[From Goodspeed 1889]

Licking was surveyed on Section 6 and 7, Town ship 32, Range 8, and the record filed August 8, 1878.  Collier's third addition was made in 1871.

The original survey was made by Jonathan Yates in 1857, and acknowledged by Mary Sherrill July 24 of that year.  The location was on southeast quarter of southwest quarter of Section 6, Township 32, Range 8.

Licking takes its name from a buffalo lick within one-quarter mile east, which was alive with deer up to 1835.  As early as 1826 two men, John Baldridge and Barney Low, established their homes north by west near the lick.  Thus that ambitious town, aspiring as it does to rival Houston, can boast of an antiquity which precedes that of the
latter by at least twenty years.  In 1831 E. G. Halbert, his wife and one child, with Joel Sherrill, moved from a point near Farmington, MO., by ox-team to what is now Licking..Halbert settling just at the lick.  About New Year's, 1832, John Sherrill, wife and son, Uel Sherrill (who died in 1855) arrived, accompanied by JOel, who revisited St. Francois County and returned with them.  At this time the Baldridges, two families of Lowes and two families of McElroys were here, all within easy distance of the present town.  The Lowes and McElroys moved into what is now Pulaski County, and the Lowes moved to Texas, while some of the sons settled on the Roubidoux.  Spencer Mitchell came about 1833, but Tandy Carter and Dabney Lynch were in the county long before this time.  The Delawares and Shawnees were visitors, making temporary villages along the creeks.

The first postmaster in the neighborhood was John Sherrill, the mail line being from Caledonia to Springfield.  He was succeeded by E. G. Halbert, and he by A. H. Orchard, who in 1857-58 opened the first store; he was postmaster up to 1862, when he went to Rolla.

The settlers at this early time had constant intercourse with the Indians, chiefly the Shawnees and Delawares, with whom they carried on traffic.

Some of these red men were very proud of their ancestry, and could trace their lineage back to the illustrious warriors who once dealt so destructively with the whites.  One chieftain bore the name of Logan.  He claimed to be a cousin to the famous Logan of history.  The simple children of the forest seemed to be as vain and as ambitious to possess a great name as their white brethren.  Another one rejoiced in the name of Henry Clay.  He was a man of remarkable shrewdness, and boasted that he had been educated by the great Henry Clay, of Kentucky.

The Indians continued to visit the country in the fall and winter, long after the settlements of the pale-faces had rendered it too crowded to be congenial to their taste.  It is believed by the more credulous old settlers that they still return covertly.  There is a tradition that they have an enormous treasure of silver hidden away under the ground somewhere, to which they annually return to replenish their purses.  It is told that Logan, once looking upon the operations of the white men as they cleared the forest and plowed the soil, destroying the hunting grounds of the once happy savage, exclaimed with bitterness and triumph: "Ah! if white man knew what red man known, he wouldn't plow this ground with iron plows."  The locality of the buried treasure has even been described by Indians, and some well-meaning citizens are even now attempting to find it.  Their faith is strengthened by the fact that there are indications of silver ore in the rocks.

BUSINESS AFFAIRS - The business circle of the town comprises of three general merchandise firms of W. S. Nichol, Craven & Sherrill and Campbell, Freeman & Co., the average yearly sales of each amounting to $50,000.  Misses Craven and Sherrill carry on the millinery business; Dr. C. B. Taylor, Dr. S. L. Mitchell, J. B. Hill and George W. Bell are the druggists; Julian and Vanderbilt, harness manufacturers; C. H. Ware, jeweler; Harding & Co., real estate agents; W. R. Reid, barber and photographer; C. Kofahl, agent for McCormick Manufacturing Company; A. Bradford, for the Osborn Mowing Machines; A. W. Banker, builder.  The medical circle comprises the physicians named above, with Dr. Collier and Dr. B. F. Craven.  There are two tobacco manufactories located here, and owned and operated by W. S. Nichol and the West Brothers.  Their plug and smoking tobaccos are pronounced by expert judges of the weed to be equal to that manufactured in any other part of the United States. The Star Hotel, on North Main Street, is conducted by James Carpenter; the Coillier House, by Dr. Collier, one of the old physicians of the county; the Excelsior House, formerly conducted by J. L. Metsker and E. S. Harding, is now the property of Mrs. Smalley, while A. Bradford is owner of "Our Hotel."  The post-office officials who have served since the war are Dr. Collier, Dr. Orr and Mary D. Ray, now Mrs. Taylor.

MANUFACTORIES - The Licking Milling Company was organized in 1882, with J. L. Campbell, J. A. Craven and B. F. Craven.  That year a mill building was erected with three run of buhrs, with a capacity of forty barrels.  W. A. Freeman purchased the interests of the Craven brothers, and in 1886 William Ray purchased a fourth interest, and in 1888 another fourth, being now one-half owner.  In 1887 the roller process was introduced, giving a capacity of sixty barrels.  This industry gives employment to three men, the material being supplied from the rich country surrounding.  The old buhrs are retained for corn work.  The carding mills are operated by H. C. Kitchen, who transacts a large custom business.  The two mills, with the Nichol and West tobacco factories, make up the manufacturing industries of the town.

