Progress of Jamesport Missouri

The township is six miles square, with the exception of a small jog in the range line in township sixty-one, and has twenty-two thousand forty-six and thirty-three one hundreths acres of as beautiful and fruitful land as the sun ever shone upon. It is bounded on the north by Lincoln township, on the east by the Grundy county line, south by Jackson, and west by Grand River township. It is watered by the Little Muddy and its branches on the west, and Hickory Creek and a branch which empties in the East Fork of Grand River in Grundy county on the north and west side. When the township was organized in 1870 its assessed valuation was $11,648. The township is fully two-thirds prairie and in depth and richness of soil and in productive capacity has not a superior in the county. The prairies are just rolling enough to give it a splendid drainage, and this undulating surface gives it a beautiful and picturesque appearance to the eye: When we take the beauty of its surroundings and the fertility of its soil, there is little more to wish for to the farmers or the stock-raisers of Jamesport township, and he would indeed be hard to please if, in choosing an agricultural life the land of Jamesport township did not fill the full need of his desire.

There was nothing particular to disturb the serenity of the people of this township for many years. The Indians gave them no concern, and the Mormons had scarcely found the beauty of its rich landscape or the productiveness of its mellow soil, before circumstances, over which they had no control, compelled them to leave for a less genial climate. With the in-crease of population the area of cultivated lands becomes more extended, and with it those great additions to the progress of civilization, schools and churches.

As the outskirts of Grand River and Jackson townships, Jamesport grew and prospered slowly, being, in a measure, away from their focus of business interests. As far back as 1858, Jamesport town had a local habitation and a name, and boasted of a population of fifty-nine persons in 1860. This was the county seat of that portion of Grand River and Jackson townships which was afterward organized as Grant. The Civil War commencing in 1861 did not encourage immigration, but the township escaped in many respects the blighting effects of too much loyalty, a loyalty that was of such a character as to refuse to allow new settlers to make their homes there unless they submitted to inquisitorial investigation, and would swear to a faith founded upon hatred. So being in a measure free from these stains upon the body politic, Jamesport township grew and prospered, but how fast it settled can be definitely ascertained only since 1870, the year it was organized. Yet it is easily seen from the census of 1860 of Grand River township, and its then extent of territory, that when Jamesport township was first given a local habitation and a name, it had its full share of the population and the wealth, according to the amount of territory occupied.


As before stated, this township was organized in 1870 under the name of Grant and the census report of that year gives 784 as the population of the township. Of this number 775 were whites and nine were colored, but the census that year makes no mention of Jamesport town. This may be ac-counted for from the fact that the railroad and Joe X. Wright had not reached there, the former to give it business, and the latter to give it a name and sound its praises abroad. The census of 1880 gives the township a population of 1,379, an increase in ten years of a little over seventy-five per cent. Thus while the State during the last decade gained twenty-six per cent, and the county a little over thirty-two per cent, this township’s gain is seventy-five. This ought to be satisfactory and probably is.

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