Beginning at the northwest corner of section 34, township 67, range 33, and running thence east nine miles; thence south six miles and three-quarter miles; thence west nine miles; thence north six and three-quarter miles, to the place of beginning.


About one-third of Union Township consists of timber land, which borders the water courses. The timber is generally of a good quality, and grows about as rapidly as it is cut down and utilized. A large portion of the prairie is high and rolling. There is, however, much magnificent bottom land lying upon each side of Platte River and the West Fork of Grand River, both of which flow through the township. The East Fork of Grand River, entering the township at the northeast corner, flows in a southwest direction until it reaches section 16, township 66, range 32, thence flowing almost due south. Platte River enters the township on the north about the center, flowing in a southwesterly direction for a distance of about three miles, when it flows due south. The two streams above named, with the tributaries, furnish an inexhaustible supply of good water.

The soil of this township is everywhere rich and productive. No quarries of stone and no coal have as yet been discovered in the township.


John M. HAGANS, familiarly called "Uncle Mace," was among the early pioneers of Union Township. He was born in Clark County, Kentucky, November 24, 1822. He came to Clay County, Missouri, in 1829, where he remained until the fall of 1843, when he emigrated to Platte County, Missouri. Not being entirely satisfied with Clay and Platte Counties, he again pulled up stakes, and sought a better and more healthful country, and in the fall of 1848, he came to Worth County and located in Union Township. He, in common with his neighbors, some of whom had preceded him a few years, suffered many of the hardships and the many inconveniences of that day. In the summer of 1849, Mr. HAGANS carried on his back at one load three pecks of meal, ten pounds of coffee, ten yards of domestic, and eight yards of calico, a distance of sixty miles. These supplies were obtained in Whiteville, Andrew County, Missouri. He walked this distance in about fifteen hours.

Peter VASSER was also among the earliest settlers in Union Township. He was original from Kentucky, but came to Worth from Andrew County, Missouri, about the year 1843. He left the county in the fall of 1848. He was a farmer, but obtained his living chiefly by his gun and do.

Willis RAY was a native of Clark County, Kentucky, and was an uncle of Mr. HAGANS, above named, and settled in Worth County, in 1847, on the West Fork of Grand River, in the western part of the township. He died about thirty years ago. His sons, William and Willis B. RAY, now live in Union Township. Willis B. resides on the old homestead settled by his father

Allen STEPHENS who was also a native Kentuckian emigrated west at an early day and settled in Worth County about 1847. He was fond of hunting and much of his time was spent in the woods. He was a very loud talker and when speaking in an ordinary tone in certain conditions of the atmosphere he was often heard at the distance of a mile and a half. He has been dead about ten years.

Jefferson TALLIAFERRO came from Illinois as early as 1845 and settled in Union Township. He left the county about the second year of the war and went to Fremont County, Iowa.

James KAHOON was a native of Crab Orchard County, Kentucky, (**my note-settlement of Crab Orchard is in Lincoln County, Kentucky) whence he came prior to 1848, settling in Union Township. He died about ten years ago, at the advanced aged of ninety-four years. He was in the war of 1812. He has one grandson by the name of James SIMS, who now resides in the county.

Jacob GRINDSTAFF was also a Kentuckian and came to the county prior to 1848, first settling in Union Township, on the West Fork of Grand River. Here he lived for many years, when he moved to Fletchall Township, where he still resides at the age of eighty years.

Jordan STRIBLING emigrated from Kentucky, about the year 1842, and located on the West Fork of Grand River. He moved to St. Joseph before the war, where he died a few years ago.

Elias MORRIS came about 1850 from Illinois and opened a farm on the West Fork of Grand River, where he now resides.

Among the first settlers was Joseph GRAY, who located in Union township, prior to 1848. After remaining several years in Worth County he moved to Nodaway, Missouri, before the war, where he died.

Henry WATSON came in 1835 from Indiana, and is now living on the farm that he settled.

