Several reasons led to the organization of Monroe Township, chief among which was the inconvenience the farmers
suffered in voting at distant precincts. These led the people to petition, in 1881, for the organization of another
township to be formed out of territory originally belonging to the townships of Green and Hughes.
At the February term, Nodaway County Court, February 12, 1881, occurs the following order, establishing the bounds
of Monroe Township:
Ordered by the court, That a municipal township be established out of parts of Green and Hughes Townships, to be
known and designated as Monroe Township, in said county, to be composed of the following territory, to wit:
Commencing at the southwest corner of section No. 15, township No. 63, range No. 38, thence east with section line
eleven miles to the southeast corner of section 17, in township No. 63, range No. 36, thence north with section
line four miles, to the northeast corner of section 32, township 64, range 36, thence west with section line eleven
miles, to the southwest corner of section 34, township 64, range 38, thence south four miles south of line dividing
Atchison and Nodaway Counties, to the place of beginning.
It is further ordered by the court, that Skidmore be designated as voting place for said township.
Monroe Township lies as a parallelogram, eleven miles from east to west and four miles from north to south.
The general features of the township are similar to those of Green Township, out of which it was formed in part.
The eastern portion of the township rises gradually from the river, with a slight inclination toward the north,
and the western portion rises gently from the river toward the west. Nodaway River runs through the township from
the north to south, dividing it nearly in the middle. Florida Creek empties into the river from the northeast,
and Hickory Creek and Hutchinson's Branch from the west. The township is composed of rich prairie lands, with some
timber along the Nodaway River and its affluents. The land is rather rolling in its character, especially as we
approach the streams. Monroe Township has one mill privilege, which has been improved, near where Skidmore is now
Among the earliest settlers in the territory now belonging to Monroe Township, was William Bunten, who came
in 1840, and opened a farm one and one fourth miles northeast of the place where Skidmore is now located.
About the same time Wm. Dotson came and settled on a claim two miles northeast of the present site of Skidmore.
James Curl soon afterward opened a farm where Skidmore now stands. He was a large stockraiser.
Richard Miller bought the claim of Dotson, and James Fulkerson bought the claim of Bunten.
In 1847, Wm. V. Smith purchased the claim of Fulkerson.
In 1845, Peter Noffsinger came and settled on a tract of land adjoining the town site on the northeast.
Monroe Cotrel settled on a claim two miles southeast of where Skidmore now stands, but afterward sold to William
Broyles, and he sold to Robert Bagley, who lives on the same place now.
Joseph Huntsucker took a claim in 1845 about three miles northeast of Skidmore. He sold out to Thomas Davis, and
Mrs. Davis still lives on the same place.
About 1850, Hugh D. McDonald entered forty acres of what was known as part of Burr Oak Grove. He sold out to Thomas
Hayes, in 1853, whose two sons, James T. Hayes and John G. Hayes, and his two sons-in-law, John S. Grigsby and
Alonzo Coston, settled in and around the grove. Burr Oak Grove is located four miles west of Skidmore and one half
mile north. The grove contains about 320 acres of land, and lies at the head of Burr Oak Branch, which runs into
the Nodaway River.
Hickory Grove is located one mile south and two miles west of Skidmore, and contains about half a section of land.
It lies about midway on Hickory Creek, which flows into the Nodaway River.
William Bunten settled in 1840.
James Curl, 1842.
James Fulkerson, 1844.
Peter Noffsinger, 1845.
William V. Smith, 1847.
William Dotson 1840.
Richard Miller, 1844.
Monroe Cotrell, 1844.
Joseph Huntsucker, 1845.
William Broyles, 1847.
Thomas Davis, 1847.
Irving Hall, 1850.
M. Skidmore, 1865.
Thomas Hayes, 1853.
John G. Hayes.
Judge William V. Smith, 1847.
Patteson Hughes, 1857.
Martin Skidmore, 1861.
John Owens, 1850.
Adam Terhune, 1850.
