AHGP Transcription Project

Taney County

Taney County, in the southern part of the State, is bounded north by Christian and Douglas Counties, east by Ozark County, south by the Arkansas State Line, and west by Stone County, and contains 437,381 acres.

Population in 1840, 3,264; in 1850, 4,373; in 1860, 3,576; in 1870, 4,407; of whom 4,397 were white, and 10 colored; 2,241 male, and 2,166 female; 4,385 native (2,204 born in Missouri) and 22 foreign.

The territory now embraced in Taney County was first settled in 1826 or 1827. In that year two brothers, Jacob and Solomon Youchuim, Elijah McAdo, and three others, named Denton, with their families, located on White River, and made farms. Some of the Youchuim family still live in southwest Missouri. The next settlement was made about 1830 or 1831, by James Oliver, Garner, Barnes, Nuchinn, and Edwards. Mr. James Oliver, now (1874) about 90 years of age, still lives in the county, surrounded by numerous descendants. Hon. Jesse Jennings located here in 1832, and he has represented the county in the Legislature, twelve or thirteen sessions, has also been sheriff one term, and county court justice two years. About the year 1838 Levi Boswell located in the county.

In looking over records of the early days many amusing things are found:
At one time the county court made an order declaring the State law concerning highways suspended, so far as Taney County was concerned, and a few years later the same body rescinded the order suspending the road law. It was a custom when any vacancy occurred in the offices of the county for the county court, clerk and sheriff to hold an election among themselves and whoever received a majority of the five votes cast was declared duly elected, and commissioned accordingly. The county was organized January 6, 1837, and named in honor of Chief Justice Taney. During the late Civil War, many old settlers were killed, or driven off, and the county records nearly all destroyed.

Physical Features
Taney is a rough mountainous county, of varied soil and scenery. White River, in a tortuous channel, traverses the county from west to east, and is navigable the entire distance. There are also a large number of creeks, among which are Beaver, Swan, Bull, Bear, Long, Big and Shoal, all affording ample water power. The waters of these streams are very clear. There are hundreds of springs of clear water; many of large volume. The county abounds with timber of excellent quality, consisting of oak, pine, walnut, cherry, elm, sycamore, hickory, birch, maple, sugar maple, etc.

There are three classes of soil, known here as "river," "creek" but "upland." The river soil is a rich, black loam, intermixed with a small proportion of sand, and produces well. The creek land is a sandy loam, and is a little inferior to the river land. The uplands are situated on the ridges or hills, with a red clay sub-soil and a dark lime top soil. The mountain scenery is grand, affording in many places a view of the whole county, for miles around. The valleys are generally narrow but fertile.

The Agricultural Productions are corn, wheat, oats, rye, barley, buckwheat, potatoes, tobacco, cotton and vegetables. Among the fruits are apples, peaches, pears, cherries, grapes, and all the small fruits.

About one-half of the land in the county has been entered and home-steaded, and about one sixth of this is in cultivation.

The Mineral Resources of the county are not developed, though indications of rich mines have been found in several localities. South of Forsyth, there is a large iron mountain owned by Clapp, Ayres & Co. Mr. Ayres is now in the county building barges to transport the ore down White River and up the Mississippi, to St. Louis.

The Manufacturing Interests are flouring, saw and sorghum mills.

Valuation of the county per census of 1870, $500,000.*

The Exports are wheat, corn, beef, pork, mutton, wool, and fruit.

There are a few very good public schools, but they are only kept up a few months each year. An effort which promises success is making to improve them.

Taney County Places in 1875

Bald Knob, is a post office 11 miles north of Forsyth.

Bauff, is a post office 25 miles south east of Forsyth.

Bee Creek, is a post office 14 miles south of Forsyth.

Bradleyville, is a post office and store 16 miles north east of Forsyth.

Cedar Creek, is a post office 12 miles south east of Forsyth.

FORSYTH, the county seat, and principal town of the county, is situated on the north bank of White River, about 5 miles northwest of the centre of the county. Population about 300. It was settled about 1838, and had a steady growth until the late war, during which it was entirely destroyed. It has again taken a new start, and now contains about 6 stores, a flouring mill, a good court house in process of erection, and one newspaper and job printing office, the Pioneer Farmer, J. J. Brown, editor.

Kerbyville, 8 miles south south west of Forsyth, contains a few stores and 100 inhabitants.

Mincey, is a post office 10 miles south of Forsyth.

Walnut Shade, is a post office 8 1/2 miles north west of Forsyth.

*Assessed valuation for 1873, $782,760. Taxation, $1.50 per $100. Bonded debt, $18,000. Floating debt, $3,000.

Source: Campbell's Gazetteer of Missouri, Revised Edition, by R. A. Campbell, Published by R. A. Campbell,
St. Louis, Missouri, 1875

1881 Taney County Gazetteer & Business Directory

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