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


Lincoln Township is bounded on the north by Iowa, on the east by Atchison and Nodaway Townships, on the south by Atchison, Nodawayv and Green Townships and Atchison County, and on the west by Atchison County, Missouri,

The organization of this township was proposed in 1865, by the division of Atchison Township, as appears from the record of the County Court, made at its November term of that year. The entry of record is in words and figures as follows:

A majority of the legal voters of Atchison Township present a petition to the county court to have Atchison Township divided into two townships, to be known as Atchison and Lincoln Townships, said townships commencing at the Iowa line, and in the center of said Nodaway River, and run with the center of the river to the section line between 8 and 17, in township (65), of range (37), and run with said line to the county line west, thence with the county line to the state line, thence to the place of beginning, and to call the name of said township Lincoln Township, in said county.

On the 14th day of June, 1866, the township was established with its present boundaries, by order of the County Court of that date. The order is as follows:

* * * " Commencing at the state line near the northeast corner of section 31, township 67, range 37; thence west on the state line to the northwest corner of the county, near the northwest corner of section 34, township 67, range 38; thence south on the county line between sections 33 and 34, township 67, range 38, and 3 and 4, 9 and 10, 15 and 16, 21 and 22, 27 and 28, 33 and 34, township 66, range 38; thence east on township line between townships 65 and 66, to the northwest corner of section 5, township 65, range 38; thence south on county line between sections 4 and 5, 9 and 10, 15 and 16, to the southwest corner of section 15, township 65, range 38, and sections 18 and 19, 17 and 20, to the Nodaway River; thence north with the meandering of the said Nodaway River to the place of beginning."


The eastern portion of the township is timbered land, with one or two groves toward the central and western part, the remainder being prairie. Mill Creek crosses the northern border of the township about three miles east of the northwest corner, and runs southeast, joining the Nodaway River near the southeast corner. Several other small streams tributary to Mill Creek run through different portions of the township, furnishing every locality with an abundance of water.

But little waste land can be found in the township. The quality of its soil compares favorably with its sister townships. The land, except in the western portion of the township, is very rolling, and some of it considerably broken. About one half of the township is timbered. There is an abundance of stone for building purposes, and some indications of coal.


Joseph Hutson was not only the first settler in Lincoln Township, but the first settler in Nodaway County west of the Nodaway River. He came from Clay County, Kentucky, and bought a section of land - section 32, township 66, range 37. This land lies nearly two miles west of the present town of Dawson. He erected his cabin in the grove east of Mill Creek about one fourth of a mile. He arrived October 29, 1840, and that night snow fell to the depth of four inches. The prospect was not very encouraging for the pioneer, but the snow disappeared almost entirely the next day, and there was no more cold weather until Christmas, the grass remaining green until that time, and that proved to be the mildest and finest winter ever experienced in Missouri. During that winter Mr. Hutson lived in his cabin and cleared six acres of land. He had been accustomed to timbered land in Kentucky, and thought at that time that the prairie was not as rich as the timber land. Garden spots could also be made sooner in the groves where there was no prairie sod to rot, which took considerable time. They used plows with wooden moldboards, the moldboards being from five to seven feet long. These Barshear plows were made about five miles north of Savannah, at Bennett's Lane, by Bennett & Son, who sold them at $27.50 apiece. Bennett worked for years at plow making and realized a fortune. The prairie sod could not be broken by these plows with less than five yoke of oxen, and sometimes seven.

The six acres of ground which Joseph Hutson cleared the first winter he planted in corn in the spring. He also broke twelve acres of prairie and planted it in corn. He raised that year fifty bushels of corn to the acre.