Jesse SISK came also in 1853 from Illinois, and made a farm on the West Fork of Grand River. He was a soldier in the late war, in the Union Army, and was killed while in the service. He has one daughter and one son living in Worth County.

Joel SIMMONS, formerly from Kentucky, but from Andrew County to Worth, settled here about the year 1850.

Henry TURNER was also from Andrew County about the same period. He went to Cloud County, Kansas.

Robert WHITE, John GRIFFIN and Gass FARINGTON, who were also from Andrew County, settled here in 1850. GRIFFIN and WHITE returned to Andrew County, where they now live.

Samuel BEEKS was among the very earliest settlers. He went to Oregon before the war of the rebellion.

Cumberland WALL, a native of Pennsylvania, came to Iowa and from Iowa to Worth County in 1856, where he still lives.

William MINNICK and Thomas L. DAVISON were from Indiana, and arrived here some time prior to 1860. Joseph WATSON was here prior to 1860, and died in Worth County in 1880. Charles and David FREEMYER settled here before 1860. They both entered the Union army. Aaron HIBBS came from Ohio prior to 1856. He is dead. His sons, S. K. and I. H. HIBBS are residents of the county. Marion WEST, from Ohio, James CASTER, Thomas GOODSPEED and Alexander YOUNG came from Ohio, prior to 1858, and are still living in the county. Andy BAKER, another old pioneer, was here before 1848, and located between Platte and Grand Rivers. He afterwards went to Kansas. Joseph ROACH was also one of the first settlers, but went to Buchanan County before the war, and died in St. Joseph.

Aaron RICHARDSON was the first blacksmith in the township. He was a Kentuckian, and located on the West Fork of Grand River, where he died in 1852.


. . . was a small business point located on the ridge, on the east side of West Fork. It had a post office, which was established in ----. Caleb CANADAY, who now resides in Gentry County, was the first postmaster and the last, as he held the position until the war, when the office was discontinued. CANADAY owned and operated the first store; Robert DRYDEN was the blacksmith and went to Kansas. Dr. FROMAN was the physician of the township, and located at Marietta. He came in 1857, and went West during the war. Marietta lives only in the memory of the old settlers.


The first school in the township was taught by a Mrs. McCLAIN, daughter of Jefferson TALLIAFERRO. The school house was located in the timber of the West Fork, and was kept about 1850. Among the pupils attending this school were: W. H. HAGANS, James F. HAGANS, Sarah M. HAGANS, William STEPHENS, James STEPHENS, Francis TALLIAFERRO, Warren TALLIAFERRO, and Miss TALLIAFERRO.


Rev. David OSBORN was the pioneer preacher of the township, and was laboring in behalf of the Christian Church. That denomination organized a church at Joseph WATSON's in 1855, under the ministrations of Rev. Hiram WARINER. Some of the earliest members of this church were: T. L. DAVIDSON and wife, Joseph WATSON and wife, Jefferson TALLIAFERRO and wife, John M. HAGANS and wife, and the HIBBS family. Hiram WARINER officiated for two years, as the church was organized with him as its minister.

The first house of worship was erected by the united efforts of several denominations, in the neighborhood of Henry WATSON. This building, although servers were at first held in it, was never finished. The society of the M. E. Church built a house of worship near the above named edifice, in 1879. Henry WATSON, Levi TUCKER and wife, and Hiram ANDREWS and wife, with others, assisted in its organization. Rev. Mr. POWERS was the minister in charge. Rev. John ROSS was perhaps the first Methodist preacher in the township.

In 1879 the Christian Church erected a house of worship near the residence of Mr. HAGANS, on the east side of the West Fork of Grand River. Among the constituent members were: John M. HAGANS and wife, Joshua FLOREA and wife, R. BUSH and wife, Elihu ROWAN and wife, Mack OSBORN, William STROUD and wife, Adam BAUGH and William COBB were the elders. William COBB labored for this church seven years.

The first marriage was the of Alfred COX to Miss EVANS. The first death of an adult person was that of David WEESE.


