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Past and Present of Livingston County
Volume 1. History
by Major A. J. Roof. 1913
The presidential campaign of 1840 is the earliest record to be found in the county and in this nothing appears except the names of the election judges of the various townships. The whigs had renominated General Harrison for president and John Tyler of Virginia for vice-president, while the democrats' standard bearers were Martin Van Buren and Richard M. Johnson. It was known as the "Log Cabin, Coon Skin and Hard Cider Campaign." Following were the judges:
Chillicothe - Asel F. Ball, Wm. Linville, Warren Wait.
Marion - Reuben Perkins, Wm. Anderson, James Work.
Greene - Nathaniel Matson, Joseph Harper, Wm. Woolsey.
Monroe - John Austin, Isaac McCoskrie, Robeson Bryan.
Jackson - James A. Davis, Jesse Nave, Andrew Liget.
Jefferson - -Isom Ware, N. R. Hobbs, Samuel Ramsey.
Franklin - James Merrill, Wm. Evans, Wm. Thrailkill.
Madison - Philip Wild, Evans Peery, Wm. Renfrew.
Washington - B. F. Wood, A. J. Walker, John McDowell
Lafayette - R. D. Slover, John Hart, Henry Moore.
Morgan - Peter Caine, James Morgan, Esquire Gardner.
There appears to be no local record of the Polk and Clay campaign of 1844, at which time the democrats were dubbed "Locofocos". Henry Clay of Kentucky and Theodore Frelinghuysen, of New Jersey, were the whig candidates for president and vice-president, and James K. Polk of Tennessee and George M. Dallas of Pennsylvania, candidates on the democratic ticket.
From the first political organization in Livingston county up to 1860 the county was largely democratic. Nova Zcmblia Johnson, a whig, was elected to the legislature in 1844 through personal popularity.
The campaign of 1860 was spirited in Livingston county as well as in every county and state in the country. In this three-cornered contest the Charleston convention placed in nomination two sets of candidates, the "stand patters" naming Stephen A. Douglas and Herschel V. Johnson and the states rights wing bringing out John C. Breckinridge and Joseph Lane to lead the faction of the democratic party. The result of the election of local candidates in this campaign follows: For representative, A. J. Austin, democrat, 878; L. McDowell, Union, 656. For sheriff, W. C. Norman, democrat, 642; S. L. Harris, union, 911. For county judge, J. A. Davis, democrat, 892; J. Blackburn, democrat, 627. Davis was an independent and supported by the Bell and Everett wing. Other officers elected were: Assessor, G. W. Knox; treasurer, J. B. McDonald; school commissioner, A. Bargdoll. The presidential vote in the county was: Bell, 578; Breckinridge, 470; Douglas, 401 ; Lincoln, 20.
It will be noticed from these figures that the feeling in this county at that time was strongly in favor of state rights and besides being largely in the majority the party was active and aggressive, and their leaders were men of prominence in the county. Such men as William Y. Slack, John Graves, A. J. Austin and C. J. Rackliffe being among the foremost. Gen. W. Y. Slack was a leading lawyer of the county, a man of the highest integrity and honor but with strong secession proclivities. On the 18th of May, Governor Jackson commissioned him a brigadier general of the Fourth Military District, comprising the counties of Worth, Gentry, DeKalb, Clinton, Harrison, Daviess, Caldwell, Ray, Carroll, Livingston, Grundy and Mercer. Slack served under General Price in the Mexican war and was a military man, able, brave and popular.
To organize his district General Slack set to work at once. Considerable money was subscribed to purchase two cannon and suitable ammunition to be used to defend the homes against the "Invader." Cleaver and Mitchell, foundrymen, of Hannibal, were given the order for the cannon, to be shipped to Chillicothe, by rail, but the railroad officials refused to accept them. They then resorted to a covered wagon. The Federals, however, "got wind" of the shipment and proceeded forthwith to intercept the guns. To Captain Crandall of Brookfield, was intrusted the task of capturing these implements of war, and with a company of Home Guards he set out. As it proved later Captain Crandall was fortunate in making the capture near St. Catherine and bringing the guns to Brookfield, for twenty well-armed men under command of Capt. James A. Small had been sent out by General Slack to meet the wagon coming overland, and accompany it through to Chillicothe, but the guns were, safe in Brookfield and a fight for possession between the two commands was thus averted. The cannons were never paid for,
Governor Jackson ordered General Slack's division to march on the 12th of June to Lexington. In every part of the county the call to arms in behalf of the southern cause was being responded to. Secession flags were in evidence everywhere, but the Union men were not idle, although making no demonstration. They felt their time was coming. They realized the first step was to secure control of the H. & St. Joe Railroad and on the night of the 13th of June a detachment of the Sixteenth Illinois Infantry under command of Colonel Wilson, reached the Grand river bridge. The command halted at the Chillicothe depot at one o'clock on the morning of the 14th, but remained within the coaches to prevent the Confederates knowing of their presence and to permit a night train to pass. The train bearing the soldiers then proceeded to the river bridge which the rebels had threatened to burn, and there they remained on guard until the immediate danger was over. Colonel Wilson and his men then sought the capture of General Slack, but the wily General was off for the forks of the river. The Federals placed a small cannon in the square and after a search for contraband of war and prisoners, Colonel Wilson issued the following proclamation:
CHILLICOTHE, MO., June 16, 1861.
