Boundary - Early Settlers - Voters of
1839 - By An Old Stager- Laddonia - Its History -Business
George, Abraham, Richard and William Talley were born
and raised in England, but settled in Halifax county,
Virginia, at a very early date. George and William came
to Missouri in 1817, and settled in Howard county, where
they remained two years, and then moved to Boone county.
William settled in Audrain in 1829, and George in 1831.
The latter married Martha Wilson; their children were
William, Jr., Sally, James, Martha, Harriet, George,
Boswell W., Wiley and Judith. William Talley, Sr. married
Judith Wilson, of Virginia, and they had Elizabeth, John,
Daniel, Wiley, Berry, Jennie, George, William and Lethe.
Hugh Stephenson, of Ireland, settled in Pennsylvania, and
fought under Washington during the Revolutionary War. His
children were John, Hugh, Richard and Marcus. The three
latter also served in the Revolutionary War. Marcus
married Agnes Hinkson, and they had Polly, Elizabeth,
Hugh, Nancy, Marcus, Peggy and. Garret. Mr. Stephenson
removed to Missouri in 1807, and died in 1814, while on
his way to Howard county. His widow afterward married
Thomas Reynolds, of Kentucky, and died in 1865. Garret,
son of Marcus Stephenson, married Effie A. Blue.
Duncan Blue, of Scotland, married his cousin, Effie Blue,
and came to America and settled in North Carolina before
the Revolution. He joined the American army when the war
began, and served during the struggle for independence.
After the war he removed to Christian county, Ky. His
children were Daniel, Neal and Peggy. Neal was in the War
of 1812. He married Elizabeth Galbreth, of North
Carolina, and they had Duncan, John, Sally, Effie A.,
Peggy, Flora, Eliza, Emeline, Caroline, and Charlotte E.
Several of the children died young, and in 1831 Mr. Blue
and the rest of his family came to Missouri and settled
in Audrain county.
Gideon Canterberry, of Canterberry, England, emigrated to
America and settled in North Carolina. He served three
years and a half in the Revolutionary War, and afterward
married Nancy Franklin, by whom he had Reuben, John,
Nimrod and Benjamin. Reuben and John settled first in
Virginia, and afterward removed to Kentucky, where they
died. Nimrod married Mary Franklin, and settled in Monroe
County, Mo., in 1835. Benjamin married Susannah Hooser,
of Tennessee, and settled in Audrain county, Mo., in
1836. His children were Franklin P., Reuben M., John C.,
Benjamin F., Narcissa, Mary, Susan, Nancy J. and
Elizabeth. Mrs. Canterberry died in August, 1875, in the
94th year of her age.
Thomas Hubbard was a Hard-Shell Baptist preacher. He
bought a Bible that was published in London in 1708, for
which he paid $100 in Continental money. The Bible is now
in possession of his great grandson and namesake, Thomas
Hubbard, of Audrain county, and it contains the genealogy
of the Hubbard family from 1718 to the present time.
Thomas Hubbard had a son named Thomas, who also was a
Baptist preacher. He was born in 1722, and learned the
ship carpenter's trade, he married Anna Brent, of
Pennsylvania, and they had one son, James. Mr. Hubbard
was married the second time to Anna Yerby, and they had
Gilbert, Thomas, Hill and Estell. He was married the
third time to Anna Yarp, by whom he had Jabez, Mary,
Asap, Ebenezer, Nancy, Hulda and Harriet. James, the
eldest son, settled in Kentucky. Gilbert settled in
Howard county, Missouri, in 1807. Thomas settled in
Washington county, Missouri. Hill died while he was a
boy. Estell married St. Clair Ledger, of Kentucky. Jabez
was a member of the Legislature from St. Charles county
in 1823-24. He died from the effects of intemperance.
Asap settled in Howard county in 1808, and participated
in the Indian War of 1812. He was a carpenter, and a
Hard-Shell Baptist preacher. He married Mary Stephenson,
who was living in New Madrid at the time of the great
earthquakes. She was, a granddaughter of Col. Hugh
Stephenson, of Revolutionary fame. The. children of Asap
Hubbard were Henry C., Thomas J., Agnes E. and Fannie F.
he settled in Audrain county in 1830.
