Clay County Events
Incorporation in Liberty
(From the book "Clay and Platte Counties,
Missouri," written 1855)
Liberty was first incorporated as a town by the county
court, May 4, 1829, on the petition of "more than
2/3 of the citizens" under the name and style of
"The Inhabitants of the Town of Liberty."
following were declared to be the metes and bounds:
Beginning at the southeast corner of the northeast
quarter of Section 7, in the line of the New Madrid
claim; thence due west along said Madrid line to the
southwest corner of said quarter section; thence due
north along the line of said quarter section to the
northwest corner thereof; thence due north along the line
dividing sections 7 and 8 to the beginning corner at the
mouth of the lane between ANDREW HIXON, SR., and said
This incorporation really included 160 acres of land,
being the northeast quarter of section 7, township 51,
range 31. The first board of trustees was composed of
LEWIS SCOTT, JOHN R. PETERS, ELI CASEY, SAMUEL RINGO and
Describing Liberty in 1829, the year of its first
incorporation, a writer in the Tribune in 1846 says:
The public square in Liberty then had two houses on the
south side, one on the west, two on the north, and two or
three on the east. HIXON's, WILSON's, BIRD's, and
CURTIS's addition to the town were then in old Mr.
Hixon's corn field. There was one tavern (the same now
1846) (occupied by JUDGE HENDLEY) kept by LEONARD SEARCY.
Parties and balls were frequent and often times attended
by ladies and gentlemen from Fort Leavenworth, Richmond,
Lexington and Independence. Preaching was uncommon -- at
least I never heard much of it. There was no church in
town, but I think the Baptists had 2-3 in the country;
perhaps at Big Shoal, Little Shoal and Rush Creek.
There was but little use for doctors at that time, as the
chills and fever were unknown, except in the Missouri
bottoms, where but few person had then settled. I
recollect that the first case of chills and fever that
occurred in the uplands excited great alarm and
astonishment. It occurred, I think, in Platte township.
Liberty was always healthy.
Not a death took place for several years after I came to
it, except 1-2 persons who came to it laboring under
comsumption. Once a physician, DR. CONWAY, was sent for
to see a sick man at the Council Bluffs. It was regarded
as a most hazardous undertaking, being in the winter
season, and the doctor received a fee of about $250.
There was no other physician nearer at that time; now
there are perhaps a hundred, and a trip to Council Bluffs
is as little regarded as it formerly was to the falls of
the Platte. These changes would surprise an individual
who had gone to sleep for the period of 17 years, but in
those who had witnessed them they excited but little.
The first settlers of Liberty were as cleaver, as
sociable, and as good people as ever walked the earth.
Many of them have gone to "that bourne from whence
no traveler ever returns", and many of them are now
There was a kind of brotherhood existing among the people
of Liberty and Clay County when I first came among them;
nothing like envy or jealousy existed. They are perhaps
more united yet than any other people in the state. This
arose from the fact that the first settlers were almost
entirely from Kentucky, and either knew each other, or
else each other's friends before they came here.
This page was last updated
June 7, 2005.