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


Jackson Township is bounded on the north by Union and Independence Townships, on the east by Worth and Gentry Counties, on the south by Jefferson Township, and on the west by Polk Township. It was named after Andrew Jackson, the seventh President of the United States. The township now contains seventy four and one half square miles.


On July 6, 1846, the following order appears of record establishing Jackson Township:

"Ordered that the territory within the following bounds be erected into a new township, to be known by the name and style of Jackson, to wit:

"Beginning at a point where the line between Polk and Washington Townships crosses the long branch of Platte, thence on the line eastward to the western boundary of Gentry County, thence northward on the line dividing Nodaway and Gentry Counties, to a point directly east of the Mowry House, thence from the point last aforesaid directly west to where the long branch of the Platte would thereby be crossed, thence with said branch to the beginning."

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

"Commencing on the county line at the northeast corner of section 21, township 65, range 33, thence west on section line between sections 16 and 2 [21?], 17 and 20, 18 and 19, 13 and 24, township 65, range 34,. and 14 and 23, 15 and 22, 16 and 21, 17 and 20, township 65; range 34, toe the northwest corner of section 20, and thence, south between sections 19 and 20, 29 and 30, 31 and 32, township 65, range 34, and 5 and 6, 7 and 8, 17 and 18, 19 and 20, 29 and 30, 31 and 32, township 64, range 34, and 5 and 6, 7 and 8, township 63, range 34, to the southwest corner of section 8, township 63, range 34, thence east between sections 8 and, 17, 9 and 16, 10 and 15, II and 14, 12 and 13, township 63, range 34, and 7 and 18, 8 and 17, 9 and 16, to the southeast corner of the southwest quarter of section 10, township 63, range 33, thence north on said county line in the center of sections 10 and 3, township.63, range 34, and 34 and 27, 22 and 15, 10 and 3, township 64, range 33, thence east to the southeast corner of section 33, township 65, range 33, thence north on said county line between sections 33 and 34, 27 and 28, 21 and 2 [22?], to the northeast corner of section 21, township 65, range 33, to the place of beginning."


This township is divided a little east of the center by the Platte River, which flows nearly in a southerly direction, and receives the waters of Honey Creek flowing from the north, nearly in the center of the township. A watershed or divide lies along the east side of the Platte River, in close proximity to the stream, which prevents any affluents from emptying into the river from the east. Long Branch flows in a southerly direction through the western portion of the township. The eastern part of the township is watered by two branches of a tributary of Grand River. The land in the vicinity of Long Branch is considerably rolling, and also in the central portions of the township in the neigh-hood of Platte River and Honey Creek. In the central and eastern portions of the township, after leaving the neighborhood of the streams, the land is gently rolling and exceedingly fertile. There are stone quarries along the streams in various places, enough for building purposes. About one tenth of the township is timbered.


The first settlement of Jackson Township seems to lie in some obscurity, the oldest pioneers expressing doubt in reference as to who should be counted the first settler. The earliest settlements were, however, made as usual along the valleys of the streams, and on the margins of the groves. Among the very earliest settlers was David Spoonemare, who located in the year 1844, in the grove two miles north and a little east of the present site of Sweet Home. He took a claim and opened a farm on the northwest quarter of section 8, township 64, range 33. Mr. Spoonemare made a good farm, and has for many years been a respected citizens. Soon afterward came William Campbell and located one mile and a quarter east of the present site of Sweet Home. Mr. Campbell's family still live on the same farm where he first settled.

One of the earliest pioneers of this township was Moses Stingley, of whom the Nodaway Democrat thus speaks: Moses Stingley was born in Hardy County, Virginia, on the 4th day of September, 1810. He left Virginia on the 1st day of September, 1832, and moved to Tippecanoe County, Indiana; remained there twelve years lacking twelve days. He came to Missouri in 1844 and located in Andrew County, where he rented a farm and raised a crop in the summer of 1845. He moved to Nodaway County on the 23d day of April, 1846, and settled on the farm upon which he now lives.

When Mr. Stingley located where he now resides, there were but few settlers in that part of the county. The Township of Jackson had been formed prior to the time he moved here, and embraced all the territory north and south, from the south line of township 64, range 34, which line is about three and one half miles south of Sweet Home, to the Iowa line, a distance of seventeen miles. The average width of the township was about six miles. In this vast area there were but seven settlers when Mr. Stingley moved in. There were David Spoonemare, Jesse Harper, Elisha Brown, Caliborne Hughes, Jacob Grindstaff, Jack Clifton and John Clifton. At the first election after Mr. Stingley came to the county there were but seven votes polled in Jackson Township. This was in August, 1846. What a change since then I It is true it is a period of thirty years, but we venture the assertion that not one of the seven voters in the Township of Jackson in August, 1846, had the remotest idea of living to see the day when the county would have 30,000 population and the territory then embraced in that township some goo or 600 voters instead of seven. Some of those parties have lived to see such a change, and Moses Stingley is one of them. Mr. Stingley, too, as much, perhaps, as any other man, has done fully his share in contributing to the remarkable changes during this period of time. " Uncle Mose " says that the chief inhabitants here then were deer, turkeys, wolves, coons, mink, etc. He says he has killed two deer frequently of an evening when driving the cows up, and could have killed the third only he didn't care about having so much meat at one time. Mr. Stingley says in his own language, " When I came here we had neither law, gospel, nor the itch, - as to the latter there were not persons enough to communicate it to each other, and as to the former two, there was no society for either." The Indians, though they did not live here then, " Uncle Mose" says, passed by his house frequently in bodies of one hundred or more.