James Peery and his wife, who was a Miss Jameson, were
natives of Ireland. They settled in Tazewell county,
Virginia, and had Thomas, James. John, William, and
Samuel. Mr. Peery and his son Thomas were both soldiers
in the Revolutionary War. The former was wounded
severely, and the latter was killed. Samuel Peery married
Sarah Cartman, by whom he had John, William, Joseph,
Thomas, Martha, Elizabeth, Althamira and Matilda. Thomas
married Narcissa Canterberry, and split rails at 50 cents
per 100 to get money to pay the parson. He paid his first
taxes in Audrain county in 1837 to Jack Willingham, who
was the first sheriff. His taxes amounted to two wolf
scalps and half a pound of powder. Mr. Peery is a devoted
Methodist, and loves to attend camp-meetings. He was
present at a camp-meeting a good many years ago, when a
violent rain and wind storm came up and broke the ridge
pole of the large tent, which let the canvas sink down in
the shape of a funnel, into which a large quantity of
water gathered, when some one cut a hole in the canvas
and the water rushed out with such violence that the
preachers were washed out of the pulpit and the women
away from the altar.
In addition to the names of the old settlers above
mentioned, we give another short list of names, which
includes the name of every man who was living in the
township in 1839. In August of that year an election was
held to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Hon. A.
G. Harrison, member of Congress from Callaway county. At
that election the following votes were cast J. C.
Canterberry, D. Galbreath, R. M. Canterberry, J. Speery,
David Martin, Thomas Peery, Calvin M. McCarty, D. G.
Blue, R. L. Thompson, N. Blue, F. P. Canterberry, B.
Canterberry, Solomon Peery, B. McCarty.
HISTORY OF CONGRESSIONAL TOWNSHIP 52,
[By An Old Stager.]
The first settlement was made about the year 1850, by
Jacob Harlinger, who had but a short time before laid
down his arms in that little "unpleasantness'' of
the United. States against the Mexican government. Jacob
took up his claim on the north-east quarter of section 2,
now known as the Allison, or Moss farm. But little is
known of this man beyond this: After building a cabin and
fencing a .small field, he offered his claim to one Abner
Smith for the sum of $300. Abner was a mighty hunter, and
called himself the modern Esau. His reply to Jacob, who
from his name we might suppose was a lineal descendant
from Israel, was, that he would not give $300 for all the
land within the sound of a bugle blown from his cabin
door on a calm morning. Abner afterwards changed his
mind, first taking a trip to Texas. Harlinger sold out
finally to Jas. Allison and Frank Wicks. . When James
Allison and Elizabeth, his wife, first moved to what was
then known as the "Lick Creek Country" it was a
dreary looking place indeed, especially so to one who had
been used to the cultivated and well improved farms
further east. But it was a paradise for the hunter and
sportsman. Nothing but grass as far as the eye could
reach. As Mrs. Allison stood in her cabin door and
watched the teams that had brought a portion of their
household goods slowly returning after more storage,
winding their way over what seemed to be a boundless sea
of grass, and at last fading out of sight ,she sometimes
thought " farewell.''
James, or '' Jim,'' as he was called by all who knew him,
lost no time in getting to work with his ax and maul in
making rails to enclose his farm. Hard labor drove dull
care away during the week, and Sunday was his hunting
day. He was seldom if ever out of meat. Many an old buck
stopped short at the crack of his gun, and many an old
gobbler gobbled his last gobble to grace Jim's table.
If a stranger came to Jim's cabin, he was sure to find
the latch-string on the outside, and upon entering, he
always found good cheer and hearty welcome. He was
hospitable to strangers, good to his friends, but had no
love for his enemies. He could tell a good story, and in
this way often entertained his friends. The writer heard
him relate the following: One Sunday Jim wounded a large
buck, which doubled up and started for the creek (which
was out of its banks), the dog and Jim close behind it.
