At the April Special Term, 1845, the following order of court appears, establishing Hughes Township:
"All that territory within the following limits shall be called and known by the name of Hughes Township,
Beginning at the southwest corner of Atchison Township; thence southward on the line dividing Nodaway County from
Atchison and Holt Counties toe the southern boundary of Nodaway County. Thence east on the line dividing Nodaway
and Andrew Counties to the divide between Nodaway River and White Cloud. Thence north on said divide till it intersects
The court, June 14th, 1866, passed an order defining the bounds of Hughes Township, as follows:
"Commencing at the northeast corner of section 15, township 63, range 36; thence west between sections 10
and 15, 9 and 16 to the northwest corner of section 16, township 63, range 36; thence north between sections 8
and 9 to the northeast corner of section 8; thence west between 5 and 8, 6 and 7, township 63, range 36, and sections
1 and 12, 2 and 11, 3 and to, 4 and 9, 5 and 8, 6 and 7, township 63, range 37, and sections t and 12, 2 and 11,
3 and 1o, township 63, range 38, to the northwest corner of section 10, township 63, range 38; thence south in
the center of section and west of county line between sections 9 and 10. 16 and 15, 21 and 22, to the southwest
corner of the northwest quarter of section 22; thence east on the center line dividing sections 22, 23 and 24,
township 63, range 36, and sections 19, 20 and 21, to the Nodaway River, township 63, range 37; thence meandering
with the east bank of said river south to near the southwest corner of the southeast quarter of section 35, township
62, range 37; thence east on the south line of said county to the southeast corner of section 34, township 62,
range 36: thence north on section line between sections 34 and 35, 26 and 27, 22 and 23, 14 and 15, w and I 1,
2 and 3, township 62, range 36, and sections 34 and 35, 20 and 27, 14 and 15, to the northeast corner of section
15, township 63, range 36, to the place of beginning."
Subsequently Monroe Township was formed out of territory which originally belonged to Hughes and Green Townships.
Hughes Township is well watered by several creeks whose general bearings are from the northeast toward the southwest,
all of them emptying into the Nodaway River. The names of these creeks, as we pass from the south towards the north,
are as follows: Halifax, Rain Creek, Elkhorn, McDowell Branch and Bagley Branch. Wolf Hollow empties into the Elkhorn
and runs toward the northwest, and the Little Elkhorn runs into the Elkhorn.
The land of Hughes Township, forming a portion of the eastern valley of the Nodaway River, rises with a gentle
slope as we pass eastward from the river, with a slight inclination toward the north, and is quite rolling. The
river is fringed with beautiful groves along the valley, and some picturesque spurs covered with timber or brush
set back for some distance from the river, making a scene, as one descends into the valley toward the west, of
The soil of the township is a rich vegetable mold resting on a subsoil in which the Loess of the bluff formation
is about equally intermixed with the usual clay subsoil of the county. This combination makes an excellent soil,
being light and easily worked, and so porous that water rarely stands upon it, yet possessing such power of capillary
attraction that it is not materially affected by drouth.
Hughes Township presents unusual attractions to the farmer, the horticulturist and to the stock grower. The natural
resources are abundant, nothing seeming to have been left out that can contribute to the comfort of man. The soil
is rich and deep, the country is well watered by streams, springs burst out of the hillsides, excellent well water
is found twelve to fifty feet deep; there is an abundance of excellent timber, coal outcrops in veins, there are
fine stone quarries of both limestone and freestone, and there is a beauty in the landscape and a pastoral loveliness
to the scene quite charming to the observer. All the cereals of the Upper Missouri Valley flourish, and the grasses
are luxuriant. Farmers have reported as high an average as 108 bushels of corn to the acre by actual measurement.
Improved grades of cattle and sheep have been introduced. The first short horn bull ever shown at the Nodaway County
Fair was exhibited by Mr. H. C. Linville, who resides near Graham. The farmers have an air of contentment about
their comfortable homes that seems to say that "their lines have fallen to them in pleasant places, and they
have a goodly heritage."
There is a tradition that. the Elkhorn derived its name from the following circumstance connected with pioneer
life: It seems that a man killed an elk near Graham, stopped, built a fire and cooked some of the meat. The horns
of the elk being very large, he cut off the elk's head, and hung the horns on or set them up by a tree, where they
remained for a long time. The place becoming known as the Elkhorn, the name was afterward naturally given to the
creek that flowed near by.
The first white man to locate in Hughes Township, and in fact to settle in the County of Nodaway, was Isaac
Hogan, to whom we have already referred in our chapter on " Early Settlements." We take the following
from the admirable address of Dr. J. W. Morgan, delivered at Graham on July 4, 1879:
During the fall of 1841, Lorenzo Dow Vinsonhaler left Ross County, Ohio, for the purpose of finding a home in the
West. Some timed during the fall following, he, in company with Harvey Dillon, found the Nodaway Valley, and took
claims on the east side of the Nodaway River. Dillon selected the fine land now owned and cultivated by Lewis Anders.
