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

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Boundary - Physical Features - Land Entries - The Name Monroe - Killing of Austin - Future Outlook of Monroe Township - Biographical.

Monroe township comprises all of Congressional township 56, range 25, except a part of section 24, and lies in the southwest corner of the county. Shoal creek and its tributaries, Rattlesnake and Muddy, furnish plenty of water, and good soil and fine grass lands combine to make it an excellent stock growing township. "The Low Gap Country," as it is now called, can not be excelled for general excellence in this part of the State.

Monroe township was one of the first settled in the county. On the night of the 12th of November, 1833, memorable as the date of the great meteoric shower, or as "the time when the stars fell," John Austin, James Austin, Abraham Bland, Zachariah Bland, Pur-mort Bland, Zachariah Lee and Isaac McCoskrie camped on Shoal creek, and afterward entered land in this township. Thos. Bryan came about the same time, as did Spencer H. Gregory.

The country along Shoal creek in this quarter was well favored and greatly pleased the pioneers. Game was abundant, the soil was rich, the water plenty and pure, and the woods were full of bee trees. Other settlers came in from time to time, and it is said that a few Mormons lived here in 1838.

As soon as the land came in market in 1835, it began to be entered, and the following entries were made by actual residents up to the year 1840. A few tracts were taken up by speculators: -

Name. Description.
Spencer H. Gregory

Spencer H. Gregory

Spencer H. Gregory

Spencer H. Gregory

Wiatt Ogle

Wm. Fryer

Thos. R. Bryan

James Austin

John Austin

Abraham Bland

Abraham Bland

John Austin

Purmort Bland

w nw. sec. 2.

e. nw. w. ne. sec. 2

n. ne. sec. 3

s. ne. and ne. se. sec. 3

sw. sec. 3

e. se. sec. 4

se. ne. sw. se. sw. nw. sec. 4

ne. sw. and nw. se. sec. 4

nw. nw. sec. 4

w. sw. sec. 4

se. sec. 5

e. ne. sec. 5

se. sw. sec. 5

Sept. 7, 1835,

May 28, 1836

Sept. 7, 1835

May 28, 1836

Nov. 4, 1835

Oct. 17, 1836

Oct. 17, 1836

Nov. 4, 1835

June 30, 1835

Nov. 4, 1835

May 25, 1835

June 15, 1835.

Nov. 4, 1835





Thos. Bryan

Isaac McCoskrie

Thos. Bryan

Robertson Bryan

Purmort Bland

Hopkins Work

James Earl

James Hamilton

John Austin

Oliver Walker

Henderson McFarland

Zach Lee

Isaac McCoskrie

Henry Hoagland

L.A. Brady

Zachariah Lee

David Fulmer

Zachariah Bland

W. P. Frazer

John Lewis

Mann, Whitney & Baker

Jesse Coats

Mann, Whitney & Baker

James Huntsman

Jesse Coats

W. P. & Emily Frazer

W. P. & Emily Frazer

W.P. & Emily Frazer

John T. Gudgell

John Bland

Wm. Taylor

Zachariah Bland

nw. sw. sec. 5

w. nw. sec. 5

e. ne. and e. se. sec. 6

nw. ne. sec. 6

e. sw. nw. se. sec. 6

sw. se. sec. 6

w. sw. sec. 6

e. nw. and nw. nw. sec. 6

sw. nw. sec. 6

w. nw. sec. 7

e. nw. sec. 7

w. ne. and ne. se. sec. 7

e. ne. sec. 7

nw. se. sec. 7

e. sw. sec. 7

nw. sw. sec. 8

sw.sw. sec. 8

nw. sec. 10

s. and w. ne. sec. 10

sw. sec. 11

se. and e. sw. sec. 13

se. sw. sec. 17

e. nw. sec. 18

sw. nw. sec. 19

ne. nw. sec. 20

se. see. 23

nw. sec. 24

ne. see. 26

w. se. and se. sw. sec. 27

n. sw; sec. 27

e. ne. and nw. ne. sec, 28

sw. ne. see. 28

Dec. 3, 1835

July 18, 1835

Dec. 23, 1835

Nov. 2, 1836

Sept. 22, 1836

Feb. 15, 1836

June 5, 1837

June 5, 1837

Jan. 23, 1837

Aug. 16, 1836

Nov. 15, 1836

Sept. 9, 1836

Jan. 8, 1836

Dec. 1, 1836

June 7, 1837

Sept. 9, 1830

May 9, 1838

Oct. 24, 1835

Nov. 9, 1836

Nov. 9, 1836

Sept. 16, 1836

April 6, 1837

Sept. 16, 1836

June 1, 1837

March 28, 1837

Nov. 9, 1836

Nov. 9, 1836

Nov. 9, 1836

Nov. 18, 1837

July 11, 1837

Nov. 10, 1837

Jan. 1, 1838

Upon the organization of the county and the first meeting of the county court in February, 1837, the territory now included in Blue Mound, Greene, Mooresville and Monroe townships, was called Shoal Creek township; but in February, 1839, the named was changed to Monroe, "in honor of James Monroe." In May following the township was divided, and the northern part called Greene. In 1833 Blue Mound was organized, and the creation of these townships cut down Monroe to about its present size.

