[b1.3.3] Telling Raytown Story


By Roberta L. Bonnewitz


1803  April 30, Louisiana Purchase of 875,000 square miles of land west of the Mississippi River, from France

1804  Lewis and Clark began trip up Mississippi River to explore western lands

     Old Indian trapper trace from St. Louis to near Petersburg, Mo. named Boonslick Trail

1808  Fort Osage founded by General William Clark and Major George C. Sibley

1812  Missouri became a territory. St. Charles first capitol . Territory ended a few miles west of Ft. Osage

     Feb. 7, severe earthquake at New Madrid, ground sunk 5 to 6 feet, continued for 3 months

1821  Nov. 3, Capt. William Becknell took a mule pack train to Santa Fe from Franklin. In 1822, on his return, dumped rawhide packages of silver upon the sidewalks. Although there were other traders he has been called, “Father of the Santa Fe Trail.”

1822  May 22 Becknell left Arrow Rock with $3,000.00 worth of goods in 3 wagons. Returned making a huge profit, but had lost most of his property at home.

1824-5 Ft. Osage became the “jumping off” place for Santa Fe Traders who were now using wagons.

1825  George Sibley surveyed the Santa Fe Trail.  The dirt mounds used for markers soon disappeared. The fort was used as milepost 0.

1825  Osage Indian Treaty ceded 24 mile strip, a little west of Ft. Osage to present state line, extending to the Arkansas state line.

1826  Townships were surveyed in new territory except a few. Surveyor deemed the prairie land was not profitable to bring into market. Thus he created areas called, “Lost Townships.”  Raytown area             

     Archibald Rice moves family from Caswell County, North Carolina to eastern Missouri, Ralls, and Monroe Counties

1827  Jackson County created. Original town site of Independence contained 240 acres and 16 springs of pure water. Cost to lay out was $72.80 and 7 gallons of whisky at 50 cents a gallon.

 1829  Indians continued to kill many of the traders. President Andrew Jackson authorized the U.S. Army to escort the traders to Mexico                              

1831  The Shawnee Methodist School was established in Wyandotte County, Indian Territory (Kansas) Many tribes sent their children here to learn English, manual arts and agriculture. At one time this mission contained 16 buildings and nearly 200 boys and girls.

    The Mormons bought about 2,000 acres of land in the Independence area. Settlers began to fear and resent them.

    Legend- The first grist mill was built five miles south of Independence by James Kimsey, used for several years. Also said the first schoolhouse was built here, also first distillery. Also first orchard, containing 400 large chestnut trees bearing until 1849. Later Brooking farm.

1832  Westport became an established trading post, near present Westport road and Pennsylvania.

    Gan and Nancy Johnson donated 40 acres to the Cumberland Presbyterian Church for a religious campground. Located Northeast quarter, Section 27, Township 49, Range 32, (47th on the south, Larson on the west, 44th on north, Norfleet on the east). Became well known location on trails. Cemetery is near 46th and Norfleet Rd.

1832  Archibald Rice moved family near Ft. Osage and bought property near the (now) New Salem church, 24 highway

1833  First patent for a McCormick reaper.

      Independence became the outfitting quarters for Santa Fe traders. Isaac McCoy surveyed Westport.

1834  1,500 Mormons had been ordered out of Jackson County. They refused. In October fifty armed men destroyed ten houses on the Big Blue settlement and whipped the men. The Mormons attacked Independence that night, later going to Clay County to live.

      William Cock (Cox) settles on Section 5, sometime about 1834 or 1835, has a comfortable dwelling house, outbuildings, stables, and 25 acres in cultivation

1835 Seventeen year old Letitia Rice, dau. of Archibald, married Alexander Chiles, Dec. 16

1836  Washington township organized

      Battle of the Alamo. Texans using the mission as a fort for Texan independence, February 23 to April 21

      Gold discovered by John A. Sutter

1837  Archibald Rice, on Section 6, had erected a dwelling house with his wife and children, 3 comfortable log cabins for his negroes, and 25 acres in cultivation

1838 “Town of Kansas” (Kansas City, Missouri ) was incorporated

1838-9 Mexico raised import duty to $500 a wagon. Traders doubled loads on nearing Santa Fe.

