Families of St. Charles County A-B

Families of St. Charles County  A-B

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Users of this material should be aware of its limitations. It was not painstakingly researched. It should be used like an interview, i.e., as a clue to further research, rather than as an authoritative source. See Dorris Keeven's comments.

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Biographical Material
The Black Book
John Jay Johns Journal
Notes on Families:
Orrick Johns
Pen of John Jay Johns
Pioneer Families of MO
St. Charles, MO
Tax Records

Carl Friedrich Gauss Page
Wilhelm Ahrens Speech
Scan of Letter from Gauss
G. Waldo Dunnington Article

Chambless, Sanderson, Simmons



Click for larger view...MONTGOMERY COUNTY -The county of Montgomery was organized December 14, 1818, out of surplus territory of St. Charles county. It was named for Montgomery county, KY., because so many citizens of that county had settled here. The statement that it was named in honor of General Montgomery, who fell at the battle of Quebec, soon after the commencement of the American revolution, is erroneous.

The seat of justice was first located at Pinckney, on the Missouri river and within the present limits of Warren county. This town was named for Miss Attossa (?) Pinckney Sharp, daughter of Maj. Benjamin Sharp, the first clerk of the county and circuit courts of Montgomery county. It was once a flourishing place, but the removal of the county seat to Lewiston proved its death blow, and the town disappeared many years ago. The spot where it originally stood has fallen into the river, and a postoffice in the vicinity, with perhaps one store, are the only reminders of its existence. The land upon which the town was built was originally granted to Mr. JOHN MEEK, by the Spanish government, but he failed to comply with the terms, and it reverted to the United States government upon its purchase of the territory. It was sold at the land sales in 1818, and bought by MR. ALEXANDER MCKINNEY, who sold fifty acres of this tract to the County commissioners, for the use of the county, for which he received $500. The commissioners were DAVID BRYAN, ANDREW FOURT, & MOSES SUMMERS. The first public building erected in the place was the jail, which was built in 1820, at a cost of $2500. During the summer of the same year, NATHANIEL HART and GEORGE EDMONSON built a frame house there, which was the first frame house erected in Montgomery County. It was 25 X 30 feet in size, and was rented to the county for a court house, at $100 per year. The rest was paid with county scrip worth 25c to the dollar. The same summer, FREDERICK GRISWOLD built a log store house, and opened the first store in Pinckney. The next house erected in the place was a mill, partly built by HUGH MCDERMID, who sold it to two germans named LINEWEAVER and DUVIL, who completed it.

The first judges of the county court were ISAAC CLARK, MOSES SUMMERS & JOHN WYATT. At the first meeting of the court, Mr. Clark resigned and MAJ. BENJAMIN SHARP was appointed to fill the vacancy. He also resigned soon afterward, and HUGH MCDERMID was appointed in his place, after which there was no other change in the court until the removal of the county seat to Lewiston. Previous to his appointment as Judge of the county court, MCDERMID was a member of the Territorial Legislature, and when the line was established between Montgomery and St. Charles counties, he acted as one of the commissioners for the former county. IRVINE S. PITMAN was the first sheriff of Montgomery county. JOHN C. LONG was appointed first county and circuit clerk, by GOVERNOR MCNAIR, after the admission of the territory into the union, but he sold the offices to JACOB L. SHARP before assuming his duties; so that Mr. Sharp became the first incumbent of those two offices under the state government, which he held by election for many years afterward. ROBERT W. WELLS was the first prosecuting Attorney, and ALEXANDER MCKINNEY was the first county surveyor.

ANDREW FOURT built the first hotel in Pinckney, and on court days he generally had a lively time. Men would come to town and get drunk, and then quarrel and fight in and around the hotel, which they regarded as a public place, where they could do as they pleased. Among the most noisy characters of that class was a man known as BIG BEN ELLIS, of South Bear creek, and one day he became so demonstrative that Fourt offered him a dollar to leave the house. Ellis took the money, stepped out at the door, came right back again, and told Fourt that if he would give him another dollar he would go home. They finally compromised on fifty cents, and he took his departure.

The first criminal case tried in Pinckney was against a man named JIM GOEN, who had stolen a pair of shoes from his sweetheart. He was sentenced by the court to receive twenty-nine lashes at the whipping post, which at the time was a familiar instrument of justice, as there was one at every court house in the state. As soon a the sentence was pronounced, the prisoner started to run, and the sheriff, (Mr. Irvine Pitman) gave chase. It was a pretty close race until they came to a fence, which Goen attempted to jump, but failed, and fell on his back. Pitman secured him, took him back to the whipping post, and inflicted the punishment, which was the first and last sentence of the kind ever executed at Pinckney.