As the deer plunged into the water, the dog caught it by
the tail, and Jim, seeing that the deer and dog were
having a lively time, and believing that his dog needed
his assistance, he also plunged into the water and caught
the deer by the horns, getting the animal between himself
and a sapling. The deer fought desperately, but Jim and
his dog proved too much for him in the end. Just as the
deer was about to give up the battle, Bill Ellis who had
just settled on what is now known as the Asher farm, came
by. Jim seeing him, said, "Hello, Bill, got him, by
jingo! Come in and cut his throat, and I will give you
half of him.'' Bill said he did not have any meat at
home, but would not spoil his Sunday clothes for all of
the deer. Jim finally managed to cut the deer's throat,
by opening his own knife with his teeth, and then pulled
him to the shore. After the deer had been brought to the
shore, it proved to be so large and fine that Ellis asked
Jim to give him a part of it. Whereupon Jim told him to
go to that country where he would not need any Sunday
When the war broke out Jim went with the Union, and made
a good and faithful soldier. He died at Pilot Knob, and
was buried in the cemetery one mile south of Perry, in
Ralls county, Mo.; a
marble monument marks his last resting place. His widow
married Thomas Rice, and they now reside in the Indian
Next to claim our attention is F. C. Wicks. He and
Allison were brothers-in-law, Wicks having married
Allison's sister. He owned and improved the Moss place,
but not having room enough, he sold out to Henry Norris
and went to Louisiana, where he tried keeping hotel, but
not making money as fast as he desired, he erected a
steam mill six miles north of this township. This
investment, like the other, was a failure, for one day
the boiler "busted," and blighted Wicks' hopes.
In 1859 we find him again a citizen of the township, and
living on a place on West Lick, now owned by Joel Moomow.
He them moved to Santa Fe, Monroe county, before the war,
where he again commenced the mill business. He was a
Union man. There is a story that the militia were dressed
in citizens' clothes; the only thing to distinguish them
from the rebels was a white band on their hats. Wicks was
one of the militia, and being out one day buggy riding
with his wife, he neglected to take off his white hat
band. A squad of "Rebs" saw him and stopped
him, and wanted to know why he was wearing a piece of his
shirt on his hat? Wishing to have a little fun, they gave
Wicks his choice, to either eat his hat band, or go with
them. He preferred to do the former thing, and actually
ate and swallowed the hat band.
After the close of the war, Wicks went into the claim
agency business at Salisbury, Mo., and from that place he
went to St. Louis, where he again engaged in hotel
keeping. Henry Norris remained long enough to plant and
raise one crop, but taking the Kansas fever, he sold to
Abner Smith and left the country. Abner was originally
from Virginia, and came to Missouri in 1834, and settled
in the village of Bowling Green. He came to this township
in 1854, and was the most noted character that ever
settled in this section. He was fond of fishing and
hunting, liked a good joke, and was an excellent judge of
pure whisky. He told the following story on W. P. Cook:
Cook was like a great many other Eastern boys. He stopped
a few weeks at Uncle Abner's house, hearing him tell his
hunting stories. William concluded to go hunting, and
accordingly he and Uncle Abner started one morning to try
their luck. They had not gone more than a quarter of a
mile from the house when three deer jumped up in about 20
feet of William, who yelled out, " There they go,
see! '' "Why don't you shoot?" shouted Abner,
at the same time firing his own gun and killing one of
the deer. " Why didn't you shoot?" said Abner.
"Oh! I'm hunting snipe, I am; a deer looks too
innocent to be shot down in that way."
In the fall of 1856 the Martinsburg and Ralls county road
was laid out. The county court appointed Abner Smith road
overseer, to open said road through this township. He was
instructed to go before a justice of the peace and get
his allotment of hands. The nearest justice was Strahan
Erp, who lived about ten miles away, on a straight line.
Upon his arrival at the justice's, that dignitary
inquired of Smith what township he lived in.
"Township! why I live on Lick creek." The
justice told him that, he lived in either Prairie or
Cuivre, and Abner returned without getting his allotment
Abner went. back the second time and got his allotment of
hands, and a few days thereafter put them to work cutting
out the road. The northeast corner of section 2, on the
Ralls county line, was the starting point. John
Canterberry, Jonah Hutton, and a Scotchman by the name of
Ruff were the viewers and locators. Abner Smith, we
believe, erected the first frame house in the township;
the writer of these sketches did the carpenter work.