 1839  In July,  Matt Fields, a newspaper reporter,  paused at the Archibald Rice plantation, 8 miles from Independence,  and enjoyed sweet bacon, fresh eggs, new milk and other luxuries before crossing the plains to Santa Fe. On his return, on Oct. 30th he took lunch of corn bread and milk at Farmer Rice’s.

       April 13, Alvan Brooking bought lands owned by James Kimsey. 800 acres for $5,000.00. He reported there were many bands of Indians in Jackson County who came to trade with the white settlers. They seldom knocked to enter a home and enjoyed looking in at the windows. Early traders bought buffalo robes from them preparing for the trail.

     March 1839, Jesse Barnes was settled on Section 8, has moved to southeast quarter, has nearly all of southwest quarter enclosed and in cultivation

    Sometime in 1839, George W. Rhoades settled in section 4 with his wife and children and was cultivating nearly 50 acres              

1840  George Rhoades, as a surveyor, has many road petitions to survey, acts as a guardian for many children, and other court responsibilites

1842 Alvan Brooking served as an elected justice

1843  The “Lost Township” was surveyed           

1844  A long rainy season ending about June 15. Flood takes many lives and much property in Kansas City area

     Alvan Brooking served as a county judge 1844-48, receiving $2.00 an hour, usually 12 to 14 hours a month                                         

1845  Highland Academy, 6 1/2 miles NE of Hickman Mills, on White Oak Creek, organized by Jefferson H. Johnson

     First meeting of Westfork Baptist church, Woodson Rd.

     Jacob Snyder, an emigrant, stopping at Rice’s, was forced to get into wagons for shelter from the rain

 1846 May 13, war was declared on Mexico but trading was nearly normal.

     June 10, Susan Shelby Magoffin procured a night’s lodging at the residence of Mr. Barn’s some ten miles from Independence, leaving there by day-light the next day.

    Edward Glasgow, en route to Mexico, encamped at Mr. Barn’s place and put the animals in his pasture. Delayed by rain and then breaking axles in the mud holes.

    Benjamin Rice, nephew of Archibald Rice, left en route for New Mexico and New Mexico, in charge of a mule team and freight wagon belonging to Jim Magoffin, brother-in-law of Susan.       

    Sophia White, 23, value $225.00, was part of the estate of Samuel White granted to his widow, Martha White. Later becomes a part of the Elihugh and Kitty Rice family.                           

1847    David Cassell, of Kentucky, settled in section 28, (51st & Blue Ridge)

    Thomas Dehoney, of Scott Co., Kentucky, purchased 120 acres for $520.00                                                                                  

    May 1, Chester Ingersoll, camped 8 miles out, to let his animals rest and eat grass for two days. He found around Independence uneven and timbered but crops of corn, wheat, and hemp.

1848  Alexander Majors started freighting

      Gold discovered in California

      First mention of William Ray in the county.

      Two daughters of Archibald and Sally Rice die; Louisiana, Feb. 2 and Quintiller, July 31.      

1849 Winter was remarkably cold, with a great deal of snow, which melted in January and then froze suddenly, leaving a firm coat of ice three to five inches thick which stayed until late February. Trees of all kinds were stripped and broken

    March 17, William Johnston, heading for California, was advised to stay here until the prairie grass grew. He stayed at Rice’s for 41 days.

    Many other emigrants also camped here: John Johnson, William Kelly, Charles Gray, Colonel William Russell, Amos Josselyn, Hugh Morgan Price, Henry Shombre, John Evans Brown, Bernard Reid, Lell Hawley Wolley, and William Swain. Turner and Allen Pioneer Train.

