Caldwell, Daviess and Livingston Co. History

The Grand River Country

The Grand River country is perhaps one of the most choice and valuable portions of the state of Missouri. In point of health, fertility of soil, and adaptation to all agricultural purposes, it is unsurpassed; and the facilities which it offers for the growing of stock are equal to those found any where in the west. This country is traversed by the waters of Grand River, from which it takes its name, and which by a little improvement would be navigable for respectable steamers as far up as Trenton in Grundy county, and Gallatin in Daviess; and this, we trust, will be the case at no distant day.

This river has sufficient fall at many places to afford good water power for propelling extensive machinery, and several of these points are already being improved by our enterprising citizens. The large and extensive saw and grist mill near Trenton, and now owned by Messrs. J. B. & C. McDonald, is on this stream, and also another about three miles west of Trenton is now being completed by Messrs. Wild, Dunham, Field and Graham, on the same stream. These mills, together with many others of less note, fully supply the community with lumber and breadstuff.

Daviess and Harrison counties are also well supplied in this respect. Mr. Groom's mill on the west fork of Grand River, and eight miles north of Gallatin, than which a more valuable machinery is not now propelled by water in all northern Missouri, is doing a most excellent business. From this summary and imperfect view of mill conveniences, our friends abroad will perceive that the Grand River country is not behind any portion of the west in this respect.

Grand River College, located five miles west of Trenton, in the midst of a wealthy and enterprising settlement, is now in a prosperous condition, having now between eighty and a hundred students in attendance, and is bidding fair to prove a most valuable auxiliary to the cause of education in the Grand River Country.

The Hannibal and St. Joseph Rail Road will soon be located through the very heart of this country, which will give it an additional interest of incalculable importance. The attention and capital of the whole north-western part of Missouri ought to be instantly turned to this road. Let it once be completed, and a new era will open in the Grand River country, of which we may be justly proud, and for which our children will lisp our names with grateful remembrance. Where is the man, then, who will not desire a location in the Grand River country, in which are found combined all the advantages of both the Eastern and Western states; possessing, as it does, the health of the east and the fertility of the west.

These considerations render our country inviting in a prominent degree. How many people are there in the old states, who labor hard and constantly, year in and year out, and yet pressed down by stern poverty. Thousands live and die in this wretched condition! They cannot help it. The land they cultivate is poor, worn out -- yielding not enough, in many instances, to pay them for their labor, and then out of these small but hard earnings, they have a high rent to pay and perhaps a large family to support. Can they be otherwise than poor while they stay there? To all such, we say, come to the west. Here is land rich and free -- come one, come all -- for there is enough, and more than a sufficiency.

    SOURCE: The Grundy County Pioneer as quoted in the Liberty Weekly Tribune, July 25, 1851.