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1876 Plattin Township

Plattin Township

The south-eastern part of Jefferson County, is embraced in Plattin Township. The territory included within its boundaries is mainly drained by the Plattin and its waters. The Isle au Boise Creek, forms part of the boundary between Jefferson and Ste. Genevieve Counties. On the Plattin, were made some of the earliest settlements in the County. The stream is bordered with Spanish grants, and claims, showing for the most part the location of the first settlers.

One of the pioneers of this part of the County, was Peter P. McCormack, the grandfather of Hardy McCormack. He was an Irishman by birth, a soldier in the Revolutionary war, and came to Missouri from Kentucky. He settled on the Plattin, on what is still known as the Peter P. McCormack survey, No. 1245. The date of his settlement here was not many years after the opening of the present century. In the year 1819, he sold out his improvement to John Byrd, and moved farther down the creek to the Humphrey Gibson claim. John Byrd was from Maryland. He came to Jefferson County in 1817, lived the first year at Herculaneum, and in 1819 came to Plattin Township. Humphrey Gibson made an early settlement on the claim which bears his name, and a man by the name of Wade lived a short distance below him. Thomas Herriod had made an improvement on the Thomas Herriod claim. John Vateney resided on the Plattin below Herriod.

The first water-mill on the waters of the Plattin, was built by a man named Donough. Jacob Horine afterward lived there, and the mill was patronized by the early settlers for many miles around. Among the other early settlers in the neighborhood of Samuel McMullin, located on Plattin Creek, about the year 1812, but a year or two afterwards removed to the Joachim. Several early settlements were made on the Isle au Boise Creek, among them, Henry Bailey and father (the father and grandfather of John M. Bailey) who located here in 1818, James Donnell, having first settled in Vallé Township, afterward located in the vicinity of what is now Rush Tower, about a mile and a half from the Mississippi.

The first preaching in this part of the County was at the houses of Peter P. McCormack and James Strickland on the Plattin. The first church built was the old Plattin church; a venerable structure connected with many interesting incidents in the history of the part of the County. Before the building of the railroad, the shipments of lead were made by the river which was reached at Selma. The old Selma road was well traveled in those days. From morning to night wagons could be seen going and returning from Selma. Many of the farmers devoted all their spare time to teaming from the mines, and the vicinity of the roads leading from the mines to the river wore a busier and more prosperous look than at any time since. Selma, at the mouth of the Plattin, was the centre of a large and important trade, and a point from which immense quantities of lead were shipped. From the romantic scenery in the neighborhood, the place was names "The Cliffs of Selma" by the noted Col. John Smith "T." At Selma, is "Kennett Castle," one of the finest residences on the Mississippi. It occupies a commanding and romantic position on the river, and was built at a great cost by Mr. Kennett, a wealthy and enterprising business man whose residence it was, and in the possession of whose family it yet is.

Along Plattin Creek there are rich deposits of lead, and some of the mines have been worked successfully for several years. There are some old and fine farms on the Plattin and its tributaries. In the eastern part of the township, not far from Rush Tower, the valley watered by Muddy Creek contains several fine farms, and is one of the finest agricultural regions to be found in the County. This neighborhood grows large quantities of wheat, and more wheat is shipped from Rush Tower, than from any other landing in the Missouri side of the river, between St. Louis and Ste. Genevieve.

Quoted from An Illustrated Historical Atlas Map Jefferson County, MO (Brink, McDonough & Co. 1876) p. 18