Hugh D. McDonald, 1850.
James T. Hayes.
John S. Grigsby.
I. D. Wheeler, 1856.
Robert Bagby, 1857.
Thomas Mayhew, 1858.
Wesley Clark, 1850.
BURR OAK M. E. CHURCH.
This church was organized about the year 1860. The present membership is seventy. Rev. William H. Van Gundy
is the pastor. The church edifice is worth $1,500. The Sabbath School is in good condition, and the church is prosperous.
The town of Skidmore is situated eleven miles south of Burlington Junction, exactly in the geographical center
of Monroe Township, about half a mile east of the Nodaway River. A beautiful little valley or depression runs through
the town from north to south, giving it perfect drainage, along which passes the railroad, the town being thus
freed, in great measure, from the noise, dust and smoke of passing trains. The land on each side of this little
depression rises in fine rolls, on which lies the village of Skidmore, one of the finest towns in the Nodaway Valley.
The land on which the town of Skidmore is situated was originally owned by Mr. M. Skidmore, who gave the Nodaway
Valley Railroad Company over twenty acres of land for railroad purposes. It was a free gift, Mr. Skidmore not entering
into any stipulation that the railroad company should locate a station at that point. The railroad was built in
1880„ and completed the 15th day of August of that year. There was no town company formed, but Mr. Skidmore laid
off the town early in July, 1880, and there was a public sale of lots July 28, 1880. Mr. W. S. Earls, of Savannah,
bought the first three lots, Nos. 6, 7 and 8, block 6, at $50 each. We notice that the streets are christened from
the names of trees. We observe Oak, Walnut, Chestnut, Maple, Ash, Linden and Elm Streets.
Mr. Blodgett, of the Nodaway Valley Road, was the surveyor of the town. The first building, a grocery store,
was erected by H. H. Joy, who moved a stock of groceries from Union Valley, and commenced I usiness about September
Several parties began building at this time. Asher & Gibson commenced a building for general merchandise; Dike
& Motter commenced a general store, and Marklin, Earles & Co. put up two buildings, one for hardware and
furniture, and the other for general merchandise. T. S. Marlin erected a building for hardware; William McGinnis
put up a harness shop, and Dr. D. M. Hutt built a drug store. Dr. Charles Impey erected another drug store. A blacksmith
shop was built by J. V. Parrish, and W. Clark also built a blacksmith shop. A carpenter shop was then erected by
F. VanAnsdale. About this time quite a number of buildings were in process of construction. 'Squire Finney put
up a hotel and livery stable, and Nathan Burkhead built a restaurant. Howell Bros. established a lumber yard.
The Methodist Episcopal Church was the first church edifice built in Skidmore. It was completed in July, 1881.
The Methodist Episcopal Church South erected their church edifice, and completed it October 1, 1881. The people
of Skidmore are alive to the interests of education, and have nearly completed a good school house, at a cost of
$1,700, which is constructed in accordance with modern principles of school architecture.
The first birth in Skidmore was a son to Mr. and Mrs. George Manchester, on November 11, 1880.
The first death was a son of Mr. H. H. Joy, which occured in November, 1880.
The first marriage in the town of Skidmore was celebrated at the residence of the bride's father, Mr. Joseph V.
Parrish, on Thursday evening, June 23, 1881, when Mr. Hamilton Deffinbaugh was married to Miss Ary Bell Parrish,
by 'Squire Thomas L. Howden.
The directors of the school at Skidmore are Wm. Ashler, Chairman; E. F. Day and John Picket. The school is in good
condition. Calvert R. White is the principal.
A Masonic Hall has been built, but no organization has been effected.
Skidmore is situated in the fertile valley of the Nodaway River, and is surrounded by one of the finest and most
beautiful sections of land in the state. Located in the exact center of Monroe Township, with good railroad facilities,
it must necessarily grow in commercial importance and in population. Every line of business is well represented.