Monroe township was developed about the year 1860. A few years prior to that time a number of Northern people came in, and by their industry and enterprise did much for the general welfare. Some of these Yankees were Republicans, and in 1860 had the nerve to stand boldly up and vote viva voce for Lincoln and Hamlin. When the war came on a majority of the people were Unionists and early entered the Federal service.

A young man of Confederate sympathies named Crockett Austin was killed in this township by some of the militia in 1862. The Federals called at the house one night, and when he came out of doors he stumbled and fell, and it is said that he was shot before he could rise. Some of the militia reported that Austin came out armed, and threatened to shoot, and that this was why he himself was shot.

After the war, in common with other parts of the country, Monroe township improved rapidly and grew thrifty. The houses were rebuilt and made larger and better, and the farms were generally improved. In time the present condition of affairs came. With the building of the St. Paul Railroad, which was run diagonally through the township, from northeast to southwest, the prosperity of the township can not fail to be abundant and lasting.



(Farmer and Stock-raiser, Post-office, Mooresville).

A glance at the lives of the many representative men whose names appear in this volume will reveal sketches of some honored influential citizens who have passed beyond man's allotted age of three score years and ten, but none are more deserving at mention than Thomas J. Bryan. On his father's aide he is of Irish descent, while his mother was of Welsh-Irish origin. Both families of grandparents came to America at an early day and made permanent homes in Virginia. Thomas J. was born in White county, Tenn., August 6, 1808, and was a son of John and Hettie Bryan, nee Anderson, both Virginians by birth, and in the grand Old Dominion they were reared. There, too, their marriage occurred and as early as 1790 they became located in Tennessee. John was a soldier in the Cherokee war. A farmer by calling, he obtained substantial results in that line and became widely and favorably known. For a number of years he served as justice of the peace, and he belonged to the Masonic fraternity. In 1845 he died at his adopted home, his companion following him to the grave in 1848. The latter was an earnest, consistent member of the Baptist Church. Ten children born to them grew to mature years and married, but only one besides Thomas J. is now living, and he resides in Georgia. Brought up as an agriculturist, it was but natural that Mr. Bryan should permanently adopt that calling as his life occupation and he has always followed it. With what success has toiled may be inferred when the fact is mentioned that he now lives in the enjoyment of peace and plenty upon au estate of 200 acres, well improved. This is the result of industry and perseverance. Mr. Bryan was married here in 1836 to Miss Jane Burden who grew to womanhood in White county, Tenn. twelve children have blessed their happy married life, all of whom are living but two. Nine of these are married, the sons being farmers, and make their home in Livingston county. Mr. Bryan is 77 years of age, and is the grandfather of 24 grandchildren, and also has nine great-grandchildren.



Tennessee has given to Livingston county many estimable citizens, but she has contributed none more highly respected, or, for conscientious discharge of duty in every relation of life, more worthy of respect and esteem than was the subject of this sketch. Andrew J. Bryan was a native of White county, Tenn., where he was born, June 6, 1819, and at the time of his death, June 3, 1883, was nearly 64 years of age. His paternal ancestors were originally from Ireland, his mother being of Scotch descent. When about 19 years of age he came to Missouri and for several years occupied a well merited position as an efficient and capable school teacher. Later in life he engaged in agricultural pursuits, at which he was occupied when death called him from this earth. Though not himself connected with any church he always favored any movement tending to the progress and development of Christ's kingdom here below, ever endeavoring by precept and example to promote the welfare of those with whom he came in contact. Neither was he identified with any secret order. His wife was formerly Martha Elizabeth Caroline Morrison, and she was born in Alabama July 19, 1833. The children in their family were nine in number; four are married: William C. resides at Mooresville; Isabella is now Mrs. Thomas Swearingen, her husband being a well known minister in the M. E. Church South; Pernecy Adalaide, wife of Rev. John Winstead, who is also in the ministry of that denomination, and a man characterized for his great zeal and earnest solicitation as a minister of the gospel; Leroy Templeman, living near the old homestead, and four sons and one daughter at home. These latter with their mother live upon a farm of 160 acres, well improved and in good cultivation, and in its conduct they show themselves possessed of excellent judgement and good executive management. Mr. Bryan during life was a stanch Democrat. His memory is firmly cherished and his family that he left are persons of recognized substantial character and worth.


