St. Charles County, Missouri History (Chapter 1)

History of St. Charles County, Missouri


Chapter 1
The Pioneers of the County

Introductory -- First White Settlers -- Blanchette Chasseur -- Daniel Boone -- Romance of Bernard Guillet, the French Chief of the Dakotas -- List of Pioneer Settlers --- Early German Immigration

pages 87 - 108


One hundred and fifteen years constitute a long interval of time and yet, such is the period embraced between the date of the first settlement of St. Charles county, and the present era of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and eighty-four.

Standing, therefore, so far down the stream of time, and at such a distance from its source, we can not hope to retrace its meanderings step by step. 'Tis true the shores of this stream are thickly strewn with the relics of more than a century, but these grow fainter and still more faint, as we approach its source. Even written records become less and less explicit, and finally fail altogether as we near the beginning of the community whose lives we are seeking to rescue from the gloom of a rapidly receding past. But while we can not expect to gather all the scattered and loosening threads of the past, we hope to collect the main and important filaments, which compose the warp and woof of the history of St. Charles county.

To weave then, these filaments into a compact web of the present, is a work of great patience and labor, requiring days and weeks and months to perform. Many of the burdens and anxieties, however, resulting from such a task, will be lightened in proportion to the sympathy the reader may give the author, as he peruses the following pages.

The first settlement was made in what is now St. Charles county, in 1769, by a daring Frenchman called Louis Blanchette, surnamed "The Hunter" -- Chasseur. He being the first settler in this region of country, we deem it not inappropriate to place before our readers in this connection, a brief sketch of his life, although this sketch is embodied in a somewhat highly colored romance, which we take from "Hopewell's Legends of the Missouri and Mississippi:" --

In the year 1765, a Frenchman, called Blanchette Chasseur, animated by that love of adventure which characterizes all who have lived a roving and restless life, ascended the Missouri, with a few followers, for the purpose of forming a settlement in the then remote wilderness.

He was one of those who encountered perils and endured privations, not from necessity, but from choice; for he had been born to affluence, and had every indulgence consistent with wealth and station, but from a boy had spurned, with Spartan prejudice, every effeminate trait, and had accomplished himself in every hardy and manly exercise. When he had attained his majority, he sailed for America, then the El Dorado of all the visionary, roving and restless spirits of the age. He loved the Indian and the wilderness, and after a sojourn in the wilds for some months, the attractions of La Belle France were forgotten, and Blanchette Chasseur became the leader of the hardy pioneers of civilization of that early period. So assimilated had he become to the scenes in which he lived and mingled, that he forgot his caste, and condescended to mingle his noble blood with that of the aborigines of the country, by taking as partners of his itinerant wigwams young squaws of the tribes which were in the vicinity of his wanderings.

At the period which we have mentioned, Blanchette Chasseur had but three followers -- two Canadian hunters and a half-breed Indian. It was near sunset one afternoon in October, when they rowed up the swift-running current of the muddy Missouri. The vast forests skirting the river had that rich golden hue found only in America, and the tops of the trees, flooded with the dazzling glory of the sunbeams, looked gorgeous beyond description. There were several small hills at a little distance, and from one of these they saw the smoke ascending from a camp-fire.

Blanchette Chasseur, feeling confident that he was in the vicinity of a party of Indians, with that fearlessness and curiosity which made up, so largely, a portion of his character, determined to see and learn, if possible, their business in the neighborhood and to what tribe they belonged. He landed his little boat where some bushes grew thick upon the banks, and armed with his rifle, proceeded alone toward the encampment. When he was within a hundred yards of the camp-fire, seeing that he was discovered by the Indians, he stopped in his course, and taking a soiled piece of cloth from his pocket, tied it to the end of his gun, and waved it in token of friendly intentions.

At this signal of friendship from Blanchette Chasseur, an old Indian of low status but herculean build, came towards him. He was followed by a band of warriors, who, as well as he, were begrimed with paint; but the old Indian, from his rich display of beads and the plumage of birds, together with the deference paid to him by the band, was evidently the chief. The whole party had been on the warpath, for several fresh scalps dangled from the belts of some of the warriors; and the cincture of the old chief, through its whole circumference, was frizzled with the hair of the enemies subdued in many conflicts, but was totally unlike the fabled girdle of the Phaphian goddess, which gave to its possessor transcendant loveliness -- for the old chief was as hideous in his features as the veiled prophet of Korassan.

Blanchette Chasseur, with his ever-glowing courage, felt some slight chilling sensations glide through his frame, as he looked upon such a number of warlike Indians, besmeared with paint, with their reeking trophies of savage prowess. Nevertheless, he addressed them in an Indian tongue which he was familiar, telling them he was a white man ascending the Missouri, and that he loved the Indian. The old chief gazed upon him with a full, attentive smile, and molifying somewhat his rugged features, told him he was welcome, and to call his followers, whom Blanchette had left with the canoe.

The half-breed Indian, from the departure of Blanchette, had commenced to show symptoms of alarm, and when he saw the painted warriors, with their bows and arrows, their tomahawks and scalp-locks, some of which were still gory, his philosophy forsook him, and, darting from the canoe, and with almost the fleetness of a deer, endeavored to place as much distance as possible between himself and the supposed enemies. The old chief told his warriors to give chase, and capture without injuring him. With a yell that rang loud and echoing through the solitude, the fleet-footed warriors started after the fugitive, and, in a short time, the poor half-breed, more dead than alive, was brought to the encampment. His swarthy face looked pale with excessive fright; he kept one hand upon the crown of his head, as if he expected every moment that an attack would be made upon his scalp, and made such horrible grimaces, that the old chief shook with excess of laughter. Blanchette Chasseur, pitying his follower -- who, though a coward, was faithful -- calmed his fright by telling him that his scalp was as safe upon his head as the crown upon the imperial monarch of France.

