Nodaway County, Missouri
from Standard Historical Atlas of Nodaway County, Missouri containing maps of Villages, Cities and Townships of the County. Maps of State, United States and World. Farmers Directory, Business Directory and General Information. Published by The Anderson Publishing Co., Map & Atlas Publishers. Chicago, Ill., 1911; pages 1 & 2, section 2.
(Transcribed by Pat O'Dell:

Jackson is the central township, north and south, on the eastern line of Nodaway County, bounded on the north by Union and Independence Townships, east by Worth and Gentry Counties, Missouri, south by Jefferson Township, and on the west by Polk Township. It was named in honor of the seventh President of the United States, Andrew Jackson.

The county records show the following order organizing and defining the boundary of Jackson Township:

"Ordered, that the territory within the following bounds be erected into a new township to be known by the name of and style of Jackson, to-wit: Beginning at a point where the line between Polk and Washington Townships crosses the long branch of the Platte, thence on the line eastward to the western boundary of Gentry County, thence northward on the line dividing Nodaway and Gentry Counties, to a point directly east of the Mowry House, thence from the point last aforesaid directly west to where the long branch of the Platte would thereby be crossed, thence with said branch to the beginning."

On June 14, 1866, the county court saw fit to change the boundary to this township to conform to its present limits, as above bounded. The same now contains about seventy square miles. It is nine miles from north to south and one mile less from east to west.


The Platte River divides this township a little to the east of the center, flowing about south, receiving the waters of Honey Creek, flowing from the north, nearly to the center of the township. A watershed divides the land along the east side of the Platte River, in close distance to the stream, that precludes any streams entering from the east. Long Branch flows in a southerly direction in the southwestern portion of the township. The eastern part is watered by two branches of the Grand River. Along Long Branch the land is quite rolling, as is the case along the Platte and Honey Creek in the central portions of the territory. In the central and eastern parts, after leaving the vicinity of the water courses, the land is but gently rolling and exceedingly fertile. About one-tenth of the township is timber land. Stone quarries afford plenty of good building stone.

In this township there has, for several decades, been some question as to who should have the honor of being county the "first settler." It is certain, however, that here, as elsewhere in Nodaway County, the first pioneers set their claim stakes near the streams and close to, or within, heavy timbered sections, as they needed the native forest kings for both fuel and fencing. Beyond doubt David Spoonemare and Moses Stingley were about the first white men to effect settlement here. Spoonemare located, in 1844, in the grove two miles north and a little to the east of the site of Sweet Home. There he took a claim and opened up a farm on the northwest quarter of Section 8, Township 64, Range 33. He made an excellent farm and was for many years an honored citizen of the county, well known to all the early pioneers.

Soon after came William Campbell, who located a mile and a quarter east of Sweet Home. His family still resided there in the eighties.

Of Moses Stingley, it should be said, that he was born in Virginia, September 4, 1810, and left that state September 1, 1832, moving to Tippecanoe County, Indiana, where he remained twelve years, lacking twelve days. In 1844 he removed to Missouri, locating in Andrew County, where he rented land and raised one crop. April 23, 1846, he settled in Jackson Township, this county. The township was then as first formed and embraced much more territory than at present. Pioneer Stingley related that at his coming he found but few settlers in that portion of the county, among whom he mentioned David Spoonemare, Jesse Harper, Elisha Brown, Caliborne Hughes, Jacob Grindstaff, Jack Clifton and John Clifton. The year of Mr Stingley's making his advent into Jackson Township there were only seven voters in the township. Thirty years later the county contained almost thirty thousand population and the original Jackson township had a voting population of between five and six hundred. Moses Stingley was one of the few pioneers who lived to see this great transformation. He was ever known as "Uncle Mose," and he saw the township in all of its native beauty, just as it had come from the hand of a wise Creator. He had killed two deer on more than one occasion while out in the early evening hour driving up his cows, and might easily have brought down another, but did not care to have so much meat on hand at once in his house. Once he remarked, "When I came here we had neither the law, gospel or the itch--as to the latter there were not enough persons here to communicate it to each other, and as for the other two there was no society for either." While the Indians did not live in the county then, yet they frequently came in on hunting expeditions and camped for days and even weeks at a time. Milling was done at St Joseph and at Hughes' mill, in Andrew County, southeast of Savannah. It usually took a week to make the milling trip, and on one occasion he was about with a four-horse team nine days. Within a few days after his arrival in the county he quarried a large number of grindstones from out the bluff along Honey Creek and hauled them to St Joseph, and there traded them for coffee, sugar, whiskey, etc. On those early marches to mill, the ordinary settler carried a liberal supply of "spirits" along with him. Mr Stingley remarked once, in after years, that "whisky came handy in case of snake bites. We had to have some kind of medicine for chills and ague, and this seemed the best cure for this as well as most other ills of the pioneer's flesh."