I have been sent here by the United States Government for the purpose of putting down armed rebellion against the Government of the United States, and I call upon all good citizens to aid in carrying out the object. I call upon all companies or regiments of troops, whose object is not the upholding of the government of the United States, to deliver to me their arms and disperse immediately. Protection will be given to all peaceful citizens, and I hope the common avocations of life will be resumed, and trade and commerce go on their usual channels, and all the power at my command shall be extended to the utmost to protect all loyal citizens.
SAMUEL WILSON, Lieut.-Col., Commanding U. S. Forces.
From this day the Federal authorities had possession of most all the county, occupying Mooresville Utica and the country along Medicine creek, east of Chillicothe. All the bridges in the county were carefully guarded and General Slack was allowed to occupy his position in Spring Hill until the 16th of June when he set out at midnight with some two hundred and fifty men, mostly volunteers from Livingston, Daviess and Grundy counties, hoping to reach Lexington, Missouri, before being detected or perhaps attacked by the Federals, who were making preparations for the capture of him and his little band. The General, however, succeeded in making his "get away" crossing the railroad near Mooresville, Tinney's Point, Richmond and on to Lexington without molestation,
A paper called "The Illinois 16th" was issued by the typos of that regiment, using the material of the Constitution office. Francis Ashton was editor and he was assisted in his arduous duties by one Mat. Ashby. About two weeks later the Iowa "boys" took possession of the Grand River Chronicle, whose editor, Col. L. J. Easton, had quietly left town, and issued a sheet called "The Anti- Secessionist," Lieutenant T. I. McKenney of Company A and R. M. Littler of Company B were the Faber pushers.
The Livingston men took part in every principal engagement fought for Missouri in 1861. They were at Carthage, Wilson's Creek, Drywood and Lexington. In all these engagements they bore themselves bravely, and were highly commended by their commanders. At the desperate and bloody battle of Wilson's Creek the brunt of the Federal attack was sustained by Slack's division, and here some of the hardest and best fighting of the day was done. General Slack was wounded very badly early in the conflict, and forced to leave the field. A musket ball struck the posterior portion of the hip, passing through the body, coming out in front through the groin. For a time his life was in great danger.
In the same engagement sixteen Livingston county Confederates were killed, viz.: Lieut.-Col. A. J. Austin, of the first, regiment of cavalry, Slack's (4th) division, and the representative of the county; ten men of Company A (Capt. N. G. Dyer), of the first regiment of infantry (Col. John T. Hughes), 4th division, as follows: James P. Minnick, Jesse Minnick, W. Black Martin, M. P. Duncan,William Hutchinson, J. T. Rosson, L. M. Doyle, Nathaniel Tippet, John Ballenger and Wyatt Jennings. Captain Dyer's company, all Livingston men, from the vicinity of Spring Hill, lost more men than any other company on the Southern side. Other Livingston men killed in other companies were Samuel Bowman, James Stanford, Henry C. Lansing, John H. Wolfskill and James Cloudas. At the battle of Carthage, Capt. John H. Stone, of Utica, commanding Company D, first regiment of cavalry (Colonel Rives), 4th division, was shot from his saddle and killed by a cannon ball, which passed through both legs.
In the fall of 1861 the third Iowa was stationed at Grand river bridge, while the thirty-ninth Ohio and fiftieth Illinois, with a small detachment of cavalry from Chillicothe were ordered to disperse some Confederate recruits and bushwhackers under the leadership of Joe Kirk. David Martin, Jim Ryder, and others, it was claimed, were annoying Federal sympathizers in that section. Four miles west of Graham's mill the thirty-ninth Ohio was fired on by Kirks command, who were in ambush awaiting the Federals. In the attack one Federal was killed and several wounded. The Federal detachment then retreated. The Illinois troops then went northwest of Graham's mill and the day being Sunday they attended religious service at the Lilly Grove Christian church. After the service the troops proceeded to the home of John Blackburn and burned the house alleging that he was a bushwhacker. Blackburn then swore to fight the "Yankees" as long as he lived, which he did.
The first Union company organized in the county was composed of sixty-seven men, with Peter Sutliff as captain; A. C. Stone, first lieutenant and J. W. Anderson, second lieutenant. The company was known as the Livingston County Home Guards. The men were discharged from service by special order from General Pope after having done some scouting service in Livingston and adjoining counties.
In September, 1861, a company of cavalry was recruited in this county, consisting of some seventy men. Later it became Company E, Second Missouri, or better known as Merrill's Horse. The first officers of the company were Garrison Harker, captain; Wm. N. Norville, first lieutenant; S. W. McCoy, second lieutenant. A year later Harker was promoted to major, Norville became captain and S. L. Watson was commissioned first lieutenant. The company did active and efficient service throughout Missouri and Arkansas.
