Nodaway County, Missouri Early History in Broyles Letter
(transcribed by Pat O'Dell:
Maryville Daily Democrat, Maryville, Missouri, Friday, January 9, 1891

We were shown a letter by Mr Broyles written by his father, Samuel T. Broyles, who lived at Sparta, Tennessee, dated January 29, 1841, and thinking, perhaps, by interviewing our aged friend, we might obtain quite a history of the frontier life, etc., at the time he came to this county, we sought his cheerful fireside, last evening, and with the aid of his estimable wife, we learned the following:

Richard Broyles was born in East Tennessee, near Knoxville, in the year 1811. When but a small boy his parents moved to White county, that State, and in the year 1831, he married Miss Broyles--his third cousin, and aunt of Mrs Joseph Jackson of this city--where he lived till the spring of 1840, when he, in company with Wm Broyles, father of Mrs Joseph Jackson, emigrated to Bloomington, Buchanan county, Missouri, their journey being very tedious, and as oxen were used for transportation, the time occupied in making the trip was about thirty days. When the party arrived at St Joseph, the only place where goods were offered for sale was by a Mr Roubideaux, which at that time was known as a trading post for the Indians. Where St Joseph now stands was a large cornfield then. During that year Mr Broyles' first wife died, leaving four sons, Asa, Jefferson, Saul and Samuel, to be cared for by their father, who during his journey to Nodaway county, which was in the fall of 1840, was compelled to carry them turn about on his back, in order to lighten the load of his faithful oxen. When Mr Broyles landed in Nodaway county he "squatted" on some land now known as the Marlin farm, near Skidmore, and worked for Mr Vinsonhaler, father of Mr George Vinsonhaler, of this city. The old settler found the land to be wild, timber very scarce, and they did not lack for wild meat, as game of all kinds was plenty. The nearest market and mill at that time were at Weston, and it took quite a while for the people to make the trip, as the oxen they used were very slow, and at times became stubborn, which gave them considerable trouble. In 1843 Mr Broyles took to himself his second wife, whose name was Mrs Cline. From this union five children were born, all of whom are dead. From 1843 till 1854 Mr Broyles pre-empted land in different parts of the county, but in 1854 entered 120 acres--which lies seven miles west of the city, and which he still owns. Mr Broyles entered his land under the Act of Congress of April 24, 1820, the papers signed by President Fillmore, October 1, 1852, which cost him in filing and surveying at the land office, then at Plattsburg, ten cows and calves, or an equivalent of $100. He also entered forty acres, south of his present farm, under the Act of Congress approved March 3, 1855, the warrant signed by President Buchanan, December 1, 1859. Mr Broyles remembers where the first house stood when he came to Maryville, it being in the vicinity of where Ellis & Prather's drug store now is, and the Court House--or log cabin stood on South Main Street, somewhere near Toel's European Bakery and Restaurant. It is interesting to hear him talk of the hardships endured at that time. He says that after he located his land the timber was so small that he packed logs on his back and built a shanty, and to make them more ornamental they added the "dobe" chimney. He lived in his "Mansion," as he called it, till he became able to build a good log house, the logs for which he hewed himself and had them hauled a long distance at night. In 1866 death entered his happy home and claimed for its victim his beloved wife, for whom Mr Broyles grieved until 1868, when he married the third time, his helpmeet being the person of Mrs Mary Brewer. Four children were born to them, viz: Anna, Richard, William (deceased) and Mary. All of the last named children are at home, whose presence are a comfort to the parents in their declining years. Mr Broyles' memory is still good, and he is well posted on the leading peoples of the day, while his wife, who is twenty-one years his junior, we found to be of a jovial disposition, and talks of her pioneer days as freely as her aged companion, who is still ambitious, and is contemplating returning to his fine farm and spend the balance of his days on the old homestead.

Thanking them for the above facts we tipped our hat, made our bow and took our departure for home.