Granville

Granville is situated in Clay Township in Monroe County, Missouri. Clay Township contains an area of fifty square miles and is one of the northwest tier of townships. Two-thirds of the township is prairie. It is fair to average land for farming purposes, the northern and southern portions being the best. Crooked Creek, Otter Creek, Middle Fork, and Salt River pass through sections 26, 27, and 28, in the southern part of the township. It contains seven school houses-in sections 31, 15, 26, 18, 6, 2, and 14 and three churches: Baptist, Methodist, and Christian.

Most of the settlers who made up the original citizenry of Granville came from Kentucky and Virginia. These pioneers envisioned a great, prosperous community. Realizing that the first essentials in the development of any community are intellectual and spiritual culture, they gave much attention to these things.

In 1836, William F. Foreman surveyed the land around Granville, and Granville was laid out in blocks. The townships of Clay, Woodlawn, and Monroe were laid out after 1840.

Granville bears the name it does because of the popularity of Dr. Granville Giles. He came to Granville daily to practice medicine but continued to live on his farm. According to records, he was a well-liked man because of his fitness for his work and his fine personality.

Some of the residents wanted to name this place Kipperville because of another resident who owned and operated a mill here, John C. Kipper. However, the majority decreed it should be called Granville, for the doctor.

The house of Dr. Granville has been torn down and replaced by a new house. The original house had slave quarters.

According to the 1884 history of Monroe County, the first house in Granville was built by John Parker, who also had the first store. Samuel A. Rawlings was also a merchant at that time. Some of the houses in Granville were built with high foundations, for Otter Creek rises to flood the fields and streets around Granville. One of the worst floods was in 1958.

Early Settlers

William Henry Harrison came to Missouri from Maryland at the beginning of the Civil War in 1863. He came with his wife to join another Maryland family, the Daniel Getsenderners. He settled on a farm east of Granville. Later a brother, Tom, joined him. He had ten children. One of them was J. W. Harrison.

In 1865, after the Civil War, Bill Anderson and Jesse James camped behind W. H. Harrisonís home in a grove of trees. They were trying to dodge the militia from Palmyra who were searching for them. Mrs. Harrison cooked breakfast for them. They left a horse for one of the Harrison boys. He took it and hid it on Otter Creek, so the militia couldnít find it and confiscate it or find out that the Harrison family had had anything to do with the Anderson party. They could have been in trouble because at that time one didnít know who was a friend and who was an enemy.

Descendents of William Henry Harrison have continued to live in the Granville community. The farm where he first settled continues in the Harrison name.

Jacob Ford was the first male child born in the county of Monroe. His father was the first sheriff of the county.

Squire Wilson Field came from Maryland; he served sixteen years as a judicial magistrate. He had four children by his first wife and six by his second wife. He owned a large amount of land and livestock. He was a Mason and belonged to the Granville Methodist Church.