Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Little Bit of History about Titherow Hills, Randolph County, Missouri

There is a region of Randolph County, Missouri that old timers like my parents (who were born in 1916 and 1917) called Tittterow Hills. Most if not all probably have not heard the name. How much area this name was applied to I do not know. It may have just been a couple of farms or a much larger area. I do know that it was in the area of farms owned once by the Robert D. Towles family between Darksville, Missouri and Cario, Missouri, well north of Huntsville, Missouri. I suspect much of it is in the area of Riley Lake, Thomas Brothers Lake, and Kohl Lake where a coal mining operation was once several years ago. The old Towles farms are described as being near Darksville, Missouri and north of Huntsville in old newspaper articles and this would be in the right vicinity.

I had always thought the name Titterow Hills had come from a dialectical use of Thither "to go to or towards that place" and row  and never really could make sense of it.  My mother never knew where the name came from, and I never asked other members of the Towles family. So yesterday I was going through old land grants at the Bureau of Land Management website just to see the other grants that were near my great grandfather Robert D. Towles' farms which I suspect he had gotten from his uncle William Payne Towles. The farms were scattered throughout what was then Howard County Missouri and later Randolph County. One land grant was in Macon County, Missouri. I found that my great, great grandfather Ben Eatherton for example owned land near my great, great, great uncle William Payne Towles, and that is probably how my great grandfather and great grandmother met.

As I was looking through the land grants I saw a name that struck me. The grant was to a John Titherow and made in 1833. That would have made him one of the earlier settlers of that part of the county. Apparently he did not stay long in the county as I can find no other trace of him in this region. He nor his family are mentioned in the county histories. There are no newspaper articles or obituaries about any of his family in the area, and no county records like marriage licenses. However, he stayed long enough to give his name to a region of the county. At what point they started calling the area Titherow Hills I do not know. It may have been as early as when he got the land grant. The name persisted until the late 20th century when the grandchildren and great grandchildren of those early settlers in the area began to die off. It may have never went beyond a few families that lived in the neighborhood of the Towles family. I wish my mother and aunts and uncle were still alive so I could pry them for more information. By the way the name Titherow is given in most other documents as Tetherow. The family was quite common once in Clay County Missouri.

Edit: I have since learned the land patent that John Titherow received in 1833 was near Armstrong Missouri in Howard County. This is some distance from the region of Randolph County I am talking about. Never the less he was near the Towles family in Howard County, and could have easily moved to Randolph County. It would only be a matter of moving north 20 miles just as the Towles family did. It would require checking land deeds from the early history of Randolph County many of which were lost in the fires of the various courthouses.

Edit:  More research shows it could also be in the area of the Towles farms of the Stokely William Towles family. These were farms owned by my great grandfather's cousin (son of William Payne Towles). The Towles Cemetery where he is buried is on Route DD which is probably the eastern edge of the Towles holdings while Oakland School sometimes called the Towles School was near the intersection of present day Randolph County roads 1645 and 1650. This is east of where I thought Titherow Hills was. However, the Towles farms ran westward towards Daksville, and my sister thought my great grandfather's farms were around the area of the intersection of county roads 1270 and 1275. So Titherow Hills is probably in the general vicinity of where I thought it was although it may be father south and east. It also could cover a much larger area than I previously thought.

Edit: After discussing it with others, one person said they remembered that their grandfather lived on Titterow Creek and his grandfather's farm was on  the gravel road which ran north from Route Z, that would be Randolph County Road 1270. I also learned  from the Bureau of Land Management website that my great, great grandfather Ben Eatherton's farm was on what is now 1270 on the north side of Route Z. My great grandfather probably had a farm nearby his father in law so I can probably say with some certainty that Titherow Hills was in the general area of county roads 1270 and 1275. 

To the Northwest is Darksville, MO,to the South is Huntsvile, MO, to the Southeast is Cairo MO,  and Jacksonville is to the Northeast.