    Many deaths from smallpox, cholera

    Archibald Rice died October 14, 1849

 1850  Feb. 10 William Ray and Ailsey Hocker married        Oct. 16 Vance sold Ray blacksmith site

      Nov. 23 Lot at 63rd and Raytown Rd. (Santa Fe Rd.) bought by Ray

      Alvan Brooking representing Jackson and Cass County in  State Legislature

      George Rhoades died , will recorded July 2, 1850

      Elihugh Coffee Rice, son of Archibald and Sally Rice, married Catherine (Kitty) White, daughter of Samuel and Martha White, on November 4, 1850

      1850 census: Sally Rice-56, NC; Coffee-26-farmer NC; Minerva-21 Mo; 16 slaves

1851  A log cabin built on Vance property, (9409 E 63rd)

      Aug. 16 William Ray sells property to Johnson Childers.

      Samuel White, first child of E.C. Rice born Sept. 5        Alexander Chiles and William Muir donated 30 acres to plot the Townsite of Union Point (Bannister Rd). Union

Point School was on the ten acres donated by Chiles, June 5

1852  Mar  9 Abraham Lincoln runs for first public office

      Mar 20 “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” published

      Sally (Richmond) Rice, widow of Archibald, died August 5. Her son, Elihugh Coffee Rice, is now the owner of the home property.

1853 Jan 10 Johnson Childers sold blacksmith shop to Jarvis Horner

     William Cock willed to his three youngest daughters, Nancy Cock, Jane Rice, Dorinda Rice, the following slaves: Jerry, 30; Kate, 29; boy, Fleming, 6; Mary Jane,4; Sally Ann, 1 year & 10 months. Wife, Jane, keep slaves her lifetime but cannot sell them or remove from county.

     Quintiller Rice, 2nd child of E.C. Rice born Jan. 31

     Josephine Chiles, daughter of Alexander Chiles, married her teacher, Stephen Ragan, July 22.

1854  Spring of 1854 was pleasant, began to rain about may to June 19…a healthy season, June 20 to Sept. 11..then little rain until Nov. 18 with much cholera appearing

      First newspaper in Kansas City called “Kansas City Enterprise”

      Benjamin Rice made a trip to Santa Fe, as freighter and wagon master

      Oct. 26 John Sechrest and family, from Fayette County, Kentucky , settled in Blue Township, later to a wild tract in Section 17

 1855 Martin L. Kritzer, who had moved to Missouri in 1834, owner of a grocery store in Independence, moved to a farm south of Raytown

    Reuben  Mockbee buys, from the sheriff, 1/2 acre with blacksmith shop

    William Rice, 3rd child of E.C. Rice born Feb. 13

1856  George Cassell made his first trip as a teamster in a freight train to New Mexico….in the fall to Fort Laramie, with Henry Childs (Chiles)

     Johnson Childers died in California

     Boundaries of Kansas City extended from 9th street to 12th street

     General store opened in Hickman’s Mill

1857 Susan Rhoades, heir of George Rhoades, married George Cassell

     James West bought David Vance land

     Population of Kansas City, 5,185

     Stage coaches, drawn by six mules, leave for Santa Fe, twice a month, 20 to 25 days, fare $125 to $150

     Annie Elizabeth Rice, 4th child of E.C. Rice born

April 5. She becomes the mother of the Lane descendants that lived near the old Rice home.

     Alexander Chiles left Missouri for Texas, probably living in Grayson County for awhile.                                                  

1859 Young’s Chapel built (51st & Blue Ridge)

     Sallie Richmond Rice, 5th child of E C Rice born

November 11                         

     Alexander and Letitica (Rice) Chiles purchased 640 acres of land in Ellis County, Texas, for $300.00. It was near Johnson Station, between Fort Worth and Dallas

1860 Benjamin Rice made a freighting expedition to Fort Union, New Mexico. Again corralled by the red men, and again he made good his escape

     Abraham Lincoln nominated for president

     On the Santa Fe Trail: 12,000 men; 7,000 wagons,

55,840 oxen

     1860 census: E.C. Rice-34-10,000-15,000-NC; Catherine-27-KY; Samuel-8-Mo; William -5-Mo; Ann-4-Mo; Sallie 6/12 Mo; 13 slaves and 2 helpers                 

1861  Watkin’s woolen mill, opened near Excelsior Springs. 36 looms making blankets, cassimers, flannels, jeans and yarns

