerable timber, Sand Creek and Huff Branch are well timbered, the timber on Sand Creek extending near its sources, and all of the creeks in the township have more or less timber. It is estimated that about one tenth of the township is timbered land. Along the Nodaway River and Sand Creek there is an abundance of stone for building purposes, and there is some stone found along the branches of the Florida. Coal is found a little south of Quitman, and along the Florida Branch, and is mined in considerable quantities for commercial purposes. The best veins will average from eighteen to twenty two inches in thickness, and produce a fair article of bituminous coal. In Green Township there are several water privileges only, one of which has been improved in the erection of the mill near Quitman.


Mr. Wm. Bowman was on a of the early settlers in what is now Green Township. He settled about three miles south of the place where Dawson now stands, on the west side of the Nodaway River, in the spring of 1841. He took a claim and opened a farm, and Joseph Hutson, who, the year previous, had settled on Mill Creek, broke ten acres of prairie for him, to help him make a start in pioneer life. Mr. Bowman, about two years after he came to Green Township, under the Mfluence of the emigration fever which prevailed about that time to go to the Pacific Coast, sold out to James Roberts and went to Oregon.

Elijah Dodson came soon afterward in the year 1842, and settled a little north of where Quitman is now located, on the east side of the Nodaway River. He lived there about ten years and then, under the impulse of the fever to go to the Pacific Coast, sold out and went to Oregon. He had two sons, William and Jesse, and three sons in law, who settled near where he located in Green Township. The names of these sons in law were John Dawson and Dennis Dawson, who were brothers, and John Harris. They all came in the year 1842.

In the year 1843, John Porter came and settled about one mile and a half south of Dodson's place, on the west side of the Nodaway River. He also sold out and went to Oregon.

Joseph Hutson, the oldest pioneer in Nodaway County west of the Nodaway River, says he has seen as many as sixty wagons a day going to the Pacific Coast. They would go in companies of about thirty wagons, for protection against the Indians, who were troublesome on the plains beyond the Missouri River.

Mr. Harris came about the same time or a little earlier, and took a claim one mile a little southwest of Mr. Porter's place. Beyond Mr. Harris' place, going south, at that early period, Joseph Hutson says there was a wild wilderness with no settlement for twenty miles. The face of nature lay in all its native wildness and awful solitude, while here and there might be seen the white smoke of some lonely wigwam. In those early days game was abundant in the Nodaway Valley, and the pioneer hunters were richly rewarded by finding an abundance of elk, deer, wolves, turkeys and some bears. The sure rifle of the pioneer brought his daily food, and his table was supplied in abundance with wild game that epicures of cities now bring to their tables as the rarest delicacies from great distances and at considerable expense. The pioneer had many things to encourage him, and he was always cheered with the prospect that ever opened before him - the thought that his children would enjoy the fruits of his early privations.

Hiram Lee was among the earliest settlers of Green Township. He came and opened a claim and built the first grist mill near where Quitman now stands. He sold out to Rankin Russell, and moved down four miles south, and opened another claim. Mr. Russell tore down the old log mill, and put up a frame grist and saw mill in the place of it.

John D. Holt laid a Mexican land warrant in 1849, on a timbered quarter section of land, about five miles southeast, of where Quitman stands. He sold out to Joel Albright in 1853. Mr. Albright has since entered the prairie land in his immediate vicinity, and has a fine farm.

In 1849, William R. Holt settled three miles southeast of where Quitman is now located, buying a piece of land from Richard Miller.

The pioneers all agree that the winter of 1849, was as severe as any winter ever experienced in Missouri from its earliest settlement. The cold was unusually severe and protracted, and the snow was drifted very deep. William V. Smith, of Skidmore, says he used three yoke of oxen to draw a load of corn through the deep drifts of snow. It may be impossible to tell how cold the winter was, as there were no meteorological journals kept in Northwest Missouri at that early day, but the pioneers suffered much in their rude huts, many of which had been hastily and imperfectly constructed; and as they looked out on the deep drifts of snow all around them, they were forcibly reminded of the comfortable homes they had left for frontier life. Still they determined to remain, and when the snows melted and spring came again with sunshine and flowers, they went forth with cheerful hearts, almost forgetting the rigors of the winter season.


Joel Albright, 1839; William Bowman, 1841; Elijah Dodson, 1842; William Dodson, 1842; Jesse Dodson, 1842; John Dawson, 1842; John Harris, 1842; Dennis Dawson, 1842; Jesse Roberts, 1842; James Roberts, 1842; John Thomas, 1842; Wm. Harris, 1842; John Porter, 1843; John Grooms, 1845; William R. Holt, 1849; Solomon Shell, 1851; Hiram Lee, Rankin Russell, John D. Holt and Richard Miller.


