William McClung Paxton was born on March 2, 1819 at Washington, Kentucky. “Educated for the law in his native town, he removed to Platte Co., [Missouri] . . . . In 1850 he removed to Platte City and spent twelve years in mercantile pursuits. Later he resumed the practice of law, and for twelve years prospered; but in 1872 he became hard of hearing, and it was necessary for him to give up his lucrative practice. Having, however, a complete abstract of titles of real estate of Platte Co., he still, at the age of seventy-one, is industriously employed in the business of abstracting and examining titles.”

Sheriff Dillingham was shot and killed near Farley, Missouri, after pursuing a suspect who had gone on a shooting spree. The man had murdered his wife, mother-in-law, and had shot at patrons of a store. After shooting Sheriff Dillingham the man was shot and killed by the Sheriff’s son. The suspect was said to be a doctor who was abusing a pain killer.

Dr. Marshall was regarded as one of the best physicians of his day. He came to Platte in 1837. and settled’ at Martinsville.’ He built a log office, ten feet square, and boarded with Zadock Martin. He was not able, at first, to meet his board bills by the returns of his practice, and went forth to the prairie to mow hay for his host. But the people soon discovered his virtues, and he became the most distinguished physician of the county. He was treasurer of Platte County for many years, and his official acts were universally approved.

J.M. and W.H. Waldron (founders of Waldron) laid off the town in 1869. William Waldron was born in Ireland June 15, 1803, came to New York in 1835, and thence to Platte in 1867. He was a Catholic. His sons were men of enterprise; they laid off the town of Waldron, and built a fine mill, which was burned. Ignatius Naylor was killed by one stroke of the fist of Stephen Waldron (son of William) in 1867, and was tried and acquitted of murder, on the ground that the fist was not a deadly weapon. He was later tried in ray county, convicted of murder, and fined 500 dollars.

Joseph Todd settled on Todd’s Creek in 1835 (which took its name from him). His neighbors were Martin, at the Falls. The Pottawatomies were around him, and the old chief, called Col. Caldwell by the settlers in the area, pitched his wigwam in Mr. Todd’s yard. Mr. Todd’s post-office was at the Fort, he traded at Liberty, and did his milling at Smithville. Before removing to the west of the Falls, Mr. Todd had a sugar camp at the mouth of Todd’s Creek.

Maj. Jesse Morin came to Platte in 1837. He was our first representative, and became the first circuit clerk in 1839. He raised a company for the Mexican War. and became major of Col. A. W. Doniphan’s regiment. He opposed secession until war was inevitable. Gov. Jackson appointed him a brigadier general. He at first accepted the office, but, on due reflection, declined it. In 1862 he was deputy sheriff under W. T. Woods.

J.H. Chinn read law in private, passed a good examination, and was admitted to the bar. He was county clerk in 1877, and proved to be an excellent accountant. He was deputy collector, and has passed through many departments of business. His commanding person and urbane manners introduce him favorably to the stranger. Later became a bookkeeper in the State Penitentiary.

Marlin “Jim” Davis was an actor who appeared in motion pictures from the 1940s to the 1980s. Born in Edgerton, Missouri, he is known for his roles as a senator in the Warren Beatty conspiracy thriller “The Parallax View”, and Jock Ewing on Dallas. Tragedy struck when his only child, daughter Tara Diane (1953-1970), was killed in a car crash at the age of sixteen.

Much of the information above is from Paxton’s Annals, which can be purchased from the Platte County Historical Society Book Store!

Location Ben Ferrel 1882 Mini Mansion Museum, 220 Ferrel St. Platte City, Missouri 64079 Phone 816-431-5121 Hours Admission: $5.00 Open: April - October, Thursday & Friday 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. CLOSED from Nov to March (Opened by appointment only)
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