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History of Livingston County
from The History of Caldwell and Livingston Counties, Missouri.  1886

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General Descriptive and Historical Sketch of the Township - Early History - Organization - Churches, etc. - Biographical.

Medicine township is the northeastern township of Livingston, and is one of the smallest in the county, containing only 30 sections. It comprises that portion (one-half) of Congressional township 59, range 22, lying in this county, and a strip a mile and a half divide off of the east side of township 59, range 23. The west section of 59 - 22 are a mile and a half wide, making the township five miles by six miles in area.

Medicine creek and Muddy creek flow southward through the township, the former in the western and the latter in the eastern part; both unite about three miles below the south line of the township, in Rich Hill. The township contains much good land, and some excellent farms, and with the completion of the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad, is destined to become a valuable bailiwick.


Wm. J. Wallace was the first settler in this township. In the spring of 1837 he built a cabin and enclosed ten acres of land on the northwest quarter of section 7-59-22. In a year or two he gave up his claim (having not yet entered the land) to his widowed sister, Mrs. Elizabeth Yates, married Mary Jane Burch, of Chariton county, and relocated near Medicine creek, on the ne. 1/4 of section 13-59-23. In the fall of 1839 Samuel Hurst settled three miles below Wallace, on section 36.

The land in this township was not put in market and made subject to entry until the year 1840. Until that time the settlers lived on claims, paid no taxes and were happy. A few of the first entries were made by parties living in Linn county, as investments for profit. The first entries made by actual residents was as follows: -


Name. Description. Date.
Elizabeth Yates e. sw. lot 4 and nw. sec. 7 Jan. 16, 1840
Wm. J. Wallace ne. lot 4 sec. 18. Jan. 16, 1840
Wm. Douglas ne. and e. se. sec. 19 In 1841
J. C. White nw. ne. sec. 21 Nov. 19, 1840


Name. Description. Date.
John H. Perkins e. se. sec. 1 Jan. 16, 1840
David Kemble n. ne. sec. 2 Jan. 16, 1840
Reuben Perkins ne.se. sec. 2 Jan. 27, 1840
Wm. J. Wallace ne. sec. 13 Jan. 16, 1840
Thos. Ray w. se. sec. 36 Mar. 27, 1840

Other early settlers, who came in after 1840, were David White, Robert Phillips, John Brown, Chapman Lightner, James Lightner and John J. Jordan. All these were here prior to 1844.

The first justice of the peace that resided in what is now Medicine township was Robert Phillips; the second was John J. Jordan. The first child born was a son of John H. and Susannah Perkins, in 1840. The first death was that of a son of Fleming Wark, in 1845; the second was that of Mrs. Elizabeth Yates, in 1852.

In 1844 the first marriage occurred, and Dawson Crews and Margaret Ann Yates were the happy couple. A year later another couple started for Squire John Jordan's to get married. Arriving at Medicine creek the stream was found swollen by a recent rain and not fordable. A young man with the party swam the stream, made his way to the house of the magistrate and soon brought him to the opposite bank of the stream from where the couple stood waiting. Being unable to swim himself Mr. Jordan tried to persuade the couple to postpone the wedding a few days until the stream could be crossed and they could come to his house; but their impatience would not consent to any delay, and joining hands they demanded that the ceremony take place then and there. The justice complied, and in a voice loud enough to be heard across the raging stream pronounced the ceremony, and so they were married and it is to be hoped lived happily ever afterward.

In the year 1840 the first sermon was preached at the residence of Wm. Wallace, by Rev. Nathan Winters, who it was said was an old soldier and a veteran of several campaigns. The first school in the township was taught by John H. Perkins, at his house, in 1846. No regular school-house was built until 1849.


Medicine township was organized out of Cream Ridge and Chillicothe townships, May 5, 1868, on petition of E. Dunlap, Jeptha Ireland and others. Its first boundaries were the Linn county line on the east, Grundy county on the north, the line between townships 58 and 59 on the south, and the Crooked Medicine creek on the west. Subsequently the western boundary was changed to that existing at present.