He remained there for a number of years; built a log cabin, broke and fenced some prairie. Having brought some
apple seeds with him, he started a seedling nursery and put out an orchard, numbering, perhaps, two hundred trees,
which has for a number of years been bearing delicious fruit. He sold his land to Finley McCrary, of Highland,
Kansas. Dillon's whereabouts are to us unknown. Dow Vinsonhaler laid claim to the tract of land now owned by Judge
Wm. Seeper. This was a choice selection. He built a house, and the following season broke and fenced a considerable
amount of land, and raised a crop of corn. Here he remained for a few years, and then sold out and accompanied
John C. Fremont's explorers to California; was lost in the mountains for a great while, where many of the party
perished from cold and hunger; their supplies being exhausted, they lived on the flesh of mules that had frozen
to death, or died from starvation. He accompanied Fremont to Washington City, and was a witness in his behalf in
an investigation ordered by the authorities at Washington during President Polk's administration. His testimony
relieved General Fremont from censure. He afterward returned to California, where his eyes were closed in death
many years ago.
Sometime during the fall of 1840, Elijah Bunten, James Bryant and Harvey White explored the White Cloud country
and took claims. In those days all that was necessary to be the owner of a tract of land as large as one desired,
was to lay claim to it; the manner of procuring a title in fee simple was to cut down four trees and chop them
off and lay the foundation for a house. Whether the cabin was ever completed or not, it constituted a claim that
all honorable men respected. In the mind of the pioneer, any man who would attempt to intrude, or, as they termed
it, "jump a claim," was looked upon as a thief.
Elijah Bunten was a professional claim taker. The first claim he selected was on the west side of White Cloud;
his claim included all timber land on that side of the creek, He built a log cabin near where the residence of
Marion Woodard now stands, cleared off a few acres of timber, and raised a crop or two of corn; meantime he took
additional claims, some on the Nodaway River, one on the head of the Florida, with the center on the tract of land
now owned and cultivated by Judge Solomon Shell. In the fall of 1840, he sold his claim on the White Cloud to Mijamin
Byers, and built a cabin on Florida Creek.
Bunten was an energetic fellow, and, when he had disposed of his interest in one part of the country, he made it
his business to attract attention away from it, and center it at his claim. Soon after leaving White Cloud, Burt
Whitten passed his cabin and inquired the way to White Cloud. Bunten knew all about it, but advised him to stop
there and buy his claim. Whitten asked him what kind of a country White Cloud was. His answer was, " It's
a d-d broken, barren, fertile country." When asked what he meant by fertile, he said: "Fertile - that
means a d - d long way from market."
Whitten changed his programme, and bought a claim consisting of all the timber land on the head of the Florida,
which was for many years afterward known as Whitten Grove.
Bunten moved to Oregon soon after, where he engaged in the claim business. He died there in 1869.
Harvey White, a son in law of Bunten, pitched his tent on the land now owned by Richard Boatwright, some seven
miles south and a little west of Maryville. There he remained for a few years, then sold out to a man by the name
of Guy, and moved to Oregon.
Jim Bryant was one fourth Indian, and, therefore, would do but little but trade, drink and hunt. He built a log
cabin in the woods a little south of where Billy Jones' house now stands, and laid claim to all the timber land
on the east side of White Cloud, south of the Saunders school house.
These three families on White Cloud, and Dave Vinsonhaler and Harvey Dillon were the only white people who spent
the winters of '39 and '40 in what is now Nodaway County. Some time early in the spring of 1840, Isaac Hogan moved
his family from Platte County, and occupied the house he had built the spring before. They were accompanied by
Daniel Hogan, Joseph Thompson and Richard Taylor and wife. Taylor, soon after his arrival, built a house near Spencer's
spring, and commenced improving a farm. Daniel was at that time an old bachelor, and made his home with Isaac.
Thompson was a single man, and also made his home with Isaac Hogan. R. M. Stewart had concluded to remain in Platte
County, and had given his claim to Joseph Thompson, who now resides east of the One Hundred and Two River.
During the winter of 1839-40, the country around Graham was visited by many who were wanting homes; although the
winter was cold and stormy, these energetic spirits braved the difficulties, though they met with fewer obstacles
in winter than in summer. During winter the streams were bridged with ice, which enabled them to effect a crossing
at many points which could not be crossed during the warmer season.
Among the number who explored during the winter were James Finch, Nathaniel Finch, Thomas Finch, James Huff and
Wesley Jenkins, he being the foreman of the company.
Wesley Jenkins purchased the claim of " Old Bunten," consisting of all the timbered land now belonging
to Martin Palmer, Orville Graves, William Looker and James M. Kyle, and all of the prairie land on the north and
south of Rain Creek. He erected a dwelling some three hundred yards west of where the fine residence and barns
of James M. Kyle now stand, and moved his family therein in the spring of 1840. Having means, he made considerable
improvement the first year, broke and fenced about twenty acres of prairie on the south side of Rain Creek; during
the summer and fall built some log huts near where the bridge now spans the creek on the Graham and Fillmore road.
The second season he inclosed a large farm on the north side of the creek, including the tillable land of Orville
Graves and William Looker. He was the sire of a large household of sons and daughters, who are now dead, or living
beyond the Rocky Mountains.
