Jefferson was one of the earliest townships to find settlers, and Anderson Smith was the first permanent white settler who located in the township. Mr. Smith came originally from Tennessee and located in Clay county, Missouri, in 1833. In 1834 he removed to Jefferson township, Daviess county, and settled on section seventeen. Just before his removal, he was married, in Clay county, to Miss Mahala A. Henderson, a sister of Judge Henderson, of this county, and his trip to Jefferson was the starting out in life of this young couple. Mr. Henderson and John Owings came the same year. John Higgins, Elijah Armstrong and Wiley Cope all came from Tennessee and settled in the township in 1835 and 1836. New arrivals soon built up the intervening space and it was not long before the pioneers were in neighborly distances of each other. Joseph H. Mallory came in, 1841 and is the oldest settler now living in the township.
The first death in the township was that of James Camel, who was killed by being thrown from his horse, near where the town of Alto Vista now stands. The first natural death was that of Miss Owings, who died in 1842, and the first coffin was made for her by J. H. Mallory. She died of typhoid fever, and was buried in the cemetery known as the Black graveyard in Colfax township. This was the first interment in that cemetery.
The first child born in Jefferson township was George A., son of Anderson and Mahala A. Smith, whose birth occurred in the year 1835. George A. Smith is still living and is, of course, the oldest native of Jefferson township.
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