Game of all varieties was very abundant. There were elk, deer, some bears, turkeys, coons, wildcats, catamounts, mountain wolves, a large wolf of two varieties, black and gray, small prairie wolves, of a yellowish brown color, beaver, otters, minks and muskrats, with other small game. The Indians killed three elk within half a mile of his cabin, one within a hundred yards. The horns of this elk were so long that when reversed and set on the ground, an ordinary man could pass under them. He killed an abundance of deer close to his house, and turkeys from his very door. The buffalo at that time were found about ten miles north of him, on the east side of the Missouri River. The buffalo were numerous on the west side of the river, a person often seeing five hundred in a herd. Turkeys were thicker than prairie chickens are now. The first morning after he came, he went out to kill a turkey and shot five, as many as he could carry home. He says he also shot at several others, but the sun shone so brightly on the snow, he could not see the sights well enough to draw a fine bead. That morning he saw at least five hundred turkeys. They were on every tree top where trees had fallen down, and the trees were full of them. Every head of a hollow, where the snow first melted, was scratched up for mast. That same evening he shot at a mark, or white spot on a tree, to try his gun. When he went to see where the ball struck, he found it was a bee tree, and cut it down and took out the honey. A man found in the grove ten bee trees one day. Deer were so thick he counted sixty six in one herd. He says he killed sixty two one fall, and says he was not much of a hunter at that. One of his sons killed 123 deer the same fall. He knew a man named Henry Owens, who killed 130 deer one fall and winter, and another man named Daniel Sears killed 126. When the lake was frozen over, just enough to bear a man, hunters would chase the muskrats out of their houses and where the water was shallow and the ice very thin, the muskrats would run under the ice, when the hunters would pursue and spear them through the ice. He has known a man to spear 100 muskrats in this manner in a day.

There were many Indians in those days. Eleven hundred camped in the bottoms on the Nodaway and wintered a mile and a half from him. Three hundred camped and spent the winter in the grove within half a mile of him north of his cabin.

Joseph Hutson lives on the same farm where he located, with his children settled around him. Only two of the thirteen neighbors who came together are living now. One lives in Iowa. The writer spent a night under Mr. Hutson's hospitable roof and found him enjoying the fruits of his early privations, and spending the evening of his days in quietude with his children and a host of friends gathered around him.

B. F. Hutson, John Bagley, Silas Davidson and James Sunseford settled east of him within two miles and a half. They opened farms in the timber of the Nodaway River. These all came in the year 1841. Thomas Heddy and Elisha Heddy, his brother, and Wiley Crowder, all located in the year 1841, about one mile and a half east and a little north of him in the Nodaway timber.

Dr. Benjamin Parker located on an adjoining farm and went to farming, there not being enough people there to sustain him in the practice of medicine alone.

John Smith located north of Lamar's claim on the Nodaway Bluffs, a mile from the river, on the west side. Geo. Oster settled one mile and a half west of the present site of Dawson, in the grove. John, his son, married Miss Melvina Potter, in 1843, of Caldwell County, and located near him. Abijah Hampton married Nancy Oster, Geo. Oster's daughter, and took a claim a little north of him.

William Taylor married another daughter, Julia Oster, and settled on an adjoining claim. Wm. Berget located four miles west of Dawson. Edmond Chestnut took a claim near Berget and William Diet settled in the same neighborhood. James Colvin bought the claim of Wiet, and Ambrose Colvin bought the claim of Abijah Hampton. Mansel Graves settled near where Elmo now stands, about one mile and a half west. Alfred and his brother, Aaron Graves, located on Tarkio Ridge.

The Hutson colony of thirteen went in company to mill. Two men went at a time with two wagons, and took from forty to eighty bushels of grain. Then, before their supply of flour was exhausted, two more would go. When the men returned from mill, all the neighbors would come together, and divide the flour, each one having his own sacks. They generally went with cattle, three or four yoke to a wagon, but sometimes with two horse wagons. In those pioneer times they went to Hughes' Mill, fifty miles distant. The mill was located five miles east of Savannah. In going to mill, they would be absent five or six days.

Pioneers were accustomed to grate corn on a grater, especially during the first winter.

When they first went to mill, they laid in all their groceries at White Hall, three miles north of Savannah. After about three years, Savannah was laid out, and they began to trade there with Geo. Smith and Robert Donald.