The town of Quitman was incorporated February 8, 1851, and is situated eleven miles west of Maryville, and two miles north, on the Nodaway Valley Railroad. It is located on the east bank of the Nodaway River, on high rolling land, overlooking the river. The location of the town is very sightly and picturesque, and the views are fine. The beautiful Nodaway flows at one's feet, and an observer looks down on a landscape toward the west that is exceedingly charming. The rolling lands of Green Township unfold like a panoramic view, and at the present time of writing, (Indian summer,) the groves along the river and its affluents display their richest autumnal tints. No forests in the world compare with American forests in the richness of their foliage during the Indian summer,when all the groves put on their autumnal glories. They have been the delight of artists, who have striven in vain to reproduce them on the canvas, and have formed the dreams of poets who have tried to picture them forth in words. But Art is powerless in the presence of Nature, when she puts on her autumnal robes and is arrayed with a matchless beauty. But the poet has indeed very sweetly said of Indian summer:

" The tranquil river glideth to the sea,
Throb' purple haze the golden sunbeams fall;
The white sails glimmer by us silently,-
The hush of dreamland lieth over all."

The poet might have lived at Quitman, for a people living amidst such beautiful scenes of nature should be poetical. But life in the west seems to have a hard, practical phase that takes all the poetry out of it. Travelers have truly said that many people in America live indifferent amidst scenes of nature whose beauty is unequalled in foreign lands. The people of Quitman surely have all the elements to be aesthetically.

The land on which the town of Quitman stands was originally entered by Hiram Lee. He sold it to R. R. Russell, who was the founder of Quitman. Mr. Russell laid out the town in 1856. It was first called Russellville, but was subsequently given its present name in honor of General John A. Quitman, who was once Governor of Mississippi. Judge Neal was the surveyor when the town was platted. Judge William Emmerson bought the first lot, No. 8, block 12. David Tignor bought the second lot, in block 14.

It may be proper to state that before the town was laid off, Hiram Lee had a log cabin on the town site. Wiley Tracy also had a log house before the town was laid off, on the land where the town now stands. William Emmerson also put up a house for general merchandise, and opened a store.

After the town was laid off Mr. R. R. Russell probably put up the first house for a residence, and moved into it. Mr. Russell also put up the first brick building for a store, in which was opened a stock of general merchandise. Isaac T. Jones then erected a dwelling which was afterwards used for a store, some additions having been made to it. The next house, a brick building, was erected by Merideth Tanner. Joel Albright put up the next store for general merchandise.

A steam saw mill was erected in 1859, by Reese and Sellers. About this time C. R. Hardesty built a blacksmith shop and dwelling. A bridge was also built across the Nodaway River just below the mill in the year 1858. The present grist mill was erected in 1869 by Nash & Ware, and is still occupied by S. T. Ware.

In April, 1880, a destructive five occurred in Quitman which burnt all the buildings on Broadway, the main street, except two business houses. This fire was a calamity to the town, but the people rallied, and the town was soon built up again. Mr. Russell was the first postmaster.

The Nodaway Valley Railroad came to Quitman in 1880. Johnston & Radford shipped the first car load of lumber to Quitman. During the spring of 1881, Jacob Grant established a brick yard. During the past year, twenty one new dwellings and ten buildings for business have been erected in Quitman. The town has now about five hundred inhabitants.

When the railroad came to the town the citizens determined to secure a new incorporation from the county court.

The first board of Trustees of the town were John Gray, James W. Wyke, Charles A. Radford, David Kimble, and James W. Weddle, Jr.

The first marriage in Quitman occurred probably in 1856, when Mr. John Tignor and Miss Malinda Willis were united in bands of matrimony by Rev. W. Emmerson, at the house of the bride's father. The first death was that of Robert Russell, a son of R. R. Russell, the exact date of which seems to have escaped recollection. Mrs. Mary C. Jones, daughter of Judge Am. Emmerson, is the oldest resident now living in Quitman. She came to Quitman in the year 1855, she thinks about the time the town was laid out by Mr. Russell.

The school is in a good condition, with a full attendance. Quitman has a good frame school house. Miss Cora Huff is the principal of the school.

