History Praire Township, Randolph County,
From: History of Randolph and Macon Counties, Missouri
National Historic Company
St. Louis, 1884
Prairie township lies in the south eastern corner of Randolph county. It is the largest township in the county,
and has an area of about 88 square miles. The amount of prairie and timber land is about the same. As the township
is bounded on two sides by Monroe, Audrain, Boone and Howard counties - counties that stand in the front rank as
to soil, productions, population and wealth, it may justly be inferred that Prairie is in the front rank of townships,
and is settled by a progressive and prosperous people. The soil is a black loam with substratum of clay. The land
has an undulating surface, drains itself readily in seasons of protracted rainfall, and retains sufficient moisture
for the sustenation of vegetation in periods of protracted drouth.
Among the old settlers of this township were John Hamilton, James Martin, R. P. Martin, Mrs. Chisham, William Butler, Joel Hubbard, Rice Alexander, Hugh C. Collins, Dr. Presley T. Oliver, Jackson Dickerson, Joseph Davis, Moses KigimbroughAaron Kimbrough, Thomas Kimbrough, A. Hendrix, Benjamin Hardin, Asa K. Hubbard, Presly Shirley, Jeremiah Bunnel, Thomas StoSanderson S. Christian Granderson Brooks, Archibald Goin, May Burton, John Sorrell, Henry Burnham William Croswhite, John Kimbrough, Bluford Robinson, Wiley Marshall, A. W. Lane, Durett Bruce, Reuben Samuel and Joseph Wilcox.
Nearly all of the above named pioneers were from Kentucky, and many of these men were great hunters, notably
so Davis, Uriah Bruce, Joe Davis, Cy Davis,Uriah Davis, H. C. Collins, John Sorrell and James Martin. The latter
in his early manhood was very athletic, and is probably the only man who ever caught an unwounded deer by ranning
after it on foot, and an unwounded wild turkey by climbing a tree. Durett Bruce, who came to the township in 1837,
is the oldest man now living in Randolph county. He was born in Fayette county, Kentucky, eight miles south of
Lexington, March 1st, 1789, and was, therefore, 95 years old March 1st, 1884. His father's name was Benjamin Bruce;
he was a native of Scotland, and a kinsman of Robert Bruce, one of the Scottish chiefs, whose deeds of bravery
and feats of manhood have been immortalized by the incomparable pen of Jane Porter.
Renick, the most important town in the township, was located in 1856, after the North Missouri Railroad had become an established institution. It is situated on a high rolling prairie, on the " Grand Divide," the waters on the east side of the town flowing to the Mississippi, and those on the west side to the Missouri. The St. Louis, Kansas City and Northern Railroad passes diagonally through the town, the depot being convenient to the business portion of it. It lies six miles south by east of Moberly, and contains a population of about 700. Its citizens are a thorough going and enterprising people. It has one large church edifice, which is used by the Methodist, Baptist and Christian denominations. Renick rejoices in having the finest public school building outside of Moberly in the county. The only other public building of any importance is the Masonic Hall, which is an elegant and attractive edifice. There is also a Good Templar and public hall.
There is located in the town a large custom and merchant mill. One or two coal mines are in operation near the
place, giving employment to a number of hands, and working a four foot vein. The coal is used extensively by the
railroads, and large quantities are exported. Three times has the business portion of the town been desolated by
Ere, and at one time, during the great Civil War, nearly all the houses in the town were destroyed. But the public
spirit and enterprise of the citizens were equal to the emergency, and it is today a better town than ever before.
Masonic Lodge, NO. 186. - Was organized October 19, 1867, with the following charter members: G. A. Settle,
A. E. Grubb, S. A. Mitchell, James Hardin, Benjamin Terrill, J. R. Alexander, R. Davis, T. Y. Martin, R. P. Martin,
J. Y. Coates, S. S. Elliott, William Butler, G. R. Christian.
Nine general stores, one wagon shop, two blacksmiths, one paint shop, one lumber yard, one harness shop, one
hotel, one livery stable, two saloons, and two butcher shops, are in Renick.
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