They first obtained their mail at White Hall, and then at Savannah. Postage on a letter at that time was twenty five cents.

Those going to mill would take their guns and kill game along the way, and camping in the timber, they would cook it.

Joseph Hutson's first neighbor was near Quitman; the second was at Graham; the third at Bennett's Lane, where all their blacksmithing was done for two or three years, until Mr. Hutson built a blacksmith shop in 1842. He made the first set of mill irons for a mill on Hutson's Creek, now called Mill Creek. He would weld three bars, four inches wide and an inch thick, with two strikers for the spindles and gudgeons of the mill corn cracker.

Mrs. Haney Lamar was the first person who died on the west side of the Nodaway River. She died August 23, 1842. The second person who died was Rufus Lamar, her oldest son. They were both buried in ground selected for the purpose on a little ridge near the Nodaway River. As there were no saw mills then in all that section, Mr. Joseph Hutson sawed boards for their coffins out of a black walnut log with a whip saw. In those pioneer days there was not as much display as in later times, but such sad scenes, in all their simplicity in those early days, did not lose anything, perhaps, in tender affection.

John M. Lamar, Sr., settled in the timber on the Nodaway River, about five miles north of where Dawson is now located. Mr. Lamar was born in Anderson County, Tennessee, on the 6th day of July, 1804, and died August 16, 1877. In 1841, he moved from Hendricks County, Indiana, to Platte County, this State, and in May, 1842, he came to Nodaway County, or to what is now known as Nodaway County, as that was before the county was formed. At that time there were only a few settlers in all the Nodaway River country. Mr. Lamar settled upon a beautiful piece of land.

In those days wild game was abundant and the Indians enjoyed themselves in killing deer, turkeys, etc., on the very spot where are now located some of the most beautiful farms to be seen in the county.

It was several years after he came here before many other immigrants came in. At the time Mr. Lamar came, this portion of the county had not been surveyed, and it was denominated the "lost land," that is, returned to the Government as not being worth surveying. Those surveyors were probably sincere in so returning the land then. We, however, know now that they were greatly mistaken. It is, though, quite suggestive that a scope of country which was returned as not being worth surveying forty years ago is now a beautiful, well cultivated and productive region. Before the surveys were made all the right and title to lands were acquired by discovery, or by settling down upon them. Fortunately, the claims thus taken were so tar apart that after the surveys were made no person's rights were infringed upon, and consequently there were no difficulties attendant upon the surveys. For several years after Mr. Lamar came to this county, Savannah was his post office, to which place it was forty five miles. We would think it rather far to go in this day when the mail facilities are so great. When Mr. Lamar came here St. Joseph was a hemp field.

Mr. Lamar was married twice. He has four children living, namely: Napoleon B. Lamar and Charles J. Lamar. Sarah married Thomas Lamar, and Rutela married John Hudson. Mr. Lamar reared a most exemplary family. He lived a long and useful live. He was a vigorous and interesting conversationalist, had a clear, retentive memory, and illustrated in a free and easy manner the incidents of the early days in this our now great county.

Napoleon B. Lamar was born in Anderson County, Tennessee, March 13, 1829. He came to this county with his father in the spring of 1842. Much that has been said in the sketch of his father will also apply to a sketch of his life. Napoleon relates many amusing incidents of the Indians. He frequently went to their camps in an early day here, and witnessed their fun and frolics. He knew some of the chiefs, among whom were Powsheik, of the Mosquacha tribe, and Black Turkey, of the Pottawatomies. He says that whenever the Indians were going to take a spree some of them would keep sober. Before beginning the spree all the bows and arrows and tomahawks were hid away. This was done that the Indians might not hurt each other when under the influence of whisky. Mr. Lamar relates an instance of an Indian spree in which one of their number was killed. It appears he was choked to death, as finger prints could be seen about his throat. When they buried him they set him up against a tree, and built a little pen around him, which they daubed over with clay until he was hidden from sight. They buried pipe and tobacco with him, that he might smoke on his way to the happy hunting grounds. A certain Indian, whom they called Malisha, was suspected as being the one who choked the Indian to death. Mr. Lamar says he heard that Malisha was tried for the crime, after the Indians had removed the camp to, another place, but he never learned the result of the trial. He was tried in this way: Some herbs were given to him, and if they should have a certain effect he was guilty, and would be put to death, if the herbs did not produce that effect he was innocent, and his life would be spared.

