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April 21, 2020

1896 Magnolia Missouri Platted - Johnson County

Magnolia, Missouri
More information and biographical excerpts from The History of Johnson County, published in 1918.
Magnolia is on the Missouri. Kansas & Texas railroad, ten miles southeast of Holden. It was laid out on May 9, 1896, about the time that the railroad was being constructed. W. H. Hagemever was the owner of the land upon which the town was platted. It has a bank, lumberyard, two churches, high school, physician and general stores.
Denton, a station on the Rock Island, is also located in Chilhowee township. It was platted on June 27, 1905. by Henry Phillips, when the railroad was constructed through there. It is located in the western part of the township in section 7. It has a church, good stores, etc., and several residences.

Bank of Magnolia. — The Bank of Magnolia. Magnolia, Missouri, was chartered January 18. 1905. under charter No. 1327. The officers are: George D. Graham, president; F. P. Parrott. vice-president, G. V. Raker, cashier, and J. C. McDougal. assistant cashier. The directors are: R. T. McDougal, John Witteman. J. C. McDougal, George B. Graham. J. C. Raker, G. V. Raker and F. P. Parrott. The paid-up capital stock is $10,000. and the surplus is $2,000.
Magnolia Baptist Church. (By J. H. Baker.) The Baptist church was organized at Magnolia on February 5, 1898. The charter members were: Mr. and Mrs. J. E. Raker, Mr. and Mrs. J. L. Carmichael, Mrs. Chas. Howard, Mr. and Mrs. J. Logan, Oliver C. Logan. Wylie Logan, Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Raker. Mrs. Sarah Raker, and Miss Mary Raker. Reverend S. C. Ewing was first moderator. During the past twenty years, the following ministers have served this church: Reverends Lowe, A. D. Cooper, Edward James, I. M. Victor, Earl Riney Fields, Roy McGraw, Miller, O. W. Stanbraugh, Neafus, Briggs, Zeh Thomas, G. L. Newkirk, A. K. Lewis, the present pastor. The church officers in 1918 are as follow: A. K. Lewis, moderator; J. H. Raker, clerk; G. Y. Raker, treasurer; T. D. Barbee. J. F. Raker, J. F. Mansfield, S. L. Wilson, T. F. Dunn, G- V. Raker, and J. H. Raker, deacons. The church membership is at present seventy-nine.
First Methodist Episcopal church of Magnolia. (By J. C. Blocher. recording secretary.) The Methodist church was organized at Magnolia on January 24, 1908. The charter members were: James Morrison, Mrs. Vadie Morrison. Mrs. Alice Slifer. Mrs. Hattie Parrott. Frank Parrott, Mrs. Zeralda F. Adcock. Miss Laura Pittser. Mrs. M. F. Kissinger. Miss Pansy Morrison. Miss Etta Sharp, and J. Adcock. Pastors have served this congregation, as follow: W. H. Leaf. Rowland Hill. Warren Fourpaw. M. F. Murphy. R. O. Williams, J. C. Kirk.
Jr. Red Cross
Magnolia Branch was organized July 19, 1917. There were 21 members. The first officers were: Mrs. R. L. Bills, president; Mrs. Rex Powers, treasurer; Miss Morrison, secretary. The present officers are: Mrs. R. L. Bills, president; Mrs. Arthur Elliott, vice-president; Mrs. Rex Powers, treasurer; Miss Alice Parrott, secretary. They have sent several shipments to headquarters, consisting of all necessary dressings pertaining to Red Cross work. There are 110 members. Edwin B. Little, a prosperous and influential farmer and stockman of Magnolia, Chilhowee township, is a member of a well-known pioneer family of Johnson county. He was born in 1858 in Johnson County, Missouri, a son of John Howe and Margaret Frances Little. John H. Little was a son of William and Jane Little, natives of Virginia. The Littles were considered very wealthy and prominent in that state, where the father owned a large plantation in Jefferson township. William Little was the first sheriff of the county in Virginia, where he resided. John H. Little came to Johnson county in 1858 and purchased nearly six hundred acres of land on the open prairie. The early settlers advised him to buy land along a creek, cautioning him of the difficulties he would encounter if he chose to live elsewhere, warning him of the cold in winter. After a heroic struggle against conditions much more adverse than they had ever been pictured, Mr. Little died in 1861, leaving the mother and her four sons and three daughters to fight poverty alone and unaided. The family endured all the privations and hardships of pioneer life and war, but Mrs. Little was one of the bravest and noblest women who came to Johnson county and uncomplainingly bore burdens that would have broken the spirit of many a stronger person. She lived to see the happier days of the coming of which she often prophesied. She died in October 1901. To Mr. and Mrs. John H. Little were born: Charles C, who died October 9, 1917: Clara E.. died October 12, 1917: Mrs. Francis H. McDougal, on the home place, Mrs. Alice B. McDougal: and Edwin B.. subject of this review.