   The home of M.V.B. Flannery, 27 other homes and the High Grove Church was burned by the Red Legs on Octber 27, 1861

1862  Tennessee seceded from the Union

      Kansas admitted to the Union as a Free State

      July 12, Battle of Bull Run

      Battle of Rock Creek

      William Lane enlisted in Raines Brigade, Colonel Ross’ Regiment of Cavalry, Confederate Army, served 2 years

      Henry C. Brooking joined Captain Thruston’s company, Colonel Rosser’s regiment, Confederate side

      Col. Younger killed by Jayhawkers

      28 Federals killed by Quantrill’s ambush in the Blue

Cut, on road from Independence to Harrisonville

      Aug.  8 Battle of Independence

      Aug. 16 Battle of Lone Jack

              Battle of White Oak Creek

      Benjamin Rice took part in the Battle of Rocky Ford,

later joined General Price’s army. Considered a guerrilla

and house was burned by Federals

      George Cassell enlisted in the Missouri troops, CSA,..took part at Lexington under General Price, captured in Battle of Lone Jack, held prisoner 90 days and escaped… later wounded in right leg.

      William Noland served as a surgeon for 10 months

1863  Aug. 21, Quantrill attacked Lawrence, Kansas. Federals retaliate with Order No. 11

    (Have war stories in IN BROOKING TOWNSHIP)

      Sept. , Laura Flannery joined other local families and walked, leading a team of oxen pulling her wagon all the way to Grayson County, Texas. There were 23 families, including 61 women and children, and their guide was 84 year old Buckner Muir and his blind son, Sam, 56.

(Chiles Book)  

1864 Byram’s Ford Battlefield

     Battle of Westport

1865 Missouri-Pacific railroad began operating out of Kansas City

     George Cassell resumes his former occupation, freighting, in charge of a train going to Fort Union… spent winter on Red River, retuned following spring

     Family of Benjamin Rice return home from Texas, to their former home, in Section 36

1866- Benjamin Rice family return to Missouri from Texas

1867 William H. Collings, native of Bristol, England, came to Raytown in 1867; engaged in farming and a 20 acre orchard; taught seven terms in district school

1868 March 14, 1/2 acre  and blacksmith shop bought by William Whitehouse, a blacksmith

1869  Hannibal Bridge, first bridge across the Missouri River

 1870 April 21  , Reuben and Sarah Mockbee deed to Minor T. Smith 1/3 acre for $1.00 to build a store building and Masonic Hall (northwest corner of 63rd & Blue Ridge)

1871 Deed recorded for Chapel School, given by Alfred Pendleton  (51st & Blue Ridge)

     Oct. 31, Raytown Masonic Lodge No. 391 instituted

     Fifth packing plant established in Kansas City

1872 March 13  Brooking Township formed out of Washington and Blue Townships, named in honor of Alvan Brooking

..Raytown  has a Masonic Hall, one meeting house, one store and a saddler shop and a doctor’s office, also a post-office and a schoolhouse. Little Blue had a “station” Mo. P. R.R., telegraph office and several houses.

1873 Sept 13, banks closed in the East from financial panic, called “Black Friday.” Depression hit the country

1874 Great destruction by hordes of grasshoppers. See RAYTOWN REMEMBERS, pages 51 to 53

1875 Masonic Hall and store burned at (Main & Santa Fe road)

1876 Santa Fe Railroad had reached Kansas City

1878 Said this was year schoolhouse was erected on NW corner (behind Masonic Hall) land had been bought in 1873

1879 Aug. 15 Matthew and Sallie (Rhoades) Thomson deeded land for a Christian Church (now north of Fox’x Drug, building still standing inside former grocery store)

   Late 1879 or early 1880, first telephone directory issued on a single sheet of paper, 46 telephones in Kansas City, Mo., and 12 in Kansas City, Kansas.

