The Withers Collection

Updated: May 17

Clay County is blessed with an abundance of recorded history. Personal papers, books and newspapers help families today recreate how their ancestors lived in a very different time in history. Early settlers who followed the explorers, trappers and traders, literally built the county. While others continued the migration west, our pioneers settled and grew a town, a county, a state and yes, a county.

One of the early families of Clay County was that of Abijah Withers who settled land near Liberty, built a log cabin and began his farm before bringing his family, wife and three children, from Kentucky. Six more children would be born to the couple and their cabin augmented and eventually replaced by an impressive manse. Abijah took an interest in the issues confronting the new settlements while contributing to the burgeoning community.

Subsequent generations of Withers continued the family tradition of service to the community. Taking on causes from better roads to historical preservation.

A new display at the Museum chronicles family members and gives a sense of the progress of Liberty, in which the family was heavily invested.

Chery Carr Holtman, curator, Clay County Museum

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