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E. B. Little attended the Barthick school, which was taught byJohn Coats and Maggie Humphrey. Among his schoolmates, whom he now recalls, were: Mr. and Mrs. S. M. Fisher, who now reside in Johnson county: R. S. Fisher, T. C. Raker, T. F. Raker, M. H. Snare, John Kirkpatrick, and Thomas Kirkpatrick, of Holden. Little knew personally many of the pioneer preachers and he has heard the following men many times in the early days: Reverends Levi Henshaw, "Johnny" Denton, Prather, and J. H. Houx. When E. B. Little was a lad, there was much open prairie and unbroken sod land and he frequently aided in surveying the county, carrying the chain for "Jap" Ferguson. On his father's farm, the first work given him to do was breaking sod, with the assistance of a yoke of oxen. Until he was twenty-nine years of age, Mr. Little remained at home with his mother on the home place. She was obliged to sell eighty acres of the homestead, in order to pay debts, and about 1889, E. B. bought back this tract. At the time of his marriage, in 1887, he owned one hundred acres of land. He devoted most of his time and attention to stock-raising, specializing in Shorthorn cattle and Poland China hogs, and in the course of time began to prosper, meeting with deserved success in practically every business venture. Now. Air. Little owns five hundred forty acres of good farmland in Johnson county. About three hundred acres of the farm are in pasture and meadow. The Little farm is well improved and two drilled wells furnish an abundance of water, which is pumped to both the residence and the barns by a gasoline engine. Mr. Little harvested a splendid crop of oats this year and he always has a nice crop of wheat.
In 1887, E. B. Little and Sue C. Stone, daughter of "Uncle Salathiel" Stone, an honored pioneer of Post Oak township and well-to-do farmer and stockman, were united in marriage. Mrs. Little's mother died in 1901 and her father in 1910. She has one brother deceased, R. I. Stone, and six brothers and sisters living, namely: Mrs. Sarah M. James, Mrs. Mary J. Eppright. Mrs. Melissa Sweeney, T. Stone. J. W. Stone, and G. W. Stone. To Mr. and Mrs. Little have been born three children: H. S., Magnolia. Missouri: E. E. Magnolia, Missouri; and Mary E., Magnolia, Missouri. In 1887, Mr. Little built an attractive and comfortable residence, a house of seven rooms, which is the present home of the entire family. He and his wife are highly regarded and valuable members of the Presbyterian church and they are numbered among the county's best and most substantial citizens.
G. V. Raker, the efficient cashier of the Bank of Magnolia, was born in Johnson County, Missouri, in 1889. He is a son of R. N. and Martha Jane (Atkins) Raker, who were the parents of the following children; Mrs. Viola Carmichael, Holden. Missouri; R. L., Holden, Missouri; T. C, Holden, Missouri; Mrs. Ural Fisher, Blairstown, Missouri: G. V., the subject of this review; Gorman, Holden, Missouri; and Gordon, Holden, Missouri. Mrs. Raker, the mother of these children, is the daughter of James and Elizabeth Atkins and a sister of R. O. Atkins. Mr. Raker, whose name introduces this sketch, received his early education in the district schools of Johnson county. He later was a student at the Warrensburg Business College. After completing the business course, Mr. Raker was employed as a clerk by the Magnolia Lumber Company, which position he held for some time when he accepted a position with the National Bank of Commerce of Kansas City. Missouri, and afterward with the First National Bank of Kansas City. In 1913, he came to Magnolia to assume the duties of the cashier of the Bank of Magnolia. of which financial institution he is a stockholder. In 1915. G. V. Raker was united in marriage with F. Flossie Farnsworth, daughter of W. R. and Edna E. Farnsworth, a biography of whom appears elsewhere in this volume. Mr. and Mrs. Raker reside in Magnolia, where they have a nice, comfortable home, a house of six rooms. In addition, Mr. Raker owns a farm of seventy-four acres of land located west of Magnolia on which place is a pleasant home and plenty of well-built farm buildings. This place Mr. Raker owns but has never been engaged in farming on it, always renting the farm. The Bank of Magnolia is one of the sound financial institutions of which Johnson county is proud. The officers of the bank at the present time are as follow: G. B. Graham, president: F. P. Parrott, vice-president; G. V. Raker, cashier; and J. C. McDougal, assistant cashier. The official statement of the bank's business issued on August 31, 1917, discloses excellent conditions. The loans and discounts amount to thirty-six thousand two hundred twenty dollars and ninety-two cents and the present capital stock of the Bank of Magnolia is ten thousand dollars; surplus, two thousand dollars; undivided profits, three thousand nine hundred seventy-three dollars, and forty-one cents and the deposits at the close of business on the last day of October of this year amounted to thirty-nine thousand dollars. The people of the country surrounding Magnolia and the residents of Magnolia have unbounded confidence in this bank and they attribute much of the institution's success to the capable management and keen business judgment of its splendid and well-qualified officials.
