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Past and Present of Livingston County
Volume 1. History
by Major A. J. Roof. 1913
The total assessed valuation of all property in Livingston county, including real estate, personal, railroad, and banks is $10,400,000 for the year 1912. According to County Clerk, A. M. Shelton, this is less than twenty per cent of the actual value of the property. All bank stock and deposits are assessed at fifty-five cents on the dollar; well improved farms at about twenty cents on the dollar; the average assessments on all town lots in the county is two hundred dollars; horses, cattle, mules and asses at about twelve per cent of their actual value, while sheep, valued at from five to seven dollars per head, are assessed at fifty cents. Taxes are not oppressive and financial condition of the county is in excellent shape.
The total populations of Livingston county in the year 1840 was 4,325; of this number 2,160 were white males; 1,922 white females; 115 male slaves; 126 female slaves. Total number of voters, 835.
The assessors of the county returned for the year 1840 the following number of live stock and produce raised: 2,299 horses; 5,639 cattle; 1,883 sheep; 17,925 hogs; 1,768 bushels of wheat; 4,699 bushels of oats; 135,598 bushels of corn; 3,587 bushels of potatoes; 3,802 pounds of wool; and 1,439 pounds of beeswax.
According to the old records of the county the following served as judges and clerks at the presidential election in 1840, at which time the whig party had renominated General Harrison for president, with John Tyler for vice-president, while Martin Van Buren and Richard M. Johnson as running mates were nominated on the democratic ticket. This was known as the "hard cider" and "log cabin" campaign:
Chillicothe- Asil F. Ball, William Linville, Warren Waite.
Marion- Reuben Perkins, William Anderson, James Work.
Greene- Nathaniel Matson, Joseph Harper, William Woolsey.
Monroe- John Austin, Isaac McCoskrie, Robeson Bryan.
Jackson- James A. Davis, Jesse Nave, Andrew Ligett.
Jefferson- Isom Ware, N.R. Hobbs, Samuel Ramsey.
Franklin- James Merrill, William Evans, William Thrailkill.
Madison- Philip Wild, Evans Peery, William Renfrow.
Washington- B.F. Wood, A.J. Walker, John McDowell.
Lafayette- R.D. Slover, John Hart, Henry Moore.
Morgan- Peter Caine, James Morgan, Esquire Gardner.
It will be noticed the names of several of the townships were changed in later years.
Missouri, like many of the older states, held militia musters in the early days. Every township in Livingston county held musters at stated periods. Battalion musters, composed of militiamen from several townships, were held at Utica, Spring Hill and Chillicothe, while regimental drills were held annually at Chillicothe. Regimental drills or musters, as they were usually called, was a holiday for white and black alike. If the militia were not fortunate enough to own guns they would come armed with any makeshift for a weapon. Col. Joseph Cox was one of the most prominent figures in the first regimental drills. He was not familiar with army tactics, but his appearance in full regimentals, astride a prancing steed, swinging his trusty blade above his head, struck terror to his subordinates and the more nervous citizens as he rode at the head of the column giving his command to "Forward" in his stentorian voice. None enjoyed these musters more than the darkies. In addition to the fun created and enjoyed by these drills, other sports, such as horse racing, foot racing, wrestling matches and other athletics were indulged in.
The population of Livingston county in 1860 was 7,417, while the slaves numbered 705. The slave population in many other counties in the state was much greater, notably those counties along the Missouri river. Owning slaves was not considered profitable in this county and for this reason many were sold into the far south.
The Southampton insurrection in 1831 and the murders of Nat Turner and his followers, caused slave owners in all sections of the slave states to be on the alert lest similar tragedies might take place in their midst. Livingston county felt the necessity in those days to take precautionary measures to prevent an uprising and to this end and to prevent possible trouble, patrols were organized in various parts of the county. The first patrols were appointed for Greene township in 1844. Asa T. Kirtley was named as captain and his subordinates were W. E. Rucker, Addison Rucker, John Rockhold, F. Lyday, E. N. Guill, and Warren Hudgins. It was the duty of this squad to patrol the territory allotted to them at least thirty-six hours each month during the year and to keep a sharp lookout for any indications of an uprising of the blacks. These patrols were named by the county court.