Colonel Tindall's regiment, the twenty-third Missouri, was stationed in Chillicothe during the winter of 1861-62, doing guard duty and protecting the several bridges in the county. The command left the county some time during March, 1862 and later took part in the battles of Shiloh and Pittsburg landing, when the regiment's loss was thirty killed, one hundred and seventy wounded and three hundred and seventy-five taken prisoners, Colonel Merrill himself being among the killed.
The feud that for a long time existed between the families of Tom Jennings and L. B. Kirk, finally resulted on the 12th of April, 1861, in the killing of Kirk and one Thomas Curtis on the northeast corner of what is now Elm Park.. The killing of Kirk, by Jennings was premeditated and intentional, but the death of Curtis was accidental. It appears that Kirk had threatened the life of Jennings and the latter being forewarned always went prepared for Kirk. On the date named both men came to Chillicothe from the "forks" to trade and while placing his purchases in his wagon Kirk was shot and killed by Jennings, who had crept to within easy range and fired the fatal shot. Thomas Curtis was standing within a rod of Kirk and he too dropped dead, two buckshot having struck him in a vital part of the body. The shot did not kill Kirk instantly, and as he fell, with part of his body hanging over the edge of the wagon, Jennings advanced and fired the other barrel of his gun into Kirk's body. Jennings surrendered and had a preliminary examination before justices of the Peace J. M. Alnutt and A. S. Hughes of Chillicothe., The court decided that the killing of Curtis was accidental but on the evidence produced Jennings was locked up. In a few weeks, however, he made his escape, going to the territory of Nebraska and was later arrested at Omaha. On his way back, in charge of an officer, his friends met the train on the H. & St. Joe road at Breckinridge and took him from the officers. Later, it was learned Jennings had joined Price's Confederates and gone south. The grand jury, at the November term of court, in 1861, examined into the killing of the two men but found no bill against Jennings for the killing of either man. However, in the spring of 1862, Jennings having returned to the county, he was re-arrested and at the May term of the circuit court he was indicted for the murder of Kirk. He was tried at the July term of the court and acquitted. No charge was ever brought against him for the killing of Curtis.
Under General Schofield's general order No. 24, issued. from his headquarters in St. Louis on the 4th day of August, 1862, requiring all persons liable to military duty to enroll themselves as either loyal or disloyal to the State and Government, the following Livingston county citizens enrolled themselves as disloyal: Thomas B. Alnutt, Stephen Alnutt, Robert Alnutt, Joseph N. Alnutt, John T. Alnutt, James L. Alnutt, Crockett Austin Andrew Austin Wm. C. Austin, Spence H. Austin, John M. Austin, Alex. Austin, Edwin, Austin, J. W. Allbrittan, Andrew Allen, Marion Anderson, John A. Adams, Wm. J, Aiken, Wm. Auberry, Ira Benson, H. A. Booker, P. Blankenship, Jacob L. Brenett, James V. Blankenship, Thos. E. Brennel, David Breese, Isaac Blann, T. R.Bryan, Jr., Nathan Baker, Isaac W. Babcock, John B. Bedell, Wm. W. Black, Henry M. Brown, Henry T. Brown, Winton Brown, John Brown, Absalom Brown, Spence C. Brown, David Bradford, John Bradford, Myers Burton, Athan A. Ballew, Thos. R. Ballew, Abraham Blann, John Burton, John P. Boyle, James Baugh, James P. Breese, John F. Boley, John Bolivar, Luther T. Collier, Ezariah Cox, Stephen Cox, Andrew Cox, James M. Cox, W. H. Cox, B. F. Cox, Sanford A. Crouch, M. H. Comstock, Felix W. Comstock, Lewis B. Comstock, Gilbert Comstock, Jerome Chadd, Charles Clark, Elliott Curtis, Bainbridge Curtis, James C. Chadd, John D. Custard, M. B. Call, John H. Cooper, John G. Cooper, Geo. W. Coates, Jas. F. Coates, Lawson B. Carter, Alex, H. Carlisle, John H. Carlisle, Lafayette Carlisle, B. B. Carr, Robert Cooper, David Caddell, James Condron, Joseph Clark, Evan Cloud, Calvin Carter, Andrew Craig, Jr., Wm. Cloud, David Dryden, A. Darmitten, Wm. L. Dryden, Robert Duckworth, Joseph Darnold, Jas. H. Duncan, Saml. T. Darr, Columbus England, Thos. Edrington, D. L. Edrington, John B. Elliton, Leroy T. Ewing, Wm. M. Ewing, Andrew