BOUNDARY

Beginning at the northwest corner of section 1, township 65, range 33; thence running east seven miles, to the northeast corner of section 3, township 65, rage 32; thence south six miles to the southeast corner of section 34, township 65, range 32; thence west seven miles, to the southwest corner of section 34, township 65, range 33; thence north six miles, to the place of beginning.

PHYSICAL FEATURES

About one-fourth of Greene township is timber, consisting of the usual variety indigenous to this climate. The land away from the streams is generally quite rolling, but exceedingly productive. The West Fork of Grand River flows centrally and southwest through the township; its affluents water the western part of the township, and Bear Creek flows through the northeast.

As an agricultural district, Greene Township is not, perhaps, excelled by any other in the county. It is the home of a number of large farmers and stock raisers, and is settled up with a thrifty class of citizens.

EARLY SETTLERS

Like all the pioneers, who emigrated West at an early day, the first settlers of Greene Township built their cabins in the timber which skirts the West Fork of Grand River and its tributaries. A few of them cultivated prairie land, but the majority opened their farms in the timber, where they found the axe and grubbing hoe to be the most indispensable agricultural implements in the earliest stages of farming. Had our fathers appreciated the treeless, rich prairies which spread out before them, in all their beauty, when they came West in search of a home, how much sooner, and with how much less hard labor could they have commenced their work of tilling the soil! And in how much less time, (so necessary to the pioneer) could they have realized the fruits of the early toils and hardships!

Among the earliest settlers of the township was Judge William MILLIGAN, who entered land near the center of the same, and about one mile northeast of the old town of Oxford, in the timber. Here he lived until his death, which occurred about the year 1873. He was one of the prominent citizens of the county, having at one time filled the position of county judge. He left a widow and eight children, who still reside in Worth County.

Levi YATES, a native of East Virginia, located one mile northwest of MILLIGAN, and two miles north of Oxford. He died during the late war. He also left a large family of children.

John ROTEN, Sr., from Kentucky, settled a half mile north of Oxford. He moved to Bates County in 1875, where he now lives.

On the adjoining farm to that of ROTEN, lived Hiram HARMON, who was also from Virginia at an early day.

William HETERICK settled one and a-half miles north of Oxford. He and HARMON were killed during the late war.

Elias MORRIS opened a farm about four miles north of Oxford.

Thomas JACKS was from Kentucky, and erected his cabin in the edge of the timber, one mile east of Oxford.

James HOOPER located three miles northeast of Oxford, where he remained until 1866, when he emigrated to the southern part of the state.

James COLLINS was an early settler and died prior to 1863.

Thomas CARROLL, originally from Ireland, but from Ohio to Worth County, came in 1864, and purchased what was knows as the John COLES place. John COLES was killed during the war.

George FOLAND emigrated from Kentucky prior to 1855, and located on the West Fork of the Grand River. He is still living in the township.

Thomas HAGANS, from Platte County, Missouri, settled also on the West Fork of Grand River. He was the father of John J. HAGAN, of Union Township, and originally from Clark County, Kentucky. He died before the war.

Ashbury WILSON was also from Kentucky, coming prior to 1855, and located one mile west of Oxford. He now lives in the township.

Matthew Curry, from Iowa, became a resident of Greene prior to 1860. He settled west of Oxford, on the West fork of Grand river. He died in 1867. Some of the members of his family reside in the county. Ellis MILLER and Edward DEAN moved from Ohio about the same time. They settled near the West Fork of Grand River. DEAN died about 1876.

Greenbury SPOONEMORE was among the pioneers. He hailed from Illinois, about 1855, locating in Greene township. He now, however, resides in Gentry County. His son, Monroe, and his daughter, Mrs. WILSON, are citizens of Worth County.

Among the Irish settlers were John MAHARRY and James MORRIS, who came prior to 1860, and located on the West Fork of Grand River. MAHARRY is one of the largest farmers of the township. James FREEMYER was an early settler, and died about 1872.

William SMITH, another pioneer, is among the largest taxpayers in the county. William B. YATES was one of the first officials of the county, holding the offices, among others, of assessor and probate judge.