James Finch settled on the land now owned by Adonijah Morgan, and made considerable improvement during the summers
of 1840-1-2. He afterwards sold out to Joseph Cox and moved to Platte County, and died there about 1853. Thomas
Finch settled on the farm formerly owned by E. M. Gardner, built a small log cabin, fenced and broke a few acres
of land. In the winter of 1841-2, he imagined that it would be nice to own some slaves, and accordingly entered
into negotiations with Colonel I. N. Prather, father of James B. Prather, of Maryville, trading his fine land for
a couple of Africans. The Colonel was shrewd enough in the trade, giving him some half witted darkies, for valuable
land. Finch was elated - felt wealthy. As he expressed it, "I have had my trap set for a couple of negroes,
and now I have got them." He knew nothing about negroes, and was unable to dispose of them on any terms. This
is the first instance of a pioneer being " scooped " in Nodaway. In the spring of 1842, he moved to Platte
County, where he laid his body down to rest in that sleep that knows no waking.
Nathaniel Finch settled on the land now owned and cultivated by George W. Long, made some improvements, and in
a few years sold his claim to Thomas Cox. His claim included the land of G. W. Long, Jacob Shamberger and John
Holumbaugh. After disposing of his claim, he, like his brother, was tired of frontier life, and returned to Platte
County, and soon thereafter died and rests by the side of his brothers.
Joseph Huff first occupied the land now owned by Mrs. Phoebe McGinnis and James McNeal. He built a log cabin near
by the large spring which rises near the residence of Mrs. McGinnis, and inclosed and put in cultivation about
twenty acres of land west of the Branch.
William Stevens pitched his tent on the Eshelman farm, one half mile south of Graham, where he remained and made
some improvements during a few years following.
A gentleman by the name of Henshaw located on the Henry Baublitt farm, and William Thomas occupied the land now
owned by Mrs. Jemima Scott, and that of Elder Shuff Each of them made such improvements as the circumstances would
permit. James Waumic and Ben Owens spent the summer without locating in any particular place - were "hanging
round the edges."
These families constituted the entire neighborhood, and were sixty miles distant from any white persons, with the
exception of a few people on White Cloud. How isolated and lonely was their situation, without roads, mills, workshops,
mechanics, or mail facilities deprived of almost everything that we deem essential to our happiness, comfort and
wellbeing. Not a foot of land had been dedicated for a resting place for the body when the toils of life were ended;
without shroud or coffin the idol of households had to be committed to the cold earth, no stone or monument to
mark the spot where earthly flowers had faded, and were mouldering into dust. The voice of the shepherd who now
proclaims the riches of salvation was not heard; yet they carried with them the Bible promises treasured up in
honest, faithful hearts, and when the shadow fell upon them, and the rumbling clods were hiding forever from their
view earth's treasures, its words whispered of "love in heaven, the home of angels, and joys too pure to die,"
and in faith they braved all trials and struggled on, until many have been called to rest from their labors on
earth, and we trust have ascended the mountain where eternal sunshine settles on the head.
During the fall, Ben Owens secured what is now known as the Wm. Burris farm, with the exception of the south eighty
acres, which was purchased by James Waumic. Ben Ow ens built a log house and fenced several acres of ground and
continued to improve the premises for a few years, when he sold his interest to a gentleman from Platte County,
by the name of Thomas Baker, and soon thereafter went to the Lone Star State of Texas, where he pitched his tent,
and we learn is doing well.
Thomas Baker was a man of considerable means, and extended his claim northward and entered a considerable tract
of land, including the fine farm of Nick Kavanaugh. Not yet satisfied, he bought the claim of Waumic and secured
a patent from the government. During his sojourn, he made some valuable improvements. Near the close of the war
with Mexico he sold his land to Ennis Burris and moved to Texas.
After disposing of his interest in the land lying in the Nodaway Valley, Mr. Waumic returned to Platte County,
where he remained for a number of years, and then went to Gentry County and opened and improved a farm. He yet
remembers and speaks of his experience in the Nodaway Valley, and his heart grows young when he thinks of the time
when he was surrounded by neighbors on whoni he could look with confidence, and when he clasped their hand he knew
it was the hand of a friend.
During the fall of 1840, or the winter of 1841, William Marlow and a man by the name of Robison and Abraham Cline,
visited the new purchase and stopped in Bunten's Grove for the winter. Cline was a professional claim taker, and
explored the Nodaway Valley as far up as Clarinda, Iowa; that part of the country was then and for many years after
supposed to belong to Missouri. He made his home with Marlow, though he was often absent for weeks in hunting and
Marlow was, by profession, a prairie breaker, and had left his plows and teams in the south part of Platte County.
During the winter, he effected a trade with Burt Whitten, and secured a claim and building place near where the
residence of Judge Shell now stands. In the spring of 1841, he brought his teams, plows, etc., to his new home
and commenced turning over the prairie for whoever saw fit and was able to employ him. When not otherwise engaged,
he continued to improve his own claim in the grove. There is scarcely an early settlement in Nodaway County where
Marlow's plow did not turn over the soil. For many years he lived in the house he first built in the Platte Purchase.