It was named for Medicine creek, and that stream, it is said, derived its name from an incident which it is alleged happened in early days. A physician while swimming the steam lost his "pill bags," which were full of drugs, and so the settlers called it Medicine creek. Another version is that the Indian name for it signified medicine, and that it was known by that title to the early settlers of Chariton county as early as in 1820, before doctors had any occasion to travel through this part of the country. This seems the more probable origin of the name, which the records show it bore as early as the spring of 1837.

There is no regularly laid out town in this township. The hamlet and post-office of Gordonsville on the line between sections 30 and 31, in the southern part of the township, is the only semblance of a village even.


M. E. Church South. - The date of the organization of this church, as near as can be obtained, was some time in the year 1845. There were about twelve members. Rev. Hawkins was the pastor and David White was class leader. Services were held once a month at the residence of Wm. J. Wallace, until the school-house was built, and then it was used for church purposes till about 1874 when the present church was built. The present minister is R. C. Kearney, and Edward Holmes is class leader. Services are held once each month and prayer meetings weekly. The present number is about forty. The Sabbath-school has an average of about 30 scholars.

M. E. Church. - The organization of this church was effected about the year 1867, Rev. Andrews, a local preacher, presiding. The present pastor is Rev. Bundy. Services are held in the Gordonsville school-house twice each month. The original members numbered sixteen. The greatest number of members the church has had at any one time was 33. The present membership is only 14.



(Farmer and Stock-raiser, Section 22, Post-office, Eversonville).

Like all the youths of the country in which he was born, Prussia, Mr. Bartholomew in growing up. experienced a military career of three years, but beside this he was favored with a good education in the common schools of his native province. His parents were Elias and Elizabeth Bartholomew, also of Saxony, Prussia, the former born August 1, 1786, and the latter November 21, 1793. Elias Bartholomew was a soldier in the Prussian army for a number of years, participating in the battle of Waterloo, under Blucher, and also at the battle of Leipzig and for his services in that struggle he obtained the golden medal; he was also the recipient of four other medals for services in the War of Europe, and two of these he disposed of for quite a sum of money. He died in the country of his birth in 1863, leaving seven children besides Robert; Henry, now in Oregon; Paul in Illinois; George, Wilhelmina, Susannah, Margaret and Sophia, the latter of Illinois. Those whose places of residence are not mentioned still live in Prussia. The sons are all farmers, save George, a shoemaker by trade, and all are in good circumstances. Robert, the subject of this sketch, was born in the province of Saxony in 1833 and remained there until emigrating to this country in 1859. Some years after, in 1871, he was united in marriage with Miss Elizabeth Goos, of this county, and six children have blessed this union, one boy, 11 years old, and five girls, aged, respectively 14, 9, 7, 4 and 2 years. Mrs. B.'s father, Claus Goos, now a resident of Livingston county and a man well and favorably know, was born in Schleswig-Holstein, of the German Empire, and was in the Prussian army for some time; he took part in the Austrian and Prussian War in 1864 and in 1868 became located in America. Mr. Bartholomew is the owner of a farm of 200 acres, well adapted to stock raising. For some seventeen years he has been closely connected with the interests of this county and by dint of perseverance has acquired a good home and comfortable competence.



In the meridian of manhood, at a time when it seemed possible for him to accomplish so much, William K. Boyer, a successful and useful citizen of this township, was cut off by the fell destroyer, Death. He was born in Berks county, Pa., October 8, 1841, and died at his home in Livingston county, Mo., June 5, 1885, and was therefore only in his forty-fourth year

When the shroud enwrapped him fast,

And the sleep was on him east,

That shall ne'er know waking.

He was reared in the county of his birth and as the oldest of six children much care necessarily fell upon him, somewhat interfering with his chances for acquiring an education, but by self-application in later years and deep reading he gained a good knowledge of books. Upon moving to Missouri from Ohio he was in moderate circumstances, but by diligent industry and economy he succeeded in obtaining a fair share of this world's goods, leaving at his death an estate of 240 acres, upon which were an excellent brick residence and a splendid barn. In the later years of his life he devoted his attention to stock raising with substantial success. During the war he served for a short time in the 38th Ohio volunteer infantry. He was an earnest, exemplary member of the M. E. Church and his death was deeply lamented by all who knew him. On the 12th day of March, 1865, he was married to Miss Phebe Koos, whose father, Jacob Koos, a native of Germany, is still living in Fulton county, O.; it was early in 1842 that he married Julia Ann Tomer, and to them 10 children were born, five of whom were boys: Frederick, Daniel, Albert, George and Ira; the girls' names were Phebe, Nancy, Julia, Mary and Flora. Mr. and Mrs. Boyer were the parents of five children, three of whom are living, George, 19 years of age, Flora A.,:aged 11, and Irena, two years old. Laura Ellen died March 1, 1867, and Mary Alice died August 28, 1867. Mrs. Boyd was appointed administratrix of her husband's estate and fully competent to take charge of this property. She is a member of the M. E. Church, a faithful and consistent Christian woman, highly respected by all who know her.


