Early History of Monroe Township Missouri

The first wedding that there is any account of in this township was that of Ephraim McCrary and Miss Rebecca Linville. This was in September, 1842, at the residence of the bride’s father, Lewis Linville.

The first child born was Wiley W. Stone.

The first death recorded is that of Thomas McDow, who died in the year 1844, and was buried in Whitt’s graveyard.

The first physician was Dr. Venable, since dead, and Dr. John Cravens, now living north of Gallatin.

The first preachers were Rev. J. Barker and. Rev. Thomas Ellington, both Methodists. The latter preached the first sermon and held the first service at the cabin of Hardin Stone. The former also held services at the houses of the early settlers, as early as 1837. The Rev. Mr. Carnes was known among the first settlers, and preached among them. Services were often held at tobacco barns as well as at private houses.

The first school is supposed to have been taught by James Hemly. The date is not given. He taught at the price of $1.50 per scholar, and received his pay in corn, beef, and pork. R. Owens taught school in what is known as the Hickory Grove district in 1837, and this may antedate the Hemly school. John A. Tuggle and others followed, the two first leading in the educational work in this township. The first school-house was built in the Hickory Grove neighborhood. It was built of logs by H. Curtis and cost $40. This temple-of learning was erected on Clear Branch in 1840. Educational facilities since that time have flourished, and at this writing five good school-houses and well attended schools are located in this township. Hardin Stone, Elijah Whitt and George Henry were trustees of the first school above referred to.

The first weaving was done by Mrs. Prater and Mrs. Ward and they made some very fine homespun for dresses, but in the earlier days dirt floors were the fashion, and carpet did not come into use until puncheon floors became fashionable. When extravagance commences, there is never no telling where it will end, and it was just so in those pioneer days. No sooner did the puncheon floors come in vogue, when lo and behold carpets began to be talked of as the latest things in household furniture. Sometimes the men furnished carpets in shape of deerskins, and then the women would take their turn and weave beautiful rag carpets. The smaller members of the household were required, every Saturday, the day that school did not keep, to sew a one-pound ball of rags together before they could go and play. This was another of those terrible trials that afflicted the young, when the era of fashion and refinement broke out in the female department of the household; and the old man hadn’t a word to say. The inside of the house was in-charge of the women, their word was law, and so the rising generation had to submit. But how they did hate that rag carpet!

The first school-house built in District No. 3, was in 1857, and the first teacher who taught in the house was Jacob Bidler.

The horse-mill of “Uncle” Jerry Lenhart was the one most patronized, and persons who went there with their corn sometimes had to wait days before their turn came to have it ground. In the meantime they worked for their board. In the winter of 1842-43, nearly all of the farmers were compelled to use the hand-mill for all the corn they ground.

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