The History of Pettis County, Missouri

After nearly a year from the beginning of the enterprise, with much labor and expense, the History of Pettis County is now ready for the public. Embracing the early and more recent history of one of the most populous and wealthy counties of Missouri, it is not be expected that a work of this magnitude could be compiled and issued without the expenditure of much time, labor and money. Most of the material comprising this volume was never before collected in any form; no pains or outlay having been spared to make it worthy of so noble a County and State, and it will assuredly be a welcome guest in the intelligent families of Pettis County, and although its value is material and immediate yet posterity will more highly prize this book and rely upon it as the basis of all subsequent history.

The task of the historians has been performed conscientiously, free from partiality and prejudice, and with a view of recording such facts as will be most valuable. To a great extent the history is what the people have been pleased to make it. If the people had furnished less information, there would have been less in the book, and if the information had been of a different character, its pages would also have reflected that fact. The style of composition has aimed at purity and precision, rather than periods and highly wrought figures. In some cases the same fact may appear more than once, and if a difference in detail is observed, it should be remembered as bearing the authority of the one who furnished it.

The mechanical work shows skill and finish, comparing favorably with the best in this and other States. The map, electrotype views, lithograph and steel portraits, together with the typography, have all received that artistic, touch which renders the work highly satisfactory to the publishers, and no doubt will meet the hearty approval of all patrons who are capable of judging.


Table of Contents


Historical and Political 9
Prehistoric Missouri 10
The White Race in Missouri 15
Missouri as a State 25
Summary of Events and Dates 25
Counties and population 26
Census Report, 1880 27
State Finances 29
Presidential Vote, 1820 to 1880 30
Governors From 1820 to 1880 31
United States Senators 31
Members of Congress 32
Public School System 34
Protectional Laws 40
Homestead Exemption 40
Exemption of Personal Property 42
Rights of Married Women 43
Taxation 43
Public Debt Limitation 44
Comparative Tax Rate 45
Federal Affairs in the State 46
Missouri's Distinguished Men
Daniel Boone 47
Thomas H. Benton 47
James B. Eads 48
Carl Schurz 49
Prof. Charles V. Riley 49
Missouri in the Civil War 50
Geology and Minerals 66
Geological Chart 67
Mineral Resources 72
Earth, Clays, Ochre, etc 77
Geography of Missouri 78
Rivers and Water Courses 81
Notable Springs 82
Soils and their Products 83
Wild Game 85
Climate 87
Healthfulness of the State 89
Agriculture 90
Staple Crops 91
Horticulture 93
The Grasshopper Plague 96
Navigation and Commerce 99
The Lewis and Clark Expedition 100
First Steamboats in Missouri 101
The Barge System 103
Railroads in Missouri 104
Manufacturing in Missouri 107
Principal Cities in Missouri 108
Constitution of the United States 113
Constitution of Missouri 124
Abstract of State Laws and Forms 166
Practical Rules for Every Day Use 196
Names of the States of the Union and their significance 202
Chapter I. Introduction and Name 205, 210
Chapter II. Early Settlements and Pioneers 210, 221
Chapter III. Natural History 221, 240
Chapter IV. Organization 240, 254
Chapter V. Political History 254, 267
Chapter VI. Finances 267, 275
Chapter VII. The Courts and Bar 275, 298
Chapter VIII. Religious History 298, 319
Chapter IX. Educational History 319, 331
Chapter X. The Medical Profession 331, 342
Chapter XI. Agriculture 342, 350
Chapter XII. Horticulture 350, 355
Chapter XIII. Pettis County Live Stock 355, 369
Chapter XIV. Railroad History 369 375
Chapter XV. Martial History 375, 390
Chapter XVI. Newspapers of Pettis County 390, 396
Chapter I. Introduction, and Foundation op the City 399, 405
Chapter II. From 1860 to 1865 405, 434
Chapter III. Capture of Sedalia by the Confederates 434, 458
Chapter IV. Sedalia after the War 458, 496
Chapter V. The City Government 496, 504
Chapter VI. Public Enterprises , 504, 511
Chapter VII. Commercial and Business Interests 511, 540
Chapter VIII. Churches 540, 572
Chapter IX. Educational 572, 592
Chapter X. Social Development 592, 602
Chapter XI. The Present and the Future 602, 604
Chapter XII. Houstonia Township 757, 801
Chapter XIII. Blackwater Township 801, 835
Chapter XIV. Longwood Township 835, 856
Chapter XV. Heath's Creek Township 856, 880
Chapter XVI. Lamonte Township 880, 907
Chapter XVII. Dresden Township 907, 925
Chapter XVIII. Cedar Township 925, 946
Chapter XIX. Bowling Green Township 946, 963
Chapter XX. Elk Fork Township 963, 984
Chapter XXI. Prairie Township 984, 1001
Chapter XXII. Smithton Township 1001, 1036
Chapter XXIII. Green Ridge Township 1036, 1063
Chapter XXIV. Washington Township 1063, 1078
Chapter XXV. Flat Creek Township 1078,1097
Chapter XXVI. Lake Creek Township 1097, 1108


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When a book is written, it is presumed that the writer had some object in view and some end to achieve by his labor in collecting the material . and writing the book; and it is right that he should put himself on good terms with his readers at the outset by making a brief, but frank, and honest statement of his object, plan and purpose in the book which he offers to public patronage. The writer of this History of Missouri has aimed to embody in a brief space the greatest amount of solid and reliable information about things which directly hinge and center upon or within the territory of this State this international commonwealth, which holds by right divine the royal prerogative of a destiny imperial and grand, if she can acquire or develop human brain and muscle adequate to utilize Wisely, honorably and energetically her magnificent natural resources, both of commercial position and of agricultural and mineral wealth. The writer's desire and effort has been to present nothing which would not be read with deep interest by every intelligent citizen of Missouri at the present time; and also stand as a permanent body of information, at once useful and reliable for future reference. Discussion of theories, problems or doubtful matters has been avoided; solid facts have been diligently sought after; and the narrative has been made to embody as many facts and events as possible without falling into the dry-bones method of mere statistical tables. In fact, the limit of space allotted him has compelled the writer to condense, epitomize, shorten up and therefore continually to repress his desire to embellish the narrative with the graces of rhetoric and the glow of an exuberant and fervid enthusiasm. This, however, secures to the reader more facts within the same space.