For several years after Mr. Stingley came here milling was done principally at St. Joseph and at Hughes' Mill in Andrew County, south east of Savannah. It took about a week to make a trip to mill, and in one instance that he remembers he was gone nine days with a four horse team.

A few days after he came here he quarried a large number of grind stone rock out of the bluffs of Honey Creek and hauled them to St. Joseph and traded them for coffee, sugar, whisky, etc., "for," said Uncle Mose, "in those days when we went to St. Joe to do our trading we always laid in a little supply of whisky. It was a necessity, for snake bites were quite common and chills occasionally occurred. We had to have some medicine, and whisky was the remedy for every disease, and cured all the ills we had then."

In the farming line in early days the old wooden mould board plow was in vogue. Mr. Stingley used to manufacture them for his neighbors. He brought with him to Andrew County an iron mould board plow, which was such a curiosity that some traveled as far as twenty miles to see it. For several years after he had moved here, " Uncle Mose " says that every family manufactured its own clothing or did without. Every body was free then, and if any one had no shoes he could go barefooted.

Settlers coming in for a number of years were like hens' teeth, few and far between. " Uncle Mose " says he remembers a Yankee passing by his house at one time, who said to him, " You have a beautiful situation here; a fine country, but where's your neighbors ?" Mose told him he didn't have but one neighbor, and he was a d-d Yankee, who lived about twenty miles away, and that if another one attempted to settle about him he would shoot him. Mose said he was just joking, but the fellow thought, no doubt, that he was a tough one. At any rate he never came and settled that he knows of.

Mr. Stingley was a member of the county court for a term of two years about twenty years ago. The sessions of the court were held then four times a year, in a little brick building that stood between where the present court house and jail now stand. His associate justices were Adam Turhune and Joel Hedgepeth. Before Mr. Terhune's time expired, however, he sold his farm in this county and moved into Andrew County. Judge Stingley and Judge Hedgepeth then appointed Andrew Jenkins as the other member of the court. Amos Graham was clerk of the court then; Stephen Jester, sheriff; John Jackson, treasurer. Mr. Stingley was postmaster for eight years, and kept his office at his residence.

"Uncle Mose" says that the ladies in those early days dressed far differently from what they do now. Corsets and lace strings were then unknown. Home made linsey, with turkey red stripes, was then considered an elegant wedding dress. Said "Uncle Mose: "In those days, I tell you, women were strong. The gals didn't mind to dance all night any more than a mule minds a half day's work. In the we small hours of the morning" they would take just a short nap after dancing all night; and get up and roll up their sleeves and go to the tub and do a bigger day's washing than most any woman can do nowadays." He had heard of a young lady, Judy Coon was her name, who chased a bear three miles to get one of his hairs for a tooth pick. The bear got up a tree that she couldn't climb, and she had to let him go. It vexed her and made her so mad, that on her way back she came across a nest of wild cats, jumped in on them and stamped them all to death, but was scratched so badly that she never itched afterwards.

When we asked "Uncle Mose" how much of a family he h id, he replied that had done milling for only sixteen in his time. Mr. Stingley has been married three times. His first wife died in Andrew County, in the fall of 1845, leaving five children. On the 3d of November, 1846, he married Eliza Moon, of Nodaway County. She died the 15th day of June, 1856, leaving also five children. He was married to Margaret L. Gray, his present wife, on the 18th day of November, 1856. She has been in poor health for several months past. He has six children by his present wife. Three of his children are dead. George R., William A., Hiram M. and Manford are married; Seymour, Norton, Craig and Noah, single. Nancy married Adelma Stingley; Thursy Ann married Robert Ross; Rosina married Alex Toys; Pernesia Jane married Wily Mow; Lozilla married George Gill. Orleny is single. Mr. Stingley has four great grandchildren - three of them at Samuel Yarnall's and one at Fred. Orr's. Mr. Stingley has a beautiful farm of 30o acres, about a mile a little south of west of Sweet Home. It is in good cultivation, and he and his family live there in perfect happiness and in the full enjoyment of the richest pleasures, that life affords.