George B. Graham, president of the Bank of Magnolia, is one of Johnson county's most successful businessmen and respected citizens. He is a native of Johnson county, a member of a well-known and prominent pioneer family, a son of Robert and Nancy Graham born in 1874. Robert Graham was a son of Guy Graham, who came to Missouri from Virginia in 1833 and settled on a farm located west of Hazel Hill. G. B. Graham's great-grandfather, Robert Graham. Sr. also came to Missouri in 1833 and homesteaded a tract of land in Hazel Hill township. Robert Graham was a highly intellectual man and gave his children the best educational advantages which he was able to afford and two of his sons, Samuel and James, later became teachers. Robert Graham, Jr., served in the Civil War with the Seventh Missouri Cavalry and after the war ended returned to his home in Johnson County, where he purchased sixty acres of land and engaged in farming and stock-raising, becoming very successful and prosperous. He was married just after the war. Mr. Graliani was an ambitious and industrious man and at the time of his death, in 1914, he was the owner of four hundred acres of valuable farmland in Johnson county. He was a Democrat and had been active in political affairs, serving his party long and well. For two terms. Mr. Graham was a judge of the county court from the western district and he had given excellent service and splendid satisfaction to all his constituents. His death has been deeply deplored in Johnson county, where he was numbered among the best and most public-spirited citizens. Mrs. Graham is now residing in Holden. G. B. Graham attended school at Stony Point, where he was under the instruction of Professors Swearengen and Ship. Later, he was a student at the Warrensburg State Normal School and after graduation from that institution was engaged in teaching school for several years. Mr. Graham taught his first school at the Houx schoolhouse and his last at Kingsville, where he was employed as principal, in Johnson county. He taught in Rice's Business College at Butte, Montana, for a short time and then went to the Philippine Islands as a soldier in the regiment serving under General Otis and later, under General Funston. When he returned to Johnson county, he remained with his parents for one year, after which he moved to his present country home and has since been engaged in farming, stock-raising, and dairying. Mr. Graham is a charter member and stockholder of the Bank of Magnolia and for some time has held the office of president of the bank. In 1901, G. B. Graham was united in marriage with Maude Brothers, daughter of J. Z. Brothers. Mrs. Graham is the only child of Mr. and Mrs. Brothers, who are highly respected residents of Holden, Missouri. To Mr. and Mrs. Graham have been born two sons: Guy and George B., at home with their parents. After their marriage, they moved to the farm at Magnolia and they have continued to reside on this place and own this farm for the past sixteen years. The Graham place comprises one hundred sixty acres of good farmland, forty acres of which are now in grass. In 1917. Mr. Graham built a large, well-equipped barn and silo. He is engaged chiefly in raising Jersey cattle and Duroc Jersey hogs and mules. At the present time, he has eighteen milk cows and ships the cream from the dairy to Kansas City, Missouri. Mr. Graham has a modern dairy barn, which has accommodations for twenty cows. He harvested forty tons of hay this season and six hundred bushels of wheat. At the time of this writing in 1917, he had sixty acres in corn which promised a "bumper crop." In addition to his farm, Mr. Graham owns his handsome residence in Magnolia, a house of eight rooms which is modern throughout. Both he and Mrs. Graham are well known in Johnson county, where the Graham and Brothers families have long been enrolled among the county's most substantial and best families.
Nelson Chapman attended school at Pleasant Ridge in Johnson county, and Miss Alice Quick. Miss Emma Metzler. and David Smith Avere at different times employed as a teacher while Mr. Chapman was a pupil. He later was a pupil in the school near Magnolia, of which Miss Lizzie Houston was the teacher, and in the schools of Magnolia, and St. Cecelia's Academy. Holden. Missouri. Since he attained maturity, Mr. Chapman has been engaged in farming every year. In 1893, he purchased a farm of forty acres in Chilhowee township. which are adjoining his present place, a tract of eighty acres that he obtained when he sold his original farm. Mr. Chapman is interested in stock raising and has the farm well equipped for handling Poland China hogs and Duroc Jerseys and white face cattle, which breeds of hogs and cattle he prefers. In 1914, Mr. Chapman bought two acres of land within the town limits of Magnolia and to the home in Magnolia he has moved from the farm. He is engaged in buying and shipping cream and gardening. The season of 1917 he had twenty-five acres of his farm in corn. Mr. Chapman is a member of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons and of the Modern Woodmen of America. He and Mrs. Chapman are highly regarded in Magnolia and they are numbered among the county's excellent and most desirable citizens.
