Early Settlers of Washington Township Missouri

Washington township was one of the last of those made in-the year 1870, when the County Court, on March 10th, divided the county into sixteen municipal districts, each being a congressional township of six miles square. Washington, as may be guessed, was named after the “Father of his -country.”

The first white men who located in this township for a permanent home were John Williams and James Munn; both came from Kentucky to Daviess county, but Williams was a native of North Carolina and Munn, of Tennessee. They settled in the north part of the township, on section thirty-three. They both located on that section in 1836. D. N. Foster, generally called Nelson, came in 1838, and brought his wife with him. They came from Franklin county, Indiana. William Taylor came the same year, but from Kentucky. There were a number came in 1839, but the largest number who came in one year for a decade was in 1840.

Rev. Jonathan Smith, the first minister who settled in the township, came on November 11th, 1840. The reverend gentleman is still living and on the claim he bought and afterward entered the land for purchase, and is still highly respected and beloved elder in the Baptist Church. Wilson Poe, Joel Dowell, Joseph Gillespie and William Hardin, all came in that year or a year later. Cabins began to spring up all over the township. The timber first received a majority of the settlers, but the prairies soon began to find purchasers. But to this day the timber land is the choice of a majority of the farmers of Washington township. An old log burned out comprised the milling facilities. Millport and then Gallatin was the post office, and the latter place, after the county was organized, became the principal trading point. John Williams had a carpet made of deerskins and placed upon his floor, and soon others followed his example.

Back to: Daviess County

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