The History of Holt and Atchison Counties, Missouri, containing a history of these counties, their cities, towns, etc.; St Joseph, Mo.: National Historical Company, 1882.
(transcribed by Pat O'Dell:
Chapter 1 - Act Organizing the County of Atchison
The act organizing the County of Atchison, was passed during the winter of 1844. The names of the county commissioners as given by that act, were Alexander McElroy, David Hunsaker and Elijah Needles. They were authorized to meet on the 14th day of April, 1845, for the purpose of organizing the county, at the house of Conrad Cliffield. The county was named in honor of General David R. Atchison, and was bounded as follows: "Beginning in the middle of the main channel of the Missouri River, at a point where a line running through the center of township sixty-three extended, would intersect the same; thence east with said township line to the line of Nodaway County; thence north with said line to the northern boundary of the state; thence with the same [west] to the middle of the main channel of the Missouri River; thence down said river in the middle of the main channel thereof to the beginning."
General David R. Atchison
... Ex-Senator David R. Atchison, of Missouri, was born at Frogtown, Fayette County, Kentucky, August 11, 1807. Being the son of a wealthy farmer of that county, he received all the advantages of a liberal education, which developed those powerful intellectual faculties that [page 586] rendered his name, in after life, conspicuous in the history of his county. His father was William Atchison, the son of a farmer of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, who moved with his parents, when six years of age, to that garden spot of the west, which now consitutes the rich and magnificently improved county of Fayette, in the State of Kentucky. His mother's maiden name was Catherine Allen. She was a native of the State of Georgia, and a lady of rare, natural and acquired endowments. General Atchison was the eldest of six children--four sons and two daughters. His brothers were, B.A. Atchison, generally known as Allen Atchison, who died in 1857, leaving one child; John C., who with Mary, a daughter of William Atchison, resides with the general; Alexander Atchison, who died insane, since the war, and William Atchison, the father of Dr J.B. Atchison, at one time a well known physician of Buchanan County. One sister, Mary , was married to Madison Allen, a farmer of Buchanan County. Miss Rebecca Atchison, another sister, died at her residence in Clinton County, in August, 1874. The others were all large farmers, and recognized as men of more than ordinary natural and acquired abilites....
Chapter IV - First Courts Organized

Hon. Alexander McElroy, Daniel Hunsacker and Elijah Needles, met on the 14th day of April, A.D. 1845, at the house of Conrad Cliffield (Cloepfel) and there organized the County Court of Atchison County. Each brought his credentials--a commission from his excellency, John C. Edwards, then Governor of the State of Missouri, and after having subscribed an oath to support the Constitution of the United States the Constitution of the State of Missouri, and to faithfully perform the duties of his office according to the best of his ability, proceeded in due form to complete the organization, by ordering that Alexander McElroy be appointed president of the court, Alexander A. Bradford, clerk, and Lite T. Tate, sheriff. Being now clothed with all the powers, dignities and responsibilities of a court, they began their labors by dividing the county into the following townships: Clark, Nishnebotna, Polk, Tarkio and Bluff. After establishing these townships, James P. Bevins was appointed constable of Bluff, Thomas M. Page, constable of Clark, and Samuel B. Rafferty, constable of Polk Township.

Henry Watts was made assessor. Thomas Farmer, allotting justice of Polk Township, made his report of the districting of the road leading from the south line of the township near Richard Rupes, to Hunsaker's ferry. Valentine Livingston was appointed overseer of road district number one; Rolph Amen, overseer of district number two; C.W. McKissick, overseer of district number three; Asa Jackson, overseer of district number four; Lawrence White, overseer of district number five, and Henry O'Neal, overseer of district number six.

This consituted the business of the first day. The court met again on the 15th day of April, 1845, and "ordered that the commissioners appointed to select a seat of justice for this county, be requested to met at the house of Conrad Cliffield, on the third Monday of May next, for the purpose of selecting said seat of justice, and that the clerk be required to transmit a copy of this order to each of said commissioners."

John James was appointed justice of the peace, and allotting justice of Tarkio Township, and Francis M. Warmcastle was appointed county treasurer. The court then established the following rates for crossing at the different ferries in the county:

single man 6 cents
man and horse 12 cents
two-horse (empty) wagon and team 25 cents
two-horse loaded wagon and team 37 1/2 cents
four-horse (empty) wagon and team 37 1/2 cents
four-horse loaded wagon and team 50 cents
six-horse (empty) wagon and team 50 cents
six-horse loaded wagon and team 75 cents
loose horses and cattle 3 cents
sheep and hogs 1 cent

Parties operating ferries were required to pay a tax of two dollars to the state and four dollars to the county, and were compelled to give bond in the sum of five hundred dollars. Daniel Hunsaker, Major John Western and Jacob Acord, were licensed to keep ferries on the Nishnebotna, near their residences.

The clerk was requested to ask the Secretary of State to furnish Atchison County with its proper quota of books. The sheriff was ordered to call upon the county court of Holt County, for all papers and copies of records to which the new County of Atchison was entitled, and also of the revenue collected by that county for county purposes, within the limits of Atchison County, for the years 1843 and 1844, and for any other funds, belonging to Atchison County.

Henry H. Bruce was appointed county surveyor. The rate of taxation in the county was fixed at one-third of one per cent, for county purposes. This consituted all the business of the second day, and all that was done at the April term of the court. The court then adjourned to the second Monday in May following....


... first case upon the docket was: Thomas A. King against S.C. Fugitt, et al. - trespass
... first divorce was: James Amen vs. Anne Amen
... next case: Thomas Akins against S.C. Fugitt et al - trespass
... first power of attorney was: William and Elizabeth Pallet of Atchison County, Missouri, who possess lands and property in Van Buren and Jackson counties, Missouri, to Charles Jefferson Choat of Jackson County, Missouri..
... first land transaction: Robert Hussey to Enoch D. Leammon, 18 Oct 1845

...early marriages:

B.F. Benoist and Rosella Brenard 4 Jun 1845
Moses Butler of Holt County and Margaret Furguson of Atchison County 27 Mar 1845
William Roberts and Eliza Jones 10 May 1845
David Hays and Mary Ann Markwood 29 May 1845
Daniel James and Martha Bailey 24 Jul 1845
Joshua Kellison and Eliza Handley 24 Jul 1845
Daniel Burrell and Susana Robinett 21 Sep 1845
Simeon Loveland and Emily Farley 16 Oct 1845
J. Wesley Cooper and Hannah Walden 27 Nov 1845
Borcel Greenmore and Catharine Elizabeth Wells 13 Jul 1846
Harvy H. Rawlins and Marget Frost 02 Mar 1847

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