William H.(Bill) Stewart
Bill Stewart was from Post Oak Township, south of Warrensburg, south-central Johnson County. The earliest War record is from Cockrell's 1918 history of Johnson County on page 112. This account says the Union 27th Missouri Mounted Infantry captured Bill Stewart at Cornelia south of Warrensburg in 1861. They were going to hang him, but some of the boys who were well acquainted with him used their influence in his behalf and the officer finally decided to take Stewart back to camp. While they were taking Stewart back to Warrensburg he escaped.
Stewart in 1861 was probably part of Matthew Houx' guerrilla band in Johnson County. There were several other Post Oak Township men who were also guerrillas in this outfit. After the Union troops prevailed there in mid 1862 many of these men, including Stewart, joined Quantrill to the northwest in Jackson County. Bill Stewart was in Bill Anderson's command.
Stewart broke away from Bill Anderson's band in the spring of 1864 to raid in his home neighborhood of south central Johnson County south of Warrensburg. Stewart gathered some other Johnson County men from Anderson's and Quantrill's bands and went into business on his own. He had about a dozen men and operated independently as much as he could. In July 1864, his small bushwhacker band burned Cornelia and skirmished with Union patrols in Johnson County.Stewart's little band could not endure against the strong Federal influence in Johnson County, so they had to migrate first to Cooper County and then to Howard County. By August he operated in Howard and Boone Counties.
He joined Anderson again to defeat Captain Parke's large patrol of 44 men near Rocheport on August 28, 1864, and afterward went back to running his own band.
Stewart joined the large group of bushwhacker bands in Howard and Boone County for the rest of September, including the Centralia fighting on 27 September. In November, after most of the action had ceased for the year, Stewart again operated with only a few men until November 13 when he tried to rob a cattle drover sleeping in a house in south Howard County and the drover shot him to death as he broke through the door.
Columbia Missouri Statesman, November 2.5,1864, P. 3, col. 1
Death has overtaken another notorious desperado and robber, in the person of rebel captain Stewart, who, a companion of Anderson and a participator in many of the enterprises of that brigand, has been a curse to this section for many months past. Stewart was killed at the house of McDonald in old Franklin, Howard county, on Friday last, by a cattle drover. Two drovers were at the home of Mr. McDonald when Stewart and two companions rode up for the purpose of robbing or murdering them. The drovers fastened the doors of the house and Stewart in attempting to break them down was shot by one of the drovers and killed instantly. One shot penetrated his neck, another entered near the mouth, and a third passed fairly into the corner of the forehead. The other two guerrillas escaped. Stewart was a man of medium height, spare made, smooth of face, and wore very long hair of a red color. He was on the whole a fine looking man. The drover who killed him was in town on Wednesday and had in his possession a photograph of the desperado taken [by Boonville photographer O.D. Edwards] after death, exhibitingplainly the holes where the fatal bullets entered[see cover of this issue]. Stewart was from the vicinity of Warrensburg, Johnson County, Missouri.
Boonville, Nov. 13, 1864
To Brig. Gen. Fisk:
Bill Stewart, the noted bushwhacker, who has been operating with Anderson during the summer, was killed this morning across the river, by W.H. Busford, of Johnson county. Busford crossed the river yesterday evening late, with a drove of cattle, and was en route to Mexico, Mo. This morning early, Stewart surrounded the house at which Busford was stopping, and ordered him out. Busford declined going. Stewart then forced the door, when Busford killed him. The balance fled. Four revolvers were taken off his person. His body is now in Boonville.
(signed) M. Sutherland.
William's Grandfather: Abner Stewart
Birth: ABT 1787 in Wilson Co, Tennessee
Death: 15 Mar 1864 in Johnson Co, Missouri
There is a Trust Deed in Wilson Co. Tn. dated 9 sept. 1851 regarding Abner STEWART guardian of the heirs of Samuel STEWART of Johnson Co., Missouri appoints James W. HARRIS of LAFAYETTE CO. MO.power of Attorney to receive of the estate of Samuel Stewart who was the grandfather of the said heirs. A Guardianship record also exists in MO for Samuel's children, with Abner as guardian.
Marriage 1 Nancy GRAY b: 1786, Wilson Co., Tennessee, d. 12 Oct 1843 at 57yrs 2mo 1 day, Johnson Co., MO.
