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Excerpt from A History of Missouri by Louis Houck

[Digital images of this book are also located at the University of Missouri Digital Library:]

[This passage contains extensive footnotes.  "Francois Bittick" is mentioned in footnote #154]


















pages 72 - 77



Page 72

Another considerable settlement existed near and on Creve Coeur in this neighborhood. [148] Conway says that the name originated from this circumstance: That in 1796 after a big flood of the Missouri there was much sickness in the bottom and among the first French settlers there, that a large number died, and that the survivors abandoned the locality, and hence the name "Creve Coeur," broken-heart. The lower lake then was three miles long, and one fourth of a mile wide, but the other lake much smaller. At Point Labbadie on the Missouri river, near the present county line between St. Louis and Franklin counties, a settlement was also made, [149] and


farther up the Missouri on Dubois creek, emptying its waters into the Missouri not far from Washington, in Franklin county, another settlement was formed by a number of Americans. [150]

But the oldest American settlement in upper Louisiana was on the Maramec. The name Hildebrand, twisted into "Albrane" by the Spanish officials, is found in the old archives as early as 1770. The Hildebrands or Hildbrants, came from Monogahela county, Pennsylvania, and were Germans; according to Mrs. Elizabeth McCourtney some of them were at Fort Jefferson; from there in 1782 came to upper Louisiana, where a member of the family settled before that period. The name of Thomas Tyler is also notable as being here in 1774. In 1779 he acquired the Hildebrand place, and in 1791 transferred it to Jacques Clamorgan. In 1788 Tyler who had lived for six or seven years, near the Maramec had about eighty acres in cultivation, but, in 1791, the Indians became hostile, and about this time Peter Hildebrand was killed by the Osages. Some of the settlers then fortified themselves, removing to a point in the fork of the

Page 74

Maramec in the middle of the settlement for that purpose. That a considerable settlement existed at that time, on both sides of the Maramec, is shown by the fact that the first regular ferry established in Missouri, was established on this stream by Jean Baptiste de Gamache [151] so that regular intercourse might not be interrupted, between St. Louis and the settlements of Ste. Genevieve. Gamache’s ferry was established near the mouth of the Maramec, and remained in operation until about 1780, when, on account of the Indian disturbances, he or his employees were ordered away. Gamache was among the first residents of Carondelet, where he raised tobacco on his lot in 1795, and operated a primitive mill on the river des Peres. Louis Courtois, senior, made an improvement on the Maramec in 1780, living here six years (unusual) owning a tract of 7,086 arpens, but in 1788, resided at Carondelet. Gabriel Cerre, according to Chouteau, located a claim on the Maramec in 1782 near a salt spring [152] David Hildebrand was Cerre’s tenant on the Negro fork in 1785. William Crow, from Kaskaskia, lived on this river in 1785, where he died and his widow married George Bowers. The Osage Indians on the Maramec seem to have been more troublesome than in other localities, and Clamorgan says that in 1793 the settlers were driven away by the Indians repeatedly [153]. In 1800 Adam House, a farmer living near the mouth of the Maramec, was killed by the Osage Indians [154].

Page 75 RAIDS

Not only the Osages, but the Indians living in what is now Pemiscot, New Madrid, Stoddard and Dunklin counties, and perhaps composed, as DeLassus says, of runaway Creeks, Cherokees, and other vagabonds of the tribes from the southeast Gulf territory, would make raids in this district.

Page 76

Against these the Renards and Saukees also made predatory excursions, meeting on the tributaries of the Maramec [155]


In addition to these important settlements, American pioneers pitched their location on Fifi or Feefee creek, [156] on Gingras, [157] on Wild Horse creek, [158] on Maline creek, [159] and on Sandy creek. [160] Also a village near the Missouri river, only about three or four miles from St. Ferdinand, was laid out by permission of the lieutenant-governor, Trudeau, by Robert Owens. [161] who had been a resident of the country since 1789, and where, in 1793, Francois Honore and others had first formed a station to protect themselves against the Indians. Maturin Bouvet, as deputy surveyor, surveyed and platted the place in 1794. The settlement became known as "Marais des Liards," and also a Village a Robert." The Wabash railroad now passes here and the station is called Bridgeton. After the cession the inhabitants obtained one thousand arpens as a common-field.