A boy by the name of Fike, or Pike, about twelve years
old, thinking that he was badly treated at home,
concluded he would run away. He left his home at the head
of Spencer creek one afternoon to cross the prairie to
reach the head of Cuivre creek, and from there he
intended to go to Loutre creek. This was about 35 years
ago. Somewhere on the prairie between the present
villages of Vandalia and Farber, he saw the sun go down.
The country around him was one vast prairie, with no
objects to attract his eye other than a few scattered
trees near by, which it is supposed then stood near the
present railroad pond, on the headquarters of Hickory
creek. The boy struck out for the tree highest up on the
prairie, thinking that he would rest there for the night.
When he reached the tree it was quite dark. He could
occasionally hear a kind of scratching noise among the
limbs, but would pound upon the tree at such times when
everything would be quiet. He became so excited that he
could not sleep, and wished a thousand times that he was
at home and that he had never started away. As the light
began to dawn in the east he stepped a few feet out from
under the tree, and upon looking up he saw a large
panther that looked like it was sleeping. This of course
frightened him badly, and seeing the timber away in the
distance, on Spencer creek, whence he had started, he
struck a "bee line," and if ever a boy made
good time he did it. It is supposed that the
boy never left home any more with the intention of
running away. If, however, he did, we are sure that he
never went by the way of the tree, among whose branches
he saw the panther.
During the war, and being in St. Charles county, I heard
some men telling hunting stories. One of the men said he
knew one Abner Smith to kill eleven turkeys at one shot.
Seeing Abner afterwards, I asked him how he did it. He
said he did not know how many he had killed at the time
spoken of at one shot, but got as many as fourteen. He
said he found where the turkeys roosted; near by was a
big tree which had been blown down with the leaves on..
He cleared off a small spot of the ground and shelled off
some corn. This he did for several days until the turkeys
would come and eat of the corn every morning. He then cut
two straight sticks, fastened them close a together on
the ground, and put some wheat between them. He had an
old United States musket which he loaded with slugs, and
fastened it securely in the forks of two sticks, in range
with the baited place between the poles. He tied a string
to the trigger, and then concealed himself in the
branches of the fallen tree to await the coming of
day-light. When daylight came the turkeys began to fly
down from their roost, and when about as many had trust
their heads down as could well do so between the poles,
Smith pulled the string and fired his gun. It was a
clear, still, frosty morning, and the report of the gun
sounded and reverberated like the noise of a forty-pound
cannon. Smith killed so many turkeys that he could not
carry them; he went home and hitched his horse to his
sled and returned, and then piled on until he had counted
fourteen, which was a good load for his horse to pull.
A wolf is a very cowardly, cunning, sneaking animal. A
wolf had lost one of its fore feet. The farmers had tried
many ways to trap it; they had tried steel traps, but
with no success. The wolf would throw their traps, by
digging under with its paw, and turning them upside down.
They finally gave up the idea of catching it, and sent
for Uncle Abner (of whom we have been speaking) to come
and try his skill. He came and began operations at once.
There had been a light fall of snow, and Abner went out
to lay plans to trap the wolf. As he was walking along
through the timber a deer jumped up near the head of a
ravine, when Abner shot and killed it. He took the best
part of the deer and returned to the house. Next morning
he went back to the place where he had killed the deer.
He saw the tracks of the wolf in the snow, and knew that
he would return again in the evening to the carcass.
Abner took his trap, put it into the water which was near
the place where the deer was killed, and then took the
carcass of the deer and hung it up over the spot where
the trap was secreted. The apron of the trap was just out
of sight under the water. Abner procured some moss and
put on the apron of the trap, just so as it would show on
the top of the water. A wolf never wets his feet if he
can prevent it. The next morning Abner made a visit to
his trap, and was greatly elated to see the wolf had been
One day I killed eleven deer, and sat down on a hog at
night to rest. Presently I heard a wolf howling to the
right of me, and in a moment another cue answered it to
my left. It was not long before I heard them all around
me, and they were constantly coming nearer and nearer I
became alarmed and did not know just what to do. I
thought of climbing a tree, but concluded to fire off my
gun, which I did, and then gave three tremendous whoops.