All excitement being allayed, the old chief and warriors, and Blanchette Chasseur and followers, then sat, side by side, at a large fire, and smoked the pipe of peace -- an essential proceeding among the Indians, as significant of friendship. Blanchette Chasseur then told one of his men to go to the boat, and bring, from beneath a seat, a jug well filled with the fluid which causes the tongue to rattle, the heart to expand, and the reason to sleep.

At the sight of the jug, the old chief rose quickly to his feet, seized it in his large hands, extracted the cork in a twinkling -- and placed his nose to the aperture. He then gave vent to the most extravagant rapture. He cut a caper in the air that would have been creditable to an equestrian clown, embraced Blanchette Chasseur with the ardor of a newly accepted lover; and, spreading wide his short legs, so as to have a secure base, placed the large jug to his lips, and took a long suck of its contents. He then took a little pewter mug, that Blanchette Chasseur had in his hands, and dealt a sparing allowance to the warriors, and, after serving all with the diligence, if not the grace of a Ganymede, he threw aside the cup, and, again fortifying himself like a Colossus of Rhodes, he drank long and deeply; then drawing a long breath, he said, turning to Blanchette, "C'est bon; j'en ai assez," (it is good: I have enough).

Both Blanchette Chasseur and the old chief had a good supply of dried provisions, and all were soon in the humor to do justice to a supper. During the repast, the desirable jug was several times called upon to contribute freely, and such was the potency of its power over the usually cold stoicism of the savages that, in a short time, they commenced to laugh and boast of their recent exploits, and became on the most familiar terms with their new friends.

The old chief, seeing everything on the most friendly footing, with his stomach overflowing with whisky and dried beef, became very garrulous and familiar. Blanchette, manifesting some surprise at his readiness in speaking the French language, was told by Guillet, that if he were not too sleepy, he would relate some of the stirring incidents of an eventful life.

Blanchette signifying a wish to hear the narrative, the old warrior thus began: --

The Narrative of Bernard Guillet, The Chief of the Dakotas

"My good friend, the first thing I have to tell you is, that I am a Frenchman, and not an Indian. I was born near Marseilles, in the southern part of France, of poor, but respectable parents, who died within three months of each other, when I had attained 11 years of age. My mother died last, and a few hours before her death, with a feeble effort, she took a rosary which she kept constantly suspended from her neck, and hung it upon mine, murmuring some indistinct words. I have thought of them often since, and I know that they were blessings. After losing my parents my troubles commenced. It is not worth my while to dwell upon trivial incidents; let it suffice to say that four months after I lost my parents, I was, by the authorities apprenticed to a tanner. I was worked hard and almost starved; and, from thw wrongs that I had continually heaped upon me, I date the change in my disposition, which was naturally gentle, into fierce and vindictive elements. I was kicked about much more than a sorry cur we had in the establishment, named Carlo. However, I looked upon Carlo as my only friend, and he loved me in return. We were bedfellows. Things continued in this way until I became 17 years of age, at which time my mind became sufficiently developed to comprehend, to its fullest extent, the unjust treatment I received from my master, who still continued to beat me as usual fro every trivial fault and fancied omission. My blood often boiled during the chastisements, and I felt ready to exterminate the wretch upon the spot. One evening, in a paroxysm of rage, I killed him. Working hours were over, and as usual I was looking over some books that I had gradually collected together, so as to improve my mind. My rosary was in my hand, and the current of my thoughts had floated from my book to the by-gone days, with which was associated the image of my mother. My master came in, and seeing me with the beads, snatched them from my hands and gave me a buff upon the cheek, saying, I was a good for nothing, lazy fellow. I entreated him to return the rosary, telling him it was the last gift of a deceased mother.

" 'Your mother, you vagabond?' replied he; 'who was she but a strumpet?'

"Blood swam before my eyes -- my heart was on fire, and the voices of all the devils whispered vengeance! I sprang at his throat with a yell of rage, and clenched it like a vice! When I released the hold he was dead, and I, Bernard Guillet, was a murderer!

I fled that night to Marseilles, where a vessel was just leaving for the new world. I offered myself as a common sailor, and as the captain was short of hands, I was taken without any inquiries. We were soon out of harbor, and I was comparatively safe from pursuit.

"After a voyage of three months, we reached the shores of America, and fearing that I might be pursued for the murder of my master, I went far into the interior of Canada, and engaged with a man who traded furs with the Indians. Somehow or other, I became attached to the vagabond life I led. I soon learned to speak the tongues of several of the Indian tribes; engaged in business on my own account; hunted with the hunters; and, took to wife one of the daughters of a chief of the Senecas. After thus linking myself by a new tie to the Indians, I threw off the few civilized habits which still clung to me, and adopted all the wild independence of my new relations. I still visited, however, yearly, the trading posts of the whites, chiefly for the purpose of gaining powder and lead, and a good proportion of whisky. We were engaged in several wars with the neighboring tribes, and I became a distinguished warrior. In all probability, I had passed my life with the Senecas, had not my wife died in childbed. I sincerely mourned her loss; not that I can say that I really loved her; but I had lived with her for seven years, and she was obedient to my slightest wish: She had borne me four children, all of whom died.

"After the death of my wife, I became desirous of change, and determined to go far into the West, and lead the life of a trapper and hunter. One evening, unknown to any one, about nightfall, I took my tomahawk, rifle, a good supply of ammunition, and departed upon my long journey. I easily subsisted upon the proceeds of the chase, for then game was everywhere. I traveled through many regions, and followed the course of many rivers, yet always keeping towards the setting sun; sometimes, tarrying in a place two or three weeks, so as to try effectually what it would yield in the way of furs and peltries.