(Farmer and Stock-raiser, Section 25, Post-office, Eversonville).

Among the representative young men whom Ohio has contributed to the agricultural community of this county is Mr. Coberly, now about thirty years of age, originally from Madison county, of the Buckeye State. His birth occurred in 1855, the second son of twelve children in the family of his parents, George W. and Mary E. Coberly, the former of Ohio nativity, and the latter formerly of Maryland. They were married in Ohio and now reside there, comfortably situated, and with a necessary amount of this world's goods, aged respectively 55 and 50 years. The names of their children were Joseph, William, Jesse, Harvey, George, Albert, who died when five years old, Charles died when three years of age, the tenth son died in infancy, Richard, Laura Belle and Oliver. All his life Mr. Coberly has followed agricultural pursuits, to which he was reared, and since coming to Missouri from Ohio some nine years ago, this occupation has received his attention. Consequently, he is thoroughly familiar with all its details, and is obtaining good results in his operations. His place is well improved, having upon it neat and convenient buildings, etc. In 1882, Mr. C. was united in marriage with Miss Ella Donovan, of Livingston county, and they now have an interesting son, two years old. While in Ohio, Mr. Coberly belonged to the Good Temples, of which society he was an efficient member. In his political preferences he is a Greenbacker.


(Post-office, Chillicothe).

The life record of him whose name appears above has been one of more than usual interest and his career has been of such benefit and influence to those not only in Livingston county, but throughout the State, that a sketch of his life is rendered almost necessary in this volume, and this, although brief indeed, will convey something of an idea of his usefulness in different walks of life. He was born in Florence, Oneida county, N. Y., August 8, 1825, the son of Michael Donovan, a native of Ireland and a soldier in the English army, who emigrated to America in 1812. He was twice married, having eight children by his first wife, Harriet Graves: Dennis, James, Mary, Julia, John W., Samuel, Chancy and Kingman; and eight children were also born of his second marriage: Stephen S., Elizabeth, Michael, Joseph W., Harriet, Sarah, James and Mary. Mr. Donovan was a man of good education, a great reader, a fluent speaker, and for 40 years held a license as an exhorter in the M. E. Church. He dearly loved his adopted country, was a strict temperance man and well versed in the Scriptures. Mrs. D., formerly of Massachusetts, was of Welsh origin on her father's side and on her mother's of German ancestry. Both parents were of Revolutionary stock, her uncle, Maj. Wells Graves, having been with Col. Ethan Allen at the battle of Ticonderoga. Mr. Donovan died in 1874, his wife having preceded him to the grave in 1834. John W. from the age of six years obtained a good schooling and lived upon the farm and home until 18 years old. In the spring of 1837 he accompanied his parents to Toledo, O., and in March, 1839, to Hillsdale, Mich., where he stayed two years, then moving to Moscow. In his eighteenth year he was apprenticed to learn the shoemaker's trade, and as the eldest son in the family contributed to their support. After learning the trade he remained at home some time and June 24, 1856, was married to Miss Mary Jane Moreland, by whom he had six children: William W., Ella, George J., Jabin, Albert and Ira. After leaving Michigan, Mr. Donovan came to Missouri and located where he now makes his home, in section 36. In 1858 he served as justice of the peace in Michigan, but resigned that position upon removing to this State. In 1876 he was a candidate upon the Greenback ticket for the Legislature, but was defeated. In 1878 he was the candidate for judge of the eastern district of Livingston county, was elected and served with credit for two years. In 1880 such was his popularity that he was elected to the Legislature by a handsome majority and in 1884 he was again re-elected. His services in this capacity were most marked and a volume of no mean proportions might be written of the influence which he exerted while in the House. Had we the space we would review the many measures of which he was the author, but a few can not be passed by without mention. In his first term he opposed the refunding of State, county, city and municipal bonded indebtedness in an 8-20 non-taxable bond, a bill adverse to the interest of tax-payers in Missouri, be successfully opposed and defeated the bill declaring barbed wire an unlawful fence, and opposed and defeated the bill regulating the practice of medicine. His second term in the House was rather of a negative than affirmative character but nevertheless he served on several important committees, that of agriculture, of township organization, and many others. By his efforts the appropriation of $70,000 for the State militia was defeated. And then, too, his first act was to put in nomination for the United States Senate, Hon. Nicholas Ford, a man about whom it is unnecessary to add any words of commendation.