In his time the old wooden mould-board plows were in use and he frequently manufactured them for his neighbors. He brought an iron plow from Andrew County with him and this was a great curiosity to many of the early settlers, and men came as far as twenty miles to view its wonders. Farmers all made their own clothing from the raw material, unaided by the loom or sewing machine of today. If the family were shoeless they went barefoot and were thought none the less of by their more fortunate neighbors. So few and far between were "Uncle Mose's" neighbors that he related that one day a Yankee chanced to be going by his place and exclaimed to him: "You have a beautiful country here, but where are your neighbors?" "Mose" told him he didn't have but one neighbor and that he was a "d-----d Yankee who lived about twenty miles away," and that if another attempted to settle about him that he would shoot him. He was just joking, but the fellow thought he was a tough man--at any rate he never settled in the county.

Soon after Mr Stingley came to Jackson Township Isaac A. Lanning came in from Ohio, locating three miles and a half northwest of Sweet Home on the southeast quarter of Section 36 Township 65, Range 34. His farm was on the west bank of the Platte River, on which stream he built a mill and cultivated his farm.

In 1853 George Connor came from Illinois and claimed land two and a half miles north of Sweet Home settlement, on Section 6. Next came Richard Ashworth, an Englishman by birth, who purchased a claim on Section 7. Mrs Minerva Smith emigrated from Bartholomew County, Indiana, and settled two miles and a half north of present New Conception. Adelma Stingley, son-in-law of Moses Stingley, emigrated from Indiana in 1856, settling a mile and a half west of Sweet Home. George, son of Moses Stingley, came about the same date. Moses Spear came in from New York State about 1856 or 1857. Mrs Dorcas Yarnel emigrated from Illinois and settled in the same neighborhood. In 1857 came Samuel Beeks from Iowa and located three miles north of present New Conception, on the Plattte River. The same year Judge M.D. Nobles came in from Illinois, settling on the west side of the Platte. Reading Bowling came about that date from Illinois. The above constituted the greater part of the first settlers of Jackson Township.

Sweet Home is a little hamlet, pleasantly situated twelve miles east of Maryville and two and a half miles east of the Platte River. The land was entered and owned by Abraham Bonty, who sold to Leonard Stingley in 1857. Samuel Mason bought an acre from Stingley and on the same erected a hotel in 1859. In 1860 Robert Shaffer put up a store building and opened a general stock of merchandise. This store was burned in 1867. During the Civil War period no building operations were carried on at this point. In 1866 John Ham built a store and engaged in general merchandising. Later Basford & Roisten bought him out. Henry McMullin also was engaged in a retail store business and in 1870 S.P. Loy embarked in general merchandising. In 1876 James Bentley erected a building in the hamlet and started a store.

The name Sweet Home dates from 1865, and was so called from the farm on which it was located, which was known as "Sweet Home Farm." The post office at this point was established in 1864, Henry Reed being the first postmaster. Seef Clutter built a residence in 1865, and J.S. Basford in 1877 converted it into a hotel. In 1882 there was in the hamlet, in addition to the businesses already named, E.W. Bishop, physician; David Flynn, blacksmith; Leroy Harry, postmaster.

With the movement of railroad building and the establishing of Ravenwood, the old pioneer hamlet of "Sweet Home" went to decay.

Ravenwood, the present center of trade for Jackson Township, was the direct result of the construction of the Great Western Railroad, which line runs through the township from the northeast to the southern central line, en route from Des Moines, Iowa, to Kansas City, Mo. It was built in 1887. Ravenwood is situated on Section 13, Township 64, Range 34. The date of its platting was August 20, 1887. Its present population is about four hundred.