"On the banks of the Muskingum river, I was nearly losing my life. It was a warm day; and, being somewhat fatigued and drowsy, about midday, I lay beneath a large maple, which offered a fine shade, that I might take a comfortable nap. I know not how long I lay there; but I felt a dead, heavy weight upon my breast that nearly mashed me. I thought I had the nightmare, and tried to struggle with the witch that was riding me, when the effort awoke me, and I found a large red skin bestriding my body, and another commencing to bind me with thongs. I was then under thirty, and as strong as a buffalo.

"With a sudden effort, I threw the red devil who was making a pack-horse of me, and gaining my feet, struck the other a blow with my fist that made him whirl as a top. I then had time to draw my knife, as the Indian I had thrown from my breast gained his feet. He was soon finished; but the other had seized Nancy (a name I had given my rifle, in honor of my mother), and had it pointed, with sure aim, at my heart. Sacre Dieu! how funny I felt when I was thinking of the ball that was coming through me; but Nancy snapped -- I don't know whether from accident or not; but I have always thought that the name of my mother had something to do with it. You may smile; but it does me good to think that her spirit can now and then come near me. I killed the Indian with a blow of my tomahawk, and took the scalps of them both. They were of the Miamis.

"I still kept westward," said the old chief, taking another pull from the bottle; "and, after some fifteen months, came to the banks of the Mississippi. Then I got so far from civilization that I determined to give up all idea of trading with whites, for a time, and to find some locality to pack furs for a few years; by which time I calculated that plenty of trading posts would be established in those parts. I coursed along the Mississippi for a few days, and, seeing a large river flowing into it, I crossed over in a canoe I found hidden on the bank of a river, and ascended it by coursing along its banks, until I reached the neighborhood in which we are now. That was, as near as I can guess, about twenty or twenty-five years ago. Here I found plenty of deer and beaver, and determined to stop. So I built a little hut and commenced trapping beaver and muskrat. I was very successful during the first year, when, all of a sudden, I found that my luck had stopped. I soon suspected the cause -- my traps had been robbed. I determined to find out the thief. One night I lay near one of my most successful traps, and about daylight, or a little before, I saw the outlines of an Indian going to the spot where my trap was. He had a beaver in his hand, which he had taken from one of my other traps. I leveled Nancy, and he fell dead. After scalping him, I let him lie.

"A few days afterward, walking by the spot, I discovered that his body had been removed. I was much alarmed, for I knw the Indians had been there, and had taken away the dead body of their comrade. I fortified my little cabin as well as possible, and went out but seldom. About two months afterward, I was surprised one morning, before sunrise, by the sound of a war whoop in front of my cabin, accompanied by efforts to break open the door. I thought that my hour had come, but I determined to die game. I seized Nancy, put my rosary into my bosom in case I fell, that I might call on the Virgin for grace from the Son, and jumped to a loop-hole I had prepared before. There were ten savages, and they used no precaution, thinking that the mere sight of their numbers would make me surrender. One fell dead at the call of Nancy, then another, and, in the space of an hour, a third. They then became cautious, and, surrounding my cabin at all points, succeeded in firing it. Tonneri de Dieu, how it burned! I stood it some time, and, when I was almost roasted, I jumped from the blazing roof. I had no chance. Direcly I touched the ground I was overpowered and bound.

"I felt as if my doom was sealed, for I was a captive in the hands of the Dakotas, who had come a long distance to take my scalp for killing one of their tribe -- him who had robbed my traps. I was destined to a terrible death, and I knew it by their conversation on the journey. My skin peeled from my limbs, leaving a mass of raw flesh, so severely was I burned, that I was compelled to journey in my sufferings. After many days' travel we came to the chief village, and warriors, old men, women, and children, came to meet us. They all commenced abusing me, spitting upon me, and beating me. It was horrible to feel that I was all alone among the savages, sick and weak from the burns I had received. My only consolation was thinking of my mother.

"A council of old men and chiefs of the nation was held, and, as I had expected, I was doomed to the fire death. For two days there was great preparations for barbecuing me; and, when all was complete, I was delivered to the executioners. I was stripped perfectly naked, and my fee unbound. I had first to run a gauntlet. A row of boys and women were on each side of the way I had to run, and, when I started for the goal, flaming fire brands were thrust in my skin; spears and arrows pierced my flesh, and blows from clubs came in showers upon my defenseless body. I gained the goal, and fainted as I gained it.

"When I regained consciousness, I found myself tied to a tree, and the Indian boys preparing to shoot at me for a target. The arrows stuck in my body in all directions, but did not touch any vital part, the object being not to kill but torture me. I tried by sudden efforts to twist my body so as to disappoint their aim, that I might be killed, but I was too tightly bound and had to suffer. After amusing themselves until I was a mass of bleeding wounds, it was determined to end the scene by placing me at the stake. I was bound to a post aound which were piles of resinous wood. The torch was ready to be applied, and my last thoughts were on meeting my mother, when an Indian woman rushed to the stake, and claimed me as her husband, in place of the one she had lost. No one disputed her claim, and I was led to her lodge, and my rifle and all other property that the Indians had brought from my hut, were restored to me. I was formally adopted by the nation and became a great favorite, doing them great service in their wars against the Pawnees and Chippewas. The chief of the tribe gave me his only daughter for a wife, and he dying I was made chief of the nation, and am so still."

Blanchette Chasseur thanked the chief for his interesting history, and after drinking each other's health from the jug, which effectually exhausted its contents, they lay down, and were soon following the example of their snoring followers.

Next morning, Bernard Guillet, the chief of the Dakotas, invited Blanchette Chasseur to visit him in his remote home, saying that he would never get as far east again, as he was advancing in years, and was tired of taking scalps.