In another case where a squaw died, she was buried with a kettle of soup, and a ladle was placed in it that she might use the soup on her dark journey to the happy hunting grounds. Mr. Lamar says the Indians would not kill a wolf. They seemed to have a tradition that the wolf was the dog of their ancestors, and they protected him as if he was sacred to them.

Charles Lamar is two years younger than Napoleon. He came to this county with his father, and therefore all that has been said relative to early days here in the sketches of his father and brother will also apply to Charles. Charles Lamar married Kisah Hudson. They have three children living - two sons and one daughter. Their daughter Dera, is married to W. W. Ramsay, a member of the Maryville bar.

They are all exemplary citizens, and men who stand high in the community in which they live.

The following are additional names of old settlers:
John Bright came from Indiana, in 1842.
John M. Lamar came from Tennessee, in 1842.
Ransom Spencer came from Ohio, in 1842.
Hiram Bagly came from Kentucky, in 1842.
John Griffy came from Kentucky, in 1842.
Franklin Parker came from Kentucky, in 1842.
Amos Halsa came from Missouri, in 1843.
William Wyatt came from Indiana, in 1843.
William Hudson came from Ohio, in 1843.
George Sizemore came from Kentucky, in 1843.
William Bates came from Kentucky, in 1843.
Monroe Cottrell came from Kentucky in 1843.
John Rose came from Kentucky, in 1845.
Aaron Wallace came from Tennessee, in 1845.
Joseph Wallace came from Tenessee, in 1845.
Howard Reynolds came from Tennessee, in 1845.
James Roberts came from Kentucky, in 1845.
James Livingood came from Kentucky, in 1845.
Nickol Owens came from Kentucky, in 1845
Elisha Walters came from Indiana, in 1845.
Jesse Roberts came from Kentucky, in 1845.
John Severs came from Tennessee, in 185o.
Daniel Severs came from Tennessee, in 1850.
William Severs came from Tennessee, in 1850.
James Wade came from Tennessee, in 1850.
Mansel Graves came from Kentucky, in 1850.
James W. Adams came from Ohio, in 1850.


The village of Dawson is located two and a half miles a little northwest of Burlington Junction, on section 5, township 65, range 37, Lincoln Township. D. N. McCrea and W. M. Walker owned the land originally on which Dawson is situated. It was named in honor of Col. Lafe Dawson, of Maryville. The citizens call the town Dawson, but the railroad company call the railroad station Dawsonville. The post office is called Dawson. The village is located in a beautiful grove on a fine roll of land north of the Wabash Railroad which runs through the edge of the town. It has a population of about 150 inhabitants. The town was surveyed and platted December loth, 1879, by E. A. Garvey, civil engineer of the Wabash, St. Louis & Pacific Railroad Company, who laid out the town. The land owners, in consideration of having the town surveyed and platted, gave one third of the lots to the surveyor and parties connected with the railroad. All the lots sold have been bought at private sale. The first train of cars reached Dawson, September 2d, 1879. Mr. Burnett erected the first building for general merchandise in December, 1879, and January 1st, 188o, sold the first goods in the town. He received his goods before there was any depot, and landed them from the cars on the ground. He had charge of the first post office in Dawson for one year. Isaac Weddel erected the second building which was used as a blacksmith shop. The next building was removed from Lamar Station by Alonzo Reese for a drug store. J. F. Wallace removed the fourth building in the town, and occupied it, opening a stock of general merchandise. The next building was a dwelling which was removed from Lamar Station also, by Alonzo Reese. Soon afterward A. S. Thompson put up a building and opened a boarding house. A general law office was soon built for the justice of the peace, D. V. McCrea, Esq. J. M. Wallace & Son soon completed another building and opened a stock of groceries and hardware. Bilby, Wood & Co., soon afterward erected a store for general merchandise. A considerable number of dwellings have been since erected.