Ferguson, Samuel Forester, W. P. Frazier, James Frazier, Henry Frazier, John Frazier, Burrill Frasure, Benj. Ferguson, John W. Garr, David Girdner, Jr., Wash J.Gibbons, James Gibbons, Nathan Gibbons, Albert Gibbons, John R. Garmon, G. A. Goben, J. H. Gitthews, Solomon Hendricks, Joseph Gill, H. L. Glaze, John Gregg, Howard T. Gann, Thos. Gann, Samuel Gann, Adam C. Gann, Abraham Gann, Andrew J. Green, John Griffin, Joseph Graham, Alex. Galbraith, Joshua Gibbons, James Glenn, F. T. Green, Wm. Holland, Winfield Hood, Napoleon Hood, James P. Haynes, Harry Hutchinson, James J. Horton, Joseph Hurst, George Hoskins, James Hosman, Wm. P. Munro, Henry Hendricks, Wm O. Hobbs, Wm. Gee, Thos. J. Howell, Warren Hudgins, John Hamblin, Jesse Hill, John Harris, Geo. Hooker, Forester Hensley, John D. Hutchinson, David Ingleman, John R. Ireland, Fred. Jones, Jas. N, Jackson, M. M. Jackson, John L, Jackson, Abel Johnson, Thos. M. Jones, E. Kirtley, Lafavette King, Jas W. King, Wash N. Kinney Robert S. Knox, John S. Kinney, Benj. F. Knox, Wiley Linville, W. T. Lucas, Willis W. Lucas, John W. Lisle, Jas. W. Lauter, John P. Leeper, Davidson Lawson, Isham B. Lisle, John Lucas, S. Liggett, Jas. Lilly, Andrew B. Liggett, Geo. L. Lydick, James R. Leeper, P. M. Marlow, A. J. McDonald, Wm. H. Mitchell, Stephen, J, McCormick, Jas. L. Marlow, Jas.McToney, Wm. McVay, A. C. Marlin, Abraham McClure, Wm. McClure, Crockett McDonald, Richard U. May, James Manning, Wm. F. Miller, George Martin, P. M. Marlow, John A. Mosley, D. M. Marlow, James Ramsey, John Miller, Wm. Montgomery, Andrew McCoskrie, Chas. H. Mansur, John Murell, J. H. H. Matson, Fred F. Menefee, Geo. B. May, P. T. McGee, C. M. Mitchell, Kemper McDonald, Thos. C. Nye, J. J. Nabors, John Newcomb, Geo. B, Nave, Wm. C. Norman, Elias Norman, B. F. Norman, Jesse B. Nave, John Newcomb, Thos. E. Oliver, Wm. P. Overton, Wm. Peters, Thos. Preston, Jas. S. Pepper, Thos. Roberts, Wm. Reese, John Reese, U. P. Morrow, Jere Reynolds, B, F. Randall, Washington Ryan, H. N. Richardson, Thos, Ryan, Henry Reynolds, Oscar Robertson, Alex. Ramsey, E. G. Simpson, Reuben Samuels, John W. Snead, John Snead, Edward Snead, Sebron Snead, Wm. Shumate Wm. Stevens, Wm. C. Samuel, Dan H. Singleton, Obed Shipp, David Stager, Wm. Senton, Wm. J. Stafford, Benj. F. Smith, James Smith, John Yates, Robert Stewart, Hiram Snead, Chas. W. Singleton, Thos. Trammell, Anderson Todd, John W. Tinsley, W. G. Todd, Jasper Todd, William Todd, W. P. Thompson, Robert H. Turner, James Turner, Alfred Turner, Albert S. Turner, John S. Tunnell, James Vaughn, John A. Wingo, Pratt B. Walker, John W. Williams, Geo. W. Wolfskill, A. J, Wolfskill, Henderson Wheeler, Samuel J. Wallace, Thaddeus Warden, James Warden, W. W. Wilson, Benj, L. Wilson, Chas. Wilburn, Geo. W. Wingo, Robert J. Walker, Geo. H. Walker, Wm. Walker, Scott H. White, Jackson Yates.
Following the registration of the "disloyal" in the county, a mass meeting to consider the emancipation of slaves held on the 18th day of October, 1862. Speeches were made by several prominent men among them, Lieut. L. S. McCoy and Dr. J. H. Ellis, after which a committee consisting of Thos. E. Jones, Benjamin Toner, A. J. Greenwell, H. S. Harbaugh and 'Squire Minor, reported the following preamble and resolutions, which were adopted without a dissenting vote:
Whereas, we, loyal citizens of Livingston county, in mass meeting assembled, viewing with distrust and mortification the present condition of our once happy country, and believing it to be the duty and interest of every citizen to put forth his every energy to stay the tide of fanaticism growing out of party, personal and sectional animosity, by the adoption and support of such a state and national policy as will harmonize the great interests of the American people, do hereby resolve:
1. That we are in favor of a restoration of the Union to its original integrity, and of securing to every part thereof every constitutional right;
2. That we do believe it to be the duty and to the interest of the State of Missouri to adopt the policy of gradual emancipation, with compensation to loyal owners of slaves, as indicated by President Lincoln in his address to the border states;
3. That we nominate a full ticket for state and county officers on this policy, and pledge ourselves to use all lawful means to secure their election.