At the base of the adjacent hills, in Union Township, which overlook the rich and beautiful forest-covered valley of the West Fork of Grand River, sits the modest and quiet little village of Isadora. Its single street, running east and west, upon which the residences and business houses are situated, presents a neat and attractive appearance. The stranger is especially impressed with the air of repose and easy comfort, which he sees and feels upon entering the town. Although there is nothing pretentious or magnificent about the residence, there is something home-like and inviting in the flowers, the shade-trees and fruitful vines, with which they are environed. The town is one of the oldest in the county, the date of its earliest existence reaching back to 1864. The original proprietor of the soil, upon which the town was located, was one Elijah VADEN, who came about the year 1854, and proceeded at once to erect a log cabin, which still exists, as the monument of the pioneer days of Isadora. So new was the country then, and so abounding in game were the forests and the prairies, and so full of fishes were the streams, that VADEN relied almost wholly upon his gun and rod for supplies, with which his table was ever provided.

He continued to live the easy life of the hunter until August, 1862, when he disposed of his claim to Rinaldo BROWN and moved to Jackson County, Missouri. BROWN is a native of East Troy, New York, where he was born in 1819. He was from Taylor County, Iowa, here, having for some years previously to his coming followed the milling business in Taylor County, Iowa. In August, 1863, he moved his mill (saw and grist) from Iowa to Isadora, and rebuilt it on a much more enlarged plan, on the east bank of the West Fork of Grand River, where he continued to operate it until the spring of 1882. It was a water mill and was the first that was erected in the township. The mill is now run by M. M. ROBERTS. BROWN, being an enterprising citizen, just after the completion of his mill, laid out the town of Isadora.

The pioneer merchants were BROWN & MASON, who opened a store of general merchandise in 1864 or 1865. Simultaneously with the settlement of the place, in the year 1864, Mr. BROWN employed Miss Josephine PROTZMAN to teach a school. Miss PROTZMAN was from Indiana, and taught the first school in the town, the old log cabin of VADEN being used as the school house. Among the pupils who attended Miss PROTZMAN's school were William BROWN, Marion BROWN, Susan BROWN, Marietta BROWN, Andrew BROWN, Agnes FLEMING and her brother and Jesse SPOONEMORE.

Dr. LATHAN was the first physician.

Obidiah SIMS kept the first house of entertainment.

Rinaldo BROWN was the first postmaster, and was succeeded by D. M. HULL, J. D. HORN and Salem TRUE, the latter being the present incumbent.

There are now two business houses, doing a general merchandise and one blacksmith shop.


Isadora Lodge No. 400 was established December 1, 1881. The charter members were: D. M. HULL, J. D. HORN, W. VANSKYOCK, Joseph MARGASON, William WATSON and F. M. WEST.

First officers: D. M. HULL, N.G.; J. D. HORN, V. G.; William WATSON, Treasurer; F. M. WEST, Secretary.

Second officers: J. D. HORN, N.G.; F. M. WEST, V.G.; D. M. HULL, Secretary; W. VANSKYOCK, Treasurer.

Third officers: F. M. WEST, N.G.; W. VANSKYOCK, V.G.; D. M. HULL, Secretary; J. D. HORN, Treasurer.

Fourth officers: W. VANSKYOCK, N. G.; H. J. C. REED, V.G.; D. M. HULL, Secretary; William WATSON, Treasurer.

Present membership, fourteen.


  • Thomas McCRACKER, dry goods
  • M. M. ROBERTS, miller
  • ----- -----, hotel
  • William EMERSON, physician
  • J. Q. A. WHITTON, dry goods
  • Lyman SMITH, blacksmith
  • Salem TRUE, postmaster
  • H. J. C. REED, physician

The town contains about 100 population.


The people of union Township to the number of about one thousand, assembled at the village of Isadora, to celebrate the Fourth of July. Below we present the printed programme for that event:


Thirty-eight guns at sunrise; Entry of delegations and procession, 9:30 to 10:15; Parade of Grand Army of the Republic, Ellsworth Post, No. 12, mounted and in full uniform, 10:30.

