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concentrating their business operations there. [For further particulars of this new town, see Howard county.]
An excellent house of entertainment will remain at the old town of Chariton, for the accommodation of travellers; and the steam saw-mill will continue as a useful contributor to the growth of the new town below. From old Chariton the traveller crosses the east fork of the Chariton on an excellent bridge, and pursues his route towards Keytesville, to which place it is seventeen miles. After travelling six miles through the bottom, the road runs through a beautiful and very rich timbered country for eleven miles to Keytesville. This town is happily situated on the left bank of Muscle fork, a branch of the main Chariton, within the timbered country, and on a high site. To the south, a fine view opens over a prairie as rich as any part of the globe, and sufficiently rolling for the convenience of farming operations. Much of this prairie is already occupied, and the improvements add to the natural beauty of the view from Keytesville. There is in Keytesville a good courthouse, four stores, with a general assortment of merchandise in each, and three taverns; and all the various mechanics' shops that are requisite in a farming country. Where the main road to the upper counties issues from the town, and crosses a good bridge, a saw-mill and a gristmill, with two pairs of stones, run the whole year. This is a convenience that is peculiar, and in Missouri but few places enjoy the same advantage. Although Chariton has not settled as rapidly as some of the counties, the lands of which were in market at an early period, yet there is a large portion of the county that is first-rate land; and much of it remains subject to entry, at the minimum price of one dollar and a quarter per There are many springs in this county, and some salt One salt-spring, the property of Major Ashby, is strong enough for the manufacture of salt. The mill-sites in Chariton are numerous; and there are four mills being built, in addition to the one already mentioned at Keytesville. Mr. Keyte, the original proprietor of Keytesville, is beginning another town near the mouth of Grand river, which he calls Brunswick. The site is an eligible one, and will probably become the point of
landing and shipment for the fine back country, north and east of the position chosen for that purpose. One and a half miles from Keytesville, on the Grand Chariton, there is a mill-site, unoccupied, of great value, having a rock bottom and one bank of solid rock. There is supposed to be water sufficient for a saw-mill and one or two large merchant-mills. The site is only eight miles from the Missouri. At the mouth of Grand river, where the traveller crosses into Carrol county, a ferryman, with the appropriate name of Cross, is found, who is no way crossgrained, but attends promptly to every call, even if the applicant is by chance across on the opposite bank of the river.
Stone coal is found in various places in Chariton of good quality; but none of the banks yield such variety as one which was described to the compiler, while collecting matter for the Gazetteer, which, the informant insisted, contained "lots of stone coal and charcoal.”
The water of Chariton county is called freestone water, although limestone abounds throughout the county. The lost stone is found in the prairies of the county, and with this the milling is performed at present. It answers all the purposes for country work. Some of the lost stone here is of peculiar whiteness. About two thirds of Chariton is prairie, and the soil of both prairie and timbered land is rich.
Wheat, corn, and oats have been the farming products, and tobacco plantations are beginning to enrich the prospect throughout the county. Chariton is one of the best stock counties in The fears of emigrants, on account of the unpromising appearance of the principal town, old Chariton, have left the rank growth of native herbage untouched in many fine tracts of country within the county. The county of Chariton is about twenty-four miles wide on the Missouri, and it runs back to the north boundary of the state, including much territory that will be erected into other counties, as the increase of population shall require, and be entitled to such facilities.
The improvement and settlement of Chariton county have been greatly retarded by the military bounty-lands within it being
owned, to a great extent, by non-residents. Those persons would be disposed to purchase and settle on these lands might look in vain for the owners, who reside in some distant quarter of the union.
CLAY COUNTY. The Revised Statutes give the boundaries of this county as beginning in the Missouri river; thence north to the division-line between ranges twenty-nine and thirty, and with said line to the northeast corner of section thirty-six, of township fifty-four, range thirty; thence west to the state line; thence south to the Missouri river, and down the same to the beginning." The location of Clay will be better understood by the following description.