He was a man of strong passions, and endowed with the gift of hang on in anything he undertook; he had, unfortunately,
contracted the habit of using profane language, which, from the force of habit, he found it hard to break off,
as is illustrated by the following:
Some three years after his advent into Nodaway, he was attacked with bilious fever. There was no doctor nearer
than Savannah. His friend and counselor, Cline, was absent on a claim taking expedition; therefore, Marlow concluded
that death would soon put an end to his existence, and accordingly set about to make preparations for inhabiting
a better country. There was no minister in all the land to offer up a prayer for his forgiveness. He remembered
that there was a man by the name of Thomas Wilhite living some twelve miles distant acro s the One Hundred and
Two, that he had heard pray in Indiana. He sent for him, and soon after his friend's arrival, Marlow professed,
to have found rest in the arms of the Savior. In a short time the fever ceased to harrass him, and when his friend
Cline returned, Marlow seized him by the hand and exclaimed, "I have had heaps of trouble since you left,
but have good news to tell: I have got religion; but don't you think Robinson's d-d old mare has been breaking
into my cornfield ever since you have been gone."
So much for the force of habit among pioneers, if not among all people. He soon after sold out and settled somewhere
near Fort Des Moines, Iowa.
Early in the spring of 1841, the hearts of those who had spent the dreary winter surrounded only by the red men
of the forest and the wild beasts of the plains, were cheered by the presence of new corners. Among the number
was Daniel Marlin, father of our esteemed friend and fellow citizen, T. L. Marlin - who had for a few years resided
in Platte County, Missouri - who cast his lot with the people who had preceded him, bringing with him his family,
consisting of his wife and son, Thomas L. Marlin, which was indeed a valuable acquisition in a new settlement.
Mr. Marlin was a high toned, liberal minded, energetic gentleman, in the fullest sense of the term.
Mr. Marlin built a log cabin near where the stately mansion of T. L. Marlin now stands, fenced and broke forty
acres of land and put it under a fine state of cultivation. When the gold mines of California were discovered,
he took the gold fever, and in 1850 left a happy home and started to California, where he hoped to accumulate wealth
and then return to gladden the hearts of those whom he left behind. He wended his way westward, and death soon
overtook him. He rests in the still shades in a strange land, but is not forgotten. Mrs. Marlin remained on the
farm with her son, he being a small boy, and kept up the homestead. She was a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian
Church, was a cousin of Rev. Jesse Allen, who was a shepherd of that church, and who occasionally made visits to
encourage and cheer her in her loneliness. During his visits he held meetings and planted the banner of Christ
by gathering into the fold many people and organizing a church, which grew in number and good deeds until 1861,
when civil war scattered the flock, never again to meet until they meet on that shore where separation is unknown.
Cornelius Brackney located on the fine farm of Hiram Groves, built a house, broke and fenced forty acres of prairie
land and made some other improvements. He remained on the land for some time, then sold it and moved near Council
Bluffs, Iowa. He was a man of fair education and business talent, and soon after the organization of Nodaway County
he was elected justice of the peace, serving as such for a number of years. Since he moved away we have lost track
of him. During the same spring Mathew Ferrell settled on the land now owned by Lewis Morgan.
Elijah Hubble occupied a piece of land some eight miles south of Maryville, near the Prather farm. It was for many
years after known as the " Little John McClain place " - since owned by Frank P. Glasgow. Hubble, financially,
was not a success in any sense of the word. He was addicted to Hunting and fishing, and wasted a greater part of
his time in that way, hence he made but little improvement. He finally sold out and moved to Honey Creek. His wife
was an estimable lady, and no doubt had seen better days than she did while living on White Cloud. Under her influence
Elijah left off some of his habits and joined the church. Providence smiled on him, and the last account we had
of him he was a well to do farmer, respected and esteemed by all.
Early in the spring of 1841, the hearts of those who had spent the preceding season on White Cloud were cheered
by receiving additions to their settlement. The McClain family consisted of George McClain and wife, three sons
- John, James, and George - and four daughters. Three of the daughters were married, Sarah A. to Hiram Groves,
Emily to a man by the name of John McClain, and Elvira to Greenville Thompson. James, George, and Catharine, a
miss of twelve years, made their home with their father and mother. This family were an excitable, energetic people,
such as we generally meet with on the frontier, and held a friend in the highest estimation. They occupied a body
of land on the east side of White Cloud. Uncle George, as he was called by all, located on the farm afterward owned
bye Dr. James Saunders. Where the Saunders school now stands he built a log house and broke and fenced fifteen
or twenty acres of prairie land. In 1842, he sold his claim to John Wiggs, a brother in law to Col. I. N. Prather,
and opened up a farm now owned by James Heflin. There he remained for a number of years. During his sojourn on
this farm his son James was prostrated by an attack of fever; some disease followed, from the effects of which
he never recovered sufficiently to be able to walk. In four or five years thereafter he had small pox, which destroyed
his eyesight. He was then a poor, blind creature as helpless as a new born babe, but not neglected or forgotten.
