The first settler to locate there was Frank Nickols, a brother of Robert and Frank, who had settled in that portion of the grove which lies in what is now Hickory Township. Robert Nickols was the pioneer, and through his influence, John and Frank shortly after arrived in the county, the latter locating in that part of the grove included within the limits of the present township of Nodaway, as above stated. Oakley Morris, who still (1882) resides in the township, settled therein 1840 ; A. C. Bevan, in 1841, from Washington, District of Columbia. Among the other early settlers of this section of the county were I. W. Jones, Elias Evans, Townsend Evans, Burril Evans and Melvin Evans, from Indiana ; Henry Patterson, John Meyer and Gotlieb Meyer. David Templeton and family, also from Indiana, were among the very earliest settlers of Nodaway Township, as was also Colonel John W. Kelley, afterwards the first attorney admitted to the bar of Holt County. David Templeton arrived in the county with four sons. Monroe Templeton located near the site of what was afterwards the town of Richville. John Norvel, a native of Tennessee, but directly from Kentucky to this State, settled in Nodaway Township in 1847.
At an early period came Jacob Kunkel from Ohio, Henry Marion, both since dead; W. Jones and Alexander Jones, both from Illinois; Daniel Holman, from Clay County, Missouri; Ephraim Adams, Willis Brockman, A. J. Hollister, from Ohio; Beecham, Rice, the Patricks, Bornberger, Hiram Shutzer, Jesse Carroll and others, were among the earliest settlers of the township, arriving some time previous to the coming of some of the above mentioned. Richard Barkhurst, the first Representative in the Legislature from Holt County, lived in 1842 on the southeast quarter section 23, township 60, range 37, on a farm now owned by Mrs. Mclntyre, in this township.
A notable incident in the history of the early settlement of Nodaway Township, was a fisticuff duel which occurred in 1843, tne result of a dispute growing out of the conflicting claims of two parties to the same piece of land in Nickols' Grove. These were Frank Nickols and I. W. Jones.
Seconds were chosen, a circle formed, and all the formalities of the ring maintained in the presence of about 200 spectators who had assembled to witness the contest. The combatants were nearly equally matched and the victory long remained doubtful. Fortune at last decided in favor of Nickols, who took possession of the claim without further dispute.
Source: The History of Holt and Atchison Counties, Missouri; 1882