In 1826 or 1827, the seat of justice of Montgomery county was removed to a place called Lewiston, situated a short distance south of the present site of New Florence. Every vestige of the town has long since disappeared. It was named in honor of COL. MERIWETHER LEWIS, generally known from his connection with Lewis and Clark's famous expedition to the Pacific Ocean, and who was also the second governor of the territory of Upper Louisiana. The land upon which the town was situated was entered in 1818, by AMOS KIBBE, who donated to the county a sufficient quantity of land for the public buildings. Several courts were held in Mr. Kibbe's house, but in 1824, a log court house and jail were erected. The jail was built by CHARLES ALLEN. It was 18 feet square, and composed of two walls, one a few inches outside of the other, with hewn timbers set on end in the space between. The court house was the same size as the jail, built of logs and floored with puncheons. The roof was composed of clapboards, weighted down with poles. During the intervals between courts this house afforded a shelter for Mr. Kibbe's sheep, which were driven out the day before the commencement of each session and the house swept clean. The materials for the jail and the court house were furnished by various individuals, who were paid with county warrants, with which some of them liquidated their taxes for the next ten years.

Mr. Kibbe laid off and sold lots, and a small town soon came into existence. GEORGE BAST and WILLIAM KNOX opened the first store in Lewiston, and hauled their goods from St. Louis in a wagon drawn by oxen. They sold principally for skins and furs, which they bartered in St. Louis for new goods. Not long after they began business they met with a serious misfortune, which ruined them financially for the time being, and compelled them to suspend. They had been to St. Louis with a load of furs, and started home with a stock of new goods in their wagon. When they drove on board the ferry-boat at St. Charles, it sank, and their team, wagon and goods were all lost. This misfortune left them without means to carry on their business, and they suspended.

In 1834 Danville was laid off by JUDGE OLLY WILLIAMS, on land belonging to him, and the same year the seat of justice was established there. This place is situated about five miles west of where Lewiston stood, and was, for many years, the most flourishing town in that part of the country, but when the North Missouri railroad was built, it was left several miles to the south and since then it has not prospered. It suffered severely from guerrilla raids during the late war between the North and South, during one of which the court house was burned and all the public records were consumed, and several prominent citizens killed. A proposition will be submitted to the voters of Montgomery county this fall, for the removal of the seat of justice to Montgomery City, and the friends of the measure confidently expect to carry it. A similar attempt was made several years ago, but failed.

In this connection the following letter from Mr. ALFRED KIBBE, a son of the founder of Lewiston, to the compilers of this work, will be interesting. Mr. Kibbe at present, resides at Dallas, Texas, where his letter was dated, and as he has a great many friends in Montgomery county, we have endeavored to preserve, as nearly as possible, his characteristics of expression in copying his letter, thinking they would be glad to recognize something that would call up memories of the olden time.


"You wanted to know something about my father, Amos Kibbe. Well, he was born in the State of Connecticut, and emigrated west when he was seventeen or eighteen years of age, in company with his brother, Timothy, who was a colonel in the United States Army. My father parted with his brother somewhere in the state of Ohio, and went to Little Sandy Salt Works in Greenup county, Kentucky. After remaining there several years, he became a partner of JESSE BOONE, son of old DANIEL BOONE, and they carried on the salt making business for a number of years. They finally sold out in 1816, to a Louisville man named DAVID DELLWARD, and my father came to St. Louis, Missouri and kept hotel on the corner of Pine and Main Streets for several years. In 1818 or 1819, (I can't remember which), Missouri was admitted into the union as a state * and the first session of the Legislature was held in St. Louis ** The legislature was then removed to St. Charles, and my father moved there with it, and built a hotel, which he kept for several years. After the removal of the Legislature to Jefferson City (in 1826), my father sold his hotel to a man from Kentucky named WHITLEY, and moved to Callaway county, six miles north of Fulton.