Large amounts of live stock and grain are being shipped. As an illustration of the business of the new town, Markland,
Earls & Co. sold $27,500 worth of goods during the year ending October 15, 1881. Other firms are equally prosperous.
In 1851, Downing & Terhune erected a grist and saw mill on the Nodaway River, near where Skidmore is now located.
It was known as the Downing Mill. Mr. M. Skidmore bought the mill in 1864, and sold it to G. M. Nash and Hulett
Burnett, who continued to run the mill until 1872, when the Nash Brothers built a better mill. Mr. H. H. Nash runs
it now. It is of much value to the new town.
The population of Skidmore at the present time is about four hundred. It is a most desirable location for immigrants
seeking new homes in the west. The health of the new town is excellent, as it has a perfect drainage, and the people
are thrifty and industrious. In all respects, perhaps, there is no better point to make new homes and establish
business houses than in Skidmore, so beautifully located in the Nodaway Valley, the queen of the valleys of Northwest
Asher & Gibson, general merchandise.
Bariteau, L. A., elevator.
Burkhad, N., restaurant.
Class, William, photographer.
Cox, John, railroad agent.
Dike, James, general merchandise.
Dumm, Julia, millinery.
Dumm, Mollie, millinery.
Finney, 'Squire, hotel and livery.
Gankel, John, boots and shoes.
Horn & Friend, meat market.
Hiss, John, painter.
Howell Brothers, lumber dealers.
Howden, T. L., justice of the peace.
Hutt, H. M., drug store and physician.
Huffman, grain elevator.
Impey, Charles, drug store and physician.
Joy, H. H., groceries.
Joy, H. H., postmaster and justice of the peace.
Lincoln, ___, blacksmith.
McGinness, William, harness maker.
Markland, Earls & Co., hardware, furniture and tin shop.
Markland & Earls, general merchandise.
Marlin, T. L., hardware.
Merrill, John, plasterer.
Parker, carpenter and joiner.
Powell, Charles, stock dealer.
Rogers, H. M., general merchandise.
Skidmore, Samuel S., notary public.
Spear, Charles, grain dealer.
Tilton, E., constable.
Van Ausdale, J. T., carpenter and joiner.
Wood, George, livery.
Wood, James, blacksmith.
METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH.
This church was organized November to, 1880. The following are the names of the original members: Wesley Clark,
Mrs. Lucy Clark, Mrs. Catherine Clark, Joseph Van Ausdall, James Marshall, Thos. Clark, Stratford Saunders and
wife, Marshall Lyle, A. B. Hull, James Day, John Pickett, William Barber, W. R. Hays and wife, W. J. Berry and
wife, William Kennada, Mrs. Julia Clark, Mrs. Polly Lyle, Mrs. Ruthilla Parshall, Matilda A. Pickett, Mrs. Wm.
Barber, Mrs. Martha Kennada and Miss Mary Kennada. Rev. Eri Edmonds is the present pastor. The church is prosperous.
The church property is valued at $1,600.
CUMBERLAND PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH.
In 1880, this church received its organization. The following area the names of the original members: John Mast,
Mr. McCowen, Albert Carver and family, Garrett Long and family, Martha Brown, Mrs. Calver, Mrs. B. F. Bagley and
James Lassen and wife. Rev. Mr. Hayes is the present pastor. The church membership numbers fourteen. Services are
held in the M. E. Church South every second Sunday in each month.
METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH SOUTH.
As early as the year 1847, this church received its organization. Preaching services were held in those early
days in school houses in the neighborhood. The church agreed to them plan of separation, with some exceptions,
and adhered to the Southern branch of the church in 1846 In 1849, a local separation took place in this nteighbood
between the two branches. The original members of the church were as follows: Peter Noffsinger and wife, Miss Martha
Noffsinger, Mrs. Charity Daws, W. V. Smith, Jane L. Smith, Mrs. Lucretia Smith and Rebecca Jane Wyatt. The membership
of the church numbers sixty at the present time. The church property is valued at $2,000. Rev. Mr. Falkner supplies