From History of Jackson County
It is evident from all sources that the first settlement was at Fort Osage, on the Missouri River, afterward called Sibley. The government had established this for the purpose of frontier defense, and also to trade with the Indians. It is understood that Lewis and Clark made their discoveries along this county's northern border in the year 1804, and Fort Osage was established four years later. For nearly twenty years there were no important permanent settlements within the limits of the county, but just as soon as the Indian title was extinct the county was settled and organized. At Fort Osage there was a ferry across the Missouri River and all along to the present time it has been more or less used for crossing. Settlements were afterward made in the neighborhood at Blue Mills, and what was known as the " Hudspeth Settlement." This was eight or ten miles a little north of east, of Independence, on the road to Sibley. William Hudspeth, William Franklin, Christopher, Joel and Richard Childs, Thomas Potts, Sr., and Jr., David Bittle, Lynchburg Adams, Lewis Franklin, Jesse Morrow, William Huntsucker, John Hambright, Michael Rice, and many others, were among early and prominent settlers of that vicinity. A mill was built and operated on the east side of Little Blue by Michael Rice.