"We were the first settlers in that part of the county. Our nearest neighbor was a man named VANBIBBER, who lived fifteen miles east of us on Loutre Creek. We lived at that place one year, and during that time, my mother died of consumption, and we buried her sometime in August 1822. My father then sold out to a man by the name of MCKINNEY, from Kentucky, and moved back to St. Charles. He had not received all the pay for his hotel and went back to collect the balance that was due him; and after doing so he moved to Montgomery county and settled in a little prairie eleven miles from Camp Branch, where the Booneslick and Cotesansdessein roads forked. While we were living there the county seat was moved to that place, and my father donated half his land to the county. A town was laid out by the county, and called Lewiston for the man that crossed the Rocky Mountains with General Clark. In a few years the county seat was moved again, to a place called Danville, about eight miles up the Booneslick road. This place was settled by a man named OLLY WILLIAMS, who was from one of the eastern states and was a very industrious man. He was a mechanic, and built a mill with an inclined wheel with which he ground our wheat and corn. He afterward attached a wool carding machine and cotton gin and wheel to the same mill. The people raised only enough cotton for their own use. A man named WHITESIDES, who lived twelve miles from Williams' Mill, was the first to raise cotton in Montgomery county. Olly Williams was the most useful man in the country, owing to his great skill as a mechanic. He ground our corn and wheat, carded our wool, ginned our cotton and spun it into thread. He built a find brick house, which was used as a hotel after the county seat was moved to Danville. His property increased rapidly in value, and he finally sold out for a good price and moved to St. Louis county, and bought property close to he city, which made him rich. He had a large family.

"My father was married twice. The maiden name of his first wife, who was my mother, was SIDNEY BRAGG, a daughter of THOMAS BRAGG who lived on the Ohio River at a place called Lewisburg, in Lewis county, Kentucky. About one year after the death of my mother, my father married a widow lady by the name of FINCH. she had two children, and he had six living and one dead. My eldest brother, Preston, died of typhoid fever, a disease which had just made its appearance and was considered incurable. Its victims died suddenly, and nearly every one that was attacked died. It was a long time before the doctors learned how to cure the disease. My father had six children by his second wife. Some of my half-brothers went to St. Louis to live, and after they had been there awhile they sent for the old folks, who were growing old and helpless. My father died a short time after he went to St. Louis, at the age of seventy-five or seventy-six years. He was a postmaster at the place where he lived in Kentucky, in 1793, and some time after he settled in Montgomery county, he was appointed postmaster again, and held the office for a number of years. He was also county magistrate for some time. My step-mother lived for a number of years after the death of my father, and finally went to live with a son-in-law, on the Illinois river, where she died. I will now give you some of the names of the old settlers of Missouri. There was a large family by the name of TALBOTT, that settled first on Loutre Island. The next was COLONEL PITTMAN, who married a Talbott. In the eastern part of the state (St. Charles County) there was a large family by the name of CALLAWAY, which was related to Daniel Boone's family by marriage. Then there were the BRYANS, MCKINNEYS, HAYSES, SHARPS, WYATTS & GRISWOLDS. FRED W. GRISWOLD was a merchant in the town of Pinckney, which was the first county seat of Montgomery county. That part of the country was quite thickly settled, but no one lived on Loutre Prairie near where my father settled except JONATHAN SMITH, whose house was about a mile below my father's, on the Booneslick road. North of Lewiston lived JOHN DUTTON, GLOVER DOZIER, BASS FARROW, JOHN CUSTER, HENSLEY, & some few others. In the upper part of the county lived a noted man by the name of ISAAC VANBIBBER, whose house was at a place called Loutre Lick, where the Booneslick road crosses Loute creek. He was raised an orphan boy by old DANIEL BOONE, and was a very kind, generous hearted old man. He could tell a great many things about the early settlement of Missouri, and the trouble they used to have with the Indians.