Among the first settlers on, and in the neighborhood of Creve Coeur lake, we find:

Peltier (or Pelletier) Senior, (1787), a native of Vincennes where the family were ancient residents, his son


was born there in 1785, this Pierre bought property on the Missouri at St. Charles, and after his death his widow married

Jean Baptiste Belland;

Joseph Bodoin (Boudoin) dit L’Habitant (1788), a trader and voyageur, on Rio Fernando in 1794 and in St. Louis, he was a son of

Jean Bodoin who settled here at an early day, an Irish Catholic;

Jean Cordell (1796);

John Long, Junior, (1796);

Francois LeBerge (1796) was also at Portage des Sioux, and his land afterwards became the property of

Edward Richardson, originally of North Carolina, but an immigrant from Tennessee;

George Gordon (1796);

Joseph Conway (1797), was born in Greenbrier county, Virginia in 1763; moved to Kentucky with his father’s family who settled at Ruddle’s Station; was there when the Station was attacked; drove off the Indians; went out to reconnonitre, caught, tomahawked, had his skull broken and was scalped and was left for dead; was at Ruddle’s Station when Col. Byrd attacked it two weeks afterwards; was captured and taken to Detroit wounded and with his head bandaged, but recovered and come to this settlement, and is the progenitor of the Conway family of Missouri; died in 1830;

John Ward (1797) likely the same John Ward who came with Morgan to New Madrid in 1787;

Gabriel Long (1797);

James McCourtney (1797);

Oliver Caldwell (1797), was a tenant of

Lawrence Long;

Robert Baldridge (1798);

Joe Sip (1798) at Point bas de Creve Coeur and Missouri;

Mary Sip married

Noel Tesson in 1802;

Thomas Whitley (1798), and at Village St. Andre, owned two slaves;

Jonathan Wiseman (1799), Irishman;

Robert Buchanan (1799), at Carondelet prior to 1803, and St. Louis;

Samuel Smith (1799) an Irish Catholic;

Eli Musick (1799);

Thomas Cropper (1799);

Andrew Kincaid (1800);

Andrew McQuitty (1800);

Samuel Hibler (1802);

Richard Young (1803);

Edward Young (1803), in 1804 on Maneto Saline;

George Washington Morrison, afterward a recruiting officer in the United States army and deputy surveyor, killed in Kentucky by an accidental shot in 1809, also acquired land in this neighborhood either before or immediately after the cession.

According to James Long,

Lawrence Long,

Jos. Conway,

Richard Caulk,

James Green,

John Chandler,

Solomon Whitely with their families and several young men, among them



The earliest settlers here seem to have been, Ephraim Richardson (1798), who was driven away by the Indians in 1802, but returned;

John Dey (or Day) (1798),

one McCoy lived here in 1799;

George Pursley (1798), in 1803 was driven off by the Indians, but gave

George McFall permission to live on his place, which he did that fall, and made sugar there in 1804, also had property at Bon Homme;

James Pritchett (1800), and at Isle aux Boeuf;

Peter Pritchett (1801), testified that in April, 1803, a man by the name of

Ridenhour (John) was killed by the Indians in this neighborhood (on the Femme Osage across the river), which broke up this settlement until the following fall when most of the inhabitants returned, but

Captain Joseph Conway says he was killed in 1801, and that the Indians were pursued by the settlers but escaped. Ridenhour and his wife were out hunting horses, and upon meeting the Indians who demanded the horses Ridenhour refused to give them up and rode off. The Indians began to shoot at him and he fell off and soon died. His wife dismounted, took off the bundle and scared her horse away and the other horses followed. The Indians when they came up slapped her for scaring away the horses, but let her go. (Draper’s Notes, vol. 24, pp. 151 to 204, inc.)

William Fullerton (1802);

Ambrose Bowles (1803) on Labadie creek, the present town of Bowles located about here, and named for this family, and some of the descendants still live there;

Noel Musick (1805) at Point Labadie and river Feefee;

Uri Musick (1805);

John McMickle (or McMichael) (1799), saddler and tanner, secured a land grant to establish tannery;

Daniel Richardson (1803);

James Stephenson dit Stephens, an early resident;

Thomas Gibson (1802) also on river aux Boeufs.


