William Todd (1794 – 1861)

”Early in the eighteenth century Thomas Todd and his wife Elizabeth immigrated from England to central Pennsylvania, and from there subsequently moved to North Carolina. Their son, Joseph Todd, was born in Pennsylvania about 1748, and married Ann Crause, who was of German parentage. They lived in Roane, North Carolina, a short time, and then moved across the mountains and became pioneer settlers in Hardin County, Kentucky. In 1817 the Todd family accomplished another stage on their pioneer migrations, when they settled in Howard County, Missouri. That was four years before Missouri Territory was admitted to the Union, and Howard County was almost on the extreme western verge of civilization.

Joseph Todd and wife were the parents of thirteen children. The youngest child was Major William Todd, who was born in Hardin County, Kentucky, June 7, 1794, and died March 29, 1861. During the war of 1812 he saw active service as a soldier under General Jackson, and acquired his title of major during the southern campaign against the Indians and British. In 1817 he accompanied his parents on their removal from Kentucky to Howard County, Missouri, and in 1823 moved still further out along the frontier to Clay County. In 1837 he was one of the leaders in the tide of settlers who occupied the newly opened Platte Purchase, and established himself and family as a nucleus in what was known as Todd’s Settlement, three miles west of Platte City.

Mr. Todd was famous as an orchardist in the early days, and one of his first acts after finding a home in the New Platte Purchase was to set out a large orchard. While as the representative of ‘Johnny Appleseed’ he performed a useful work and set an excellent example to the new settlers of that community, his fame as a horticulturist rested on more enduring grounds as the originator of the splendid White Pearmain or Todd apples, which in honor of his religious faith he named the Campbellite. For a generation that was one of the finest apples produced in the Middle West, but only the people of the older generation remember it for its flavor and beauty, since it is now an extinct variety.

Major Todd was married, December 8, 1818, to Paulina Fugate, a name that bespeaks a further relationship with pioneers in Northwest Missouri. She was born July 31, 1801, and became the mother of eleven children, and died December 31, 1842. Major Todd married for his second wife Lucy B. Ware.”

Source:  A History of Northwest Missouri, Vol. 2, by Walter Williams, The Lewis Publishing Co., Chicago and New York, 1915, page 1279


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