  J. R. Hutchinson came to Raytown, opened store with a good stock of goods and receiving fair patronage

1881 William Rockhill Nelson commenced to publish Kansas City Evening Star, selling at 2 cents a copy.

     James Stayton bought the “Old Masters farm”, now Stayton Golf Meadows

1884 March 17, first glider flight

     March 27, first long distance telephone call

     May 8, Harry Truman born

1885 Electric cable cars tried in Kansas City

     West property sold to O. V. Slaughter

 1887 William Jennings established first machine shop; converted blacksmith shop to a garage when automobiles became plentiful, later operated a grocery store (between 62 & 63, east side of Raytown Rd.)

1888 J.H. Sterbergh, from Pennsylvania, opened a nut and bolt company in Blue Valley, later became Armco Steel Corp.

     Elms Hotel built in Excelsior Springs, six different mineral springs, a health spa

1890 Raytown residents buying their coffee, beans, and crackers from bins. Usually grew their own meat, canned vegetables, picked apples and peaches from their orchards

    May 2, Oklahoma Territory created

    July 10, Wyoming became 44th state

    Kansas City created a park and boulevard system

1893 “When Henry Clay Pendleton  moved, in 1893, into the historic Brooking home northwest of Raytown, a farm road used by what is now the rear of the house (1941) connecting with the Santa Fe a mile east. Later an improved road was built on the north side, the Brooking Cemetery road.”

1894 William Green buys former Vance-West-Slaughter home and lives there until 1925 (house about Regency East apartments on 63rd street)

1895 William Jennings served the first car to drive from Kansas City to Raytown. It was called a “flying Jenny,”  a one-cylinder homemade car built in Kansas City. The driver reportedly won a $10 Stetson hat on a bet that he could drive from Kansas City to Lee’s Summit and back in ten hours

1896 Col. Thomas H. Swope purchased 1,334 acres of land, partly in Brooking Township, the beginning of Swope Park

1898 In cases of “continued stealing” an organization known as “The Anti-Horsethief Association” was formed to take care of them

   260 American seaman killed in the explosion of the U.S. battleship, Maine, in the harbor of Havana, Cuba. United States won possession of Puerto Rico, Guam, Phillipines and independence for Cuba

1900 McKinley elected as president

     Frank Niles, founder of Niles-Moser Cigar Company began developing 25 acres into “Royal Blue Stables,”

(63rd & Elm), acquiring 24 horses showing in 60 entries


 1901 Jim and Cole Younger released from state prison. Cole returned to Lee’s Summit. He promoted a Kansas City-Lee’s Summit electrical railroad, later toured country in Wild West show

 Catherine (Kitty) White Rice died Jan. 12

1903 James Wilson received $2500 for 100 foot wide strip from Kansas City Rock Island Railroad. Company states the line from Strasbury, now Hadsell, to Leeds Junction was completed August 1904.

   First railroad station on Woodson Road, operated by the Carroll sisters.

   May 31, great flood washed out all but one bridge crossing the Missouri River

   April 17, first road test for first Ford automobile

   Elihugh Coffee Rice, en route to California, snow bound on train, took pneumonia, died March 3, 1903, body returned to Mo.

1906 The Kansas City Motor Company made passenger cars and a rather complete line of commercial cars and trucks. The pleasure car had a seat higher than the front, had double chain drive from a 4-cylinder engine in front. Made with high wheels and narrow tires to go through the mud.

   Eight separate rural schools voted to consolidate and the Raytown School District was organized under the Bueford Act, 1906

1908 Oct. 1 Henry Ford introduces Model T

     Mrs. Stephen Montrosse Garage served electric cars, one charge would go 30 miles.

     Judge J. M. Lowe and son, J. Roger Lowe buy the old Archibald Rice home and land now Floral Hills.