"Bernard," said Blanchette Chasseur to the old chief, before his departure, "when you lived here did you give any name to your home?"

"I called the place 'Les Petites Cotes' " replied Bernard, "from the sides of the hills that you see."

"By that name shall it be called," said Blanchette Chasseur, "for it is the echo of nature -- beautiful from its simplicity."

The two friends then separated. The chief of the Dakotas with his warriors wended their way back to their tribes, and Blanchette Chasseur again ascended the Missouri, determined in a short time to return to Les Petites Cotes, and there form a settlement. He did so. In 1769 (four years after) he formed a settlement, and called the town that he laid out "Les Petites Cotes." It soon grew to a thriving village, and many years afterward was changed to St. Charles.

The above romance doubtless more fiction than truth, yet we have given it, because it may interest some of the readers of this history.

All authorities, however, agree to the main fact, that Blanchette made the first settlement in the county, and that he located on the present town site of the city of St. Charles, coming here about the year 1769, and dying about the year 1793. He was commissioned by the Governor of Upper Louisiana to establish a post here under the Spanish government, and was, until the date of his death, its first civil and military Governor. The country, at the time of his arrival, was an unbroken wilderness, inhabited by wild beasts and savage Indians, who roamed at will through forest and prairie, from the Missouri river on the south, to the British Possessions on the north, and continued to maintain their supremacy in all this region of country, excepting in the immediate vicinity of the military post at St. Charles, until 1795. 'Tis true that a few houses had, in the meantime, been built at St. Charles, numbering, perhaps, about a dozen, between the years 1769 and 1791, but these were the inferior, temporary huts of the commandant, and the attaches of the post.

The first Americans who settled in St. Charles county, and in fact, the first Americans who permanently pitched their tents in what is now known as the State of Missouri, were Col. Daniel Boone, the distinguished pioneer from Kentucky, and his family, excepting his two daughters, Lavinina and Rebecca, who lived and died in Kentucky. A brief sketch of Col. Boone and his family will no doubt be read with interest.

Daniel Boone was born in Bucks county, Pa., July 14, 1732. He married Rebecca Bryan. Nine children resulted from this marriage, viz.: James, Israel, Susanna, Jemima, Lavinia, Daniel M., Rebecca, Jesse and Nathan.

James, the eldest son, was killed by the Indians in his sixteenth year.

Israel was killed at the battle of Blue Lick, in Kentucky, August 19, 1782, in his twenty-four year.

Susanna married William Hayes, an Irishman, and a weaver by trade. They lived in St. Charles county, Mo., and she died in the fortieth year of her age.

Jemima married Flanders Callaway, and lived in what is now Warren county, Mo. She died in 1829, in her sixty-seventh year. While the family were living in the fort at Boonesborough, Ky., she and two young friends, Betty and Frances Callaway, daughters of Col. Richard Callaway, were captured by the Indians while gathering wild flowers on the opposite bank of the Kentucky river, which they had crossed in a canoe. The were pursued by Boone and Callaway and six other men, and recaptured the following day.

Lavinia married Joseph Scholl and lived in Kentucky. She died in her thirty-sixth year.

Daniel M. married a Miss Lewis, of Missouri, and died July 13, 1839, in his seventy-second year. He settled in Darst's Bottom, St. Charles county, Mo., in 1795, but moved to Montgomery county in 1816. He held several important positions under the government, and during the Indian war, was appointed colonel of the militia. He made most of the early government surveys in the counties of St. Charles, Warren, Montgomery and Lincoln. At the time of his death he was living in Jackson county. In personal appearance, he resembled his father more than any of the other children.

Rebecca, the youngest of four daughters, married Philip Goe, and lived and died in Kentucky.

Jesse married Cloe Vanbibber, and settled in Missouri in 1819. He had received a good education and became a prominent and influential man before his death, which occurred in St. Louis in 1821, while serving as a member of the first Missouri Legislature.

Nathan Boone, the youngest child of Daniel Boone, came to Missouri in 1800. He married Olive Vanbibber, a sister of Jesse Boone's wife. He was a surveyor and made a number of government surveys. At the commencement of the Indian war of 1812, he raised a company of rangers, and received his commission as captain from President Monroe in March, 1812. In August, 1832, he was commissioned captain of dragoons by President Jackson, and during President Polk's administration he was promoted to major of dragoons. In 1850 he was again promoted, and received his commission as lieutenant-colonel of dragoons from President Filmore. He died October 16, 1856, in his seventy-sixth year.

Col. Daniel Boone (the old pioneer) came to Missouri in 1795, and settled in Darst's Bottom. His son, Daniel M., had preceded him a short time, and from him and some hunters he had heard of the wondrous fertility of the great country west of the Mississippi, and of its great abundance of game, and having lost his lands in Kentucky, by reason of a defective title, he finally concluded to emigrate and settle in this new country. This he did, as above stated, in 1795, locating in St. Charles county, and about twenty-five miles above St. Charles, on the Missouri river. June 11, 1800, Delassus, Lieutenant-Governor, appointed him commandant, or sydic, of Femme Osage District, which office he accepted. He retained his command, which included both civil and military duties, and discharged them with satisfaction to all concerned, until the transfer of the government to the United States in 1804.

Col. Boone received from the Spanish Government, Delassus, a grant of 1,000 arpents of land in the Femme Osage District. Subsequently a grant of 10,000 arpents was made to him, by reason of an agreement with him, which he fulfilled, to bring into Upper Louisiana 100 families from Virginia and Kentucky. In order to confirm this gran, it was necessary to obtain the signature of the direct representative of the Spanish crown, at that time residing in New Orleans. Neglecting to comply with this requisition, his title was declared invalid. His title to the first grant of 1,000 arpents was also declared invalid, but was afterwards confirmed by special act of Congress.

