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More early Adair County and Columbia history

By Mike Watson

The "stray pound" was erected in Columbia in 1802 to hold stray cattle and horses. The first keeper of the stray pound, John Beard, Senior, was appointed in October 1802.

The first Trustees for the Town of Columbia were William Casey, William McNeely, Robert Hill, Hugh Beard and Andrew Ewing. In October 1802 they were given the responsibility of laying out the streets and alleys for the new town and "exposing" for sale the building lots. In January 1804 three additional Trustees were added: William Hurt, John Field and William Caldwell.

The first Adair County Justice of the Peace to resign his office was John Stapp, who resigned in December 1802. Obediah Green and John Wolford were recommended to the Governor by the remaining Justices as each being suitable to replace the resigning Stapp.

Green presented his commission of appointment to the court on October 3, 1803.

The first court action concerning the construction of a grist mill after formation of the county was made in December 1802 when William Hays requested permission to begin construction of a mill situated on his own land on Reynold's Creek, branch of Russell Creek.

The first will of record in Adair County was brought before the court on March 7, 1803. It was the will of Nicholas Gentry and was proved by the oaths of John P. Bondurant and Charles Yates. Richard Gentry was executor, with Charles Yates, Alexander Blair, Zac Gentry and Joel Yates as his securities.

James Gilmer was the first Commissioner of the Tax of record for Adair County, making bond on March 8, 1803. He was paid $62 for his services.

John Field of Columbia was appointed to be the first jailor for the County of Adair in March 1803. His securities were Charles Creel and William Hurt, Sr.

The first recorded criminal court case for Adair was held on March 8, 1803. A court was held for the examination of John Shelton and Peter Duncan, laborers of the county, charged with feloniously taking and carrying away one silver watch and two fine teeth combs of the value of fourteen pounds, nine shillings, the property of Nicholas Perkins, Merchant of Columbia, on or about the night of 26 February 1803. Shelton and Duncan plead not guilty. After testimony, the court found the evidence was sufficient to bind both prisoners over to be tried by the circuit court in May. Both were eligible for bail.

Eli Orms was the first of record to be fined by the Adair County Court on the charge of contempt, March 8, 1803. It is not recorded if this occurred in the trial mentioned above, but certainly may have been. The court rescinded this fine in June 1803, but not the court costs.

Thomas W. Atkinson was appointed paymaster of the 52nd Regiment of Militia with Daniel Trabue and William Lawson as his securities, October 3, 1803.

The Adair County Court provided for the needs of William Yates on March 5, 1804. On that date the court authorized William Butler, Jr. to take charge of Yates and provide him with meat, drink and clothing and lay his claim for payment before the next court of claims. The court paid Butler 45 pounds for providing for Yates a term of eleven months.

The court paid William and Joseph Inks one pound and nine shillings for the construction of the public stocks, May 7, 1804.

In April 1805 the County Court set tavern rates as follows:
  • Warm dinner for two or more courses, 1 pound 6 pence
  • Cold dinner for two or more courses, 1 pound
  • Breakfast or supper with tea or coffee, 1 pound 6 pence
  • Cold Breakfast or supper with tea or coffee, 1 pound
  • Lodging per night in clean sheets, 6 pence
  • Wine per quart, 8 pounds 3 pence
  • Wine per half pint, 3 pounds
  • Rum or French brandy per half pint, 3 pounds
  • Brandy per quart, 2 pounds 3 pence
  • Brandy per half pint, 9 pence
  • Whiskey per quart, 2 pounds
  • Whiskey per half pint, 9 pence
  • Cyder per quart, 1 pound
  • Beer per quart, 9 pence
  • Stable and hay for night for horse, 1 pound
  • Corn or oats per gallon, 6 pence
  • Pasturage per night for horse, 6 pence
The first trial for murder of record in Adair County was in May 1805. A court was called for the trial of Pat, a slave belonging to John Stapp, charged with the death of her child. She plead not guilty to the charge of murder. A jury was impaneled and after testimony, Pat was found not guilty and was discharged.

This story was posted on 2020-04-02 06:44:04
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