by Marcia Napier, Grain Valley Historical Society
Today I took a ride. I didn’t go far, maybe five miles from home, but I was on some roads I hadn’t traveled for years, maybe never. Since beginning this series on how a road got its name, I decided I needed to drive down the road. Turns out, this week I will be writing about two roads: Hardsaw Road and Nebgen Road.
Hardsaw is a north/south road than spans about four miles from R. D. Mize, east of Buckner Tarsney Road, to Colbern Road. It crosses Nebgen Road about half-way along the route. Turns out, the Hardsaw family and the Nebgen family both settled south of Grain Valley about the same time.
David Eugene Hardsaw, Sr. was born on May 21, 1862 in New Amsterdam; a small town in one of the southernmost counties of Indiana. He married Clara Crawford and seven of their nine children were born in Indiana before they moved to Lawrenceburg, Tennessee in 1901. The 1910 and 1920 U. S. Census tells us they were living in Kansas City Ward 5, Wyandotte County, Kansas. He worked for an oil company. It was not until the 1930 U. S. Census that I found any reference to their living in Van Buren Township, Jackson County, Missouri.
Since he died in 1936, his time as a farmer in Eastern Jackson County would have been short. I have found no clues as to where their home might have been along the road, perhaps near Jenkins Road which connects Hardsaw Road to Corn Road. David Hardsaw, his wife Clara, and two of their children are buried in the Koger Cemetery on Corn Road.
William Frederic Nebgen was born in East St. Louis, Illinois on December 26, 1873. By 1898 he had moved to Mt. Leonard, in Saline County (north of I-70 and Sweet Springs, MO). He married Clara Wilhelmina Mueller and they had five children before moving to Pryor, Oklahoma in 1910. Two of their children were born in Oklahoma. In 1919 their last child, Clarabelle* was born in Missouri. The 1920 U. S. Census has Sni-A-Bar Township as their residence.
Mr. Nebgen was a farmer and while I am unsure of their exact location along Nebgen Road, I presume it was east of the intersection shown above. I only say this because many of the Nebgen descendants live in Oak Grove. His son Elmer (1911-1993) did live within the Grain Valley School District as his sons Donald and Clyde Nebgen were 1955 and 1958 graduates of GVHS.
Sometimes I wonder why roads are named for people that only lived there a short while. At least four generation of the Stephenson family have lived on Nebgen Road, dating back to the late 1800s. Maybe there was no road in those days? Or maybe they were at the end of Oak Hill School Road?
Personal Note: Clarabelle C Nebgen (Mrs. James Shrout) passed away in March, 2022. A life-long resident of Oak Grove, she was 102 years old.
Photo credit: Grain Valley Historical Society