R. T. Atkins, a well-to-do and highly respected farmer and stockman of Chilhowee township, is a member of a prominent pioneer family of Missouri. ' He was born in Johnson county in 1866, son of James and Elizabeth (Elliott) Atkins, who came to Missouri in 1850 from Kentucky and located in Moniteau county, where they resided two years, coming thence to Johnson county, where they settled in Chilhowee township on a large farm, part of which was purchased and a part entered from the government by Mr. Atkins. He was at the one-time owner of nearly six hundred acres of land in this county. July 28, 1850, James Atkins and Elizabeth Elliott, daughter of George Elliott, of Kentucky, were united in marriage and to them were born eleven children, seven of whom are now living: Mrs. Patsy Raker, Magnolia, Missouri; George, Salesville, Montana; Gary, Salesville, Montana; Judge Robert O., Blairstown, Missouri; R. T., Magnolia, Missouri; Mrs. Sallie Gill, Warrensburg, Missouri; and John, Holden, Missouri. The father died in 1903. Mr. Atkins was a highly esteemed citizen, a man of strict integrity and high ideals. For forty-five years he was a valued and worthy elder of the Presbyterian church. In 1912, he was joined in death by his wife, who was one of Johnson county's most respected and honored pioneer women. R. T. Atkins attended school at New Liberty in Chilhowee township, where Miss Bettie Baker, Reverend VanAusdal, Miss Julia Holland and Miss Antha Holland were at different times employed as a teacher. When Mr. Atkins was a youth, there was much open prairie and virgin sod land. There were no roads, but the early settlers traveled along trails and by directions. Yokes of oxen were used when the sod was broken. Among the pioneer preachers, whom he knew and now recalls, were: Reverends J. H. Houx, Givens, and Morrow. Mr. Atkins has attended revival meetings when the settlers from a circuit of many miles came en masse, many of them in wagons and many on horseback. R. T. Atkins was born and reared on the farm and he is now engaged in the vocations of farming, stock raising, and dairying. His place in Chilhowee township comprises eighty acres of fine farmland and on this farm, Mr. Atkins is raising cattle and hogs, having seventy-five head of Duroc Jersey hogs at the present time, in 1917, and milking five cows. The cream from the Atkins dairy is marketed in Magnolia. The farm is abundantly supplied with water from a spring that has never been known to be dry. In 1888, R. T. Atkins and Stella Box, daughter of R. M. and Anna E. (Warren) Box, were united in marriage. Mrs. Atkins is a member of a well-known and excellent pioneer family. Her father was a captain in the Union army and her mother was a daughter of T. C. and Elizabeth Warren, in whose honor the city of Warrensburg was named. To Mr. and Mrs. Atkins have been born two children: Mrs. Lyle Raker, Holden. Missouri; and Harold, at home with his parents. Harold Atkins is one of the county's most promising, young citizens. He is an exceptionally bright, industrious youth and a naturally gifted mechanic and architect. He takes care of his car and recently repaired and remodeled the residence, adding a splendid veranda, which he himself designed. He has made the old home an attractive, handsome place and all his work has been done in a skillful, neat, workmanlike manner. The Atkins family is widely known and highly regarded in this county and in their community Mr. and Mrs. Atkins number their friends by the score.

