Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Pike family moved to Cedar County...

Tully Tandy Pike was born in Kentucky, Oct. 18, 1827. Narcissa Lou Ann Random Amos was born in Kentucky, July 27, 1831. This is the start of the Pike story.

They came from Kentucky to Missouri, along with their parents and several other families by covered wagon trains pulled by oxen team. The families settled in North Missouri for a few years-first living in Putman County and later in Gentry County and Platt County and Clinton County. Tully Tandy and Narcissa were married in Clinton County on Aug. 5, 1849. Three of their children, George William Pike, Robert Preston Pike and their first daughter Mary Francis Pike were born in that county also.

In 1859 they left North Missouri and traveled by south by covered wagon again pulled by four team of oxen. The family settled on a farm East of Virgil City. It was in Cedar County and then was known as the Jamerson Farm. They lived one-half mile west of White Hall School. (Known in 1971 as the Old Jake Kaufman farm.

Tully Tandy Pike in his younger days.

Virgil City had one grocery store and a drug store. Both were owned by old Doctor Kawhorn. The town also had a Post Office, a blacksmith shop and a school house. The grocery store was called the Williams Store. The Williams family lived across the road from the store. The large house where they lived was called the Williams(Wielms) Hotel. Travelers who wished to stay and rest, stayed overnight.

The Williams store was in Cedar County. The Post Office, the Williams home, the drug store, the blacksmith shop and the school were all in Vernon County. This was because the road was the county line and even today it's called County Line Road. There were no mail routes at that time so everyone had to go to the Post Office for their mail. The mail was brought by mail Hact to Virgil Post Office from Nevada Mo. In the winter time when the weather was very bad the mail was delivered but only once a month.

It was here that two more children were born to Tandy and Narcissa. A daughter Eliza Ann and Martha Ellen.

Virgil City

Taken from local History Book

This village is located on the western line of Cedar County, in the southwestern corner of Box Township, and extends over into Vernon County. It was laid out in 1869 by James Henderson and Bartlet R. Conyers. It was incorporated in 1870, though it had its beginnings only a few years before. The first postmaster was James R. Oatman who opened the post office on Aug. 6th 1867. Bartlet Conyers had purchased the land from The Government Land Office in 1857. His home was about a quarter of a mile southeast of where the town was located. He was residing here at the beginning of the Civil War but fled to Kansas after someone shot at him. Not knowing who his friends or enemies were and not wanting to take sides, he fled. When he returned after the War, he found his home and all his possessions burned to the ground. All that existed was the old smoke house which he made his home until another one could be constructed.

The town was laid out in 1869 by Henderson and Conyers. It had a hotel, a wagon shop and a general store and at times a population of 300. It was incorporated in 1870 and A. Carroll, A.N. Wallace, J.H. Challender, J.R. Oatman and Andrew Arnett as trustees. Ferdnand Huff came from Ohio in 1867 by wagon train headed for Kansas but was delayed by sickness. This delay led to his deciding to stay in Cedar County and he bought 160 acres two miles east of the county line paying less than two dollars per acre. It was unfenced and unplowed prairie with belts of timber and wonderful springs of water which made it a very attractive investment. There had been earlier settlers but renegades during the Civil War had come and burned their buildings, stolen their livestock and sometimes murdered the inhabitants. Those that could, fled with what few possessions they could travel with. For a good number of years after, stone chimneys stood as monuments marking the location of homes that had been looted and burned.

There was an older log school near there but a new school was built two miles east of Virgil named White Hall. Ferdnand Huff and Christopher Gish built the schoolhouse , hauling the lumber from Sedalia, 90 miles away, which was the closest railroad. The schoolhouse had two seats in the back that were slab benches with stobs bored in for legs, that had been brought from the old log school. Near this time a church was moved from Virgil City and located across from the school. It was Methodist and named Mt. Hebron. Many old timers are buried in the cemetery there.

By 1874 there was a drugstore where Fred Huff worked. There were two hotels, the Wielms and the Tanner. Both hotels had bars and Dr. Barter owned the drug store. Christopher Gish had a harness shop, there was an apple dryer, cider mill, stores and blacksmith shop. The city thrived because they thought the train would be coming through from Nevada. When El Dorado Springs got the railroad Virgil City which had been as large as Stockton at that time, soon floundered and within a few years only a few businesses and people remained. Now it remains only as another Cedar County ghost town.

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