Home     About     Membership     JCGS Store Merchandise     Resources     Education     Contact Us!

1876 Meremec Township

Meremec Township

Meramec Township exceeds in its size any other of the townships of the County. Along the Meramec, which forms part of the northern boundary, and Big River which flows through the township and empties in the Meramec, were made some of the earliest settlements in the County. Among these settlements near Big River, was that of James Head who located on Head's Creek, about a mile above its mouth. His location here was doubtless determined by the beautiful springs of water which are found in the vicinity. What is known as the "Big Spring" gushes out from under a hill, and at once flows forth in a wide and powerful stream large enough to turn a mill.

Other springs of a similar character are also found in this locality. On the removal of Head he was followed by Adam House, whom name is perpetuated in the village of House's Springs. After living here two years House was killed by the Indians. The first farm on the west side of Big River above its mouth, was settled by James Green in the year 1809. Several years before the arrival of Green, Jacob and Christopher Shults, had located on the eat side of Big River, but a short distance above its entrance into the Meramec. Ruth Wilson, the wife of L.C. Wilson of this township, is a daughter of James Green, and had been living in the County since 1809, and was a year old on first coming here with her father. John Pyatt was an early settler. He came shortly after 1800, and lived on Big River about two miles and a half above its mouth.

The next settlement up the river was made by David Hilterbrand, who home was on survey 908.Abraham Hilterbrand settled survey 1999. Isaac and Jonathan were two others of the Hilterbrand family, who lived in the neighborhood. The Hilterbrands were conspicuous in the early settlement of this portion of the County, and their descendants still remain. John Bittick, father of James Bittick, came to the County in 1816, and settled on the east side of Big River, a short distance below Byrnesville. The farm of H.H. Sanne, on the west side of the river and nearly opposite the Jonathan Hilterbrand claim, was first settled by Samuel Herrington about the year 1816. Abraham Johnson was remembered as an old settler at House's Springs, though his time was after that of Head and House.

The name of La Barque Creek, gives evidence that the first man who traversed this part of the County, and fixed a name to the stream, were French. The farm now owned by Joseph Sale in section fifteen, township forty-two, range three, was first opened up by William Everett. Robert Stuart, a present resident of Meramec Township, is now one of the oldest men living in Jefferson County. He came to Jefferson County in the fall of 1799 when a small child, with his father, John Stuart, who first settled on the waters of the Plattin.

There are five post-offices in the limits of Meramec Township, viz: House's Springs, Belew's Creek, Dittmer's Store, Byrnesville, and Cedar Hill, the latter two of which are at present discontinued. In the neighborhood of Dittmer's store is what is known as the "German Settlement". Among the first Germans to come here were George Dugey, William Richter, Lewis Richter, Lewis Fricky, Frederick Springmeyer, and Amandus Crull. Big River flows in a serpentine course through the township, and the bottom lands which border the stream afford material for rich and productive farms. There are three mills on the river in the township - the old Maddox mill, which is now being rebuilt. Byrne's mill at Byrnesville, and the mill of Patrick Byrne, on section twenty-eight of township forty-three, range four. The river is crossed by two bridges, one a short distance from House's Springs and one at Maddox mill. A number of fine farms are found in the valley of Head's Creek.

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