Harrison Township, Daviess County, Missouri

What is now Harrison township was one of the first settled portions of Daviess county, the first settler finding his home on Lick Fork in the year 1831. Eli Wilson and Benedict Weldon were the first two settlers. Wilson staked his claim on section twenty-eight, while Weldon drove his stake on section twenty-one; both came from Tennessee. Nicholas Trosper came from Kentucky and located on section twenty-six, near the banks of the Grand River. Elijah Trosper also came from Kentucky, and made his home on section thirty-four. Thomas Reed came from the same State and located on the same section. Manuel Martin also came from the “dark and bloody ground” and erected his cabin on section twenty-two, while Obadiah Ramsbottom came from “Merry England” and became an American citizen by making his home on section twenty. These were among the earliest settlers. There were many more who followed Weldon and Wilson closely, and all, as well as many others, found good homes before the organization of the county, December 29, 1836.

In 1859 Harrison township took in one-third of Monroe, and was, in size, a fair township, but when, in 1870, it was decided to make the municipal and congressional townships the same size, Harrison’s present boundaries were defined, Monroe township having been taken from Harrison and Gallatin. The game qualities of the inhabitants of that triangle only saved them from being a part of Monroe, the County Court being inclined to give that township the river as its boundary line, like Jackson, with a similarity of shape. Harrison represents the Bantam chicken, in the group of townships being the smallest. It has the Bantam’s pluck, and is ready to battle with any foe, from the County Court, down, if its dignity is assailed, or its rights threatened. As far as the Grand River will permit, Harrison township is in the southeast corner of the county, watered by that stream on its eastern and northwestern borders. Lick Fork, Big Creek, and other branches and springs make the township a well watered one, and very valuable as well as convenient in a dry season. Osborn Lake, which is about a half mile long and one-fourth of a mile wide, is found on section eight, and has the honor of being the only lake in the county. It is not, however, on that account, a great natural curiosity. The township is mostly composed of timbered land, and there is some rough country, but take it altogether, it can beast of as rich soil and as much good land, according to its size as any township in the county. Not only is the soil very rich and productive, but its bottom lands are literally inexhaustible, and there is no better corn and wheat land in the county than in this township.

Harrison township is bounded on the east by Grand River, on the south by Caldwell county, and on the west by Monroe township. It has thirteen thousand seven hundred and two and twenty-five one-hundredths acres of land, and its assessed valuation in 1877, was:

Real estate $ 90,171
Personal property 45,011
Making a total of $135,182

Harrison township, like other portions of the county, had its share of the new population who made Daviess county their home, and its progress, while slow, was steady. In 1860, when its metes and bounds took in about one-third of Monroe township, the population was six hundred and twenty, of which fifty-four were colored. In 1870 the population had increased to eight hundred and thirty-one, of which twenty-seven were colored, and even of the white population twenty-eight were foreigners. Since then, Harrison township, having lost at least one-third of her territory by the organization of Monroe, has not fallen behind her sisters either in wealth or population, according to size. The census of 1880 gives the township a population of seven hundred and six, which shows it more densely settled than any township in the county, Union and Benton alone excepted. While the statistics of her wealth cannot be given, it is not to be supposed she is behind her sisters in that regard.

Back to: Daviess County

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