Dubois creek was at this time on the extreme frontier, and here we find,

William Hughes (1794), who removed from Kentucky to Kaskaskia, then to this creek, was at Point Labadie in 1799;

John Sullins (1799), on this stream and aux Boeuf, owned two slaves;

John Long (1797), from Kaskaskia, makes a claim for 5,000 arpents under concession from Trudeau, and 5,000 on St. John creek and on Creve Coeur. A John Long seems to have had a claim on the Homochitto in the Mississippi territory in Pearl river district;

Ezekiel Rogers (1800) was a renter here;

John S. Farrow (1800);

David Collum (1803),

Leonard Farrow, was on Fox creek on road leading from the Richwood to St. Louis and Missouri in 1799;

Smith Collum (1803);

James Cowan (1803) lived also in Ste. Genevieve district;

Alexander McCartney (or McCourtney) in 1799, with

Adams McCourtney acquired property at Bon Homme;

Jonathan Vineyard (1803), from Georgia, also in Bois Brule Bottom in Ste. Genevieve district.



Was born at Quebec 1733, married Charlotte D’Amours May 3, 1767, was with the first boat that landed at St. Louis, but moved to Carondelet where he died.



Don Gabriel Cerre owned large tracts of land in the St. Louis and Cape Girardeau districts. In 1782 had a grant on the head waters of the Saline and Maramec, including a lead mine, which he said he paid an American $200 to show him, owned a number of slaves and also worked a number of white men in his salt works on the Maramec. In 1787 he received a grant on the Gravois and River de Peres, on which to build a saw mill and flour-mill, establish a fruit garden and sow maize, but was frightened away "through fear of inroads of savages", and in 1804 assigned this claim to

Reuben Smith.

In 1798 he had some trouble with

Louis Lorimier claiming the land where Lorimier had settled, and appealed to

Governor Gayoso de Lemos, setting forth services he had rendered the government, but Gayoso decided the matter in favor of Lorimier and ordered the same amount of land to be surveyed elsewhere for Cerre as compensation for his services. In 1800 he owned property at St. Charles, and also in New Madrid.


[153] 2 Public Lands, p. 566



Of this murder Pierre de Treget makes this brief and graphic report, "Reparied to the Renault Forks, with the few militia I could assemble in pursuit of the Indians, on reaching the place I found an old man dead, head cut off and laid at his side, scalp taken and body full of wounds from musket shots, and a few paces by a boy eight or nine years old, head cut off lying near him, face smeared with blood, with a small piece of maple sugar in his mouth, no wounds on his body from either musket or knife." (1 Billon’s Annals of St. Louis, p. 298)

Robert Owen of Marais de Liards was appointed guardian of the minors


John and

Peggy House, by

Pascal Leon Cerre, ensign of the militia. At this time (1800) there also resided in this neighborhood

Mathew Lord;

James Craig;

Andrew Park;

James Gray;

Adam Stroud;

Joshua McDonald; also

William Bellew, a settler on the Maramec in 1778, and on Wild Horse creek, and Missouri at Bon Homme settlement in 1795-97;

David Hildebrand (1780) on Negro fork, in 1795 at Village a Robert, also St. Louis and Isle a Boeuf;

Abraham Hildebrand (1780) also on Negro fork;

Bazil DesNoyers (1783) who owned two Indian slaves, was driven off his place by marauding Indians;

Jean Gerrard (1782);

Philip Fine (1786) near the mouth of the Maramec, a brother of

David; in 1795 at Village a Robert, on the Mississippi in 1800 and in St. Louis;

Jacob Schelling, a German (1788);

John Pyatt (1790), on Negro fork, was driven away by the Indians, lived at Marais des Liards in 1798, returned in 1800 to the Maramec, and was again driven away, and some of the farmers were killed here in 1805, according to the testimony of

James Richardson;

Philip Shultz (1790), on Negro fork, apparently a German;

William Boli (1794),

Mary Bolli married

J. B. Tesson in 1802;

Francois Bittick, had a grant adjoining Courtois;

Francois Poillevre in 1793 received a grant on the Maramec from Trudeau, road to St. Louis ran through this grant, which he sold to

Charles Gill of Grand Ruisseaux de Kaskaskia, including a "petite tan yard",

one Catalan had lived on the land, made some improvements and then deserted it, this

Poillevre also received 1,600 arpens from DeLassus in 1800 on the river Establishment, but never settled it. It may be that Poillevre was known as Catalan-Gill (or Guill), also had a grant on Gravois in 1797, and on Sandy creek, in 1798 sold his land on the Maramec to

Tersy (Jesse) Keyne, and this may be

Jesse Cain who lived in St. Charles district, and afterwards on Byrd or Hubble creek;

Joseph Neybour (or Neubauer) 1794, a German, also at Marais des Liards in 1795;

John Neybour (1794) German, at Marais de Liards in 1795, sold his property there, and was on the Mississippi in Ste Genevieve district;

James Head, from Kaskaskia, settled on this river prior to 1793; but abandoned his claim;

Isaac Hildebrand dit Asie Ellebrand (1795) also at Marais des Liards and St. Louis;

Madame Loitie, prior to 1796 owned property on the north side of the Maramec, lying between the Ruisseau de la Fontaine and Ruisseau Baptiste Poriot, part of which she sold to

Jacob Wickerham, a German, in 1796, and part in 1797 to

Jacques Clamorgan.