Magnolia, Missouri (Northwest of Chilhowee) in Johnson County was platted in 1896 and named for the flowering plant magnolia. A post office called Magnolia was established in 1896 and remained in operation until 1953. "The man from Chilhowee, vice president of the firm W. H. Hagemeyer, must have been fond of the name "Magnolia." In 1896 he founded a town named Magnolia about 15 miles southwest of Warrensburg." Magnolia, Missouri no longer appears on highway maps, but it is known to have prospered for at least a couple of decades. There was a flour mill there by 1900 which was still in operation in 1918"
1918 History of Johnson County Biography
R. L. Bills
BIRTH 9 Sep 1867
DEATH 14 Apr 1940 (aged 72)
BURIAL Sunset Hill Cemetery
Dr. R. L. Bills, Ex-coroner of Johnson county and one of the county's ablest physicians, is a native of Morgan county. Missouri. He was born in 1867, a son of A. M. H. and Nancy J. Bills. Jonathan Bills, grandfather of Dr. R. L. Bills, came to Missouri in the early days from his native state of Tennessee. The father of Jonathan Bills and two brothers were refugees from England and from them, the Bills family in America has descended. A. M. H. Bills was the father of fourteen children, six by his first marriage and eight by his second marriage. He homesteaded the tract of land that is now the site of Ft. Scott, Kansas, but during the Civil War lost all his possessions. He enlisted in the Confederate army and fought throughout the conflict, taking an active part in many important engagements and skirmishes and he was not once injured. A. M. H. Bills was a graduate of the Physio-Medical College of Cincinnati, Ohio, in the class of January 25, 1854, and after the war had closed, he resumed his medical practice at Barnett, Missouri. He was there united in marriage with Nancy J. Cox and to them were born eight children, one of whom was Dr. R. L., the subject of this review. Dr. A. M. H. Bills resided on a farm and was very successful as a farmer and stockman. In 1880, he met with a fatal accident and his career was prematurely ended. A large saw-log fell on him and death resulted almost instantly. The senior Doctor Bills left the mother with her seven little ones, of whom R. L. was the oldest and he was a child thirteen years of age. The father was a generous, kindly man and an earnest supporter of every worthy public enterprise, a liberal contributor to all institutions. Dr. Bills had a host of friends wherever he went and he was valued highly in this county. The mother survived her husband but a few years. She died in 1899.
At the age of thirteen years. Dr. R. L. Bills was left at the head of a family of seven children to care for an invalid mother and an aged grandmother and keep the little ones together. That was a job truly "man-size," but the lad did it and did it well. For many years he barely managed to "keep the wolf from the door," but as the other children grew older they aided and in time the family was in comfortable circumstances. In 1886, R. L. Bills entered the Miller County Academy and after graduating engaged in teaching school for several years in Miller and Moniteau counties. He became interested in the study of medicine and in 1891 took up this study under the instructions of his half-brother. Dr. J. T. Bills, who is a graduate of the American Medical College of St. Louis, Missouri, in the class of 1884 and is now engaged in the practice of his profession in New Mexico. Later, R. L. Bills matriculated in the College of Physicians and Surgeons of St. Louis, Missouri. Financially handicapped, he had to work his way through college and after one year in college returned to Vernon county and associated with his former tutor, Dr. J. T. Bills, and practiced medicine for two years. He then returned to college in 1894 and two years later graduated in the April class. Dr. Bills located in Magnolia at that time and has since been engaged in the practice of his profession in this city. In 1904. he did post-graduate work at the University Medical College at Kansas City, completing the four-years course.
Dr. R. L. Bills was united in marriage with Sallie A. Strange, the only daughter of George M. and Nancy J. Strange. The father is now deceased and the mother has remarried and is now Mrs. John Greaves, of Kingsville, Missouri. To Dr. and Mrs. Bills have been born six children: Mabry Moore, Marvin Lee, Curtis Jarvis. Vernie Irene, Joseph Raymond, and Miriam Ernestine, all of whom are at home with their parents. It is the doctor's earnest desire that each of his children may have a fine education, which he firmly believes is the best legacy a parent can bestow. In the handsome, thirteen-room residence in Magnolia, Doctor Bills has his office, his store of drugs, his medical library, and an operating room. Arrangements have been made whereby his patients may stay in his home. He has a very large practice, his territory, covering a circuit of twenty-five and thirty miles. Mrs. Bills retains the old patents to the homestead of two hundred twenty-five acres of land which her father entered from the government and which he gave to her. Her farm is located two miles west of Magnolia. The doctor has charge of the place and he has it well stocked with cattle of mixed breed, mules, and horses. Forty tons of hay were harvested this season, fifteen hundred bushels of oats and eighty acres of the farm were in corn. The farm is well watered and nicely improved and at the lowest figure worth twenty thousand dollars. Their city property is valued at five thousand dollars.
For two terms, Doctor Bills was the county coroner of Johnson county. He is a Democrat and is active in political affairs, taking a keen interest in all elections. He is affiliated with the Odd Fellows and the Modern Woodmen of America. Doctor and Mrs. Bills are active and valued members of the Christian church, as are all their children. The Bill's family is very talented in music and six members of the family are members of the Magnolia Band, of which the doctor is the manager. Prof. Frank Preston, who possesses a fine musical education, is the band instructor and master. The band consisted of fifteen different instruments and is the only organized band in Johnson county. Doctor and Mrs. Bills are enrolled among the county's best and most substantial citizens. Photo of the Magnolia Band courtesy of Venessa Raker Pottie. Fantastic


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