Married: 8 Oct 1807 in Wilson Co, TN
1. Joseph, b. ca. 1816 Tennessee
2. Elizabeth Jane, b. 4 Jul 1826, Tennessee
3. Nancy, b. 3 Jan. 1831 Marion County,Illinois
4. Abner Jr., b. ca. 1837
5. John, b. ca. 1840
6. James H., b. ca. 1842 MO
Marriage 2 Elizabeth WILSON b: Abt 1797 in Tennessee, married: 7 Jun 1844 in Henry County, Missouri
1. Deborah, b. ca. 1844 MO
History of Johnson County, Missouri" by Ewing Cockrell, 1918, Post Oak Twp.
Abner Stewart, John Marr and Daniel Marr settled here in 1834. James Stewart came about the same time.
James STEWART, son of Abner Stewart, Born abt 1814 in TN. Resided in Warrensburg Twp., Johnson
Co., MO in 1840. Resided in Post Oak Twp,Johnson Co., MO in 1850, 1860, and 1870. On 6 Jul 1834 when James was 20, he married Edith M. BOWMAN, daughter of John A. Mitchell BOWMAN & Elizabeth HORN, in Lafayette Co., MO. Born abt 1817, died before 1870.
They had the following children:
1. Daniel P. b. abt 1835 MO.
2. William H., b. ca. 1838, Post Oak, Johnson Co., MO, d. Nov. 13, 1864, Boone Co., MO3. 3. Joseph M. , b. ca. 1839, Post Oak, Johnson Co., MO
4. “Infant”. Born in 1840 Post Oak, Johnson Co., MO., Buried in 1840.
5. Martha J. Born 1841 MO.
6. John “James”A. , b. abt 1842 Post Oak, Johnson Co., MO
7. Delia A. , b. abt 1845 MO.
8. Sarah W. , b. abt 1853 MO.
9. Edith M. , b. abt 1858 MO.
1850 Post Oak Twp., Johnson Co., MO
James Stewart 34 TN
Editha 33 TN
Daniel P. 15 MO
William H. 12 MO
Martha J. 9 MO
John A. 8 MO
Delia A. 5 MO
Louisa C. 2 MO
1860 Post Oak Twp., Johnson Co., MO
James Stewart 46 TN
Edith M. 44 TN
Wm. H. 21 MO
Martha 19 MO
Jno. A. 17 MO
Delia A. 14 MO
Louisa C. 12 MO
Joseph M. 10 MO
Sarah M. 7 MO
Edith M. 2 MO
Next House (1860):
Abner Stewart 72 NC
Elizabeth 62 TN
James H. 18 IL
Deborah 15 MO
Next House (1860):
Joseph 44 TN
Lucinda 40 MO
Mary C. 19 MO
George W. 17 MO
Nancy M. 14 MO
Sarah F. 12 MO
Martha A. 9 MO
|Place name:||St. Louis Prairie (later Pennsylvania Prairie)|
|Description:||The earliest name of the prairie in the southern portion of Post Oak Township; doubtless named for the immigrants from St. Louis County, Missouri, who settled here. Later renamed Pennsylvania Prairie (q.v.). (J.W. Stone; HIST. JOHNSON 1881, 584)|
Transcribed by Karen Hammer -2009
|Place name:||Prairie View Christian Church|
|Description:||Organized in 1872 seven miles south of Warrensburg in Post Oak Township. Named for its location on a prairie. Consolidated with the Leeton Church. (A.M. Crag; Cockrell's HIST. JOHNSON 1918, 378)|
|Source:||Johnson, Bernice E. "Place Names In Six Of The West Central Counties Of Missouri." M.A. thesis., University of Missouri-Columbia, 1933.|
Post Oak township was organized February 14, 1849, off of the south end of Warrensburg township. It was named from Post Oak creek, which received its name from the abundance of post oak timber adjoining the creek.