1910 Raytown Bank incorporated. In lower part of Hobbs building. Dr. Hobbs office above

1912 Judge J.M. Lowe helped to organie the National Old Trails Road Association, April 17, 1912. Project was to promote a permanent transcontinental highway from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from Washington, D.C. to Los Angeles. Lowe proposed the roads would be maintained by motor car licenses

1913 May, Daughters of the American Revolution placed Santa Fe Trail markers at Aunt Sophie’s Kitchen, Cave Springs, and Bryant’s road

 1914  Union Station in Kansas City dedicated

      July 28, World War I began

      A combination high school and grade school building was being built,(9900 E. 63rd) Mr. Ross McCampbell, Gentry, Mo., was teaching first two-year high school classes in rooms  above the Robinson store. Ethylene Ballard taught in the old frame building; Mrs. Grace Wilsey taught upper grades in the old Christian Church building

     Dr. Minor T. Smith, 88, died in December

1915 April 22 German army uses poison gas for first time

     New grade and high school in use. J.C. Wolf assistant high school teacher; 30 high school students; 16 credits accepted by University of Missouri

1916 J.L. Cox established pipeline company that hauls, unloads, and strings pipe throughout the United States, except in California   

1917 April 6, U.S. declared war of Germany after Germans submarine U.S. supply ships to allies

     Sept. 7  Masonic Lodge sold to Raytown Bank

 1922 Richards Flying Field established (350 & Gregory), eight planes used to train army reserve

      Between 1922-24 average of 30 planes a month, within a year 100 or more.

      J. Roger Lowe family move to Lee’s Summit to the Laurel Heights Farm on 50 highway.

1923 Herman family purchased land at Round Grove Creek and Raytown Road and built a 4-pump gasoline station, and about six cabins for tourists, no lights, no running water. Carried water from nearby spring.

1924 Jan. 22 agreement to establish public road known as Flying Field Road. Restrictions: NO bill boards, sign boards, lunch of soft food stands; vegetable, fruit or egg stands; buildings within 40 feet of either side; chicken dinner, road houses, barbecue meat. Will be a single row of white elm trees along each side of the road

1925  Charles Lindbergh took training at airfield

      Raytown High School built on Blue Ridge Blvd.

1926 E. C. Rice Estate sell land in Sec. 8 to Turner Lumber

& Investment Company.(Lady of Lourdes site)

     Mail planes stop for refueling, Dallas to Chicago                           

     T. E. Quisenberry Poultry Farm (9312 E. 63rd) operated 45,000-egg incubator. Sending baby chicks out on the railroad

     W.C. “Bill” Glover, Sr. and E.E. Norquist, develop 167 acres into the Wildwood Lakes Recreational Area, with tennis courts, minature golf course, swimming, baseball diamond, dance hall, fishing. Buses met visitors at Swope Park, end of the street car line.

     Raytown Commercial Club organized. Real estate boom; five groceries, two hardware stores, three lumber yards, four confectioneries; Baptist, Christian and Methodist churches.

    Judge J.M. Lowe April 4, road dream about completed

    1927 Laurel Heights sub-division formed. Residences on 50 highway cost at least $2500, 30 feet back, lots there to be used for business, other areas cost $1500, frame, stucco or brick, painted with two coats, if outdoor toilet in inconspicuous place at rear of lot

  Kansas City Municipal airport, opened Oct. 1, 1927, north of the river.

  Ben Gregory continued flying school here.

  Missouri celebrated 3,400 miles of state road system completed, 1,500 miles graded, bridged and ready for surfacing, 1,600 miles made passable and without a direct property tax.              

1929 Dr. Louis Tremonti purchased two acres containing the old Archibald Rice home.

1936 Fire destroyed the Christian Church, 6108 Blue Ridge

1940 William Ong, of Mission, leased airfield

1943-1949 William Ong owned and operated Ong Airport. 7,200 Army and Marine Corp pilots trained here. After war planes did crop dusting.

1948 Blue Ridge school opened, 6410 Blue Ridge, outlying schools closed. Chapel School enlarged

1949 Dr. Louis Tremonti died.

1950 City of Raytown incorporated, Leroy Cox, first mayor.

1951 Sept., Raytown High School Booster Club organized

1952 Ong Airport divided into residential area, Gregory Heights

1955 Raytown Junior High opened, site of George W and Susan (Rhoades) Cassell former farm.

1956 Raytown Post Office became part of the Kansas City station.

 1962 Raytown South Cardinal Booster Club organized promoting athletic activities

1966 Wildwood Lakes became a residential area with a clubhouse.

    March 23, Raytown Historical Society formed. Met at Laurel Bank, on Gregory