The subject of our sketch has lived a long, useful and happy life; we say happy, because "Uncle Mose is always happy. He is a dear lover of the violin, and knows how to make the very sweetest music upon it. He frequently brings his fiddle over to Ellis & Prather's and a tune or two always suffices to draw a large crowd to their drug store to hear his music and listen to his good jokes and his witty expressions.

Mr. Stingley is very hospitable and generous. We think of a little story that we have heard of him which is so characteristic of the man that we must give it: Years ago a stranger hallooed at his house at a very late hour of the night, long after all had retired to bed. When Mr. Stingley went to the door he was asked if he could stay all night. "No," said "Uncle Mose." The stranger thought the answer very cool, and went on to say that he was very much fatigued, - had been traveling all day, and if he could not get to stay all night with him he did not know what he was to do. Said Mose, " Stranger, you can't stay all night with me, but you can stay the remainder of the night." The stranger's horse was put into the stable and the old woman got up and fixed him a good meal of hot coffee and substantial eatables. In the morning, after enjoying a splendid rest and eating a hearty breakfast, he wanted to know the bill. " The bill !" said " Uncle Mose," " what in the tarnation do you mean ? We never take anything here for keeping a stranger a part of the night." The stranger felt, thankful that he had fallen into the hands of so good a Samaritan, and went on his way rejoicing. Thus we close this article on Moses Stingley, one of our most honored old settlers, wishing that he may live long to enjoy the rewards of his labors.

Isaac A. Lanning emigrated from Ohio soon after Mr. Stingley came, and located three miles and a half northwest of the present village of Sweet Home, on the southeast quarter of section 36, township 65, range 34. At this point the Platte River and Honey Creek are about one mile apart, and Mr. Lanning's farm lies between them on the west bank of Platte River. He has opened and cultivated a good farm, and built a mill on the Platte River near his residence, which has for years been a great convenience to the farmers of that vicinity. In 1853, George Conner emigrated from Illinois, and came to Jackson Township and took a claim two miles and a half north of the present site of Sweet Home, on the northeast quarter of section 6, township 64, range 33. Mr. Conner lives one mile east of Lanning's Mill. Soon afterward came Richard Ashworth, an Englishman by birth, and bought a claim on the northeast quarter of section 7, township 64, range 33. Mr. Ashworth died several years since, but his family still reside on the same place. Mrs. Minerva Smith emigrated from Bartholomew County, Indiana, and settled two and one half miles north of the present town of New Conception. Benton Smith, a son of Minerva Smith, was only five years of age when he came with his mother to Nodaway County. He now has a farm, and lives five miles north and a little west of New Conception, on the west side of the Platte River. Elon Smith was born in Nodaway County, and settled on the old homestead two miles and a half west of New Conception. Adenoma Stingley, a son in law of Moses Stingley, emigrated from Indiana in 1856, and settled one and one half miles west of the present location of Sweet Home. George Stingley, son of Moses Stingley, emigrated from Indiana about this time, and located three miles west and a little south of the present town of Sweet Home. Manford Stingley located on a farm one and one half miles northwest of where Sweet Home is now situated. About this time came Moses Spear from New York State and took a claim one mile west of the present location of Sweet Home. Mrs. Dorcas T. Yarnel emigrated from Illinois. soon afterward, and took a claim one and one fourth miles southwest of the present town of Sweet Home, on the east side, near the Platte. In 1857, came Samuel Beeks from Iowa, and located three miles north of the present town of New Conception, on the Platte River. In the same year Judge M. D. Nobles emigrated from Illinois, and located four miles southwest of the present site of Sweet Home, on the west side of the Platte. About the same time Reading Bowling emigrated from Illinois, and settled on the west side of the Platte River, some five miles southwest of the present town of Sweet Home.


This little village is pleasantly located twelve miles east of Maryville, and two and one half miles east of the Platte River. Abraham Bonty entered and owned the land originally on which Sweet Home is located. He sold it to Leonard Stingley in the year 1857. Samuel Mason bought an acre from Leonard Stingley, and put up a hotel in 1859. In 186o, Robert Shaffer put up a store and opened a stock of general merchandise. The first store was burnt in 1867. During the time of our civil war no building was going on.

In 1866, John Ham erected a store and put in a stock of general merchandise. He was bought out by Basford & Roisten. Henry McMullen put up a store soon afterward for general merchandise. In 1870, S. P. Joy built a store for general merchandise.

A store was erected by James Bentley in the year 1876 for general merchandise. The name Sweet Home Farm dates from the year 1865, and the village received its name from the farm on which it is located. The post office was established in the year 1864. Henry Reed was the first postmaster.

Seef Clutter put up a dwelling house in 1865, and J. S. Basford, in 1877, made a hotel of it.

The first marriage in Sweet Home occurred in 1865, when Thomas Reed and Emeline Bowling were united in the bands of holy wedlock.

There is a good district school one fourth of a mile north of Sweet Home.


Bishop, E. W., physician.
Flynn, David, blacksmith.
Harry, Leroy, postmaster.

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