History Moniteau Township, Randolph County,
From: History of Randolph and Macon Counties, Missouri
National Historic Company
St. Louis, 1884
Moniteau is the middle township on the southern border of Randolph county. It contains a fraction over 37 square
miles, and was cut off from the townships of Prairie and Silver Creek after the construction of the Missouri, Kansas
and Texas Railroad, from Hannibal to Sedalia. Soon after this event a depot was established in the present territory
of Mouiteau, on lands then belonging to Edward Owens, called Higbee, and soon a village was laid out on lands belonging
to Edward Owens and Joseph Burton. A post office was also established, and the growth of the future town was begun.
This growth was afterward accelerated by the location of the Chicago, Alton, St. Louis and Kansas City Railroad
through its borders, crossing the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Road near the center of the town. These arrangements
having been completed, a petition was numerously signed by citizens of the vicinity, asking the county court to
organize another township, to he called Moniteau, as it would be located on the head waters of Moniteau creek.
Moniteau was first settled by Virginians, Kentuckians, Tennesseeans and North Carolinians, among whose virtues were temperance, industry, probity and hospitality. Of these were James Dysart, John Dysart, Dr. William Walker, Rev. Jesse Terrill, Montgomery Whitmore, J. Higbee, George Yates and others, who have passed the bourne of time. But they have left the impress of their sturdy manhood upon the character of society. Of those whose time approaches and who wrought a good work in the township when customs and instituti ons were in a formative state, may be mentioned Nicholas Dysart, Christopher Dysart, M. M. Burton, Maj. J. B. Tymony, Joseph Burton, Edward Owens and George Quinn. Edward Owens was the oldest man in the township at the time of his death. Nicholas Dysart, aged 75, is the oldest settler; Hon. M. M. Burton, aged 62, is the oldest native born citizen of Moniteau. Mrs. Nicholas Dysart is the oldest lady. Among other settlers were John Turner, William B. Tompkins, Lynch Turner, Joseph Wilcox, Jacob Maggard, Charles McLean and Thomas Dawkins.
Moniteau has three steam saw mills and one combined saw and flouring mill. One of these is located in Higbee, the other three being located on or near Moniteau river. The lumber produced by these mills is generally used for bridging, house framing and other work requiring substantial timbers. The material used is principally white and black oak, though several car loads of walnut lumber have been shipped from this section. John Turner erected the first mill that was put up in the township. It was an old fashioned horse mill; was located in the northern portion of the township, and was running as early as 1828.
Thomas Dawkins taught the first school about the year 1830; the school house, a small cabin, stood near a small stream, one of the forks of Silver creek. Dawkins was from Kentucky, and was much thought of as a teacher.
FARMS AND STOCK.
The yield of farm products is as follows: Corn, average per acre, 50 bushels, extra, 75 bushels; wheat, average
15 bushels, extra, 30 bushels; oats, average 50 bushels, extra, 60 bushels; hay, average 2 tons, extra, 3 tons;
tobacco, average 1,000 pounds, extra, 1,500 pounds. The. highest prices paid for the last named product for three
preceding years has been from $3 to $8 per 100 pounds.
The name of James Higbee, a worthy citizen of Moniteau, now deceased, gave the title to the station which has
grown into a lively, progressive and thriving village. The village, recently incorporated into a town, is situated
about three miles north of Howard county line, at the crossing of the Missouri, Kansas and Texas and the Chicago,
Alton, St. Louis and Kansas City Railroads. These roads, it is thought, will soon build a union depot at the crossing,
and the town is also spoken of as a good point for the location of workshops for the Chicago, Alton, St. Louis
and Kansas City road, being near large coal fields and valuable timber lands. Higbee is the only voting precinct
in the township. It possesses facilities for shipping second to no place in North Missouri except Moberly. It stands
on an open ridge two miles wide, between the Moniteau and Bonne Femme creeks, and is but three years old, having
a population of 400. The public school, which is well conducted, contains 119 pupils. The Grange had a membership
of 60 in 1880. The government of the town is excellent, and the citizens are peaceable and contented.
Higbee Lodge No. 210, A. O. U. W. - Was organized in December, 1880, with the following charter members: J. E. Rucker, J. W. Newby, J. S. Dysart, W. H. Elgin, S. L. Ashby, E. M. Foster, J. W. Fristo, F. M. Tymony, W. J. Pulliam, G. R. Reynolds, Dr. L. J. Miller.
Two drug stores, three physicians, two shoemakers, one lawyer, one barber, three restaurants, three saloons,
one livery and feed stable, three blacksmiths, one milliner, one meat market, one lumber yard, two general stores,
one grocery, express and telegraph office, and the Higbee Weekly Entetprise, compose the business of this town.