Such is a synopsis of what Mr. Donovan has done for this county and State, and surely such concern for those whose suffrages called him to this honorable position can not go unrewarded. He enjoys to an unlimited extent the esteem and respect of all who are favored with his acquaintance.


(Farmer and Stock-raiser, Section 9, Post-office, Eversonville).

Mr. Goos is of sturdy German ancestry and birth, having been born in Germany, in 1858, his parents also being natives of that country. The father, Claus Goos, was born in 1817 and in 1838 married Miss Catherine Wolf, whose birth occurred in 1823. For eight or ten years after this event Mr. Goos followed the mercantile business, but moving his place of residence be entered into the manufacture of cloth. In 1870 he emigrated to America, subsequently commenced farming and has since continued it. He is still living. In 1848 and 1849 he was a member of an infantry company in the German army. Mrs. Goos died in Missouri in 1881; her father during his life was a tailor by trade. Claus F. is one of six children in his parents' family: Joseph, the oldest son, is deceased; Anna is now Mrs. Peter Jacobs; Lizzie married Robert Bartholomew; Katie and Dorothy are unmarried. The subject of this sketch in growing up enjoyed the advantages of the excellent schools of Prussia, and after coming to America attended the schools of this country. It was in 1870 that he became a citizen of this county, and it may almost be said that he was reared here. He is now living on the home place with his father, actively and successfully occupied in tilling the soil, conducting all his labors according to advanced methods. He is now serving as road overseer and in other ways is identified with the interests of this township and county. He is a member of the Lutheran Church. Quite a considerable stock is found upon his place, an industry to which he gives no little attention.


(Farmer and Stock-raiser, Section 21, Post-office, Eversonville).

There is probably no man within the limits of Livingston county who is deserving of more credit for the interest he has taken in its behalf than Judge Iberg; and the brief facts here presented indicate to more than an ordinary degree the relations which he has borne to the county's development. He is of foreign birth, born June 30, 1819, in Switzerland, his parents also being natives of that country. Until about twenty years of age young Jacob remained in the vicinity of his birthplace and finally upon deciding to come to America did so and landed at New Orleans October 28, 1839, soon being followed by his parents. After living in Madison, Ill., for some time he settled in Madison county and 19 years later he went to Wisconsin, which was his home for 9 years. In 1868 he came to Missouri and has since remained here; his present place is a superior one containing 720 acres, the homestead embracing 520 acres, all under a good state of cultivation, and 16 acres of this are included in a good bearing orchard. He gives no little attention to the stock industry, excellent blooded stock being found here, and, in fact, everything about the place indicates prosperity and thrift. Judge Iberg is now in a position to retire from the active and laborious effort of a life well spent and pass his time in the enjoyment of his comfortable competence. In June, 1847, he was married to Miss Catharine Bleisch, originally from the Canton of St. Gallan, Switzerland, born in 1825. By this union there have been four children: Jacob A., Robert, in Kansas; Mary and Hannah; widow of Jas. H. Gibson, now residing with her father. From an early period of his settlement here Mr. Iberg has been prominently identified with various official positions of trust and responsibility. First one of the county supervisors, he was also president of the township board and also a member of the county court, from which latter once he was compelled to resign on account of ill health. In 1873 he was elected judge of the eastern district of Livingston county for the long term and his service in this capacity is well known. The county's indebtedness at the time he entered upon his judicial duties was about $250,000, and when his term expired only the railroad debt remained unpaid. By his endeavors a tax was levied after considerable opposition of 25 cents on the dollar, $12,500 thus being raised and thus was a heavy incumbrance cleared. The Judge was formerly a man of established reputation as a target shooter and in his possession at this time are numerous medals and testimonials of his ability in this direction, space only preventing an account of these different shooting occurrences. He is a man of thorough business qualifications, well posted in the affairs of every-day life, and a man of true worth and influence in this community.


