History Jackson Township, Randolph County, Missouri
From: History of Randolph and Macon Counties, Missouri
National Historic Company
St. Louis, 1884


Jackson township is the middle township on the northern border of the county. It is somewhat irregular in shape, and is less in size than a congressional township, having an area of 17,400 acres, or 27 1/2 square miles. It is watered on the west by the East fork of the Chariton and Walnut creek, and on the east by Hoover and Mud creeks. Almost every acre of the soil is susceptible of cultivation. Prairie and timber land are about equal. Its valuable minerals consist of coal, limestone and fire clay. Three fourths of Jackson township is in cultivation, and the farms generally are in good condition. The prairie is undulating, and in its wild state, produces a strong, healthy and vigorous growth of native grasses. In a state of cultivation it yields generously to the care and culture of the husbandman, all the grains, grasses, roots and fruits usually cultivated in this latitude. The minerals are coal, limestone, and brick clay. The average yield of farm products per acre is as follows: Corn, 25 bushels average, extra, 40 bushels; wheat, 15 bushels average, extra, 20 bushels oats, 25 bushels average, extra, 40 bushels; hay, 1 14 tons average, extra, 2 tons; tobacco average 800 pounds. Very little tobacco is raised in the township. It has three mills, six school houses conveniently located and well built and furnished.


The early settlers in Jackson township settled generally along the course of the streams, and in the timber; in fact the pioneers throughout this Western country all sought the timber and water. The prairies were not settled until many years had passed. Many of the pioneers were poor, and did not have teams sufficient to break the prairie, as it required from three to four good yoke of oxen to draw the plow, and coming as they did from Kentucky and other States, which were originally covered with dense forests, they naturally located conveniently near to or in the timber. The old settlers now say, the prairie land has undergone a great change since they first came to the county; it then appeared to be of a cold, wet, and clammy nature, and did not possess the same productive quality that it now has. As the country became opened and settled, and the prairies were grazed and trodden by stock, their productive qualities were greatly improved until they are now considered the better farming lands.

Jackson township is not so well watered naturally as some other townships. The streams generally vein the western and south eastern portion of it. Walnut creek, the East fork of the Chariton river, Hoover and Mud creeks, and their tributaries, all take their rise in this township, and all flow south west and south east excepting Hoover creek, which flows north east.

The early settlers included some of the following names: Henry Owens, from Kentucky; Isaac Reynolds, from Kentucky; John Coulter, from Kentucky; Robert Stevens, from Kentucky; William McCanne, from Kentucky; H. J. McCanne, from Kentucky; Thomas McCanne, from Kentucky; Nathaniel Sims, from Kentucky; Benj. Poison, from Kentucky; James W. Lamb, from Kentucky; Milton Durham, from Kentucky; Stokely W. Towles, from Kentucky; Leonard Hill, from Virginia; John Hore, from Virginia; George W. Hore, from Virginia; David McCanne, from North Carolina; L. C. Davis, from North Carolina; Jonathan Hunt, from Virginia; John Ancell, from Virginia; Frank Ancell. from Virginia; C. F. Burckhartt, from Virginia; Frank Sims, from Tennessee;William Bailey, from Tennessee; John H. Penny, from Virginia.

Among the oldest living settlers are Henry Owens and James W. Lamb. Mr. Lamb came in November, 1837, from Casey county, Kentucky, and has followed farming until a few years ago, since which time he has been keeping hotel in the town of Jacksonville. In 1837 there were no settlements on the prairie. A road ran north and south through the township, called the "Bee Trace," so called from the fact that it was the route traveled by the old pioneers who hunted wild honey, which was worth at that time twenty cents a gallon.

Mr. Lamb occupied his time after his arrival in the township, cutting timber and splitting rails at thirty seven and a half cents a hundred, and sawing planks with a rip saw at $1.50 per hundred feet. Tobacco was raised at an early date, and taken to Glasgow, where it was sold to the merchants and shipped to St. Louis and elsewhere, for $1.50 per hundred pounds. Bacon was worth $2.25 per hundred.

After remaining here a few years Mr. Lamb went back to Kentucky and while there, married. After his marriage he determined to return to Randolph county, and in 1842 he started upon his journey of nearly 600 miles, with only $10 in money, his wife, a horse and buggy, and after traveling 26 days, he arrived at his new home, having spent all his money, excepting seventy five cents. Deer were so numerous from 1835 to 1840 that oftentimes 30 and 40 could be seen at one time. Nothing like it can now be seen on the American continent.

"By chase our long-lived fathers earned their food;
Toil strung the nerves, and purified the blood;
But we, their sons, a pampered race of men,
Are dwindled down to three-score years and ten."

Humphrey and Brock erected the first saw mill in the township, which was soon destroyed by fire, and immediately rebuilt, when it was sold to George W. Jones, who combined it with a grist mill. Jones sold to Benjamin Sims, its present owner. The mill is located about half a mile north of Jacksonville, at a spring, which furnishes water during the dry seasons for many of the citizens of the town.

The first church that was built in the township was also located at this spring by the Christian denomination in 1852, and was a union church. Mr. Sims now uses it as a barn.


Jacksonville is located on the northern division of the Wabash, St. Louis and Pacific Railway, 19 miles north west of Huntsville, and 12 miles north of Moberly. It is an incorporated village of 300 inhabitants, containing two church edifices, used by the different sects, a public school, and colored school It has railroad, telegraph and express facilities.

The town site was owned by William McCanne, Jr., John W. McCanne, Sr., and Henry Owen, who donated 50 acres to the railroad company, provided they would locate a depot upon it. This was about the year 1858. The town was named after Hancock Jackson, who was an early settler in the county, and who filled besides several county offices, the position of Lieut. Governor of Missouri. The first business house was erected by J. J. Humphrey and was occupied by him as a general store.

Samuel Ridgeway opened the first hotel, and continued to occupy it until his death, which occurred in 1880. Dr. Burckhartt was the first physician. Thomas Demster was the pioneer shoemaker. The first church was erected in 1867 by the Christians. Thomas Griffey and Robert Skinner were the first blacksmiths.


Two general stores, one grocery, one drug store, four blacksmiths, one shoemaker, one undertaker, one lumber yard, one livery stable, and oue hotel are at this place.


Masonic Lodge, No. 44. - Was organized in June, 1866, with the following charter members: James A. Berry, James A. Holt, James M. Hannah, J. H. Pety, David Halliburton.

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