RELIGIOUS & BENEVOLENT SOCIETIES - Licking has four church organizations, Methodist Episcopal Church, North, having a membership of ninety-eight, Rev. W. F. Grundy, pastor; Methodist Episcopal Church, South, with 168 members, Rev. J. W. Worshop, pastor; Baptist, membership eighty, Rev. J. S. Rice, pastor; Christian, membership 155, Rev. T. Boyd pastor.  Each denomination owns its own house of worship.  These buildings are commodious, and of artistic architectural design.

Latimer Lodge No. 395, A. F. & A. M., was organized U. D. on April 1, 1871, with A. Bradford, W. M.; J. D. Julian, J. W.; W. J. Bates, S. W.; Joel Sheerrill, Treas.; D. T. Collier, Sec.; Joel Halbert, J. D.; J. W. Craven, C.; and R. H. West, Tyler.  Among other members were W. J. G. Crow, Dr. N. G. Matthews, S. M. Haggard and Spencer Mitchell.  The lodge was chartered October 17, 1871, with Adam Bradford, Master; Messrs. Baters, Julian and Collier held the same positions as in April, while S. Ledgerwood and Joel Halbert were Deacons; L. Smalley and S. M. Haggard, Stewards; Craven, Chaplain, and West, Tyler.  The Past Masters are named as follows:  Adam Bradford, P. D. Mitchell, Dr. John E. Barnes, Dr. George Orr (who died in June, 1884), T. N. Bradford, John S. Cameron.  The present Master is T. N. Bradford, who was elected in June, 1885.  The membership is fifty-one, who own the hall completed in 1882 to replace the Grange and Masonic building, destroyed in the cyclone of April, 1880, which was built by Campbell & Julian, in conjunction with the lodge, about 1874.

John Boone Post No. 257, G. A. R., was chartered April 5, 1886, with the twelve following named members: T. L. R. Wilson, Twentieth Kentucky Infantry; J. B. Fulks, Twenty-first Kentucky; William Hinton, Forty-ninth Illinois; Josiah Bradford, Thirty-second Missouri; George W. Granger, One Hundred and Fifth Ohio; John Dixon, One Hundred and Twenty-eight Illinois; W. W. Owen, Third Missouri Cavalry; William D. Lamb, Forty-second Illinois Infantry; John J. Landeau, One Hundred and Fifth Ohio; T. F. Dorman, Twenty-second Connecticut, and D. T. M. Crow, Bowen's Battalion.  Since the date of organization forty-two others have signed the roll.  The first commander was Josiah Bradford, who has served down to the present time.  J. R. Haggard, the adjutant, served until 1889, when Isaac Harry was appointed.  The post erected a 20 x 40 hall in 1888-89, at a cost of $500, Robert Shipp donating the lumber.

TORNADO OF 1880 - The same storm which destroyed the Marshfield also carried away the old town of Licking.  In the following list the names of those who lost property are given:  S. P. Higgins, Alfred Craven, D. E. Etherton, Dr. Orr, J. A. Craven, J. Carpenter, Dr. Collier, Higgins & Ray, D. Canedy, James West, Wesley West, Mr. Kitchens, James Sherrill, Mat. Lamer, John Julian, Dr. Craven, John Moran, John Weller, Thomas Bates, James L. Campbell, S. Nicholess, Grange and Masonic Building, Thomas Canning, Robert Marr, T. R. Bates, Mrs. Reed, Widow Bradford, Spencer Mitchell, J. W. Craven, J. Davis, Robert Shipp, M. Bates, Widow
Harrison, Widow Mahan, William Ray, W. P. Mitchell, Dr. McKinney, James Reed, Mrs. Smalley and the Benard property.

SCHOOLS - The Licking Academy is conceded to be one of the best institutions of learning in this part of the State, and under the direction of Messrs. Cameron and Lamar has and is still producing a large number of qualified teachers.  Although the academy building is a large two story structure, its capacity is inadequate for the accommodation of its increasing popularity and patronage, and has necessitated the erection of extensive additions.  It is understood that the services of Professors Cameron and Lamar have been retained for the autumn, winter and spring terms, which is all the assurance that is needed that the school will be kept up to its present high standard of perfection.  Beside the academy there are also schools for the primary and intermediate classes.

LICKING'S FUTURE - The location of Licking, in the midst of a rich farming country, places its perpetuity beyond chance.  The soil is similar to that of the best portions of Illinois, Indiana and Southern Iowa, being very productive but less easily exhausted than any portion of those States.  There are numerous instances of constant cultivation in wheat and corn for periods of fifteen and twenty years, and that, too, without the use of fertilizers, and still producing average crops, from eighteen to twenty-two bushels of wheat and thirty-five to fifty bushels of corn per acre.  Springs are found in and about the town, insuring a constant supply of the purest water.

 © 02-05-01
Debbie Linton and Penny Harrell

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