Afterwards everything was as still as death, and I heard
no more wolves.
Abner sold to Luther Moss, who still resides on the
place. Abner is now in Alabama. Luther is a native of
Gallatin county, Kentucky and came to Missouri in 1865.
He has made several trips to California, and is now the
proprietor of a butcher shop in the town of Laddonia.
The first school meeting was held late in the fall of
1856, in a house known as the "Jackson House."
All the citizens of the six miles square, who were
legitimate voters, attended. C. E. Smith was made
chairman of the meeting; Jonah Hatton, secretary. The
work of the meeting was the formation of a school
district. Some three years after, a meeting was called to
meet at Henry Beal's to divide the district, to be known
as East and West. Beal was the chairman, and F. C. Wicks,
secretary. At this meeting a motion was made to divide
the district by a line running north and south, through
the center. The district stands this way now, excepting
the south half of it has been formed into another
district, known as district No. 3, and a school
established in the town of Laddonia.
Lawrence A. Hudson taught the first school in district,
No. 1, which was a subscription school. It was taught in
a cabin, near the present site of Jesse Asher's house.
Hudson was a citizen of Pennsylvania, and a good teacher.
A man by the name of Young taught a school about the same
time in district No. 2, on the farm now owned by Levi
Poor, on the West Lick. Hudson and Young went to see the
same young lady; her name was Delia Read. Young went to
see her, and arranged for the wedding day. Hudson saw her
afterwards, when she told him that if he would come over
the following Sunday he would come to her wedding. Hudson
was so surprised and chagrined that when parting with
her, he said: "Let me tell you something you won't
forget. I have been around this world a good deal and
have seen a good many boys, but very few that did not
have tails; this Pennsylvania dog may not show his tail
for some time." With this speech he bowed out of her
presence, and he was last seen wending his way across the
The next teacher to take charge of district No. 1 was
James Gilliland, who is still a citizen of the township.
The following persons were living in the east part of
Prairie township at the beginning of the war: Jacob
Harlinger, James Allison, Elizabeth Alison,* William
Ellis, Abner Smith, Milton Cheatwood, Thomas Grimes,
James Roach, Curtis E. Smith, John Thomas, James Corbett,
John J. Smith, W. T. Cook, W. R. Cook, Charles Cook, W.
H. Beal, G. W. Hoffman, J. J. Suter, T. C. Hudson, R. P.
Safferns, Jesse R. Gililland, James Gililland, Philetus
Stone, Wm. Beshears, James Carman, Tina Shoultz, F. C.
Wicks, Jonah Hatton, Dr. Roe, James Shell, Wm. Stuart,
Thad. Stuart, Jno. R. Smith, Luther Moss, F. B. Manuel.
The first sermon that was delivered in the township, was
preached by Allen Gallagher, a Cumberland Presbyterian, a
native of Tennessee. The same prayer that he opened his
school with he used also at the beginning of his
religious services. He went to his reward years ago. The
Baptists came to the township about the same time; James
Allison and wife, James Carman and wife, J. J. Suter and
wife, were among the early members of the Baptist church.
James Gililland taught the first school in the new house
of worship, which was erected in 1858. Gililland started
also the first debating society that was organized in the
township. The first question that was discussed by the
society was - " Which has the greater influence over
man, women or money. David Crocket and Buck Gililland
were the chief disputants.
About the year 1853 Congress passed what was known as the
Graduation Act, which produced a wonderful change in
Audrain county. All lands that had been opened for sale
and remained unsold at the time of the passage of the
Graduation Act; were sold to actual settlers for the
nominal sum of 12 1/2 cents per acre. Each person who was
21 years of age could enter 320 acres. The same land is
now (1884) worth $40 per acre. The first dance in the
township took place at Bill Ellis' house, now the kitchen
used by Mrs. Asher. Bill had a wood-chopping and
rail-splitting just before Christmas in 1856 ; there was
also a quilting party at the same time and place. Late
that fall, three boys - Guss Beal, Abe Jackson and Jake
French, came from Indiana; these boys were invited to the
dance. They attended, and while there introduced the
cotillion, which had never possibly been known in this
part of Missouri. Jackson had been attending a dancing
school before coming West, and French was a musician.