The June term of the county court was attended by James A. Davis, Abel Cox, and A. Wallace, S. L. Harris, sheriff and Amos Bargdoll, clerk. This was the last regular meeting of the court until January, 1862, after which date the court held monthly sessions. In March, 1864, the brick courthouse in the public square being in a dilapidated and dangerous condition, the court met over Crouch & Company's store. At this time our Col. C. H. Mansur was appointed agent to prosecute the claims of soldiers, soldier's widows and their orphans, growing out of military service.
In the November election, 1862, the following vote was polled: Congress - J, P. Bruce, Dem., 376; Ben F. Loan, Rep., 179; H. B. Branch, Rep. Anti-E., 127. State Senator - W. H. Brownlee, Rep., 214; J. McCullough, Dem., 225; J. H. Ellis, E., 161; R. D. Morrison, 65. Representative - J T. Gudgell, Dem., 334; John Barnes, R., 221; S. P. Mountain, E..136. Sheriff - Ed Gudgell, Dem., 550; L. S. McCoy. R., 127. County officers chosen were: John Stone, Dem., county judge; W. L. Lumpkin, Dem., county clerk; R. F. Dunn, circuit clerk; R. B. Williams, Dem., coroner; J. B. Bell, Dem., treasurer; Z. N. Goldsby, R., assessor; A. Faqueran, public administrator.
At the general election in 1863 the following votes were cast in Livingston county: For supreme judges the conservatives polled 656 votes and the radicals, 306. For circuit judge J. M. McFerran, Cons., received 629, and Jonas J. Clark, radical, 292. Clark's majority in other precincts elected him. For state senator, A. S. Harris, Cons., received 648; I. V. Pratt, radical, 269.
The presidential election of 1864, in which George B. McClellan and George H. Pendleton were running mates on the democratic ticket and Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson headed the republican ticket, resulted in the following vote in the county: For President - Lincoln, 342; McClellan, 297. For Governor Thos. C. Fletcher, R., 507; Thos. L. Price, D., 459. For Congressman - H. B. Branch, R., 474; Ben F. Loan, Rad. R., 450. For Representative - J. W. McMillen, R., 424; B. F. Sherman, D., 410. For Sheriff - Garrison Harker, R., 412; Ed Gudgell, D., 408. For County Clerk - B. J. Wiley, 425; R. L. Williams, 416.
The November election of 1866 resulted as follows: For Congressman - Ben F. Loan, R., 687; G. A. Hawley, D., 486. For State Senator, J. H. Ellis, of Livingston, R., 683; Capt. R. B. Ballew, of Grundy, D., 487. For Representative - S. B. Deland, R., 684; John Stone, D., 492. For Sheriff, Garrison Harker, R., 678; R. B. Williams, D., 492. For Circuit Clerk - Z. N. Goldsby, R., 680; A. J. Swain, D., 492. For County Clerk - John DeSha, R., 711; J. S. Wilson, D, 462. Anthony Rogers and N. Matson were elected county judges; J. A. Trumbo, treasurer; John T. Moss, assessor; W. Hildreth, superintendent of schools; J. W. Toppass, supervisor of registration.
The election returns of the county for 1868 follows: For Representative - R. S. Moore, R., 1,057; G. A. Hawley, D., 813. For Sheriff - John P. Toppass, R., 1,010; S. L. Harris, D., 896. For County Judge - D. F. Rohrer, R., 1,083; Augustine Wiley, D., 8o6. Other county officers elected were: J. A. Trumbo, treasurer; F. M. Hicks, supervisor of registration; J. D. Roberts, county superintendent; E. B. Park, surveyor; H. M. Pollard, public administrator; William S. Anderson assessor; Bluford West, coroner; all republicans.
The political campaign of 1870 was exciting and hard fought. Following was the vote in Livingston county: For Governor - Brown, 1,410; McClurg, 1,111. For Congress - J. H. Ellis, of Livingston, Lib. Rep., 1,363; I. C. Parker, Rad., 1,132. For Rep representative - Robert S. Moore, Lib. Rep., 1,385; David Rathbone, Rad., 1,132. For Sheriff - R. M. Graham, Lib. Dem., 1,252; J. W. Toppass, Rad., 1,227. For Circuit Clerk - Chas. R. Berry, Lib. Rep., 1,339; J. M. Alexander, Rad., 1,172. For Common Pleas Judge - E. J. Marsh, Rad., 1181; Frank Blenis, Lib. Rep., 1,329.
Following was the vote cast in the county at the presidential election of November, 1872. In this election the late Hon. Chas. H. Mansur was a candidate for congress on the democratic ticket with Hon. Ira Hyde, of Mercer county, a stanch republican, opposing, the latter being elected by a large majority. In the following vote democrats are first named: For President - Greeley, 1,745; Grant, 1,571; O'Conor, 14. For Governor - Silas Woodson, 1,757; John B. Henderson, 1,600. For State Senator - E. J. Broaddus, 1,838; M. T. C. Williams, of Carrollton, 1,516. For Representative - J. E. Cadle, 1,751; Judson El Cole, 1,599. For Sheriff, Samuel Harris, 1,824; John W. Toppass, 1,536.