Geography.-Area, about 69 square miles, or 44,160 acres. Geographically. Post Oak township composes the upland between Post Oak creek and its tributaries on the west and Clear Fork on the east, both these streams heading in a water shed running east and west across the south end of the township. The M. K. & T. and Rock Island railroads occupy this water shed, and Leeton and Post Oak towns are situated on it.Early Settlements.-The earliest settlement in this township was probably in 1830. James Harris and his son, John M. Harris, came here that year from Tennessee. Reverends Samuel King and R. D. King also settled here in 1830. Maj. James Warnick, one of the sturdy, substantial pioneers of the county, came here from Tennessee in 1833. (Refer to his family history for a full sketch.) Robert Thompson settled here in 1832. Abner Stewart, John Marr and Daniel Marr settled here in 1834. Samuel Evans, a Kentuckian, came in 1837. B. F. Wall came from North Carolina in 1839 and became a well-to-do farmer. Other old settlers who located in this township prior to 1840, or during that year, were, Thomas Irwin. Thomas J. Young, S. Stone, Samuel Houston, Edward Nichols, Philip Stone, John Stone, William Strong, Joseph Stewart. B. F. Thomas, J. L. Glazebrook. John Marr, Alman Marr, Owen Cooper, James Hackler, Thomas lams, James Boone, Col. William Johnson, Addison McSpadden and Frank Dwyer.Mills.-When Post Oak township was first settled, the nearest mill was at Lexington, forty miles to the north. A trip there frequently required a week to complete, as the patrons of those pioneer mills were sometimes required to wait one to three days to get their grinding done. Booneville, about sixty-five miles distant on the Missouri river, was the nearest general trading point.Early Churches.-The early day circuit riders visited the pioneers in this section about the time the settlement became permanent and services were usually held in their homes.In the fall of 1853, the first camp meeting was held by Rev. Samuel King and R. D. King, of the Cumberland Presbyterian church, in the grove near the residence of Rev. Samuel King.The first Sunday school was organized in 1849 by Rev. Samuel King, who was superintendent. Maj. James Warnick assisted in the school. It was taught in a little log school house near the site of Shiloh church.The Shiloh Cumberland Presbyterian church was the first church in the township. It was organized by Rev. R. D. King in 1836. Their first building was erected in 1875, and dedicated by the Rev. J. H. Houx. Some of the pioneer pastors of this denomination here were. Reverends W. Compton, B. F. Thomas. H. R. Smith. J. R. Whitsett, G. V. Ridley, S. Finis King and the first elders were James Harris, John Foster, Robert Thompson, Abner Stewart and R. M. King.Providence Baptist church was organized in April. 1846, by. Elder William P. C. Caldwell. Pioneer pastors of this denomination here were Reverends W. P. C. Caldwell, David VV. Johnson, Amos Horn, C. F. Floyd, William Lauder, L. M. Horn, Israel Thompson. A. M. Cockrell and John S. Denton. Some of the early members were Samuel and Anna Evans, Benjamin and Melinda Childers. William B. and Sina Compton, Louis and Sarah McComb and Andrew J. Bell. The first building used by this organization was a union church building known as Shiloh, which was located eleven miles south and one and one-half miles west of Warrensburg.The Methodist Episcopal Church, South, was organized about 1853 at Cornelia, by Rev. Warren Pettis. Among the early members were Daniel and Charity Coal, James, Elizabeth and Mebina Hackler, Lucy Taylor, Doctor Love. Cornelia Love, Mark and Charlotte Shumate.Mount Zion Cumberland Presbyterian church was organized and erected a house of worship after the close of the Civil War. Rev. J. H. Houx preached here for a time. Among the early members were Robert N. Warnick, David Marr, Dr. Lee D. Ewing. John P. Warnick and Julius Woodford.The German Baptist or Dunkard church of Post Oak township was organized January 25, 1869. Their first church building was completed in 1871. The first members were John J. Harshey, Catherine Harshey, S. S. Mohler, Mary A. Mohler. D. M. Mohler, May Mohler, E. Mohler, Anna Mohler, Samuel Fulker and May Fulker. Elder John J. Harshey was the first minister.The Christian church was organized in April. 1872, by M. D. Todd, an evangelist, and a substantial frame building was erected the same year about one-half mile east of Cornelia. Dr. J. M. Ward contributed about half of the funds necessary for this building. The following named ministers preached here in the early history of this organization: Elder Hurley. George W. Logan. Benjamin F. Stephens and F. E. Meigs. Some of the original members were A. Louney and family, Allen Jones and wife, John Burnett and wife. Dr. J. M. Ward, Woodson Reavis and wife, William Wiley. William Blakey and wife and John Daugherty and wife.Harmony Baptist church of Post Oak was organized in 1881 by Rev. A. M. Cockrell. A suitable church building was erected the same year. There were thirty-five original members of this church. This congregation was an offspring of old High Point church in Jefferson township.Early Cemeteries.