This county, on the left bank of Missouri river, is bounded on the south by it, and west by the old state line, which is now changed by the addition of the territory recently acquired by Missouri. When the state was admitted into the union, there was not a house in Clay county: it is now one of the best settled tracts of country in Missouri or elsewhere. The high cultivation of the numerous and large farms, the substantial buildings, and the tasteful arrangements about the domiciles of the old settlers, would lead the visiter to the belief, if he were governed by appearances, that he was in the heart of the best settlements of one of the older states. The pioneers who explored this region of country found the land so rich, and the face of the country so attractive, that swarms of good citizens from Kentucky and elsewhere poured in, and the county was speedily settled and densely populated. Great wealth was carried to the country, and more has been acquired by the enterprise and industry of the inhabitants. They have not failed to avail themselves of the advantages presented in the frontier market, which they enjoy in common with their neighbours of Jackson county. This market the settlers of Clay at first enjoyed exclusively, having been cultivators before any settlements were made in Jackson. The people of Clay have not complained of having too much prairie; and it is probable a larger proportion would have been advantageous. They have, however, the fashion of making prairie, where there is any deficiency, with the Knous or the
Collins axes. The timber of Clay is good, and the county abundantly supplied with a variety of oak, black walnut, and black ash. The bee-hunters (a people rather less industrious than the insects which they destroy) have made sad havoc with the timber of Missouri. They go ahead of the settlers, and find honey in the tops of the tallest trees in the forests. These are necessarily felled to obtain the honey; and thus some of the best timber on the public lands is destroyed. Where the beehunter is followed up by the tanner, much additional waste is committed on the public domain. But, after all these depredations, enough generally remains for all the purposes of the farmer; and heavy log-rollings are common occurrences. Fields of corn filled with bare and leafless trees are found in various parts of the county, and are among the surplus possessions of the farmers of Clay, as well as their countrymen of other counties. The inhabitants of Clay are at present dependant on the east fork of the Platte, and Fishing river, and some smaller mill-streams, for their water-power. But when the great millsites on the main branch of Little Platte shall be improved, the western part of the county will be happily situated for milling facilities. These sites are in the territory recently acquired by the state. Limestone and sandstone abound in Clay, and the lost stone is used there for milling purposes in ordinary or country work. There are eleven grist-mills that are run with water-power in Clay, which are not sufficient for grinding breadstuffs for all the inhabitants of the county, and horse-mills are therefore still in use. There is likewise a steam-mill a few miles from Liberty, on the Missouri river.
LIBERTY, one of the well-watered tracts of land with which Clay county abounds, was selected for the seat of justice, and is about four miles from the river. This location was made with a view to health, and the people are not disappointed. The springs at Liberty are a fair sample of the advantages enjoyed in this respect in various portions of the county, where the milk and butter part of good living are made perfect in well-built spring-houses. There is but one objection that can be made to this town as a desirable place of abode, and that is contained in
a single sentence once uttered by a matron who was emigrating thither-"It is so far off." But when emigrants shall begin to pass through Liberty, on their way to the Mandan villages, and to the forks of Missouri, that objection will vanish, and Liberty will be an interior, fashionable city, like that where the enthusiastic visions of a Kentuckian now rest-Lexington, the Athens of Kentucky.
There are fourteen stores and four groceries in Liberty. The courthouse is a large, well-finished brick building.
The newspaper published at Liberty, with the very appropriate name of "Far West," is a well-conducted journal.
CLINTON COUNTY is bounded in the following manner :"Beginning at the northwest corner of Clay county; thence north to the middle of township fifty-seven; thence east to a point due north of the northeast corner of Clay county; thence south to the northern line of said county, and with said line to the beginning." The only indication of the existence of salt in Clinton county is in the old buffalo licks, on the surface of the earth, still places of resort for deer and the domestic animals of the country.
There is sufficient limestone and sandstone in Clinton for building purposes; and the creek banks are walled up by nature, in many instances, with these durable materials. The lost stones are found in Clinton, and these, as they are found scattered abroad, one in a place, with nothing resembling a rock or stone near them, have given the name to this kind of stone. These are used for milling purposes in Clinton. There are two or three saw-mills and grist-mills, either completed or in progress, in the county. This is one of the new counties, and has been recently erected out of the territory previously attached to Clay county. Mill-streams and mill-sites in Clinton are not abundant; but in the territory north, and attached to Clinton, there are many good sites for milling on the head branches of Grand river and the Little Platte. The country is well supplied with spring-water, and although the springs are not bold and strong, yet the water is good. Spring-water may be found in almost every quarter section, except in the large prairies in Clinton. The soil in