At a special election to choose members of the county court to be composed of four judges and one at large, held on the 29th of April, 1873, the count resulted as follows, democrats being named first: At large R. B. Williams, 1,007; J. E. Terwillger, 766. First district, Chillicothe township James Graham, 371; Wm Knouse, 68. Second district Mooresville and Jackson townships Adam Black, 202; John Hudgins, 165; both candidates were democrats at the time. Third district Medicine, Cream Ridge, Rich Hill, Wheeling and Grand River townships Augustine Wiley, 223; Jacob Iberg, 225.
The election of 1874 and the vote in the county was as follows: For Governor Hardin, 1,599; Gentry, 1,250. For Congress DeBolt, 1,530; Hyde, 1,258. For Circuit Judge E. J. Broaddus, Dem., 1,715; H. Water, Rad.-Rep., 898; Jonas J. Clark, Ind., 253. For Representative H. C. Ireland, 1,641; H. B, Saylor, Rad.-Rep., 1,148. For Sheriff S. L. Harris, 1,905; E. A. Packer, Rad.-Rep., 900. For Circuit Clerk, James Wright, 1,830; D. J. M. Roe, Rad.-Rep., 1,035. For County Clerk J. R. Middleton, 1,554; A. W. Walker, Rad.-Rep., 1,302. For Treasurer and Collector, J. C. Minteer, 1,755; H. J. Hammond, Rad.-Rep., 1,094.
In the presidential election of 1876, Livingston county gave Tilden, Dem., 2,014 votes and Hayes. Rep., 1,616. For Congress DeBolt, Dem., received 1,993; Pollard, Rep., 1,642; Smith, greenbacker, 94. Other candidates received the following votes: For State Senator G. W. Newman, D., 2,013; A. H. Burkholder, R., 1,582; J. W. Greene, G., 158. In the district the vote was: Burkholder, 6,819; Newman, 6,519; Greene, 177. For Representative H. C. Ireland, D., 1,844; Jacob Iberg, R., 1,621; John W. Donovan, G., 152. For Sheriff M. H. Smith, Jr., D., 1,976; J. W. Toppass, R., 1,655; Isaac Leeper, G., 120. For Treasurer J. C. Minteer, D., 2.035; George F. Smith, R., 1,581; R. C. Rynex, G., 153. C. H. Mansur was chosen prosecuting attorney; Peter Markey, surveyor; George P. Pepper, coroner.
In 1878 the republicans and greenbackers "fused." The vote in the county follows, democrats being named first: For Representative M. L. Smith, 1,667; Abel S. Cloud, 2,041. For Circuit Clerk Jas. Wright, 1,905; R. A. Spears, 1,822. For County Clerk J. R. Middleton, 1,894; J. M. Hale, 1,843. For Recorder B. B. Smith, 1,749; Willard Hawkins, 2,966. For Collector J. C. Minteer, 1,964; J. B. Kirk, 1,647. For Sheriff M. H. Smith, 1,848; Isaac Leeper, 1,899. For Treasurer Jas. W. Glenn, 1,782; J. W. Greene, 1.935. For Probate Judge Samuel McDowell, 1,827, J. L. Johnson, 1,867. For Prosecuting Attorney B. B. Gill, 1,670; J. M. Davis, 2.039. For Public Administrator, W. H. H. Baxter, 1,692; James May, 2,016. For Coroner, T. W. McArthur, 205; David Gordon, 2,032. For Assessor, T. B. Brookshier, 1,714, W. M. Hudgins, 2,013. For County Judge at large R. B. Williams, 1,746; W. G. Davis, 1,946. For County Judge, First District J. R. Houx, 901; J. W. Donovan, 1,156. For County Judge, Second District Arch Thompson, 822; Chas. McAlear, 819.
The national campaign and election of 1880 was a three-cornered fight, while the republicans and greenbackers of the county "fused." In the county Hancock, Dem., received 1,859 votes; Garfield, Rep., 1,165; and Weaver, greenbacker, 1,268. For Congress Mansur, Dem., 1,878; Burrows, 2,354. For Circuit Judge Broaddus, Dem., 1, 912; Davis, Rep., 2,291. For Representative F. M. Davis, Dem., 1,932; Donovan, Rep., 2,292. Votes polled for other officers follow: At this election township organization was adopted by a vote of 2,608 for and 939 against. The votes are: For State Senator - Joel H. Shelby (of Mercer), 1,845; W. A. Jacobs, Rep., 2,204; J. K. Clark, 23. For Sheriff S. L. Harris, 2,120; Isaac Leeper, Gr.-Rep., 2,131. For Recorder Chas. W. Asper, 1,960; J. M Hale, Gr.-Dem., 2,270. For Collector E. L. Taylor, 2,024; A. A. Sportsman, Gr.-Dem., 2,206. For Treasurer J. W. Wallace, 2,012, J. W. Greene, Gr.-Rep., 2,241. For Prosecuting Attorney B. B. Smith, 2,010; T. H. Kemp, Gr.-Dem., 2,136. For Assessor O. F. Butler, 1,988; R. A. Spears, Gr.-Dem., 2,220. For Surveyor Peter Markey, 1,946; J. Y. Powell, Gr.-Rep., 2,273. For Public Administrator D. P. Williams, 1,921; James May, Gr.-Dem.; 2,321. Chas. Stewart and Joseph Patton were elected county judges and John Garr, coroner.