(Farmer and Stock-raiser, Section 31, T. 58, R. 23, Post-office, Eversonville).

Mr. Olenhouse came to Livingston county, Mo., from Chicago, where he had moved after the close of the war, and it is worthy of mention in this connection that he was a gallant soldier in that conflict. Leaving the home farm (on which he had been reared) at the breaking out of the Rebellion, he enlisted in the 3d New York infantry, raised in Albany county and city, under Col. Fred. Townsend, and took part in the battle of Big Bethel, and was on garrison duty at Ft. McHenry, going thence to Fortress Monroe. At the close of his two years' term of enlistment he re-enlisted until the close of the war, and was sent to Morris Island, under Gilmore, and to Bermuda Hundred, in the army of the James, under Gen. Butler. Afterwards, he was in the 1st brigade, 2d division, 10th army corps, under Grant, and was present at the mine explosion in front of Petersburg. Upon going to Ft. Fisher the expedition was sent back to Bermuda, thence again to Ft. Fisher, meeting with success this time, on to Wilmington, N. C., and from there to Raleigh, where, his time having expired, he was mustered out after a career of four years of military experience. Mr. Olenhouse now has a well improved farm where he lives, under a good state of cultivation. This he knows how to conduct, for his natural characteristics aid him greatly in this. Originally from Wurtemburg, Germany, he was born, in 1843, of the union of Christopher and Sophia Olenhouse, nee Rudolph. In 1854 they emigrated to the United States and settled in Albany county, N. Y., where the father acquired excellent success in his operations. The mother was born in 1815, and her uncle accompanied Napoleon Bonaparte to Moscow. Frederick was the eldest son of seven children: Charles, John, George, Henry, Christine and Elizabeth. All the family belonged to the Lutheran Church. Frederick enjoyed good educational opportunities in youth which have been of great benefit to him in later life. He was united in marriage to Miss Adaline M. Cramer, in 1871, her native place being Orleans county, N. Y., where she was born in 1847. His wife has borne him three children: Charlotte and Leonard are living, and Frederick died in 1876. Mr. C. belongs to H. C. Gilbert Post of the G. A. R., at Wheeling, and he is also a member of the M. E. Church.


(Post-office, Eversonville).

The subject of this sketch is recognized as one of the promising young men of this township, though but about 24 years of age. His father, Dr. Charles R. Stewart, a Kentuckian by birth, was born December 18, 1830, and had he lived to the present time would have been in his fifty-sixth year. Francis enjoyed a common school education, and remained on the home farm until 16 years of age, when he took a trip across the plains to California. After traveling extensively, he finally settled in Sullivan county, Mo., moving thence to Mercer county, where he met and subsequently married Miss Delilah Bales on March 4, 1860. Eight children blessed this union, four of whom are living: Robert H., Walter M., Maria E., wife of W. W. Donovan, of this township, and Francis S. Daniel P. died February 9, 1867; Florence R. died September 7, 1870; Martha Ellen died August 20, 1872, and John S. died February 7, 1874. Chas. R. Stewart immediately after his marriage enlisted in Co. C, 23d Missouri infantry, as a private, and served for three years, participating in the battle of Shiloh; he was under the command of Capt. Trumbo, and once received a musket ball in his left thigh, which he carried until his death, June 2, 1885. Soon after the close of the war he had commenced the study of medicine, became well qualified for practice, and after living five years at Miresville, Grundy county, moved to Johnson county, Mo., and in a year to Cass county. He afterwards made his home in that county one year, in Bates county two years, in Henry county for some time, and then in Benton county, where he died. His wife is still living in this township. She was born April 29, 1842, in Dent county, O. Her parents were Daniel and Elizabeth (Sinclair) Bales, the former born in Ohio in 1815 and died in 1877, and the latter, also of Ohio, born in 1817; she still survives. Four of the 11 children which were born to them are living: Delilah A., Martha J, James W. and John H. Elizabeth Sinclair had a brother in the Mexican War, and when last heard from he owned 1,800 acres of land in Texas. Francis S. Stewart was born in Grundy county, Mo., in 1862,. and has grown up in this State. He has spent his life in attending school and farming, and at this time he is living on the farm of Mrs. Boyer, elsewhere referred to, which he is working, his mother and youngest brother also living there. He is a member of the Christian Church, his mother belonging to the Holiness Association.


