History of Howard Township, Bates County, Missouri
From: History of Bates County, Missouri
By: W. O. Atkeson
Historical Publishing Company
Topeka - Cleveland 1918

Howard Township.

Howard is the extreme southwestern township of the county. It is a high, rolling, fertile prairie, very little broken by streams, and scarcely any waste land or timber of importance. It is one of the best grain townships in the county.

A. B. Willoughby was one of the first settlers and came from Jackson county, Missouri, and settled in the southeast part in 1857. Guy Smith came and settled in the same vicinity before the war. Rev. William Rider settled in this township before the war. John Patton, a brother in law, lived near him before the war; and James Hardin, a son in law of Guy Patton settled on the headwaters of Reed's creek in an early day. Among those who came and settled in the township immediately after the war are: A. B. Wilkins, Richard Miller, John Badgett, J. J. Franklin, John Rush, J. Frank, J. J. Bearden, R. N. Covert, U. McConnell, C. W. Hollenback and E. C. Maxwell.

Sprague was laid out in the fall of 1880 by A. Blaker of Pleasanton, Kansas, and was surveyed by Edwin Butts. The first house in town was moved from New Home by Charles Wilson, who was a farmer residing in Howard. He occupied it as a residence and store. The next business house was occupied by J. W. Maker as a general merchandise store. The first board of trustees were J. R McDonald, chairman; B. H. Smith, clerk; J. W. Bobbitt; W. A. Williams; Alexander Willoughby; and Dr. R. F. Hulett. Sprague is on the "Frisco" branch which comes in from Miami to Rich Hill.

Hume was laid out in 1880 by Noah Little. In 1882, S. L. Standish laid out an addition north of the "Frisco" right of way. Hume has a public square in the center of business. D. H. Hill built the first business house and put the first stock of goods in. He came from Walnut Postoffice in Walnut township. Messenger, Fisher & Kell erected a grist mill in 1882. Hume is situate on the "Frisco" at or near the crossing of the Kansas City Southern as it is now called; and is a thriving, business like town: It is claimed, that it is the "best. town on the Kan sas City & Southern in Bates county." Through the influence of its only newspaper, the "Border Telephone," every house in town was painted white, and hence it is known as the White City on the border.

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