Holt County, Missouri


Benton Township History

Early Settlers of Benton Township
The first white man to make his home within the limits of what is now Benton Township was John N. Blair, originally from Indiana. He settled the farm in section 20, township 61, range 38, where he arrived April 12, 1839. In the same year came George Blair to the same locality.

The Blairs on leaving Indiana, moved to Pike County, Illinois, in 1827 ; in 1836, to Iowa; thence back to Pike County, Illinois; and, in the spring of 1839, to the Platte Purchase settling as above stated. It is claimed that John N. Blair erected on this farm in Benton Township the first frame house built in the county. John N. Blair died on Carson River, at the foot of the Sierra, Nevada Mountains, while on his way to California, in 1849. George Blair, as before stated, also died years ago. James and Uriah Blair, sons of John N. Blair, still (1882) reside on the place originally settled by their father below the present town of Mound City, and are recognized as representative citizens of the county.

In the fall of 1839 came, also from Indiana, Jeremiah and Daniel Baldwin, who settled in the neighborhood of the Blairs. John R. Baldwin, a son of the pioneer Daniel, is still living in the township, as is also Daniel Baldwin, Jr., a son of Jeremiah Baldwin. John Hughes, from Illinois, arrived in the fall of 1839, and settled the farm now (1882} owned by Washington Hutton, in section 28, township 61, range, 38, four and a half miles south and two miles east of Mound City. William Holloway, John Holloway and Henry Holloway, from Indiana, in 1840, also settled in the same locality. In the same year, John Hughes, Sr., the father of John Hughes, above mentioned, settled the Kimsey Farm.

In the spring of 1840, Judge John Kimsey came from Clay County, Missouri, and purchased the improvements of John Hughes, Jr. He continued to live on the place till 1846, when he moved to Oregon. Judge Kimsey, who was at one time on the county bench, was the second blacksmith who worked at his trade in Holt County, and the first of his calling to locate within the present limits of Benton Township. His shop, in 1840, stood in the southeast quarter section 21, township 61, range 38, two miles east and four miles south of Mound City. He also worked at Jackson's Point. The original Kimsey Farm is in southeast quarter section 21, and southwest quarter section 22, and is now (1882) owned by Samuel Glick. It lies within one-fourth of a mile of Kimsey Creek, which derived its name from John Kimsey, a son of the judge.

In 1840, J. Bawn settled the place afterwards owned by Mosher, to whom he sold the land. South, who went to Oregon in 1846, settled, in 1840, the place now (1882) owned by the Widow Beeler. In the same year, John Benson settled the farm afterwards owned by Strother Moore, a noted stock dealer. This farm is three-fourths of a mile south of Mound City. He (Benson) was killed in California, in 1844. Claiborne F. Parmer settled, in 1841, on a place now owned by Jonathan Andes.

In 1840, William Mobly, a native of the State of Maine, who afterwards moved to Oregon, where he died, settled half a. mile north of the site of Mound City. In the same year, settled in the neighborhood John Dinger, who subsequently moved to California; and also the widow Ellison. A noted character, by the name of William Walker, also arrived in 1840, and made his home not a great distance from the present site of Mound City. He was popularly known as "Hog Walker," from his success in acquiring property in swine. It is narrated of this enterprising settler, who counted his hogs by the dozen, that he was in the habit of fencing in any sow with a litter of pigs he happened to find in the wild bottoms. These he took care to mark, and they, of course, became his property. He, at one time, is said to have claimed seventy dozen hogs and pigs. About the same period, a similarly enterprising settler by the name of John Walker, located in the neighborhood. He soon achieved the distinction of "Cow Walker," a cognomen by which he was universally distinguished in the country. It is said that Cow Walker, who was always on the hunt of a stray cow, was dreaded by the herders in the bottoms who often had charge of thousands of cattle which, in those days, were wintered on the rushes which there grew luxuriantly.

Among other early settlers of the township were Jacob Mosher, who came in 1842, and died thirty years after. Andrew Mackoy, from Ohio, and Washam came in 1843. Andrew Meyer, now (1882) a representative citizen of the township, came in 1843. William Gady, in the same year, made a claim adjoining the site of Mound City, but subsequently abandoned it. Henry Swimiller came in 1846.

Among the noted settlers of Benton Township, was Levi Dodge, now (1882) a prominent citizen of the town of Mound City. Mr. Dodge, who is a native of the State of Maine, moved thence to Ohio, in an early day, thence to Clinton County, Missouri, and, in the fall of 1850, to what is now Benton Township, Holt County, Missouri, where he settled on section 26, township 62, range 39, a farm now owned by John Shrautz. In 1853, the settlers to the eastward of the Nodaway River, and those in the territory of Benton Township, in Holt County, were as ignorant of each other as though a sea rolled between them.

The first settler to make tracks across this territory was Levi Dodge, in the summer of 1853. The course which he marked across these prairies and streams afterwards became the regular beaten road. The farm north of Mound City, now (1882) owned by Ed. Gillis, was settled in 1848 by William Marshall, who afterwards sold it to a man by the name of Brown.

David Worsham, about 1841, located on Davis Creek, southeast of Mound City. This stream was so named from a man by the name of Davis, who was the first settler on its banks.

Source: The History of Holt and Atchison Counties, Missouri; 1882


Return to Townships

Return to Holt County Home Page

Copyright MOGenWeb 1996-2016 The submitters & MOGenWeb
Page updated on December 12, 2016 by Karyn