Wickerham also had a claim on Negro fork in 1797; but claimed the Indians interfered with his improvement there;

John Coleman (1796) an Irishman, lived on a farm below Mill creek at Gorman Point;

Thomas Donner (1796), likely a son of

Jacob Donner, apparently a German;

George Sip dit Sheepe (1796);

John Cummings (1797), on this river and the Missouri;

Christopher Carpenter (1797), relative of

John on the Missouri;

Dr. John Watkins, an American speculator, made a claim to a league square, or 7,056 arpens, of land here granted him in 1797, but never lived on it, seems to have lived in St. Louis, and from there removed to New Orleans;

Jean Baptiste Rouillier dit Bouche lived on Black Water emptying into the Maramec in 1797, but sold his farm to

John or James Stewart dit Tuckahoe, who was also an early resident on this creek;

Mathias Vanderhider (1797) on Negro fork;

Mark Wideman came to the country in 1798, and with his family settled on the Negro fork by permission of

Francois Valle, also

John Wideman;

Sarah Pruitt (or Prewitt) widow of

Charles Prewitt, lived here in 1798, was a sister to John Wideman;

John and

Samuel Prewitt, also said to be early settlers in this neighborhood.

Pascal Leon Cerre, a son of

Gabriel, claimed a league square, including a big salt spring, on the Maramec, granted in 1798 by

Gayosa de Lemos

in consideration of the service of his father, owned several slaves, was sub-lieutenant of militia, and says he made a journey to Canada in the interest of the government;

John Boli (1798) had a ferry on the Maramec, served in the militia under de Treget at Carondelet;

Francois Bourasses (1799);

Joshua Shafers (Shaver) also an early settler here;

Paul Robart dit Robar (1799) was afterwards employed to assist in surveying Gamache’s claim on this stream, was also at Carondelet;

Hardy Ware, cultivated land here in 1799, was on Little Rock creek and at Mines in 1803;

Michael Fostin (1799) from Kaskaskia, his grant extending across the Maramec;

Jonathan Hildebrand (1799);

Bernard Pratte (1799) a resident of St. Louis and also had a claim on the St. Francois;

John Williams, senior, (1800);

Ninian Bell Hamilton (1800), the Orphan Protectorate founded by the Catholics situated on part of his grant, also at Bon Homme;

Andrew Hamilton;

Jacob Collins (1802) on Negro fork;

James Stewart (1802) on Black Water fork of this river;

William Eastep or Estes (1802);

David Delauny (1800), a Frenchman, Spanish officer, formerly an inhabitant of the Isle of St. Domingo, first came to Ste. Genevieve in 1799, but was induced by DeLassus to come to St. Louis and had property in St. Charles district;

James Davis (1803) land speculator on Negro fork;

Jacob Connor (1803);

James Sweeney (1803) owned ten slaves, afterwards moved to Louisiana;

Joseph Horn (1803);

Hugh McCullough (1803);

Joseph Kiver (1803);

Peter Lashaway (1803 or prior);

John Caldwell (1803) on this stream and the Missouri, but stopped by the Indians from improving;

Samuel Bay (1803);

Aquilla Wickerham (1803) on Negro fork;

T. Thomas Moses (or Mores);

John Brindley;

Mary Gill (1807);

Christian Ewalt (Devalt or Twelt) Hildebrand (1804) on Negro fork;

Pierre Tornat or Tournat dit Lajoie (1800) had a tract in the bottom on this river;

Giguire (DeGuire) and

Boudoin (probably Jean Boudoin dit l’Habitant) worked for him living in camp made of clap-boards; and

Levi Thiel.

On Grand Glaise creek, a branch of the Maramec we find

Alexander McDonald (1797);

Andrew Parker (1797);

John and

Paul Whitley (1799);

Lewin Cropper (1798), from Kaskaskia, where he served in the militia;

Joshua Pansy (1799) on this stream and at Marais des Liards;

Edward Butler (1801) and

Philip Roberts (1802) and their mother

Mrs. Ann Skinner, who was also on the Joachim;

Jonathan Skinner;

William Drennon (or Drenning) (1801) at White Oak Springs;

Peggy Jones (1803);

William Miller (1803);

Thomas Henry (1803);

John Hensley (1803);

William and

David Hensley (1799);

John Ball (1803);

Thomas and

Edward Mason, from Kaskaskia.