For years and years these noble, true hearted people seemed to esteem it as a privilege to administer to every
want of that afflicted brother, until God gathered him to that home where he has promised to wipe the tears from
off all faces, for surely he had put on the robes of righteousness while inhabiting this terrestrial' sphere. When
we think of him, the noble, kind hearted young man, who was ever ready to lend a helping hand to the distressed
and bowed down, we are carried back to the days of our chilhood when around a mother's knee, and see him when the
shadow of the dark winged messenger first fell across the threshold of the old homestead, and a loved member of
the household crossed the dark water and was hidden from our view forever. While remembering his goodness in that
sad hour, we feel that he was too good for earth, and with sadness bade him farewell.
Hiram Groves selected a claim half a mile southeast of the Saunders school house, and built a log cabin near where
the residence of Alfred Jones now stands, and broke and fenced a few acres of land. His brother, Thomas, accompanied
him to the Platte Purchase, and made his home with him for several years. The brothers working together made some
valuable improvements. Hiram lived on the site of land first selected until about 1856, extending the boundary
of his farm, and constructing a neat and commodious residence. He sold his land to Alfred Jones and bought a farm
adjoining Graham, where he remained until 1863.
During the same spring Pleasant I. Perkins improved a claim in the timber, about one half mile southwest of where
Lycurgus Miller now lives. The improvements made by him were of an inferior character, and he soon became dissatisfied
and wanted to move. Perkins had met with some reverses in love making - had been engaged to a young lady who jilted
him after he had procured his wedding suit. She became the wife of a thrifty farmer near by, and Pleas. was not
happy, so he concluded to "git up and git." He sold his claim to Colonel Prather and settled in the woodland
north of Fillmore.
Greenville Thompson occupied a piece of land three quarters of a mile north of the Saunders school house, now owned
by William Y. Cox. He improved his claim in the customary manner, with the exception of building a better house.
He being a carpenter, resolved to score and hew the logs, and put it up " on the square." The following
winter he sold his interest to Wade H. Davis, and took a new claim.
John McClain selected a piece of land adjoining Thompson's on the north, and built a house one hundred yards west
of where the residence of W. Y. Cox now stands. Not being satisfied with one claim alone, he examined the White
Cloud country north of him and laid a foundation on the west side of William Bell's farm, and claimed all the land
to the head of White Cloud. During the summer he built a house of hickory poles, twenty feet square, on the east
side of White Cloud, near the west side of the Bell farm. During the summer he sold his first claim and moved to
what is now known as the Morgan, or Bell farm.
During the summer and fall a great many emigrants located on White Cloud, and in the Nodaway Valley, in the vicinity
of Graham, of whom we would like to make personal mention. Among the White Cloud settlers we remember Mijamin Byers,
John B. Morgan, Col. I. N. Prather, Nathaniel Barnes, Wade H. Davis, Wm. Davis, Benjamin Windon and Jesse Windon.
All brought their families with them and opened up farms. On the Nodaway, W. I. Linville, James Linville, Joel
Hedgepeth, James Hedgepeth, the Richards, Samuel Lawson, Jacob Vinsonhaler and others. Mr. Vinsonhaler afterward
served the county as county judge acceptably. What was then known as the Narrows, now east of Barnard, were settled
by Dyer Cash, Frank Conlin, Robert Patton and others, who commenced improving lands, and from time to time these
neighborhoods were strengthened by new corners.
In the following season, J. E. Alexander, John Randall, Isaac Cox, Joseph Hudson, Thomas Adams, the Sizemores,
the Johnsons and many others came to Nodaway. But we failed to mention Neal Gillum, who settled in 1840, in White
Oak Grove, near Xenia. He was an old bachelor and trapped and hunted for a livelihood, yet, notwithstanding his
occupation, he had been elected and represented all of the counties in the Platte Purchase in the State Senate.
He was the first civil officer we met with in the new home, and indeed, on first acquaintance, he did not speak
very well for the country; still he was a man of fair ability. Soon after our advent into the county, late one
evening, a man dressed in deerskin pants and hunting shirt, with a gun on his shoulder, and all of a hunter's paraphernalia,
called for lodgings. In those days, although one room constituted the whole dwelling, no one was denied admittance.
Gillum was invited in and offered a chair, which he declined to accept, stating that he had not sat on one for
so long he could not rest, but seated himself on a wood pile in the corner, and in half an hour was stretched on
his back enjoying his pipe, and narrating his experience while in the State Senate. So much for pioneer officers.
In those days there was not a post office nearer than Savannah, and it cost twenty five cents postage on each letter.
But still correspondence was carried on notwithstanding it would take half a day's hard work to pay the expenses.
Letters were always welcome messages, and were usually written on foolscap, folded and sealed with a red wafer.
These letters always contained something about love, religion, marriage or death. Those quaint old letters have
long since failed to put in an appearance. The writers - where are they? Many of them, we trust, have sat down
in the kingdom of their Father, and today are celebrating their redemption from sin, and the grave, in the shades
The nearest grist or saw mill was Blacksnake Creek where the city of St. Joseph now stands. A small one horse affair
it was. There was also a mill on Platte River near "Old Agency Ford," known as Kibby's Mill. For several
years these mills furnished the pioneers with breadstuff. As was the usual custom, some two or three neighbors
would join and take thirty or forty bushels of corn to mill, (wheat was not thought of) and on their return the
entire neighborhood was supplied. Then it came the turn of another to go, and their borrowings had to be paid.