On the 18th of March, 1813, Col. Boone experienced the saddest affliction of his life, in the death of his aged and beloved wife. She had been the companion of his toils, dangers, sorrows and pleasures for more than half a century, participating in the same generous and heroic nature as himself. He loved her devotedly, and their long and intimate association had so closely knitted their hearts together that he seemed hardly able to exist without her, and her death was to him an irreparable loss.

She was buried on the summit of a beautifull knoll, in the southern park of (now) Warren county, about one mile south-east of the little town of Marthasville. A small stream, called Teugue creek, flows by the foot of the knoll, and pursues its tortuous course to where it empties into the Missouri river, a few miles to the south-east. Her grave overlooked the Missouri bottoms, where are here about two miles in width, and now, since the timber has been cleared away, a fine view of the river can be obtained from that spot.

Soon after the death of his wife, the old pioneer marked a place by her side for his own grave, and had a coffin made of black walnut for himself. He kept his coffin under his bed for several years, and would often draw it out and lie down in it, "just to see how it would fit." But finally a stranger died in the community, and the old man, governed by the same liberal motives that had been his guide through life, gave his coffin to the stranger. He aferward had another made of cherry, which was also placed under his bed, and remained there until it received his body for burial.

The closing years of his life were devoted to the society of his neighbors, and his children and grandchildren, of whom he was very fond. After the death of his wife, wishing to be near her grave, he removed from his son Nathan's, on Femme Osage creek, where they had lived for several years previously, and made his home with his eldest daughter, Mrs. Flanders Callaway, who lived with her husband and family on Teuque creek, near the place where Mrs. Boone was buried. Flanders Callaway removed from Kentucky to Missouri shortly before the purchase of the territory by the United States, and received a grant of land from the Spanish government.

Frequent visits were made by the old pioneer to the homes of his other children, and his coming was always made the occasion of an ovation to "Grandfather Boone," as he was affectionatley called. Wherever he was, his time was employed at some useful occupation. He made powder-horns for his grandchildren and neighbors, carving and ornamenting many of them with much taste. He repaired rifles, and performed various descriptions of hanidcraft with neatness and finish.

In December, 1818, Boone was visited by the historian, Rev. John M. Peck, who was deeply and favorably impressed by the venerable appearance of the aged pioneer. Mr. Peck had written his biography, and expected to obtain some additional notes from hm, but was so overcome with veneration and wonder, that he asked only a few questions. If he had carried out his first intention he would no doubt have given a perfectly correct account of the life of this remarkable man, but as it was, a number of mistakes crept into his work, and many events of interests that occurred during the last few years of Boone's life were lost forever.

In the latter part of the summer of 1820, Boone had a severe attack of fever, at his home at Flanders Callaway's. But he recovered sufficiently to make a visit to the house of his son, Maj. Nathan Boone, on Femme Osage creek. The children had heard of his sickness, and were delighted to see grandfather again, and everything was done that could be to make him comfortable. For a few days he was happy in their society, and by his genial disposition and pleasant manners diffused joy and gladness throughout the entire household.

One day a nice dish of sweet potatoes -- a vegetable of which he was very fond -- was prepared for him. He ate heartily, and soon after had an attack from which he never recovered. He gradually sank, and, after three days' illness, expired, on the 26th of September, 1820, in the eighty-sixth year of his age.

He died calmly and peacefully, having no fear of death or the future state of existence. He had never made any profession of religion, or united with any church, but his entire life was a beautiful example of the Golden Rule -- "Do unto others as you would that they should do unto you." In a letter to one of his sisters, written a short time before his death, he said that he had always tried to live as an honest and conscientious man should, and was perfectly willing to surrender his soul to the discretion of a just God. His mind was not such as could lean upon simple faith or mere belief, but it required a well considered reason for everything, and he died the death of a philosopher rather than that of a Christian. His death was like the sleep of an infant -- quiet, peaceful and serene.

The remains of the departed pioneer were sorrowfully placed in the coffin he had prepared, and conveyed, the next day, to the home of Mr. Flanders Callaway. The news of his decease had spread rapidly, and a vast concourse of people collected on the day of the funeral to pay their last respects to the distinguished and beloved dead.

The funeral sermon was preached by Rev. James Craig, a son-in-law of Maj. Nathan Boone; and the house being too small to accommodate the immense concourse of people, the coffin was carried to a large barn near the house, into which the people crowded to listen to the funeral service. At their close the coffin was borne to the cemetery and sadly deposited in the grave that had been prepared for it, close by the side of Mrs. Boone.

At the time of Boone's death the Constitutional Convention of Missouri was in session at St. Louis, and upon receipt of the intelligence a resolution was offered by Hon. Benjamin Emmons, of St. Charles, that the members wear the usual badge of mourning for thirty days, in respect to the memory of the deceased, and adjourn for one day. The resolution was unanimously adopted.

The Boone family were noted for longevity.   George Boone, a brother of Daniel, died in Shelby county, Ky., in November, 1820, at the age of 83; Samuel, another brother, died at the age of 88; Jonathan at 86; Mrs. Wilcox, a sister, at 91; Mrs. Grant, another sister, at 84, and Mrs. Smith, a third sister, at 84.   There is no record of the deaths of the rest of Boone's brothers and sisters, except those given heretofore, but they all lived to be old men and women.

When Col. Boone made choice of a place of burial for himself and family, and was so particular to enjoin his friends, if he died from home, to remove his remains to the hill near Teuque, he did not anticipate an event which occurred a quarter of a century after his death and which resulted in the remains of himself and his wife finding their last resting place on the banks of the Kentucky river, in the land he loved so well.