Dawson is a good point for business. It is located a mile west of the Nodaway River, near the junction of the river with Mill Creek, which receives almost the entire rainfall of all Lincoln Township. The Nodaway Valley is made up of the best alluvial lands in Northwest Missouri, and the multiplied productions of this valley must pour out over the railways into the markets of the world. The lands lying round about Dawson especially possess a deep alluvial soil of great fertility, which will produce abundantly all the cereals and grasses of this latitude. West of the Nodaway River, along the river valley, and as we approach the Missouri River, are found the finest groves in the northwestern portion of the State.

Dawson possesses many natural advantages, and must increase in population and importance in a business point of view. In the last two years, 250,000 bushels of grain, mostly corn, have been shipped from Dawson, and in the last eighteen months 200 car loads of cattle and hogs have been shipped.

On the Nodaway River, seven eighths of a mile east of Dawson, is a fine water mill with two run of burrs, owned by H. Burnett, which has been of great service to the town and the people of that vicinity. A dam of eight feet utilizes all the power of the river at that point, and there is an abundance of water for milling purposes at all seasons of the year. Dawson is supplied with good well water, which is found in abundance at a depth of from eighteen to thirty feet.

There has been a public school near where Dawson now stands for twenty five years. When the town was located Miss Anna Hackett was the teacher. The number of pupils in attendance is about 120. The people contemplate erecting a new school house in another year.

The first marriage in Dawson occurred August 10, 1880, when Mr. Mitchell H. Bailey and Miss Louisa A. Massengale were united in the bands of wedlock by 'Squire D. V. McCrea. The second marriage in Dawson occurred September 19, 1880, at which auspicious time Mr. Arthur McDonnull and Miss Hattie J. Bowman were unite in the holy bands of matrimony by 'Squire D. V. McCrea.

March 3, 1881, was the date of the first birth in Dawson, a son to Mr. and Mrs. W. B. Daugherty.

Andrew J. Maines was the first person who died in Dawson, on September 26, 1881.


Burnett, H., general merchandise.
Bilby, Wood & Co., general merchandise.
McCrea, D. V., justice of the peace.
McCrea, D. V., lumber dealer.
Moore, Enos, railroad agent.
Pease, William, carpenter.
Reese & Rosebraugh, druggists.
Wallace, J. M. & Son, hardware and groceries.
Wallace & Walker, general merchandise.
Weddel, Isaac, blacksmith.
Woodward, Dr. J. H., physician.


This church was organized July 23, 1881, by Rev. H. J. Latour. The following are the names of the original members: H. Burnett, Mrs. M. A. Burnett, J. A. Chadwick, Mrs. Melissie Chadwick, Mrs. Elizabeth Massengale, C. E. Short, Mrs. L. A. Short, J. F. Wallace, Joseph Wallace, Charles Wallace, Mrs. Adeline Wallace, Mrs. Nancy Walker, James Randall, L. B. Edwards, J. W. Short, Mrs. R. C. Short, Mrs. Elizabeth Heckerthorn, Mrs. Jane Thacker, Mrs. Francis Fox, Mrs. Bessie Burnett and Mrs. Amanda Wallace. Rev. A. M. Wallace is the present pastor. He has three other appointments, where he labors. Mr. Wallace has done a large amount of missionary labor in the Nodaway Valley in organizing churches and Sabbath Schools. The church at Dawson is the direct result of his labors in this field. The present membership of the church numbers twenty one. There is a good Sabbath School during the summer season.