"It was quite interesting to hear him talk about old Grandfather Boone, who always came to see him once a year, and would spend several weeks or months at his house. It was at Isaac VanBibber's that I first met Daniel Boone and got acquainted with him. I would rather sit and hear him talk than to hear any other man I ever saw in my life, and I have seen several of the greatest men of this nation, among whom were HENRY CLAY, ANDREW JACKSON, GENERAL HARRISON, THOMAS H. BENTON, GENERAL TAYLOR, ANDREW JOHNSON & last but not least by any means, GENERAL CLARK. Isaac VanBibber's nearest neighbor was LEWIS JONES, who was a brother-in-law of Mrs. VanBibber. He crossed the Rocky Mountains with Lewis and Clark. SAMUEL BOONE, a cousin of Daniel Boone, and ISAAC CLARK, a very considerable man, lived in the same region of country. Clark's eldest daughter married a man named KNOX, and their eldest son, named HENRY KNOX married a Miss Talbott, of Loutre Island. Families by the name of LOGAN, DAVIS & ELLIS lived on Bear creek, and ENOCH & ALECK FRUITE lived on Nine Mile Prairie. They were the first settlers there. JESSE BOONE, a son of Daniel Boone, settled in that part of the country in 1820, and JOHN CLARK, a brother of Isaac Clark settled on Nine Mile Prairie in 1825. ISRAEL & WILLIAM GRANT lived in the southwestern corner of that prairie, where they settled in 1819. Israel was afterward killed by two of his negroes, who waylaid him on the road about three miles from home as he was returning from Fulton, where he had gone to collect some money. They killed him with clubs and knives. The next settlers there were two brothers, named MCMURTRY , who bought out the Fruites. Boone and SAMUEL HAYES, relatives of Daniel Boone, also lived in that part of the country.

"The first saw mill in Montgomery county was built by COLONEL PITNAM, on Loss Creek. It was run by water.

"A man named LOMAX, who was one of the early settlers of Callaway county, was taken very sick and sent for a physician at Fulton, who gave him calomel and salivated him very badly; and in order to stop salivation he poured cold water on him, which caused him to lose all his teeth. When my father lived in Callaway county, we had to go forty miles to mill, and take our own team to grind with. We went three times a year. In the year 1817, while we were living in St. Louis, I saw the first steamboat that ever landed at that place. It was simply a large barge, with an engine and smoke stack. The first newspaper I ever saw was the MISSOURI REPUBLICAN. It was published then by a man named CHARLES, who was the father of JOSEPH CHARLES.

"While we were living in St. Charles, my father made the fist cradle for cutting grain that was ever seen in that county, and the old French settlers viewed it with as much curiosity as their friends in St. Louis did the first steamboat. When harvest came my father sent several negro men with cradles to assist a farmer named JOHN EAST in cutting his wheat. When harvest was over, East wanted to pay several dollars per day for each of the hands, the customary price being one dollar, "because", said he, "each of them did as much work as two or three men with sickles".

"My grandmother's name was LUCY BRAGG. She was born on the Shenandoah River, in Virginia, and lived to be 113 years old. She was a widow for more than fifty years. Her mother was born in Paris, France, and lived to be 120 years old. My grandmother gave my mother a negro woman who had eight children at the time; she afterward had eleven more, making nineteen in all. The woman lived to be 110 years old, and died in St. Louis. "Yours, etc., Alfred Kibbe"

The first person hanged in Montgomery county, by Judicial process, was a negro named MOSES, who had killed his master, JOHN TANNER, who lived on Cuivre River, in the northern part of the county. This murder was committed in 1828. The negro had run away and hid in the woods, where he remained several weeks. In the meantime he was furnished with a gun by a man who had a grudge against his master, and with this weapon, he crawled up to the house and shot Tanner through an opening in the wooden chimney, which had not been completed. The house was an ordinary log cabin, such as the people universally occupied in those days, and it had a partly finished puncheon floor. When Tanner was shot he was sitting on this floor with his feet in his wife's lap, and his face toward the chimney. The entire discharge entered his breast. He sprang to his feet and called to his wife to hand him his gun, but before she could do so he fell on his face outside of the door, and expired immediately. The negro was arrested and tried at Lewiston, and hanged in the spring of 1829. HENRY CLARK was sheriff at the time, and rode in a cart with the negro, seated on his coffin, to the scaffold. The last act of the condemned man before his execution was to sing the hymn commencing, "Show pity, Lord; O Lord forgive", which he did in such an affecting manner that nearly all who were present shed tears. No other scene like it was ever witnessed in Montgomery county. The body was given to DR. JONES, of Marthasville, who dissected it for the benefit of his students.

It may not be generally known that the ancestor of the notorious Younger boys was an early settler of Montgomery county. His name was CHARLES YOUNGER. He came from Mount Sterling, KY., and settled near Pinckney, then in Montgomery, but now in Warren County, about 1819, where he lived until 1822, when he removed to Callaway county, and settled on Auxvasse Creek. He was a horse racer and gambler in Kentucky, and followed the same pursuits in Missouri. One day in Kentucky, he placed his little son of a fine horse to run a race. The horse threw the child and killed him, but Younger dragged his body out of the way and placed another son on the horse, who won the race. In 1823 he sold his place on the Auxvasse to DAVID HENDERSON, and removed to Clay County, where he died soon after. His son, COLEMAN YOUNGER, who was the father of the boys who have become so well known as outlaws in this state, was a delegate from Clay county to the convention that nominated GENERAL TAYLOR for President in 1848.