On Little Rock creek, another branch of the Maramec, the early actual settlers were all Americans, thus we find

Samuel Wilson and his son

John (1801);

John Henderson (1802);

John Gillmore (1803);

George Smirl, senior, (1801);

James Smirl (1802), and

George, junior, on Sandy Creek in 1801;

Joseph Uge.

On Gravois, another branch, where

Pierre Lajore (Lajoie) (1790), a witness for the settlers on this stream and the Maramec;

Francois Lacombe of Carondelet (1791);

Hugh and

Samuel Graham (1798);

Sophia Bolaye (Boli) (1796), on aux Gravois near the mouth of the river des Peres;

Barthelemi Harrington (1798);

Pierre Dodier (1803), who sold to

John Sappington and he erected the first horse mill for grinding grain in the township;

Pierre Lejeuness, from Kaskaskia, where he served in the militia;

Louis Courtois, junior, (1799) on this stream 69 miles from the mouth of the Maramec, was a resident of St. Louis.

On another branch, the Matis, Mattest or Mathias, we find

David Fine, who came to the country with

Elisha Baker in 1798, made a settlement, and with

Eli Musick and

wife, and

Judge Joseph Sale, organized the first Baptist church in 1809 or 10 in the township, which in 1883 was still standing, and known as Concord church;

John Romine was in the neighborhood in 1798;

Michael Masterson (1799).



Autobiography of Black Hawk, as published in Pioneer Families of Missouri, p. 463.



Richard Sullens (1799), on this stream and the Missouri;

Nathan Sullens (1802);

Absalom Link, who lived here made a visit to Kentucky, and brought back clover seed, which he cultivated until it came into common use, it had never been cultivated up to this time; he was also at Marais des Liards;

John Murphy (1799), on Feefee and at Marias des Liards;

Edy or Ewel (Uel) Musick (1800);

Samuel Harris, on this stream and Fox creek, his son

William, afterwards a member of the State legislature, was born here in 1800;

Lanham Hartley, from Kentucky;

Nicholas Hebert dit Lecompte also had a claim, but probably never lived on it.



On this creek, George Crumb or Crump (1803) and in 1800 a person of the same name on Missouri river. Here also

Antoine Vincent Bouis of St. Louis made claim to land.



William Bell, from Kaskaskia, settled in 1797, was on Cold Water and also in St. Louis;

Alexander Graham (1798);

James Calvin (1798), from Kaskaskia, in 1797 lived in L’Aigle prairie in the Illinois country, on the Cuivre in 1799 and remained there until 1804, and was a resident on the Missouri.

Henry McLaughlin says that

Edward Perry in 1797 lived for a year on this creek.



The first settlers here were

Seth and

Richard Chittwood (1797), and

Isabella Chittwood, widow of

John Pound (1797);

John Allen (1798) probably John F. Allen who was a witness for various claimants of land on river des Peres in 1798;

James Richardson had a still-house on this creek 1799. He was one of the earliest American settlers in the St. Louis district; came from Kentucky; killed a man there and hence fled to upper Louisiana. His family followed him to upper Louisiana and he settled near Marias de Liards.



William Jones (1798), at Grand Glaise in 1797 and Bellevue settlement in 1803;

John and

Ben Johnson (1800), Ben was afterwards a justice in this locality;

William Null, senior, (1800), and on Joachim in Ste. Genevieve district, also

William Null, junior,

David Boyle (1803) also on the Joachim;

Roger Cogle;

Gabriel Cobb (1803);

Richard Glover (1803);

William Moss (1803);

John Litten (1803);

Wm. Johnson.


This Owens came from Maryland; could talk French and was intimate with the French settlers; was shoemaker by trade, and even after he became a farmer would occasionally make a pair of shoes. He first settled on the Maramec, but when the Indian troubles began there moved to the place which became known as Owen’s Station.

Adam Martin,

Thos. Hardy,

Wm. Hooper,

Jacob Lurty and

Wm. Clark

joined Owens in "forting". He afterwards moved to Big River, and died there in 1829. His wife died at the age of 90 in 1840. (Mrs. Elizabeth McCourtney’s narrative in Draper’s Notes, Vol. 2, pp. 151-204.)

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