(Retired Farmer, Post-office, Mooresville).

As the oldest living settler in Livingston county Mr. McCoskrie is deserving of a more extended notice in the biographical department of this work than we feel at liberty to give. Frequent mention is made of him in other portions of this volume, and justly, too, for he has occupied no inferior position in the county's affairs. June 5, 1798, he was born in Bourbon county, Ky., and in 1819 he came to Missouri, then a territory, and for 67 years he has resided in the vicinity of his present home. His grandfather on his mother's side came to America from Scotland in an early day, went first to Virginia and later to Kentucky. Andrew McCoskrie, the father, made his home in Bourbon county, Ky., and in Lexington, that State, married Miss Nancy McDowgal, a Virginian by birth. The educational attainment of the former were of a high order. His occupation was that of farming, and in which he displayed such characteristics as marked his energy, industry and perseverance. In the church of his native country he had been taken when a child, but was never identified with any in America. While returning from Kentucky in 1822 he died 60 miles from St. Charles, Mo.; his widow departed this life when 96 years old, near Fredericksburg, Ray county. She was a woman remarkably well preserved, and when 75 years of age could walk to the house of a neighbor, distant three miles, without trouble or fatigue. Six children were in the parents' family: Isaac and a younger brother are the only ones now living. When he first came here the territory from the Iowa line to the Missouri river was known as Howard county, and school facilities were only enjoyed by those who could afford to pay dearly for them. His life has been spent in active, almost ceaseless, toil until within the past few years, when he has been retired from hard work, conscious of a life well and honorably spent. He now lives with his son, an enterprising farmer and stock raiser, who conducts his place according to advanced methods. Mr. McCoskrie has been an elder in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church for over forty years. He has always supported the Democratic ticket, tolerating its views as sound and well suited to any man. He has been three times married. His first wife was of Scotch nativity, and his other two were born in this country. He now has 44 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren. Of the seven sons and nine daughters born to him only eight are living, seven of whom are daughters, and their husbands are all farmers. Mr. McCoskrie was a member of the first court ever held in what is now Livingston county, it being held four miles north of the present site of Chillicothe. Many are the changes which have occurred since this esteemed citizen first became located here, and he has lived to witness the growth of what was once a vast wilderness to one of the most prosperous and influential counties in the State.


(Post-office, Mooresville).

This respected and highly esteemed resident of Monroe township is not unknown to the any citizens of this portion of Livingston county, among whom so many years of his worthy life have been passed. Originally from Rutherford county, N. C., he was born April 22, 1807, his grandparents having been of English descent. His parents, Hartwell and Nancy (Gear) Wilson, were also natives of England, emigrating to this country in an early day and settling in North Carolina, where they were married and where they continued to reside until removing to White county, Tenn., in 1810. There the father died, the mother's death occurring after her removal to Jackson county, Mo. In his farming operations ho was very successful; possessed of unquestioned integrity of character and business principles, he exerted a commanding influence in various affairs. Politically a Whig, he was not a member of any church, though adhering to the tenets of the Baptist faith. The mother was a woman of sincere piety. Nine children were in their family, all of whom are now deceased save the subject of this sketch. Of a tender age when taken to White county, Tenn., he was reared there to a farm experience, his educational opportunities being quite limited. Upon leaving Tennessee he moved to Illinois and five or six years later to Kentucky, where he remained but one year, coming thence to Missouri and settling where he now live, his home being with his second son. On starting in life he received no help from outsiders, but throughout his career has depended only upon his own resources. These, however, have enabled him to be most successful in a material point of view. September 16, 1830, Mr. Wilson was married in White county, Tenn., to Miss Anna Lane, who was born August 13, 1804, in Bourbon county, Ky. Her father was a surveyor of recognized ability in Tennessee. Mr. and Mrs. Wilson have had nine children: Logan L., of Lake county, Cal,; Mary L, of this county; Eliza, deceased; the fourth child is supposed to be in the Indian Territory; William H. lives at the old homestead and so does Daniel. Besides these three others are deceased. Mr. W. and wife are among the oldest settlers in the county, and as they look back on their past careers they can see little to regret, while the future of another world stands out brightly. They belong to the Presbyterian Church.

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