The vote of 1882 follows: For Supreme Judge Thos. A. Sherwood, Dem., 1,706; David Wagner, Rep., 926; T. M. Rice, Gr., 1,024. For Congress A. M. Alexander, Dem., 1,708; D. B. Dorsey, Rep., 916; Wm. M. Quayle, Gr., 1,201. For Representative L. T. Collier, Dem., 1,580; Henry Bushnell, Rep., 1,137; B. B. Peck, Gr., 1,082. For Circuit Clerk Wm. P. Munro, Dem., 2,170; P. J. Dixon, Gr., 1,480. For Recorder Nat Cooper, Dem., 1,016; J. M. Hale, Gr., 1,819. For Sheriff S. L. Harris, Dem., 1,971; J. H. H. Kinkead, Rep., 651; W. M. Hudgins, Gr., 1,190. For County Clerk T. B. Brookshier, Dem., 1,510; John DeSha, Rep., 155; Wm. C. Wood, 1,143. For Prosecuting Attorney James G. Wynne, Dem., 1,431; L. A. Chapman, Rep., 889; Frank Henry, Gr., 1,076; T. H. Kemp, Ind.-Gr.; 396. For Presiding Justice R. B. Williams, Dem., 1,673; S. F. Boyce, Rep., 817; Chas. Stewart, Gr., 1,308. For County Judge, Eastern District Wm. J. Littrell, Dem., 1,076; Henry L. Bancroft, Rep, 879. Western District - A. A. Stone, Dem., 731; O. Vadnais, Rep., 295; T. E. Jenkins, Gr., 545. For Probate Judge Henry Cowgill, Dem., 1,966; John L. Johnson, Gr., 1,691. For Treasurer, Thos. McNally, Dem., 2,126; J. W. Greene; Gr., 1,530. For Coroner Ed D. Taylor, Dem., 1,941; John Garr, Gr., 1,593.
Then followed the Presidential election of 1884, when the following votes were polled: Cleveland, D., 2,030; Blaine and Butler, R., 2,229; St. John, Pro., 31. For Congress John B. Hale, D., 2,071; W. F. Norville, F., 2,321. For State Senator, W. A. Jacobs, F., 2,340; J. B. Freeman, D., 1,779. For Representative John F. Jackson, D., 2,040; J. W. Donovan, F., 2,325. For Sheriff S. L. Harris, D., 2,292; J. M Hale, F., 2,072. For Prosecuting attorney J. G. Wynne, D., 2,212; J. E. Waite, 2,146. Other returns on county officers, restraining stock and repealing township organization, follow: For County Judges E. District Wm. J. Littrell, D., 1,183; Thos. F. Scott, F., 1,347. W. District Arch Thompson, D., 917; Joseph Patton, F., 941. For Treasurer Thos. McNally, D., 2,285; Wm. T. Davis, F., 2,092. For Coroner Jas. N. Byrd, D., 2,040; David Gordon, F., 2,334. For Surveyor, Alex. Robinson., D., 2,082; H. M. Ambrose, F., 2,257. For Public Administrator Flavian Bonderer, D., 2,047; J. N. Boyd, F., 2,274. For restraining stock Yes, 1,825; No, 1,842. For repealing township organization For, 1,261; against, 2,254.
In the presidential election of 1908, Livingston county gave Bryan, D., 2,379; Taft, R., 2,400; Debs, Soc., 42; Chafin, Pro., 24; Watson, Peo., 55; Hisgen, Indep., 3; and Preston, Soc. L., 3. The same year for Governor, the county gave Cowherd, D., 2,284; Hadley, R., 2,506; Garver, Soc., 45; Farris, Pro., 30; and Dillon, Peo., 45. In the Congressional race in 1908, Livingston county gave Rucker, D., 2,416; Haley, R., 2,386; Brownfield, Peo., 58; and McAllister, Soc., 41.
In the election of 1910, Rucker, D., received 2,337; Haley, R., 2,224; Tobey, Pro., 72; Campbell, Soc., 35. In the State Senatorial contest of 1910, composed of the counties of Grundy, Harrison, Livingston, Mercer and Putnam, Ford, R., had no opposition and received 10,546 votes. There 9 scattering votes. The vote for county representative was E. C. Orr, D., 2,274; Horace P. Scruby, R., 2,120; Oscar S. Moore, S., 37; and W. D. Steel, 171.