In this manner they kept fresh breadstuffs. It usually consumed a week's time to go to mill and return, and it
was through such difficulties as those that this fair country was developed.
In 1843-4, Andrew Brown bought the Hogan land and built a small mill on the Elkhorn just east of Brown's spring.
This was a great relief as it was near by, though men and boys frequently rode twelve or fifteen miles on a sack
of corn laid across a horse, and returned home the same day, feeling that it was a small job to go to mill. Andrew
Brown afterward laid out the town of Graham calling it Jacksonville. In 1858-9, the Legislature changed the name
to Graham, so that the post office and town would bear the same name. ln 1845 the Bridgewater Mill was built by
Moore & Cock, which was indeed a valuable acquisition. For many years there were no doctors north of Savannah,
the people having to do the best they could in cases of sickness. It may be asked what kind, of people were the
old settlers? We answer, a moral people who reverenced the laws of God and the country. They did not desecrate
the Sabbath. The river and creek banks were not lined by fisherman on Sunday as they now are. And although game
was plenty, the quietude of the Sabbath was not rendered hideous by the crack of the rifle or the shot gun. The
Sabbath day was spent at meeting or Sabbath school, sometimes visiting. Although there were no church houses, they
worshipped in some private residences in winter, and under the shade of lofty trees, "God's first temples,"
The pioneers raised flax and hemp, and the female portion spun their thread, spun yarn and wove it into cloth,
of which garments were made. There was no talk of "store clothes" in those days. I would to God that
the days of economy would again return - there would be less talk of hard times.
Having already trespassed on your time, I will bring this rude sketch to a close; yet when I look over this large
assembly of well dressed, intelligent ladies and gentlemen, and the usual prolific crop of babies, I can but miss
the faces of many who penetrated these wilds thirty five or forty years ago. Their voices have died away on earth;
they are quietly sleeping beneath the green sward which covers them in the land they helped to reclaim and make
beautiful. May the starry banner of freedom ever float in triumph over their lowly beds, and the wild birds continue
to chant their requiem in the boughs that shade their quiet home."
The following is a list of the old settlers of Hughes Township:
Isaac Hogan 1839
Daniel Hogan 1839
Richard Taylor 1839
Robert M. Stewart 1839
Dr. J'. W. Morgan 1841
Jacob Vinsonhaler 1841
George Vinsonhaler 1841
D. M. Vinsonhaler 1841
Lorenzo Dow. 1840
Wesley Jenkins 184o
James Finch 1840
Thomas Finch 1840
Humphrey Finch 1840
Joel Hedgepeth 1840
James Hedgepeth 1840
Lewis Hedgepeth 1840
Father Hedgepeth 184o
James Linville 1840
W. I. Linville 184o
Campbell Linville 1840
James Waumick 1841
Nathaniel Finch 1840
Joseph Hough 1840
Elijah Bunten 1839
___ Huntsucker 1840
___ Henshaw 1840
Benjamin Owens 1839
Cornelius Brackney 1840
Daniel Marlin 1841
Henry C. Linville 1840
Marion Linville 1840
___ Pickerells 1841
John Wright 1843
Andrew Brown 1842
John Brown 1842
Jacob Brown 1842
Josiah Brown 1842
Wilson Brown 1842
___ Cox 1844
Thomas Cox 1844
Abraham Linville, 1845
Thomas Baker 1845
Joel Stowe 1844
William Stowe 1844
William Broyles 1844
Bartlett Curl 1843
James Curl 1843
Peter Noffsinger 1843
James Noffsinger. 1843
William Noffsinger 1843
Peter Noffsinger, Jr., 1843
Martin Noffsinger 1843
John Clarke 1843
Jefferson Ragsdell 1845
William Glaze. 1843
William Stevens 1840
John Isom 1843
THE METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH
was organized in 184o. The names of original members were: James Finch and wife, Joel Hedgepeth and Jane, Bethanie
Linville, Nathaniel Finch, Thomas Finch, James Hedgepeth and Ruth Hedgepeth. The early pastors were: - Aldrich
and - Baxter, who labored in 1841-42; Alexander Spencer, who had charge in 1844-45; present pastor, Rev. Milland.
Present membership, thirty two. This was, perhaps, the first church organization in the county.
It was organized in 1866. Names of original members, William Perden, with three others. The church was built
in 1879, frame building, at a cost of $1,500, and Was dedicated by Elder Wayman. Names of pastors, S. H. Enyeart
and J. A. Shewatles. Number of present membership, sixty. The church has three acres of land, including cemetery.
THE BAPTIST CHURCH
was organized in 1869. Names of original members: Henry Forcade and wife, Pelis Forcade and wife, H. A. Forcade
and wife, Anderson Cragg and wife, Fayette Cook and wife. The church was built in 1882, frame building, at a cost
of $1,600, and was dedicated November 13, 1881, Rev. J. W. Maylott is the pastor. Number of present rnembership,
forty eight. The following amounts were donated for building purposes: Henry Forcade, $200; Fayette Cook, $200;
Peter Forcade, $75; Albert Forcade, $75; Anderson Cragg, $100. The church is situated three miles north of Graham.