The citizens of Frankfort had prepared a tasteful rural cemetery, and, at a public meeting, decided that the most appropriate consecration of the ground would be the removal of the remains of Daniel Boone and his wife. The consent of the surviving relatives was obtained, and in the summer of 1845, a deputation of citizens, consisting of Hon. John J. Crittenden, Mr. William Boone and Mr. Swaggat, came to Missouri on the steamer Daniel Boone for the purpose of exhuming the relics and conveying them back to Kentucky.

The graves were situated on land belonging to Mr. Harvey Griswold, who at first objected to the removal, as he intended to build a monument over them, and beautify the place. Mr. Griswold was supported in his objections by a number of influential citizens, who claimed that Missouri had as much right to the remains of Daniel Boone as Kentucky, especially as the old pioneer had selected the location of his grave and had given such particular instructions in regard to his being buried there.

The gentlemen from Kentucky finally carried their point, however, and on the 17th of July, 1845, the remains of Daniel Boone and his wife were removed from their graves. The work was done by King Bryan, Henry Angbert and Jeff. Callaway, colored. Mrs. Boone's coffin was found to be perfectly sound and the workmen had but little difficulty in removing it; but Col. Boone's coffin was entirely decayed and the remains had to be picked out of the dirt by which they were surrounded. One or two of the smaller bones were found afterward, and kept by Mr. Griswold as relics.

The remains were placed in new coffins prepared for their reception and conveyed to Kentucky, where they were re-interred with appropriate ceremonies, in the cemetery at Frankfort, on the 20th of August, 1845. A vast concourse of people from all parts of the State had collected to witness the ceremonies. An oration was delivered by Hon. John J. Crittenden, and Mr. Joseph B. Wells, of Missouri, made an appropriate address.

The graves on the hill near Teuque creek were never re-filled, but remain to-day as they were left by the workmen, except that the rains have partly filled them with dirt, and they are overgrown with weeds and briars. Rough head stones had been carved by Mr. Jonathan Bryan, and placed at the heads of the graves. These were thrown back on the ground, and are still lying there. Recently, pieces of these stones have been chipped off and sent to Kentucky as mementoes.

We have dealt at some length upon the name of Louis Blanchette, because he was the first white man (though a foreigner) to take up his abode upon the soil of St. Charles county. We have given also a brief sketch of the Boone family, because they were the first American settlers. Blanchette posed as the head and front -- the standard-bearer of the first era of civilization, and the Boone family as the advanced guard -- the pioneers of the second era which dawned upon this land of savage ferocity and indolence. They came at two distinct periods; the first in 1769, and the latter in 1795, there being an interval of twenty-six years between the dates of the first and second settlements. It was not, however, until the Boones had come that the white man dared to isolate himself from the sight of the Spanish flag was floated over the military post at St. Charles. After 1795 the county proper began to settle up, the first pioneers locating in Darst's Bottom in Femme Osage township, and thence in other townships, until, in the course of a few years, every municipal and congressional township and every inhabitable nook and corner of the county contained a white man's cabin. The old pioneers of Daniel Boone's time have long since crossed the river, and are with their comrades on the other shore. But few of the veterans and graybeards of a later date are now living; those remaining may be counted on the fingers of one hand. A few more years of waiting and watching and they, too, will have joined --

"The innumerable caravan, that moves
To the pals realms of shade, where each shall take
His chamber in the silent halls of death."

Fresh hillocks in the cemetery will soon be all the marks that will be left of a race of giants who grappled nature in her fastness and made a triumphant conquest in the face of the greatest privations, disease and difficulty. The shadows that fall upon their tombs as time recedes are like the smoky haze that enveloped the prairies in the early days, saddening the memory and giving to dim distance only a faint and phantom outline, to which the future will often look back and wonder at the great hearts that lie hidden under the peaceful canopy.

Below we give the names of the pioneers of the county, beginning with those of Femme Osage township: --

No. of GrantAcresNo. of GrantAcres
John Bell1,721382John Little Johns1,702640
Daniel Boone1,646450S. Hammond476825
Daniel M. Boone20510Joseph Haynes14170
Nathan Boone1,794680John Lindsay59425
G. Buchanan1,722340William Hays1,670510
Jonathan Bryan301527H. McLaughlin44510
James Clay138279McCourtney475340
Jeremiah Clay300382J. McMitchell384595
John Crow438382Adam Martin1,673510
Henry Crow62340Thomas Smith303680
David Darst, Sr.18510Perceley's Representatives937640
David Darst1,643224John Watkins1,735680
James Davis970340Isaac Van Bibber19340
Joshua Dodson208340James Van Bibber1,793362
Isa Darst1,644297John Zumwalt1,246640


St. Charles Township
No. of GrantAcresNo. of GrantAcres
Louis Baby2,943160James Green29680
Bernard Etrenne762425A. Janis30
John Cook291640John Journey743510
Peter Chouteau1,779640Peter Lewis2,610204
Peter Chouteau2,9821,396James Mitchell1,806547
John Coontz285510William McConnel292
T. Coulk311340Pepin Etrenne3,2771,361
Thomas Coulk127255James Piper1,775680
T. Cerre23Michael Rybolt979640
Jacque Clamorgan1,198907Robert Spencer1,799640
T. Coulk312340William Stewart16340
Francis Duquette308221G. Spencer165382
Francis Duquette1,668340Francis Smith280
Francis Duquette35240Francis Saucier3,281850
Francis Duquette1,667340John Tayon205340
George Girty3,138640Peter Teague1,784680
James Flaugherty64Nick Tirart2,580170
Elisha Goodrich647340