At the Stand--Music by band; Prayer by Rev. LOCKWOOD; Singing by choir; Reading Declaration of Independence, by Eugene GOODSPEED; Oration, by Hon. J. ATKINS; Music by bank; Dinner; Music by band.

Toasts--"Liberty, and what it means in America," response by Dr. H. J. C. REED; "The Flag that is 106 Years Old," Captain SPARKS; "Young America and his Mother," Dudley SMITH; "The Common School is Common Freedom," D. M. HULL; "Our Soldiers, the men who, after developing a great country by their industry, are brave enough to defend it with the sword," by Colonel WILLIAMSON.

During the afternoon there will be an Old Settlers' Reunion.

At night there will be a fine display of fire works.

Odd Fellows' Hall will the headquarter for the Grand Army of the Republic, where they will be made comfortable when "off duty."

The speaking, music, Grand Army of the Republic parade and fire works, will be well worth going many miles to see and hear. The general arrangements will be of the most pleasant character. Beautiful grounds, well seated, an abundance of good water for man and beast, ice for everybody. Backed by her record for good times, Isadora proposes, in 1882, to eclipse all the celebrations held heretofore in the County of Worth. Come and let us make glad the day.


About four miles a little south of west of Isadora is the town of Defiance, which is also in Union Township. The founders of the town were Isaac DAVIS and Jacob WINEMILLER, who laid it out in 1872. It was however, a small business point as early as 1868, when John WEAVER, who came from Ohio originally, but from Iowa to Worth County sometime prior to 1860. After operating the store about three years he sold to Nathaniel DeWITT.

Jacob WINEMILLER was the first postmaster and is the present officer.

The first blacksmith shop was opened by P. FLETCHALL. Dr. C. O. SKINNER was the pioneer physician.

Jacob WINEMILLER erected a grist mill (run by water) about the year 1869. He sold to Charles FREEMYER in 1876, and FREEMYER afterwards sold to George ORR, who is now the proprietor of the mill. The town has a population of fifty people.


  • John WINEMILLER, drugs
  • J. R. STANLEY & Co., dry goods
  • Stiles MITCHELL, blacksmith
  • Richard WARREN, blacksmith
  • Joseph WARREN, blacksmith
  • Joseph COX, carpenter
  • ----- SHOEMAKER, physician


Defiance Lodge, A.F. and A.M., was chartered October 17, 1878. The charter members were: Joseph ENGLE, Jacob WINEMILLER, W. L. STONE, Eli BRADFORD, J. C. BOHART, R. J. ENGLE, W. H. WORTH, J. K. JONES and C. O. HARRIS.

The first master of the lodge was Joseph ENGLE; present master, Jacob WINEMILLER.

November 16, 1878, the lodge lost their building, jewels, books, and everything by fire; no insurance. They have now a good hall, and the lodge is in a healthful condition, with about twenty members.

Defiance Lodge, I.O.O.F., was organized July 26, 1876, with A. M. BROOKS, W. L. STONE, Joseph ENGLE, C. L. HARRIS and Dr. J. D. HORN.

A. M. BROOKS was the first N.G.; and was succeeded by the following: 1877, C. O. HARRIS; 1878, James BOYLE; 1879, R. S. WHEAT; 1880, W. L. STONE and D. W. POOR; 1881 Asa NIGHSONGER; 1882, A. J. SCOTT and C. A. CARROLL.

The present Lodge Deputy is James BOYLE, present secretary, M. M. MARSHAL; present N.G., William McKINBY; present treasurer, W. L. STONE.


During the summer of 1861 a destructive tornado passed about a half mile east of Isadora, going in a northeasterly direct. Its track was from one to five hundred rods in width. The wind was so fierce that the largest forest trees in its course were torn up by the roots, many of these still lying prostrate and in the direction taken by the storm-king. The houses were then so few and far between that but one was materially damaged by the wind. In the memory of the oldest settler this seems to have been the first, as it was the most severe storm that ever visited Worth County.

History of Gentry and Worth County, Missouri, pp. 583-590.