THE CHURCH OF GOD
was organized in 1871. Names of original members: James McNeal and wife, John Riply, Mrs. Aaron McNeal, C. E.
Bowen and wife, Mr. Fleagle and wife, Israel Crawford and wife and Mrs. Elizabeth McNeal. Names of deacons, Wilson
Crawford and James McNeal. Names of pastors: L. W. Murry, McEllis, Kinsey, Holmes, Woodberry, Blakely and Bolton.
Number of present membership, twenty two. Will erect a house of worship in 1882.
THE M. E. CHURCH.
on section 34, township 37, range 62, was organized in 1873, The names of the original members were Daniel Dodge,
Mrs. Amelia Dodge, John Ashford, John Aldridge, Fanny Aldridge, Stephen Davis, Susan Davis, Edwin Davis, Wilson
McMurry, Rev. A. K. Miller, Jane C. Miller and George Ingman. The church services are held in the school house,
a frame building. The names of those who have served the church as its pastors are Revs. Balson, W. L. Edwinson,
W. H. Cowley, Huffman E. V. Roof. The number of present membership is twelve.
was organized in 1880. Names of original members, B. F. Whipp, J. H. Campbell, Isaac Miller. The church was
built in 1880, frame building, at a cost of $1,600. It was dedicated the second Sunday in June, 1880, by William
A. Gardner. Name of pastor, L. D. Cook. Number of present membership, eighty. B. F. Whipp, clerk; Isaac Miller,
Jesse Tracy, elders; J. H. Campbell, B. F. Whipp, deacons. Mr. B. F. Whipp donated some two acres of land for church
and cemetery, situated in the southwest quarter of section 22, 36, 62, Hughes Township, seven miles west of Barnard.
PATRONS OF HUSBANDRY.
Elkhorn Patrons of Husbandry was incorporated January, 1873. The names of the charter members are as follows:
J. B. Decker and wife, T. B. Greeneish and wife, I. Colter and wife, Ed. Thayer and wife, and J. M. Linville and
wife. The charter was granted October 15, 1873, and re- organized September 20, 1880. The hall was built in 1880
- a frame building - at a cost of $750. It was organized by Col. Jasper Needham, of Outly, Kansas, Ľon November
12, 1880. Worthy Master, W. H. Bell; Overseer, W. A. Sewell.; Secretary, J. B. Deekes; Chaplain, D. Fullington;
Lecturer, C. E. Bowen; Steward, A. Forcade; Assistant Steward, F. A. Anderson; Pomona, Mary Colter; Flora, Susa
Groves; Ceres, Bettie Linville; Lady Assistant, Patina Morgan; Gate Keeper, Louis Royston. Membership 100.
Graham is situated in the southwest part of Nodaway County, 'eighteen miles from Maryville. it is two miles
east of the Nodaway River, and is located near a little creek called Elkhorn. The town was laid out by Andrew Brown
in 1856, with four blocks. In 1858, Mr. Brown laid out in addition, two complete blocks and one fractional one.
About the same time, Abraham Linville, Henry Linville's uncle, laid out what is known as Linville's addition to
Graham. In 1858 there were but two stores, dealing in general merchandise, kept by Burns & White, and McFadden
& Daugherty; there was one drug store, by Brand & Welsh, and a hotel by Dr. W. H. Woodward. There was at
that time, and for several years previous, a steam saw and grist mill, operated by Wilson & Brown. This mill
first directed attention to the locality of Graham. In early days, when mills were almost unknown, this one supplied
a large section of country. Graham can boast of the first house of worship built in the county, with the exception,
perhaps, of the Catholic Church in Maryville. In 1856, a very handsome church edifice was erected in the town by
the various denominations which held religious services in that community. This was the only church building in
the county, after its erection, except the Catholic Church at Maryville, until the building of the Methodist Episcopal
Church in Maryville.
The town was called Jacksonville from the time it was laid out until 1859, when the name was changed to Graham
by a special act of the Legislature. A few years before the town was laid out, a post office was secured for that
community, which was located about half a mile north of the present town site. This post office was called Graham,
in honor of Col. Amos Graham, through whom it was secured. The name of the town was changed from Jacksonville to
Graham in order that the town and post office might have the same name.
Andrew Brown, the founder of Graham, died some years since, at the residence of his son in law, Henry Linville.
He was an estimable man, highly esteemed and respected, and possessed all the noblest attributes of the human character.
Graham was almost depopulated during the war, no business was transacted, and there was but one little store in
the place from 1862 to 1864, which was kept by James M. Lawson.
In 1864, R. C. Bohardt and John Schmidt each laid out an addition, and Mr. Bohardt laid out another addition in
1871, and one more in 1873. In 1874 additions were laid out by Henry Forcade and Jacob Fletcher.
Graham was incorporated in the year 1871.