Dardenne Township
No. of GrantAcresNo. of GrantAcres
Perry Brown296493Milton Lewis1,771299
J. Beatty991640David Miracle168340
Warren Cottle354 & 753640William McConnel292680
Coontz739640John McConnel1,785640
Ira Cottle353340John Rourke3,225 & 260640
Nich. Coontz58340Rutgers1,6695,908
P. Chouteau1,704433Na. Simmonds1,776255
Grojean460170John Scott1,690428
Francis Howell887640Joseph St. Mary2,526160
George Hoffman293340John A. Smith735640
P. Hoffman57255Teaque174640
George Hoffman1,787640Joseph Weldon280340
John Howell453344John Weldon1,796425
Newton Howell --- 279Christ Wolf948640
James Kerr1,6411,020John Walker67340
Godfrey Krah424510Joseph Voisard1,786640
George Gatty290382Ad. Zumwalt296493


Cuivre Township
No. of GrantAcresNo. of GrantAcres
J. Baker2,573212Silvanus Cottle756(arp.) 500
David Conrad1,783640G. Fallis456350
Bernard Praft and
    J. Beauchemin
Wm. Farnsworth754640
1,361August Giles888640
Jacob Cottle755640Benjamin Jones935640
Lewis Crow,1777640A. Keithley1781(arp.) 300
William Craig889640S. Lewis1,782640
M. Lewis929552J. Wealthy11340
C. A. Macay8429H. Zumwalt413737
Redenhour McCrow149Ad. Zumwalt294510
Fr. Hostetter425C. Zumwalt54167
Daniel McCoy386300J. Zumwalt287(arp.) 350
John McCoy145382


Callaway Township
No. of GrantAcresNo. of GrantAcres
David Baldridge738640J. Baldridge931340
Robert Baldridge1,807640M. Baldridge297640
William Crow891640Leonard Price61552
Andrew Edwards738640John Parett552
David Edwards1,807640Arend Rutgers1,6695,908
David Kiehlie947640P. Zumwalt53300
David Keishler418510


Portage Township
No. of GrantAcresNo. of GrantAcres
Antoine Barada, assignee
    of Thos. Griffin
Louis LeBaume1,8389,752
1,741680Thomas Mitchell1,806547
Alex Clark1,810262James Piper21382
H. Crosby309510Eleazar Patterson2,442640
Samuel Griffith17340Antoine Pricur1,692680
Samuel Griffith744640G. S. Spencer454212
W. Gilbert307425Francis Saucier1,703850
John Ferry1,671680John A. Scitz1,730680
Isaac Fallis455510Chas. Sanguinette1,7653,692
John Ferry1,667680


The German Immigration

In the 1824-25 an educated and intelligent German named Gottfried Duden, came to America and traveled extensively over our country, observing our climate, soil and productions, and taking notes of our manners, customs, laws, etc. He spent nearly a year in the region of country embraced in the counties of st. Charles, Warren and Montgomery, traveling under the guidance of Daniel M. Boone and others, whom he paid liberally for their services.

He was highly pleased with the country and the people whom he found here, and upon his return to Germany wrote and published a book of 350 pages, giving a complete history of our laws, forms of government, etc., with a thorough description of the portions of country that he had visited. The book had an immense sale and he became wealthy from the proceeds.

In a few years the effect of his writings began to be manifest by the arrival of German immigrants, preceded by a few educated and wealthy men who came in advance to prepare the way for them. Each family had a copy of Duden's book, and so accurate were his descriptions of places and names that they knew the farms and the names of their owners as they came to them.

They expected not only to find an abundance of game and wild animals of all kinds -- in which they were not disappointed -- but also to under the necessity of defending their homes against the attacks of the savages; and hence they came prepared with swords, muskets, pistols, etc. It was no uncommon thing to see a stout burgher marching at the head of his family with an immense saber buckled around his portly form and a musket or portentous yager resting upon his broad shoulders. But they soon beat their swords into plowshares and used their fire-arms to kill squirrels, turkeys, deer and other game with which the country abounded.

The Americans rejoiced at their coming, and extended to them a hearty welcome, for they brought with them money, which the country greatly needed just at that time, bought lands, and proved to be honest, industrious, thrifty citizens. They also introduced the mechanical arts of an older country, and manufactured many useful articles that had before been unknown to the Americans.

Louis Eversman came with Duden, traveled with him, and remained when the latter returned to Europe; so that he was the first German settler in this part of Missouri. He married Miss McLane, bought a farm in Warren county, raised an intelligent family, and became a prominent and influential citizen.

Most of the first immigrants were from Hespers, Germany, and they arrived in 1833. They came in societies or companies, which bore the names of their native places in Germany. The Berlin Society was composed of the following families: Charles Madler, Charles A. Miller, William and Ferdinand Roach, Henry Walks, Henry Seitz, Louis, William and Conrad Haspes, August Rixrath, Jerry Schieper, Daniel Renner, Justus Muhnn and his two brothers, Charles Lipross, Philip Renner, Jacob Sack, Henry Schaa, Harmon Stuckhoff, and Charles V. Spankern. Most of these settled in the western part of St. Charles county, in the vicinity of Augusta. Other families came about the same time, amongst whom were: Charles Wincker, George H. Mindrup (who served as judge of the county court of St. Charles county four years), Frederick Wincker (who was postmaster at Augusta for some time), Bernhard and Henry Stuckhoff, Arnold Vaelkerding, William, August and Julius Schart, Francis Krekel (father of Judge Arnold Krekel), and Julius, Emile, Herman and Conrad Mallinckrodt. The Mallinckrodts were all well educated, and became influential citizens in the communities where they settled. They studied the English language before they came to America, but the pronunciation was incorrect, and when they arrived in this country they were mortified to find that they could not converse with our people until they had unlearned the English which had been taught them in Germany. When Julius Mallinckrodt arrived in St. Louis, he met a man in the street, and desiring to make some inquiries of him, he addressed him in what he supposed to be the English language, but the man could not understand him. He then addressed him in German, and then in Latin, but he still could not understand. By this time they were both excited and beginning to grow angry, when Mallinckrodt exclaimed in a fit of desperation, "Parles-vous Franšais, Monsieur?" Instantly the man threw his arms around his neck and embraced him, while tears of joy ran down his cheeks. He proved to be a Frenchman who had just arrived in the city, and, like Mallinckrodt, could not find any one with whom he could converse. The latter spoke French almost as fluently as he did his mother tongue, and a warm friendship, which lasted for years, at once sprang up between the two strangers in a strange land.