The names of the trustees of the town under the present incorporation are as follows: John Lamb, Chairman; W. H. Smith, A. Johnston, S. T. Ware, James Wykoff, Trustees. C. A. Radford, Treasurer; George Gill, Marshal; Sheldon Adkins, Clerk.


Ackerman, John, groceries and meat market.
Adkins, Shelden, justice of the peace.
Bariteau & Welch, steam elevator.
Carson & Co., livery.
Carlton E. L., hotel.
Chandler, Charles, blacksmith shop.
Craft, William, confectionery.
Crawford, C. C., general merchandise.
Dace, C. F., barber.
Davis, F. M., physician.
Fargo & Sheets, restaurant.
Gill Bros., hardware.
Grant, Jacob, brickmaker.
Gray, John, harness shop.
Hargrave, S. L., physician.
Howell Bros., lumber dealers.
Hillweg, E. W., railroad agent.
Johnston, H., livery.
Johnston & Radford, general merchandise.
Manning, E. M. physician.
Mason, J. L., wagon maker.
Martin, B., shoemaker.
Myers, George, feed stable.
Nash, E. D., horse power elevator.
Owens, Mrs., millinery.
Rice, Jacob, physician.
Radford, C. A., notary public and postmaster.
Smith, W. H., druggist and notary public.
Spears, C. W., grain buyer.
Weddle, J. W., blacksmith.
Weddle, J. W., Sr., wagon maker.


The Methodist Episcopal Church of Quitman was organized in the year 1871, with the following original members: G. E. Basom, Jane Basom, W. T. Radford, Sallie Radford, C. A. Radford, Thomas Bond and Mrs. E. O. Manning.

The church has had the following named pastors to supply it: W. B. Sunderland, L. Shelley, W. Coneley, W. B. Moody, W. P. Bishop, I. Chivington, W. L. Edmonds, and Eri Edmonds, who is the present pastor. The church edifice is worth $1,500. There is a good Sabbath School, with an average attendance of eighty. The membership of the church numbers thirty. The church at Quitman has done a good work, and is now in a flourishing condition. The church has experienced the usual difficulties in laying foundation stones in a new country, but the promise has been verified to them: " My grace is sufficient for thee.' There is a good parsonage, worth $700.

QUITMAN LODGE, NO. 196, A. F. & A. M.

On May 3o, 186o, this lodge received its charter. The following are the names of the charter members; Samuel F. Kennedy, Thomas J. McQuidy, Samuel Noffsinger and A. B. Moore. The officers of the lodge at the time of its organization were: Samuel F. Kennedy, W. M.; Thos. J. McQuidy, S. W.; Samuel Noffsinger, J. W. The names of the present officers are as follows: Theo. Pifer, W. M.; William Torphy, S. W.; Isaac Bryan, J. W.; W. H. Franklin, Secretary; H. M. McKinzie, Tyler; William McDonald, S. D.; James McDonald, J. D. The present membership of this lodge numbers seventy. The lodge is prosperous, and meets Saturday nights on or before the full moon in each month.

COMET LODGE, NO. 284, I. O. O. F.

The charter of this lodge was granted June 10, 1873. The charter members of the lodge are as follows: H. M. McKinzie, H. H. Nash, W. H. Smith, J. C. Smith, John H. Ware, Jr., and James Parshall. The names of the officers are as follows: C. A. Radford, N. G.; John Gray, V. G.; Theo. Pifer, R. S.; J. W. Carden, Treasurer; A. B. Huff, R. S. to N. G.; J. Ackerman, L. S. to N. G.; J. W. Wycoff, Warden; Charles Carson, L. S. S.; A. Johnson, C.; A. Earhart, R. S. S.; James Weddle, R. S. to V. G.; J. C. Smith, L. S. to V. G.; H. M. McKinzie, I. G.; J. M. Wilson, L. D. The present membership numbers thirty. The lodge is prosperous and doing a good work.


John Bilby came from Illinois in 1875, and bought several thousand acres of land, which is now enclosed and in cultivation or pasture. Soon after he came he located Fairview, four miles southwest by south from Quitman. Bilby & Bird put up the first building for a dwelling house. John Bilby erected the next building for a store and opened a large stock of general merchandise. A blacksmith shop was then erected. Three or four dwelling houses were erected west of the store. There is a post office, John Bilby, postmaster. He owns a fine residence about one fourth of a mile north of Fairview. This town is located in what is known among the farmers as Whig Valley District, which embraces the valley on the west side of the Nodaway River. The name originally came from a small settlement of Old Line Whigs, three miles and a half west of Graham.

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