Union County Genealogical Society

Platte Township

Platte Township originally comprised the southwest one-fourth of Union county as laid out by court order, 23 June 1854, signed by Judge Norman Nunn.  J C Snow was appointed constable and Samuel Riggs as Justice of the Peace.  The election was held on the first Monday in August 1854 at the cabin of R Prentice with 14 votes cast.  In future years, portions of this territory were detached to establish other townships until it was finally six miles square.  The name for the township came from the Platte River.
Large artificial groves were scattered over the township, with its apple and peach orchards being the largest in the county and Platte township produced more fruit of all kinds than any of the other townships of the county.  The soil was a rich black loam one to three feet deep producing varied and abundant farm crops.  Instead of shipping the crops out they were largely fed to herds of hogs and cattle.
German born Frank H Bruning was the first permanent settler in the townships well as the first in the entire western half of Union County,  Born in 1822, at the age of 20, he sailed from Bremen to New Orleans, proceeded to St Louis, MO and on to St Joseph, MO.  In 1846 he moved to Gentry county, MO and married Anna Veser.  In the early spring of 1852, he traveled with a friend Asa Ames up the Grand River on a hunting and trapping trip.  Pleased with what he saw, he decided to return for his family and settle in Union County.  On their return journey, high water forced the group to leave the trail and in doing so, they missed the place where he had planned to settle.  Leaving his family to camp, Bruning and Ames started looking for a good spot to build a home.  Bruning selected a spot in Section 34 and Ames settled on a spot on Section 27 on 24 May 1853.  Late in Feb 1854, James Howard, Johathan and William Coons located on Section 33 and 03 February 1854, Samuel Clem and his son Henry Clem settled near by. 
The first schoolhouse was built in the spring of 1856 by Reuben Madden near Madden’s Grove and Ira Seeley became the first teacher.  The school was large enough to accommodate all public gatherings, church, funeral, and all other public meetings, political, patriotic, and educational.  The school was the starting point for Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian and Advent religious societies in the township.  The second school was at Union City in 1858 with the third being located on the southeast corner of section 27, in the dooryard  of Henry Clem who built a new house and gave his log cabin  for a school.
The pioneer preacher was the Rev James Wishard, Methodist, who held the first services in 1855 at the home of Henry Clem.  For forty-four years he worked among his fellow citizens to lead them to a higher life.  He deeded the ground for the McDuffie cemetery where his wife was the first one to be buried.  Four churches were established in the township were Platte Center Presbyterian, Hickory Grove Baptist, Grove Chapel Methodist and Union City Christian. 
There are four cemeteries within the township; McDuffie Cemetery, Bruning Cemetery, Grove Chapel Cemetery and Morgan Cemetery.  Two villages were established in Platte Township.  Kent was laid out by the Burlington Town Site Company in 1871 and the railroad built through in the fall of the same year, with the first train arriving around Christmas.  The town was named for Mr. A Kent who owned a farm on the west side of the town site and became a trading center for the area.  Union City was laid out in 1855 in the northwest corner of section 21 southeast of Kent and was a stage road of importance.  It had a post office from 1858 to 1862.   Information from  1908 Union County History by George A Ide.