Graham is finely located, and has many natural advantages. It is mostly surrounded by timber, and is situated in
the midst of a country very rich and productive. The city lies upon the crest and sides of a beautiful roll of
land, which affords one of the finest prospects in the Nodaway Valley.
There are three living springs in the corporation, and two of them, the Brown Spring and the Spencer Spring, afford
a sufficient quantity of water for steam power. These springs are of great value to the town. There are four fine
stone quarries within half a mile, that contain a fine quality of stone for building purposes. The passage of the
railroad on the west side of the river, and the location of Maitland as a competing point, has for a time thrown
a shadow over Graham, but the people of the town believe that at no distant day they will possess railroad facilities,
and Graham will again be filled with commercial life and activity.
SECOND MILL IN THE COUNTY.
We must not omit to state that the second mill erected in the ccunty was built near the present site of Graham.
It was built by Andrew Brown, from Ohio, in 1841. It was a log building 18x18 feet. It had a brush dam, and had
a capacity of five or six bushels an hour. It was located on the Elkhorn, called by the settlers a "Wet Weather
Creek," which ran nearly dry in summer. The mill washed away in the flood of 1844. It contained a small bolt
turned by hand for flour.
GERMAN METHODIST EPISCOPAL. CHURCH.
This church was organized in 1869, by Nicholas Dilk, L. Geyes, Geo. Hartman and Dh. Eberlin. The church has
had the following pastors: F. Arusperger, H. Fiegelbaum, F. Inland, G. Boeing, J. W. Buchholz and Wm. Fiegebaum.
The church was erected and dedicated in 1875. The cost of construction was $1,800. The present trustees are as
follows: N. Dilk, G. Hartman, L. Geyes, Dh. Eberlin and Ch. Westphal. The church is in good condition. This church
is at Graham.
THE GRAHAM PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
was organized in 1860. The names of original members were as follows: John Cowen, Mary E. Cowen, Henry Walker,
Martha Walker, Elizabeth Gressham, Sarah Vinsonhaler, Aaron Cole, Mary Cole, A. E Rea, Elizabeth McCoy and Mary
Waterman. The church was built in 1872 and is a frame building costing $2,300. It was dedicated by Rev. M. L. Anderson
and Rev. W. G. Thomas; November, 1872. The names of pastors being as follows: W. M. Stryker, N. H. Smith, M. L.
Anderson, W. C. Thomas, A. D. Workman and B. D. Luther. Number of present membership, 3o. The first Sunday School
was organized in 1873.
M. E. CHURCH
was organized at Robt. Rea's house in section 18, 62, 36. The names of original members were, Robt. Rea and
Eliza A. Rea and Jane M. Rea, and a colored lady, Celia Vance. Pastors, A. Clemons and James K. Chamberlin. It
was re-organized in 1864 at Graham with the following members: Robt. Rea, Eliza A. Rea and Jane M. Rea, Daniel
Bender and. Mary Bender, Aaron Cole, sen., and Geo. W. Osea Cole. The church was built in 1860, - is a frame building
and cost $2,000.00. It was dedicated in 1869 by W. H. Flowers. It is clear of indebtedness. Names of pastors, L.
V. Morton, W. H. Turner, W. Cowden, Wm. Hanley, J. G. Thompson, J. G. Breed, B. T. Stanber, Robt. Develing, S.
H. Enyart and J. A. Shewalter. Number of present membership, 60. The parsonage cost $500.00,
GRAHAM LODGE NO. 202, ANCIENT ORDER OF UNITED WORKMAN
was organized in Graham August 26, 188o, with the following charter members: William B. Palmer, John S. Spencer,
William T. McGinnis, Martin Bond, George H. Peterson, L. D. Summers, S. S. Dougherty, Joseph R. Stone, Perry Spencer,
G. D. Mowry, John Vanderlinde, William H. Maurer, F. H. Turnure, S. M. Twaddle, Perry L. Cheny, Joseph Long, A.
Ashee, George E. Baublits. The present number of members is eighteen. This lodge meets on the second and fourth
Friday nights of each month.
GRAHAM LODGE NO. 112, A. F. & A. M.,
was organized in 1867, with the following officers: T. R. Hedgepeth, W. M.; J. M. Brand, S. W.; N. Wood, J.
W.; J. R. Welch, Secretary; M. Palmer, Treasurer. This lodge has been fairly prosperous and numbers now forty four
members. It meets the Saturday night on or before the full moon of each month.
GOLDEN RULE ENCAMPMENT, NO. 40,
was organized in May, 1869, with the following officers: J. R. Bradford, C. P.; R. C. Bohart, S. W.; W. H. Dunby,
J. W.; J. W. Morgan, Scribe; D. M. Vinsonhaler, Treasurer. The present number of members is twenty. It meets the
first Saturday night in each month.
FIESPERIAN LODGE, NO. 189, I. O. O. F.,
was organized in 1868, with the following named charter members: J. R. Bradford, Joseph Ensor, S. G. B. Kavanaugh,
R. C. Bohart, Jacob A. Cardell and J. W. Morgan. Prosperity has marked the history of this lodge, which now numbers
forty members. It meets Tuesday evening of each week.