Bill Ellis could play the fiddle, but could play only one
tune -the Arkansaw Traveler.
Tom Grimes took a squatter's claim on the laud now owned
by Mrs. Dr. Mitchell and Mrs. B. Tutton. James Shell
entered the place now owned by Frank Akridge. The place
that Amos Morey now lives on and the farm of Benjamin
Canterberry were entered by James Roach. Jonathan, his
son, entered the 80 acres where Mr. C. C. Smith now
* Now Mrs. Rice, in the Indian Nation.
This town was laid out in July, 1871, by Amos Ladd and
Col. Haydon, on the north-west quarter of the south-west
quarter of section 36, township 52, range 7.
Jasper Judkins erected the first house in the place,
which was occupied as a hotel by Mrs. Judkins. It is now
a part of William Bybee's hotel. The first business house
was opened by Jacob Todd. Daniel Dustman was the first
post-master. The first school was taught by Mrs. Julia T.
Benton in 1873. The first lumber yard was started by
Moore & Benton in 1875. Dr. Freeman was the first
physician. The first church was erected by the Baptists.
J. R. Gililland was the first blacksmith and was known as
the Laddonia joker. Peter J. Pierce opened the pioneer
drug store. R. C. Graham shipped the first car load of
stock. The first load of corn was unloaded on the morning
of December 31, 1883, by Green Smith.
Thomas Able, live stock; Ernst Ahlfeldt, corn sheller
manufacturer; Elder W. G. Barker, (Christian); Rev. W. V.
Briggs, (Methodist); Mrs. Ollius P. Benning, milliner;
Walter Boyd, lawyer; D. C. Bridgeford, coal mine, six
miles north; A. L. Bruton & Bro. (Andrew L. and
William S.), grocers and notions; Benton & Gililland
(James T. Benton, James A. Gililland), real estate,
loans, insurance and collections; James G. Bruton, notary
public and postmaster; Wm. M. Bybee, proprietor Laddonia
House; Lon D. Clark, live stock; J. W. Cox, physician;
Cummings House, John T. Lewellen, proprietor; DeLaporte,
Ward & Co. (J. C. DeLaporte, A. & J. Ward, Frank
Barr), hardware and machinery; Marion L. Eastham, barber;
Coleman Dass, boot and shoe-maker; W. L. Moss, meat
market; Robert C. Graham, live stock; Hisey & James
(Rufus Hisey, J. B. James), elevator; Wm. W. H. Jackman,
editor and proprietor Laddonia Enterprise; Wm. B.
Johnson, harness-maker; Archie G. Leet, agent C. & A.
R. R., W. U. Tel. Co. and U. S. Express; Henry Leet, coal
mine, two miles south; W. H. Logan, drugs; Moore &
Kennen (David P. Moore, Edward C. Kennen), drugs and
lumber; Myers & Pierce (Albeit B. Myers, Joel L.
Pierce), furniture; J. H. Orebaugh, shoe-maker; Pendleton
& Co. (J. A. Pendleton, James Landrum), grocers:
Benj. F. Proctor, livery; People's Elevator Co. (W. D.
Hughes, Joel L. Pierce), grain dealers; John H. Reighley,
grocer; Reed & Gililland (J. W. Reed, J. A.
Gililland), blacksmiths; S. V. Scanlan & Sons (Sarah
V., Wm. H. and Edward E.), general merchants; Christopher
A. Smith, livery; Rev. G. B. Smith, (Baptist); Miss Ida
Spencer, milliner; C. C. Stevens & Co. (Curtis C.
Stevens, John M. Mitchell), general store; H. W. Tramp,
harness; Julian O. Terrill, physician; Samuel W. Welch,
physician; Wilder & Son, (Barnabas H. and C. Arthur),
formerly known as, Littleby, is located in Prairie
township, about seven miles north-east of Mexico. It has.
a population of 30, a Baptist church and a district
school. Shipments from this point are live stock and
grain. Mail stage to Mexico and Santa Fe semi-weekly.