Clay County is a county in the northwestern part of the State, bounded on the north by Clinton County, on the east by Ray County, on the south by the Missouri River, separating it from Jackson County and on the west by Platte County.
Under the territorial act of 1812, all west of the Mississippi River and north of the Missouri River, formed St. Charles County, which continued until 1816, when that part of Howard County north of the Missouri River was taken, and from Howard, in 1829, Ray County was formed, including all areas west of Grand River to the State Line, and from the Missouri north to the Iowa Line.
Clay County was formed from Ray, January 2, 1822, extending from the Missouri River north to the Iowa Line, with its present width of twenty-one miles, and its length, about one hundred miles.
Following the establishment of the county seat, it was deemed advisable to limit the area of the county, and on January 2, 1833, the reduction was made to its present limits. The county was divided into only two townships--Gallatin and Fishing River; the county seat being in Gallatin until May 2, 1825, when Liberty Township was created. Platte Township was created June 4, 1827; Washington Township, August 9, 1830 and Kearney Township was created September 3, 1872.
That part of the county north of its present limits in 1831, extending to the Iowa Line was called Lafayette Township, and was very sparsely settled, and on the west limits of the county "attached for civil and military purposes," was the Platte Country, or rather the greater part of what now constitutes Platte County, was in 1837, divided into Pettis, Carroll, Far West and Preston Townships.
Fishing River Township was one of the first permanently settled townships in Clay County. In the fall of 1820, David McElwee and his good wife, Mary came...to Section 20, Township 52 N, R. 30 W, about a mile north of Cooley's Creek. Buckley's family were located from 1835 through 1837, within Section 28 as highlighted on the map.
Gallatin Township was one of the original townships of Clay County, comprising in 1822, the western half of the county. Settlements were made along Big Shoal in 1822. David Manchester's mill was a noted point in 1825. It is alleged that a few French families lived on Randolph Bluffs in 1800. Buckley and his family were located in Gallatin Township from about 1849 through early 1851.