(Farmer and Stock-raiser, Section 13, Post-office, Alpha, Mo.)

For a period now closely approaching half a century, this highly honored resident of Medicine township has been identified with the interests of Livingston county, his settlement here dating from the spring of 1839. Many have been the changes which he has seen since that time and in the growth and development of this community he has been a worthy participant. The wild animals that were here when he first came long ago disappeared; Chillicothe was then his nearest trading point. As might be inferred, Mr. Wallace is a Kentuckian by birth born in Madison county in 1812. Samuel Wallace, his father, moved to Howard county in 1819 and farmed on the same place which he settled until his death in 1851; this place was 12 miles north of Fayette and seven miles northeast of Glasgow. The maiden name of William's mother was Anna Snoddy, who died in 1861, the daughter of John Snoddy, an early settler of the Blue Grass State. The latter was a participant in the early Indian wars of that State and once succeeded in capturing a red-skin. Samuel Wallace was a son of Andrew Wallace, of Virginia nativity, who was a captain in the Revolutionary War. William J. was the fourth son of five boys and five girls in his parents' family, of whom three boys and two girls are still living. He enjoyed such facilities for acquiring an education as were common to the community in his youth and after reaching manhood, in 1839, was married to Miss Mary S. Birch, of Chariton county, Mo., who died in 1859, leaving six children. In 1860 Mr. Wallace was again married, Miss Lizzie Williams of this county becoming his wife. Her death occurred in 1860 and four children were thus left motherless. In the spring of 1839 he located on the place which has since been his home, actively occupied in farming and stock raising, and numbered among the progressive agriculturists of the county. Formerly Mr. W. was a Mason. He now owns some 400 acres of land and at this time is feeding about a car-load of cattle. He is nearly 74 years of age. His three youngest children live with him, enjoying the competence which he has gained by years of strict integrity and industry.


(Farmer and Stock-raiser, Section 32, Post-office, Eversonville).

Mr. Waydelick was born in Knox county, O., in 1838, the son of Philip Waydelick of Wurtemhurp, whose birth occurred in 1790. In 1822 he married Miss Mary Mast, also of Germany, and by this union there were born eight children, three boys and five girls: Fred F., who came to Platte county, Mo., in 1855, went to California in 1860, and has never been heard from since; John W., now a missionary in the Lutheran Church located at Sitka., Alaska; Christina, died in infancy; Christina, second, now a widow; Elizabeth, also a widow; Mary J. and Matilda M., both married. The senior Waydelick emigrated to America in 1835 and settled on a small farm of 11 acres in Knox county, O., land which subsequently sold for $1,000 per acre for city purposes. Upon leaving there he went to DeKalb county, Ind., thence coming to Missouri in 1865; he was in the Prussian army under Napoleon and was with the command on its campaign to Moscow. His voyage to this country was a most marked one, for besides being nearly shipwrecked the vessel on which he had taken passage was pursued by pirates; three months and three days were passed in making this trip. Of young Jacob it might be said that he was educated to agricultural pursuits, for he was reared as a farmer, and upon settling in Grundy county, Mo., in October, 1864, he continued that calling. In 1866 he located where he now resides, on his excellent homestead of 240 acres, which he is controlling and improving in an unexceptional manner. In June, 1863, Mr. W. was married to Miss Lucinda Bell, daughter of Joseph D. Bell, a native of New Jersey, but of English descent. Mrs. Waydelick was born in Stark county, O., in 1841. She and her husband have two children, J. Sheridan, born in 1867, and Martha M., born in 1876. Mr. W. has been school director in his district for twelve years, and is much interested in educational matters. He is a member of the Methodist Church.

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