Bear Creek, in Montgomery county, was so named by Daniel Boone, because he found a great many bears in that locality. North Bear creek was named by PRESLEY ANDERSON, who settled in Montgomery county in 1817. The name originated in an adventure which he had with some bears one day, while hunting on that stream and which nearly cost him his life. While stalking through the woods looking for game, he saw two cub bears run up a tree, a short distance from him, and desiring to capture them alive, he set his gun down and climbed after them. Pretty soon he heard a fearful snorting and tearing of the brush under him, and looking down he saw the old mother bear just beginning to climb the tree after him, with her bristles on end and her white teeth glistening between her extended jaws. He knew she meant business and began to wish himself somewhere else. To go down by the angry brute was impossible, and it was equally impossible to ascent higher, as the slender branches would not sustain his weight. If he remained where he was he must sustain a hand-to-hand contest with the old bear, which he knew would result entirely in her favor. He had only one way to escape, and that was to play the squirrel and jump to another tee. It was a desperate chance, but he felt the hot breath of the old bear close to him, and determined to take it. Gathering himself up for a desperate spring, he made it, and safely landed among the branches of a neighboring tree. Then hastily sliding to the ground, he secured his gun and killed all the bears. This incident led him to name the adjacent stream Bear creek, but as main Bear creek had already been named, he designated the former as North Bear creek, by which name it has been known ever since.

n a small stream in the southern part of Montgomery county there is a huge, singular looking rock, known as Pinnacle Rock. It stands alone in the midst of a small valley, and rises perpendicularly on all sides except one, to the height of seventy-five feet. It covers an area of about one acre, and the top is flat and covered with trees, grass, etc. A shelving path on one side affords a safe ascent, and the people of the vicinity often collect there on picnic occasions and Fourth of July celebrations. During the last few summers the Pinnacle has been used as a preaching place, and the praises of God are often heard ascending from its romantic summit.

The dates of the organizations of the various churches in Montgomery county are difficult to obtain. Some of them are given in connection with the histories of families. On the 16th of April, 1824, a Baptist church called FREEDOM was organized at the house of JOHN SNETHEN, on Dry Fork of Loutre, by REVS. WILLIAM COATS & FELIX BROWN. The following members were enrolled at the time: JOHN SNETHEN & wife, NANCY SKELTON, SARAH ELSTON, WILLIAM HALL, MARY ALLEN & JONATHAN ELSTON. Mr. Snethen was chosen Deacon, and Jonathan Elston, clerk. A small log church was erected the following July, and their meetings were held in it for a number of years. In this church, on January 4, 1825, ALEXANDER SNETHEN & JABEZ HAM were ordained ministers, by Revs. William Coats & ABSALOM BRAINBRIDGE. During the first four years of the existence of this church the collections for all purposes amounted to $1.75. On one occasion, two of the members were sent as delegates to a Baptist Association south of the Missouri river, and they concluded to swim the river on their horses, and save the money which had been given them to pay their ferriage. After swimming the river they invested the money in whiskey, and both got "tight", for which offense they were tried and suspended. About 1838 another church building was erected on South Bear creek, also called Freedom, but owing to its location near some stagnant water, it subsequently received the facetious appellation of "Frog Pond". The association was afterward removed to Jonesburg, and retained the name of Freedom.

* This, of course, is a mistake, as the state was not admitted into the union until 1820.

** This is also incorrect. A session of the legislature was held in St. Louis, commencing on the third Monday of September, 1820, which was three months before the commencement of the session of congress at which the territory was admitted into the union. This session was held under authority of the state constitution, which had been adopted by the convention, but not yet accepted by Congress. An act passed this Legislature on the 28th of November, 1820, fixing the seat of government at St. Charles, where the next legislature met in the winter of 1821-22, so that the first legislature of the state of Missouri met in St. Charles. The seat of government remained there until October, 1826, when it was removed to Jefferson City.


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Last modified:Sunday, 09-Nov-2003 16:34:42 MST