Montgomery County Historical Society Montgomery County Historical Society
Dedicated to preserving and perpetuating the rich local history of the Montgomery County, Missouri area.


     The Montgomery County Historical Society (MCHS) is a 501(c)(3) corporation. The Society owns two buildings in Montgomery City that house an extensive genealogical library and a museum of artifacts and antiques. All research requests replies, building staffing/maintenance and website management are donated by volunteers.
     If you like what you find here, please become a member and/or make a donation to help us continue our mission. We also welcome contributions of your own research, be it family history or documented historical articles that would interest other visitors.
     Pioneer Days, a 96-page illustrated history of the County, has been well-received by both those new to our history as well as long-time residents. 

Home page articles are archived to Misc.History Articles and
Rhineland Germans Articles all of which can be searched by keyword.


Where is Daniel Boone Buried?

Everyone agrees that frontier hero Daniel Boone died at Marker in Frankfort Cemetery, source find-a-gravehis son’s home near Defiance, Missouri in 1820. Everyone agrees he was buried about fourteen miles west of Marthasville in the Bryan Family Cemetery near the grave of his beloved wife Rebecca. He was so particular about being buried here that he told friends that if he died away from home, he wanted them to bring his remains to this spot on a hill near Terque Creek. That, however, is where the story gets confusing. The people of Marthasville say he still lies in Missouri soil, his home for the last twenty years of his life. The people of Frankfort, Kentucky, will tell you that in 1845 the remains of Daniel and Rebecca were exhumed and reburied at the Frankfort Cemetery on a scenic spot overlooking the Kentucky River. So what is the true story–where is Daniel Boone buried? 
 
Home page articles are archived under "Misc. Articles" in County History.           Return to Top of Page 
 

Missouri Digital Newspaper Project

The State Historical Society of Missouri is pleased to present a growing collection of digitized historic newspapers. These images are freely available to the public and are keyword-searchable.

Focused on merging meaningful historic content with innovative modern technology, newspapers in our collection are digitized to National Digital Newspaper Program specifications. Many of Missouri’s digital newspapers are also available through the Library of Congress’s Chronicling America site, which ultimately aims to include newspaper pages from all states and U.S. territories in its collection. 

 

 

Prussian Immigrants & Letters Home

Much has been written to answer “Why emigrate from Germany?” The common reply is “avoidance of military conscription,” but that is far too simplistic. Recall that the first arrival of Nordrhein-Westfalen immigrants into Loutre was in 1845. More appropriate responses to “Why?” include these historical facts, further explained in Modern Prussian History:
  • Population growth in Prussia (58% between 1816 and 1849); recall there was no “Germany” until 1871 (1850 map)
  • Bad weather and crop failures; 1845-47 are called “the hunger years”Prussian King Crown
  • Industrialization and cheap British imports replaced the handicraft home-based production; impoverishing the weavers in Nordrhein-Westfalen
  • Conflicts regarding land use; aristocratic and bourgeoisie ownership
  • Mass poverty and “pauperism” due to all of the above
  • Disenchantment with the promised reforms of Frederick Wilhelm IV, King of Prussia, whose reign began in 1840
These cold facts are personalized by an article (written by a German, circa 1950) that references letters home from a settler in Hermann, Missouri in 1851-52.  The reader can learn first-hand what rural Missouri life was like in the 1850’s. The immigrant’s enthusiasm for America also illustrates the academic term “chain migration.” He writes to his brother in Prussia: But if you are not willing to come, then stay in the land of the slaves, and slave yourself as long as you can.
 
If such "personalized history" appeals to you, also consider Our Daily Bread, German Village LIfe by Teva Scheer, to better understand the challenges our ancestors faced and feel what it was like to live (and starve to death) in the German states prior to 1850. 
 
Thanks to a member for sharing this article. If a reader has additional information regarding source or references, please share with the webmaster. If your personal files include such letters home (or similar treasures) please share a copy with MCHS.
 
Articles about Prussian ancestors archived in Rhineland Germans.Articles                    Return to Top of Page
 

Many Seats of County Government

There were several seats of governance in our County and the choice of location became quite contentious (and litigious) in the late 1800s and early 1900s. A timeline of the County Seat Removal Conflict is found here. Period newspaper articles describing fires, the loss records, Court rulings, etc. are found here.  Thank you to a volunteer for sharing them!  1901 Danville Courthouse burns
  • Pinckney (1818 – 1826) on the Missouri River in (now) Warren County proved to be an inconvenient location for residents in the upper portion of the County. The first courts (county and circuit) were held in a log cabin three miles east of Pinckney, in the dooryard of Benjamin Sharp, the first clerk. The first judges of the County Court were Isaac Clark, Moses Summers and John Wyatt.
  • Lewiston (1826 – 1834) on the Boone's Lick Road west of what is now High Hill, near the [then] geographic center of the County. The town no longer exists.
  • Danville (1834 – 1925), new location after the organization of Warren County. Fires in 1864 and 1901 destroyed many county records.
  • Montgomery City (1925 – present) residents built a new Courthouse in 1890 where sessions took place, despite it not being the official county seat until 1925. The current building was completed in 1954.
Home page articles are archived under "Misc. Articles" in County History.          Return to Top of Page
 

Chautauqua Entertains in the Early 1900s

“Chautauqua” is an Iroquois word meaning “a bag tied in the middle” and describes a lake in southwest New York which was the setting for the Chautauqua Institution. It began in 1874 as a camp for Sunday school teachers. The scope broadened to include adult education of all kinds, as well as a correspondence course. It was a center for high-minded activities for intellectual and moral self-improvement as well as civic involvement. Chautauqua Advertisement 1910
 
The Chautauqua Movement grew (mostly in the Midwest) as the idea spread in rural areas where secondary education was limited. After 1900, the “circuit chautauqua” was popular. The quality of the offerings varied from Vassar-educated lecturers and Shakespeare to animal acts and vaudeville farce. Click here to read advertisements and articles from the Montgomery Tribute which detail what topics entertained our ancestors
 
Cars, radios, movies, and an increase in evangelical Christianity contributed to the near demise of the Chautauqua Movement in the mid-1930’s. The depression dealt a further blow. Learn about chautauqua assemblies currently in operation at chautauquatrail.com. The full version of this article can be found here. A big Thank You to a member for sharing these newspaper clippings!
 
Home page articles are archived under "Misc. Articles" in County History.           Return to Top of Page