Simeon WILLHITE, who was a native of Woodson County, Kentucky, emigrated west at a very early day. Upon his arrival in Missouri, he entered land in the then new county of Clay, which had just been organized. He continued his residence in Clay for a period of thirty years, finally coming to Worth County in 1855, and settling in Greene Township. Mr. WILLHITE was one of the representative farmers of Worth County, and dealt extensively in cattle and hogs. He died in May, 1874, at the age of sixty-seven years. His sons, Merrit, Lewis, Robert, John and Simeon are now living in Worth County, and Nathaniel lives in Platte County, Missouri. His widow still survives him.

William McCORD came from Pennsylvania in the fall of 1864 and purchased a farm on the West Fork of Grand River, near Oxford. Mr. McCORD is a large farmer, a large real estate owner and heavy taxpayer. He is also one of the directors of the Worth County Bank.

The following are all old settlers and aided materially in contributing to the agricultural interests of Greene Township: Samuel ADAMS, Samuel HARRIS, William SMITH, Charles LONG, Jesse PHILLIPS, John PHILLIPS, Isaac PHILLIPS, P. G. MORGAN, Joseph CABLE, Mike CABLE, John R. VANCE, Robert MARSHALL, Carter WEST, George WEST and Jeff TOLLIAFERRO.

SCHOOLS

There are nine good frame school houses in the township. These schools are well attended and are in a flourishing condition.

CHURCHES

There is but one church edifice in the township, which was erected in 1876 by the Cumberland Presbyterians. It is located in section 4, township 65, range 32. Jos. SIMPSON and wife, Samuel ADAMS and wife, John LONG and wife, W. L. LONG and wife, C. C. wright and wife, were among the organizing members. Rev. John WAYMAN was among the first ministers to serve this church. The Cumberland Presbyterians have an organization which worships in the Willhite School House. Among the constituent members were William SMITH and wife, Charles LONG and wife, Richard SWANK and wife, and John HOWARD and wife. The first ministers to officiate for this congregation were Revs. James FROMAN and John WAYMAN. Mr. WAYMAN resides in Gentry County and still preaches occasionally for this church.

The M. E. Church (south) has a society which holds services in a school house at Oxford. Among the early members of this society were Ashbury WILSON and wife, Mathia SHARP and wife, James HOPKINS and wife, James CURRY and wife, and Mrs. John WILLIAMS.

The Christians have also an organization at Oxford, which holds services in a school building. David SPENCER and wife, John ROTEN, Sr., and wife and John ROTEN, Jr., were among the earliest members.

OXFORD

The town of Oxford, when laid out, was called West Point, after Carter WEST, who was its founder and pioneer business man. Carter WEST did business there before the town was laid out. The plot was filed June 27, 1856. The old log cabin in which WEST opened his small stock of general merchandise is still standing. WEST was succeeded in business by Henry BOWERS and others, among whom was Charles R. MURRAY, the present county collector.

Among the earliest settlers in the town and township was Samuel HARRIS, who is the dry goods merchant of Oxford; he is also a farmer.

Thomas POWELL, Dr. John WRIGHT, C. R. MURRAY, Jackson SHARP, and perhaps one or two others, have been the postmasters of the place. Jackson SHARP fills that position at present.

Oxford is ten miles from Grant City, the county seat, and in a southwesterly direction. The country surrounding it is good, many of the farmers being full-handed, and making good, substantial citizens.

BUSINESS DIRECTORY

  • Samuel HARRIS, general merchandise
  • Dr. William COX, physician and surgeon
  • Jackson SHARP, postmaster
  • ____ McELROY, blacksmith
  • John BLACK, blacksmith
  • S. B. WILLHITE, druggist
  • Henry MILLER WAGON MAKER

I.O.O.F

I.O.O.F. established in February, 1877. The following were the charter members: C. R. MURRAY, W. B. YATES, C. MEET, J. W. McATEE, John ROTEN, Horace DRAW, J. S. SHARPS. The following have held office:

  • C. R. MURRAY
  • W. B. YATES
  • J. W. McATEE (remarks: listed as John W. McATEE in 1882)
  • C. MEEK
  • J. H. ROTEN
  • John ELGIN
  • John KIRKBRIDE

History of Gentry and Worth County, Missouri