-Among the old cemeteries of the township, Shiloh cemetery, was laid out in 1840 and an infant child of James Stewart was buried there the same year. Here also rest the remains of Rev. Samuel King, one of the founders of the Cumberland Presbyterian church. Cornelia cemetery was an old one. The Dunkard cemetery, in section 21. township 44, range 25, was started in 1869. The first burial was that of a child of an emigrant family who were passing through here. Snelling cemetery was established about 1841. Greer cemetery was an early-day burying ground, as was also Mount Zion. Wall cemetery and Greenlee cemetery were family burial grounds and there were a number of other private burial places throughout the township. The first burial occurred in the township in 1837.Early Schools.-A man named Baker taught the first school in this township in 1835. He was followed by Alexander Marr. Other pioneer teachers of that period were Salathiel Stone, Mr. Macklin, Mr. Townsley, J. M. Ward, Ben Thomas and Miss Mary Cull.Among the early district schools were Bryson, Cornelia, Culley, Divers, Grinstead. Holmes, Marr, Thomas, Warnick and Washington. The following are some of the early teachers after the Civil War: John Farney. Mrs. M. J. Brownlee, William Warnick, Benjamin Woodford. Lula Caldwell, B. F. Pettis, J. W. McGiven, Parma Wash, Cora Wash, Nannie Holmes, Kate Lawler, Jerome Mohler, Silas P. Cully, A. J. Sparks, Miss Jones, Cora Wall.Early Post offices.-Cornelia was the first village and post office in the township. James K. Farr and James Morrow built the first houses here in 1853. The town was located in section 36. about eight miles south of Warrensburg. It was named by Dr. Love in honor of his wife who bore the name Cornelia. In the Civil War it was practically burned to the ground by Bill Stewart and his gang. This village was also known by the early settlers as Shanghai and is said to have been so called from the fact that Dr. Love, who lived here, was a chicken fancier and quite extensively engaged in raising a breed of chickens known as Shanghais. Cornelia was a postoffice long before the Civil War and remained one until establishment of rural routes. There have usually been there also a grocery store, blacksmith shop, a public school and two churches.Post Oak postoffice was established in 1855, about five miles south of Cornelia on what was known as the Warrensburg and Clinton mail route. N. M. Irwin was first postmaster. This town is on the lines of the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific and the Missouri, Kansas & Texas railroads, which were afterwards built through here, and now has store, blacksmith shop, school house and several residences.Aubrey postoffice was established in the northeast part of the township in 1875 and J. N. Herring was the postmaster. Stone postoffice, named for that prominent family, also gave service for a while.Justices.-The following are the justices of the peace of the township as far back as the county records show, with dates of their election: 1852, John Oliphant, Thomas McSpadden, Thomas lams, Richard M. King; 1856, John Oliphant, Thomas lams, Robert Thompson, Salathiel Stone; 1860, John Oliphant, Thomas lams, Robert Thompson, P. C. Thornton; 1862, Thomas lams; 1870, John G. Gray, George M. Roberts; 1878, R. W. Warnick, Owen Cooper; 1882. R. W. Warnick, George Hippie: 1886, John E. Williams, Walter L. Stone; 1890, Adam Tustison, Walter Stone; 1894, Thomas C. Marlatt 1898, James C. Burks, Robert Smaltz; 1900, J. R. Grinstead; 1902, J. R. Grinstead: 1904, J. W. Marshall; 1906, J. M. Lowery, F. W. Sweeney; 1908, Alonzo Hunt, John Sheller; 1910, S. B. Sturgis, C. F. Gilchrist; 1914. S. B. Sturgis, J. W. Shoemaker.County Officers.-The following are the county officers who have been elected from the township since 1882, with the dates of their election:1890-Robert N. Warnick (Democrat), probate judge.1896-1898-Robert M. Lear (Democrat), sheriff.1896-1898-William H. Buford (Democrat), county judge.1902-1906-William A. Stephens (Democrat), presiding county judge.1906-1910-J. R. Grinstead (Democrat), county clerk.1908-1912-David Mohler (Democrat), surveyor.County Road Improvements.-County road improvements made by Post Oak township since this system was established in 1911 were. up to January 1. 1918. twenty-four in number, and aggregated $1,320.70 furnished by citizens of the township, and $1,319.70 furnished by the county. In amount of this work. Post Oak township ranks second among the townships of the county.Organizations.-The following is a complete list of all organizations of every kind in Post Oak township. Full details of each organization are in separate chapters on the different organizations.Churches-Baptist. Harmony: Baptist. Leeton: Baptist, Providence; Brethren, Mineral Creek: Brethren. Union Mound: Christian. Leeton: Christian, Prairie View: Cumberland Presbyterian, Mt. Zion: Cumberland Presbyterian, Shiloh: Latter Day Saints. Post Oak: Methodist, Leeton; Methodist South, Cornelia: Primitive Baptist, Leeton.Fraternal Organizations-Masons, Blue Lodge. Cold Springs: Modern Woodmen, Cornelia; Modern Woodmen. Leeton: Modern Woodmen, Post Oak; Royal Neighbors, Cornelia; Royal Neighbors, Leeton.1917 War Organizations-Red Cross Leeton Branch.Business Organizations-Bank of Leeton, Farmers Bank, West Lawn Telephone Company.Homemakers Clubs-Hickory Grove, Shiloh.Total number of organizations in township is twenty-five