In the election of November, 1912, the total vote in Livingston county was as follows: D., 2,315; R.. 889; P., 1,502; Soc., 58; Soc. L., 5; and Pro., 54; for the presidential electors. For Governor Majors, D., 2,331; McKinley, R., 972; Nortoni, P., 1,374. For Lieut.-Governor Painter, D., 2,329; Lloyd, R., 909; Burris, P., 1,443. For Secretary of State Roach, D., 2,228; Alford, R., 906; Neidmeyer, P., 1,451. For State Auditor Gordon, D., 2,322; Manthe, R., 907; Reynolds, P., 1,454. For State Treasurer Deal, D., 2,324; Hoefler, R., 907; Ball, P., 1,456. For Attorney General Barker, D., 2,323; Mason, R., 904; Hyde, P., 1,450. For R. and W. Commissioner Bradshaw, D., 2,336; Marsh, R., 899; McCoy, P., 1,443. For Judge Supreme Court, Div. No. 1 Bond, D., 2,320; Brown, R., 906; Dalton, P., 1,449. For Judge Supreme Court, Div. No. 2 Ferris, D., 2,315; Walker, D., 2,306; Denton, R., 899; Kennish, R., 917; Thompson, P., 1.464; Arthaud, P., 1,463. For Judge, K. C. Court of Appeals Trimble, D. 2,371; Burney, P., 1,478. For Representative in Congress Rucker, D., 2,360; Haley, R., 894; Williams, P., 1,402. For State Representative Orr, D., 2,268; Hunt, R., 1,741; Reynolds, P., 569. For Judge, Eastern District = Kissick, D., 1,321; Yeomans, R., 1,467. For Judge, Western District - Bonderer, D., 985; Rice, R. 867. For Prosecuting Attorney Ashby, D., 2,328; Marshall, P., 2,334. For Sheriff Nothnagle, D., 2,478; Davis, R., 2,150. For Treasurer McBride, D., 2,357; Kerns, P., 2,290. For Public Administrator Littrell, D., 2,353; Roff, P., 2,316. For Coroner Girdner, D., 2,357; Carpenter, R., 838; Callaway, P., 1,470. For Surveyor Floyd Gibbons, D., no opposition, 2,526.
Previous to the organization of the progressive party in Livingston county in 1912, the political complexion was evenly divided, with perhaps a few votes to spare on the democratic side of the house in a straight party vote. In the November election of 1912, the republicans or "standpatters" polled a light vote while the new progressive party succeeded in electing two county officers, prosecuting attorney and county judge. Had the republicans united with the new party and voted solidly with the progressives the latter doubtless would have secured all the offices. The progressives of Livingston county are here to stay, every voting precinct in the territory having formidable club organizations. H. I. Spence is present chairman of the county central committee, A. H. Huggett, secretary; J. W. Hill is chairman of the democratic committee and Drew P. Tye, secretary; while Chas. W. Gillidette is chairman of the progressives and Charles Hagaman, secretary.
During the Civil war, a bushwhacker by the name of Joseph L. Hart, a man who despised the name of Yankee and would rob and plunder from Confederates and southern sympathizers as quickly as from a Lincolnite, was killed on July 13, 1863, in the northern part of this county. Hart had been driven out of Platte and Clay counties and came into Livingston only to meet his death. David Gibbs, with a detachment of men from Company K, of the Fourth Provisional Regiment of Missouri Volunteers, came upon his little command and during a brief fusillade and exchange of shots, Hart fell, being killed by a bullet fired by William Matthews. The late W. C. Wood, our "Billy", furnished the Grand River Chronicle, published in Chillicothe, the following report of the killing of Hart:
"Hart came into the forks last Thursday with Tom Crews and other desperate characters. Soon as the facts became known, Lieutenant Gibbs started a scout after them who returned Friday noon without accomplishing anything. On Sunday night another scout was started out on Clear creek range and camped about midnight. Monday morning at daylight, Lieutenant Gibbs moved forward to the timber of Clear creek in which the bushwhackers trail was struck at the head of Coon creek and after following a zig-zig trail for some distance the scout divided into two squads, one taking the Coon creek hills; the other consisting of seven men, followed up Clear creek and soon struck the trail of the guerillas, six in number. They followed up rapidly among the deep hollows and thick brush, until within a half of mile of old man Curtis farm, when they were fired on by Hart and his men. Two rounds were fired at forty feet range, when our boys replied, raised the yell, and charged the steep bluff. The guerillas broke and fled in the dense thicket after Hart fell. He was shot through the neck after taking two deliberate shots at one of our gallant boys who was in twenty feet range. Four horses, two 9-inch navy revolvers, overcoats, blankets, a piece of blue jeans, etc. were captured. On Harts person were found his commission from Colonel Parker, of Jack county, a silk flag of Davis' kingdom, a field glass, memorandum, etc. Our boys helped bury Hart where he fell. On Monday night the gang stole three horses from Will Blackburn and Wash Masterson, and our boys recaptured two of them on Wednesday."