Friday, November 7, 2014

The Founding of the Homeplace - The Jake Patton Family Story

The Founding of the Homeplace

The Jake Patton Family Story

From the short story collection:

Part V:

Centennial Family Bios 

Jake Patton Family Story

This Jake Patton Family Story was written for the American Centennial by Alex McDonald. It is base on information shared by family members and descendants of Jake and Kate Patton, one of the four founding families of the settlement in 1833 of the valley now known as Oak Creek Township.

Jake Patton was a blacksmith and gunsmith by trade, but he had wide interests. By the time he had decided, in 1833, to join others to settle what become known as the Oak Creek valley, he and his wife, Kate, had already had accumulated some wealth.

Although continually seeking to increase his personal wealth, he was also very generous in helping others, but always benefited himself, as well. This was the way he/they lived.

An early activity in 1833 was participation in surveys of the valley along with Robert Baldridge and others. Jake sought to expand his holdings early on, using his capital and labor of others. For example, he rented out several 40 acre plots to newcomers - thereby justifying acquiring more land.

Jake Patton (1798- Jan 1872)
Kate Unknown (1798-Mar 1872)

They had one daughter:
Victoria Patton (1 Sep 1818-  )

Victoria Patton (1 Sep 1818-  )
married on 1 Sep 1818
Hugh Truesdale (1812-  )

They had children:
Jane Truesdale (1837-  )
Lewis Truesdale (15 Jun 1843-)
Nellie Truesdale (1850-  )

With the others in the valley, he led the way to set the barter and compensation patterns for the valley from an early day. Jake was the most political, and represented the interests of all, in the valley. He made regular political trips throughout his life. He became widely known in central Missouri.

Elected as Eastern Oak Creek Township Trustee in 1841, he served until 1846 when he was elected as State Representative for the multi-county district in which he lived. Jake also served as the first Oak Springs U.S. Postmaster from inception in 1842 until elected State Representative in 1846. He was first elected State Representative in 1846, and served until he was elected to the County Commission in 1859. At the time, he felt he serve the interests of the people of the valley more effectively on the County Commission than in the State Legislature.

At the same time he was elected to the County Commission post in 1859, he actively supported the candidacy of Hugh Truesdale, in son-in-law, who did win Jake’s former seat as State Representative in 1960. Jake also served on Oak Springs Town Council continuously from 1848 until his death.

Jake relied heavily on Kate to look after his business interests in the valley, along with Hugh and Victoria Truesdale. In turn, Jake benefited as well from Hugh Truesdale’s industry and skills

Among Jake’s notable project in Oak Springs and the surrounding valley, of course, were his Blacksmith and Gunsmith Shops, the Patton General Store, the Post Office, his town plat vision, the Patton Hotel and the Livery stable.

Jake Patton had an early and intense interest in horses. Once settled in the valley, he focused on the needs of newcomers and visitors, as well. He was an early supporter of the McDonald freight line, for an excellent example.

During war, using his political connections, he sought and obtained the rank of Colonel by raising a regiment from his contacts and recruiting efforts. He received the active assistance of his grandson, Lewis Truesdale, in this particular activity.

After the war, Jake returned to the valley regularly to protect and expand his interests, and those of his family.

Colonel Patton returned to the valley intent on doing what he could to uphold the interests of the people who had settled there before the war intervened in all their lives. He and Gideon Inman had stayed in touch throughout the war period. Even before war broke out, in the mid-1850s,  Jake and Gideon (who had served as town clerk and helped out with land records from his arrival in the valley) had managed to develop a complete copy of all of the land records for Oak Creek Township from the County records in Eminence. These records were helpful in normal times, but as tensions had grown, they had correctly foreseen that they might become essential. Gideon had kept those records with him, and had managed to preserve them through the period of the war.

Gideon had held a civilian administrative job with the US Army during the war in St. Louis. With the end of the war, he, with Jake’s assistance and encouragement, had set about attempting to make contact with each and every former valley resident, or their families. This effort helped them to determine the level of interest from each family in either returning to the valley or relinquishing their claims to land in the valley. They generally sought to ascertain the current situations of as many of ‘their people’ as possible. These efforts were intensified as the year 1865 passed by.

 As for Jake Patton’s personal businesses in Oak Springs, he had agreed to an arrangement wherein Owen Olson would purchase the city lots from Patton west from the Olson home through the old General Store location and the original blacksmith shop. Olson would then set up his new blacksmith shop in approximately the location of the original. The Olson’s would build a new Oak Springs General Merchandise store in about the same location as the original, with the existing Central Avenue running between them.

Shortly after the war, the Lewis Truesdale cabins had been built near the location of the remains of the original Patton cabin. In fact, the chimney and fireplace had still been standing and were restored and used in the double cabin that was first built. Jake used on the those cabins for his base of operations in Oak Springs until he was able to build a new home on his old lot in the southeast corner of the town.

Also as the war ended, the Oak Springs Bank board, which consisted of Jake Patton, David Baldridge and Victor Campbell, wanted to build a new stone bank building in Oak Springs. Their choice of new location, however, was still up in the air as 1865 became 1866. Jake Patton, Gideon Inman and Victor Campbell formed the Oak Creek Real Estate and Land Office late in 1865 and built an office building from which Gideon Inman could operate it in the spring of 1866 as he continued making and receiving contact with former residents and providing information to new prospects, as well. One of the functions of this company was also to be in a position to purchase (for resale), at a nominal fee, any land in the township not re-claimed and re-settled between 1865 and and December 31, 1870. Jake was active in supporting this process.

Based on the contacts Jake Patton and Gideon Inman had made and continued to make through 1865, no new returnees were expected in the rest of 1865, but a number of intentions to return in 1866 and thereafter were anticipated. With this information, and proper notifications, a new Town Council was elected in November: Jake Patton, Owen Olson, Victor Campbell, Lewis Truesdale and Gideon Inman. Victor Campbell and Gideon Inman had not yet moved to the valley full-time, but had filed letters of intention to build homes on lots they already owned in the spring of 1866.

By this time, the Town Council had also made a few more relevant decisions that affected location planning for this and other building plans. They had re-platted the northern end of the original town plan to create a town square east of Central Avenue and south of the newly created Main Street - to run east and west, a quarter-mile south of and parallel to the Houston Road. The plan was to build both the new Town Hall and the stone bank building on the perimeter of the Town Square. In addition, they had passed an ordinance that provided adequate space between any wooden structures so as to reduce the likelihood of a fire in one building spreading to nearby buildings, as had become a common issue in many towns where buildings were right next to one another. The Town Hall and Bank Building were built on the new Town Square, as planned.

Unfortunately, Jake Patton died at his home near Jefferson City about the time all of this was being finished, early in 1872. His wife, Kate died shortly thereafter, as well. They had lived long lives full of adventure together, and their lives ended within a number of weeks from each other, as well. All of their holdings and interests passed to their only child, their daughter, Victoria, and her husband, Hugh Truesdale, of course.

To be continued... next Friday.

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May we each have a Homeplace, if only in our hearts!

Dr. Bill ;-)

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