Elmo, a village of about two hundred inhabitants, is situated on the Wabash, St. Louis & Pacific Railroad, nineteen and one fourth miles, by rail, northwest.of Maryville. The land on which the town of Elmo is located was originally owned by Isaac Hesser and the State Bank of Missouri. The land was bought by the Wabash Railroad Company, and the Western Improvement Company formed, who laid out the town in December, 1879. The land was surveyed by the railroad company. There was a public sale of lots in October, 1880. The depot was the first building erected on the town site. There were also two grain offices built. Mr. J. Lamme put up a building about this time for a saloon. W. C. Ecker erected the next building for a hotel, and opened and conducted it for about two years. F. J. Scott soon afterward put up a building for a restaurant and store. The next building was erected by J. R. Nelson, who opened a stock of general merchandise, selling the first goods in the new town. C. J. Lamar put up a store building soon afterward, and opened a stock of general merchandise. About this, time there was a section house erected. S. Collins then built a residence, the first one in town, and commenced living in it in the spring of 1880. Wm. Moss erected the next building for a restaurant, which he opened, but soon sold out. About this time Lamar & Severs put up a building and opened a stock of general merchandise. Tibbetts & Phillips very soon erected a drug store, and then each member of the firm built a residence. At this time C. J. Lamar moved a residence from Lamar Station. Then James Brown built a blacksmith shop, and William Bales put up a residence. Several other buildings followed, whose sequence it is difficult to trace. The Masonic lodge building was soon afterward removed from Lamar Station.

The first marriage in the town occurred September 17, 188o, when Mr. J. A. Maloney was married to Miss R. A. Manley, by 'Squire H. F. Barker.

The first birth was a son to Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Livengood.

The first death was that of Morris Kane, who was knocked off from a hand car by an engine backing against it after dark.

The school house is at present located a mile and a half from town, but a good school house will be erected in the village next summer. .

The Methodists hold service on Sunday in the hall of Lamar & Son.

Scott's Addition to the town was laid off in September, 1881.

Elmo is finely situated on a roll of land a little north of the railroad, surrounded by a beautiful grove. The town possesses considerable business in all the lines of trade, and the business of the place will evidently grow in importance from year to year. One hundred thousand bushels of grain have been shipped from Elmo in the last six months.


Bales, William, blacksmith.
Collins, Dr. S., livery stable.
Collins, S., physician.
Colvin & Murphy, lumber, wagons and implements.
Eggleston, J. P. & Co., hardware and furniture.
Funston, O., carpenter.
Greenwood, John, meat market.
Hudson, James, boarding house.
Joy, F. & Co., general merchandise.
Joy, H. S., meat market.
Lamar & Severs, general merchandise.
Lamar, C. J. & Son, general merchandise.
Lawless, James, plasterer.
Manley, L. R., painter and jeweler.
Martin, Dr. T. L., physician.
Nelson, J. R., general merchandise.
Russell, Ed., saloon and billiard hall.
Scott, T. J., manager elevator.
Scott & Atherton, general merchandise.
Spencer & Taylor, milliners.
Stratton, N. J., elevator.
Tibbetts & Bradley, druggists.
Tibbetts, Mrs., milliner.
Williams, A. H., jeweler.
Woodard, I. B., harness maker.

KENNEDY LODGE NO. 329, A. F. & A. M.

Kennedy Lodge was chartered at Lamar Station, October 13, 1870, but was removed to Elmo, December 1, 1880. The names of the charter members are as follows: E. George, John M. Lamar, I. N. Castillo, S. J. Russell, John Hudson, D. V. McCrea, J. R. Nelson, Sidney Smith, Thomas Fields, Alexander Gray, W. S. Lamme, William Longmyers and C. J. Lamar. The names of the present officers are as follows: C. B. Thummell, W. M.; E. George, S. W.; E. M. Bailey, J. W.; Thomas Fields, Treasurer; L. P. Colvin, Secretary; H. C. Burnett, S. D.; J. R. Nelson, J. D.; J. M. Wallace, S. S.; Thomas Tudder, J. S.; John Hudson, Tyler.

The present membership numbers forty. The lodge own their own hall, and are in a fine condition.

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