The original pioneers in the northeast part of Holt County were Whigs, and being intensely devoted to the principles of that grand old party, and possessing an unbounded admiration for its gallant leader, Henry Clay, they named the locality which they settled Whig Valley, and the township Clay.
The first settler of Whig Valley was Theodore Higley, who, in the year 1846, made the first settlement on the northeast quarter of section 18, township 62, range 37. In 1848, about two years later, W. G. Higley, who had been a soldier in the Mexican War, returned, and settled near his father, Theodore. About the same time Thomas J. Evans settled on the northeast quarter of section 9, in the same Congressional township, but soon afterward sold to Joseph White. This place was for many years known as " White's Ford," from a crossing on the Nodaway River at that point.
About the year 1850, Charles Schooler settled on what is known as the Schooler farm, which occupies a part of the southeast quarter of section 16, township 62, range 37. About the year 1852, William McDonald and Montgomery McDonald came from Kentucky. These parties, excepting the last named, came from Indiana. From 1852 to i860, several farms were opened and improved. Among the the other early settlers were Joseph White, John S. Peters and David Bender, from Indiana, and Lewis Garnett, from Kentucky. John and William King were also among the first.
As stated, the early settlers were all Whigs, and what was called Whig Valley embraced a small portion of country bordering on the Nodaway River, not more than two miles in extent from north to south and about the same distance from east to west. During the war the majority of old settlers left, and the present population of this district is mostly composed of parties from Ohio, who are intelligent and enterprising.
Source: History of Holt and Atchison County, 1882