Old Settlers Association, 28 August 1879

Contributed by Virginia Gorton Bonne Pike County Democrat

The 7th annual meeting of the Old Settlers society of Pike and Calhoun counties was held on six mile creek, near Pleasant Hill, Thursday, August 28, 1879. Meeting called to order by Hon. Wm. A. Grimshaw, President of the society. Opened with prayer by Rev. Joseph Turnbaugh. Judge Forgy, of Missouri, who settled in that State in the year 1820, was first introduced and gave a brief but interesting account of his life connected with the early settlements of the county, followed by Mr. John Rogers, of the same state, who came to Missouri in 1817, landing in St. Louis county when St. Louis was hardly a village. Located in Pike county, Missouri, the following year, where he has since resided. Judge Fagg of Louisiana, Mo., then spoke of his remembrances of Pike county Illinois. in 1837, when he crossed the Mississippi river on his way to school in Jacksonville. Mr. J. R. Gay, of Clarksville, Mo., next addressed the meeting and gave a very interesting account of his early experience in the olden time. Judge Higbee gave an interesting synopsis of the changes in Pike county since his residence here, referring in a feeling manner to the memory of Messrs. Sitton, Harpole and other pioneers of Pleasant Hill, now passed away.

Fr Fielding Hanks one of the first, if not the first, tanners in Pike county, settling there in 1830, related some of his early adventures as he passed over the desolate prairies when but few cabins had been built. On motion the following named gentlemen were appointed a committee to name the officers of the society for the ensuing year and also to select the next place of meeting: David Hollis, B. F. Westlake, John O. Bolin, C. L. Higbee, L. N. Ferris, R. A McClintock and D. W. Dean. The meeting then adjourned for dinner when all who had not brought their dinners with them were abundantly provided for and a general invitation given to all to share the bounteous hospitality of the people of Pleasant Hill.

At 1 o'clock the audience was settled when the President delivered an able address revewing in brief the rapid growth of the county from its first settlement to the present time, rehearsing the virtues of the sturdy pioneers who laid the foundations of our present prosperity, and dwelling awhile upon the duties of the hour in order that the blessings of order, intelligence and virtue bequeathed this generation by those gone before shall be perpetuated. The Committee on Nomination of officers and to select the next place of meeting then made the following report which was adopted and the persons therein named declared elected to the respective offices and committees. President, Wm. A. Grimshaw. Directors, A. L. Galloway, Pleasant Hill; Geo. Stebbins, Atlas; B. F. Westlake, Newburgh; B. B. Hopkins, Griggsville; Lewis Ham, Chambersburg; Allen Rush, Perry, L. N. Ferris, Barry, M. D. Massie, New Canton; Mabery Evens, El Dara; John O. Bolin, Milton; Pike county; J. S. Harvey and John Lammy, Calhoun county; Wm. H. Johnston, Recording Secretary; J. A. Rider, Corresponding Secretary. Standing Committee. E. N. French, Milton; J. M. Bush, Pittsfield; Jerry Adams, Atlas; Addison Cadwell, New Salem; James Murray, Kinderhook; Benj. L. Matthews, Perry; and recommended that the next meeting be held at Milton, Pike county, the same to be fixed by the directors. A. G. Squires and several other old settlers of Calhoun county being called upon made brief addresses, followed by Henry Kent, one of the first settlers of Montezuma township, and Austin Barber, who kept the first store in Pittsfield.

The society then elected as honorary member the following named citizens of Missouri: Judge Fagg, Judge Forgy, J. D. Jameson, James Grimes, A. M. Thomas J. R. Gay and John Rogers. J. A Thomas, M. D., who commenced the practice of medicine in Pleasant Hill many years since, when but a small portion of that township was settled, then spoke, followed by John Hoskins, one of the very first settlers of Pike county, now living on section 1 Atlas township, where his father settled in 1822, at which time there was not more than twenty five white men within the present boundaries of the county. William Shinn, Andrew Main and Joseph Turnbaugh then related amusing incidents connected with hunting, going to mill etc. in olden times. J. M. Bush, of the Pike County Democrat, made closing remarks and offered the following resolution which was passed unanimously: Resolved, That the thanks of this society are hereby given to the citizens, ladies and gentlemen of Pleasant Hill, for the admirable and thorough arrangements made for receptions on this occasion. R. A. McClintock offered the following which was also passed: Resolved, That the newspapers of this County are requested to publish the proceedings of the meeting and that our Secretary furnish the minutes thereof. During the day the interest of the exercises was much increased by the music of the Prairieville (Mo.) Band, whose services had been secured by the local committee having in charge the arrangements for the occasion. On motion the meeting adjourned to meet next year at such time and place as shall be designated by the directlors. WM. H. JOHNSTON, J. A. RIDER, Secretaries.