In 1834 the Gissen Society arrived. It was under charge of Hon. Frederick Muench, who still resides in Warren county, and besides being a man of great local influence, is a writer and author of some renown. He had been a member of the Legislature and State Senate several times, and is everywhere recognized as a man of ability and a profound thinker and philosopher. He was born and raised in the province of Upper Hesse, in Prussia, and educated for the ministry. He was pastor of a Protestant Church in Germany 13 years, and in 1834 he organized the Gissen Society from among the members of his congregation, and came to America. In the Society were the following families: Gotlieb Beng, John Kessler, Jacob Jeude, Frederick Reck, Dr. Frederick Kruge, Henry Becker, Charles Kesel, Jonathan Kunze, Mr. Guhlemann, Frederick Feach, Andrew and Louis Klug, Pressner Goepel (whose son Gelt afterward represented Franklin county in both houses of the Legislature). Frederick Bruche (whose son Henry represented Cape Girardeau county in the Legislature), and Augustus Kroell, who was pastor of a German Protestant Church in Cincinnati at the time of his death. The above families settled in the eastern part of Warren and western portion of St. Charles counties, where they and their descendants still reside. Their religious belief is rational. They discard all miracles and the doctrine of atonement through the blood of Christ, believing that we make our own future condition by the life we live here, receiving punishment for our evil deeds and rewards for our good ones. They accept Christ as a good man and a great teacher, but do not believe that he was divine.

Some time after the arrival of the Gissen Society, the following families came: Jacob and Frederick Ahmann, Charles Winkelmeir, Frederick and Erasmus Hieronymus, Ulmfers and Frederick Blantink, Erastus Grabbs (who became a merchant, postmaster, and justice of the peace in Marthasville, Warren county), William Barez (who was a banker in Berlin and a very intelligent man), George Muench, Henry and George Berg, Mr. Fuhr and his five sons, John Miller, Henry Dickhouse, Harmon Lucas and his brother, Henry and Luke Hermann, Mr. Tuepperts, and Mr. Oberhellmann.

In 1833 the following families settled in St. Charles county, in and near Dog Prairie, all of whom were from Prussia: Antone Arens (whose wife was Amelia Ostoman, and the names of their children were Joseph, Sophia, Antone, Amelia and Theodore), Joseph Floar, Joseph and John Shoane, Francis Moledor and his two sons, Frank and Casper, Anton Stahlsmidth, John Freymuth, Mr. Mescheda (who came in 1837), Alexander Arens, Joseph Stahlsmidth, John Heidelmann, Frederick Loebecke, Andrew Sali, and Baltasar Vetsch, who came from the province of Alsace.

Most of the Germans who came to America with money, lost it by injudicious speculation in lands, but those who came poor generally prospered on their small beginnings, and soon became money-loaners and land-owners. Many of them became wealthy, and left large families in affluent circumstances. No other race of people ever did more for the development of a country, or made better or more thrifty citizens. They caused barren hillsides to blossom with grape vines and fruit trees, and opened large farms in the midst of dense forests. Swamps and marshes were drained, and fertile fields took the place of stagnant ponds that for years had sent out their miasmas to poison the atmosphere of the surrounding country and breed fevers, chills and pestilence. Villages and towns sprang up where solitude had previously reigned, and the liberal arts began to flourish. The country received a new impetus, and prosperity smiled upon the people.

Many of the descendants of those early German families have become influential and leading men, in politics, letters, sciences, arts and commerce. Among this class may be mentioned the children of Francis Krekel, several of whom have become distinguished through their own efforts and perseverance. Judge Arnold Krekel, of the United States District Court, has gained a reputation that is national, and when we consider the difficulties that he had to contend against, we can not do otherwise than accord to him an unusual degree of talent and energy.

He was about 16 years of age when his father arrived in Missouri, his mother having died of cholera on the route. He could neither speak nor understand a word of the English language, but at once began the study of it, and was soon able to converse intelligently with his American neighbors. He worked as a farm hand, and made rails at 25 cents per 100, until he obtained money enough to pay his expenses at school, when he went to St. Charles and became a student in St. Charles College. He graduated at that institution, studied law, and began to practice in the city of St. Charles. He was successful from the start and soon gained both distinction and wealth. His subsequent history is familiar to the people of the State, and need not be given here.

His father was a devout Catholic, and several of his brothers are members of that church, but he embraced liberal views in religious matters at a very early age, and though perhaps not an infidel in the real meaning of the word, he does not believe in the divine origin of the Bible or the biblical account of creation.

His early views with regard to the origin of man were somewhat peculiar, but we can not say whether he still entertains the same opinions or not. Being asked one day how he would account for the existence of man if he discarded the biblical theory, he replied that he supposed there was a place in some remote country where, the soil and elements being favorable, man germinated and grew like the vegetable productions of the earth, and afterward developed from that imperfect state into his present condition. The Judge would hardly advance such an idea now, but he doubtless still believes in the natural and scientific theory of the creation of man rather than the scriptural.


Transcribed June 2003 by Deborah Heimann -- Co-ordinator for the St. Charles County, Missouri USGenWeb pages.