Heath's Creek Township
Heath's Creek.-This township derives its name from its principal creek, Heath's Creek, which flows through it. The creek was named after two brothers, John and Robert Heath. In 1809 the Heaths built a plant, a kind of salt works, at the mouth of this creek where it empties into Lamine River in Cooper County. John Heath was a member of the first Constitutional Convention of Missouri. He was a delegate from Franklin County to the convention, which was called together in St. Louis on June 12, 1820, and continued in session until July 19, when the constitution was adopted.
The creeks and their branches were all named by the earliest settlers. Some were named from the settlers themselves, others again were named from some incident that occurred at that time. Cedar Creek was thus named from the large cedar tree which grew at its mouth, near Muddy Creek. Panther Creek was thus named because the first panther killed in this region was taken on that branch. Cold Neck derived its name from the fact that one William Bryant, an early settler of this county, while hunting a bear at this place became very cold and remarked to a companion that it was a cold neck." Muddy Creek is said to have received its name from the following incident: Hiram Jenkins and John Heath, while on a hunting expedition, camped near what is now known as Farmer's City Ford, on a little island. During the night there came up a heavy rain, and in the morning they found that their horses were gone. They hung up their blankets and went in search of their horses. When they returned they found the island submerged in water. The remark was made that "this is muddy," and the creek has since and from that incident retained the name Muddy.
Heath's Creek township is one of the oldest organizations of townships in Pettis county. It originally embraced its own present limits and also that of Longwood and part of Bowling Green, and continued by this name until 1844, when the townships were rearranged, and Bowling Green was cut down and Heath's Creek given the northeastern part of the county, which contained the northern part of Longwood and its own township. In this shape it continued until 1873. In that year the county adopted the township organization, and Heath's Creek still retained the northeastern portion, but was separated from Longwood, and as it is now organized, it is nine miles north and south by six east and west, and contains 34,560 acres of land. It is bounded on the north by Saline County, on the east by Cooper County, on the south by Bowling Green township, and on the west by Longwood township, and is one of the two largest townships in Pettis County.
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